U.S. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I want to say a few things to my non-gender specific siblings out there in eating disorder recovery:
- It’s okay to eat. You don’t have to do anything to justify your eating. It is okay to be a person amongst people, enjoying the food.
- It’s also okay to have limits. From pushy relatives who make comments about your body, to pushy friends who goad you to eat more pumpkin pie than your stomach has room for, you can draw a line. “Here is my boundary” you can say. You can stick to your boundary with love. Anyone you disappoint by having boundaries is likely not worth keeping around.
- You don’t have to let what other people are doing, eating, and saying touch you. Draw up an emotional shield if this is a triggering time for you. You are safe, you are protected, and I know what it’s like to be afraid on a day that is supposed to be about gratitude and I know what it’s like to overcome it. You’ve got this. I am here for you.
- Exercise shan’t be punishment for what you consume on this day, or any day. Think of your food as nourishment, and fuel and on this day, acknowledgement for this stolen land we are partying on. Don’t think of it in terms of burpees and deadlifts and sprints. Exercise is for the exaltation of release. It is for the celebration of being in your body and seeing what your body can do. Don’t make exercise something you do to be a dick to yourself. Long term, you will appreciate yourself from refraining from that mindset, I promise.
It is my sincere hope, that you are with friends and family that make you feel loved and excited to be alive. It is my wish that you can find the perfect amount of full, and that guilt and shame won’t be prominent emotions around your meals. As I’ve said a million times, recovery is about progress- not perfection. Pat yourself on the back for successes and take note of the hard moments and use them as information.
I believe in you.
There is so much to be said about moving to a new place, but if I had to sum it up in one sentence it would be this:
That shit is challenging!
and then I’d inevitably add (You will miss your old routines! You will miss your old friends! You will miss even the shit that you didn’t actually like about the place that you are from!)
But! Challenge is growthful. And as comfortable as it can be to wallow in the I-feel-homesicks, I am taking this particular challenge as an opportunity to recommit to myself and my goal of having a cool life. Here’s how I am attacking the task:
I’m Seeking wisdom: Did you know that Andrew W.K is basically a modern day Buddha? I do not listen the music of Andrew WK (I hear he likes to party?) but somehow I discovered that he is on Twitter saying things that give me some serious pause on a very regular basis. (In fact, I am willing to say that Andrew WK is the only reason I am really on Twitter at all anymore, because how much can one typically get out of 140 characters? For me, the answer is generally a resounding “not much”.) Anyway: not so long ago Andrew took to the tweets to offer this bit of advice:
When I stop and think about it, I cannot agree with this sentiment enough, and this feels especially poignant when my life is in flux in ways that I cannot control. Sure, I chose to move, but the reality is that everything that happened from that moment on was kind of just not up to me. I can be stressed out about shifting my clientele to those in the Pacific Northwest, finding my new go-to coffee shop, and getting my workout in at a gym that isn’t my first gym love or I can look forward to the opportunities that these tasks present. I have a choice about my stress levels, despite my apparent obsession with routine, and I am making efforts to choose stoked.
I’m making lists: When my world gets chaotic, my immediate urge is to make lists of things I can do to fix or change the situation. At this point, I am taking a step back from that sort of list making, and instead making lists of leads I already have (or things I already have going on) that will make me feel better about my life as it is, right fucking now. I’m spending some time trying-to-feel-grateful-even-when-I-don’t-feel-grateful, and it turns out that all you have to do to cultivate gratitude is try a little bit. Even if your gratitude is a tiny kernel in a sea of I-feel-scared, if you focus on it- it will inevitably get bigger. Example: Last week I went to bed scared that I was experiencing some writers block, and I started to focus on the tools I’ve used to get back in the flow in the past. Today I woke up super inspired and ready to write. That’s a quick turn around for just a little bit of a focus shift!
I’m reading: When I am overly stressed or stuck my tendency is to try to work. One day, I had the realization that working when I’m stressed typically makes me feel…..well, more stressed. So I opened a book. Not a fitness theory book. Not a nutrition book. But a fucking funny book that made me laugh , because laughter was more of what I needed than research. After that I read a book on fighting sad feels, because no matter where I’m at or what I do, I will always have lower points. (I am, like, human after all), and then I read a zine, because there is something about the urgency of DIY publishing that feels really good on paper. (It occurs to me that it makes perfect sense that I have become a blogger in my adult years, because damn if I don’t love the immediacy of making something and immediately having it in the world. There truly is something to be said for holding a personal work in your hands, though.)
I’m nourishing myself awesomely: When I am feeling out of sync with the world around me I tend to get overly analytical, clenched and tight around many areas of my life. Because I come from a background of eating disorders, food is often, like, a thing I think about more rigidly when I am not feeling so hot. Luckily, I have skills around this (I do not accept the voice in my head that tells me that if I feel bad I need to eat less) and make sure to extra-extra listen to my body’s cues. When I’m hungry, I make a snack that feels rad. I don’t ask myself why I am hungry or if I should possibly not be hungry or ignore my hunger. I just eat. I deserve nourishment, too. Done and done.
I’m sitting the fuck down: A huge part of feeling like I am able to go where the universe takes me is letting go of the idea that I am in charge or can micromanage every little thing around me. I shouldn’t, I can’t and I won’t be in charge of all the minutiae of everyday life, and when I take a back seat to trying to control every single thing around me, I am just happier. It’s easier said than done, and unfortunately, whether or not it sounds appealing, oftentimes actually sitting down in meditation truly helps. Rats!
So! I know not everyone is moving towns, but seasons are changing, schools are starting, life is moving. How are you handling it? What tools do you use to deal?
If you are looking for a little support during this transitional/festivity filled pre-holiday time, I totally have a program for you! My three week class, Reset and Restore, starts on November 2nd and offers meal plans, a group coaching setting, meditation and movement prompts, and unbridled support. You should totally sign up!
Holy crap, is there a lot of shit to love in my world right now. I am 15 days from grabbing my dude’s hand and putting a fucking ring on it, packing up boxes to move to Portland, booking tents and air B n’ B’s on Kauai because HONEYMOOOOOON, and generally leading an all around stoked life. I have been reading with some serious velocity lately, and I wanted to share the things I’ve been loving with you guys, because as far as I can tell, my readers are totally 100% my people. We like all the right stuff!
First, the real-life paper books:
On the Internet, broken into categories for your enjoyment:
Rookie Magazine AKA the most relatable thing I read that also happens to be geared toward people half my age:
Body Politics and Body Image:
Food, Exercise, and Mindfulness
And just for fun….
What have you been reading lately?