Living by the Rules

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?

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