That I’m actually committed to this “recovery” thing, that is.
My best friend’s wedding was beautiful. She was a gorgeous, gorgeous bride. She is also a beyond-gracious friend who put up with me and all my food and exercise weirdness for five days. I tried hard. I walked a fine line, trying to balance my desire to not be a horrendous pain in the arse with my “need” to alleviate some anxiety through food control and exercise. I think I did okay.
It was not easy. Apparently, in Connecticut, “vegetarian option” means “eggplant parmesan.” Please do not misunderstand me – I love eggplant. However, eggplant parmesan has been on my list of “eeeeeek!” foods for a while due to the fact that it is battered. And fried. And usually served with pasta (EEEEEEEEK!).
However, this weekend, I ate battered and fried eggplant three times. It got a little easier each time, thankfully, and if nothing else, I faced the fear. I also learned that I really don’t care for it – I’d rather have baked eggplant parm, which is not only healthier, but actually tastes like eggplant. Lesson learned.
I also had handfuls of almonds (eeeeek!) at multiple times this weekend, because it was virtually my only protein option. I could have had cheese on anything and called it a protein, but cheese does not sit well with me and I was already having enough of a time digesting the battered and fried “vegetable.”
I am not particularly proud of the fact that I worked out every single day I was on vacation. Every. Single. Day. Including the day of the wedding, where I went for a trail run and proceeded to trip and fall less than seven minutes in. I kept running. And stood next to my best friend on her wedding day – with a bloodied knee and elbow.
I am, however, extremely proud of myself for the following conversation, which occurred shortly after the ill-fated run:
Me, to S – the bride-to-be: Okay, my job today is to make sure you’re well-hydrated. And I’m going to recruit one of the other girls to make sure I’m eating enough.
S: I think that’s a great idea. Chain of command or something.
Me, to E – a bridesmaid: So, I have a job for you.
E: Yeah, I thought I heard you guys talking in the bathroom – something about water?
Me: Yes – I’m making sure S has plenty of water, and you have to remind me to eat so my blood sugar doesn’t bottom out.
E: Okay. When do you need to eat?
We proceed to create a plan. We decide, based on the order of the day, that I should eat when I get my hair done (I was the last appointment – about 3 hours from breakfast) and when we’re leaving the hotel to do pictures before the ceremony. Then is the ceremony and reception and I’m on my own after that.
Things are a little hectic at the salon. Six girls, six completely different hairstyles, three hairdressers. It is finally my turn in the chair and I look something akin to deer in headlights. I am so very self-concious about my hair. About the damage that a year-long relapse into an eating disorder has created. It does not go unnoticed and the hairdresser mentions it.
Nobody reminds me to eat. I can feel my head start to get a little swimmy – just a little fuzzy, a little difficulty concentrating, a little light-headed. I weigh my options. I could skip my snack. Nobody is watching or paying that much attention. Nobody would notice.
I would notice, of course. Already during the course of the trip I’ve blacked out multiple times, skipped meals, skipped snacks, caused my friend and her fiance’ to worry (to the point that her fiance’ flat-out stated that he was worried about me and offered to find me something I would eat). I would know that I let my eating disorder run the day. I would know that when my friend was reciting the vows she wrote, I was desperately trying not to pass out. I would know.
I call to one of the girls in the corner.
“Hey, can somebody grab me the granola bar from my purse? I need to have a snack.”