I wasn’t sure what to write tonight.
I felt I had nothing profound to share, therefore I shouldn’t spend time typing a new post. However, that is when I realized sometimes a post doesn’t need to be profound, it just needs to be real.
This last week has been a struggle. A struggle to eat, a struggle to accept my body, and myself as a person. My meal plan went to hell in a hand basket over the last week, which is frustrating because I can see the direction that leads. I also nearly stepped on the scale forward facing at my dietician’s office this week because I decided I just didn’t care anymore. (Thankfully I have always been a strict rule-follower so I decided not to challenge her authority.) I found myself questioning whether or not recovery is really worth it because, lets face it, I am burned out. I am burned out from constantly figuring out my exchanges (the method which most eating disorder treatment professionals use to help clients with food rather than counting calories) and following all the “rules” that are set in recovery. I find myself wishing to be nothing more than “normal.” To me, being normal means I don’t have to take time away from my daughter to see a dietician, a therapist, and attend support group. Being normal means eating what I want and not worrying about whether or not it will make me “over” in an exchange area and the guilt and embarrassment of admitting that to my dietician. However, I needed to remind myself that most of society isn’t “normal” when it comes to food. Most people have some sort of skewed view of food and an obscure relationship with it. I’m learning to do something most people don’t accomplish in a lifetime–eating balanced meals allowing myself to have everything in some capacity. On the days when I want nothing more than to be normal, I realize I don’t want that at all. I want to be recovered, which is a much greater accomplishment I think.
In the middle of this week of struggle, the days in Ohio have been hot; weather I thoroughly enjoy. The hot weather is something my daughter seems to really enjoy too, so I have been trying to live in the moment with her to get my mind off my own selfish struggles. That means taking her to the pool and wearing my swimsuit in front of people, even though I feel self-conscious because my daughter wants to swim with me. She grabs my hands, pulls me into the water with her and proceeds to get me to play. And you know what, when I am in the water playing with her I am not thinking about my body. I’m not even thinking about myself. I am thinking about the fun we are having and the memories we are creating. Along the same lines, I took her down to the creek at the back of our property last night and we picked wild mulberries. Okay, I picked the mulberries, my daughter ate them as quickly as I could pick them! Her innocence is so pure, sweet, and refreshing. She isn’t thinking about if the berries will impact her body or not, all she knows is they taste sweet and delicious and she wanted more!
Adding to the memory making with my daughter, a true test for me came last night when she got in the snack cabinet. She rummaged around for a few minutes and pulled out an applause packet for herself…and one for me. Even though I had just eaten my snack in accordance with my meal plan, I was presented with an opportunity to set an example for my child: to eat a snack with her when she offers me food. This was a chance to show her food isn’t an enemy. Guess what? I took that opportunity. I not only showed my daughter food isn’t an enemy, I also showed my eating disorder that I am back in charge and it doesn’t get to win. And you know what? Today I have been back on point with my meal plan and tracking my exchanges. After that seemingly small victory last night, I have a renewed hope for my own recovery and getting to a place in recovery where I am not only intuitively eating but also enjoying food with my family no matter what time of day.
My challenge for myself this week (and for you) is to live in the moment.
Make memories. Eat a random snack offered to you by a toddler.
Swim without regard to what others might think.
Sunbathe. Pick berries. Sing.
With Body Love,