Finding the Body’s True Purpose Through Recovery

Look into the mirror, what do you see? Do your eyes automatically skim your thighs, labeling them as too thick, or your face as too round, or your stomach as too soft? Do you find yourself analyzing, criticizing, and judging each part of your external appearance?

Take a step back, close your eyes. Breathe. Think of your lungs filling and emptying with each breath, your heart beating each second, your brain firing thoughts and commands throughout your body. Think of the powerhouse your soul is housed in, how intricate and beautifully wired it is, how perfectly unique, and positively strong your body is. You are so much more than what you see in the mirror. You are meant to do, to see, to feel. You are meant to live and the body is simply the gateway into life.  The body is not the prize but the gift that you are given for which you can experience the world.

Recovery from an eating disorder is so much more than weight and eating food. Recovery lies far deeper than these external aspects, but there is some truth in them. Body, weight, and food are all significant aspects of eating disorder recovery. If you overlook one of them, then the foundation for which your recovery is built would be cracked and unsteady.

Recovery from an eating disorder is not about the weight, but it kind of is….

What I mean by this, is that recovery cannot exist until you are willing to surrender your body over to how it was naturally created to be.  You must look in the mirror and be able to look past your thighs, stomach, and face. You must be able to understand that the body’s outward appearance has little to do with what lies within. Because of this crucial concept, recovery from an eating disorder has a whole lot to do with weight. But, not with the physical number that we typically associate with weight. Recovery is deconstructing the meaning of the word weight.

Break that word down.

Tear it apart.

Redefine every single letter. 

If you were able to do see weight for what it is, a scientific measurement of your body, then maybe it wouldn’t be such a terrifying thing. Because weight is actual a beautiful concept. It is science announcing your body’s presence on this earth. It is a celebration that you are still here after all that your eating disorder has put your body through. X amount of pounds, means X pounds of legs, and arms, and stomach, and mouth, and ears, and brain, and lungs, and all the parts that make the body the masterpiece that it is.

Eating disorders like to try and convince us that we are one body part. My eating disorder likes to try and convince me that I am only thighs. That all my self worth lies on the width of my thighs. That if they are too big then everything, and I mean everything, in my world will fall apart.  But, I react differently now when my eating disorder tries to fixate on my thighs. I combat those obsessive thoughts with comments thanking other parts of my body for all that they do for me.

Thank you tongue for savoring the sweet taste of peanut butter.

Thank you ears for listening to the dub of reggae.

Thank you feet for allowing me to run, jump, and dance.

Thank you eyes for letting me see the sunrise.

Thank you toes, thank you lungs, thank you heart, thank you nose….

So on and so on.

Our bodies are far too elaborate, far too complex, and far too marvelous to be put into a number on a scale. All that number tells us is that we are here, we are alive, and we take up space. And every single person deserves to take up space. So, why not take up space in the most grandiose ways? Let your legs run. Let you throat sing. Let your lungs breathe. Because, you’re meant for so much more than what can be seen in a mirror.