Because the Internet Said So

I read somewhere (probably Runner’s World) an article about the top ten foods for runners. (If I had time I  would look it up and link it – but I’ll leave that to your mad-Google skills if you are so inclined.) Often these articles leave me nothing but frustrated that I don’t have time, energy, or money to buy things like flax seed. But this particular article had a great truth (because the internet always speaks the truth) and one of the foods included was a vanilla milkshake. (Can I get an “Amen” for authorization to eat ice cream?)

So here is a little secret… I’m like 8085, 90% sure I’m lactose intolerant (and there is something about nuts too…) but I like ice cream way too much to find out for sure. An upset stomach is a small price to pay. But while I’m on the tangent… I’m fascinated by something else I read somewhere else – similarly unlinked… Apparently when a body is underweight (I’m not saying I am… I actually don’t know what I weigh at the moment…) But anyway… avoiding the double tangent – apparently when a body is underweight it knows which processes are unessential to survival and that is why it shuts those down first. Which is why people with eating disorders lose their period… and also can become lactose intolerant… Because the body only produces lactase to break down lactose. So the body conserves energy by stopping producing lactase. I find it fascinating. God did a pretty good job on this whole body thing. (Awe at our bodies is something I’m learning after reading a whole book on body image the other day – but  more on that in another post – hopefully soon!)

Despite this unfortunate lactose sensitivity I seem to have (which fluctuates and I’m pretty sure correlates to my eating), I pretty much can never say no to ice cream… which makes it a great thing for when I’m stressed.

Which I am… permanently… for the last two months and for the foreseeable future. (We are working on that – and before you get ready to  comment away with stress management tips… I am facing some pretty objectively difficult situations (aka whole world turning upside down) and the amazing support system and mentors in my life continue to remind me that stress is pretty normal right about now.)

Add to that some pretty difficult hurts and uncovering of past wounds… and you’ve got this girl Upside Down and Inside Out (definitely not where I thought I was going with the blog name – but what goes around comes around)… And here are the not so pretty facts:

I plain and simple didn’t know it was possible to hurt as badly as I’ve been hurting recently.

Yes. I mean that – every. word. of. it.

But I’ll fill you in more on what I’ve been learning through that at some other tear-free moment in the future.

What I can tell you is that in this eating disorder there are many factors that lead me to restrict or reach for other coping mechanisms or eating disorder behaviors:

  • Not wanting to feel – so preferring to feel hungry
  • Body image triggers
  • Food triggers
  • Family situation triggers

In short, there are times when I reach for the eating disorder to help me cope. But there are other times when my body and my mind almost reach for it automatically. There are times when I simply am not hungry – in fact I find food repulsive. Every bite is a fight… without any eating disordered thoughts… my body is just coping.

Those are the times that help me understand a little bit better what happened all those years ago. It is hard not to beat oneself up for ever developing an eating disorder – especially in my case when I am very self-aware and constantly self-monitor. (I was actually told I was a bit of an anomaly with my eating disorder because I was always fully aware of what was going on.) But days like today remind me I was also surviving. I was coping and responding to something that was too big for me to handle and I didn’t have proper coping mechanisms or supports. And that helps me to have compassion for myself.

So today is a no hunger day. (Remember when all days were no hunger days and I wondered if I would ever feel hunger again?) My body has other ways of letting me know what is going on – nausea and headaches. And I didn’t want to feel like that – so I was wracking my brain for anything that would sound good…

You guessed it… a milkshake.

So  that is how I ended up at McDonalds for lunch today… snack wrap, fries, and  a shake… Because every runner needs her fuel.

And every girl in recovery has to fight for freedom!



2 thoughts on “Because the Internet Said So

  1. We live in a very privileged place in the world so articles like the one you reference irritate me too. Recovery from eating disorders is not about adopting the top 10 superfoods into your life and then refining those foods according to each new article. Recovery is about making peace with our past and our bodies and re-learning how to work in harmony with, as you say, God’s awesome design. I think a McDonald’s milkshake could fall into the category of intuitive eating 😉

    1. Sometimes I wish my intuitive eating included more vegetables ;). I’m studying a masters right now and as I read more and more research articles I see how so much of what people read and believe on the internet is inaccurate. Luckily the actually recovery doesn’t depend on any article but on that peace you describe.

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