Writing that sounds so silly. I cried over chips. I guess it is silly. At the time when I was talking to my therapist though, chips seemed very threatening. I have successfully incorporated pretzels into my daily lunch (which wasn’t an easy feat at first!). I needed to up my grains and pretzels seemed like the safest choice. Which my therapist and nutritionist both agreed that they were. Which is a problem.
It’s a problem because I am very inflexible with my food. I eat the same breakfast every day. If I am going to eat a different breakfast, I somehow have to compensate later in the day. I eat the same lunch. Turkey sandwich, carrots, and pretzels. And now they want me to change it up. So I did. Or I tried. I bought a bag of kettle chips, separated out a decent portion and brought it with me to lab. And then I ate them with my turkey sandwich and carrots. It shouldn’t have been a big deal. But the voice in my head telling me I screwed up was incessant the rest of the day. That was an easy 100+ calories that I wouldn’t have ingested had I eaten my normal pretzels. The weight sat with me uncomfortably.
I told my therapist about my attempt to change things up. I told her I felt like I could only eat chips at lunch if I ran over 7 miles that day. How else could my body handle the extra caloric intake!? Talking about eating chips and the anxiety it gave me pushed me to tears. On the outside, I probably seem cool and collected eating my chips. Or at least like everyone else (how does one look when eating chips?). But inside my anxiety is raging. And it is impossible for me to talk about it without the anxiety spilling over.
My therapist tried to reason with me, telling me people don’t eat the exact same number of calories every day. She promised me that because I ate chips one day doesn’t mean that I am going to eat chips every day and totally lose control. She told me that I can eat chips. I can. I can and not worry about it, though she knows it is obviously easier said than done. She said I need to fight back from the rules my brain imposes on me and my eating. She said to become more flexible, I must break the rules. Which means eating chips on days that I may not run as much. And just do it. And sit with it. And feel uncomfortable. But only for a bit. And realize that the world doesn’t collapse beneath my feet.
Today, I ate chips. I have thought about the fact that I ate chips. I have felt uncomfortable about it. And now I am moving on.