I had a rough day last week. The people that were supposed to put in my new flooring had screwed up. The construction project was behind, again. I had a ton of things to do and no time in which to do it. I was mad, frustrated, overwhelmed and just plain cranky. On the verge of tears, I disappeared into my office and asked my sister to keep an eye on the kids. Then the cravings started. I heard the voices in my head telling me what would make me feel better. The action that would take my mind off the frustrations.
Eating? Diving into the refrigerator and staying there until I could eat no more?
Nope. I wanted to take a walk.
That's all I really wanted to do. Walk.
Isn't that cool? When I realized that's what I wanted I about stopped breathing. Recovery. Control. Damn it was weird and wonderful all at the same time.
Not a year ago and I would have polished off a couple of boxes of Girl Scout cookies. But that day, I just took a deep breath and since my arthritis is making it all but impossible to walk without pain, I played with some photography on my computer. Fifteen minutes later, I was calm and ready to take on my next project.
I've noticed a number of new things in the week since. Things I'd been doing for a while, but hadn't really noticed. I don't feel obligated to eat --even if everyone else is eating. If I'm not hungry, I don't eat. When I'm upset, I walk away or write or find something else to do. Here's the clincher: when I'm full, I stop eating.
While it's all wonderful, it's still a new experience. There are times when I stand in the kitchen and I don't know what to do with myself. When you can eat anything, and don't feel obligated to feel guilty, it's a new experience -- at least for me. I have been tempted to call my doctor and beg her to put me on a diet. It feels like it would be easier if I had to follow a plan, rather than rely on my own instincts. I keep thinking "what if I'm wrong?"
But when I can relax and know that my body will tell me what it needs, when it needs it, I can hang out in the kitchen without fear. The key is trusting myself enough to drown out the voices of Vicki and Ed (see posts starting at Dec. 11, 2006).
Is this recovery? Or, more accurately, is this recoverED? Man, oh, man, if it is, it sure feels great!