Okay so, today I am going to be informing you all of a very important life lesson I learned yesterday, whilst at the farm volunteering. Whilst I do this, I aim to help others to come to the same realisation that I have in order to help certain thoughts and feelings around things (mainly anorexia related.) However, an important life lesson for everybody to take into consideration.
My lesson comes from a 7-week-old Dalmatian Puppy named Darwin (who belongs to Cindy, John and Izaak.) But I must add that all kinds of lessons can be learned from animals which I will talk about in future blog posts yay! During my time at the farm yesterday I was lucky enough to spend some time looking after him and as I sat watching over him, kind of like a parent and their baby, I picked up on a few things beyond his cuteness…
Darwin was very content doing what puppies spend the majority of their time doing – sleeping. Also, eating, playing and doing his business. I picked up on a few factors, such as Darwin didn’t appear to feel guilty after he’d eaten and when he didn’t exercise it off, he just slept. Darwin didn’t cry over his food, he simply ate it and enjoyed it. No guilt, no tears. Darwin didn’t feel bad or guilty for doing what he knows he needs to be doing in order to grow up big and strong, into a lively and playful adult. Darwin also has little signature ‘puppy fat rolls’ which he didn’t seem at all phased by. Why? Because he will grow into his body, and his fat is essential in order to keep him warm, to protect his organs and to store all of his energy used in playtime and general daily living. Plus, he looks adorable and cuddly and that’s all that matters (and his health of course.)
You may be thinking… ‘well, isn’t that obvious?’ and my answer to that is, no. As an Anorexia sufferer I struggle to see why these things are, or should be, important. I find it impossible to apply things to myself because I feel undeserving and guilty. I struggle with concepts such as seeing food as a necessity rather than a punishment, caring for myself and not being so hard on myself and depriving myself of the things I need. I struggle to remember at times that food is important and vital in order to survive and thanks to little Darwin, I am able to remember that; I need to work exceptionally hard now to put my newly found knowledge into practice, meaning the next time I want to skip a meal I must remember Darwin and his enjoyment for food.
I wouldn’t deprive Darwin (or any animal) of any of these things: food, love, health, happiness and contentment. Therefore, why should I deprive myself of them? Why should any of us? Another lesson I am learning to drill into my head until it’s no longer debatable. If Darwin knew what I was doing to myself, endulging in Anorexic behaviours, what would he think? We’re all aware of how much Dogs (all animals) love people and wouldn’t want them to be suffering in any way, shape or form.
Animals are healers and I believe we are able to learn more from them than any kind of therapy could ever teach us. From animals we are able to see the art of caring for, and loving ourselves, and why it isn’t something to feel bad for or guilty about. You would never see an animal counting calories, which enables us to see how irrelevant it is in the grand scheme of things. You wouldn’t see an animal strictly counting steps and exercising obsessively because they ate a few more calories than usual. They would use those calories to their advantage, remembering that food equals energy and calories are just numbers. You wouldn’t see an animal glancing at their reflection in the mirror and becoming obsessed by it, wishing for it to be smaller. Another thing is that animals do NOT give two hoots about their weight, they could’ve gained 10kg and that wouldn’t set them backwards in any way, it’d probably be their pathway to enjoying more food.
Two main things animals need that we also need:
- Food and water – These things are VITAL for survival and we would die without them. Both people and animals require a set amount of calories (energy points) in order to get through each day. And, yes, you need food when you’re just sitting down like Darwin when he sleeps. We wouldn’t starve animals, highlighting the fact that we shouldn’t starve ourselves. We need food even when we despise our bodies and even when we’re having a bad day.
- A healthy body – *Anorexia screams* But a healthy body is very important in order to get us through each day, to keep us going, to reduce the chances of us becoming poorly, so we can do basic things such as walking to the shop. If an animal’s body wasn’t healthy, if the ribs were prominent, we would be very concerned and it would be closely monitored. It isn’t something we should be aiming for; we should aim for health, always. Everybody, both people and animals, need and deserve to be in good health in order to fulfil a happy, long life.
I hope this managed to help! Feel free to share it to everybody you know.
Ps: If you’re currently feeling guilty for eating, give your pet a treat and see how excited they get for it. That’s normal, fearing food isn’t, we should all aim to be as happy in life as animals are because they have feelings too and they are quite often the right ones.
Lots of love,