Next week, 19-25 January 2014, is Healthy Weight Week sponsored by Green Mountain at Fox Run. It is a week dedicated to healthy living free from diets and obsessing about weight. It is dedicated instead to finding acceptance and love in our bodies at our healthy weight. How amazing is that! The week is highlighted by the Slim Chance awards, the Body Image awards, and the (new!) Healthy Weight blogger resources list, which features the top 35 blogging resources to follow for keeping health as a priority and not weight. The rest of the week is filled with activities, discussions, and articles each day. It is worth a serious look: Healthy Weight Week.
One of the reasons why I am so excited is that this message resonates with me so much…
Before my eating disorder, I spent a lot of time dieting and trying my hardest to lose weight. One of the Slim Chance award winners, Special K, was one of the many things I tried during my many failed attempts. I could never understand why I kept failing and only felt more miserable about myself and about my body.
Now in recovery from my eating disorder, I still struggle with my body image. I have that dieting person I used to be in my head screaming along with my eating disorder. Both scream and tell me that I will not be good enough or lovable or worth anything if I am fat or heavier than a certain amount of pounds or a certain size. And you know what? They are wrong!
What if this type of week existed back then? What if someone told me that I was beautiful or taught me about positive body image?
That is why weeks like that are so important and why they mean so much to me. I hope that you all check this week out and utilize the resources. There are a lot of useful articles, links, and discussions during the week.
Don’t forget: You are beautiful.
I am sorry I have not been writing much lately. I have been terribly self-conscious. With every post I have tried to write, I have stopped within the first few lines (or maybe the first paragraph) and erased it all because it was not good enough or it made me feel too vulnerable. I could not expose myself like that because then people would negatively of me for either my writing or whatever fault I was writing about. I could not escape it.
But I think it is important to. It is important to find a way to work through those feelings and do it anyways. It is important to find the words to express the feelings, the vulnerability, the shame, and everything. It is important move beyond the uncomfortable comfort of being self-conscious and staying to one’s self.
So I am going to be vulnerable. I am feeling so self-conscious that I want to hide under my covers and not come out. Maybe become a hermit or a crazy cat lady that never leaves her house. I want to avoid saying or writing too much, even in therapy. I want to stay in my pajamas so I do not have to get dressed and face that scrutiny, too. Simply, it is an all-encompassing fear.
The bright side of this whole feeling? I do not have to let it control me. I do not have to let it dictate my life. I can choose to be vulnerable anyways. I can choose to go outside of my room (dressed, of course!), write what I have wanted to write, or say what I feel.
And so that is what I am going to do. I choose recovery.
Welcome to 2014!
It is the New Year, which means time for resolutions, diets, workouts, commercials, and a bombardment of advertisements letting us know that we are not good enough, too fat, etc. For those of us in recovery it is an especially tough time of year because the holidays were tough enough and now we face fighting off triggers from nearly every direction. We face slips and relapse from all the diet talk, negative advertising, etc.
It does not have to be that way though. Despite this being still a difficult time of year with all the resolution-making and diet-talk going on, it does not have to be overly triggering and you do not have to engage with it.
The first step is to know your triggers. We are all different in what triggers us–what triggers me may not trigger you. Be aware of what triggers you.
Once you know your triggers, it is about switching the channel when the commercial feels too triggering or not reading an article when it feels too triggering. It is about choosing recovery over whatever triggers you and engages your eating disorder. It is remembering recovery is more important than relapse.
If you ever forget why recovery is so much more worth it than your eating disorder, write out your reasons for recovery or look back at a prior list if you have one.
And instead of believing you are not good enough and a new year is a chance for a “new you”, how about focus on all the ways you are good enough and all the things you have accomplished. What kinds of things are you looking forward to this year? What little goals do you have for yourself? How about long-term goals?
It is a new year and you are good enough.