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recovery guarantees...

Posted Jan 26 2010 7:40pm

Lots of things in life aren't guaranteed. In fact, iron-clad guarantees are pretty rare in life. But...


There are a couple of things that eating disorder recovery (by which I mostly mean the process of it, not some idealistic, finished point, if there is such a thing...and we've already discussed this point earlier this week... :) does guarantee.

The first is: recovery guarantees you'll feel. It doesn't guarantee you'll always feel happy, or sad, or grumpy, or terrific... it simply guarantees you'll feel your feelings.

The second is: recovery guarantees you're body will adjust to where he/she is designed to be based on your genes and body type. (The disclaimer to this is that some eating disorders cause damage physically and sometimes, rarely this damage is irreparable). 

The focus of this post is the second guarantee, in honor of Sarah, who wrote something exactly that someone with an eating disorder would say! She wrote she'll "always be fat, no matter what" she does. That is SO something someone who suffers from an eating disorder would say, right?! 

And it doesn't matter which of the EDs that person suffers from, the statement would have, at its core, the same sentiment- you guys don't trust your bodies to do what they are designed to do. You worry like crazy that if you don't micro-manage your body it will get out of control and be a mess. 

Sarah, you say you are overweight, and I have no reason to doubt your word. I'm not taking issue with that. I'm taking issue with your assertion that you "will always be fat" no matter what. How do you know that? What evidence do you have?

And maybe you're going to say, "I've tried everything!"

That may be true. If so, just ignore what I'm about to say :)

But, I've found that when someone with an eating disorder says he/she's tried everything she means everything within the context of the eating disorder (bingeing, purging, restricting, over-exercising...). It's only through the process of recovery that someone tries the thing that actually does end up working: trusting your body to do what it knows how to do, and leaving it alone to do that.

This turns out to be quite a project- given that people who suffer from eating disorders tend to profoundly mistrust their bodies. The reward is great though if you can learn to trust though. When we can trust that our bodies do really know what they are doing we can stay out of their way to do what they know, and they eventually tend to settle down where they are naturally designed to be.

I know, I know, I can just see your eyes collectively rolling... it really it true though.
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