So today I had my last counselling session. I have now been officially discharged as someone whose eating disorder is in remission.
It's only taken me 20 years to get here. It feels amazing. I know where my issues stemmed from and more importantly I understand how the way I think fuels them. I have learnt a new way of thinking that derails all those past negative thoughts. Is that it? Is it all over now? Well no, still lots to practise and I am going to get thrown off course from time to time, but its now about how I handle that.
A couple of great examples over the last few days really illustrate to me how aware I am of my negative thoughts and how I have learnt to rein them in buy basically throwing a heap of evidence and logical thinking at them - they stand no chance! :-)
First example was on Sunday when I made a batch of chocolate and courgette cookies to leave for the babysitter. Now I love these and haven't made them for ages, so I wanted one. I was supposed to be going out for dinner and had said I would have a syn free day to compensate (not over-compensate!) But I decided you know what one cookie was OK. I have learnt (but am still practising!) that the edge of my healthy eating plan can be stepped over for a specific thing I choose to have, and it isn't disaster. I enjoy the treat and then step calmly back into the healthy eating mode. Now if I had two or three cookies that would be taking the mickey, but my clear choice was I am comfortable with one cookie, I ate it mindfully, I enjoyed it and there was no guilt. Very good balanced behaviour *yes* Sadly the whole think became a non-existent issue in the long run as I came down with a stomach upset (some left over broccoli I think but def not the cookies I hasten to add!) and we didn't go out to dinner and I ate nothing until the following morning! Oh well!
The next example was the old 'how to accept a compliment' issue, yeah I know a lot of us struggle with that one! Well my husband made very approving noises about an outfit I had worn, so I asked him if he had liked it. I am doing this a lot at the moment as I am playing with a few different looks as my body shape is changing. The outfit in question was a pair of fitting blue jeans and a plain white shirt, he said he liked it and something alone the lines of it being simple and elegant. 'Awww that's nice' I think for about two seconds when in pops 'That means he doesn't like your more busy, flowery Joe Brown type outfits... which I love... Oh no :-(' But this time there was a quick pause as I went into my helicopter view went 'hmmmm did he say he didn't like those other outfits? No! So just because this outfit is a positive it doesn't make other outfits a negative' and *boot* the negative thought was out the window and I was able to smile and take the compliment!
*phew* this is knackering beyond believe, second thinking myself and hunting for evidence all the time. But my goodness is it worth it and really really starting to pay off. Long way to go, but I have momentum to keep going.