As always, thank you all for your most lovely, kind and heartfelt comments on Monday’s post! You guys sure know how to make me feel pretty and good about myself, something that I honestly need sometimes! I am faced with a whole bunch of events, outings, and social stuff in the next few weeks, and while it will be mentally tough at times, looking back on the past weekend, and remembering that I usually do have a good time, helps to give me the nudge I need.
However, there are some… negatives and consequences… that do in fact come out of all of this, ones that I manage to conjure up for myself and of course is pretty much all about FOOD! What else? Sigh.
Since today we are now halfway through the work week, it’s time for What I Ate Wednesday, a blogging “event’ put on my Jenn over at Peas and Crayons each week. Jenn, thank you for doing this once again lady, it is always very appreciated and something I look forward to
I am going to use this WIAW as a means to explain my recent decisions around, meal times, and eating and how in fact they are backfiring (well a bit anyway)! These moments and outcomes are what is making me continuously aware (as usual) of the changes I need to keep working on. Alright enough with the vagueness here, let’s get to it!
**Today’s WIAW food is from Friday, the day before the commencement ball that would take place later that night… an event where I knew I would be drinking and eating much MORE than usual.
So as I wrote about on Monday, I made the effort to challenge myself and get my butt out the door to try to be as “normal” as possible, especially during my last moments in college. I become upset when I think about how much I have missed out on because of this disorder, but dwelling on the regrets is not particularly helpful, other than to motivate me to keep the recovery process going.
During all of the events I partook in a few days ago, they were during times I prefer to eat my “special” and “safe” foods, yet I found myself acknowledging that discomfort and doing my best to simply go with the flow, eat before/during/after, and also consume whatever is offered… like I said last week, try to address food as a PART of life, rather than making it everything. There were times that I dealt with this better than others, but overall I was able to eat and move on.
I had a very early morning dentist appointment on Friday, worked out before and then underestimated how much time I had to get ready, and ended up eating this in the car (not while driving, but at lights and such!). I forget sometimes how much I LOVE the mango Chobani… I used to never ever eat it because, oh no(!) 2%… don’t think so! Thank the lawd those irrational fears are outtaaaa here, as this flavor is tasty tasty.
Before leaving for my appointment, I stirred in flax, Kashi Crunch cereal and topped the yogurt with blackberries.
Let me tell you something though, this was (and is) really really hard (I know, duh) and I find myself struggling a bit with a few things regarding this. I keep thinking that as I continue to get myself out there more, gain weight, let go of past ED habits, exercise less, eat more, etc, my brain will just “shut off” with all of this.
Unfortunately though, I am focusing on food and my body MORE, because I am worried about doing all of those things I just listed TOO MUCH- too much weight gain, too much food, TOO LITTLE exercise to make up for it… If I start letting things go too much, I will lose it all and suddenly I will be 30 pounds heavier, feeling miserable and FAT.
Irrational? Of course, but try telling that to this illness that is just fantastic at manipulating your thoughts and actions. I really became aware of this when I took a serious break from exercising and as a result, began to (even more) intensely focus on my food intake as in my mind “something has to give…” I cannot be ‘normal’ and not obsess about the food I eat, the exercise I do, becasue if I stop paying close attention, even for a second, I will lose everything I have “worked so hard for.” (at what cost though?)
Picked up from the Stop & Shop salad bar on the way home from the dentist. When their is fruit at a salad bar that is priced at $4.99/pound, buy lots of it, you sure as heck get your money’s worth!
I also had this new-for-me bar I spotted while at the grocery store,
I am the WORST with new products that intrigue me, I cannot help but purchase them to try, no matter what quantities I have…. and with energy/protein bars, I should not be allowed to buy any more for the next year or so. Anyway, this was a most excellent choice- a nice coconut flavor and the dark chocolate complimented it well… plenty of healthy fats too!
The intense focus lessened when I began to exercise again (much less than before, but still some activity), and also the realization and reminder that yep, I have to eat “that” many calories, that amount of food if I want to get better and YES it is really uncomfortable! Oh well. It’s been a rough past few weeks now, but improvements were made here and there.
So how does this idea play into my most recent fun-filled weekend? Perhaps you have some idea already of where this is going…
In this situation, I am once again focusing hard core on my food intake.
In my mind: well if I am going to be around unfamiliar food at night, going out to eat dinner and not really know what is “lurking’ in the dishes, well than I had better eat light in order to prepare! Sadly yes, I have been finding myself restricting a bit during the day, in order to feel “okay” with going out, and potentially being faced with a dish or food that is scary for me to eat… but it will be fine since i am under-eating!
I didn’t feel like walking to the DC that day and decided to eat closer to where I was on campus….A Pita Pit salad! I know I know… a salad from a pita place?! Well in all honesty, sandwiches are still “tough” for me, and when I actually enjoy a sandwich, I want it on nice hearty, grainy, wheat bread, rather than a thin, tasteless pita that only holds the items together. Enter salad from this place that has surprisingly fresh veggies.
In the mix- spinach, romaine, tomatoes, black olives, cucumbers, banana peppers, green peppers, mushrooms, slices of turkey… all topped with a honey mustard dressing. Two things I learned from this salad, 1) Honey mustard= true love, gosh how I love this stuff, and 2) banana peppers are GROSS MAN.
This meal came with chips of choice and a piece of fruit,
For the record, baked Cheetos are awesome! They do leave the rather fake orange residue on your fingers though, but at least it’s not coating a fried potato something, rather a baked on… umm duh haha.
First of all, I completely get that this is quite against any sort of movement toward recovery and that it’s simply not acceptable. However, I am doing it because I need to have control over myself in some way, and also give myself the ability, permission and leeway of facing an unfamiliar food situation. If I just eat less during the day, then I am mentally prepared for wherever the night or event takes me.
I know this cycle too well, heck I am sure plenty of us do.
Why is that I am so “good” at controlling myself during the day, but at night all hell breaks loose? There is a reason that a large percent of people who were formally Anorexic end up crossing over to Bulimia or Binge-Eating disorder. Their minds and bodies simply cannot take it anymore, cannot stand the malnutrition and restriction any longer, and their body DEMANDS the food that it needs.
I have come this far with this illness, with recovery, that my mind and body no longer will tolerate me undereating. This is actually a positive thing of course, as I am getting in the calories I need. But it does take a toll on me mentally as the guilt, shame, embarrassment and discomfort I feel afterward is practically intolerable. The inevitable sense of failure is a guaranteed one as well.
Because I ended up getting ready quite early for the dance, I ate dinner early as well and therefore never got a snack in. The disorder part of me gave a ‘hell yes’ to that, as wahooo I am saving calories and will be more okay with drinking later! Again, not okay, as these are the restrictive and sick habits I am trying to get away from… yet are soo so easy to fall into.
Even though I do have my reservations around sandwiches (for whatever reason it continues to be a fear food), I challenged that anyway, and brought Subway with me to eat while getting ready. Plus Subway is the sh*t if you ask me, as I told you all in my survey from Sunday
I ordered- 6-inch turkey on wheat bread (toasted!) with tomatoes, pickles, lettuce, provolone cheese, and mustard with a fountain drink on the side, light lemonade. Randomly I had some cereal on the side as well, another new product I could not resist (seriously someone stop me):
I suggest you find this Arrowhead Mills cereal, delicious, crunchy, and pretty filling too! They have a similar texture to Puffins, but I actually prefer the flavor of these squares, it’s more sweet and potent… ideal for me.
That was the last thing I ate before beautifying, drinking some, and going to the dance. There was food there, cheese, dip, crackers, stuff like that, but nothing really too great-tasting to be honest, so I didn’t consume anything there.
Not enough, clearly because I ended up losing control later and eating (what felt like to me) half of my room. For the record, I was no longer drunk by the time I was getting back from the dance, as we started drinking quite early, so the compulsive need I felt to eat was sparking from a mental and physical restriction I had been partaking in earlier.
The particular day, although healthy, was simply not enough and also filled with too many vegetables and fruit. Yes there is such thing as too much of this stuff for me, as I use this type of food as a means to fill up on the least amount of calories as possible (the oldest trick in the book!) I was eating lighter during this day, knowing I would be faced with an unfamiliar setting with the food.
Perhaps this seems like enough food, but clearly it was not because of what I found myself doing around 12:30 am when I returned-
- okay I am kind of hungry, I will have a yogurt and then go to bed…
- Mmm that was good, I want something salty now though… pretzels oh and paired with some peanut butter…
- Alright just one more something, let’s see… ahh I still have jelly beans, I will just have a handful…
- Let’s see what else, CEREAL! I will pour out a serving and then that is it!
- Cottage cheese is something I like to taste last, just one spoonful…
Ahh TESSA STOP, NOOO- you fatty, what in the hell are you thinking right now?! Don’t you realize that just 5 minutes ago you were under calories and feeling fantastic? You lard, now you have gone and ruined it for the day… Enter consuming a yogurt and one more piece of chocolate.
I did eventually stop of course… after god knows how many calories. Perhaps if anything, I should be glad that I consumed the amount I needed for that day, oh and then some. After all was said and done, I felt like total crap.
So not to worry about not getting enough calories in, because I sure as heck made up for my restriction from earlier. I realize that it’s not like I am stuffing myself with chips, chocolate, fried stuff, and loads of empty calorie items, but still… it’s the thoughts behind this, and how I feel after that is bothering me.
Unfortunately this was not a limited one-day event, as the pattern continued on Saturday because that day I was a bit scared of whatever unfamiliar situation I would be in as well. I know this makes pretty much zero sense… but for whatever reason, I get a certain ‘high’ from staying in crucial control before a time I don’t know what I will face as far as food goes. No-freakin-wonder going out anywhere is so exhausting when this amount of thought and concern goes into it?!
Phew, moving on to a better day and in fact since this weekend, I have been nice and balanced, and even enjoying treats such as this ( I have to throw in a recipe here, it’s been too long and you all deserve on after enduring this post haha):
Nut Butter Chocolate Bars (adapted from here and made a bit lighter)
- 1 (18.25) package plain yellow cake mix (I used Duncan Hines)
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1 cup nut butter of choice (I used 1/2 cup each of WF peanut and almond butter- an interesting combo!)
- 2 eggs
- 1 (12 oz) package semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 (14 ounce) can low-fat sweetened condensed milk
- 2 Tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
2) Combine cake mix, melted butter, applesauce, nut butter, and eggs in a large bowl using a mixer or spoon. Press this into a 9X13 pan reserving 1 1/2 cup of the mixture to crumble on top.
4) Spread chocolate mixture over the mixture pressed in the pan and then crumble the reserved cake mixture on top evenly.
5) Bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely before cutting into bars.
I know I am honest 100% of the time on my blog, but HONESTLY, this is a topic that is tough for me to write about… I am embarrassed- with my actions and how much I ate, and also that I am still trying to fight against myself and what I understand is against recovery. I am continuing to self-sabotage, but, part of my mind is still on track to get better, as the overeating actions are actually helping me in the end.
In conclusion and note to self- don’t restrict, it will backfire and you will feel bad about yourself. Now why did it take so many emotions, incorrect actions and this rather wordy post to make this conclusion? Not sure, but really, the restriction is no longer happening, I can’t handle this sort of feeling, the loss of control, the guilt and so on. Another day, yet another lesson learned, and a further step toward ridding myself of this illness once and for all.
-Do you ever do this… try to eat “lighter” earlier in the day if you are facing something later on?
-What is something you need to keep being reminded of in order to get it right or change the habit? For me, restricting= no bueno in any sense at all!
-Losing control around food umm sucks. Have you ever done this, and if so, how do you shake the guilt?
-If you have been in a similar situation as this, why do you think you chose to turn to food as you did? Physical or mental related? For me, I believe this was both physical and related to my mind as well, both playing a role.
-On a foodie note, do you like super-crunchy cereals, or ones that tend to soften in milk/yogurt? Most recent item you baked? I usually like softer ones more, but crunch is a nice change!
-It’s WIAW soooo what is the most note-worthy item you ate in the past week?
As always my dear friends, thank you for reading and any input you have here. Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday, halfway there!