Wedding

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Today is the wedding. And I hate my dress.

Correction: I hate me in my dress.

Everyone will be looking at me and I am going to be like a stuffed sausage and will have to look at all the photos. Facebook will be inundated by photos of me that I hate. I will have no recourse.

This is not a good day for me. And I feel so horrible because it’s my best friend’s wedding. I should ONLY be thinking of her. But I’m not.

I hate ED.

Wish me luck, friends. Wish me luck.

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Shopping

Awful. Just awful. The wedding is in 6 days. I’m huge. I’m fat. I’m worthless. I look horrible in the dress I have. I need to go shopping for another dress so I don’t die of gross.

This is my best friend’s wedding and all I can think about is how huge I am and how ridiculous I’m going to look officiating it. I have to be in so many fucking photos. I really can’t stand myself right now.

I’m having a bad, bad day.

Sorry for the rant and the negative talk.

Weekends!

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Everything, food-wise, falls apart for me on the weekends. The awesome, healthy smoothies I’ve been eating (drinking)? Gone. Gluten? Eaten. Sugar? WAAAYYYYY eaten.

Back on the wagon today, my friends. With a healthy dose of self-loathing.

One of the reasons I ate gluten was because of my awesome friends. See, last year, I was in the throes of a restriction and I didn’t eat for three days. I couldn’t move my legs well by the end of the three days and the diet pill I took had made my heart rate spike. I landed in the hospital. Even there, I couldn’t eat because of ED.

When I got out, my therapist suggested I eat with my friends every day, so that everyone would make sure I was eating. So I did. And IT SUCKED. For everyone! The power dynamic of the friendships, the time it took, the feeling like I was in trouble . . . Needless to say, this didn’t last long. I continued to struggle, but I ate, just to avoid this.

The long-term consequences involve a knee-jerk panic on the part of my friends if I decide not to eat something around them. This Saturday, we were out at a restaurant, and I’d had PLENTY to eat that day and in fact, had had some toast. But, when I said I wasn’t going to eat dinner because I was full from the toast, they immediately jumped on it and wouldn’t allow that as a dinner. They are beautiful, wonderful friends. But it messed me up.

I’m trying very hard to eat when I’m hungry and all that went out the window this weekend. Eating gluten and flour really makes me crave sugar. The non-structure of weekends gives me license to go nuts with the food. And then the self-loathing comes in.

On a separate note, I am very upset I didn’t go to the gym this morning. I need to get into a routine that way. Just the act will ease my anxiety but for some reason, I cannot get that going. Actually, the reason is my ankle, but that has to be pushed through, I think.

Ah well. The weekends. It’s Monday now. Time to get back into the smoothies. 🙂

Voices

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Do you know what’s delicious? Ezekiel 4:9 Flax Bread. It’s fantastic. And it’s great for you! I’ve been having that everyday with some almond butter. I’ve also been making myself these awesome smoothies with kale and parsley and apples, bananas, dates, and almond milk. They’re amazing. I’ve been eating like a champ lately–meaning, eating things that are good for me–with the exception of last night when I had a veggie burger and fries. But, I keep telling myself, that’s NORMAL.

However, I cannot quiet these eating disorder voices. Fat fat fat fat fat. That’s what’s running through my head constantly. This wedding coming up is going to kill me. All those photos . . . It’s not MY wedding, btw, but I am officiating it. Which means, I’ll be in a shitload of photos. Yikes. I am crawling out of the skin I’m in, thinking back to those days when I could fit into the clothes I love. I just had to buy a larger size of underwear. So hard.

I’ve thought about going back to therapy, but really, my behaviors have trickled out. I sometimes eat too much, and sometimes eat too little, but it’s nothing like it was before. I probably WOULD over exercise if I could, but it’s all I can do to walk across campus to my class with my ankle as it is. I was going to go to the gym yesterday but I could barely walk. Maybe that’s a good thing, though it fills me with anxiety.

I keep trying to notice things so that I can keep up this way of eating. I have energy. I am not constantly full or constantly wanting. I allow myself to eat what I want and I try really hard to think of how what I’m going to eat will make me FEEL. My period is regular again and on the dot 28 days. My hair has life. My skin has color. I can think of things other than food.

Most days.

I am just not sure how to conquer these voices. Therapy seems slightly ludicrous to me at the moment. Sitting down (again) with someone and explaining my story and just sort of going over the same thing . . . It doesn’t sound helpful. So I guess I’ll just try to talk back to myself. Try to remember that whatever weight I am, I am still me and deserve love, life, and happiness. Just for being. Just like everyone else. 

Any good ideas out there on how to shut out the mean voice in your head?

Oh, photos. Why do you hate me?

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Holidays. Yes, they bring food. They bring fun. They bring family. And they bring photos.

The dreaded photos.

I had a bonus this holiday. Not only did I have photos taken of me, but also we looked at old family photos. I may have told you before that I am a swinger, ED-wise, so in those photos are some of my heaviest times. Not. pretty. And my boyfriend saw them.

This was difficult in a lot of ways. This would NOT have been difficult if I were the weight I was last year, because the specter of me being that heavy weight again seemed so far removed. But having gained a shit-ton of weight over the fall, that heavy me looms like the eye of Sauron (I do a lot of LOTR metaphors on this, don’t I?). So, major panic at the disco for me this holiday.

On top of it, I ate like crazy. I mean, stupid ate. That’s what holidays are, but for us EDs, this is anathema. And I’m STILL eating.

Which means, my little ED brain is calculating. I must eat only this many calories now. I must go on a juice fast. I have a wedding in two weeks during which I will have a ton of photos taken and maybe I can lose, you know, 40 pounds by then. Uh huh.

But in all of this noise, something happened that I’m holding on to. And here it is:

Coming back from my parents’ house, we were given all manner of junk food. Fritos, potato chips, dips . . . and we also got Chinese food. Yesterday for breakfast, I had Fritos and hummus. For lunch, I had potato chips and dips. For a snack, I had sugary hot chocolate. For dinner, I had spaghetti and veggie balls. In short, I ate like a maniac. My BF and I didn’t go to the grocery store and implement my list of a bazillion veggies to counteract this junk foodapalooza. Which would normally mean I would continue today in the chip/Chinese craziness.

But I haven’t so far. I mean, when I thought of breakfast this morning, I thought I’d eat some Fritos again. And, I DIDN’T WANT THEM. I wanted eggs. I wanted toast. I even made some veggies and wrapped it all up in a tortilla with salsa. I’m full and satisfied and only a little guilty about all the vegan butter I used.

This little tiny thing gives me hope. My ED would normally tell me to eat all the damn food in the house because it’s starving time starting tomorrow. But my body naturally told me that I was done with the junk food. Which means, I can listen to it to tell me what is going to work.

That little voice and that little bit has lit my way now. I still have to look at the photos taken of me. I still have to dread the photos to come. I am not comfortable with my body and I am convinced that my boyfriend is not attracted to me. I would love to be my old weight. But my previous attempts to get there only landed me here (or in the hospital). So I need to keep trying this new thing where I listen to my body. Where I eat the way that FEELS the best, not the way I THINK is going to get me somewhere. And if I can listen to my body this morning and eat what I want, which just happened to be healthy . . . then I can trust that my body will respond to me listening to it and will stabilize at the weight it should be.

So. There you have it. I am going to consider exercising in ways that feel good, because I love to exercise (as much as my ankle will let me). I’m going to stretch. I’m going to listen to my stomach. I’m going to be nice to myself. Photos or not. I am here and I am me and that is a good, good thing.

Kids

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It’s been a week since I last wrote a post! I’ve been so back and forth ED-wise, I haven’t felt like I could write something either coherent or helpful.

Last week was a little crazy. I had two days of major restricting and then two days of binging. Imagine that. I was SO frustrated with myself. I weighed myself, too, and am very unhappy with the results. Worse, I still haven’t told my BF about the scale. I can’t seem to, even though I really am in a better place and have been for a few days now.

I keep trying to check in with my body to see if I’m hungry. The problem is, when I give myself permission to eat, my mind wants to eat all the time. I’m bored/anxious/angry/upset/happy/confused . . . all of these emotions demand that I eat. And then I overeat and feel bad about myself and undereat to relieve that anxiety. None of that works.

Changing 30-year ingrained synapses is a difficulty task. And .  .  . here come the holidays!! I’ve been successful in breaking my Coke Zero/soda habit and looking toward health when I eat, but with the holidays, who knows what food challenges I’ll be facing. I desperately (and eventually) want to cut out sugar in my life as much as I can. That is nearly impossible in general but during the holidays, well, it IS impossible for me. And then I wonder: am I cutting out sugar because it’s a toxic substance or is this eating disordered? I think it’s a little bit of both.

I had some amazingly good news this week (amidst all the darkness of the shooting)–I can start walking on my ankle again. I have foregone crutches and am slowly weaning myself off of the boot. That’s so exciting!!! I actually cried when I was told about it. I haven’t walked on my ankle for 3 months. My life has turned upside down and this is the beginning of some normalcy, I hope. In a few weeks, I should be able to drive. I am hoping to be able to start taking long walks. It’s amazing how much your body can atrophy when you don’t use it–my right leg is a peg leg and I can barely bend my ankle. This is going to be a long haul. But I am SOOOOOO glad I’m finally hauling it.

But to the crux of the matter for me this past week: the tragedy of Newtown. I cannot wrap my head around it; I cannot understand it. Like almost everyone in this country, this has kicked me in the core. I have started thinking, like I believe we all have, about life. I can’t stop crying every time I hear an update on this tragedy, on these families. On these children who lost their short lives. It’s unfathomable. However, all of this, for some strange reason, has filled me with a burning desire to have children. I have been wavering on that front for some time now. But after this, I want children very badly. You’d think it would be the opposite, but it isn’t. And this thought alone makes me recovery focused. Not only do I need to treat my body well enough to carry and nurture another life, but I also want to make sure that if I do have kids, I can forestall any ED by modeling good, healthy, eating behaviors. It may be too late– I may have damaged my body beyond repair. Regardless, I think it’s time to get super serious about recovery. I want to bring life into this world. I want to bring light and joy. And I can only do that if I fill myself up first.

To you all out there: Stay safe. Stay in the light.

Merry . . . Oh crap

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Well. I’ve had a couple of days.

Like most days, things have been good and they have been bad. I LOVE Christmas, and so I’m so looking forward to it. And at the same time, I feel myself sliding backwards.

First off, I have a dear friend who is much younger than me and who was in my partial hospitalization group. This lovely girl is just amazing–and anorexic. She has had crazy trauma in her life and, as is my pattern, I sort of adopted her. We text a lot and I am always there for her. I adore her so and I want her to be OK.

Except she’s not. She’s relapsed in a big way and over the past two weeks, she’s slid into her ED. Finally, yesterday, she came to a place of realization and knows she needs residential again. Hallelujah!! I’m so damn excited–I truly thought she was going to die. And I would just have to sit here helplessly. But it appears she is making the right choices. I did all the things I could for her–researched places, talked her into going home early, talked her down from her residential freak out. I did what I always do.

During all this, in a sly, subtle way, my own ED began creeping in again. I felt myself getting more and more anxious with my friend, more and more anxious and competitive. My ED has started to tell me, “look how she is still alive. You could do the same and still be fine.” My ED says that I’ve gotten huger, I need to remedy this. Immediately. Especially because Christmas is coming up.

And then, I start making the little choices that spell “bad.” My boyfriend’s mom wants to know what to cook for me because I’m vegan and she is Midwestern so Christmas is a dairy/meat fest. My ED senses opportunity. I ask for veggies and hummus, salad, boiled potatoes . . . No bread because I’ll eat that. My boyfriend tells me there will be food on the table constantly and so that is three days of constant eating. My ED is putting up a bulwark against it.

My family wants to know the same thing: what can we get you to eat? Hummus and veggies, salad, salad, salad . . . Another three days of constant eating. And stress–because as much as I love my family and my bf’s family, this is stress, right? So, with a plan in place, maybe I can control how I fell.

My ED is gleeful.

Today I woke up and hobbled downstairs on a broken ankle to find the scale my boyfriend hid from me. I didn’t find that same one but I did find the one he hid in the summer. I weighed myself. I am down 3 pounds and I haven’t even been restricting. “Think what can happen if you DO restrict,” says ED. And so I have been.

I’ve been counting the calories, typing them in Livestrong (my drug of choice), and calculating how to keep losing. I’ve had a small breakfast, I’m downing coffee, and I’m planning the entire day to a T so I don’t have to eat much.

Sigh. This is the beginning of relapse. I know this and though I’m disappointed in myself, this knowing gives me hope. Because I also know that I now have to find the strength to shut these voices out and to go back to intuitive eating. I have to do what’s right for me. Holidays are so very hard . . . and I don’t know how to ask for the help because I don’t know what help I need.

Send good thoughts my way, please. I will send them your way, too! I know how hard this is and I also know that this is just a bump in the larger recovery process. I know I can start making the right choices again–I just have to dig deep. Wish me luck, darlings! I send luck and strength your way, too.

 

 

Good Enough

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Weekends are hard for me. I feel unmoored, even though I’m a freelancer and I stay at home–weekends are still weekends for the rest of the world and for some reason, food-wise, I come unhinged and can’t seem to control myself. Yesterday, in particular, was one of those days where I couldn’t stand my skin touching together, the fold in my thighs, the roll of my stomach. I looked at my face and saw HUGE written on it. I overate because I’m making sure I don’t restrict, but I can’t seem to find the balance of eating only when I’m hungry and this makes me so anxious I can hardly stand it. And so, so, so cranky. My poor boyfriend.

So this makes me think: maybe I’m hungry for something else during this time. I’m bored, I’m needy, I want attention, I want love. I’m not sure what it is exactly I want– reprieve from my mind? The whole mindless eating tells me that I’m not honoring something. I am on deadline, so I’m sure it has to do with the anxiety of finishing, but mostly, the anxiety of NOT BEING GOOD ENOUGH. And, this is a huge belief that I’ve developed and reinforced over years and years: I am not good enough.

I got some news that two of my writer friends have sold their books. I’m over the moon for them and super upset for myself. I can’t seem to finish my own book because of time and perfectionism. And this, I believe, is part of that “not good enough” core belief I can’t seem to shake. This belief is holding me back from the life I want–after all, if I’m not good enough, why even try? Why try to do things I love if I’m just going to mess it up? This belief stops me from finishing my own work, from even believing that I can. In the meantime, I take on projects that are fun, but that aren’t MINE and there is some metaphor in there somewhere. A metaphor that says I’m not honoring myself and my needs and feeds that awful little “Not good enough” voice that echoes through my head. To counteract, I overfeed myself for comfort. Or, in restricting times, I punish myself by not eating.

Trying to tackle that core belief is overwhelming. So, I’m going to take things slowly. Per week, I’m going to add something to my recovery that will feed my soul and diminish that “not good enough” core belief, while always always always trying to listen to my body (not mind!) and hear what it needs. For this week:

1. Everyday, say into the mirror: I accept myself unconditionally, right now. Eventually, I will believe it. Right?

2. Add one page of my own writing, or give myself a half hour of thinking/planning time.

3. Find time to listen to the audiobook my friend gave me. It’s called “Radical Self-acceptance.” Yes, please. I’d like some of that. 🙂

Writing will help relieve some of my anxiety that I’m being left behind and am failing at my career. But that thought alone needs to die on the vine–it stems from a place of comparison. I am going to strive to work on my own writing because it gives me pleasure and because it feeds MY soul. With no other end goal in mind, this is why I’ll write. Because I like my idea and I want to finish my project.

So there you have it! Each week, I’m going to try to add another thing to work toward recovery. My inclination is to go all the way (hellooooo extreme thinking) and take on everything at once. But that is untenable and not realistic so I’m going to be gentle with myself and just add to the list. On this blog, I’ll share the struggles and then add things that have been wonderful. Because life has both, right?

My struggles this week: Body image. Always. Learning to put aside the idea that I’ll be at the weight I was at my lowest. Counting calories–uffda! Overeating when I’m unfulfilled in another area. Did I mention body image? 🙂 Feeling not good enough and procrastinating.

My triumphs/what I loved about myself: I get these ideas in my head to do things and this week, it was to start a habit of asking my boyfriend and having him ask me five questions about ourselves. First, my boyfriend is possibly the loveliest man in the world to go along with me on this. But more importantly for me: I used these questions to ask for what I wanted from him (assurance that I am attractive to him). And I realized that the act of forming these questions is something I really like about myself. I have an obsessive mind, yes, but it is damn formidable! And when I use it for the good, well, that’s pretty effing cool. I am always looking to make things better for myself and others and this is a good thing. So, there’s a triumph! I like something about myself. I am, in this way, GOOD ENOUGH.

All right, I actually have a project I’m WAY behind on (procrastinating is another post for another day–HA!). So, on to that. I wish you a happy, healthy, soul-renewing day. You are good enough. You are perfect, just being you. I mean it. You are.

xoxoxoxoxo

Hungry for Change

I have been struggling these past couple of days, but I think this is a good thing. See, I saw my friend who looked very skinny and I looked at myself in the mirror and all I could see was someone very fat . . . And I had the standard, panic thoughts to restrict, … Continue reading

The Supermarket . . . Dum dum duuuummmmm

Supermarket

If you do not have an eating disorder, going to the supermarket, I’d imagine, is just something you do. And might even be enjoyable.

I actually love going into a Whole Foods or one of my local co-ops and just wandering around. It makes me feel so good–I have no idea why. I just like the thought of getting natural products and of getting things good (or at least better) for my body. Which is HYSTERICAL because on any given day, I hurt my body in a few different ways.

When your eating disorder takes over, the supermarket is like an effing slasher film, and you are constantly running in the woods and tripping. Last night, I was way in my eating disorder and we went to the grocery store. Sigh.

To back up: So, my last post was about triggers and sure enough, yesterday I was triggered in a major way. First, doctor’s appointment. They didn’t weigh me because of my ankle, but just being there made me feel awful. Second, I saw a girl who was in my partial hospitalization group and she looked SO. SKINNY.

And I looked SO FAT. About 25 pounds fatter than the last time I saw her. (P.S. I’m so sorry if this language is a trigger for you! I try not to use this language unless it’s accurately describing how I view myself at the moment).

Not to mention, I am only wearing clothes I can fit in, which are sweats and sweatshirts. I hadn’t showered. And I’m on a crutch, hobbling like a madwoman.

Yellooooooo, Trigger. Nice to see you.

After the appointment, my poor boyfriend and I went to the store. My fellow EDers, do you know this feeling? I had devil and angel wrestling in my head: Intuitive Eating vs. ED! Rumble rumble rumble!

I would pick something up, check the calories, put it down. Then pick it up again. Chew on my fingernails. Put it in my cart. Ask my boyfriend to put it back. I’d say we needed to get this–then change my mind mid-stream, because surely that’s too many calories? I bought binge foods to purge (and I don’t purge!), and low-calorie things to help myself restrict. Right alongside sensible, perfectly reasonable food items that gave me heart palpitations. Peanut butter. To see me staring at the peanut butter in that store, you’d have thought it killed my mother. No side won in that battle by the way. I didn’t do intuitive eating because I didn’t get exactly what I wanted, and ED didn’t win because I got food I normally would never get. It was a lose-lose.

And it’s INSANE!! Whenever I convince myself that I don’t have an eating disorder, I just need to go the grocery store in that state of mind. I know that this is a mental illness–I know this. But at 38 years old, I am so tired of not being able to feed myself. What adult can’t feed themselves?

So, I had this whole day planned today to binge and try purging–because that’s brilliant, right?–and to see if maybe, just maybe I could restrict a little bit. Just a little. But boyfriend called in sick today and I no have accountability. I don’t think he knows the battle raging in my head, but he must have some sort of intuition. I love that man. I wish he’d leave. 🙂

OK, any of you readers out there, I promise I will be safe. My nefarious plans have been thwarted and probably will be for the amount of time it will take me to get a hold of myself. But if I’m being safe, you be safe too! Deal?

Deal.

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