So I am about to share something VERY vulnerable for me.. Something that I wouldn’t usually tell anyone.. And something I absolutely would not share with my entire social media following. But here we go..
Last week, before Eric and I went on our mid week grocery shopping trip, I made a very quick decision to try to focus on more anti inflammatory foods as well as more plant based foods for the next few days (quick side note: a women with severe endometriosis recommended eating more anti inflammatory and plant based foods a few days before your time of the month to help with the severe pain - I thought it was worth trying if it meant less pain).
What I did not realize then was this: in my attempt to eat like that, last minute with VERY little planning, my brain went into immediate restriction mode (not good for those of us who have struggled with disordered eating). I did not buy enough food to support this kind of food decision and as a result I ate way less than I should have. By Friday, deep down, I was like “fuckkkk this.”
I was finishing up work Friday afternoon and as 5 o’clock rolled around, hunger hit me like a load of bricks… like a lot of bricks. I went straight to my favorite burrito place and ordered Eric and I burritos for dinner. “Ehh whatever, one burrito won’t kill me.”
30 minutes later I found myself alone, on the couch, with TWO empty burrito wrappers.
My stomach was FULL and it wasn't long before the shaming started. It has been so long since I have eaten so mindlessly, why now? How can I talk about eating with intention after I just inhaled this amount of food? My mind was racing and anxiety started kicking in.. I went into panic mode and started immediately planning out my next steps: what I would eat tomorrow, what would my workout look like, could I go to the gym now, how could I make up for this moving forward, what could I cut out, I’ll get back on track….
The moment I realized I was panicking, I also remembered that I had two choices. I could either continue down the rabbit hole of shame, embarrassment, beating myself up and planning my escape by more restricting (which would ultimately lead to more binging) OR I could use everything as information moving forward and do just that.. Move forward.
After sitting with it all for a while, I decided to acknowledge that it happened, that I sure didn’t feel good after, and learn from it. I decided the moments following the event didn't have to be defined by that event. I allowed myself to be upset and angry without believing I was bad for it or that I was moving back to old habits. I could just move forward with this new information.
Mindful eating and learning to listen to our bodies is a process, a forever process that I am forever learning from. I realized I need to be VERY careful when it comes to any kind of food restriction, even if the end result is to feel better and not about losing weight. It needs to come from a place of love and I need to be sure I am eating the right amount of food as well as talking about food in a positive way. I realized I was using the word “can’t” again when referring to certain foods and that mentality (rather than using terminology like fueling vs non fueling or feel good vs non feel good) leads me straight into the arms of binging, which is what happened Friday night.
The next day, I still ate breakfast (a good breakfast), I still went skiing (which was the pre binge plan.. rather than spending hours in the gym), I ate lunch, dinner and even some dessert. I removed myself from the binge/restrict cycle and went back to listening to my body. Maybe next month I will try the plant based and anti inflammatory plan again but with a much clearer path with a lot more food.
The burrito kerfuffle of 2017 did not define me or the moments following the event. It was just information that I was able to learn from moving forward.
I share my story because I know a lot of people struggle with this exact thing especially now that the holiday season is coming to an end. But want you to know that you are not alone AND there is a more freeing option to dealing with it all. Be gentle with yourself, it is all just information that we can learn from.