Weetabix x 2.
Tuna mayo and cucumber sandwich, sweet chilli crackers.
‘Foamy’ fruit sweets.
Edaname soyabeans, quinoa and feta salad.
Sultanas and raisins.
Hazelnut warmth currently hugging my brain, I’m reflecting on the weekend… the longest weekend I’ve spent at home so far…
…a large decaffeinated Americano with sugar-free hazelnut syrup by my side (and 10 sweeteners – ouch, cringe, someone find me Hagrid to hide behind…) and my sofa-sized suitcase (had to buy a new one on Saturday as my wobbly, frail wheel was causing fireworks down the street and heads to turn at the screeches and squeals…)
CONFESSION: I was actually going to leave out the ‘sugar-free’ part – naughty me, out of the fear of looking a hypocrite and being judged by you guys. I’m embracing a full-recovery lifestyle, yet I’m still being seduced by these little options when they present themselves. And when I fall for it, when I feel as though I’ve stepped within a 5 mile radius of Anorexia’s territory – I feel as though I’ve grown a wart on my face, like Nanny McPhee. So the shame of me sharing that nutritional content-detail of my Starbs’ beverage, felt like squeezing that wart onto you through the screen…
…so I’d like to apologise and pass you a tissue.
But really, REALLY, HONESTLY, TRULY… recovery is no ‘shiny’ set lifestyle. Having rules for recovery, dismissing sugar-free options forever-and-ever-altogether, is pretty disordered in itself. Millions of people choose sugar-free syrups and similar, that don’t have Eating Disorders… but the most important part to consider is what’s driving that decision. And how much psychological/emotional impact that little detail causes.
Choosing to leave Anorexia behind, and wanting to live as close to whatever an ‘ordinary’ life is (a mentally-healthy-as-can-possibly-be one), means also being OK with making THESE choices on the OCCASION, as long as it doesn’t cause a complete disaster of anxiety if for some reason, the sugar-free option wasn’t available. And if it doesn’t lead to a habit, which then becomes a dietary rule and then leaves a big hole open for an Eating Disorder to wiggle itself in and take over again…
…it’s not ideal that so many of us, even though it’s not necessarily ‘disordered’, assume and choose ‘sugar-free’ out of habit when it comes to coffee shops, and all-sorts of other things when the options are available (yoghurts being another biggy). I think that comes down to a very silent fear of ‘the other’. This angelic sense it gives you, even the slightest poke, when in actual fact the ‘ordinary’ option, the less processed, the more natural, is better, and in the long-run probably more satisfying, so you’re less likely to have cravings afterwards…
…I’d very much LIKE to start challenging the ‘normal’ option when it comes to drinks; even though I’m very recovery-focused and feel genuinely passionate about the importance of embracing foods in their fuller forms – and instead of fearing what’s IN the food, remembering the very simple basic “Everything in moderation…” – it’s my portion sizes and how often I EAT these foods I can control… subconsciously, which I think is very much down to habit there’s the part of me activated that says “Why waste calories on drinks – it’s completely unnecessary for you to be that indulgent when you’ve already eaten X, Y and Z… it’s like asking for liquid gold in your drink when you’ve only got a few coppers in your purse…”
But all that thinking process literally must occur in the matter of half a millisecond. It’s something my brain remembers, perhaps from how I very strongly USED to think.
Challenging ‘Perfectionism’ and my ideal view of recovery, I have to remind myself this is not failing, just by being seduced into ‘sugar-free’… this is not falling backwards. This is the ‘grey’ area of life – not the black or the white. But it’s definitely something I’d like to explore, because till me very idealistic view of recovery means never resorting to ‘sugar-free’ unless I ever become diabetic and it’s for medical reasons…
…where was I? Before shimmying into sugar-free rambles… my weekend in Grimsby, overall, was all sorts of feelings – mainly positively eye-opening, in the way I feel I’m handling life with regards to food… the practice of being ‘flexible’ and planning food around LIFE instead of vice versa, is something that is beginning to become more natural, and less ‘hesitantly’ challenged. I thought I’d be thinking about food all the time in-between and feeling like I’d lose complete control if I didn’t stick to certain times, but actually (for anyone else in recovery and unsure about this) your body and brain starts to invest so much more trust in you once you’ve been eating properly for a while, that things just do fall into place.
Cinema today for example with my mum and how it fell round lunch-time…
(…continued in next post, sorry to cut it suddenly! But I caught the bus back to the Unit after that last sentence, and now I’ve unpacked, had supper and a shower, I’m pooped!)
I also would like to state my meal-plan might ‘appear’ a bit less today than usual with the breakfast especially, but I will explain my cravings on night-times, as don’t worry – I haven’t been restricting. I’ve just had a bit of conflict with my evenings and where my head stands. More on this next time…
Sweet (Sunday) dreams!