Self-love and eating disorder recovery go hand in hand, as when we talk about self-love, we talk about self-acceptance.
Self-love is a process where we learn to accept all aspects of ourselves as ‘whole’. It is the awareness and understanding that as humans, we are multifaceted and not only identified as bodies; it is knowing that we are worth more than any number on a scale and that we are still worthy, no matter our shape, weight or size. Though, like any practice, this takes time to nurture and to grow.
For, eating disorder recovery is hard. Change is hard. It is ok to feel that your recovery journey is difficult and it is also ok to know that there may be days where you will struggle – where things will feel harder. Recovery also involves navigating these days and acknowledging that despite how hopeless things may seem, you have still shown up for yourself and for your recovery. This, is when it is crucial that you demonstrate to yourself acts of self-love, compassion and forgiveness.
Vicky, Orri’s Yoga Therapist, explores in this video why self-love is important to nurture in eating disorder recovery:
“Self-love is critical to eating disorder recovery because we need to practise accepting all of the aspects of ourselves, even the aspects that it may tell us are unacceptable, that are not worthy and that should be controlled or pushed down. If we don’t practise self-love, it’s really difficult to challenge the eating disorder voice that is so critical. To balance this, we need to practise nurturing our true selves.” Vicky
Self-love is especially important for eating disorder recovery, as your body will change over time. It may be that during these moments of reflection that your eating disorder voice speaks up – though hold onto the reminder that you deserve recovery. You have worked and continue to work hard to choose yourself over your eating disorder – so give kindness to that part of you that has found a way to keep going.
As Vicky highlights in the video below, “life is a constant journey of change”, and by building upon your awareness of self-compassion and self-love, you in turn build upon your tolerance of change and adaptability to the unpredictability of life. If Covid-19 taught humanity anything, it is that we are versatile and resilient beings. You made it through a pandemic that swept the world off its feet, you absolutely have what it takes in you to make it through your recovery!
‘The purpose of life is to be who we truly are, which is Love itself. It is no more complex than this. If we are who we truly are without reserve, the whole point of life is accomplished.
So simple. So beautiful.’ Nicole Schnackenberg, ‘Bodies Arising: Fall in Love with your Body and Remember your Divine Essence’
We leave you with this reminder:
Take your recovery step by step, at a slow pace, and simply show up for yourself every day. You don’t need to do the whole journey at once, just one step at a time.