It’s Wednesday, y’all! Luckily for all of us, Jenn is hosting a What I Ate Wednesday party again this week, so I am able to link up with her to share a day’s worth of eats with you all. As I was taking pictures throughout the day yesterday, I was reminded again of the blessing of flexibility that recovery has awarded me. Being able to break my disorder’s rigid (and nonsensical) rules about food has been incredibly rewarding and it has allowed me to enjoy food as a part of life once again.
When I woke up yesterday morning, I was starving. I made myself a bowl of oatmeal a bit bigger than usual and ate it with a cup of black tea. Flexibility means the ability to let myself eat more if I am hungrier.
After a little while at work, I was beyond ready for a cup of coffee, and I needed a snack as well. There was a day-old bran muffin with my name on it (not literally, although that would have been neat), and I toasted it and shared it with a coworker. I also had a delightful americano misto with a little cinnamon and chocolate powder sprinkled on top. I was still a little hungry after eating my part of the muffin, so I snacked on a couple of toasted almonds as well as a chocolate chip or two. Flexibility means eating according to my body, not according to the clock or the rules in my head.
When lunch rolled around, I was quite hungry again. A coworker of mine brought in posole, which I had never tried, so I decided to have a sample. The soup was almost entirely gone by the time I got to it, but I managed to get a small taste to enjoy with my sandwich, carrots, and yogurt. My disordered impulses tempted me to try to figure out the calories in the soup, but I was able to call on my healthy self to step in and prevent me from doing so. Flexibility means the ability to enjoy food made by other people without overanalyzing it, as well as the ability to acknowledge that calorie counts only cause me anxiety and stress.
After lunch, my boss bought all of us these new chocolates that we got in at work. After spending so many months turning down any and all food offered to me, my instinct was to refuse the chocolate. I decided to listen to my body instead of my disorder, though, and I was still a little hungry after lunch. Some chocolate with my afternoon coffee sounded like a lovely idea, so I had another americano and this incredible chocolate caramel. As I ate my chocolate with my coworkers, I overheard them talking about how “bad” they were being, and saying how they have been trying to be “good”. At this stage in recovery, I know better than to let them trigger me. Flexibility means the ability to eat chocolate when I want chocolate, damn it. I mean, would you just look at the inside of that thing? I would be insane to pass it up, and food is not guided by a moral compass.
Before I left work for the day, I ate an apple and drank an iced cold brew coffee because I was feeling bit peckish again.
When I got home from work, I had a quick turnaround before I had to babysit. Babysitting used to be one of my favorite hunger distractions, but I am trying not to do that anymore. Instead, I try to think about how I want to be engaged, not hungry, when I’m babysitting. So, I had some yogurt with cereal before I left the house.
A couple of hours into babysitting, I started to get hungry. I wasn’t going to be finished for a while and I didn’t want to let myself get to the place of absolute starvation before dinner, so I snacked on a couple of almonds and dried cranberries from the stash that I keep with me. When I got home, I finished up some things around the house and ate a few more cranberries with wasabi peas and dried seaweed sheets. ‘Dried seaweed sheets’ might be the most unappetizing description of a food in the history of the world, but they are mighty tasty.
Although the light snacking that I did had helped stave off extreme hunger, I was still hungry for dinner after a little while. I made a sort-of rendition of mushroom stroganoff, using beef broth and sour cream to make the sauce. I also cooked the vegetables in a little bit of butter, because flexibility means being able to use butter in certain situations and not feel guilty about it. I enjoyed my pasta with a small salad, because I may or may not have purchased way too much lettuce that I am trying to get through before it goes all slimy on me.
After dinner, I had a FaceTime date with one of my fantastic friends. It’s always nice to catch up with the people I love so much but get to see so rarely. Following our conversation, I made a cup of peppermint tea and began working on this post. I also did some journaling and stretching before I decided that it was time to turn in for the night. I was getting hungry again, and I knew that I would likely wake up ravenous in the middle of the night if I didn’t eat something, so I ate my usual snack of peanut butter on toast. Flexibility does not mean having to eat different things all of the time, but rather feeling free to eat what your body wants. I want peanut butter on toast before bed because I love it and because being hungry is the only reason anybody needs to eat.
As I am moving forward in recovery and gaining back a life worth living, flexibility stands out as one of recovery’s greatest gifts. It allows me to socialize with people and listen to my body in ways that my disorder never did. For that, I am extremely grateful.