“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?” – Matthew 6:25
One of the hardest parts about recovery is the way your body changes. It’s uncomfortable and it’s awkward and it’s not really what you want. Everyone tells you it’s good, it means your healthy. They’re right, but it takes time to mourn the body you once had, or the body you thought you wanted. I’ve been in recovery for awhile now, but that doesn’t mean I’m comfortable in my body now. Body Image is one of the last things that ED can hold on to. Changing the way your brain thinks about your body is a long process. I’m not going to wake up one day and love my body. (Wouldn’t that be nice, though?). So, start with the baby steps. My goal for now is acceptance. I don’t have to love my body right now, but when I look in the mirror, I want acceptance and contentment. No strong feelings one way or the other. My therapist and I have been talking through a lot of different strategies to learn how to accept this new recovered body of mine.
I had been complaining recently about my clothes not fitting the way they used to. So, we decided to take inspiration from one of my favorite shows, Tidying up with Marie Kondo. Marie Kondo is the CUTEST little professional organizer who invented her own way of organizing. With the KonMari method, you pull all of your clothes out and lay them in one giant pile. Then, you hold each individual item, and ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?” If it does, you keep it! If not, then you thank it, and get rid of it.
So, that’s what I did. I spent hours going through every article of clothing, one by one. I held them, tried them on, and got rid of what didn’t fit. Pretty soon, I had a good size pile of clothes to get rid of.
Cleaning out my clothes was a lot harder than I expected it to be. I reached out to one of my friends from TK and she reminded me of such an important truth, “Keeping sick clothes keeps you sick.” The Eating Disorder Specialist at Timberline Knolls used to tell us this all the time, and it’s so true. “Sick clothes” are more than clothes that are too small. It could be a pair of jeans that you hope to fit into some day. It could be a shirt you always throw on when life gets extra exhausting. Keeping those things around does nothing for you. They keep you in negative behaviors, and they keep you sick.
It was going ok until I got to my favorite pair of jeans. They’re the perfect color, and have red flowers embroidered around the ankles/ legs. I even call them my happy pants! They definitely spark joy. It sounds silly to be so attached to a pair of pants, but we’ve been through a lot together. I wore them to my very first dietician appointment. I was terrified. But my floral pants gave me a little extra confidence boost. I wore my happy pants just to have some reason to smile, and it usually worked! Who knew that a pair of pants could cheer you up?
When I held those jeans the other night, it felt different. They don’t fit like they used to, because I’m not who I used to be. They were there for me when I needed them, but I don’t need them anymore.
Besides my jeans, I found a shirt that instantly brought me to tears. It was a floral, long sleeve shirt that I wore all the time at TK. Now, this shirt still fits, but I knew it was time to move on. That represents a part of me that is gone. Just like my jeans, I didn’t need that sick shirt anymore.
What in your life is keeping you sick? It’s time to throw it out!
I’m proud of you. God loves you. You got this.