So, it's been pretty much a shit week where work is concerned. Nothing has gone right and that sucks because it means I've put many hours of work into experiments and have absolutely nothing to show for them. Plus the weather has been cold (for California) and rainy and gross. But my eating has been pretty good so I'm happy with that. We got a new veggie box full of delicious things. I made a tasty stir-fry last night with frozen veggies as normal but threw in fresh baby bok choy and it totally rocked. I had the leftovers today for lunch with some leftover cauliflower from a few days ago mixed in. Yum. And tonight I've promised the boyfriend I would try making him kale chips since he hated the sauteed kale I made with onions and garlic last time. I also have some sausage-less Italian sausage from Trader Joe's so I might make fake sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions. Hopefully it all turns out well.
In other news, a conversation I had with the boyfriend really got me thinking about eating disorders and turning points. Our anniversary is coming up and I made some comment about how, on our first date, I ate plain salad, even though we went to this delicious Italian place that has amazing pasta and how I definitely wouldn't do that now. The boyfriend said something about that being weird because I was past the worst of the eating disorder by then. And he's right but, as I explained to him, I was still very much in it then. And he asked me, "well, what changed?"
It's a very good question. I mean, I was obsessively over-exercising just weeks before the boyfriend and I started dating. And the second time we hung out as friends (prior to any dates) we had plans to go out for lunch, but when he called to meet up I said I'd already eaten but we could get coffee. Of course I hadn't eaten, I just felt I'd eaten too much the night before to deserve lunch.
This was all just prior to my second recovery period, the one I'm still in now and hope to be for a long time. The first was in the last couple months leading up to finishing my Masters degree and I know what changed then. I realized (over a few weeks) that if I didn't eat more I wasn't going to graduate. I was going to end up in the hospital and my parents would have yanked me out of the program, no question about it. So I ate a little more, gained a few pounds, and managed to get my period back. But then the program ended and I started obsessively exercising and stressing about my eating again. I guess I relapsed though I've never really thought of it that way.
As for what made me turn things around this time, I don't really know. Gaining the rest the weight I needed to, as much as I hate it, has helped keep me from relapsing again. And not having a gym for a while helped with the exercising. But what about the eating? In my relapse I wasn't as bad about food as I was at the height of the eating disorder but I certainly wasn't great. I keep searching my memory for that "Aha!" moment when I realized I couldn't go on this way and had to change but I'm beginning to realize it doesn't exist. It was a very gradual process of realizing simply that although this whole recovery thing sucks sometimes, being deep in the eating disorder sucks more.
It's a little scary to recognize that. I wish I had that moment of realization as part of my arsenal so that when, inevitably at some point in the future, the eating disorder seems like a smart choice I could whip it out and say "no, remember this!" But I don't. I have a few small reasons and just the nice, but vague, overall feeling that I'm happier now. I don't really know if that's enough. I think hopefully soon I'll try to do a post cataloguing some of those small reasons so I have them in one place if I ever need them. Maybe that'll help.