Nevada, Day Ten

29 03 2010

0630. The wind is blowing again, hellishly and hard across the valley. The naked branches of the bushes scratch against the screen in the window, and the window (and house, for that matter), shake against the force of the wind. The direction of the wind will change, and another target, another window, another part of the house, will be chosen. Without warning, it’ll begin to scratch at the original window, harder, faster than before . . . .

Yeah, sounds like fun, no? I’ve got some pretty nasty PTSD . . . . that didn’t make for a fun night. I was having nightmares before the wind started, and after wards, it was royally not good. Monday. . . . . vitals, breakfast, yoga, art therapy, Alex, bowling, Dr. Dan. Full day. I’ve also got to talk to Gene today. . . . . . full days are busy days. . . . . . busy days don’t leave time for thinking and feeling. This is my first official day on the upped calorie count. I don’t know how I feel. It is what it is.

0751. Yep. Gained more weight. Isn’t this grand? I’m at 155, now. I think I’m starting to doubt that I WANT to see my weight. BP stabilized; same as yesterday.Temp is 97.5. Directly afterwards, I ate a massively huge breakfast and I’m way full now. This whole “meeting calorie count” thing is somewhat difficult. Way difficult. The rest of the day should be a little easier. . . . . . . those meals are about the “normal” sized ones. Normal for here, anyways. They’re sufficiently small, but bigger than I would have eaten at home. Anyways, breakfast was good, and that was its saving grace. I think I’m developing an addiction to those ham, egg, and cheese sandwiches. They’re really good.

1151. Yoga and art therapy are over. Yoga was a restorative session, which means that we got to relax, and lay down, and just breathe the whole time. In art therapy, we started the “box project”. This is an external representation of ourselves. It’s a six-sided wooden box, and you can do absolutely anything to it that one so desires. Thus far, I’ve painted 5 of the sides, white, and one black. I’ve also painted the letters of my name, in blue, but I haven’t put them on the box, yet. Lunch is in a little bit. . . . . . . . Alex and Gene are talking, and Christina and I are just hanging out.

1326. Turns out that the weight gain HAS been water weight. It is, my friends, my TOTM. Don’tcha just hate that? Mine is so irregular that I can never pinpoint it, so it always catches me off-guard. It would also explain the cravings that I’ve had recently, and the mood changes. We’re all getting ready to go bowling again, which is the Monday outing. We’re meeting up with several people at the bowling alley. . . . . it should prove fun. I’ve just gotta find the energy to enjoy it. 🙂

1713. It’s been quite an afternoon! A huge group of us met up at the bowling alley, and had a couple of rousing games. Victoria, a girl who has been looking into the program, came, and she and I talked for quite a while. I got totally creamed in both games, coming in dead last. Gotta love it! It was a good bit of fun, though. I’ve eaten dinner, and Alex discovered a discrepancy in my meal plan. . . . . . I was 175 calories off. I really DIDN’T do it on purpose . . . . I’ve got to make that up…… I hinted that all of the weight gain was because of water weight, and not my metabolism. Alex said that would be taken into account. In any case, I still have to meet my calorie count today. I can’t say I’m thrilled . . . . . I fought hard to “meet” my calorie count, and it wasn’t even close. Dr. Dan is coming at 1900. . . . . . . we’re starting to work through The Anorexia Workbook.

2100. Dr. Dan has been, and just recently left. I just finished my meal plan for tomorrow (several hours late. . . . . *gulp*), and FINALLY got it close to 1500. It took me FOREVER, but it finally settled at 1497. That’s as good as it’s gettin’. Dr. Dan’s session tonight had to do with the development of values, and how to weight them against feelings and beliefs. Feelings and beliefs often lie. . . . . . For instance, just because you FEEL fat doesn’t mean that you ARE fat, and it doesn’t mean that you should act on the impulsive to fast all day (in order to relieve the fat feeling), because that directly flies in the face of the values of “Good Health” which supports the values of “Education”, “Work”, and “Family”. ACT (Acceptance-Commitment Therapy) has to do with observing thoughts without judgement, and balancing that urge/impulse against your value system. Values are unchanging. They’re important today, tomorrow, and the day after that. They’re always important, even if you don’t FEEL like they are. Basically, negative thoughts will occur. We can’t make them go away, and the harder we try to, the more those thoughts intrude, and the stronger they get. Accept them; allow them to be there. Then, act on what matters to your VALUE SYSTEM, not what you FEEL. Feelings lie; values don’t.

Meal plan done. Session done. I’m going to bed.





Nevada, Day Nine

28 03 2010

0708. I slept like a rock, am warm, cozy, and settled. I don’t want to get out of bed, and I definitely don’t want to eat breakfast. . . . or anything, for that matter. I feel nauseous, and I’m back to my observation mode. I came to life for a few minutes last night. . . . . . and now, I’m not.

0801. Vitals and breakfast are over. Vitals sucked. I’ve gained a pound and a half since YESTERDAY. SERIOUSLY, how does that even HAPPEN!?!?!?!? I should be slowly, yet steadily, loosing on 1,200 calories . . . . I’m at 154.5. That does NOT MAKE SENSE. My blood pressure was fine; My temp was 97.7. Breakfast was. . . . . . . . difficult. I had an omelet with goat cheese, ground turkey, and beans. . . . . . . I’m full, uncomfortably so. . . . . . . I tried to tell Julia I wasn’t hungry, but I “had to eat”. So I did, along with my morning cup of tea. All that’s running through my head is a triggering comment I heard yesterday, and it’s more than a little difficult. Julia left during breakfast for a couple seconds to run to the restroom, and my all-consuming thought was to get rid of the food left in my bowl. Not only am I gaining weight; I’m incredibly ED triggered right now. I didn’t do it. . . . . . . but I really wanted to.

Today, I will finish Stripe Overload, and I’m working on lining up a job for my return. I can’t believe I’ve been here NINE days. It seems that I got here yesterday, yet time also seems to stretch infinitely. Things move so quickly, and there is a constant flow of people such that everything feels upbeat and energetic.


1217. I am FINALLY finished with Stripe Overload! This center, around the words, is a dark, murky gray, as if one is buried in darkness and desolation, but the edges of the letters all touch bright color. . . . . . . if only one will fight, color is close by. Freedom is Always Worth Fighting For. The entire time I was painting, Brittney and I were watching Eragon. It’s time for lunch. . . . . . . I’m having Mac and Cheese. My calorie count has been upped to 1,500, even though I’m steadily gaining weight. They tell me that the trick now is to eat MORE food, in order to convince my body I’m not going to starve it again. They tell me that I’ll begin loosing weight as soon as my body stops latching on to absolutely everything that I put in it. I logically know that eating MORE will help, but right now, I just want to totally freak out about it. After lunch, I’m going to clean up my work area, finish PDT, and hopefully go on a walk.


1555. I have Stripe Overload hanging on the wall in my room. . . . . . . . It took me less than a week to do, but it felt like, for a few days, that every waking moment was going into painting. Honestly, I’m glad I’m finished with this project, but now, I’m seeking out another one. This was a good one, one that I poured myself into, and one that I’m proud of. I folded my laundry, picked up my room, and grabbed a couple of quick pictures. *grins* Now, you guys get to see the final product. 🙂

2034. It’s been a wonderful night. I ate dinner early, and Brittney ended up staying late. Some wires got crossed on the admin side, and Allison, Alex’s wife, came down the mountain to stand-in for awhile. We headed to Carson City, to Trader Joe’s. It’s an organic health food store that has VERY reasonable prices, and some AMAZING in-house recipes. The feel is very small and homey, and it smells AMAZING. I tried a local specialty called a PB&J Bar, and I’m ADDICTED. I WILL be bringing a couple of these back with me. It was. . . . . . amazing. The texture and taste just blended, and the “special” part of the recipe was POTATO CHIPS. Yes, you heard right. POTATO CHIPS. With chocolate, PB, and raspberry jam. It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever eaten, and I’m sure I’ll be eating more of them. I also got some tortilla chips with an identity crisis. I’m not kidding; it said so, right on the bag! (They’re a mixture of corn, wheat, and potato flower.) I got some homey touches for my room, including a cute little plant. I don’t know what it is, but I like it. 🙂 I’m signing off for the night, but I just wanted to let y’all know that I appreciate your support!





Nevada, Day Eight

27 03 2010

0801. Vitals are over, and so is breakfast. I’m gaining weight. . . . . . . I’m 153 today. Last Sunday, I was 151. I have NO IDEA how I can physically POSSIBLY be gaining weight on 1,200 calories a day, but somehow, someway, I am. It shouldn’t be physically possible. I don’t see where I’m gaining weight. . . . . I don’t feel like I’m gaining weight. . . . My clothes don’t say I’m gaining weight . . . . but numbers don’t lie. I figure it’s just taking time for my system to get used to all of this new food. My blood pressure was 107/68, and my temp 97.9. We actually turned the temperature in the house up, and it’s toasty warm this morning.

Breakfast was hearty and filling. . . . . . ham, egg, and cheese sandwich, toasted, with a bowl of oatmeal. *somewhat queasy* I think I’m going to be full the rest of my natural life. I have so much that I need to be doing. I need to be watching and writing a report on “Dying to be Thin”, painting Stripe Overload, and working through The Anorexia Workbook. Sounds like fun, no? Brittney and I are packing a picnic lunch and going to the park today . . . . There are several beautiful ones close by. My camera is THOROUGHLY unhappy with me, and has determined it will only turn on once a day, and that once a day will NEVER be when I want it to. In any case, yeah, plenty to keep me busy.

The past week has been a relatively good one. The biggest change, I’m going to have to say, has been in how long my anxiety lasts after meals. I’ve also warmed up to the idea of merely accepting thoughts and not acting on them.

1121. This morning, I have done a whole lot of. . . . . . . . .nothing. Well, that’s not exactly true. I have done enough Photoshop to frustrate a saint. No matter how I try to make it come out, it’s just not matching the picture in my head. Glorious. By the end of the day, though, I WILL have an awesomely amazing blog header. Until then, though, my blog can just be. . . . . . . ugh. Ugh. Lunch is in a bit, and then, the park. I will paint today, for real (not just in Photoshop), and I’m going to do laundry. What a glorious Saturday.

1233. I just ate lunch, which was a broiled tortilla with peanut butter. I got to cut out a bunch of not-so-fun stuff out of my meal plan, and we’re going for ice cream in order to make up the difference. How cool is that? I burnt my hand pretty nastily this morning. . . . . . I’d broiled my breakfast sandwich, and I pulled the plate out, and it took me forever to realize how hot it was. I honestly didn’t feel it, or really know until I looked down at my hand. Yeah, I’m feeling it now, though.

I still haven’t worked on any of my projects. I’m reading The Silence of the Lambs, and greatly enjoying it. Soon, though, it’s ice cream and park, and I will enjoy that more.

1504. We just got back from the park, and from our ice cream outing. It was awesomely fun. I got to cut out parts of lunch and dinner, and replace it with ice cream, which is actually very high in protein. 😀 My calorie count ended up lower than before, my fat content lower, and my protein higher. How cool is that??????

The temperature was amazing, the sky clear, and the park refreshing. Now, though, I’m just gonna lay down and take a nap. . . . . I’m tired.

1817. Dinner is long over; I ate around 1630. I had a turkey and cheese roll-up. . . . quite yummy. I’m still reading The Silence of the Lambs, although right now, I’m doing the homework Alex gave me, which is to watch Dying to be Thin and write up a report on it. Karen is the staff member who’s here right now; I’m working in my room so that she doesn’t have to sit through this documentary. I need to work on Stripe Overload, but I don’t know that it’s going to happen tonight. It might; it might not.

1953. I’m signing off for the night. I’m watched Dying to be Thin, and I’ve posted the paper that I turned in to Alex.





Righteous Walk

26 03 2010

Alex and I took a walk with Righteous, his German Shepherd. The normal post for today is beneath this one.





Nevada, Day Seven

26 03 2010

0651. It’s been a week. . . . . . .  at least, it will be tonight. I finally got some solid sleep. I didn’t get to sleep for awhile, but once I did, it was really good sleep, and I only woke up a couple of times. This great big huge, fuzzy body pillow? I’m in love with it. 🙂 I curled up with my back to the pillow, and then wrapped my arms around the massive, amazing stuffed dog I brought with me (his name is Jake, and he takes up MORE than half the bed). The wind is slowing down today, a fact that I pleased about, the weather will be stabilizing (for a few days) and getting warmer. This weekend is supposed to be really pretty, weather wise.

I think I’ve finally learned the trick of (almost) meeting my calorie count (which is still 1200), or meeting it, on the first try. It’s adding items (side items) in. I had this nasty idea that meals only consisted of one thing. . . . . . . and that’s not really true.

I have no idea what my weight is doing. I feel bigger than ever. I’m having a really hard time with the solid, full feeling that I’m getting the more I eat. My stomach doesn’t cave in, I don’t fell “empty”, and I’m nauseous, all the time. I’m not purging! The nausea is supposed to go away. It was ok when I was doing it. . . . . . but now, I’m not, and it needs to GO. Alex says that’s a really common problem, and that Pepto Bismal, strangely enough, seems to help it. Anyways, it’s time to get up and start this lovely day in the Valley. . . . . . . vitals, breakfast, and PDT. I WILL paint today. I must. I didn’t TOUCH it yesterday. . . . . . . . and I really needed to. I have to finish Stripe Overload, because I definitely need some stuff on the walls here. My bedroom looks bland and boring right now. . . . . . . a place to sleep, not a place to live.

Activities today? Well, yoga and art therapy, for sure, and I WILL paint. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and other than that, who knows?

0749. Breakfast is over, and it was REALLY good. I made a ham, egg, and cheese sandwich (a whole sandwich, all for 235 calories!), and a protein shake. All in all, 395 calories. Now, I’m sipping on my first cup of tea (of what’s bound to be 10 or more). I absolutely adore tea, and haven’t had it since I was back west the last time. The entire time I was at home (more than 2,000 miles from here!), I didn’t drink tea, but now that I’m back out here, I’m drinking it like it’s going out of style. Vitals this morning was interesting. . . . . . . since I’ve been here for a week, now I get to see to my weight. I was 157 when I got here. I made it as low as 151, and I’m now at 152.5. I’m having some digestive difficulties, which probably isn’t helping my weight much. My blood pressure is stabilizing (it was 107/78 this morning), which is a far cry from what it was when I got here. Temp is up, too. I’m actually in a normal range, as of this morning! 98.5! My temp hasn’t been anything but LOW for over two years. It’s been 97 something ever since I got here. My hair is still falling out in chunks, and Julia doesn’t know when that will stop. While I still have intense anxiety after meals, it’s fading quicker. I think not purging is easier when it’s just not an option. When there really isn’t any way around it, and I don’t really want to, anyways. I’m sure there’s talk going around of upping my calorie count. . . . . . . . that will be hard. Probably far harder than I realize. I’m still not comfortable at 1,200, although I am figuring out how to consistently stay up there.

I am making a new page, listing the foods I eat the most regularly here, and would be comfortable continuing to eat at home. It’s a resource more for myself, but feel free to check it out, if you’d like.

1154. It’s right before lunch. . . . . . Christina and I did yoga and then art therapy, and then, we listened to music and just designed with markers. Yoga was good. . . . . . . we started the Sun Salutation today, which was something I had a passing familiarity with, and then, we did “continuous line drawings.” You hafta draw something really complex without looking at the paper, and without picking up your pen. It was difficult, and laughter producing, to say the least. Lunch today is a taco salad. . . . . . . . . it’s probably about time I started heading in that direction. I did paint this morning, and I’ll probably paint the entire afternoon. It’s something to do.

1231. Lunch was good. Actually, it was quite wonderful. Strangely enough, I don’t feel any anxiety. . . . . . . I’m relatively dissociated, so I don’t honestly know how much of this day I’ll remember. I made Alex a sopapilla (a tortilla with butter and cinnamon sugar), and he’s waiting for it to cool down before he eats it. It gets crystalized and crunchy amazingness. . . . . . It’s an amazing taste and texture. He and I have a session later, and we’re going out. Until then, I’m going to paint.

1651. I just got back from walking Righteous, Alex’s massive German Shepherd. That was an absolute blast. . . . . . . I loved it! Righteous is a big, exuberant, excitable dog with a zest for life. We were walking past a pasture, and a VERY young horse took to following us, so I had to stop and give it some love. After lunch, I painted for a bit, and then Alex and I had a session concerning commitment to change, and then, I painted some more. We took a trip to the gas station (it’s kinda sad when it’s like, “YES! I get to go to the GAS STATION!”), and then, Alex left to get Righteous. I’ve got a MASSIVE chunk of Stripe Overload finished, and I WILL finish it tomorrow. Period. Alex and I got some amazing pictures with Righteous. . . . . it was wonderful, and welcome beyond all natural belief.

2104. Dinner was a-ok. . . . . . . . I ate oatmeal and a TON of cantaloupe. I was 60 calories short. . . . . . . and so I thought, no biggie! I like cantaloupe. . . . . . .I’ll just eat twice as much! Well, it’s a really low calorie food that also is really light, and so 356 grams of it is a LOT of cantaloupe. Needless to say, I was eating cantaloupe all night long! I froze a bunch of it, and the texture was great. . . . . . I’m finally finished eating it. 🙂 Brittney and I are watching a heart-rending movie called “The Pursuit of Happiness”. I thought I wanted to paint tonight, but I really don’t, so I’m not. I’ll go to bed after the movie is over. . . . . . . . . Weekend is supposed to be pretty relaxed. . . . . . . It’ll be good. My meal plans are finished for the weekend, so that’s a little less stress.





Nevada, Day Six

25 03 2010

0601. I finally got sick of tossing and turning and listening to the wind tear through this small valley. It’s been raging and roaring all night long, and I can only IMAGINE what it’s done out there. I could not sleep. I was tired, boarding on exhausted, but it wasn’t happening. I couldn’t get comfortable. Every texture felt WRONG. I have five blankets and a sheet, and I couldn’t sleep with any of them last night. . . . . . . so I was cold. At some point, I threw the giant, fuzzy, velour body pillow that was supplied to me in the floor, because the texture and sensation, one that I usually love, was making me sick. I still feel incredibly nauseous, wide awake, and supremely frustrated. Good morning, day six!

The wind is supposed to blow for two days. It rips in off the Sierra Nevada mountains. . . . . . . . . this is insanity. I’d imagine this is something along the lines of what Poe was listening to when he wrote The Raven. No other hellish, overpowering sound seems enough. Fortunately, while I have no idea WHAT kept me up all night (I know I’m poking large amounts of blame at the wind, but I really don’t think that was it), the wind did NOT cause me nearly as many flashbacks as I would have expected. Two. That’s it. That’s a plus, no?

I still have an hour before I have to go and do anything. I feel sick, anti-social, and out-of-sorts. It’s gonna be a fun day.

0736. I’m up, vitals done, and breakfast made. I did a bad thing. . . . . . . . . I cut 190 calories out of my morning smoothie. . . . . . I took out a tablespoon of PB, and the applesauce. . . . . Julia didn’t check anything, so I was free to do as I wanted. . . . . . I don’t know how I feel about it. I feel elated and calmed that I was able to cut them out, but I also feel that I’m letting myself, and everyone else, down. I just feel so nauseous and anxious, though. . . . . .

0954. I’ve corrected my calorie balance for the day with honey butter toast, and I’m drinking tea like it’s going out of style. I haven’t done ANYTHING this morning. I should have been painting. . . . . . . . but I’m just not. I don’t have the energy or wherewithall to start it and keep it going. It snowed last night, and the wind today is supposed to be really intense. . . . . Alex still wants to go to Lake Tahoe. . . . . . . . which I don’t exactly think would be as much fun as if it were warmer, but I’m a trooper. 😀 I’ll be happy to see it any time. Melanie is here, and she’ll be here allllllll day. (From 0900 this morning until 2200 tonight!) It’ll be grand. 🙂 My calorie count ended up at 1225 today, and I ended up with a minor freakout. Melanie said, “Oh, please! Please just leave it. . . . .” I’m having a REALLY hard time with food and calories today, and I know that’s directly tied to my lack of sleep. I’ve barely slept in 3 days. I’ll see Dr. Dan tonight. . . . . . I’ve finished all of my assignments for him, and I’m ready for the discussion about it.

*sigh* The wind just started up again. It sounds horrendous. . . . . . . . . like a monster screaming around the house. It’s frigidly cold in the house (as it always is), and I’m wearing great big fuzzy PJs, socks, two shirts, and a sweater, and I’m still cold. I feel very disconnected from everything going on, and I’m reluctant to engage. I was REALLY bingy yesterday, and I don’t want to deal with that two days in a row. Best to just maintain emotional distance.

Melanie and I are off to do a “Thinking Errors” group!

1053. . . . . . Oy vey, that was an interesting experience. We talked about the varying kinds of thinking errors and “Stinkin’ Thinkin’”, and then tried to apply and sort through our own thinking errors. While it was informative, it wasn’t my favorite experience.

1247. Lunch was absolutely amazing. . . . . . . . it tasted great, but I’m really full. I cooked all the ground turkey that I had so that it was quick and easy over the next couple days to toss it in recipes.

1313. I’m finished with my meal plan for tomorrow, and it’s time to get back on painting! We’re leaving for Lake Tahoe in a little more than an hour. . . . . . . . it should be grand. It’s been a really low key day, and I haven’t done much productive other than completing my meal plan. I REALLY should be painting, but I’m just not up for the tedious work right now. I’m too tired to focus on the colors, lines, and balance. Dr. Dan is coming tonight, right after dinner, and I’m told he won’t stay as late today. We had a good talk last time, but I slept horribly after it . . . . . . had flashback after flashback after flashback, along with a variety of fun-filled dreams. This time, I think we’re focusing more on the workbook.

1354. I actually got something done today. . . . . . . . . I cleaned my room! If I must say so myself, it looks pretty darn good! I’m gonna get ready for the Lake Tahoe trip, now. I’m excited. 😀 I’ve heard only good things about it, and the wind has actually died down! I’m PSYCHED! I’m sure that the pictures will be beyond amazing. . . . . . . . We’re going to do some hiking, too. I’m sure I’ll wake up sore tomorrow. . . . . . I’m still sore from equine (on Tuesday), lol. I wasn’t sore the day after, but I am now!

1407. We just got back from Lake Tahoe. . . . . . . . it’s stunningly beautiful, untouched, glistening, and pure. It feels as if you’re the last human being on earth. . . . . . . as if time stops, the world isn’t spinning, and everything boils down to a single point in time. It’s unspeakably gorgeous and natural. I don’t have words to describe the experience. . . . . . . . I climbed everything I could, fell down what I couldn’t, and then found alternate ways to the top. We did, as I suspected we would, get wonderful pictures. After this is dinner and Dr. Dan. What a day! (No, Dr. Dan is not FOR dinner. . . . . . )



1948. The session with Dr. Dan was informative. He drew out and talked through several ED cycles and models, and it actually connected several dots for me. It’s things that I knew, but that I had never really seen laid out like that. I’m too tired to give a full overview of the session, but it was good. The treatment model begins with two things: Stopping restriction, and focusing on life. When it comes to anxiety, toughing it out is the only option (b/c time is really the only thing that makes it better), and with time, your body adjusts to it. It’ll get used to whatever is causing the anxiety. Basically, keep eating..








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