Evening, lovely love muffins. Speaking of muffins! I have a muffin idea in my head for this weekend. Involving one of the food blogging world's favorite products. But that's all I'm saying for now :]
The exciting part of this post comes soon, but first I'll post a pic of my oatmeal this morning. It was topped with TJ's chai tea mix and half a caramelized nanner.
And for lunch I had a PB sammich, cauliflower, Nature Valley granola bar, and a vanilla Chobby Wob.
This afternoon afterschool I was reading the lovely Mel's blog in which she talks about eating intuitively and giving yourself unconditional permission to eat what you want. I mentioned yesterday that I was having difficulty eating when I was hungry (thanks for the stellar advice, btw) so this post couldn't have come at a better time! It really struck a chord with me how Mel said "...when you deny your body what it's REALLY craving and give it something else instead, you will never be satisfied and then just end up bingeing later on what you wanted in the first place. By giving yourself what you want to begin with, with NO emotional baggage associated with the food, you cut down on the guilt, and thus cut down on the binge/restrict cycle."
I was feeling really starving today for some reason. I was sitting at the computer thinking "okay, you can have your snack at 3:30 before you leave for group. No more." But then I read Mel's post today and a lightbulb went off! I can't expect that recovery is going to come to me without any work. I won't just be able to wake up one morning and be totally in touch with my body, and give it all of and the right type of food it needs. I have to actually practice honoring my hunger consistently, so that becomes my new "normal" diet, rather than restricting what I really want to eat. This disorder has already taken so much from me, I can't let it take away anymore TIME by waiting for recovery to come.
Then I was reading through my diary from early September, 2007. I had just gotten through a couple months of binging after the event that triggered my ED. I'd already been struggling with disordered thoughts for a few years. But a very shortened version of my diary entry is: "You don't have to be skinny to be anorexic. I weight ___ lbs, so I'm not exactly a stick. A lot of guys at my school weigh more than I do. I've dropped my calorie intake to ___ cals a day. In front of my parents and friends, I have to force myself to eat. The thought of consuming anything but water disgusts me. I HATE EATING! I picture my ideal weight at ___. I pick my flaws out in the mirror every day. I swore that I would never do something like this to myself. But I can't help it. This may not seem like a serious problem now because of how much I weigh, but I think that if this goes on I might have a serious problem. I do sort of wish someone would notice I have a problem. I'm tired of being invisible. I need other people to recognize that I'm not always so rational and composed on the inside. I need to be skinny."
Little did I know that a few months later I'd be facing hospitalization for being so underweight. Anyhow, I remember that while I was writing this, I was realizing for the first time that my days of eating carelessly were over. I could no longer eat when I was hungry, without counting cals. I was already so consumed with my disorder that I couldn't be convinced that restricting my body of what it needed was not a way to get noticed, or to feel better about myself for more than a few hours. As I was reading this over, I came to the conclusion that I haven't eaten intuitively in a year and a half. So what way to better mark that by breaking the bad habit? That's right. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted, without paying attention to cals.
ED wants me to be embarrased for posting how much I've eaten today, but I refuse. Before I left for group I had a bowl of honey nut cheerios with milk. ED started butting in and jabbering about how it was too sugary for a snack but I brushed him off. In the car to group, I had a string cheese and apple, then after group I had a dark chocolate raspberry almond Quaker True Delights bar. When I got home, I was ravenous, for some reason. I guessed that it might be because of a lack of protein and fat, so I made a bowl of plain yogurt with 1/2 a banana, PB puffins, and a spoon of PB.
And guess what? I didn't feel guilty eating these. At all. In fact, I felt proud that I was respecting my natural hunger signals and not depriving my body of what it needed. I'll admit, for a couple of minutes, I was worried that this would turn into a binge. Even though my binging only lasted a few months, it was one of the most painful things I've ever been through and don't want it back. But I stopped, drank a glass of water, and thought that I was legitimately hungry, I wasn't eating for emotional reasons or because I was bored.
I am on a calorie counting-free snacking high right now like you wouldn't believe! I talked about this at group today and everyone was so happy for me, which just made me feel even better.
I wasn't feeling like I had already eaten too much when it was dinner time. I steamed some cauliflower, spinach, and mushrooms. Then I put them in a ramekin, topped them with tomato sauce and cheese, and shoved it in the over. Pizza veggie-bake! Delish. On the side, I had some grilled tofu and a slice of toast with PB. I had more PB because I could and was craving it.
I haven't counted cals at all since my snacks this afternoon. It's so liberating, why did I do it in the first place? And wow, I never realized how much brain space it takes up! I'm feeling a small tinge of guilt now, which I suppose is expected them first time. I think I just need to practice this more and it will get easier. And also maybe one person to tell me that I'm doing to right thing.