Hello there and welcome to this week’s edition of What I Ate Wednesday, where I link up with Peas and Crayons to share a day’s worth of foodstuffs with you. I went back and forth about whether to write this post. I have felt especially hungry over the past few days, which has spiked my anxiety and made my week more difficult as far as recovery goes. After a tough couple of weeks, I am trying my best to genuinely respond to hunger rather than letting myself slip in recovery, but the road is not always smooth. As I have said before, I want this blog to be honest and I don’t want to write posts that give the impression of everything going along swimmingly when I have been struggling. I have decided to write this post today because I want to share the hard times along with the easier ones. Yesterday was hard, and I struggled to give my body what it needed, implicitly trusting my physical hunger. That being said, I did my best and I think I can stand proudly beside my recovery efforts. It may not be perfection, but it is certainly progress.
I tried to start my day off on the right foot with oatmeal and coffee, which didn’t let me down. I worked on some French lessons on Duolingo and enjoyed a relatively leisurely morning before heading to work.
I started getting hungry mid-morning, so I pulled out a homemade granola bar, which I ate alongside an americano topped with cinnamon. This was the first time in the day that I was challenged by hunger. I fought the disordered urge to hold off on eating my snack as long as possible in order to eat less overall, an old trick of my disorder that sometimes arises. On hard days, it’s difficult to not default into disordered behaviors, but I ate my snack and moved on.
When lunch rolled around, I was rather hungry again. It was Taco Tuesday at work, and I once again brought vegetables to turn into a taco salad, since that was a smashing success last week. To my vegetable mix, I added some coffee-rubbed venison (so good), black beans, tortilla chip crumbs from the bottom of the bag, salsa, and hot sauce. I may have overdone it a bit with the hot sauce, but it was a solid taco salad overall. I had some carrots with hummus with my salad, and ate my yogurt an hour or so later.
A couple of hours after lunch, I was more than ready for a little snack, so I cut up an apple and ate it with a piece of string cheese.
After work, I took advantage of women having the right to vote in Montana for 100 years (it’s true, look it up!) by exercising my right to vote. After I finished voting, I went to the gym. I have been doing well with eliminating intense exercise and I have loved my regular, leisurely walks, but the weather lately hasn’t been great. In light of this, I decided to spend some time on an elliptical at a fairly easy pace and do a few arm weights. I was hungry after voting, however, and I know that working out on an empty stomach is not a good idea for me, so I ate a tasty Kind bar beforehand.
After the gym, I headed home to make some dinner. I had to stop at the grocery store first, and I was getting pretty hungry. I ate a few wasabi peas, raisins, and nuts that I had tucked away in my purse to hold me over.
Please excuse my coffee-stained fingers. They are a casualty of my workplace.
When I got home, I used up some vegetables that were on the verge of going bad and made some curry with chicken, rice, and raisins. I opened up a carton of Trader Joe’s butternut squash soup the other day, so I mixed some of that with curry powder, red pepper flakes, garlic, and a variety of other things to make a sauce.
I took my time eating dinner and enjoyed what I made, but I was hungry again shortly afterward. This was when my anxiety piqued again and I struggled with the decision of whether or not to eat. With fewer distractions from hunger in the evenings, this is often a difficult time for me. I dawdled around a little bit, took a bath, drank some tea, watched some TV, and wrote in my journal.
Taking the time to journal reminded me how essential food has been in my recovery. Without eating more and gaining weight, all of the work that I have put into the last year would have been for nothing. My body needed (and continues to need) food above all else. Recovery is not possible without adequate nutrition, and that is what I need to remember when I still struggle to give my body what it needs. Food sustains life. It has made the last 6 months worlds better than the 6 months before, which were the darkest I hope to encounter in this life. So, I made the decision that I know was right for my recovery. I ate some fucking cereal and moved on.
The little bit of cereal that I had took the edge off of my hunger, and I was able to spend some more time journaling and reading for a while before I got sleepy. I knew that I would need to eat more before going to bed if I wanted to avoid waking up in the middle of the night hungry, though. And trust me, I most certainly wanted to avoid that. So, I had some toast with peanut butter and a sliced banana before heading to bed.
Days like this are the hard bits of recovery. They are the days when I have to face my fears and eat when I am hungry, regardless of how much I believe I should or should not be eating. They are the days when I have to trust my body without question, something I am still petrified of doing. I wrote this post because Although these days are far from pleasant, each time that I respond to hunger adequately, I know that I am stepping forward rather than sliding back and that is something to be proud of.
It is hard for many people to understand recovery from an eating disorder. It seems as though people assume that, if you’re eating, you’re recovered, and I think that there is a lack of understanding surrounding the pervasiveness of disordered thoughts. I wrote this post because I want to make the point that my eating disorder is with me all day, every day. I am grateful to be at a place where small slips no longer result in control being given over entirely to my disorder, where I can see the signs of not eating enough begin to appear and address them, but that does not mean that I am free from my disorder. It is a war that myself and so many others wake up and fight every damn day. The good news is, although there are times when my disorder still wins small battles, I am positive that I am the one winning the war.
That’s it for this week’s (lengthy) What I Ate Wednesday post! I hope you have a great rest of your day!