Either / Or and If / Then

The recession has taught us some important lessons: actions come with costs and consequences; and, resources are finite – sometimes you have to make a choice.

I wish that I’d applied the logic a little earlier.

In an age of instant and ongoing gratification and when you’re used to living for the moment, either / or tends to be an afterthought; the consequences of any action too distant to consider –

– until it all comes crashing down.

An eating disorder works on the same premise. It’s all about the moment and it doesn’t feel like you’re making a choice.

You are – and this is what listing the pros and cons in self help is all about: taking your head out of the now – and into the then – so that it’s easier to change your actions.

Nothing gets you through the fear of change barrier more effectively than realising what your actions will cost –

Giving up bingeing felt like the most terrifying thing in the world – but, when it came to a choice between keeping the bulimia and losing my teeth, it was worth going through the fear.

Gaining weight seemed inconceivable and unforgiveable – but, when the choice was as stark as life (gain weight) or death (stay the same), the decision was a lot easier to make.

- and what choices you are giving away –

I can remain thin – but I will never be able to have a family.

I can continue to dedicate my evenings to food – but that time will be taken from my friendships.

Pros and cons seemed a little detached for me, but recognising the choices I was making gave my recovery a good dose of ammunition. It shifted the focus from the difficulty of changing to the other side of the equation – the consequence of not changing – and, it gave me some of the power back.

You do not choose to have an eating disorder, but if you make the behaviours a choice, you can start to have a say again –

Like choosing to spend an evening with other people because it’s more important than spending an evening with food –

Or moving through the uncertainty of not throwing up because it’s nice to have your front teeth.

And letting go of the eating disorder because you only get one chance at a life –

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