I hurt my back over the weekend and am struggling to stay on track since then. The pain and immobility has me seeking comfort and is trying to drive me back to my old habits of turning to food for comfort.
I found myself wandering over to the candy aisle at the drugstore last night after I picked up my prescription for muscle relaxers. I didn't buy the candy, but not because I didn't want to. I was struggling with the decision and talked myself down from a whole bag of Reese's Pieces eggs or some other large candy chocolate treat. I knew it was too much, that I would probably end up eating it all or making myself sick. So I had decided that I would just go for a small bag. Jelly beans or chocolate? I knew that I would indulge in everything I brought home, so I was feeling good about bargaining with myself and choosing to just get a single serving.
My boyfriend was waiting for me and I asked if he wanted something. He didn't seem to want anything and when I pushed again (trying to get him to choose something to reduce the guilt I was feeling for even buying anything), he responded with, "Nah, I'm all set. We already have candy at home." Pretty straightforward and perfectly fine answer.
What I HEARD though was, "you're disgusting, you and your candy eating repulse me, you already have enough to make you put on all the weight you've lost plus lots more, why do you want candy, you're gross and always will be."
Hmmm, projecting much?
I put (alright, practically threw) the small bag of jelly beans I'd chosen back and very icily (read:total bitch) told him to "forget it", I was ready to go home. I hobbled ahead of him out of the store in a ridiculous huff. He, of course, had NO idea why I had turned like this and what was going on.
We talked it through later and he explained that he just wasn't craving anything and because he didn't particularly want anything at that moment, he figured he could just have some of the treats we had at home if he decided he wanted anything. What I perceived him saying was what I was actually saying to myself. All the negative stuff I'd been trying to quiet in my head came pouring out when he opened his mouth. The thing about him is that he's totally supportive of me, he loves me, he thinks I'm beautiful and beyond that, he doesn't attach the emotional weight to food that I do. So I rationally KNOW that what he said he meant is what he meant. Ugh.
My reaction scared me a lot because it was so intense and I know that the pain was driving it. I haven't had a reaction like that where I've automatically and easily reverted to the self-hate tactics in a while now.
BUT what I feel good about as I type this out is that after all that, I didn't go for the candy. I didn't find a replacement when I got home to binge with. I thought it through, I took some deep breaths and I talked about it. And I didn't have any more cravings or need to eat for comfort. I worked through it.
Each piece of this exchange would have caused a massive binge in the past - the pain, the desire to comfort myself with candy, the comment from my bf, all of it. And I would have binged, and I would have numbed out, and I would have felt more out of control and worse afterwards. The "all or nothing" idea that I either had to be "perfect" or I was a "total failure" would have taken over and that would be a way to punish myself when I started to feel good and healthy and happy. But I don't rely on perfect anymore. I rely on steady and stable and normal. And that means that sometimes it will be tough.
My eating isn't spectacular right now, though I am tracking, as I just don't have the energy or ability to be mobile enough to make a lot of healthy meals and snacks. I am tracking though and that's focus I'm grateful for. I am not sure if I'll see a loss this week after last week's 5 lbs, so I'm jsut focused on getting through this pain and staying positive and good to myself.