A pink bow clipped her light brown hair to the side so the little wisps wouldn’t fall into her face. Her eyes lit up, button nose scrunching, matching her wide toothless ear-to-ear smile. She was wearing a floral jumper that her mommy put her in. She waved her hands from side-to-side excitedly as she giggled making the cutest little noises you ever heard.
“Ahhhhh” she said in a high-pitched scream in the middle of the Greek restaurant we were eating lunch at while waving a shiny spoon from side to side. Shiny spoon-entered her mouth, of course. Shiny spoon almost knocked dada out, who was right next to her on the left. Okay, now done with shiny spoon, I thought grabbing it and replacing it with her Sophie giraffe. Again, “ahhhh,” she screamed as she took Sophie, and hit her on the table. Hard. Poor Sophie!
“Good thing it’s loud in here, she sounds like a baby animal,” I whispered to my mom as we both chuckled.
This brings me to another lesson with being in recovery from an eating disorder and having a baby. Having a baby tends to lessen the sting of disappointment. Children, at least for me so far, serve as a priority checker of sorts or at least sometimes, mostly, a really damn good distraction.
As lunch continued, I got an email that upset me, and for a good moment I was disappointed as we all tend to get sometimes. Then a second later, my little girl leaned back on me and said “yaya, ahhhh.” Her cute little body leaned against my knees. Her head tilted back, eyes staring up at me, and how could I really have disappointment, self-doubt or feel like a complete failure when I have this cute little thing staring up at me the way she does. I can’t.
“Hi munch-a-crunch,” I said embracing her little body into an upside-down hug like Spiderman perfected. Spiderman has nothing on Viv though—she does it without the gross spider webs too.
I then re-read the email. Start to finish. Took a deep breath in, then looked back at Viv. Yes there was sting from the words in the email, but there was something positive right in front of me—my daughter. I think this could actually work for non-mom’s too. Think of something really positive that has happened to you and visualize it. Then think, I can’t be so bad if I created this. If I accomplished that at some point. It’s not worth starving for–what is that going to prove anyway?
Also, to be real, I didn’t feel completely better. I still felt as I say sometimes “kind of sucky.” But Viv brought me back to reality. At least enough so that I wouldn’t do something that would set me back in my recovery.
What I do is look at my daughter. She usually grabs my nose or sometimes I get that gummy smile or her sweet giggle. Then I just think, Wow–she came out of me! I may not be all that bad after all. I think this is my, the proof is in the pudding moment—because my little pudding is super edible. Kind of like Oprah’s Aha moment, but more of a reminder of why you shouldn’t, couldn’t, EVER, return back to that bad, eating disordered thought you just had. Even when you are tempted. No. You could never. Ever. Ever. Return. You get it. Right?
What is your proof is in the pudding that makes you realize, hey I am worth recovery no matter what?