NEDAwareness Week- Come as You Are 2020
It's finally NEDAwareness Week!! NEDAwareness Week holds a very special place in my heart as I reflect on where I was all those years ago, attached with my eating disorder. Each year I’m amazed at how far I’ve come. Once considered “recovered,” the years have seemed to blend together, but each year insurmountable in itself. Recovery wouldn’t be what it is without highs and lows- it’s not linear.
I recently shared my eating disorder story and journey on the blog. To depict the raw reality and thought processes of someone suffering from an eating disorder. It looks different for everyone, but along its foundation, the suffering is dark, lonely and incredibly terrifying.
Come as You Are: Hindsight is 2020 is all about reflecting on the positive steps taken towards accepting yourself and others.
So simply, that is what this blog post is about. I want to look back on some of my steps and provide a few for myself that I can integrate into my life to include loving and accepting myself and others.
Ditching Diet Culture
This one is huge for me. I used to think everyone had to label themselves or that I had to follow the latest trends. Sure, some trends are fun to try out like seeing the benefits of celery juice or dabbling in Keto, but I was always super critical of myself if I didn’t stay 100% within the guidelines of one diet or "look". It took a lot of understanding of myself and others to realize how versatile our diets and bodies are. Not everyone can fall into one body type or diet and one person may fall into many body types and diets. Allowing myself to eat whatever my body is asking of me and knowing that everyone’s body is completely individualized has given me a release from diet culture. Don’t get me started on weight loss trends and gimmicks involved in diet culture.
Understanding My Goals and Passions
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t have it all figured out! But over the last few years- probably the most important in my adult life, I’ve been able to really start thinking about my career and goals. Figuring out what I want, making inspiration boards (cheesy I know), educating myself, listening to my gut- have all not all been guiding, but healing as well. Looking inward to understand your core and soul can make a huge change in accepting yourself as you are and what you want deep down.
Releasing Toxic Energy and Allowing Forgiveness
As cheesy as this one may sound as well, releasing toxic energy whether that be in the form of a person, your own thoughts or a situation and allowing forgiveness for yourself, another person, or of a certain situation can move mountains in accepting yourself and others. Building off of my last one, over the years as I’ve had time to figure out my passions, along the journey I found myself removing negative people in my life that weren’t serving me. Instead of resenting them, I *personally* forgave them. You never know what someone else is going through or necessarily understand their intentions, so instead of inflicting more negative energy onto yourself through blame and resentment, forgive them and it’ll allow you to be a little more accepting of them in the end. You may not be keeping them in your life, but releasing that energy along with them is important. The same goes for yourself when you have negative thoughts or find yourself being a negative person. Release that energy and forgive yourself because you’re only human. We’re far too harsh on ourselves and others.
Now, with moving forward- what do I want to integrate into my life to continue to love myself and others? What positive steps do I want to continue to take?
Listen and Learn
I want to listen and learn to myself and others. I want to continue to listen to my body and mind. Allow myself to hear what my body is telling me and learn its signals. Allow myself to listen to my own positive thoughts, as well as the negative ones and learn why I may be in that mindset. I want to listen and learn about other’s thoughts and feelings and connect on our similarities and differences and recognize the positivities in both. I believe listening to oneself and others gives us the water to grow- we become more compassionate, mindful, and gracious.
Continue to Advocate
I want to continue to advocate for myself so my eating disorder knows it’s never invited back. Showing up for myself and keeping my promises so my eating disorder knows it’ll never win. Advocate for others so they know they’re accepted and that they are not alone on their journeys. Advocate and show up for the ones who feel they don’t have a voice or just need to hear someone say “me too.”
Of course, the list for these can go on and on. None of us are perfect, so it’s important we all recognize our ability to grow and expand on accepting ourselves and others. There’s always another step and the chance to move forward.
And with loving yourself and others- always Come as You Are.