Looking back and moving on

Many of you will know it already: it’s National Eating Disorders Awareness [NEDA] week. It might say national but knowing the blog world and the fact that eating disorders affect people all of the world it’s needless to say it’s going to be international. For this What I ate Wednesday I’m going to share some recent meals and snacks as well as some reflections on the progress I’ve made over time. Thanks to Jenn for hosting!

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Like I mentioned in my post on Monday I’ve been trying to figure out what works best for me in terms of my diet. There were some recent changes to my daily routine [sorry for being vague here for now] that in turn require me to deviate from my previous meal schedule. As in: no more snacking all around the clock. Sunday, however, was all about that. Mainly due to my breakfast of choice at first …

Spoon_bread

Don’t get me wrong: It’s not that the bread pudding wasn’t a tasty choice. But even with the bread in there going for a hig[er]-protein option instead of my usual bowl of oat bran didn’t do the trick. It took a lot more almond butter and more fruit on the side to get satisfied. Not for long, though. It wasn’t too long afterwards that I felt the need for a snack …

With recovery in mind this was a positive change for me, though. For years I felt like I needed to stick with the lowest calorie options. If I ate breakfast at all it was something I wouldn’t even consider anything close to a proper meal nowadays. And eating again this soon afterwards just because I didn’t feel quite satisfied? No, I’d try my best to sit it out. Wait. Drink a cup of tea to fill the void in my stomach. And count down the hours until the next time I’d be ‘allowed’ to eat.

Cereal

Did my family notice all of this? Yes. Did they try to intervene? A million times. But were they able to help? No. Because recovery is a choice we have to make ourselves. No matter how insistent my mum was about me eating that bowl of soup, drinking the full-fat hot chocolate in a coffeeshop when we were out shopping or making me have a whole-grain roll for dinner [only for me to nibble on it and discard the largest part in an unobserved moment]. I’d freak out about the unknown calories and try to make up for it the rest of the day. Or better yet: by cutting down my intake the whole next day. It wasn’t fun – but it made me feel in control. When actually, it was the eating disorder taking control over me, robbing me of joy in food and life in general. Eating something like chips straight from from the bag while watching a movie on a rest day? Impossible.

Flips

These days I’ve gotten a lot less strict about which foods I eat, experimenting and coming up with own recipes and keep getting better about going with my cravings no matter of the time. For me, it’s still a way to go but with every time I’m challenging the ED voice in my head I know it’s getting better. There’s too much good food and too much enjoyment in life to miss out on.

Cheesy

Vegetable bake topped with vegan cheese

Even when it was time for lunch I didn’t eat according to my cravings but whatever had the lowest amount of calories and highest volume. At my worst this could mean a whole head of broccoli with meticulously measured low-fat sauces. And if others dared asking for a bite of whatever I’d prepared or even stealing a spoonful without doing so in advance? I’d get furious because my alloted serving size had been decreased and I wasn’t able to calculate how much more I’d be allowed to make up for missing parts. It was all about calories – pleasure didn’t matter. With a painfully bloated stomach it seemed like I had eaten a lot but I never felt satisfied.

Eating a real lunch was one of the biggest challenges for me at first – and now I can’t imagine not having it anymore. No longer is it just about piling up steamed bland vegetables on a plate but I truly enjoy trying new dishes. The blog world has been a huge source of inspiration and encouragement for me on my journey and I’m thankful for that.

Chocolate chips_II

Ending on a sweet note is a favourite of mine. Be it a post or a day. For whichever reason, I never gave up sweets during my ED, either. I’d rather skip a proper lunch [see note above] to ‘save’ calories for some chocolate. A scoop of ice cream. What remainded, though, was the guilt I felt for going over a certain amount and if I snacked on some chocolate chips [measured out, obviously] I wouldn’t give myself permission to have any other kind of sweet that day or – if I did – I’d feel guilty. Fruit had to suffice. Nowadays, I don’t skip meals and if I feel like having half a bar of chocolate – so be it. The world has yet to stop turning and my clothes fit. Some even looking better on me than back in the day. Some days we might crave a little extra sweetness, the next it might not appeal as much anymore. It’s about seeing the big picture and trusting that things will even out in the end. And even if I have my anxious moments I know there is a huge blogging community out there to support me. Which actually was the case with my mindset about the chocolate here …

Lindt

Where does this leave me? Am I recovered yet? By far not. I’ve seen a lot of improvement already but there will be many more struggles to come until I get to the point of feeling ‘normal’. Challenges to face. But I’m determinded to keep going on – because backwards isn’t an option anymore.

Happiness inducing today: Enjoying my lunch outside in the sun.

Stay in touch!

Twitter: @MissPolkadot21
Pinterest: MissPolkadot21
Bloglovin’: Let’s get living

Are you good at listening to your cravings?

If you’re in recovery: What were or are some major challenges for you in terms of food?

And because I realize this is a very wordy post and it’s WIAW after all: What have you been eating lately?

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17 thoughts on “Looking back and moving on

  1. Ms.J says:

    Everything you just said, I was too. On some days now, I wake up and decide I suddenly need to keep my eats in check and ‘control’ things..so weird but it is what is. At least I am understanding that restricting is pointless, baseless, and joyless. It is a continuous journey and I’m with you on feeling like ‘backwards in not an option’.
    Oh cravings! I’m okay with satisfying them most of the time, as long as I can figure out what they are! That is the biggest challenge. And of course eating something and realising it’s not what I wanted..that does upset me.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Not being able to figure out what exactly we’re craving is annoying. Nibbling on bites of this and that without ever feeling satisfied … not a lot of fun. But obviously better than restricting. I’m glad to hear reverting to bad habits isn’t an option for you anymore, either. However hard recovery is at times it will always be worth it.

  2. Sue says:

    That glass baking dish looks just like mine! I have two of those smaller WMF dishes and use them daily. Love them so much!
    I’ve been feeling very stressed lately, and I currently have the appetite of a teenage boy. I want to eat all the food! Pizza, ice cream, chocolate, whatever. I do allow myself to eat those things in moderation, and I’m surprised that my pants still fit. I’d like to know how that is possible, but that’s a different topic.
    At the moment I’m trying to eat all the food in my fridge, freezer, and pantry, because I’m moving next week. I’m equally excited and nervous.

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Aren’t those dishes great?! I got two of them for Christmas and they’re the perfect size for one serving.
      Stressful times can really take a toll on us and rev up our appetites. Good for you satisfying your cravings. And about those pounds not adding up 🙂 ? I guess that must be your metabolism’s way of showing you it truly needs the extra energy. Will you be moving within your city or to another one? Good luck already either way!

  3. Davida @The Healthy Maven says:

    I’m glad to hear you’re getting there and that that blog world can be a source of inspiration for you! I can’t imagine having a voice in your head robbing you from my #1 joy in life, food. Hope you can be where you want to be soon enough!

    • Miss Polkadot says:

      Count yourself in when we’re talking about inspiration, lady! You might want to overthink your #1 joy in life, though. Don’t you think C would like to see his name up there 😉 ?!

  4. Ashley @MilesonOats says:

    Your recovery is a beautiful thing, I am so happy you are honoring your body and spirit. Please keep up the hard work and continue to share your strength and progress ❤

  5. livliveslife says:

    This is such an interesting post to read. Your (past and present) perspective on eating is enlightening to those of us who hear about eating disorders but don’t really understand them or have a different kind of eating disorder. I really appreciate your honesty. And that’s so great that you’re on the right track! I hope it just keeps getting easier and easier!

  6. Julie says:

    It’s weird, but I go from not being full ever to all of a sudden being so full that I can’t handle it. There’s nothing in between right now. I know that feeling will go away as my body adjusts to adding food. Snacking and small meals makes it tough – I’m trying to eat real lunches and stop snacking in between and have found that more helpful in keeping me satisfied.

  7. lovenataliemarie says:

    I agree with you 100% that NEDA needs to be international. The number of eating disorders are rising and it really upsets me. Recovery was a HUGE struggle for me. I was all about the calorie number. I had to know all of the nutrition info. I gave up so much. I restricted myself so much. If I went over, I harmed myself. I am so glad that I am in recovery. Sometimes it is a challenge, but it’s WORTH IT.

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