Last week I had the amazing opportunity to go on a cruise with friends. I have been on two cruises before and have always had a wonderful time. While I will be posting about the actual cruise later, I wanted to share something personal that I struggled with while I was there.
A few weeks ago I posted about overcoming my eating disorder. I want to thank all of you for being so supportive and receptive to such a vulnerable topic. When I started this blog, I had one goal: Be vulnerable and real. I never want to pretend that my life is perfect. I never want to act as if I am a finished product. I believe that it helps no one to put on a facade. So many people walk around thinking that they are the only ones struggling. They believe that somehow everyone has life figured out but them. I refuse to buy into this type of living.
I mentioned in my last post that vacations can be very hard for me mentally when it comes to food. This vacation was no different. From the second we started our roadtrip to Orlando, my mind was flooded with past eating disorder thoughts. What if I gain 10 pounds on this trip? What if I feel embarrassed by every picture? What if I can’t have fun because I am overcome with these triggering thoughts?
The problem is that these obsessive thoughts love to feed off of one another. When you indulge one thought, it opens the door to let all of the other nagging ones in. I found myself on a trail of negative thinking and anxiety. I am still very much a work in progress in this area, but I have a reason to rejoice: I ATE.
I ate pizza, chocolate, steak, pasta and drank a few shakes. It was delicious. Everyone’s journey is different. I will never pretend that I am finished with this process if I am not. I am not going to pretend that everything magically got healed overnight, but I can say this: I am healing. I have passed the hardest hurdle. I am choosing to say no to depriving myself. A few years ago when I was seeing my therapist, she told me that I need to learn to sit and breathe when I feel uncomfortable. I don’t need to run or indulge in the behaviors my mind tells me I should. I have a choice on how I live. I can decide if a thought becomes an action. To me, this vacation was a big win.
The more years go by, the more I realize how vital it is to give ourselves grace. Everyone is struggling with something and no one will ever reach perfection. We gain nothing by hating ourselves in this journey, but we gain everything by choosing to love ourselves.
I want to end by sharing with you the most rewarding moment I have had since starting my blog. I received a comment on my last eating disorder post that brought me to tears:
“I have been struggling to eat today. I read this and went straight downstairs to get some toast, my body deserves to eat! Thank you x”
This makes every bit of vulnerability worth it.