Reminders for a Strong Summer in Recovery

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Rachel Johnson

In my head, summer equals one thing… swimsuits. “Do I need new ones this year? I love all the fun, neon colors! What size am I? Let alone am I the same sized bottoms as I am tops?” and lastly, but most strongly in my head, “Will I even look “good enough” in a swimsuit this year?”

I absolutely love summer, and being in recovery from Anorexia Nervosa has been one of the most freeing things I have ever experienced. However, it does still bring up triggers every now and then. Although I’m in Connecticut, I used to reside in Central Florida (aka the place where swimsuits are acceptable almost all-year round.) So, this year, more than ever, I kept seeing ads online about how to get “swimsuit ready” or “get in shape for summer after the hibernation of winter.” Everyone is trying to measure their worth by how they look in a skimpy piece of clothing for 3 months. Well, I’m here to give you some reminders (and reinforce them myself) of why staying in recovery amid triggers, is worth it:

Not being in your ED (eating disorder) allows you to do joyful movement, like paddleboarding, camping, fishing, hiking, *insert our favorite summer activity*

Summer is a great time to reconnect with friends & family, usually by having cookouts. Don’t let the fear of eating vs. wearing a swimsuit make you lose out on memories you can be making with loved ones.

You’ll be too busy in your swimsuit enjoying the beach/pool if you get off social media and stop comparing your body to others.

Try to tap into radical acceptance. Everyone is at different stages of recovery and life. We are all our own unique and individual bodies. We’re not meant to look the same. What would make us sparkle and shine if we did?! Own what you have and stop trying to morph into another body that isn’t meant for you. Your body knows what it needs in order to give you the life you are supposed to live.

Do not forget to lean on your support system at the same time. No one is meant to go through life alone, and the way we see ourselves is often a very distorted version. I’m not saying to seek reassurance from your loved ones, but leaning on them for distraction and self-worthy affirmations can be very helpful!

So, what are you waiting for? Put on that amazing swimsuit and get out there. Because the world needs more of you. Live life to the fullest, because you deserve it, my dear.

Rachel Johnson is 29 years old and lives in Wethersfield, Connecticut with her cat, Melai. While not in the office for The Worldwide Leader in Sports, she enjoys Pilates, volunteering with horses, photography, and peacefully restoring her relationship with competitive volleyball. 

She has been in recovery from Anorexia Nervosa since 2019 and works hard every day to maintain her OCD. Rachel’s motto is, “You Got This!”, because even when you feel your lowest, she knows you have the strength to see it through.