Angela and I

Angela and I

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

When to Use a Meal Plan

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I'm certainly excited that it's already hump day.  It's been a while since I've done a #Recovery post but I've been meaning to write this blog post for about a week now. So I guess I'll just dive right in!

My name is KT and I don't have a completely healthy relationship with food.  I think we all know this, at this point.  I'm very open about my disorder and my recovery, and I love talking about it.  Talking about it and opening up is ultimately what healed me.  A common misconception is that recovery is a thing that happens and then you're done with it.  I've learned the hard way that that is absolutely not the case.  ED is like any addiction.  You have to deal with it for the rest of your life.  It gets easier.  You get better at it.  But some days  are harder than others.

Recently, I had a huge schedule shift.  For those of you who don't know, my disorder was centered largely around meal times.  I had a very intense schedule.  Breakfast couldn't be before 10am.  Lunch couldn't be before or after 2pm.  Dinner couldn't be before 8pm, and the later the better (the best was not eating at all).  If I had to eat any of these meals before the set times, I would either have a panic attack or not be able to stop thinking about it for the rest of the day (and often beyond).  I have so many memories of not eating with friends or family because our "schedules" didn't line up.  I wanted to eat with them. I just...couldn't. 

This isn't something I struggle with anymore, but when there is big change in my life (whether it's good or bad) I can feel the tug of my disorder.  It's small, but it's there, and I know that if left to my own devices, I will not make smart food choices.  I just won't.  I will use the schedule change as an excuse to skip meals, or not fuel myself properly.  And so, enter THE MEAL PLAN.

I don't think meal plans are always helpful.  Let me make this VERY clear...NEVER USE A MEAL PLAN AS A WAY TO RESTRICT.  RESTRICTION IS BAD IN ALL ITS FORMS.  But, there are those of us who, without a meal plan, will restrict.  So, when I know a big change is coming, I try to set one up.  I usually only need a week or so in order to get into a rhythm.  I've already dropped the one I was using at the beginning of the summer because I got used to the meal times and sizes and feel like I can do it without a written guide anymore.  But if I feel myself slipping, I'll definitely be using it again!

IMPORTANT -- I don't believe in counting calories, so none of my meal plans ever have ANY numbers.  Numbers are a trigger for me!!  I don't count, measure, or weigh myself or my food.  Meal plans are NOT DIET PLANS.  Meal plans are for those of us who don't necessarily have a good relationship with food and might need some guidance in order to be properly fueled so that we can continue to LIVE!!

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