I was thinking about this saying today it it kind of made me realize how unhelpful it is.
It’s hard to soar with the eagles when you’re surrounded by turkeys.
The idea is that if I want to be thin, I need to hang out with people who are thin. I need to join running clubs and befriend slim women at the gym to be my workout buddies. I need to hang out with my thin friends who always order salad at the group lunches.
I did just that. I was always on the lookout for someone to workout with. I joined a running club and chugged behind them alone or was the charity case that someone would hang back with. I sincerely asked my thin friends how they ate or simply ordered what they did at lunch, whether I liked it or not.
Here’s the shocker: IT NEVER WORKED.
I hung out with the eagles and guess what I learned. They are DIFFERENT than I am. Doing their workouts was easier for them than it was for me. When I asked them what to eat, they said to eat less by ordering salad. They had ZERO advice on what to do to stop overexercising and injuring myself. They had ZERO advice on how to stop eating once I started. They not only were useless, they did not understand. They could not comprehend the idea that I could not stop eating. Just stop doing that was the only advice they could give me.
It wasn’t until I came into Overeater’s Anonymous that I realized I had been going about this the wrong way. Step One of the program was essentially admitting to myself this one sad, but true fact.
I AM NOT AN EAGLE.
I might have been an eagle at one time, but my body and brain chemistry have been so altered by the bingeing and over-exercise that I am no longer an eagle. In fact, considering how young I was when all of this started, I may have never been an eagle. I was probably born a turkey. Here’s another truth:
Turkeys don’t learn how to fly from eagles. They learn from other turkeys.
Turkey bodies and eagle bodies are so different. Turkeys learn to fly from watching other turkeys fly. They do NOT learn how to fly from eagles. It just doesn’t happen. They’re both birds, just like all of us are human, but turkeys and eagles are so different that they can hardly learn from each other. If you’re a binge eater and you need to learn how to stop eating compulsively, you are NOT going to learn from those naturally slim people. The ONLY way to learn how to not eat compulsively is from other turkeys, recovering compulsive eaters.
I am not an eagle. I will never be an eagle, but that doesn’t mean I can’t fly.
Overeater’s Anonymous does not endorse anything on this entry or blog. I speak only of my personal experience and not for OA as a whole.
Eagle Quote image via: The Nutrition Ninja – What it takes to be a CHAMPION
Wild Turkeys Fly via: Wild turkeys fly! capecodtimes – YouTube
Animated GIF made using: Make A Gif