Change and shifts… they happen! I felt the need to revisit this topic because change is happening!!!! Some of this might look familiar because I took a few parts from another one of my posts (why reinvent the wheel, people?).
Change. We all experience it – it happens. As humans, many of us are creatures of habit. We have routines that we follow. These routines can be anything from how we get ready for work, to how we arrange paperwork on our desks, and how we even drive to work. What happens when they are broken? We are thrown off? If our spouse goes out of town and he/she is the one who always lets the dog out… now you have to — oops… you’re driving faster to work because you’re nearly late – increase the stress-o-meter! Routines are comfortable to us and they are consistent. They are what we know, and we know what to expect out of them. That’s the purpose of them, right? When change happens we are thrown off and have to adapt. I wanted to write this post because this is a very huge issue surrounding eating disorders – routines and change and adapting to them. (Welcome to crazy town, my friends!)
For a person with an eating disorder, routines are very important. I’ll speak mostly from my own experience. For me, I had a set routine of how I got up, ready for work, got there, and what happened at work and most of all – where food was involved. If there was food, and if there was not food – it was always on my mind. When I was very sick (and by sick I mean restricting my food intake for days and at my lowest weight before going into treatment) I had routines that I had to follow and if they were broken I felt like my world was crashing down. I had a routine at lunch and if it was the slightest bit altered I would nearly go into a panic attack with increased heart rate and feeling like I couldn’t catch my breath with racing thoughts. I had to protect these routine because the eating disorder was that much in my head! It got to the point where I began avoiding everyone and eating alone (if I ate) so that my routine couldn’t be broken.
We all know routines are comfortable, and to somebody with an eating disorder, it is what we know. When things seem crazy or out of place, we turn to that because it is “routine.” We know what to expect from it, and it will yield the results we want – typically a feeling of control, avoidance of something and a reward of weight loss. When change happens to us — if I may state it bluntly — we freak out!!!
I am trying to embrace change RIGHT NOW! Let’s be honest it’s not going so well! This is my freak out face for making this agreement, and then my angry face because I’m
mad at accountable to Beth and I hate am really not fond of her meal plan that she has given me. [side note – she does have a heart! and is still nice which is why I won’t walk into her office with my angry face — it’s scary, I know]
When I met with her she wanted me to add more
crap “variety” to my meal plan. She thought there could be more options…. What, a turkey sandwich, pineapple yogurt and an apple at every meal isn’t nutritionally sound? 🙂 So, she talked to me about part of my goal of changing up my fruit (5 times to be exact). She wasn’t sure if I could do it…. “Why?” I asked…. Was it because I looked like this when she mentioned substituting my apple for grapes? …. she could “just tell”…. haha
Now, I am up for a challenge! (sort of) If there is one thing you don’t do, you do not say I can’t do something [did I mention that I’m competitive?]. So I took the challenge and tonight is the night!!!! This change might not seem huge, but oh, it is!!! [You’re probably thinking “this is a piece of cake!” — (pun intended… hahahaha)]
Background information: The last time Beth tried to invite me to “change” my snack at the end of the night, she left to photocopy my meal plan and when she came back, I had become overwhelmed and was in tears because it was too much (poor woman has no clue what she got herself into!). That’s what we’re working with, people!!!
Here are my grapes instead of the apple:
Tonight I’m not going to lie….. it happened….. CRASH AND BURN!!!!!
Let’s list out my mistakes that I made:
- I agreed to this change! (just kidding…haha… this is for the better)
- I let my husband buy the grapes for me – what was I thinking? I knew I could do this with a certain picture of a grape in my mind and he came home with something that looked totally different!!! I did NOT picture golf ball sized grapes!
- Not only were they HUGE, but the bag said seedless…. Do these look seedless to you? What an awful experience to muscle up the strength to pop a grape in your mouth while you have butterflies in your stomach, and you’re all nervous, ready to cry and you’re trying to chomp away and you hit a rock! What is happening in this world? I shouldn’t have to perform surgery on my grapes just to eat the darn things!
Now, when I say “crash and burn”…. I’m not lying… my poor husband was a casualty in the situation. I got through 6 grapes (dissecting them etc.) and then I was finished! I got so overwhelmed and frustrated that I threw a grape across the room! ….. and smacked him in the face with it! Eeekkk.. Now, I’m so super lucky he has a great sense of humor and simply tossed the grape back and said, “go ahead, throw it again”…. and I did 🙂 Truthfully, I felt better after that. A grape to the face can brighten anyone’s day! Go ahead… try it! 🙂 just kidding! Don’t do that!
Change is hard to accept at times – whether we lose someone in our life, a new job, a changed relationship….anything. It can be hard, but it can also open new doors for new things. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and that God has a plan for us. We might be thrown into a huge amount of change, but I don’t think it is ever more than we can handle. It’s always just enough that we can handle (never comfortably), and enough to make us stronger. Change happens for a reason. This time around, I’m learning to try to accept change (although I may not like it, I can accept it). Now, I eat lunch with an awesome coworker and we “change” up where we eat on a regular basis. Somewhat “the same,” but a little different here and there.
So, this is something fun I like to show my kids when I have a random block of time set aside where a lesson is done and I can’t start a new one. It’s called Did You Know? Our world is constantly changing and we have to accept that and move forward. If you’ve never seen these videos on YouTube, take a look, it’s quite interesting.
Before I end this, and if you feel like thinking about it — how has change affected you? In a good way or a bad way? As things have changed, would you have responded to them differently? Did you learn anything about yourself based on the change that has happened? Can you handle more than you thought? Will you deal differently later? Do you actually like something more than you thought you would?
So, as things happen…. Just remember…. Shift Happens. 🙂