The Power of One

April 11th, 2012

The Power of ONE

Dear Survivor,

As a therapist who treats eating disorders, I have worked with many women, men, and families who fought to overcome their illness and reclaim a life beyond calorie obsessions, food phobias, and irrational fear of weight gain. Often, when they first made the courageous effort to step into my office, they would ask, “What can I do to fix this problem?” For years I struggled to answer this question due to the sheer number of issues involved, and the unique and complex way this illness affects each individual. However, my clients have taught me a great deal about recovery, and my answer is now fairly simple: it involves the concept of the Power of ONE.

Recovery from an eating disorder can be a long and challenging process, so if you are feeling discouraged or overwhelmed about beginning or continuing this journey, just remember the Power of ONE:

to take ONE second, minute, or day at a time,
to set ONE goal at a time,
to have ONE conversation at a time,
to deal with ONE problem at a time,
to eat ONE more bite or meal than you are prepared for,
to resist ONE more binge episode,
to reduce your number of purge episodes by ONE more,
to make ONE more healthy choice,
to establish ONE treatment team that you can rely on,
to find at least ONE passion that gives you the desire to fight for your life,
to reach out to ONE friend at a time,
to take your medicine ONE more day,
to do ONE fun thing you enjoy,
to find ONE more thing you appreciate about your body,
to dream about ONE life worth living,
to take ONE more breath in order to calm yourself down,
to find ONE solution to a problem and then ONE more if necessary,
to get up ONE more time than you fall down,
to remember ONE more person who loves you,
to go to ONE more doctor’s appointment,
to follow your meal plan for ONE more meal,
to talk back to ED ONE more time,
to take ONE more break if you need to
and then continue to put ONE foot in front of the other even when you feel discouraged,
to find ONE more reason to survive this illness,
to remember ONE successful thing you accomplished today,
to remember ONE more good quality you possess,
to create ONE balanced lifestyle,
to trust your body and treat it right for ONE more day,
to set ONE more boundary to protect yourself,
to confront ONE more person if you need to,
to stand up for yourself ONE more time,
to identify and process ONE more emotion at a time,
to defy ONE more myth about eating disorders,
to recognize ONE more unrealistic expectation and re-define it to something that is useful to you,
and to define, reclaim, and embrace the ONE and only you who is good enough, caring enough, attractive enough, smart enough, successful enough, funny enough, healthy enough, and powerful enough to create ONE life worth living with the ultimate goal of being ONE more person who did what it takes each and every day to survive this illness.

Sincerely,
Someone who believes in you

By: Tamara Richardson, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist, part-time private practice clinician in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and a senior clinical counselor at Oklahoma State

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