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I had never intended to write many personal posts about my journey with food. My plan was to talk about my experience with anorexia a bit in my bio and leave it at that. But after reading numerous honest and completely relatable posts by Gena and others on Choosing Raw, and a recent absorbing, personal post by Jenni of Wellness by Jenni, I was inspired to write my own. Actually the writing was the easy part, it’s the putting it out to the world that takes nerve. So I have put into words some musings about recovery.
What is “recovery”?
Is it gaining weight?
To the outside world maybe, but inside my head it’s not. Numbers are exact, but the body isn’t exact and the mind is definitely not exact. Scales are exact to the decimal place, which is much too easy for my perfectionism to obsess over. So I’ve let go of the number, and found peace of mind in not knowing, not obsessing. Am I finding bliss and ignoring my problems? Maybe. But when I step back on the scale after a few weeks, find I’ve gained a pound, and find that I’m not freaking out inside I know that it’s still the right choice. Since weeks have passed, not one day, I can’t berate myself for the extra bite of chocolate yesterday or the gentle yoga session. I can only attribute it to the natural and necessary process of healing.
Is it not having the thought, or is it just not acting on it?
I’ve heard from many people that have recovered that the thoughts are never one hundred percent gone. Those thoughts and fears can still creep up if allowed back in. If the thoughts are always close by, then is it a matter of recognizing them but not listening to them? Is it a matter of discovering a stronger, rational voice rather than giving the irrational one free reign? I can identify between the two: the rational, “normal” thoughts, and the irrational “anorexic” ones. I don’t like to use the words “my anorexia” because it makes it seem like a thing of its own. A thing that I can blame, a thing I can fight against. In reality all the thoughts are mine. If I think of it as a fight with sides and winners and losers, then that is what it will be: a battle. And it is hard to harbor feelings of compassion and joy during battle. So I think it is about following the rational thought instantly with joy, and without internally judging myself for failing.
Is it breaking the careful habits I’ve constructed?
I live in patterns, in routine. I’ve created such a schedule unconsciously to avoid any possibility of mistake, any feeling of regret, any feeling of failure. Moderation and balance weren’t considered in the calculation. Once something becomes a habit, the line between want to and have to becomes really faint. The world seems to think that consistency and order and schedules are good things, necessary things. Sometimes for me, spontaneity is a lot healthier.
As I write this I’m realizing that it is all about my comfort zone. Low numbers on the scale are inside of it, my irrational thoughts are inside of it, and my habits are inside of it. Staying in these confines is convenient and takes no thought. Stepping outside is scary. A part of me adamantly protests, and another part sees the bliss that is possible out here.
That was deep, so here is a deep blue smoothie…
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 3/4 cup almond milk
- 1 tbsp sweetener of choice (optional)
- 1 tbsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- Blend everything, and drink right away or let it thicken for a few minutes.
A delicious, desserty, banana-free smoothie.