Good morning! Somehow, I survived the wedding weekend, and I’m settling into a much more relaxing week in my college town. So far, I have seen several wonderful friends, slept a whole lot, and spent time in reflection, trying to make peace with the juxtaposition of bittersweet memories that this place holds. With a good deal of spare time on my hands this week, I am hoping to get some writing and blogging in, and I am linking up with Peas and Crayons again today to share yesterday’s eats with you.
I’m staying with my mom’s best friend while I’m in town, and I feel extremely comfortable in this friend’s house. I had no hesitation helping myself to breakfast yesterday morning, so I made a bowl of oats with a banana, a spoonful of peanut butter, and a few blueberries and dried cranberries.
After a long walk along the river, I headed back to my temporary home to make some lunch. We ate barbecued chicken for dinner Monday evening, and there was a great deal of leftovers. I cut up some of the chicken and made a salad with Asian Toasted Sesame dressing and a few cashews, which I ate with a cup of fruit and some Triscuits with a bit of delicious, sharp cheese.
When I had finished lunch, I walked to a coffee shop for some journaling time. I brought an apple with me, which I enjoyed with an iced tea. A bit later, I walked down to a local, delicious chocolate shop and enjoyed a dark chocolate turtle with another iced tea.
Later in the afternoon, I visited my old workplace and a friend, stopping between visits to eat a small bowl of cereal as a snack. And yes, those are Apple Jacks in that bowl.
In the early evening, my mom, her friend, and I went to the new brewery that recently opened in town. We ordered an appetizer of barbecued black-eyed peas, which I sampled. Pre-recovery, there would have been no way that I would have had even a taste of something if it wasn’t in my allotted meal plan. Regardless of my hunger level, I would have completely avoided any unplanned food. Despite arising anxiety and disordered thoughts as I broke out of routine, it felt good to enjoy a taste of something just because I was hungry and it was good.
After deciding to try a different place for dinner, we headed to what is usually a delicious restaurant. I ordered fish tacos, but ate some of the roasted vegetables that my mom and her friend ordered while I waited.
Unfortunately, my fish tacos were highly disappointing. I ate part of one before deciding that I didn’t need to eat something that I didn’t like. I snacked on some more of the roasted vegetables, had a piece of bread, and the rest of my mom’s minted split pea soup to finish off my dinner.
Early in recovery, having bad food at a restaurant would have sent me over the edge. I either would have eaten it anyway because I was starving and didn’t want to recalculate calories, or I would have allowed myself to be scared about how much I had eaten and refused to add onto my meal with any other foods, rather than listening to my body. This far along in my recovery, I am finally getting to the point where I can listen to my body instead of my inner critic. After my hodgepodge dinner, I was still a bit hungry and my mom and her friend wanted to stop for ice cream. My college town happens to have the best homemade ice cream shop, and I wasn’t going to let disordered thoughts keep me from enjoying some, especially since I was still a little hungry. I ordered a baby cone with cookies and cream ice cream, and it was perfect.
This ice cream stop felt like a major recovery success because it allowed me to rewrite memories from my disorder that are so very painful for me. The last time that I had ice cream here, when my eating disorder was spiraling entirely out of control, all I had was a taste of sugar-free ice cream after a pitifully small lunch. Although this visit was not free from anxiety and disordered thoughts, having some ice cream after dinner and enjoying it was a huge success.
In recovery, I am having to accept that our bodies tell us what they need with no ulterior motives. Our bodies simply want us to survive and thrive. Even if we ate ice cream, even if we didn’t exercise as much as usual, even if we feel undeserving, we need to answer our bodies’ call for food. Last night, I got hungry again a little before bed and I was not going to let food challenges lead to a cycle of restriction. I ate a graham cracker topped with peanut butter, along with a few blueberries and a little cereal, and I slept beautifully.
That wraps up this week’s What I Ate Wednesday post – I hope you enjoy the rest of this lovely day!