Creative eating

Trying to plan food for a camping trip when you have an eating disorder and half of your safe foods are cooked and vegetable….and you won’t have refrigeration and you doubt your ability to create a fire….is challenging. Especially because the eating disorder has been winning in a huge way this week and I really want to turn that around. So part of me is like ‘you need to make sure you pack enough food’ and the other part is like ‘No! Don’t pack that much! You might eat it all!”. And who was buying the lowest calorie version of EVERYTHING?

Tricky. But I really really need to turn this whole thing around; my coworkers are commenting on my weight again and I fear my secret is nearly out, although some are attributing it to stress. I’m hoping against hope it will be enough to convince me to eat to maintain. The voice telling me it’s weak to eat, I’m fat, I need to lose weight, etc is so loud…. but C at work has nothing but concern in her eyes, and I know she has no reason to lie.

At any rate, i am hoping for peace, quiet, and space. It will taste so good, if it works.

Social contact

Today I spent the day with a dear friend I’ve known for many years. We walked around and ate 3 meals together and talked for a good long while.

I ate, all day. I had a half of a plate-sized buttermilk pancake and 2.5 slices of bacon for breakfast. I had an ear of corn with Olivio, 2 pieces of PB toast on oatmeal bread, and some snap peas for lunch. I had a Luna bar for a snack, and then brown rice, snap peas, and a cucumber at dinner. Then almonds and PB crackers. I ate all but the last two slowly, but with the distraction of conversation relatively pain free. And I felt the oddness of my calorie-checking, although the hold is strong enough over me that I read labels. Still, although I read the labels, I didn’t entirely keep a running commentary of calorie counting in my head as I ate. I ate to be social. i think that’s progress, even if I have no idea if my portions were adequate.

I felt the oddness of the entire situation. My friend gets eating disorders, but I think finds it hard to believe I could be struggling as hard with this one as I am. It seems out of the blue, odd for it to pop up in my twenties. And since I can explain what is going on to a certain point, I don’t think she really understands how hard it is for me to choose to eat. Or maybe as another friend said my position is getting less and less defensible and I am just feeling that tension. So I enjoyed the day, but also felt isolated in my struggle.

Then, on the way home, that voice that loves to comment on my life told me all about how I stayed too long, she just tolerates me, I wasn’t entertaining enough, I talked too much, I didn’t thank her profusely enough, no one actually likes me, I’m a complete idiot to be caught in this ED thing and she thinks I am a freak, etc. Strong urges to cut or restrict because I am, in my head, such a horrible person and undeserving of 3 meals and company provided by another. This is a running theme, that people just are kind enough to tolerate me.

She understands awkwardness, and overclarifying, so I might try to clarify with her that really it’s in my head. I think that’s the way to fight this thing. But I’m not certain yet.

 

I had a long drive home, and am tired. Came home to find my sorbet had begun to thaw in my freezer (is it broken? I dont know. It’s still spewing cold air, but things are mushy. First apartment = much confusion) and had subsequently leaked down into the fridge and across the kitchen floor. Cleaned that up, contemplating a glass of wine. And just…working out the tension, but also feeling really stupid for being stuck in this ED thing.

Harsh reality

I went to my primary care provider’s office this week to be weighed, and it was sobering. It seems my therapist has gotten word to them and this time I was actually treated like an ED patient, standing on the scale backwards. Until now I had the option to know my weight. And just…it was out in the open. I didn’t really like it, at all. It’s a shift, and annoying to the ED voice because although I normally ask not to know my weight, I REALLY wanted to look this time. Probably for all the wrong reasons, but I did. I don’t know. It shook me a bit, all of it, and made all of this ED treatment seem like ED treatment, and seem real, and seem serious.

That’s probably fair. I’ve not been keeping up this week, I have been restricting. I think I have lost weight. Some of it is, I think, that I know the idea is when when my friend comes back from vacation I will try to gain, and so I am trying to lose before that kicks in.

I AM sad about my friend being away. She is a source of support, a ready source of support, and not having her to easily turn to is going to be really, really challenging. She leaves tomorrow. And we did have a conversation about the losing weight, and she challenged me that if I get into weight loss/heavy restricting mode, I am digging myself further into a hole. I tried to talk about how I was apathetic on wanting to eat, and she replied, “I know too much about this for you to pull that over on me. It is not that you don’t care. You know what you’re doing, so stop trying to manipulate the situation and your interpretation. Part of you wants to lose weight. Part of you wants to not eat as a way to cope with your problems and stressors. You’ve said that to me. Own what it is, and if you make that choice then it is your choice, but I’m not going to let you manipulate or pretend it’s not a choice.’ It was hard to hear. But she’s probably right. She also said she seems me slipping further and further away, emotionally and physically shrinking, and it’s hard to see even my personality slip away. It was an intense conversation. I feel horribly that this affects her, and tried to tell her to go away because she didn’t sign on for this when we became friends. She told me she doesn’t choose out of friendships and that she is not going to go away. That scares me.

I keep waiting for the day I no longer want to restrict as the day I will start to gain, but I’m beginning to think the day I never want to restrict again is a long time coming, or may never come again. I am losing my will to try to get better from this and that scares me, I need to kick in and begin to fight before I lose the ability altogether. I need to find the will and desire to fight to get better, to care, to accept my life is worth living. That’s my goal for this week – to get back to what I believe is a maintenance level, and identify my reasons for fighting.

Disappearing

I’m sure at one point I had a me.

A person with interests, like, goals, dreams. A person with a strong body and the ability to use it.

But others around me didn’t like that me. They thought she was wrong about what she wanted to do, about what she should do. They thought she needed to never bend, never break, always support. They thought she needed to be feminine, demure.

And so she’s been slowly disappearing and weakening for years upon years under the pressure, the opinions. Based on her genuine desire to please, to make others happy, to bend. Until now she’s wasting away almost to nothing, her strong body weakening, her frame disappearing.

I used to be a strong athlete. That’s one thing that kills me as I shrink, knowing I am losing that strength. For a while I thought it was sad that even fighting for that wasn’t enough to tame the ED, but now I wonder if that’s a piece of the fight – do I want to be the strong capable one, or do I want to be petite, diminutive, weak, so others won’t ask anything of me?

Yesterday being weak won, but I’m going to try to make today different.

I did read a good quote though: ‘I will feed myself and fight this illness, not feed this illness and fight myself.’

Day plans and struggles

Yesterday was an abysmal food day.

Fridays are therapy day, which always makes eating difficult, and my usual place to calm down/decompress/get comfort wasn’t available – this will be true for several weeks. It was unplanned, and only figured out that morning, and it threw me badly. Has been, I am very worried about the next few weeks. I just didn’t want to eat – lack of appetite, angry, sad, responding to my therapist’s questions about whether I want to change the way they are and my ambivalence towards it. Seriously wanting to lose. I hate the side of me that sees losing as perfection, and as a way to speak. It was pretty darned successful last night.

For today I impulsively booked a day trip into the city near me. It’s a distraction, running, but a good way, I think, to deal with unplanned unstructured time – I do horribly with unstructured time. Hoping to do some exploring as well as sitting and writing.

I usually struggle with breakfasts that are big. But I am challenging myself to eat a slightly bigger than usual breakfast to make up for yesterday and fuel my body today. 12 grain toast AND lean bacon, go!

Hope everyone has a great Saturday!

Worth fighting for

Yesterday was an all out war to eat. The day before I exercised and didn’t eat to cover it, so it set off a momentum of wanting to lose, wanting to restrict, doubting I could ever pull myself out of this eating thing and perhaps if I could prevent it from killing me.

But, in the afternoon my friend asked if the fight wasn’t really about food at all, but about ‘is my life worth fighting for?’. And the answer to that question is, I don’t think so. And I don’t truly believe others think so, I but I can work on trying to believe that. Like my nephews, whom I adore. I am beginning to realize, through their actions, how profoundly my recent move affected them and therefore how important I am to them. Maybe they would agree, if they could understand. I am the closest thing to stability they have and I’d hate to become unstable. Eat for the boys. I could try to eat for the boys. I could try to fight for the boys.

So, I ended the day just at my goal. It didn’t make up for Saturday. It maybe didn’t quite cover 3 loads of laundry (at 4 flights of stairs down to the laundry room then back up). But I hit my goal and part of me was actually ok with it. I don’t want to disappear into this thing.

I am beginning to realize just how profoundly this is affecting me. I’m isolated. I don’t want to go out to eat with my friends and have the questions of why I’m not eating. I don’t want to hang out late because I am trying to eat enough to sustain myself and the only food I will eat is the food at my apartment that I have measured and cooked, and if I get home too late I won’t eat it, so I come home early. I have few thoughts outside food and weight, I can’t concentrate and keep up at work. It’s destroying me.

So I’m going to try. I’m going to get back up to trying to eat more. Trying to beat it. Is my life worth fighting for? We’ll see