Welcome to the shorter post (for those of you who get lost in my rambles lol). It's not exactly what I posted here, but just a spin-off from it. Thanks Melissa for inspiring me again!
Two posts in one night! Yep…it’s true. This one is more directed than last though. It is inspired by a text from my dear friend Melissa. I was freaking out tonight over what to eat for dinner. And why? Because those numbers came back in…but it wasn’t just obsessing about high calories, but low too. And Melissa responded by telling me to eat what I wanted. No worry about safe or not safe…just what I want.
That’s when I realized any number obsession is ED. Obviously freaking about too many calories is…but so is not eating what I wanted because it’s safe. Yep, that’s right. I’ve started to get scared about undereating cals too, but I am seeing that’s ED too. Let me explain.
Obviously obsessing about getting too many calories is ED in my mind. Choosing not to do an exchange I want because I am scared of calories being too high is clearly ED. That did happen tonight. I was scared to add dressing to my salad and scared to do melon instead of applesauce because of the higher cals, but those were what I wanted to do. And so I pushed through. It was clearly ED and I knew I had to do the opposite.
But then there was this new thing that started. I had to choose a snack starch to add to dinner due to a hectic day causing me to have to join the two. I have been battling a sore throat so I really just wanted to add more peas or do a corn tortilla. But my mind told me that was disordered. Those were safe choices so I couldn’t eat them. I needed to do more challenging starch like tortilla or English muffin. But I didn’t want those. Honestly…I really wanted peas. It just sounded good.
In the past, when this has happened I have pushed myself to do the more challenging and felt good about it because I ate more calories. But it was a weird, sick pride I felt. I did it more to prove to myself I wouldn’t gain more from slightly more calories. But that is still being ruled by the scale. Because beneath this pride I also would still be wanting the safe option I craved. I would just save it for the next day. But how is that any better than saying I won’t do an unsafe/scary choice because its more calories? It’s not.
Reality is…I live by exchanges right now and need to accept that. I have a plan on exchanges, not calories, in order to bring me freedom. Freedom in knowing I can choose whatever I want in that exchange group no matter the calories. No matter if they are high or low. Just choosing. It allows me to honor what I am craving. No numbers, just honor.
So I went with what I wanted for dinner. I am remembering why I love this starch box because I don’t have to make so many decisions. It’s still hard for me to honor myself and my cravings because it means trusting myself. It means completely letting go of the illusion of control even having the thought of numbers brings. And it means living in the grey.
But that’s life. Some days I may crave all scary choices. Others I may crave more safe options. But that isn’t what matters. Because food is food. I should honor what my body wants, because usually it knows better than me. And plus…if I have to eat to nourish myself might as well be what I want. So maybe this is a new part of the freedom from numbers. Not thinking safe or unsafe. Just going with what I want. I don’t have to do all unsafe exchanges to be in recovery. And doing all safe certainly isn’t recovering either. But denying myself what I want…whether safe or unsafe…will never be recovery. Because it means I am still letting calories, categories made by ED, and food control me. Instead I want to honor myself, honor my body. I want to tell myself I don't need to be controlled. That I deserve to be free.