Happy Halfway through the week everyone!
As I am typing this, I’m realizing that Nursing school starts in exactly 2 weeks on September 5th, ahhhh! Everyone keeps asking me if I am excited and in a way I certainly am, as I’m finally on the right path toward the career I desire. However, it is still school- tests, studying, homework… that whole learning thing has to happen and effort is a necessity. I know as the date gets closer, my enthusiasm for nursing will increase, I am just still in summer mode!
Since we are indeed in the middle of the week, it is What I Ate Wednesday time, courtesy of Jenn blogging over at Peas and Crayons! Thank you as always for putting this together m’dear!
While I am sure most of you are beyond sick of hearing about the Healthy Living Summit, allow me to just have one more post on it… but with a twist of course! I actually started this WIAW post on Sunday night when I was writing the “recap” of the HLS set for Monday. It focuses on the food aspect of the weekend, and while it did go along with my words from the other day, that post was getting too darn long. Therefore I decided to cut it out and save it for Wednesday, and here we are!
For today’s WIAW post, I am going to show you the main/noteworthy items I ate throughout the weekend, with random slews of thoughts thrown in there for good measure. What I ate in between wasn’t too interesting- nuts, granola/energy bars, samples from the summit.
I am quite blunt with my process in this recovery and of course FOOD and eating is a major aspect of this. Normally when I travel I bring absurd amounts of “safe” and just in case snacks, because I am terrified of not having any options I deem too fatty/unhealthy/whatever to eat though. For the Summit though, while I did bring a few items, what options were going to be available did not worry me, as I figured there would be plenty of healthy options…. it’s a HLB sponsored event for goodness sake.
Small plate from the first night at the cocktail party- goat cheese (dear god good) more vegetables, crackers and goat (my absolute favorite) consumed up the wazoo.
There were indeed plenty of nutritious and fresh options, something I am sure all of you have read on one blog or another. What did worry me though, was the actual eating in front of other people.
As I reflect on the several negative thoughts and worries I had before the weekend (and at parts of the event as well) I realize how truly selfish these were. They were all about ME, what other people would think of me, how they might see/judge/make conclusions about ME… me me me. This is a common theme for people with eating issues and anyone insecure in general, you always feel that others are judging and despising you, and that you are not worthy of being around.
This time around, it came out with the food aspect of the weekend.
Of course not everyone there knew who I was and have therefore not read my blog. But those who had and continue to, I was nervous about what they would think of what I chose to eat, how much, how often… would I go back for seconds, perhaps try and restrict, or the other side of this… would they think I was eating too much? Then my own worries- what if I eat more than other people and I act like a glutton?
The sadistic voice of the eating disorder is a continuous presence in my head and again, eating and food is a major part of this. I have all of these fears around what people think of ME and everything I am doing because I am personally doing the exact same thing to them- not ever judging, but watching what they are doing/eating, what they look like… always comparing and then evaluating my own actions, looks, and choices.
Breakfast on the first day (plus more grapes x a billion or so)… I also had one of those delicious yogurt parfaits which has been popping up all over… and a cup of Tazo tea. The coffee at the summit was just NOT good and I am by no means a coffee snob (Dunks is my jam) but yeah, it was pretty awful.
I will admit this to you all now, I did not eat as much or as different choices as I wanted to. The ever-present fear of gaining weight was there (blah blah blah I know), but at the same time, I was worried in some weird way of not appearing as though I am still “sick.” I am not entirely sure if I am explaining this correctly… I battle disordered eating thoughts on a constant basis and a part of me still wants people to know this. It’s something I have talked about before- physically I look fine, I act as if everything is fine and dandy, yet there are days I am dying inside.
One major conclusion I can make from this weekend is I really need to get a reality check and STOP giving a hoot what other people think of me and my choices.
With the food, I did stick to healthier and safer choices, I did “restrict” in a way because I did not have what I truly wanted and in the amounts as well. I was burdened by the battle in my head of wanting more, yet depriving myself and then those food thoughts bombarding my brain, making it difficult to appreciate and enjoy where I was. The sick pleasure of eating LESS than others at meals was a fleeting feeling I experienced, yet I was able to recognize ALL of this.
Lunch on Saturday- salad, tomato/avocado thing (flippen delicious) chicken, a small piece of naan and soup on the side.
Like I said though, this happened at meals, not throughout the day. It was a combination of the certain degree of lingering food fears and worrying about what other people thought of what “Amazing Asset” was eating. I know… dumb. When the though of “everyone is watching me” is overwhelming, it’s because that is what YOU (the universal you) are doing. What I mean is, I watch other people- what they choose to eat, how much and such- I do not judge, but I do observe and as a result, I always think people are doing the same thing right back at me.
All of this also does go along with what I brought up on Monday… alarmingly thin ladies and all of that. When you have your own food issues (ones I have proclaimed ohhh once or twice on my blog ), it’s quite a challenge to eat in front of others who are consuming very little, only salad/greens, or simply nothing at all.
Ricotta, pudding, parfait dessert thing… it was odd, not sure if I liked it too much, but felt compelled to taste it.
This is where the never ever comparing thing comes in… it’s essential especially in a situation like this. I will admit to having thoughts of, “how can they eat next to nothing and seem totally fine/in a good mood? Aren’t they hungry?!” And sadly, “gosh, I wish I still had that willpower.” I realize how ridiculous this and that most of that is the ED voice verses my logical/recovering one. It goes along with what I wrote about on Monday, I still have a sense of envy, but then I remember what life was like in the “dark ages.”
Most importantly, I once again have no right to make conclusions about what is going on with them, why they are not eating (maybe they ate earlier or whatevaaa)… although when they are sticks sitting behind an empty plate, red flags go up….
Trying to be artsy… fail haha. Sushi from our sushi night out on Saturday! Followed by Berryline frozen yogurt- original with blueberries and chocolate sprinkles ( a necessity)… nothing too special but I was honestly not hungry after sushi. That was the one of the rare times that weekend where I felt truly satisfied.
I sure as heck didn’t NOT eat or anything like that (and am proud of when I did branch out), but I kept feeling like I had to make excuses up in order to grab more than other people… that I had to justify my intake. I was perpetually hungry this weekend for whatever reason, and I can’t even tell you the number of times I said, ” gahh I am just so hungry today!” when I consumed something I felt was more out of the ordinary, or in a larger amount than others.
I know it seems like I step forwards and backwards with the food aspect of recovery… because well, it’s true, I do. Dealing with (most likely) needing to gain more weight is VERY difficult for me right now and then when I feel a fake and selfish pressure to appear a certain way, it’s a bad combination. I understand now that even if someone was watching me and my food, who gives a hoot ultimately it comes down to what is right for ME.
Yesterday’s breakfast- a pound or so of fruit, steel cut oatmeal with milk and the hotel’s homemade granola added in.
Eating in front of other people is not the crazy concern it used to be, yet it still does bother me (at least a tad). I hold onto being the “healthy one” and in this situation, I am a blogger with eating issues that I blatantly lay out here on a weekly basis. I was worried about what people would think when I ate and what conclusions they would make… a part of me still needs everyone to know I am not all better yet… I don’t know why exactly, but it really is true.
Again though, focusing on my needs, my goals, and my actions.. never comparing, judging, and all of that.. is the path to progression. This weekend did pose some , but I would say overall even with slight derailments, I was able to understand my place in this process and also what I still face.
-Do you ever have trouble eating in front of others.. or have you at one point in your life? If so, what were your reasons behind this?
-What is your best advice for getting through a challenging or tempting circumstance that you know is not the greatest/bad for you? Focusing on my short term and long term goals, as simple as that sounds, works wonders for me.
-Do you often feel as everyone is watching YOU and your actions? Is this reality, or is the worry coming from some irrational thinking? Or perhaps it has to do with you putting your own actions onto someone else…
-When there is a breakfast buffet, what do you tend to go for first? I always get fruit first if it’s fresh. This is NOT an ED thing either, I love fruit and when it’s unlimited, I tend to go bat-sh*t crazy for it.
-Tell me the best thing you have eaten, baked, cooked, bought in the past week! From the HLS, my favorite food was the goat cheese they served at every meal… cheese= former fear food, and goodness am I glad I discovered my love for goat cheese.