Changing habits & reaching goals: what I’m learning.

I am a planner. I love to be organised, to set personal targets, and to schedule lots of things into my life. However, I’ve felt confused of late about how there are some things I never seem to cross of the to do list.

In search of answer, I did some research into how habits are formed, and how goals are more easily attained. A key point I found was the need for a reminder to do the new behaviour/start the task you put off every time. For example, to begin meditating daily you could do it after showering or brushing your teeth. It’s also true that some things will become habitual more quickly than others, and that isn’t down to personal failure!

This all led me to reading about goal setting, as I’ve decided to film my choreography and try to create a good amount of it (to build my confidence and to give myself a goal outside of “get x job”). I always knew that small and achievable targets are the way to go, but perhaps I was too vague. Instead, I need a deadline, a length and a brainstorm.

As somebody who hates to fail, maybe I set myself up to avoid failing. If I don’t set a deadline, it isn’t failure if I don’t do something, right? Well not this week!

Here I am, saying I have two very achievable goals for this week.

1. Keep up my streak of meditating everyday (using the free app “insight timer”) Do this either after dinner or when I wake up

2. Film a rough version of my ideas for choreography to the song I’ve saved on YouTube. Do this by trying things in the space at the gym, and get a rough chunk together

Make yourself some targets! Xoxo

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Supporting others.

I attended a peer support group tonight and we had some really great conversations. We discussed what defines success, how comparison can keep us trapped in our disorders, and each shared a bit of our current situation as well. It was like all the other times I’ve been, except I felt different. The combination of people seemed to work well, and I made a connection with somebody who I clicked with. Perhaps she will become a friend and we can mutually support one another in recovery. (I hope so!)

Everyone at the group comes across as kind, intelligent, and caring, but for whatever reason, I felt that sense of “this could work” with her. We exchanged numbers, and are attending another group together this Friday which I’m really looking forward to. It feels warming to know I’ve made someone feel welcome and comfortable. And on a personal level, the potential to have a friend close by who is in this with me would be of great benefit.

The best message that came from today’s conversation was the idea that recovery from whatever struggle you have opens the door for better things to come in. Be it romance, career advances, or a new home, losing an illness is gaining space for more. ❤️

Happy Tuesday. I hope whatever you did today, it was worthwhile xox

4 things to (accidentally) face recovery.

I’ve always thought that as long as I’m restricting and having obsessive thoughts, I can’t be recovering. Time and time again, I’ve put off recovery because I don’t want to eat more, gain weight, or surrender my control. I’m coming to realise that by believing this, I’m failing to acknowledge the mental work involved, and how even doing some of the things below are ways I can take tiny steps in the right direction.

1. SELF CARE. Take that bath, paint those nails, say no to things you don’t want to do. (Surprise! This supports having respect for my own priorities and needs. Eating disorders hate that)

2. BE GRATEFUL. Think of things that are a blessing- clean water, a home, a family etc. Millions of people don’t have ANYTHING. (Surprise! Gratitude can be a light in the dark hole of eating disorder self pity)

3. EAT MORE FRUIT AND VEG! And no, progress doesn’t have to mean eating more calories right now. Surely, any positive food change deserves credit?! (Surprise! This goes against all the ED black and white thinking)

4. BE OPENLY VULNERABLE. Even admitting aloud that I’m not always sure I want recovery, and that sometimes I imagine anorexia killing me as a “success” takes courage. (Surprise! Rumour has that courage is a key ingredient in recovery)

So, there we have it. These few things are helping me to see life through some clearer lenses. I feel awful and sad and lonely sometimes, but that’s okay. I’m in a place where I’m scared of letting go, while equally scared of the consequences of holding on. In the meantime, I know I am doing something. Small steps can be just as important as big ones.

Xoxo

Food plans.

One major difference between my Mallorca life and my UK life is THE SUN, oh but seriously, it’s scheduling (and the sun, but that’s too obvious 😂). While I was away, my routine was consistent 6 days of the week, so I could eat the same foods at the same time.

Fast forward to my current life, and my days are all different. Some days I can eat lunch at 12, but the next day not until 2.30. For an unknown reason my body worries are going crazy tonight and I’m desperately wanting a repetitive eating pattern 😭. I’ve planned for tomorrow and Tuesday, and maybe these days can be repeated on other days (I’m highlighting them in my notebook for safe keeping ahahah). I feel tired of having to plan my food, but if I don’t then I don’t ever feel settled.

This week needs to be a safe food week. Planned, predictable, not stressing me out type of week. PLEASE

My purpose.

I’m currently reading the Eating Disorders Anonymous (EDA) big book and workbook. I’ve done my step 1 work, and have started on step 2, in which I need to find a purpose or power bigger than myself to keep my focus and give me strength. For some this might be God, but I’m not religious. There are several suggestions and explanations, though nothing has struck me as the one just yet!

Fate and the idea of the universe rewarding hard work are some ideas I’ve thought of. My purpose needs to be more than to be a performer (I think), as it needs to be something to remind me that I’m a tiny part of the world when I’m sucked into spiralling thoughts, and to motivate me to be my best.

It’s not recommended to use being a good daughter/Mum/girlfriend etc, so I need to do some thinking about myself. What makes me feel truly connected to the world? What can be stronger than my fears day in, day out?

🤔 *any experience with this is welcome!*

Doing things for your own validation, approval & reassurance.

I crave a lot of reassurance, validation and approval. I have always worried and overanalysed what other people say or do, because deep down I want their judgement to define who I am for me. Often this desire comes from uncertainty within myself, and the hope that outer validation will make me feel secure. It doesn’t (for long, anyway!)

Equally, I like to be productive in daily life and have goals to work towards. Of course, succeeding at something brings congratulations and praise from those around me, and that temporarily will make me feel good. Eg. Getting an A on an exam in school would have been evidence I was intelligent, coupled with the reassurance by all the positive comments from family and friends. This was meaningless once another exam came up, though, and the feeling good about it was temporary.

Just like my cycle with my ED, I wanted something that was temporary to define and validate me as a person. Same result: never feeling secure. This is an issue for me in my eating disorder in terms of seeking reassurance about my body, as well as validation my illness truly exists.

I’m starting driving soon and I’m tempted not to tell too many people (partly so I don’t let anyone down if I fail) but also because I want it to be an achievement for myself. I don’t want to rely on other people telling me what a great idea it is to learn/ I’m sure you’ll pass etc etc. I want to develop my confidence at it on my own, and just for once not need the approval and praise of other people all the time.