First off, happy Friday. But here at Freedom Hunger we crave more from our Fridays than just the end of the week....we crave Freedom. And thus it's FREEDOM FRIDAY!!!! Yay, I have a lot of freedom foods from this week to share, but you all will have to wait for that post, because I have one I am facing later and I couldn't leave the piece of freedom out.
I also couldn't wait to post some things I've been wanting to post this week (now that two of my finals are done I have time). Remember a few post back when I mentioned my christmas angel well now I have the time to share what that is.
Basically someone near and dear to me hear about something a radio station I listen to (104.7 The Fish) does called the Fish Christmas Wish. Basically, if you know someone in need this season you send in their wish and they put together a huge book of the wishes and bring them to Chick-fil-A's and people go and grant other's wishes. Well, my mom heard about this and knows one of my big motivations for getting better is to be able to run again, but also thanks to the years of damage from my ED I have to get fitted and get real running shoes. Being a college student putting yourself through college (thank God for scholarships) well...running shoes don't fit in the budget. So I kind of gave up on that dream and some of my motivation for accepting weight gain slipped away. So my mom decided to put me in for the Fish Christmas Wish. To be honest, she didn't think I would get chosen, but decided to put in for it anyway.
Well a few days ago, my mom got a call from our Christmas Angel. I won't use her name out of respect for her privacy, but she understands the road I am on and wants to grant my wish. She is going to pay for my running shoes, but she isn't just getting me shoes. She is giving me back hope, motivation, something to fight for. I know it seems silly, but she has granted more than just a Christmas wish...she is an answer to prayers.
Sadly, we called the store where I am going to get the fitting and they want me closer to the BMI I will be running at. I felt so much guilt having to tell my Christmas Angel this. I wondered what she would think. I felt like a failure. Had I just been fighting harder, had I not struggled, had I just been better then she could have granted my wish. But I mustered up the courage and told her...fully prepared for the anger I thought would come. But what came, unconditional love. Not only did my Angel agree to still pay for the shoes once I reach my goal weight but she also wants to still do something for me this season.
So what is she doing? She is helping me become a new me and accept who I am by letting me come to her salon and get my hair done (highlights, color, whatever) for free. What?! People do this. Strangers give freely? I couldn't believe this... I still can't. A complete stranger believes in me and is showing me more love than I have ever truly seen in my life.
This is the love I deserved as a child. The love I long to one day show myself. The love God tells me He has for me. That He sees where I am going and will support me till I get there. Through the triumphs and the setbacks He will love and support me WHERE I AM NOW. My Christmas Angel, I hope she gets all the blessings this world has to offer. She has shown me something I have never seen: acceptance and unconditional love. I wish I could explain in words how much this means :) She is a miracle....a true Christmas miracle. Can't wait to meet her next week and to run my first race thanking God for her....my Christmas Angel and hopefully a long-term support and friend :)
Some Help I Hope to Offer in Recovery
Now with this help I have gotten from my Christmas Angel, I have a little help I hope to offer on here. Wish I had money to get you all little Christmas gifts, but again I am a college student, but I do have a current struggle I am overcoming and wanted to share with you all in case you find yourself in this scenario any time soon.
A few nights ago I apparently ate something that didn't sit well with my tummy (thank you ED struggles for giving me a GI mess). So yesterday mid-day I was left with upper GI cramps and nausea. I let this delay my lunch but I didn't let it prevent my lunch or even my snacks. It was the hardest thing I had to do, because frankly....what an easy excuse is it to skip your meal plan parts when your stomach is in pain. But here's the thing...ED doesn't care if you act on behaviors because you are sick or because you are coping using them...he just cares you use them. He will use that one instance to make the next day much harder.
So I pushed through yesterday. I gave it the best shot I could and managed to get through all but one of my snacks without restricting and that last snack I only left a little behind. Of course that little I left behind is haunting me now as my mind says I need to skimp it again today (especially since I don't feel well still), but I won't if I can help it.
It is very, very hard to stay in recovery when your tum tum isn't cooperating. When you have no appetite. When it literally hurts to eat. See its hard, but NOT impossible. Example....this morning I woke up and honestly couldn't stomach eating all my breakfast. Solution...I had half before my final and after my final had the other half. See I am honoring my body and its needs right now to not be overwhelmed by spreading out my meal plan. But my body also needs these nutrients (something hard to accept but true) and thus it also NEEDS my meal plan.
Another way to help you meet your meal plan/intake needs with an upset tum tum...be gentle with your food choices. Here are some things that helped me meet exchanges yesterday:
- Fruits: bananas, applesauce, melons....nothing too hard to eat and bananas really help calm the tummy. For me, I have to stay away from acidic citrus. I've heard apples help too....but we are working on my fear of these. Also, canned fruits (pears especially) help.
- Veggies: stick with the steamed. Less chewing and easier for body to break down. If I had it I would have done some kind of veggie soup (forget the fear this brings), but none in dining hall.
- Starch: These are the powerhouse foods for me when I am nauseous and luckily I don't have a fear of them, but for those of you that do I know how hard it is to push through, but do try. Plain toast, bagels (mandatory part of my daily intake as you will see on Monday), plain grits, plain rice, crackers, oatmeal (though the texture is what got to me at the end of the day) those all help me. I also know people eat plain pasta noodles and potatoes...again I am working on fear of these things.
- Protein: At home when I am nauseous I just try and do boiled chicken, shrimp, or plain fish...but honestly protein sources just make me more nauseous so I just push through. But protein isn't something I enjoy eating anyway. Yesterday I just turned to water-packed tuna. Sometimes it can get to the point you just do a protein shake/ drink (ie Boost, Ensure), but check with your dietician or doctor.
- Dairy: My all time favorite exchange, and the all time hardest for me to eat when nauseous. But I just suck it up. Milk is harder for me than yogurt on nausea days, so I go for the yogurt. But
unluckily for me I have mandatory chocolate milk on my meal plan....but again I do it because I have to.
- Fats (or essentials as I call them): Well I struggle with these no matter if I am nauseous or not....they are just a struggle. But on nausea days I find the ones I can "hide" are the best. Like things I can add to what I am already eating to make it easier. Turn to avacado on my toast/sandwiches, peanut butter if I wasn't so scared of it. I find almonds are preety easy to tolerate. The important thing to remember is when you are sick ED is going to make your hardest exchange the first one to go....so prepare yourself and plan ahead. I literally planned my fats and got them first when I made my meals because I knew they would be the hardest, but I just have to remind myself my body NEEDS them.
Just remember no matter what to try your hardest. Give it your all and don't let ED determine how you eat on sick days. The first few times I had an upset stomach I let ED rules and told my nutritionist it wasn't fair I had to eat when others with upset stomachs don't have to. I was quickly reminded those people also don't have eating disorders and thus have earned the right to decided when they can eat less. But for me...my ED is still so ingrained that it would be worse for me not to eat than to eat because along with battling whatever is making my tummy upset I would have a even bigger battle with ED.
That's right. If you do slip and revert to ED behaviors though, don't let it mess up the rest of your day. And if it does, get back on track the next day. Trust me, I have learned from experience the more ED days you tack on the harder those recovery days get. Why make recovery any harder than it already is.
Alrighty, time for me to go settle this tummy. Nausea is still here, tummy cramps definitely present, but ED...he just can't fit in my life today. Nausea and tummy cramps (along with a dreary, cold, cloudy day) are making today crappy enough...don't need ED to add to that. And don't forget to come back tonight for FREEDOM FRIDAY!!!