I had an interesting conversation with my nurse yesterday about how I seem to focus a lot on the ‘micro’ and can sometimes miss the ‘macro’ of life. We were talking about a wedding I’m going to at the weekend and she asked me what I was wearing and unbeknownst to her (but probably not a surprise to you guys!) I had a little panic about my outfit and how I was going to feel in it.
I bought a dress for this wedding (one of my best friends) a few months ago. It’s elasticated so I know it will fit, but I am worried about how my stomach, arms and back will look in it. I told her that I was trying to plan ahead for what I would eat and drink, and how long I needed to run for the morning of it to feel okay in my dress (clearly I haven’t quite separated the exercise/food thing: uh-oh) and what my other friends would be wearing and whether I should wear a safer dress etc. She let me ramble for a little while and then interrupted me to say that the biggest thing I had just said was that my best friend was getting married and that I was travelling to see it and celebrate with her. That’s the macro, that’s the important point of this weekend, that’s where the living happens. Whether or not I have a bit of a stomach roll when I sit down is a micro detail in the grand scheme of things.
She understood that while I was ill and still in my ED mindset that yes, these ‘micros’ were a huge, extensive part of my thoughts, but she challenged me to consider moving move beyond this now. We discussed that lots of my thoughts and actions are still based on the ‘micro’: I don’t eat sandwiches out because of the butter/mayo, I walk or cycle everywhere in case one bus trip means I put my fuel in/out sum out of balance, I choose products carefully because of what is says on the label, I obsess over if my back is too flabby in tops, I worry about how much time I spend sitting……..things like this. I have made huge strides in my eating and attitude but I am still caught up on some of these small things and they do take up a lot of my thoughts sometimes.
I think I’m afraid to let go of some of the eating things in case it’s the one thing that’s stopping my weight from ballooning, and some of the other ED things in case I lose all control, but she feels I’m ready to test this out now. I need to trust that if I eat three balanced meals snacks a day, exercise within reason and just wear clothes I know will fit I can free up thoughts and energy to immerse myself in the important things, like going to a wedding where I get to see my amazing friend marry the love of her life, chat with friends who I don’t get to see very often, dance to cheesy pop music and enjoy myself. Doesn’t that sound like far more fun than worrying what I look like in my dress?!
So this is my challenge for the next month until my next appointment. I’m going to let go a little, try not to focus on the little things and instead get caught up with living without my ED. She’ll weigh me then and will hopefully show me that doing that has not impacted on my weight. I’m a bit suspicious and very nervous, but I’m committed to trying – wish me luck!