When living life consumed by an eating disorder, your days and moments are filled with worry about “too much.”
Did I eat too much? Do I weigh too much? Am I taking up too much space?
Days are spent frantically worrying about the looming fear of too much. The deeper we sink into an eating disorder, the larger the fear of “too much” becomes.
The amount we allow ourselves shrinks until “too much” is all around us. And even though self denial literally steals our energy and lives away, it seems too big to resist. It is almost too much.
Too much vs. enough
Recovery focuses on teaching us to break free from these imaginary limits we put on what is “enough” or “too much.” No longer able to even trust ourselves, we must rely on paid professionals to tell us what is “enough”. We have to challenge the voice in our head screaming about too much.
After we practice nourishing ourselves with the prescribed amount of food that is labeled “enough”, we then are taught to listen to ourselves to determine what is enough. We must make the conscious shift from focusing on making sure we don’t have “too much” to listening to and giving ourselves enough.
Beyond the food
But what I have learned about recovery from an eating disorder is that once we challenge the fears of too much food, weight, calories, etc., we must then begin to deal with these fears on other levels. As I began to give myself enough nutrition and restored my weight, I found myself worrying about “too much” in other areas of my life.
Did I say “too much” during a conversation? Are the questions I’m asking “too much”?
I feared I needed “too much” help from others. Perhaps I texted my friend too much, watched too much television, or took too much. Once again, I limit and define myself by an imaginary amount of what I thought was okay instead of listening deep inside to my inner wisdom to know what is enough.
It’s about more than physical healing
The problem is, we can heal ourselves physically from the damage our eating disorder by feeding our bodies and allowing them to return to their natural state. But, unless we heal our ways of thinking, we will continue to face these issues in other areas of our lives.
As long as we keep focusing on things being “okay” or “ideal” or “not too much” we will continue to keep ourselves inside an imaginary box. We won’t be free to be present in our own lives. Just like we had to accept that it was not only okay, but actually necessary to allow ourselves ENOUGH nourishment, we have to also allow ourselves freedom to be ourselves.
We need to give ourselves permission to express ourselves. To accept help for ourselves and to share ourselves. Because recovering from an eating disorder is all about finding our voices and sharing ourselves with the world.
Your new assignment:
So the next time you are worried about being saying or having too much, please ask yourself this question: Did I say enough? Did I ask enough? Take enough? Did I have enough? Did I open myself up enough?
Check in with yourself, just like you would when learning to eat intuitively. Truly listen to what you need as a person. And allow it. Because while focusing on too much is limiting, stifling, and suffocating… focusing on enough will allow you to thrive, create, and give. And you can never have too much of those!