This past week I was faced with a situation which evoked a complex emotional response within me, plus a very unexpected couple of days of some very strong 'body consciousness'.
I have not felt any discomfort within my body, in terms of being hyper-aware of my body's presence, for a very long time...at least a couple of years.
When I was ill with anorexia, the body discomfort and consciousness was a constant 'feeling'. As I progessed through recovery, I discovered that those 'feelings' and the discomfort with my body, which were a large part of what triggered my eating disorder behaviors, were directly related to the build up of emotions I had inside.
So I began to use those moments of 'body awareness' to do some serious thinking about what was truly going on..what was I feeling, and why was it upsetting me? I learned to deal with what I was feeling, allow myself to feel it, and then move on...without allowing the body discomfort to take me back to my eating disorder.
This is one of the most important tools that I have discovered and learned to use in my life. Being able to separate my emotions from how I deal with food, or how I interpret my physical appearance has been critical.
This week? Those couple of days were important for me to realize that I'm pretty normal. How many women NEVER feel uncomfortable in their bodies? Probably none.
This experience was a reminder to me of the tools I have developed and have stored in my recovery 'toolbox'. My discomfort led me to identify those intense feelings, interpret them in a rational way, and eventually move on with a peaceful feeling.
The best part? I continued to feed my body with the proper food and amounts without hesitation.