#recovery2011

I'm a few days late in posting this (then again, I posted the Sunday Smorgasbord on Saturday night, so let's just say that my timekeeping this week totally sucks), but I figured better late than never.

It was New Year's Eve, and I was thinking about resolutions.  I don't really like them--I've never really made one--in part because they're all about stuff you don't want to do rather than stuff you DO want to do.  The joke among parents is that the easiest way to get a kid to do something is to tell them not to do it.  And adults are just old children. 

Yet I like the spirit of self-improvement, of making a goal and working towards it (this got very hijacked in the AN, but I do my best).  And goal setting has been a really useful recovery skill for me.

The problem with goal setting is that we often settle for really vague goals and don't map out a plan to get there.  Either one of these can set you up for failure.  Lots of people use weight loss goals, but if I see another ad or story about dieting, I think I'm going to stab myself in the eye.  How many Weight Watchers points are in an eye, anyway?  I digress.

So let's use smoking.  Quitting smoking isn't a vague goal, but unless you know how you're going to quit and how you're going to cope when you want to start lighting up again, it's going to be really hard to stay quit.  Recovery is something similar.  "I want to recover!" is awfully vague--what does that mean to you--and it also doesn't help you plan how you're going to get there.

It's where I ran into problems.  Occasionally, I told myself that I was going to quit all behaviors and embrace my thighs and blah blah blah.  If it lasted a day, I was doing well.  Vague and directionless is pretty much the way to get nowhere.

On Twitter (do you follow me on Twitter? You should. I keep you posted on my near nightly consumption of nature documentaries and other nerdy fun, as well as ED research), I started a hashtag called #recovery2011, where I encouraged people to tweet their recovery goals for 2011.  They didn't have to be specifically food related--an ED takes over your entire life, and recovery is about more than just food.  I told everyone that I would share the responses on my blog, which I am doing here.

  • Try learning hunger cues again and accepting them as they are not as something to fight with!
  • I'm changing my relationship w my body. I'll try not seeing it as something that could be smaller & just as something that is
  • Food is great & all, yet not worth all the power we give it. Hoping 2011 brings food enjoyment & fuel yet time spent on more.
  • Hope 2011 allows u 2 b open & trust your body's wisdom: hunger/fullness/cravings communicate your food & movement needs.
  • I'm going to practice being relaxed and joyful around food, with the idea of "fake it till ya make it."
  • I intend to be fully present in my life rather than obsessing over what has been or will be.
  • Learn to love myself, even if it means by Dec 2011 I have learnt to love only my little toe, accept that, love that, be that!
  • Try something new and scary. Take things in stride. Embrace the present while looking forward to the future.
I would love it if you, my readers, would share your own recovery-related goals in the comments section.  Be specific.  Not just "Be mindful about eating." but "I am going to concentrate fully on at least one meal every day."

So go for it! What's your goal?

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13 comments:

Anonymous said...

My goal this year is to live more in the moment and be present. I know that's vague, but I see it as a learning process. Right now I'm working on being present during exercise, and focusing on being more social.

hm said...

Stick w/my therapist and dietitian (of course, the one demands the other, so that might be somewhat redundant); Put on a minimum of 5 pounds (and feel hateful towards every one of them, but I'm trying to own them as a goal just the same); Try to figure out how to respect my skin (not love- right now I'm just trying to figure out how not to slice and dice the stress and anger of "recovery" away- I'll be happy if I can figure out how to avoid THAT- screw "love"); If I can do any of those 3 things then perhaps I can actually claim to BE "in recovery" and not just a hopeful recovery roadie who eats up blogs and articles but can't do shit for herself! Here's to hoping-

Cathy (UK) said...

I don't make New Year's Resolutions. Having said that, I have been working on 'developing myself' (if that makes sense) for quite a while since recovering from AN.

I don't think about food or eating much. Eating is just something I have to do to stay as healthy as possible, but it's not something I enjoy. I hate it if I lose weight inadvertently because it means I have to eat more to gain the weight back. I have never enjoyed eating, at any point in my life.

Like Anonymous above, I am constantly aiming to be more sociable, because I find socialising difficult and exhausting. It's far easier to be on my own, doing my interests, but then I get lonely after a while.

I despise all this New Year nonsense our culture has created, and slogans like 'New-Year-New-You', or 'Make 2011 Your Best Year Yet'. But it makes magazines sell. I'm not 'triggered' by weight loss goals, in part because I don't read women's magazines, and also because such stuff is so very boring to read about.

Anonymous makes a good point above about "being present during exercise". I had to learn to do that a few years ago because I had always 'used' exercise to dissociate.

I wish you and other readers of this blog all the best for 2011 :)

Kate said...

get my arse out of bed and do yoga, or walk, or stretch, or get on an elliptical. exercise and movement make me feel so much better about myself. it's just removing the covers on a cold day that seems to be the big problem.

Daniel said...

I'm going to take the time to take a photograph of myself every day for one year and by doing so I can take the time to see the flaws and imperfections, along with the positives, that make me unique. Hopefully that will translate to the rest of my habits and I'll begin to see that regardless of my shape or size, people like me for who I am as a person.

I also intend to let others help me out when I need help instead of trying to go 100% independent just because I'm 19 and I feel that I'm lagging in that department.

FantasyGirl said...

My goal this year is to not let my ED completely rule my life anymore. I mean, I'm going to actually get back to my writing and stop obsessing about how much I'm gaining in recovery and how I can counteract it.
I guess also to just let recovery happen and not try to stop it.

happinessiswithinblog.com said...

My main goal this year is to try to think more positively and not always think the worst is going to happen. For example, dreading a meal because I think I will gain 5 llbs. Instead, I'll try to think how i might truly enjoy that meal and it might just be one step closer to freedom from my ED!

Lucy Sparrow said...

My goal is to eat three meals a day for at least a week and not even have to think about it as hard, unusual or uncomfortable :) also never to weigh myself and not even give a toss what that number says (ok that last part is a little ambitious but it's still something to aim for!)

Abby said...

I wrote a "Reflections" post about the same type of thing, how every day you can resolve to take the next healthy step forward.

That said, my goal is to just be the healthiest, best me I can be. I know what this means for me, and it will be different than what it means for other people. I have to remember that I have different needs and goals and my progress is important, not perfection.

Kate@andwhenshesays said...

These are great goals - I am a huge believer in 'fake it til ya make it' myself, and I totally agree that resolutions are about things you WANT to do, not what you can't or shouldn't or won't do. Here's to 2011!

Angela E. Gambrel Lackey said...

I am going to go on an adventure (something that has become hard from me to do since developing AN.) My plan is to rent an RV and spend a week at Edisto Beach during spring break, just walking around, perhaps going into Charleston one day, picking up sea shells and eating at quaint little restaurants that don't tell me how many calories are in my food!

My ultimate goal is to make 2011 a year of love, joy and adventure. I do not plan on repeating the year 2010 (possibly the worst year of my adult life!)

Dido said...

i like the "fake it til you make it" goal. i find it works surprisingly well for me!

i generally don't do the NY resolution thing either, but this year it's been on my mind a lot because i feel like i SHOULD incorporate my recovery somehow into a resolution- but i haven't been able to think of anything specific or concrete enough to actually do it. getting rid of the scale would be a good one, but i don't know that i can do it.

i think the best resolution i could make would be similar to fantasygirl's. i want to read more (non-ED related) books, and start playing the piano more. and maintain friendships!

Ashley @ 365 things said...

One of my goals is to simply be nicer to myself. I'll deny myself foods ('forbidden' foods like treats, fried food, etc--stuff that I've purposely avoided) that I enjoy when there is really no reason to.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote



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