I’ve Started Running

1 07 2013

I started running in February of this year, but underwent surgery in February and fell victim to a “metabolic crisis” in March. It’s thought that I have a potential mitochondrial disease, for several reasons I won’t get into here. Regardless, it laid me out for almost two months, during which I lost all the progress I’d gained in February.

Starting over, I was 195 pounds, unable to walk further than about 2 miles and hating myself more than ever. Now, on July 1st, I’m 182 pounds, can maintain a 13″ a mile pace for 4-5 miles and have been sucked into an entirely different set of numbers. When I was in treatment, one of the doctors said to me, “The rules of an eating disorder are generally pretty simple. Regarding food, it’s always less, never more, and regarding exercise, it’s always more, never less.”

I’ve never understood that until now. I’ve never had an “exercise problem,” and I’ve always LOATHED running in any form. I’ve never understood the drive to continue moving, and honestly, it feels about like the very first time I purged: I wish I’d never discovered it.

I’m trying to remain healthy, trying to maintain my intake, but most days of the week, I end up with a net calorie intake of 250-500. A few times, I’ve even had a negative balance, and that felt better than anything.

I just want to be able to wear my favorite pair of jeans, enjoy it when someone touches me instead of the immediate firestorm that hits my brain (“DON’T TOUCH ME; I’M DISGUSTING!!!!!”), and be able to venture out in public without feeling every eye on me and my massiveness.

I know, logically, I’m not even really all that “huge,” but I feel as if . . . . . I occupy far too much space and that it’s just utterly foul. I can’t stand seeing myself, being touched, or having someone look at me. I’m really working to avoid falling off the restriction cliff, but it’s hard.





Green Eggs and Ham Recovery

25 10 2010

I’m currently traveling. Carrie, of ED-Bites, wrote a really good post right before I left. Her list is full of things that we all KNOW but that become very easy to forget. For instance, have fun, bring calorie and nutrient-dense snacks and have a back-up plan. It’s the same thing we’ve all done the entire time we’ve been in recovery . . . . but all of a sudden, when you switch up the locale, it’s like we’re on the moon. Nothing works the way it should. Everything is screwy and “different.”

For me, this is “green eggs and ham” recovery. Would you eat it here or there? Would you eat it anywhere? Would you eat it in a box? Would you eat it with a fox? Would you eat them in a house? Would you eat them with a mouse?

Most often, my answer to all of that is, “NO.” I would not eat it in a box. I would not eat it with a fox. I would not eat it in a house. I would not eat it with a mouse. I would not eat it here or there. I would not eat it anywhere!

I don’t want any part of this food at home. Now, all of a sudden, I’m on the road for 10 days. Well, it’s not really “all of a sudden.” This was a trip that’s been planned for weeks/months/huge chunk of time. I wasn’t gonna miss out. I convinced myself that I could do this and I’m determined to do it, darnit.

It’s not easy. My green eggs and ham just aren’t happening well. I’ve eaten food I don’t like and that I’m not comfortable with. I’ve chowed down on greasy local pizza because it was the only thing available. I’ve chowed down on a huge bag of trail mix because I got stressed and found myself eating it out of boredom and anxiety . . . . which only made me more anxious! My anxiety levels are already through the roof because I’ve gained a rather significant chunk of weight relatively quickly. I never dropped below a healthy weight; there’s no reason for me to gain weight. So, that’s causing issues.

The need to restrict, to cut back, to let go, is strong and intense. I’m careful to eat more than I think I need and to eat calorie-dense foods such as nuts and cheeses. My roommate for this trip is vegetarian and is VERY set on “healthy, low-calorie, organic” foods. She has very set ideas as to what “good” food is and what “bad” food is. Heaven forbid she see anyone eating a “bad” food. She goes on a rant about it. She also said something that I think has screwed up my head even worse than it was . . . .  well, two things:

  • I don’t eat corn. Pigs eat corn and have you seen them?
  • Then, she said something that someone said to her when she was heavier. She said, “They said, ‘You’re fat. I won’t sugarcoat it because I’m afraid you’d eat that, too.”

Well, I just about lost it. I FEEL like I’m eating everything and I know I’m eating a lot more than I usually do. Part of that is related to my period, part of it related to coming into this phase of recovery from an INTENSE starvation phase and part of it just stress. I eat more than she does. I feel like I eat more than EVERYONE because I NEVER see them eat.

Right now, I just am having a really hard time dealing with myself and the green eggs and ham recovery. I was determined to make it here, though, darnit, and I’m gonna eat. End of story. I like green eggs and ham! I like them, Sam I Am!





Anxiety

13 10 2010

Anxiety is a really strange monster. It’s intense, overwhelming and all-consuming. No matter what you do, it continues to build. As it’s building, there are frantic attempts to make it stop. Sometimes, this is purging. Sometimes, it’s self-injury. Sometimes, it’s exercising. Sometimes, it’s a drug. Sometimes, it’s music and pacing. Whatever the case may be (outside of purging, which acts as a drug and actual drugs, such as Klonopin or Ativan), nothing is really effective in STOPPING or LOWERING anxiety.

At this point, I expect many of you went “That’s not true! When I do blah blah blah” the anxiety goes away.”

However, consider that point. When you’re pacing/listening to music/rocking back and forth/crying/running/watching a movie, what’s really happening?

Time is passing. Outside of drugs, time is the only things that truly lessens anxiety. It will build, it will reach a peak and then slowly, it will taper off. Here are some things to remember:

  • Anxiety is just a feeling. You don’t have to *do* anything about it.
  • It will go away. It’s impossible to stay at the peak of anything forever. By the very definition, “peak” is a physical or emotional pinnacle. Once it gets as bad as it can get, it’ll get better.
  • Pick safe activities. Remember the key here is TIME. So, while time is passing, pick a safe activity. Play a board game. Watch a funny movie. If it’s allowed by your treatment plan, take a walk with a safe person. Whatever you do, don’t isolate yourself. ED and Sia have a funny way of worming into your brain when you’re by yourself.
  • Focus on something other than what you feel. Give the dog a bath. Braid your sister’s hair. Focus on your breath. The funny thing about breath is that your thoughts influence your breathing (when you get all worked up, your breath is fast and jerky) but your breath can also influence your thoughts! Calm your breathing consciously and eventually, your thoughts will calm as well.
  • Know that the more you do something, the less anxious it will make you. This is a desensitization process. Facing your fear and winning has a strange way of making anxiety see that there’s no reason for it to hang around.




Struggling

28 05 2010
Heaven bent to take my hand
And lead me through the fire
Be the long awaited answer
To a long and painful fight
Truth be told I’ve tried my best
But somewhere along the way
I got caught up in all there was to offer
And the cost was so much more than I could bear
Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…
We all begin with good intent
Love was raw and young
We believed that we could change ourselves
The past could be undone
But we carry on our backs the burden
Time always reveals
The lonely light of morning
The wound that would not heal
It’s the bitter taste of losing everything
That I have held so dear.
I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…
Heaven bent to take my hand
Nowhere left to turn
I’m lost to those I thought were friends
To everyone I know
Oh they turned their heads embarassed
Pretend that they don’t see
But it’s one missed step
You’ll slip before you know it
And there doesn’t seem a way to be redeemed
Though I’ve tried, I’ve fallen…
I have sunk so low
I have messed up
Better I should know
So don’t come round here
And tell me I told you so…

No, I haven’t relapsed. . . . but I feel as if I’m fighting an uphill, losing battle. Someone very close and dear to me, a man who willingly adopted the “father” role throughout most of my childhood, died tragically and unexpectedly. All desire for food was instantly stricken from me. . . . .Eating is difficult, at best, and feels impossible at worst. I bicker and fight about food, something I haven’t done in a long time. I’ve made the promises to fight. . . . . to stay strong. . . . . and I’m trying, but it seems impossible. I feel as if I’ve been driven to my knees in a world that just keeps spinning.

I purged for the first time in roughly two months the other night. I didn’t binge. . . . but I was eating emotionally. I quickly got back on track the next day; I wanted no part of that demon. I was seeking that numb, foggy feeling that purging brings. . . . . that disconnect from everything around you. . . . and it just didn’t happen.

Since then, I have struggled to eat. I met my calorie count yesterday, but with a lot of consternation along the way. The day before, I wasn’t even close. Today, I’m just struck with the absolutely MASSIVE amount of food that 1700 calories is. It doesn’t make sense; it’s too much.

Four days ago, I believed that this was going to be ok. . . . . that food was coming naturally and easily, most of the time, and it was just going to settle into a lulling rhythm. Now, I don’t know. Nothing feels the way it did, and feels more akin to how it used to.





Abolition of Meal Plans

25 05 2010

I wish! 😀

What we (KY and I) have done, though, is built a little more freedom of choice into the system. Everything I eat still has to be documented and weighed/measured out in order to prevent relapse, but I get to choose my own foods on a day to day basis, instead of planning several days in advance. I have to keep a running food diary throughout the day, though, and send it to him every night. If I choose, I may make a meal plan, instead. I might fall back on that if I am going to be having a busy day or something. . . . . I can’t stand making the stupid things. . . . . but they’re a wonderful tool to have. It’s comforting sometimes knowing that I don’t have to deal with the anxiety of picking something in the moment when there’s not much time to choose. Eating disorders are tricky little buggers, and relapse is even sneakier. As such, KY is being extremely careful with what he allows me to do, concerning meal plans, exercise, food choices, or rate of weight loss. Eating disorder relapse isn’t a possibility either of us want to consider, although it does, for now, have to be on the forefront of our minds.

My “running around” has increased, and I’ve got a puppy that is very high-energy. I think I told you guys about her awhile back. Anyways, I’m back to losing weight after being stable between 155 and 158 for about a month and half. I’ve dropped two days in a row, but it’s a healthy rate! A couple of weeks ago, I was at 154.6, and now, I’m at 153.2. It’s healthy, y’all, I swear!





Group

20 05 2010

I attended a recovery group tonight. I’d been promising to attend for weeks now, and never have. I’d definitely always had my doubts about the program, but I had finally worked myself around to it. The issue, for me, wasn’t the “recovery” part or the “support” part or the “information” part. . . . . It was the “Bible and Christ” centered part.

I was raised “Christian.” We, as a family, went to church every Sunday and Wednesday. We attended church functions are participated in all events. I went to camp of a summer, and attended Christian school. My family had a “church” face. We’d pull into the parking lot, and it’s like a light would switch. They’d bicker and scream and fight and cuss all the way there, but buddy, pull in the parking lot, and I had the perfect, most amazing family on Earth. I was exposed to all denominations of Christians, from the wayyyyyyyyy far left wing to the most fundamental Christians of them all, the Independent Baptists.

I grew cold. I grew distant. I will be the first to announce that my moral and values system is Christian-based, but then, most middle-class, white  American’s is. I do not, however, consider myself “Christian.” I don’t welcome Christianity, on any level. I greatly respect those who hold Christian beliefs. I revel in the joy it brings them. I politely listen, and when I have something to add concerning the Bible or Christianity, I will. Most of the time, though, I just listen.

This recovery group is completely Christ and Bible based. There is not a problem with that. There most definitely is not. I know more people who fall back on their faith in God than who don’t. . . . . and I’m so happy that they’re happy, settled, and at peace.

It’s not for me. It’s not a fit. I don’t mesh, click, or feel comfortable. It was nothing to do with the group; they were nothing but open, inviting, and warm-hearted. We were all asked to share our stance and position on God, and I was openly honest with mine. The group was still just as warm and inviting. It has to do with my unwillingness to accept or be directly involved with Christianity.

In any case, there are a couple other resources close to me; I think I’ll check them out. I may attend this group one more time in order to see if perhaps I was just having an “off” night . . . . *soft shrug*





Recovery Road

6 05 2010

I’m realizing more than ever that this is a long, hard road. I was eating lunch today, standing in the kitchen. Nouveau Vie definitely taught me that it’s easy to eat when you’re DOING something besides just eating. For most people, that’s a bad thing. . . . . they tend to eat whole bags of chips and whatnot. . . . .  but for me, it helps me eat everything I’m supposed to. I was standing there, leaning against the counter, slowly eating a bowl of soup, when a thought crossed my mind.

I was eating. Not only was I eating, but I wasn’t thinking about every bite. For this meal, for this snatch of time, food wasn’t everything.

I was just like. . . . . whoa. That’s not to say that the past few days haven’t been difficult, at all, for they have. . . . but I’m noticing the little changes starting to come about.

I don’t have an overwhelming need to bolt and purge, although I do look forward to the day that I don’t immediately think about puking after I eat. Seriously, that gets old. I don’t understand how normal people just eat and then go about their day. . . . but I hope to join those ranks some day.

I don’t look forward to meals, but I don’t dread them. It’s not like my day is centered around these 3-5 times a day when I have to gag my way through something and feel like I’m choking down sawdust. It’s just food; it’s ok.

My hair isn’t falling out as much. It’s still everywhere; don’t get me wrong. . . . but it doesn’t fall out by the handfuls. It’s also starting to thicken up a bit.

Being dizzy is ODD. It’s something that catches my attention, not a normal state of being. It’s not something that I automatically compensate for when I stand. . . . . if I’m dizzy now, it’s noticeable.

Eating is something that just has to happen. No matter what is really going on, it’s starting to settle in that eating is just something that has to happen. I still forget to eat sometimes, or I feel like I’d rather eat glass than food, but it’s just a normal part of my day.

I’m going to do a post soon on the foods and tools that have helped me the must thus far.








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