Sorry been crazy busy with exams this week, but am squeezing in some time here basically to keep me from working out, but also because I love my readers :)
Anywho, I remembered a coping tool today that helped me so much in taking the plunge into recovery and one I desperately need to bring back. Basically it comes down to this. My biggest fear with this recovery process is that I will reach my healthy weight and still have disordered eating behaviors and no "cushion" of weight to gain in case I balloon. Of course this is an eating disordered thought and food can't cause you to balloon, but I am starting out here in recovery, so baby steps with what I try and get my mind to believe.
Well I know the perfect way to prevent this from becoming a reality. Basically any behavior I have (especially with food) I have to determine whether I want to do it the rest of my life. If I don't, then it's got to go. Not only is this a great way to get through meals and snacks (at least for me), but it also helps me see each meal and snack as a way of painting a better future for myself.
I think so many times we as eating disorder patients get wrapped up in the numbers our docs throw around. Whether it be weight, meal plans, calories, nutrients, labs, temperature, blood pressure, what ever it may be, it all becomes a swarming mess in our head. I cling desperately to numbers as some measure of control, so when one goes different than I want it sets me back a whole lot. So I need to find another focus of my recovery, and for me that is in trying to see it as a positive thing and not something to fear. So if each meal and snack is a way to make a better future for myself, then I have a reason to push through and get all my exchanges and such.
So there are two ways to go about it. One is the way I did it to get the motivation to even start this true recovery. I made a list of how I wanted to be able to eat eventually. Things like making choices based off desires and not numbers, finishing normal portions, eating out at resteraunts, eating without planning, etc. Then next to that list the behaviors you do that prevent that from being a reality. Like for me with the making choices without numbers, I couldn't do that when I was calorie counting so I knew calorie counting had to go and here I am now rocking the exchange system. It's just nice when you are first starting out to see how changing your behaviors can bring positive outcomes.
Next though comes in the moment use. To me this is hugely important right now because in the moment is where I get myself into trouble. For example, the biggest thing I struggle with now is my mandatory bagel snack. Every day when I go to do my bagel I want to leave some behind. This started all when my nutritionist had me give away my food scale. Now my mind goes off about how my bagel could be too big and thus I need to leave some off for "safety." It even gets so tricky as to say..see that piece is burnt, or soggy, or lacks flavor, or is colored weird, etc etc with excuses of why to leave it behind. But on the nights I push through and finish the whole bagel this is what I do. When I am about to rip off a piece to not eat I stop and ask myself...do I want to forever have to rip off bagel pieces. Can you imagine? When I go out with a boss/co-worker/friend to a bagel shop and I have to leave some behind because of fear. Well I for one don't want to do that, which means right here in this moment, I need to set myself up for that future by eating my whole bagels.
If even that concept is too hard for you right now feel free to steal something I had an aha moment about. Basically the way the body works with meal plans (especially in weight restoration) is you eat more and then your body adapts to that intake so you have to get an increase. So here is what I say to myself when the voice that I will balloon gets too loud. "I may balloon this week, but next week my body will adjust and I won't balloon and I will forever be free to eat/do x, y, z." To me one week of ballooning is worth a future full of freedom. I won't remember the weeks I balloon, but if I never get over my fear of food, I will remember the opportunities I had to overcome. The chances I had to pave the way to my tomorrows. I don't know about you, but I for one want to look back on the opportunities with a smile on my face, knowing I used each one to paint a brighter tomorrow.