So it's another edition of freEDom and this time I have to get honest up front. First off this may go into specifics about a fear food (not really numbers but just something that happened) so if that freaks you out or food talk freaks you out don't read this post. Alright, onward we go.
So last night I face a huge fear in doing a peanut butter cookie. Everyone told me it would be okay that I couldn't gain weight, but I was convinced otherwise. I was convince I would gain a crazy amount overnight and never be able to eat a cookie again. Well...that exact fear engulfed my sleep and this morning the nightmare became a reality. I stepped on the scale and BAM! overnight two lbs gained. Here I had been somewhat excited about being down some from my last session. Not excited because I had lost, but because that meant I actually did need more food....that I could eat and not be afraid. Then, in the split second on the scale all that went away. I literally got on and off the scale 10 times before going to the shower to cry...yes..cry. Cry and pray and yell and be pissed.
But today didn't give me time to sit with this feeling. It was back to back classes, meetings, studying...and you know what. Somehow...I kind of "forgot" about the weight gain. Yes, it popped into my mind, but how I mean "forgot" is I kept doing what I had to do. I faced big fear at bagel snack and at sack lunch and at dinner. Honestly...I was just blaming the cookie. I was thinking to myself...today has been pretty healthy so that weight should be gone tomorrow unless it's real.
But then my friend (actually several friends) called me out on what I was choosing to do as my Sweet Surprise Snack. This is basically the same thing as Triumph Treat except there is no caloric min or max...it's just what I wanted. Well, my mind honestly told me I wanted a Fat Free Fig Newton...are these scary for me...yes! Are they really the kind of thing N wants as sweet treat...not so much. But in my mind I turned the safety of them being fat free into a craving and convinced myself it was what I wanted. That was until my friends called me out on it.
So then I was sitting there denying over and over again that I was using the newton to escape a real treat. But my friend pushed me to do the other PB cookie I had and I fought it tooth and nail. The reasons all were quite logical....yet totally disordered. What if I gained again? Was it really okay to eat something just to see if I gain? It was too salty, too rich, its normal to eat healthy after indulgent day, newton was what I wanted, and so on and so on. This continued for hours of texts and fb messages and then it kind of hit me. If I really didn't want PB cookie...or at least to face it again. If I really wanted the fig newton and was really craving it. If it was really me and not ED....I would have eaten the fig newton by that point or at least stopped engaging in conversation about it. But I didn't.
Then, when I thought about eating the newton....I just kept thinking...what if that's the easy ED way out? And what if I gain weight anyway? And then I just got really confused. I, myself, I didn't know what decision to make. I really, honestly thought I was craving a fig newton.....I honestly never thought I would eat the cookie...I really didn't think I wanted it. That's what happens when you have ED so long. It becomes so normal to have ED cravings....that you don't know what's you and what's ED. But with the help of friends...I realized the true, safe thing to do...it was the cookie. If I did the PB cookie again...it would really mean the weigh-in didn't get to me. But if I did newton...yes there was a chance it was what I was craving...but there was also a chance it was what the weight of the weigh-in pushed me to crave.
So tonight...with the first all the way to the last bite of my second PB cookie in years....I let go of the weight of my decisions. I let go of the condemnation from the scale and from the weight I let it put on me. I just let go of all the rules and trying to decide what decision was good and bad and I went with what the people I have put my trust into to guide me were telling me was right. I took the weight off my own shoulders and laid it at the foot of the Cross as I prayed through cookie. It wasn't easy and right now I am scared....but I'm still smiling because I know in my heart I made the right decision. I know I made a decision my support network, sponsor, and dietitian will be proud of. And that must mean I chose recovery.
So my freEDom this week is freEDom from the weight of weigh-ins and the scale. It's freedom from having a number dictate my food and life. It's freedom to trust others when I can't see past my ED. It's freedom to let go of control and listen and take the advice of others. It's freedom to do what your brain says is wrong but your heart knows is right. It's freedom....freedom to be free.