Many people struggling with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, often don’t want to admit it. Whether you’re amid your eating disorder, pondering over your treatment options for your binge-eating disorder, or are recovering from one of these conditions, you must know when you’re on your way to recovery. That way, you can celebrate them and keep moving forward. These signs can help guide your way:
1. You Take Pleasure in Eating Food That Used to Horrify You
It used to be very difficult for you to eat certain food (e.g., carbs, anything “dirty”). Nowadays, though, if allowed to eat something like a burger and fries, you jump at the chance. You even get excited about it! You have a newfound love for food and can’t wait to experience all the different sensations that delicious eating brings you.
2. You Start Eating Before Everyone Else Does
In the past, others might be sitting down to eat while you were still in the kitchen getting ready. Furthermore, maybe you’d even feel pressured to eat something before sitting down with everyone else as a way of “fitting in” or looking normal. Nowadays, though, if there’s food available, you start eating it before anyone else does. Furthermore, you’re also the last one to finish.
3. You’re No Longer Obsessed with Your Body Image
You used to find yourself frequently checking your appearance in the mirror (e.g., weighing yourself) or spending an excessive amount of time reading fashion magazines (or staring at women in fashion magazines and thinking, “I look nothing like that”). Nowadays, though, you barely notice when your appearance changes since you are too busy living your life to worry about how you look.
4. You’re Able to Laugh at Yourself
In the past, if something embarrassing happened or you ate something even slightly shameful (e.g., sinful food), you’d panic about it for days on end. Nowadays, though, if anything unfortunate happens, you don’t take it nearly as seriously, perhaps even laughing at yourself. Furthermore, you still think these things are embarrassing, but you don’t let them affect you nearly as much.
5. You Become Less Concerned with What Others Think of You
Perhaps you used to overanalyze every social interaction with other people in the past because their opinions of you were so important. Nowadays, though, if anything negative happens (e.g., someone doesn’t like you), it’s not such a big deal.
6. You’re Less Afraid to Speak Your Mind
In the past, you found yourself censoring everything that came out of your mouth to avoid disagreeing with others and upsetting them. If something did come out that was shocking, you’d apologize and try to take it back as quickly as possible. Nowadays, though, if there’s one thing you know for sure about yourself, it is that when you want to say something, damn it all, you’ll say it!
7. You’re Aware of Your Emotions
In the past, you’d frequently daydream about life. Nowadays, though, you are quick to notice when something is wrong (e.g., someone likes someone else) or when you feel confused (e.g., a new colleague at work).
8. You Want to Share Your Journey with Others
In the past, no one knew that anything was going on since you weren’t talking openly about your experience with an eating disorder with anyone in your life. If they did find out, though, it might be a huge surprise. And maybe even a shock! These days though, if people ask if everything’s okay because they’ve noticed changes in you, chances are excellent that you have the desire to pull them in and share your journey with them.
9. You’re More Willing to Take Risks
In the past, if anything undesirable happened (e.g., you threw up), you’d panic because for days on end after that, it would feel terrible. Sometimes it can be so bad that you honestly thought you might die from the experience. Nowadays, though, it isn’t a big deal if something undesirable happens.
10. You’re Comfortable with Your Identity
You used to fear that who you are at your core is not enough; instead, there was always an element of inadequacy attached to all things “you.” Nowadays, though, you are comfortable with the idea that you are good enough just as you are.
The bottom line is that you will notice various new changes as you recover from an eating disorder. In time, you will come to realize that your old habits and attitudes are changing and that your life is becoming all the better for it.