As I shared in this blog entry, I “fell off the wagon” with my eating disorder on April 22 after becoming very triggered by two unwanted contacts from my mother/abuser in two days. Rather than beat myself up for a failure, I am choosing to celebrate the fact that I made it 47 days without binge eating, which means that I go even longer next time!
I have a big star on my calendar on March 7, which was the day I chose to focus on freeing myself from this not-so-good “old friend” that has been a part of my life since I was 12 years old. I have another big star on April 23 to mark the start of my second round of fighting the eating disorder.
I really do have a lot to celebrate. First of all, I succeeded in not binge eating through the stress of starting a new job, feeling overwhelmed and powerless when the expectations kept seeming to shift, and through several triggers. I succeeded in losing ~ 10 lbs during this time as well. My clothes are fitting me loosely, and that feels really good!
Even when I “fell off the wagon,” it wasn’t with the intensity of prior compulsions to overeat. While we had plenty of ice cream and chips in the house, I chose to have a small portion of a leftover burrito and some peanut butter – that’s it. I am classifying this as a “binge” because I was truly not hungry and only eating to meet an emotional need. It was also a compulsion that I must eat rather than a choice to eat. However, what I put into my body was high in protein, and it wasn’t anywhere near the intensity of the binges that I have battled throughout my life.
I chose not to “beat myself up” but, instead, be compassionate toward myself. I recognize the level of triggering that brought back the old pattern of behavior. I was blindsided twice in two days. Clearly I am still extremely vulnerable to any sort of contact from my mother, so I need to follow my friend’s advice to dispose of any letters rather than read them. I need to take my power back and stop letting my mother/abuser have this kind of power over me.
Over the past two days (the two days since the binge), I have been able to go right back to where I was before. By choosing not to heap guilt and shame onto myself for the binge, the bad feelings did not take on a life of their own. I am still feeling very triggered, but I am not using food to self-medicate. I am very proud of myself for this, and I am feeling very hopeful about my next round exceeding 47 days.
Photo credit: Hekatekris