While recently struggling with body image issues, eating disorder related thoughts, and what some just call “stinkin’ thinkin’”, I’ve come to see the beauty that surrounds me, the beauty that encompasses me, and the beauty that IS me.
Having an eating disorder is not something to be proud of. It is not something to brag about. It is not something you can “catch” or something that you can “learn” to have. It isn’t something to be ashamed of. It IS something to take seriously. It IS a disease. It IS something that is real. It IS deadly. It IS treatable, and there IS recovery.
The color purple, while its representation is for many organizations, their disease’s, etc., also represents Eating Disorder Recovery. This representation is of importance to me. It represents how far I have come. It represents my success. It also, represents courage, compassion, dedication, realness, life, and much more.
The realness and life of recovery, is understanding who I am, and why I am successful.
Success is not measured in inches, kilometers, pounds, minutes, days, years, prosperity, wealth, or by weight loss/gain. It isn’t measured in the food you eat or don’t eat, the school you get accepted into or don’t get accepted into. It isn’t who your family is or isn’t, it is not where you live, what job you have or what career you have.
The archaic definition of success is: the outcome of an undertaking, specified as achieving or failing to achieve its aims. Success is what you make it. You can be successful or you can be a failure. I have chosen success. Failure is NOT an option. “Failure is impossible.” ~Susan Brownell Anthony.
Success, for me, is using my resources to their full extent. Seeking out wise counsel, being with my family, prayer, and trusting God.
Since the weather is getting warmer and summer is around the corner, my eating disorder thoughts have become loud and obnoxious. They are distorted and disordered. I have to remember: Psalms 139:13-14: “13 For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well.”
Is this not amazing?! How amazing OUR God is! He loves us so much, more than we will ever be able to understand. “Then He said to His disciples: ‘Therefore I tell you, don’t worry about your life, what you will eat; or about the body, what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: They don’t sow or reap; they don’t have a storeroom or a barn; yet God feeds them. Are you not worth much more than the birds? Can any of you add a cubit to his height by worrying? If then you’re not able to do even a little thing, why worry about the rest? Consider how the wildflowers grow: They do not labor or spin thread. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these! If that is how God clothes the grass, which is in the field today and is thrown into the furnace tomorrow, how much more will He do for you-you of little faith? …For your Father knows that you need them.’” Luke 12:22-28 & 30
Just thinking about how great our God is and how much he loves me, I begin to see the beauty that builds me. The beauty that strengthens me. The beauty that is me. This makes my recovery easier. (Not that recovery is easy, because believe me it is not.) To know how blessed I am, that I am taken care of, and that I can leave it all to the Lord, makes me feel safe. God is good! He made us in HIS image. Genesis 1:27.
We are like the wildflowers mentioned in Luke, beautifully created and crafted. Cared for by God. I will continue to be successful. Life is beautiful.