Met My First Running Goal

8 07 2013

Early 2007, I graduated high school. I carried a 3.87 GPA, had won more speech and debate awards than I could count, earned the prestige of being the “Best German Student” in my class and absolutely hated myself. I weighed 260 pounds, had a 26 minute mile and for my freshman and sophomore years, was easily the most hated person in my P.E. class. See, I had this instructor who made us a simple deal at the beginning of the year: if everyone in the class could run a sub-12 minute mile, we wouldn’t have to run the mile in her class ever again. However, if anyone was still running, everyone had to run. Ergo, I listened to, “Come on, it’s not that hard.” “Just do it.” “If only you’d . . . .” “Nope. Keep running. We’re still waiting on her.” every week for two years. I never did manage a sub-12 minute mile in high school and I hated every minute of P.E. Come to think of it, I hated every minute of organized exercise up until about 4 months ago. I’ve fallen into the “running addiction,” somehow, and I not only like running, I look forward to it every day. 

Today, I did something I quite honestly believed I was incapable of doing. I did something more than 30 people I went to school with thought I would never do. I have finally, 9 years after my last P.E. class, met my P.E. Instructor’s challenge. I have successfully ran a sub-12 minute mile (10:54!!!!!). Not only that, I maintained the pace for an additional 2.5 miles. 

I am, quite simply, proud of myself. Take that, negative voices from my past. I’ve lost over 100 pounds, systematically built both strength and speed, and have finally bested a mental demon concerning my utter inability to complete a simple 4 laps around a track.

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Time Marches On

8 02 2013

I just realized I’ve struggled with an eating disorder for nigh on 6 years. This fact stunned me and stopped my brain from spinning for an entire 30 seconds, a huge feat when you’re as ADHD as I am. That’s 6 years that I’ve hated myself, 6 years in which nothing I’ve done was good enough, 6 years I’ve continuously gained and lost weight, 6 years of feeling tired and drained, 6 years of strife and conflict, 6 years of constant struggle.

And yet, I sit here now, fighting the same fight I always seem to be fighting. Right now, though, it’s harder than ever because I am genuinely overweight and I hate every bloody second of it. There’s no one to blame but myself for the overeating that led me here, although I honestly think the severe episode of depression I survived late last year and the antidepressants strongly contributed, I’m the one who kept eating.

I can’t stand to see myself in the mirror, can’t stand to have anyone touch me or really even see me, try to shower as quickly as possible so I can get dressed again and struggle every minute of every day to just eat, and eat enough. If numbers bother you or trigger you, stop reading here.

On January 1st of this year, I weighed 205 pounds. That’s the most I’ve weighed since I was 16 years old. When I was 16, I had a BMI of 42. While I’m nowhere near that big now, I feel that big and larger.

Now, today, I weigh 182.5 pounds. I’ve been exercising a lot and eating VERY clean and minimally processed foods. I can’t tell I’ve lost weight. I’m the same bloody size, with the same bloody fat and the same bloody clothes fit the same bloody way. It’s irritating. I’m literally trying to work my butt off (mostly) the healthy way and I don’t see anything happening.

Some days I burn almost as many calories as I eat. Some days I only burn 300. There’s been this recent development that I’ve NEVER struggled with: for whatever reason, and I don’t know how or where my brain picked up this idea, I can only eat if I exercise. Exercise outside of a gym doesn’t count.

I hate exercising. I hate sweating. I hate running. I hate feeling tired. I can’t stand anything about it.

And yet, here I am, undertaking hour and hour-and-a-half long workouts and loathing pretty much every minute of it. I’ve been to the gym every day for the past 9 days.

I’ve been told to ease off a bit, so I have — I’ve only been exercising for 45 minutes to an hour, and at a lower intensity.

My anxiety has skyrocketed. I’m not doing the routine, the niche, I’d settled into, and having limitations put on my routine/exercises of choice is severely cramping my style. I NEVER thought I’d feel that way. I’ve always been the one to look for any reason not to exercise, period, even if that reason was, “No, sorry, I have to sit on my balcony and watch grass grow tonight.”

As much as I hate feeling the way I do, I can’t stop it — I truly am “fat” now. I NEED to exercise. It’s healthy.

And as I continue to battle myself and struggle to get healthy, time continues to march on . . . . .





2013

7 01 2013

Here it is, another new year and I’m still fighting this beast. For most of 2012, I was ok. Not great, but ok. Sure, I dropped to my lowest weight in almost 6 years, but I felt good. Then I got deathly depressed and fought suicidal ideation and tendencies for several months. Along the way, I gained about 60 pounds.

I cannot even begin to describe how difficult that is for me. I have this “I don’t care” facade up because I don’t know what to do or think about it. If I pretend it isn’t so, then I don’t have to worry about the freak-out, brain-crazies that loom just around the corner. If I ignore my current weight, then I won’t (hopefully) fall into the sneaky-death spiral.

I’ve gotta say, though, my current weight is sapping me of my life. I don’t want to be seen in public, I don’t want anyone to touch me for any reason and I’m 10 times more anti-social than I usually am. I dress like a blob, look like a blob and feel like a blob. Blah blah blah, people can say I’m still pretty and that my weight doesn’t matter, but it matters to me. I can’t do anything without thinking of how fat I’ve gotten and now that I’m officially in the “obese” BMI zone, I feel as if I’m not allowed to have ED thoughts for any reason. Like I’m too fat to be struggling with it.

So I keep eating, try not to purge, do a bit of exercise every day and try to hold depression at bay. It’s not easy, and I can’t help but remember how easy it was the first time I started dropping weight. I could honestly care less about what the number is; I just don’t want to feel the way I do. Between coming off my ADHD medication and starting a merry-go-round of various anti-depressants, I don’t know that my weight will ever stabilize.

I feel like my body is a burning building and I’m trapped in it. I want so badly to jump, on so many levels, but I’m scared to death of the incapacitating anxiety and compulsion that awaits me on the ground.





2011

3 04 2011

Happy super late New Year, everyone.

A year ago today, I was in residential treatment. 3 days from today, I was sent home from treatment.

It was too early.

The past year, I have had wildly swinging ups and downs concerning my ED. I have lapsed into restricting several times and I have had periods of massive overeating. I have minimally purged.

Through my periods of overeating, I gained 40 pounds.

I had noticed the weight coming on (and it didn’t creep — it was fast and sudden) but I didn’t care — then. The holidays were really hard on me; I lost both parents last year and ended up spending Christmas and New Years alone. That’s not an excuse by any stretch of the imagination, but there you have it — I roughly maintained through the holidays and then started rapidly gaining weight the first couple months of this year.

I was fine; I was fine; I was fine — until this switch flipped in my head. About 3 or 4 days after that, a really, really good friend sat down with me and voiced his concerns. More than anything, he wanted to help . . . . but my now ED-riddled brain latched on to only a few things that he said and that was all she wrote.

Since, I’ve been having a hard time eating correctly. I play at the edge of restriction and toy with the idea of purging. I’ve been on a medication that makes me retain water badly which makes it all the worse — no matter what I do, I gain weight. This really, really, really messes with my head and puts me in a panicked space where all that matters is “fixing” that.

Enter yesterday. Worst day of restriction I’ve had and a drawn out, super rare fight with my SO.

I’m not in a good place right now. Ultimatums were set, which as you guys know, don’t matter to ED — but they matter to me. The ante has been WAY upped, which increases my anxiety (now bordering on panic) which in turn increases my drive to restrict.

It upsets me that another year will be given to this fight.





Sofia Benbahmed

14 10 2010

Sofia Benbahmed is a very special girl with a lot of focus and drive. It is her goal to recover from her eating disorder and this time, to recover completely. She’s been dealing with the hellacious cycle of ED-better-relapse for years and finally sought treatment. Her insurance company, however, wasn’t on board and quickly pulled her benefits. Sofia was forced to return home and once there, she relapsed.

She launched a compaign to help secure the needed funds for her treatment. Her father is pulling from his retirement fund enough money in order to cover 28 days of treatment. Sofia, however, is going to require at least 6 weeks of intensive residential treatment while her lawyer battles with the insurance company in court. The prospects are very good of Sofia winning the case and the insurance c0mpany being forced to repay and reimburse the Benbahmed family. However, the insurance company can only be forced to do so if Sofia WINS her battle.

All of the ED bloggers have picked up the flags of battle and have been passing around the word of Sofia’s needs. A couple of people have set up a fundraiser over at Give Forward. You can make a tax deductible donation there. Please remember that absolutely every little bit helps . . . . . 5 dollars give by 200 people equals a day of care. However, if each of those 2oo were to say “My 5 dollars won’t help” then that’s not one more drop in the bucket. Please help Sofia fill her bucket up!





For Parents

11 10 2010

Parents and caretakers,

Today, this post is for you. If you have a son or daughter suffering from an eating disorder, I want to applaud your strength, determination and love. Eating disorder treatment isn’t easy, nor is it fun. Today, I wanted to give you guys some resources. First, here are some things you should know about eating disorders:

  • It’s not a choice. We didn’t choose this and while it may seem that we wish to perpetuate the eating disorder, it’s just as much a hell for us as it is for you.
  • It’s not your fault. No matter what, don’t play the guilt game. Eating disorders are sneaky and secretive and very hard to pin down. Don’t blame yourself for “not knowing” or for “not acting sooner.”
  • There is support. If you don’t have a support group locally, find one online. It will prove invaluable throughout the course of your son or daughter’s treatment. In order to help us take care of ourselves, you must take care of YOURSELF.

Here are some things to remember about us:

  • We are people first. Between all of the doctor’s appointments, nutritionalist appointments, therapist appointments and all the other appointments, it’s so easy to forget that we still exist under this fog. We are people first and eating disordered second.
  • When we get defensive, lie to you, or have emotional breakdowns, take a step back and remember that we’re scared, feel out of control and hate what we’ve become. We take comfort in our eating disorder just as much as we loathe and fear it.
  • We don’t always know what we need. An eating disorder can cloud our perception so much that we’re unable or unwilling to care for ourselves. Please be willing to step in and do what must be done.

Here are a couple more things to remember:

  • We will lie to you throughout the course of treatment. We won’t always mean to but the fear easily overrides our desire to tell to truth. It may be fear of your reaction, fear of food or fear driven by the lies of ED. Please don’t take this personally. Take it as a sign that we need help still and aren’t ready to function by ourselves.
  • Don’t trust us. If you didn’t see us eat it, assume we didn’t eat it. If we didn’t stay with you, assume that we’ve purged. No matter what we tell you, if you didn’t see it during the beginning stages of treatment (or as long as someone is uncooperative), assume it’s not true. An eating disorder is sneaky and manipulative and will do anything to get its way. While we may throw pitching, screaming, yelling fits at your “control,” during initial treatment, we need that safety net and accountability.

Finally, here are some important signs and symptoms of a relapse. I know there are signs of relapses posted everywhere but I’ve yet to see a list dedicated towards parents and caretakers. All the lists I’ve seen are focused on the eating disordered person themselves and what their behaviors and thought processes are doing.

  • Weight loss. If we’ve been on a meal plan and maintaining weight (or gaining) for awhile and suddenly start losing weight, something is up. Corner us, pin us down. We don’t really want to relapse. Eating is scary and can be inconvenient but relapses are even more inconvenient.
  • Withdraw. If we’ve been working with you throughout recovery and all of a sudden, we’re defensive and wary, something is up. Watch us very carefully for we’re starting to struggle.
  • Shift in clothing choice. If we’re suddenly wearing a different style of clothing (big, baggy, warmer), look at us with suspicion. We’re either masking weight loss or we’re cold all the time.
  • We take extra time to change position. You may not see blatant dizziness for most of us are really good at hiding that. However, we make take a few extra seconds while standing to catch out balance and let the buzzing in our skull pass.
  • You notice an increase in anxiety. If we’ve been doing well and all of a sudden we seem to flip out, something is going on, even if we don’t know it or we don’t understand it. Probe deeper.
  • We start noting a reluctance or a return to old thinking patterns. We probably won’t come out and tell you, “I don’t feel like eating.” What we may do is use phrases like “In a bit.” or “I guess I will.” or something similar to signal how reluctant and unenthusiastic we are.
  • We start talking about food more. If everything in the world always sounds good and we want to talk about food all the time, it’s probably because we’re *hungry* all the time. We might start looking through recipe books or researching meal ideas.




Never Good Enough

31 07 2010
She tries harder then the average teen
An overachiver with low self-esteem
Wants to walk like a star
But she takes it too far
She’s never good enough

This song is a song that’s not exactly right, but it’s close. I remember when all I wanted in the world was to be able to touch my pointer finger and thumb around my left wrist. It’s my bigger wrist and that’s all I wanted. When I could do that, I’d be happy. I’d stop. I’d eat normally.

It didn’t happen like that. I can now not only touch my fingers together, my fingers overlap. I’m certainly not any more happy. I’m struggling to stop. My goal has shifted.

On the plus side, though, I’m eating better than I ever have. I’m not only meeting my specified calorie count, on most days, I exceed it. I’m still exercising and I’ve noticed I perform better on days that I eat more. However, I have no drive to eat. I have no appetite. This is a new thing, probably 3 or 4 days old. I don’t even think about food until I glance at the clock and see that it’s “time” to eat. My first round with ana was a lot like this . . . .  never thinking about food and never noticing. This time, however, I’m in recovery, not ana. I’m not sure what’s sapped my appetite. For awhile, I’d get hungry around normal meal times. Now, I’m just not. It does make it difficult to eat enough because I’m just not hungry. I’ve switched to eating a lot more nuts and peanut butter. They’re very calorie dense and small, so I don’t have to struggle to finish them.

I’m also tired all the time. I wake up tired. I stay tired. It’s a struggle to get things done. I would wonder if it weren’t depression but I haven’t lost my social drive, what little social drive I have, anyways. I’m sporadically dizzy for no good reason, too, even on days I eat really well.

In any case, I’m still doing stellar concerning food. I haven’t weighed myself in forever and don’t know that I really want to. Part of me does and part of me is scared to. I’m doing well . . . . . but I also know that when I’m eating a much as I am, I automatically gain “dry” weight. (The weight of the food and water and digestive juices and junk.) That number is usually a good 3 pounds more than it is when I’m eating less. So, I don’t know that I want to psych myself out.

Just a general update. Until laters,

Me. 🙂








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