I feel like I am five.
I feel like I have to re-learn how to be a normal, functioning person again when it comes to anything in the food, diet or exercise world, and it is really, REALLY hard.
I mean it is obvious I have some issues, but I never realized how different certain habits I have are from what is considered “normal.“
I am starting to become more aware, however, as Ryan tries to help me rationalize, rid myself of the ritualistic behaviors, and essentially break all the “rules” I have constructed for as long as I can remember.
Example: The duration of a meal or snack is not over an hour.
I have gotten much better when I am in public with others, but I have to consciously think about it as I am eating.
…Take a bit, don’t chew it 569486 times, repeat, repeat, repeat.
This drives Ryan up the wall, because at home, I don‘t really care. I have nowhere to be so I can take my good old-time, and sometimes that is a bit too long.
My night snack used to take me over an hour to consume, close to an hour and a half if you counted the prep time, because I have one bowl and one spoon I use, that no one in the house ever touches, tea I have to make and heat up multiple times, a water bottle to fill maybe twice and I like to eat my Clif Mojo bar in very small pieces. I need to savor every morsel by letting it sit in my mouth for minutes on end. I don’t want to “waste” any calories, you know.
That sounds really weird when I type it out, but I maybe some of you can relate to what I am saying?
I know I draw out the snack process for multiple reasons.
When I was heavily restricting but trying to prove to my family how “well” I was doing by eating all my “meals” and “snacks” I almost always had 100 calorie popcorn.
There are a lot of pieces in those tiny little bags, and it seems like even more if you eat it one little kernel at a time, and basically let the things disintegrate in your mouth rather than actually chewing them.
This helped me trick my mind into thinking I was eating more, and I had almost trained my brain to believe I was “full.”
Yes CJ, you are so satiated because you had “soooo much food.”
I relished every second of that damn snack because even if I was still starving, which I pretty much was ALL THE TIME, I needed to pretend I wasn’t.
This system, coupled with about a gallon of water, worked for a while, and helped me remain under my caloric limit, which of course, was the ultimate goal of my day.
Exercise is another element of my recovery that is non-negotiable.
I agreed, or I suppose was forced, to stop running, which I guess I was my compromise, but I am not trying to die and with the cardiac issues that come with this disorder, I could come to terms with the fact that I was no longer permitted to run 6-7 miles a day.
So I now walk and Zumba, but heaven forbid someone suggest I take a rest day.
I can be sick, injured, exhausted, not progressing at all in my journey, and I become a mean beast if someone tries to take away my treadmill.
Last year, when I started to lose weight again Ryan removed the treadmill key so the machine wouldn’t turn on.
I was furious.
He was trying to make a point that sometimes people take days off. Sometimes our bodies need a day to just “be,” rejuvenate, and relax.
Apparently I am the exception to this because aside from a few days in the hospital, (I was a bathroom exerciser and got in trouble for it multiples times…woops! DO NOT follow my example) exercise is a daily part of my routine.
His argument is I am not really challenging myself, or changing anything about my life and my ED rituals, if I still feel I MUST do it every day.
He has a point. You cannot alter your neuropathways and forge healthier habits if you still participating in the destructive ones, even if they are less intense.
I had always thought “I am walking rather than feeling the need to run, I am making SO much progress.”
This might be sort of true, but I still haven’t really stepped out of the box and taken a leap into a “recovered” lifestyle.
There are a ton of examples of habitual behaviors, ED rituals and rules that I will continue to discuss, but the point of this post is, I wonder if a person can truly get better, and have a more positive mind-set, if they are still quasi-engaging in their old ways?
I see the argument for both sides; my side specifically because there are things I am just not ready or willing to eliminate from my life, but is that holding me back?
I feel like I am working toward “normalcy” but my set of beliefs is completely skewed so it is really hard to gauge.
Hopefully some day I will be free of it all, but it is hard when you feel like you have to erase things that dictated the majority of your life.
Like I said, I feel like I am five, starting from scratch in a whole different kind of school.
Let’s hope my past-over-achiever comes out.