The Joy of Replacing Bingeing / by Michelle Cowan

May I say how good it feels simply to come home and NOT BINGE? Sometimes, I have to be reminded of this simple joy. Note that I did not say “come home, exercise, and not binge” or “come home, accomplish a dozen things, and not binge.” I forget that I can choose not to binge and then waste my time in some more (or less) creative fashion. No need to work out every second of the day or complete a single goal I’ve set. I don’t have to jump through hoops in order to ensure sane eating.

The sun is shining, and I feel good. I don’t have to exercise compulsively, I don’t have to binge, and, moreover, I don’t have to do a single thing. Of course, there are certain things it would behoove me to do, but no one will force me to pay my rent or clean my bathroom. I choose to do those things because they benefit my life. In the same way, I can choose to do nothing or even to do things that impact my life negatively. The main thing is that there are a million different ways of doing things, and most, if not all, of them are not “wrong.”

I want to try these different ways of living. I have reckoned a slower, softer side of me these past few days, reminding myself that I can take it slow and still get hungry. I can still accomplish important things, too, and stay in touch with people I love. The main thing preventing me from allowing a slower drift through life is mistrust in myself. I imagine that if I don’t do everything NOW, I may not do it all. But really, I have proven my responsibility, creativity, and capability time after time. Now is the moment to trust the universe and me.

I’ve seen remarkable things happen in the last couple of days. I have taken pleasure in the ways lives of people I know have intersected. They see miracles in their life, and it’s nice to talk about it with them. Sometimes, I wonder if I’m the only one who appreciates such little miracles. But other people do see it and love it as much as I do. And wonderfully, simply by observing or listening to the occurrences in their lives and then discussing them, I become a part of that miracle. It can extend to me, and I can connect with others, even help them.

Observation. It’s an important element of my non-binge time. I can sit and simply observe the world. That action never seems to have much worth until I look back at the convergence of all the things I’ve learned by observing alongside my association with others and things I read. Serendipity is everywhere. Every piece of living is worthwhile.

Anyhow, I mostly just wanted to share the simple joy of a gal in recovery, something I somehow stopped believing at some point during my disorder: I can eat a healthful amount (i.e., not binge and not restrict), abstain from exercise, and still get hungry later. My body really does take care of things! Added bonus: I experience more of life.

Sure, there are many things about food I want to explore and lots of ways I want to push my body in an energetic way. So many desserts, vegetables, mountains, and roads! But how much more is there if I will simply slow down…