I Want To Recover From My Eating Disorder...

I am excited to share with you the work of my lovely friend, Whitney Gale. She blogs about her 24-year journey with an eating disorder and her recovery process at Whitneygale.com  Whitney had her first reader question last week, and the post rang so true to what I hear from women all the time and my own experience, I just knew I had to share it.

"I want to recover from my eating disorder - I just want to lose some weight first!"

Whitney's reader wrote about starting her own recovery process and how much guilt and shame and pain she was experiencing. She asked Whitney if it was normal to feel like it would be easier to fully commit to healing if she dropped a few pounds first.

Whitney's answer: "YES! That is totally normal."

And I think it's the crux of the whole cycle.

We want to heal, to get out of the restrict and binge cycle, to stop obsessing about food and our bodies and feeling so bad about ourselves, but even more we are still clinging so tightly to the idea that life isn't working out because our bodies (or careers, or skin, or relationship) don't look how they should.

As Whitney writes later in her post, "I've wanted to be thin since I was a chubby 5th grader. It's all I ever wanted. If I could be thin, then I could 'have it all.' My life would be better if I weighed less, if I looked different, if I was svelte."

Until my own recovery, I felt the same way. That being thin and healing my acne were essential to my happiness. I couldn't see that life was actually full of happiness that I simply wasn't noticing because of my obsession with looking a certain way.

My husband married me on a day when my acne was at its worst and my hip bones were protruding from my dress because I was so skinny from all of the extreme dieting. I was tired and sickly and depressed. And all that I talked about was food for two full years.

What allowed me to heal? Throwing up my hands and saying, enough is enough. Enough is freakin' enough. Even if I have acne and I gain weight, I can't keep going like this. Even if I have acne and I gain weight, I am actually still going to be fine. I'm not any closer to 'fixing' myself with all of this struggle so I might as well try to accept myself as I am. Cue huge sigh of relief.

Followed by insane fear. What if I let go and it gets worse?

"I want to recover from my eating disorder - I just want  to lose some weight first!"

It's exactly this feeling - a totally normal feeling that we all feel at some point - that keeps us stuck.

There is nothing wrong with wanting a healthy body and to feel strong and fit. But when your relationship to food is out of whack, healing that has to come first in order to create lasting change. Period amen. No new fangled diet is going to get it done. Ever.

And healing your relationship to food has to start with giving yourself a break. You  are where you are - you can't change the past. You are where you are, and for now, that's ok. 

If these ideas feel scary and new and intriguing and confronting, that's all totally normal. You are not alone. It's scary. I know. And it's a process. One that I would be honored to walk alongside you for. If you can relate to this post, let's talk and discover if my process can help you. I promise, though the journey is not easy, the freedom waiting for you on the other side is completely worth it.

To recovery, self-acceptance, healing and breaking free.

You can learn about how I work here.
Book a free exploratory session with me here.
Read Whitney's full post here.