Sunday, November 23, 2014

intuitive eating

I was over at my parents house the other day, going through some of my boxes, and I came across my Intuitive Eating book that I got at my first treatment center.  It is a book that I used all throughout my years of treatment and eventually it got put away in a box because I felt like I'd never be able to eat intuitively.  I couldn't do it.  I'd try and just fail over and over again.  I have struggled endlessly in trying to learn to have a healthy relationship with food.  

Over the next few days, I kept thinking about that book and it was bringing up feelings I've struggled with the past few years.  So I went back over and got the book to bring home with me.  I also bought a new book at the store called Eating Mindfully.  Mindful eating is also another concept that I was taught (as I'm sure most of you have been taught as well in recovery) while in treatment.  Why am I talking about this now?  I have been at a healthy weight for a little over 4 years.  That's good, right?  So why do I still struggle with body image and why do I still feel bad when I eat certain things/amounts a lot of the time...?

I'm talking about this now because even though I have been in stable recovery for a few years now, I'm not eating mindfully at all.  A lot of the time when I eat, I am eating because I know I need to or I because I am hungry.  And I eat too much sometimes, I feel like.  But I'm not paying much attention to the food or my hunger/fullness cues.  I'm just eating to eat.  And I don't know why I have been feeling so anxious about it lately.  I don't know if it's stress, or body image stuff, or maybe a bit of both but it has really been causing me to feel a lot of guilt lately about my food intake.  I just feel discouraged and confused.  And I think I am finally admitting to feelings that have been going on inside me for a while now.  I thought I was over this part, I thought I had let this all go already.  But I guess I haven't.  I think I was just trying my hardest to be okay with food.  I just wanted to be "normal" around food like everyone else around me.  I don't want to feel guilty.  I don't want to have that negative ed-filled internal dialog that still happens often.  I want to be free of all of that.  I want to leave the guilt behind and just be able to eat and enjoy food all of the time instead of just sometimes.

The body image thing is getting easier - but I still have more moments than I would like when I do struggle with it.  For the past few years, my weight has been pretty consistent but it's also been the most that I've weighed ever in my life.  And that is hard for me at times.  I still feel self-conscious and anxious about it at times.  It's something that I am still working on and trying to get used to and I wonder to myself why I'm not there yet.  And if I ever will be.   

So, long story short... I want to give intuitive and mindful eating another try.  I think that if I can master these concepts, then my hope is that a lot of the guilt I feel about eating certain things, and certain amounts will start to go away.  I want a normal and healthy relationship with food.  Not a pretend and negative one - but a healthy and positive one.  On the outside, I have done a pretty good job at making it look like I have a healthy one.  But on the inside, the guilt is still there.  Not always, but it's there more than it's not there.  And I keep it to myself in hopes that if I ignore it - it will eventually go away.  But it doesn't seem to be going away.  And I'm so tired of feeling this way.  I'm so tired of my ed always finding ways to creep in and drag me down.  I want to just let it go.  Be done with my eating disorder.  Completely.

2 comments:

  1. I am with you. Sometimes I can't believe how confused and distraught I still get over eating and body image. You would think after the years and many thousands of dollars spent on my treatment I'd be an expert, no? I would say that at least 50% of the time, I am "just eating to eat" as you say - as in, I'm eating because it's time or because I feel like I should. I do not practice mindful eating or intuitive eating in the slightest; I don't even understand what they are. I do not eat to fullness; I eat until my prescribed meal or snack is gone, regardless of how hungry or full I am. And I hate that, but I really have no clue how to do things differently. I recently wrote about how my appetite confuses the heck out of me, and I'm not sure if this is a matter of my physiological system still being out of whack, or my mind getting in the way. Anyway, I now realize this comment doesn't offer much in the way of advice but I guess what I'm saying is: I hear you, I'm there too. I can't imagine there is any way through this other than just plugging along, doing the right things day in and day out, and someday down the line you might step back and realize "Wow, I haven't worried about calories or my weight in a while," and that will be an incredible moment. Hang in there.

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