The concept of “fake it ’till you make it,” has always been something I preached to others. I even mastered the “fake it” part. But obviously, as it is three years later, and there has been marginal progress in my journey toward ED recovery, the latter part of that statement never really happened for me.
I take responsibility for that, of course, because I will admit, I did not always follow the perscribed plan set forth by professionals, or abide by the guidlines I promised to my family.
But yesterday, as I was shopping with a friend, in three of my very favorite food heavens; Whole Foods, Great Harvest, and Trader Joes, I kept looking through the aisles with the my very normal thoughts of, “ohhh that looks so good, but I could never have it,” or I would put something in the cart knowing Ryan would absolutely enjoy every bite, but already eliminating the idea that I could even taste some.
Wait a minute…
For some unknown reason my mind did like a rewind to last summer when I was at the Fun, Fit and Fabulous Conference for women.
One of the presentations I enjoyed most was from Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo, who spent an entire hour discussing the idea of “changing your brain, to get more champaign.”
She was not referring to the actual alcoholic drink, but rather suggesting you might be able to trick yourself into a better life; a happier you.
I have definitely trained myself to believe all these insane diet rules, rituals and mantras, to be one hundred percent normal, why couldn’t I teach myself something else? Like that dessert after dinner is one hundred percent a wonderful idea?!
I bought into Dr. Lombardo’s philosophy for awhile and honestly, that was the healthiest few months of my life, in as long as I can remember.
I didn’t look at food as horrific and trying to ruin my body, but more as exciting and new, and essential for me to survive….to actually LIVE.
I remembered the time when Ryan and I enjoyed preparing our meals together, laughing and talking in the kitchen. When we ate by the fire on a big blanket and celebrated our engagement with white chocolate covered strawberries. When we would root for our team at hockey games sharing a soft pretzel with mustard and an italian ice after the second period.
It wasn’t about the calories then, it was about the fun we were having and the traditions/memories being made.
I breifly recalled my experience at the seminar a few days ago when I was reading a post from a very special friend of mine.
Clare has been fabulous ever since I met her at HLS, but the past few weeks, as my downward spiral continued, I was constantly turning to her for support.
She has been an amazing inspiration in my process because I view her as a beautiful person inside and out; a role model for me because she recovered from being sick, and very admirably did it at home.
When I read what she learned at her recent conference, essentially that we need to eat for our insides, rather than our outside; that health and longevitity is more important than trying to be a super-model, I was struck by her words.
I have said this before, but it never registers to me that I am hurting myself.
I am not suicidal or really depressed, and most of the time I feel like a super productive individual, so having a problem is not something I readily admit.
But after reading I kept thinking, the ingredient list on my diet bread takes up nearly half the bag. I am so tired on some weekends, and do not sleep at all because I either a. wake up hungry in the middle of the night, or b. have so much on my mind I never drift off for more than half an hour. I barely ever eat with anyone other than Ryan because I fear I will be completely judged and ridiculed…thus no recent memories of note have been made.
My body is good at being the faker, but eventually I might just crash.
So maybe I should mesh the philosophy of Dr. Lobardo; that our minds can indeed be transformed, and Clare’s retelling of what she learned; the importance of considering overall wellness, I could somehow make some really positive changes.
I am not going to pretend it will be easy to put the feta cheese I purchased onto my salad and not have a minor mental freakout about the “excess” calories.
When I go to make breakfast and it is different than what I deem safe will I want to restrict later? Probably.
But if I look at my delicious loaf of Great Harvest bread, and continue to repeat how amazing it tastes, how much energy it will provide, how on our honeymoon I had the most AMAZING hunk out of a crusty loaf and got to walk the beautiful streets of Barcelona smiling and taking in the culture with my husband, maybe I can convince myself it is ok.
If I do this enough, perhaps it could even become a habit.
Did Michael Phelps become the best swimmer in the world by doing a few laps?
It took him a TON of practice; many many many hours of training, which was probably pretty painful.
I don’t even want to become the BEST person at recovery.
I just really don’t want to be in prison forever.
And I want to be happy with myself and my family.
So today my darling significant other will be bringing me a very tasty lunch of a sandwich made on my newly purchased multi-grain and probably a few other of the new goodies that were thrown into my cart…diet bread and sugar free pudding not included.