Community Magazine

Day 9: Falling In and Out of Old Traps

By Amanda Bruce @RecoveryisCake

Guilty WomanI’m so annoyed at myself. I’ve let myself get focused on the external results of my tummy love project, instead of the internal. Yep, that’s right. I’m focused on the way my stomach looks. Augh!

Going with the theme of being gentle with myself, a couple of “life things” have occurred that may have affected this:

  1.  I got sick.  I got some weird bug where I have a cold, dry, tired eyes, extreme fatigue, slight earache and dizziness.  Not only does this limit the amount of cardio I do (which is STRICTLY a spiritually-beneficial exercise for me that I do once a week), but illness has never really contributed to anyone’s good body image, methinks.
  2. The holidays.  And it’s not the extra food I’m talking about.  I loved that part of it!  Holidays=stress and expectations,more time spent with family members, which brings up old family issues and emotions.  Emotions typically lay under the blanket statement, “Ugh, I feel fat.”  Fat is not a feeling (although an old college classmate liked to argue with me about that ad nauseum), and there are usual genuine feelings and negative self-concepts that underlie that body image.  I’m not going to get into specifics here, but you get the picture.

So, how do I get back on track?

  1. Doing goofy things like punching the muscular wall in my stomach that wasn’t there 10ish days ago and going, “HUAH!“.  No, really!  For some reason, having muscles doesn’t trigger me either way – it just makes me feel strong, internally.  When I used eating disordered behaviors, it was all about losing weight (including muscle, if it meant the number on the scale would be lower.)  So doing that reminds me I have made internal progress.
  2. I’ve talked to my tummy too.  Yep, no shame!  Somewhere I read that utilizing positive mantras specifically for your stomach would increase your body image.  It works!  You can say something as simple as “I accept you.”  I just haven’t done it as much as I did in the beginning, so of course it’s not working.
  3. Usin’ the self-talk.  This is sort of an off-shoot of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) where you can coach yourself out of irrational thought processes.  For example, I might say to myself, “Amanda, the more I focus on the way my stomach looks, the more I’m missing the point.  Also, focusing on its appearance will just wake up my ED thoughts, then they’ll say you’ll never look good enough, so then you’ll give up on your awesome tummy-love project.  Which would be silly”.  And so on.  It turns out talking to yourself doesn’t mean you’re crazy!  As long as it’s not out loud.

Anywho, I look forward to getting back on track.  I do think some bellydancing may be in order this week!

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Day 9: Falling In and Out of Old Traps

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