When I start justifying

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I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend in myself the last several days. I’ve been thinking to myself, I have 3 more weeks of program, then I can stop following the meal plan. Or. I have 3 more weeks of program, then I can go back to restricting, but I won’t binge and purge anymore. And I’m perfectly ok with thinking these thoughts. I justify them. I tell myself how much better I’m doing now than I was 7 weeks ago and that this means it’s ok to “restrict a little” when I finish the program. After all, I mostly wanted to stop the constant binging and purging, and I’ve gone 2 whole weeks without doing that. I could probably go the rest of my lifetime, right? I will never again slip up, even if I stop following my meal plan, even if I go back to restricting, I’m sure I can keep those behaviors at bay now.

Also, the last couple of days, I have been contemplating halving my meal plan. If it says 3 proteins, I’ll eat 1 and a half. If it says 2 starches, I’ll eat 1. I haven’t done it, but I’m justifying in my head why it would be ok. And I have a feeling the longer I continue to justify it, the more likely I will be to actually do it, even while still in the program. Besides, it’s not like they care if I restrict. I’m fat, so it’s not a problem for me. This is the vibe I get from my therapist. Just like I can’t have a problem with exercise. She knows I workout at least twice a day, and she commended me for it. Thanks. She didn’t bother to ask what my motivation for working out is, whether it’s compulsive, whether it’s increased since I stopped purging, I can’t have problems with exercise or restriction because I don’t fit into a certain mold. Well, fine, my eating disorder loves that, and uses that to justify all sorts of things.

So yes, I am having a problem with justifying. I know it’s going to get me into trouble. The problem is, I sort of want that.

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11 responses »

  1. Oh, please do not play the numbers and justification game. It is just not worth it. You need to get healthy. You owe it to yourself. Do not let your eating disorder talk you into doing these games.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Justification is definitely a bad habit if you’re using it in the way you described, but it can be harnessed into something positive. At the same time restriction isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

    Now I know having an eating disorder where you refuse to feed yourself is an issue, I know just as intimately as you do, but I think your mental need to control what’s going into you can actually be harnessed into something positive, as I have done, so let me explain:

    Becoming vegan, or vegetarian, or gluten-free, or gluten-free and vegetarian, are all examples of ways you can restrict your diet. It may make you feel like you are satisfying your need to be restrictive, the way it helps me, but would allow you to keep to a decent meal plan with a decent number of feedings.

    This would mean you would need to do your research and talk to the people who are working with you on your current meal plan. Telling someone you no longer want to include cows, pigs, foul, fish, or dairy is a right you have and you can do it healthily. It takes work to do it in a way that is healthy and that is what satisfies that OCD anorexic desire I have to control what I eat, what I put in my body — and it helps me find interesting meals that are low calorie but nutritious.

    I currently do not eat pigs or cows regularly, I would say I slip up on this about once every couple of months… usually when someone else is feeding me, I make the exception. Do I beat msyelf up for it the way I did with anorexia missing meals? Oh you bet I sometimes do. I guilt myself incessantly on it… and it gives me the same desire to work harder at it.

    Occasionally I have fish or chicken during the week I have less problems eating birds and fish than I do with animals that have a proven ability to think like a cat or dog. I try to focus on eating lentils and vegetables. I also take supplements including Eurofer Iron, D, B12, and Omega-3. Eating in this way isn’t a bad thing, and it forces me to pick specific foods to be restrictive about “oh I should avoid beef” is a perfectly normal reaction many people have. Saying “Oh I should skip ALL protein”, that is bad, or saying “I won’t have ANYTHING for lunch”, that is bad, but saying “Dinner should be only veg tonight suddenly isn’t a bad thing, especially if I find a great recipe to try out. I’m also a Buddhist, so eating past noon is technically bad on holy days… so there’s also that restriction. Are you Christian or Catholic? You should be having fish on Fridays!

    I have the compulsive need to be restrictive, just from my upbringing, so instead of skipping meals I use justification the other way – to convince myself to eat. “You need to have a lunch or else you will be a huge bitch by dinner and you shouldn’t do that to (insert name of person).” Instead of “Oh I am almost done the program I can stop then…” one I notice I have that justification thought I throw the justification BACK at it, as if it is a ball. “Nooooo, nice try! I need to eat to live.”

    Or “Hahaha no, good attempt brain, but I am eating lunch today”, which is what I said to my brain today. I noticed I was slipping into skipping lunch when the clock hit 2:30 EST and I hadn’t had anything for midday meal. Well, I noticed it, I threw my justification back at my brain and stood up and went to get a gluten-free sandwich with spinach and chickpeas and guac. And I ate it!

    Keeping you in my thoughts, best of luck!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Again, very relatable,but it is so dangerous, that way of thinking! I was in an inpatient unit for six weeks in jan and a bit of feb, and I started out thinking like that, and it wasn’t until the last week of my treatment I managed to flip the switch to normal, really normal eating, rather than the messed up version my eating disorder provides me with. And as I am actually overweight, that was even more a reason to justify restricting. I went into treatment for my bulimia, and it has helped, up to a point, that I b/p a lot less than I used to, and I see that as progress. Recovery from an eating disorder is like a mad rollercoaster ride. You go up and down at terrifying speeds but in the end, it all calms down and you get off the rollercoaster. That’s the moment you should focus on.
    Love.
    xXx
    Rose

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It is good to read that you recognize these thought patterns, and the fact that at some level you want to get into the trouble that they bring you. You have great awareness and strength to be honest with yourself and with others about this. I pray this strength helps you to choose not letting the justifications derail your recovery (even if you have to make that choice several times every day!). Stay strong!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. You are doing so fantastically to do two whole weeks without binging/purging. Well done. That’s a massive achievement. I don’t know how it works so you may tell me I’m wrong but I do hope it may get easier as time goes on to continue not to binge/purge. I’m really sorry your therapist isn’t recognising the struggles you have with exercise and restriction and giving you the impression it isn’t a problem or she doesn’t care. I’m wondering how that feels. …it sounds really hurtful. … Can you talk to any of the other clinicians about it if you can’t raise it with her? Or to anyone else doing the programme? As ever sending hugs xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. A2! You’ve been a real warrior getting this far. I hope you won’t stop short of the real goal line of having a complete recovery from ED! Running along the edge of a cliff, because you think you can handle it doesn’t mean you won’t take a tumble! You truly are in my prayers every day!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi beautiful friend. Thank you for sharing this. I don’t know if you know my story, but I’ve been in recovery from anorexia for eight years now. First of all, I commend you that you’ve been following your meal plan. That is huge. It takes incredible strength. I also went through this “justifying trap.” I want to just invite you to think about something … Pretend you had a loved one – a daughter or a sister – someone you loved dearly. And you knew that she was hurting herself. Doing something that could kill her. Would you say, “oh, just do it less. If you do it occasionally, eeh that’s okay. Just do it less.” No. You would plead with her, “I don’t want you to EVER hurt yourself. You are too precious to do that!” The B/P cycle is so suffocating–it is cripplingly controlling. Think of all the things ED has robbed you of. He is a dirty thief. This is YOUR life. Get angry! and let that anger propel you to reclaim your life. Let every bite you take, every meal that you check off your meal plan– let it be a way to say a big FU to ED. Let it be a way to take back your life that ED is trying to destroy! It is yours! And the b/p cycle is just another way Ed tries to slip in. I believe in you so much. So so much. You are a warrior and have the power to reclaim your life. You can do it. Cheering for you babe.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback:  *RE BLOG* ‘When I start justifying’  | Daisy in the Willows

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