Wed Dec 18th was a big day for me. It was weigh-in for N, 1st day spending night at dad’s house since his death, and my first ever time of real freedom at home. I finally accomplished the dream I always had to eat whatever I wanted at dad’s house instead of buying my safe foods. I had to share it with you all. First part is re-cap of my session, but exciting is second section
This was the start of the day. After last weeks rapid increase, I was scared for the weigh-in. I had even weighed every day this week and yet was still scared. Well..as everyone said would happen. I ended up losing a little weight showing last week was just a one time thing. Food and water weight gain and not what ED said it was. I was excited at first, but then very anxious and nervous because I knew meant meal plan increase.
I also started sending confessions to N of ways I realize ED is still controlling me…the focus this week: still thinking in calories, eating same lunch, overuse of food scale, eating safe fruits too often, and eating same safe snack starch. This led to the following goals:
- Increase of starch and dairy
- Only allowed tuna/flounder once a day, must use an unsafe protein source for dinner
- Fiber one cereal at snack only every other day
- Peas and corn at lunch only every other day
- Apple and prunes (my only safe fruits) only once a day, must increase prune amount
- Food scale only meat and if used for fruit now have scary minimum sizes
These were shared with my mom and stepmom so there was no escape. At first I felt fine about it..then I got a higher minimum calorie for my starches. I started to freak. The fear of rapid weight gain came back and I started to be scared I would explode in weight by next week with all these changes. And still no exercise allowed. All the increased calories started adding up in my mind. I couldn’t just trust what my nutritionist said..that this was increase in cals, but only to get my lb per week. I was too filled with ED screaming "too much. Too much. Your body can't handle this. You can't trust her."
I called my sponsor in sheer panic, but with a plan. I would do all the changes, but not the increases yet. I was freaking out about my dad’s house because I didn’t know what foods were there and I knew what was there was probably higher calorie..but I wanted to be able to eat it. And now with all these changes..it just didn’t seem okay. So I decided would make changes, but not do meal plan increase. Then I would check weight on Friday and if weight wasn’t up I would add increases. I (well ED) had convinced me this was still being obedient and in recovery, but it wasn’t.
After talking to my sponsor I realized this was me trusting ED first instead of trusting my N who has yet to be wrong. I was telling her I was trusting ED and testing his hypothesis instead of trusting her to be right and testing ED to be wrong. So I did the semi-recovery thing. I decided I would do whole plan, trust N, weigh on Fri (today), and base off that whether the increase stayed. Well, I won’t let you keep holding your breath…my weight is same today. I haven’t gained at all despite eating very late and despite the next exciting news I have to offer.
Oh and the weird thing..I am kind of mad I didn’t gain. Okay not mad, but scared. Because I know I need to gain a lb per week to prove I am doing the right thing. Anyway..onto the more exciting news from yesterday
So now the exciting part…Wed I did what I always came home to my dad’s every weekend saying I would do: ate what was at his house regardless of calories. Just doing exchanges and what I want. It wasn’t easy..and I don’t know what made me finally be able to do it. Probably a combination of things.
I felt supported because my stepmom was there and I had told her my intent to eat scary foods. I had my sponsor there the whole time. I had a meal plan increase so no matter what I was going to be eating more calories. And honestly..I was just too tired to deal with all the number crunching of calories. I just wanted to be free…to enjoy the time with my stepmom and just eat. So…I did. I know it was partly because knew I would be weighing the next day and honestly I wanted to be able to tell everyone “Ha! See…I was right..my body is fucked up and I ballooned.”
So I just went for it. Ate what I wanted. Corn tortillas at lunch..CHECK! Frozen peaches….why not! Chicken that didn’t have the nutrition facts on it..I got that…just need 3 oz…doesn’t matter calories..thanks exchanges. Brown rice…NO PROBLEM! Grits with cayenne pepper! It was just freaking awesome. I used seasoning like my dad used to and like I was afraid to..cayenne pepper, curry powder..it was amazing. For a little bit.
At the end of the night it hit me I ate my meal plan increase and ate freely..and ED got loud…real loud. I felt overwhelmingly guilty…but the deed was done. In fact, my sponsor had to talk me through my last snack, because I wanted to restrict it. Well..ED wanted me to. But I didn’t. I ate my meal plan…I challenged myself.
It was amazing. I ate lunch at the table with my stepmom. Eating with people is huge fear. But it was amazing. We talked, we cried, we remembered my dad. I felt like family. I felt dare I say normal.
And I didn’t do my usual chores and all that. I just relaxed with her and watched TV and ate. There was something about being with her that made all the calorie worries fade away. I just felt normal and proud of myself. The guilt didn’t set in till she dozed off and I was alone with myself. So I went to bed guilty and scared…but knowing I did right thing.
And the next day..I was shocked. My timing had been horrid so I was convinced would have gained a ton. But my weight was exact same. I had been free….done what ED said I couldn’t..done increase for weight gain…and weight was same. In that moment I was so happy God had given me the courage and strength to trust my N not ED and go ahead and do increase and changes, to eat freely. I know I would still be waiting to increase because ED would be making excuses had I not just done it first and “tested” the increases instead of waiting to increase by testing partly increasing.
I look back and am so excited I did this. I have struggled a bit sense with the freedom aspect, but even tonight I had it a bit. I ate these gingerbread cookies (they are safe but still) instead of peas. It meant more calories, but I remembered exchanges not calories. And I enjoyed them so much more than peas. It was great. I also have realized why I struggled and will write about that later as this is getting long.
So in the end..in recovery…do the scarier option. Give your body, your team, your family, God a chance to surprise you. To show you your stronger and more capable than ED lies to you. Trust team, God, family first instead of ED. Fight to prove ED wrong not your team. Choose to just eat and be free. It’s a moment by moment process but it’s so worth it.
I felt so present. I felt like I was living. I was able to just talk and experience time with my stepmom instead of worrying so much about calories because I said fuck it and just didn’t let the thoughts dictate my life. And the next day we decorated ugly sweater cookies and I got to enjoy that time too. Because I decided food wasn’t going to matter. I was going to honor my dad and enjoy the moment. Sure food thoughts came up….but I didn’t latch onto them. I just said “No..I’m with my family right now. Sorry ED can’t talk to you right now.” It was amazing. Again..I am struggling with the calorie obsession again…but I think I know why..and I’m working through it.
Love you all…sorry this was long…keep fighting! And yes..I know it’s bad that this is still based on my weight and it not going up, but I’m working on that too. And I am actually scared that it’s not going up, because I want it to be up by lb this week. Don’t want to let others down or lose my chance at outpatient recovery. But it’s okay…recovery is about progress not perfection.
And I wanted to share that I ate what wanted, ED yelled I would gain a ton..and I didn’t Just to give those who have the same thing going on hope that ED is a liar and wrong. You won’t balloon. Just trust. But I know because people told me the same that it won’t seem true…not till you say fuck it, risk what ED says being true and your weight shooting up, and just do it. Weight is temporary…be honest…if ED is right and your weight shoots up..come on…if you want you can just lose it (I don’t propose doing this though). So what you are risking is temporary…but this freedom…freedom from ED it’s forever. So don’t play it safe and listen to ED…because in that you risk ever being able to live and be free…and that’s not temporary.