Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Rules made to be broken

So earlier this week I realized just how many rules my ED still holds me under....and honestly I am just frustrated and tired of them. I want to be able to live life and be able to feed myself without having to balance a million rules in my head about what/how much/when to eat. I just want to be able to eat like everyone else. My mind may not be the same as everyone's due to calories and fat being seared into them....but I want to be able to not have those numbers hold me captive. I want to be free to just nourish myself. To look at food like exchanges and nutrients, not just numbers.

The biggest motivator for me....taking a trip to Colorado to meet with the potential graduate school for me come 2014. I don't want to go out to eat with them and freak out because of these stupid rules. I just don't want them to hold me back anymore. So today in my N session we really banged through them.

I also realized in this session (thanks to my kick-butt nutritionist) that these rules were designed to lower my anxiety about gaining weight by halting the process. But all they have increase my anxiety and make me lose weight. It's ridiculous. The more rules I add, the more anxiety I get. I just want freedom and peace. I want a future where food isn't the focus. I want to be okay with feeling scared and anxious and not let those emotions control me. So I have decided to rewrite the rules into freedoms. Freedoms that conquer what ED says. Basically....these are ED's rules and now it's time for Jess' freedoms. So here they are (WARNING: there is calorie talk here).

No fruits >50 calories for fruit exchange except prunes at b-fast
Freedom: Only scary/high calorie fruits for this week. Exchanges are supposed to be 60-120 cals anyway

Do torn lettuce as veggie at one meal aka NEVER do steamed at both meals
Freedom: Steamed at both meals is possible. Lettuce no longer counts as vegetable. 

2 starches can’t be greater than 150 calories (N told me today minimum of 200 is what she wanted)
Freedom: 2 starches should not be less than 200 calories. For this whatever starches I am craving, regardless of counts. Do portions way N has directed (rolls/sweet potatoe only 1 starch). Challenge self at at least lunch or dinner....better if both. 

No greater than 1.5-2g of fat in
Freedom: Starches are not fat exchanges so no paying attention to fats. For right now ignoring this one from being a focus, but in future will do challenge starches to really break it. 

Must do “healthy” one at at least one meal (aka peas, sweet potatoe when was 2 starches)
Freedom: Again not fully focusing on this, but this week I really want to try and go for what I am craving not what my mind deems acceptable. My idea of "healthy" is not anything my dietitian has told me and thus is founded in distorted ED ideas. 

Can’t be greater than 70-100 calorie
Freedom: must be 100 to 150 calories. This is laid out by N and very easy to achieve by getting      adequate portions. Have actually already been working on this. 

Must be low-fat
Freedom: Not really tackling this one yet, but in future will have challenge proteins to help conquer this. 

 For dairy: ALWAYS do two yogurts and then either egg whites or skim milk to meet three
Freedom: This is a silly pattern I have made a rule. So now I get to do chocolate milk on occasion to      switch it up.

No more than 5g per serving
Freedom: This is completely ignored. Fats minimum of 5 g per serving, not as max anymore. 

Do “safe” one twice a day (this is my lower fat dressing usually)
Freedom: No "safe" fats as these are diet foods. These are allowed as extra calories but not fat exchanges. Doesn't matter if calories the same, fat is a nutrient I need. 

Only one high sodium meal a day
Freedom: Sodium is not an exchange and thus is not to be used to determine anything about my meal. 

Never do lunch and dinner that are “normal” meals (aka from hot line or other prepared dishes)
Freedom: though no concrete plan for this...with following my cravings this may be broken this week. 

Do smallest bagel available. Only wheat or cinnamon raisin. On scary days do Lender Bagels.
Freedom: Unless no dining hall bagels available (aka unless at home) then Lender Bagel can not count. Allow whatever flavor craving. 

Healthy snack (fruit and dairy) last one always
Freedom: the timing of the snack does not matter. If I want this one earlier I will do it earlier. 

Not focusing on yet but will
No more than .5 g saturated per exchange unless PB then only 1 g

High-fat desserts only on sack lunch day (due to lack of fat in lunch) or on yoga/rounds days. NEVER on non-active days  

Sweet treat non-active day no greater than 100 calories  

Always walk from class unless raining  

Do walk on Sundays briefly in morning since lazy day    

Breakfast always rotate b/t grits one and cereal one  

1 hour after eat before can sleep

Do ½ yoga in morning before eat and other ½ right before dinner or sweet treat 

Guess this is what happens when you have an ED for 14 years of your life. Honestly, I didn't even realize how many of these rules I had till I sat down and wrote them out. They are from years of dieting and years of trying to cling to numbers and control of food in order to control the feelings of fear and anxiety. As mentioned in earlier post, they also keep me from enjoying food....a way to punish myself for what was done to my brother. But I am ready to break free. And it's scary. Only done one snack and one meal since deciding the break these rules and I am full of anxiety. But I know this anxiety will pass and I will find freedom. With these rules in place I only gain more and more anxiety....hope and pray for freedom....but freedom never comes. Instead I just add more rules, and they are never enough. So I am going to try a new path, a new way...I am going to try and push through this temporary anxiety, because breaking these's my only chance at freedom. 

1 comment:

  1. I am SO proud of you for laying it all out like this. I used to call my ED behaviours my dirty little secrets. And as secrets, they had more power over me than I did over them. Once I started sharing them, they were no longer dirty or shameful, and I had help working past them.

    Do you want to know something? We were very, very, very much alike in our eating patterns. I used to make almost exactly the same "cuts" as you did ... so when my dietitian asked me if I was eating all of my exchanges, I would say yes (because "technically" I was, but I wasn't eating COMPLETE exchanges). Little did I realize at the time, it didn't affect her at all -- all she saw was the fact that I was apparently eating all that I should have but still wasn't gaining weight, so she inevitably increased my meal plan. Well, that didn't go over very well. Slowly over time, I gave up (the majority) of my rules. Do I still hold on to a few? Most definitely, but I am meeting my full meal plan and am still gaining weight. I'm constantly working on breaking those last few and the fact that I haven't yet conquered them is why I'm still in recovery and not completely recovered. And I'm okay with that. I'm still a recovery newby.
    I know without a shadow of a doubt that you're capable of this. I just hope that you believe yourself capable as well. <3