One thing that comes up again and again when I review my food diaries with my ED nurse is the lack of priority I give to eating and mealtimes. Littered throughout my diaries are things like ‘apple-while walking’, ‘banana-on way to bus’, ‘leftovers-cold at desk’. It’s just something I try and fit in rather than focusing on it as an activity itself.
My schedule for meals is also chaotic. For example yesterday I had breakfast at 9am, lunch at 1pm, snack at 4pm, dinner at 9pm, snack at 1.30am (seriously, who eats at 1.30am? I was hungry as hadn’t had enough at dinner and couldn’t sleep!). Today I had breakfast at 7 am, snack at 10.45am, lunch at 12.45pm, snack at 5pm, a bit of my dinner now (8pm- the bits that didn’t need cooking but I’m too hungry to wait) and probably the rest of it at 9pm (when it’s cooked). This is all over the place!
I wasn’t always like this, in my previous job I had set break and lunch times so I just followed them and that seemed to work for me. Now, as my day is flexible and hectic, it’s up to me to make time for eating and I know I’m not making it a priority. I tend to eat little bits when I can and on the go, but then I’m never really getting the sensation of being fully satiated, and it’s very easy for me to get to the end of the day without having eaten enough calories- which eventually sets me up for binging/purging or else triggers that little voice in my head that tells me restricting is a great idea, let’s just cut out a little more…and we all know how that goes.
Eating is a necessity, for all people but especially those in recovery from eating disorders. Making time to stop, eat, taste, enjoy, feel full but not too full needs to become a non-negotiable. How am I going to achieve this though? My ideas so far are:
-scheduling lunch and snacks into my calendar so that I know ahead of time that I have made time to eat.
-planning where I’ll eat in advance e.g. lunch room, other university spaces, park etc. if I’m out and about.
-maybe meeting other people for lunch (but sometimes I just like the quiet time ti be honest)
-try where possible to make set times for everyday. This won’t always be do-able but I should be at least trying.
That’s all I have so far but I’m hoping it will at least get me on track. Wish me luck!