I suppose I shouldn’t be too surprised that my metabolism is all revved up here at the YMCA of the Rockies. I walk most places I go, I’m on my feet most of the day at work, and I’m living at a high altitude. Bed making and toilet cleaning are tiring activities. Let me tell you.
I suppose I also shouldn’t be surprised that the additional calories thrown on top of my already quite snack-y diet scare me.
Extra calories have always scared me. Even when I was in the weight gain, meal-planning phase of eating disorder recovery, eating more than what was on my meal plan scared me (despite my therapist’s mantra, “The meal plan is the minimum.”)
Yes, I have moved away from meal planning and more into intuitive eating mode. But does it scare me to deviate from what I consider “normal?” Hell, yes, it does. Sharing some of these thoughts, and how I deal with them, for today’s What I Ate Wednesday.
Despite a full day of eating on Friday, I woke up Saturday to discover my phone (and provisional alarm clock) had died, and that I was intensely hungry. I got up and looked at the clock: 5:50. I could have gone to breakfast, but instead I dozed until 6:30.
My breakfast fall back has been oatmeal with raisins, but this morning, I discovered they had Cheerios, so I started the day with a large bowl full of one my favorite low-FODMAP cold cereals, accompanied by half a grapefruit and some vanilla soy milk.Is it weird how much I like Cheerios? I really like Cheerios.
Oh, and Yorkshire Red tea. Always.
I clocked into housekeeping at 8:15 and was sent running errands for the housekeeping guru. About 9, I munched a quick banana I had thrown into my bag the night before.And, only a few errands and what felt like very shortly later, I was headed down for lunch.
This is one of the many components of eating at the Y that makes me anxious: lunch time is 11 am. Should I eat a mid-morning snack, or should I skip it? If I get hungry at, say, 9:30, should I hold out? Should I eat a bigger lunch than I normally would because it’s early, or a small lunch than I normally would and plan for a mid-afternoon snack.
Why does eating early scare me? I guess it scares me to think I’ve eaten a large proportion of my day’s calories in the first part of the day, which makes me afraid I’ll eat more later.
Is that thinking disordered bullshit? Yes, it is. But I still think it.
Lunch Saturday morning was all wheat-and-dairy-rich options like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, and meat loaf. So I crossed through the kitchen to the guest dining hall and got myself some bread for a gluten-free ham and cheese sandwich. Also grabbed some cherry tomatoes and cucumbers and blue cheese dressing to dip them in.After a couple hours of hanging curtains at the YMCA’s supposedly haunted Mountainside Lodge (or rather, figuring out which curtains would fit on which windows, an exhausting task), as well as inventorying the lodge’s kitchen supplies, I grabbed myself a Luna bar.I swear this isn’t the only kind I eat; it just happens to be the kind I’ve pictured on my blog the last couple of WIAWs.
On busy days in housekeeping, we often are given treats which I can’t eat (like some very delicious-looking donuts on Friday.) I’m not going to lie, the fact that I have an “excuse” not to indulge is sometimes a small comfort. Is that thought disordered bullshit? Totally.
But this afternoon, they had assorted Hershey’s candies. I can’t say no to a Reese’s peanut butter cup–and I have a hard time eating just one. So I had two.So what? I had two small pieces of candy after a hard day at work. Who cares? But two snacks in one afternoon is not “normal” for me. And so I got anxious. Again. Disordered bullshit.
I wasn’t very hungry for supper when I got off work, and I finally had enough energy to get out on a bit of a hike to Bible Point, which was lovely.Came back with appetite renewed for supper (but still stupidly anxious from those candies), and ate a supper meal of salad, Spanish rice, carnitas, hot sauce, and more blue cheese dressing. My camera got a little fogged up with the steam.I told myself I’d be done for the day. Nope. Got quite hungry in the evening, so, after making a short trip into town to make some phone calls (no cell signal here at the Y), I snacked on some Fritos I snagged from the dining hall. Didn’t get a good picture, though, because my camera was being weird.
Three full meals and four snacks in one day. It shouldn’t scare me–I know I need the energy–but it does scare me.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about eating disorder recovery, though, it’s that the thoughts may be frustrating, but at the end of the day, it’s the behavior that counts.
For instance, I’ve been very tempted in the last couple of days to start mentally adding up all the calories I’ve consumed. It not only increases my anxiety and takes me away from the beauty of the place where I’m living, but it’s frustrating because it feels like a step backwards.
But I’m proud to say that I haven’t let those thoughts stop me from taking care of my body. I didn’t deny myself food when I was hungry (excepting circumstances when it was inconvenient to eat), and I didn’t force myself to exercise even though I was tired. I’ve eaten small to moderate meals, due to my IBS, but I’ve also made it a point to snack and haven’t denied myself richer treats. I recognize that weight change would probably trigger some anxiety for me, but also that I need to trust my body to regulate my weight and keep me healthy. And when I do experience those anxious thoughts, I now have strategies for letting them go, like reading a book, talking to friends, writing this blog, and reminded myself all the reasons I chose recovery.What do you do to help relieve anxious thoughts?
When you take food photos, do you ever end up steaming up your camera lens?