Monthly Archives: February 2014

Self-Allowed Food Freedom

One of my food goals involves a “challenge meal” in which I basically allow myself to eat whatever I want, without planning it out in advance. This week, my challenge meal needed to involve pizza. At my last nutrition appointment, I spent a while telling a story about my friend eating pizza in the dining hall. I had wanted some so badly, but I couldn’t let myself have it. I hadn’t planned to eat pizza at that meal.

Even though I wanted it, I knew it wasn’t worth it. The sheer amount of anxiety caused by a single slice of pizza was going to ruin the entire rest of my night. It was better for me not to eat it.

Tonight was my challenge dinner. My dad was driving past my college on a business trip, and he stopped to eat with me. We went out to dinner, and I had pizza, frozen yogurt (chocolate!), and a chai tea latte. So many things that I love.

I have come out of the meal amazingly full. It is one of the first meals in way too long that I actually ate until I was completely full (and yet still not too full. Just normal.) and didn’t restrict anything about my meal.

On top of that, it was coupled with the love and support of someone who cares enough about me to stop by even for just an hour and a half. I think him being here was the reason I could do what I did without anxiety. I doubt he will ever understand how much this dinner meant to me.

I am back in my dorm now, finishing my chai tea. I am overly aware that as I finish my tea, my self-allowed food freedom is coming to an end. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that. But, for now, I feel full and I feel happy and I will just let that soak in.Image

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I wish I could tell you how much you’ve hurt me.

What do you do when the person you normally trust with things suddenly becomes the problem? When the person you love most becomes the person you need help dealing with?

It happens over and over. For me, two of the big ones:

Breaking up with my boyfriend.
My first reaction was to call him and tell him some jerk guy broke my heart. Then I remembered that it was him.

My anorexic best friend.
I usually talk to her about everything. She knows all my secrets and I know hers. But now, just looking at her makes me feel sick. It makes me so sad and it makes me feel angry. Angry at the world, angry at her parents, angry at everyone who has ever hurt her– now they’ve hurt me, too.

Time heals. With those two, my best friend is in recovery and we’re now as close as ever before. With my ex, we don’t talk anymore, but I’m okay with that. I’ve moved on.

But how long does it take to heal? And what do you do in the meantime?

This past weekend another relationship has broken for me. To simplify a complicated situation, I spent a very long night taking care of a very drunk best friend. She is okay, but it took more out of me both physically and mentally than I had. I’ve now shut down and am trying to recover and find my life again. I’m really hurt by the way things happened, and I’m really angry.

I hate being angry with her– I still love her so much. But right now I am not okay.

I have other friends who I’m talking to. I am taking care of myself. Everything will heal in time.

How long will it take? What do I need to do? I’m an impatient person.

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Food Goals

My nutrition appointment actually went really well! I like our school’s nutritionist a lot. I talked to her for an hour about my history, where I am right now eating-wise, and where I want to be:

I have struggled with depression/suicide/self-injury/etc. I am restricting. I want to be able to eat without feeling overwhelmed.

I liked talking to her because I never felt like she was judging me. It is so refreshing to be in a safe space like that– where you can admit that you self-harm, take meds, aren’t eating … and the other person doesn’t stare at you like you’re a sick puppy. She asks what has helped me cope in the past, and how can we apply those methods to this new problem?

We came up with three goals for me to work on this week. They are easy. Right now she is not asking me to change the way I eat my meals, which I appreciate because honestly I don’t think I am capable of that at this point. My big goal is basically to stop being hungry all the time. I want to do that. I think I can.

My three nutrition goals for this week:

  1. Snacks. I am adding in 2 snacks to my regular 3 meals. One at 3pm and one at 9:30pm. Something that has helped me cope with stress in the past is having a very specific schedule that includes self-care on it (eat, shower, go to the gym, watch TV). I am able to follow my self-care schedule, even though I struggle to do those things otherwise.
  2. Challenge Day. Right now, my eating involves obsessive pre-planning of all my meals. I look at the menus for our dining halls before I go, and decide what and how much of it I will eat. I might plan all three of my meals for a day the night before. I don’t like doing it, either– it stresses me out. I want to stop. I am attempting to have one challenge day this week where I don’t look at the menus or pre-plan my meal.
  3. Read. She gave me a reading list of some books relating to disordered eating and body image. The one she recommended to me was Eating in the Light of the Moon. I’ve started it– it’s about women reclaiming their feminine body and improving their relationship with food. As a women’s college & gender studies student, I’m not sure how I feel about the whole femininity thing, but I’ll give it a shot. I take all of these mental illness books “with salt” anyway.
    Has anyone read it? What do you think?

So far this week, I have been doing pretty well. I am taking my snacks, and eating them, and it’s nice not feeling hungry. I have more energy.

However, I wasn’t as good today: It’s 5:00, and I’m really hungry. I have a headache and my stomach hurts because I haven’t eaten enough. I missed my afternoon snack because I forgot to put it in my backpack when I left this morning (I’m still trying to get used to having nutrition goals), so I haven’t eaten anything in 5 hours. And even so I can’t make myself eat.

This just proves to me how important my scheduled meals and snacks are right now. One would think I would be able to eat my snack now since I missed it, but my brain won’t let me. It’s not 3:30. I physically cannot do it, even though choosing not to do it (as if it’s a choice) is making me feel sick.

But, overall, I feel positive about where I am emotionally right now.

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