So what can I do? How can I find real freedom? I have to not give ED even the tiniest foothold. No ED action can be written off as okay because its not that bad. The reality is, it will be used for ED to denounce all the other good recovery things I have been doing. It will become the reason I am not gaining instead of the reason being that I need food and my body can be trusted. For example, today I realized I needed another starch exchange because my squash serving was too small, but ED said no. That I could just eat more at dinner (which would have never happened). He then said eating right portion would make me gain…but I pointed out that I haven’t gained yet. So he went back to the fact I left like 4 peas behind at lunch yesterday…really…4 FREAKING PEAS. He said that was the reason I lost. That is how illogical ED is and how non-innocent leaving behind even four peas is. I now see why treatment centers are so crazy about cleaning your plate. Even tiniest scrap feeds restriction.
So now I see I have to fight ED with food. Food is the sword God has given me to slain ED. So if ED or any part of me says leave this behind, eat this safer food, it’s okay that portion is small, move more, whatever…and it’s not in line with my recovery, meal plan, treatment goals…then the opposite needs to happen. If it is something that takes away my anxiety (and isn’t a positive coping skill like journaling), it can’t happen. I have to really look at each decision I make and make sure it lines up with recovery. Each time I get full portions, choose scarier food, clean my plate…I am earning victory and (to appease myself on harder days) I am validating what scale says next day. Otherwise the weigh-in will be invalidated the next day by ED and no matter what the scale ED will haunt me to keep me from victories by using the one tiny way I listened to him. The one tiny pea I left behind will become reason to skip whole portion, the one safe food I eat instead of what I want will become the only safe food…because with ED you give any a micrometer…he takes the whole dang mile…and eventually your life.
ED will no doubt try and tell me the victories are small for me. That eating one pea won't matter, or finishing plate isn't that big of a deal. But just as quick as he will say that...if I don't do those actions he will turn around and make them a huge deal. They will become what holds me back from doing the right thing in days to come. I think I have just realized why it really is so crucial for me to actively be a part of every meal and snack I have. To not fall into habits or patterns or to check out. Because ED is at work with each decision, and I need to guarantee it is one for victory. Otherwise the nonchalant attitude of ED will take over and I will unknowlingly slip into a behavior he will torture me with in days to come.
The desire of my heart is to repair my metabolism, trust my body and food, be free of food fears, to have recovery, to help others. None of these things are possible if I give the enemy (ED) even the tiniest foothold. Even the tiniest restriction is a huge victory for him, because it will allow him to grab hold the next day. It doesn’t mean if I mess up then I have failed. It just means I have to undo what I have done. So if I miss a portion and realize it at next meal I can make it up. Or even if I don’t and the next day ED whispers in my ear about it, by doing the right thing in that moment, I have claimed victory.
So it’s a weird thought, but perhaps food isn’t what I need to fear, but the weapon I need to use to fight. It is the fuel to the fire that will engulf my ED. Really…ED tries to control me by controlling my food. So by taking back control of my food, trusting the support and doctors that guide me on how to eat so I can learn for the first time, by pushing myself to do what is uncomfortable….I will take back control…or at least give it to God where it belongs. And with each tiny victory I will be one step closer to the future and freedom I desire. But it is going to come with each bite I take of a fear food, each portion I fully get, each plate I clean. Those are my weapons, food is my weapon. It is what my body needs to function, what my mind needs to heal, and what God has given me as a tool to kick ED’s ass.