I made it through an evening

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When I started therapy I thought that at some point I would be completely free from the desire to use food as a source of comfort. It turns out, it is not all that easy.

Yesterday, I spent the day at work waiting for feedback on my last task. Nothing came. I started doubting my work, thinking : it must be crap, that is why I have not heard anything. It turns out my reviewer was simply too busy. I asked her for an update.

In the evening I wanted to do something for myself. When I arrived home, I grabbed my dog’s collar and the dog with it and headed for the beach. It was not crowded, just the way I like it. My dog did not behave well though. He is in heat again so it was difficult to manage him. He ran after a labrador, then a border collie and would not leave the collie alone. So I had to leash my dog. I felt a little disappointed because he was so good a few days ago. I guess it was not his fault. Just hormones. That said, I called the vet earlier this week for a chemical castration and scheduled an appointment already. This is to see if my dog’s behaviour improves. I really hope so.

Well, apart from my dog obsessed with sniffing other people’s dogs. It was a fun evening. I felt some triggers to reach for food as comfort and sleep it off but I stayed strong. The reason why I wanted to use food again was because I felt lonely. At the beach I embraced the vastness of the water, its calming sound and the fact that at anytime I can come here and regroup. That walk somewhat stabilised and strenghtened me.

I sometimes dream that one day I will go the beach and walk my dog while holding someone else’s hand. You know, someone I love and who would love me back. I have not found him and he has not found me. This makes me sad sometimes. I tell myself I just have to be patient. I will not put my life on hold and focus on something I cannot control, I have done that before. It has not worked. I will enjoy my life and surely we will cross paths.

In the meantime, there will be more beach walks on my own with my furry bestie.

xoxoxox

I.

Easter warrior 

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My Easter was not about being with family quite the contrary it was all about being on my own.

For some this might be easy, and others, may be a little like me, it is a struggle. You see when I have space for myself and I create space for myself, I have to deal with who I am. I didn’t really know “me” before, so it’s all very new, all very scary .

I live far away from my family (12 hours flight), I don’t have friends here. I have colleagues and acquaintances but no-one I would qualify as friends. This is fine with me. If I listened to my self-abusive judgmental thoughts: I would think that not having friends is weird, pathetic and ultimately I have “failed” in that department.

My reality is that my family couldn’t care less about what is going on in my life, I used to care in way to seek for their love and acceptance. But now since I realised that it did me more harm than good, I don’t anymore. I prefer to take care of my own self love and self acceptance. As for society, well, the several billion of us have too much on our plate to care for one little soul who has manufactured rules around her little life and gets sad about it. So I decided that over Easter, I was not going to fly to see a sibling or a parent or spend it with a “friend”. I was going to experience it on my own. I did the same over Christmas 2016. It was a much-needed experience.

At the end of the day I only have myself to account for and even when I will be in a relationship, I will still always have myself to account for. I have myself to improve before I experiencing any situations around me.

Since I knew I would be emotional, nostalgic and judgmental toward myself, and since I used to have issues with food, the first thing I did was to make sure that I had the bare minimum of food at home over the week-end. So two types of vegetables, two types of meat and some pasta or rice. I call them “food with effort” which makes it more effort consuming now to binge on. I find it easier to interrupt the urge to binge and come into a place of reflection or self-examination before my brain is gone into a frenzy of making food. “Food with effort” because I cannot just reach for meat and eat it raw.

I then make a big batch, store it in the fridge and take a little at every meal. I also bought fruits, salty popcorn and sweet popcorn. Why ? Because when I watch a movie I like to have a snack. Popcorn are lighter snacks and they are not trigger foods. I avoid any trigger foods like: chocolate, cookies, cakes, chips, especially when I know I will be feeling a little lonely in my weaker minutes.

The second thing I did was to tune in, and listen to myself and listen to what I wanted to do. Since I had decided to take this time for myself, I wanted to know what I wanted and not be on automatic pilot. Friday I wanted to stay at home and do some chores around the house and I did that guilt free. I was fully aware that cleaning can be obsessive for me sometimes as well but much easier to manage. There is this light in my head that just says, hey, enjoy the couch and leave half the laundry. You did enough.

Saturday morning, I went to the beach to set myself and my dog free. It is always a fun experience. My dog doesn’t like nature, he prefers to run to where the bungalows and the restaurants and to follow people around instead of just enjoying the vastness of the beach. Eventually he enjoyed the abundance of sand, the scary sound of the water and the starling cold of the puddles around him, watching him was funnier than the Today’s show. I enjoyed every minute of it. As I drove home I felt lonely because I was judging myself again. There were families at the beach, and friends windsurfing. I was on my own. I eventually moved out of that mode and  enjoyed my moments. I thought: hey ! I’m all right been on my own and when and if I was around anybody it’s just so much work. Immediately I was back to my grounded place, I went for a coffee run, a muffin and headed home. Relaxed all afternoon, movies, writing, sitting on my terrace, guilt free.

Easter Sunday, I wanted to go to church do I went. I wanted to thank God for, well, pretty much everything. Church means family setting though, I missed my family in spite of their imperfections. I was also hoping to hang out with one of my friends but she had to go to a birthday party and kind of ditched me. Usually, I would drop her home after church and we have a laugh in the car. I don’t mind doing that. On sunday, she was just trying to walk away while I was talking to her instead of being upfront and say hey I am going to do so and so, can’t hang out today. So I  a little hurts, I brushed it off in the beginning and thought it was not a problem but then I realized that I was a little hurt. It might also have been my expectations, as I drove home I thought, this is why I should not expect anything from anyone. I went for a coffee run and headed home. I felt unwanted after that, a feeling that is difficult for me to deal with. As I drove home and I counted my blessings, and let the feeling of rejection sit there and remain with me.

I counted my blessings in that a little over a year ago, I was struggling with rejecting who I am, and materially I was struggling to get a car, to sort out my license, I was trying to move out of my parent’s house and struggling with the idea of living on my own. Now, in my world, taking care of myself is a priority. I don’t mean that in a narcissistic selfish kind of way, I mean that in a way where if you’ve been struggling with yourself and you’ve been hating yourself for years and you’ve been having self-confidence issues and you’ve been feeling unloved. Then at the end of the day none of the external things matter what matters is you, you are a priority and if a parent doesn’t give you the love an guidance you need and if significant people around you didn’t teach you much. It doesn’t matter what age you are, you can teach yourself to love you, and it is fine to want to be loved because you are human after all.

Easter Monday wasn’t an easy day, I was challenged with two emotions loneliness and contentment. Usually easter monday was a family day for me. We used to go for picnics, the beach, reunions it was always fun. So I felt like I should do something special that I should be out there at a park or the beach I should take advantage of Easter Monday because that’s what people do. I did not want to truly do any of that and instead of accepting that I wanted to relax in my appartment away from people and not make easter monday anything more special than the fact that it was another day off; I started thinking that I was a pathetic, sad, little lonely person and that spending easter alone was a big mistake.

What else do you tell yourself when you are so used to messing with your head and letting a family that is living miles away and a whole culture affect your internal, your self confidence. My compass missed out on its orientation for so long that sometimes it still points to the mistaken convictions.

Eventually, mid-afternoon I just accepted that I didn’t want to go anywhere that I want to do anything. I wanted to be lazy in bed, watch movies, play with my dog, teach him new tricks. That is what I did, guit free eventually.

The hell with : “that’s what people do”. 

xoxoxox

I.

Triggers dissipate

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Since my last post my triggers have lessened. When I reflect on my past with ED, I realise every time how far I have come. Especially mentally. Physically, I am still overweight for my height and I need to start exercising. Mentally however, I am more aware and relatively accepting of who I am. So even when there are bad days it becomes somewhat easier and quicker to bounce back to my one and only objective. Accept life’s challenges and enjoy life’s repetitiveness and spontaneity.

Last week and this week triggers decreased without me really constantly focusing on them. I just went about my days and included treats in my routine. Not edible treats but experiences. On my own: cinema, walking in the park, at the beach with my dog and with others: cocktails with a good friend and Thai food with nice colleagues. I also worked on my jewelry making, that always draws me back to a more balanced state with a grounded sense of self.

I have also decided that I will be sharing tips on my “me times” because I started experimenting with using natural beauty products and to encourage others who are recovering from, living with ED, BED, self-esteem issues, body confidence to take the time to care for YOU without resorting to the good old frenemy FOOD. You can find these tips on the category “natural care”.

Take care !

xoxoxo

I.

This is no punishment

  • Another night without a binge is a little victory in itself.
  • I took my food to bed, as per usual. Danger.
  • I do this because I like it.
  • It gives me something to do. Danger.

As I was preparing my food, my mother stepped into the kitchen. I cooked a delicious healthy carrots, onions and chicken. Asked her if she wanted some. She said she would. I was glad.

Yet, I was anxious when she was around me preparing my food. I am always conflicted. I want her to see I am eating so that she won’t have to worry about anorexia but at the same time I do not want her to see because I worry about her judgment. This makes me anxious. I need to practice telling myself that the judgment of others are harmless to me. They can think all the want in the end it is I who is being me.

On a platter I carried my food to bed. There was around 650 calories. I had not eating much all day and I had just ran on the treadmill. This was my reward.

Watching a movie, I ate and in my head I kept telling myself that this was NOT a binge. I was within my calorie range. I ate what I wanted. I tried to separate my emotions from dinner.

Now I question whether it was a binge. I felt no guilt, just worries about what my mother thinks about me eating in my bed, hiding really. I shouldn’t care.

This morning, I went for a run. I thought about eating an apple before to give me some energy but I couldn’t be bothered. I wanted to save it for breakfast.

I was again worried about what others would think of me waking up at 6 10 am to run. They weren’t even around. How ridiculous !

Once I told myself: who cares. I ran for 40 mins. It felt like heaven to know my body is capable of this now. When I was overweight I couldn’t walk up the stairs without huffing and puffing.

I packed my food, yoga outfit and work bag, showered and left for work.

My dinner was not a binge, my run was not a punishment. I must accept this. Trust myself and know this is the ME now. Seeking to be healthy.