[[Side Notes: Overnight
With the New Year just days away and the things I just want to accomplish in 2012 about to start too, there is one thing about my eating disorder I have yet to be able to get over: The Overnight Fear.
What is this? It’s the mentality that if I eat something, either forbidden or too much of, that when I wake up the next morning, I will have gained a significant amount of weight and ballooned out like an elephant. Or that somehow because I ate those things, I am now less of the person that I am. Sometimes it’ll just be one body part, like my mid section, but some days I could wake up and swear that my thighs are bigger or that my chin is now tripled.
I have tried to work through this since my ED started over 8 years ago. I go through highs and lows with it, and right now is a low. With all the things I have going on (I’m sure you’ve seen me complaining about some health issues, so that’s where most anxiety is coming from), I’m stressed out and just plain mentally and physically exhausted. Add to that that my hip is hurt again so I can’t run, or even bike, and I’m left in a place that has me teetering on the edge.
This is the disordered/irrational thought that gets to me the most. The guilt is bad and the mental beating is just as much. I had never been able to work through it in the past, but now, I have strategies.
1. What is a pound?
-I’m guilty of the fact that I still count calories (I know I know…I try everyday not to and am getting better) so I always know how many calories I’ve eaten in a day. When I have a day where I feel guilty about eating something and see the calorie count at the end of the day, I usually feel super guilty and out of control (sad that I even have a number restricted to my food, though it always takes into account my exercise; ALWAYS). When I’m doing well, I can wake up the next morning and let it pass, but sometimes I can’t and have to realize that gaining that pound, or pounds I’m so afraid of comes only if…I eat 3,500 calories, which, I haven’t. A pound, is 3,500 calories and I have to keep telling myself that I did not eat that much, therefore I did not gain a pound overnight.
2. Letting Go
-Sometimes the guilt is so overwhelming that I wake up the next morning feeling it still, and have every intention of restricting. But with a strong head on my shoulders, the will to “Let Go” of the evening before and look at the next day, even next meal, as a new one with so many better things and happiness, I am able to relax and move past the moment.
-“Letting Go” also means that I have to realize, for instance, why an emotional eating episode happened. A few nights ago, it was the anxiety of the holidays. Just the other night, it was because I put off having dinner for far too many hours, then felt absolutely ravenous when I started eating and felt anxious about what to eat after that long to satisfy me.
Much of the frustration and anxiety that occurs in my head can always be out-talked. I have rational conversations with myself to assure that nothing bad is going to come of this. Yes, you ate a few too many brownies and M&M’s. Is it the end of the world? Will people think less of you for it? So what if you did gain a pound, is it such a horrible horrible thing?
Just trying to keep on keep’n on…