There are endless self-imposed rules and regulations when you have an eating disorder of any kind. The recovery process is very much about unwinding and unraveling these rules, conditions, and stories. Over the course of the past 20 years of my recovery process, I have worked on allowing what has needed to surface surface, bringing my awareness to my dysfunctional patterns of relating to my body and my food intake, and make the necessary (and life-enhancing) shifts. Some of them have been incredibly ridiculous and were naturally able to shift – others have had lingering effects. Although I do consider myself healthy and grounded in my body and my self-care practices, I am aware that I have had one remaining “rule” that I was subconsciously enforcing.
That rule was…
I would not wear shorts.
My legs (and thighs in particular) were not, according to my eating disordered self, conducive to shorts wearing. So instead I would keep them covered – at any cost. Even in 95 degree weather on hikes I would wear yoga pants and gripe to myself as to how hot I was. Ridiculous! I would rather have kept to my rule than break it and feel relief.
Well, this Summer everything changed. At nearly 45 years of age I am finally wearing shorts. And not the ones to my knees but short shorts. And, you know what??? I love it! I love them! I love seeing the strength of my legs, feeling the warmth of the sun on them, letting them breathe, and I have pockets to put things in. It is a whole new world!
As silly as this may sound – it feels to be a tremendous leap in my recovery process and one that I do not take lightly.
Working with women in recovery is the deepest honor. Witnessing them reclaiming their bodies, their hearts, and their souls is magic. Each turning point is a milestone for them no matter how small it may be to others. I never imagined that: A. It would take me so darn long to wear shorts and that, B. It would be such a life-altering, liberating, and empowering experience.
Honor these milestones in your recovery – all of them – as you never know where the next one will lead or the next one or the next one and, maybe 20 years later, you will have your own version of shorts wearing liberation to share.