I’ve been trying to find my “voice” for a little while now. My blogging voice, that is. I started my original blog maybe… wow two years ago?… called AFutureRD. It chronicled the day-to-day life of a future dietitian trying to find the delicate balance between living life healthfully and to the fullest. I thought I knew what I was talking about, and to an extent, I did, but a lot has changed since then.
A couple of weeks ago, I was supposed to workout with my boyfriend after work, but I felt like crap. I wanted to cry. This happens to me sometimes. I feel “depressed” and want to do absolutely nothing but sit or eat. Rather, I want to do nothing but sit and eat. Literally just sit and eat and cry, all at the same time (glorious trifecta, eh?). That day, I knew that if I did make it to the gym, I’d start crying in the middle of our workout and thus told him I was going to skip it. He’s a personal trainer and had just come from training a client (good for her, I suppose). He was hungry, and I was hungry, so we decided to hang out and order Chinese.
No workout. Yes Chinese delivery. I felt like my dreams had come true.
We ate food and watched Modern Family. It was lovely. Until he left for his next client. I got into bed and ate dessert. I’m supposed to eat dessert once a day (I’m serious), so I ate 3 Halloween-candy sized Baby Ruths. I stared blankly at American Idol until I felt like a couch potato and had tears in my eyes. At that point it was 9 pm, and I had been doing nothing for 5 hours. I had to move. I rolled out of bed, gathered fallen pieces of chocolate and peanuts into my hand, got myself together and ran out the door to the gym.
Though I only broke a teensy sweat, I was pretty happy that I went. But the sense of satisfaction was transient. Two blocks into my walk home I felt down again: “Everything sucks. I want to cry. I have no motivation to do anything.”
Blah blah blah. And the little white girl cried all the way home.
Knowing that things weren’t actually that bad, I attempted to do what I’ve heard can be helpful when feeling this way, which is to take time to think of things for which I’m grateful. I got as far as “Well, I have my health…” before feeling like it was totally cheesy and superficial, so I took a second and thought of something related to the situation for which I was truly grateful.
I thought of how I would have handled the situation eight months ago.
<<Clears throat>>: I would have left work at 5 pm. Feeling sad, I would have stopped into Sprinkles and bought two mini cupcakes – so I didn’t feel like I was being “that bad.” I wouldn’t have felt satisfied, though (I mean, they’re small), so after getting out of the subway, I would have picked up something else, something convenient, maybe a pack of cookies from CVS or Reese’s from a newspaper street guy, or – ew – a Snickers brownie from Pax (clearly it wasn’t always about quality). Craving savory after, I would have stopped to get pizza, 2 slices, and burnt my tongue because I’d have eagerly taken a bite while walking home. I would have felt kind of exhausted but not “done,” so next would be dessert (again), probably frozen yogurt. I might have ordered delivery, because walking the 10 blocks to get fro-yo would have meant admitting that I was really “doing this”. With the $10 minimum, I would have had to order two, pretending that both wouldn’t get eaten that night. Amidst all of the eating, panic and regret would begin to sink in, so I would pull out my phone, scan the spin class schedule for the next day, and schedule two classes. Next would have been a string of text messages to my mom and sister about how shitty I felt about everything I had just eaten, to which they would respond that I still “look fine” and “always get back on track.” I would stress that that’s not the point, watch TV, and go to bed.
Do you need to take a deep breath? Because I do.
As feelings of hopelessness set in that night after the gym, I decided to acknowledge how much I’ve improved. I didn’t eat dessert on the way home because I knew I could eat it later on (as per my daily dessert allowance). I didn’t go crazy at the gym to punish myself for eating too much Chinese or one too many Baby Ruths. And while I still felt pretty down, it was a world of difference from the mess that would have occurred eight months ago.
As I wrote my original blog, I realized that I was exposing unhealthy, hyper-balanced, compulsive, restrictive eating and behavior. I didn’t want to show that anymore. And from a nutritional standpoint, trying to “undo the bad” with “super clean” eating isn’t a healthy message to send. I know that now. Eight months ago I finally decided to speak to someone about how I felt, and I’m so thankful I did. Sometimes I still feel stuck. Other times I feel my life has changed because of it. I do know, though, that I have a much healthier mindset now. And can you guess the best part?
I get to eat dessert once a day 🙂
It is so refreshing to read such an open, honest and unfiltered account of your journey with food and recovery. I’ve been through a very similar experience and recognizing small steps is so important. Therapy, along with meditation and Reiki practice really helped me stay with myself through it all and helped me get out of my own way. Can’t wait to read more about your journey!
Thank you Nicole! I really appreciate your comment. And it’s nice to hear that someone has gone through something similar, you know? So cool that you’ve used Reiki practice as well. My aunt practices and I’ve heard some really great things!