How do you define normal? Is normal something it’s good to be? Of course not—we are all unique, all different, and each have our own special abilities and strengths. However, there are some times when each of us as unique individuals come together to do normal things. Where am I going with this? Well, first off, it’s the first time in a while I’m not just writing a race report so that’s a good start! But I’ve had some talks with some really good friends lately that have been helping me put a lot of things in perspective. One of the things I was reminded of was a previous blog post I did where I realized that I can’t let my eating disorder define me. I can’t let the eating disorder be an excuse for justifying my behaviors. Like, “it’s ok that I’m skipping swim practice to workout on my own—it’s because I have an eating disorder” or, “I’m going to eat dinner on my own instead of with friends because my eating disorder is making me do it, so its fine.” No, it’s not fine.
Many of you know I basically follow a paleo diet (for me that’s no grains or legumes) and I work closely with my nutritionist to monitor this. But something that was brought to my attention lately was—is it a good idea for someone trying to beat their eating disorder to be following a restrictive diet? While I truly enjoy eating paleo and can’t really think of anything I would change, I thought this was a very good point. It’s preventing me from going out with friends for dinner or other social situations… and maybe I’m just using it as a way to hide my eating disorder behind another diet/lifestyle. So as these conversations occurred I decided I should talk to my nutritionist about it.
Her response: HELL YEAH you need to go out and live life and enjoy time with friends and eat WHATEVER you want in those situations! That’s normal! And I also need to eat more!
Basically, she and I talked and while she is a proponent of paleo, as am I, she wants me to have those “cheats”, to not worry and go out with friends , and to just do some “normal” things. She amended my meal plan to include at least one BIG cheat a week (or I should say “normal” meal). For as hard as I train and for as strict as I eat the rest of the time, this cheat is mandatory (I’ll be honest, just writing this has my mind telling me “you’re going to get fat because your writing this”, but I’m ignoring it!) But my other biggest fear hasn’t been “this isn’t paleo” but more “eating this will make me fat”, but I’ve got to get over it.
I also had a great conversation with my friend Jess and she said some things that really moved me and pushed me:
So did I do it? Hell f-ing yes. I had a burger. At a restaurant. No turkey burger, no lean buffalo burger; a real burger. With cheese. And avocado. And sweet potato fries! Do you know the last time I had a burger at a restaurant (a real one)? I do. 9th grade. My friend Anna’s birthday, and it was at Glory Days Grill and had 3 cheese and was delicious. Then I became entrenched in my eating disorder and hadn’t had one since. Well I did it. And I’m not dead. Here’s the burger I got from Square 1 Burgers here in Tampa!
And you know what? I put in some serious mileage and training over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I actually left this meal still starving! Haha, I’m going to need a bigger burger next time… or maybe a pizza?
I’m looking forward to embracing life even more now! I’m finally starting to make a good group of friends here in Tampa who I get to train with and I also got to hang out with them all on Friday night at Meghann’s place. Living life less restricted but still being me is what life is about. I’m never going to be 25 and single again! (Although, I’ll gladly change that “single” part lol)
- What’s the best burger you’ve ever had?
- How do you feel about just letting yourself live and simply not stressing over useless things?