Billie Jean King

I’m flying for a quick trip to visit a friend, and I listened to a podcast I’ve been wanting to hear for awhile now. It’s Glennon Doyle’s interview with tennis legend Billie Jean King, and she talked so beautifully and frankly about so many topics. She suffered from an eating disorder after her retirement from tennis, and I appreciated her thoughts about recovery and the journey.

She was asked about the disorder, and she admitted that she never would have recovered without in-patient treatment at Renfrew. But, the biggest thing I took from her is that she said that every morning when she wakes up, she tells herself, “I have an eating disorder.” She went on to say, “It’s just who I am. It’s what I lean toward, and that’s OK.” Even though she has been recovered for decades, she still starts each day by acknowledging that she has an ED.

I think I spend a lot of time trying to convince myself that I DON’T have an eating disorder anymore. Like recovery magically takes away the disorder. But, of course, it doesn’t. I may not actively be in the disordered behavior, but I know to my core that I still HAVE an eating disorder. The mindset doesn’t just disappear.

I’ve heard a lot of other people talk about their EDs, and for some reason, hearing this amazing, accomplished, kick-ass woman talk about her struggle really struck me. I mean, she’s a LEGEND. She was such a strong athlete, accomplished so much for women’s rights and equality, and here she is struggling with body image. Just like the rest of us.

I’m going to give it a try–waking up and saying to myself that I have an ED. But, I think I may also add a positive affirmation… I’m recovering… AND, I have an ED.

Day 151.

Published by Quitter

I’m a college professor, wife, and mother of 2 small kids. I’m on a recovery journey 20 years in the making.

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