I think I have changed. Not a huge change, and not a consistent change, but I think something inside me has shifted. I am listening to one of my peers complain about breakfast and her portion size and trying to negotiate that if this portion is such and such big, then that portion should be reduced. And you know what I am feeling?
And there is the shift. I don’t feel ED solidarity towards her cause. I feel like, “Eat the fucking food before you starve to death” (a very real possibility for this person.) And then I was thinking about my jelly serving a couple of weeks ago…and a couple of weeks before that. Sometimes, I get the wrong amount of jelly with breakfast, i.e. too much. The first time it happened I complained and insisted they check it and then reduce the portion. A couple of weeks later, the jelly was over-portioned again. And I stared at it and I contemplated fussing about it. And then I thought to myself, “It is a teaspoon of jelly. It won’t kill me and it is not going to be much more calories anyway.” And so, I ate the jelly.
I waffle back and forth between this healthier attitude and ED over-ride, but when I decide to not listen to my ED, it is not so hard. As a matter-of-fact, I am no longer white knuckling through meals (as they like to call it). I am not saying every meal is easy, or that I don’t check-out emotionally sometimes, but I am more relaxed, even letting myself taste food and even looking forward to certain meals.
I do get backlash from my ED about this, so a good meal or two can be followed by intense restricting/exercise urges, or a need to check my body to make sure I am not getting fatter as my ED screams at me, “You need me. If you don’t listen to me, you will get fat and be more disgusting and you will look stupid and weak.” And I do cave. It is not easy standing up to my ED…but I a getting a little bit better at it
And then there are moments when I lose those little bits of Self I am starting to activate. Like earlier this week, I got walking privileges. Yay! I was (and am still) so happy about it. Not because of the exercise, but because of the nature-cise. But…when I found out that I have to eat more food to compensate for the increased movement….Well…I balked. In a huge way. I decided that my walks weren’t worth the extra food. To walk, I now have a mandatory half-snack in the morning and my half-snack in the afternoon was turned into a full-snack. The kicker is that I had recently asked for an optional morning snack as sometimes I am actually hungry <gasp> in the morning. But when I was told I had to have it….That stubborn ED dug in his heels and gave me lots of backlash. I didn’t tell anyone, but before that first mandatory morning snack, I cried.
But, I am doing it. And I a getting in my walks. The first two walks were awkward as I am supervised by staff and felt kind of self-conscious. Last evening, we went on the walk and I was relaxed. I looked at a kind of nut I have been seeing on the ground, I am not sure what it is, but brought one back to the house to google. I found some mint in someone’s road-side garden and tore off a piece and smelled it and then explained to my walking companion how the stems on mint plants are square (yup, they are…check it out sometime). We saw echinacea and some echinacea plants in a neon-reddish shade I have never seen before. We looked at the ornamental grasses, which seem very popular here, but I rarely see at home, I am guessing it is too cold at home. We looked for the horses, we chatted about the houses on the street (which are crazy-huge) and enjoyed the cool air and the breeze. I even got a couple of mosquito bites.
Was it worth an extra snack? Yup. Last night it was.
And yet, my mind also plays with me and tells me that when I am on my own, I won’t need to have an extra snack. I can exercise all I want and lose all the weight I want and be happy.
Things may be shifting, but it is more like tug-of-war. Hopefully, I will manage it better as I keep going through treatment.