I'm tired. I'm mentally done for the day. I don't feel like I have the energy to write, yet I'm sitting here typing away anyways. Why? Because I had a rough 45 minutes this afternoon that has left me with burdensome guilt. I need to move on; wake up on a brighter note. What was so terrible? I'm embarrassed to say because my brain knows this guilt is silly; I did nothing wrong. Yet, my gut screams something else.
I was starving at 4:30, a perfectly normal time to get hungry considering I ate lunch at noon. I had spent the day turning down free food in the office, and just couldn't anymore. I started with some delicious Persian rice left over from a lunch meeting, then I moved on to a chocolate biscuit that had been calling my name, and ended with a scoop of java ice cream.
I'm frantically typing because I want my realistic body to win this fight. I want to go to bed knowing it's okay, and I want to show kindness toward myself. Maybe my afternoon meal wasn't the healthiest, but I'm probably the only person who cares. Why do I care so much? There's no good answer. I'm still afraid of gaining weight, although that fear is gone most days. I hold myself to unrealistic standards, which most likely stem from my own thoughts, and the thoughts of diet culture around me.
But I promise, I'm in a much better place than I was years ago. I should be proud of this. I rarely have these binge moments any more. I haven't tracked my food in years. Two years ago I threw my scale away, and now only weigh myself on occasion at the gym. Every day I get better at letting my stomach dictate when, what, and how much I eat. But no one is perfect, although, let's be honest, the desire to reach perfection is what causes food anxiety in the first place.
Where does your brain float to when left alone? Mine is always thinking about food: how much I enjoyed breakfast, contemplating snack choices, deciding what new recipe I want to try next. Most of this thinking is fun, but for once, I would just like to turn this part of my brain off. It's exhausting. I just want to think about something else. I'm so jealous of people who "forget to eat" because they are focused on other things. Don't get me wrong, I want to eat, I just want to know what it's like to not always be thinking about food.
I'm tired. I think I'll go read my book now.
I've recently been experiencing an extended period of low-anxiety; dare I say "normal" levels of anxiety? Well, that is until a few days ago when a series of First World problems swirled around me. I really want to highlight the intentional use of First World problems in this context. The situation I'm about to describe is minor on the grand scale of life, however, trivial does not exclude consequences. So what's this situation which in the moment turned my world upside down?
Our beloved CSA is now closed...forever!
Sometimes, rough moments drop out of the sky without warning, which often makes them feel even worse. I've been thoroughly enjoying life these past few months; dinners out with friends, relaxing Sunday mornings reading the newspaper, sitting by our neighborhood pool, and generally taking advantage of what this city offers in the summer. However, I've spent a lot of today trying to shake an underlying feeling of "blah".
As I sat around thinking about blogging topics this week, I realized it has been a while since I have checked in with my mental health. Some weeks, moments of anxiety and/or stress force me to consider my emotions, but the last few weeks have been pleasantly anxiety free. In fact, it's been two months since I wrote this post after finding myself in a not so great mood one morning. So what's the difference between then and now? Did my negative emotions simply disappear?
Back in October I wrote about my thoughts on sugar. I outlined a complex and often hypocritical view point, which I still believe, but have been thinking about a lot today. Let me back up a bit. I've struggled for years with emotional eating and binging (read about my journey here). Once I finally excepted this reality I began working toward a more balanced life, so that most days I now feel "recovered". However, I still have moments where I abruptly swerve off the road. Today was one of those days. For any number of reasons which I have yet to unpack, I dove head first into chocolate chip cookies and ice cream this afternoon. I felt out of control and unable to connect my brain to my body.
I recognize progress because my brain reconnected much earlier than in years past; I am ending the day feeling only a little yucky, but the guilt and feelings of failure remain. On my way home my thoughts turned back to sugar in an attempt to explain what happened. In a world constantly bombarding us with "eat this, not that" messaging, how do we escape the guilt? Is it really so bad to eat an ice cream sundae on a Tuesday afternoon? I still don't have the answers, but I'm hoping my original thoughts guide me to a peaceful night's sleep.
Some people love winter, and I understand why. Fresh falling snow creates picturesque moments, and curling up on the couch with a good book or a nap sounds perfect, but I am just not a winter loving person. Don't get me wrong, I love experiencing all four seasons. I may have my moments in winter, but I also don't have a desire to live in summer year-round. However, the fact still remains that winter brings along its own set of challenges which play directly into my existing anxieties.
Last week I asked you to think about leaving your New Year's resolutions behind for the sake of sanity, and self love. This week, I am trying to take my own advice. I sailed into New Year's Eve weekend feeling strong, and confident in my ability to fight the cultural pull of eating better, or exercising more in 2017, but then reality set in.
I started this blog as a personal project; an outlet to express my thoughts, feelings, and anxieties on my continuing journey toward finding sanity in today's crazy, body image obsessed world. I feel my own experiences, plus my professional background, allow me a voice in the larger discussion. I sometimes forget, however, that Finding Normal didn't completely solve my struggles; that in fact, bad food anxiety days still occur, and some days the body I see in the mirror appears in contrast to reality.
Walking enthusiast, kitchen experimenter, sports lover (watching, not playing), and future world traveler.
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