In all of my years of doing this work, when I ask the question, "What do you imagine life would be like without your eating disorder?", the response I get the most is somehow related to freedom. Countless sessions have included discussions about what it would be like to go out to a restaurant and really choose what sounds good rather than what is least caloric. Or we discuss what it would be like to wake up in the morning and do whatever sounds fun, instead of obsessing about when exercise can be fit into the schedule. Or I've engaged with clients as they explore their fantasies of walking past the food court in a mall and not feeling called to have that extra meal that they aren't hungry for but feel compelled to purchase.
It's all about freedom really. Being able to tune into what brings you joy, relationships that bring authentic connection, and activities that soothe your soul – that is freedom. The path to freedom is not an easy one – it takes courage, it takes risk, and most often the beginning is rather uncomfortable. But when you hold onto freedom as part of the end goal, those uncomfortable moments may feel less like torture and more like an empowering challenge. In your own recovery, I encourage you to hold up that concept, that truth of freedom. Hold it up high as something that you are not only capable of achieving but worthy and deserving of experiencing.
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