This is a guest post by Nikole of Stubbornly Delighted.
The battle with an eating disorder is exactly that, a battle.
I’ve been eating fairly normally for about a year-and-a-half now, but I often get mad at myself for no longer obsessing with food like I used to.
Instead of being proud of the progress I’ve made and the healthy weight I find myself in now, I sometimes get disappointed that I’ve “let myself go.”
The negative thoughts I’ve had on my body for so long leaked into my thought process; if I’m happy with my body one day, I’m disappointed with my skin, or my teeth, or my hair, and of course, finding complete satisfaction with my body is still difficult.
I thought that I beat my disorder a year ago, so why do I still have these feelings?
For an entire year, I have rarely spit out food, and even more rarely have I skipped a day of eating. But, the desire to do so still hits me hard at times. So, how do I resist that unhealthy longing to not eat?
It’s not exactly easy; in fact, it can be very very hard. But after a while, I’ve discovered a few things that help me to silence these thoughts and move on to the better things that are in my life now.
Don’t Blame Yourself for Any Consequences
The first, and one of the most helpful ones, is to not blame yourself for any consequences that you now have from your eating disorder.
I’m engaged now, and I’m extremely excited to start my family, but with that excitement comes a very serious concern. My ability to have children is questionable because of the eating disorder.
So here I am, I can finally move on, I’m getting married! But often, the excitement gets dampened because of my worry. I’ve always wanted a family, but can I have one? How could I have ruined that? How could I have risked so much? I hate myself for doing that. I hate this all. It’s then that I have to remind myself, that yes, life is hard, but it’s doable for everyone!
There are other options, and I can have a family. And besides, it wasn’t really me that had the eating disorder, that wasn’t me. It’s not my fault. It is not my fault.
Distract Yourself from Your Bad Feelings
I also learned to distract myself from my own bad feelings. At first it was just repeatedly thinking about one of my favorite songs whenever I had a negative thought towards myself. Eventually, it became such a habit, that even when I really wanted to feel those bad thoughts, the song would intrude.
After that, I learned to distract myself with other thoughts. This is a lot more fun, because I basically think of all the positive stuff going on in my life! I have a job, and friends, and I’m in a better place!
Eventually, this became a habit too! And now the negative thoughts rarely win the battles in my mind.
Look for those that love you and want to help you. Be completely honest with them, and hold nothing back. Holding in negative feelings, fuels those feelings, until they get bigger and bigger.
There is always someone out there that loves you and is willing to help. If you can’t think of anyone, or if you feel all alone, I’ll help you! There’s always someone!
Find a Hobby
Finally, the thing that is helping me most right now is a hobby. Find a hobby! It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as it’s healthy and something you’re actually interested in.
I taught myself to play the piano, and the guitar! I’ve learned to knit. And now, I spend a lot of time on my blog! Stubbornlydelighted.blogspot.
For me, writing about things in my life helps me to realize that everything is okay. There’s no need to dwell on things that I have done, and I can move on. I love writing, and I found my hobby.
For other people, maybe it’s making jewelry and selling it on Etsy, or playing sports, maybe drawing, or even making ice sculptures! It doesn’t matter as long as you really like it!
There is something out there for everyone, and finding that hobby can make a world of difference. I promise.
And remember, always keep fighting! If I could have seen who I’d be now a year and a half ago, I wouldn’t be happy. I would be miserable that I let myself become this way, but now that I’m here, all I can do is cry with happiness. I never knew life could be so amazing.