I got this question in my inbox this morning.
I answered it privately, but it’s something I want people to see for anyone who is struggling with recover to see:
I would say don’t try to lose weight right now, because by being on a “diet,” your making yourself think that you aren’t good enough. You are good enough and you are beautiful!
Also, if you have a scale, throw it out. That number is just a number and sometimes we can give that number so much power, when in reality it has none.
I keep motivational notes around your room. I wrote “beautiful,” “sexy,” “smart,” “unique,” and “creative” on my mirror, so every time I look in the mirror, I see those words and tell myself that’s what I am. On another mirror I have back home, I covered it with notes from friends of mine telling me how much they love me and how they think I’m going to do great things. I keep those on the mirror so that when I start feeling down, I look at them and smile and they remind me that I’m so much more than I see in the mirror.
And one reason I do that, is because I still have trouble seeing myself how I really look. I talk to my roommate about it, and it actually makes her cry because she tells me how beautiful I am and how great I look, but I don’t always see it. And that’s what happens when we come from an unhealthy mental state from an eating disorder, we don’t see ourselves clearly because we’ve warped our minds into thinking we aren’t good enough and aren’t pretty enough and aren’t skinny enough, but we are. It’s going to be hard, but find everything that makes you great, because you are and there are definitely some amazing traits there!! You just have to see them and remind yourself that they’re there.
As for the eating, the best way to form a good relationship with food is to stop counting calories and to stop thinking food is the enemy. Food can do so many great things for you. Think about food as ways to improve your health. Eat foods that are good for you because they will make you feel good. Eat foods because they will make your body strong and healthy. And if you have weight to lose (which you might not!), eating healthy foods will help it occur naturally.
Also, don’t think that eating healthy means never indulging in “bad” foods. Restriction is a part of unhealthy eating. If you want to eat fifteen chicken nuggets with ketchup right before you go to sleep (which I did last night) go ahead!! Try to eat as healthy as you can as often as you can, but you’re allowed to eat some chocolate cake or a greasy burger if you want it. Just keep it in moderation.
Don’t let your life focus around your food or your weight or how you look. There is so much in this world that can be enjoyed and can make you happy, and if you’re always focused on how you look, you’re going to miss some pretty great things.
Try to free yourself and find peace with yourself and you will find yourself so happy and enjoying life.