The Eating Disorder Recovery Resolution I'm Willing to Make This Year

It is January 3rd and I have seen approximately 389,876 weight loss ads. My inner scale smasher cringes every time I see Oprah dancing in her kitchen eating “freestyle” tacos.

So here is my PSA to all of you: changing your body will not change who you inherently are. We come in all shapes and sizes. We aren’t meant to be a size perfect – trust me, I nearly killed myself for that “perfect” body. And I don’t think we can exist and live a full life on zero point tacos.

Rather than resolve to eat “clean” or workout every day or lose X pounds — resolve to love yourself. Loving ourselves and positive body image does not happen over night and it doesn’t mean you like your body every day. It means you respect your body and self enough to feed it, move it and rest it according to what your body says and not what a diet says. We were born with these amazing bodies that actually tell us when we need to move, rest and eat. But every diet, detox and cleanse, takes away that natural intuition.

I love to move my body and I do it joyfully, not because I have to in order to reach a certain size or number on the scale. I don’t set expectations or put pressure on myself to work out a certain amount of times or hit a certain number of steps. You will never catch me with a FitBit or Apple watch. I leave my calorie counting and all science up to my body and it hasn’t led me wrong yet.

When I was in my eating disorder, I could not imagine accepting, much less loving my body. I punished myself with endless hours of exercise, which resulted in tearing my IT band. And not even that stopped me from exercising. Nothing could stop my eating disorder mind from achieving that perfect number.

Even though I compulsively exercised, you could not find a single muscle on me. My body was using my muscle to fuel itself. Despite looking “fit” and racing triathlons, my body was weak and malnourished.

Today, I went to my Pure Barre studio. As I was looking in the mirror during class, I noticed my shoulders. They looked so strong. I even spied some definition. It made me smile, but I wasn’t smiling because I had definition. I smiled because I have taken such good care of my body over the years that now it is strong enough to hold muscle and not use it to stay alive.

Strength isn’t defined by muscles. I do not have an overly muscular or toned body. And I certainly do not go to Pure Barre or yoga to achieve a six pack. I go because I love the people, music and encouraging and inclusive environment.

My body is a beautiful mix of curves, softness and muscle – and I am happy with every inch of my body. Tomorrow, I might not like my body as much as I do today – and that is OK. But you can bet your ass that I will love it and love it fiercely. I will nourish it, move it and rest it.

Wherever you are in your journey, whether it be braving the path of recovery or simply trying to find some peace within yourself, remember that happiness can’t be found by standing on a scale or fitting into that dress. Happiness doesn’t appear at the end of the Whole30 and it certainly doesn’t happen because you finally achieved that killer six pack.

Happiness starts within. It starts when we start taking time for ourselves and maybe making some hard changes — real changes. Happiness comes from practicing gratitude and finding light even when we are stumbling blind in the dark.The new year is a great time to make some positive changes, but so is every day, right here, right now. It is great to move our bodies and eat wholesome foods. But I highly doubt zero point tacos create sustainable change.

So eat real tacos (and real food), move your body in whatever way feels good and above all else, tone up your body with love this year.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 1-800-931-2237.

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