body

Social media makes it fairly easy to get to know knew people. Even for someone as shy as I am, it is no problem to reach out to make new acquaintances.
However, every once in a while, there is this one person that just stands out to you. Something clicks and you are drawn to him or her.

Rachel W. Cole is one of those people. I have come across her blog a few days ago and I have been in awe of her messages, her positive outlook on life and the way she is helping women all across the US – and probably even beyond that. Rachel writes that she too struggled with an eating disorder, but she recovered.
Her question for us, her readers: “what are you truly hungry for?”

I couldn’t stop thinking about this question. I was contemplating it over and over again in the last few days.

What is it that lies so deep within you and wants to be expressed? What does your soul thirst? Which emotions does your heart long for?

Are you hungry for change? Hungry for wisdom? Hungry for love? Hungry for life? Hungry for relationships?
There are so many possibilities, so many options to consider.

However, I would argue that there is always one answer in every chapter of one’s life that stands out and meets all the above mentioned criteria.

Maybe you are at a stage in your life where your deepest instincts (and yes, I believe we still have them, no matter how sick we are) beg for something, anything, nutritious. Somewhere deep inside you, there is a voice that tells you to eat, listen to it. This is the healthy part of yourself that is still left and has not given up hope. This is the part of yourself that will help you survive and come back to the miracle that your life is.

A year ago, that was definitely the case for me. Even though I couldn’t let my mind realize it yet, my body screamed for food.
However, now, I am well-fed, full of energy and food is just a part of my day, something I don’t have to remind myself of. The urgency, the true hunger for food is gone.

Maybe you are like me and are a bit further down (or should I say ‘up’) the recovery path.

This is where the bigger questions of life come into play.

What is it that you want your life to be about? What do you want to achieve in your professional and, more importantly, in your private life? In which direction does your heart want to go?

I believe that asking yourself these questions and answering them honestly will help you tremendously in how you move forward. Life after recovery can be overwhleming. However, by listening to your deepest desires, you can find out what you are meant to be and do.

I tried to really dig deep in the last few days in order to answer this question for myself and one message that just comes to mind over and over again is the hunger for freedom.

Being freed from the strings of self-doubt, body image issues, past issues and traumata, lost time and, of course, my eating disorder is my ultimate goal, my ultimate challenge.

I long for freedom in order to be able to love myself, be my best friend and my greates ally.
Freedom means being able to travel without being terrified of the eating situations that present themselves so differently when away from home.
Freedom signifies forgetting about calories, meal plans and all the rules that I still carry around with me on a daily basis.
Freedom means completely loving my body, as short as it is, with all the curves that it has.
I want to achieve the freedom to love my husband in ways that are still unreachable for me because of the attachment to my eating disorder.
I want to be free to be intimate with my husband without the paralyzing fear of him disliking parts of my body just as much as I do.
I am striving for the freedom to lose control and just let go.

Freedom means being able to talk to everybody I please to without agonizing hours upon hours before because of being scared of not knowing what to say or how to reply.
Being free will give me the chance to develop my strengths and to embrace my weaknesses.

Living without chains includes having the prerogative to play with my creativeness and to have the confidence to stand behind my work.
The more I listen to myself, the more I start to realize that freedom for me involves financial freedom and standing on my own feet.
This pursuit will present opportunities to connect with my deepest desires in ways that are far from my imagination at this point.
Freedom will give me the mindset of success and the confidence to achieve it.
I want to have the freedom to dream unspeakable dreams and being crazy enough to believe that they will come true.
Being free is having the peace of mind to do more basic activities like going to the movies, reading books or taking a walk without this nagging voice that is still there from time to time.

And ultimately, this freedom promises living life with purpose.

What is it that your heart, mind and soul is truly hungry for?

 

Can't get enough? Here's more:

{ 23 comments }

Play

In this episode of Fighting Anorexia, I talk about some of the many obstacles that we face in our recovery.
I share with you how I have dealt with many challenges along the way and what I have learned from these occurrences.
Some of my fears included:

– Simply Eating Dinner
– pride often presented an obstacle, what will others think?
– Perfectionism
– Not believing that I could ever like my body again
– negative thoughts and negative self-talk
– Being scared of life without my eating disorder because that is all I ever knew
– Being scared of getting to know your true self because all you know is your ed
– Being scared of not being liked by others anymore
– being terrified of totally losing control of myself and my body

And here are some ways of coping:

1. Make an emotional connection to how you will feel after having overcome these obstacles.

2. Tell yourself over and over again that these obstacles are merely tests to see how strong you really are and how committed to recovery you are.
These challenges are horrible, they are hard, but if you keep trying and keep finding ways of working on what needs to be changed, you can do it. I believe in you.

3. Overcoming an obstacle means that you are one step closer to health.

4. Sometimes you just have to be very disciplined.
For example, when you feel like you are way too big already and you still have to eat dinner.

5. A positive attitude helps tremendously and it reduces the size of the problem automatically.

6. Staying inspired throughout your recovery process is very important too. Continue to read stories, autobiographies, listen to recovery music, poems etc. Surround yourself with positive people who have survived this illness.

And here are more specific answers to some of our challenges:

1. How will my life look like without an eating disorder? will I be able to handle this change?
You will get used to your life without an Eating Disorder.
You have to trust those who tell you that it will get better and that you will be able to handle it.

I promise you, it will get better and eventually you won’t even remember your everyday life with your eating disorder.

2. How can I cope with feelings?
Most of us have developed an eating disorder to control our emotions and block out things in our life that we cannot deal with at the moment.
We can use distractions at first. Maybe writing helps you? Maybe you can talk to a friend? Maybe you can scream into a pillow? Maybe you can do kickboxing to get rid of anger.
Eventually you will learn how to deal with your emotions and they won’t be so scary anymore.

3. What if I don’t have coping skills other than my ED yet?
You can develop them and after a while, these skills will become your new go-to coping skills.

4. Will I lose control over my body?
No matter what it seems like, your eating disorder is controlling you and not the other way around. So, you don’t have control over your weight or your body. You will be able to control your body – in a GOOD and healthy way.

5. What if I cannot stop the negative self-talk?
Pay attention to your Eating Disorder thoughts, your emotions and your behaviors.
You will get better at this over time and then you can start talking back and telling yourself that you are worthy, that you are wonderful, beautiful, one of a kind, a master piece, allowed to eat and enjoy life.

6. I want my recovery to be perfect.
Nobody’s recovery is perfect. We ALL struggle.
Besides, there IS no perfect recovery.

7. Will others still like me without my eating disorder?
Your friends will see how much more energy you have and that you can be a much better friend without your eating disorder.

8. Who am I without my eating disorder?
You are a wonderful, beautiful person. You will have so much more freedom without your eating disorder and you will have the chance of getting to know your true self.

9. But will society accept me if I am not a skeleton anymore?
Maybe, maybe not. But your friends and your family will. And that is all that matters, right?

10. I am all alone. I don’t know whom to turn to or what to do when I feel like I cannot eat dinner or I feel like I have gained way too much or I feel like I just cannot cope with all these feelings.
The best thing would of course be to talk to your therapist, but also group therapy sessions help a lot and I would suggest you search for a mentor. Someone who knows what you are going through and who is there for you and helps you.

A wonderful resource is Mentor Connect.

 

“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.”

~Confucius~

Now, which obstacles do you or did you face?
Do you have more examples and ideas on how to overcome these challenges? Please share them with us!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to this episode!

If you would like to leave me some feedback, you can mail it to feedback@fightinganorexia.com

You can follow me on twitter: @anneso87

Thanks For Subscribing To The Fighting Anorexia Podcast: Zune iTunes RSS Feed

Can't get enough? Here's more:

{ 9 comments }