Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby Steps to the door, baby steps to the elevator, baby steps to Recovery...

The title of this post is a play on a quote from Bill Murray's "What About Bob?" movie.
If you don't know what I'm referring to, hop in your car, go to the video store, rent it, watch it, and be prepared to roll on the floor laughing!

It's about Bob, played by Bill Murray, who has very intense OCD.  He opens doorknobs with napkins; is afraid of water, riding the elevator, and basically of everything.  He begins seeing a psychiatrist to work on his OCD, and the psychiatrist tells him that he has to take baby steps in his recovery process.  That it's a work in progress and he should do it little by little.  That every little step is an accomplishment.  In the process Bill ends up driving the psychiatrist mad, but not before causing mass amounts of hilarity!

So, what does this have to do with me?  Well, I'm a little like Bill.  I'm a bit obsessive, I have OCD tendencies, I'm trying to recover from a disorder, and I need to do it in baby steps.

Yesterday I had an odd sort of eating day.  I ate breakfast as usual.  I wasn't really hungry by lunch time, so I decided to just snack on some cereal.  An hour later I decided to eat a couple of oranges.  And a little bit after that I was craving chocolate, so I ate a 150-cal Skinny Cow chocolate ice cream cone.  By that point, I knew that I had consumed about 350 calories in my make-shift lunch, but I hadn't eaten anything substantial.  I started worrying about 'what if I get hungry in a couple of hours?  I don't want to eat even more food (calories) !'  My mind started racing.  But, I thought, it's okay because I'm not hungry really at all right now, and I can probably hold off until dinner.  We were planning on having cheeseburgers with beans and salad, and I wanted to not feel guilty eating a delicious meal.

Well, what really ended up happening was that I did get insanely hungry about two hours after I had the ice cream cone.  And, we still had two hours until dinner.  I was so hungry that I wanted to gnaw my own arm off.  I waited a bit.  Still hungry.  I drank some hot tea.  Still hungry.  But, I just couldn't bring myself to eat anything else before dinner.  I wanted to feel guilt free when I had dinner, and I knew that eating before dinner would take that feeling away from me.

I know that I shouldn't feel guilty eating food, and that I should eat when I'm hungry.  But, I'm still trying to balance out watching my calories, and eating what I want (not restricting certain foods).  Baby steps here, people...

The concept of eating throughly confuses me sometimes.  Every nutrition/health expert that you talk to tells you that you should count your calories.  And really, counting your calories helps you have control over what you consume.  But, every ED recovery expert tells you to stop counting your calories.

I guess I'm still trying to figure out a median between these two schools of thought.  I count my calories for breakfast and lunch, and for dinner I try not to worry about the calories; I just stop eating when I'm full.  I just can't let myself do that for breakfast and lunch.  I feel like I would eat double the amount of food that I eat now if I let myself eat how I wanted all day.  And that scares me.

However, on a positive note: I did let myself have another dessert after dinner last night, and it was pretty guilt-free!  I had one of those Jell-O chocolate mousse things.  I figured that the one cup of chocolate mousse wasn't going to make my ass suddenly expand infinitely.  And I really wanted chocolate, so I ate it. :)

So, Anybody else have these issues?  

How do you feel about it?

What do you do about it, if anything?


  1. I know where you are coming from. Sometimes when I restrict, I just end up being hungry and eating more in between meals. I then feel guilty about eating the next meal. We shouldn't feel guilty for giving our bodies what they need.

    It's hard to balance healthy eating with recovery for me. I want to gain weight through healthy eating, not eating whatever I want just to gain weight. It's very easy for "healthy eating" to be ED in disguise, though.

    Baby steps are definitely the way to go. Remember the saying: every journey starts with a small step!

  2. I had that day yesterday! It was a very odd day for me. I was counting the calories and went wait...that was not enough for my body. I had dinner (a very delicious soup with asian vegetable egg rolls). I counted the calories and realized I was still under the "supposedly" standard of calories that should be consumed by a healthy adult woman.

    I do feel a bit torn because I do find counting calories to be eye-opener and can help me to know if I need to eat more yet at the same time, there is such fine line of me tipping over into obsessive counting which does scare me.

    I struggle with this a lot in my recovery.

    BTW I have seen the movie and loved, loved it!

  3. Wow ~ sounds like you could read my thoughts....but, I know it's only my ED.

    You're struggles seem to echo mine - except at my house it is easier for me to fight the ED than my parents sometimes when it comes to food. My mom, though she won't admit it (who does usually?), has an eating disorder and is a constant reminder outside my head of the war I'm fighting. But, being the Mom, she's always right and knows what she's doing..that's how it goes..

    Off limit foods are so common that it's hard for me to break away and not only shut up the ED but respectfully "shut up" my mom to put it bluntly....

    It's hard to not continually count cals, I find myself often taking a bite of something and trying to calculate in my head how many calories must be in this bite or not go through a potluck type meal and not search for the salad or veggies without any butter or oil on them....But challenges are supposed to be met - not run from. I have to act, not react. My nutritionist say that hard work + cooperation + nutrition = victory over my eating disorder!! She gave me tons of other neat reminders to put in my recovery "toolbox" on healthy ways to take care of and love me for me! But I can often feel so selfish and not worth it...and just want to be perfect and die - but that's my ED and I don't care to agree on anything with him!

    Ok...Sorry for the rant... maybe I should start a blog..It really helps to get some thought's out!



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