Wow! It has been a long time since I last posted. In ways that is both good an bad.
Good: I have been having little to no eating disorder thoughts and behaviors!! I am off Prozac!!
Bad: I have not been able to share my progress with readers and have not had the chance to give others hope of recovery.
For a while I thought that I could say I was recovered. I realized, though, when particularly stressful times came about that I was not, which was still okay though! Just because you think you’re recovered and have things happen to show you otherwise that DOES NOT mean that you won’t become recovered. Just give it time, recovery is NOT a process that can be rushed. It happens for every person at a different pace, with different events dispersed within the long process.
A couple things have really, really helped me to reach my place in recovery.
If you have never tried yoga, get yourself to a studio NOW! I used to take a Yoga class here and there at my local studio, but it never really had as great an impact on my life until I started to take Yoga as one of my classes at Hood College. My instructor, Jan, teaches at Sol Yoga, a studio in my town, and she has really exposed me to the healing power that Yoga can have on the body and soul. She makes our short 50-minute class feel like a sanctuary, a place of peace and seclusion from all the stressors in my life.
When I am in Yoga I can escape from all the useless thoughts running amok in my mind and just be. This feeling of overall peace has been translating more and more into my daily life as well. I have definitely noticed that I am much more calm; I rarely get angry at stupid drivers when I am driving (and that is saying a lot, trust me)! I find myself more aware of my body in all situations. In general I just feel better.
Yoga has helped me to become accepting of my body the way it is, and has made me welcome and accepting of any changes my body may naturally go through. When I leave a Yoga class I feel proud of my body and more connected and aware of it as well. I don’t compare myself to everyone else in the class or silently compete with others to be the best in the class. I am content with my skill level and I do not try to push myself too much. It is really interesting, actually, how my skill level naturally varies from day to day. Some days when I am particularly stressed out, I will notice that my balance is off in Yoga. This motivates me to stay grounded in all aspects of life, as much as possible.
My choice to go vegan was not from a love for animals or a desire to lose weight. Don’t get me wrong, though, I love animals and don’t want to think about them being slaughtered so people can eat a juicy steak. My decision to go vegan came about from a lot of research into the health benefits of a vegan (or whole-food, plant based) lifestyle (notice I don’t say vegan diet). Being vegan can do wonders to prevent a whole slew of diseases, like cancer and heart disease. I have learned that animal protein essentially “turns on” the cancer cells in one’s body.
After going vegan, I have noticed a vast increase in my energy levels and my skin looks more glowing. I feel better about eating and I don’t worry about calories and all other things that dieters obsess over and that I used to all but kill myself over. I just eat healthy, balanced meals. I eat when I am hungry (which is a little more often). I don’t feel the urge to weigh myself. In fact, I can’t even remember the last time I stepped on a scale; I don’t even have one at home anymore.
Yes, it is a little difficult to be vegan at restaurants, but it just takes a little advanced planning and I’ve found that most restaurants are able to accommodate very easily.
Going vegan is not the best lifestyle change for everyone, but for me I could not be happier. It has helped to improve my relationship with food and has allowed me to explore cooking in a way that I had never thought of.
Overall, I think it has finally come to the point in this loooooooooooooooong, stressful and difficult journey where I can say I’M RECOVERED. I could not be happier with where I am, and in a roundabout way I am thankful for my eating disorder. It has brought wonderful people into my life and has allowed me to explore deeper issues in my life and has allowed me to learn how to be a better me.