6 Years of Healing

>> Wednesday, April 23, 2014

I began writing this blog in late 2009 -- I can't believe it's been that long. A huge chunk of my life is on the internet, shared for the world to digest. And throughout the years, my focus has shifted . . . often. From food to healthy living to food to fitness to a mix of all three, and now I write primary about food again. Thanks for sticking with me through it all.

I wanted to share a personal victory today that's about my journey with the eating disorder I vaguely reference occasionally, but never in full. I wrote more about it -- again, glossing it over -- in a couple posts, Skinny Versus Healthy I and Skinny Versus Healthy II, if you're interested in reading more. If not, the short of it is that I struggled with bouts of anorexia and bulimia from my mid-teens through early-twenties.

April 2014 marks a huge step in my move toward healthier habits, despite what diet and exercise might be happening (or not). It's been 6 years since I restricted or otherwise eliminated foods as a part of my disorder.

Looking back, the whole ordeal seems worlds away.

Like I can't even believe that this story is mine to tell.

Yet, it is.

I took this photo the day I decided to make a big change in my life all those years ago. I can't believe how young I look! I was 24. I was fed up with a life that was completely controlled by my weight, by binging, by the years upon overwhelming years of it all piling up and becoming my one-dimensional reality.

My life was my disorder.

This isn't to say I'm 100% better now . . . or will ever be fully healed. There will probably always be a part of me that will mentally struggle with some issues related to body image and eating despite any help I get (in the past I've met one-on-one with friends and even gone to a few support groups). When I speak with other individuals who are in similar boats, that sentiment is shared that an eating disorder is much like addiction in that way. It's a process of continual work and staying on top of things.

However, the physical healing from my own experience that spanned nearly a decade is incredibly significant to me. Like most people, I still have trouble making sure I get the right mix of nutrients or eat the correct balance of calories. I still have missteps with getting stuck on that number I see on the scale. I still make mistakes getting caught up in bad periods and good, but the promise I made to myself all those years ago was to let go of extremes. To let go of the unhealthy limits and unreasonable control. Let go of the physical ways I was hurting myself and my future by either not eating or worse.

So, it's been 6 solid, good years, and I finally wanted to share it with you. Though you didn't quite know you were all along for it, you were here with me every step of the way. So, thanks for your support -- voiced or otherwise (just reading here!). Thanks for sharing in all the ups and downs. Thanks for enjoying the recipes I create, as learning to enjoy food and cooking has been a huge part of my healing process. Perhaps the most important of all.

Here's to continued progress!

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