The New Orleans Saints are now the Superbowl Champions. At risk of offending Colts’ fans, I must blog on last night’s victory. I was cheering for the Saints—my husband and I met in med school in New Orleans. As our kids say, they wouldn’t be here without New Orleans. So, yes, our family was all, “Go Saints!” But how does this relate to recovery?
First, the Saints were considered the underdogs. I think this is important to remember. Your eating disorder voice can become so strong that it may feel like you’re the underdog in the battle. But remember that even underdogs can overcome!
Second, consider some aspects of the game. When the Saints in the second quarter got to the goal line and tried to go for it on fourth down instead of taking the field goal, our whole family groaned. We worried that they would have the “wind knocked out of their sails” as my husband said. But they came back, got a field goal on their own terms and from that point on the game was history. Even when you have faced a setback, still you can persevere and succeed.
Third, starting the third quarter, the Saints used on onside kick and got the ball back. This was an unprecedented play. It shows that sometimes it’s important to take a chance. Sometimes out of the box thinking is that best route to take. This was a play that had not been done in the history of the game (at least during the third quarter). It was an innovative play that led to success—i.e. points being scored.
Fourth, Coach Payton challenged the 2 point conversion ruling. One does not always have to accept authorities’ views and decisions. There are ways to challenge beliefs especially when done in a respectful and appropriate venue. We need to stand up for our own beliefs. When we take that action, positive results can follow.
Fifth, once the Saints got that positive energy flowing, they were on fire. Good progress can lead to more good progress. Once you’ve made one good play, you can feel so invincible that you’ll make other good plays. Think about how that relates to recovery and mindset.
·Journal and look for examples of inspiration in all areas of your life. If you read about someone overcoming an obstacle and achieving their goal—journal about it or just write it down. Start an inspiration part of your journal where you can keep these stories to help empower you. Stories that can help turn you from the “underdog” to “superdog”.
·Journal ways to keep going even when you’ve faced an obstacle and been knocked back. Having coping ideas ready can help you keep going.
·Journal innovative ways to deal with challenges. If a certain time of day is causing you problems, can you come up with some ideas even if you’ve never tried them before? (Maybe consider they might work because you haven’t tried them before.) There’s a quote that says “if you keep doing things the way you been doing them, then you’ll keep getting the same results.” Do you want to change the results? Then bring some innovation to your challenges and triggers. Find some support; brainstorm what helps you at other times and how to find some of that help now.
·Are you accepting other’s opinions? Are they helpful or damaging? If someone is telling you things that are not helpful, challenge those beliefs. Some women I know were told by their parents that they didn’t need to go to college; they went anyway and became successful professionals. Don’t let others limit your options. Is society telling you an opinion about how you should look and act? If those expectations aren’t helpful, challenge them! Rosa Parks made history by refusing to give up her seat on a bus. She saw that what society believed about her place and role wasn’t right and fair. She worked to make a change. Challenge limitations that are put in your way.
·Are negative thoughts feeding more negative thoughts? If so then journal to get some positive energy going. Challenge your negative beliefs. Find good things to write about yourself. You might not believe those thoughts now, but give it time. Books suggest that what we write about or focus on is what we can achieve. So write about your goal of recovery. Write about your future and where you want to be. Is it really still with your eating disorder? Write your goals and dreams and then you can start finding ways to make them come true.