Sometimes when I am out and about and daydreaming, I write blog posts on whatever I can get my hands on. Remember my Strong is the new skinny post? I wrote it on random paper on the plane to visit my dad and saved it for a few weeks before posting it. This is just proof that my blog is really my diary and that you should feel privileged to get so into my head. Ha – ha.
Just joking, but in all seriousness, I’ve been writing a bunch of these notes to myself/future blog posts/random musings lately and thinking that they’d make decent blog posts if I could clean them up a bit and if I had a reason for writing them.
It’s funny when that reason smacks you in the face.
Like this quote of the day, which I read before I even got out of bed today.
Not a bad way to start the day, huh?
Anyways, it relates back to one of those notes I wrote where I started thinking about how much I’ve changed in the last year, two years, four years, etc. and about how I’ve really come into my own power and am starting to feel increasingly confident about who I want to be and where I want to go. It is funny that my eating disorder was the wakeup call I needed to make me realize that I’ve been holding myself back.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: eating disorders make your world small. When you let ED bring you down, you can’t fly. It’s really hard to figure out what it is that’s missing, but when you do, things start to click. Until I realized that I was convinced I deserved to be miserable/didn’t deserve to be happy, I was stuck. Sure I was “in recovery” but I wasn’t there. If I didn’t deserve all the good in the world, do you think I thought I deserved recovery?
So after telling myself over and over again (I’ve got reminders posted around my apartment, I’ve got popups on my phone, I’ve got events scheduled on my google calendar): “You deserve all the good in the world,” I am starting to actually believe it. And I’m noticing where else I might be holding myself back:
- school – going back vs. not going back
- career – writing, fitness
- relationships – friends, family, boys
The other day I was looking for something in my old workout books and I came across a dog-eared page in Jackie Warner’s book where she wrote about goals and discovering what you really want and about visualization. She said, “Voice your goals and passions with as many people as possible. The more you talk about them, the more you imprint and program them into your subconscious mind. Talking the talk will lead to walking the walk.”
So that’s what I’m doing. But what am I saying and who do I want to be?
- I want to be healthy, fit, and strong. I don’t want to be skinny, I don’t want a six pack at all costs, and I don’t want to be obsessive. But I do love fitness and I am allowed to like my body when it looks fit.
- I want to eat real food and I want to eat food that makes me feel good without apologies or worrying about what people will say. Like I’ve mentioned before, eating disorder recovery means opening up to fear foods, eating them and seeing that your life goes on, etc. etc. But I’m talking here about finding what makes you feel the best–and that might mean leaving out some foods not because they’re “scary” or because you think they’re going to ruin you, but because they’re not working for you and your body. What I have noticed is this: I feel best on whole, real foods. Imagine that. I feel worse when I eat certain things because I feel like I should (i.e. have a bun with your dinner because if you don’t have starch you’re going back to your ED ways. Hello, still giving power to ED.) I’m in charge of my food choices and I will never forget all the recovery lessons I’ve learned–skipping a bun or choosing not to eat certain foods doesn’t mean ED is back, it means I’m ready to eat for me again!
- I want to find a career that calls to me and go after it whole heartedly. Right now, I don’t entirely know what that looks like. One thing I do know is this — fitness and health and nutrition call to me. I might be on the right track with going back to school to be a dietitian, but I might be using this as a way to further delay things because I am scared. But fear isn’t a good reason for me to do/not do certain things and I’ll just admit it: for a long time, I thought I was too fat/inexperienced/young to start my career and thinking all of those thoughts also made me see myself as someone who could never really succeed in the fitness/health industry. But you know what? I’ve been thinking more and more about those presenters, leaders, movers/shakers in the fitness world and I think I could be a force. And I don’t think I need to change at all on the outside: I think it all has to do with continuing on this track to confident Cheryl and believing in myself and visualizing myself as that woman!
- I want to do something unconventional with my life. I don’t know what it’s going to look like. Motivational speaker/adventure race coach/personal trainer/author/blogger/wellness coach/sports nutritionist/writer/athlete/? This is the fun part – I’m only going to be 23 with wide open possibilities once and rather than fear the unknown, I want to take it all as an adventure – that’s why we’re here!
- I want to be me. I want to wear the weird clothes that I like, not the “cool” ones that everyone else wears. I want to be loud, random, spontaneous and awesome because that’s who I am.
This change, this movement in my life feels GOOD. Even though we resist change sometimes, it’s so important to be open to it. Whereas in the past I’ve been terrified of change, this time it’s different. I chalk it up to knowing I can take it on–that confidence thing again! I also think that a big difference here is that this is coming from my core and is about who I want to be, not how I want to look or present myself to the world. If there was a lot of resistance to these changes, I wouldn’t make them because I’m learning that I am in charge and know what I need and trusting that intuition. And I think that for me to make lasting change and a real shift, it’s got to be something I want with my whole heart and feel good about making. So often we think about change as something we have to force ourselves to do or as a struggle, but that ignores the fact that we are the ones in control.
That’s a news flash: it’s not ED, the media, your parents, your friends, or anyone else that you have to answer to when things are said and done. It’s you and what you think of yourself that matters. Trust yourself, listen to your intuition, and ask yourself who you want to be? Find changes that feel good and lean into those–don’t worry about the changes that make you feel bad (chances are they’re for someone else).
I don’t know a better way to end all of this than to share some of my favourite cheese on the topic of inspiration and of course, you might as well have a little background music to reflect to.
What do you guys think about what I said about change?
How do you see your ideal self?
Do you ever write blog posts on random papers/napkins/your phone for later?