Many moons ago, I saw a photo online of a beautiful castle in Germany. I knew nothing about this castle, but I knew I had to see it in real life. I tucked the thought into the back of my mind for as long as I can remember, but on my recent weekend getaway with Galiya and Austin we drove 6 hours round trip in one day just to see this castle.
It was worth every minute of the drive.
We left our Freiburg Air B & B around 0900, and arrived at Burg Eltz around noon. I anticipated this would be a busy time to visit, and it was. Because of this I didn’t manage to go inside the castle, but we walked around the grounds for a better view.
I wish I had more information about the castle from a formal tour, but what I do know is that this castle was untouched by the war, and is owned by the same family from when it was built. The castle is tucked into the woods, and required a 20 minute walk from a small parking area through forests of trees and valleys.
We stayed in the area for a little over an hour, walking around the exterior and soaking in the views. Austin took a handful of photos of Galiya and I in front of the castle, and these are some of the first photos of myself I have seen in a long time that I didn’t hate.
It’s taken me a long time to feel “comfortable” in my bigger body, but moments like this are huge victories for the disordered eating voice in my head.
I have an average build these days, but I sometimes catch myself looking at photos of myself when I was quite small. The days of dedicated running (to the point of anxiety and physical fatigue), the days of a plant based diet (unknowingly eating WAYYY too few calories for my activity levels), the days of stress and an emotionally abusive relationship (causing me to go extended periods, and at times full days without eating.)
Yeah, the unsustainable and unrealistic lifestyle that brought forth a tiny frame.
At the time, I didn’t realize what I was going through/doing was problematic. The bucket full of water finally tipped over, and it has taken me a long, LONG time to get to the point I am today. It wasn’t until this past September that I started consistently eating more calories. I’ve gained weight, and with the extra pounds I also gained back my period.
Anytime I look at myself in photos or a mirror and start to feel unhappy with my body I remind myself how far I’ve come.
I am far from perfect, food allergies will always be a fickle thing to navigate with a disordered eating history, but I am getting better each day. Accepting my body where it is in this current moment has allowed me to fully enjoy my experiences and to be present. It makes a world of difference when I travel with people who understand I have to eat certain foods to ensure I feel well, which automatically lowers my overall anxiety.
I am thankful I can look back on this castle visit with nothing but positive memories. All of my travels have had some positives associated with them, but a lot of them have also had moments of struggle, where food choices took over my mind in an omnipotent way. At the end of the day all that matters is that I feel well, and while this is never a guarantee with Sjogrens Syndrome, I do my best to make positive choices everyday.
My adventures require planning, sometimes days prior to the day of activity. Adequate rest, hydration, stress management, and most importantly food. I pack bags of Brittany friendly foods to ensure I have enough to eat on these longer days out and about. This not only keeps my brain happy, but it makes life easier for everyone involved.
I’ve only recently found a balance with this way of life mentally. I would travel solo because it made life easier, but automatically shutting others out because I assume they will be burdened by my needs is a disservice to all involved. My company is just as worthy as anyone else’s, even if I don’t have the same flexibility as others.
These last two posts about my weekend getaway have both had a deeper story mixed within the photos of castles and new cities. I may divagate from the original subject, but the two topics still conflate in a way. As I continue to heal from the inside out emotionally, I find the moments I feel the most progress being made, are the moments I share with specific people.
For so long I have tried to “heal” myself with my lifestyle choices, but that’s not how this works. We can eat the most perfect Eden like foods, rest often, meditate daily, but without healing the loneliness deep within a human soul the other actions are moot. I believe this now more than ever.
It is so easy for me to fall into the black holes of “I am too much of a burden” with my limitations in life, but this has brought me NOTHING but emptiness. Those who want the best for me will always move towards me, and those who don’t…wont. At the end of the day who wants to be around those who don’t want the best for them? Certainly not me.
Q: Do you have any limitations that make you feel like a handful at times? If I don’t bring my own food when I go out and about I feel extremely anxious with other people. I like being prepared so that I don’t keep everyone waiting while I try to find a Brittany friendly restaurant. This is a limitation I am happy to work with.