Friday, March 30, 2012

Enjoying Food.

I am making a concerted effort to eat thing I LIKE.

What a concept!

I have always loved food. I like to eat, I snack a lot, and I get excited about food. While I love sweets especially, I can appreciate and crave all kinds of food.

For example, I had a chicken salad for breakfast this morning. And it was good.

I think we don't take enough time to appreciate our food. Often, we are afraid of it: afraid of the calories/carbs/fats/blah blah blah. We are afraid of what people will think (when we eat salad for breakfast).

We need to let it go.

Try to make a concerted effort to pay attention (mindfulness, yay!) when you are eating today.
Does your food taste good?
Does it make you happy?
Was that a yummy noise I heard?
Did you just do the happy food dance?
(yes, I have been known to do the last two)

It makes me happy when my food makes me happy. I know I am nourishing my body and my spirit and feeling no guilt. Don't get me wrong, food happiness is NOT just for salad (it better not be!).

I plan to do a happy food dance with my peanut butter cup after lunch. :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


I am not good at asking for what I need. Especially when it requires someone else to do something for me. It makes me physically uncomfortable. Here are some of the (stupid) thoughts that go through my head:

I can do it myself.

I feel bad asking.

I know you're... [tired/busy/other imagined state]

I am embarrassed .

I know these are all very silly but asking for what I need makes me feel vulnerable and open to rejection, derision, or dismissal. The funny part is that by not asking for help or being assertive, I end up making life harder for myself and, oftentimes, for the other person. Makes sense. Ha.

It is almost a novel, and scary, concept to imagine being assertive and open with people, asking for exactly what I need, and being okay with their response.

Know Thyself.

(trigger alert: good amount of diet talk and other triggering thoughts I've been having. Please also note these are thoughts about me only and do not necessarily apply to you or any struggles you are having. We are each individuals and different things work for different people.)

I had another deep conversation with the dear husband last night. I talked about my struggles with my trainer, how I opened that Pandora's box during a weak moment, and how I am continuing to struggle with feelings of guilt versus feelings of rebellion. I have this feeling of wanting to be the "perfect student" versus the rebel; I want to exercise effectively every time (or every day) and eat "on plan" and lose weight and "work to my full potential". However, when I think about doing or try to do these things, I get resentful and find myself overeating or not exercising at all, rebelling against all the ideas I know aren't good for me.

Obviously, neither of these extremes are healthy. There is a healthy middle place where I can move my body in a healthy way, for the goal of health, and eat intuitively but treat myself gently in more fragile moments. As I told my husband, "I just want to live my life," instead of feeling captive by disordered thoughts.

I need to understand that, even if I want to be the model workout and diet person and follow a meal plan, I simply can't. I have an eating disorder and I know that it's not healthy for me to be strict about my eating or really think too much about it at all. I also know I can only exercise when my body feels up to it instead of trying to fit myself in to a set schedule. There are parts of me that still need a lot of healing and may never fit back together the way they started. I need to give myself permission to be okay, not be okay, and just be, sometimes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


How often do you judge your body in a negative way?

How often do you judge other people, either physically or otherwise?

For me, the answer to these two questions is the same: all the time.

I always remember the old adage about how we judge most in others what we loathe most in ourselves. This blog post from Fitwoman really spoke to me in this regard.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Self-care or Self-Sabotage?

(profanity alert)


My trainer called me this morning.

Trainer: "I just wanted to check on how your nutrition is going."

(internal panic)

Me: "Oh, fine, much better. Doing great!"

Trainer: "Okay. Just let me know if you have questions. Your workouts are great but your nutrition is really important as well."

Me: "Oh yeah, absolutely. I am doing fine!"


I don't think he believed me either.

At first, I was really angry. I already disclosed my history (although in general) to him and thought he would back off. Then, I thought about it and realized he was right. My eating sucks lately. I ate large bowls of ice cream twice a day all weekend. I know I did it primarily because I was feeling physically unwell and emotionally fragile (comfort eating!). My eating has not been healthy and has not been intuitive. I need to go back and read this post on feeling deprived by Christie Inge. It's like, as soon as I start trying to clean up my eating, I feel resentful and rebel, damn the consequences. We all know how well that cycle works.

I have some thinking to do.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

IE Trigger-Busters and other tips

I am still going strong with IE these days. I love the feeling of not perseverating on my food choice and feeling good about what I'm eating. Self-care and self-appreciation/increased confidence is still a work in progress but I am trying to be alert to this.

One challenge I face regularly with IE is the fact that, because of my work schedule, I eat most of my meals away from home. I find this difficult because my food choices have to be preplanned, I eat in front of others and may have to listen to their food issues, and almost anything purchased (fast food, vending machine item) lists nutrition facts. I am going to make a little "trigger buster" list of things I've found helpful in dealing with away-from-home IE:

IE Trigger Busters
  1. Having to plan to eat away from home: I have a large lunch bag and also a snack drawer at work. This helps with keeping a good variety of options on hand. I also give myself permission to go out for lunch or buy a snack if I have a specific strong craving or really don't like my premade choices.
  2. Eating in front of others: This can be embarrassing. People tend to be curious (nosy) and comment on my food options. I try to have a sense of humor about this and/or ignore them as best I can. I just focus on the fact that I like my food choice and am enjoying it. It's not their food!
  3. Hearing triggering talk: This is a regular struggle for me. I work with a lot of women so it can be hard to avoid diet/fat talk. I am not terribly comfortable with challenging this (working on it!) so I typically disengage from the conversation at this point to protect myself and nonverbally communicate I'm not interesting in participating in such a group conversation. I also try to remind myself that it is someone else's issue to deal with, not mine.
  4. Nutrition information: I HATE that almost any food has the nutrition information listed boldly on the package. I understand that some people appreciate this but I find it extremely triggering and guilt-inducing. Particularly with sweets, I have started ripping off the packaging with the nutrition facts and throwing it away without looking at it. This has been really helpful for me in eliminating food guilt and enjoying my snack.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Journal Entry: Self care

I woke up in a pretty good place this morning. I am trying to focus more on loving myself (see previous post) and it's amazing how good it feels. The challenge will be keeping it up! I am going to try a new item called "Things I Am Loving About Me" at the end of every post (look for it today!).

To start with, I picked an outfit that made me feel pretty and comfortable: a navy, ruched, v-neck shirt, tobacco brown cargo pants with a drawstring, elastic-y waist, and my favorite bronze flats. I left my hair down and am growing it out, loving the feminine feeling it gives me. My nails still look great from my gel manicure, yay! Okay, on to the food:

Breakfast (9:45am)
Got to work late due to a traffic jam and am starving! Instant oatmeal with pineapple (a new discovery, yum!) and Irish Breafkast tea with cream and sugar. I would love non-instant oatmeal but this is just easier at work. Yummy breakfast overall.

Snack (11:30am)
Since I have the gym tonight, I try and eat my lunch a little later. Not entirely intuitive but I'm not exactly hungry for lunch yet anyway. I had planned a yogurt for my morning snack but am wanting something carby (yay, PMS). Decide on a dark chocolate and nut granola bar. Nom Nom Nom. Still drinking my tea as well.

Lunch (12:40pm)
Well, rats. My gym class was cancelled for tonight. I'll go to the work gym later this afternoon instead. Yay for flexibility! Getting hungry for lunch. PB&J sandwich on whole wheat, carrots with honey mustard to dip. Two cinnamon graham crackers for dessert made a tasty yet light lunch! I finished off with a cup of green tea.

Pre-workout snack (2:30pm)
Wow, I just realized how long it's been since lunch, great! (I know 2 hours doesn't seem like much but with hypoglycemia and small meals, this is a great amount of time for me.) Feeling a little peckish and going to exercise at 3, so I grab an apple to keep my sugar up until post-workout. Pink Lady, yum!

Post-workout snack (4pm)
(No, I didn't work out for 1.5 hours. 20-30 minutes is my average on non-boot camp days.) Since I did a pretty strenuous workout, I am thinking a protein bar will be a good choice (yay, I know) but first an orange is sounding good to rehydrate a little bit. The, well, technically it's a tangerine, really hit the spot. I also ate my protein bar to refuel and finished my green tea.

Dinner (7:15pm)
Dinner was kind of a bust because most of it got overcooked (not my doing!). I ate about half a pork chop and a little bit of angel hair and roasted brussel sprouts. Definitely not full. Bleh.

Snack (8pm)
I had a small bowl of heath ice cream that was mediocre. About an hour later I was still hungry and had a snickerdoodle cookie with a thin layer of peanut butter and a small glass of milk. THIS was satisfying.

Besides the dinner, I really enjoyed my eating today!

Monday, March 19, 2012


You love your children.
You love your relatives.
You love your significant other.
You love your pets.

Do you love yourself?



You criticize.
You berate.
You abuse.
You neglect.
You hate.

You are not good enough.
You are not small enough.
You are not toned enough.
You are not feminine enough.
You are not enough.


What would happen if you tried something different?

What would happen if you only said nice things to yourself?
Appreciated your body?
Remembered and followed through with self care?

What would happen if you said, "I love you," to you?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Journal Entry: New Focus

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post

Breakfast (9:30am)
I toast my English muffin and put the butter on it. Normally I would just eat it untoasted so taking the time to do this really feels nice. Plus, it tastes a lot better! I also have a cup of green tea, which I really enjoy. I don't feel "full" after this meal but decide to wait. I want to try and really focus on my hunger today instead of just following a planned menu or schedule.

Lunch (11:20am)
Feeling noticeably hungry. I decide to go ahead and have my lunch instead of a snack. Leftover takeout chicken burrito with black beans and a little Spanish rice. YUM. Water as beverage.

Afternoon tea (12:45pm)
Hmm, my tummy is not happy after lunch. I am thinking it may have been the spices or the beans. Bleh. I decide on a cup of mint chamomile tea, which always tends to settle my tummy.

Besides the mild tummy ache, I am feeling good today. This could be from the foods I am choosing or just the simple fact of feeling like I am trying to take good care of myself.

Snack (2pm)
Hungry again. I started getting hungry about 15 mins ago but waited to "make sure". The afternoons are definitely my toughest times for overeating. After dithering for a while, I decide to start with my cashews. I figure I may have a piece of fruit later as well. I decided to also throw in a few almonds and ate until I was full (maybe a cup or so of nuts total).

Late snack (4pm)
Feeling pretty hungry. I have my workout class tonight and will not eat dinner until late so I give in and decide to have my protein bar. In the future, I will have to pack a "second lunch" on my late workout days I think.

Later snack (5:15pm)
Ugh. My tummy feels icky again and I am still mildly hungry. I decide on a fruit and nut granola bar as a last minute snack before I leave for the gym (workout at 6:30). I also have another cup of green tea, hoping for an afternoon perk.

Dinner (7:30ish)
Chicken with parmesan noodles and applesauce. I would have also like a green vegetable but I didn't cook! It was a satisfying dinner and I even had seconds! I try to start with small portions and then get extra if I am still hungry to avoid wasting or feeling like I need to eat everything I have on my plate. I wanted some dessert later but just didn't have the opportunity. I didn't feel overly hungry so I was okay with it.

I struggled a little bit with not feeling guilty about eating too much but overall was happy with my choices for the day.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


I had a mini breakdown last night. I had a long discussion with my husband about my eating habits and perseverating over whether or not to follow my "meal plan". I don't like a lot of the foods on it and the protein bars just make me feel ill and like I am consuming a lot of artificial ickiness. I ended up confessing that, anymore, I don't even know when I'm hungry and that I'm eating a lot when I'm bored or upset. I also discussed that a lot of my typical go-to stress foods don't even appeal to me anymore; I still go to them because it's like I need to know that I can/am not depriving myself. I told him that I just want to be healthy and eat healthfully more than anything else.


My dear husband actually helped me make my lunch last night after I told him I wasn't even sure what to take or how much. We packed the following:

Whole wheat English muffin
Leftover burrito, black beans, and Spanish rice
Green tea

I also have my whole snack drawer so will use that as necessary. I know I need to focus more heavily on using IE but also focus on food choices that make me feel good, physically and emotionally (no hangover, no guilt). Journal entry to follow!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Self disclosure

As you know, my trainer recently gave me a meal plan to follow. I have, uh, not been following it. I try to use it as a guideline but often I just don't pay attention to it because I just can't. I asked him recently about how to increase my endurance and, in addition to some exercise recommendations, he reiterated the importance of nutrition and the meal plan.


I decided to tell him about my history. I decided this made sense because I don't want him to think I am trying to be noncompliant or lazy and I think it's important considering the continued discussions about my eating habits. I am hoping he will be understanding or have some alternate recommendations (I'll keep you updated).

How do you feel about self disclosure of a disordered eating history? I am really hesitant to talk to people about it; partly because I think it's none of their business and I'm a private person and partly because I am embarrassed.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Journal Entry: No plan

Well, that didn't last long.

Obviously, last week was totally disorganized. We had takeout for most meals and there was no scheduled eating times. I had no interest in following my meal plan and I continue to have no interest in restarting it at this point. I have not been eating intuitively at all but am being gentle with myself in understanding the reasons. Some days, you just do the best you can. My self care has suffered in my attempt to care for everyone else and I am trying to get back to taking care of me. I always say, you can't take care of anyone else if you're not caring for yourself. In this vein, I skipped the gym on Monday, instead choosing to have a leisurely trip to Target and a semi-quiet evening.

I have been trying to eat what I want, when I want without much thought. This worked for the most part, beyond some expected comfort eating. Today I am going to continue being gentle with myself but will keep track and see how it goes.

Breakfast (9:30)
Wheat english muffin with creamy peanut butter. This is a "plan" breakfast and was easy to throw together. I also had about half an apple because I was still hungry and thought I should have some fruit. Sadly, the "shoulding" made the apple less enjoyable. I also had a cup of black tea with cream and sugar.

Morning snack (11:20)
God, this "plan" crap has really messed with me. I am trying really hard not to think about what the plan calls for and just what sounds good. I decide on my whipped lime yogurt. Good although a little sugary. I have mixed feeling on yogurt. I also decide to have a few almonds. I have one and start feeling depressed. This is such a "diet" snack I can't stand it. I actually throw away the last 1/4 of yogurt.

Lunch (12:30)
Leftover baked ziti. Yummy!

Afternoon (2pm)
On impulse I grabbed a heath bar while running errands. Yummy! I also ate a handful of chocolate covered pretzels (a planned purchase).
(4pm) Finished bag of pretzels, primarily out of emotional response. Feeling guilty but trying to again be gentle with myself and understand that the overwhelming emotions I'm experiencing can't easily be dealt with at work.

The rest of the day kind of spiraled downward. I felt like I binged on sweets and didn't take care of myself. I was really surprised I didn't end up with a stomach ache! I think I struggle with feelings of scarcity but when sweets are around, I want to eat them all so they are gone. Rational. I may try my loose "planning" again because I felt physically well when doing it and my trainer reinforces to me that my nutrition will affect my workouts. Considering I really struggled with this evening's workout, I am apt to believe him. I have not disclosed my ED history with him and am not sure if I will or want to. It probably depends on how much he pushes the issue. May be something to process..

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Letting go

"I didn’t stand in my belly’s way. I let it go be itself."

I am loving this quote from Eat the Damn Cake today. I am actually considering getting a tattoo that says "Let go" just to regularly remind myself to do just that.

This applies to more than just eating and weight. As I've discussed before, I restrain myself in my self-expression all the time. Don't wear that, it's not work appropriate. Your parents won't like your hair like that. That costs too much. That isn't practical.


Instead, I am going to try hard to let go of a lot of this fear and restraint. The only person I need to make happy is ME.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Please bear with me.

Please excuse any lack of posts in the near future. My father-in-law passed away on Tuesday, February 28th. Our family is still dealing with this loss and I am devoting all my energy to them at this time. I will get back to posting as soon as I am able.

Thank you.