My Musings on National Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Come as You Are. Think on that phrase for just a moment. Come. As. You. Are.

What if we felt able to show up in all facets of our life exactly as we are? Not as we pretend to be. Not as we believe others want us to be. Not as external expectations demand we be. But truly, imperfectly, as we are. What a healing gift that would be.

you are perfect with or without an eating disorder“Come as You Are” is the theme for this year’s National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and I love it. To me, it embodies what eating disorder recovery requires – an acceptance of oneself. A coming back home to oneself. Becoming reacquainted with that genuine self that lives alongside or sometimes buried beneath the eating disorder self.

While eating disorders develop for all sorts of complex reasons, they often endure because embracing and accepting oneself seems untenable. And so my message to you, regardless of whether or not you are suffering from an eating disorder, is that your truest and most authentic self is perfect, despite your imperfect humanity. You are not broken but you may need healing.

You may be thinking – Marci is nuts! Of course I’m not perfect – “I screamed at my husband.” “I lied to my friend.” “I couldn’t get out of bed because of my crippling anxiety.” “I stole my roommate’s food and binged on it.” But I invite all of us to hold the dichotomy expressed in this quote by Shunryu Suzuki Roshi:

Each of you is perfect the way you are…
and you can use a little improvement.

The gorgeous thing about self-acceptance is that it opens the door to healing and it opens the door to growth. Growth and healing generated from self-acceptance and, eventually, self-love allow us to be the kind of person we want to be more often, but without the harsh self-judgment and shame that lead to destructive behaviors.

I love this video created with NEDA and Instragram. And this article, which addresses the problem with conflating weight with an eating disorder diagnosis.

So as I honor Eating Disorders Awareness Week, I hope you will honor who you are and know you are enough. You can come as you are.