Don’t be thrown by the title—there’s no need for concern. I’m not at any risk (that is if you exclude the Swiss Alps hike to the Hornli Hut at the base of the Matterhorn that I’ll be leaving for shortly). And let me confess—I’m afraid of heights and precipitous drops.
Curious? Check out this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcoU0dlep6s from ~2mins.
But really. I’ve often thought about what I’d want my eulogy to read, when my time has come. I see it as a kind of blueprint, a how I want to live my life and be remembered. What will my legacy be? What messages will I have conveyed to the people I care about? And yes, that includes you, readers.
I can’t help but think of this as I’m sitting with patients who are struggling with their eating disorder or an unhealthy relationship with food. I think, Is this the focus that you want to define you?
Beth was an accomplished dieter. She was proud of her ability to keep her weight to XYZ pounds. (I’m trying not to make this triggering). It made her feel she was successful, limiting her foods to six safe items, and controlling her appetite for temptation. It was what she felt she did best.
Beth leaves 3 daughters whom she has endowed with a love of dieting. They are preoccupied with their appearance and are following in the footsteps of their mother. Excessive exercise consumes them, as does a keen determination to choose good and healthy foods. Their eating issues may have had their start in genetics, but their beliefs about foods and their effect on their body, and their behaviors around eating and exercise have, in part, been learned.
Beth could be any one of my many patients wrestling with their eating, before they’ve turned the corner and took control of their disordered eating. They’ve lost perspective about what’s important in life. They’ve forgotten who they really are—their interests, their passions, their dreams. They’re stuck, limited in part by fear—What else am I capable of succeeding with? How else will I be able to manage without my best friend, Food or ED? What would my day and life be like if I had to really live and experience disappointment and pain, as well as pleasure?
Life’s too short to be stuck in this place. If you’re like Beth, it’s not too late to turn your situation around. “Where do I start?” you’re thinking?
|Isn't this WOW? Posters can be ordered from their site|
Get your supports lined up to allow you to better nourish yourself. This includes a team of experienced providers—a physician, therapist and Registered Dietitian, as well as friends and/or family members. Keeping your struggle a secret helps you maintain the status quo.
Consider the consequences on those that you love, on those that model your behavior. Yes, I’m thinking about your children, and the children you might plan to have. It’s never too early to shift your thinking and your behaviors.
Ask yourself “Is this really how I want to be remembered?”
Be fair to yourself. Change takes time. How long did it take to develop your current eating issues? You can’t expect it will change overnight. Patience and compassion, my friends!
|View from the top of the Matterhorn where I won't be going. I do know my limits!|
As for me, I’m planning to push past my anxiety about heights and attempt to reach the Hut. Because I know that the vistas will be stunning and awe inspiring. And because each time I have pushed myself through such challenges in the past, I’ve emerged with an amazing sense of accomplishment and incredible pride. And perhaps, I put this out here to you to be certain I follow through with my plan.