Food is the answer to all my problems.
Well, that’s partly true. My dietitian told me that proper nutrition is the first and most crucial step in my recovery. It’s the prerequisite for solving the rest of my problems.
This is a new idea for me. I’ve been doing it backwards. I thought going to therapy and getting the psyche stuff right would get me in the state of mind to be able to eat sensibly. I couldn’t be more wrong.
I told the RD that my biggest struggle is judging portion sizes. Any amount of food seems like too much to me, even when I’m still hungry. She told me to listen to my body, not my brain, because my poor brain can’t take care of itself in its current state.
My brain is malnourished.
Those are the exact words my dietitian used. I have been literally starving my brain, which impedes its proper functioning, resulting in the cognitive distortions that perpetuate my eating disorder. I’m simply not going to come out of therapy one day and magically be healed and ready to kick anorexia to the curb:
“Alright, guys! I just had this really happy thought and I’m ready to start eating like a normal human being now. Bring on the steak dinner!”
Nope. As long as I’m starving my brain, it’s only going to get worse.
It starts with gradually increasing my caloric intake.
Suppose it to something like a car that needs an oil change, but it’s out of gas. You can’t “think” it to the repair shop–you have to put gas in and go there.
While this came as news to me, it makes sense. I’ve been trying to “think” my way out of relapse for months now, to no avail, and only getting worse. I have to literally eat my way out. The healthy thoughts will come after.
This is scary, especially since I live alone. It means I have to hold myself accountable and MAKE myself eat right. Forcibly. Even when I don’t want to. It feels damn near impossible, but it’s the only way. I just have to have faith that it will get easier as I go, or at least that I will get stronger; which I believe I will.
I ate a sensible breakfast yesterday and I did feel much better, physically and mentally. Not to the point that I want to be, of course, but a step of faith in the right direction. My thoughts were much clearer and I didn’t feel like I was going to pass out while doing the simplest of tasks.
My mom is coming to stay with me this weekend to make sure I stick to the meal plan and don’t skimp. At first I felt defeated for needing her, but now I see that that’s a load of squat. Of course I need her. I’m sick, and she’s my mom. No shame in my game.
TL,DR: Food Comes First.
feat. image via pixabay