First off, I want to tell you that something's been going on with my Blogger for weeks now-- I can't comment on anyone's posts. :( It's a bummer, but I am reading them!
My post tonight was inspired by how I've been feeling lately. In a nutshell, I feel... unrestricted.
It's been almost a year and a half since I began this journey, and even though I have had set-backs, it's amazing how far I've come. The Summer has always been an extremely stressful time for me. BBQs, parties, and beach-getaways are basically protocol for every weekend. To some people this sounds absolutely amazing. To me, it's usually disastrous and leaves me full of anxiety for three months straight.
The reason for my anxiety is this... for over a decade my lovely and very thoughtful (not) eating disorder called the shots on when I got to have to fun, and when I didn't. My oscillations in food intake and my body image dictated the things that I *let* myself do. For example, maybe I was starving (from the non-stop restricting) on a random Thursday and it led to a huge binge. After the episode, I would feel like such crap that I would basically sit and home all weekend trying to recover from the 'fatness' that resulted from my eating.
What if there was a party on Saturday that all my friends were going to? Well, most of the time, I would miss the party. Because it was more important to me to feel good about my body and my restriction, and feel 'confident and thin', than it was to enjoy the company of my friends. In fact, if I felt fat, I felt almost 'unuitable' for other people-- as if, I was too disgusting to be around my friends. If I somehow was convinced of going out, I would feel so terrible about myself the whole time that I completely expected to have another binge at the party.
Actually, even the parties and get-together that I felt 'good enough' to attend were messed up by my ED. Through out my ED, I meticulously planned my intake around big events so that I was 'allowed' to eat like a normal person. I would restrict myself the entire week so that when my friend's wedding (for example) came up, I could eat all the yummy foods. The problem was, every time I got in these situations, I ended up gourding myself until I felt absolutely terrible. So, my desire to be normal always ended up being very abnormal.
I never knew how to enjoy food when I was out. I just got so excited about all of the foods that I didn't allow myself to eat, and I had to have them all- right then and there. Because I knew when I got home I wasn't allowed to eat any of those things. And usually, after I returned from the parties, I would feel so awful about what I ate, that I binged for a few days afterwards (and restricted until the next time I was 'allowed' to really eat).
The funny thing is, looking back, I think that I spent more time in my head, thinking about what I could/should/would consume, than actually having fun and enjoying my time with my friends.
But, I am happy to report, that things have changed. It's weird, but completely right, at the same time. It's weird because I can't remember ever enjoying my Summer weekends this much and not having my intake be the #1 thing on my mind. It's so, so, right because this is how life should be, goddammit!!
Lately, I've been finding myself being extremely care-free with what I eat. This, coming from the girl who always had a fit about which restaurants shw was comfortable enough to eat at; the same girl who didn't even TASTE peanut butter (fat fat fat fat) until she was 21 years old because she was afraid she'd love it and want to eat it all the time.
However, since I threw all my 'eating rules' out the window, I literally have no restrictions. When someone asks me where I'd like to eat, I don't freak out and try to pick a place with low-cal options. Instead, I lean toward "whatever everyone else wants". WHAT?! Shut the front door!
I have never been a go-with-the-flow person when it comes to food. I was always the picky one. The one with the annoying eating habits that everyone else had to plan around.
Well, that person is no more! And even more interestingly, I hardly ever binge at parties, or spend entire weekends thinking about food and my intake. Now, I don't feel the pressure of foods choices because I allow myself to eat sensibly and fully at all times. If I want chips with my sandwich, I eat them, but stop when I'm full. If I want dessert, I have some, but don't gourd myself on it. This way, when the weekends come up, I'm not SO excited and obsessed with the food that I'm going to be 'allowed' to eat, because I'm always allowed to eat that food.
The point is, when we stop making food such a BIG DEAL, we take away its power. This concept is almost child-like in it's simplicity. When we stop making lists of foods that are off-limits or restricted, those foods aren't as appealing anymore. (I even left some ice cream in the fridge for a week because I forgot about it. This would have been nearly impossible a year ago because the icecream would haunt me and tempt me until I ate the last bit of it.)
Somehow, through this year and a half of ups-and-downs, I've learned to not be controlled by food.
And it should be no big surprise that I now enjoy every one of my weekends having fun and not worrying about what I'm going to consume. And even better? I've grown closer to my friends, and my fun factor has hugely increased. ;)
Lots of Love, and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!