There’s been a lot of talk about relapses in the blogosphere lately. It’s a conversation that I appreciate because it helps me remember that healthy living doesn’t mean perfect living and that the all or nothing mentality is unnecessary. I can screw up on day, on week, one month, etc and that doesn’t mean that I’ve lost all the ground I’ve gained.
This morning I’m glad to be part of this community because of the insight I receive. It isn’t even what’s in the “here’s what I think about this stuff” posts or the “how to” posts that have this effect on me. It’s the “here’s what happened, here’s how I felt about it, and here’s what I’m doing now” posts that really impact me.
It makes sense that I’d value these posts so much more. I’ve always been the type to learn through story and allegory. I think that a well illustrated story will teach far better than an instruction manual any day. Unless, of course, you’re trying to learn how to put together new furniture from IKEA, in this case you probably want to opt for the instruction manual (and be wary of extra screws).
Reading a few of these blogs today, I realized that it’s okay for me to admit that I’m dealing with a full on relapse right now… and that the relapse itself is okay too, as long as I don’t let it continue. It’s okay to have a moment and fail. It’s okay that I didn’t catch the patterns I was setting down last week when I wasn’t eating. It’s okay because I’m catching them now.
There will be no crying session, no self loathing, no punishments, and no self condemnation. I’ve acknowledged that I screwed up. I’ve even eaten all of my meals so far today.
All of this ties back in to respecting myself and respecting my body. Angela reminded me of that yesterday and she’s totally right.
It seems odd that for a girl who weighed 296lbs that not eating was the problem. I probably consumed most of my calories in liquid form and I don’t even mean booze. After a day of “not feeling like eating” I would guzzle down as much as I could because I was so damn “thirsty.”
When I stopped drinking juice, soda, and other flavored beverages it was amazing how hungry I suddenly was.
It annoyed me how often I have to eat. Actually, it still annoys me how often I have to eat. Oh, right, that’s how I know that this whole thing is still a problem even if I’m managing the behavior.
It’s surreal to me that I can write this without feeling any shame or embarrassment. I’m not worried what anyone will think of me because of it. I don’t care that someone out there will think that I’m unbalanced. Confession of any faults used to make me squirm with anxiety. What, did I believe that people thought I was perfect? Apparently.
Relapses happen, though, and I will never be perfect. I will be healthy.
So, it’s not the end of the world and certainly not the end of my learning process for healthy living. It also probably isn’t the end of me “forgetting to eat.” It will happen again some day, but hopefully I’ll catch it faster.
On the relapse days I have too much that I can look at to remind me that I haven’t failed because of it. The largest one is that I’m happy. I couldn’t say that a year ago. I’m happy. The crazy in my might not be gone but I’m glad it’s not. I like the crazy.
How do you deal with days/weeks/months of relapse?