Insights from an ED survivor #2: The one about ENJOYING FOOD!
**warning: eating disorder TW**
I gave myself permission to listen to my body, trust in its processes, and respect its needs ABOVE ED’s drive for thinness and perfection.
I can now give myself permission to crave fun foods, respect said cravings, enjoy the eating experience, and feel satisfied afterwards.
Looking back I remember how stringent and dichotomous my view of food was: everything was either “good”/“bad”, “right”/“wrong”. There was no neutrality, and because of that I became the labels I gave the food which I consumed. I was a s**t person if I ate “bad” food, and I was successful if I only ate the “right” foods. I thought I was being healthy, I later learned I was fostering an ED mindset that would become so strong that the thought of recovery felt impossible.
I ate “bad”, I became “bad”, I became my ED - shameful of my weakness.
I ate “good”, I became “good”, I became my ED - proud of my restriction.
Through the recovery journey I learned that food is fuel, and without fuel I could not successfully navigate and/or rationalize my way through tough situations. When my mind and body became sustainably fuelled, I learned that it is not only okay to respect my hunger cues and fuel up with nourishing options, but ALSO to crave fun foods and ALLOW myself to have them. I learned my body knows what to do with all food, yes - ALL food, so that I could trust my body to do it’s thing while I was enjoying all the fun foods I spent so long restricting myself from.
I have accepted that my cravings ebb and flow, and I can find enjoyment in food no matter where I am at. I do not stress when there is a full week that I crave (and enjoy) fun foods every day in a balanced way, in the same way I am not phased if I crave primarily salads and BBQ another week. I recognize my hormones, stress levels, sleep, emotions, and more play into what my body is craving. I choose to listen. I choose to trust.
I chose to start feeding myself rather than my ED, and I have never looked back since.
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