On repeat

During our last session, I talked to my therapist about my habit of eating the same things for breakfast and lunch everyday. I worried that it might be a compulsive behavior, another sign of disordered eating.

What my therapist helped me to do was dissect the situation. What’s behind my food choices at breakfast and lunch? Mornings in my house are busy. That’s when I fit in my workouts before rousting my school-age children out of bed and getting them ready for school. It’s easiest for me to have a go-to breakfast that I like and which makes sure that I start my day with something nutritious rather than whatever I grab before my first meeting.

Lunch is a similar story. In years past, I wouldn’t always have lunch, choosing instead to continue working or having something from a vending machine in the late afternoon. It wasn’t healthy and it didn’t help me thrive. Now, I eat at roughly the same time everyday and I know that what I’m having is balanced and filling.

When you’re used to your urges and habits being perennially unhealthy, it can be hard to recognize and accept that new ones are generative and sustainable. As my therapist pointed out, I’m fortunate that I don’t mind repetition when it comes to food. She also pointed out that I’m not rigid about my daily choices. If I’m on vacation or if I meet a friend for breakfast or lunch, I do not worry that I’m deviating from my usual meal plan.

I continue to work on reminding myself that not every repetitive behavior is a symptom.

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