Wondering when, why, and how

You guys are getting so much love from me lately.

I guess I just feel like I have a lot to share (and if you’re a subscriber, I just want you to have that joy of seeing a new post in your inbox more often ;)!)…

Tonight, a little bit of a reflection. I had dinner, taught bootcamp (good energy, gals!) and then had a snack. It got me to thinking…

chicken ceasar salad with croutons, parmesan cheese

berries (needed to be eaten ASAP) with chocolate chip/soy milk combo

As far as I’ve come in terms of finding peace with food, my body, exercise, and all that stuff that is supposed to feel GOOD, I still struggle and still find myself frustrated. What’s up today, you ask?

I feel like certain foods have power over me.

While I can’t think of any “fear foods” for me–I worked hard to build things back into my diet–and while I don’t like the idea of keeping certain “trigger foods” out of the house (because I want full recovery and that means knowing that I can eat the things I want to eat when I want to and trusting that I can follow my body’s natural cues for this), there are certain foods I…struggle with. They’re things I eat on a regular basis and I think a lot of people can relate to some of them, but others are just wacky:

  • chocolate chips
  • peanut butter
  • trail mix
  • cereal (even Fibre 1 or All Bran)
  • chocolate/candy
  • crackers
  • croutons
  • cheese
  • nuts
  • pretzels
  • yogurt
  • pasta
  • lunch meat

For some reason, I cannot just eat these foods sitting down. Regardless of which food it is, I eat it while I get it ready, after I finish my meal, or just randomly. I know it’s normal to pick at things. But I also know that it’s not where I want to be when I can’t just have a handful of chocolate chips with my snack…I have to pick at them all night long or all day long and then end up feeling guilty for it. In the past I’ve assumed that it’s Ed trying to sabotage me (to overeat to prove that I am out of control, to make me overeat to the point that I gain weight and then to be “right”, etc.), but now I am really confused. I’ve been allowing myself to eat these things for so long…but maybe I’ve just been fooling myself. Is it pseudo permission? Or am I too hungry and not eating enough on a daily basis? It’s not like these foods are unhealthy. Some of them are actually really nutritious, but a common trend is that I did at one point either use these foods as bingeing foods or restrict them entirely.

When I beat myself up for this (and since these are foods I eat all the time, this occurs on a pretty daily basis)…I feel like crap. So what’s going on? Why am I letting this continue? Cuz I’m pretty sure posting about what I eat and joking about the chocolate chips isn’t really helping…when there’s guilt around them.

…I don’t have the answer. I’ve been doing some searching, some thinking, and some wondering, at least. In the past, I’ve just been feeling ashamed, hiding things, and wondering what the h*ll is wrong with me. And for some reason I thought beating myself up over this issue would help. Uh, sounds a little counterintuitive doesn’t it?

So, what are my options? I could ban those foods…but I’m not. That’s giving them even more power and I don’t want to live that kind of half recovered life. Β I could put the larger portions into a bowl and sit down with them, but when I think about this I realize something important: I don’t even think I wantΒ more, necessarily. I could try eating more at my meals and snacks and see what happens. This is a little scary since it means I could eat more and simultaneously keep “picking” at things. I could let this go on and hope it just goes away. I could talk about it with my dietitian and with my therapist. I could blog about it. I could keep beating myself up. I could keep track of when it happens and see if there’s any patterns. I could just be aware of it and question why it’s going on.

Plenty of options. My choices:

  • blog about it (feedback, anyone?)
  • notice when it happens
  • discuss it with my dietitian

This is my way of dealing with it without beating myself up. Though maybe you’re different, I can’t make changes if I force them or if I do it because I feel “bad” or like I “should”. I don’t believe in those things…for me. Maybe you can be a hard a*s with yourself and be a success, but that just makes me feel like crap. I need to make change from a place of love and what I realize is that if I keep this behaviour up, not only am I holding myself back from reaching that “Recovered.” spot that I know I am so freaking close to, I’m also bringing a whole lot of guilt, temptation (to restrict or to exercise more or to fall back into old thought patterns/behaviours), and undue stress into my life. Not ideal. I think I’m at the point where the only option is to move forward because I know that I deserve it. I’m done feeling bad about not being recovered or about struggling with this. First step is to open up about it and admit it’s there. Done.

Why shouldn’t I be awesome? Why shouldn’t I be that girl who eats chocolate in moderation but stays fit and healthy because she lives what she preaches: that chocolate won’t kill you and that finding balance is possible, without any conditions or stipulations! It’s about not settling for “almost recovered” or “mostly happy except…” or for “okay” or “better that before”…I deserve to be fully recovered, awesome, and happy (and so does everyone else, BTW)!



This is about becoming the person I want to be and about giving myself permission to be awesome…and not being scared to live life to the fullest.

If this wasn’t your dose of cheese for the day, I don’t think there’s hope for you! πŸ˜‰

Have you overcome any bad habits or issues in your life lately? Care to share?
Are there any foods you continually pick at?


7 responses to “Wondering when, why, and how

  1. Chin up, buttercup — don’t be discouraged! I think it’s important for you to remember that even people who DON’T have ED’s struggle with weird food issues/patterns. Maybe not all the time, but sometimes. A lot of people also have disordered eating and don’t address it. You tackle problems and have come SO FAR, don’t forget to give yourself some credit! I have this weird pattern of eating the same foods all the time for a while everytime I find something new (ie. cashews in my everything right now) — it has got to be due to my addictive/obsessive personality! I wouldn’t say that’s normal but oh well, there’s no need to beat myself over it and I get by. Plus, that’s why it’s great to have health blogger friends like you to give me some new inspiration ;). Speaking of which, I bought the greek yogurt today with honey and actually loved it. A little on the sweet side but I like it! Credits to you dear πŸ™‚

    The thought of eating more at meals and snacks is scary, but I’ve tried it and it works for me. It was kind of like my ah-ha moment. I find myself picking at things when I don’t eat enough at meals or don’t eat what I really want. A stir-fry doesn’t satisfy my cravings for pasta so I end up picking at other things afterwards that sometimes lands me in a bad place. When I just give my cravings what they want at meal times, I feel satisfied and therefore dismiss the urge to pick around at things to see what will do it for me. Maybe it doesn’t work for you (or Ed, I’m sure), but it does for me. LIke you tell me, don’t let fear get in your way for a single minute.

    You’re already awesome. But when we get our matching tats, I think our awesome status will officially be off the charts.

    Stay positive girl, I know you will figure it out. Love you xo

  2. wow, you took the words right out of my mouth! or the thoughts right out of my head or whatever. I have the same problem – there are certain foods that I can’t just sit down and have a serving of. I can’t bring myself to eat a bowl of ice cream – it has to be little spoonfuls here and there. Like somehow these foods are “safe” if they’re not eaten in a normal eating setting! Nibbling on things makes me feel out of control and crappy…but banning foods from my diet does NOT work for me…and trying to eat more is scary. I did discuss this habit with my own dietician, and she says that my body is smart and knows its not getting enough, BUT its not so deprived that it can override the part of me that’s scared to add more to my meals…so its easiest to just get those calories through nibbles and random handfuls. She suggested that adding more to my meals and snacks, making them more substantial, would help me feel like I don’t need to pick at things. And yes, there IS that overlap period where you eat more AND still pick at things…it’s a tough habit to break. That’s where I am right now and it feels crappy….but for me personally I think another thing that would work would be to one day just sit down and have a bowl of ice cream. Or purposely prepare a plate of chocolate and cookies and eat it. It’s worked with pasta – now that I let myself eat a bowl of pasta for dinner, I no longer need to sneak random forkfuls out of the fridge. taking that first plunge into the pasta-as-a-meal was scary as shit but I guess it worked! Though none of these things is an overnight fix.

    But in any case, I do think you should talk to a dietician about it, and definitely keep blogging!! you DO deserve to be FULLY recovered, able to sit down with a plate of pasta, a handful of chocolate chips, and to not just lack guilt about it, but to actually feel GOOD about it. I’ve no doubt that you’ll get there! πŸ™‚

    • I am feeling SO MUCH love from you with this comment and it means so much to me!

      I really know what I need to do: eat more on a regular basis and stop giving food so much power. It’s putting it into practice. Hearing that you did it with pasta makes it easier, especially since I can relate to the forkfuls from the fridge kind of feeling…even if it’s handfuls from the box of cereal or whatever. For me, pasta has way less power than a lot of foods (funny how we all have our own things)…and I bet for people who read this post, they’re wondering how I can get hung up on oatmeal. It’s just proof that I can get over this and I really appreciate the inspiration.

      thank you!!

  3. I can relate! I’m always picking at things like chocolate and dried fruit after my meals. I think it’s because I always like to end my meal on a sweet note. πŸ˜› But the thing is, I almost never sit down and eat these foods mindfully. It’s like I feel that if I pick at them, the calories don’t count or something.

    I don’t do this all the time, but I’ve noticed I especially do it when my hunger’s not fully satisfied by my meal. So it may help to eat more at meals? It’s definitely something to discuss with your dietitian. πŸ™‚

    You’re so close to that place of recovery girl! Don’t let this stop you!

    • Thanks for the support! I sometimes buy myself little individual wrapped things of dark chocolate (even good stuff, like the ghirarhidelli squares or the lindor truffles) but then I end up saying that I shouldn’t have them, doing some math about how many calories it will be over a year, whatever, and then throwing them away. Silly silly and more silly. I bet if I had a truffle every day I’d get sick of it…and maybe instead of eating it and picking at other things, I’d find something to satisfy myself with? I guess it’s all trial and error, and the realization that I’m not going to balloon if I have an extra 100 or whatever calories a day–especially if I end up giving up this behaviour and then finding peace–makes the uncertainty and anxiety of trying to move forward worth it!


      As a sidenote, I had a serious love affair with dried papaya for a really long time. I loved the kirkland’s trail mix from costco cuz it was chock full of it, then I’d buy it at bulk barn. I think it might still be a little bit of a fear food–I should buy some and try having it with my breakfast or something. πŸ™‚

  4. OH MY GOSH. OOOOOH MY GOSH. Just seriously. Are we twins? ARE WE TWINS?! Okay sorry that was a big reaction but I have been struggling with this since the summer, but it got really bad recently. To the point where the munching on things will take the place of a meal because I eat so much just nibbling here and there, or it will be on top of a meal as I try to figure out what I want to satisfy me, and then I eat too much and end up feeling sick. In a way, it’s liberating, because it’s usually foods I wouldn’t serve myself, but at the same time, it makes me feel so lost. How did I used to be so diligent about eating well and eating certain amounts, and now I struggle so much?! In a way it’s a good thing that I’m not so rigid, and I think it’s a sign that I’m really starting to figure out my hunger signals. I really think the solution just comes down to having more substantial meals… I’ve been struggling with this for a really long time and it’s gotten me down, and it seems like I’m not the only one, which makes me happy, but at the same time it makes me sad to know that other people feel this way!

    • I’m glad you connected…but sad that we have to deal with this. I talked with my dietitian today and she said it’s normal to pick at things but that if it is something that I don’t feel RIGHT doing, I need those calories…so I should add them to meals and snacks. πŸ™‚ I’ll try!!

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