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My Story Uncategorized

Sandwiches

I’m going to try to write everyday–it’s good for me to be consistent and I have a lot I want to talk about, but we’ll see. Sometimes I get exhausted or too busy or just too deflated to talk about something significant.

There’s two ways I know how to eat. 1) All the things. The “worst” possible things I can find, in huge quantities. Drive thrus, delivery, convenience stores. 2) None of the things. Salad, with a protein on top if I’m feeling brave. A boiled egg. A low carb protein bar. A 100 calorie pack of god knows what. Popcorn.

Nowadays, I’m working hard to learn how to nourish my body. I’m “allowed” (by me, because listen y’all, I’m only listening to me from here on out) to eat anything I damn well please, and I do. I still go to drive thrus and convenience stores, and get way more delivery and takeout than I can actually afford. I never eat fucking diet food anymore, unless I actually want it, like I sometimes still want popcorn or a hard-boiled egg.

But more and more, when I discover that I am hungry–and that’s hard enough to do without waiting so long that I’m panicking–that’s not what I want. I want something that is going to make me feel good and be satisfying. Funny, that I should want those things. 😜

Small problem. I have no idea how to feed myself that way. Forty-fucking-two years old, and No. Fucking. Clue. I’m not kidding. I feel like it sounds dumb; everyone around me seems to pack delicious, reasonable, nourishing lunches like noodles, or chunky soup, or cool bento boxes full of little fun things like hummus. People seem to go home and eat dinners that they cook or prepare or whatever, at tables with other people and silverware and such. Not weird rabbit diet food, but not giant piles of delivery chinese either.

All I can handle so far are sandwiches. With my nutritionist’s help, I’ve managed a few pb&js and one or two turkey sandwiches. Turns out, there is bread out there that is actually yummy, and mayo doesn’t have to be measured out by the teaspoon. Also turns out that pb&j is delicious if you don’t use fucking powdered peanut butter and low-sugar jelly. Turns out those things are allowed. Turns out, if I eat those things, I don’t need deep fried cookie dough in the mid-afternoon. Turns out, pb&j is not the devil.

What will turn out next?

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My Story

When Life is “Under Control” and When it is Not

Work was insanely busy last week. I got so behind that I simply shut down, stopped answering emails and started blindly staring at my computer in the rare quiet moments in my office. By Friday I was in full collapse. Luckily I had no plans for the weekend so I simply hibernated for two days.

Unfortunately I think this is the new normal–the next few months look to be pretty bad. Time at my desk actually getting shit done will be very limited (something like 7-10 hours a week), contact hours of meetings and appointments will be way up.

This is partially my own decision, a result of actually prioritizing self-care. I now get to work around 10 each day, with morning appointments for therapy, nutrition, group, and training. So you’d think, ok, well work shut down but luckily I was set up with some boss self-care so I weathered it pretty well. Right? Right?

Not so much. It turns out that no matter how much self-care I have set up and how much I tell myself that I am focusing on self-care right now and will be content to merely do my job well, failure to stay 100% on top of my job leads to breakdown. Breakdown leads to failure to meditate, journal, exercise, get out of bed, put on clothes, shower, etc etc etc. So much for focusing on self-care.

Breakdown also leads to huge amounts of emotional food drama. I didn’t have a full binge but I had a LOT of food thoughts, food self-argumentation, food eating when not entirely hungry, food not stopping when definitely pretty full, food choices that didn’t feel like what my body really wanted.

I’m pretty sure a huge amount of the breakdown was just simple exhaustion. I am the world’s most sociable introvert, and when I’ve over-extended on the social scale (which happens a lot in my line of work), I just collapse. I also need more sleep than I get (who doesn’t?). I’m working on the self-compassion to know that I was over-stressed and that I am not now a failure because of the breakdown.

I’m also working to get back on my feet. Today was a fairly quiet day and a lot of that missed work got done. My work to-do list only has about 20 things on it. Bracing for impact tomorrow. Wish me luck!

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Eating Disorders My Story

Food Sharing in Binge Eating Disorder Recovery

Do y’all live alone? If not, do you have your own separate food or do you share? I live with my husband and no other humans. (We do not have children.) We mostly have very distinct eating habits so we rarely share food, but sometimes we do. More often, we think we’re not sharing until one of us discovers that the other has finished something they were counting on eating soon.

I’m very bad about food ownership. I really don’t like people to touch my food. I really like to know that there will be exactly as much of whatever tomorrow as I left today.

Yesterday, as we were driving home, I was eating a bag of Doritos. I was eating them quite slowly and it was quite a large bag. Cool as you please, without warning or query, my husband leaned over and took one and ate it.

Instantly I suffered a massive surge of rage and anxiety. Mine! How dare you!?

Almost as quickly, I realized that this possessiveness was a food anxiety/scarcity response. I needed to know that those Doritos were there for me. I was working hard not to chug the whole bag down in a rush, but I needed to know that that wouldn’t lead to them going away.

I also realized that I could pull over and buy more Doritos anytime I liked and then eat them. This calmed me down a lot. I moved on and even offered my husband the rest of the bag when I had eaten what I wanted at that time.

The incident made me think, though: is it possible to share food while in recovery from my ED? I don’t think it is. I think it vastly increases the chance of a binge resulting from needing to know that the food won’t disappear and be lost to me. I think it makes me feel a loss of empowerment and I think it diminishes my very limited baby steps towards caring for myself by having the right foods available for myself at any given time.

I feel guilty about this. After all, my societally approved gender role involves not only sharing food, but actively providing food to my mate. Food should not be mine. Food should be something I give to the world, not the other way around. So buying, keeping, and not sharing food like an angry squirrel feels very wrong.

I hope that someday my food anxiety and scarcity-tinged panic will subside, but until then I guess I’m going to start putting post-it notes on my stuff in the fridge.