“Change your behaviors and your feelings will follow.”
– Susan McManhon
Please find below one of our most motivating stories of recovery by one of our recovery warriors, Saher. Saher struggled with disordered eating for a very long time and she embarked on her journey to recovery after going through a limb surgery few years back. You can read her story here.
I still remember those times very vividly how upsetting it was to see Saher go through so much pain. She refused to eat and the doctors her threatnened her with feeding tube. The fear of forced feeding did act as a motivating factor for Saher to eat. She later relapsed and went through one struggle after the other. We can’t thank Allah enough for Saher’s subsequent recovery and good health. She means a world to so many of us and to see her in a good health and strong spirit prompts so many to keep going with their journey of recovery and keep putting in fight.
In honour of world Eating Disorders Day, Saher wanted to share her story about her recovery and how food is a key to healing and living.
Food is a Medicine
I had a very disordered relationship with food as you can see from my story. I wanted to share an update on my recovery and my improved relationship with food. I now eat five small a day. I am also involved with a health initiative in Barcelona to promote health and wellbeing in our community.
One of the best cuisine is Pakistani cuisine. You get your carbohydrates, your fibre, fats and protein.
Post my limb replacement surgery, I was told that protein will act as a key nutrient for healing. My surgery did place immense stress on the body as the body’s metabolism is elevated when it is in the repair mode. A well-based and nutritious diet becomes indispensable for proper tissue growth, repair and speedy recovery. For me eating regular meals was difficult as I was accustomed to going long hours without a meal. regular meals seemed impossible to me.
I actually had no choice but to take care of my diet. When I embarked on a journey to recovery, I was asked to take care of my diet. It was pivotal that I eat properly and well balanced meals. I found that eating with family and eating everything was the key.
So how do I eat now? I eat my traditional meals and I find the best diet is to follow your local diet.
This is my dinner from last night. Lentils with rice and side mint chutney.
At day time we often have fresh homemade chapatti with a serving of any homemade curry or lentils.
I sometimes do regret my previous eating habits and I wish I was more aware of how going prolong hours without food was dangerous for my physical and mental health.
My message on world eating disorders day to all of you , please try to follow a good balanced diet. Please work towards defeating this illness that lives in your mind and controls your nights and days. The pain I’ve endured because of my eating disorder cannot be put into words. It didn’t just impact my physical emotional health but also the well being of my family. Last year my medicine changed and that change impacted my body and my nights and days. My mental health really suffered and my doctor told me that if I wanted to come out on top then I had to change my lifestyle.
Change in lifestyle involved very good diet and regular exercise. I have fallen many times and I have managed to pick myself up each and every time. A lot of beautiful prayers have been part of my recovery.
I am at a stage in my life, where food and thoughts of food no longer control my days and nights. I eat what everybody eats. I am in Pakistan right now and I live with an extended family. It’s so beautiful how we all cook together and eat together. I actually look forward to my meals. My heath right now is my priority. My message to all of you today is we are blessed in a Pakistani culture where people do look out for each other and also our diet is a good diet. I live between two countries and I find that best diet hand down is Pakistani diet. Please take care of your health.
This is very honest glimpse of foods I eat now and I enjoy and savour every bite. Recovery for me meant to get to the stage where I would without feeling guilty and use food as a medicine. I do that now and this is my real victory.