I have been getting treatment for my binge eating disorder and to this point it has been a lifesaver. I have gotten more from it than I ever thought possible. My binge urges have been reduced dramatically and I have been successful in using the tools I have learned to help me avoid binges when I have wanted to give in.
I had a relapse, under extreme circumstances. I am back on track, but I admit to having tremendous urges to swing the other way and restrict in order to get off the weight I've gained (almost there, about two to three pounds over).
So what do they do? They put me on a meal plan.
Because they want to treat the whole disorder - both the binge cycle and restrict cycle - they are prescribing a regimented plan for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I can choose the foods and how they are cooked, but they write out the portions I have to adhere to. I have to do this until my weight stabilizes and I'm ready to move to intuitive eating.
I am panicked and not wanting to comply. The amount of food they want me to eat seems HUGE. And loaded with requirements to eat carbs. And only about six oz of protein a day (plus 3 servings of dairy). AND on days I exercise, I have to add more carbs. Not more protein, but more carbs. AND I still have exercise restrictions so I can't burn off the extra calories through exercise. AND they want me to occasionally have dessert!
I am deathly scared that this plan is going to make me regain everything. They say that the restriction cycle will just make me end up binging again, and that if I want to get to a normal relationship with food, I need to eat to the point of satisfaction rather than staying at a lower calorie level. They promise to review my menus to make sure I'm not going overboard and that if I gain, they will tell me and adjust accordingly/determine what is wrong so I don't go the other way.
I don't know what to do. The staff haven't steered me wrong yet, and their specialty is treating eating disorders (that's all they do), but this challenge scares me to death. So far, I have done so well. It hasn't been easy but it hasn't been the hardest thing I've done either. Now I'm faced with a true challenge that will be hard and scary.
If I do this and am successful, maybe I could finally have a normal relationship with food. I might be able to eat more and still maintain while not overexercising or letting my weight or food rule my life. If I gain, they will tell me.
If I decide not to do this, and either tell them no or pretend that I'm following the plan, then I'm basically stuck in a holding pattern and probably won't advance more. But a regimented plan seems so restrictive. Then again, I didn't do so well on the less prescribed plan since I kept losing weight - not because I was intentionally trying to lose weight, but because I was so afraid to overeat and regain.
Should I take a leap of faith and try to follow a meal plan I don't agree with?