Today one of my good friends messaged me. We met in treatment a few years ago. She proceeded to tell me how great her relationship with food and exercise had become, and that she was finally accepting herself. I couldn't have been more happy for her...only till we started really talking did I see she was completely deluding her self.
Recovery is not counting every bite you take, it is not constantly trying to manipulate your body to a lower weight than it naturally rests at, it is not eating one piece of chocolate and running and doing leg lifts to make up for being "care-free" and "indulging."
I am no where near perfect recovery. Not even a little bit. Almost half of all my thoughts (if not more) revolve around food and my body image. I have a running total of calories in my head at any given moment not just from what I am eating, but what others around me are eating. But the difference between my friend and I, is tragically simple.
She believes these thoughts and behaviors are perfectly normal, and that even more this will be apart of a healthy recovered lifestyle, at best this is what they call quasi recovery.
I know I toe a very delicate line of quasi recovery and full on relapse. I hate it. I challenge my self, battle myself every single day. I panic about the future and if this is the life I will lead forever because this is not a fulfilling life I want.
I want to replace the running total of calories in my head with research ideas, replaying my favorite adagios for strings, quotes from documentaries, dreams for what I will eventually achieve, and most importantly I want to love myself for the beautiful creation God made me to be.
So if you like my friend believe yourself to be in recovery ask yourself this: what are your thoughts obsessing over most of the day? When was the last time you appreciated your body for the way it looks, and what it does for you on a daily basis? Do you have to compensate when you deviate from your meal plan or do you just embrace food as one of life's simple (okay not so simple 99.9% of the time) pleasures? Are you actively trying to change your body or do you exercise with a respectful attitude towards yourself and health?
Now last question: Do you want to be living and believing these same things about yourself ten years from now?
Okay I lied one more: If you have a daughter and she felt the exact same way you feel about yourself on a daily basis would it break your heart or would you be proud of her for loving and respecting herself?
So challenge yourself with one tiny thing today. Embrace change, and fight like hell because this self-deprecating mockery of a life is not a life but a prison and isn't what you deserve.