I don’t want to wake up in 20 years and wish I had done something when I was “younger”. Nor do I want to wake up in 20 years and still be struggling with food, body image, anxiety, confidence, comparison, shame, guilt, etc. I want to begin working on my journey to ending my 10 year battle, with all of these things.
When I first posted on this blog and admitted to the internet world that I had an eating disorder, at that time I thought I was all “better”. That was only 3 months ago! But now, as I use this blog to dive deep into personal development I freaking realized I ain’t no where close to being “better”.
Is this the beginning of the real journey?
Perhaps the phrase eating disorder needs to rephrased to disorder eating. Quite frankly, for me and my journey, it should be called disordered thoughts and disordered reactions to those thouhts.
What disordered thoughts do I have on the daily?
My house is a mess and I cannot keep up with keeping it cleaning.
I cannot let Jose do things for me, especially if food is involved, because I may or may not be a control freak!
No one can take me seriously because of how I look, I am to short, to small, and look to young.
I am constantly comparing myself to others.
I am worthless if I cannot help my patients.
What disordered reactions arise from these disordered thoughts?
Anxiety, stress, sadness, dread, literally just the feeling of chaos in my mind. These ulimately leading to thinking I need a “snack” or to cleaning.
HOLY CRAP! I did not realize I still have DISORDERED EATING! Literally just realized this today. As I was sitting downstairs, using the coffee table as my desk (because I love sitting on the floor), and trying to do training and projects for work, I became overwhelmed with stress and anxiety.
I could not concentrate on work. Most likely because I was not using my signature strengths, was not challenged to critically think, and was just marking off check lists on my to do list. As I was doing this, stress started to rise because I had so many other things I could be doing for work, so I let the dog hair, the dust, the messed up dog blankets, the flatten pillows annoy the heck out of me. I sprung up, refolded the blankets, fluffed the pillows, and went straight into the kitchen to eat something.
HOLD UP! Why? This was literally the first time I paused to assess: Am I emotionally or physically hungry? And why?
I had no sensation of physical hunger. I had a sensation of blood rushing, heart slightly racing, and feeling itchy and uncomfortable in my own skin. When I paused to feel this, the anxiety and stress, I could absorb it and see what I was feeling in my body for what it truly was. So I calmly left the kitchen. I expressed my anxiety to Jose and moved my computer upstairs to our office to allow my mind to focus on the task at hand.
But obviously now I am writing a post and not working on my work (don’t worry, I will get it done later tonight!)
What am I feeling now?
Proud of myself for recognizing emotional versus physical hunger. My mind has settled, the chaos is gone, the anxiety and stress have resolved.
Who cares about the dog hair and the ruffled up blankets and pillows?? That is what a vacuum is for and blankets and pillows are meant to be used. Work? Work will get done That is a part of me, I am responsible and dependable!
So is this the beginning of my real journey?
I think I may have had a break through. Step 1, realizing I still have disorder thoughts that are expressed through disordered eating or emotional eating. Step 2, finding new reactions to those thoughts.
I always talk about how we are not our thoughts. And I suggest if you are feeling “icky”, write down your thoughts, and say them outloud. Then you will realize your negative thoughts are most likely not true, and if they are true, you can then make a plan to get through them. You will survive them.
But I think I have been missing a lot of my thoughts. Normally I would not have paused to feel that anxiety that had built up. I would have ignored it, ate something, vacuumed, and got back to work. Not necessarily a bad scenario except I am then emotionally eating.
I have not been doing what is best for my body, what my body actually wants! In the example above, my body did not want the food. It was not hungry! If I had not paused, I would have ended up literally feeding my mind. My anxiety and stress wanted to be covered up with food and with cleaning, which to me are both compulsive habits ( you can read here why I think my disordered eating is related to OCD).
What does this mean in my journey?
I have been missing a step. It is not enough to list your negative thoughts. But more importantly, make sure you sit with your thoughts. Feel your thoughts.
Feel it in order to heal it.
I cannot wait to share what else I uncover!
Share your wins with me! Even if it as small as what I just shared with you. We are all in this together. It is so beautiful to know that even if we feel alone, we actually aren’t. So many other people are in your shoes. Why not share your experience and help them out? While doing so you will in fact be helping yourself.