The last few days, I feel some real progress has been made which I am super excited about…but also feeling a bit scared about at the same time.
The last few weeks I have been really ill with a bad cough, not sleeping and feeling sick at times so its not been the best week for overall health. Although, I have not let this get in the way of enjoying myself and let it bring me down too much.
I had a bit of a revolutionary moment (haha) at the weekend. One of my fears is eating out. I don’t know the calories, and when its not planned and compensated for in advance this terifies me. I had already done a bit of a challenge for the day which was getting a slice of pizza from dulce slices. I didn’t have the courage to buy a whole pizza although the slices they do are pretty big (around the size of a 3rd of a normal sized pizza) but they are sooo nice, italian, fresh etc. So, I did it and had it with a chicken salad and fruit and yogurt after :). Then my friend Edu asked if I wanted a drink. I really wanted to catch up with him and really fancied a little drink hehe. I was feeling a bit hungry before going our (around 7.30) so had some more fruit and yogurt then when I met Edu he said fancy going to a sushi restaurant. I stopped for a minute to think and then ”Yeh sure why not” just popped out of my mouth before my anorexia voice had a chance to even kick in. I was almost in shock at myself haha. Then after I said it thought…ahhh can i do this. I can’t believe how little I was worrying about it. Maybe the challenge at lunch had set me up on a roll haha.
The biggest thing I feel has helped me these last few weeks is not weighing myself. I look in the mirror and do feel i have gained a bit…but at the end of the day isn’t that what i want. I think with this illness you are so fixated on numbers that you loose sight of why you even want recovery and it becomes all about the control and not even about body image.
I know. Its a fact. I look better at around 10llbs more than I am now. I know. I have more energy when I am higher in weight. I know I am funnier. I know my life is better. I know I am healthier. I know I laugh, joke, have more fun times when I am heavier. I know I am less stressed and can concentrate on my hobbies, friends, and everything that makes me smile. So whyyy am I doing this?? haha.
This whole illness makes no sense. That is why its an illness.
So, along with not weighing myself, I have spent the last 3 weeks noticing my calorie counting cutting down and I can only estimate what I have had most days If I think back after the day is finished. It hasn’t been a pre/thought out plan as much as it always has been.
Today I felt I have gone a step further. My psychologist advised me about making up meals differently because often I have the same layout of food no matter what it is. chicken/fish there, vegetables like this, salad always at the side etc etc. Well todays dinner I mixed it up a little literally haha. All the potatoes, fish, peas, vegetables in a pan mixed up (still a bit of salad on the side because know one likes hot salad haha) fried in a pan (I never fry food) and there it was haha. I also had my first glass of just milk in years (without being watered down and loads of liquid sweetener added). I had it with a couple of biscuits and didn’t feel bad. It was a normal snack. This is how normal people eat when they are hungry.
I was contemplating buying a tub of icecream today but since im still more scared of baked things (cakes, cookies, croissants etc) I wanted to focus more on these over the next few days and not buy a tub of icecream then put off doing some baking, which I think will be a nice pass time anyway and something I can make for my work colleagues :).
So, although there is usually a weight update…..not today haha. I think I will be going at least another week before this.
Another thing I have noticed which I am getting a bit excited about is girly stuff. I won’t go into detail haha but 1. I have been thinking about sex quite a bit more than usual and 2. not periods but other stuff haha (sorry if too much info haha) 3. I am feeling a bit emotional, sad, happy more than usual. For years I have often been emotionless. For example when Nuria shows my photos of her sisters pregnancy scans I genuinely feel soooo happy for her, there is a big genuine smile on my face. In the past in similar situations I would have no emotion…to anything and still have the food thoughts on my mind. I am also noticing things more around me again, cute old people in the street and smiling, appreciating peoples kindness and not rushing around as an angry stressed woman on a mission to get somewhere and get back for the perfect meal time/situation.
I am less stressed!
Another thing my therapist said to me made me think.
What do you see yourself as, what do you want others to see you as in the future. Ie when you have gone, what do you want to be remembered for. Now, I don’t like to think about when I die so much haha so I put a spin on it and said ok, I can explain what i want my children and grand kids to think of me. I told her, the crazy funny nan, the mischievous nan that flirts with all the 30year old good looking guys when she is 85 and get get away with it with a cheeky grin, the one that always put her children first, the nan that had loads of funny adventures to tell about her life, the nan that my grandchildren would look up to, be proud of and my children also.
She then said, the my life was like a garden and drew some diagrams of my life split into sections. In my garden were all the things I wanted to be, be remembered for and everything I did in life, everything I achieved, good that I did, how funny I was, how I put my children first etc I needed to take steps to water that garden and do what it needed to do to grow. These things don’t just come, they take energy, effort, being me. Nurchering and growing my beautiful garden over my lifetime. Although the anorexia thoughts were like vulchers that come in to my garden and eat away at the beautiful garden I am trying to create. I need to stop feeding the birds. Every action, order or thought anorexia gives me is a bird coming in trying to destroy the garden I want to create and every time I give in to an order or thought I am feeding the birds encouraging them, making them stronger to destroy my garden. Long story short…i need to stop feeding these birds/thoughts to make them weaker. The birds will always be there, swooping in from time to time, but if I am not feeding them, they don’t have the same strength and desire to come back to my garden because they know they will be ignored and not fed.
With this new thought process in my mind, I am making a conscious effort to either block the thoughts or do apposite actions to weaken the thoughts and control they have over me. Although, its tough, certain situations and thoughts are getting easier. I don’t think I am quite at the stage of opposite actions, although blocking the thoughts is getting stronger and if anorexia pops in to encourage me to go a bit lighter on something, just add a little water to the milk etc I say no.
I also started recording YouTube videos this week which I will start uploading next week. Although I wish I had started that sooner, better late than never. I feel I have learnt sooooo much since I started this in August with the commitment to recover and have come a long way, but there are still more challenges and I have had relapses in that time so am started the channel now.
The biggest thought that has helped me from a recent youtuber I have been following throughout her recover is ”live the life you want to live” and this is helping me so much! I don’t want to feel sick everyday excessively eating on a mission to gain weight, but I do not want to be controlled by food and live a life of restriction. So I am going with the ”live the life I want to live” constant reminder in my head and wherever that may lead me in terms of weight and body image, I will atleast be happy with my life and health and be living the one life I have exactly how I want to live it.
I want to be spontaneous, not plan every minute of the day socially and food wise to fit in with a set number, I want days to be different, I want to experience new things, I was to be PRESENT and be able to connect with people, the world and emotions, I want to have children and be healthy to do this, I want to feel comfortable sexually and in my body, I want to enjoy cake at birthdays, eat popcorn at the cinema and cook with friends, eat what they give me and enjoy the experience, I want to decide my own emotions for the day and not have the scale tell me how I will feel for the rest of the day or week, I don’t want to panic researching restaurants and planning in advance what I will have, I don’t want to force feed myself to reach a certain weight and then deprive myself on others just to hit a ”calorie target”, I want to listen to me, my body and what it craves to keep me feeling healthy, full of energy and never deprived. This is the life I want to live, So with my new moto firmly in my head….I think I am actually starting to live it…:)