Today was going fine in terms of recovery, until I got to one of the girls I tutor, and her nanny made me food.And it wasn’t a salad or some chicken or something we in the eating disorder world would consider “safe.”
It was these chicken dumplings that she hand made tossed with a lot of butter.
She only made it for me because I had told her once before that they were my favorite Russian dish (they are a Russian family, and since my ex-boyfriend was Russian, I got really into Russian food).
I had just finished telling E today that I was not ready yet to break anymore of my new food rules, and that I was feeling like I needed to just stick to my meal plan.
Well, life obviously didn’t really care that I wasn’t ready to break anymore rules today, because this situation was totally breaking a rule-many rules in fact. It broke the snack rule, the safe rule-I mean I can give you a list of the rules it broke.
I had already had my snack, and this was a heavy meal, yet it wasn’t dinner time, so it put me in a really hard spot with Ed.
I tried telling her I was full. I tried telling her I wasn’t hungry.
“But I made it just for you,” she kept saying.
Living in an eating disorder can often times cause us to unknowingly and unconsciously think only about ourselves; our calories, our food and our schedule for eating…and sometimes, we can push others aside because of it.
I know that I used to do this many times when I was living with Ed.
I wouldn’t even let my little brothers choose a restaurant they wanted to go to because it wasn’t one I was comfortable with.
Anyway, today was a chance to break that habit of sometimes being a little self centered while living in an eating disorder-I’ve done this many times before, but it didn’t seem to make this time that much easier.
I could have insisted on saying no, and it would have really hurt her feelings, knowing that she made them just because she knew they were my favorite.
Or, I could have said yes, because sometimes, it’s worth it to go out of the Ed comfort zone, to make someone else happy.
And yes, she was so happy.
Of course, she wasn’t happy when I only ate 6 of the 20 dumplings she put on my plate. But for me, even eating that amount was a huge step.
It wasn’t even about the amount of food I ate, it was about the gesture and meaning behind it.
Eating those dumplings meant that I was putting someone else’s feelings in front of Ed’s, and even my own discomfort.
I still ate a decent dinner, considering those dumplings were a heavy mini-meal, so for that, I am also proud of myself.
But mostly, I feel proud of myself that not only did I go with the flow when life decided to break my food rules for me, but because I was able to put someone else in front of Ed.
I am still uncomfortable with the whole situation, but it was honestly worth it to see the nanny smile.