treat yourself the way you would treat others: a post for world eating disorder day

we all learned the golden rule back in elementary school.

treat others the way you'd like to be treated. 

what if we took that same rule, flipped it around and applied it to ourselves? what if we made a new golden rule, a golden rule for recovery?

treat yourself the way you would treat others. 

i bet the way you felt about your body, the words you said to it, the things you thought about it would change radically if you followed that rule.

would you call your friend a fat lazy slob for eating an extra cookie after dinner?

would you refuse to let your friend eat even if she was hungry?

would you make your friend run 3 miles every morning on an empty stomach?

would you have your friend stand in front of the mirror while you criticize every part of her body?

no you wouldn't.

so why do you do it to yourself?

i know why i did it. i did it because i didn't believe i was good enough, because i didn't think i deserved to treat myself any better. 

but that's wrong. 

you deserve to love yourself. 

not only that but you deserve graciousness, compassion, joy, support. all of those things.

in recovery (and in the rest of your life), you have to learn to be your own best friend. it sounds cliche but it's true. because it's the only way you'll be able to give yourself the care you need to heal. 

so now let's ask those same questions again.

would you call your friend a fat lazy slob for eating an extra cookie after dinner?

no. you would love the smile on her face as she tasted every delicious bite of chocolate chip filled goodness. you would love her carefree attitude, the way she said "fuck it" to what anyone else thought and grabbed another cookie just because she felt like it.

would you refuse to let your friend eat even if she was hungry?

no. you would ask what she was craving and you'd happily fix her whatever she wanted in your little studio apartment kitchen. and if she was still hungry after that, you wouldn't hesitate to run downstairs to the little convenience store for more. you would want her to eat until she was satisfied and happy.

would you make your friend run 3 miles every morning on an empty stomach?

no. you would tell her that if she doesn't want to run, she doesn't have to. because who REALLY wants to wake up at 5 am every morning and force themselves to do something that makes them miserable anyways? you would tell her she should do whatever makes her feel good, whether it's the yoga class downtown or just reading a book on her porch.

would you have your friend stand in front of the mirror while you criticize every part of her body?

no. you wouldn't even notice her body when you are both running into the ocean in your bikinis. because you love her for her spunk and energy and laugh and the way she is always there for you. you would never think any part of her body is flawed because her body means nothing to you.

the way we treat our friends and the people we love is the way we should be treating ourselves. 

so the next time you find yourself bashing your thighs or denying yourself the piece of pizza you so desperately want, stop and ask yourself what you would do if it were your friend. then follow that advice. be kind to yourself. love yourself. be your best friend.

you deserve this.

thanks to Amanda for the usual linkup!

today's post is extra special because it's world eating disorders action day . if you know someone who is struggling with an eating disorder or if you personally are struggling, please do not hesitate to reach out for help. eating disorders are serious and the more we can increase understanding and raise awareness for treatment and support, the better.