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My Bark is Bigger Than My Bite

February 3, 2011

Sorry in advance. This post is really loooooooong, and there are no pictures, seeing as I forgot to take any today.

It’s official. I am at the point in recovery where I’m so deeply set in my comfort zone that the thought of any further progression is scary. But the progress I have made has been pretty incredible. I don’t want that to come across as bragging, which I don’t like to do. Sometimes though, I feel like when many people (especially girls) try to be humble, it’s to the point where they mostly speak negatively of themselves. If they do say something positive, they either minimize it, or they apologize for it afterward.

If there’s something I can’t stand, it’s when people don’t respectfully acknowledge their triumphs. There is a difference between recognizing achievement and being obnoxious.  What I would like is for my blog to be a place where I can announce my accomplishments as I continue to beat ED’s ass into the dirt. So with that being said, I am DAMN proud of my mental progress, my recent emotional stability, and my weight gain. I worked hard and fought through many emotional battles to get to where I am now.

But – and there’s always a but – though I have been progressing, I have not been progressing as much as I would like to. I still have many horrible ED habits: eating the food in my meal in a certain order, measuring, weighing, and counting calories like it’s nobody’s business, and having pointless rituals for preparing my food. They need to stop.

I do feel a tad hypocritical. It’s like I’m a shrimpy little chihuahua, whose all bark and zero bite. I come here and type how well I’m doing, when the truth is that while I am doing well, I need to be doing so much better. I have chosen to recover, so why should I recover timidly, eating the same amounts of the same foods every single day? If I’m going to get to my goal weight in the end, does it really matter if I have a couple of cookies here and there? It sure would make eating more fun to have those treats rather than the same old oatmeal, yogurt mess, savory oatmeal, and pb&j day in and day out. If I really have to get to my set point either way, should it matter if I weigh the food before I eat it? It’s unlikely that I will overeat if I do not measure it, but even if I did, that’s sort of what the goal is right now, isn’t it?

I really want to end this food measuring addiction I’ve got going on. I was scared to ditch the measuring tape, but I did. I feel great because of it, and I truly believe I wouldn’t be as far along in recovery if I were still measuring my waist. As much as I think measuring food is slowing my recovery, I’m TERRIFIED to stop. To me, that’s the ultimate loss of control – which is really what anorexia is all about. But I know it is possible. I have done it for 14 years without anything bad happening. Funny enough (ED, I’m lookin’ at you!), bad things only started happening as my ED began. Now the liar is telling me that my world will collapse if I stop. What B.S!

Months ago, I wrote a letter of sorts to my ED.  I’d like to write a paragraph of it here, as I think it really gets my point across:

I am done. Done with your lies, manipulation, control, and thievery. I am taking back all that you stole, and all that still rightfully belongs to me. I am kicking you out of my head, and I am kicking you out of my heart. Your opinion is no longer valued and your presence is not appreciated anymore. Gather all of your obsessive thoughts, senseless rules, and ridiculous rituals, pack them up in your suitcase, and leave. You will never be welcomed back into my life. I do not need you. I never have, and I NEVER will. We are done.

So ladies, here’s what I say: from today on, I am aiming to either not measure one part of each meal, or to eat one food per day that is out of my comfort zone. I know those are baby steps, but even that will get me further along than sitting on my ass will. I’ve had too many failed attempts at not measuring, but I’m hoping that announcing it on the blog will help hold me to it. We’ll see what happens…


Did you ever measure? If you don’t anymore, how did you stop?

What’s one brag-worthy thing you’ve done recently?

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 3, 2011 11:12 pm

    Challenging yourself every day is a great way to move past certain habits in your recovery! Even to this day, I still challenge myself everyday to do something that makes me uncomfortable because I don’t ever want to go back to a place where I am “comfortable.” Life needs to be exciting!

    I have indeed stopped measuring my food (except when it comes to baking for obvious reasons) and it was extremely hard at first. I used to think that if I stopped measuring my food then I would eat LESS than I should so I continued to do so. Well, that was my excuse anyway. How did I stop measuring my food. One day when I felt strong enough, I did it. I poured out however much cereal I wanted, poured over some milk and that was that. If you pour out too much, at the end of the day does it really matter? If you have to gain weight, you might as well enjoy it! That’s why I have so much fun with food these days. I try new flavors and new creations all the time and it’s fun!

    Ever since I arrived at a healthy BMI and embarked on the intuitive eating bandwagon, I realised that if I eat too much at one meal, I won’t feel as hungry for the next meal and therefore I will feel like eating less. Or I just wait until I’m hungry. At the end of the day it all balances out. It’s amazing how we are so afraid to trust our body signals. We always feel as though our bodies have set out to make us as “fat” as possible but that just isn’t the case. If you listen to it, it will tell you exactly what it wants. It will tell you when it’s hungry, when it’s full, when it’s in pain, when it’s energetic, etc.

    My advice about ceasing to measure your food is ease into it. Start by not measuring your food for one meal a day and see how that makes you feel. Learn how to sit with those feelings and then as you get used to it, don’t measure your food for two meals and so on. You can do it 🙂


  2. February 4, 2011 1:18 pm

    I also used to measure my food compulsively. I still do it with a few things, but I’m trying to make steps of progress in this area.
    I think when you stop measuring is when you have to really learn to TRUST your body. And I’ll be the first to say that it’s a scary thing to do. But once you start making steps of progress in that direction, you get more and more confident.

    Take today for example, I had a much larger lunch then usual. And by much I mean MUCH. I was so hungry and it seemed I just couldn’t get full. But actually the amount of food I ate kept me full till dinner, so I didn’t need a snack. In the end it all balanced out. Of course my ED thoughts tried to get me to feel bad about it, but there was no reason to. Your body knows what it needs. If I eat a lot of snacks I eat less at meals and visa-versa.

    I think you do deserve to be proud of yourself and all the progress you’ve made. Sure, there are still hurdles to cross, but that doesn’t in any way negate the progress you’ve made so far. You should toot your own horn all the way!

    Hope you have a good weekend!

  3. February 4, 2011 2:16 pm

    Unfortunately I still struggle with measuring but all I measure is cereal so I have definitely gotten better! It’s definitely a big step on the road to recovery so even measuring less than usual is something to be proud of! It sounds like you’ve made some major progress so keep it up 😀

  4. Sarah permalink
    February 4, 2011 9:16 pm

    Hey Bryana!

    I found your blog : ). Thanks for the link! When I click on your name after you’ve left me a comment it tries to take me to a blog called that no longer exists. Maybe this was an old blog??

    Anyways…this paragraph that you wrote really hit home with me:
    “I still have many horrible ED habits: eating the food in my meal in a certain order, measuring, weighing, and counting calories like it’s nobody’s business, and having pointless rituals for preparing my food. They need to stop.”

    I admire your determination so much. These are HARD things to stop. I still cling onto every single one of my food rituals and weigh/measure everything out. Be patient with yourself, though. The most important thing is that you are nourishing your body. Taking care of these rituals is important as well, but not as important as making sure you’re nourished. Do you feel like cutting some of them out would cause enough anxiety to put you in danger of relapse? If so, take it very slow…or maybe talk with your treatment team about how to best approach doing this.

    I’m not trying to discourage you from meeting these goals at all! My treatment team has told me to put off trying to manage some of my OCD/food rituals until I am meeting my meal plan and feel comfortable with that. Don’t want to take on too much at once, you know??

    Thank you for leaving me such sweet and helpful blog comments. I appreciate it SO much. I can’t wait to keep following yours, I’ll add you to my blogroll : )


    • February 4, 2011 10:36 pm

      Thank you so much for that encouragement. I no doubt feel that stopping the measuring and the rituals would cause a crap ton of anxiety, but I feel like I have been so much more mentally stable lately. I have never wanted recovery as much as I do now.

      I used to get this high from restriction. Not necessarily from being hungry 24/7, but just from consciously and purposely starving myself. I felt so in control, like nobody could tell me “no” to anything. Lately, I’ve been feeling the exact same high from eating. I think this time though, it’s from finally feeling in control of my my ED. I feel like I am in charge of how healthy I get, and no one on the planet can stop me from becoming the healthiest person on Earth. Unfortunately, thats where ED comes in and says, “Fine, get healthy, but on my terms: you measure and control EVERYTHING.” That’s the part I’m trying to work on now.

      I have a feeling my dietician would tell me the same thing you are: for now to just keep eating, regardless of how. I can work on the rest when I’m weight restored. I have this insane desire to keep progressing, but I have to remind myself that pushing too hard isn’t good either.

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