Catch the Moment
The other day I nearly missed a key moment.
I was with my wife and children at the shore. The shore is the same thing at the beach, except it is in New Jersey where they call it "the shore."
We were sitting out in the sun and I got the "nod" that I could go into the water and my wife would watch the kids for a few minutes.
I love that nod.
I jogged out into the ocean jumping over each wave that crashed until I finally dove under the water and fully committed to the task at hand.
Body surfing time
If you have ever gone body surfing, you know that "catching the wave" is more science than art. Any given wave has about 12-18 inches of "go space" that you have to catch at just the right velocity, otherwise you are too far ahead or too far behind to really ride it in.
However, the task of eyeing the right wave is more of an art than a science. Each time you allow a "good" wave to pass, you are hoping that the "better" wave is next. It is a constant gamble where you wager your joy and happiness on a decision you have to make with limited information (in 1-2 seconds).
But sometimes, you just feel it.
"You Just Feel It"
You just know, deep in your soul, that a huge wave is coming - so you wait.
And I waited.
One... two... three waves...
And there she was.
I think that finding motivation to recover from an eating disorder can have a lot of the same elements. Like that transition? ;)
"Motivation" is an odd word. I mean, what is it? Is it a feeling, a belief, a commitment, or a thought? It is tough to really parse out isn't it?
But if you have an eating disorder and have had moments where you were motivated (however brief), then you know that motivation is can be a powerful thing.
3 Ways to Increase Motivation
Below you will find a list of 3 ways to increase motivation in your recovery pursuit. They may appear overly simplistic, but they are really valuable keys that may help you or a loved one.
1. BE AWARE
Be aware that strong eating disordered thoughts will come. It sounds simple, but planning for these times when you will experience strong urges can help you be wise in facing them. You don't have to wait until you experience the urge to decide what you will do. If you have already decided what you will do when the eating disorder thoughts come, you may have a much easier time telling them off ;)
2. HIGH FIVE PEOPLE
Ok, so what I really mean here is celebrate your successes. Find supportive friend and family to celebrate you facing your fears. Note: Yes, this means you should face your fears. In fact, you should set goals of facing different foods, experiences, emotions (yes, emotions), and anything that is difficult. Consider starting with less difficult things, but don't let yourself get stuck in them. Remember, one step at a time changes the direction of the whirlpool. You gotta fight for it. But as you do, and as you celebrate all that is going right in your pursuit of recovery, life gets a lot easier and a lot more fun!
3. MEANING MAKING
Recovery has to be "for" something. There has to be a sense of meaning and purpose in changing. What do I mean? If your soul has not connected at all with the idea of facing the eating disorder, then it will be far more difficult. On the other hand, if your soul has connected with something to recover for... a reason to live your life outside of the eating disorder... then recovery becomes more about pursuing what you love! The fear and difficulty itself becomes less and the idea of what you will do when you are well becomes more.
These three things may help you gain a sense of motivation and momentum in your pursuit of lasting change. Keep in mind that some days will be far more difficult than others.
And this is normal.
But, keep your heart and soul on the idea that recovery, I mean full recovery, really is possible, and you just might feel more motivated. Be aware that these thoughts will come. Surround yourself with loving people who you can celebrate all that you are doing right with. And connect with what you want your life to be when you are well.
Thank you for reading this. Please feel free to contact me with any thoughts or ideas.
The purpose of this blog entry is to share eating disorder recovery related ideas and does not represent professional medical of psychological advice from Mike Thomas or Recovery Spark. For professional advice, please connect with the professional eating disorder specialist that you work with.