Celebrate the “Small” Wins
Author: Breanna Mills R.D.
Recovery from an eating disorder is not a linear experience, and many people have bumps and obstacles to overcome along the way. The eating disorder is notorious for wanting to minimize the ways that you have gone against it, challenged it and fought back. While there are many times that it is helpful to focus on the big picture of recovery, sometimes it is equally as helpful to focus on the smaller picture and to celebrate the “small” wins that happen during recovery.
The ”small” wins (we don’t actually view these as small), can be easily overlooked. Maybe they aren’t the big insights that you gained after a really helpful therapy session, or finally feeling brain fog lift after renourishing yourself; however, these “smaller” moments still have a huge impact on recovery and these small shifts are what help facilitate long-term sustainable change. Every step forward, despite how seemingly small it may seem, is moving in the direction of full recovery. It can be easy for the eating disorder to minimize these accomplishments since these are the moments where you are actively challenging the eating disorder and loosening its’ grasp on your life. These moments don’t always feel good and can lead to big emotions and feelings of discomfort. Every time you can go against the eating disorder and choose the opposite action, you are one step closer to a life of freedom.
We can hold onto these small wins and use them to help increase motivation and to keep pushing through the tough times in recovery. The eating disorder thrives on hopelessness, and it can be helpful to highlight all of the small ways that you are gaining control over the eating disorder. Holding these close can help you to cultivate more hope and show that recovery is possible and that you can do hard things. It might even be helpful to have a visual reminder of these wins, perhaps a list, a poster, a playlist, a painting, etc. to help remind you how far you have come!
One day, one step, one meal, one snack, one bite at a time! You deserve a life free from the eating disorder.