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I’m convinced life is one big learning experience and when we share these experiences, we connect with each other and often relate in ways we wouldn’t have otherwise.
Over the last few years I’ve gone from a self-conscious hermit to a wildly outgoing over-sharer, the Queen of TMI. I’m more than willing to discuss just about anything with anyone (save for religion or politics) and that definitely includes my struggles with anorexia, anxiety and orthorexia.
When I was submerged in disordered eating and thinking, I kept my life very private and didn’t make personal relationships a priority.
Since entering into recovery, I’ve realized being open and honest about my past can be strangely therapeutic. When others learn I struggled with an eating disorder for years, I’m amazed at how many people can relate to me on some level, even though they may not have ever been officially diagnosed with a textbook disorder.
One of the questions I get asked the most about my recovery is, “Can you ever really fully recover?” For me, the answer is yes.
Recovery is an ongoing process, not a finish line you don’t at least glance back at over your shoulder from time to time.
Recovery, like life in general, is a learning experience. There will be things – triggers – that set you off and cause unpleasant feelings to bubble up.
For me personally, I know when I am stressed I naturally want to tighten up control over my food or the amount and intensity of my exercise. I know this tendency is unreasonable and unhealthy, so I make it a point to take extra special care of myself during high-stress times.
Sometimes I do resort back to old habits or patterns temporarily. For example, mentally declaring I’m swearing off sweets or booze indefinitely, or planning out a ridiculous number of long, intense workouts for the week. I know in the back of my mind these things are unrealistic, so I’ll let that kind, gentle, intuitive voice bring me back to a healthier place.
The key to recovery, for me, is trying to master the art of intuitive living and mindfulness, of discovering what works for my body and what does not. Doing away with labels, with rules, and instead, doing things my way.
Amazing things start to happen when you shift your thinking in this way. What feels good? What makes me happy? What do I need right now, in this moment?
Being in recovery means learning how to take good care of yourself.
This will probably be something you have to work a little harder at during different times in your life. The important thing is to keep trying, learning, and growing. Every day is a new day, a fresh opportunity to care for yourself in ways that nurture your mind, body, and spirit. Recovery is possible, and it starts with letting your inner wisdom shine through.
In October 2007, after 20 years of starving, binging and everything in between, Sara promised herself she would never diet again. Intrigued by the notion of Intuitive Eating, she applied different principles to her life but wasn’t fully ready to let go and trust the process until late 2013. Mom to two young boys, Sara now strives to set a strong, healthy example for her kids. She enjoys yoga, the great outdoors, red wine, and being a Mom, and reminds herself frequently that happiness is not contingent upon the size of her pants.
SITE DISCLAIMER: The opinions and information shared in this article or any other Content on our site may not represent that of Libero Network Society. We hold no liability for any harm that may incur from reading content on our site. Please always consult your own medical professionals before making any changes to your medication, activities, or recovery process. Libero does not provide emergency support. If you are in crisis, please call 1-800-784-2433 or another helpline or 911.