Hey, there, Kayla here!
Today I want to talk about why it can be so hard for you to let go, like fully let go in your recovery. You might be at a place in your recovery … and this can happen at all stages. We can fall into this place of bargaining with ourselves. We want to recover. We like the idea of recovery. We know a lot about recovery. We’ve done our research. We know it. We understand it. It makes sense, but it’s really hard to do. We want to recover, but we also want to hold on to a couple of restrictions. They’re not going to be that bad. I’ve already come this far in my recovery. I’ve already gotten over this much. I’m already eating more than I used to. So, what’s wrong with staying here? I’m kind of recovered, and I feel good about it. I know deep down that I should recover more. I should let go of more things that are keeping me hostage, a prisoner, and I don’t feel fully free yet.
This is like deep down you know this, but surface level, you’re kind of lying to yourself. You’re in denial. You’re better off than you were. You’re better off than where you’re coming from. Then that should be good enough. That should be sufficient enough. You still feel like you’ve recovered, but you still feel like you’re somewhat safe. You still haven’t let go of the control that you’re still holding onto. You feel safe in your comfort. You’ve challenged yourself a bit or maybe a lot, but you’re still not out of your comfort, your full comfort zone. You’re still staying in that familiar misery to an extent.
This could be at different levels. You could be more early on and staying in complete safety zone, or you could be later on, like a year or something into your recovery, but you still haven’t let go of these couple or few restrictions or too much exercise for yourself, because that just seems too far out. You’ve already taken away this much from me. You can’t take that away from me kind of thing. You can’t take away my exercise, because of these reasons, even though you still don’t have your period back, or you’re still facing all of these starvation symptoms, like the horrible digestive problems. Your hair is falling out. You can’t sleep at night. You’re still using laxatives. You’re still using enemas or feel super fatigued and exhausted, or you’re still facing extreme hunger, even like a year or a year and a half in.
It could very well be that you’re still bargaining with yourself. You still don’t want to let go completely. You want to recover. You want to feel freedom. You want to do all of these things that I talk about and other recovery sources talk about, but you still want the body that you had when you were starving. You want to have freedom, but you can’t let go of the substitutes. You can’t eat the real brownie over the protein brownie that’s 70 calories. You want to eat the low fat dairy and not the full fat dairy. You want to eat the egg whites and not the egg whites and the yolks. You want to eat just one piece of bread, even though you’re craving two or three pieces of bread, or even more if you’re facing extreme hunger, like a whole loaf of bread.
You are eating more, and you’re not as restrictive, and you’re more free with the options that you have. You have way more variety, both whole foods and processed foods, but you’re still not allowing yourself to eat to full satiety. You could eat way more than you’re allowing yourself to. You may feel you want to eat earlier in the morning, but it’s too early in the morning, so you’ll be fine if you just eat a bigger breakfast later on. You’ve eaten a lot all day, but now it’s too late. It’s like 10:00 or 11:00 at night, and I’m really hungry ,and I can’t sleep, but I’ve already had this amount of calories. There’s no way I should deserve to have more calories.
You see what I’m saying? All of these things are lies that we tell ourselves to keep us stuck. These are the lies that we’ve come to believe and told ourselves over and over again, creating neural networks, neural pathways, that these are the habitual thoughts that we are telling ourselves, and we believe them to be true. We have to become first aware of these lies, and we have to replace them with the truth. You really have to question yourself. You have to call bullshit on yourself. Really, that’s a lot of what recovery is. To change these behaviors, to change these mindsets you have to call bullshit on yourself. You’re going to be the one that can either free yourself and set you free or keep you stuck. So, be honest with yourself. Calling bullshit on yourself is just being honest with yourself.
Also, what you have to do is you have to realize that the body is not the enemy here. The body is not the enemy.
I know we have fed into, again, lies that we’ve been taught, that the body’s here to deceive us. If it’s bingeing, then we need to stop it, and control it, and get it under control. Why is the body doing this to us? Why can’t the body just cooperate how we expect it to behave or cooperate? Why can’t it just recover quicker? Why can’t it just let go of this excess weight that I feel uncomfortable in right now? Why can’t I just get to freedom already? Why can’t I just be this intuitive eater now? I’ve been doing this for like three months, or I’ve been doing this for six months, or I’ve been doing this for a year, or even a year and a half. Why can’t I just be free already?
But if you’re not putting in the work, which is all these things, calling bullshit on yourself, facing the fears, getting out of your comfort zone, getting out of that safe zone, getting out of the control that you think you have, that’s how you get there, not by just thinking, “Oh. Well, I’ve been doing this to myself and my body for years, or even just six months or whatever, but whatever. My recovery should still be a lot quicker than this. It’s not fair that I have to go through this.” Well, it kind of is fair, because of what we’ve put our body through. It’s only fair. Luckily, we don’t have to recover as long as we did starve ourselves, or restrict ourselves, or over exert ourselves.
The unfortunate thing about our brain … Well, we have a lot of great things, but the brain or the mind can be our enemy at times. This is where you can call bullshit on yourself or be honest with yourself, because we can often reminisce, or miss our old body, or miss our old identity, when we’re going through recovery, and our body is changing, and we’re gaining healthy weight, and we start to reminisce about when we were smaller, or leaner, or fitter, or whatever, when we were starving ourselves and overexercising ourselves, and we had no life, and we didn’t have health, even though we thought we were being healthy and all of these things. What the brain does is in recovery it starts to remind you of the good things about when you were starving and depleting yourself. But what we have to do is we have to remind ourselves that it was miserable. It was not good. We were not happy. We were not healthy. We had a false sense of energy. It was not real, sustainable energy, and that’s why we crashed.
That’s why we fell into this whole recovery community, because it was not good. It was not good for us. That’s why when we look back and we start to list the things that were good, often that list is really short. It’s really like I was in a smaller body, or I felt in control, or I felt like I had more energy, even though deep down I was exhausted, mentally fatigued, just exhausted of it all, didn’t have a life, was not happy. Nothing was ever good enough. I thought that if I’d got to a lower weight or whatever, I’d finally feel good enough, but all of these things never came. So, it’s really bringing light to what really happened, because we have to see the disorder, the diets, the restrictions, the overexerting ourselves for what it really was.
We can often forget how bad it was, how miserable we were, and how much we had to sacrifice in order to maintain that type of body. We have to remind ourselves of the misery. We have to be like, “No. Wait a minute. It wasn’t good. Nothing good comes out of restricting myself. Nothing good comes out of sacrificing my life and relationships to go to the gym all the time or to maintain this unrealistic body. Nothing good comes out of going back to where I’m coming from. Nothing. I’ve tried it. I’ve tried it over and over again, and every time it gets me nowhere.” You know what I mean? And this is what I had to do. I had to remind myself of the reality, not just bits and pieces of the story that my brain was trying to remember.
You’re trying to bargain with yourself. You’re trying to only remember the good times or the positives about it, like we were just talking about, false positives and thinking about the control that you thought you had. You often get blinded with this fog, not seeing what’s really going on. You wanted it to be what you wanted it to be, not what it really was. That is, it wasn’t working. It wasn’t making you healthy. It wasn’t making your life better. It wasn’t giving you real confidence in yourself. It wasn’t sustainable fitness. It wasn’t a healthy or sustainable body, and it wasn’t authentic attention from other people. It wasn’t real connections. What we really have to see it for what it was and see it for what it is, and we have to treat it like a toxic relationship, because that’s what it is. It’s not a toxic relationship with your body. No. The body is not the enemy.
The body is your army. The body should be your best friend. Your body is fighting for your survival. It’s doing everything that it’s designed to do in order for your survival. The enemy though is the toxic relationship with your body, thinking that the enemy is the body, thinking that the diet restrictions, and the over-exercising, and the starving of the body, the depleting of the body, is what’s making you healthy, and happy, and free, because it’s not. That’s the toxic relationship, and it only wants to keep you down. It wants to keep you isolated. It wants to keep you depleted, so you can’t think straight, so you can’t live out your true potential and your full purpose that you were sent here to live out. If you were just a normal eater, you want to be caring about food or your body, and therefore you would have a lot more time and space to pursue your passions,, and serve others and be there for yourself and for your family, and be a human being.
What would you do with a toxic relationship? After the breakup, after some time goes on, the brain starts to reminisce on the good times and the good things that were there, even though they were far and few between. And even the good things weren’t even that good, if you really think about it. Then you kind of go back, and then you realize, you remember why you left that relationship, and then you’re like, “Okay. I’ve got to get away again.” It’s hard to get away, but when you do, then you’re committed and you’re ready to take on your life, free from that toxicity. Then the brain comes in, and it’s like, “Well, what about the good times? What about this? What about that?” But really what’s going on, it’s just comfortable, because it’s what’s been known. It’s that neural pathways. It’s that familiar misery. That’s what’s been in your life. That’s what’s known.
So, anything new that challenges you, even if it’s for growth, which challenge often makes you grow. Staying comfortable keeps you stuck and stagnant. In that time, again, you have to break that cycle and remind yourself like, “No., This is not what’s really going on. This is a lie. This is trying to keep me back, keep me stuck and this is not going to get me recovered. This is not the next step. What’s going to get me recovered and free is by breaking out of this, calling bullshit on myself, seeing it for what it is. It’s toxic. I can’t go back there. It’s not an option,” and you tell yourself it’s no longer an option. I hope this is all making sense to you.
It just so happens that I’m wearing my butterfly necklace today. I haven’t worn it in a while. I saw it, and I’m like, “You know what? I’ve got to wear it today,” because it kind of goes along with this topic, because I bought this when I was at a certain point in my recovery ,after full commitment, none of this yo-yo stuff and going back and forth. I was really like starting to feel the freedom and wanting to get back out into life and living again. I was really just starting to feel transformed. You’ve heard my stupid, cliche butterfly thing. This is where it comes from. In recovery we’re kind of in our cocoon at first. We’re kind of grieving the old identity and the old diets and grieving our old ways. It can be really emotional. We’re grieving the relationships that we lost and all this stuff, and we’re healing, and we’re eating a lot. All we can think about is eating, and resting, and all of that stuff.
Then we start to slowly come out of that. We’re kind of like the butterfly. It’s a symbol of transformation, or at least it was for me. That’s why I got this necklace, to remind myself of my transformation. It was a reminder and just a symbol that I had turned, completely turned from my old ways. The old ways, the old behaviors, the old coping mechanisms, the restrictive dieting and the over-exercising, they were no longer an option. I was really seeing the benefits of full recovery. I was finally starting to see it, although it wasn’t perfect, and I’m still not perfect. We’re never going to be perfect. But we start to see the fruits of our labor. We start to reap what we’ve been sowing. We’ve been putting in the hard work of recovery and really challenging ourselves and choosing to turn from our old ways. Now, we start to reap what we’ve been sowing.
Even if I would think of, you know, or get tempted by, “Oh. Look at this new, shiny diet. Oh, man. It makes a lot of sense. Oh, man. Maybe it’ll get this excess weight off, and maybe I can go back to that starved body and be healthy, because I’ve gotten to this point in my recovery. My metabolism is healed and weight stabilize. Maybe I could go back. Maybe I could speed things up,” those thoughts that come in. Although they come in and we may think of these things, they no longer have the strong hold on us. We are not chained to them. We don’t just blindly act on them, because we are aware, and we’ve built this steady foundation for ourselves, so that when they do come in, we can turn from them. We don’t have to give them power. We no longer act on them.
We may think of them. They may pop up, but it’s quickly like a, “No. Not going to happen. I know what comes of that. No, thank you. I’m going to keep going on what I’ve learned is my truth and what works for me, and none of that stuff works. I’ve been there, done that. Nope. Bye.” You know? They no longer control our days. It’s a symbol that we no longer give those thoughts power, and they typically come a lot less often than when we were actively feeding them. They might just be there because of the world that we live in today, or the family that we’re in, or the work environment that we’re in, or whatever. It might just be there, and it may trigger something, but we don’t give them power. We don’t feed into that, because we know recovery is true. We know our truth. We know what works for us.
Instead of those thoughts, the disordered thoughts starving me or starving you, I starve them, the thoughts. You starve the thoughts, and you do this by not feeding into them, not perseverating on them, not acting on them, not giving power to them, but by instead giving power to new thoughts, new, productive thoughts and new actions, new productive actions, recovery actions, the actions that we have to take to get us recovered. This is neural-rewiring by consistently and repetitively doing this when these thoughts come up, because the mental recovery is the hardest part of recovery. The physical recovery can be a lot easier, but the mental and emotional recovery, that’s habits. That’s change. That’s where the change really happens, because we dictate how our recovery goes by what we give power to in our recovery. We turn from our old ways, our old mindsets, our old behaviors, our old actions, and we replace them. We turn, and we replace, and that’s how you overcome this stuff.
That’s how you neurally rewire. That’s how you break free, and that’s what’s going to get you to the freedom and full recovery. Then you can use all of these tools for all these other things in life that we’re going to have to learn and be challenged on. It’s really great if you can learn how to do it in your recovery. That’s what’s going to get you recovered, and that’s what’s going to help you for the rest of your life. Okay? You don’t have to believe everything that comes into your mind. A lot of them are lies, and a lot of the time we’re going to have to start to tell ourselves the truth again. We have to parent ourselves through recovery, because we are adults. Most of us are adults, and we have to take responsibility for where we are. Although what has happened to us in the past, we can grieve that and feel that, but at some point we have to take responsibility to change. If we want to change, then we have to do the work.
I hope that this makes sense to you, and I hope that it helps you in some way, wherever you’re at in your recovery. Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. Thank you so much for watching. I really appreciate it. It means the world to me. If you’d like more help on your recovery outside of YouTube, be sure to check out my services. I do have a couple online programs (including one that is targeted on helping you break free from quasi recovery) that give you support week by week for several weeks, seven weeks, five weeks, or you could get both of them, or I do have private coaching as well, one-on-one. We can work together to see where you’re at right now and figure out a game plan to take you to the next step in your recovery and in your life and closer, getting you closer to getting your life back and your freedom back. I would love to help you in any way that I can.
Have a great rest of your week, and I’ll talk to you soon. 🙂
P.S. I’m hosting a free masterclass specifically for people who want to stop feeling obsessed around food and truly heal their metabolism and you’re invited! Click here to sign up.