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WIAW: The Day I Slept in and Ate Street Meat

You guys,

Struggling with, or recovering from, an eating disorder is just so bizarre.

I know that sounds like a weak understatement, and it is. But there really isn’t a better way to put it. To someone who has, thankfully, never experienced the disorder – to whatever degree – it is absolutely impossible to try and explain the feelings you get when you make a choice toward your recovery.

Breakfast:

scrambled eggs breakfast

Two eggs scrambled + gluten free cheese toast with butter + apple

I can’t even explain it myself. It is like a deep sadness mixed with an even deeper sense of compassion, gentlenessloss, fear and euphoria

I instantly feel like I am once again 5 years old. Very, very fragile

See? You really can’t explain it. As much as you may try, one who does not struggle with the disorder just can’t understand. How could they when I can’t even understand it myself?

These feelings arose on Monday. It was such a weird day. I had a whole morning off and was just feeling really tired. I slept in, scrolled the web for far longer than intended and eventually sat down to my breakfast at 10 am. I did not do anything productive, I didn’t clean, I didn’t exercise. And I ate at 10:00. Bizarre feelings number one. 

Lunch:

Street Meat

Street Meat Hot Dog with kraut, ketchup and pickles

And then came lunch. I left the house to do some errands and packed only an apple and a piece of cheese, assuming that this is all I would eat . “Considering my late breakfast and all” (um, return to earth, please).  At 2:00 I found myself hungry. As I explained hereI don’t get the typical physical hunger ques of a growling stomach, but I knew I was hungry because I was having the hardest time focusing and felt extremely lethargic.

I passed a hot dog street vendor. And damn. It looked good.

I have never had “street meat.” It’s been on my “list” for years. I’ve always wanted to see what those totally weird yellow hot dog buns are are all about. But I’ve never let myself.

I passed the stand and kept walking. But the thoughts starting to bubble. “Maybe… do I want one? Really? No.. pfft I can’t do that. But… oh my god I think I want one. Holy crap. What do I do? Do I actually get one? No. It’s 2:00. Plus I shouldn’t spend money. Screw it. I think I’m going to freakin’ get one.”

I marched back, ordered my dog, loaded it with kraut and ketchup and sat outside on a bench and ate the damn street meat. The weather was so beautiful. 

Coke Zero

And then I do things that I am not proud of but lessen the feelings… like having a diet coke. 

These are really, really weird moments. Moments when I do something that I’ve never done, things that are so “against” the norms I have lived by for so many years. They bring up a lot of feelings – to which, like I said, I can’t really explain. I know you are thinking… a hot dog!? But yeah… A hot dog. Or a night out with friends… or eating at a new time… any of these so called “normal” things can actual provoke these feelings. And there is no rhyme or reason to them. Sometimes its more obvious – having to do with calories etc – but other times even this part doesn’t make sense. I mean a hot dog is no different from a sandwich, which I eat regularly. So sometimes the logistics are completely irrational. But you can’t deny them. You can’t always rationalize your way into getting rid of them. For whatever reason, these notions and feelings have lodged themselves in to your subconsciousness and they do hold power.

Dinner:

Plantain Nachos

Plantains fried in coconut oil + ground beef in tomato sauce with sautéed onions and peppers + avocado + salsa + steamed broccoli 

Of course after the ‘dog’, my plan for dinner was salad salad salad. That is the immediate compensation that is just so engrained. But god damn, when I got home I was hungry again, and really did not want a salad. I wanted a plantain. I wanted it fried in lots of coconut oil and topped with beef and avocado. “But… salad!!” says one side. “But……. my plantain is going bad and this is the only night I can use it, and I hate wasting,” says the other (anything to use as arsenal, right?).  So I didn’t have a damn salad. And my dinner was so good.

chocolate

The last of my freezer chocolate

The beautiful thing is, when you have a day like this and you do make the right choice – the choice that is fueled by your true desires and not by your eating disorder – though it may feel extremely raw in the moment, the feeling does pass.  And you come out the other side feeling…. pretty damn cool. You feel more grounded in who you are; you feel a connection with that person you always have been but have been running away from. You still feel very fragile, but with a powerful compassion for yourself and whatever is hurting inside you. 

I know how crazy and weird and possibly even immature this all sounds. Like something from a small child. I see it that way as well. But this is the reality of the disorder. The thoughts and feelings that arise through recovery are beyond explanatory and do not make sense. And they run very, very deep. For one person, a simple choice to get a hot dog when hungry is just that… a simple choice, and then it’s gone. But for someone else, this choice can somehow mean entering a whole world of painful memories and feelings and deep, child like compassion.

I apologize for bringing you into a long version of “a day in the mind of someone in recovery,” and I apologize for not simply gracing you with a lovely day of recipes. But this is life. My life… and the life of many others.  You may be inclined to feel sadness, but I’d argue to say that this was actually a good day. It is these days, when I get that really weird, unexplainable feeling deep down where I know I am doing the real work that needs to be done. When I know that something in me is hurting and that this is how I’ve learned to make it better. When I know I am making a step towards regaining my life. 

Thanks for listening. And thanks to Jenn for creating What I Ate Wednesday as a place to celebrate these simple moments. 

WHAT-I-ATE-WEDNESDAY-NEW-BUTTON-PEAS-AND-CRAYONS

WIAW: The Day I Slept In and Ate Street Meat. An honest look into the thoughts of eating disorder recovery. Click To Tweet

 

39 COMMENTS

  1. bucketlisttummy | 2nd Mar 16

    It sounds like you really listened to your body, regardless of what time it was or what the norm was for you. I feel like eating street meat is something everyone should do at least once in their life! I love getting street sausages when I go to baseball games. And I was craving a Diet Coke last week and had it, and boy was it good. And samesies with the plantains in coconut oil! That was my late night snack 🙂

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Yes, street meat is one of those things that everyone needs to get at least once.. one of those little bucket list things. Thank you for sharing your similar enjoyments re: the sausage and diet coke. And plantains in coconut oil are my CANDY. I was pumped to see them on your blog today too 🙂

  2. Kate Bennett | 2nd Mar 16

    First: no need to apologize. Second: hell yes to street meat.
    A hot dog is healthy in my opinion for someone walking through recovery. For me, when I truly decided to challenge my fear foods, I had to eat hamburgers, french fries, greasy fair food, cheesecake, etc. And the fact that you had a diet coke with it really makes my heart smile.
    I get what you mean about feeling childlike. That childlike fear of trying new things… but you surpassed that fear by taking it on. I believe progress is painful in recovery. When you have painful but successful days you are closer to freedom.
    Much love to you!!

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Thank you Kate. ‘Yes’ to everyone you just said. Crazy how pain and freedom can be so linked.

  3. hungryforbalance | 2nd Mar 16

    Good for you for listening to your body, even if it did include ‘street meat’. I know this is a serious post, so I’m trying to restrain myself from making a dirty joke right now.
    Those ‘typical hunger cues’ can be difficult to get back. I know that I STILL don’t always get them. Sometimes I only know that I’m hungry because I get light headed and grouchy.
    Plantains fried in coconut oil sound better than salad any day!

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Bahaha I would have totally taken a little phallic joke.
      The cues are so difficult to get back. Sometimes I wonder if they ever will. So we just have to learn other signs I guess.

  4. SuzLyfe | 2nd Mar 16

    Bravo. I totally understand this push pull. I won’t be eating street meat any time soon (that is GI distress waiting to happen) but I remember these feelings as I overcame my fears of certain foods that had scared me (but no longer caused me physical distress). It is a beautiful thing when you get to the point that YOU can make the choice. When YOU have the power, not the irrationalities of your mind.

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Beautiful and crazy. Thanks Suz <3

  5. katalysthealth | 2nd Mar 16

    Please don’t ever apologize for sharing your feelings on YOUR blog. Heck don’t ever apologize for sharing in general! Your feelings are YOURS to feel and you should feel them and do with them in whatever way that you need to. Though this day might have been weird, you should still be incredibly proud. Progress is progress, in whatever way, and that hog dog AND chocolate is nothing short of huge progress to me. I would’ve eaten that hot dog then proceeded to workout for 2 hours. You are doing great here babe 🙂

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      I am proud.. I think.. its a weird sort of proud. But yes, progress absolutely. Thanks so much Kat – you are such a support.

  6. Joyce @ The Hungry Caterpillar | 2nd Mar 16

    Cora–such a beautiful post. I can totally empathize with the feeling like a 5 year old thing. It’s not something I get so much anymore, but definitely when I was earlier on in recovery, I would have these moments like, “What is happening to me? Why do I feel like the world is ending? Why do these feelings seem so monumental and hard? Why do I want validation from someone else to know that I’m doing the right thing?” Because I did, constantly, want validation. It was confusing AF. And I still sometimes do. So this is my validation: looks like a totally normal, healthy and happy day of eats! Keep being your beautiful, awesome, inspiring self!
    I love hot dogs. Weird is the word I also would use for it.

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Oh god the validation thing. That confuses the crap out of me. As much as I wish I didn’t crave it, we do all need it to some degree. So THANK YOU for yours.

  7. Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood | 2nd Mar 16

    You know what, sometimes you just need to listen to your body and eat a dang street hot dog. I’ve never had an ED but I’m pretty sure I was on the road to one before I got pregnant. Having all of those hormones and an ever changing body definitely made me see things a lot different.

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Exactly. And for some people who are used to not listening to it.. it needs to happen more frequently. Pregnancies are beautiful then for more than one reason <3

  8. snackiebird | 2nd Mar 16

    You do great work for yourself! I remember how it was hard for me eat something that I can`t for years. Strange feelings was inside my head and my tummy. But eating that kind of food is so important. I really proud for you!

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Thank you miss 🙂

  9. Emily Swanson | 2nd Mar 16

    That is a HUGE victory Cora! 🙂 Do it in faith. God made that food, and I know that He can bless the food to our bodies. 🙂

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Thanks Emily 🙂

  10. Arman @ thebigmansworld | 2nd Mar 16

    your blog, your rules. You can write whatever you like, even a Shakira song.

    I think (from an outsider’s perspective), you actually listened to your hunger cues well and didn’t let the negative voice hold you back.

    Bravo. Also, shawarma on my mind 😉

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Hm. Wonder if I’d lose readers if I wrote a Shakira song. I’d have to include a video showcasing my slammin hips. Thanks sir 🙂

  11. Ellie | 3rd Mar 16

    There is no problem with you talking about what goes on in your mind. This is your blog and I read because I get to know YOU, the real you, not a plastic, fake person. I think more women have the same thoughts you do and we all can relate. On a different note, I got plantains today and can’t wait to eat them up! Looks delicious 🙂
    Ellie recently posted…WIAW: Not ravenous?My Profile

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Ohhh man plantains have you written ALL over them. And there’s a perfect way to use that coconut oil (which is my favorite fat). Don’t skimp. And salt!

  12. chasetheredgrape | 3rd Mar 16

    I found myself nodding along and agreeing with so much in this post! It doesn’t make sense but you know what, it doesn’t have to. How can we explain the unexplainable?
    I find that I still get nervous when I eat outwith my routine or when I push myself to just ‘go with the flow’. I’m at the stage where the nerves normally amount to nothing and everything goes fine and the more I push myself the more courage I have to do it again next time. But it’s still hard. 🙂
    chasetheredgrape recently posted…What I ate Wednesday – March 02My Profile

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      You are right – if it doesn’t make sense, there isn’t much good in getting aggravated with not understanding it. I guess we can work to make sense of why we have the struggles, but then let go of all else that does not make sense. Each time we do the scary thing, a rung is built on the ladder that brings us closer to normalcy. Gotta keep building up that side and not the other. You rock lady.

  13. Kate@Mindfoodly | 3rd Mar 16

    I just read this and totally feel like we are in sync! Oh I dream of the day when eating a hot dog is simple and normal. You really can’t explain it unless you have had an eating disorder, its a complete other world.

    Loved this post and the message behind it. x

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      A complete other world… complete other planet even. But, it’s comforting to know I am not the only one of that planet. We can keep dreaming! One day that hot dog WILL just be a hot dog.

  14. Jayne | 3rd Mar 16

    This is a beautiful entry. I have often felt the same way. Food is just so different in the eyes of some people rather than others. THanks for sharing!

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Thanks Jayne. It is always both surprising and soothing to hear when people have similar experiences. It is so different from person to person, but knowing others have had similar thoughts can make you feel less isolated.

  15. GiGi Eats | 3rd Mar 16

    LMFAO!!!! STREET MEAT… Sounds naughty! 😉

  16. Lana | 3rd Mar 16

    I know exactly what you are talking about! I felt the same the first time I put potatoes in my soup, used more than a teaspoon of oil on my salad, have cereal for desert, went for seconds, ate an hour after a meal because I was still hungry… It’s a weird feeling.. It feels like breaking boundaries… A little scary but exhilirating.. Keep on doing it ?

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      Scary but exhilarating is a perfect way to put it. Thanks for reading and sharing your support, Lana.

  17. Lyss | 3rd Mar 16

    That street meat looks pretty tasty!! I am so proud of you for this recovery win and I am sure that freedom felt AMAZING. You go girl! Hope all is well <3 xoxo
    Lyss recently posted…Thinking out Loud 3/3/16: My struggle with laxative abuseMy Profile

    • Cora | 3rd Mar 16

      It was pretty good I must say. Thanks Lyss. Freedom tastes nice you bite into it.

  18. Miss Polkadot | 3rd Mar 16

    Where do I even begin? Not in the slightest do I see any of what you wrote and the feelings you described as immature. It might be because I can relate so very well. Yes, I do occasionally feel like a child in situations that are no-brainers for others present a challenge for myself. But I try to either see it as exciting – a “second first” [since we’ve often been in similar situations/have eaten the same foods without a care in the world pre-ED] – or remind myself that, fine, I’m simply living a different life at a different pace than those around me.
    You can/should be proud of so much here: challenging irrational food fears [I have many of those still, too], being spontaneous and at that making progress once again. You’re doing fabulous, lady.
    Miss Polkadot recently posted…No-bake Vegan Chocolate Fudge BrowniesMy Profile

  19. Stephanie Leduc | 5th Mar 16

    I don’t think this makes you immature or childish, I understand where you are coming from to a certain degree, although, as you said, I could never truly understand. However, I do get what it feels like to want to compensate eating something bad and telling yourself you will eat salad for supper, I do that pretty often as well. Coming back from Oklahoma and eating so much junk made me want to eat super healthy today, but I ended up having some homemade brownies tonight and still feel slightly guilty about it! It is ridiculous sometimes, but those thoughts all get the best of us sometimes.
    Stephanie Leduc recently posted…Top 5 Differences Between my Hometown and Oklahoma! (Vacation Recap)My Profile

    • Cora | 5th Mar 16

      Thanks Steph. It is comforting, in a way, to hear that we all have the same thoughts. So glad you still had those brownies. Those thoughts just have no reason to hold power over our choices.

  20. gracefulcoffee | 5th Mar 16

    Your strength and honesty is so admirable, Cora. I can totally relate and empathize with you on many of the things you discussed in this post. Recovery isn’t the easiest thing (by a long shot) but, it’s so worth it. That freezer chocolate looks amazing! Sending you big hugs <3

    Blessings,
    Edye // Gracefulcoffee
    gracefulcoffee recently posted…Friday Favorites #2My Profile

    • Cora | 6th Mar 16

      It is worth it… I know because each time I do one of those new scary things, the feeling of pride and liberation wins out over the feelings of fear. Thank you so much.

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