Recovery from an eating disorder is not simply a single decision made in a moment of optimism, it is a decision that you must make every single day. When you decide that true recovery is what you want – what you long for – then something inside of you changes. Maybe it’s the sense of hope, the sense that things will finally start to change (and for good this time!). Maybe it’s the sense of power; of gaining a little bit of your old self back again and liking what you discover. For me it was all of those feelings and more, but of course, there were (and still are) times when I give into the persuasive power of the eating disorder – she just sounds so damn rational sometimes! When this happens, I find it helps to have something to fall back on; something that I know is truly rational and brings me hope! I have a long list of “Reasons to Recover” written out on pretty paper that I’ve stuck on my wall. When I feel myself struggling, it provides plenty of reasons to keep soldiering on! I wrote it at a time when I was fed up with the control that the eating disorder had over me… needless to say, I was looking forward to the promise that an eating-disorder-free future held!
It could also be helpful – in a reverse-psychology sort of way – to write a list of “Reasons not to Recover”, because honestly, I doubt that you’ll have any legitimate reasons written down on your page. If, perchance, you do have something written down, I highly doubt that it will stand up to any rational arguments that follow!
Here are my “Reasons to Recover”. Feel free to use them or create your own! 🙂
- Because I deserve to be ok.
- Because there are more important things to life than food and exercise.
- To love myself more.
- To go out and enjoy all that life has to offer
- Because I am NOT going to let my struggle become my identity
- Because anybody worth having in my life will not care what I look like or the size of my jeans
- To get my boobies and booty back!
- To not be scared of food. It’s just an object.
- To focus more on God, family, friends and life!
- To fix my back and heal my body.
- For my mum and dad and family, who want me to be well and happy and whole.
- To control my own mind and let it be free!
- To feel strong and powerful and glowing.
- To feel strong walking up stairs.
- To sleep better at night.
- To be more relaxed with eating times.
- To help others who are struggling.
- Because it’s time to heal.
- Because I have the power to decide how the story will end.
- Because beauty is not a size, a shape or a look.
- Because I am not defined by the size of my clothes.
- Because I am not my mistakes, my failures or my struggle.
- Because scales are for fish.
- Because my compassion is incomplete if it does not include myself.
- So that my body doesn’t ache.
- To have lots of gremlin children!
- Because losing weight only makes you lighter; not kinder, smarter, more creative or more determined.
- Because it’s better to be free and take up more space than to be consumed by food and thin.
- Because I looked healthier before anyway.
- Because i have permission to eat even if I feel like I shouldn’t or don’t “deserve to”.
- Because it’s not really about how I look, but about how I see.
- Because others’ responses to the amount of space I take up defines them, not me.
- Because I know I can. I know I will.
- To realise that if somebody else is smart, funny, attractive or beautiful it doesn’t mean that I’m not either.
- Because I refuse to sink.
- Because I was fearfully and wonderfully made. My body was bought at a price and I should honour it and love it for God.
- To think happy non-food related thoughts.
- Because there is nothing “wrong” with my body. I do not need improvement or fixing.
- Because I am a warrior!
- To overcome anxiety and the grumps.
- Because I am not my hair, my skin, my looks. I am the soul that lives within.
- Because I am worth it. I am worth everything to God.
So these are just a few reasons that I came up with, but of course there are hundreds more! These are in no particular order, but each of them is valid and true for me. Perhaps some of the ones in bold text will resonate with you.
What are some of your reasons? Write them down and make recovery something that you truly want for yourself. I promise that every step you take towards healing your mind and body will be worth all the pain and struggle that comes along with it! x