“Think about how it’s nourishing you.”
I’ve gotta cut the crap with this “falling back into my eating disorder” thing.
So I’m supposed to eat at least 2 actual meals a day and while I eat, I’m supposed to think about all the good the food is doing me. Nourishing my body. Making my skin and hair healthy, helping me function the right way. Nourishing my brain. Allowing my meds to work the right way.
I ate one actual meal today already (almost immediately after being told that I have to do the above by my therapist). I tracked it on this app I’m gonna start using called “Recovery Record” (because it’s a fucking cool app and because even though I’m once again shocked by how I’m at such a low with the eating stuff, it’s apparently necessary for me to get all the help I can). And I truly did think about how food is literally necessary for a person’s body and brain and health and happiness, etc etc etc
It’s actually a really helpful thing to think while eating. It’s really comforting to know that I’m doing something good for myself. I mean, it’s quite obvious that restricting and starving or whatever other bullshit I’ve been doing is bad for me. For my body and for my already dysfunctional brain. But the allure was obviously still there (for reasons I’ve said before and reasons I think I’ve still got buried under the piles of crap in my mind).
So yeah. Focusing on health. And on that note, I’ve compiled a list of things that sorta have to do with food and how it related to actual physical and mental health.
The obvious stuff first, some of which I’ve already said, and other general positives of eating healthily and not restricting :
— good nutrition gives your body and brain what it needs to function properly (duh)
— therefore making you feel good (as opposed to weak and hungry and overall just shitty)
— hi, if you want energy, you need food and you need calories (which, by the way, is a word that means energy)
— hi, if you also want to focus, then eat some goddamn food, because not eating reduces gray matter in your brain, which as you can imagine is not a good thing to be reduced
— eating well has a positive impact on mood (as I’ve learned multiple times and should definitely try to fucking remember because my moods are fucked up enough)
— making good choices ensures you’ll feel good and be in good health later in life (AKA don’t screw up the entire second half of your life due to dumbass reasons to stay eating disordered)
— it maintains your immune system so you don’t get sick every other week and so you don’t stay sick for months at a time when you do get sick
— basically, food affects every aspect of your life and eating like a normal human being is hella helpful (granted “normal” is subjective, but I use it to try and kick some sense into myself)
Stuff that happens with the disorder gets really bad:
— the loss of your period (amenorrhea), which is the result of fucking up your estrogen hormones by not eating, can decrease your bone density by decreasing calcium in your body, leading to osteoporosis, which honestly sounds really terrible, so let’s just not [sidenote about the calcium thing, taking a Ca supplement when you actually get your period totally helps cramps]
— also you might mess up your chances of ever getting pregnant, so there’s that, and the sooner you “restore your period” the better your chances of staying fertile are
— your body will start eating its own muscles, including that good old heart muscle, because of something called like, “protein-energy malnutrition” or something
— anemia, lack of iron, not enough red blood cells to carry oxygen (which is kind of important) through your body
List of things that are “not otherwise specified” (see what I did there? EDNOS? I don’t think that’s what they call it anymore, but whatever):
— preventing yourself from eating for a prolonged period of time only makes you eventually want to start eating and not stop for a prolonged period of time, which, if you have an eating disorder, is confusing and upsetting (not that there’s anything wrong with eating to your heart’s content, but if you’ve been there, you know what I mean)
— dude, you’ve gotta get them vitamins, and yeah taking supplements helps (I certainly take all mine when I’m not eating because I might as well hold onto a sliver of health, amiright?) but those don’t do as well as vitamins and minerals from actual sustenance
— I keep thinking about the skin and hair thing that my therapist mentioned, and I love remembering that eating makes my them healthy (because that stuff makes me look healthier in a way unrelated to weight, and that’ll make me feel better) [also, when I went back to school after being in the hospital for a few months due to the anorexia that I’d suffered from for three years, one of my teachers complimented my hair specifically, and I remember thinking that that was the absolute most perfect thing to say because it didn’t have to do with my weight, and it made me feel proud to be healthy]
I could keep going with these lists, but I feel like that’s a good start. Maybe I’ll continue adding as I think of more things. We shall see, but tbh now I have to go focus on eating another actual meal. I’m gonna think about this stuff while simultaneously trying to eat “mindfully” and “intuitively” haha, so go me, I guess?