Both of my children are still young, aged 7 and 4, and they are both normal weights. This gives me a level of peace and comfort throughout my own struggles that I really can’t even begin to quantify. I’ve been so careful to keep my “crazy food head” out of their sight and as far away from them as I can. I think, I’ve mostly succeeded. They have no idea I have an eating disorder and I haven’t been actually, really, truly, FAT since my daughter was about a year old (she’s 7 now).

My daughter eats like a grown-up in that she likes things like spinach and hummus and steak. I try to teach her moderation in all things. A little bit of everything but not too much of any one thing. My son, on the other hand, has a typical child’s palate and won’t eat anything other than bread products, dairy (like cheese & yogurt), and fruit.

I try to keep their diets filled with whole foods and with enough variation. I also try really hard not to deny them sweets and things they see other children eating. My mother never allowed us to have dessert and so tightly controlled what I ate that I used to go wild whenever she wasn’t around.

I’ve liked to think of that as the reason that I began binging and hiding food.

Now, I recognize that this was a “chicken and the egg” issue since she had the same rules for my siblings and neither of them developed the eating disorder I did.

Of course, they have their own food issues. Just not mine.

So I try to make sure I have healthier versions of desserts on hand for them. Homemade items where I can control the ingredients and make them organic, with less refined sweeteners, no preservatives, no fillers, etc.

Somehow it’s worked for them. They are normal eaters and normal weights. But, of course, it could have nothing to do with me either and just be that they don’t have these issues. Either way, I don’t deny them just because of my eating disorder. And it seems to be working.

Except…

I have to cook for them.

So in the late afternoon, which is the most vulnerable time of day for me with food, I have to cook things for them that are so completely off my list of acceptable foods. It’s the time when I’m about to put the plate down in front of them and then when they are finished and their plates aren’t empty that I have the hardest time not sneaking bites of their plates.

I’ve started using my fingers to test to see if their food is too hot instead of taking a bite.

This may not sound revolutionary, but to me it kind of was.

I’ve taken full advantage of the garbage disposal and drowned their left overs in water before stuffing it in the disposal.

But some nights, I just want someone else to have to make it and clean it up so I don’t have to face it.

My husband’s been on vacation so he’s been able to help me out this past week, but, that’s not ever an option when he’s working.

Feeding myself has become such a thought intensive activity that having to be responsible for what everyone else in my family eats feels overwhelming sometimes.

I feel terrible saying this. Who wants to admit to not wanting to feed her children?

I mean of course I want to feed them. It just makes it hard for me to stay focused on staying on track for myself when I’m having to cook all my triggers for them.

Two nights ago I was on a pure protein day. But, I just couldn’t handle it by the time dinner rolled around. I had to cook my all time favorite trigger food for my kids and finally, I just had to leave the kitchen while they were eating. The idea of eating only chicken breast for dinner was just impossible to face. So, I ate some of the salad I had prepared for my husband and his mother to eat.

It felt nourishing.

It felt healthy.

It felt satisfying.

It felt reassuring to know that if I was going to cheat on my daily plan it was with vegetables not my triggers.

But afterwards, I felt unsure.

Was that a mistake?

Is taking care of myself in the moment in a rational way (I am allowed veggies, just every other day) and not allowing my restlessness to lead to binging, or eating off limits items, or giving in to triggers, etc. the right choice? Or am I supposed to dig in and grab my willpower by the horns and demand that it just hold out until tomorrow? How do I know?

Overeaters Anonymous tells me that my willpower is a pathetic opponent compare to my disease and will always loose the battle in the long run. I know this to be true.

Overeaters Anonymous also tells me that my weaknesses are my strengths. That giving up control is how I find strength to persevere. I know this to be true too.

So is eating some veggies on a pure protein day giving in to my weakness, being flexible and not too hard on myself, trying to wrest control back from HP, or finding finding rational balance? I just don’t know.

All I know is that it could have been worse, and beating myself up over something that’s past doesn’t help my present or my future.

I’m hoping that writing it down and getting it out of my brain will help it fade.

I’m also hoping this is all menstrual-related. Then I know it will be gone in a few days no matter what.

Of course, that also means it will return.

If so, I’ll still get through it.

One day at a time.

Advertisements