Thinking Out Loud: Recovery Update
Not only has it been a couple of week since I joined Amanda‘s Thinking Out Loud Thursday link-up, but it’s also been awhile since I addressed how I’m doing (since moving to Boston) with my ongoing ED recovery journey. (If you’re new to my blog, you can read about my past and progress on my About Me.) I thought I’d go for a combo and update everyone in a random-thoughts format. But the bottom line is: It’s going pretty well!
1. I’ve found a therapist…for now at least. The person I’m seeing (we’ve had about 4 bi-weekly sessions at this point) is not nearly as helpful (so far) as my therapist in CT, but at the same time I haven’t felt as much of a “need” to see a therapist since I’m just so busy and also quite happy here, so I guess I’d call her good enough. I honestly didn’t have the energy to keep looking for someone…this person is a five minute walk from my office, so I can just pop out and see her over a lunch break and then come back. I just haven’t been getting a ton out of the appointments, except the chance to talk at someone and get feedback. Yet perhaps at this point that’s all I really need. I’m still thinking on this one.
2. I’m struggling with figuring out whether or not, or in which situations (all? some?), I should be in a “recovery” mode of thinking. For example I come home from going out, it’s 1AM, and I really want to eat a bunch of chips. I totally have an appetite for them. Maybe I’m even a little bit hungry. But do I really need to be eating a couple of slices of pizza, when just one would do? Do I really need to be eating a few “servings” of chips, when one serving on the bag is equivalent to probably all the calories my body needs? I’m trying to not overthink and just eat when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full but when it comes to situations like that, it’s tough. Am I using recovery as an excuse to not be as mindful as I “should” be? This doesn’t apply just to late nights. It applies to when I feel snacky after dinner, when I want to try some new wine at work. When am I supposed to switch off recovery mode and go into just mindful mode?
3. I also am still having a hard time with taking rest days. I did take Friday off a couple of weeks ago but only was able to after I decided I’d walk a little over two miles to dinner, instead of taking the T. I’m loving the walking I do in Boston but I’m not loving using it as a bargaining chip to allow myself to take time off from the gym! It’s almost like just putting on my gym clothes and being there for at least thirty minutes is what I need to satisfy that obligation to work out. A lot of days I’ve been doing thirty minutes of cardio, five minutes of abs, and calling it a day. But I have to do that to be able to call it “a day”. It’s amazing what a difference thirty-five minutes makes in my feelings of self worth.
4. I’m definitely not letting myself miss out on all the food & drink Boston has to offer. I love exploring my new home, and that includes its restaurants! I’ve been going out to dinner Friday/Saturday, some Sundays, and usually one other weeknight. I know it’s more than the average person, but I adore restaurants and in a city like this, I’ll never get through them all. So I at least could try to get through as many as I can – while balancing those nights with my nights in. And I’m still enjoying those!
5. I actually think I’ve gotten better about body checking. Whenever I feel tempted to “check my stomach” in a mirror, I remind myself that doing so is only a temptation to do something that’s meant to make me feel bad about myself, and 9/10 times I don’t do it. I also tell myself that I can “check my stomach” at the end of the day if I still want to, so why check it now, because it will look no different (and if it does then it’s all in my head). The lighting in my bedroom isn’t that great either and it actually makes it harder to see tiny details…that’s another win. The bathroom has brighter lights but a mirror that starts higher so I can’t really see my stomach in it.
6. However I still am paying way too much attention to my freaking pants. Even after I wash them, if they feel tighter when I put them on, I’m led to feel worse about myself. I can look at myself in the mirror and like what I see, put on a pair of pants and have them feel tight, and suddenly I look in the mirror again and think I look worse. Thought I looked good before? Well these pants feel tighter so that must mean there’s something I was missing. I still have the pants I wore back when I was a couple sizes bigger than I am now, and I’m afraid to wear them. I still feel like if I do, they’ll feel TOO comfortable and I’ll become mentally comfortable with fitting into them as opposed to my smaller pants. Without the use of a scale, I turn to other measurement tools like how my clothes fit to reassure myself my body hasn’t changed. I wish I could just look at my body and see what I see (or maybe not even look at it) but it takes a whole lot of psycho-analyzing for me to come to a conclusion about what it looks like.
Overall though, I’m quite proud of myself for allowing myself to enjoy my new life and for not letting the stress of my move, or being around so many restaurants and events and WINES, give me an excuse to slip backwards in recovery. Habits like overexercising and restriction are so much more tempting during periods of change, because more than ever I feel the urge to control every little thing. But whenever I feel that urge I try to do the opposite and instead cut myself a little slack BECAUSE I just moved, BECAUSE I am now living in such a cool city. I still need to work on the same stuff I’ve been working on, but it does feel good to report that I’m continuing to keep on keepin’ on.
Are you still enjoying my posts about my recovery journey?
Has moving – or another life change – ever affected a personal journey of your own?