There are so many different approaches to the daunting task of recovering from an eating disorder. While some prefer dipping their toes in slowly, others take a more aggressive approach by diving straight in. But is one way “better” than the other? Jumping all in to recovery can be shocking to your system, but can also propel your recovery to the next level. While taking the slow approach may be less overwhelming. Yet it may drag your recovery process on for years. So how do you know what approach is best for you?
No Two Recoveries Are Exactly The Same
Before you read any further. please understand this truth:
Every single person’s journey through recovery is unique to them. No two paths of recovery look exactly the same.
Comparing your journey to anyone else’s only leads to negative feelings. Just because something worked for one warrior does not mean it will get you the same results. We are all beautifully and uniquely made. Carrying different baggage from the past, we’re each influenced by our unique sets of genetics, families of origins, and current environments, personalities, and temperaments.
Therefore, it is important for you to listen to your inner wisdom to determine the best steps for your path. Digging deep and getting really honest with yourself is crucial in this process. No matter how loud the eating disorder voice is in your mind right now, somewhere below there is an intuitive knowing. When drowning in an eating disorder, we lose touch with our inner wisdom. But that does not mean it isn’t there. Recovery is about strengthening ourselves, reconnecting to our intuition, and letting go of the eating disorder.
That being said, I feel compelled to point out a truth I have learned through years of recovery ups and downs. Without taking steps to go all in on our recovery, we risk getting stuck in a middle place.
True freedom cannot be gained if we continue fighting our body’s natural shapes and sizes.
You are reading this article for a reason. Drawn to the title- part of you already knows what you must do. In order to gain freedom and healing, it is time to go all in on your recovery.
So What Stops You From Going All In on Recovery?
Sure, knowing it is time and actually doing what you need to do are two different things. I can’t tell you how many times I said the words, “I know intellectually what I need to do, but I just can’t seem to do it.” And I know I’m not alone in this struggle. So what kept me stuck?
I wasn’t simply afraid of gaining weight though. I was paralyzed by the fear of what it would mean if I gained weight. What would other’s think of me? Who would I be if I wasn’t the smallest person in the room? I felt like letting go of controlling my body meant letting go of controlling everything. Living in the walls of my eating disorder felt comfortable. Even if it was more of a prison. Although it kept my life small, I knew what to expect within those small walls. I was afraid of the unknown future of what my life would look like if I stopped controlling my body size.
How to Push Past the Fear
The fear of letting go did not disappear or shrink away. I tried for years to wait for the fear to dissipate so I could then bravely march forward into my recovery.
No, that is not how it works.
Instead, a new fear began to grow along side the old one. As years of my life ticked by, I continued to struggle with food and body. What if I spent the rest of my life living in the hell of an eating disorder? Could I cope with looking back on a life left un-lived because I wasted it consumed by food, calories, and pants size?
Yes, going all in on recovery was terrifying. It created panic within every bone of my body. But when I truly got honest with myself and examined the life I was living, the messages I was sending to my children, and the way I was treating the body that God gave me, I realized something else.
Living my entire life consumed by calories, exercise, and shrinking myself would be the scariest outcome of all.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying about courage: how it does not mean lack of fear. Rather, it means doing something despite the fear. We are all scared sometimes.
You will never feel 100% ready to conquer your eating disorder. Nor will you feel a complete lack of fear. The good news is, that’s okay. You can go all in on your recovery despite this truth. We are all afraid. We’re just doing it anyway.