Listen to your body, it knows what it needs.
For so long, I tried to ignore the signals that my body was desperately sending me. First, it was “stop moving, please rest for just one day”. A regimented exercise schedule left my body tired and defeated and it tried to tell me this in any way possible. My muscles were excessively sore and my body felt limp and exhausted. Each morning getting out of bed was a struggle, yet I persisted and pretended that my body was wrong; it did not know what I needed. One rest day would stir up to much anxiety to be afforded.
Next, it was “please nourish me, I need real food.” At first, I responded and increased my food intake in line with my newfound movement routine. However, these hunger pains soon started to scare me, and I began to push them away altogether. I instead gave my body exactly what it did not need at the time: vegetables and fruits. Not a balanced and healthy diet but a stilted and disordered diet that completely cut out essential nutrients. Hunger was but a feeling for me, it was nothing to respond to immediately. I ignored the signal for so very long that it actually started to fade away. Realizing that its plea would not be met with action it quieted down. One of the scariest parts of treatment has been the return of my hunger cues, and realizing that my body will not be denied forever.
Every day I am struck by the subtle complexity of the body. Its one desire is to keep you alive, and it will do so in anyway it can. I no longer regard hunger cues as evil but rather a reminder message from my body. “We need to keep living and keep the energy up, but we need more nourishment to propel you through life.” Eating seems so simple to most, it is human nature, but an eating disorder ruins this perfect simplicity. Recovery is about fighting to give your body’s natural signals control yet again.