I’m going back to my roots on this post tonight. Because, thinking back to my early days of recovery from anorexia, January was always a really tough month.
Four Words: New Year, New Me.
Yep — it’s diet season.
It seems like everyone and their brother is soapbox preaching about Keto Season, or Dry January, or Veganuary, or whatever latest weight loss/fitness plan they are religiously adhering to at the start of the new year.
The gyms are packed. Weight loss advertisements are being hurled at us left and right. And it seems like the entire country is fixated on losing weight.
And for a person in recovery from an eating disorder, this can be a very challenging time to stay focused on recovery, and blocking out all the “diet talk” that, seemingly, the whole world is obsessing over.
Thankfully, being twelve years strong in recovery, I don’t have those feelings anymore, but boy — I can remember when January would roll around…it was as though I was yearning to partake in the hubbub. “I want to be on a diet, too.” ‘I want to join in the weight loss “fun.” ‘
Because here’s the dangerous thing — this time of year, makes one wistfully remember the time in the eating disorder with rose colored glasses. There’s a reason why a person can fall into the trap of an eating disorder, and real talk: it’s because initially, they’re attractive. Alluring. Exciting.
But then, as with all things disordered, those false positives warp and become the suffocating, destructive force of evil that grips you and won’t let go.
So January — yeah, it can be incredibly triggering to see people enjoying those exciting benefits that drew us to the eating disorder in the first place.
So, knowing that many of my recovery warriors are probably experiencing something similar right now, I wanted to just share with you how I got through it.
Because — eating disorder or not — every single one of us faces challenging seasons. I mean, we’ve all heard the saying, “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going…”
But what does that really mean? What does it look like?
And, believe me, I’m no expert. But this is the mindset that helped save my life, and allowed me the strength to go from 78 pounds, at death’s door, enslaved to my anorexia — to a healthy, thriving young woman, free from the shackles of ED.
You need to become you own Champion.
Or rather, co-champion.
Right now — January — is probably the most blatantly obvious time, where life demonstrates for us, that no one can want your recovery more than you.
Me — myself alone — is the only one responsible for my recovery. I have to choose to make my own decisions. Think the thoughts I should be thinking. Resist the thoughts I should avoid. Follow through on the promises I’ve made to myself and to God.
You realize very quickly that you are the driver of your own ship.
The world is going to be preaching one thing — in January’s case, weight loss, an obsession with diet and fitness, etc. — but no matter the outside influence, I need to do what is right for me.
And I need to celebrate that. And champion my own needs, my own mental health, my own joy, my own recovery.
But here’s the thing that is the good news…
During these times where your strength is tested, it’s easy to think that we’re on an island, doing it alone.
But the fact is, we have a co-champion in Jesus.
Throughout my entire recovery, when the going would get tough — and believe me friends, it did — When things became so hard, and seemingly impossible, or I was discouraged or lost, or feeling myself slipping…I’d remember that I wasn’t in it alone.
Yes, my recovery was mine — but it was also Jesus’. He was in the ring with me. He was helping me fight. And when I couldn’t do it anymore, I’d tag Him in, and He’d take over.
And just knowing that I could cling to Him, helped me get though those moments of weakness and moments of desperation.
That’s exactly the Christian walk, isn’t it? Like in January, when a person in eating disorder recovery feels like they’re swimming upstream, walking the Christian life can feel that way every single day: battling against a culture and world that not only contradicts what we believe, but can make the believer feel close minded, antiquated, and foolish.
We’re not in it alone.
We have a co-champion, to help us in that battle.
And He is a victor: always has been, always will be.
What a secret weapon to have in our corner. 🙂
So EDwarriors, if this diet season has you discouraged or feeling tempted, like I was many years ago, remember why you adopted recovery in the first place. The allure can be strong, but remember the horrific and life-destructive, empty promises that is the reality of an eating disorder. Remember what it stole, the relationships it destroyed, the dreams it killed and the dead end it led you to. And celebrate your decision to beat that. Celebrate the fact that you’re winning.
And most importantly, celebrate with the Co-Champion that has been helping you get to where you are now, every victorious step of the way.
I believe in you. You got this.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia. Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.
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