It's the third day of the holiday and I thought I would use this post as a reflection on the challenges that I want to address at this point and share some advice based on my experience and what I have learned from it.
Over the past few days I have become more aware of my own weak spots and what I am most likely to struggle with, being here in my new environment - different house, different climate, different food and different routine.
- I know this might sound strange for some but for me, the heat sometimes makes it more difficult to stick to my mealplan. If I sit out in the sun for too long I begin to feel sickly and light-headed and then this affects my appetite. There is always the temptation to have "Light" foods only on holidays like salad and yoghurt and fruit and convince oneself that this is what you really want (and yeah, maybe it is...but it certainly is NOT all the time!!). Like for me as you know I am the biggest chocolate/hot chocolate fan in the world...but the first day the Voice in my Head tried to tel me it is to warm to have either, even though I wanted to have them.
- The meal times are different then the ones at home - lunch and dinner are eaten later- and this in turn effects my snack times.
- Its hard for me to find some of the things that I eat at home and which I really enjoy...and personally, I find a meal plan very hard to stick to, if there is stuff on it which I dont like.
- For lunch at home me and my family would usually have sandwiches or filled baps or something similar but here, things are different, its more a sort of buffet thing with bread and different meats and salad and suchlike and you are supposed to go in and help yourself. Which I find pretty tough.
- Oftentimes I am the only one having snacks and milky drinks which can be difficult too.
- My Mam and my Auntie are very much into fitness and training which can be very triggering as well, whenI am exposed to it on a daily basis.
- Well firstly, the most sensible thing is NOT to sit in the sun for too long!!! I love being out in thesun but sitting directly in it, if I was honest, I find boring and not really that pleasant. There is plenty of things you can do to keep yourself cool - spraying with a cold hose or having a cold shower , having a dip or a swim in a pool (but NOT overexercising and only swimming if you want to/feel like it/an exercise!!!). After a dip in the pol here my habit is to sit in the sun till Im dry and then to go and sit in the shade. And by doing this you are less likely to become too hot and your appetite wont be affected!!
- To be honest, I havent let the hot weather put me off having hot chocolate - my eating disorder would have liked it to have, but I wasnt going to let it!! ;) but I have also bought in some chocolate milk which I also love and can enjoy ice cold if i so wish.
- And just asking yourself when you find yourself tending to always have the "lighter" options. Is this really what you want?Do you really want to have salad again for the third time in a row say..or is there a tiny voice at the back of your brain saying that really, you would love a Spanish omelette?? I am going to give you some advice a dear friend once told me: when you hear that little voice, not the Voice of your ED - but your voice, the voice of your very own heart, which you know, deep down, is the voice which is telling you to do what is right - then GRAB ON to that voice and GO WITH IT. Don't wait, hesitate or deliberate. Just go with your heart and AGAINST your eating disorder!! I know, for some, it might be hard to distinguish between your own desires and that of your ED's...but I strongly believe that if you look deep inside yourself, deep inside your very own heart, you WILL know.
- Ask for help and support with meals or snacks that you find difficult, like I did today, I sat next to Mam at lunch and she helped me to decide what to have and a suitable amount too, which I was grateful. The only thing that bothers me of course, is that I feel that I should be able to do this myself, but at present, I dont feel quote strong enough to. So I am very lucky that I have my Mam to help me with that <3
- In regard to being the only one eating and being triggered by other people exercising. this is something that I find really hard to deal with myself, and I am sure I am not the only one. But I know that in this regard we have to focus on ourselves. To not be like sheep and feel like we have to do what everyone else is doing, eat what everyone else is eating, make food choices based on what everyone else has chosen. Why do we feel like we have to do that??