Thank goodness it is Friday!
I don’t know about all of you but I am welcoming this weekend with open arms. Perhaps it is the fact that we have no break from December to April that is starting to wear on me, but whatever it is, two days to myself are much needed right now.
All that aside I actually want to continue with what I started yesterday…being a little more open.
I have had several of you inquire about the dreaded lunch date with my dietician…
I would like to say it was productive, and it was in the recovery sense because it was an enormous challenge for me, but it also made me feel horrible, and again, ashamed and so unworthy.
My poor nutritionist (I say poor because I really am a nightmare to work with) like Ryan, also has the list of my fear foods I have written about before.
When she suggested we have a meal together she also proposed that we attempt something scary, in addition to learning more “normal” restaurant and eating behaviors.
Upon further discussion she decided on a local venue that just happened to be one of her family’s favorites. And I had never been there so she said it might be good to visit a place I didn’t really have a judgment about in my mind pre-meal.
I had mentioned Panera, but was quickly reminded that the calorie counts are posted smack dab on the menu for all to see, which my dietician pointed out might not be the best scenario for one who is trying to venture outside their comfort zone.
*I really hate that, by the way…I already have the facts memorized in my head, must I be reminded as I am deciding what to order?!
Anyway, I was anxious all Wednesday morning.
I was antsy about breakfast and couldn’t bring myself to have a morning snack even though I was STARVING and could barely concentrate on doing my work at the office.
I paced back and forth in the lobby of our destination as I waited for my lunch partner.
“Two for lunch, we’ll have a booth please.”
She sounded so nonchalant and confident, and I was literally having a mental breakdown.
She took my menu as we sat down and narrowed down my choices; the challenge…a tuna fish salad sandwich.
I love tuna. I don’t know why but when I was in program we had maybe 5 choices for lunch…all things between two slices of bread, and I rotated between turkey, tuna and PBJ. I hadn’t had tuna since due to my immense fear of the “excessive calories,” but it was one of my favorites.
Wednesday I selected one of the more simple options; Tuna salad on marbled rye with lettuce, tomato and mustard.
“Could I do the half and half combo? Half sandwich and a cup of the very veggie soup?”
“Let’s try the whole sandwich today.”
She ordered for the both of us, and also decided on a similar sandwich, replacing my tuna with chicken salad.
To my disappointment the entrees arrived quickly.
I was hoping we could carry on our current conversation about outdoor activities and just forget the fear food all together, but unfortunately that did not happen.
“Where is your hunger on a scale of 1-10?”
In our version of the hunger scale, 1 is completely ravenous to the extreme and 10 is “Thanksgiving pants full.”
Truth be told I was like a 2.5. I was VERY hungry, and I did let her know.
She asked why I cut my sandwich into fourths.
“That’s just how I like it.”
Actually, correction…I don’t often eat sandwiches and when I do it is usually with a fork (ED ritual…I get it).
We didn’t really discuss food throughout the meal, other than a few check-ins here or there, but she did ask after the first half how I felt. Although I did not want to admit it, the lunch tasted amazing.
The filling was not overly mayonnaise-y at all, and it had a really delicious flavor.
She encouraged me to eat the other half but said I could leave the side of chips.
News flash nutritionist, the chips weren’t even an option in my head. I had written those off even before the waitress set down my plate…I think she knew that…
I completed her challenge and did consume the whole sandwich.
Physically I was full, but not stuffed…
Until the thoughts started coming…
Five minutes upon completion I broke down. Tears streamed down my face as I got madder and madder for what I had just done.
Why did I agree to this?!
How could I just eat all that?!
I like to have a little something sweet after a meal and now I couldn’t do that!
I couldn’t even have a proper dinner because I undoubtedly consumed AT LEAST a days worth of calories in one sitting.
I cried harder and harder as she sat there trying to comfort me.
Nothing was working.
I just needed to go. I couldn’t sit there any longer, in the place of the horrific act I had just committed.
She asked if I would check in with her later.
I didn’t make any promises but drove off frantically, still hysterical and bawling.
I went home and did everything I could think of to make my brain just shut the f*ck up.
I baked for my co-workers, took the dogs outside, tidied up around the house, tried to read…nothing was working.
Finally, since I was mentally and physically exhausted I decided maybe if I could just sleep for half an hour it would prevent the negative self-talk from happening…even if it was only for a short period of time.
I was shocked that I fell asleep so quickly, but like I said, I am pretty darn tired right now.
Half an hour later the thoughts were still there but at least I knew I was a little closer to tomorrow; a new day.
I did have dinner…not a challenging one by any means but it contained all the necessary food groups…
I also had snack, but I could tell I was a little skimpy and tried to cut a few corners.
It is sad to think one meal; a single menu item, can rattle my day as much as my choice yesterday.
It caused me so much shame, degradation within my mind about how much I did not deserve what was put into my body.
I’m still thinking about that damn sandwich, and I really want to stop, but the only way to do that is to engage in these types of situations more often; challenges that are EXTREME and real, not just baby steps, if I ever want to BEAT this eating disorder.
Only when I begin to think more rationally, and combat the destructive routines, will the crazy, mean, and illogical beliefs and be-rations cease.
I hate that I just wrote those words, because I really do not want to feel Wednesday awful ever again, but you and I both know it is true.
No wonder I wasn’t as open and honest before; it’s a lot harder than I thought…