I was swimming last night a thought occurred to me (the pool is my thinking place!) about the concept of ‘bettering ourselves’.
The discourse we typically hear about bettering ourselves is one of improvement, attainment, success etc. I have followed this almost religiously for years without really realising it.
I am always seeking to be better in this way. I got a degree, so then I got a masters, and now I’m doing a PhD. I became a health professional, then I wanted to become a specialist so I became a supervisor and now a lecturer- I just had to be better than what I was before. I took up running, so then I ran marathons, and then needed to beat certain times, and then do ultra marathons, just so I could show I was better at it somehow. I like to read, but I put pressure on myself to read ‘good quality’ books even if I don’t always enjoy them, as that makes me better. I make most my food from scratch but I get frustrated I’m not better at original recipes and the most creative (yet low calorie) baking. The list goes on and on, and of course leads to the fundamental ‘I need to be better at losing weight’ and we know where that ends.
So while I was swimming the thought occurred to me ‘what would happen if I was just okay with where I am no?’ What if I accepted that I am right now as good as I need to be, and could I make myself feel that I’m as good as I want to be? Honestly this is quite the radical thought for me! What happens if I don’t chase PBs? What if I don’t work towards promotion? Would my world crumble? And the big one…what if I was okay with my body just as it is? How would my life look?
I had a realisation that the only ‘bettering’ of myself that I need to be doing right now is getter better from ED. I need to better my brain and my body and that’s where I need to be putting my energy. I need to rephrase things to something like ‘am I wellness-ing myself by doing this? Am I getting better in recovery by doing this? And if the answers not a definite yes then I need to pause and reevaluate.
I don’t know if I’ll ever really stop being sometime who wants to be a high achiever, but I know that trying to do that isn’t sustainable if I want to be happy and ED free too.
Lots to think about!