Man oh man it’s been a long ass day but it was full of puppy love which for anyone who knows me knows that is a dream come true. This was second day of training at my new job as a pet care specialist at a doggie daycare/lodging facility and I can already tell I’m going to love it! The shifts are 8 hours with one 15 minute break at some point which doesn’t sound too bad.
Now here is where the dilemma comes in: following my insane meal plan when I only get one 15 minute break. My shift will intersect 2 meals and 1 snack regardless of if I work the AM or PM shift. The snack I can probably get done in 15 minutes, but as a person that still gets overwhelmed by eating in general most of the time a meal in 15 minutes ain’t gonna happen. Honestly no healthy person should be able to eat a meal in 15 minutes but that is beside the point. How is a person supposed meet all these exchanges?!
I know what my dietician from treatment would say, “You could increase your intake at dinner(or breakfast depending on the shift) and your other snacks.” Yes Tori I could do that but as I already said I get overwhelmed by my meals as they are, adding to that would just increase my anxiety. Food is not supposed to do that to a person and I’m not going to put myself through that voluntarily.
Part of me has always thought my meal plan was slightly ridiculous and since I am no longer working with a dietician I can give myself a little more flexibility in the meal plan department. I AM BY NO MEANS CONDONING RESTRICTING OR NOT FOLLOWING YOUR MEAL PLAN. I am simply saying sometimes you have to make due with what you have and do the best you can. There is definitely a difference between blatantly not following your meal plan and knowing what your body needs as well as honoring your hunger/fullness cues.
Be gentle with yourself when it comes to your meal plan because even though eating disorders are about far more than just the food, the meal plan is usually the scariest part. Especially fresh out of the safety bubble of treatment, with meal support and people that understand your struggle. So just show yourself a little grace and lean on your support network at times when the meal plan feels like too much. Chances are that’s your eating disorder voice trying to convince you to restrict or binge/purge or over exercise or abuse laxatives, whatever your behaviors are and when those thoughts creep in you need a little reality check from someone that has a healthier relationship with food than you do. Meal plans are hard. Eating is hard. Recovery is hard. But you know what’s harder? Trying to get through life with an eating disorder because they are inherently unsustainable. And I want you to get through this, I want all of us to get through this. Not just surviving but thriving because we are all worthy of life without ED.