Day One, Success

Help me out here …

What defines “success” when, in a nutshell, you’re someone who started out dieting, developed humiliating disordered eating behaviors as a result of OCD/Type-A/perfectionist tendencies, conquered most of said behaviors but got lax, gained a little weight and still struggles with emotional eating?

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, especially since my über-cathartic posts this week.

What it comes down to is that I  think the definition of “success” — especially with respect to recovery — is very, very subjective.

I only know what “success” is to me. And maybe that’s OK … I can’t compare myself to how you recovered, or how my friend so-and-so lost weight, or how my third-grade teacher overcame X hurdle. I can only determine my own success, compared to my own expectations of success.

That said, looking at my day yesterday, I’d say it was a success.

I had a nice night with my hubby (who woke early today to study instead of last night, so we had some time together).

I didn’t eat emotionally.

I ate balanced meals and snacks.

I didn’t restrict myself (I had a delicious champurrada that my husband brought back from Guatemala).

I made a general meal plan.

I exercised moderately.

And didn’t buy anything I hadn’t planned on buying.

No, I don’t expect to be “perfect” — I’ve gotten past that, to some extent, trying to approach things realistically now — pragmatically.

Still, I know that I’m the type of person who works well within boundaries; that’s one of my strengths, according to Dr. G. Instead of fighting it — I ought to acknowledge what I learned in therapy and actually apply it to this situation now.

Because the truth is, I’ve done it before, and can do it again.

Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts today. Oddly, I haven’t been thinking obsessively about food or exercise since I had this catharsis early this week … funny how that can work …

I really am a firm believer that awareness IS half the battle.

How about you? What does “success” mean to you at the moment? Is it about a certain goal you hope to achieve? Perhaps something at work, totally unrelated to food/exercise?


8 thoughts on “Day One, Success

  1. I hate to get cheesy but I think it’s about being happy. And not being hard on yourself, loving yourself, and accepting who you are unconditionally. Or something like that. 🙂

  2. For me sucess is about balance. I binged on some cookies yesterday but I stopped myself. I went to the gym with a plan to kick my hiney and possibly hurt myself and stopped with just getting a good workout. Eating out and enjoying myself occasionally sans points.

    It all adds up to balance and I’m okay with that. My life is about little ups and downs and that’s normal. I just need to keep more balanced.

  3. success for me is going to be getting out of my house.
    if i had been told 3 months ago that my goal would be leaving my house… i would have most probably laughed.
    I have succeeded in a step already.
    a few weeks ago i started really trying for recovery. making healthy goals, healthy choices, choosing the right path finally!
    instead of making goals about restricting and numbers.yay

    1. LouLou, sometimes that really is the first step–leaving the house to work out or face the world. No shame in that. Congrats on your progress so far. Awareness really is the first step. Action follows subsequently.

  4. Yes, I think success is entirely subjective. I’ve disagreed with people who say that they think being “recovered” is 100% possible. Then I realized that we believe the same things, but our definition is different. I feel like I’ll always be “in recovery.” I don’t say this in a depressing way. I realize that what I mean by “in recovery” is pretty much the same as what someone means by “recovered.” I can treat myself well, eat/exercise in a healthy way, feel good about myself…but remain humble to my past struggles. That, to me, is “in recovery.” I’m always very hard on myself so maybe I’m just reluctant to fully celebrate the success of things. People would look at my life and say it’s “successful,” but I still feel like I have to publish my fiction, find happiness, etc, etc. Then again, happiness is an arbitrary concept too, sort of like success. It’s really about how you feel about yourself and your own progress.

    1. Thanks, Kim! I see it very much that way, as well … as a process. Though I never dealt with anorexia or bulimia, I know I was often on the edge of having a more serious problem, and I think that awareness is very integral to our success.

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