And, WELCOME to any new readers out there- I love it when you guys comment, even just to say "hi"!
I slept really well and feel a hundred times better for it. What felt like humongous stresses yesterday don't seem like such a big deal today- it's amazing what proper rest can do for your emotional state!
Having said that, today's been filled with the obsessing/calculating stuff that hasn't been at the forefront of my mind today. The trigger? Yesterday's cheese. Yes, 1oz of cheese has my brain in a complete spin and I'm not sure why. Well, that's not entirely true. It's scaring me because I enjoyed it. *gasps in horror* What does this mean? It means I want to start including it on a regular basis. It tasted good, was a nice change from my usual foods and I want to eat it again. So WHY is this a problem?
I am scared of cheese.
When I was much younger, my mom went on a diet (she was overweight) and lost a lot of weight through a healthy meal plan. When asked how she did it, she always attributed her weight loss to cutting cheese out of her diet. I've never been a huge cheese-lover, but it's stayed ingrained in my mind that cheese is something to be avoided, that it's not a food to be eaten on a regular basis.
The truth? Cheese is a source of calcium and protein. It adds great flavour and a funky gooey texture when it melts. It's not something I love enough to WANT to eat every day, but I don't want to avoid it forever.
I think I am more scared of the fact that it tasted good. I struggle to acknowledge that there are foods I like, particularly ones that are "scary"- but that's crazy. Food isn't scary or safe or good or bad or ANY of the labels I attach to it. Food is food. Nothing more, nothing less. Some tastes better than other, some is prettier than others, some is more expensive than others. But at the end of the day, there is nothing to be scared of.
Will I eat it again? Yes. The very fact that today's turmoil has been so pertinent is a clear sign to me that I need to be facing my fears head on. I refuse to be controlled by anxieties over things that in the great context of LIFE, are no big deal.
I ate cheese pretty frequently in treatment, alongside a whole multitude of foods that I have been avoiding more and more. I still ate them during the months that followed, despite struggling and relapsing. it's been pretty recent that I have completely cut out certain foods, and looking back, I was so much happier when I had just that little bit more freedom around my meals. My head was clearer because I wasn't obsessing about it so much and my body was getting a wider variety of nutrients. I had more time to do enjoyable things because I wasn't (like today) spending hours writing lists/meal plans/panicking about a little piece of 'whatever' 2/3/4 days before.
When I was unpacking some of my things, I came across some of my old worksheets from treatment a couple of years ago. One of them was a list I had made as part of a "fear exposure therapy" group- we had to make a list of our top ten most challenging foods. I left soon after so never got round to doing the full group, but I have my list and am going to come up with my own "exposure therapy" plan to conquer these fears.
Anyone got tips on how to confront this list I have or want to join me in setting some goals around this? (shout out to PAM for our virtual snack yesterday!)
I don't want a life that revolves around anxiety over eating. I want to enjoy food without guilt or fear. I want to eat my meals and go on with my day. I want freedom.
- Anais Nis
A couple of food pics from today...
Raisin, date and walnut oatmeal (I swear this tastes like cookie dough once it's cooled) topped with fage and a jumbo banana:
A non-bar snack! Pumpkin spice trail mix with fromage frais. Fromage frais has been around in the UK much longer than the Greek yogurts hitting the shelves- it's much thinner/runnier, but has pretty much identical nutritional stats/taste, and is half the price. The trail mix is from Target- a friend sent me 3 bags a couple of months ago. Love it!