One thing I am struggling with a lot lately are rules. Before I started treatment my eating disorder had its own code of conduct that I strictly followed. Carbs and fat were dangerous and protein and veggies were safe. I could only eat x amount of calories per meal and I must at the very least complete 20 minutes of intense cardio a day.
I lived by these rules until they let me into both day and residential treatment. At Renfrew my rules were replaced by a whole new set of rules focused on meeting a certain number of food exchanges depending on what meal plan I was on at the time. My first few weeks of day treatment my brain was in constant conflict with itself. I am an extreme perfectionist and wanted to try to follow my meal plan, but at the same time my calorie rules were so strict that I constantly trying to figure out in my head how to meet a decent amount of my exchanges for the least amount of calories.
The war between exchanges and calories continued relentlessly until I entered residential treatment and my computer/calorie tracker were taken away from me. Residential treatment is where my new set of rules really took over and it is something I am still struggling with now. I became so accustomed to having a certain number of carbs, protein, veggies, dairy, fat, and fruit a day that I am constantly counting exchanges to see where I’m at. I know I’m eating better than I was before and that following exchanges and not my strict calorie rule is a much healthier way to eat, but I still struggle with how closely I am following the Renfrew meal plan. I was on it consistently for such a long period of time that I almost don’t know any other way to eat. I am capable of eating a wide variety of foods each day– as long as they fit into the prescribed meal plan I have in my head. I guess I’m just looking for a way to break further away from such a strict code of living and eating.
Question of the day:
Have you ever been on a meal plan, and if so, do you still follow it or were you able to break away?