Breaking Food “Rules”

As many as eating disorder recovers know, we put rules on food. Big rules, rules we can’t break or we suddenly blow up to 500 pounds overnight or the world falls apart if we break them. We stick to the rules and we live by the rules. We create these rules ourselves though, they aren’t rules “normal eaters” have.

In my journey to recover from my eating disorder, I am trying to break the rules that constrain me. These rules also constrain us from enjoying life, like everyone else. One of my main rules I have had for a long time is to not eat a big lunch. Lunch should be small. Lunch should leave me hungry, hungry enough for a snack. Hungry for a bigger dinner. In Italy, lunch is the bigger meal, so you can see where I quickly ran into problems with my “rule”. Even after living here for 2 years it is hard for me to accept this rule, I still struggle with it and usually on eat a “big” lunch on Sunday, when I am home with my family and want to keep the traditional large Sunday lunch for my husband. I always approach this meal with anxiety. Anxiety of eating too much, anxiety because I know I will feel full after eating. Feeling full usually starts a downward spiral…I think all day after that I ate too much and go into a feeling of panic.

I have been trying to focus on “eating what you want” and nothing more.I still struggle with it though, I still don’t like a large meal at lunch and usually avoid it. Lunch in my “rules” should be a sandwich or a salad and nothing more. Today, I broke the rule. I got home from work, I didn’t feel like a sandwich or a salad and made ravioli and a side of edamame we had in a freezer. I ate it, noted how delicious it was and moved on. It was refreshing to eat in peace and to remain in peace after the meal. It wasn’t a big portion, it was still “small enough” but it wasn’t a sandwich or a salad.

There’s still a lot to work in this journey to complete eating disorder recovery and I am not sure when or how I will reach it, but I am hope to be going in the right direction.

Some breakfast pictures from the past two days:

Eggs cooked in butter, a piece of zucchini bread from the freezer, cherries

Scrambled eggs, IKEA cinnamon roll (frozen) and pineapple

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