Basically I was struggling with a food ritual I do that has led to restriction. I was texting her about it because I was trying not to do it and needed support. She then told me that " 'normal' eaters wouldn't do it." Woah...what? Brakes on...why are we talking about normal eating?
You see these past few months of fighting weight gain and struggling with that and fighting to switch over to exchange based system and just being so focused on not being anorexic...well it has me purely focused on anorexia. Somehow my end goal has become gaining weight...no wonder I struggle. The whole reason I developed this disorder was to control weight gain so fighting for a goal I don't want is well....pointless. But normal eating....why that's something I want.
|Normal eating can set me free!|
In fact I realized that's always been the point of treatment. When I am inpatient or residential the reasons they have so many rules about how you eat the food is to avoid doing behaviors that aren't normal. If the goal was just to gain weight....they wouldn't care how we ate they would just care that we ate.
If the end goal of nutritional therapy was to gain weight...I would never have to see an outpatient nutritionist when I left inpatient treatment and was at my goal weight, but treatment centers always made me. Why? Because I still wasn't normal with food. I still had a mistrust. I still had distorted behaviors and beliefs around it.
This may seem trivial...realizing I am in treatment not to gain weight, but to become a normal eater. But it's far from trivial. You see I can accept the task of learning how to eat much more than learning that it's okay to gain weight. I can kind of look at nutrition and my meal plan as a class and all I am doing is learning how to eat again. So I have to stop the minor behaviors I have because they stand in the way of my "learning."
Another groundbreaking thing from this....I have lost the excuse I have with some of my behaviors. You see whenever I am using some of my ED behaviors like skimping portions I rationalize it because I say it doesn't matter if I am gaining weight anyway. If I am gaining weight doing it and my end goal is to gain weight....then I have met the goal and don't have to get rid of it. But if my end goal is "normal" eating and I take prepackaged items and leave some behind "just in case" it's too big....well that's not normal and it stands in the way of my goal. Weight gain, loss, or maintenance plays no factor...it's just the "normalcy" of the behavior that matters.
Same thing with eating the same, safe food or with meal timing...pretty much everything I still do that I justify as okay because I don't think it will stand in the way of my gaining weight. If it is not part of the "normal" eating I am supposed to be practicing...then it can't be a part of my life. It needs to be talked about with my team and removed.
There is also a positive side to all this. It also means that the weeks I don't gain because my body decides to rev its metabolism...that weight isn't a sign of my success or failure. How I did in practicing "normal" eating is what is a measure of my success. Actually, come to think about it, if my goal of treatment isn't reaching some ideal weight, but is normal eating, then I have no reason to think of weight whatsoever. Now, my team's goal may be weight gain, but if that's not my goal, then weight is only something my team has to focus on. All I have to do throughout the week is focus on whether my behaviors are normal, not whether they are making me gain weight (which leads to an obsession about how fast that is or is no happening).
So for this week I am going to try and look at my actions with a new perspective/goal in mind: I want to be a "normal" eater. My meal plan is the practice I need at normal amounts of intake and frequency. My meals and snacks are chances to practice normal eating techniques.
Anyone else want to join the fight to normalcy? Found this quote below, just to remind us this fight for freedom and normalcy won't be easy, but WE ARE COURAGEOUS!