Something my friend said to me the other day was "I don't want to live a life wondering what I would have done differently had I loved myself." In my eating disorder, I am living a life of anticipation and suffering. It is a life fueled by the hope of what the future may bring, and is filled with various forms of torture and suffering. My eating disorder is fueled by self hatred, shame, and guilt. It embodies my sense of unworthiness and is driven by my desire for a sense of belonging, acceptance, and love.
Though general, what my friend said to me really stuck with me because of how differently my life would look if I embodied that statement in everything I do. Instead of hurting myself by restricting or purging, I would feed myself. I would honor my hunger, my cravings, and act in response to them. Instead of enduring the torture of exercising for hours everyday, fueled by my body hatred and in anticipation for the change that the workouts may bring, I would move my body in mindful ways. I would be appreciative of how my body feels and acts, and I would listen to my body and give it the rest it deserves.
"I don't want to die wondering how I would have lived my life if I loved myself unconditionally"
One thing that I've learned to be true, is that I am working to love my body unconditionally. Regardless of how I feel about the way I look, what I've done, or what I may do in the future, I am working to honor my body's needs and treat it with love.
In this unconditional love, there is no room for an eating disorder.
Shame and guilt exists, but the needs of my body trump my feelings and desire for self-punishment. Obviously this is a lifelong journey, and this unconditional self love will take time and effort to cultivate, but small actions and decisions add up and will overtime make the world of a difference.