WIAW: Breaking The Rules

When I start to write a post, especially one that could be a sensitive issue for someone, or an annoying repeat of my constant struggles, I KNOW I am opening myself up to comments or e-mails that could be “negative.”

And while I have had some that really did hurt my feelings, I typically look at feedback from readers as really helpful.

On Tuesday morning I was reading a comment from my post about Chris Powell and his influence on an overweight woman who completely made over her life.

I mean, it was a SERIOUS transformation.

I made a statement that I wanted a Chris to help me because sometimes I just feel so lost.

Yes, I do want a Chris…that is a fact. BUT, as the commenter somewhat implied, it doesn’t always appear that I am ready to make such drastic alterations to my lifestyle; alterations that Jacki had to make in order to become a much more healthy, and whole individual.

Some days I am gung-ho about recovery; absolutely on board with devouring my favorite peanut butter, banana and honey sandwiches without a second thought, but most days are spent internally suffering because I feel like I don’t deserve any of the calories that touch my lips.

Getting well, as I mentioned last week, is a process of changing both behaviors and thoughts, and sometimes you really do have to “Just do it,” and talk out the difficulties afterward in order to prevent ED retaliation (or at least minimize it), but that is very much easier said than done and ED can be quite deceitful.

I was fooled again.

Are you sick of me writing that because I am absolutely sick of experiencing it.

Anyway, Ryan and I had a little chat last night, after a bit of a meltdown about my daily intake, and he voiced that I am not doing so well at transforming my beliefs about my body, food, or rituals. He then continued that this could probably be because I still have trouble deciphering what is an unhealthy thought or action when it comes to making my decisions, simply because this way of life is more natural to me than taking a huge glob of nut butter out of a jar and smearing it all over non-diet bread.

I know I discussed this last week so I won’t go into much more detail, but I thought this might be an interesting spin on What I Ate Wednesday….

I bring you WIAW: Breaking All The Rules

I am trying to single out things I do on a frequent basis, beliefs I have that are detrimental to this process, and eliminate them from my routine, but the first step is figuring out what the heck these things are.

Wouldn’t you know, one came up by no later than 6 a.m…

Food Rule #1: Your day must be structured the same way everyday….

Translation: If you had x amount of calories by lunch time yesterday, that is all you may have today. If this was your breakfast all week, then you may only have the equivalent to that this morning, etc., etc. etc.

This is ridiculous because some days your body requires more than others and some days you are hungry at different times.

I am working very hard on listening to my hunger cues (because as I have told you I am not your typical ED person who claims they lost them…I never did) and eating what my body craves regardless of the time on the clock or what was consumed previously, but that can be super hard!

Obviously I am a work in progress because I do not succeed at this all the time, but since my body has been on the Popchip craze again this week, I have had a bag out of the variety pack every single day when my stomach starts to rumble mid-morning.

I am so excited about this variety pack my mom sent me because some of the different flavors are insanely good!!! Like the BEST ever, good!

Please try the Jalapeno, Cheddar, Chili Lime, Thai Sweet Chili (OMG there are no words), and Sweet Potato, immediately.

Of course I still have love for the more “original flavors,” but honestly, those mentioned above are quite addicting.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Food Rule #2- Snacks are reserved ONLY for the morning and before bed.

This is actually a modified rule because before snacks were absolutely out of the question, but I wake up at a very early hour and typically eat lunch around noon so I can somewhat justify my a.m. snack attack.

I also enjoy something sweet to end my night, and I hate waking up at 2 ready to eat off my arm, so since every ED program in the world has a pre-bed snack, I have continued the tradition at home and most of the time I am fine with it.

BUT, yesterday, I got home STARVING after school, and knew we weren’t going out to dinner until later.

Coincidently I got this AWESOME multi-pack of Gnu Bars at my doorstep, and as I opened the box they were literally calling my name.

With flavors like Carrot Cake, Blueberry Cobbler, Banana Walnut, Blondie, Peanut Butter, Cinnamon Raisin, Orange Cranberry and Chocolate Brownie, how could they not?

So I looked at them for a while, heard my belly roar and decided they needed to be sampled.

I want to dance and be able to do fun things, which all require me gaining some weight, so if I want a Gnu Bar I am going to have it!

Not to mention these things have pretty stellar nutritional stats so they aren’t what we would call a guilt-food by any means.

After a few minutes of deliberation I had to go with the Blondie.

Um…where have you been all my life Gnu Bars?!

They are soft and chewy and so flavorful! I already have plans of warming one up and pairing it with my other current obsession (which I will tell you about soon enough 😉 )

If you enjoy having bars as snacks, these are an excellent choice because they are not a HUGE serving, but are extremely satisfying and tasty.

…In fact there is one in my lunch box right now because I thought it would be a fabulous pairing with my favorite Plain Cho; fiber and quality protein at its finest!

Food Rule #3- Dessert is limited to only safe items.

When I say safe items I am referring to Arctic Zero, halves of my favorite Luna and Clif Mojo Bars, Chobani, a few animal cookies…you get the drift.

But last Friday Ryan and I went to the Phillies game with two of our friends, and decided to make a pit stop for Chipotle on the way.

This is going to become a tradition because we already have plans to have a “date night” at Chipotle again this Friday! Who can resist that guacamole?!?!

It was SO hot that day, and after our meals I had an inkling for something sweet.

Wouldn’t you know there was a Kiwi Self-Serve Fro-Yo right down the street…

It was a bit smaller than Sweet Frog, with a few less choices, but Ryan and I were still very excited to see some delicious looking flavors. He opted for the Funfetti Cupcake variety (yes, I did say Funfetti Cupcake which is his all time favorite box-cake!) and I did my typical mixing of a few.

Now, I have never tried caramel before.

I didn’t think I would like it because I am typically a chocolate or vanilla fan, but when I saw Sea Salted Caramel Pretzel I had to try it.

I was actually bummed that wasn’t my entire bowl because it was like the best thing I ever tasted.

Apparently I do like caramel and when I saw this, one sale at the grocery store, with an additional 3 dollars off If you bought 12 single-serve ice creams, I had to get it.

Skinny Cow Caramel Cone Cups!

Ryan and I now have a freezer full of various flavors, but I am pretty much hooked on this.

It is still light ice-cream, I know, but it is certainly a step in the right direction from my gallon size Arctic Zero smoothie made with water.

This type is especially good when paired with a delicious little cookie I made using the PB Crave we all drooled over last week.

I simply took this recipe and swapped out the regular peanut butter with some Coco-Bananas.

Easy and delicious 🙂

There are a ton more rules and rituals I need to break, but I realize I have rambled on long enough, and I cannot conquer the world in a week.

For now I want to focus on fueling my body with what it wants, needs, and eliminating the judgment that just causes negativity in my life.

I don’t have to DESERVE food in order to have it. My body needs it to live.

And it doesn’t hurt when my selections are as delicious as those mentioned above 😉

Happy WIAW!

What are some of your food rules?

Any new food finds to share???

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20 thoughts on “WIAW: Breaking The Rules

  1. It can be very hard to put your deepest feelings in front of everyone AND in front of yourself. You are dealing with a life threatening issue and sometimes that’s not a pretty picture. People can chose to read your blog or not. They shouldn’t criticize. I feel that we are all here to help each other. The more I read blogs written by young women in recovery from eating disorders, I realize how similar they are to me in my efforts to lose weight and keep it off. Too sides of the same mirror. It’s really a little unnerving how similiar. I have never had an “eating disorder” but I was overweight since childhood. I’ve worked hard for many years to control myself, lose the weight that was needed to become healthy and now keep it off for 25 years. You can do this. Take it one step at a time. Have faith in YOU and know that you are not alone. We’re all working toward something, regardless of which side we’re coming from.

    • Fran, thank you so much for this comment! I think you are absolutely correct that everyone faces struggles, and everyone is working toward something, it just might be slightly different. That is so inspiring that you worked so hard to lose the weight and keep it off. It really is the same internal battle on a daily basis and anyone who can conquer those demons really should be given a pat on the back. Thank you for your support and encouragement. It means a lot to know I am not alone and completely ridiculous for having to try so hard! xoxo

  2. I did not feel that the comment you referenced was at all meant to be critical…just realistic about the path you must take in order to experience the recovery you say that you want.

  3. I can feel you with the food rules – they limit my possibilities in life so much and I really wish I could just kick them to the curb,but unfortunately,it’s not that easy. Although,I’m getting better at dealing with them so I CAN do he exact opposite of what my Eating Disorder tells me sometimes… And that is what counts. Baby steps,baby steps – but in the end,they’ll mean a lot,I’m sure of it! 🙂

  4. Wow! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal struggle! I can completely relate to every ritual, every destructive thoughts, just everything that you mentioned! I used to wake up every morning, and within 30 min, I had my whole day’s worth of eats all planned out. Nothing more, nothing less. However, there were so many days when my body retaliated w full force. I would allow myself one bite of my “guilty” foods, and before I knew it, all control and inhibitions were thrown out the door. On those days, I would binge eat for 2 hours straight, eating anything I could get my hands on. This took place all before the hubby woke up. Oftentimes, we made plans to go on a lunch date, but that never happened because I was ready for the “starvation” phase.
    Anyway, I’m sorry for this long comment, but your struggles just brought back so much painful memories! I’m doing much better now, and I pray that you’ll be victorious in this tiresome and dreadful battle. Break those rules.. slowly..one at a time!! Be kind to yourself! You can do it!!

    • thank you for commenting and letting me know I am not alone! i hate the planning and measuring and things that go along with having an ED. my friend and I were discussing the other day how much more time we would have in our day if those things were non-existent! I am glad you are having a better time now…it is really inspirational to know those who felt the same as me can feel so much better 🙂 ❤

  5. Thank you for sharing this CJ! It is so hard to break out of rituals and routine that ED “makes us” do. Just because we are so accustomed to them and now follow our lives around them, so it actually doesn’t seem odd to us. Its such a great idea your wrote out your rules, so that you can work on changing them. I think I should do something like that as well! I am SOO proud you bought light ice cream, who cares that it isn’t full fat. You have to start somewhere and going from arctic zero to light is a great first step! The food rules I have definitely limit my life right now and I’m not willing to adjust them, but this needs to change. I need to feel that anxiety that creates the change and even though that anxiety sucks it will make my life so much better in the end.

    • Have you ever tried the Skinny Cow Cups?! Wow they are good! and i think because they are portion controlled they are a little less intimidating, but like you said, we all have to start somewhere 🙂 And you are exactly right…we have to endure the discomfort now to have a better life later!!!

  6. Oh, I relate a lot to having “food rules.” When I went to treatment, we had to write them all down. So much rigidity. I found myself wanting to censor certain rules because I didn’t want to let them go. I told myself they were “normal” or “no big deal.” My rules have been all over the place and sometimes contradicted each other, which was super annoying. Some days it was calories, some days it was orthorexic rules, some days it was more about exercise. But always came back to me trying to find a pattern or a rule to what I was doing because it made me feel safe, like something was in control of me. I have been (slowly) able to challenge some of my beliefs, but there are still a few core ideas that I still cling to – mainly that I must control my weight. Not necessarily to a certain NUMBER, but I always have an overwhelming sense that I must make sure that my weight is “acceptable” – to me, my team, or ED. Anywho…still working on that one.

    Newest food find – HoneyMaid Grahamfuls…I just bought the Banana Cream ones and they’re pretty darn good. Yes, I realize I could make these myself by smooshing a banana and cream cheese between some graham crackers…but where’s the fun in THAT?!?!? 🙂 Besides, these challenge the “no processed foods” rule that pops up sometimes.

    And girl, I don’t know how you stomach gnu bars – not because of the taste, but because of the 12 grams of fiber. Holy cow, that would wreck my stomach and make me so bloated. Are you not affected by them? I know when I was trying to restore weight, foods with fiber made me (and everyone around me) very, very sad.

    • Ahhh I am so with you on the contradictions! Especially when it came down to eating cleanly and controlling calories. Often those two ideas contradict one another (dannon light and fit vs natural yogurt ring a bell!?!) but most times the lower calorie version won out. Now i realize how silly that is because some chobani apple cinnamon is WAY better than the asparatime filled light options. I have never ever heard of the Grahamfulls! hmmm I will have to look out for them! And as far as the gnu bars go, sometimes the fiber really helps me! it makes my stomach uncomfortable but my stomach is pretty much always uncomfortable so I have just learned to deal 😉

  7. I’ve been going back and forth with myself about whether to have a Luna bar now. For about half an hour. Thanks for this. I’m gonna try it. (Luna bars are soooo my food find.)

  8. You should be so proud! I know exactly what it is to eat the same thing the same time every day, simply because you feel you “have to”. But, you are breaking the cycle! You are changing things! You rock!

  9. I first want to say that when I write a post where I am talking about my struggles (again) and as always, I do have a slight fear in the back of my mind of how people are going to react, or what comments I will receive, emails, etc. I know a blog is your personal space to write what you want, but that doesn’t mean we do not care about what others think too! I mean for goodness sake, that is what I believe 95% of my eating disorder has come from, fearing and caring SO VERY MUCH about what other people think of me, never able to just go “poo poo” to the opinions of others. It has always mattered what I look like and do according to everyone else…

    Gahh sorry about the ramble here, I just want to conclude that what you are doing here is fighting back a serious illness, and it takes time, effort, steps forward and backwards, and we are all here to read along. Yes you write about the same things a lot, and maybe to some you are not progressing, but I do the same thing too, and that is what an eating disorder recovery is really about, on repeat, but also with small steps to allow for progression.

    Okay sooo onto your post! haha. A few months back I wrote a WIAW post on food rules, so I totally understand where you are coming from on this. They are so interesting to me because so many people have their individual food rules and swear by them, they are the end all and be all, yet everyone’s is also so different. To me that shows how absurd they ALL are, because of the differences. Breaking the food rules is the key to getting away from them and you are doing a fabulous job with that CJ, please keep it up!

    Sorry, monster comment 🙂

    • Thank you Tessa, for your continued support! I really do appreciate it when you let me know I am not some crazy psycho who has all these ridiculous rules and beliefs around food and exercise! And you are right that it is kind of odd how we all have the same “disease” but our rules are SO different. For example, I could NEVER wait a million hours before I consumed breakfast! I would be afraid I would over eat later if I did that and lunch was never after 1 PM due to my super early schedule. I think it all comes down to calories, essentially, which is stupid because like I said, not every body is the same, not every day is going to be the same, we it is just better to listen and appropriately respond rather than have our bodies “rebel…” aka “binge…” later. We are both figthing hard and I want us to enjoy life again! I am thinking fro-yo date at HLS 🙂

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  11. Hi there! I just discovered your blog through Jenn’s WIAW. It breaks my heart to hear that people can be so rude to anyone who actually takes the time to write a meaningful blog post. Just know that you are not alone and that although recovery is slow…you will get there. I adore GNU bars! I’ve only had the Banana Walnut and Chocolate Brownie and both are really tasty. I saw Cinnamon Raisin at the store a couple of weeks ago but I still have a box of Chocolate Brownie so I passed. Larabars are still my favorite energy bar but GNUs are a close second.

    • I love larabars too!!! They ate so chewy and delicious! Thank you for the comment and stopping by. I always appreciate kindness from a bl-end 🙂

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