Welcome back to the 12 Keys to a Healthy Weight. Last week we looked at how to be both compassionate and assertive in your relationships and with yourself, and today’s post examines the role that grief plays in recovering from an eating disorder and maintaining a healthy weight.
Key #10: Acknowledge what you are losing
When you’re recovering from an eating disorder and moving towards a healthy weight, it’s not just about losing (or gaining) weight. You’re also saying goodbye to some very familiar behaviors and habits that have been with you a long time.
The eating disorder itself can be thought of as an entity – author Jenni Schaefer called hers Ed, and helps others through the transition to life without an eating disorder.
Letting go of these things can evoke feelings of loss and grief. We often think of grief only in terms of losing someone who has died, but we actually feel grief in so many different situations and for many different things:
|Transitions and rituals
|Regret for what did not happen in life
|Lost years, wasted time
|Beliefs and expectations
|Freedom, control, decision making
|Ability for expression
|Children leaving the nest
|Sense of sexual self
|Body (former body)
|Parents, safety, security
The grieving process is a very personal one. A therapist can help you find your way through the stages of grief. What’s important is that you acknowledge the loss – even though it’s something that was harming you, an eating disorder can be a big part of your identity and it can be frightening to let that go.
Try these affirmations to support yourself through your grief:
I am part of nature’s flow
With each loss, I move forward in my recovery
Next week, we’ll look at gratitude as a healthy antidote for self-pity.