Like I mentioned on Monday, the past five years have been a process of un-learning and rebuilding myself. Removing layer after layer of upside down thinking that just no longer worked for me.
Based on my food history I have tried it all. I have looked for every single shortcut possible with the exception of surgery. I have restricted food for hours and then binge on veggies as well as forbidden foods. I have created special food rituals and rules. You know only eat ice cream as the last thing in order to have a good purge. Sad but true.
Once I got in the rooms of the food program, I realized that my thinking has been distorted. That recovery from bulimia is by far the hardest thing I could face since I have essentially a few monsters lying around in my head- the diet, the compulsive eater, the purger. It was basic steps for me:
- Stop Purging
- Learn how to sit with your food in your body- uncomfortably
- Email my food plan and food journal to a loving uber gentle sponsor. Let go of the restriction/attainment of perfect food plans
- Attempt to do what other people do- perhaps I am sugar addict so stop eating sugar? Failed miserably. Perhaps I should stop eating meat altogether? Failed. Perhaps, weight and measure my food. Again failure. Accepting that recovery will be full of slips and relapses when it comes to the gray substance that I engage on an every day basis.
- Learn how to eat real food. Did you know that real food taste actually good and can be satisfying? As someone who lived off fake food/diet/fat free I lived with the constant aftertaste of artificial stuff that always left me unsatisfied.
- I started to literally trust my gut and ate real food. I noticed the difference in my mood, my body, the way I carried myself.
- Inevitable freak out! SHIIIIIIT What if I get to lose weight? What would my identity be? Who am I? What is my life purpose?
- Off the sabotage returns, so as any good type A person I enroll in Nutrition School (to fix my problem- lack of knowledge must be the reason), stopped emailing food to someone else, started to sneak in the forbidden fake foods again (because I needed to lose the weight). Start engaging with the dreaded muffin (11 months and we finally broke up because the place was closed down). In the process I gained 20 pounds which I have been living in denial about it- until now!
Where I am at?
About a month ago, something shifted within me. It was time to take clear Good Orderly Directions when it came down to physical recovery.
Here I was having lunch with a person whose recovery I admired and who has known me for the past 5 years in the program. I shared with her that my Upper Limit is that I can’t believe I could be skinny. I believe that my weight is the one thing unfixable. I have tried it all and to no avail failed miserably. Well, she challenged the thought. What if I can commit to the idea that weight loss can be easy and effortlessly. That the work I have done over the past 5 years have been in preparation to have a body that I actually love and fully accept.
Most importantly reminded that I am not a victim of my body/physical recovery. I do have choices and the power to take the next right action. It was a HUMBLING experience. Yet it was all that I needed to have that internal shift. That was 36 days ago.
In the process, I have done some soul searching and identifying what would work for me. To listen into my intuition for guidance as what the next right action would be. Imperfect process for sure!
Based on what I know have worked for me over the past 20 something years managing the food and what works for me I was able to identify what my needs were: food plan/journal, weight accountability, community, structure that allowed me to have freedom of choice of what I could eat, and real food.
I ended up choosing to seek outside help in this area by re-signing to Weight Watchers. I know the plan works because it did for me when I was in remission from bulimia (6 wonderful months)- lost the weight- freaked out and gained it all back.
I want to reiterate, OA has been amazing loving support. It’s been the foundation that I needed for me to take on this journey. I do have a sponsor and a strong support system in this program. But I am grateful to have the humility and willingness to ask for outside help when it is the right time.