Earlier this week, I just had one of those days…one of those days that I knew I would have. The kind of day where you don’t feel like pushing forward, when you don’t feel hungry, when you don’t feel like eating. I was pleasantly surprised just how well I was doing since my new plan started last Friday, with little roadblocks or obstacles. But as expected, that changed. I just didn’t feel hungry. It would have been on days like this that my eating disorder would have been so happy. Any day when I don’t feel hungry, because my stomach was bothering me or for any other reason, was a win for my eating disorder. That meant I could restrict with ease, not having to fight the hunger pangs. It was a cake-walk to get through the day. Just that quickly, my eating disorder thoughts came rushing in. I didn’t feel like eating. I started feeling down on myself, like I was turning into this big, chubby monster. I started getting anxious about not being able to exercise like I would wanted to (i.e. going for a run) this week because of having a lot of appointments after work in the evening and then having to head home to make dinner instead of going for a run. I got annoyed with the idea of having dinner be the reason I couldn’t go for a run (because after eating dinner, my stomach would NOT handle a run). In the past it was easy, because I didn’t need to eat dinner and could run whenever I pleased, for however long I chose.
But, as much as all of these negative thoughts came rushing in…there is one really wonderful thing that happened. As much as it would have been easy for me to give in to those thoughts and not eat my morning snack or my lunch (because after breakfast I didn’t really feel hungry anymore), or to choose not to eat dinner when I got home in order to fit in a run, I ate my morning snack, I ate my lunch, and I ate my dinner when I got home. I already decided I’d just take a walk if I couldn’t run since my stomach could handle a more gentle means of movement. See, no matter how quickly those eating disorder thoughts came in and how easy it would have been to give in, I couldn’t. I have come too far, I have made this promise not only to my parents but also to myself. No matter how bad it gets, no matter how awful I feel, no matter how badly I wish to give up, I can’t.
So that just means on these “off” days, the days where I just want to give up, give in, and follow my eating disordered thoughts and behaviors, I just learn to bite the bullet and keep going. Even if that means being in an awful mood because of it, then so be it. That day, I was crabby. That day, I was all sorts of irritated and frustrated and aggravated, but I just let those emotions come and stay as long as they needed to, before I just let them roll on by on their own. I just learned to sit with those negative thoughts and emotions and just wait it out. Because the thing of it is, all those feelings eventually pass. Sometimes they don’t pass as quickly as we want them to, but they will pass, in time. So I guess it’s a learning process in many ways for me. I’m learning to be ok with having bad days or off days. I’m learning that it’s okay to not want to push forward in recovery. But the key is to do it anyway. Even if you don’t want to, just do it.