While I am certainly not into public or priestly confession or even airing in any way my secrets, sins, or misbehaviors, I plan to do so to you today. “Why?”, you ask. Well, in a recent “group processes” class at grad school, it was brought to my attention that I have a tendency to be more of an overseer, director, or leader than a participant in groups (and I agreed with that assessment at the time). That tendency comes straight from “Miss Perfectionist”, that voice in me that tells me it’s not okay for the world to see my flaws and my difficulties. So, since I’m trying to thwart Miss Perfectionist, it seems appropriate that I share my difficulties AND let others know that I really AM participating in my own recovery from Binge-Eating Disorder, not just directing others towards their recovery.
That said, you’re probably wondering “what’s the big confession?” Well, here it is: I still struggle with the idea of “forbidden” or “bad” foods. Now, let me back-track and point out the progress I’ve made (that’s a good habit for everyone to get into). I’ve gotten to a point in my recovery where I can eat foods that were once on my “forbidden food list”. I eat them in small quantities now. I don’t follow it up with an all out barrage of negative self-talk or a binge. However, there is still some part of me that deems certain foods “bad” and I still occasionally hear that inner critic that tells me it’s not okay to have eaten several of these ‘bad’ foods in a row.
A concrete example: Yesterday, I wrote about how I was eating a salad in response to feeling frazzled. That was a personal triumph for me and one which I will not minimize. However, my food intake the rest of the day, evening, and late night was less nutritious: parmesan flavored Goldfish crackers, two peanut butter cookies, several slices of fudge, and some chocolate chips. Did I consider it a binge? Definitely not. I ate those things over a four hour period and not in a frantic, mindless way. So, again, this is progress. But I confess that just having eaten those four relatively non-nutritive foods in four hours made me “nervous” and greatly increased the “chatter” in my head. But again, I tell myself “I’m a work in progress. I can do this one day at a time…”
So, I’m confessing that I’m not 100% recovered from my disordered thinking and misperceptions about food. I still struggle. But I also realize I’m imperfectly beautifully human. And I hope that by writing this entry today, you will each see me and yourself as such, as well.
Peace, joy, and health!