Small Victories, Current Challenges (4/28/16)

Small Victories, Current Challenges (4/28/16)

Today I'm following up on a previous post and some of the items I was working on last week; in addition, I'll share some of my current challenges.

Here are some small victories:

Even though I had a couple of instances where I really wanted to check my weight again and monitor my food intake, race week was pretty successful; I ate as "normally" as possible and did not restrict myself from any particular foods/food groups or the amount I allowed myself to eat. When Jonathan suggested something for dinner, I just went with it and ignored the nagging doubts in my head.

In addition, even though I did not hit my goal finish time at Saturday's race, I did not refuse myself a celebration; we enjoyed a post-race meal at the same place I'd planned to go all week and I enjoyed every bite. I listened to my body and stopped eating when I was satisfied; in return, I was able to enjoy the leftovers later in the day, as well as the ice cream that I had leftover (whaaat?) from the week before. 

If you've been following along, you know that I also shared a bit more of my story last week; it was an absolutely freeing exercise. The support, kindness and grace that I have received has been astounding and it has removed a huge cloud from my soul. An unavoidable piece of my recovery is to accept myself, all the parts, and acknowledging the significance of the not-so-fun/pretty parts is crucial in order for me to move forward.

Finally, today marks four weeks since my last binge; I don't think I can adequately express the significance of this change. I can't remember the last time I was able to surpass the two week mark, so four weeks is astonishing. 

Here are some current/ongoing challenges:

My assignment this week is to recognize my level of hunger/fullness before and after meals (this scale is similar to the one I'm using); as a compulsive/binge and, alternately, restrictive eater for many years, I've managed to program some lasting changes in the way my brain operates around these sensations.

Because I've ignored/disregarded the signals my brain was sending for so long, it has simply stopped doing the work; my brain says, "why tell her she's full if she's just going to keep eating?" and, on the other end of the spectrum, "why tell her she's hungry if she's just going to ignore it?" I'm opening the opportunity for my brain to start that work again.

As I mentioned in my post yesterday, I'm also contemplating what it means to be "thin;" a piece of literature provided by my healthcare professional suggests that it's not about the attainment of thinness, or some other manufactured ideal, it's about the wanting. 

During all those years of wanting to be thin, you put your life on hold and created a cushion between you and the aspects of living that were not in your control. Wanting to be thin protects you from the unfairness of life; it funnels the grief and sadness and pain of being alive into the grief and sadness and pain of being overweight. You still have to make sense of the conflicts within you and, inevitably, of someone you love disappointing you.

On a brighter note, I received some motivation this week to get comfortable with my body. My summer trip is getting closer and closer, I really still want to be on a diet (and find myself trying to create rules around my eating), but this little gem isn't going to wear itself and I'm determined to be proud of all my parts.

And, when my emotionally-charged negative self-talk works its way to the forefront, as it often does, this is my new favorite thing to remember:

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad

Thin

Thin