Your body: Do you watch it or experience it?
One of my pet peeve's in life is when someone talks during a TV show or movie. It makes it really hard to focus on what is happening.
The best analogy I can come up with for having an eating disorder is that it is a little like having someone talk throughout a movie. It was impossible to be fully present because I was constantly having side conversations with my eating disorder.
Some of those conversations sounded like, 'ok, you are about to walk past a shop window, act as though you are looking in the shop but check out your body...yup, it's gross. Everyone else thinks it's gross. You've got work to do.' Doing this while talking with a friend was hard. She became the background noise while watching my body became the movie.
Now, there is a reason 3D movies in particular are awesome - it is because we get a better experience of the movie. I still remember watching Avatar in 3D and having the ash fall around me when they were burning the sacred forest. The profound sadness I experienced at this point was amplified by the fact I felt as though I was in the movie, rather than watching the movie.
The opposite was true for living a life with an eating disorder. I constantly felt as though I was watching myself rather than being myself.
Being recovered is like being the star of the movie.
No longer do I constantly watch my body in reflections and mental replays. No longer do I criticize my earth suit. Today I experience my body - by riding a scooter, swimming in the lake, playing volleyball with friends.
Today I love my earth suit because to do anything else is to buy into the system of oppression that held me captive in the first place.
So, are you watching your body or are you the star inside of it?
If you find yourself watching, imagine you are in a 3D or better yet - 4D movie. What can you do to experience the world around you and be in it, rather than watching it?
If you are outside, intentionally take the time to feel the wind on your skin. Not just for a second but for long minutes. See if you can notice the slightest touch.
Next try to expand your hearing - there may be a voice in your head and I urge you to go beyond it, listen for the quietest sounds you can notice and you will notice, when you do this the eating disorder momentarily dips in volume.
Practicing experiencing life can feel elementary, yet it is an elementary skill that many people with eating disorders temporarily lose the ability to do. In order to live fully, you must experience life fully.