Yesterday, I woke up in a brighter mood than I had been in a few days. I had my usual cafe au lait on the way to work but because I was in a hurry, I ordered breakfast from the kitchen. The Chef made me a egg and cheese sandwich on wheat toast. I prefer to bring my breakfast and lunch to work but it is great to know that I have a food source only steps away 🙂
For lunch, I had a bowl of black bean soup topped with cheese and sour cream. I pulled the soup out of the freezer and I think it gets better over time.
In the late afternoon, I sipped on a soy latte that The Pro brought me. Lately, my need for coffee has increased and this latte could not have been more on time. Once work was done, I had an appt to get my hair cut and plans to meet the dear husband for dinner. We met at a Mexican place right by my hair salon so that I could get to group therapy in time. The food came out really slow and I was in an insane hurry so I didn’t take any photos but for the record, I had some chips and salsa (probably too many), a spinach burrito that was simply sauteed spinach in a tortilla and a cheese quesadilla.
The group is led by a therapist and a RD that specializes in eating disorders and this week, we met at the RD’s office instead of the therapist’s office. It is WAY on the other side of town and there was mucho traffic. I ended up being a little late but thankfully, I was not the last to arrive. We got started after everyone arrived and the discussion was about chapter 4 of Eating in the Light of the Moon by Dr. Annita Johnston. The entire session seemed to be exactly what I needed.
First, we talked about eating disorders being the Red Herring , or a smoke screen, for the real issues. This wasn’t really news to me because I am very aware that my ED comes from my lack of coping skills for my past and present hurts. But as the conversation continued, we were given a list, an actual list, of about 200 emotions. The list is to help us identify what we are feeling which is the first step. How can we address our feelings if we don’t even know what they are? This is a situation that I find myself in often. Sure, I can identify happy, mad, sad, frustrated but isolated, not so much. Of course, I have felt isolated but never have I been able to put a word to the feeling. The feeling of not knowing “what’s wrong” often times leads to emotional eating and sometimes binging.
Once the emotion is identified, we have to take action that doesn’t lead to our “behavior”. When we are mad, we can go for a run or when we are happy we could dance or sing. So the question arises, what about those times that the ED takes over and logic is no longer available in our minds? That is where self care, or the mayonnaise jar , comes in. In order to prevent those moments when the cloak of ED covers us, we have to put our self care FIRST. That’s right, self care has to come first.
For me, self care means spending QUALITY time with my dear husband, practicing yoga, meditating, regular (not excessive) exercise and social time. These things have to take priority over things like overtime at work, gourmet meals everyday and a sparkling clean home. Sure, those things are important to me but I have to take care of myself. I have often viewed self care as selfish but in reality, I can only take care of them less important things if I am well. Being at the bottom of a nutella jar is not well.
Another key aspect to self care is to not let our emotions pile up inside, we need to feel them and then let them go. I have trouble with expressing what I feel because I am a people pleaser. I fear hurting someone’s feelings or looking like an idiot for being too sensitive. What I learned last night is that being a sensitive person is part of being intutive, it means I listen to my emotions. I don’t have all of the skills I need to deal with them sometimes, but at least I am listening and that is a step in the right direction.
Do you put self care first? Are you a people pleaser that fears saying no or telling your REAL emotions?