I wish I could claim to have come up with the phrase of being ‘held hostage’ by the eating disorder with the foods we have at home but I can’t.
However, it is something I find myself falling victim to and I think others might relate…
This term refers to when you are perhaps food shopping or consider going out for lunch and want to really face a food challenge, when the thoughts pop in to say, ‘No, don’t do that today -you have x at home to eat -stick with that.’ With an eating disordered scarcity mindset that is so common and the associated fear of spending money, the automatic thoughts that we should not spend more on food than is necessary also pop in here.
So, before you know it, the fear based eating disordered thoughts have convinced you that it is not a good idea to face the challenge and you are back home, safe food in hand.
Of course, this is also something that might have actually been taught to us growing up – as children we might have been told that we can have the other foods we are asking for, but only when we’ve eaten what is at home already…
And to someone without an eating disorder to overcome, this is a perfectly rational way of thinking as they know that they are not scared of the alternative options and they will get them next time, without any drama.
But in eating disorder recovery – sometimes we really do have to seize the moment!
We cannot stay victim to the ED holding us hostage or we won’t get better.
Recovery is a rollercoaster, with some moments braver than others.
If we are in a moment of feeling brave enough to face a more frightening food or situation…. regardless of what foods are at home, we need to seize those precious brave seconds and use them to their full advantage!
Plus, I wouldn’t mind betting that the food at home holding us hostage is actually in the freezer or will keep until tomorrow, or ideally could be eaten in addition to anything else that day!
So, I am working at recognising this other sneaky way the eating disorder has to manipulate me and keep me stuck…
If I see something I want to try or I have an opportunity to do something spontaneous that involves food, to forget what is already at home to eat and go with it, no matter what the illness says!