Eating Disorder Recovery – Lesson #2

In my first post in this series (click here to read No Food is Off Limits), I talked about the importance of not forbidding yourself to eat certain foods. The second lesson I had to learn in my recovery from Binge-Eating Disorder was to listen to my body. It sounds easy enough, right? When you feel tired, rest. When you have an urge to move around, exercise/play. When you’re hungry, eat. When you’re thirsty, drink. But, if you’ve ever experienced disordered eating or distorted body image, you know how difficult this can be.

Lesson #2 – Listen To Your Body is one I’m still learning. I still eat when I’m not hungry, just because others are eating or I’ve got a set lunch hour. I still eat more than I need to when I eat too fast and decide I need to be a member of “the clean plate club”. I still exercise when I really need a break. I still overexert myself when I’m exhausted.

This morning was a good example of that.

I woke up to yet another oppressively hot and humid east coast day and noticed some bugs under one of the windows. I decided to vacuum them. That led to 3 1/2 hours of scouring the entire house, looking for more bugs of the same kind (found them all over, much to my dismay), and vacuuming up a storm. I was able to force myself to sit down and eat something about an hour into it and I regularly stopped to drink water because I was sweating so much, but did I stop to rest? Nope. It was a compulsion.

I suspect that many of us with disordered eating habits have some compulsive behaviors. Once we start whatever it is we’re doing (be it overeating, counting calories, stepping on the scale, looking in the mirror, etc.) it’s hard to stop.

In the case of Lesson #2, at least I can say I’m learning. The important thing is to focus on my (your) successes. My series of posts on mindfulness may shed some light on how better to listen to your body’s needs. Check it out!

Peace, joy, and health,

Megan

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