Well some of you know my story…and some of you may not. The main point of today’s post is that we had a great Elf 4 Health challenge from Lindsay and Elle. Today it was about revealing 3 things we love about our body. I have to admit that when I first read it I wasn’t sure what I was going to write. I figured I could go with the typical eyes, smile, and hair that I have used several times before, but for me I knew I needed to dig a little deeper.
This week I have had a few good friends have to return to treatment for eating disorders. It has made me think a lot about how far I have come and also how easy it would be to slip back.
Having struggled with eating disorder issues for more than 20 years, I can say that the last 4 years in recovery have been full of ups and downs, but more ups that downs, so I know I am going in the right direction. Learning to love my body and appreciate what it can do certainly has its challenges. I know I am not alone in that.
So with this challenge I really took it to heart to think about this body I have been assigned by God and how I have learned to appreciate and love parts that I used to hate.
So I really do like my eyes, but not only for obvious reasons. Before I went to treatment, my eyes had from light hazel brown to a very dark brown, almost black. As I was in treatment, and began to gain healing, my eyes began to grow lighter and lighter. Even on tough days I can look in the mirror and see that my eyes are still light brown and they are a constant reminder that I have come a long way. I am not where I want to be yet, but I will get there. It took many years to get in the darkest place of my life, and I am far from that place and I am forever grateful for that.
I am learning to love and appreciate my leg muscles. My legs have always been muscular, and I never liked them. Now, 30+ races later (7 of those being half marathons), learning to love my muscular legs is beginning to come easier. Considering the abuse and torture I put my own body through, it is a miracle that I can even run at all these days, much less multiple races that include half marathons!
One other part of my body I am learning to love is my entire shape. Since I met my husband he always commented on how beautiful I was, and how he loves me shape. It has not always been easy for me to hear or receive, but the more I hear him say it, the more I have begun to believe it. Not just because he has said it to me each and every day over the past 3 years, but because learning to appreciate my body has taught me that I am beautiful. I may still struggle to have great days everyday, but I know I have come a LONG way, and I will keep making progress. My days are no longer filled with obsessions that had to deal with eating disorder thinking, but focused on ways to keep treating my body right and learning new ways to be healthy. Taking new fitness classes, cooking new meals, learning about healthy living that is not completely focused on weight is so refreshing.
Yes, I am still on my journey, but I have learned that this journey will last the rest of my life. I am able to take each day and learn to love it more and more!
Thanks again Elle and Lindsay for this challenge!