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 Post subject: What does WILLINGNESS look like for you?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 6:37 pm 
orange is a state of mind

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In my opinion, willingness is one of the most important concepts to understand and engage in in recovery from an eating disorder.

Russ Harris' definition of willingness: you’re willing to endure the discomfort not because you want it or enjoy it, but because it gets between you and where you’re going.

A very dear friend of mine once defined willingness to me as simply doing whatever it takes.

In regards to true willingness, I think it is important to understand that it implies DOING. Willingness is NOT simply a burning desire to get better, how much you want recovery, rather, it implies ACTION, moving your hands, feet and mouth, regardless of how unpleasant the consequences, aligning your actions with what you truly value and want your life to look like.

Russ Harris points out (this paragraph is more or less plaigarised from The Happiness Trap) that willingness has no shades of grey. Willingness is an all-or-nothing experience, like being pregnant or being alive. Either you're willing or you're not - there're no in-between. (In a state of "inbetweenness" there will invariably exist some amount of RESISTANCE.) This all-or-nothing property of willingness is expressed in the anciet eastern saying: you can't leap a chasm in two jumps.

Back around March of this year, I was faced with a very clear choice, engage in willingness, really engage in it with every inch of my being, or miss out on a 5 week back-packing holiday through Africa. I chose willingness. At that time, for me, willingness looked like: (I posted this in Nessie's journal recently :))

-Binning all nasty diet pills/laxatives/god-knows-what-else I had stashed
-Cancelling my subscription to a "health" magazine and binning my collection of probably hundreds of dieting cookbooks/magazines and fashion related publications
-Agreeing to be weighed by my dietician
-Following my refeeding mealplan RELIGIOUSLY, even if I binged for some reason
-Ridding my fridge and pantry of any and all diet products and committing to only eating "regular" foods when I ate out
-Emptying my wardrobe of all my "sick" clothes
-Commiting not to watch triggering shows of TV (which included Australia's Next Top Model at the time...)
-Journalling every day
-Not cancelling medical appointments as a means of avoidance
-Being 100% honest with my fiance and medical team
-Deleting my account on a calorie counting website and committing to not calorie count in my everyday life
-Committing to not weighing or measuring myself at home

......to name a few!

My question to y'all therefore is: what does willingness look like for YOU. If, hypothetically, you decided to do everything within your power to rid yourself of your eating disorder, what would that everything look like for you?

Be rest assured, by trying this exercise noone is going to be holding you accountable to anything you don't want to do, however it's a beautiful way of increasing your awareness of the disordered things you are still holding onto, the little bits of sickness, the little bits of resistance that are still keeping you in a state of ambivalence, that are keeping you from a life of genuine freedom.

:x


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 26, 2010 8:43 pm 
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A wonderful post.

I absolutely do not want to "steal" your topic, but here is a way I found this slightly easier to do.

Imagine what tomorrow would be like if you suddenly woke up and did not have an eating disorder. Write it down. Notice the details. They may or may not have anything to do with your eating disorder.

Then see how many of those things you are willing to change.
Did you mention how you would not step on the scale right when you awoke? Then don't. Did you mention that you wouldn't even have a scale to step on? Get rid of it. Did you think about what sort of outfit you would wear? Wear it. What did you have for breakfast? Eat it.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 9:01 pm 
orange is a state of mind

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delenda wrote:
Imagine what tomorrow would be like if you suddenly woke up and did not have an eating disorder. Write it down. Notice the details. They may or may not have anything to do with your eating disorder.

Then see how many of those things you are willing to change.
Did you mention how you would not step on the scale right when you awoke? Then don't. Did you mention that you wouldn't even have a scale to step on? Get rid of it. Did you think about what sort of outfit you would wear? Wear it. What did you have for breakfast? Eat it.


Delenda, I LOVE this :) This is EXACTLY what willingness entails; visualising yourself in that "ideal recovered state", then ploughing ahead and demolishing EVERY obstacle that is blocking your path in order to get to that end-goal.

I just wanted to add that willingness does NOT have to equal perfection in recovery. It just means you do your very darnedest, you RESIST RESISTANCE at all junctures and you never ever EVER quit.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:38 am 
orange is a state of mind
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Here was mine:

Wake up. Enjoy the sunlight streaming the window. And being able to roll over and go back to sleep
Have a big mug of tea and some toast with butter and peanut butter whilst playing with the dog
wash face and brush teeth, whilst listening to the radio, humming along to whatever is playing
Have a brief look outside and quickly throw on some clothes
Take the dog for a walk
Come home, check emails and facebook, watch some daytime tv. Preferably Ellen or Oprah
Sort out work bag, make some food- pasta, and some snacks- chips nuts and fruit
Texts friends about weekend and day and other random things
Drive to work
Go to starbucks on the way, pick up a grande extra caramel brulee latte
Teach dance, having fun with the kids and having a positive effect
Chat to a friend in the break
Eat all food whilst at work
Drive home
Have a big bowl of cereal, some fruit and some juice
Have a bubble bath and wash hair
Lie in bed on the laptop
Go to sleep



I would love to have this day

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:41 am 
orange is a state of mind

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^Sounds glorious :)

What would you need to do to get you there that you aren't already doing?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:44 am 
orange is a state of mind
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To be able to do this day
I would need to :

not jump on the scale as soon as I get out of bed
not try on 10 different outfits because I dont think I look in good in them
not spend most of the day working out what to eat, but just have want I
eat my food at work

I am going to try tomorrow,,well today its like 2am

I will not weigh myself, and I will have the type and quantities of food that my body wants and needs

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:12 am 
orange you glad?
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I think this is a brilliant exercise, especially to those of us who keep trying to convince everyone, including ourselves, we're moving forward when more than likely we're just standing on a treadmill.

Being one of those people, I will ask myself: "If, hypothetically, you decided to do everything within your power to rid yourself of your eating disorder, what would that everything look like for you?"

-Loosen routines/control
-Increase my portion sizes
-Get enough of every food group, not just fruit and veg
-Still allow myself to eat chocolate and cake as I have done since I can first remember
-Learn when I have had enough so I do not feel guilty/ill afterwards and question myself
-Not count calories!!
-Recognise when eating disordered thoughts are distracting me from more important issues and resolve them
-Remember that this will take time, and I will get better and worse and better but that I will not give up. >;D


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:27 pm 
orange you glad?

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Here's my recovered day so far:

    I woke up to see my girlfriend sleeping next to me. Then I looked outside the window to see it's still snowing, which means first truly winterly day around here!!! :clap: And it looks beautiful. So I smiled.

    Then I smiled seeing myself in the mirror and took a nice, hot shower.

    I wore clothes that I feel comfortable and quite good-looking in and also I'm having a good hair day and I've put some mascara on my lashes so my eyes would look lovely and less tired (studied a lot yesterday).

    Then I had breakfast - nesquik cereal (so a chocolate ones, which is sth I don't usually do as I tend to stick to 'healthy' foods only, especially when it's a meal not a snack) and some juice, which made me feel energised and healthy at the same time.

    After that, I went to school and took my exams. On my way, I enjoyed the snow even though I might as well be stressed about my exams. I wasn't - took one thing at the time and snow is more important :D I waited for it for so long. And my exams went good, I think :D

    One more important thing happened at school today - I drank ice tea drink (like tea in a can), which I wasn't able to convince myself to for so long - I mean, hello a beverage that contains calories and isn't a juice? No way... Hell yeah, yes way cause I say so. :x

    I came home (putting my hands in the snow on my way back), drew a smile on my belly like that one :D, I shared a pizza for lunch with my girlfriend and my sister, and spent some quality time with my gf (she brought for a snack before lunch and I didn't hesitate to eat it). It was nice to finaly be able to spent some quality time with her at my place.

    Now I'm studying and drinking my tea. I'll do some yoga later, another part of 'me time' today. If I have some time I might catch up on a tv show or sth, but as with everything that is going on today - no pressure. :D


So today: no scale, no calories, no complaints, no bad mood, no perfectionism, no bitching, just a random recovered day :)

Btw. this is such a great idea :heart:


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:15 pm 
galactic orange
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Quote:
I think this is a brilliant exercise, especially to those of us who keep trying to convince everyone, including ourselves, we're moving forward when more than likely we're just standing on a treadmill.


yeah, i just realized today that this is me. its really discouraging..BUT-i guess all i can really do is keep trying, so here's MY perfect day.

-be able to sleep past 8 am!! wake up to the sun and the sounds of my daughters playing happily in their rooms.
-get everyone dressed and head out for breakfast at one of our favorite places.
-go to the zoo with my family, and let the kids do EVERYTHING they want to do. eat lunch at one of the horribly expensive places there, and let the kids (and myself) shop at the souvenir shop.
-come home, have a family nap.
-make dinner, play with the girls til bedtime.
-snuggle up with my husband under a blanket and watch some lame movie we've seen a hundred times...fall asleep next to him on the couch.

--OR, ON A KID-LESS DAY--

-sleep in until i feel like rolling my lazy ass out of bed!
-take a long shower, get dressed.
-meet up with my sister at a local salon/spa.
-spend the day being pampered...massage, facial, gourmet lunch, mani/pedi, hair.
-go shopping for an amazing new outfit.
-have a night out, just me and my sister, at a super fancy, snobby, cocktail club..then out for some dancing.
-hit a drive-thru on the way home for some yummy drunk munchies!
-collapse into bed feeling silly, full, and happy.

to accomplish this, i need to:
-be willing to admit that i AM imprtant enough, and deserving of, some pampering and fun.
-SPEAK UP and tell my husband what i feel like our family (and myself) need!
-be able to spend some money on myself and my family without feeling gut-wrenching guilt.

none of these things that i need to be willing to do are actions really..which makes it hard. its a matter of changing my beliefs about MYSELF and what i am/am not entitled to. its about finding myself WORTHY, and that is proving to be very difficult! i've managed to not weigh myself, i've managed to keep eating when all i want to do is starve..but man, its really REALLY hard to change the other stuff! here's to hoping it gets easier with practice!!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:59 am 
orange is a state of mind
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Willingness today-

Was being honest with not only myself but my support team, and also admitting to being dishonest with not only them but myself

Giving up my scale-

I know that I CAN NOT get better when that thing is in my bathroom calling at me to become obsessed
It feeds the lies I tell to myself and others
and that will NOT help my recovery

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 5:15 am 
orange is a state of mind
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Kizzi wrote:
^Nat, these things are HUGE :smile: :obanana: I'm so proud of you chickadee!!! :heart:



Thank you so much kizzi!
and thankyou again for your amazing journal
i use so much of it for my notebook, which I put quotes in etc to help with anxiety etc
you are awesome! :heart: :heart: :heart:

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 7:00 am 
galactic orange
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hmm..since i read this late, willingness YESTERDAY was:

-EATING! lol..i know its kind of a "duh"..but i was feeling (and to myself, LOOKING) just horrible, and all my Ed wanted me to do was starve. but i ate breakfast, lunch, AND dinner. i even had a snack :)

TODAY...willingness is/will be:
-wearing what i want to wear, not covering myself up because i am feeling insecure.
-continuing to fight against Ed and disobey him when he is screaming so loudly at me. again, today the goal is simple (and NOT so simple)..EAT. and eat what i want.

thanks so much for the support, kizzi! :heart: it really means a lot.

missnat--the best thing i did was get the scale OUT OF MY BATHROOM..lol. i hate the damn thing..


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 02, 2010 2:39 pm 
orange you glad?

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Today my willingness was about telling my mind that it's not necessary anymore to compare me with every other girl I'm passing by. Telling it that it can relax or that we could think of a productive way of spending the rest of the day.

Yesterday, it was about eating two fried things on the same day, which was a huge step out of my comfort zone. But it was cold here and I felt like eating those foods. Then, I showed some compassion, allowing myself to feel a be it anxious but not dwell into that feeling at the same time. Instead I focused on preparing to my French test.

And today, my lunch also included some fried poultry. My stomach got a bit upset afterwards, but I didn't feel guilty or anything, because I enjoyed my meal.

The most important thing though was not letting the some hurtful things I heard yesterday to affect my today's willingness.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:58 pm 
galactic orange
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hm, TODAY, willingness was KEEPING my dr. appointment, NOT LOOKING when i was weighed, and asking for a referral to a dietician. :) i quite honestly don't know HOW to eat, and i was able to admit that i needed help with it today. my doc is going to call them, tell them about my ED background, and then set up an appointment. yay. :heart: AND--i asked her to call around for therapists who specialize in ED's. i currently am a therapy drop-out because my last one was HORRIBLE. SO--hopefully things can just keep getting better!


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 03, 2010 5:44 pm 
orange is a state of mind
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Today willingness was-
not weighing myself
and actually not thinking about the scale till lunchtime
talking to my friend and admitting that I've haven't been doing so well instead of pretending everything was fine

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