I have had a balanced relationship with food (with one small relapse) for about 3 years now. I have stayed away from all my disordered habits and have fallen in love with eating again. This was obviously excruciatingly hard and took almost 2 years. Although I am happily eating and enjoying the benefits of energy, positivity and strength, I am still unable to fall in love with my healthy body/natural weight. I have stopped working on becoming fully recovered because I felt that having a healthy relationship with food meant I was healthy enough to stop working on becoming recovered. I felt it would just happen over time living a healthy lifestyle. I did not realize that I still had a lot of work to do. What brought this to my attention stemmed from injuring my stomach muscles. I was told to do nothing except relax. It has been weeks now and I am still not fully healed. I couldn’t figure out why – I was barely doing anything. Just taking some light walks around my village. Then it hit me – I haven’t relaxed my stomach muscles in years. Of course, body image issues started long before my eating disorder and I think holding in my stomach was one of the first things I learned to do to feel like I looked better. I still do that. And I don’t think I ever realized how unnatural that was until this moment. I can’t relax my stomach muscles because I am seriously unhappy with my natural body weight. I don’t want myself or anyone else to see the way I truly am. I can’t stand to really look at my body in the mirror, with or without holding in my stomach muscles. My first step is to relax my stomach muscles around the house. But I only feel comfortable wearing loose fitting shirts and dresses. I know I can’t relax my stomach muscles in public yet. I am isolating myself to feel comfortable, but that doesn’t make me happy. I want to be able to feel comfortable in my own skin around myself and others. My eating disorder might be gone, but there is still so much work for me to do.