Friday, December 14, 2012

Recovery Week Day 4: Learn from Me

Hey guys. Here is the first post of the night (hoping will get the other one out today as well, but after having it take 6 hours to get home instead of 1 hour we shall see). This one is about the mistakes I have made in recovery so you don't have to make them. Trust me, save yourself the agony and take my word for it.

No Weigh: Avoid scales AT ALL COST 

Alright first (and hardest) lesson for me to DO NOT and SHOULD NOT weigh anything in recovery. Numbers are already obsessive enough, we don't need more to obsess over. It started with deciding that in order to better measure portion sizes I needed to use a food scale. FALSE! Measuring cups and spoons are perfectly adequate. They were used for years before food scales were invented. And a lot of things don't even have g or oz associated with the serving size. And no exchange portions are in grams or oz (other than meat, but you can easily use your hand as a guide). So NO REASON FOR FOOD SCALES WHATSOEVER. That is unless of course you want to become obsessed with measuring everything, have another obsessive behavior to overcome, become afraid of food based off size, and feel miserable for finishing portions. If you want that misery raise your hand. Yeah, that's what I one. 

The lovely need to measure my food moved to a feeling of need to weigh myself. DUMBEST RECOVERY MOVE EVER! Nobody in recovery should be weighing themselves. We judge ourselves enough without having a number to judge ourselves based on. And these are all false, superficial judgements. Literally, there is no benefit to weighing yourself. Oh, so you think it will help ease the weight gain/maintenance process. WRONG! It will just make you obsessed. Plus, your doctors will monitor that so you don't need to. You think you will be able to control how much you weigh. WRONG AGAIN! Once a week very quickly becomes every day which becomes several times a day and again you have another headache to get over (no team is going to let you weigh for all of these reasons). 

So if it spits a number out at you about your food or yourself....look the other way as you smash it. Scale back the scales to an absolute zero. 

The Facts are Nutrition Facts SUCK

Another lovely lesson I learned, nutrition labels have no place in recovery, especially not on exchange based meal plan. It is already hard enough to eat the food just because it's food, definitely don't need numbers to add into the feelings of guilt. And we aren't dietitians or doctors who even know what the numbers tell us or what we need. If we knew the nutrients we needed and how to get them, we wouldn't have eating disorders aka a disorder with our eating. 
I still struggle with it. I struggle to not look at my schools nutrition facts when I plan out my week, but trust me its so much better that way. We don't need to judge our food or ourselves for eating, we just need to give ourselves freedom to eat what we want. Nutrition labels can take away this freedom, therefore they don't belong. 

So if you struggle with label reading use this nifty and freeing trick. Get a sharpie and black out all the labels. Or have a friend do it for you. That way when you go to your cupboard to get a snack you choose it based off taste not the numbers. But if numbers do sneak in choose whatever your mind is telling you not to choose, because usually that is what you want anyway. If your mind is saying no, no, no but your taste buds are saying Heck Yes, screw your mind. In recovery its matter over mind, not mind over matter. 

Excuse Ed's Excuses

I have begun to learn that many times our ED will cleverly work to get us to do his deeds by making excuses to justify our behavior. Mine ED's favorite excuse....that doesn't look good so I shouldn't eat it. WRONG! You can't judge a foods taste based off site. I mean last time I checked your taste buds were in your mouth, not in your eyes. Therefore vision does not replace taste in the senses realm. 

Another favorite excuse...just this one time won't hurt. Just this one walk, just this one skipped snack, just this one (fill in blank). Two problems with this...ED likes numbers way too much to stop counting at one. What do I mean? One time always leads to two, which leads to three...which leads straight to relapse or giant slip. Second problem: anything with ED involved will hurt. It will hurt your body, your mind, your soul. It may feel good initially, it may not cause damage initially, but just wait. BAM! You will get hit with guilt, health complication, and sadness. 

Oh or my favorite. ED makes me delay my eating all day (like today could have stopped for lunch instead waited till 6 pm) and then says too late to do rest of plan. He is screaming this right now to me as it is 9 pm and I am about to have dinner and still have 4 snacks. But ED got me to this place of late eating and I can get myself out by giving my body what it needs. And that is exactly what I will do and what you all should do if this excuse comes into play.

So when ED starts bring in the excuses, tell ED he is excused. He can go find someone else to lie too, because you got better things to do (which you do, like reading this blog....much better than reading into ED's excuses). 

Honesty is Key

I repeat this again and again but it's so true. Something I have learned is honesty is truly the best policy. There is no need to lie to your team. I know, I know...ED tells you your team will give up on you. He will shame you into silence. He will tell you you shouldn't tell, but all that does is fuel the fire. It makes it easier and easier to stay trapped in this disease. Honesty, though, that's the key out. 

When you slip its okay, people aren't perfect (though we wish we were) and neither is our recovery. There will be bumps along the way, there will be slips, it will happen. But you tell your team and they pull you out. They are like those weird people on the airway directing the plane with the nifty lights. They will direct you to your path of freedom so you can take off. 

But you have to be honest. Hiding one slip continues to give ED victory. It will continue to keep your true voice silent. It will push that ball down the hill to relapse. But just open up. Admit you slipped, admit you need help, and you will be on your way to victory. 

So learn from me. Don't try and weigh, don't rely on a stupid table to tell you what to eat, don't let ED's excuses be your way out, instead let honesty set you free. I love you all and am so blessed to have you all to make my slips into your all success. Together we will travel to recovery, and stand together, united in joy, standing in the ray of recovery. 

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