Eating is imperative. No one gets away with no food for long. This is just how it is, right? Pretty common sense, yet as someone in recovery from anorexia, learning to live with food is not easy. My relationship with food is complicated because of how this insidious illness shows up. Fear of being full, how food will be digested and weight will be dispersed is the part of anorexia that can take all joy away from meals. Recovery from this disorder is ongoing and never ending.
Learning to embrace food, what makes living possible, is multi layered. With or without an eating disorder, food is about so much more than food. It's not just about eating more, finding "the right diet" or the scale going up or down. It's about shifting what food means, what eating represents and what becomes possible when food is embraced. I won't get into all of that here, partly because recovery from an eating disorder is unique to every individual, just as preferences and needs are individual for all of us. What I will say is this: whether you identify with having a complicated relationship with your body and food or not, it is possible to create a new way. Right now.
Core values are the things that really matter, what motivates you to keep moving forward, maybe providing an incentive to step into challenge or change. Connection is one of mine. Turning the tables (pun intended) on my food intake and choices has been a process, ebbing and flowing throughout the years since my recovery first began. Making peace my with my plate comes one meal at a time, even with significant recovery and freedom from what used to plague me. 2017 marked a significant return to freedom around food for me. This last shift really started happening when meals became a time to connect with others. Stepping into treatment to get a relapse under control, I completely changed up what had become normal for meal time. Sitting down at a table and talking, no technology around, being present with the uncomfortable or delightful, is what meals can be. Rather than a rushed, on the go scarf fest or isolated, over analyzed event, meals and snacks revolved around something more than food. Talking, sharing, listening, learning, playing, laughing, letting it all be.
Linking health and well being with core values makes it more likely to bring in new habits, patterns and ways. Perhaps there is an area of your life where you'd like to have new patterns enter in. Do you wish your relationship with food and body image were different? What about the interactions you have with family or friends? Whatever the areas is, in order to make meaningful changes that stick, identifying your core values is key. I had lost touch with what really mattered to me in the grief and stress of last year (these are two factors that I now see greatly led to the relapse). Reuniting with my values created a strong foundation on which I am now standing. A little time, attention, permission and a lot of support got me to remember what matters, for me. Connection, with others and myself, motivate me to keep moving in new directions and choosing health above all else. This matters more to me than feeling in control by defaulting to what is familiar (aka, the patterns that seem safe because they have been used so many times before).
My plate is plentiful. My life is full. And I am more than okay with this, because I am connected to myself and people around me who will remind me what matters when I get side tracked.
Do you know what matters most to you?
(How) are core values helping you live with intention and wholeness?
Reach out to me for support & schedule your free strategy call to get clear in new ways. I am here for & with you.
With so much love,
Darcy Helene Meehan
As an advocate of Reinvention + Recovery, I work with clients to achieve balance, alignment and purpose in all areas