It is time to let ourselves off the hook.
This is Part One
Part Two - Reversing the Effects on the Physical Body>>
I would rather die than be fat....."
AT the time back when I was starving myself, I had never heard of an eating disorder. It was just my secret. A decision I had made when I was young and then proceeded to do whatever I thought would keep me thin - starving and running miles at night in the dark where no one would see me.
I gave up the distorted eating habits a number of years later, although I had no idea of the long term effect/consequences this had on my digestive system, bones and so on until in my thirties and forties when I was very, very fatigued.
The reason I chose to focus on starving myself was because it was the only thing in life I felt I could control - what I ate, how much, and when. I thought I would appear successful if I projected an image of "thinness" to the world; but what I was really pushing against was to never, ever, ever again feel the childhood memories of shame and humiliation tucked away deep inside, under the depression. Others experiencing similar emotions might do the opposite and eat as much as they want. The flip side of the same coin.
A chaotic family life, abuse, depression and survival was the story I carried into adulthood. I did not know I was depressed or felt powerless because this was my reality since infancy. It was all I knew. So I pushed through life desperate to survive, to feel safe and secure. Eating chaotically was just a decision I made out of survival.
Nothing is More Important Than Feeling Better Right Now.
It does not matter what anyone has done in the past. You are smart and intelligent and there is nothing wrong with you. Everyone wants to feel better, no matter what the story is that we may have been telling ourselves. Each one of us has been doing whatever we think will bring relief.
What if there was no specific weight or look I needed to accomplish?
What if, there was nothing I needed to achieve?
Who's approval am I looking for?
I wasn't really able to answer this question until my father died. It was at that point that I began to unravel the paddling upstream need to achieve perfection. I opened to the awareness of how I had spent my life striving and living up to expectations, looking for outward approval with my physical body shape and my accomplishments in my work, my children and how my home looked etc. No matter what I did, it had always felt like a cup with a hole in the bottom.
Nothing was ever enough for me - until now, as I began to let myself off the hook.
The tears and grief flowed for months as I began to allow myself to BE, and I started feeling better. Slowly over time I surrendered and I still surrender often when I find myself striving for perfection. I found worrying less to be very important.
The truth is, we are not here to achieve anything, really.... except maybe the next achievement, then the next and the next. Where does it end?
Eventually when we are ready, we realize there is no gold star at the end of life and we liberate ourselves by getting off the hamster wheel and decide that who we are is enough. We also recognize that we cannot paint the outside of our house and expect the living room to look different. We get out of the "managing everything we eat business" and trade it in for having more fun.
We live our life the way we want, because it is our life and we are letting ourselves off the hook. For me, that means I am trading in the race to accomplish, explain myself, and dropping the project of the 36 things I believed I needed to do, to BE someone or to reach some plateau.
It is time to think thoughts that make me feel better such as:
I am changing my mind from this day forward, choosing to remember that I am free. There is nothing wrong with me, and I am not a project that needs fixing. I no longer have to achieve perfection, EVER. My body and my body weight are fine. I might go up or down the scale, and that is okay. I might have symptoms or even a diagnosis; but still there is nothing to explain to anyone, anymore. My confidence is building and building.
There is only ever improvement from where I am.
Final note: Be very, very gentle and compassionate with yourself. There are usually a ton of tears that are a bit backed up wanting to flow forth to help us feel more relief from all the “trying so hard….” and from the tiring journey of living up to the expectations of others and of ourselves. Start asserting that all is well, and see where it takes you!
Love and blessings, maryanne