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.

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In the Dark

31 10 2010

I feel like I’m lost, separated from the rest of the world and in the dark. A war is raging within and I don’t know how to verbalize it or express it. Unfortunately, the conflicting desires and constant Ana abuse wears me down and I snap at those I love, trust and rely on.

My recovery headspace is so flawed right now. I started slipping while I was traveling and upon my arrival home, was confronted by KY. The next day was extremely difficult but went reasonably well, all things considered. The next day, I was extremely sick with a quickie virus and threw up everything I ate (not by choice).

Well, that was the end of that. I’d just as soon

  • Skip meals
  • Purge (This is the BIG one right now)
  • Start cutting pieces out of my diet
  • Edge towards additional, anxiety-driven exercise

I had to fight harder not to purge yesterday than I have in months. It’s like it was when I was at my sickest but I physically wasn’t able to purge. I ended up missing my snack and delaying dinner to impossibly late times which just about killed me with the anxiety. I was *non-functional*. Today, it’s Halloween. Cupcakes and candy all around! Anddddd there’s the problem. I’m not technically Ana (not that it matters); I’m EDNOS. I have a lean towards Ana but Mia rears her ugly head quite commonly. It’s like there’s this switch in my head: everything or nothing. I have a drive to always eat LESS because I typically always eat MORE. I was a binge eater for 12 years; I don’t really know how to self-regulate. I will just as soon eat a whole cake as none of the cake and feel internally driven to do ONE or the OTHER and as such, I restrict so I don’t eat it all. Holidays are problems for me. They didn’t use to be when I was twice this size; then, I enjoyed the food to the max. Now, though, it’s a problem.

Here are some points I need to remember about the holidays:

  • If I restrict, I will end up binging.
  • If I restrict, I will lose weight but will slow down my metabolism, leaving me with uneven body conformation when I gain weight again.
  • Any food that I want is not going to disappear off the face of the Earth. I can have a bit now and a bit later.
  • I have minimum caloric needs and falling beneath those is not acceptable.
  • Just because something isn’t a perfect fit into my meal plan, it’s still food.
  • “I’ll do better tomorrow” isn’t an excuse for blowing off today.
  • Whether I’m a smaller size or bigger size, I am still loved.

Ok, I can do this. We can do this. 🙂 What are your favorite eating disorder holiday coping tips? Remember, recovery-focused!





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.




Extended Update

1 07 2010

So it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted and I feel obligated to provide an update. Not only do I wish to do so for myself, but I also wish to show that struggles are common throughout the process of recovery.

It’s. . . . . . . it’s been a rough month. Food freak-outs are pretty common. Sometimes I eat too much and sometimes I don’t eat enough. I haven’t been purging but the battle is stronger than ever. The thoughts are pervasive, annoying, and constant. After a quick drop of a few pounds, though, my weight has been stable.

I’m having an easier time ignoring the pervasive voices and ED suggestions, but at the same point in time, some days, I just want to embrace my eating disorder with ever fiber of my being. I want to embrace the endorphin high, the sense of control, and the ability to shut the voices up.

I do, however, know that ED is an angel of darkness. While I know that the voices would shut up briefly, in the long run, they would quickly become clamoring and loud. They would make me miserable and sap every bit of self-confidence that I have. I know that the endorphin rush comes and comes strong. . . . . yet brings a crash of depression like nothing else. I know that the initial sense of control quickly fades as ana would grip my brain and body once again, leading eventually into the loathsome cycle of mia.

It’s not worth it. There are days I long for the freedom to do as my mind drives me to do. . . . . . yet I know the temporary pay-off isn’t worth the long-term struggle and pain. I’m weary fighting now, yet if I take 5 steps back, it’ll only be that much harder to regain my footing.

Until we talk again, my friends, know that the only option is to keep on keeping on. One bite, one food, one meal, one day, at a time.





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*





The Snack Bowl

10 05 2010

So I finally did something today that I’ve been thinking about doing for awhile. I put together a “snack bowl” full of a variety of yummies. Big deal, you may say. . . . . why does that matter? Well, they’re all in individual zip lock baggies, weighed out to the correct portion size with calories, fat, and protein counts on the bag to make meal planning easy. I’ve noticed food is far easier when I don’t have to think about it. 😀 The calories range from 90 to 300, and the snacks from beef jerky, to nuts, to cereal, to pretzels, to trail mix, to popcorn. It’s quite grand, if I must say so myself. Having a readily available bank of pre-measured food makes everything easier in the moment, especially if I’m just not “feeling like it”.

I have my own version of animal therapy here in the form of a older puppy (probably under a year old) that I am pouring my heart and soul into. She brings a ton of joy into my life with her wriggly, happy, bouncy zest for life and learning. I’m currently seeking a home for her; she was a rescue. Any takers?








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