Previous Thoughts on National Eating Disorder Awareness Week

March 9, 2008 at 3:46 pm Leave a comment

I wrote this blog recently for her circle ezine and would like to share it here as well… 

According to the National Eating Disorders Association, February 24 to March 1 is Eating Disorders Awareness Week. My own story comes to mind. Rather than go into personal detail, I would like to share what I learned in the process of recovery after 13 years of bulimarexia.

There will always be enough for me, whether it be food or love. I can say “No” to dessert or requests that demand too much of me. I can say “Yes” to dessert if I have room in my stomach, if it looks good, and if I WANT some. I do not consider that a sin. Nor do I consider it a sin to say “Yes” and do someone a favor, if I find it acceptable or within my means. Good eating is about 3 meals a day, a regular thing. It is not about diets or fasts. I feed my body regularly. It has come to depend on me for nurturing. In return, it gives me strength, energy, determination and the ability to pursue my dreams. I consider that a fair deal.

I have learned that eating is not about will power or discipline, neither of which I claim to have. It is about taking time for myself. I eat slowly and chew thoroughly. That allows me to enjoy food, prevents indigestion, and gives my body plenty of time to send the “satisfied” signal. Afterwards I feel good and can devote myself to other activities.

I admitted that I didn’t know how to eat, or what hunger and satiation felt like. I wanted to recover and enjoy life. In the process of recovery, it helped me to set up a basic food plan and commit myself to eating “normally” for six months, no matter what. That is a realistic alternative to the quick-fix mentality of this day and age. It doesn’t mean someone will lose a certain amount of weight in 10 days, but rather, that they nourish their body and let it find its own ideal weight where it can function best. This long-term approach is life-enhancing.

Recently I encountered some recovery myths in a conversation. I would like to set things straight. Now that I am healthy, I still get sad, feel lonely, screw things up, get tired, act like a child when I’m angry, don’t know everything, make mistakes, get irritable when I’m hungry, have undesirable habits, and am still rather untidy. My marriage did not improve as drastically in the long run as I’d hoped. But I also often feel happy, enjoy spending time with people, actively pursue my hobbies and derive great pleasure through them, enjoy my children, feel energetic, enjoy a good meal, love to listen to music and read. In other words, many of the less enviable qualities have remained, but health has enriched my life incredibly. 2008 is my 20th year of health.

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Entry filed under: National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. Tags: , , , .

Nourishment for the Soul The Power of Dreams

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