It is my pleasure to introduce the inaugural guest post on my blog! Today’s blogger is Sandra G. She runs a fantastic blog that is equal parts humorous and real over at datebynumb3r.com. If you like what you see here, go check her out and follow her blog.
Without further ado, here is Sandra G’s “4 Things I’ve Learned From Having an Eating Disorder.”
I had an eating disorder for five years. After working on it on my own for a long time and working with a therapist for nearly a year, I’m finally feeling back to normal. My eating habits don’t control my life anymore. I know a lot of people won’t struggle with the same problem, but in the process I did learn some things that I think would be applicable to many people:
1. I don’t have to spend my life dieting and wishing I was thinner.
My aunt declared recently on her 50th birthday that this was the decade she would lose 20 pounds. She’s professed the same goal on her 30th and 40th birthdays. I’ve already spent 15 years being unhappy with how I look. The idea of spending another 20 years that way is not a pleasant thought. I’d rather learn to be okay with my appearance now.
2. Share your problems.
I tried to fix it on my own, in secret, but it was so hard to make any real progress. Each major milestone in my recovery was marked by a time when I told someone about what I was going through. The first time I told my sister marked the beginning of getting better. The first time I made an appointment with a therapist marked the next stage of bigger progress. When I was finally able to tell a couple close friends about having an eating disorder, it marked the point when I was finally starting to feel normal again.
3. I should be patient with myself when making big changes.
Big changes are really hard. Before, anything less than perfection was considered a failure. If I ate a couple bites of a ‘forbidden’ food, I’d feel I might as well give up. Now, I’m learning that being okay with making mistakes is much more helpful than trying to be perfect. Changes are much easier when you expect slip ups. Then, you can learn to be okay with them, learn from them and move on.
4. It is so worth investing the time, effort and money necessary to deal with your major issues.
Three years ago, one of my goals for the year was to improve my relationship with food. Say what you will about New Year’s resolutions, but if I hadn’t dedicated the necessary resources on working on it, I have no doubt I would still feel out of control with my eating habits. It took a LOT of time and a lot of patience, but it was so worth it. If I’d pretended everything was okay and assumed the problem would go away on its own, I’m sure I would have had this problem for many, many years to come.
Am I glad I had an eating disorder? No. Would I do it over again? Heck no. But it has forced me to learn things that may have taken me decades to figure out.
Sandra G is a 28-year-old data analyst learning to navigate the world of dating and blogging about it at datebynumb3r.com.
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