The dietician appointment yesterday went really well. My lady really knew her stuff. She explained how hunger and metabolism work and why we get cravings. She also didn’t judge me or give me questioning looks when I explained my aversion to certain foods.
She completely understood. Even more so than I do myself.
We worked together to build a food pyramid with six groups and four levels: grains, fruits/vegetables, dairy/protein and fats. She told me it’s essential to incorporate foods from each level (not necessarily each group) at every meal. Then we took foods from the pyramid and listed possible breakfasts I could try in place of my usual bowl of cereal, which I learned is severely lacking in nutrients.
Here are the examples we came up with:
- eggs (protein), toast (grain), avocado (fat), apple (fruit)
- cereal (grain), banana (fruit), milk (dairy), nuts (fat)
- bagel (grain), cream cheese (fat), eggs (protein), orange (fruit)
I told her the third one scared me the most. It just looks like a lot of food and calories to me. She didn’t argue or try to convince me otherwise. Instead, she smiled understandingly and suggested I try an altered version that I would be more comfortable with. Perhaps half a bagel or an english muffin instead and maybe one boiled egg. Eventually we want to get to a point where the original meal isn’t scary but it’s okay to start small.
Progresso, não perfeição
My assignment for the week is to eat a balanced breakfast each morning. Just start with breakfast. We don’t want me to gain weight too fast or become overwhelmed and discouraged. She said my momentum may be really strong the first few days and then taper off, so eating a balanced breakfast is a reasonable challenge.
Today, I made a few soft-boiled eggs for the next few days and toasted half of a bagel. Spreading the cream cheese definitely was scary (it sounds silly–how such a trivial act can instill such fear, but it’s real). I grabbed a cold orange from the crisper and sat down to (try to ) enjoy my breakfast.
“Slow, Annie,” I told myself. “Try to taste your food. Don’t rush through it.” I tend to eat really fast, like ripping off a bandage.
The food tasted really good. I felt a slight tinge of guilt for enjoying it, but I finished it. It looked like a lot to me. Having been on the other side of recovery, I know this is likely a cognitive distortion brought on by the eating disorder. My appetite seemed to increase as I was eating, which is also disturbing.
“It’s only breakfast, You can do this.” And I did.
One meal down, one step in the right direction. It’s okay to take it slow. Eating disorder recovery can often feel like walking on a tightrope.
featured image from jill111 via Pixabay