The other day, one of my clients asked me, “I know I’ve read in some of your posts before about how you still may have some ED-driven thoughts pop up, but you’ve learned how to fight them off. Can you elaborate on that? What works for you in terms of quieting those thoughts or getting them to leave you the hell alone when they show up uninvited?”
Her timing was incredible. Because, just that very morning, I’d had the first really terrible body day I’d had in a long time.
“Bad body day” is kind of a dumb expression, but it’s what I’ve always called them: the days when I wake up feeling painfully uncomfortable in my own skin. They used to be a constant fixture of my life, and now they’re quite rare, but when they happen, they feel every bit as punishing as I remember. Sometimes they’re random, and can descend out of nowhere. In the past, they often fell on mornings when I felt guilty about something I’d eaten the night before, or on a day when I’d weighed myself and seen a number on the scale that ruined my mood.
Everyone has bad body days. One thing you forget when you’ve had a nasty eating disorder is that the world is not divided into people with EDs and people who love every inch of their own bodies. People who have never struggled with disordered eating are nevertheless often susceptible to some of the same sorts of self-scrutiny that people with EDs take to such wild extremes. They catch an angle in the mirror that doesn’t please them, or they try on a pair of pants that suddenly doesn’t seem to fit right, and they feel out of sorts or frustrated. When you have an eating disorder, these natural moments of self-criticism become intensified by complex personal history, and (sometimes) innate tendencies toward self-destruction.
During the early phases of my recovery, bad body days were constant. I’d had them during my disorder, too, of course, but my disorder also gave me a lot of good body days, moments when I looked at my ghostly reflection in the mirror and felt pleased with what I saw. No one else felt that way; family and friends greeted my body with alarm. But, no matter how sick it was, I felt comfortable inhabiting that shape.
Recovery did not feel comfortable. It was terrible to watch my body change, especially at the beginning, because extreme thinness had come to signify so many things to me: discipline, drive, edginess, achievement, sophistication, specialness. As I’ve written many times before, a big part of my recovery was the realization that I couldn’t be healthy and have the body that felt comfortable to me at the same time. I’d go so far as to say that I was forced to make a choice between the body I valued on the one hand, and everything else I wanted–love, intimacy, freedom, pleasure, health–on the other.
As with so many of the challenges of recovery, bad body days subsided over time. They became infrequent enough that I could live with them when they happened. At some point along the way, I started to have some good body days, too, days when I could recognize that I’d become so much stronger and more interesting and more nuanced than I’d been during my ED, and my new body was a testament to all of that growth.
I identify firmly as someone who is “fully recovered.” But, as a recent Green Recovery contributor insightfully noted, being fully recovered does not mean that you’re the same person you were before the disorder. You live with it forever; not with the behaviors, of course, and not with the anguish, but with some of the cruel inner voices. You learn to have dialogs with them, and when necessary, to silence them. But, every now and then for whatever reason, they do indeed show up uninvited.
I’m not really sure what set me off last week. I think having eaten a very celebratory meal at a restaurant the night before was part of it, and lord do I hate to admit that, because I take such enormous pride in having become a person who savors–nay, relishes–restaurant dining. Avoiding restaurants was such a big part of my ED, and learning to love the experience of dining out, ordering what I really want, and savoring the fun of a special meal has been a huge part of my healing process. But, you know. I’m human. This time, for whatever reason, some of the ancient guilt responses got triggered.
So, that’s what I woke up with, and then things got worse when I trotted off to yoga and did another thing I almost never ever do at this point in my life, which is that I checked myself out in a mirror at the studio. I was not, it goes without saying, possessed of an objective gaze that morning, and it made me feel worse. For me, body dysmorphia is a very physical experience; I tend to get hot and feel a little antsy (as if I’m literally uncomfortable in my skin). Not ideal circumstances for a restorative weekend yoga class. I was unhappy the whole time, unhappy on my walk home, and unhappy when I walked in the front door, at which point my boyfriend asked what was going on, and I burst into tears.
When I drafted this post, it was last Saturday night–the same day that all of this stuff had happened. I didn’t publish the post because I wasn’t sure I should. I wondered if it would undermine my work as someone who writes about EDs if I admitted that these sorts of things do still happen to me. I thought it might undermine my work as a nutrition professional. I thought it could be triggering (and I’m sorry if it is, to anyone). But the more I thought about it, the more I felt compelled to just put it all out there. Because I think it might be comforting for other people–whether they define as recovered, in recovery, or not disordered at all–to read. It might be nice to hear that all of us have days on which we don’t feel OK, and that’s OK. It’s how we respond to and contextualize these days that really counts.
Getting back to my client’s question, I do have some strategies that I use to cope with bad body days and other days on which it seems that old demons are making their voices heard. Here are some of my favorites.
1. Remind yourself that you are experiencing a feeling. A bad body day can certainly be triggered by something that happened (the restaurant experience I mentioned, or perhaps recent travel, or an occasion of random overeating). But rarely do they have anything to do with how one actually appears to the outside world. When I have a bad body day, I remind myself that I’m trapped in a set of feelings and emotions. My body hasn’t changed; it’s simply that something is standing in the way of my capacity to see myself lovingly. I’m fighting a battle in my mind, but my body is as healthy and as strong and–if we want to use this language–as beautiful as ever. It’s my mindset that’s been thrown off kilter, not my physical person.
2. Remember what recovery has given you. The most important, effective, and personally meaningful strategy I have for coping with a bad body day is to think about the millions of ways in which my life has improved since the ED. I think about my rich social life, my loving and intimate relationship, my freedom, my spontaneity. I think about the fact that I’ve learned how to regard myself as a person who is complex and worthy, rather than a set of measurements. In giving up my obsession with controlling my body and its shape, I have gained a wonderful life. Even on a bad day–even on a day when it feels as though I’ve lost something–this is a tradeoff I would never change.
3. Communicate. When you identify as someone who is “recovered,” it can be very hard to admit to having bad days. I always feel some embarrassment in these moments, and my instinct is to withdraw, become private, and keep it to myself. I rebound more quickly, though, if I’m able to talk to someone about it: a friend, a fellow ED veteran, a blogging buddy, or my partner. Talking through the moment helps me to remember point #1 (that what I’m experiencing, no matter how potent, is also subjective and internal), and it helps me to see the big picture faster.
If this is too private for you to talk about, try to communicate it in a different way. Journaling, artistic creation, dance–these are all great ways to release some of what you’re holding painfully inside.
4. Be proud. As I’ve said many times before, it’s not so easy for us to “love” our bodies in the way that womens’ magazines seem to want us to. Do I relish the experience of bikini shopping? No, not really. Sorry.
But every time I look at my body in a mirror at this point in my life, the sight of it reminds me of how far I’ve come. I remember what it was like to be trapped in a fragile body, aware on some level that I was gravely unwell, yet equally trapped in the false sense of security that my ED had created. I feel so grateful that I was able to work through the recovery process. The body I inhabit now never feels “safe” the way my body did back then, but it certainly feels stronger, and that gives me tremendous pride.
After I’d had a good cry on the sofa with my boyfriend, I was able to tell him a little bit about the morning and why it had been so hard. He knows all about my history, but it was the first time he’d seen me struggle like this, and of course I was nervous about how he’d react. Would he think I was being overly dramatic? Self-indulgent? Vain? Just plain nuts?
Of course he didn’t think any of those things. He responded just about as lovingly and as insightfully as anyone could: he listened, he expressed sympathy, he didn’t jump to any assumptions or conclusions, and he reminded me that what I was experiencing, no matter how upsetting, wasn’t “real” in the sense that it had very little to do with my physical form. It was a feeling, triggered by guilt reflexes and anxieties that I’ve banished for the most part, but still encounter from time to time. Most of all, he made me feel that it’s safe to admit to these things, to have bad days and open up about them without shame.
Earlier that morning, I’d wondered if I should cancel my lunch plans with Ethan and Michael. Was I feeling too low, too vulnerable to go out? By 10am, I’d rejected this idea. I promised myself long ago that, even though I can’t control whether or not bad body days happen, I can choose not to let them impact my my behavior. Back in the day, my response to a bad body day was to retreat, to hide, to isolate myself, and to avoid food. Today, I acknowledge the fact that I’m feeling crummy, but I don’t hide, and I certainly don’t restrict. Ever. My relationship with my body is a work in progress, but my relationship with food is a very happy one these days, and I’m committed to preserving it.
So, for the rest of the day, I let that lovely relationship lift me up. I had a great lunch downtown at Peacefood with good, supportive friends. Afterwards, my boyfriend and I wandered Union Square, enjoying the autumnal chill and the moody drizzle. By the time we hopped on the subway uptown, he commented on how upbeat and happy I was. I was happy, in part because we were having a great afternoon, but also because I’d woken up in one of the worst body dysmorphia funks I’d had in ages, and I’d managed to rebound in just a few hours, savoring some great food while I was at it.
For dinner, we had a simple, rainy day meal of leftover corn chowder, a big salad with roasted cauliflower, cranberries, almonds, and vinaigrette, and some toast. It wasn’t anything exciting, but everything tasted wonderful, and it was just the thing we wanted for our quiet night at home. As I ate, I thought about how grateful I am to fully participate in the grand and vital human pleasure of eating good food. I thought about how I should make corn chowder more often.
It was one of the best meals I’ve had recently.
Maybe the fact that this day ended so happily is the ultimate sign of a (mostly) recovered life. For me, the tendency to dwell in binaries–good or bad, fat or thin, happy or unhappy, healthy or unhealthy, you name it–was a defining feature of my ED. It would have been impossible for me to have a bad body morning even five years ago that turned into a lovely evening. But amazingly, that’s what happened.
I’ll have another bad day again at some point–of that, I’m certain. But I’m also hopeful that, when the day comes, it will end as wonderfully as this “bad” day did.
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I was so surprised that you used to have an eating disorder. I normally thought that people that had healthy eating blogs had no problems in their eating and had found the way to incorporate all the healthy food in their daily nutrition. I used to have difficulties like you, too, but it was kind of because I didn’t know how to eat healthily. After I gave up on sugar and junk food, I started learning about what I should eat and what I should not eat. Inıtially, I didn’t know which foods were appropriate and which were not. Therefore, I restricted my range of “healthy food” and didn’t eat the amount I needed to. You know, you need to eat more if you are eating “healthy” because they have less calories in content than junk food. But know, I newly learn how I should not be “obsessive” while nourishing my body and expand my range of “healthy foods.” Like you, I now try to eat mindfully and try to struggle with the bad thoughts in my mind like you used to have. Our body is a gift to us and we need to take care of it well.
I remembered reading this post when it was first published in 2014 and when I woke up today feeling absolutely awful in my own body (prompted by some unflattering photos from a recent holiday) I went searching through your blog again to find the post and re-read it. I knew straight away that it would make me see things more clearly and it has done exactly that – especially your second bit of advice for coping (2. Remember what recovery has given you). I’m going to spend the rest of the day reflecting on this and want to thank you again for publishing a blog post that is so helpful, honest and valuable for your readers when they wake up on days like this! x
I am so touched that this post is meaningful enough to you that you’d revisit it, Aoife — and especially glad that it speaks to you in a fresh way. Feel better, and thank you so much for commenting.
Thank you for sharing this. I related so strongly to your bad body day experience I cried–it’s a powerful thing to feel so understood. I’m often caught off guard by bad body days and I’m so grateful to have read this; it’s something I will reread from time to time to help me through a hard day.
Gena, I’m very grateful for this post, which I’ve finally had a quiet time to read. My eating disorder is different from what yours was (compulsive overeating), but I experience a lot of the same things you do. I am well down the road to being in better control of my eating. It has taken many years to get to this point, but I am very proud that I can recognize binge behavior, even if it’s only a single bite. I am able to recognize that my attitude is what makes that bite constitute a binge. It feels good to be able to eat normally most of the time. I still struggle with body image, but even that difficulty is less than it used to be. It’s amazing how difficult it can be to learn to accept things we can’t change. I’ve saved your post so I can use it to remind myself of the things I need to remember during my struggles. Thank you for being so honest. To my mind, that honesty is huge proof of the reality of your recovery. And thank you for your contributions to my recovery.
I love that you shared this post with us. I imagine it was hard, but it really is helpful for those of us still in recovery, and I imagine, everyone at every stage of the ED game. I’m glad your day turned around and you have such great, supportive people in your life to help you through the stumbles.
You are such an inspiration, it is so great that you can be so open about this. Thank you for sharing and making me realize that everyone has bad days now and then.
Thank you for this post, Gena. After coming back from a week’s vacation that included a lot of indulging, your insights into how to deal with a bad body day were exactly what I needed to hear.
It’s been roughly two years since I’ve recovered from a 5-year eating disorder, and every once and I while I have “bad body days.” Sometimes they’re brought on by an especially heavy meal, sometimes it’s triggered by seeing a girl that is thinner or fitter than I am, and sometimes it’s brought on by stress at work that I can’t control.
Whatever the cause is, I like to repeat a mantra: this feeling will pass. Feelings are ephemeral, not indelible, and no choice that we make is permanent. My body is not radically different than it was yesterday, and it won’t be radically different. tomorrow. On my bad body days, I remind myself to take comfort in the joy that my long term choices bring me – the choice to take care of my body, eat a vegan diet, and take pleasure in eating and sharing meals with loved ones – instead of focusing on the fleeting guilty or negative feelings that surface after short term choices.
For me, it’s all about repositioning myself and my actions within a greater context and remembering that the journey to recovery is a mosaic of good and bad days. And when you take a step back, gosh, it’s a beautiful big picture.
Please continue to write inspiring posts like this one, they are like buoys for those of us wading through the waters of recovery.
I literally know the itch that you described about being physically weird in your own skin. There have been bad body days (as I call them) where I feel like i just want to claw off my skin and just crawl out of it. I use many of the same strategies as you do to get out of my “mood” because you’re right, and as I remind myself, it is an actual FEELING and not an actual change to our physical form. One other thing that I use to get past these feelings it to remove myself from the house and get out into nature. I know I am a biologist so I may be biased, but I have talked to others about this but when you are surrounded by the natural quiet and have the sun beaming down on you surrounded by trees or flower or something like that, it makes a world of a difference. I did that last week and it very much snapped me out of my mood to the point where I was thinking about how I could have even thought those thoughts a mere few hours previous.
Great article Gena as always! <3
Melissa, I don’t identify too much as an “outdoorsy” person, but I derive tremendous comfort (in any tough situation) from the realization that I am one small part of a whole. I can absolutely understand how communion with nature would give you such a feeling. Thanks for sharing.
This post really resonated with me. Thank you for sharing your wisdom as well as your own personal experience. Having a peaceful relationship with food and my body has certainly been a journey for me and is one that is continually ongoing.
Thanks for this lovely comment, Ceara. I’m so glad that your relationship with food/body is evolving happily.
If anything, this post has made me feel that full recovery (not wanting to know the calories in everything, not being obsessive about how much I exercise, not measuring out my food) is more realistic than I thought it was. Last week, I showed my therapist the post that you wrote about food noise, and she asked me how I felt about it. I said that I wanted to be as happy and confident as you are one day. She asked me what was stopping me from being that way right now, and all I could think of was that it seemed idealistic. Unreal. Your life seemed so picture perfect that I could not imagine being as comfortable and in love with life as you seemed to be. After reading this post, I realize that I don’t have to strive for that perfection, because it’s just not there the way I thought it was. Thank you for making me more hopeful. I’m taking long strides and your words keep me going. 🙂
You are kind and inspiring and authentic and so, so brave. Thank you, Gena.
Thank you for this post. I don’t thinking being “recovered” means you no longer have negative thoughts or bad days, but rather being recovered means you navigate the bad days in a healthier manner, which you did. I, like so many others, appreciate your honesty. You could have easily pretended that everything is just fine and you never let a negative thought get you down, but your blog is relatable precisely because you acknowledge your very real, very normal human emotions. I wish all blogs had your candor. Again, thank you for sharing your experience.
A hopeful post and a good reminder to the rest of us. Thank you for sharing in the end. I understand that feeling of being a professional in the wellness world and not wanting to publicly admit to certain hardships, but, often, that is how one gains more respect. When people can see someone as a human, and not a perfect example of accomplishment, we are more prone to connect with and trust that person. I’m glad your rough day ended happily. Happiness is the biggest symptom of recovery.
I really appreciate that you share your ED-related feelings and your coping mechanisms even tough it may sometimes feel hard. You are doing a big favor for many people.
Thank you so much for sharing. This has completely changed my outlook…. I am mostly recovered but I just started college and all the new foods and new people makes me self conscious a lot of the time. In those moments I want to restrict so badly but I dont. This is so nice to hear from you
Beautiful post and wonderfully written, as always.
Your dinner looks wonderful. Sometimes the most simple things are the most beautiful.
Gena, what a brave post, thanks for sharing. I too consider myself “fully recovered” – in June 2015, I will celebrate 20 years of recovery – but I still have “bad body days.” Yay for boyfriend jeans! My recovery has been predicated on my relationship with food – in fact, it is my relationship with food that sustains my recovery, because I am, truth be told, more comfortable in my body when I’m leaner. Thankfully, the discomfort I still sometimes feel is fleeting. I’m never tempted to lose weight (deliberately) because as much as the lithe body still appeals to me, the anorexic lifestyle no longer holds any attraction. I don’t recall my own eating disorder as a prison – I was not someone who “suffered” from anorexia, on the contrary, I strangely enjoyed my illness – but when I meet people today who are, to my eyes, ”suffering,” whether from anorexia, or orthorexia, or an obsession with “cleansing,” or whether they are just trying to lose the 10 lbs I’ve learned to live with, I feel something akin to horror, if not terror. From my current vantage point, all diets (even my own “high raw” diet, if I were to remove the element of “choice”) seem tantamount to prison and no way to live, at least no way I want to live. Nowadays, I always end up choosing freedom, even if it means foregoing an aesthetic ideal and the occasional “bad body day.” I do assiduously avoid yoga studios with mirrors, however!
I had one of these days myself; don’t think for one moment that you’re ever alone :). Its a beautiful thing to be perfectly imperfect…too boring otherwise right?
Really miss your good vibes — love ya, girl.
I really love this post. This is something i struggle with. I love my body, but like everyone else i have my “bad body days”. I hate mirrors and pictures. they give me anxiety. its something im trying to work on. thank you for your beautiful blog post and advice 🙂
Thank you for sharing this. It was great timing for me, and very meaningful.
Thank you for sharing Gena…you are such a brave soul and so important in this community. This post rings true fully for me and I am fortunate as well to have a supportive partner who may not understand what I’m feeling, but supports and listens and never judges. I have found that a community and communication are everything, as you mentioned. I too used to isolate and retreat and beat myself up inside over my perceived weakness to overcome. It wasn’t until I admitted I needed support from loved ones that I was able to begin to heal.
Gena, this was absolutely beautiful. I don’t think I’ve ever actually commented before, but this post really resonated with me and I wanted you to know that. Really, truly well written, honest, and relate-able!
Thank you for posting this! I really appreciate the honesty in this post–and the way you managed to turn a bad body day into a great one. That’s truly inspiring to me.
Really glad you decided to write this post, Gena.
You are brave, and you are helping people.
I love you
that’s all I need to say
you’re amazing <3
Your honesty is so inspiring – I don’t think it could ever undermine the work you do. Thank you for sharing your experience and your reflections. I think it’s so important for bloggers and “leaders” (whatever you want to call them) to share their flaws and their humanity. Projecting perfectionism can be so damaging; authenticity is much more valuable.
Hi Gena, thanks for sharing 🙂 I wanted to address the bit where you say you felt that by publishing this it “might undermine my work as a nutrition professional.” As someone who has seen therapists for various things myself and finding therapists that are a good fit for my children, I can honestly say that it is so much more helpful to me when the therapist has firsthand experience. To have someone who knows what it’s like to walk a bit in my/their shoes can be such a help in itself. I would have no hesitation in seeking you out if I needed to see someone in your field, because you speak with such honesty and I know you get what it’s like!
Gina – I have struggled with weight my whole life. No “official” ED – other than the fact that food controled my being – mind and body. I became Vegan 5 years ago – and that all changed. I could relate to your peice annd realized that whatever the ED is for us – it is so deep and ingrained. Your honesty and pure truth are a breathe of fresh air. Thank you
Thank you. I am grateful to have someone so eloquently put MY thoughts and feelings into words. It is reassuring to realize I am not alone. As someone who is known for eating healthy and living at active lifestyle, there are those days that I feel like an impostor. I feel like my body should look different. I know I judge myself harshly at times. One day I actually took a picture of myself when I was feeling severe body hatred. And then I compared it to another picture when I was at peace. Yep. No difference. The mind is powerful thing.
I love how honestly you speak about your struggles as someone recovering from an eating disorder. I know that I still struggle as well. I will go for long stretches without an ounce of self-doubt, thinking that I have finally beat this thing. Then something happens and I kind of crumble a little bit….Now that I’ve been doing so well for so long, I have to remind myself that the good days far outnumber the bad….and that’s what recovery is all about.
Thank you for sharing your story. We all struggle, and to hear that somebody who seems to have it all “together” also struggles, is inspiring for us to read. Sometimes just waking up and facing the day can be difficult, as I am sure you know. Congratulations on the recovery you’ve achieved thus far.
Thank you so much for posting this! I have recovered many years ago from a severe ED and it’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one who still has these problems. Thank you for being so open, honest, and unafraid to share these thoughts on your food blog! There are days when I also think about how much I relish and love food–and think back on the days when I detested it. I think these moments of self-reflection are also incredibly important and have helped me to stay stable over the years 🙂
I find a lot of comfort in this post and it just resonates so deeply. I worked with a nutritionist for a while and talked with her a lot about my negative feelings about my body, and it gave me immense relief that she could relate. I actually think it makes you a stronger nutrition professional. Thanks for sharing. xoxox
Usually when I comment on a post of yours, I have so much to say. Especially when it’s an ED-related post, because those always resonate so deeply with me. But all I have to say about this one is <3 <3 <3 <3 <3 x infinity. 🙂
On today of all days… exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you to the tops!
Great Post. Thank you~
This is awesome for so many reasons. We all have our bad days and I can’t ever relate to people who act they never have any. Great tips too!!
I so appreciate this post Gena and you should in no way feel ashamed to admit that you still have these days from time to time. Your honesty and openness are something I admire so much.
I definitely do also have similar experiences and totally relate to almost feeling that discomfort physically. A squirming under my skin. It’s usually the case for me that something completely unrelated has happened to leave me feeling a little sensitive and vulnerable and then those emotions get turned into discomfort in my body. It helps to identify what is really going on in those situations.
Thank you again for sharing your experiences and advice. x
Thank you for living your life so we can see your vulnerabilities and how you process your way through them.
I am so glad you shared this story; I admire you for admitting that you still experience these types of days. I think that having a bad body day is a natural part of being recovered because it means that I haven’t been fixating on my appearance all the time and comparing myself to others. Instead, I’ve been living and enjoying life without too much worry!
And, yes, I agree that these days are all about overcoming the mental hurdles because I mainly get through them with a lot of internal reflection and positive self talk.
Gena, this is such a lovely post. I love how you describe the bodily discomfort you feel on a “bad” day–it really is a physical one! I often feel hot, itchy, unable to sit still.
In the past four months, I have made real strides by finally seeing a nutritionist. As a result, of course, I’ve gained some weight. The other morning, as I was getting dressed for work, my boyfriend commented on how healthy I looked. It was at the exact moment that I was pulling on a pair of work pants I bought this past summer, and they no longer buttoned. But you know what? I looked at that size 00, and I was almost happy the pants no longer fit. “Healthy” is subjective, of course, but I’ve finally reached a point where I know better than to believe that is a sustainable size for me.
Thanks for such a thoughtful and personal post. xo
Thank you for sharing this Gena, it has filled me with emotion but mainly I am so proud and happy for you and inspired by you. I am so glad you have found this lovely man and even though the morning sounds immensely painful, I’m glad that you had this day and learnt this lesson and that I can continue to learn vicariously through you.
Love and hugs
Thank you so much for this, Gena. You have no idea how helpful it is.
Great post Gena, thank you so much for this comforting and supportive message! I’m halfway recovery and doing great, also loving the experience of challenging myself in eating out and enjoying it, ordering what I truly want to eat, eating new foods, trying unexpected things… My own green recovery! And yes, my body’s changing now, and it feels weird. Mostly I’m happy, but some days I feel weird in my own skin. Thank you for your story and your strategies, I’m sure they will help me the coming months! (And maybe even years!)
I have no doubt you will help many with this post, Gena! So inspirational and beautifully written
Gena, your story is very timely for me. The day you are speaking of was this morning for me. I am so incredibly uncomfortable in my own skin, the struggles that I have had has creeped back in and like you, have feelings of shame for it. Something that I have to remind myself of is the amount of healing my body has been through and how far I have come. My body is not the same as it used to be, and it has been very hard to accept, but I have to know that everything I have done, learned, and how much my body has fought shows me that what ‘I’ see and feel in these moments is temporary and not truthful. So I absolutely identify with you and identify with #2. My road has been an incredibly long one that I am ready to move forward from. It is a part of me, but it no longer owns me or defines me.