Thank you all for your supportive comments on me last post. I really believe this next month will be awesome if I manage to keep all of them.
Tonight is my last night home – can’t really enjoy it to the full because I’m feeling sick as a dog right now. But sitting here right now, sipping on my hot chamomile tea and savoring a fresh fig (an awesome “sick treat”) I’m feeling pretty exited. I think back to just a year ago where the thought of all this would fill me with nothing but dread, and I feel proud of myself for how far I’ve come.
I came to a pretty interesting realization today as I was eating breakfast. I was remembering a comment I made a while back on this lovely ladies blog. I was admiring how she was able to keep her diet so healthful while balancing a university lifestyle. She replied that she actually found it easier to eat healthy while being busy as she was able to listen to her hunger cues more without pre-thinking everything. I was wowed by this response, and wondered if that sort of thing would work for me.
Well, turns out it does. When things got really hectic I must admit that I struggled a lot at first.I had a bunch of stomach issues and whatnot. The problem was that instead of going with the flow I was trying to stick to my schedule and the things I was used to eating and the way I was used to eating.
Since recovering/being in the process of recovery from an ED I’ve gained a renewed awareness of how important fueling ourselves properly is to the functioning of our bodies. Before, I really wasn’t that interested in all that, and at times my eating habits were definitely less then healthy. So I see this as a positive. The thing is that along the way I developed a lot of habits, things the way “had to” or “ideally should” be done. Things such as balancing all the food groups, eating at set meal times, eating 5-6 times a day, sitting down and setting aside a time to enjoy my meal became a lot more important to me then the probably are for the average person. I never really considered this a bad thing, but being on a tight schedule and keeping up with all these food “rules” was pretty taxing. Not only taxing, but it saying it didn’t work too well would be an understatement. I spent most of my time feeling hungry, having stomach troubles and feeling stressed about the fact I couldn’t do things the way I felt I should.
I’m not sure when it happened, but at one point I realized that yes , food is important to our bodies and fueling ourselves properly should be something we focus on. But in the end food is just something that enables us to get on with the rest of our lives. We eat to live, we don’t live to eat. So yes, it’s good to have healthy living goals and shoot for all these ideals I have, but once they start interfering with everyday life something is out of whack.
So I let go of all those self-imposed rules and regulations. Sure, they’re still goals I try to shoot for, but if I need to be flexible and go with the flow – that’s what I do. That means some days I eat 3 meals and a snack, and some days I eat 7 mini-meals. That means some days I sit down when I eat, and others I eat “on the go”. That means that I stay away from foods I know will bother me later on (dairy) but otherwise go with whatever I want that is available without obsessing about keeping the perfect balance. And to tell you the truth – I feel better now physically than when I was following all my little “healthy living rules” to a tee.
I know uni will present new challenges – because of my food intolerances, lack of time and equipment – but I’m confident I’ll manage fine if I just do my best to listen to my body and not my mind. It’s scary I’ll be the first to admit – but intuitive eating is working for me so far and I see no reason for it to stop.
Any thoughts on the matter or similar experiences with this?