When you’re reading this I’ll have gone back and forth between whether or not to post this for a while. My final decision to publish it came when I remembered how it have been just these kind of honest posts by other bloggers like Heather or Sarah helped me in terms of recovery. They made me feel understood, less alone in my struggles, realize it’s okay and not feel ashamed because I ‘slip up’ at times. That being said …
It’s time to talk about Christmas once more. Only not in the way I did before. While not lying when talking about Christmas before I focused on the marvelous parts of it leaving out the not-so-awesome happenings. Because that’s life. We all know that life has its ups and downs but it’s up to each of us to make the good parts those we remember at the end of the day. Hence why I chose to highlight my favourite parts of Christmas, the ones I should remember when thinking about it later again – the blessing and joy of spending time with my family – instead of grieving over the bumps in the road. The reason I’m bringing up one of the less stellar moments now is the lesson I learned from them which in itself holds a lot of positivity.
Fast forward to Christmas Day – the day of the amazing walk on the beach – we had the traditional cold dinner buffet at my grandma’s house. I truly love my grandma but these kind of dinners honestly don’t rank on my list of favourites. While I assume I enjoyed them a lot more years ago when I was still eating meat action they aren’t a taste experience these days. Beautifully arranged plates of vegetables, cheese, yogurt-based dressings and bread basically sum up the vegetarian fare. Probably not the most unsatisfying meal if you eat all of those. However – and yes, call me picky for this one – I know I’m someone who needs warm meals and when lunch is replaced by cake and cookies a dinner like this really doesn’t cut it for me. I’ve tried it numerous times before – only to notice it doesn’t. Adding to this ‘problem’ is trying to stick to vegan dishes when my fully vegan cousin’s around. Explaining the whole background here so I’ll just keep it to saying I added the additional pressure.
Remember me mentioning this not being a taste experience? This – among other occasions – was what I factored in when making my resolution to ‘Just live’. Breaking the day down it was actually about bonding with the family. The main memory and major happiness for me that day was feeling [and, yes, even exclaiming it aloud] joyful and blessed. For once not worrying about my future but living in the moment. And that’s what mattered.
Despite what happened after dinner: I binged. Binged on the chocolate ice cream I’d restricted myself from because my cousin had been around and I kept telling myself I’d eaten enough treats before already. While I’d have rather done without the scenario above it helped me learn more about myself again. Going overboard on ice cream was a sign. Just when I started typing this post I remembered a passage from Intuitive Eating which I’ve been rereading during the past weeks. Though then referring to the use of food in a way to deal with emotions I feel it fits in this context, too. The authors call those sudden ‘slip-ups’ after eating normally for a while “a strange gift”.
“Overating is a sign that stressors in your life at that moment surpass the coping mechanisms that you have developed. […] So, you revert back to eating as a familiar way to take care of yourself. […] When you find this happening, it may be a signal for you to reevaluate your life and find ways to put more balance into it.”
Interpreting it in the context of my experiences I assumed I’d eaten enough throughout the day only to see I hadn’t. So maybe, yes, it was a blessing my intuition came through taking care of the ‘issue’. We can’t learn if we don’t struggle. If I’d gone for a bowl of ice cream in the first place when the rest of the family was having it I’d likely have kept it to an ‘normal’ serving size instead of going overboard. And I’m not going to lie. There are still days when I continue to ‘slip up’. In fact, I did again after the ice cream incident. That time, though, I already felt calm. let go and ate more knowing it was a sign I needed it.
It really is. Nobody said recovery was easy but I feel [and hope] that every of my struggles will serve as a learning experience and ultimately help me proceed on my way to recovery. Every step forward counts.
Happiness inducing today: My mum reassuring me on a work-related issue.