Just in case you’ve never read my blog before, I have food issues…actually I have moderation issues (in almost every aspect of my life). I’m a 110% kind of gal which is great when I’m at work or hitting the elliptical but makes food incredibly complicated. As an all or nothing girl (I should say woman but it makes me feel old and growuppy) who gets high from feeling hungry, I’ve fallen into a lovely habit of bingeing and restricting. It’s a vicious cycle because in the wise words of Geneen Roth : for every restriction there is a responsive binge. And the past year and a half are complete evidence of that fact. Now due to my food issues, I hate thinking about food. I used to spend hours reading recipes and day dreaming about eating crap that I would never (sanely) allow myself to eat. I’ve allowed food to overtake my thoughts and frankly it’s exhausting. I hate thinking about food. So I’ve been working with my registered dietitian to develop a meal plan which is just as complicated as I’d always imagined. I have to think about protein servings, starch servings, dairy servings, grams from blah blah blah, calories from blah blah blah, etc. So when I’m writing up a meal plan and calculate my macro nutrient levels (seriously the Sum tool in Excel is an excellent resource), I’m always short on something. Then I spend hours trying to figure out what to add or change or subtract so I get all flustered and not eat or binge because I can’t handle the recipe (I also react this way when I’m trying to choose a recipe to cook). And I would like to mention that:
But unfortunately, it is for me. Honestly if I could get back to the toddler mindset of intuitive eating (seriously eating is like the only thing we do better as young kids because we don’t have a lot of the emotional/stressful BS to deal with), I would be set for life. However, I’m not there, I’m still hanging out in crazytown where food is my crack and kryptonite. I love it and hate it and it stresses me out. So my registered dietitian (who probably wishes I’d save some of my crazy for my therapist) suggested to me a program offered by her company in which I’m given five meal replacements a day and eat a healthy dinner of protein and vegetables. I thought hmmm, meal service without having to think about planning or eating or servings, etc. Sounds almost perfect. Unfortunately the program isn’t vegan but there is a vegetarian option. So in my quest to maintain my veganess, I began researching vegan meal delivery programs and most of them are more $220 for 5 days of meals and over $300 for 7 days of food. And trust me, I need day 6 & 7, weekends can be my worst food days. So I was crunching the numbers and I make a decent salary but not enough to spend over $1200/month on food…that’s ridiculous. So I immediately felt disappointed and spent a solid minute imagining my life if I was an heiress (I do this on a regular basis but this day dream centered around a personal vegan chef).
Fortunately, my RD (who knows my crazy) gave me a call since I won’t see her for another two weeks to chat about the program. She basically told me that what I’ve/we’ve been doing isn’t working and isn’t helping me get better nor is it helping with my food obsession. She spoke with her boss in regards to making sure that this program could be tailored to my specific needs (I’m seeing her as eating disorder patient not an individual just trying to lose weight) and her thoughts on how this program could be beneficial. After we spoke I started thinking, could I give up the vegan diet for a few months while I figure out my food issues? Would my life be much easier if I didn’t have to go grocery shopping or really cook meals? Would I be able to lose weight (which will boost my morale and help eliminate my neediness for food)? Would I ever be able to eat like a “normal” human being? And the answer is yes.
What I’m doing isn’t working and it’s driving me (and everyone around me) bonkers. And as much I hate to put the vegan diet on the back burner for now, my health (emotional and physical) is worth taking drastic measures (plus I’ll still be following a vegetarian diet not just vegan). Plus there is a transition phrase in the program where you slowly stop eating the delivered foods and start cooking your own food as well as regular meeting with your RD. I’m not 100% decided mainly because I’m waiting for my mom call to me to discuss (even though I’m almost 26, I still discuss almost every major life decision with my mom). But I think this is a good chance for me to find some stability. Food is a problem for me mainly because it’s a physical manifestation of my internal issues. Without worrying about food or grocery shopping, I can focus on dealing with the problems that cause the food issues. This just might be another step to recovery and healthy, happy Sarah.