Great WIAW party yesterday!! So many of your recipes and eats have been bookmarked and saved
It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what has prompted me to write this particular post today… I suppose it’s a series of things I have been reading and thinking about lately. Sorry for that vague intro, so let’s get into what has been on my mind! **Note- I want to preface this by saying I might get a bit repetitive…. it was difficult for me to explain what really has been going on.
Now that September is here and the bliss of summer is slowly but surely ebbing away, there is a noticeable trend that people have become more busy, including myself. It completely makes sense, school is starting up again, everyone has responsibilities, jobs, and there is simply not enough time to do everything we want to. Of course, work and other various requirements are on-going and necessary during the summer, but I feel as if there is a more relaxed vibe in this particular season.
I have read on a number of blogs recently how crazy some people’s schedules are and that they are having difficulties finding time for themselves… even if it’s just a few minutes per day. Having moments that are “yours” are essential for staying sane when you are leading a hectic life. What these times of peace entail depends on the person- it could be anything from meditation and yoga, to going for a run or another form of working out, reading a pleasurable book, taking a walk, talking to a friend, and so on. What brings you pleasure is your personal preference and finding that is quite necessary for a fulfilling life… and when you experience them, they are that much more special.
With fall basically at our door steps, work, school, homework, and responsibilities (that are sometimes not so fun) are much more apparent. For me, I not only am juggling 5 classes, an off-campus internship, and my RA job, but I am also working on my resume, making a workout a daily part of my routine, trying to stay social with friends and my staff, and continue my journey toward a peace of mind with my body, food, weight, etc.
I know there are people out there that are way more busy than I am and are still managing to get everything done they need to. Although annoying sometimes, it is quite normal to do “stuff” that is not so fun. What I mean by that is, we all complete requirements, assignments, duties and other responsibilities because we need to more often than we want to. There are times when necessary tasks interrupt our routine, or meetings are scheduled at an inconvenient time, we have to change our schedules around to accommodate others, and so on.
What I am building up to here is that my disordered eating has made me into a very selfish person, someone who takes too much time for herself. I have been controlled by food for several years now, yet the realization and understanding of how much this impacts my life never ceases to amaze me. Food, meals, when it’s time to eat/exercise, weight… these are all aspects that have been a huge factor in how my life has played out and the choices that I make my for myself.
The reason disordered eating has made me selfish, is because the thoughts, rules, deprivations and restrictions that are ever-present, have input on daily aspects and requirements in my daily life.
In the worst times, if some obligation cut into one of my treasured meal times or was something was scheduled at a time where I need to eat, then I would make every effort to get out whatever I needed to do, or change the time. It was simply NOT okay for me to eat at a different time (either later or earlier), or to have some kind of food that I hadn’t approved before hand, to consume my meal in front of others when I had not expected to, or perhaps have to eat in an unfamiliar environment while completing whatever the task was.
No, none of that was okay with me. Because I had placed food on this high “pedestal” than each meal was a special occasion and had to treasured appropriately. I liked to have plenty of time to eat what I wanted and where I requested… either alone or with select company, and I only wanted to be reading or looking at something that was pleasurable for me. The idea of simply grabbing something on the go was unfathomable.. I mean why would I “waste” a meal by quickly downing it and getting on with what I need to do! No, every single thing I ate had to be a occasion, one that was so special and glorious, that it had to be savored.
During the worst times of this illness, aka last summer, I was at the height of my selfishness. I was so caught up in my own routine, food, and workouts, and times to eat, that I was quite unwilling to do anything that tore me away from my schedule. It didn’t necessarily have to be a meal that was interrupted, it really turned into any part of my day being “messed” up by other people’s requests, which bothered me so much. Every single aspect about my life was about, pertaining to, and had something to do with eating and my weight, so it became nearly impossible to do anything that broke away from my insane, controlling schedule.
For example, I felt I “had” to remain at my house until at least 1:30 pm so I would have time to eat my ginormous salad for lunch, but it had to be consumed at home and not earlier than that. Obviously that made arranging any sort of activities or plans rather difficult, as I was rather opposed to eating at a different time, somewhere else, and with other people. When it came to scheduling classes, I would never make them too early in the morning, during lunch, or at night, because these would mess with my schedule.
I can remember one time last summer, my mom asked me to pick up my brother from the airport at 7:00 pm… immediately my mind started to race with anxiety and frustration. How dare she ask me to go anywhere during my precious time for dinner?! I am going to be soo hungry, I simply cannot imagine just eating whatever on the way there! Nope sorry can’t I was errr….asked to babysit! Yes things like that happened quite often… I became incredibly selfish and greatly opposed to do anything beyond what I wanted to…. and it was always because of FOOD.
What I have found though, is that it is simply unrealistic and wrong to have all of this time for yourself, never do anything for anyone else, be unwilling to rearrange your schedule to accommodate other requirements… and again, all because of FOOD and the fear of getting fat. I have seen all over the blog world lately how crazy busy everyone is and how they are struggling to take time for themselves and do what they want to. I have been the opposite for far too long… taking way too much time for myself and making up lies to get out of stuff, or manipulating plans and times for what works for me.
This is one of the major reasons my RA job last year was so tough for me. I would often have to get up in the middle of the night for emergencies, or we had scheduled staff meetings during my “special times” for dinner, or I had to attend programs when I like to eat lunch. This was a job, yet I fought so hard all year against anything that caused issues in my own schedule. I would be so angry at people when they had a meeting at a time that was just no okay with me. I became very unreliable because sticking with my routine was the most essential thing that could happen, and so I made it clear to my staff that I really could never be bothered.
Although this extreme has lessened a bit, I still struggle with being selfish because of my disordered eating. I have planned my schedule this semester so I have plenty of time in the mornings to do finish a workout, shower and eat, I do not have class during my “special” lunchtime, none of my classes go too late… it took a lot of effort to arrange all of this but I did. But just because I have a schedule like this, does not mean it’s a good thing. Like I said earlier, it is unrealistic to be able to plan my day like this and that is a concept I must get my head around.
All of my issues have the same underlying theme and fear… that if I gain weight, my life will just suck real bad and I will not be able to live with myself. So, I used to make tremendous amounts of effort to always stay within the comfort zone of my routine and was incredibly against ever defying it in any way.
However, that is not life... you cannot plan life out to what you think is perfection no matter how hard you try. Trust me, I know this. Even when I did manage to get everything I wanted, in terms of meal times and other requirements, and I also lost weight, none of this ever made me feel better. perhaps I received an initial sick elation from such control, but in the end, I was being destroyed by my own selfish intentions.
I have missed out on so much- events, clubs, gatherings, groups at school, special occasions, volunteer or job opportunities, meet ups with friends and so on, because of my relationship with food. I was at an activities fair yesterday and with a saddened heart, I realized how many opportunities I have allowed myself to skip, truly believing I was benefiting from such decisions. I really could not have been more wrong. I am a senior in college now, and I feel like a huge part of my youth has been stolen away from me. I have not had the college experience that I had dreamed about…
I am now excited to take time for myself, but also to completely requirements that might interrupt my food choices in some way. These re the kind of small steps that will help me break away from such a routine. Also when I do experience “special Tessa time” it will be that much more rewarding because I would have worked for it, rather than negotiating my life around such things.
The only choice I can make from here is to continue with this recovery and make up for all of those lost times. It is so unfair what this tormenting illness has done to me, both physically and mentally, but I cannot wallow in such thoughts. How about I stop hating my body, stop being afraid of food, stop obsessing about exercise and burning calories, stop fearing what others think of me, stop being so goddamn selfish… and start living a life that I deserve to. One where I do what I want to, but with a sincere willingness to shake things up.
Eating disorders make you selfish. You will do anything to be thin and maintain control with little regard to the requests of others, outside requirements, and the aspects of life that once left you fulfilled and happy.
I hope this made some sort of sense…. sorry about the length, but you know how it can get with me when I talk about this stuff (yay for word vomit!)
How do you enjoy taking time for yourself/ how do you keep yourself busy in such a chaotic time?
Do you sometimes put meals on a “pedestal” and that perhaps making the idea of eating on the go to be an intolerable one?
Can I just ask straight out, what are your thoughts on this? I am still gathering my head around what I am attempting to say!
Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day! Tomorrow is Friday and it’s supposed to be sunny… almost there guys