Is it a good idea having a diet during recovery?
That's easy. No. End of the blog.
Kidding. Here’s why you have to let go of the idea of having a balanced diet during recovery.
Most people in recovery from a restrictive eating disorder crave certain types of foods. Most often the things we deprived ourselves off. I’m sure a lot of you can relate to going through certain food phases. I call this the:
“peanut butter deficit”
And so forth.
I remember I ate jars and jars of any type of nut butter for months on end and my love for nut butters has never really dissipated, but the amount I ate back then I was unparalleled. I had to fill up that’s nut butter deficit, since I used to allow myself the tiniest portions of nut butter during recovery. The pendulum had to swing the other direction. It was bound to happen.
So eating a shit ton of nut butter helped me normalize my craving for nut butter. Makes sense, no?
Some days I woke up thinking about a cheese melt sandwich (tosti = Dutch thing) and other days I only wanted to have whipped cream cake (slagroom taart = Dutch thing).
You have to allow yourself to eat unlimited amounts of anything you crave
I know it’s hard to do mentally, as your eating disorder will scream at you like nothing else, but you can’t follow a “balanced diet” and sprinkle in a cookie here or there if you think about eating the entire package. Eat that whole damn thing.
If you don’t and you desperately desire to, that is still restriction, even though it might feel like a minor restriction, it is still restriction.
I believe, and I have experienced that when a body has been deprived of certain foods for a long time, it is out of balance and in order to get back into balance it needs to feast on those foods for a significant amount of time until it’s not an obsession anymore.
I ate my way through many food groups during recovery and I ended up with what I would consider a very “balanced” diet, as in, I don’t crave those extreme amounts every single day anymore. I still allow myself to eat an entire package of anything, but that constant craving is gone.
I had to be brave enough to trust that if I let go and eat all the foods I was secretly obsessing about in large quantities that it would all balance out in the end. And it did.