Small Victories, Current Challenges (4/17/16)
Tomorrow will mark, among other things (you can check out the blog in the morning for tomorrow's more significant meaning), two weeks on my journey to get out of this disordered eating/thinking hole that I'm in. This afternoon, as I do a little relaxing and reflecting, I thought I'd share a little about what's going on right now.
Here are a few small victories from this week:
A few months ago, I signed up for (yet another) fitness challenge/meal plan through Self Magazine; they offered a discounted six-month magazine subscription (of course) and I took the bait. I received the latest issue in the mail on Monday and promptly put it in my donation pile.
I really don't like the way that, at least from my perspective, there is this distorted suggestion that Gwyneth Paltrow's "career" and "confidence" are somehow related to "those abs." And then, if you notice, right below this is...yep! Another new "6-week plan for total body hotness." Who doesn't want total body hotness?!! Whatever. Off you go, Gwyneth.
My homework this week, from my healthcare practitioner, was to make note of the most satisfying food I ate each day; this is a big thing for me because usually a meal/food is something to be conquered, never enjoyed. I eat pretty quickly, I don't really taste my food, and I'm much more concerned with its numbers (points, calories, fat, protein, blah, blah, blah) than anything else. Satisfying? Uh, that's going to take some practice!
It was fun and enlightening to begin this little experiment; that first bite can be really exciting when I take a moment to savor and enjoy it! Food is good - hooray! I threw together this skillet frittata one night last week and it was on my list; I love eggs. Oh, and cheese.
In addition, while I was in the grocery store for more cheese, I had the feeling that I'd really like to have a sugar cookie; unfortunately, the particular Kroger I'd chosen does not have individual cookies for sale in the bakery area, but I found this container. I felt anxious about it...why are there so many in the package? I picked them up, put them down, and did another lap around the store.
I finally returned and put them in my basket. That evening (this was on Friday), after my dinner and before bed, I had one cookie with a glass of milk. It was soft, chewy, sweet and delicious...and it was all I needed. Thankfully, I didn't feel guilty about it; instead, I enjoyed every morsel and then read a little while longer and went to bed.
My healthcare practitioner also suggested that I purchase some ice cream (definitely a "bad" food) and leave it in the freezer; I'm trying to normalize my eating right now and legalize food, so this is a step in that direction. I bought some during my shopping trip yesterday (I usually do my week's shopping on Saturday) and decided I would have some after dinner.
We'd planned to grill hamburgers, bake steak fries and watch a movie (Creed - so good!), so it seemed like the perfect way to cap off a great evening. I'd run 12 miles on Saturday morning so, not long after my hamburger and fries (maybe an hour?), I was ready.
I took the lid off, stuck my spoon in and...ahh. Wow. So good. I'd chosen Ben & Jerry's new Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core; I love Speculoos Cookie Butter, thanks to my friend Steff and the Trader Joe's care package she mailed to me recently, so this was a real delight.
Interestingly, just like I've been reading in some of the materials that have been suggested to me, I noticed that after a little while it didn't have the same taste anymore. I told myself that I would put it back in the freezer and save it for another time, even later if I wanted more.
As Jonathan said, "This is a huge step; I'm so proud of you" (FYI, Jonathan is supportive of whatever I do and has in no way influenced me to make any changes). I'm pretty proud of me, too. The rest of the ice cream is still just sitting in the freezer, no big deal.
On a typical Saturday evening, after a long run day, I would have eaten all the rest of the sugar cookies and this entire pint of ice cream and whatever else I could find. Then, on Sunday, I would refuse to allow myself to eat until my blood sugar dropped so low that I felt dizzy, woozy and irritable and I might finally eat some dinner. Small victories.
Here are some current challenges:
This morning, I couldn't stop thinking about the scale; I usually weigh myself on Sunday mornings (after coffee, after poop, before any food, no clothing) and I found that the more I restricted myself from doing it the more I thought about it. So, I did it. I weighed myself. I wish I hadn't because now I can't get that number out of my head. Maybe this will help me think differently the next time I feel like I need to do it; I'm not comfortable getting rid of it, just yet.
Tomorrow is a very emotional day for me; I'll count it as a blessing if I can talk to people without crying and I'll likely not see many patients at the hospital. As I mentioned before, I'll share more about it in tomorrow's post; I survived a challenging period of my life, not unrelated to the recovery I'm doing now, and tomorrow marks the anniversary of the ending of a chapter. Here's a hint:
As such, I will definitely be aware of my eating/not eating as it relates to my emotions. As if that's not enough, it's also race week which, usually, equals heightened food/body image neurosis. I have, sadly, often thought on Monday that I could strive to lose five pounds by the start of a race on Saturday.
It makes no sense; I spend so much time training and preparing my body to do well, only to tear it down during race week with poor nutritional choices. I fret over whether I could run faster if I weighed less; if the outfit I want to wear will fit properly; how I will look in race pictures; what if I feel bloated or heavy; and on and on, ad nauseum.
So, today, I took some time out to find a little balance. I'm hopeful that I can look forward to Saturday's race, for which I have set a goal to finish in under two hours, with a little more kindness and compassion toward myself and my body.