Stop Saying "I Can't" in Eating Disorder Recovery
by Z. Zoccolante, HealthyPlace
March 15, 2017

Stop saying ďI canítĒ when it comes to eating disorder recovery. ďI canítĒ is a phrase uttered out loud or in the secret caverns of our minds. I canít recover. I canít eat that. I canít stop exercising. I canít stop throwing up. I canít keep food down. I canít love myself in the mirror. I canít love the part of my body that I despise. I canít be kind to myself. Eating disorders are filled with the words ďI canít,Ē but thereís one ultimate reason to stop saying ďI canítĒ for the sake of your eating disorder recovery (Why We Believe Eating Disorder Lies).

Stop Saying ďI CanítĒ to Identify Your Fears
Apathy is the belief that we canít. It tells us that we are trapped in our situation and that we are helpless to do anything about it, and there is no one who can help us. On an energetic level apathy is very low on the scale, meaning that the energy vibration of apathy has less abundance, power, love, and a decrease in physical health.

Within the throes of an eating disorder, apathy is common. We often feel hopeless and immobilized, that no one cares about us, or that no one may even care if we die. Maybe weíve even thought that dying would be easier. We may feel useless, lost, meaningless, and a failure.

The thing about apathy is that even though it says, ďI canít,Ē what it actually means is ďI wonítĒ. Humans are capable and resilient so most times when we say, ďI canítĒ we are using the words to cover up a fear.

ďI Canít Eat That PastaĒ Hides a Fear
Letís look at a common statement Ė ďI canít eat that pastaĒ. If we dig underneath that statement, one possible fear could tell us, ďIf I eat that pasta Iíll get fat.Ē Itís not that we canít eat it, per se, but rather we are terrified of the ginormous fat glob we think we will become by eating the bowl of noodles.

Stop Saying ďI CanítĒ to Deal with Your Fears
That simple process above which named ďI canítĒ and then dug to identify the fear underneath it has already shifted the energy vibration from apathy to fear. This is a good thing because fear is higher on the energy scale, which means that our energy can keep moving up. When we can identify the fear, it can motivate us into action in our recovery.

The way this worked for me was to ask myself, ďIs this true? It is true that if I eat this bowl of noodles Iíll become a bloblet? What proof do I have of this?Ē Already Iíd shifted out of apathy and had begun to get curious about my thoughts and beliefs around food and my body.

Stop Saying ďI CanítĒ ó You Donít Need Those Fears Anymore
The important thing to remember is that fear serves a purpose. Itís been there to protect us from something at some point in our lives. In eating disorder recovery the fear will tell us that we canít recover, that we shouldnít even try, that weíre not worth it, that weíre just going to fail in the end so why bother. Fear tells us that we are failures, but fear lies.

When we question fear it often doesnít have a response. It throws us the same arguments, ďBecause youíll get fat.Ē Itís not very creative but instead recycles the same garbage itís told us since the disorder started.

ďI Canít RecoverĒ Means that We Fear Recovery
ďI canítĒ recover is a belief based on the fear of recovery. Most people who begin recovery donít think that they can recover, at first. This is a normal place to be. Keep moving forward, taking the steps even when you donít want to, even when youíre eating disorder is screaming you canít, even when you are afraid. At some point, the scales will tip and you will go from thinking you canít recover, to thinking maybe it might be possible, to thinking that you can (no matter how long it takes).

The reason to remove the word ďI canítĒ from your eating disorder recovery is simple. ďI canítĒ is based on fear. Recovery is based on courage and the belief that you can recover in your time, with consistent steps in that direction. And you can.

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