Thursday, February 28, 2008

From Behind Bars, Part IX, On Dinner and Goal Setting

Walking into dinner and claiming my meal tray, I look around me and try to sit at the table (there are two) with all the “cool people,” meaning people who can actually stand me. I avoid, if possible, sitting next to a nitpicky care tech that will phase drop me for playing some ridiculous food game, like looking at my beef steak menacingly or accidentally having my roll crumble in my hands or otherwise something stupidly silly. Food games are punishable by death. And if not by death, then a care tech will take away your tray, and you will be Boosted for the calories you didn’t finish. This might not be so horrible, except for the fact your dietician and therapist will find out, which will turn into this giant suck-fest, because they’ll be accusing you of not wanting to recover, etc, and all you can think about is tying them up and forcing them to consume as many calories as you are forced to in one day, so they can friggin’ know how it feels. In your mind, you watch them double over in pain, begging you to please stop; we can’t eat anymore, please!
And then you laugh.
And then you stuff another pastry in their mouth.
And laugh some more, this time with some diabolical glee. (Sometimes daydreams were a necessity to get through the lectures. I was pretty swell at dissociating and just thinking about doing evil things to them.)

I’d always jealously look around me at the girls who had been in treatment longer than me, because they had a privilege called Intuitive Eating at meals. Intuitive, as we called it, meant that you could dish up your own meal, and choose your portion size, then eat as much or as little as you liked – it wasn’t a requirement to finish everything on your tray, like my unfortunate (but bad-ass) self. The idea was to be intuitive about your hunger and fullness, and to listen to your body and other such nonsense. I am not an ideal candidate for Intuitive Eating, and I’ll tell you why: I’m pretty sure that intuitively, my body just likes no food. Brie’s Intuition is just like, “Hey, yeah! I need nothing to live. Food is gross. I’m intuitively sensing that eating blows hardcore! Now who wants some saltines and some exercise?!”

So every time my dietician begrudgingly graduated me to eating intuitively, which was always months after my admittance because it took so long to gain weight, I inevitably was whisked right back onto “100%” (eating everything on your tray given to you) because I somehow justified to myself that eating an apple and four M&M’s in one day was all my body wanted and needed. Intuitive is hard, man. Even now, though I eat on a regular basis, I don’t consider myself an intuitive eater. I know that when it’s lunch time, it’s time to eat lunch – even if I don’t feel in the least bit hungry, which is quite often. If I allowed myself to be intuitive about it, I don't think I'd ever eat. I'd just wither away. So I don’t know. I mean, I’m confused about it all. Is becoming an intuitive eater like this place that you someday reach like retirement or Nirvana? I have a hard time believing in it, though the idea is really sweet. Are there any for realsies intuitive eaters out there? Do you even exist, or are you kind of like Men in Black?

So once again, after I have consumed (or made a valiant effort) my entire tray of food, which was gluttonous, we head back to the unit for goal setting. Goal setting was pretty much just a time filler between dinner and our first evening group. CFC was not keen on letting us prisoners have much free time, so instead of allowing us to pinch our fatty stomachs and wallow in our self-hatred, they insisted we set daily goals. There was always an eager beaver girl (sorry if one of you are reading this) who would write on the goal board, and we’d have to call out goals that we would like to have achieved by the same time the following evening, and she’d write them down so we wouldn’t forget. My goals usually included something like having a runaway plan set in stone, or finding a new way to find out my weight, or to somehow find patience to not bust the girl’s nose next to me who is annoying the sweet milk outta me, etc. Occasionally I’d set a goal like “talk in therapy, “ or “don’t focus so much on my disgusting, fat body,” but mostly I steered clear, because I knew that nothing would make me feel worse than I already did about myself than not achieving a goal. I mean, who are these people? Why would they make us do something like that? I'm convinced they were only setting us up for relapse.

And finally, after goals are over, we all squeal in delight because it's MAIL TIME!!! Hells yeah!

And thus concludes part IX.


KC Elaine said...

MAIL TIME! Sa-weet! You had me laughing with the intuitive eating nirvana men in black part. Yeah, I don't know if it's possible either. it always makes me gain weight. ha, food games I got busted for till the day I left, but I swear I wasn't playing any. that was the worst, when suddenly your dietitian and therapist are confronting you about nonexistent food games. sheesh.

Stacy said...

food games.. psycho care techs...
I always got busted for how I ate my skittles. I love them. yum. but I liked to have even amounts and or color patterns for the best yumminess. they no like that. not a game just WEIRDo me :-)

how many girls were on the unit? did you have everyone in your groups?

and since I seem to have so many questions...

are you feeling better? and how is you man child? back to being a lovely monster like every other toddler?

ok done.

KC said...

I do the skittle thing too with even colors. that's why I couldn't take them there...same with M&Ms. I just can't not organize them

brie said...

Stacy, the first time I was inpatient, it was back in the day (like you) where it was just the small building, so yeah, back then, all our groups were with the same girls, etc, but once they expanded, there were so many girls, they divided up some things - like open group was divided into three groups, and all other groups were divided into two different inpatient groups, and one RTC group. (RTC was the girls who had been inpatient for eight weeks or more.) There was a capacity for about 60 girls, though there were usually around 40-50. There were also several admits every week, so it was so much crazier than it was when there were just a dozen of us.

Cade's doing great, thanks for asking. He's back to his normal, adorable little self, and is getting closer to gaining back the weight he lost in the hospital. So all's good. :)

Stacy said...

sweet. I am glad he is doing well. A healthy happy baby always makes life better!

Emily said...

Intuitive eating? I think I'll be on a meal plan for the rest of my life. Or at least for a long time, because I do not do well with intuitive eating. Not at all.

Stacy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stacy said...

I NEVER got to the intuitive eating part. I left on stage 3. I know... LOSER.
but they porked me up (REALLY) and called it good so I was sent packin (really the money ran out)
and you had a set amount of time whether you were ready to leave or not (that would be why I did so WELL with my recovery)