Saturday night at the supermarket

Today I’m just sharing a win with you guys. Short version: I bought a rice pot, I didn’t binge or purge,I feel like a superhero.

I was at a friend’s house for tea and cake yesterday late afternoon. It was at an awkward time so threw me a bit in terms of meal planning. I had planned on having my afternoon snack there and was going to have a slice of cake as she bakes amazing cakes and I feel safe eating her stuff. 

I had the cake and then also had quite a few candied nuts. They weren’t on the plan but I’d never tried them and once I had one the ‘danger binge coming’ switch went on. 

I rationalised with myself that I would make the cakes and nuts my dinner as one solution (hello restricting ED), but I was worried that I’d be setting myself up for a rough day tomorrow as my body does not like any restriction at the moment.

Then I thought that I was planning on going to the supermarket anyway afterwards so I could buy something quick to binge on and purge everything (oh yes hello binging ED’s twisted mind where the solution to eating too much is eating more?)

By time I got the the supermarket I hadn’t quite made up my mind what to do. It was dangerous me being there but I had run out of key foods at home and have study plans for today (Sunday) so I really didn’t want to have to go to supermarket then. 

I walked down the aisles in the supermarket contemplating what to do. I really didn’t want to binge/purge and feel rough the next day, yet I was feeling so guilty about the nuts and yet also knowing that they weren’t enough for dinner that I was exposing myself to a binge later anyway. 

Eventually I realise that I could strike a balance, I could get a ‘treat’ for tea that would satisfy the binge urges but not makes me need to purge. I picked up a fresh lentil rice pot quick meal, I would never buy these normally as I don’t buy ready meals and they are £3 for something I can make myself for far less, but I knew I wouldn’t go home and make a proper dinner so I bought it along with the other stuff I needed. It felt rebellious buying the rice pot because I’d never had one before but it was a safe meal in terms of calories and was actually nutritious food. 

It felt powerful making a good decision. I was smiling to myself thinking how far I have come, that I could now be in a supermarket with the opportunity to either restrict or binge/purge and that I am choosing neither. I was literally grinning to myself! I came home and cooked the rice pot and ate it mindfully at the table and then had some fruit for dessert and then watched some Netflix before falling into bed content with my decision making. 

This morning’s self is very grateful to last night’s self for making a good choice and setting me up well for the day. 

Recovery is one win at a time, and all the baby steps are starting to join together. Hurrah!

A near miss

I just nearly got caught purging after a mini-binge. Probably one of the closest misses I’ve had. I was in the bathroom finishing when I heard my mum get home. The evidence was on my bed still, had she not being bringing in the shopping I would have been caught. 

I was racking my brains for a lie and realised I couldn’t come up with one. There was a split second when I thought I would just have to admit it and whatever fall-out would come, would come. But then I heard her go back out to the car and I had time to cover my tracks. 

She’s gone straight out again now, leaving me to unpack the shopping, and calm myself down. I feel horrible, not just from the binging but from the secrecy and the deviousness that this illness brings out in me. 

I have done 3 days of full meal plan and yet I still binged. My counsellor reassures me then when I eliminate restriction the binging will stop, but it’s tough to believe it on days like this. However, I know keeping moving forward is the only way to avoid feeling like this again. For now I just need to breathe and calm down! 

“It’s not a safe food”

I had a very honest moment with my friend today. She bought us ‘breakfast muffins’ for breakfast this morning. I looked at them and had the immediate panic of do I a) refuse and it be awkward 2) eat and purge 3) eat and try not purge 4) eat some of it and then panic about eating the rest 5) eat some of it, then binge later as the resisting was too much, and then purge….. and so on and so on….

She noticed my face and asked if I didn’t like them – I was going to say no but before I could, I admitted that I did. She said have one then – so I said I would have a small piece. She said no have a whole one and before I knew it I was saying ‘it’s not a safe food’.

She asked me what that meant (aside- imagine a world where safe foods/ danger foods do not exist!What?!) and I paused and then admitted- it’s the kind of thing that I would eat 10 off and then need to be sick. She looked shocked. I guess understanding it in theory and me saying it out loud is different. She asked me should she not eat such stuff in front of me, or not offer it to me. That made me sad, as while that would avoid the issue for now that is not real life. I told her that me learning to eat just a little is a good thing.

It was sobering to realise that purging is so shocking to some people, and yet so mundane to me. I don’t want purging to be part of my life- or at most the smallest part as I can make it. It was mortifying to admit out loud that I would binge (although I still avoided using that word) but it was important too.

I am not a lesser person because I have binged. I am not a lesser person because I have purged. I am doing my best with what circumstances I find myself in. That is all I can do at any one time.

But I do want to take this moment to say to any of you that is ashamed of your binging and/or your purging. This is an illness. It is not a weakness. I am not judging you – because judging myself would not be helpful. It is not our fault we have the urges, but it is within us to change things. Sufficient consistent eating, everything in moderation, self-care, reaching out…we are worth it.

Normalising over-indulgence

Tonight I ate sweets. Quite a lot of sweets, of the mini kind (stupid left over halloween sweets – I’m getting them out of the house tomorrow whether my boyfriend likes it or not!).

It was definitely a lot of sweets, and I definitely wasn’t hungry for them. I ate the first few for the taste of sugar, and then the next few as crazy ED brain goes ‘binge binge binge then you can purge them and that will purge dinner too then everything will be right with the world’.

Then I stopped. I could feel myself eating them in a way that was harmful to me and I gone beyond enjoyment. A small amount is a pleasure, but it’s a fine line before I do it in a way that makes me feel crap about myself. So I stopped and then had to deal with the full feelings that came.

I have over-indulged. But that’s okay. That happens sometimes. It’s a normal thing that occurs for people every now and again. I could purge, and believe me there’s a large bit of me that wants to, but then all I’m doing is teaching my brain and body that over-indulgence requires purging. And it doesn’t- this is a revelation to me! I over-indulged….so what?! I will digest it, this is not my everyday diet, I won’t balloon, it makes no difference to the good work that I did with the children today, or the nice date night time I had with my boyfriend, or the afternoon I had planned with friends tomorrow. I am not a bad person because I over-indulged. Even if you’re reading this thinking ‘oh I would never do that’ that’s fine-but it doesn’t make you a better person. What we eat or don’t eat has nothing to do with our contribution to mankind.

I am normalising my over-indulgence and I am going to bed on another day where reason triumphed over ED. Night all!

 

Day 13 and back to reality

I arrived back home today and it’s been a bit of a come down. It’s only natural after holidays but I have felt it creeping up over the past couple of days. It’s a fine balance between feeling ‘yay I’m going to beat this and I can eat anything I want and feel okay about it’ and ‘oh crap what have I done I’ve totally lost control the past week’ and I feel I’ve crossed it now. I’m feeling huge and wobbly and can’t believe I let go like I did, yet at the same time I’m trying to keep telling myself that one week won’t be the undoing of me, I won’t have gained 2 stone and I will get my fitness back (I haven’t run in more than a week and freaking out about it now).

I have been roughly sticking with structured eating but it has been a little all over the place. That’s only natural with holidays though I guess, this was always going to be a challenge. I think it’s better that I went with the flow rather than being too strict, but I can see I’m not ready for intuitive eating yet. The last two days have been a bit pants, with some purging on Saturday and overeating on Sunday.

I pulled it back though and did well today: breakfast, large lunch, large snack then another large snack. I have four more days where I can stick to routine and then I’m off again on Friday for a wedding which will be another challenge. After that there will be two days left then I will see my counsellor on Tuesday and get weighed. I am DREADING it, but I will do it because a) she’ll make me! and b) I need some proof of what happens when I let go so that I can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Now though I’m going to bed bloated and uncomfortable but will keep telling myself that the memories of the last week will be worth it.

 

 

Day 6- A holiday without ED

Hola! I am in Spain! It’s sunny! Hurrah!

I’m feeling pretty proud of myself today. I woke up feeling bad about yesterday but had a stern talking to myself (as in I actually talked to myself in the mirror- sometimes this is necessary!) about not letting yesterday roll into today. 

So today I travelled (a bus, 2 trains, a plane, a bus and another train- I’m a dab hand with the public transport!) and yet still manages structured eating! I got up early to make breakfast snacks and lunch for travelling and then just ate out with my friend. I am stuffed-more full than I’m comfortable with but I have excused myself to go to bed and I will sleep it off.

Another day done. I’m just slowly trying to inch my way to my next counsellor appt in one piece. But for now I’m on holidays, without ED. 

Day 5- and why using behaviours does not make me a failure

Today was 80% successful. I’m working this out as I have opportunity for success with structured eating 5 times a day: at 3 meals and 2 snacks. Today I did fine with 4/5 of those, and just fell at the last hurdle by purging dinner, then having a small and purge. But although I fell, I haven’t failed. I’m going to try explain why…

I could feel the urge to purge come on early today. I had a few things to do today and was on a tight schedule. I knew it was unrealistic but I didn’t want to let anyone down, but then I ended up having to cancel on someone at late notice and that sucks as I hate when people do that to me, and also as there are times when I just cannot be social (say when my mood is just too low) I don’t like to’waste’ these times on something avoidable. So I was a bit stressed I guess, even though my tight schedule involved nice things like a run with a friend etc. I also haven’t purged in 4 days which is magic for me but I could feel it building up. Plus I’m on holidays next week staying with a friend in Spain (woo-hoo!) so I knew I would be trying really hard to not do it there. I know these seem silly reasons but I’m just trying to figure out where the urge came from.

So anyway I ate my healthy dinner, but my boyfriend was out and I had made enough for two (lesson learnt – I’m not ready for that) and after mine I decided to eat more. I did this consciously though- I waited 15 mins while I weighed up pros and cons. I could see the pros were in the minority but I decided to anyway. I then purged and this is shameful to admit but I really did feel so much better afterwards. This lasted for about an hour before I decided to go to the shop to buy something else to eat which I did and had a ‘mini binge’. This second one wasn’t as rational- the switch had definitely flipped and I felt out of control, but I figured I had used behaviours anyway today another time might not have hurt.

Now it’s all done and dusted a few hours later I can reflect on how I feel. Do I wish I hadn’t done it? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. That’s where my problem lies- I need to stop seeing it as a pleasurable experience. I feel sick now, my insides are definitely not happy. I spent £3.50 on food I just then threw up- money that could have been spent on coffee with a friend. I felt sneaky doing it while boyfriend was out- I had option of going to meet him but chose not to- I shouldn’t be choosing ED over him. On the other hand I feel a definite sense of emptiness in my stomach which I haven’t had all week, and I feel calmer and ready to enjoy my holiday now. No wonder it’s hard to give it up if I feel it still has a helpful role in my life. 

Usually I would just have switched off my brain and my emotions at this point, but I’m trying to turn it around by taking time to reflect. I’m also going to work extra hard tomorrow to not let this de-rail me. Structured eating is still the aim for tomorrow and I have a plan in place for travelling. 

80% is still pretty good going, so yes I’m disappointed in myself but still have two feet firmly on the path to recovery, this was just one teensy stumble along the way.