I’ve had a few really good days of motivated recovery, so in all honesty, I was just waiting for Ed’s voice to break into my thoughts. And right on time, he showed up this morning while I was making my lunch to bring to work.
It’s so frustrating. I feel like, after attending group therapy, dietitian meetings, and psychologist appointments for four months, it shouldn’t still be such a struggle. But for every victory, I feel like Ed finds a new thing for me to stress about.
It seems like a never-ending cycle. I have a few days where I feel so positive about recovery, and I’m looking forward to all the cool things in my healthy future, and I’m challenging fear foods left right and center. And it’s usually on about the forth day, I wake up panicky and uncomfortable, and convinced every calorie I eat is going to accumulate on my body in pure fat. THANKFULLY, the really bad guilty hateful thoughts only stick around for a day or so, and then I work my way back up to being super stoked about getting better.
I feel like I’m getting better at handling it though. The fact that I haven’t turned into a gross obese whale after eating all the “bad, unhealthy, forbidden” foods I’d previously denied myself is reassuring. I’m slowly learning that it’s NORMAL to eat all those things. Normal people don’t think twice about having cookies or ice cream or any of those yummy things, and why should they? NOBODY gains five pounds just because they decided to have a piece of birthday cake. So, contrary to what I’ve believed for over ten years, I’m probably not the exception to that rule. I can eat things that taste good, and nothing bad will happen. I’ve even done it, and I’m still alive and well.
That’s probably why it’s so frustrating when I do get stressed about food. There are still so many rules, STUPID rules, that are ingrained in my head. Sure, I’ve tackled a lot of really scary stressy foods. Some of them aren’t even an issue anymore, and I can eat them in normal life, no problem. But so many things are stressful in nonsensical ways – they’re only safe on certain days, in combination with other allowable foods, or in specific places.
Like peanut butter. At meal support, YUM, gimme all the peanut butter. But when I set a goal to eat peanut butter at home, I instantly wanted to take it back because in the real world it’s just too scary. So putting a pb&j sammich in my lunchbag this morning was a perfect time for Ed to start yelling at me. There were tears involved. At 6:30AM. Over a SANDWICH. How silly is that?!
I hate the whole “hashtag blessed” thing, but I truly feel #blessed to have such excellent friends from therapy. I’m especially glad that one of them is the unofficial president of the peanut butter fan club, and gave me an early-morning pep talk on how good pb&j is and how happy and strong my body will be from it. I can tell myself the same thing over and over, but somehow it’s more believable when Sarah tells me that I don’t need to stress about that delicious, healthy, happy lunch that’s waiting for me.
Some days are still struggle city, and on those days I feel like quitting and going back to all of Ed’s rules and forgetting all the progress I’ve made. As time goes on though, those days are getting less frequent. And on the good days, I feel SO PROUD to show Ed I’m stronger than him. Day by day I’m getting even stronger (thanks to peanut butter!), and soon Ed won’t have any power over me.
Today at least, I’m counting as a win. Nice try, pb&j, but you’re not gonna ruin my day.