I was nervous.
I was anxious.
I did not want to go.
I was afraid of the scale, comments about my heavy weight, and being told I was still sick.
I wanted to chicken out.
But, I went
And it made me feel so much better.
Here are the key points of my appointment that I think could benefit anyone, whether or not they are dealing with recovery woes.
– So what? Every time I told my nutritionist about a binge, a mess up, or even a relapse, she asked me so what? She forced me to focus on the big picture. Not the daily details of how I struggle with some meals and get frustrated and anxious. Rather, she reminded me of how I would describe my life to stranger: I am happy, I am healthy and I am recovered. I am stronger than I look and I am imperfect and learning to accept that. I am me, mess ups and all.
– It happens to everyone. She asked me how did I expect to be completely normal with food when I have starved and hurt my body for years. Just like a cancer patient needs their time to gain their strength back, recovering Eds do too. I do have strength and knowledge but yes, sometimes I fumble up. And that is expected. She mentioned that she has never meet a recovering Ed victim who does not struggle with proper nutrition and eating habits. Its normal. And for me, that is very comforting.
– Its a process. Beating Ed was a process. Something I never thought I was making much progress in but continued to try. One day, I woke up and realized that my hard work was paying off, I was stronger than Ed and getting healthy. Welcome to another process. Once again I do not feel like I am making any progress. But just 4 months ago I was bingeing two to three times a day to try to regain my health and life. Now I am down to maybe twice a week, at most. That means 5 times a week, I am making progress. Five times a week, I am getting one step closer to being normal with food. Five times a week, there are no Ed-like behaviors. In hindsight, I am beating this part of the disorder exponentially quicker than the other part.
– I know how to eat. After listing off a couple of days worth of food to her, she refused to put me on a meal plan- something I was determined to get. At first I was quite taken back. I felt I needed that to be in control. But after discussion, this need for control with the food plan is just ED talking. I know how to eat. I do eat intuitively many days of the week. Some days I have huge breakfasts and other days it is my dinner. I know what to do. I love researching nutrition and I know it all. I have spent hours with nutritionists discussing the correct way to fuel my body. I still have trouble trusting myself and my body but this is my homework. I do not need to count calories (oh, boy) and do not need to record my food. It is liberating and scary all at the same time. But it is worth it.
– The negative talk in my head needs to stop. I promise, on a day-to-day basis I am extremely optimistic. I love life and find very little to complain about. It’s hard to not love each day when you were so close to losing it all. However, when it comes to me, I cannot think one positive though. I am constantly putting myself down. Nothing I do is good enough and the fact that I am not comfortable with my body, is detrimental. But I would never think to put someone else down based on their pants size or whatnot. I have always set ridiculous standards for myself that set me up for nothing else but failure. One of the activities done during the appointment was to think of things I like about myself, mostly my body. I was stumped. Not one thing could come to mind or if it did, a “but” was always attached. We had to revise the activity to list things people have told me they like about my body –> my hair, my eyes, my “strong” legs, etc. Somehow, I need to start believing these things.
I truly left feeling better and motivated. I don’t feel quite so overwhelmed but the thought of tackling the bigger issue, loving myself, is rather daunting. Hopefully through this blog as a source of journaling I can find myself and the happy place.