Linking up with my girl Amanda over at Running with Spoons for Thinking Out Loud!
I was sitting on my bed after work, eating handfuls of Doritos and scrolling through my Instagram when a picture came up that made me stop. A pair of Nike running shoes next to a Swell bottle with the caption "Just finished an easy 6 mile run & now treating myself to a green smoothie before spin class! #strongnotskinny"
Suddenly the Doritos didn't taste so good. Suddenly my bed didn't feel so comfy. Suddenly my heart didn't feel so happy.
I continued scrolling through my feed and the pictures kept appearing. Gym selfies, racks of weights, lithe yoga bodies, so many pictures of all these other people in recovery who were out exercising and being active and burning calories.
And then there was me. Sedentary. Snacking nonstop. Never breaking a sweat. I could feel my anxiety firing up, my heartbeat rising with my stress level. I began to question what I was doing. I began to question what had felt soooo good just 10 minutes before.
Am I just using recovery as an excuse to be lazy?
It's a fear I often have, a fear I think a lot of other women going through this journey have too. We worry we don't really need to be eating so much or resting so much. We see other women who are thinner or who eat less or who workout for hours and they're so happy! We should be able to do that! So we spend hours berating ourselves for not being stronger, for being lazy bums, for not being more like that girl on Instagram.
But everyone is different, everyone's bodies have different needs, especially those of us who are battling eating disorders. For me, exercising right now even though I'm weight restored isn't healthy. Choosing a raw coconut acai smoothie bowl over a buttery bagel isn't healthy. Forcing myself to go for a 4 mile run even though my body is screaming to rest isn't healthy.
You what is healthy for me right now? Being lazy.
Because for me, "being lazy" means eating what I want, resting, letting my body heal, and then eating some more. "Being lazy" is my anxiety-ridden, ED voice's definition of taking care of myself.
And just because I've been in recovery now for 2 years, just because I'm weight restored, just because I'm not dangerously thin anymore, doesn't mean I don't deserve to take care of myself.
You deserve self love and rest forever, not just when you're underweight.
How I spend my days now gives me a lot of anxiety, sure. It makes me feel lazy and gross and all those awful words a lot of the time. But I also know that's because I'm doing what my eating disorder doesn't want me to do. The voice in your head making you feel guilty for eating a lot and resting instead of exercising is the voice that wants you to starve and be miserable. It's not the voice you should be listening to.
So if you're like me and stressing that perhaps you don't deserve recovery right now or you don't deserve to eat bowls of pasta without burning it off, STOP. Listen to me. You absolutely deserve it. Not only that but you NEED it. The fear and anxiety comes from challenging your eating disorder and that's an incredible accomplishment.
Keep eating. Keep resting. Keep watching re-runs of Gilmore Girls instead of spending hours in the gym. Your body will thank you.
You are not lazy. You are recovering. You are learning to love yourself. You are finally listening to your body. You are living.