Friday, July 9, 2010

BBQ update

It went... pretty well actually. But I am happy and relieved that it is over. I don't like to do food challenges while I am at work because my job is stressful enough! It could have been better, but it also could have been worse! You have to pick and choose your battles, you know?

It didn't start off as I had planned though, because I wanted to go by myself, and then eat by myself but - the other co-workers in my office decided that we should all go together to get our food and then bring it back to our desks. I panicked! This was not in my plans! But I went with them anyways. I did get comments from a couple of my coworkers, but I knew I had things on my plate that were challenging so even though I didn't get as much food as they thought I should have... I knew I was challenging myself and that is what mattered to me.

It did take me longer than it should have to eat.
But I did go back to my desk and eat it there (another fear for me).

I did go on a power-walk afterwards to try to burn off some anxiety (...and calories)...
But I did eat foods that were scary and I challenged myself instead of running away and ignoring the whole situation!

I don't think I will be doing it again anytime soon - but it was a step in the right direction. So... GO ME!!! I have fallen back too far again into my "safe foods" that are super restrictive & limited and so it's a challenge to break out of that, once again, but I have done it before and I know I can do it again! It's just going to take time, patience, support, hard work, dedication, and challenging those fears one meal (and snack) at a time!!!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

change of plans!

Tomorrow, there is a BBQ during the lunch hours at my work. Normally I would just not go. I would just avoid it. Pretend it's not happening. And just eat my safe food that I brought from home - if I even brought lunch that day - just being honest here... But, I have decided that I am going to use this as my food challenge this week instead of the previously planned 3 donettes. Why the change? Because I think - no, I know - this will challenge me more. And, social events and eating in front of others are things I struggle a lot with. Also, the reason I am even willing to consider this is because over the past couple of months I have been pushing myself to eat fear foods at family BBQ's and get-togethers. So I have already, kind of been working on this. Yes, eating with my family is a lot different. But, I think I am ready to face this challenge.

I probably won't eat it in front of my coworkers (most of them eat their lunches at their desk - but when I take my lunch breaks I usually go outside where I am by myself). But I don't know. Maybe tomorrow, I will find some inner strength to sit at my desk and eat these nerve-wracking foods I am going to try to eat. But I don't want to push myself too much... baby steps, like we planned. Also, I don't want to eat something that will cause major anxiety because I will still be at work at have to function for the rest of the day without the anxiety (or urges to purge) consuming me all afternoon. Because that has happened when my mom has had lunch with me and I have pushed myself too hard - and then had to go back to work... let's just say, I was an emotional wreck and not very productive for the rest of the work day on these occassions. And at these family meals, I have emotionally freaked out every single time because I pushed myself too hard. I don't want that to happen tomorrow. I can't let that happen tomorrow. So I will be cautious but still challenge myself and push myself. But I will confess that I am already obsessing about what I am going to eat. Eating the food is going to be tough but in order to eat the food... I have to actually put it on my plate!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a healthy relationship with food

Thanks for all the comments and advice! I was feeling pretty discouraged about the whole thing but y'all helped me to recognize and celebrate the positive but also helped me to realize that I need to take more caution and be better prepared for future challenges. I think it is more difficult for me because this is the first time I am trying to fight this without a treatment team (which I do realize is not the smartest idea, but I still need to try it). I don't have the guidance of my treatment team - at the moment, and that makes things a lot more nerve-wracking for me as I am trying to do it more on my own. But, I have been in treatment long enough to know that this is one of the biggest obstacles that is preventing me from achieving recovery. I don't want to live in fear of food forever. That's not a fun way to live. At all.

One of my goals in recovery is to be able to have a normal relationship with food...wait, back up - I hesitate to say normal because what is normal? The goal I should strive towards is to have a healthy relationship with food. But what is that? What does that mean? Well, to me, it means:

Being able to separate my emotions from food. (this is a huge one for me!)

Letting go of the control over food and my weight!!

Not being so obsessive about what food I can and can't eat

Being able to go to social events without the anxiety about "What am I going to eat?" "What if there is nothing there that I feel comfortable eating?" "What if people make me eat more than I want to?"

Having freedom in my relationship with food.

Listening to my body and what it needs!

Being mindful and intuitive when it comes to eating.

Discovering new foods with excitement (not hesitation or fear).

And understanding that food is meant to
nourish, provide energy, & be enjoyed

Another one of my goals in recovery is to be able to eat these foods without doing any of the following:
1-feeling extreme guilt/regret/fear
2- worrying and freaking out if I think I ate too much
3- feeling the need to purge, overexercise, restrict, take certain pills, or try to compensate the calories I ate in any shape or form

So, even though my challenge backfired... I am still going to push myself to do food challenges because I need to get past my food fears! I can't get better until I am able to let food just be food!! But like a lot of you have said - maybe I need to go a little slower, take smaller steps, and not overwhelm myself so much that I feel the need & fear to engage in behaviors to cope with the challenge. So. My goal for this week is to eat one hostess donette (those small mini ones) at least three times this week. I think that is going to still be tough, but also do-able without it backfiring like it did on Saturday.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

my food challenge

I gave myself a food challenge yesterday but I am having a difficult time figuring out whether it was a success or not....

The challenge:eat popcorn at the movie theater!

(and asking for no butter or salt is not allowed, she has to eat it as prepared...omg!)

The details behind this particular challenge:I don't eat movie theater popcorn - it is a huge fear food for me because it is so buttery, salty, fatteni....(I won't finish that word) But I wanted to challenge myself and try to take a step closer to recovery. Plus, I knew my sister (whom I went to the movie with) would share it with me. There are not very many people that I feel comfortable eating in front of - especially fear foods - but my sister (well my whole family) is one of those people that I do feel comfortable around.

How did it go?:Well, here is where it gets confusing for me. We had planned to go to the movies a few days in advance, so I had time to prepare (and obsess) about this challenge. I didn't eat much (I pretty much didn't eat anything) before we went to the movie which was at 4pm. I was hella nervous. But - I ate the popcorn, and I ate a pretty good amount of it too! Did I enjoy it? I want to say yes, but I don't think I did because it was sooooo buttery and salty and all I could think about was how buttery my hand was from the popcorn! And that all that fat and salt was going to invade my body and find refuge. It was not a mindful experience at all!! I just ate it very mechanically to get it over with. When it was over, I was relieved. So it was a success......right? It's hard to say. The movie (Eclipse) was amazing and thankfully it did a pretty good job of distracting me from what I had just done!
And therefore, I really did have a hard time eating anything else for the rest of the day too. And I felt incredible guilt for eating something like that when I didn't have to, if you know what I mean... When I eat things like this on my "own free will" I STILL feel like I am doing something wrong! I feel guilty for eating it, I feel like it's unhealthy and bad, and I feel like it's going to just make me fat(!!) - because that's what my fear foods have been to me for so long! So... Was it too much? Was I not ready? Did it backfire??

I think it's good that I want to challenge myself. I think it's a step in the right direction. Especially since the variety of foods I am comfortable eating are pretty dang limited right now. But is it good to challenge yourself when it's going to backfire like it did yesterday???

I want to be proud of myself for eating something that is a huge huge fear food for me, but - I didn't really enjoy it because I was too pre-occupied with how calorically fattening it was. But I did it! I didn't back down like I was so tempted to do - because no one forced me to eat it. I didn't have to eat it. I made the choice to eat it. I just also made a lot of other bad choices yesterday too...