Good morning, Wednesday readers, and Happy April Fool’s Day if you’re into that sort of thing. On this fine April 1st, I’m linking up with Peas and Crayons to share a day’s worth of food with you!
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I had an appointment with a naturopath on Monday. In addition to a couple of supplements, she prescribed that I incorporate more fat into my diet, making sure that I consume fat with every meal. I am fully aware that I don’t eat a whole lot of fat, but I have struggled to consciously add more into my diet even though I knew that it would likely help with my dry skin, hormones, and overall health. Often times, the anxiety of adding in fat has won out and I have followed my disorder’s advice and steered clear of foods that have “too much” fat, or amounts of fat that are unknown and feel unsafe. Having another person not only recommend fat but prescribe it for me changed my perspective, however. And that brings us to yesterday, where I took a couple more baby steps into recovery and consciously added more fat to my diet.
I started breakfast out normally, with a lovely bowl of oatmeal, which includes some fat in the form of almonds. After I took this picture, I sprinkled a little bit of granola on top. It wasn’t enough granola to amount to much, but I thought that it might set a disordered rule-breaking intention for my day.
Mid-morning, I was hungry for a snack. The kitchen that makes all of the food we sell at work made a mistake on some trail mix bars and forgot to add any honey to them, so they were up for grabs. I decided that one would be good with my morning coffee, and it was full of seeds and peanut butter to get a hearty dose of fats.
For lunch, I packed some egg salad that I made, which included fat in the form of hardboiled eggs and avocado. I ate the egg salad with Trader Joe’s Bite-Size Everything Crackers and carrot sticks, followed by a whole-milk Chobani yogurt. Mmm hmm.
I was still feeling hungry after lunch, so I finished the last few crumbs of a homemade bran muffin. On my way home from work, I ate an apple and a couple of almonds.
I’m housesitting this week, and the dog that I’m taking care of is the most psychotic animal that I have ever encountered. She has limitless energy, so I took her for a walk to try to burn some of it off. Afterward, I had an afternoon snack consisting of popcorn with a bit of butter, seasoned salt, cayenne pepper, and a couple of dried cranberries. I journaled for a while and had a great FaceTime date with a friend of mine before I started to get hungry for dinner.
I don’t know if it was the intention of eating more fat or simply my mood yesterday, but I was feeling a little anxious heading into dinner. I was tempted to resort to a “safe” meal (inevitably quite low in fat), but my mom was meeting a family friend for dinner at a pub and invited me to come along. I decided that I was up to the challenge, and I joined them at the pub. Previously, the foods there have all been too challenging for me to face, but I decided to order what I wanted and try to handle the anxiety that followed. I ordered a ham and Havarti melt with a side salad, which was delicious.
I did better than I expected in tolerating my anxiety, but it still affected me as I ate. At first, I only ate a bite or two of the sandwich before my disordered mind revved up and told me to stop. I sat with the anxiety for a minute or two, realized that I was definitely still hungry, and ate some more but removed part of the bread. Finally, I mustered up the courage to finish off half of the sandwich, complete with bread and cheese.
I tend to focus on my shortcomings during food challenges, and I was feeling down on myself for only eating half of the sandwich when I was hungry enough to eat some more, so I tried to focus more on the successes of the meal rather than the shortcomings. Yes, I could have eaten more and been more satisfied with my meal. However, I was able to enjoy a meal out with others, in a restaurant that has previously been far too frightening for me to handle. Even though it may not have been the perfect meal in recovery, I reminded myself that facing a fear food rather than settling for something “safe” was still a victory. I did not wipe the grease off of my sandwich, I did not scrape off the cheese, and I did not remove the pieces of ham that looked fattier. Although those things may seem small, they are miles away from where I used to be.
When I got home and knew that I was still hungry, I ate some Baby Goldfish crackers with a little Life cereal and a few chocolate chips. I did some journaling, had a brief FaceTime call with another friend, and did a restorative yoga video. By that point, I was exhausted and hungry once again. I toasted an english muffin, ate it with peanut butter (fats!), and allowed myself the luxury of an early bedtime.
Food challenges are bound to come with anxiety. Facing them means facing deeply seated rules and routines of my disorder, and that can be terrifying. This day may not have been perfection, but it was progress. There was a time when I would have scoffed at the advice to add more fat, or nodded my head yes while turning to run the other way. Today, I can take that advice and apply it to my life in the interest of my health, and that is a blessing.