I logged in to WordPress today and was reminded (for about the 100th time) that there is an updated version of “MistyLake”, the themed background and layout I use for this blog. Now, many of you probably know by now that I’m not a fan of change. Of course, as a mental health professional (and as a 30-something adult), I can see the benefit and necessity of change. That doesn’t make change any easier for me. Whenever I know I have to drive to a new place, change my work routine, shop for new clothes, or even check for updates on my computer, I cringe. I steel myself for whatever imaginary awful outcome my inner critic has laid out. Most of the time, the end result of the change is either no big deal or truly wonderful. Rarely does a change end in something catastrophic. So, today, after months and months of being reminded of the “MistyLake Update”, I decided to activate it. WordPress must know how scary change is for most people — they give you an option to preview what your blog will look like with each theme before you activate it. So, I figured I had very little to lose. And, actually, I really like the update.
I write all of this because, lately, the minutia of daily life seems to parallel the journey to recovery from disordered eating. Many times in my recovery I had to “check for updates”, be it newly published articles and books about treatment, newly opened treatment facilities, or simply a new way of tuning in to my body. Updating my”software” — my self-talk, my view of individuals of size, and my thoughts about the thinness ideal — has been essential. Where would I be today if I had ignored every recovery update that has been made available since I first started my journey?
What changes or updates do you need to make in order to live your life free from disordered eating? Do you need to update your inner self-talk from self-defeating to self-affirming? Do you need to update your eating habits to incorporate more mindful and less mindless eating? Do you need to update your social network to surround yourself with more positive, body-accepting people? Do you need to go out and buy clothes that feel comfortable and let go of the desire to squeeze back into a smaller size? What updates are required to get you to the point of embracing and accepting yourself just as you are?
Check for updates, friends. (And then be gentle with yourself if you discover, as I have many times, that you’re not ready to activate them.)
Peace, joy, and health.