During the last couple of years of my recovery journey, there have been several “turning point” moments. Each of these moments involved taking a leap of faith and changing my food and/or exercise behaviour while facing my two biggest fears: gaining weight and losing control.
Now, as any who’s experienced life with an eating disorder knows, the first obstacle to taking a leap of faith is the ED’s never-ending taunts. It usually goes something like this: “Don’t even risk it, because [insert fear here] might happen”. Fear of the unknown can be a stumbling block for anyone taking any kind of risk, but for people fighting EDs a little fear can very easily become an immobilising terror, and the ED loves to play on that.
And taking the leap in itself doesn’t immediately silence the fear. In fact, whenever I have managed to pluck up the courage to jump headfirst into uncertainty, I’ve found myself more scared than ever as I faced some of the most confronting situations of my life.
In all of these situations I had to fight to ignore what the ED was yelling at me. I had to just let go and try… try to do whatever it is I needed to do in that moment (whether it was eat more or exercise less). Looking back now, I know what the ED was telling me in those moments were lies. All the fears of how I would look, how I would feel, and what others would think about me were wrong, and having worked my way through I now have the evidence to prove it.
While in hindsight it’s easy to point out the ED’s lies, in the moment (when the fear is very real and very scary) it’s not. Right now, I’m on the verge of one of those moments. My toes are at the edge of the cliff—intellectually I know what I need to do to break through this part of my recovery journey, and I’ve got motivational lists and dreams written down all over my house—but the more I prepare to jump, the louder the ED thoughts get, and every time I look out over the edge the fear is there, waiting to swallow me up.
I know this post may not be very helpful, but when we first started mindfoodly we promised we would always be open and honest with you. And right now I’m struggling a little. I know I can (and will) do this, I just need to work up the courage. So if anyone has a positive story of taking your own leap of faith that’s led to freedom from food and exercise I would love to hear it. Please do reach out and send me an email.