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100 Reasons To Recover
Recovery is worth it.
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To travel to a new country and try all the local foods, instead of rummaging the local supermarket for safe-foods.
To daydream about your crush, not cookies.
To not be a boring shell of your real self (don’t confuse that boring shell with your true self).
To never again be watching over someone’s shoulder when they put oil in the pan to cook for you, terrified they’ll use an amount you deem ‘too much’…
…And to no more ruined frying pans and dry stir-fry’s from your resistance to using adequate amounts of oil.
To give your parents the best gift they could ever wish for.
To enjoy late-night McDonalds after a night out with friends, making core-memories and belly-laughing.
To disengage with diet culture chatter for good.
To not waste hours and hours every week looking up foods, adding calories in MyFitnessPal, weighing your cereal or reading nutritional labels.
To be a good role model for your siblings, (future) children, nieces, nephews or just for your younger self.
To not being pitied, misunderstood, stereotyped and coddled.
To have an identity outside of your eating disorder, and outside of how you eat, move or look.
To be able to drop by a cafe or restaurant without looking up the menu prior.
To enjoy food, without the doom of compensation hanging in the air waiting for you afterwards.
To feel at peace in your body, and not base your worth on your numerical relationship with gravity.
To show yourself and others that recovery is possible.
To never having to eat egg-white protein pancakes ever again.
To your partner offering to cook after a long day being a source of relief and appreciation, rather than anxiety.
To second, third and fifth portions - and desserts.
To be truly present in conversations and important events in your life, rather than being pre-occupied thinking about your lunch.
To re-connect with your actual self, and your genuine interests, preferences and personality.
To not taking the longer route to the grocery shop.
To healthier hair, skin and nails.
To fertility and strong bones.
To sex with the lights on.
To not spending your wedding day occupied with thoughts about the wedding cake…
…Or how your suit or dress fits.
To live in alignment with your true values, rather than living based on the eating disorder’s fear-mongering, pointless and superficial values.
To sit down in the park with your dog and share a bagel, instead of dragging that poor thing around on a never-ending marathon.
To not avoid mirrors anymore, nor seek them out for body-checking.
To treat yourself with the same compassion you treat other people.
To have real energy, rather than the fake, restless stress-response ‘energy’ your eating disorder gives you.
To not be (or to not forever continue being) a ‘revolving door patient’.
To not be engaging in the eating disorder’s humiliation rituals, conspiracies or cognitive distortions.
To buttery popcorn at the cinema…
…And to ice creams by the beach (real ice cream, not smashed bananas or cottage cheese from the freezer).
To not having to be that person always making special food requests for events.
To book the hotel you like, even if it does not have a gym or a nearby running path…
…And to enjoy the all-inclusive food buffet.
To enjoy your favourite sport or activity without the eating disorder tagging along.
To not spend your life trying to please a part of you that would rather have you dead.
To catch yourself tuning out when diet culture conversations come up, instead of being overly defensive or activated.
To eat the ‘real deal’ rather than reaching for watered-down, bland replacement foods.
To have your eating revolve around your day, rather than your day revolving around eating.
To stay out late and order a pizza with friends instead of needing to go home to have your safe, planned evening meal.
To let your body find it’s natural, set point weight range and accept it, instead of spending your life fighting it.
To finally start finding recovery content (incl. mine) boring.
To try and enjoy new foods, without foods being your main source of joy, purpose and fulfilment, instead food becoming just that: food.
To feel just as OK going to bed after a day of rest as after day of activity.
To watch fun and interesting movies, rather than food shockumentaries or ‘What I eat in a day’-videos.
To actually eat those cookies you baked.
To not be so goddamn cold all the time.
To feel happy when someone gifts you a box of chocolates, rather than feeling terrified they’ll make you ‘lose control’.
To stop wasting hours of your life bored on a treadmill.
To not waste money on weird, expensive, ‘healthified’ foods and ingredients that taste like rubber.
To view and treat your body as an instrument, not an ornament.
To not having to be worried about what food might be served when invited at someone’s house for dinner, and being OK with surprises food-wise (and life-wise).
To become more flexible overall (undernourishment strengthens cognitive rigidity).
To speed up metabolism and heal internal damage.
To ‘break the cycle’ and not pass it onto the next generations (children learn from what they see you do and not do).
To not seeing spending time with those you love an obligation or something that ‘interferes’ with your schedule, eating or exercise routine.
To not be standing there analysing nutritional labels and looking up ingredients in the middle of the supermarket.
To actually wanting to be intimate with your partner.
To not be that person in the office who always brings a Tupperware of soggy salad.
To not having to constantly muffle out the sound of stomach rumbles at the most awkward times.
To avoiding conflicts from you endlessly accusing everyone else of having an eating disorder.
To not be forcing yourself through another disordered, compulsive and unpleasant workout ever again.
To reconnecting with your body’s cues, and enjoying the intimate sense of trust and comfort that entails.
To not base your sense of identity or morals on how you eat.
To dressing based on your sense of style and comfort, rather than to cover up your insecurities or to make yourself appear as small as possible.
To not be so goddamn hypervigilant all the time.
To not secretly want your guests to leave so you can go for a walk, have a binge-purge session, or have your safely planned meal in peace.
To experience all the ‘post-traumatic growth’, self-discovery and character development that recovery gives, and to harvest the benefits from it, rather than staying stagnant with an eating disorder.
To a duvet day being actually relaxing.
To not live in endless pursuit of ‘the perfect diet’, and instead accept there is no such thing.
To order what you truly want from the menu.
To finally catch yourself forgetting how many calories certain foods have, and not feeling any desire to look it up.
To not spend the rest of your life constantly cognitively impaired by undernourishment, or constantly fighting your own hunger and body.
To taking on those traits you greatly respect and admire in other people (yes, I know you probably think it’s pretty awesome when someone is chill about food and body).
To get back precious headspace previously too occupied with food.
To experience just how amazing your body and brain is at healing, as long as you give them the fuel to do so.
To not having to bike or walk to work in the pouring rain because you were too scared to take the car or public transport.
To reduce your overall stress levels long-term (yes, ED is a huge stressor) by accepting some more stress short-term (from the temporary process of recovery).
To learn how to differentiate between true joy, purpose and sense of achievement, versus chasing the eating disorder’s rare hits of validation.
To your social media feeds being fun, inspiring and tailored to your interests rather than a diary of other people’s food intakes- and anxieties.
To not having another birthday stressed about the birthday cake (or worse: having a ‘healthy’ replacement ‘cake’ tasting like an actual sponge).
To figuring out which of your personality traits- and preferences are yours, and which are the eating disorder’s.
To not be secretly resenting someone for being thinner than you.
To impulsive road trips, gas station sandwiches and half-melted chocolate bars.
To not be that excited about a new flavour of gum or diet coke.
To not having to pee every 3 minutes due to a weak bladder muscle, and/or eating disorder-driven excessive liquid intake.
To have a sense of inner peace and quiet.
To not be panicking if you ran out of oats for your breakfast.
To save time grocery shopping.
To being able to truly grieve in your grandparents funeral rather than obsessing over what foods might be served after.
To not have those around you walk on eggshells.
To crying and laughing, and to food not being the only thing to elicit strong emotions in you.
To not having to spend half of your suitcase space packing your safe foods- and ingredients for your upcoming travel…
…And to book that cute hotel you wanted to stay at, rather than needing to book an Airbnb with a kitchen.
To live until you are old and grey, and look back at a life fully lived, rather than what could have been.
I could have kept going, but I’ll leave it here. What are your reasons to recover?