Asking…

So, I read my journal notes and affirmations a few times this week, and took time to listen and follow my own suggestions ūüôā For instance, I focused on “love driven”, and I thought, if I’m feeling self-conscious, perhaps I can focus instead on giving caring attention to whoever I’m with, rather than worrying what they think of me. It helped me relax.

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I have allowed myself to enjoy my food, and eat more, which I’m glad for. It seems that when I do this, it feels good at first because my body needs the food, and I’m glad to be letting myself relax and take it in. As soon as I start to feel I’m gaining a bit, however, the ¬†patterns kick in, and I feel very uncomfortable, physically and emotionally. I even have dreams at night that I am blowing up ~ gaining weight quickly and feeling awful about myself.

In my mind and heart I know that I am worth loving at any size, and that it’s what is within that matters! I am frustrated to still be dealing with these stuck patterns at my age ~ ready and wanting to let go of this!

So, I thought of asking for support from people who are understanding and close to me. I’m going to send an email to my husband plus several women (friends and family – fortunate to have them!) and request support.

I want to enjoy and have a little fun with it, using some humor and asking for things that would be specifically helpful to me. For instance ~ “Please send me a message or email any time, telling me I am worthy and beautiful inside and out! Please tell me I’m doing well, to keep it up, and I can do it! Also, please offer me food, or ask me if I’d like dessert?? Did I get enough to eat? I may not accept but I like to be asked. Also, please check in with me now and then just to see how I’m doing.”

I want to let them know what my weight goals are, and why it feels important to me to recover fully. I want to be healthy, strong, relaxed and present for myself and for them. I love them and I want to care for myself also. I’m putting it out there so I can shine some light on the situation and openly ask for their loving support.

I’m often trying to be perfect in order to be accepted and perhaps gain the appreciation and caring I seek. I am usually working hard and doing things for others. I am excited to try this and see how it feels to ask for what I need.

My Own Program

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One of the tricky things about eating disorders is that it is not simply a matter of giving up a substance. We need to eat, so our patterns can get triggered at least a few times each day. ¬†There is more to recovering from alcohol than giving up drinking, yet at least¬†that part of it is clear.¬†Not so clear for a person with an eating disorder. It is complex, and I believe the “program” may be different for each individual.

Over time, I have developed a program for my own healing and written it on a page of my journal. The ideas were inspired partly by some of my favorite spiritual/personal growth writers, and from 12-step literature. I notice that I included very little about food! I think this is because I want my life to be guided by values and thoughts other than food.

(I have also created a unique food plan for myself with the initial guidance of an ED nutritionist, and I will write about that in a later post.)

So, the following is my program!

I trust my higher self and I am my own loving ally.

Nourish self * allow myself to receive care and sustenance

Stride and glide through the air, in nature * ~ ~ (walk and ride bikes, peacefully!)

bike!

Tune in to feelings, safely express, and turn them over to God (higher source)

Ground and center, breathe ~

Wait until hungry (not starving), savor, eat until satisfied, move on! 

Use my food plan as a guide also when necessary (anytime I’m below healthy weight or acting on my patterns)

Be “LOVE DRIVEN” (rather than food driven.)

Ask for support, and offer support to others.  (try to set a time to talk with someone at least once per week).

Dine in company * It supports me to have a relaxed, social atmosphere (especially a small gathering with people I am comfortable with) and to be around “normal eaters”!

Turn it all over to God daily ~ 

“Seek, and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be open, ask and it shall be given and the love come a-tumblin’ down.”

“Improve¬†conscious contact with God”¬†(some form of meditation) and ~

God is Love

Write in journal ~ daily is good, but we are not going for perfection!

Listen to inner guidance, and follow ~

Simple affirmation ~ deep within, my soul knows what I need to be well. I am well and whole.

Be Kind, Be Kind, Be Kind ~

So that is my healing and wholeness program! I am finding that it is truly helpful to go back and read some of it each day, and especially take time to contemplate a few parts.

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I’m Good at Insights…

 

I stopped seeing my ED therapist a while ago. ¬†I learned so much from the sessions about how my own patterns worked, and received valuable advice. Now it is time to apply what I learned. I told him once, “I’m very good at insights…” (revelations, understanding…) and yet I hadn’t gained any weight in 5 months!

I am 55 years old, and I think I¬†have¬†gained some wisdom over the years. Yet I’m still recovering from this stubborn disorder. I did eventually gain some weight while in therapy, and then lost it again after our home urned down and during the ensuing stressful time. I decided to start this blog as part of my own healing process, and to hopefully help others in some way.

I am grateful and delighted to find I am also learning and being reminded of important truths from reading other bloggers. For example, that eating disorders are actually a mental illness. Recovery is possible, but not easy! For those of us with anorexia, (and some related disorders) gaining weight is very difficult, both physically and emotionally.

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Also, though mindfulness and tuning in to our bodies is a wonderful practice, with anorexia, a healthy weight needs to be reached in order to truly recover. For one thing, our set-point has been thrown off for so long, it does not seem to work to simply “listen and trust our bodies.” In fact, we have to “over-ride” what our bodies and emotions are telling us in order to gain weight. My therapist used to say “You are going to be uncomfortable.”

I don’t want to give up on savoring my food, or enjoying healthful cooking, or tuning into to what I need and want. But Iwish to¬†add to these things¬†a strong intention to gain a healthy amount of weight within a reasonable time. I feel that this will not only be essential for my recovery, but it is likely the best thing I can do to be a good example for my loved ones dealing with their own issues.

So, I have set myself a specific weight goal! If I don’t meet it by my set time, I will return to my therapist. I’m not sure how I’m going to accomplish this, but I do feel intentions are powerful. Stresses and worries in life can trip me up, and the eating patterns seem to be my fall-back for coping.

I want to take it a day at a time, and use all that I’ve learned. I think the most important single thing for me is turning it all over daily (hourly?) to a higher source.

Some other things that seem to help:

*Talking to a supportive friend weekly. *Receiving massage or foot rubs (an ED nutritionist told me massage helps with weight gain for anorexics!) Even stretching out, relaxing, and rubbing my own feet can help. *Tuning into emotions that come up and writing them in a journal. *Taking peaceful walks in nature, really relaxes me ~ not over-doing, yet long enough to set my mind free…

I do love reading inspirational books.  One of my favorites is Dying to Be Me, My journey from cancer, to near death to true healing, by Anita Moorjani. I love the part where she compares her inner self to a  kaleidoscope. It is always changing, yet every image is beautiful. Sometimes we can be so hard on ourselves. It helps me to remember, that as I learn, my soul is still beautiful in each part of the process.

I wish to allow myself to feel my emotions, and yet pay attention to all that is good and joyful, and embrace the adventure ~