I had an epiphany this weekend. It might sound silly and really random at first but bear with me. It was a moment where I could actually pinpoint just how much things had changed for me, and in the best way!
For the whole story to make sense, I should back track to last weekend. While at Target, me and Amanda picked up some ice cream sandwiches. I admit, I had an instant twinge of anxiety when Amanda suggested getting them because I didn't know yet if I was ready to have them in the house. I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to control myself around them, and that it would send me backwards.
Let me back track even further. Ice cream sandwiches are my weakness. They always have been and always will. I absolutely love them and usually have to eat two because I can't just stop at one. Even before my struggles with food I had this problem! I don't know what it is about them but I lose all self control and devour them. Not even the fancy kind. No, I don't want any of those chocolate chip cookie ones or skinny cows. Nope, nope, nope. I'm talking the plain and simple regular old ice cream sandwiches. You know the kind with the two chocolate rectangles and vanilla in the middle? Yep, only those.
Now, back to last weekend. I was hesitant but I was proud and didn't want to say that I was scared in front of Amanda. So we bought them and I decided that I would have to face my fear of them eventually.
And guess what?
By the next day, I honestly and legitimately forgot we even bought them!
Still sound strange? Let me explain. If I had gotten these during the time I was still depriving myself, those babies would be on my mind con.stant.ly. 24/7 that's all I would think about and how I couldn't have them. Now, I hardly ever have those urges with food.
It's simply because I've slowly allowed myself access to those foods. I didn't do it all at once because that would've been a nightmare, and there were times where I probably took on foods that I wasn't ready for a.k.a. a carton of cookies n' cream fro yo. I had to do it slowly and one at a time by picking a food that I had deprived myself from because if I did it too fast, I would trigger a binge.
When I think now to the foods that I have in my house, it's pretty miraculous for me. Foods that used to be huge fear foods for me but now I'm able to enjoy them! I have golden Oreos, mini Oreos, mini Rolos, ice cream sandwiches, vanilla frozen yogurt, graham crackers, pumpkin custard, 6 flavors of peanut butter (#jifwhipsforlife lolz), pretzels, sweet potato chips, and vanilla cupcake goldfish grahams. I actually didn't realize all that I had until I sat here and listed them all out but I'm not embarrassed at all. For some people they might cringe at the thought of all that "processed unclean" foods buuuut I don't prefer to label foods anymore, and simply balance it all out!
I think it's perfectly fine to eat those foods because I make sure to take care of my body. Yesterday I had part of an ice cream sandwich, peanut butter and 2 mini Oreos but I also had a banana, egg white omelette, carrots and hummus, rice cakes, greek yogurt, chicken, and a fresh salad. Even with the "unclean" foods I still hit my macros spot on, down to the gram.
The funny thing is my cousin was over the other day and she said "wow, your pantry actually looks back to normal now." For so long, I didn't allow things like Oreos, peanut butter, or cartons of frozen yogurt in the house because I was afraid of them. I was afraid of triggering a binge and I didn't want those feelings of guilt, shame, self-disgust to consume me. They'd come one way or another but I thought for so long that keeping those foods at bay would solve the problem.
But it won't. The problem is not the food, it never has and it never will be. The problem was with myself and my perception of food. That is a mental change that takes time and patience.
If I'm at the point where I can keep ice cream sandwiches in the house without the need to eat the entire box, I'm in a pretty good place at the moment. I never would have thought I could have gotten to that point because believe me there were times when I tried to overcome those triggers and failed miserably.
I even ate only half of an ice cream sandwich yesterday, which would've been unthinkable to me before now! This is where I'm thankful for IIFYM because I wanted an ice cream sandwich but couldn't have a whole one. So I asked my mom if she wanted to split one because I could fit half of one in my macros. I was able to balance out my cravings and my macros. I ate my half and was happy! It was all I needed and then I went about the rest of my afternoon. With zero feelings of guilt, I might add :)
This is what I've been striving for the whole past year and a half. To be able to enjoy the things I love guilt-free and balance it out with taking care of my body. I want my nutrition and fitness to compliment one another and to work together as a process to make me the best version I can be.
One is not meant to cancel out the other. Don't try to out-do a bad diet with crazy amounts of exercise or deprive yourself because you didn't work out that day. It should be a balanced cycle of fueling your body for the workouts you love or just simply having a day to enjoy yourself free of tracking because you know that you're active enough all the other days.
That is the life I want to live. My end goal is to switch to intuitive eating. When I get to that point where I can listen to my body and know what it needs. I honestly mean it when I say that I look forward to the day where I can delete the myfitnesspal app off my phone. Realistically, I probably won't be ready for at least another year but I'm perfectly fine with that.
I'm taking my own sweet time because it's not a race for me. I'm looking at the long term and big picture because I'm healing myself now so that I'll be balanced for the rest of my life. I mean it when I say that this is a journey for me. I'm in no rush because I want to do it the right way, and I only want to have to do it once. I don't want to force myself to take on things that I'm not ready for, and risk being unstable through the process so that I'd need a re-do.
So, I just wanted to share this because it was a tangible moment where I could measure how far I am compared to this time last year. Other signs that I've noticed is that I am legitimately looking forward to the food on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I'm not afraid of facing all those foods, and I'm not depriving myself anymore. It'll be the first time in three years that I'll actually be able to enjoy my favorite foods in moderation all while celebrating and appreciating time spent with those I love best. The only thing I can say is God is good and my prayers for healing are being answered!
I hope everyone has a wonderful day!