Hey there, blogettes!
I hope everyone is having a fabulous week! I have had my ups and downs, but all in all I am doing SO MUCH BETTER. I am following my meal plan, slowly gaining, and attending my intensive outpatient program, which is really helping me to block ED symptoms and challenge ED thoughts.
The thoughts are definitely the hardest part. Our counselors in IOP tell us that it sometimes becomes even WORSE when we block symptoms because the thoughts come on even stronger. The thoughts are the last thing to go. However, I have been really pushing through it by challenging myself food-wise. Before my ED, which really only began a little over a year ago (I am a freak in the anorexic world, it seems--the entire span of my eating disorder was very short, but yet very intense. I lost about 40 pounds in less than a year, mostly in a few short months, which is very odd and I am trying through therapy to figure out what spurred this short-lived and extreme behavior from occurring.), I used to NEVER weigh myself, NEVER care about what I ate, and I felt awesome! In high school, I was the girl who amazed my friends by eating tons of greasy hot wings and nachos and DQ Blizzards and Velveeta shells and cheese without gaining an ounce of fat.
In college, I was less active and put on a few more pounds from alcohol and greasy dining hall food, but I was still slim and healthy and beautiful. Now, my ED makes me feel guilty after eating a reasonable meal. I challenged myself last night at IOP by getting a Reese's peanut butter ice cream bar which was XXX calories (let's just say it had more calories in it than I used to eat in breakfast and lunch combined back when my anorexia was strong), and although it tasted good, I immediately felt awful afterwards. The big mistake was looking at the calories. The meal plan my program uses is about choosing the right amount of items and serving sizes and following the food guide pyramid, NOT counting calories. I should've crumpled up the wrapper before looking at the calories, but alas, I am not perfect, and although I ate it, it wasn't easy.
However, I am proud of myself. A lot of the people in IOP are still caught up in their ways, and I can see them silently calculating the calories in their meals, chopping their chicken into miniscule pieces, and fighting the urge to purge when we walk past the bathroom on the way back to our meeting room. I feel for these people, mostly because I understand how they feel. However, I think that even though I felt awful about myself after eating my ice cream bar, the only way for me to get rid of the thoughts is to challenge them by changing my behaviors. I used to order a cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate milkshake without even thinking twice. I'm sick of choosing foods based on calories and not taste. Life is way too short to spend all my time worrying about how many calories I am eating and burning. Food is nourishment, and it's meant to be enjoyed, not abused.
So, although it hasn't been easy, and the road ahead is long, I am making huge strides. Even though the thoughts are often strong, I am now able to recognize them as completely irrational and I have been following the meal plan 100%. Tonight my dad is coming to family night, where he will eat dinner and attend group with me. I am nervous, but excited that both my parents are really active in my recovery.
Sorry this post was so long! I don't come on here as much anymore because I realize that a lot of the blogs I've been following are hindering my recovery. I'm sick of reading about organic this and all-natural that and blah blah blah. Yes, I love me a good organic apple and some whole grain bread with natural PB over the processed stuff any day, but all things are ok in moderation. There's nothing wrong with a piece of store-bought chocolate cake, or a donut from dunkin donuts, or a burger from McDonald's every once in awhile. I am learning that I don't need to worry so much about every morsel of food being perfect, as long as I am generally eating healthy. There's nothing wrong with settling for white bread at a friend's house if that's all they have. I eat healthy whole wheat bread almost every day, so having something less natural every once in awhile isn't going to kill me. In fact, I ate white bread every single day in high school, with turkey and mayo, and I was perfectly healthy and normal!
So, I'm sorry if I offended anyone, but I'm just starting to realize that recovering from an ED means truly being comfortable with ALL foods again--in moderation, of course. Yes, I'll admit, I still struggle with things like pizza or cheesy pasta. But the only way to move past it is to FACE it.
Keep on trucking along, people, and I will as well.
Happy Wednesday, and happy recovery to you all.