W21 - Summary
Sunday, February 24, 2019
It's been a couple weeks since I've been here. My ED has been very active and things have been generally pretty miserable. This past week has been one of awareness. I'm grateful for some relief after a very challenging set of weeks have have undone some of my progress.
It's difficult to know where to start. The intuitive eating class remains difficult for me, but I am taking away what I can. One of the most valuable things that has been a part of this is the intentional reading of an intuitive eating book. I had read it before, but I have almost next to no recollection of the content. Now, it is really sinking in.
One of the biggest messages/connections I have taken away is around dopamine deprivation. Long story short, while my life is put together, I don't have much fun. As a result, I've used food to "let loose" over the years. Absolutely true. It's weird seeing it in black and white, simply spoken.
We got another blanket of snow last evening, so between that and the winter storm warning I won't be going to the NEDA walk this morning. I did, however, exceed my fundraising goal so I am proud of that.
It is not lost on me, as I become comfortable sharing my story, that my earliest disordered eating memories started when I was just 4 years old. I have found a lot of compassion for myself through that recognition because no child should have to have conscious coping mechanisms that early. I am who I am today, however, by the events that shaped me and for that I am grateful, even if I occasionally wish I was further along on my journey.
What has been really lovely about raising awareness is having several of my friends share their own stories and struggles with me. I am not alone! The money I have raised will make a difference, and I believe different is possible. We should all want different for ourselves.
The most significant thing that happened this week was nothing short of a miracle.
Through 6+ years of ED and body image therapy, I have worked on eliminating food rules and neutralizing trigger foods. Trial and error, I have conquered all but one. A handful of very close friends know of my ultimate struggle: DQ ice cream cake. I've loved it since childhood, and as an adult, have actively used it it numb myself out when I can't deal with my life or emotions.
For the past 6 weeks, my ED has been very active and ice cream cake has been involved. There is a correlation between snow arriving, starting QNRT, and starting an 8-week intuitive eating class that I can't unmesh, but the events have set me off and I haven't been successful in pulling myself out. This has been very disheartening relapsing after months of freedom and the partial remission diagnosis.
I spoke with my therapist about this and she suggested that I keep an ice cream cake around at all times to "demystify" its hold over me. My first instinct was "No way. Too scary", but the rational, wise-mind part of me rationalized that I had made peace with literally every other trigger food so logically it had to be possible with ice cream cake as well.
So I bought one for the express purpose of experimenting with this idea. I cut myself a piece and took a bite. It tasted "old". Super confused, I took another bite. Same experience and flavor.
What was happening? Maybe I got a bad cake? I talked with a close friend and she suggested that if it tasted funny, maybe it wasn't the right cake to do this experiment with. I thought perhaps she was right. I didn't want to buy another cake because it seemed like a waste of money, but how was I going to do this if I didn't have something that I wanted to eat?
So yesterday, I bought another cake. I cut myself a piece and tasted it. It tasted "old".
Every thought is running through my head... how can this be? I went to two different DQ's. Two "old" cakes? Why me?
I was so confused and felt compelled to understand. I put two pieces side by side and tasted them, layer by layer.
Gel icing = love
Vanilla ice cream = good
Crunch/fudge = good
Chocolate ice cream = yuck
What?! I don't like the chocolate ice cream in the ice cream cake? That can't be right. I took another bite.
Chocolate ice cream = yuck
I sat back, wide-eyed and dumbstruck. Is it possible I have never actually TASTED the ice cream cake before? And that I actually don't like what makes up half the cake? Normally, this is an ED event where I am not focused on flavor, but instead I am focused on numbing out as quickly as possible. Taking the time to taste the cake flavors created a different experience. And completely different outcome.
When I say this was a miracle for me to recognize, it is probably an understatement. This was nothing short of a breakthrough and life-changing event.
So what is next for me? More work to be done on body image and movement. My therapist recommended the book Mothers, Daughters and Body Image: Learning to Love Ourselves as We Are. I am gobbling that up already.
That ice cream cake? I didn't even finish the pieces.
"Our narratives are not fixed in stone; they can be re-rendered and revisited. Acceptance is rarely about perfection; it is about compassion. And that may be the most important health message of all". ~ Hillary L. McBride
W21: -1.0# (total - 15.2#)
W20: -1.0# (total -14.2#)
W19: +2.8# (total - 13.2#)
W18: +2.2# (total - 17.0#)
W17: -1.2# (total - 19.2#)
W16: -0.6# (total -18.0#)
W15: -0.4# (total -17.4#)
W14: -2.0# (total -17.0#)
W13: +2.0# (total -15.0#)
W12: -1.2# (total - 17.0#)
W11: - 2.2# (total -15.8#)
W10: -1.2# (total -13.6#)
W9: -1.8# (total -12.4#)
W8: -0.4# (total -10.6#)
W7: -1.2# (total -10.2#)
W6: +0.6# (total - 9.0#)
W5: -3.0# (total -9.6#)
W4: +0.2# (total -6.6#)
W3: -1.4# (total - 6.8#)
W2: -3.6# (total -5.4#)
W1: -1.8# (total -1.8#)