And so, it started again...Almost every day, it insisted that I did something, anything which meant I was eating less than what I knew that I should be eating. My Meal Plan - that little sheet of paper which I used to follow so carefully, so determinedly every day, had become less of a guide and more of a vague something which I had pushed to the very back of my mind, refusing to openly acknowledge. The guilt screamed at me, every time I cheated or skipped something. But the screams of my eating disorder were there, too, of course, loud, domineering, overpowering. And it usually, more often than not, was the winner of the shouting match that took place in my head, between it, and the real me.
But last Monday, as I described in my previous post, I came to the realisation that this couldn't go on. Because, even though it wasn't as if I had completely and utterly slid backwards in my recovery and had resorted to frequent and extreme restricting or anything - I knew, without one shadow of a doubt, that all those little things i did every day were enabling my eating disorder to become ever stronger; and that, if I did not find it within me to take control once more, then everything, after all my hard work, would fall apart just as quickly and as easily as it did so before. That one missed snack could easily evolve into a missed snack every day, morning and afternoon. Choosing to have just the cereal at breakfast time, or just the sandwich at lunch without the yoghurt, could all too easily escalate towards choosing not to have anything at all, just like I used to. And I know now that it is so, so important to NOT let this happen...for the sake of my body, if not for myself.
My Meal Plan and my Mission to make myself Stronger than ED
After a good, long think about how I am going to push myself and make myself stronger and less vulnerable against by eating disorder, I decided that I am going to try the following approaches...
- Easing myself back into it, slowly but surely. As mentioned before this past week I have been focusing on getting back into the routine of eating a snack in the afternoon with my hot chocolate. And yes, I'm pleased to say that it IS going well, so far! I've managed to eat al my afternoon snacks this weekend, which I feel is good progress made. I think next I might try and tackle toast at breakfast next.
- And you will also be relieved to know, I have been putting my super cute food diary to good use!:) Every few days I write down what I am going to have for the following few meals and snacks thereafter and tick them off once I have had them...and a big red x goes beside the things I have missed out on. i think it helps to get someone you trust in on this..and let them look at your food diary for you every so often...yep, give it to them and let them actually read it. I used to do this with Mam all the time and it helped me alot.
- I have been consciously eating my meals and snacks whenever there are other people around. It makes things alot harder for ED then...and when you are having something and others are too, it always makes food alot more enjoyable I think.:)
- Another thing that I have been using of late, which actually has been quite a big motivating factor for me, is the knowledge that if I choose to eat well not and consume the correct recovery amount, my metabolism will recover and when I reach my target weight I will be able to eat plenty without gaining weight.This might sound funny but at the beginning I was really enjoying eating all the stuff on the meal plan and it wasn't causing me any stress. If I could get back into the habit of that, that would be great. I enjoy eating little and often, and am perfectly contented with eating plenty of snacks and three nice meals a day...and that's exactly what I want to do, but, of late, my ED has just made me too afraid of going with what I want to do.
- I went shopping with Mam on Friday and got myself lots of yummy foods for me to have for snacks and meals, and also ingredients so that I could make some new tasty treats. I am a firm believer in that in recovery you should eat what you enjoy as it just makes it so much easier. (Not forgetting the fear foods which you genuinely deep down DO like!!!)
- My friend put a really funny little picture on the wall of the eating disorder ward at the hospital. I dont know if you might have heard of Mr Bean...? Anyway, basically the picture features Mr Bean standing on a beach in the surf with his trousers rolled up to his knees. He's got his hands on his hips and his eyes closed, and his face is an epitome of peaceful, carefree tranquillity. The slogan across the picture reads (and again, please excuse the language here :p : "Life is so short, just do the f*** what makes you happy". I cant honestly explain exactly why...but I just find this simply brilliant. And it sums up everything perfectly. Life is too short. Why do we waste so much time and energy, worrying about how we should eat, what we should look like? instead of striving for perfection and actively seeking to change our bodies or the way we look, should we not focus on doing the things that make us feel happy, spending time with those who make us happy, and working towards a more positive, healthy mindset in which we can accept and love ourselves for the way we are? <3 xxx