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WIAW: Why Is This So Hard?

I wasn’t going to write a post tonight–so much to do!–but I got more done than I expected, and I had a bit I wanted to say.

Today I got a bit–to use Cora‘s words–“jacked up.”

As a blogger, I’m torn between sharing the wisdom I’ve come to after going through the hard stuff of recovery and writing about it from a place of sharing helpful tips and advice with others (like some of my favorite recovery bloggers like HealthyEzSweet Life) and writing about the more raw, dealing-with-this-stupid-shit-as-it-comes-up-in-our-lives stuff. Let’s Get Living and My Littletablespoon are great examples of this more-in-the-moment style. I guess I appreciate both approaches. Different blogs for different frogs.

Partly I’m torn between these two approaches because I’m mostly recovered from my eating disorder…except when I’m not. Today I had a post planned for sharing that “place of wisdom that I’ve come to from going to the hard stuff”–and then I did a lousy job implementing that wisdom.

Same old, same old trigger, too. IBS. Damn those three letters.

The day actually started out quite nice (and delicious!) I got up and put together these breakfast banana oat cookies from Karlijn’s Kitchen. So simple–four ingredients!–and you get some healthy, warm, and comforting cookies for breakfast in about 15 minutes.

About an hour after the cookies, I was still hungry, so I grabbed a Greek yogurt…

and I felt very bloated afterward, which is normal for my IBS, but for some reason really set me off much more than normal. I even found myself adding up calories from the morning and past days, which I often find myself doing unconsciously, but I get so mad at myself when I start doing it consciously because I know it makes me so terribly upset and anxious and really isn’t productive.

Part of my brain concluded that the number I came up with was “too much.” The other half of brain concluded that it was “actually quite reasonable for an active young adult woman,” which is probably a better response but also sort of annoying in that I still felt I had to validate what I had eaten based on the calorie content.

The anxiety about suddenly finding myself debating about whether or not one stupid Greek yogurt was “too much” was especially frustrating because I ended up having a very unproductive morning as a result. And I’m just not at a place in my grad school career where I can afford to be unproductive very often.

Although I did water my plant. *pats self on back*

The ironic thing about this whole incident is that the rest of the day I was actually much hungrier than normal. I went to a late morning spin class and didn’t eat before–I often can’t eat too soon before I exercise, again because of the IBS–and when I got back to my office, I was starving.

I ate some leftover Spinach Quinoa Lasagna Casserole from Fit Foodie Finds, plus an orange, but I was still hungry.

So about an hour later I ate some peanuts, but I was still hungry.

So I went to class and ate some veggie chips a classmate had brought to share, but I was still hungry all through class.

There’s a reason I call this blog The Hungry Caterpillar.

“On Friday, he ate through five oranges. But he was still hungry.”


Finally, I got home from class, cooked up some rice, and heated up some Sriracha meatballs (leftover from the weekend), followed by some Valentine’s candy.

And then finally I was caught up with my metabolism and felt sort of bloated again.


Days when I get “jacked up”–they aren’t my favorite days. And they’re honestly not my favorite to write about, either. I went back and forth about whether to put this post up at all. I worry about coming across as whiny, and I worry that my metacommentary about whether I come across as whiny comes across as whiny.

Still, I think it’s important to point out that eating disorder recovery is hard, and that it continues to be hard, and that I don’t have any magical words of wisdom that will make there be no more hard days except that you have to keep fighting even when it is–especially when it is–most challenging. At least then, if you keep fighting, there are fewer of those really tough days.

For some likely more uplifting posts in which bloggers share their daily eats, check out today’s What I Ate Wednesday linkup at Arman’s today.

Do you ever get “jacked up”–that is to say, find yourself struggling with anxious thoughts you thought you were mostly rid of?

Is anyone else out there also really proud when they remember to water the plant?

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  1. Cora says:

    Well what is with us eh?… last week we both entitle our WIAW posts “recent eats” and this week we are both delving out some raw, in the moment, “why is this still happening” frustration. As you will see in my post… I think we had very, very similar days. Joyce – it is SO frustrating. I know!!! We work so hard to get to a place in recovery where things feel at least a bit easier 75% of the time, and then we have days like this where – for who knows what reason – one damn greek yogurt has us spinning numbers the entire day. Dear lord I hate it. The numbers and calorie thoughts and validating that how much I’ ate that day is “okay” has been really high lately. Like you said, one part of me knows the number is fine, but that other part of me is really ramped up right now trying to convince me its not. I’ wish we could go get a tea together. All I can say is let’s fight those thoughts away. They’re dumb and don’t know what they’re talking about and we deserve to be without them. Love you. <3

    1. Joyce says:

      I didn’t even notice that we had the same blog title last week. Great minds, huh? It is always such a comfort to me to hear from you–it’s funny how knowing I’m not the only one going through this gives me so much courage. Good thing we’re both badass and we can overcome! Love, friend <3

  2. I have definite anxious days its so hard! Glad you got through it with a healthy mindset!

  3. friend, I know exactly what you mean. I’ve had to be learning over and over Philippians 4:8 especially when those thoughts get really anxious and really high. I too struggle with IBS, and it has been tough, especially the bloating and not knowing exactly what foods trigger me. But I love you, and I’m praying for you, for peace for you. <3

    1. Joyce says:

      Thank you for the kind words and prayers, Emily!

  4. Alyssa says:

    IBS makes things tough- I get that. But refocusing your mind and looking at the big picture WILL help. Thing how silly it sounds to feel bad for having a greek yogurt… so irrational! I’m proud of you for getting through a tough day though, that’s always a victory in itself!

  5. Evangeline says:

    These are some of my favorite posts to read. It’s easy, as a blogger, to fall into the “my life is wonderfully put together and I’m productive 24/7 and my family is perfect and my pictures are flawless, etc, etc,” so when I see raw honesty and willingness to be vulnerable, it means a lot. It’s encouraging to be reminded that even far into recovery, those nasty days still pop up, and although they feel miserable, we shouldn’t beat ourselves up for having them. They just happen.

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Evangeline. I also really appreciate it when bloggers are willing to be vulnerable, not just share all the ways that their lives are perfect.

  6. Kaylee says:

    Your awareness is seriously admirable. It’s easy–too easy–to get lost in the your disordered eatings thoughts. And congrats on honoring your hunger despite it all. After a little incident when my succulent plant died, I have stayed away from having plants but I know what you mean: sometimes it’s the littlest of accomplishments that give you a sense of pride.

    Even without intending to necessarily, you provided me with some of that more helpful tips/life advice type of stuff. Enjoy your weekend, Joyce! Hope you’re feeling less jacked up. 🙂

  7. Karlijn says:

    Ohh I know how you feel! I have those days too where I just keep eating and eating and it always hits me with terrible bloating by the end of the day. And even though it has happened a 100 times now, I still do it. I can get so upset with myself about that some time.

    And I am the same with plants haha, always very proud when I remember to water them.

    After reading this blog I understand the name of your blog, we have that book in the Netherlands too! It used to be one of my faves as a child. In Dutch it is called “Little caterpillar “never-enough”. I totally remembered the book from that line that you wrote 🙂

    1. Joyce says:

      I love that you have The Hungry Caterpillar in the Netherlands too. 🙂

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