Saturday, March 2, 2013

Freedom Friday :)

So this week has brought a lot of mental freedom, but again there weren't that many new foods I faced. It's been more about refacing those fear foods that still haunt me. Finding freedom from the lies that still hold me back. Finding freedom of new therapist. Freedom after 6 weeks of non-stop exams. And freedom to cry and mourn the loss of my N for the longest time I have ever lost her due to her having a baby. So there's been a lot going on, a lot of insights I made, and a lot of post I have to write. Good news for you all....I have no exams/quizzes after Tuesday and next week is spring break....soooo...prepare to read :) Alright, enough blabbing...onto the freedom you came here for :)
Oh and forgive the delay...gave myself freedom Friday night to talk with a very good support for the first time face-to-face...well semi face-to-face...we used oovoo. After her being my official "sponsor" for the past month and a support for over a year...we finally had the time to talk together. That bonding came before the did not getting in bed crazy late because have NEDA walk today :)

 After taking a two week (I KNOW!!!! GASP!!!) from my beloved Arctic Zero pint, I was finally craving one again. I will admit in times past, I continued to leave some behind....worried perhaps my pint was too full. But this week has revealed to me that I need to download some new recovery vocab....and "too much" or "too big" just don't fit. So I dug in (yes I use little spoons) and ate the whole pint. And you know what...distance makes the heart grow fonder and this was AMAZING! And eating wasn't the only freedom with this, because I also let someone else buy it for me....and that's a big no-no in my book. I don't like to let others do things for me....but this special someone reminded me I deserve to be treated well and I deserve to have things bought for me.
 Another re-face was stir-fry (you see a little bit of it there) and the wheat roll. You see the problem for me is that if I face a freedom food only once or twice and go too long without having it again, it becomes scary all over and we are back to square one. Case and point: whole wheat roll. I faced it, did it almost every other day for like two weeks, then took a 3 week break from it. This 3-week break increased my craving for it, but also my fear. So finally...I broke down and grabbed one. Throwing out everything in my mind that said I couldn't do scary stir-fry and roll. I (not so politely) responded to that voice saying: "It fits my meal plan...why the hell can't I have it?" And with that...wheat roll re-entered my recovery repertoire.
 Oh old love...a love I have never fully accepted and indulged. You see...I have ALWAYS skimped on shrimp. Somehow I have convince myself 3 oz=3 shrimp....that is so not the case. Even these large shrimp I had to have 12 of to get my 3 oz (according to N). Of course I could only fit 10 in the container I brought to dining hall so I was a little low, but my N was understanding. It was scary enough to triple the intake I was used to (granted its still been over a year since I had shrimp). These were amazing and honestly...I can't wait to get to eat 12 whole shrimp. See's not something I have to do, but something I get to do...something I want to do. Another freedom I am learning: it's okay to want food.
 Oh...dining hall you haunt me each and every freaking day. That's right....I am still scared of these and they have been a daily part of my meal plan for months now. But you see I have always invented ways to avoid the fear of them: limiting flavors I am allowed, leaving behind pieces, measuring, size comparing, etc, etc. But by not facing the fear head on...I have just been holding myself back from freedom. So I face a flavor I have been avoiding....VERY BERRY. Now sure....after the first bite I realized very berry ain't berry good...but I finished it all anyway. Food is I like the taste of cold medicine...HECK I take it when I am sick...without a doubt. Same with food....hated the taste, but did I really want to have to drink two boosts to replace it....NO! So I sucked it up and finished the bagel.
 Who could forget the sack lunches I am so cursed  blessed to have on Mondays and Tuesdays. Not literally haunts me in my sleep. And as if they aren't hard N decided to throw in another challenge. This may seem small to some people, but it's huge to me. I had to eat lettuce and tomatoe on my sandwich (as I've been wanting to do), but it doesn't count as any exchange. Pictured here, it's piled in a pita...and what you can't see is the mayo I had to add. It's another lovely rule of N....have to face something 3 times before can say I don't like it. Well...this was third time and only "charm" of it was that I never have to eat mayo again. I get's good for me...there are no ED reasons behind avoiding's done nothing to my weight....I just don't like how it tastes...and that's okay. Anyway...lettuce and tomatoe was face and it makes sandwiches SOOO much better. Still trying to accept eating things that don't "count," but's not my fault freedom isn't an exchange to be counted in meal plan.

WARNING: no makeup picture of me. HIDE YOUR CHILDREN!!! Just kidding (sort of), but anyway this is something I found and LOVE thanks to my mandatory juices at every meal. The juices help get me the nutrients I need, without the undesired tummy effects of solid foods right now. So take juice (which I am learning to accept) and green tea (which I LOVE) and you make my life a little easier. I don't want to skimp portions if it means losing out on the kick my green tea brings. And thus I discovered and continue to enjoy...Cran-Energy by Ocean Spray.'s really delicious and added bonus has caffeine. What college student doesn't want caffeine....and need caffeine. NONE. This is one meal plan change I am happy happened. is something I have been desperately avoiding. Avoided it all during treatment, all last year, and up to this point in this semester. But with this being my last week with N and us bonding over the fact that she too once had a fear of white potatoes....I decided to face them. You N was taught that as a flier for cheerleading she had to stay thin and she was taught and believed white potatoes were not for her. All until she started her dietetics degree and found out...white potatoes have tons of minerals and aren't high in the calories she thought they were. We both laughed as she described the excitement of her first white potato after years of avoiding them. Well...when I faced this potato...there weren't any smiles. I was so overwhelmed by its size and the fact that I put some guac on it....and how filling it was....that all I could do was bounce my knees in fear. But it really wasn't tasted quite nice. And my N was so excited when I e-mailed her to tell her about my freedom food dedication. In fact...she thinks it would be great to face every week. Maybe I a way of still having her by my side :)

So my school loves to have themed nights. And we aren't talking just theme the food...we aren't talking about the Mexican night your family has when you all make tacoes. We are talking full-blowned parties. My favorite is at the end of the year (Beach themed completed with this amazing drum band straight from Jamaica), but Thursday they had Western night. Complete with wanted photo booths, make your own cowboy hat, free Cracker Jack which I will be face this week, crazy was crazy. And the food....there was tons of red meat so not entrees could challenge self with but it was cool: Frito pies, Flank steaks, fried cactus,  tons of stuff smothered in cheese, a pear stack cake wish would have had the guts to try, and this beauty: Cinnamon Buckwheat bread. I had high hopes for this one and it lassoed me in. I was scared because I of course looked up the numbers for no reason, but I face it anyway (as the bite out of the bread shows). Well....this bread is wanted for failing to impress. Buckwheat is quite interesting and I mean it tasted nice, but the only part of cinnamon you got was the smell of it..not the taste at all. But hey...another new food conquered :)

What? Another bagel. Why yes, because the freedom with this one was different. You see I used to love, love, love the Oats and Honey Wheat bagels, but lately they have only had "huge" least in ED's eyes. Well ED tells me I don't need/deserve those ones so I have been avoiding them...but this week I decided enough was enough (as did fate which made all the bagels go bad in my room except this one), and I faced it. I put some good ole' guac on it to get my fat exchanges in....and it was amazing. Scary, but amazing. As you can tell...I still have a lot of freedom to claim with these bagels. Me and my N talked about it last week and its because they encompass tons of my fears: pre-portioned items I can't weigh, the unknown of how many oats are really in calorie count, the fact that I still worry about calories when on exchanges, fear of what flavor is really healthy, what flavor is really whole wheat, the urge to tear off pieces, eating carbs and enjoying them, and so many others. But that's good, because it means each time I finish one it's that much more victory...and trust anxiety levels show that.

Drumroll for this next one...because it was a HUGE victory. You see I had a meal built by my nutritionist. In our session she told me exactly what to get and as the list continued building...I got scared. But she broke it down and I saw it did meet my exchanges and I just needed to trust.....that was a hard thing to do. But I vowed to have this meal for her son....the little gift that is soon going to enter this without further ado....I present....the Victory MEAL!

Honestly, I never thought I could eat a meal like this. I mean looking at it through a "normal person's" eyes they probably don't understand why I was scared. It looks healthy....nothing scary there. But for just seemed like "too much" for my body (again there will be a later post about this). Here is what is included:

  • Grilled Chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato on whole wheat bun with guac(gets my pro and starches and a fat, veggies are freedom freebies aka don't count)
  • 1/2 cup steamed cabbage (1 of my veggie exchanges)
  • 1/2 cup mandarin oranges (a fear fruti have been avoiding)
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • And the salad of craziness in my see if I eat a salad I only get the lettuce/ other toppings (except dressing)...but I know that's not normal or what I really this one was built by N. Spinach, carrots, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, peas, egg whites, Balsamic was nice to feel like I was eating a normal person meal. 
  • And then the artichoke heart. Never eaten one and had no idea how to. Had a friend guide me....but the taste was too much. I couldn't finish this part, but I still felt victory
And just to let you all experience the victory with me I took play by play shots from beggining to end. It also gave me time to stop and reflect. To realize when my mind says I can't I still can. We are stronger than we believe...and I challenge all of you to try and at least accept that possibility. That you can push yourself farther than you think possible. In the moment it might seem so wrong...but trust feels really good and you feel proud :) This I had yesterday for lunch and now....I am going to the NEDA Walk with my head held high claiming this victory...a victory made possible by support from Sarah, prayers to God, and my N :) 

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