I’ve been thinking about how hard it is to know what “healthy” means anymore. Especially when it comes to eating. Practically every which way you turn, it seems that someone has an opinion about what’s good for you and what’s not. If you struggle with an eating disorder or disordered eating, I’m guessing that there are times when Buddha’s demon Mara comes knocking on your door to tempt you with a quick fix.
But you need to remember that your needs are individual. The well-intentioned people out there handing out advice may be feeding you some potentially toxic stuff. Toxic for you that is – it’s not really your place to assess what’s healthy or not healthy for others, so why should it be ok if the tables are reversed?
So go ahead and put on those blinders that help to keep you on track. Know that your own unique path is tailored for you with the help of professionals that know you, your strengths and your struggles. While you can acknowledge that there is a part of you that may always crave a quick fix, you can also rest assured that there is another part of you that knows better – the part that can invite Mara in for tea, look temptation in the face, laugh and resist.
Your true Self knows when you are on the right path when:
- You are honest and transparent with your doctor.
- You have a nutritionist and are honest and transparent with her as well.
- You are making informed decisions about food choices (balance in portion, selection and timing) to get the vitamins and nutrients that your body needs to thrive (notice I didn’t say survive. Thrive!) on a daily basis.
- You are not restricting in any way (remember that restricting only sets you up for binging).
- Your doctor and nutritionist are in communication with one another AND you are following the recommendations of your team.
- You are doing the work, going to appointments utilizing supports that are available to you in forms of people, interests and self-help apps like the Recovery Record.
- You are paying attention to your body sensations, thoughts, emotions and subsequent behaviors.
- You know the difference between a craving and a hunger cue and how to act on each of them.
- You know when a slip is just a slip.
- You are practicing self-compassion.
- You are practicing self-care.
I know it can seem like a lot to follow, but my point is that even if your travels aren’t always perfect, there is still always a path you can follow to create and maintain a healthy you.
Keep up the good work – you know you got this!
Copyright 2018 © Rachel Braun, All rights reserved.
Rachel Braun, ATR-BC Art Therapist Philadelphia, PA
Specializing in working with women who experience anxiety, depression and eating disorders.