Let Go and Life Happens

Today’s session with Mary was so great! I like how we talk about things that are completely unrelated to nutrition. I mean, the topics can always be applied someway to relate to a challenge that I have with food, but getting different perspectives on other aspects of life to try and achieve maximum happiness. We both get sidetracked easily during conversation, but that is what makes each session so much fun! We began by talking about her son’s jazz show he was doing tonight that she was attending. He plays the upright bass and had to compose music for everyone else playing tonight. That was interesting to talk about and I hope his show went well! Afterwards I began by talking about my past week. I told her that I pretty much worked all day every day but on Sunday I was able to go to the barn. She asked me what my plan was with Vinnie and I told her that I was thinking about the possibility of showing him again (since my mom and Renee discovered the secret to making horses calm at shows) but maybe just starting with open shows. It is just an idea at the moment. Mary then asked me to describe what showing was like. To me, showing is such a rush of so many emotions. There is excitement and adrenaline mixed with gut wrenching nerves. The feeling after you finish a class is worth all the sweat and tears you poured to get there. Putting yourself out there to be judged and coming out on the other side is such a big accomplishment and something to be proud of, whether or not you won first place or came in last. I always felt like I overcame my biggest fear when I was done with the class and it always made me want to turn right around and do it again. Overcoming fear is just exhilarating. We eventually started talking about the actual food part of my week, and I made a few goals:

  • Be more spontaneous at work: go out to lunch with people if they are going. Be aware of my inner response to the situation and how I feel from the moment it is presented through the time we are eating. Order something that sounds very good. Notice if I am scared of that food. All of these will help me to bond socially with people.
  • Time my meals better while I am at work. Food is not a reward – don’t delay lunch or snack until I am finished with a task. If I am hungry I need to take my break and eat. Even if I am worrying about my task while I am eating, it is still important not to put off nourishing my body, not all eating opportunities are going to be relaxing.

When we talked about social bonding Mary shared a story with me from her weekend at her beach art retreat. She was reading on a bridge because it was just the perfect spot. A woman walked by and said she was searching for a place to read. The woman eventually came back and said that the bridge was the perfect place to read. Mary told her she was about to go have dinner so she could take her spot on the bridge. Well, Mary said her and the woman ended up talking for a while. The woman just really needed to talk about a problem she was having. People aren’t meant to hold everything in and sometimes you just have to say words out loud to realize what needs to be done. Mary of course told the story with much more detail and eloquence, but that was the gist of it. I said it was wonderful how she acted as a human canvas for this woman. She just needed to express everything in her mind and she did so by using Mary as a vessel to hold on to everything that flowed out.

At the end of the session I told her how I was starting to get nervous about my school situation. I should hear back from UNC in about a week and I will hear from State mid-May. She gave me wonderful advice: breath. The right school will happen. I can’t control everything and I should just ket the universe take care of it. The universe will put me in the right place. What ever happens will be the best thing to occur and something wonderful will come from it. Let go and life happens. Sometimes if you try and control things too much, they end up going out of control or pushing away. That was wonderful advice and of course she had a terrific story to go along with the advice. Mary’s stories are the best! She is just amazing. She is like the super nutritionist!

After that appointment I headed home, making a quick stop to get a USB memory stick. I heated up leftovers for lunch and threw an apple in as a side.Image

I worked on transferring pictures to the memory stick before I headed to the barn to hangout with Vinnie! I had a great time grooming and then sitting on the fence watching him. Soooo relaxing 🙂 ImageImageImageImageImage

When I got back home I started cleaning and reorganizing my room. I had to scrape paint up off the floor before I vacuumed and rearranged. I took a break during my room project to have pretzels and greek yogurt.Image

My mom made dinner tonight: turkey burgers, roasted brussels and zucchini. I just had the brussels and then had an addition of a small sweet potato.Image

Now I am watching this intense Pirates game! Hope you had a good day!

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4 thoughts on “Let Go and Life Happens

  1. It looks like everyone at the barn enjoyed a sun bath! Mary is so wise, If I may I would like to share the “Universe” analogy with Madelyne! Sometimes we want to control outcomes so much, that we miss the big picture! Thank you for sharing, you and Vinnie make a great team, love your new goal, together:)

  2. Hi!! Very happy to hear you’re doing great.

    This entry was really helpful for me.

    go out to lunch with people if they are going. – I like this challenge! I think it’s easy to decide that food-related anxieties permeate everything in life. However, people aren’t that simple. Sometimes it’s food concerns, social anxiety, etc. all working together to inhibit us.

    Food is not a reward – Thank you for articulating this. I’ve been using food as a diversion and comfort and sometimes don’t even recognize that I’m doing this.

    not all eating opportunities are going to be relaxing. – Hmm. This is also a really good point. I can’t tell you how helpful I’ve found this entry and how well you explain some of the problems I run into daily. Sometimes I use valuing and appreciating food as an excuse to delay meals, and it NEVER works out well either. Sooo many times I let myself get too hungry and then make very poor food and portion choices. Personally, I think you’re doing a great job, and I think it’s incredible that you’re emerging from this recovery journey with a much better food outlook than many people who have never suffered from an ED at all.

    What ever happens will be the best thing to occur and something wonderful will come from it. – There you go! There are wonderful aspects of every experience, whether that’s attending community college or going off to Harvard Law. I wish you the best of luck in these admissions but agree that worrying a lot will not change the outcome whatsoever.

    She is just amazing. She is like the super nutritionist! – How. Did. You. Find. Her??? I ask because I would very much like a professional support team that I trust and like, and I’m wondering if you just got lucky, or whether it was trial and error before you found the people who were effective for you.

    I also have a random question: Do you ever miss some of the snacks you often had during what I guess must have been your “refeeding” stage, like those pb protein balls or just a sweet snack before bed in general?

    I hope you enjoy this novel that I’ve written to you.

    • Hiiii! I enjoyed this comment very much! It warms me to know that so many of these things resonated with you.

      I didn’t realize that I was using food as a reward either until I talked with Mary! I think it is a good goal for both of us to recognize when we push back eating until we finish what’s on hand and how it plays a role in our hunger and food choices.

      Thank you so much! I am trying not to worry about the outcome of admissions, but I won’t lie, it is difficult!

      I was referred to Mary by the first therapist that I saw at Duke. It might have been pure luck that I connected so well with her. It can be difficult to find the right team that works for you. My first therapist was not a good match for me so I started seeing another one (she actually led the parent group and my parents thought I would really like her) and she was exactly what I needed! So sometimes it is a hit or miss thing. Just seeking out professions help is the difficult part. Once you get it, it’s smooth sailing. Just remember: It is YOUR support team. If something isn’t working don’t be scared to say so!

      Yes, sometimes I miss the pb balls I made as well as some sweet things before bed. I keep telling myself that I will make them but I whenever I have time I always forget! Instead of sweets I have been eating things like trail mix or a peanut butter sandwich with milk before I go to bed. You just gave me another goal: add desserts back into my life instead of always having a “safe” bed time snack! 🙂

      Thank you again for your wonderful comments and questions!

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