Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Escaping the Stress

After dinner the other night, I told T that I was going for a short bike ride. The girls immediately announced, "I want to go with you!" but T told them that I was going alone. I pedaled off and it was wonderful. I felt as though I was escaping! I love my family more than anything in the world, but my therapist is right. I need more time to myself -- more time spent on doing things that are just for me. I felt exhilarated as I rode along, all by myself. I only rode 7 miles, but I came back feeling really calm, happy, and ready to face the bedtime routine. This is something I need more of...right after t-ball, golf, and Girls on the Run all ends....

Last night I knew I didn't have time for any bike riding. After dinner I had 20 minutes before I had to leave for support group. I asked T if he would sit and relax on the couch with me. He eyed me suspiciously and said, "Are you serious?" I assured him that I was, and he said, "Really? You're not going to jump up and clean something or remember ten things you have to do before you leave or make a list or anything?" I reiterated that I was just going to sit. So, we sat. And snuggled. And were promptly joined by our daughters who babbled at us nonstop for 20 minutes. But it was nice.

Then I went to my therapist's eating disorders support group. I realized that I feel somewhat ashamed that my ED is not the more glamorous anorexia. It is the embarrassing BED. Somehow being waifish and hungry seems more sympathy-inducing than being someone who stuffs her face. Maybe that's my own insecurity talking. Anyway, I felt really self conscious at first, but after a while I was offering my opinions on everything. The teens were probably wishing I'd shut up. There was an older woman there whose legs, I swear, were smaller around than my five-year-old's. Yet she was going on and on about needing to lose weight, and how she couldn't stop eating. I felt really sorry for her because she is obviously firmly entrenched in anorexia, and has no idea what her body really looks like. Most of the girls in the group are either in recovery or are working on it. None of them are obviously too thin.

We talked about changing self-talk and how to stop the cycle of emotional eating, shame, more eating, more shame, more eating, etc. I had to go to the grocery store afterward and I had that familiar feeling of wanting to eat to decompress after a stressful situation. I cruised by the in-store bakery, breathing in the delicious scent of the bread and doughnuts and cake. I didn't linger, however, and simply got my groceries and left. At home, I tried to decide if I was really hungry (dinner had been small and early), or just wanted to eat. I finally decided that if I had to question it, I wasn't really hungry. I was still quite tempted to eat, and actually opened the fridge and the cupboard. R saved me by appearing at that moment. I asked her if T was still awake and she said he was. So I marched upstairs and, instead of eating, made love to my husband. That is far more satisfying than graham crackers any day.


Marite said...

I SO relate to your feelings on anorexia vs BED. I feel exactly the same way- so thanks for writing that, just for saying it.

And way to choose sex over food you don't need- THAT is awesome! :)

Isabelle said...

Good for you.

What a sweet sticky little face!