The comments to the previous article: "Your body is your friend who's there for you 100% of the time," spawned a fascinating and moving conversation in the comments. Thank you for your candor. I so appreciate your honesty and courage. pix*
As for number 6, tending your health, that's the key isn't it? We can twist and turn our thoughts. We can diminish, expand, limit or eliminate, exaggerate our feelings. But our body is always there and always exhibits the consequences of its experience.
Go out into the cold unprepared, you'll shiver, even get frostbite and die from exposure.
Refuse to give your body adequate rest and you'll suffer illnesses, distorted thinking, inability to concentrate, make poor decisions, reduce your reflex action time, lose your coordination, experience emotional chaos.
We can convince ourselves that our thoughts and emotions are in keeping with reality, but we cannot convince our bodies to respond as we wish. The body is always honest in the here and now and experiences realistic consequences from world experience.
So the body becomes the most powerful marker for our recovery work. Honor what the body needs for health and your thoughts and feelings will adjust to a more realistic position.
In eating disorders we do the exact opposite. We do our best to control the body in order to limit our thoughts and feelings or channel them in specific ways that are based on our fantasies, not on reality.
Number 6: Support your health. Respect your body and give yourself what you need.
That gets difficult when supporting your body means you start to feel what you don't want to feel or think more clearly about what you'd rather not see at all.
Having an eating disorder for decades doesn't mean you know a lot about eating disorders. It means you know how to keep your eating disorder going.
Getting the correct amount of sleep, food, water and exercise to build and maintain a healthy body pushes you directly into the path of what your eating disorder is designed to block. And that's where you recovery work is.
Go, go, go for Number 6.
(I chose the illustration flower, a blue-eyed grass, so common and so beautiful, because it has six petals. It's a reminder of how lovely six can be.)
Towlers Bay Track, Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park, probably Schelhammera undulata,
24 September 2010, Artist: Poyt448 Peter Woodard Creative Commons