Body Image After Eating Disorder Recovery

Hi Sandy,
I’ve had an ED for 15 years and the last thing to go is the body image. I’ve been working on it pretty hard for a year and a therapist told me about tapping and this website.

I was anorexic for 15 years and now I’m at a “healthy” weight, I’m ok with the numbers is just what I see in the mirror I hate. I am a fitness professional, which makes it that much harder and that much more important for me to be a role model for my students.

I am always working and wanting a flatter stomache & thinner sleeker thighs. I feel bulky and ungraceful in this new body.(I didn’t like my old one either I should point out)

I desire more than anything to feel free in my body, love my body, and feel body confident. Help!

~ Amanda

Hi Amanda,

Wow you’re really in a tough situation… and I wish I could say “if you tap here three times you’ll feel much better”. You WILL feel better for tapping but the truth is, for the next while anyway, feeling at home in your body is a choice you make every day, and sometimes several times a day.

It’s the choice you make when you turn off the TV show that picks apart celebrities’ dress sense and bitches about their weight. It’s the choice you make when you DON’T buy the fashion magazine that showcases unnaturally thin girls and then photoshops them thinner and more ‘perfect’. It’s the choice you make when you notice that you’re comparing yourself to anyone else, whether your ‘bit’ is ‘better’ or ‘worse’ than hers.

In other words, it’s your choice every step of the way and it IS hard. Some days I think the whole bloody world is set on diminishing women by making us believe we’re not good enough because we have some new flaw someone dreamed up a product to ‘fix’. And they invite us to GIVE them our sense of self (and personal power) along with our money. And we do 🙂

Yes I’m cynical 🙂 However, I am also at peace with my body, and kinder to my body than I’ve ever been. Kindness is a tiny but HUGE change you can make in your relationship with your body. I’m sure your therapist has talked about eating mindfully – I’d like to invite you to be kind to yourself, mindfully.

Notice when you’re thinking unkind thoughts about your body, and then you can use tapping to change the feelings of ‘not enough’ that your unkind thoughts trigger.

So if you were to start with ‘feeling bulky in my body’:

Put your hands on your heart, both hands, crossed.

Close your eyes.

Focus on the sensations that come up in your body when you ‘feel bulky’. It’s likely a tightness, twisting or heaviness somewhere – for many women it’s right in the solar plexus (the energy centre that’s the seat of our personal power, surprise :)) Give that feeling a number – 10 is a volcano. It’s the number that pops into your head, not the one you logic into being 🙂

Stay focussed on that body sensation and tap (about 10 times) between your eyes – no need to say anything, just really stay focussed on the feeling.

Then tap the corner of your eye (about 10 times) – stay focussed on the body feeling, and keep breathing slowly and deeply.

Next tap underneath the middle of your eye (on the edge of the eye socket), staying focussed on the feeling.

Next tap underneath your collarbone, staying focussed on the feeling.

Now check in with your number again – is it less than 10? If it is, but it’s still higher than say 2, do the whole thing again. Find the feeling and stay focussed on it.

When you get to about 2, hold onto your wrist, like you’re making a bracelet with your fingers, deep breathe in and say ‘peace’ as you breathe out.

This isn’t an instant fix but that this point you’ll be feeling a LOT better about ‘feeling bulky’.

You might need to go deeper – who else in your circle has called themselves ‘bulky’? Who has called you ‘bulky’? How did you feel when that person said those words?

See where I’m going?

Every time you find a tight heavy twisty feeling about your body, do a quick round of tapping – it only takes one minute or less 🙂

Keep doing that on every thought and every feeling – when you’ve done 20 or 30 you’ll notice that mostly none of it bothers you as much. And if you adopt a daily 2 minute ‘feel good’ tapping practice it goes away.

Yes, honestly.

Anyway, have a go, let me know how you go – as I said earlier, this isn’t something you’ll fix in a minute but is something you’ll fix in just a few weeks. and then it’s up to you lovely one, to guard your mind and your body from the crap sellers out there, so you don’t fall back into the body craziness that makes them loads of profit, but causes you loads of misery.

Oh also – I love that you’re interested in being an example to your clients, you might be the only person in their life who doesn’t tell them to restrict food or overexercise.

How lucky they are to have found you!

I’d like to add though that it’s okay for them to know that you have struggled with eating and with feeling comfy in your own skin – so they see that someone they like and respect also struggles, and sometimes falls, but picks herself up again and takes the next step. So that they know it’s a journey, that you’re on the path slightly ahead of them, showing that it is a process and that it’s okay to take it one day (even one cupcake :)) at a time.

Thanks so much for getting in touch Amanda – and blessings to you on your journey. I’d love if you’d get back in touch and let me know how you go, or if you have any other questions.

Warmest wishes,

Sandy

 

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