Today has been just an absolutely awesome day for so many reasons! I don’t really know where to begin…so I guess I’ll just go in “order” so to speak. This morning I woke up early, around 7. Which was fine for me. I was wide awake around 6:30, dozed in and out til about 7 and knew that was it for me.
I had some morning coffee while checking my email. Then took a little time to read. I picked up a book at the library yesterday, a biography, called Alice’s Piano. It tells the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, the world’s oldest Holocaust Survivor. I could tell right away this book would be wonderful. After spending the early morning reading, I decided I’d get myself ready for the day, since I had quite a few things I wanted to do today.
My first stop, World Market. I had intended to go there and get a scone mix for my mom, which I had told her about yesterday, and ended up browsing (which at that place is absolutely inevitable!) I found SO many exciting things! Soooo many edibles that looked to die for and too good to pass up! I could have bought WAY more than I did, but I was really happy about the things I did purchase, for quite a few reasons. Today, I felt genuinely excited about food! I was buying things that sounded really good to me and not looking at something and saying ‘Oh that looks good…but I won’t eat it’ and then begrudgingly putting it back on the shelf. No, today was different. I have felt such a dramatic change this week about food, health, and myself in general. This was my first full week of therapy (Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings) and I am already finding myself ‘back on track’ in a large way. I have been honoring my hunger and eating when I want and need to. And my body is responding! My body is definitely in tune with it’s hunger again and I am finally doing my body right in listening and responding to what it’s telling me it needs. And I’m not afraid about it. I’m no longer scared of food. I knew that once I started easing myself back into a routine of eating, that things would greatly improve. And they really have.
I’m keeping my focus, too, on the positive things. I know how much EDs can leave one feeling hopeless, lost, worthless, not good enough, and full of despair and doubt. My focus has always been in the past to keep focused on the good, the positive, on why I want to get better and live a free and happy life. As it has helped me in the past, I feel it helping me yet again. I genuinely feel good and motivated. I can see such a large difference already in what happens when you listen and trust your body. For starters, when I listen to my body and eat and nourish it properly, I can FOCUS on other things. When you are starving yourself, your mind is starving. In those moments of starvation, that was all I could think about. Every.single.waking.moment. Food, calories, when I’d eat next, what I’d eat next, my weight, how I could cut out this amount of calories or that amount of fat. Living was virtually impossible. I was half alive. I was functioning in daily life enough to get by…but I wasn’t really experiencing anything. Life was a chore. Agonizing from hour to hour. That is NOT how I want to live. In giving myself proper nutrition when I need it, I have been able to think about food while I’m eating it and then move on with my day. It’s an extremely freeing feeling. And to not sit and think about every tiny morsel of food that I put into my mouth and wonder how much food and calories and fat I just consumed and ponder ‘what on earth is this going to do to my body?!’ No, eating and then moving on.
I could actually focus on work. I could actually think logically and rationally. I could also be present. Being with others, I could actually fully be there with them. I wasn’t “listening” to someone talk, and have my mind wander to food, calories, etc. but I could actually really listen! The best conversation I had this week was Tuesday evening with my husband. He had an absolutely awful day at work and was sharing everything that had happened and the reasons why it was so upsetting to him and I could actually listen and focus on what he was telling me and offer feedback (without having my mind wandering around from thought to thought). It was absolutely wonderful! Especially since my marriage is a large motivation for me to recover. It was so great.
Another wonderful example of how things have improved this week for me is my day yesterday. I took the day off of work to spend with my parents. We went to a little town near where we live and had coffee and lunch together. I was the one who asked if we could leave the coffee shop since I was getting hungry. I think I actually shocked my parents! 😀 And I ordered a normal lunch. I didn’t sit and scrutinize every menu item to figure out which option would provide the lowest fat and lowest calorie selection. I ordered what sounded tasty to me (since I really was hungry!) and ate the whole thing! No questions asked. No hesitation. And I didn’t freak out about it either. I felt satisfied! Which is a pretty good feeling to have. The times in the past where I would let myself eat foods, I’d never really reach the point of being satisfied. Being full was a scary feeling for me. But this week alone has helped me feel fullness and accept it as an okay feeling to have. Since it is a short-lived, momentary feeling anyway. My parents were so happy to have the Elise they know and love with them and not be stuck in my head. They were so overjoyed to spend the day with me and to have me being so happy and carefree! And I loved being present and able to enjoy my time with them without having things distract me and pull me away from having a good time.
So back to today, World Market. I got sooo many exciting goodies! Check them out!!!
First of all, those chip clips are TOO cute! I couldn’t pass them up! 😀 I also got some pomegranate dark chocolate, an apple cinnamon fig bar, red raspberry scone mix (for my mom!), basil gnocchi, and Peanut Butter & Co.’s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl spread. A closer look at a few of the exciting choices I picked.
These are Natural Stuffed Dolmas. What on earth is that?! Well, they are rice, onion, grape leaves & spices. Sounded sooo interesting and tasty!
Yep, that’s right! Olives + pepper jack cheese! I really wanted to get the olives stuffed with blue cheese (my mouth is literally watering right now) but I thought of the hubster in this choice. I wanted to get something we could both enjoy since he isn’t a fan of blue cheese. 😦 Next time I go, I will be selfish though 😉
Almond Pops with Blueberries. It just looked like a great snack to have!
Solbites. Again, looked like a perfect snack easy to take on the go! Crackers+peanut butter+jelly. Perfect.
So after my outing at World Market, I made my way to Kohls. I had something I needed to return and really didn’t have any intention on buying anything while I was there. (honestly, I swear!) But just one skirt caught my eye and then I was drawn in! I decided I deserved to get some new spring clothes! So, that is what I did. I got a few amazingly cute spring dresses, a few cute spring tops, a skirt, two pairs of capris for work and a pair of shoes 😀 While trying on the clothes, I discovered a few really interesting things. One, I felt like I looked good in the clothes I was trying on. I felt comfortable in them and confident in them. I wasn’t (for a change) picking apart my body and saying ‘oh I could never wear this with my arms being..’ or ‘this won’t work, my stomach is too big’ etc etc. I tried the clothes on, and felt totally happy with how I looked in them. I felt like I made choices that flattered my body. That is the key. I was picking clothes that I normally wouldn’t have and choosing to let myself feel good in them and not let my body image hold me back from buying them. I felt really free and happy! No feelings of sadness or self-hatred this time around. No wishing I was a little skinnier or just a little more trim here or there. This was the first time in SO long that I felt this way. I was genuinely excited about trying on clothes and being able to wear the clothes I picked out and about in spring!
Don’t get me wrong, I saw my dimply thighs in the fitting room mirror. I saw my stomach and my arms in the mirrors, too. But instead of looking at those body parts, the body parts I once cried over and hated and judged myself as worthless or a failure over, and hating them and wishing to change them, I finally felt acceptance. I looked at those body parts and finally just accepted them. What a wonderful feeling.
I even looked at my knees long and hard in the fitting room mirror. (I know this sounds really weird…hear me out though!) For as long as I can remember, I have always hated my knees. I hated them so much. I always thought they were my ‘fat knees’. (When I was really overweight I always had really (what I thought) chubby knees. I lost the weight, but I felt like my knees always remained chubby) I always felt self conscious about them when I wore shorts in summer. But I looked long and hard at my knees in the mirror. And what did I think? I thought, ‘Elise, your knees look just fine!’. I literally looked at them and couldn’t understand what was wrong with them. Why had I hated these things for so long? They looked just fine, like normal knees! So, by this point I was flying high. I just felt like I was finally getting more comfortable with myself. It felt so good!
Then by the time I got myself out of Kohls the sun had come out and it had warmed up into the mid 60s. You seriously couldn’t ask for a better day! 😀 Here’s to feeling good and happy!!!