One of the most difficult things to overcome with my eating disorder are the rules. Rules about food, exercise and behavior in general. Even people without disordered eating have some rules or guidelines to keep them in check. But for me, its a fine line between health and obsession. While I consider myself in recovery now, I still struggle with this balance.
Fortunately, I have a very supportive boyfriend who challenges me. When I insist I need to workout every day for a certain amount of time with specific activities, he reminds me that one day off won’t hurt me and in fact is better for my body. He points out when I’m falling back into the habit of eating only rabbit food (i.e., salads). He helps ease my anxiety about gaining weight. And he does it all without upsetting, offending or pissing me off. That is not an easy task.
Most recently, Jeff has helped me realize my exercise obsession. My workouts lately have consisted with nearly an hour of cardio followed by an hour of Core Fusion. Not only is this unnecessary, it isn’t healthy for me. So I’ve been cutting back on my workouts. Instead of 2+ hours 5-6 days a week I do 1 hour to 1.5 hours 5 days a week. This change may not seem like much, but for me it’s major progress. I’m finally able to let go of the rule that I must do an hour of cardio everyday. And guess what? The dreaded fear of gaining weight from cutting back? Well it hasn’t happened. In fact, I’ve lost those few pounds that I was struggling with earlier this summer.
Another area where I have loosened up? My diet. Take last night for instance, I got home late from workout and after a quick workout I was too exhausted to cook. Jeff and I decided to do takeout. But instead of my usual entree salad, we shared a pizza. A perfectly crispy, cheesy NYC pizza. And I didn’t feel guilty about it at all.
It left me so satisfied that I didn’t even crave dessert. I can’t remember the last time we ordered takeout that I didn’t insist on dessert.
The reason I’m sharing this? Because I feel like after a long plateau, I’m making progress in overcoming my disordered eating. Do I think I’m healed? No I don’t even know if I believe you can ever truly heal from an eating disorder, but you can fight it and with each battle you win you grown that much more.
Do you have any food rules? How do you keep them from getting out of hand?