Happy Tuesday everyone!
I missed Marvelous Monday again…that day has a way of sneaking up on me–Longer weekend please!!
Next week, Katie, I’ll be back in the party!
Its been a while since I talked about anything ED related on the blog, mostly because I’ve wanted to believe that I’ve fully moved past that part of my life. While its absolutely true that I don’t “have an eating disorder” anymore, its a coping mechanism that tries to work its way back into my life every now and then. The obsessive thoughts, the counting, planning, calculating–they have a way of creeping in when I get stressed or triggered in some way.
This isn’t a bad thing, and it doesn’t mean I’m “slipping” or on the verge of relapse–far from it! It simply is something I have to be aware of and monitor. Recovery takes years of work, and staying in recovery is a constant choice that I have to make. For almost 8 years of my life, I dealt with stress, fear, anxiety, and depression through my eating disorder. Even after a year and half of solid recovery, those neuropathways are still there. If I experience a trigger of some kind, be it pressure to perform, feeling out of control, or just stress of life, my brain is wired to go right to ED thoughts to deal with it. That’s science people.
The good news is, I now have all the tools to keep changing those neuropathways and keep creating new ones. It is 100% my responsibility to notice when I’ve tripped an ED wire, and to then take action to deal with that trigger in a different way. Its taken many years and a LOT of therapy, yoga, meditation and prayer to not only cultivate this awareness and learn new tools, but to also believe and trust that using healthier mechanisms is actually worthwhile.
I’m getting sidetrakcked. The point is, I’ve been noticing recently that my ED wires have been tripping, and I’ve been avoiding acknowledging it. Instead, I’ve just ignored the existence of the thoughts in hopes that they will just go away on their own. I know better.
Yesterday, I had a come to Jesus experience in–you guessed it–yoga class.
I went to bed Sunday feeling so guilty about the few handfuls of popcorn in the movie, the glass of wine I had with dinner, the slice of pumpkin bread I had for dessert, and the lack of any and all physical activity I’d done that day (nevermind that it was the one rest day I’d taken all week!). I couldn’t sleep until I had planned out all my food for Monday, and all my exercise for the rest of the week. I was planning on taking two back-to-back heated vinyasa classes Monday night and restricting my carbs during the day to make up for the “bad” Sunday I had. I followed my “rules” all day, and by the time I got to my mat, I was actually dreading getting started. The idea of three hours in the heat felt daunting. But I had to! Right?
We started class, and Cailtin, one of my good friends and another incredible instructor, said something that stopped me in my tracks.
“If you have an intention you would like to set for this class, seal it into your heart now. If you need an intention, I have one–integrity”
I welled up with tears as that word hit me right in my heart. My whole reason for showing up on my mat that day was so far out of my integrity. Yoga has always been a way for me to cultivate healing, to get in tune with my body and spirit, to learn how to give myself what I need, so I can be a better person for the world. But here I was, violating all those principles, just wanting to work off the feelings of guilt I was having over eating like a normal person instead of a veggie-obsessed, green-juice crazed orthorexic.
The first step after realizing that we’ve violated our integrity is to take action to get back into our integrity. Like yoga or meditation, integrity is a practice. It must be exercised and chosen again and again, in an array of situations. For me, the first step was to lose myself into that one yoga practice–to fully give my mind and my body over to cultivating integrity on my mat, and leave it all there after that one practice. Then I needed to go home, cook dinner (with carbs!) and do some journaling, prayer and mediation. Then I needed to tell on myself. Hence, this blog post!
I started today with writing in my favorite coffee shop, watching the sunrise over the mountains instead of pounding out a few punishing miles on the trails, and I know that was the right decision. Yes, there are times where a run feels great, nourishes me, and is fully in my integrity. There are days where it feels right to go for a salad instead of a grilled cheese or quinoa bowl. And then there are the times where my motivations are fear-based and self-deprecating, and those are when I have to stay strong in defying those motivations, and be gentle and forgiving when I succumb.
Then I have to take the next right step into integrity.
That’s all I’ve got for you today ! Enjoy your Tuesday!
When you notice that you are out of integrity?
What things in your life can trigger old thoughts? How do you defy them?