I have suffered with an eating disorder for 25 years. This is my path through recovery.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Living LargeToday I read a Lenten devotion at Writings from the Wilderness that struck home for me in a BIG LEAGUE way. It should be clear to you all that I possess a highly addictive personality, which explains part of my eating disorder. I am very, very thankful to God that I have never been offered any kind of drugs and that I don't really like the taste of alcohol because I know what my path would have been, otherwise.
Even without drugs or alcohol, I know that the god of my life is pleasure. I have no idea how long it has been thus, but it's been for many years. I procrastinate on tasks I don't want to do in that "ostrich" sort of way - if I don't see it, it ain't there and I don't gotta deal with it. Stupid, yes; short-sighted, certainly, but I don't believe I'm the only one with my head in the sand.
Where has this pursuit of pleasure led me? To a sedentary life in front of a TV or computer; a life in which I do not feel fulfilled, with no husband or children (the deepest desires of my heart), a job that's just a paycheck and a house that's always messy because I can't be bothered to get up off my rump and do anything about it. And did I mention that as of Wednesday I weigh more than I ever have at any other point in my life?
I struggle on a daily basis to change my life. I have discovered a technique that is becoming an invaluable tool in my box. Whatever decision I need to make - what I'm having for lunch, whether I should wear my seatbelt, anything - as I'm making that choice, I speak my choice out loud.
Example One: "I'm going to have chicken salad for lunch today because it fits my food plan and I am NOT going to have the cheesy artichoke casserole, even though that's what I would prefer."
In this case, it is easier for me to stick to the choice because I have spoken it out loud which reinforces it for me. I try to do this in advance (and out of the hearing of those who would call the mental hospital).
Example Two: "I am choosing not to wear my seatbelt today because I don't feel like it. Besides, I am only going three miles to work and it's highly unlikely that I will have an accident on the way."
Put that way, it sounds rather absurd, doesn't it? Especially considering that I have HAD an accident on the way to work.... Putting it in this kind of language makes it easier for me to make the choice to do the right thing.
No, this is not an easy method. First, I have to be aware that I'm making a decision at the moment, second, I am a weak human being and I still face the temptations to go against my better judgment, but speaking and hearing it out loud means that I cannot pretend any longer that I'm not making a decision. I cannot stick my head back in the sand.
Even though recognizing the decision points is tough in the beginning, I know that with practice I will be able to spot them more readily and the more I practice good choices, the easier it will be to make one the next time.