What I Ate Wednesday 12/17: Bad Days Require Food, Too

Good morning! It’s Wednesday, which means that I’m linking up with Peas and Crayons to share a day’s worth of food with you all. Work has been getting crazier with Christmas only a week away (gasp!), so I have had to be mindful of caring for myself when it comes to food and rest. Yesterday, this was somewhat of a challenge. For some reason, I was feeling especially anxious and grumpy, which makes self-care a more difficult task.

I woke up with a little bit of a headache and I didn’t feel especially well-rested, which was not a great start to the morning. One thing was certain, however: I was hungry for breakfast. I made my usual bowl of oatmeal and a cup of coffee, which should come as no surprise. I was running a little bit late and ate about half of my oatmeal in the car on my way to work. I don’t like having to rush in the mornings, or ever, so I was left feeling frazzled and disorganized. By the time I got to work, my oatmeal tasted like cold eggs (ew), but breakfast did its job by holding me over for the next few hours.

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Mid-morning, I was getting hungry for a snack. I was still feeling kind of down in the dumps, though, and I have a tendency to rethink and overthink food when I am having a hard time. I knew better than to skip a snack when I was hungry, so I nibbled on a granola bar with my second cup of coffee.

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Immediately as I pulled into the parking lot at work yesterday morning, while finishing my cold egg flavored oatmeal, I realized that I had forgotten my lunch. D’oh. This meant that I had to be a bit creative. When lunchtime rolled around, I drove to the nearest grocery store, where I was hoping to find an appetizing soup option. Unfortunately, none of the semi-congealed, stagnant soups looked appealing to me, so I opted for the salad bar instead. I threw together a salad consisting of a bunch o’ vegetables, kidney and garbanzo beans, cottage cheese, and balsamic vinegar. I was skeptical of how the whole thing would mesh together, but it ended up being a pretty solid combination. It turns out that cottage cheese and beets make a delicious pair! I also ate a few of my favorite variety of Kettle Chips, a container of yogurt, and some string cheese.

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A couple of hours after my lunch break, I sliced up this apple for a snack. I credit this apple and espresso for getting me through the rest of the afternoon, where I continued grumping around work, feeling like a real Grinch.

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After I got off of work, I was hungry for an afternoon snack and still dealing with my bad mood. I sulked for a while, trying to decide what I wanted to do. Eventually, I ate some yogurt with a mishmash of cereal and got some exercise to clear my head.

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I had planned a FaceTime date with a dear friend of mine in the evening, so I threw together a chicken stir-fry for dinner before our call. My coworker gave me homemade plum chutney the other day, and I thought that it might work well in a stir-fry with soy sauce, lemon juice, ginger, vinegar, and garlic. Luckily for my taste buds, it was as scrumptious as I had imagined it would be! I also had a salad on the side with some mango chipotle salad dressing.

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After dinner and FaceTime with my friend, I spent some time journaling and caught up on the season finale of The Voice that I had recorded earlier. I was not happy with the results, by the way, but that’s a topic for another day. I had spent a large portion of the day running around, and it felt good to just sit and veg for a while. After watching TV for a bit, I started to get peckish, so I snacked on a few pieces of cereal while I tried to unwind.

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I was still hungry after my cereal snack, so I ate a piece of toast with peanut butter before I went to sleep. As always, it made a perfect bedtime snack. Exhausted and hoping for a solid night’s sleep, I hit the hay after I had finished my snack.

Days like this remind me how tenuous recovery can be. I can have one day where I feel incredibly strong and capable, immediately followed by a more difficult day like yesterday. Whenever I’m feeling more stressed out, tired, or grumpy than usual, disordered thoughts creep in. I am tempted to count calories for reassurance, postpone eating when hungry, and engage in other old, unhealthy behaviors. Yesterday was not an easy day, but I tried to call on my healthier coping skills rather than sacrificing myself for the sake of my disorder. I journaled, talked to my coworkers about having a rough day, and spent some time resting.

The wonderful thing about my recovery these days is that I feel very self-aware. When I suddenly get the urge to chug a diet soda, buy a pack of gum, or look up how many calories are in a food, I am more inclined to ask myself why I feel the need to do those things. This doesn’t mean that my behaviors are always non-disordered, but I have found the ability to investigate the reasoning behind my behaviors incredibly helpful.

Ultimately, our bodies need food, and enough of it, every day, perhaps especially so on the days that are more difficult. When you’re having a hard day, the kindest thing you can do for yourself is offer yourself food when you are hungry. Gradually, I am learning this practice of self-care. Oh, and I also booked an appointment for a massage 🙂

That finishes up this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post! I hope your day goes well, and I will be back tomorrow!

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