As you may or may not know, this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week. Last year, I talked about intimacy . This year, I’m talking about jeans. Yes, jeans
On Monday evening, I was rummaging through my dresser drawers trying to decide on what to wear for the next day. As I sifted through my (read: endless) pile of jeans, I found a pair of light-wash jean leggings at the bottom of the pile. I hadn’t worn them in quite some time. In fact, the last time I’d worn them I was still knee-deep in my eating disorder.
I remember it so clearly. I would restrict during the day and try to eat “perfectly,” only to binge at night because of all the foods I had been denying myself throughout the day. “No” was a prominent word in my vocabulary. Have you ever noticed how often you tell yourself no? Anyways, I wanted to wear said pair of jeans because…well…they’re damn cute. I held them up and, to me, the waist looked a bit smaller than mine. “I wonder if these will fit me?” I said. I shrugged and and laid them out with a sweater and decided I’d try them on in the morning. Then, I crawled into bed and started my evening meditation.
Just as I was slipping into sleep, it dawned on me. That small encounter with those jean leggings was something to be celebrated. Why? Because I truly didn’t care if the jeans fit me – so much so that I didn’t feel the need to try them on. If they fit, great. If they don’t, great. There are plenty of other jeans in my drawer. Regardless of whether the jeans fit me or not, it doesn’t change who I am. I don’t need anything outside of myself (clothes, food, money, exercise, etc.) to make me feel good enough. This seemingly small encounter with a pair of jeans is such a beautiful moment because it really sums up the essence of recovery:
Let this be your mantra today. If you feel insecurity or self-doubt sneaking in, repeat those words to yourself. “I unconditionally love and accept myself.” The self that is you is not your body. It is not your jean size. It is not anything outside of yourself. The self that is youis a vibration of love, which you give and express to the world in your own way.
Stop for a second and take three deep breaths. Relax. Repeat that mantra to yourself. What does it feel like to unconditionally love and accept yourself? If you’re not sure, what do you imagine it to feel like? There is no right or wrong answer. Just allow that feeling to penetrate your entire body. Repeat your mantra: “I unconditionally love and accept myself.”
See? All you had to do was remind yourself to come back home.