In general, I love goals. I love challenges. I love the whole process from planning for them and setting them to hopefully sticking to them and achieving them. I love the kick I get from pushing myself in a certain way. Success with goals makes me feel good.
However, I’m realising there are good goals and not-so-good goals.
Good goals have been saving for a holiday, remembering friend’s birthdays, training for a marathon, learning to knit and the like. Not-so-good goals include restriction, weight loss, excessive exercise etc.
Good goals make you happy and help you grow as a person. A focus on the not-so-good goals resulted in, for me, a chronic eating disorder.
When it comes to eating disorder recovery, that’s when it gets a bit tricky. Suddenly I have to flip all my not-so-good goals into good goals. Restriction becomes structured eating, weight loss becomes weight gain/maintenance, excessive exercise becomes moderate exercise with limits. At the same time I have to flip my mindset into believing that achieving these new goals equals success. The success now isn’t training for a faster time, it’s learning to skip a session when tired. The success isn’t weight loss, it’s weight stability. The success isn’t skipping a meal, it’s adding carbohydrates to lunch.
The problem is, these successes don’t feel like successes. I’m putting in as much effort and they’re the cause of plenty of stress, which normally would be worth it for the end achievement, but it just doesn’t feel like that right now. I know the bigger picture is health, recovery etc. but day-to-day they feel like failures. Part of me knows they’re good things to be working on, but an equal (if not bigger) part of me is screaming that I’m a failure for not doing enough exercise, eating too much etc.
I don’t know if any of this makes sense! I can’t quite write it how my head sees it. Hoping some of you will understand! How can I convince myself that going against everything ED made me believe is actually success?