Saying yes amidst the resistance

I had some extra yogurt pretzels last night.  Five of them.  They were leftover from Christmas, so they were in the shape of little trees and had candy cane crumbs on them.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

But then I freaked.  I had already fulfilled my meal plan for the day.  Now I had something "extra."  This was scary not just because of the additional calories, but because I was breaking one of my "rules" (i.e., Thou shalt not eat more than is required on thy hallowed meal plan).

I mentioned it on Twitter because I'm like that, and I got some wonderful support.

One of my friends says that her nutritionist tells her to "say yes amidst the resistance."

I seriously love that phrase.

It's hard for me to confront my own internal resistance because it is just so damn strong.  At the root of that resistance is anxiety.  Recovering from an eating disorder means that I have to confront issues in basically every aspect of my life.  Many of those issues have to do with food, and many of them don't.  To overcome all of them--to overcome any of them--I had to say yes despite the resistance.  I had to say yes to butter.  To days off from exercise.  To going out with friends.  To ordering off a menu.  To spending money.  To relaxing.  All of these created tremendous inner conflict.

To change or not to change, that is the question.

Not all internal resistance is bad.  I feel resistance when I think about purging now, which is something that was not always there.  But when challenging our fears, we have to accept the resistance.  Move with it.  Move through it.

One of the ubiquitous recovery quotes I was always given was this by Eleanor Roosevelt: "Do one thing everyday that scares you."

I'll confess, I've received this quote so many times, it seems a bit cliche.  That doesn't mean it's not true.  Saying yes amidst resistance is the same as doing something that scares you.

Feel the resistance.  Understand it.  Identify it.  And then let it go...

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Anonymous said...

I needed that tonight. I had an extra 20cal for my snack today. Even though it is not a big deal, ED wants me to restrict just to make sure that 20 calories don't cause me to gain 20lbs. I am so sick of being afraid to eat anything "extra" that is not part of my plan. It is so scary to say yes admist the resistance.

A:) said...

Thank you -- I have a weigh in tomorrow. I need this.

I will need to get up and face tomorrow and my weight and say yes to recovery despite the resistance. . .

I know if it is up significantly there will be so many urges to restrict and I am so damned SCARED.

These last 9-8-7 (whatever they are!) lbs are so difficult.

It was easier to say "yes" when I was emaciated. It is harder to say "yes" now.

But thank you, I will carry this quote with me onto tomorrow and hope it gives me strength.


hm said...

The worst part of resistance is the avalanche effect... "yes" to resistance over a treat doesn't end there... then there's resistance to keeping it in... resistance to not working it off... resistance to not make up for it by eating less later... sometimes it seems there is a neverending, suffocating pile of resistance upon resistance to fight my way out from under. I wonder if it ever gets any easier, or if, at some point, it doesn't feel like suffocating under the damn piles and piles.

ashleyb said...

I felt like I had something "extra" tonight when I had a few mini eggs and 3 little squares of chocolate and freaked. Then when I was filling out my daily intake for my nutritionist tonight I realized I ate less than I was supposed to in each meal although I had those extras later in the night.
I like that resistance saying. Thanks for sharing.

Katie said...

I had so much trouble with this when I was going through weight restoration, but luckily for me it stopped being an issue once I was healthy and had moved from meal plans to eating intuitively. I do remember very well the intensity of my anxiety if I found myself still hungry before bed and had to eat - gasp! - another biscuit! The horror. It didn't actually make a blind bit of difference to my weight, but every time I did it I magically expected to wake up 10lbs heavier! Now I certainly don't eat the same amounts at the same times every day, and my weight still stays the same. Bodies are very clever like that :)

Briony said...

I admit I'm not very good at having anything 'extra'. In the main, I've stuck to my meal plan religiously and found it surprisingly easy- but I find it so hard to add in anything on top (however small and insignificant it is). But I'm getting there: making myself do little things like adding a splash of ketchup to my plate when I have potato wedges.

And I'm sure you know this already, but there's nothing wrong with extra pretzels. :) I hope you enjoyed them, despite the resistence.

Mary B said...

Thanks for this! The idea of extra is one of my ED's favorite cards to play. Yesterday was actually my birthday, it was a struggle end the day with gumption enough to say "yes" to a piece of cake when ED saw it as extra and undeserved. In the end, I won - I enjoyed a few bites of birthday cake and lived to tell about it:)

Anonymous said...

so so so true!!!! Most of those things we feel conflicted about are a conflict between us and ED, and the more we fight the more we win, and ED looses!

And I love the quote! I have got to put it on a list to post in my room :)

jen said...

Thanks for that quote, Carrie.
My therapist, on hearing that I was enjoying but afraid of autocross (look up SCCA and autocross), told me to just go ahead and do it. I wanted to do it, of course, perfectly (so to speak) and there's no way I could. So, I went ahead and drove the course, almost spun out, and had a ball.

Anonymous said...

Just to let you know... saying "yes" to extras is something that will happen in recovery. And it's not a sign that you did something wrong... it's actually a sign of progress and it's a necessary thing to start happening in order to achieve full recovery. You can forever say "no" to extras, but that would also be saying "no" to full recovery. You can say "yes" to extras when you're hungry or craving them and, in doing so, say "yes" to progress. It's a sign of progress not of being out of control.

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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