I am used to Black and White recovery. The kind where you know something is clearly ED or clearly recovery. Don’t eat meal plan=ED. Eat a fear food=recovery. It’s easy (well easier) to make “recovery” decisions with confidence in those situations. You at least know which is recovery and which isn’t.
But today….I faced a grey recovery dilemma. Originally I had a pretty hectic day today, but my later appointments with my residents got pushed to earlier. I got to finish all the work I needed to do. And I woke up early enough to do my strength training in the morning. So it came 3:30 pm and I had nothing to do. With classes over, there was nothing to study. And I am not a reader or TV watcher, and I honestly don’t know what I like to do for fun. I am just so used to go, go,go.
It was then I remembered I had seen PiYo on the extended schedule for my school gym. This was a class I went to my junior year before I was allowed to do spin. It’s pilate, yoga, and dance fusion and I remember enjoying it…but didn’t remember it being “that” intense….whatever that means. Thought it would be something fun to do tonight. Be the last time I could go to a PiYo class at UGA too…problem was….today was only supposed to be strength day…and I had already done strength.
I literally had no idea what to do. It wasn’t an ED decision per se. I didn’t want to go with the motivation of burning calories..it just honestly seemed like fun. But I could also see ED twisting it. I mean as soon as I thought of going, the fear foods I am facing today got a lot less scary. It seemed okay to eat them. And my fear of being “lazy” vanished. So I knew ED was already looking at it as exercise. But still…I mean…I was willing to eat more in order to go. But still…I just didn’t know what was recovery.
So I did the only thing I knew to do. I asked my support. I was convinced someone would agree with me that it was okay and not ED and that I could go. But then NONE of them agreed it was okay. What?! Here I was convinced it wasn’t an ED decision and yet…no one agreed.
As soon as I started thinking of not going panic set in. There was my last chance to go this year. If I didn’t go now…I couldn’t go another time. And my gym at home doesn’t offer PiYO. So I felt like I was missing out on a chance to exercise and that just felt wrong. I was missing out on rekindling a love for some form of activity. I could just picture all the people in the class exercising without me and it just felt wrong. Like I should be there. And I really, really didn’t feel it was ED driving me to be there so I felt I had the right to go.
But my mind kept coming back to tomorrow. To the weigh-in I have to determine if I need to go to doc for fluid retention (talked about here). And I knew ED would twist PiYo if I did it. And before my meeting was cancelled it wasn’t even something on my radar. So I wasn’t “missing out” because in order to miss something you have to have it in the first place…and this wasn’t something I ever had as a plan. And what if I went to the class and it wasn’t “intense.” I already knew ED would be shouting at me. And I had told my support it was just pilates and yoga…when I knew from past experience there was cardio in it too. All this made me start thinking it may not have been an ED decision…but it wasn’t looking like something supportive for my recovery either. And that was a hard blow to take.
I don’t want to live my life constantly scared if ED is going to twist something and that is another reason I wanted to go. Because I felt by going to PiYo I was living free from ED’s grasp, because I was doing something not caring if ED twisted it tom. I figured if weight was down tom and ED blamed PiYo I could just choose not to listen. But..if I am honest…I know that isn’t as easy as it sounds. And I knew if weight wasn’t same/down ED would yell at me and say horrible things because I had gone to PiYo. So as much as I don’t want to live my life by how ED twist things….I also don’t want to lose out on recovery by putting myself in a situation where ED can twist things.
This really is a hard decision and I am still going back and forth on it.
- On one hand, don’t want to live life based on how ED twist things. Don’t want to miss out on opportunities because scared ED might twist them. Don’t want to go through life declining invitations because scared if ED will twist it to overexercise/restriction. But then again….no one is inviting me to PiYo. No one is going with me. And really…in a few years…or even a few months…heck probably in a few weeks will I really look back and say…man…sucks I missed out on that chance to go to PiYo?
- And then there is the other hand. Where I could choose to not go to PiYo because it wasn’t planned and I have already met my exercise limit for the week. But with that…it just feels like a missed out opportunity. And it just seems “wrong” not to go to a fitness class when I have time. I mean…I could go walk to Starbuck’s instead. Been craving one all day. And it’s beautiful outside. And ED doesn’t twist that because…well I don’t know why….he just doesn’t.
Typing this out, getting the advice from friends…and realizing going to PiYo takes away all fear of laziness and fear associated with my fear foods today…it’s making me realize…maybe PiYo wasn’t ED motivated….but I don’t think right now at this stage it is good for my recovery. It’s gonna be hard come 5:30pm. To not be at PiYo. But I guess its only way to ensure I protect my recovery. I could go to PiYo and risk that ED twist it or that it is a non-recovery decision. OR I could skip PiYo and be ensured there is nothing ED can twist and nothing to risk my recovery. I will just be “risking” missing out on a chance to exercise…but when I word it that way..seems pretty ED to me.
So sometimes recovery isn’t black or white. Thoughts aren’t clearly ED or recovery. That’s when I think we have to focus even more. Find the real root motivations and potential outcomes…and from there make a decision. And sometimes we will get it wrong. Maybe I did tonight. I’m still not sure. But I just have to make a decision and go with it. And today..I think the more recovery decision is a walk to Starbucks.
And I hate to be approval-seeking….but what do you all think? What would you have done? I am no recovery expert…so this is just my experience and I don’t know if it was right…but it’s what I am choosing to do.