Challenging the challenger

This past week was easy…like, scary easy. I keep wondering if this is the calm before the storm. Wondering when things are going to get worse…possibly way worse. I know it is coming, unless I somehow miraculously recover with no backlash whatsoever (not happening). This week I worked on two things. One: adding a real breakfast into my regular routine. A few months ago, I felt so ready to beat anorexia’s butt. I was ready. And I began making a few changes here and there, adding some extra snacks and bits of food where I felt I could. Well, despite my good intentions, those additions all got lumped in with the rest of my daily eating habits…which means I managed to push them back in the day so far, that my breakfast became a snack of a “lunch” and my lunch became more of a dinner…and dinner is all right before bed along with some candy and ice cream. So, yeah…a round of applause for me being able to add anything at all…but shame on me for failing to eat at reasonable times. So this week when I went to see my dietitian, she asked me to work on having breakfast. (In addition to what is my breakfast, but has slid back towards 1:00.) Before nine AM. And I obliged. What did this look like? Pretty great, in fact. It was me, going over to my parents house and my mom making a slice of peanut butter toast or French toast for me. It was my mom, slathering those pieces of bread with delicious peanut butter or apricot jelly and pouring me some 2% milk. It was my mom clearing her morning schedule and driving to where I work, to drop off one of these breakfast options, and making sure I had a banana to go along with the peanut butter toast. It was me, tasting that wonderful peanut butter for the first time in years. Eating a real piece of French toast, that was made with coconut oil, a milky egg, and love. It was me, drinking 2% milk and reveling at the taste of it. Remembering how, as a child, my mom would typically buy skim, and my brother and I would beg her to buy 2%, like our friends moms did. It was me pushing away the guilt, shame, and anxiety that goes along with consuming food. It was daily emails from my mom, asking me how my eating went that day. It was different, but good.

The second thing I worked on was not restricting in other areas, since I was eating a bigger breakfast than usual. I think I did OK, though I did find myself having restrictive thoughts, and I know there were a few times I chose a lower calorie snack simply because I wasn’t up to fighting off Ed. But I still ate the snack, even though I didn’t always feel like it, even though often, Ed was telling me that I really wasn’t hungry. I survived! I survived, even though the first day eating breakfast, I also took a Thiamine tablet and when I peed later on in the day my urine was Mountain Dew colored and I thought something had gone terribly awry already. I survived. And now I am moving on to my second week of my attempt at “real recovery”. This week I have been asked to add some extra chicken to my sandwich, a protein to my usual snack at night, and to buy real, full fat yogurt (scary, scary, scary). I may be a little anxious, but I’m also kind of excited to see where this journey takes me. The stakes are high, but so is the reward.

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