accepting body image after recovery :)
Today I have realized something. I did a workout for the second time since being recovered and I couldnt help but smile the entire time. Although I used to have a terrible exercise addiction, excersise itself was never the demon. I remember those days where I would exercise until I couldnt breathe anymore and it would never feel like enough. I would sit in my basement, look at my stomach and feel like I couldnt give up until my stomach was flatter than a board. Going back into exercise after recovery has been such a challenge. Even the thought about having the same experience with excersise as I did when I had my ED was completely traumatic and held me back from even attempting to exercise again. Going today to the gym was such a revelation. I realized that exercise was never the problem, it was the thoughts my ED had planted in my head, “you never good enough, thin enough, strong enough, etc…” that made me feel like exercise was the only way to let go and really fight off ED until those thoughts subsided. Today I was in the gym, properly fueled, dressed, and mentally ready for the challenge ahead of me. I saw the exercise as more of a “feel good” kind of time instead of time to tone my body. Allowing myself not to connect my mind with the body image I wanted to gain by exercise and just thinking of it as a way to move my body and channel my energy really allowed me to focus on strengthening my mind and my body instead of telling myself I was only exercising to alter my body image. I am so happy I can be in an envioirment where there are skinner girls, more physically fit girls, and I can still find a happiness and peace within myself to accept and be confident in my body the way it is. After the zumba class I did with my mom I didnt feel as if I had to restrict in order to shed some cals, I didnt get triggered by the girls who went on the tredmil afterwards, I walked out the class feeling so proud and accomplished of myself that I had achieved something so great and spent a lovely morning at the gym with my mom. I hardly even engaged in the class because me and my mom spent the time laughing at the old guy trying to dance next to us. Back in my ED days I would be so antsy and needed to be moving every single second but today I look my time, laughed in the corner for a good 20 mins in the corner, and went outside to talk to an old friend during the class! So pretty much I am just telling you guys that not exercising during recovery was the best thing I could have ever done. When I tried to gain while doing exercise before, when I started to maintain my weight I felt like I had to do more exercise to do so. Now my mind doesnt connect any level of activity with maintaining my weight because I have nothing to compare it too. I am able to have the freedom to do 5 minutes of working out and feel great or 1 hr and feeling just as good. I was able to fully restore my metabolism and clear my mind of connecting exercise with altering my body image and just think of it as a fun activity now and my body will change if it wants to! Couldnt be any happier with my experience today, I had such a blast and it will surely not be an everyday thing but I am so freaking happy that I can finally have a normal healthy relationship with exercise! hope everyone is having a lovely saturday! xxx
unlike me to do a video this early because I look like no beauty queen but I really suggest anyone who had weighed themselves this morning to take a peek at this! sending my love to everyone here <3 stay strong guys, its so worth it!
afternoon ponderings, this video got me super hyped up to eat a sweet potato and sit in my back yard and relax :)
2 slices of whole grain toast with banana, PB, cinnamon and local honey with a roasted vegetable omelette with sharp provolone cheese!
Today I am going above and beyond, today I will love my body, my soul, and enjoy the life around me. Today I will rethink every thought and action that tells me I am not worth recovery and I will fight back even harder to prove to my ED that I really dont need him in my life anymore. I want to be able to think more clearly, act according to my desires, and seriously challenge myself until I am crushed the demon inside of me that is telling me to hold back. I am so ready to be free, I can be happy <3
Lately I have been trying to spend my afternoons out of my comfort zone of hiding my body (bloating or not) in a bikini top or sports bra. Last time when I tried recovering I wore T-shirts all the time and when I finally out on a bathing suit in the summer I wasn’t used to the way I looked and I was so extremely uncomfortable because I hid the change for so long and tried to just ignore it. This time I have learned from my mistakes and I am trying to accept my body from beginning to end, trying to allow myself to be able to be comfortable in my skin and allow others to see me as well. If I keep hiding my body from myself and other it is just leading me down a spiral of unhealthy body image and bad self confidence. Everyday right after I eat lunch I challenge myself and do this no matter how full I am and I even eat my afternoon snack like this as well. It’s also a huge reality check to those thoughts in my head that tell me I gain weight right after I eat something. I see the change in my stomach through the day. Of course right after a meal I have a little teeny stomach pooch, but time and rest and digestion take that away with an hr. Usually I would allow my thoughts to overtake my mind and tell me that If I am full my body is gaining weight, TOTALLY FALSE. Everyday I feel more and more comfortable with my body because I see it everyday all day. No I don’t have six pack abs or even a thigh gap but ya know what, if I love and have confidence in my own body, others will love and accept me as well. I learned that yes, fixing and accepting food is a huge part of my recovery but it is allowing the food that I eat to be completely separate from the way that I think about my body because if I connect food and my body image if I were to ever have a challenging meal, I would feel worse about my body. Ultimately this is something that has benefitted me so much in recovery so far because I am learning that my body doesn’t immensely change everyday and when I have cramps, my stomach isn’t gaining weight by the second, everything takes time. I love my body and will keep loving and caring for my body throughout my entire recovery. Time to accept myself for who I am whether I have a six pack or not! Xoxo
So today I woke up and decided for me, it was going to be body appreciation day, and oh man, it worked out just as I planned. Today, no matter how bloated, full, uncomfortable, or regretful my disorder tried to make me I still looked in the mirror and couldn’t be happier for who I am and the person I am becoming. This person right here, she is not skin and bone, meh no thigh gaps, she is not sickly, frail, fragile, lonely, sad, hurt, or controlled any longer. This girl right here? She is full of life, excitement, creativeness, happiness, and not to mention amazing food (and at this second amazing ice cream :))There are no more tomorrows, there are no more regretting yesterdays, its all about living in the moment and making the best of every day. The more you tell ED that you will start caring and loving your body tomorrow or putting off recovery, the more the demon inside fights harder. Than the next day you havent developed any skills to fight off the demon so he will keep fighting even harder and he will eventually win and there will no longer be any hopes for a better tomorrow. So instead of pushing off recovery or fully accepting yourself for who you are, start today, everyday. I have just decided to accept the fact that my body is shaping and changing but I am so much happier and I have this radiation inside of me that makes me feel like I could smile all day, like my cheeks are seriously sore. Here comes a pretty corny but completely relevant comparison. The feeling inside of me towards recovery right now is like an incubator on baby chicks. There is a warm light right now inside of my body guiding my soul to crack out of my new shell, Ashleys true shell and the person I am truly supposed to be. Its literally a feeling inside of me when I can just look in the mirror and can finally feel like I accept myself for who I am because I love that I am beginning to look like me a person with personality, socialization, and life. Before when I would look in the mirror the reason I was always so disatisfied (and my disorder was disatisfied) was because I WASNT MYSELF, the disorder was completely masking everything that had to do with the true me, which lead me down to a deeper deeper place because I could not unmask my eating disorder. Gosh, I cant even tell you how good it feels to finally feel like I am working towards something achievable instead of my eating disorders non existant goal. Like really when you think about it ED is never, ever, satisfied, no matter how much you feed into him the horror and destruction inside your soul will always exsist and he will make you destroy your body more and more every single day. Why waist life away being in such a dark place? I promise you, I never ever thought I would overcome my disorder, I mean 6 years with an eating disorder, it really was not looking good for me. But I decided one day that it was just time, I was sick of being a ghost in such a hopeful beautiful world. I was sick of seeing eveyrone else live and enjoy their lives while I was completely numbing mine, and for what reason? Was I keeping myself ”living” to feel dead? Because thats surely what it feels like. Its truly just time to see what life has to offer for me, I am ready, so ready to just experience the life around me in my new transformed body, I have truly accepted the fact that things have changed and are still changing. I will no longer attach myself to this belief that when I look in the mirror and see bones that it is beauty. I am now looking in the mirror to see a smile, and there my friends, is where the beauty lies. Within that warm happiness inside yourself to know that things are truly going right for me now.I can FINALLY say things feel (and taste) good. This isnt going to be easy and of course there are going to be millions of thoughts in my day when I look in the mirror and my disorder wants to tell me I am fat or ugly or whatever, but my life outside of the mirror is so much more important. If I keeped myself chained to that mirror image than I will never recover. If you think about it, I didnt have a mirror I wouldnt even have those thoughts, I would just be completely elated at the fact that I am recovering and my life is finally changing and improving. But if I look in the mirror and see that my leg touch I am going to let it take all that beauty and life away? Not anymore. I am ready to just live, and seriously truly love and accept my body. Time to take those skinny jeans, rip them into pieces, and maybe make a new purse out of them in resemblance that I can still wear my skinny jeans, but in a new way, just like the new way I am wearing my life.
its time <3
During recovery I have gotten so many thoughts and internal doubts about what my body will look like when it reaches my certain “goal weight” Especially earlier in recovery I found myself obsessing over one certain number, pretty much the lowest weight you can be at my height and I decided that was going to be my goal weight. I stuck with that as my goal all up until now. These past few days I have realized something very essential. My body is growing through immense changes and I am slowly learning to accept them. My body will gain until it is done gaining no matter how badly I try to manipulate this proccess if I restrict my calories once I have reached that artificial “goal weight” my mind set for my body, my body will simply self destruct and not fully repair itself because its not at the weight it truly wants to be at. I get alot of questions about girls saying they have gained “belly fat” or just weight in their stomach from their recovery. Well here are some facts for you, everyone recovering with an eating disorder or some type of restrictive eating habits ALWAYS gains weight around the stomach initially because your body is trying to repair your internal organs and insulate the most essential part of your body, your ovaries or intestines because your body is in such fear that you will try to restrict again so it holds all of the weight around your mid section to try and protect those organs while it is momentarily getting food. If you stop at your so called “goal weight” you will retain this mid section and it will not redistribute properly because you didn’t give your body a chance to achieve its optimal set point. Once your body reaches its own optimal set point, without you influencing the weight or your calorie intake, your body will trust that you will be feeding it a normal amount again consistently and it will take that weight and redistribute it other places and that’s when your hormones begin to balance again and your body begins shifting into a more normal state and may actually loose weight even if your eating the same amount it took you to gain weight. Ultimately, the thought of having to gain over the minimal weight range for your height can be a bit overwhelming, but thats only to my eating disorder. To me, this means that I will finally gain the body parts a real girl is SUPPOSED to have. If I try to manipulate the way my body looks before it even trusts me to treat it well again than my body will reject all of the progress I have made and will retain weight in the places I dont want it and my body weight will never redistribute. Honestly, I just want to be happy and healthy and I just want to love and trust my body, and I want my body to do the same back to me. I have been getting so many asks about what I want my goal weight to be but I honestly dont have one any more. Its time for me to accept who I am no matter what weight I am, I want to try to learn my bodies cues and I am putting my full trust into my body. I know I am going to feel uncomfortable but when I think about it, if I go through a relapse and just give up on my recovery, I am going to wind up in a vicious circle of wanting recovery and wondering how amazing my life would be if I was healthy, all over again. Its just this last stage, forgiving my body and accepting the change is the hardest part, learning to let go of everything with my body image and the comfort of still being a little bit thin and just letting my body free to do as it must. My body deserves to be able to adjust itself after all of the damage I have done to it, it deserves to be able to have the proper nutrition, fuel, and weight in order to completely restore all of my inner body functions. So body, I am putting my full trust in you to hopefully gain that trust back one day. Here it goes.
tried to help out the girls who are struggling and answer a few popular questions, love yas!