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Body Image Part I – Unbearable Lightness

“Once you engage your own inner wisdom, you can change or improve your habits of thought, your emotions, and your behaviors… and create a more positive and joyful life experience right away,” “This process, when engaged in regularly, heals both your present and your future. It also enables you to live a life full of joy, meaning, and purpose—right here, right now.” Dr. Christiane Northrup

Body image and loving oneself is something which many women today struggle with on a daily basis.  Whether it is a mild dissatisfaction with ones own body shape/size or if it is a full-blown body distortion/eating disorder, the fact is, ones view of what a real woman’s body shape looks like is totally and completely distorted.  We have lost all sense of what “normal” really looks like.

I have had my own struggles with this, which I am slowly working on writing up into a series of entries of “my story” coming soon.  I have thankfully recovered from the physical part of the disease, but as most of you out there, who may still be struggling with or who have previously dealt with an ED, well know the most difficult part of recovery is the mental part of it.  Quite frankly I find that mental aspect of it all by far the most difficult.  You simply cannot detach your brain or turn it off.  If we could then we wouldn’t have such issues as Eating Disorders or other mental diseases now would we?!

I recently finished, quite quickly I might add, Portia de Rossi’s new book “Unbearable Lightness” which is a memoir of her own battles with an ED.  It was quite a brutally honest reflection of her battle as she chose to write it from the perspective of person who is actively going through the battle.  From the diseased view point.  I found this to be both disturbing but at the same time refreshing.  On one hand I felt that “this could be really bad for those girls who are stuck in their disease, they could get ideas!!” but on the other hand it also brings to light just how INSANE one can get while in it.  It brought back some really awful memories for me, a lot of those insane things I did when I was stuck deep in the disease.  It reminded me of just how crazy I got and just how badly I DO NOT want to EVER go back to that point.  It scared me again, which I think can sometimes be a good thing in terms of being “scared straight” or a wake up call, if you will, to remind you of where you are now, were you used to be, and where you don’t ever want to be again.

In any case, I have written below a couple of excerpts which really stood out to me and have stuck with me, because it is exactly how I feel now.  It was like reading my own thoughts on paper, but written by someone else.

From “Unbearable Lightness”

“I finally understood that by being on a perpetual diet, I had practiced a ‘disordered’ form of eating my whole life.  I restricted when I was hungry and in need of nutrition and binged when I was so grotesquely full I couldn’t be comfortable in any position but lying down.  Diets that tell people what to eat or when to eat are the practices in between.  And dieting, I discovered, was another form of disordered eating, just as anorexia and bulimia similarly disrupt the natural order of eating.  “Ordered” eating is the practice of eating when you are hungry and ceasing to eat when your brain sends the signal that your stomach is full.  “Ordered” eating is about eating for enjoyment, for health, and to sustain life.  “Ordered” eating is not restricting certain kinds of foods because they are ‘bad’.  Obsessing about what and when to eat is not normal, natural, and orderly.  Thinking about food to the point of obsession and ignoring your body’s signals is a disorder.” Pg. 295

Also:

” ….because I knew I could eat pasta and ice cream again the very next day if I wanted to, I stopped wanting it in excess.  If it were going to be available to me anytime, why eat like it was the very last time I’d ever taste it?  The fact that I stopped labeling food as “good” and “bad” made me just see it all as food.  Like Carolyn had told me, there was no bad food.  There were just bad practices.” Pg. 305

I find comfort in reading other peoples own stories about their journey through the disease because it reminds me that I am not alone, and that I’m not totally crazy.  That many many other women are out there who struggle or have struggled with this.  And that reason alone is why I wanted to start writing this blog.  To hopefully help others, the way that previous books/stories have helped me.

“True nobility isn’t about being better than anyone else; it’s about being better than you used to be.” - Wayne Dyer

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About Erin Brown

I am vivacious, full of spirit and drive and like to dip my toes into everything to at the very least be able to say "I've done that". I live my life to the fullest and have a major passion for health, fitness and nutrition as well as helping others to achieve their goals in health. So read on to get your health fix!

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