Finding My Way Back On Track (or A New Balance)

I have been doing pretty great with my food lately. I’m cooking a lot at home now. Most of my meals are pretty boring, but I’m ok with that. I’ve found that with the boring food (like veggies and a turkey burger) I don’t get as bored with the food as quickly as I do when I make fancier things. I’m not sure why that is, but I can totally eat a turkey burger every day without issue when I can’t eat 3 days of leftovers. I’m aware that I might be in a bit of a rut and I’ve been trying to remember other things that are easy to make (and I can make 1 serving of) for other meals, but I’m pretty good with how things have been going for a while.

But then last week, I got off track pretty badly. Fortunately for me, being off track now is not as bad as it was before. I’m still not ordering delivery food (although I was craving Chinese food the other day) so if I want to eat “bad” food I have to go out and get it. So those bad days are not as bad as I know they could be. But they are still pretty bad and I’m still having issues coming back from them.

This time, my bad days lasted a couple of days before I was able to pull myself out of it. Ironically, it was the meal at the Hollywood Bowl that got me on track again (even though that meal wasn’t that great). I’m not sure what triggered me to get back to what I should be eating, but I am grateful that it happened. It did have an effect on the scale, but because I’ve been doing better lately my bad days were a weight that was my good day weight in the past. I’m almost back down to where I was before the bad days, so that’s a relief for me.

I know that it’s totally normal to have good days and bad days and that they have to be balanced out. That’s totally normal for everyone, but since I’ve never really had normal eating habits it feels really weird to me. I’m trying to remember that slip-ups are a part of life and they don’t have to make the rest of my day/week/month just as crazy food-wise. It’s a new system that I’m trying to figure out and it’s still very foreign to me.

Sometimes I do wonder if living alone makes things tougher on me because I don’t have someone to use as an example, but then again when I had roommates I actually had worse eating habits than I do now. With roommates (and none of them that might be reading this are the ones I’m talking about), I found it almost impossible to cook or use the kitchen. There were never clean plates or dishes and the kitchen was such a mess that all I wanted to do was grab my food and get out of there (again, any of my past roommates that would read this, know that this isn’t about you). At least now, all the messes in the kitchen are my own and I try to do my dishes every night (or the next morning if my evening gets too full).

I’m trying to keep myself accountable for my food choices and I’m doing ok with that. Even on the worst days, I’m still maintaining 100% food tracking accuracy. I’m not always tracking where I can see the calorie counts, but I’m writing down everything I eat in an app that allows me just to write the food and track any feelings I want to put down. I’m not hiding from what I’m doing like I’ve done in the past. I have to confront exactly what I’ve done every time I have a bad day.

Finding the balance between eating foods I’m craving but still staying on track is tough, but each time I find a new way to keep myself accountable helps and makes me feel like recovery is possible. It’s also made me think about what recovery will actually look like for me, and I’m finally letting go of the idea that recovery means no more bad days or cravings. That’s not ever going to be my reality, and letting go of that idea that has been in my head for years (and decades) is tough. But it’s also made me much more hopeful for what my recovery will look like and the idea that I might be closer to it than I thought.

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