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TOPIC: New Challenge

New Challenge 7 years 3 weeks ago #209

I saw my new dietician yesterday and I’m struggling a little today. I have to see this new person because my dietician is now gone. I’ve worked with my first person for 2.5 years and yesterday was hard because I’m not sure I want to start up a new relationship. I went in feeling very confident that I’ve got this eating thing down and this was just a monitoring visit. This new woman is the “ED expert” for Kaiser in my area.

She said I was doing great, but she pointed out that there’s not much variety in my food. It’s true I pretty much eat the same things over and over. She pointed out that this rigid eating is part of the ED and she challenged me to try to mix things up and to not log on thanksgiving, but just to eat what sounds good.

My wise mind is saying “Oh look, more self awareness; something new to challenge myself with.” Another part of me is feeling discouraged that there’s always “one more thing,” and ED is telling me that I can never get rid of him.

I know I’ll listen to my wise mind, but the timing is a little weird. I’ve been planning the end of my treatment and letting go of those last ED things has been an interesting struggle. I know it’s all part of the transition and I feel like I’ve been an observer seeing myself go through this last stage. I’ve been keeping a curious mind through it by not judging or putting expectations on myself and noticing the little changes and feelings. I’ve been trying to wear the title of “recovered” and take off the title of someone with an ED. It’s been scaring to let go of my “fall back” friend, but it’s been rewarding to ask what “normal” people would do in this or that situation or to assure myself that these things happen to everyone and I can handle them just as well as they can.

I think this new eating challenge could be an opportunity to say it’s hopeless and give up, but so far I’m doing OK. I think I can do the Thanksgiving challenge (we’re celebrating on Friday and I’m doing most of the cooking) but I think my real challenge will be this weekend when I have to buy different foods for next week. I’ve gained a lot of comfort walking into the store and buying the same things each week and not having to think about what I really want to eat, or how to handle something I’m not sure of the exchanges for. This could be a big one for me. My rigid plan has made eating safe for me and I’ve successfully been maintaining a good weight; but I get what the dietician is saying. I’m also sure once I get pass the fear, meals could become more interesting.

Maybe there is no “end” to recovery and I need to see my ED recovery transitioning into personal growth opportunities that are there for everyone and should be taken by everyone. I feel better already :)
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Re: New Challenge 7 years 3 weeks ago #210

thanks for posting this, Kym. It was very timely for me to read. I can relate to the rigid food choices, as that is what happens with me when I am restricting.. I feel that those few choices are the only safe choices and if I stick with them nothing can go wrong...
I know you are much farther down the road in your recovery, and your rigid food choices are most likely a habit more than a fear. I like the hope you have in what you write. It is encouraging to see someone be in the place you are in. I felt my heart stir when you wrote how "it's been rewarding to ask what 'normal' people would do in this or that situation. I know that when I have "good" days I feel so "normal" and free. It is a good feeling, that unfortunately does not last. That is something for me to work on, and I guess will come with recovery.
I think thanksgiving is a hard time for me too. There is so much food. So many choices.
I don't know about the concept of "once an anorexic, bulimic, (fill in the blank), always one" concept as with alcohol or drugs. I know that many alcoholics go to AA for the rest of their life, no matter how many years they have been sober. I guess for me I know it will always be a certain level of a battle. I have been dealing with this my whole life. It just is. Not to say I can't get to a better place, but I think relapse is always going to be a potential issue for me.
I want to wish you luck with your new venture. I want to thank you again for this encouraging post. I think it helps to write things out too. I see that you felt better once you did so. xx
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Re: New Challenge 7 years 3 weeks ago #211

Kym

you know what they say "a new broom sweeps clean" - as in, a new dietician will be eager to make her mark as someone different to your old one, and eager to try to bring about 'wonderful' changes to prove her worth - she probably doesn't want to be seen to be just plodding along with your old routine, she wants to make herself something great in your eyes, esp if she is new in this role too (not sure whether she is new to the role or just new to you?)

But you can put your sensible head on and say - I know what I eat might not be that varied, but it is well-balanced, serves me well, and I am comfortable with that.. and know that you are doing enough to stay healthy.

Yet at the same time, you can see the truth in what she says, you can see how good it would be to achieve the things she wants to push you towards.

So really, it's whether you want that, whether you feel ready to start challenging yourself in this way...
...maybe you want it, but her approach seems a bit too full-on, and that makes it pretty scary stuff?

I know that I'm a bit limited in my choices and I have big issues with textures that makes me avoid lots of foods, but if I mention how I wish I was less fussy, I am usually met with "your range is limited, but it's balanced, so there is no medical reason to address it, if we address it, it is because it's your personal wish to address that", and I think the same may be true for you?

So I think you can probably figure out what you need from her - maybe it's to stick with what you know for a while until you have established a relationship with her and feel you can trust her, then start to challenge yourself a bit? Or maybe you are up for it, but need it to be more incremental? Or maybe you feel brave and think "let's do it!" From what I know of you on here Kym, you are not one to shy away from a challenge if you feel it's necessary or the time is right, so if you know that you are making the decision for the right reasons, then go with your instincts and embrace the power of trusting yourself to know what's right for you.

As for there being no "end" to recovery and the prospect of personal growth and self-development being an eternal process - yes I think that's true, especially for those who are willing to embrace it!
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Re: New Challenge 7 years 2 weeks ago #223

So I made it through the Thanksgiving day (actually Friday for me) without logging my food. It was a little difficult not to look at the nurtion facts on a few items I ate. I know I didn't make the healthiest choices but it was an good experience. But then this morning I was excited to get back to what's comfortable for me.

Then I went food shopping for next week and I just about had a panic attack in the store. I had to calm myself many times before I made the decision it was too much for me all at once so I decided to just think of other breakfasts. That was hard enough, but I came out with some things and cried all the way home. Guess it's going to be baby steps in this process!

What I've learned is that I'm a total creature of habit and my meal plan with little variety in meals has become a crutch to me. It's totally a healthy plan and I'm meeting all the exchanges, but there's more to this then I ever thought. I need to really look to see if I'm using my meal plan with all it's strickness as a coping device just like I once used my other ED behaviors.

I really thought this was going to be easier. I'm trying hard to see this as an opprotunity to deepen my recovery and not as a sign of a weak recovery. It's hard!
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Re: New Challenge 7 years 2 weeks ago #225

thanks for sharing this with us! I guess it really is an ongoing journey. I guess it is never going to be "so i am at a normal, healthy weight", and it be that simple. There is so much to think about and to take into consideration with an eating disorder, past or present. It is a tricky, slimy little b---. but it seems you are well aware and present with your feelings. keep us up to date on how you progress thru the next few days on your new plan. I wish you luck and peace and fewer panic moments :) xx
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Re: New Challenge 7 years 2 weeks ago #227

Kym

I know you are trying to see this as something positive, but it really is positive from here... because you showed that you are aware of your own limits, and aware that you need to push past them to make changes in recovery, you're aware of what is "too far" or "too much" for you and you revised your plans accordingly by buying just new breakfasts. But more than that you have the ability now to reflect back on it all with the strength and belief that you will still be able to achieve this and do this, but at a pace that you set for yourself, but that sits better with you.

It's ALL good from where I'm looking at it - I'm sure if you look back you will see how far you've come... it's a good strong recovery to know yourself and your limitations and to be able to work just on the edge of those so that you're making progress, but not pushing so hard that you risk relapse. I think you're doing an amazing job!
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Re: New Challenge 7 years 2 weeks ago #229

Thanks Shh, I'm feeling more positive about it this morning. I think my ED voices are just louder then normal. I see my therapist Tuesday which is good. I always start with my list of successes (my idea); maybe I should challenge myself to add this to that list (and then look at what happened and why).
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"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming." Dorian~Finding Nemo

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Re: New Challenge 7 years 2 weeks ago #230

Kym - I'm glad you are feeling more positive. From where I sit looks like you have two big successes to add to your list -- Thanksgiving (not logging) and buying new breakfast. That's a lot of "new" stuff in one week. Can you reward yourself by putting them both on your list?
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Re: New Challenge 7 years 2 weeks ago #231

So I went to my NIA "Free-dancing the Divine" class this morning. The goal of this class is to get in touch with the Divine within you and outside of you and express those feelings or thought in movement. The focus today was on how the various parts of the body support each other so they can each do their function, starting with the feet and working the way up to head.

I can always tell when I'm feeling bad about myself becuse I dance small and I hide in the corner of the room, but much to my surprise when we got to the head and all the support it gets, I thought of my mind; the job it needs to do to get to the challenged deeper recovery and I thought of all the external support it recieves (including all of you!). Something click in me and I was able to express a confidence that even if it takes baby steps, there no reason I can't do this. In the scope of what I've accomplished already, this is small stuff. Saturday's vent is definately going on my "success list."

I love NIA and all of you!! Thanks everyone!
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"Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming." Dorian~Finding Nemo

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Re: New Challenge 7 years 2 weeks ago #232

Kym... that made me break out in a huge smile!
So glad that your experiences of this Thanksgiving weekend, are going on your success list!!!

I know there are only a handful of us that post on here, but I find the support and advice from you guys top quality!

Shh x
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