where do I begin? Recently, I have really noticed myself listening to my healthy self and not the eating disorder...I've been fighting past diet talk I hear and choosing to listen to my body and not other people. I have been eating fear foods and feeling less anxiety around food in general.
However, one of my biggest triggers is my stomach. That's what is so hard to push past. As I still need to gain more weight, I am so fearful of what my stomach will look like and feel like once I get to that weight. How will I feel? Will I not feel confident?
My anxiety goes to the ultimate worst case scenario and tells myself that I won't be as fulfilled, happy, or confident if my stomach gets bigger.
That's a lie.
In talking about this, my therapist asked me to think about the times in my life that have been so joy-filled and amazing. For example, I could think of seeing my brother perform in his high school musical this weekend and being so unbelievably proud of him. I wasn't thinking about my stomach in that time. The size of my stomach was not dictating my happiness.
On the other side, the times (and very rare at that) when my stomach does make me happy are not only fleeting but also not fulfilling. For example, I put a high cut shirt on and feel confident in my stomach because it meets societal standards or I feel confident. Ya, that lasts a couple of seconds AND that feeling is not as full and deep as the joy I feel watching my brother perform or laughing with my friends.
So, do I want more of those times when I feel satisfied in my stomach and grow those while, in the process, depleting the joy-filled experiences from life OR do I want to have more of those times when I am laughing so hard with my best friends and feeling so proud of my brother? I would rather grow those experiences.
There, my quality of life is better. There, I have joy. I am able to have more space in my mind and heart for other things that bring me joy. (Because a life where I obsessively control my body is not fun and only causes my mind to fill with thoughts of my body and food--unable to truly enjoy life like my brother's performance or my friend's conversation.)
So, what about you? What do you choose?