Last night after I got home from group. One of my roommates and I used my Cocoa-Latte for the first time. It is one of the presents that I got over the weekend for my birthday (there is a picture of me with it in an earlier blog post). And when I looked through the recipes as we were deciding which one to make, I noticed that all of them called for milk (instead of water) to be used!
My first reaction was "Milk!? I don't put milk in my hot chocolate! It makes it more fattening and besides, why use milk when I can use water - which will not add extra calories to the drink!" I really really struggle with "extra calories." I still to this day, have a really tough time "adding" things to foods when I consider it unnecessary. Even though, it will make the food taste a lot better. The eating disorder has had convinced me for so long that bland, plain food tastes just as good... and in reality - it doesn't. It's just another lie that the eating disorder has you believe as it's slowly killing you little by little... And when I think about it logically, of course these latte drink recipes have you put milk in it - because it makes it taste better. Duh! But I am so used to adding water to my hot chocolate - not milk. At least, that is what my eating disorder has told me was the better option for years and years and... anyways, so here I am with a choice: Do I do what my eating disorder wants (and thinks is healthier and more "safe") or do I pick the choice that will make this drink taste so much yummier? I picked the milk! I listened to my voice and not the eating disorders voice (that was screaming in my head & making me feel guilty about the choice I was making, by the way). And we enjoyed our creamy cocoa latte with honey & cinnamon. Mmm, it really was yummy(!) and it would not have tasted very good if it had been prepared with water.
It was a simple thing. Milk in my hot chocolate. Most people prefer milk over water anyways. Especially when you are making these yummy latte drinks. And even though there were feelings of guilt because of the choice I made. I still drank it. And I drank the whole glass. And then I sat down and watched a movie with my roommates. And I didn't try to compensate and burn some calories afterwards. I just sat there. I took deep breathes and kept reminding myself that I made the right choice, no matter what thoughts were running through my head. Because I knew deep down, that I made the choice that tasted better, and I made the choice to not let the eating disorder dictate how to prepare my food. That is something that my eating disorder is sooo good at! And when I allow it to prepare my food... well, let's just say it's not good. It's very rigid and strict. And there aren't a whole lot of choices or options when your eating disorder is choosing how you prepare and eat your food.
The morale of this story is that sometimes, recovery is simply just putting butter on your toast or mayo on your sandwich, or putting some dressing on your salad, or choosing the creamy sauce for your pasta instead of the "safer" tomato-based kind, eating the regular version of something instead of the low-fat or fat-free option, or putting a bit of cream cheese on your bagel... or putting milk in your hot chocolate.
Even though those things are simple - to some people, like me, they still can be overwhelming, unnatural, and sometimes straight-up terrifying. But the more that we do them, and the more that we challenge the eating disorder beliefs and thoughts - the more natural they will become to us. But you have to challenge them because your food fears aren't just going to magically go away. It sure would be nice if they did but, it takes hard work, commitment, and constantly fighting those thoughts and doing the opposite of what the eating disorder has had you believe for so long. And little by little, the food fears, rules, and behaviors will start to go away. I have seen that in my own recovery with some things that I thought I could never ever(!) eat without feeling completely out of control - yet, I am able to eat them. And not only eat them, but enjoy them. And it's wonderful! It truly is.