That is what my email from my dietitian said last night after I snapped a photo of my dinner and sent it to her:
A bowl of cereal and a margarita. Not exactly a recovery-minded meal, yeah? And then I skipped my evening snack, just making the entire thing worse than it needed to be.
As I got out of the shower this morning, I was thinking about what I would have for breakfast. A boost, I thought, and a peach. Except I didn’t just think “a boost and a peach” — I thought “a boost (xxx calories) + a peach (xx calories), so that’d be (xxx calories) for breakfast.”
What the what?! Red flag, folks. I haven’t counted exchanges or calories since a month and a half into treatment. So I have survived the last three months without knowing my weight, without knowing how many calories and exchanges were in my meals, and maintaining my post-restoration weight. It’s not listed in my “yellow light” and “red light” warning signals in my discharge plan, but it’s about to be. Counting calories is a road I cannot go down.
It works for some people and I know it. I am so happy for them. Exchanges work for some people, too. Between these two types of meal planning, lots of people find recovery. However, I am not one of those people. I cannot EVER count calories. I cannot EVER count exchanges. The moment I do, it becomes a game — well, I got by with XX exchanges/calories yesterday, let’s see if I can get by with fewer today.
Not a rabbit hole I need to be traveling down this early in my recovery. Too slippery a slope, and I’ve got too much to lose. (For example, I have already lost my exercise privileges. Lame.) I am studying for the GREs and I’ve got grand hopes and dreams of graduate school in the near future. If I can’t handle the stress of transitioning back into real life post treatment without resorting to ED behaviours, then I have absolutely no business going across the country to graduate school.
And I want graduate school more than I could possibly state in words. It feels right. When I told a friend about this idea of mine, she said to me, Yeah, whenever you talked about never going back to school, it just never felt right to me. I always thought you needed to go back to school, but it was not my place to say. It just confirmed what I had been thinking: Whatever my future holds, graduate school is part of it.
So I walked downstairs after my shower this morning (after totally berating my body and my outfit in the mirror – because that makes eating easier, natch) and had a full breakfast. And after that, while my stomach and emotions completely flipped out on me, I went grocery shopping. I bought groceries for the week — groceries that mean I am going to eat full and complete meals for the next week and eat multiple snacks a day.
Because as tempting as it is – I CANNOT go back. There is nothing good or beautiful in that place, and the place I am now is flowing with milk and honey. Literally and figuratively. :)