“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. 😀





Feeling

16 04 2010

The past few days have been a reservoir of pent-up emotion and feeling.

Al of my live, people have told me I’m incapable of emotion and of feeling. Called a sociopath and a loner, I embraced the image. Often giving people the impression they were talking to a brick wall, I come across as cold, distant, and impersonal.

Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m full of more emotion and feeling than most people can uncover in a lifetime. Shoved down into the crevices, cracks, and canyons that make up my very being, the emotion, pain, and feelings I’ve refused to face my entire life are starting to bubble up.

I’ve never felt more raw anger, rage, frustration, and aggression than I have over the past few days. It comes out of nowhere, and then, it sticks around for awhile. I’m not the explosive type. . . . . . . . I’m the quiet, simmering, polite type. Only those closest bear the brunt, and that’s unintentional. They come head to head with the force of my passive aggressive will, and only the strongest attempt to worm around it and through it. The rest give up, back off, and maintain a safe distance. Those who know me know. . . . . . the quieter and calmer I get, the more angry and upset I am.

I don’t think I’ve said 50 words out loud (beyond business phone calls and KY) to anyone in over 3 days.

What I’m coming to realize is that my eating disorder was not “a” tool that I used to re-direct these negative and caustic feelings, but that it was THE tool. When that tool failed me, or something was too potent to be tapped back down into its crevice, I’d turn to self-injury.

Well, I’m proud to say that this Sunday will be ONE HUNDRED days for me self-injury free. There’s not a doubt in my head that I’ll make it, because I refuse to get that close to this big of a number and not blow it out of the water.

I don’t know if this is a normal part of recovery or not, but it is what it is, and I ‘m certainly experiencing it.





I Tried To Be Perfect

14 04 2010

A dear and special friend sent this to me, and I’ve spent the morning listening to it, and trying to soak in the message. . . . . . . it seems the longer this goes, the harder the fight is. . . . . . . which is ridiculous, since most things get better with time. For everyone else walking this road, may you get the same message out of this that I did. . . . . . . That we are loved, and that freedom is always worth fighting for!


I tried to be perfect,
But nothing was worth it,
I don’t believe it makes me real.
I thought it’d be easy,
But no one believes me,
I meant all the things I said.

If you believe it’s in my soul
I’d say all the words that I know
Just to see if it would show,
That I’m trying to let you know,
That I’m better off on my own.

This place is so empty,
My thoughts are so tempting,
I don’t know how it got so bad.
Sometimes it’s so crazy,
that nothing can save me,
But it’s the only thing that I have.

If you believe it’s in my soul,
I’d say all the words that I know,
Just to see if it would show,
That I’m trying to let you know,
That I’m better off on my own.

On my own…

I tried to be perfect,
It just wasn’t worth it,
Nothing could ever be so wrong.
It’s hard to believe me,
It never gets easy,
I guess I knew that all along.

If you believe it’s in my soul,
I’d say all the words that I know,
Just to see if it would show,
That I’m trying to let you know,
That I’m better off on my own.





Emotion and Food

13 04 2010

As many of us know, our “food issues” begin and end with emotion. On some level, anorexia is often used to provide a focus other than emotional pain and numbness, and bulimia is, as well. When you’re too busy hating yourself and pouring everything you are into your disorder, it’s almost impossible to deal with any other emotion.

Failure at school.

It’s because I’m fat.

Failure at work.

It’s because I’m fat.

Argument with roommate.

It’s because I’m fat.

Death in the family.

It’s because I’m fat.

No matter what, our brain twists everything around so that we can ignore the pain of life and focus on one thing. . . . . . . . . how incredibly fat we are!

The past couple days have been an emotional roller coaster, and I’m not really sure why. I’ve noticed the ED thinking kicking it up a few notches, and I’ve watched that, and then, done my own thing. (Yay for ACT thinking. . . . . . . . or trying, at least.) I’ve done what I’ve needed to do, but it was out of sense of obligation, and, often, to avoid stirring the pot. I know I’ll end up eating, in the end, and so, fighting over it doesn’t accomplish much. . . . . . . . well, it does, but I’m not willing to go there.

I’ve gotten a scale to start tracking my weight, since I’ve increased my activity level a good bit, and KY and I will start fiddling with my calorie count based on that data. I’m worried about it, because I’ve developed kind of a wary working comfortableness with 1500 calories, but it just about kills me to go over that. I guess that’s why I’m “in recovery”, no?

Today, I’ve picked up some kind of stomach virus, and I threw up lunch. . . . . . . . . . and had to eat again. I can’t say that I was thrilled, but I also know why KY did that. . . . . . . . to avoid giving my body and brain an out. It can be so easy to say, “Well, I didn’t purge!” and think that’s the end of it. . . . . . when in all reality, I don’t know the difference between ACTUALLY throwing up, and willing myself to throw up anymore. I’ve hands-free purged for so long that I just don’t have the distinction.

So, while I still feel relatively horrible, I have, at least, eaten lunch, and am heading to get some much needed rest.





Struggles

10 04 2010

This journey continues, and while it’s easier than ever, it’s also harder. How, you may ask, can something be both easier and harder?

Simple. Purging and fasting aren’t options anymore. While I think about purging, it’s not a legitimate out. Check, easier. Fasting isn’t an option either. Not only is there no way to do it, I really don’t want to. My energy levels, clarity of thought, and quality of life are getting better by the day. (I’m learning, though, that 1500 calories doesn’t support my running around and walking habits that I have, which I don’t really understand. Nothing has changed in my activity level between now, and when I was eating 200-500 calories a day, and I never noticed hunger or lack of energy THEN. I came in off a 5 mile walk/hike last night absolutely ravenous and dizzy. That wouldn’t have happened before, and I don’t really understand why it’s happening now, when I’m getting what I need.) So, fasting isn’t any option. Check, easier. Meal planning…… while frustrating, check, easier.

So what’s the hard part? Life. TV. Commercials. Grocery stores. I have this overwhelming drive to cut calories out of my meal plan everywhere I turn. Not only do *I* want to do it, but it’s widely supported. The message from EVERYTHING (people, magazines, recipe books, grocery stores, commercials, meal planning advocates…. EVERYTHING) is that if a lower calorie version exists, USE IT. Use low-fat. Use the 150 calorie version instead of the 200 calorie version. Just swap this brand for that one, and look! You’ve saved 70 calories! You can eat the exact same amount, for less calories. . . . . . . . . so what’s the downfall? (This is the message I see EVERYWHERE.) Before lunch today, I saw that Progresso soup commercial. . . . . . . a lady picks up a variety of Lean Cusine (which was part of my lunch) and comments on how high calorie it was, and then puts it back and turns to a variety of Progresso Light soup, which I know has at LEAST half the calories of the meal I was planning on eating. Those soups were a mainstay of my anxorexic days. . . . . . . . .but now, all the rest of the women in America are being encouraged to trade their full meals for a 140 calorie can of soup. And there she sat, happily eating her soup, and nothing else.

I wanted to eat soup, too. I wanted to eat soup and nothing else. Lunch was hard. . . . . . . . . . but I did eat it. Did I eat what was on my meal plan? No. . . . . . . but I made the calories up in ways that I was more comfortable with.

This whole “calorie cutting” phenomenon is driving me crazy. Why do THEY get to cut calories, and not me? Now, I know the answer to that. . . . . . . . . . they get more than enough, and those extra 200 or 300 they could cut a day could mean the difference between losing weight or not. . . . . but the message is still everywhere that EVERYONE needs to cut any calories that they can.

It’s hard. I’ve ALWAYS had issue eating something if I KNOW a lesser calorie version exists. . . . . . . . . and that is kicking in fast and strong.

I’m starting to lose weight again, too. Now, don’t freak out. . . . . . . . I’ve got weight to lose. I’m not even BORDERLINE unhealthy (my BMI actually borderlines overweight), so it’s ok for me to be losing weight. However, that’s kinda adding fuel to the fire, because I know how much quicker it comes off at say, 100 calories…….. which would be REALLY easy to do with a couple of minor substitutions.

But I won’t. Freedom is worth fighting for. Every time I eat something, my overwhelming thought is the substitution I could make, or the fact that I really would only have to eat half of it. . . . . . . I force myself to finish every bite, though, knowing that I’ve fought too hard to get to this point to give any ground.








%d bloggers like this: