Its been a rough morning so far…actually a difficult few days, and I am trying to pin-point why exactly so I can remedy the situation immediately. Unfortunately I don’t think it is any ONE thing, but instead the changes in my life due to school starting, the one student that can not go a day without being a major problem in class, my sister being pregnant and telling me she is moving out! Ryan leaving for Colorado for a week and trying to rework our budget since I will no longer have an income from the pool.
I am not a person that adjusts well with life/schedule alterations so combining all these minor things can make for some major issues in my mind. This of course translated to me breaking my streak of NOT calorie counting, and having a major anxiety attack about all I was consuming.
I knew it was a lot but I thought I would be much more full on the “high” intake… instead, I have still been either slightly hungry, or just comfortable. Shouldn’t weight gain calories make you, like, Thanksgiving stuffed? So couple the realization of exactly how much I was eating, feeling completely bloated and uncomfortable due to reasons outside the recovery process, my old, “non-sick” jeans starting to fit, and a person telling me how “healthy” I looked (FYI, NEVER EVER EVER EVER say that to a person in recovery, the word healthy=FAT), I have seriously felt like an over-indulgent mess.
But then I received an e-mail that reminded me how normal it was so feel this way. A recent “bl-end,” who very bravely just started her journey, wrote to ask if it was ok that she had an insatiable appetite. Of course its ok! In fact its pretty darn normal to have these intense feelings of hunger, pregnant woman-like cravings (I live with one now, so I totally know what they are like!) and then a lot of guilt afterwards. So thank you, Jill, for reminding me that I am not exempt from these absolutely, one hundred percent, recovery feelings, and I need to stop judging myself for listening to my body.
Obviously this is way easier said than done (I feel like I write this a lot when it comes to recovery posts?!) but I have found that DISTRACTION, REFRAMING and GOAL SETTING, tend to be the best combatants when these moments strike.
As far as distraction goes, it really is different for everyone. In the hospital I liked to color because you really cant do much else, and the methodical stroke of a crayon or colored pencil kept my mind away from completely obsessing over the last meal, or the lack of movement I had that day.
I also tried knitting, which was pretty ugly, but worked on the distraction front. I would never ever show anyone the hideous things I crafted, but it kept my fingers and my mind engaged and that is what I found to be the key.
Some other things I used to do were paint my nails, journal (now I blog ) play cards, board games, etc. These sound really silly, maybe even a smidge childish, but like I said, I needed both a mental and physical outlet. Without including these two components, my mind was like a war zone. But everyone is different and could probably offer other suggestions as well, so if you have some, please feel free to do so!
Reframing I have talked about before on here, but I tend to turn to science and actual facts when I need a reality check. Other than re-reading Ancel Keys’ Minessota Starvation Study, I will constantly remind myself that it takes 3500 calories OVER what my body needs to function to gain 1 pound, meaning the odds of me gaining the fifty pounds I see in my mind, would take way longer than the meal or day that made me have this distorted vision.
Both tools listed above are awesome, but today I decided to attmp the goal method. In the past few weeks I had shared with you my little PTG mantra, and I still very much believe in that for a daily reminder that there is way more to life than our own personal little bubbles, but sometimes you have to look at the big picture…
We did an activity with our students last year where they had to list their goals for the day, year, 5 years and 20 years down the road. For each time segment they could list as few as three things but were encouraged to list more. In my population you are very lucky to get the minimum required, but a lot of them had some really interesting aspirations, some a bit far fetched…I mean one student did want to work with Wiz Khalifa…but others listed their dreams of going to culinary school, being in the military, having a large family…stuff that is completely opposite to what you would expect of an alt-ed class.
So this morning as I was sitting at my counter, after having two meals before 7 a.m. (yup, last night was a case of the 2 a.m. munchies) and decided I needed to assess why I had to continue with recovery plan, despite feeling so defeated and embarrassed.
Trust me, there are a bagillion reasons to recover medically…just think of longevity, not being so tired, better bones, healthier skin, hair and nails, a normally functioning brain…I mean obviously those things are very, very important and are all definitely incentives to getting healthy, but sometimes you need reasons a little more specific to your life.
So for me…
Goal for the day:
Continue following my meal plan, regardless of having a pre-breakfast, breakfast….(perhaps I didn’t eat enough yesterday??)
Do NOT over-exercise as a means to compensate for the additional meal.
Listen to my body and eat what I am craving rather than options just because they are lower in calories.
Help my sister set her budget regardless of her saying she “doesn’t need one.”
Get ready for my mom to come home tomorrow!!!
Start running again.
Learn something, ANYTHING, about having a baby around (um, anyone want to help me with this one, because I am seriously clueless!!!)
Make some improvements to my blog, maybe actually self-host without getting too frustrated to not follow through.
Get more involved at school.
Be home! Get to participate in every holiday with my family rather than my hospital friends/family.
Establish a cause I want to get more involved with (POST ON THIS LATER IN THE WEEK!!!)
Run a marathon.
Become a houseparent at the Milton Hershey School, or become more influential with transitioning troubled youth to a better future.
Go back to school.
Help Ryan finish school.
Travel through Europe.
Start my own business.
Be working on a doctorate.
Lots of traveling, maybe even learn a new language!
Renew my vows at Disney World
Overall, I really just want to be a good wife, sister, daughter, teacher, and friend. None of these things are possible if I am alone with ED. A few months ago I may have thought they could, but physically and mentally, my presence could never fully be there, and I don’t want to experience any of this without remembering the good times.