Six solid weeks have passed since I embarked on my total recovery journey, but it feels like just yesterday. Though I have seen significant progress, especially when it comes to weight gain and calories eaten, some things happened this week that made me realize that my mental journey is far from over. Let me explain.
I woke up and had a smallish breakfast around 7:30 – a yogurt bowl. I knew that we would likely be meeting friends out for brunch, but there was no way I was gonna make it that long without eating. I ended up eating my brunch around 10:30-10:45ish. The problem was that we went to a really greasy restaurant that has very little options to choose from. It is seriously the last place I would have chosen, but that was what the group of about 10 or so wanted to do. I wasn’t going to just sit there and starve, so I did the best I could by ordering an omelette with ham, tomato, onion, and cheddar with a side of hashbrowns and toast (no substitutions available on the sides unfortunately).
But after brunch, I felt miserably sick. I kept burping up the greasy hashbrowns, and I was in a FOUL mood. And that mood continued for the next 3 hours or so until my stomach started feeling better. I was just so mad at myself because it’s like I KNEW that was going to happen. And then I started thinking, “If I wasn’t expecting to feel sick and miserable, would I still feel sick and miserable? How much of this is all in my head?” As I laid there, I had to pick through my thoughts and identify what is “normal” and what is “disordered.”
- I should only have a small breakfast since I already ate something this morning.
- I shouldn’t be hungry right now. Am I really hungry?
- I can’t eat that. It will make me feel sick.
- I am not going to enjoy this breakfast because the food doesn’t meet my standards.
- I don’t like greasy hashbrowns. They don’t taste great, and I’d rather not eat them.
- I will order what sounds good at this particular moment.
- I will make the best of this moment to enjoy spending time with friends.
I was having an internal battle between these opposing thought, and unfortunately, I feel like the disordered ones won out this time. The important thing is that I have learned something from this. If I had been presented with the situation again, I would know what to do. And I would definitely not let it affect the rest of my day.
The only thing I still don’t understand is why did I feel sick in the first place? Is it mental? Or did it actually make me feel sick? Is it that my GI system is just not able to handle the fat load after years of restriction? When I am fully recovered, will I be able to eat greasy hashbrowns without feeling sick?
But that isn’t the point, really. The point is that sometimes I feel like I am trying too hard to “prove” to myself that I am recovering. That I can face those greasy hashbrowns without looking back. But what it all boils down to is that I really just didn’t want the dang hasbrowns. I’ve never really cared for them, ED or not. Recovery looks different for everyone, and just because I’d rather turn down one junk food doesn’t mean I’m inviting ED back into my life. I wholeheartedly believe that unrestricted eating is crucial to full recovery. But I also believe that eating healthy foods is the best way to nourish your body.
So next time I feel the pressure to stick it to my ED by eating a junk food, I need to stop and remind myself that I don’t need to prove anything to anybody… not even myself! I am trying to HEAL by eating what my body wants at any given time. I know that some people like to see recovery as a battle. But for me, it is not a battle. It is a spiritual journey of healing and self love. Yes, there are some days I feel powerful and strong, but there are also days where I need Christ to hold my hand every step of the way. Remember, we are all trying to get to the same place [recovery], but not everyone takes the same path or goes at the same pace.
No questions today, but I’d love to hear your thoughts!