As I enter my 10th year of bulimia recovery sometimes I forget how much it helps to share my life and experiences with people who are still struggling to find their way to lasting recovery.
I had an opportunity to be reminded of the importance of sharing about who I am and what life is like in recovery last week.
I’m in a circle (think tribe/inner family) with people in my local town who meet twice a month and support each other and what we’re up to in life. The basis of the group is founded upon a lot of the inspiration we get from Tony Robbins and his workshops/books/CD’s.[sidebar] Can’t help but take one paragraph to plug Tony Robbins and anything you can do with him. I’ve attended several of his workshops and they’re some of the best material I’ve ever consumed, love his CD’s and he just had great shit to teach others because he’s learned from masters.
Ok, back to what this post is about…me.
Well, it’s not really about me…it’s all about YOU.
I’m posting this FOR you. For your benefit. For your growth. For your mastery. For your transformation. For you to reach lasting recovery…over here where I am.
The path to lasting recovery isn’t straight and perfect and starts with A and ends with Z. It’s a squiggly road that meanders like an old country road over the hills and through the woods. It takes lots of twists and turns. At least that’s how it was for me as I found my way and now that I coach women to their sustained recovery I see it’s pretty much that way for all of us.
Yeah, there are a few overachievers out there who quit binging and purging like dropping the wrong guy. Well, that’s not what happened for me and I don’t see it often happening for those of us who’ve been on the ED track for 5 or more years. (most of my clients are nearer to 10-20 years into ED when they find me by the way). It’s a journey and you find yourself along the way.
Find a Model to Follow
Geez, I’m all over the place. Let me get to the point.
I’m writing this to share with you what I learned last week about modeling. Modeling success. Finding a winning solution and following it. Yeah, that’s what I’m hear to share.
Ok, so where do I start?
Well, like I started to say I was in my Tony Robbins circle and we had an inner wisdom question posed to the group. This is a question that we start each meeting with that usually gets you thinking – thinking new and different in a good way.
My friend who was leading the group said “what would your day have looked like if you started it and lived it as if Tony Robbins was IN your body?”
As soon as she said that I felt like a hopeless loser. I was like….Tony Robbins would crush his day! He’d leap out of bed, skip off to the gym, workout like a madman, get off to work and inspire everyone just by walking down the hall. He’d make a zillion dollars along the way and come home to make passionate love to his woman.
That was not exactly how my day had gone. But, I was inspired by the idea. I was inspired by the idea of thinking about how I would live my day, walk a day in my own shoes as if I were Tony Robbins.
What would Tony do here?
What would Tony do there?
What would Tony have to say about this situation? How would he handle this phone call or that opportunity?
What would Tony do?
That’s really what I was left with. Thinking over and over “what would Tony do?” as I thought in each moment as I went about my day…for the next sevearl days actually.[polly_book]
As I lived sort of from Tony’s perspective and thought about what he would do it inspired me to think about you and how I could be a teacher and guide for you. My tribe. My friend who may be struggling right now and wondering…well….what would Polly do?
Modeling success is something I’ve known and believed in for years. I think modeling Tony’s life and energy and patterns of thought lifted me up so much when I thought about living that way I’d share with you what my thoughts – as a recovered bulimic – were that it could help you. I hope you see why I’m about to share what I’m going to share with you and it’s not from an ego standpoint. It’s from a perspective of trying to be a guide and model for you that you can live up and into from wherever you are.
Please know that my perspective is just that…MY perspective. How I live is how I live. Period. It’s not how you have to or should to live. My hope is perhaps a few of the philosophies I’m about to share will inspire you to do something differently today.
As you read these, please promise me one thing. You won’t just read these.
I preface this now by saying stop reading if you’re just bored, surfing the web and want something to skim.
Just close this out now and go back to your life if you’re really not up for transforming your life.
If you aren’t ready to DO anything different, then save yourself the time and just stop reading now.
I want you to read these with an interest and an openness to finding something to try.
Something you can take on this week or this month and incorporate into your life as a stepping stone on your path to recovery.
…and if this stepping stone becomes the final piece in your path and you find lasting recovery I pray you’ll reach out to me and share that news with me. You know I collect bulimia recovery stories, right?
I would feel so much like my life was worth living because I had helped you along your path. That’s why I write this stuff…you know?!
Ok, so here goes…
What Would Polly Do…?
Here are some of my inner guideposts or philosophies that I hope will help you think differently about life:
- My Body Is Always Changing – day to day when I look at myself in the mirror I see something different every time. I’ve learned to accept and even appreciate what I see. Is my reflection something you’ll see in Vogue or on TV – oh hell no! I have learned that I am who and what I am. Inside out. Top to bottom this is what I’ve got to work with. The better I care for and love what I’ve got, the more others love and want to care for me (this includes men!). I’m not obsessive about my body. I’m not upset at my body for what it is. I look at it and some days it’s bumpy here, fuller there, tight in my jeans or wrinkly under my eyes. Some days I notice more grey hairs coming in, some days I see the bags under my eyes or I feel the tightness of my butt in my jeans. I just sigh and say “it’s ok”. There’s no sense in focusing on the little things because if I focus on them I just make them bigger. I notice and move on quickly. If my jeans don’t fit that morning, I quickly switch to something else to wear. Whatever it is about my body that’s seemingly off that day, I just don’t let it get to me. I shrug it off and get on to what makes me feel good. Sometimes I am feeling fired up and I give myself an old “‘atta girl” when I can. If I’ve had a killer workout or look particularly awesome in something from my closet I give myself a wink and say “damn girl, you’re rocking that!” Nothing like encouraging your self-esteem from within.
- Food is Fuel – I will admit…sometimes I find myself eating my emotions. There I said it. From time to time I eat chocolate because I’m stressed. I just don’t freak out about it! I notice it and I move on to thoughts that feel good. I recognize first and foremost that food is just fuel that makes my body go. Food is not something that will give me love or connection from within. Sure, a good treat can be a nice reward or comfort. Yet, I mostly have come to a place where I am at ease with food. I don’t give it any more importance than it deserves. I take good care of monitoring what I put into my body so that it’s mostly good for me, but I’m not fanatical. I don’t weigh and measure my food. I’m not on a diet. I don’t look at calories. I don’t track my food every day (note: sometimes I do track my food iif I feel like I’m outta whack or not feeling quite right. I find that when I write down what I eat each day I get more self-aware and that corrects any creeping bad habits from getting out of hand).
- Take Caring of Me is My Top Priority – If you get nothing else from this, please do me a favor and remember you’ve got to take care of you. In my eating disorder recovery coaching process I tell my clients about my concept of “extreme self care“. I call it extreme because in today’s hectic world we’ve got ourselves so busy running around we put ourselves last. Extreme self care means you do those things that may sound extreme, but actually are what most nourishes your soul and feminine energy within. I take care of me because it’s only when I take good care of my needs (which actually starts by identifying my needs which is sometimes easily overlooked) do I have the energy from within, the passion, the desire, the spirit to give anything to anyone else. If I’m running on empty or negative all the time because I’m tired, I’m hungry, I’m frustrated, or feeling ignored and lonely then i’ve got nothing to give others. My greatest gift to the world is good self care. Because good self-care and nurturing feeds me and allows me to overflow my loving energy to the world around me.
- Give Your Best – I know when I’m half-assing through life. I can feel it. I feel that inner cheater or demon creep in that tells me I don’t have to work so hard. I don’t have to do this or that. I have found that when I give my best effort and lightness of love to the world that I not only get better results around me, but I sure feel better about myself. How that often shows up for me is when I’m exercising. If I put in a good workout I feel so much better about myself than if I just go through the motions. Stop going through the motions in all areas of your life. If you’re going to be a mother, be a great one. If you’re going to be a friend, be a great one. If you’re going to try to achieve something you’ve never done before…man give it what you’ve got! Your self-esteem will be off the charts if you kick ass and take names. When you rise to the occasion and be your fucking awesome self…your results will not only show it to others but from within you’ll feel like a super star.
- Practice Feeling Good All Day Every Day – this one is a bit tricky. I don’t mean you have to never have a down moment or even a crappy day. Hell, I had a crazy day yesterday! What I mean here is that my #1 priority when it comes to how I go into my day is to find the things that make me feel good as much as possible. My focus is on doing what feels good and feeling good as much as possible. A few questions I often share with clients and friends are “what would feel better here?” and “which of these feels better?” and “what can I focus on to feel better?” Questions like these help guide me to feeling better when I’m off track. Negative feelings I’ve learned are just an indicator to me that I’m focused on something from a short-sighted perspective and if I can step back a few degrees a new perspective will feel better. If I’m not feeling good about something I either shift away from that thing, say something like “this too shall pass” or “I don’t have to think about that right now“, I try to see another side of the story or I just relax and trust that this is happening for a reason and is there to serve me. I do that in traffic a LOT!
I feel like I could write for hours, but I know you’ve got things to get to.
So, I’ll leave it here and invite you to share in the comments below what you’re taking away from this what you’re going to do differently today. What one new insight or idea or thought did you gleam as you read all of this that you’re going to try on for at least 7 days? You never ever ever leave the place of inspiration to do something new or different with your life without committing to trying something…and then doing that something, of course.
What’s the one new thing you’re going to do or stop doing that can cause a course shift in your life?
I look forward to reading your comments – or email me a question if there’s something I can help you with.
With love and light,