Guys, I’m sick. Like, “I can’t go to work” sick. I have the flu- and I mean true influenza. Fever of 102*, chills, aches, sore throat, GI upset, cough, the whole deal. I haven’t been this sick since January 2011- which is pretty awesome, may I add. But now that I am sick, I have realized some more “stuff” regarding my ED. Joy. Two primary things stick out to me:
1) ED tries to take advantage of the sick card and brainwashes you into thinking, “Oh, you’re sick, so you can’t/shouldn’t eat. Muahahaha, now we can lose weight” >:)
2) You must stick with your “allowed foods,” aka, vegetables, salads, salmon etc, even though all you feel like is toast, freezies and ‘Pop chips.’
Ok, so now to address #1. I feel like this is a pretty common phenomenon. ED utilizes the illness in the same way it can utilize any number of things, and tries to provide you with a concrete reason as to why you should not eat. It thinks it’s being rational. It’s trying to trick you. Andyaknowwhat? The messed up part of my mind feels like when you are sick, you should always lose weight, otherwise, you weren’t really that sick. “People aren’t going to believe that you were really sick if you don’t lose some weight.” Ridiculous, I know. But, then I realized- why did it always take me SO FREAKIN LONG in the past to recover from an illness? BECAUSE I WOULD STOP EATING “SINCE I WAS SICK.” Where is the logic there!? Your body’s protein needs increase incredibly when you are sick- you need food so that your body can fight the pathogen. I also want to note that I understand that when you’re sick, you often don’t feel like eating. My appetite definitely diminished significantly during this time, and due to this, I ate less during this ‘sick period’ than normal…But, that’s NORMAL. What’s not “normal” is to sit there hungry when you are sick, wanting to eat, but then denying yourself because, “You shouldn’t eat when you are sick.” Doesn’t make any sense. And so, to sum up this rambling- when you are sick, yet still hungry, EAT. I know, I’m a genius.
Now to get on to #2. Seeing as I am still in recovery and not yet recovered, I still have many food rules. Two meals a day must be vegetable heavy, I MUST eat a salad for lunch, I can ONLY drink water, I can only eat 1 serving of grains/per day, I cannot eat a lot of carbs and…I’ll spare you. There are many more. Like I said, I am in recovery and this blog is meant to help me in this process… Moving on. I found that when you are sick, sometimes a salad sounds like the worst thing in the world. Sometimes a breakfast bowl of protein powder, ground flaxseed and puffed amaranth sounds about as appealing as a shoe. So, what was I going to do? Option 1: Continue eating “allowed foods,” possibly gagging while consuming and feeling nauseous during and afterwards. Option 2: Eat what I felt like (toast etc), and stop being a dumba$$. Whadaya think I chose? To be honest, for the first few days it was kind of a hybrid between 1 and 2. But now? Umm, ya. Full out 2. And you know what? Yesterday I ‘felt like’ a salad, and I ate a salad! Last night I ‘felt like’ a sweet potato with greek yogurt, so that is what I ate! I didn’t force it, dropped down all my rules and just went with it. And when my body was ready, it asked for the good stuff. Trust your body, people. ALWAYS trust your body. It’s one of the primary things I’m learning in this little recovery process. Your mind? Oh, your mind is probably f%&ked up and steering you all kinds of wrong ways. But your body? Your body possesses wisdom. Your body craves salad, give it salad. Your body craves crackers, give it crackers. Stop allowing your mind and food rules to negotiate with your body. The mind’s got nothin’ on the body. Body, FTW!
So, in closing, please just take care of yourself when you are sick, and give up all the eating disorder, rigid food rules BS. Just eat the damn freezie. You’ll feel better for it. I promise 🙂
Much love and health,