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.





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?





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.





Anxiety

29 04 2010

Yesterday was a far better day than the day before. . . . . . . .  I ate my 1700 calories, not without issue, but I did eat them. I’m going to HAVE to start exercising again. . . . . My anxiety levels concerning food are through the roof when I’m not. I know that the bit of exercise I do probably doesn’t do much, honestly, but it gives ME a peace of mind. I’ve been so incredibly busy the past few days; it hasn’t even been funny!

I’m already exceptionally anxious about food, and it’s only 0530. This isn’t the way I wanted to start my day, to say the least. . . . . .heck, I didn’t want to start it for another two or three hours. I haven’t been sleeping well as of late, and it’s definitely starting to affect me. . . . . food seems to be getting harder by the day.





Minor Relapse

27 04 2010

Today was not a good day. . . . . . . all in all, I spent half the day crying over a bowl of soup, and my final calorie count ended up being 1240. That’s a far cry from the 1700 I’m supposed to be at, although it was the best I could do today.

The speed with which eating disorder thoughts and habits set in again astound me. Had today not quickly been nipped in the bud by KY, I would have fallen faster and further than I think I ever have.

Caused by a number of what Nouveau Vie’s Dr. Dan calls “messy life stuff”, this minor relapse let me very clearly know that each day is a battle, a fight, and must be approached one day at a time, and that I am FAR from clear. I must be ever vigilant, watchful, and prepared.





Meal Planning

26 04 2010

Today has just been one of those really fun frickin’ days. Seriously, it’s been GRAND.

I feel like I’m choking down sawdust. It takes me about a minute to chew, and force myself to swallow, each bite. I am NOT having a good day, food wise. Today is, of course, the day that my calorie count is being upped.

1700 calories. I can barely handle 1500 on a day to day basis, and it’s being upped. It’ll be a challenge. . . . . something new to conquer.

I didn’t have a meal plan done for this morning. . . . . . not that it really would have mattered, since my alarm didn’t go off, and I had no time to think about food, anyways. Thankfully, though, I have these great nutrient shakes to go that have saved my butt more than once. . . . . . . . so breakfast was fine. I scrounged together lunch, and because I’m having such a hard time today, I’ve planned a smoothie for dinner.

The past few days have just been difficult. Flashbacks, dreams, large amounts of change, and those stupid obsessive thoughts that WON’T go away. . . . . . . . . I’m tired, frustrated, and irritable, and I HATE food right now.

But. . . . . . . . what I do know is that this, too, will pass. This is just a stage; one that must be conquered. Ed has caught me at a weak point, and I can feel myself slipping. . . . . . . . but I’m grabbing for any hold that I can.





“Normal” Eating

22 04 2010

So much of treatment revolves around the development of “normal” eating patterns. Well, what is normal?

It’s typically defined as “eating when you’re hungry, stopping when you’re full, eating more than usual sometimes and trusting your body to handle it, and missing a meal and automatically compensating a safe amount.”

Oy vey. I’ve gotten so used to ignoring hunger completely, to allowing that feeling to carry me along to a heady high that I so often don’t notice it, or I mistake it for nausea. I’ve gotten better. I can recognize hunger 9 times out of 10 now. . . . . . . but I still have a habit of ignoring it completely if I’ve met my calorie count for the day.

Stopping when I’m full. Well, I’m bulimic. . . . . . . . full has no meaning for me. My entire life, no matter how much or how long I’ve restricted, I’ve been able to just randomly eat 15-20 pounds of food at once. My body doesn’t recognize “full” until I’m in pain and can barely move. Now, I’m so PSYCHED that hasn’t happened in well over a month. . . . . . Cannot even BEGIN to describe the giddy amazingness when I can go, “I haven’t binged!” Win. My point. Victory. All of those positive words that I most often respond, “But I haven’t done anything” to.

Overeating/indulging. Oh, I’m just fine to indulge. . . . . . . as long as it very neatly fits into my meal plan, and isn’t full of stupid carbohydrates. Which. . . . . . . . isn’t really indulging. Carbs scare me, for two reasons. First, the numbers are SO BIG. A food that I used to eat all the time has “Fat, .5, Protein, 4, Carbs 54”. Oy vey. That is a random, MASSIVE number. A number that is FAR too big for me to stomach. Second, I have no self-control. . . . . . at least, I didn’t. My body doesn’t trust me or like me. My first impulsive is to finish ANYTHING that’s in front of me, and lick the plate, too. My body doesn’t believe that I’m going to feed it again, or allow it to eat. I think that’s where much of my binging came from. . . . . . .  from the intense and constant restriction. I was always scared to eat, because if I ate, I’d eat EVERYTHING.

Well, of course I would. . . . . . . . my body had broke through my self-control and was going to take EVERY advantage of this opportunity, which totally wigged me out and sent me into a purging frenzy, which in turn led back into the eating everything cycle because of the insulin dump. . . . . . . . . and just. . . . . . . yuck. *shakes head* I don’t miss that, at all.

Miss meals, or undereat. When I miss meals, I want nothing to do with the next one. I keep such a close eye on the numbers involved with my food that when I undereat, I automatically go to shortchange myself that, and just a little bit more. . . . . . . . If i’m not extremely careful to eat what I need, and measure and weigh it out, I end up roughly halfing everything. Left to my own devices, I would NEVER meet my calorie count. This one is just not for me. . . . . . . . . well, part of me wants it to be. . . . . . . but it’s not.

When I look over that list, I realize the ground that I have left to cover. . . . . . . . but that doesn’t invalidate the ground that I have covered. I have made progress, and there’s no need to look that far forward. Right now, I just need to concentrate on not purging, eating enough, and staying real with my meal plans.





Treatment Goals

21 04 2010

I found a resource today that said the main goal of treatment of bulimia is to “cut down or even eliminate the binge eating and purging.”

It’s well known throughout the treatment community that the establishment of a consistent, steady, scheduled amount of daily calories is crucial in both the treatment of bulimia and anorexia.

I’m proud to say that I haven’t binged since March 5th, 2010. That’s well over a month, and the longest time I’ve gone since October 2008. I have deviated from my meal plan a couple of times and have eaten over my current daily calorie count, but it wasn’t an unhealthy amount, excessive, or mi even emotionally motivated.

My daily calorie count is 1500, and I’m struggling to continue to meet it. The first place my brain goes when I look at my meal plan first thing of a morning is, “What can I cut out? What can I halve? What can I replace?”

I force myself to follow the meal plan, but it’s difficult, especially because my weight is relatively stable right now. I’m walking 3-5 miles a day, and you’d figure that’d help, no?

I know the problem is likely that I’m not quite eating ENOUGH, and so my body is clinging to what I’m giving it. According to calorie calculators, I should be eating roughly 2100-2200 calories a day, and that’s if I put in “light physical activity” and “slow metabolism”. However, I can’t see myself consistently eating more. . . . . . I’m having a time and a half now.

My weight is stable, so I can’t really complain. . . . . . .  at least I’m not gaining weight, which was one of my biggest fears when it came to recovery. I’m border-line overweight according to BMI charts; I didn’t, and don’t, have the room to gain weight.

I’ve got a horrible headache today that I’m trying to get rid of. . . . . . thus far, it’s not going well. 😦





Keep On Keeping On

20 04 2010

Day in, day out. . . . . . . . .

I meal plan, force myself to eat what’s on it, and then force myself to ignore the little “Come on, you’re all alone; no one would know!” voice that Mia throws out CONSTANTLY.

Fun stuff, no? I’ve got a whole lot of change coming up in my life, and I’ll be the first to say that I’m looking forward to it.

I stopped weighing myself daily, and have switched to a once-weekly weigh-in for now. I was having a hard time watching that number bounce all over the place, even though logically, I know it’s all about water and what time ya last ate something.

Anywho, I’m just keeping on keeping on. 😀








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