- Sara Mann
My New Years Recovery Resolution!
I can’t believe it! 2017 is almost over and all I have to say is THANK GOD….
I’m not going to lie, 2017 beat me up. It started off with a broken leg and ended with spending most of the time in doctors offices trying to figure out how in the world I can get my body to get it together. I don’t want to be dramatic, but this past year was quite literally the worst year of my life. It felt like I got kicked in the gut and then held down for more punches. Yet here I am, still kickin, thinking about how I can get up off the ground and make 2018 the BEST year of my life!
In anticipation for the new year, I sat down this past week and really thought about what I want my 2018 to look like, as well as what goals or changes I would need to make in order for it to be better then this past year. After deciding on the easy ones, like, read more, swear less, pray every day, new career goals blah blah blah, I got to the place where I started thinking about my body and where I am at in recovery. The problem that I found myself in was that I feel stuck. I’m kind of in that middle stage of recovery where I’m doing everything and just waiting for my body to heal. I can’t resolve to eat better, I already eat great! I can’t resolve to work out more, I already work out enough and it’s a slippery slope back into my over exercising. I can’t resolve to go on a diet because, well, DUH. I can’t resolve to lose weight because I actually have pretty much zero control over that right now as my body heals and again…DUH! So after a lot of thought I finally came up with my new years recovery resolution! Since I can’t do any of those things, I’m going to work HARD to change my perspective.
Since I am committed to recovering from my eating disorder and have yielded to the truth that it will take another year or two (or as long as it takes), and because I refuse to relapse, I am stuck riding this thing out. My desire is to try and sit down, keep my arms and legs inside the vehicle, and this year, go along for the ride.
The other day I was talking with my dietician. I was in tears because of a terrible doctors appointment and some bad test results. I constantly feel so confused and conflicted during recovery and I’m simply worn out and tired from the roller coaster that recovery is and feel distraught because the only way out is through and dang it if it feels like “through” is taking me literally to hell and back. My dietician looked at me and said, “Sara, this is going to take time. Your body has a LOT of healing to do. It REALLY sucks. What your body is doing to recover is uncomfortable and far from where you want to be…. and there are two ways you can get through the next year….. You can either be depressed, embarrassed, ashamed, anxious and hopeless while you wait for your body to heal, or you can accept this situation for what it is, a time of healing, and live in joy and peace anyway. I want you to look back at this year and be able to say, ya, that sucked, but I still lived and ENJOYED life the best way I could.” One of the reasons that 2017 was so hard was because it was riddled with depression. My situation is hard and it got the best of me most of the time. I felt like I was treading water, waiting for a life boat to come, but one never came. This year, 2018, I’m going to stop treading and start swimming.
I’ll be blunt. I hate my body right now. I am embarrassed to be seen. I feel uncomfortable 100% of the time. I have no idea what the heck my body is doing or when it will deem it “safe” enough to drop the protective fat suit that I’m currently wearing. I also know that every professional I work with has said that my body will in fact lose the weight naturally and slowly as long as I keep eating and exercising in a normal, healthy way. I can either be miserable about this, or I can accept it and enjoy life the best I can as my body recalibrates. This year I choose to accept it. Now that my new perspective is, “Yes, I do not like my body right now and it is far from where I want it to be, and I’m doing everything I can to change that, but that change is going to take a lot longer then I want it to, so in the meantime, I’m going to do my best to accept this and live life as freely as I can during this time,” I’ve decided to write down some mini resolutions that will help me achieve this new perspective over the next year!
Accept my body! I don’t have to like it, and I can want it to change, but I accept it for what it is today.
Be kinder to myself about my body. Stop calling myself fat and gross and stop taking digs at myself about my size. It’s literally out of my hands so I don’t have to beat myself up about it.
Continue to eat well. As long as I nourish myself correctly I am healthy and over time things will go back to where they need to be.
Forgive myself and my body for what I did and put it through. Anorexia and excessive exercise for over seven years is painful. I really need to take steps to forgive myself for it happening. I’ve punished myself for long enough. I’ve had too many nights falling asleep to ugly thoughts about how I’ve ruined myself. It’s time to put those to bed and move on. It happened, I’m getting well. That’s it.
Give my body the time to heal and reconnect with my mind. My mind and body have been at war for at least ten years. I need to sit back and allow my body to reteach my mind how to eat and trust the way it was meant to work.
Stop hiding and LIVE. The truth is, I don’t want people to see me. I don’t want them to think I’ve let myself go. Since I live in that fear, I have isolated myself. Just the other day I ran into my high school cheerleading coach and all I could think of was how big I am and what she must be thinking. WHY? I haven’t let myself go, I’m recovering from anorexia. I should be proud of what I’m doing not ashamed. Would she rather see me a bit heavy recovering, or visit my grave because my body shut down from starvation? My body is doing it’s thing right now, and that thing shouldn't keep me from enjoying life the best I can.
Praise my body for what it is doing. I find myself being so mad that it isn’t healed or that my body is overweight and not doing what I want it to. This year I want to take a step back and instead of being angry at it and I want to practice being in awe of it. This body is smart enough to adjust in order to keep me alive. It is now smart enough to adjust again in order to heal me. WOW! What a smart body to put on a lot of fat to keep me safe in case I starve again. What an amazing body that can swell in order to let me know I need to rest. It’s time I love my body for what it is doing instead of what it is not.
Exercise for health and enjoyment. It is hard to go from working out excessively and as punishment to understanding how to move my body for enjoyment. This year I am going to figure this out. I’m going to dance because it is fun and great exercise, and I am not going to get on an arch trainer at a gym because honestly, “F that” it sucks!
Last, I’m going to try and meditate on Colossians 3:1-17, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must also rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” These verses talk about putting on my new self and getting rid of the old self. It talks about letting the peace of Christ rule in my heart and being renewed. It talks about clothing myself with compassion and putting to death my earthly nature, which for me is being obsessed with my weight and allowing an eating disorder to decide my happiness. Even God wants me to be free!!
I’m really hopeful that 2018 will be a great year! I know some things won’t change. I already have four doctors appointments scheduled within the first ten days of January, but with this new perspective change, instead of being anxious, I am going to look forward to how they will help me recover. I’m excited to go through this third year of recovery and see how my body continues to heal.
For those of you that read this that are struggling with an eating disorder, or muddling your way through recovery, or supporting someone who is recovering, let’s make this a great year! Let’s make this the year ED lost! Let’s take our lives back and live them freely and joyfully!
Happy New Year!
- Sara -
p.s. - I know this blog is a day late! Sorry! I was enjoying my time with family over the Holidays :)