“hmm, I’m hungry again – it doesn’t matter, I’ll just wait an hour longer.”, “I look so fat”, “You ate way too much again today”, “the others are all much thinner and prettier than me”, “I’d actually like a Magnum Almond, but whatever. I’d rather have a water ice cream.”
Sometimes it’s not so easy to stop the loud and confusing carousel of thoughts. I know this for myself – such thoughts not only came up during the eating disorder, no, also during recovery and every now and then such a less helpful thought still creeps in. The good news for you is:
Being thinner, having less weight, or being more defined doesn’t mean you’re more beautiful, popular, healthier, more successful, or more lovable. You have a body, but you are much more than just the body. Yes, your body is important and it needs a lot of care, nourishment and love. But what matters even more is what is in the body. Your character, your knowledge, your values, your interests,… All the things that make you who you are and who your friends like to be with.
Eating less and cutting back on food doesn’t make you MORE loveable, MORE beautiful, MORE fitter, or MORE healthy. It takes your energy, your zest for life, your interests, it makes you less.
Let’s stop comparing ourselves to others all the time. I know it’s not that easy. But who says it’s right to have a six-pack and it’s wrong for your belly to fold when sitting down?
THERE IS NO RIGHT AND WRONG WAY TO HAVE A BODY.
And your individual feel-good weight is the weight at which you can live and enjoy YOUR life exactly the way you really want to. For me personally, that doesn’t mean, for example, running to the gym every day or collecting 20,000 steps a day. I like to read, play with my nephews, discover new food spots and love yoga. And what’s wrong with that? When I do these things, I feel alive. Then I am me.
Yes, exactly. You read that right. I often stand in front of the mirror and don’t immediately fall in love with how my body looks. And that’s totally okay. But that doesn’t mean I want to change anything about my body either. I accept my body and much more: I am grateful for it for what it does every day. What it can achieve and what it has already gone through with me. Although I’ve been far from treating my body respectfully in the past, it allows me to get up every day, run, do yoga, eat whatever I feel like. My body keeps me alive.
Selfcompassion-Übung für dich: Schreibe doch mal zu jedem Körperteil, das dir so in den Sinn kommt, vielleicht auch gerade die Körperteile, mit denen du dir schwer tust, ein paar kurze Sätze. Was leisten sie? Selbst die “Fettröllchen” an deinem Bauch haben einen guten Zweck!
I will definitely not achieve my life goals. But.. what are my life goals? And more importantly what are yours? What do you want to experience so that you can say on your deathbed: “I lived!” Maybe you can start with this question.
I personally know that if I don’t eat enough, I will NOT be able to achieve my goals in life. Why? Because eating too little causes my body to make me think about food all the time, makes me hangry, hurts those around me, has less energy, is less creative and my zest for life plummets. I need energy to live. Therefore, gaining weight does not necessarily mean that I let myself go, but that I let myself LIVE.
Before you keep on reading: What else comes to your mind when you think about food. Why do we eat cake on birthdays? Why is there a little feast on public holidays? Why are we going out for cake with friends? Why did anyone ever start this? I remember hating when I had my eating disorder that food always had to be involved in EVERY SINGLE THING. Today I think that food brings us together. It connects us. Eating together allows us to get to know each others, creates cultural exchanges and upholds traditions. It is part of our identity, food also triggers feelings of happiness in us and can make us feel good. It also plays a big role in terms of experiences and memory.
For so long I thought food was the problem why I keep thinking about food. Why no amount of food in the world could satisfy my needs. I was so hungry simply because I needed more food. So, eating more means thinking about food less. And that makes sense too.
When we eat too little and our bodies are low on nutrients and/or energy, then… well, what do you think it triggers? Exactly. It makes you think about food with the hope that you will then go and eat. And if you eat enough regularly, then your body doesn’t have to worry that there might be too little food tomorrow and that it has to inhale the whole kitchen today.
If the blog post has inspired you, helped you a little in your situation or you think someone else would benefit from it, then feel free to share it on Instagram and co. Don’t forget to tag me so I can thank you too. I’m always beyond happy when I see that I can support others in such difficult times with little things like a blog post. ♥