Lots happening here. Most of all, I’ve been coping with breathtaking changes, coming so fast it’s hard for me to keep up.
Settling into my body…
Five months ago I finished the Toronto General Hospital Outpatient Eating Disorder Program. I’m settling into my body.
It’s exciting. I’ve learned to trust the eating plan. It works. But it’s no cakewalk. I still have urges. Mini-subjective binges. I fight the “f-t” monster in my psyche. Saying that word hurts me because it is so bloated out of proportion these days.
Recently reading about idiotic women using feeding tubes to lose weight sickens me. Will this craziness ever end? Why would anyone submit themselves to such indignity and self-abuse?
Enough of that.
Growing to accept my body…
The big news is I’m actually coming to terms with my appearance.
I’m not only tolerating my body, but accepting it. Very occasionally, I even like it. This is a first.
The reason for these cataclysmic changes lies in my work with psychologist Kim Watson, my years of work with my psychiatrist Dr. Bob, and the work I’m doing myself as on healing my relationship with my body, an entity I separated from my consciousness for too many years.
Becoming “attuned” to my physical and emotional needs…
I love the word “attuned,” and for me it means not only listening to the cues of my body but interpreting them in a positive and self-affirming way. Now, when I get a headache, I count back the hours since I’ve last eaten. If it’s more than three or four hours, I know it’s time to nourish my body.
I recognize danger signals. Losing my appetite if I don’t eat often enough. Not good. I used to be oblivious to this. Now, I act fast to make sure I’m nourished.
Here are a 10 examples of how it works, from Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel in their book Diet Survivors Handbook: 60 Lessons in Eating, Acceptance and Self-Care.
10 Ways to be Attuned to Myself…
1. Instead of being rigid with my eating schedule or any schedule, I’m learning to accept being flexible.
2. Instead of depriving myself, I’m aiming at satisfying myself and learning what “being satisfied” feels like.
3. Instead of feeling guilty about eating too much, I learning to feel pleasure in eating and with foods. All kinds of foods. After all, food is not the enemy. Why shouldn’t I enjoy it?
4. Instead of focusing or even choosing “weight loss,” I want to nourish my body. I have lost interest in losing weight. It’s not natural. Restricting is damaging to my body. And you know, it feels so much better. I eat five times a day and I have more energy, sleep well and I accomplish more. One of my goals is to get back to blogging more regularly.
5. Instead of feeling shame, I feel compassion. Shame is an awful, useless, damaging emotion. Shame is blame turned inward. I refuse to indulge in feelings of blame or shame. I let them go.
6. Instead of constantly judging myself, I’m working on turning judgement into acceptance.
7. Instead of the horrors of oppression that practically destroyed me a year ago, I feel free. It’s so life-affirming.
8. Instead of struggling to be “in control,” I am happily working on being “in charge,” and believe me, the differences are manifold.
9. Instead of having food phobias and being fearful of eating, I trust my eating plan. It works.
10. Instead of being constantly tortured and preoccupied with the way I look, I am now much more empowered by who I am and what I can do.
I used to see only my hands and my head. I refused to see the rest of me. I couldn’t bear looking. I dreaded mirrors or reflected images and easily avoided them. I blocked my inner reflection. It bore no resemblance to the fact of my appearance. I was numb.
To be continued…