The one thing that is constant is change. It’s something that we should all be used to by now, but for some reason, as humans, we are still shocked when it happens! I think often humans can see change as a loss of power or control, or it can leave them vulnerable because of the uncertainty that comes with it.
When our lives are turned upside down by the weather, or we are thrown out of our job without notice – it’s not easy to bounce back from larger life events. I think that we are all okay with change when it happens on our own terms. When change happens and it is not something that we initiated, we feel as though it shouldn’t happen. It’s hard to deal with when it is not what we want.
Change has been the one constant in my life recently. As hard as it is, it’s a good thing. I am sure, once I walk out of this portion of my life I will be a champ when it comes to change!! 🙂 Each time I walk down the path of recovery, or anyone for that matter, you have to embrace change. Change is how recovery happens. Until you are willing to embrace change and accept that change will happen, you will be like a hamster on a wheel. Sometimes, that’s not bad… for a little while… at least you’re moving, but you’re not moving forward. There has to be a point where you are willing to just dive right in.
I thought I was moving along and making changes and I had it all organized. I am a self-reflective person, but I didn’t realize that sometimes you can’t step outside of yourself and notice things. I’m so hyper-focused on doing what is right in recovery that I don’t realize that I have to just “be”.
Occasionally I have “therapeutic meals” with my therapist. I eat a meal with her and I’m trying to go for more variety and challenging items. I got released from skinny camp and I thought I was well on my way. I could see the disordered things the other girls did and I made sure not to do them (cut up all my food into tiny pieces and then eat, etc.). I didn’t realize that I had my own version of disordered ways. It wasn’t until these therapeutic meals that she noticed that my bites of my sandwich are very tiny and I never stop cutting my food. I may not cut it all up at once, but I do that as I go. Apparently my knife never stopped working. She pointed out my disordered ways….
This was how I looked at her:
There is entirely too much power and focus on the food. Subconsciously, I let the food take power during my meals. I didn’t understand why it took so long to eat, and why meals felt so stressful and it was because what I thought was “normal eating” was actually disordered and ruled by the eating disorder in my every day eating! My challenge with her was to eat 2 waffle fries and she told me what a normal bite should be and made me eat that — UNCOMFORTABLE amount of food in my mouth!
Probably how I looked in response:
It was too big in my mouth (that’s what she said! – sorry, had to do it! Haha). I’m so used to smaller amounts of food in my mouth that I felt gluttonous eating “normally”. I’m sure nobody wants to hear that they still have disordered eating habits THIS far in recovery, but the good thing about it was that this revelation will take the power away from the food at meals as I learn to eat normally. All this time I thought I was one of those people who had finally dropped the disordered mannerisms, and I didn’t.
So, today was a day for “change” for me. I have missed yoga so much and I decided to bring it back to my life! (hooray!). After yoga, I went to check the place where I have dinner reservations later for a challenge meal (Holla!). Well, they were serving a community Thanksgiving dinner so I decided to stay and volunteer. It was great! I embraced the change in my schedule and I managed to deal with being around large amounts of food. It was great talking to people who need help, and not thinking about the food that was in the room. Following my volunteering I went to a few stores, got some amazing deals and proceeded home for lunch.
After learning from my therapist that I don’t eat normally, I thought about how I was eating this morning when I had breakfast, and she was right. I take teeny-tiny bites of my sandwiches (but in this case my morning breakfast bar). I noticed that the food has power when I eat. I stare at it, focus on it, think about it before I eat it, as I eat it, and as I swallow it…. even after I swallow it. It shouldn’t have that much power over me. It should just be something that nourishes my body. So, I sat down for lunch with my salad and I decided that I will not focus on it, cutting it up into small bites and take an hour to eat it. I succeeded. I cut it into bearable sized pieces (uncomfortable for me) and I never picked my knife up again. From forcing what I think may have been normal eating, I had less stress during the meal. I took the power from the food. The food didn’t have the control over me. There was no power struggle at all! I sat down with my normal rules and just ate.
Doing this today, and going to do this tonight involves a change in my way of thinking. It involves giving up what I am used to doing and being willing to accept new things around me. Really, if you look at the world today, things are so different than they were several years ago — seriously, just compare the cell phones you’ve had. You went from clunky press dials to touch screen iPhones. We adapt to change when it comes to technology, so why can’t we do so in our lives? We can – it just takes a little practice. We didn’t perfect the use of the iPhone the first time we picked it up. We still learn new things daily. Change in our lives is the same thing! When we unlock a new iPhone secret it makes our day brighter!!! It’s another endless possibility of technology! Well, when we embrace change of some sort in our own lives, it unlocks endless possibilities for us to uncover!
Change is new, but it doesn’t have to be scary or uncomfortable. I’ve decided I’m going to try to look at all new change as an added app to my iPhone of life. I’ll check it out, mess with it, work with it and if I don’t like it, I’ll delete it or not use it often or deal with the fact that It’d downloaded to my life…. but there are so many other apps that I have and have yet to see! I’m not going to waste my time focusing on one app forever! Life is too short and there are too many beautiful God-given things to love.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the Ermahgerd pictures, but they are hilarious!!!! 🙂 Ermahgerd = Oh my God.
Stay strong – stay positive! 🙂
Something to think about:
How well do you deal with change? Do you like it, or do you avoid it?