I’m recovering from an eating disorder, but my doctor says it’s safe for me to begin to work out again. How do I find power in something that used to tear me down? How do I shift my mindset from working out as a way to diminish myself, to working out as a way to find my own power and grow some freaking muscle mass?!
Recovering My Power
Dear Recovering My Power,
I want you to know that I am so proud of you for shifting your mindset from eating for skinniness to eating for POWER. THIS is what will give you the happiness and freedom you deserve. I am very excited for your journey towards recovering your strength.
As someone who overcame an ED, I can totally sympathize with the feelings that you are going through right now.
Look, in all honesty – this is going to be a process. There will be times when your mind will revert back to your old habits – obsessively calorie counting, obsessively weighing yourself, obsessively exercising – all so that you can get smaller and smaller and smaller. But this time – this is how you’re going to make it different.
You need to let go of control.
I know. It’s scary. But trust your body. It’s going to be just fine!
In this first phase of recovery, I don’t want you to focus on the numbers at all. You need a period of mental recovery from the numbers in order to build that trust you need between you and your body.
- Don’t count your calories. Delete those calorie counting apps on your phone.
- Don’t weigh yourself. Put your scale away.
- Stop doing workouts that you hate. Do workouts that bring you joy.
I want you to set your “WHY” and focus on that instead of the numbers. Why are you on this journey towards power and strength? Answer that honestly, because that answer will help you make the hard decisions and conquer the tough challenges that will arise along your journey to recovery. You need to make it about something NON-PHYSICAL. This is very important.
To help you understand the importance of “WHY”, think back to why you got obsessed with food and exercise in the first place. Your “WHY” was probably something along the lines of “to be skinny” or “to get abs” or “to look like [insert name of some “perfect girl”]. Your “WHY” was so strong that you fell into an ED that spun out of control.
Now…I don’t want you to spin out of control again…BUT I do want you to dig deep and find a “WHY” so strong that nothing will stand in your way to regaining your power! REALLY think about why you’re so passionate about your new goal.
Though I love that you want to now focus on gaining muscle, I want you to be very VERY careful. Just because building muscle sounds healthier than getting skinny, making your “WHY” all about something super physical can lead you back to the same disordered thinking about your body…except this time you’re replacing the goal of weight loss with the goal of muscle gain. I want you to go into this new journey of yours with a new mindset – one that is focused on your mental well being FIRST. Got it?
Good luck on your new adventure Recovering My Power! You’ve got this! I believe in you!
PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.