I’ve done a lot of “eating in the moment” lately. What I mean by that is that I’ve been eating a lot without overthinking it.
One thing that is extremely telling of EDs is that people often don’t engage in free-eating, simply out of fear of what will happen to their bodies. This type of control often makes people with eating disorders feel better, but the reality is that it’s not healthy.
This past weekend, I had an intensive class (9-5 both Saturday and Sunday), and on Sunday, we had a potluck. Everyone brought yummy food that they either made at home or that they picked up on their way into the city. It was delicious.
Sunday was what I call a “munch day.” I munched pretty steadily throughout and instead of real meals I kind of just snacked all day. This isn’t typical for me, because I normally do three meals and three snacks (or something pretty similar), but I was able to tell myself throughout the day that I could trust my body to make sense of the food I was feeding it.
It’s easy for our brains (even in recovery) to get wrapped up in numbers and food groups and meals past and future, but part of my recovery has been focusing on staying in the moment. How does my stomach feel right now? How much do I want to eat? How does this taste?
Eating shouldn’t be a stressful experience. In fact, eating should be fun and enjoyable and it should be NORMAL. Recovery, to me, looks like grabbing dinner and margaritas with my friends after class because we did great on our presentation.
It’s snacking on a donut and a half because they were yummy and I don’t eat donuts regularly, so when I can, I will.
It’s giving my body the foods that it craves and LIKES, and not feeling guilty about it.
I think one of the best things I see people experience in recovery is the increased brain space that they can use for other things. When people have an eating disorder, their thoughts often focus on food, body, or movement. When we recover from our eating disorders, our brains get to return to normal functioning, and we get to think about things like family, friends, school, work, love, creativity, and all the hobbies we enjoy.
This brain space gets better and better as we continue in recovery. I know I preach a lot about trust, but trusting your body is so freeing.
The hard thing about EDs is that they brainwash us to go against our normal bodily functions. Recovery is basically gaining them back and letting logic overcome our emotions. Starving ourselves will only make our bodies less likely to take care of us and purging only damages our insides. Starving ourselves will hurt our bodies in the long run.
Feeding your body will not.