Believe it or not, recovery means work
Contrary to what people think about weight gain – it’s actually hard to do. Not just because of all the mental baggage that can follow someone with an ED history, but because the physical side of it is actually difficult. You’re full almost all the time, yet you force yourself to eat anyway. You constantly need to be thinking about fitting in your next meal or snack, and carrying around food with you. “Forgetting” a meal is not an option, just “not eating” because you’re not hungry isn’t an option. And it gets tiering.
Some days I really do want to give up, because of all the pain I’m in. The meds don’t always work, actually sometimes instead of making things better they make them worse. Some days I feel overwhelmed with having to think about food all the time, having to plan and think ahead and try to work around my stomach issues at the same time. But guess what, I’m GLAD I’m forced to make these changes now becuase it’s actually giving me a lot.
So what is eating A LOT more then I’m used to giving me :
– More energy. Seriously, I’m amazed at home much more awake I feel during the day. I got so used to being tired all the time that I actually forgot what not feeling fatigued feels like. And guess what – it feels AMAZING. I can get so much more done during the day, and NIGHT. That’s right, I’m turining into a regular night owl, because I’m no longer forcing myself to go to sleep so I avoid eating. And I have this bad boy to thank for that:
An ensure a day keeps the doctor away (not really, but anyways). Although I took this pic during the day an ensure shake is my usual late night snack. It’s pretty nasty stuff, but you gotta do what you gotta do for your health.
– The ability to experiment more with my foods. Trashing all my food rules was really scary, but I feel so much more free now to experiment with my meals without the underlying fear that I’ll “eat to much”, or that. Right now, the more the merrier 😛 and because of my weird stomach issues I just need to flow with what sounds good at the time. I’m learning to truly listen to my cravings even if it occasionally means something “weird” happens – like breakfast for lunch 😛
Breakfast for lunch – can’t see why not ? Oatmeal pancake made with a whole egg, topped with honey and cinnemon, apple and kefir on the side
– Losing my fear of foods. Recently I’ve been allowing myself basically everything I crave – healthy or not. And right now I have a freaky sweet tooth. For the first few days I ate a candy bar a day – no joke. But instead of developing a bad habit like I was afraid of doing, and never being able to stop, now I don’t crave candy or sugary treats at all. Banana’s, raisins and vegan “cookie dough balls” are all definitely popular items with me right now, but sickeningly sweet candy bars have lost their appeal. It’s gotten to a point when I will actually have a few bites of it, just to realize it’s not what I want at all.
I went from craving this:
– Enjoying social gatherings so much more. Today was my brother’s 16th birthday and after work I planned a special dinner for him. We didn’t have time to make pizza so what we got was store bought, frozen pizza. Normally I wouldn’t touch that stuff with a ten foot pole (hello saturated fat and chemicals) – but today I just completly let go and enjoyed. That and cracker + cheese, prezzles and salad. And it felt so good to sit around with my family and eat what they were eating- without needing “special” food.
My plate ( plus way more snacks ;P)
– Knowing I’m doing the right thing. Sure, there is a lot of pain and discomfort involved, but now when I look in the mirror instead of hating that stick thin figure in front of me, I can honestly tell myself I am fighting to change things for the better. It’s hard and I’ve already had my share of mental and physical struggles through this ordeal, but so far I am motivated to keep on going. And as long as I don’t lose that motivation I know I’m bound to get there some day.
All that being said, it isn’t easy, but there are really so many benefits to doing what is right for my health. Sure, there are days I’m stressed or anxious, days I just want to throw in the towel and say “forget it”. But little things like these show me that although in the short time things may seem difficult, I’m heading toward a place where food no longer has so much importance to me, a place where I am free to let go and enjoy myself, a place where I am able to be all I can be. And a place where I can be happy with myself, just the way I am.
So on that happy note, with a hefty peice of cake in my stomach, I am heading off to sleep. I’ll try to keep posting as much as I can, but with finals looming ahead and working till 9 PM I’m not sure how much I’ll manage. I’ve already been getting only 5 hours of sleep this last week, and I’m revising for a big test on Monday tomorrow, so I have less then relaxing plans for the weekend 😛 Hope you all enjoy yours though!
Have you ever done something that was difficult short term, but more then worth the effort in the end?
Anyone have any healthy, easy , on-the -go sweet snack recipies to share. My sweet tooth is crazy recently, but chocolate and candy bars just aren’t appealing anymore 😛