So I have to admit, yesterday was a struggle and I kind of slipped. Went to my N appt and because wt basically been maintaining for past month (slight increase but not enough to count) we had to do increase. She asked me what I wanted and I was honest. I told her I wanted to face my fear of peanut butter. So I got 2T of PB added AND a fruit. I have never eaten 2T of PB. Only ever allowed myself 1T when was in treatment and when I was a binge eater it was a whole half a tub minimum….to me 2T was this weird, grey in between I didn’t like. Seemed like too much, yet wasn’t a binge, yet seemed normal. And then the numbers of course were swirling in my head. Still…part of me was excited. I felt okay. Then I left the office.
Out on my own…ED started piping in and by end of the day he had me deciding to just start the increase tomorrow (as in today) based on what my weight was. Somehow I bough into the idea that this was the right choice. I went to be feeling a little guilty for not doing increase…and definitely wasn’t any less anxious. Then this morning came…and let’s just say the weigh-in didn’t go how ED wanted. Or well…didn’t go how he would want it in order for my increase to start today and I started to panic.
In my mind I could justify not starting yesterday..but not starting today…I knew it would be completely ED and that scared me. But how could I. How could I with these numbers doing what they were doing without increase. I realized in that moment..I should have started the increase yesterday. That once again listening to ED only brought fear and panic not trust and peace. But I couldn’t change what I did yesterday…just what I was going to do today. So I text my support, but that wasn’t convincing enough. So I text the only person I knew I could get an honest answer from, the very person who gave me the increase, my nutritionist.
I told her how I hadn’t started plan and exactly what my wt did. I put several options on the table (not do increase until wt stopped going up, only do increase on exercise days, do increase based on how wt was tomorrow, or start today). She told me I needed the increase. Just as she had told me yesterday. Still..I was scared…but I was in the same position I was yesterday. Well..not the same one…because as always when I listened to ED and avoided a recovery decision it didn’t bring peace…just made the recovery decision (in this case increase) a billion times scarier. I really, really wanted to do increase. I did. I wanted it because I wanted to help my metabolism, wanted to be committed, and was tired of being scared of peanut butter (especially when PB& Co sent me 3 free jars). I was on the edge…leaning towards doing it…and therapy helped push me to commitment.
In therapy I realized I was risking more by not doing increase then by doing it. I looked at both sides.
Not Do increase:
Pros: don’t have to face fear (though still would feel anxious about wt and about if ever have to do increase), less likely balloon next week (though again the fear is there)
Cons: lose a whole week of progress could make with N when my time with her coming to a close, don’t face fear of PB, still don’t know if needed increase, still living controlled by scale not committed to recovery and God, ignoring the Jess part of me that wants increase, could be holding metabolism back from recovery
Pros: make progress with fear food of PB, can test what ED says instead of blindly believing it, loosening contrl scale has over me, helping metabolism, can e-mail PB&Co, listening to Jess part of me that wants increase, facing fear so it will fade, able to use DBT skills, practicing recovery, loosening ED control
Cons: may gain more than lb I committed to this week, if this does happen may make PB scarier
As you can see from the list there are definitely more pros to doing the scarier thing. To no listening to ED. To doing the increase. Had I taken the time yesterday to stop my thoughts and be mindful of my situation I probably would have seen this yesterday.
Even without making the list, right now my biggest motivation for doing the increase was realizing that by not doing it I am losing a week of potential progress. I don’t have much longer with my N before graduation, and if I spent another week on same meal plan…not gaining….and listened to ED and the scale, that’s a whole week I lost. And if was same weight on Wed..would just have to do increase then..so would just be back where I am now, but with a whole week gone.
So I decided the best thing to do was dive in. To do the increase. To do what I was terrified of doing and just see what happens. Honestly….in all the weeks, months, years working with my N…she hasn’t ever been wrong. ED always has (okay there were a few times…but honestly there were other factors at play). Still..I’d much rather risk gaining what in my mind is “too much” then losing a week of progress. A week of lessons the Lord wants to teach me. I’d much rather risk the gain in order to gain some freedom.
So that’s just what I did. And you know what…using my DBT practice of distracting (which blogging right now is serving), I honestly…I feel happy and proud. I enjoyed my 2 T of PB (don’t worry will review the flavors soon). Really enjoyed them. Tasted them and was present in the moment. The fear came…but I am just letting the thoughts come and go. In the end…my weight isn’t what matters (of course I say that now..someone please remind me of this next time I freak out lol)…it’s life that does. And me…I want my life to involve peanut butter! More than that…I want to live life free. Free of numbers, of scales, and of all ED’s lies.
And for all my recovery warriors out there...learn from me. When/if your N increases your meal plan...start that increase THAT DAY. Waiting or delaying recovery doesn't bring you any peace (yes...ED is lying to you by telling you that). You just sit there piling up fear of the increase you will eventually have to do. And the fear of ballooning is there too...you just aren't getting the benefits of the increase to go with it. So just do it then, face the fear. Otherwise the fear only builds and it only gets harder. And if you slip, if you don't do it...that's okay. Because each moment is new and you can choose to do the right thing then. Forgive yourself and do the next right thing.
Whose with me? What challenge are you putting off facing? What is there to risk? To gain? If you have to make a list. I bet you will see the risk is definitely worth the reward. And trying never hurt. If you try and your fears come true, or you fail, or stumble..all that happened was you learned. So even then you benefit.