I surprised myself today
I’ve been having stomach troubles all day, so going to work was exceptionally inviting today. That’s right, I enjoy doing something when I’m in pain, because it distracts me – at least temporarily. When I’m busy doing something, I don’t have time to obsess and feel sorry about myself and how I shouldn’t have eaten this or that. Yeah, that’s my ED’s most recent trick to get me feeling guilty – I don’t feel guilty about the calories or amount of fat (because I know I need to gain weight) but I feel guilty about the pain I caused myself. I think “if only I hadn’t eaten this or that – I wouldn’t feel sick and I could be doing all these other things”. Unfortunately that logic is what caused me to lose so much weight in the first place – because I always figured eating just wasn’t worth the pain afterwards – but I’m rambling now.
Anyhow, I got to work and I still hadn’t eaten snack – because weirdly enough although I was hungry – I couldn’t think of eating anything without feeling terribly nauseous (no, I’m not pregnant in case this sounds familiar :P). So I left the house without any food. I got to work and I got the craziest sweet craving. There were some cookies left out by one of my co-workers, so I did had a little bite to see how that would go down. Then I made myself tea and one of my co-workers offered me a candy bar (my favorite), so I had a bit of that. After that it was like my body finally figured out what it wanted, because my sugar cravings went through the roof. I ate a whole cookie and enjoyed it – despite the fact that it was MUCH sweeter then I’m used to. During this time someone in the building was having a birthday celebration, and they brought me a peice of cake. I’m not much of a cake girl mind you, I usually pick out the “good stuff – either the fruit, filling or whatever else catches my fancy – and I leave the rest. But today I ate the whole thing, and absolutely loved it, I actually felt like I could have eaten more. Since I was still weirdly hungry, I ate a small apple I had in my bag as well. Then I actually felt full, my IBS was still acting up, but I felt better then I had before.
And then my old mindsets started screaming at me. In came the old familiar voices – telling me I binged, that I had eaten too much, and that what I had eaten was so “unhealthy” and on and on. And at that point I made a choice, the choice I am still making – not to give into those voices, because they are so illogical and only serve to make me feel misserable.
People eat that amount of food at any given party, and because I ate it one afternoon does not make me a chronic over eater, or binger. I ate slowly, over the course of an hour, I stopped to enjoy and savor the flavors of the foods I was eating. I ate in the company of my co-workers , who also ate the same amount.
This experience made me realize that guilt is a feeling we can choose to give into or choose not to give into. Yes, those voices might always be somewhere in the background, but it’s up to us how much they influence our thought patterns and actions. It is possible to argue with these voices, to ignore them, to not let them control us. In the end, it’s each of us that needs to decide.
I still have dinner to eat today and I will eat whatever I am hungry for. I will not attempt a “lower calorie” dinner to make up for my indulgences. Granted, I’m not very hungry, but I will eat what I want, and not what some silly voice is telling me to. Because recovery is a sum total of small, day by day decisions - and I’m determined to make the right ones.