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Inside and Out

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It is an interesting question, “How have I adjusted to life at a healthy body weight?” I have almost always been at a healthy body weight, except when I was borderline anorexic or when my weight zigzagged up to 35 pounds (16 kg) overweight. For most of my adult life, I have been within a normal weight range, but I got there and stayed there using a vast repertoire of unhealthy and tormented methods. My favorites included: not eating during the day when my body was hungry, but eating emotionally all night long; over-exercising; bingeing on carrots until my skin turned yellow; and abusing weight loss medications and laxatives.

In recovery, my weight didn’t change much, except to stabilize instead of fluctuate according to my emotional state. But everything else in my life changed once I committed to utilizing the Tools of recovery and applying the Twelve Steps in my everyday behavior. I learned from my first sponsee to cultivate an attitude of gratitude for a body that does what it’s supposed to do: my legs get me where I need to go; I birthed a healthy child at age 40; and my body is capable of giving and receiving physical love. I changed on the inside as a byproduct of living the program, and suddenly the body that used to bring me to despair now looks pretty good— amazing since I had body image issues for a fifty years, and I now have wrinkles, age spots, sags, cellulite, and grey hair.

I used to be afraid to reveal my “unacceptable” self to others, but after years of recovery, all of my relationships are intimate in nature because I accept all my flaws, external and internal. I accept myself. My physical relationship with my husband is better than it has ever been, although it is still hard for me to be completely undressed in front of him or in front of other women at my gym. Maybe there is still more recovery yet to come! That is why I keep coming back.

— Anonymous

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