When looking over my summer thus far, it could be very easy to slip into a self deprecating mindset. I have not made the strides or steps that I had initially thought I’d make in my recovery. And to that, yes, I am disappointed in myself. But more than disappointed, I guess I can say I am humbled and accepting of how obviously hard this work is, and that I no doubt set too lofty of goals upon myself.
Being a high achiever and someone with rigid expectations of success, it is easy for me to only see the finish line and whether or not I reached it. I am not comfortable seeing whatever steps or improvements I may have made along the way. That “all or nothing” mindset. It’s real.
But I have to see the steps I have made this summer. No I have not reached the finish line of where I thought I’d be, but my goodness, when I look back to the beginning of the summer and look at where I am now, I have to see all the improvements and changes I have made. Some small, some bigger, but all monumental and important – if to myself only.
I’m just beginning to let myself see these steps I’ve made – and begin to let go of the guilt of not reaching that lofty goal – now. Although yesterday wasn’t the most monumental of days to showcase how far I’ve come, I was acutely aware of the changes I have made throughout the day. So this week’s What I Ate Wednesday is simply helping me to realize some of these changes.
Thanks to the weekly hosts
So at the very beginning of the summer, my mom made her favorite banana oat pancakes. She made the “mistake,” of showing me the ingredient list the night before (something which, supposedly, I instructed her to do years ago…. so to no fault of her own, she thought this was still what I “wanted”). To my dismay as well as her own, this turned out not to be a good idea. The ingredient list (oh you know, some wheat, real sugar, real oil… lethal weapons) festered in my mind all night and into the morning and, long story short, ended in a anxiety provoked run around my lake and an injured knee. Obviously there was more going on in that day/week that lead to the anxiety, but the overwhelming anger I felt was directed purely at the pancakes and my mother. Awful.
Yesterday, which was a holiday and thus a typical time for us to have something a little more special for breakfast, my mother asked if I’d like pancakes…
There was hardly a twinge of doubt in my mind when I said, “sure.” I did have a different plan in my head, but the notion of having a sit down meal with my parents – and someone else cooking – was way more powerful than my separate plan. This never would have happened in the past (if I had a plan… it was the plan). And those pancakes? I didn’t give a squat about the ingredient list. That was pretty cool.
Mom’s banana oat pancakes (plus one more) / sunflower butter / homemade blueberry jam / strawberries
Ps. So I’ve never been a big peanut butter and jam fan. But salted sunflower seed butter and jam!? OH MY GOD.
Snack? Lunch #1?
This is often the time I squeeze in an Ensure – which is basically the biggest step out of all. I wouldn’t even consider the notion of drinking them ever since I left the hospital. I saw them only as pure sugar and immediate belly bloating weight gain. Now? I see them as a hell of a lot of good nutrients and good things for my body that I can get in quickly and easily.
That being said, yesterday I chose some real food over the liquid substitute.
Remember my first liberte yogurt? Well now, it honestly feels like a no brainer. Full fat yogurt, let alone 9% liberte yogurt, let alone free spooning it into a bowl without measuring.….. wouldn’t have come close to happening 4 months ago.
Caramel Liberte Yogurt + failed baking attempt at a gluten free/coconut flour lemon loaf stashed away in the freezer because #Ican’tgetridofanything
This was actually delicious. Failed baking attempt restored!!
Bean and corn mexican salad / bed of spinach / roasted sweet potato / avocado / feta
A “snack” at 4 pm? Wouldn’t have happened. But if my shifts at work have helped me with anything, its been getting used to eating at non routine – and previously “unallowed” times. I know that going into work I won’t be able to eat for a number of hours, and thus I know I need to have something in me. No matter the time.
Also. Iced coffees. I always order my iced coffees with milk (instead of the standard cream they use if you do not specify). I honestly do like the taste better. However, in the past, I would not have even drank the iced coffee if it had been made with cream by mistake. Yesterday, it was definitely made with cream. I don’t think I even noticed until half way to work, to which I honestly just thought – hey this one actually tastes good. And thought nothing of it.
Riceworks brown rice chips (oh my god new addiction) / creamy vanilla iced coffee
This car scene has been happening quite a bit lately. Probably explains all the crumbs in my seat. Pump up the car-tunnesssss.
Oh my god you guys. THIS. SALAD. I am lit-er-all-y obsessseeddddd. Its got to be crack. It’s just got to be.
Okay, given it is a salad, but still – the notion of having more than one healthy fat in a meal a few months ago was really, really scary. This baby is packed solid with avocado, GOAT CHEESE and nuts. That’s three. My thoughts? “More healthy goodness for my body!” And thus I’ve been having it every…night……
And I mean, obviously what makes this salad so unfreaking RIDICULOUS is the three pounds of goat cheese, the whole avocado, the entire bag of craisins and the bucket of creamy poppyseed dressing. So to take any of it out would just be a shammeeeeee.
Quinoa / Kale Salad with Goat Cheese, Avocado, Craisins and Walnuts.
Don’t think I have to mention my steps with ice cream to you guys now do I? But finishing off the Ben and Jerrys last night, and even adding on some extras, made me realize that I really don’t think getting any other kind of ice cream – other than the real kind – would even be worth it??
Ben and Jerries Peanut Butter Cookie Dough / 70% Dark chocolate
And about 4/5 of this bucket of cherries.
I’m not tooting my horn… AT ALL. Good lord – far from it. I have many things that still scare me, many more fears to still face and many more steps to make. But even these steps are proof that I am healthier – my mind is healthier – than at the beginning of the summer.
If we only ever focus on that lofty goal – which may take years to even reach – and only focus on all the steps we haven’t yet taken, how will we ever find the compassion, strength and encouragement, within ourselves, to continue on? A self induced pat on the back can give us a bit of strength to keep going. And we must realize that, even if we don’t feel it or aren’t letting ourselves see the changes we’ve made…. we are always making positive changes. As long as we are trying, we are always improving. Always learning. Always getting stronger. In some way or another. And although they may be small steps, it is these steps that will eventually get us to that finish line.
What is one positive step you’ve made this summer? (In reaching for ANY goal you may currently have for yourself??)