Celebrate Your Progress

Celebrate Your Progress
by on August 28, 2019 in

As a society, we’ve been conditioned to hustle for our worth and constantly chase the next goal or Instagram worthy milestone. For many of us, we tend to look outside of ourselves for validation and to feel loved and worthy. This is why it’s so important to acknowledge how far you’ve come and to celebrate yourself.

When it comes to binge eating and body image issues, the journey to recovery is no easy feat. The journey is often long and hard. Most people struggle with disordered eating for years and years, so to be able to overcome it and experience life-changing healing and transformation doesn’t happen overnight. Whether you’ve been on your recovery journey for quite some time, or you’re just a couple of months into it…

Take a moment to acknowledge the work and commitment it has taken you to come this far.

You got real with yourself and your situation, you decided that you weren’t going to settle for struggle and pain anymore, and you did something about it. That is an incredible accomplishment, and it deserves to be acknowledged.

On the flip side of this celebration and success, part of you may always feel like you’re still working toward the finish line, but recovery is about progress and intention, not perfection. The truth is that none of us are perfect, and we all mess up. A great way to support your recovery is to focus on your progress, not being perfect.

If you’ve struggled with binge eating and body image issues, it’s likely you’ve struggled with a perfectionist mindset. When you seek perfection, you tend to look at the world in a very all or nothing, black or white way. That’s why you struggled with food for so long. If you didn’t “follow the rules” to a T, you were a failure and you probably tipped from one end of the scale to the other. That’s why it’s called the diet/binge cycle. At the core of that cycle is the intention of being perfect.

Perfection doesn’t exist. It is just a means of external validation.

So many people are co-dependent on others to define and express their worth and lovability because they think they cannot provide that for themselves. However, the truth is that each and every one of us is fully capable of cultivating validation, worthiness, and love from within. In fact, doing so is far more powerful than seeking those things from someone else. At the end of the day, if your relationship with yourself is broken, it will negatively impact every area of your life, including recovery.

I know this from firsthand experience. For years, I thought that I had a food addiction. I struggled with binge eating and hating my body, and it wasn’t until I dove into the deeper work behind my issues that I realized it wasn’t about the food at all. I didn’t have a food problem, I had a self-love problem. Nothing I ever did felt good enough because I was so critical of myself. No progress or win was ever acknowledged because I was always striving to be better, skinnier, prettier. On the other side of my journey, I am now so intentional about my relationship to myself and honoring myself. I celebrate my wins and my failures, because lessons can be found in both. The new relationship I have with myself is the foundation of my recovery.

There are various ways that you can start to acknowledge yourself and celebrate your progress and journey. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Journal about your progress. Take some time at least once a week to sit down and write about your recent wins and progress. What did you do really well this week? What was a difficult situation that you overcame? How far have you come now compared to where you were this time a year ago?
  • Create a progress memory jar. Decorate a mason jar and get some cute post its notes or stationary to go with it. Each time you have a win, make progress, or do something worthy of acknowledgement, write it down, date it, and put it in your memory jar. Every few months (or year, if you want to make it extra special), sit down and read through all of the notes in your jar.
  • Communicate your progress. Give yourself a shoutout! Whether it’s on social media or while chatting with a friend, speak your win out loud. There is no better what to celebrate yourself than to share it with others who can also celebrate your progress.

Conclusion

Through your recovery, you are literally living a new life. You have moved through old destructive patterns and mindsets, and you are showing up as a better version of yourself day in and day out. That is truly amazing, and something that deserves to be celebrated. Just like starting any other new habit, be cognizant of really setting aside some time daily to stop and appreciate yourself and all you’ve done. Getting into this habit, and creating a well of self-inspiration and celebration to pull from will not only aid your recovery, it will support you in the moments when you feel like giving up and falling back into old patterns. There is no better way to move through struggle than to be aware of how you’ve done so before. You’ve got this.

_____

Photos Courtesy of Shutterstock