So by the time you all read this I will either be dreaming of or at the dance show I do every year called Restoration. Will be first one without my dad, but my mom and stepdad are coming and that means so much to me. But onto the point of this post (which I am actually writing Friday night). Restoration this year has taught me something else…actually today taught me it too. Sometimes…life just happens. And sometimes when life happens you can’t stick perfectly to your safe meal plan. But that’s life…that’s freedom. Because being bound by your plan forever…that isn’t freedom either.
Now I am NOT SAYING TO NOT DO YOUR MEAL PLAN. What I am saying is sometimes it’s okay to do it in a different way. To move around exchanges or do what you know is calorically similar, but that allows you to enjoy life. Let me explain.
Example from today. For dinner…I REALLY REALLY WANTED grits…even though starch box didn’t give it to me. So…I went with grits. It was the same in exchanges to what starch box gave me and my N approved. In fact…she thought it was more important I do what I wanted instead of what the box gave me. As long as I wasn’t using that to do something safe..but grits are a fear food for me.
When dinner time came I was also really craving an apple. But I am not supposed to do two apples a day and had already had one. But I honestly didn’t want the other fruit options. I thought it was more important I do what wanted than deny myself and stick to another set of rules. That is just replacing Ed’s rules with other and that’s not freedom. So I did apple, but I added more spread to bagel later to make up for the “safe” of the apple.
So that’s just an example of when WANT replaces the RULES set up. Of course..all of this should be done with the approval of a trusted recovery friend or better yet your treatment team.
Now onto what to do when LIFE HAPPENS AND DOESN’T LEAVE ROOM FOR YOUR PLAN. That is the reality of my day tomorrow.
I have spent the past week stressing about it. I haven’t talked about it though. Figured I would just talk about it in session this week…but sadly that session got cancelled…so I was stuck on my own.
Here is the dilemma. I have to get the performance hall very early so have to carry b-fast. Will only have on break so can only do lunch…and won’t get out till late. At this point I will go out to Jimmy John’s with my family. Usually I eat Jimmy John’s at home and add some exchanges, but also weigh the sandwich. Neither of these will be an option. I do have time when get home to do one snack….but that leaves me down three snacks…including two of my biggest ones.
This at first made me…no make that ED…very happy. It seemed the perfect way to cope with feeling lazy on performance days and to be able to restrict but with a reason. I just…I don’t want that to happen. I’m almost at 60 days of recovery. I didn’t want to throw that out. But there was no way to do my plan the way it was written. And that’s life. That’s recovery…so I have to go off plan..but without restricting…enter fear foods and a cupcake.
So I am bringing b-fast and lunch like normal…but also packing snack in case I have time. I will do a higher calorie option of a kind bar to make up for the dairy I am missing from lunch. Dinner I am going to have to cope with not being able to weigh my Jimmy John’s and not being able to add exchanges. I won’t tear the sandwich but will just eat it. That is what normal people do. They don’t sit there stressing about too many or too little exchanges…they just enjoy the experience with the people they are with. And that is what I am going to do too.
So what about the two snacks I will miss (since bringing one and doing one after). Well…if I have time I am going to do one after dinner, but two…that’s not possible. Enter: cupcake. At an event I was at a few days ago I grabbed two cupcakes I wanted but wasn’t ready to do and I frozen them. Well…seems like perfect time to pull one out. It will defy ED by allowing myself a cupcake when didn’t plan to do dessert this week. But it also will help make up the calories.
If I have cupcake replace two snacks I might be slightly on the low side, but I have to realize some days that will just happen. And I decided if do have time to do snack I am going to do the higher calorie bagel snacks…because that is scarier options since cupcake would be replacing a lower calorie option of my PB, yourt, fruit, snack option.
Either way..I am happy and excited for the challenge this day will be. IT will be allowing myself flexibility and living in the grey. Not restricting, but not completely sticking to the food plan I have. Just making the food plan fit into my life on a different kind of day. And I don’t know the calories on these cupcakes or the bakery they are from…so I really don’t know if it is equivalent to my snacks…I just have to trust it will get me enough and beat ED and not stress about the numbers.
Now the true challenge will be Sunday. Will I weigh? If I do…I am scared ED will come in. If I don’t do cupcake out of fear…definitely won’t weigh because will mean I restricted and if weight isn’t down wouldn’t want back on plan. And if do cupcake as two snacks…still don’t know if will weigh for same reason. And if cupcake only one snack feel better weighing, but still scared what ED will say come Sunday. Either way…I know ED won’t want me to go back on plan on Sunday. But I have to learn that is part of life to. ED will always want to tempt me back...but I can choose to not listen.
Sometimes we will go of plan. Sometimes over, sometimes under. Sometimes we will not be able to perfectly fit in our exchanges because of life…whether that be holidays, parties, or just a hectic day. And that’s okay. That’s life. But when life gets back to normal…we need to go back to the structure of the meal plan that keeps us accountable and safe. Not doing that isn’t okay. And that will be my challenge this weekend. But it’s Easter weekend. God defeated the grave…He can defeat ED too. Wish me luck!