Practicing radical acceptance

Thank you all for your kind and wonderful comments on yesterday's post.  They were really helpful for me.

What I've come to realize over thinking about this awful fatigue and hypermetabolism mess is that I need to practice some serious radical acceptance.  Not that I expect that this will eliminate my fatigue, but hopefully, I can scrape up a few scraps of energy that I was wasting on resisting and fighting the current state of events.

So what do I need to accept?  Several things:

  1. My need to eat a lot. My mom tells me most people would kill for my metabolism.  I tell her they don't need to bother, as I'm perfectly happy to give it away upon request.  But there's not much I can do about how much food I'm burning off right now.  It's just reality.  It's what I need to do to get better, it sucks, but there's also no real alternative.
  2. I'm not going to be as productive as I usually am. This one is really hard for me. I generally hate on myself if I'm not constantly busy. It's fine when I have the energy, am engaged in life, and can plan in some breaks.  That's not my current life.  Again, it's unavoidable.  I'm lucky in that my work schedule is pretty flexible, and a couple of short months financially aren't going to be the end of the world.
I still don't feel good about these things, but I feel a smidge better. 

It's hard for me to just "accept" something.  I generally try to fight it, or change it, or subvert the system if there's something I don't like.  I'm not naturally very zen.  I'm anxious and high-strung, I don't like to just "be," and I don't generally take things in stride.  So radical acceptance is a very new concept for me.  New, but helpful.

What's something you're looking to radically accept? Share in the comments section!

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Katie said...

A very apt topic :/ I hated the idea of radical acceptance when I first came across it, but over the years I have...uh, radically accepted it! I need to do quite a bit of that at the moment. I find it really calming to think to myself "okay so this sucks, but getting anxious about how much it sucks isn't going to help, so how about I just accept it and put my energy into something I can actually change?".

Things to accept at the moment: I am not responsible for other people's actions, sometimes loving someone isn't enough to make things work, sometimes life is shit even when you've already been through enough shit to keep all the zookeepers in the UK in business for a decade and think that you kind of deserve a break now. And breathe. Grump.

A:) said...


That my body is gaining weight again and that THIS bout of weight gain will likely put me at my target weight -- which I have avoided by hanging onto the "last 10lbs" for the last year. I need to adjust to a new shape and the fact that my job is simply to follow my mealplan and see what happens. I cannot control the speed and the number.

Also, that I cannot control the actions of a certain someone I am romantically attracted to at the moment. If he just wants to be friends (as it is now), I need to accept that, even though it will hurt. I cannot force a relationship and I cannot alter reality.

Life really sucks sometimes doesn't it. :(


Anonymous said...

i am trying to peacefully, lovingly and radically accept that people are going to love me and want to help whether i like it or not. i am trying to radically accept an open door policy of mutual care. i am trying to radically accept that i might be worth that care.

hm said...

I started hitting puberty by 8. By 11 I was the exact size and shape that I am right now, at 36. Would I have grown/developed more had I not practiced an ed my whole life? Dunno. Who cares. Now at thirtyfreakingsix suddenly people want me to change who I am, what I look like, what size I wear. I am terrified.

I've shape-shifted twice, when I was pregnant. But that was the baby, not me! I wore different clothes for that, and then got rid of them. And then the weight went away and I was back to normal. But what I'm being asked to do now is make a permanent change- it means looking radically different. It means growing out of all my pants and jeans, and maybe even my shirts. It means my face looking different in pictures. It means going to a different size at the store to shop. It means I will lose my entire physical sense of who I am.

I wonder if I sound incredibly shallow. :( It doesn't feel shallow. It's NOT about a vain clinging to a certain size- it's about an obsessive clinging to sameness. I LIKE MY FUCKING PANTS. I like my jeans. I know my size. I never change.

That's what I'm working to accept. New size, new clothes, new me.

Anonymous said...

Carrie, for me, radical acceptance isn't peaceful or zen-like at all! There are very few things I will radically accept. When I do radically accept something (such as the laws of nature), it is an active process that feels more like a wrestling match than a peaceful moment of giving in. That's not to say that it isn't a good feeling but it feels more like a cognitive victory than anything else. It comes when I've wrestled a conflict down to the ground, stripped it down to it's essence and come up with the only answer. And if the answer is that I just have to accept whatever it is, well, at that point my mind and soul realize that we are done with that fight, that argument, that striving, that fantasy, whatever it is, we are just DONE, and only then can I accept and move on. It's kind of exhausting but necessary I suppose.

Cathy (UK) said...

I am practicing radical acceptance of basically 'the way that I am' (rigid, inflexible, obsessive-compulsive...), yet at the same time trying to make small changes to myself and my life.

But in regard to hypermetabolism: I am surprised that you are experiencing this, and am wondering whether what you are describing actually is hypermetabolism. Hypermetabolism usually occurs at re-feeding from critically low weights, near death states when protein metabolism accelerates, after tissue trauma, viral illness, in metabolic disease such as thyrotoxicosis etc.

Alice said...


I'm new to reading your blog, and I LOVE it. I have spent a good few hours the past couple of days skimming through posts and nodding like Churchill "Oh yes. Yes! Yes! Oh yes".

UK thing maybe...

Seriously. Thankyou. Thankyou for articulating the thoughts that I struggle with, and the patterns and habits and basically the entire mindset. Thankyou for sharing the research that you find. And thankyou for being so real about it. About recovery. About that fact it SUCKS and is HARD. I can't express how grateful I am to you.

Now on to the question at hand: I need to radically accept that my research period for my doctorate is going to take me longer than I want it to. That I can't control that. That I am ill, haven't taken time away from my programme of study, and that I am also doing my research in another country in a language which I am not fully proficient in. That I should be proud of myself for what I HAVE achieved rather than beat myself up about what could have been.

I need to radically accept that I am human and as such I am a social being. I need company, and I need support. Turning away from it when it is offered, and bullshitting friends if they dare to bring up my health issues, is not helping anyone. Least of all me. I need to accept their help. Accept my limitations. Accept that perfect is a lie. That I cannot achieve it. That it is OK to have flaws.

Wendy said...

Hurray Carrie for practicing some radical acceptance. I just finished Tara Brach's book, "Radical Acceptance" and have her mindfulness meditation tapes.
I thought I would never be able to practice it because I was a high energy "doer"

It has made a huge difference for me.
My Y/A daughter is taking a class now on Mindfulness Meditation for Stress Reduction based on the same training.

We are fortunate to have Tara Brach in our area for Wednesday night meditations

It teaches you how to have compassion for yourself.
To not put so much energy into avoiding, battling, and basically using up so much energy to deal with your fears.

And beating up on yourself.
I am wishing you more radical acceptance

Kaitlyn said...

Thank you so much for reminding me of radical acceptance. I hate the fact that I need to use it, but I know it is the only way I am going to get better. Right now, this is what I'm working on accepting ASAP:

1. The fact that I need to work on my Recovery....I can't just believe it will happen in its own time.

2. The fact that I need to eat 100% of my meal plan in order to get all the nutrients and calories I need for the day or I won't be allowed to exercise.

3. The fact that this eating disorder is NOT my friend....

Anonymous said...

I told my dietitian a few weeks ago i wish i had a slow metabolism so i wouldnt have to eat so much! So i feel your pain...She looked at me like I said the wrong thing and I was like "no you heard me right!" haha.

Anonymous said...

I told my dietitian a few weeks ago i wish i had a slow metabolism so i wouldnt have to eat so much! So i feel your pain...She looked at me like I said the wrong thing and I was like "no you heard me right!" haha.

Cait said...

I found your blog recently, and since I'm starting a recovery treatment plan next week, it's particularly poignant and relevant for me today. I enjoy reading your posts and they remind me of why it's going to be worth it to put in so much effort to recover.

Right now, I'm trying to radically accept that it's okay to live moment to moment. This is a good afternoon for me. Doesn't matter what yesterday or tomorrow was or will be.

Wishing you well.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the permission to be superficial, but I NEED to accept my height (so disappointed that I'm not tall and "leggy").

On a serious note, I have to accept that I have to work at this eating disorder "stuff" and sometimes that makes life seem "unfair."

Then I think about how I literally "breezed" through school while others struggled. They may have felt that "unfair." That is a gift for me. I need to spend more time being thankful for my gifts and use them to help me work at my the eating disorder.

Thank you Carrie.

Anonymous said...

I'm also curious about the hypermetabolism you speak of... if you are having so much trouble eating enough to maintain this weight, maybe the weight is too high? I'm not calling you fat (I don't even know where your weight is right now) but that was my first thought. (Unless you are dangerously underweight and unable to gain weight while eating a huge amount of calories, which it doesn't sound like is the case here)

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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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