I didn’t know I was so far along in recovery until I heard someone use the term “eating disordered” last week and began wondering if that is a term that even describes me anymore.
I’m not free of behaviors/symptoms 100% of the time…but I’d say about 80-85% of the time I am completely symptom-free. I don’t obsess about food as much. I don’t plan out my binges in advance, and hide the packaging and trash from my husband. When I’m stressed, I am able to remind myself that eating to the point of physical pain is not going to make me feel any better.
I am finally at the point where I can focus on making healthy choices, and eating things that will make my body feel good, without entering the cycle of restricting, binging, then restricting to compensate for the binge, and so on.
The weird thing is I can’t pinpoint anything specific I did to move myself so far along in recovery. Rather, I think I’m in the place I am today because of what I STOPPED doing.
I stopped thinking about food as the enemy. I pretty much stopped thinking about food entirely – or at least, I only think about food in a normal way now (when I’m hungry).
I stopped making my entire life about my recovery. I tried to focus more on doing things that made me happy, and less on recovery/food/weight.
I stopped telling myself that I could only be happy once my eating disorder was gone.
Basically, the more and more I lived my life to the fullest- despite my struggles with food, despite being overweight, despite being “un-recovered”…the easier recovery became. For me, finding life — and an identity — outside of and apart from my eating disorder was the most crucial step in my recovery.
I used to have a blog about food, fitness, weight loss…and later, about my eating disorder. Now I have a blog about my life…and I only write about the aforementioned topics when I feel like it. I don’t think of myself as a person with an eating disorder before I think of myself as a student, a wife, a friend, a writer, a teacher, etc.