Monday, December 7, 2009

Some passages for thought

quotes from the book "Tales from the Scale"

and the more years that pass by, the more adverse i am to buying in to the notion that food is bad. that food, in face, is something to fear. global warming is something to fear. losing you job is something to fear. having your leg shorn off by an errant buzz saw is something to fear. I've yet to see any conclusive evidence to prove to me that a hamburger or two is going to do as much damage as any of these things could. i suppose it is my distaste for treating food like it is an instrument of the devil, and subsequently the culture perpetuating this idea, that accounts for my weight problems as an adult.
you mean i am really less of a person because im eating this slice of cake? explain to me how if i decide to eat a bowl of potato chips, this behavior means i possess little to no self-esteem. how is it that i am doomed to an eternity filled with no one to love me and a sadness the likes of which humankind has never known if i order the crab rangoon from my favorite Chinese carryout joint?

according to the diet lore, "indulging" or "giving in to temptation" is a "sin." strangling a few people is a sin. invading east timor is a sin. ethnic cleansing is a sin. testing nuclear weapons in the pacific is a sin. im sorry, but eating doesnt quite make the grade." --Kaz Cooke, Real Gorgeous

i dont think i'll ever conquer my inner fat girl; i just have to learn to manage her presence. shes like an irritating old friend that you never really liked. somehow shes got hold of your number and she insists on calling you now and then, just to remind you shes still alive.
you can listen to her ramble for a while--as long as you know when to say, shut up, and slam down the phone.

im starting to come to the conclusion that my fat girl may just be around for good.
but im also beginning to have some peace with her. though, now she is only a part of me. instead of dictating my every move, holding me hostage, my fat girl is much like the family member who never lets you forget where you came from no matter how successful you become.

i dont know if its possible, after shes (fat girl) lived in my head more than 25 years, to ever completely get rid of her. i can always feel her hovering nearby, waiting to judge me and what i eat ("ugh, salad? no fun!"). radiating disapproval when i decide to do forty minute on the elliptical trainer instead of thirty, or putting on a shirt that comes close to fitting instead of being three sizes too big.
one would think that with weight loss would come a quieting of her voice, but it seems that she doesnt care what i actually weigh. ive lost 125 pounds? she doesnt care. she doesnt care about the reality, just what she decided years ago is the truth, and she wants to yell her truth from the mountaintop.

we are so focused on numbers. in the weight-loss world, we cannot escape them. we measure our body fat. we feel judged by our clothing size. there are the inches around our waists and necks and calves to be tallied. and there is the number on the scale, the supreme number that rules all.
these numbers in and of themselves dont mean a whole lot. after all, they are just that: numbers. they are arbitrary digests that fluctuate and change and differ from person to person...
...yet what does all this tell you about me, really? does this give you a picture of who i really am? does this tell you that im a democrat or a republican? do these numbers indicate whether or not i have children? can you tell if i volunteer or donate to charity? do you know what car i drive?

anyone who has an ED will surely see the correlation between the struggles with being over weight and the struggles with an ED, especially when it comes to the "fat girl" voice which is just as malicious as the ED voice.

as I was on the second to last chapter, i came across a sentence that one of the contributers to the book wrote which i found quite bothersome. it read:"I always wished for bulimia or anorexia--one of those weight problems that results in fashionably thin malnutrition. at least it doesnt show on the outside, at least not in the way overeating does." now anyone who says the wish for an ED is not only mental, but completely insensitive and ignorant especially when they wish to have an ED so they can be thin. when i read this i immediately had the urge to write to the contributer and tell her off, but then i realized how immature that would be. i was just wondering if this bothers anyone else the way it does me and if anyone thinks i should go ahead and write the contributer--but in a kind, mature way. leave me some comments and let me know what you all think.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Tales from the Scale

don't worry, this post doesn't sound as bad as it's title...that's just the name of a book i've been reading. i know the name sounds pretty much like an ED book and the book really isn't meant to be that way, but of course that's the way i'm reading it. however, it is actually about obese people and their struggles to loose weight. ya, i probably shouldn't be reading it. but anyway, i'm about halfway through and i've found some pretty interesting quotes that i think are important to think about when us people with EDs judge our self worth and live our lives according to a number on the scale or the foods we eat and their contents. and, come to find out, there are a lot of struggles that people who are overweight go through that are similar to the ones people with EDs struggle with. i just wanted to bring this book up because as i continue to read i keep folding over pages, marking the places i want to go back to so that i can find the passages i think are valuable to all who struggle with body image=self worth. so sometime in the near future i'll have a post with all these passages in it.

in my last post i talked about an interview i was going to do with my psychiatrist from treatment at harvard med school. i was suprisingly not as nervous as i thought i would be. i listened to her lecture about EDs, which i basically knew all the information in since i do have an ED and then at the end of that it was my turn. i was in a ampitheater, so the semi circle, of steep, staggard seats filled with brilliant medical students was a bit intimidating to say the least. AND to top it all off, i had to wear one of those little clip on microphones just to ensure (ha, i will never say or write that word without thinking about the "nutritional suppliment") that all could hear me. i just kept reassuring myself that the students genuinely wanted to hear me speak and learn from me and that they were in no way going to judge me for anything. dr.d sat right next to me and i basically looked at her for most of the interview so it eventually felt like we were meeting in her office just discussing the normal things we do. i became comfortable quickly and the experience became enjoyable.

after a while the floor was then opened up to the students to ask me some questions. i didn't exactly know that that was part of what i signed up for but i figured i could handle it at that point. i wasn't so comfortable with having command of who could ask me the next question and pointing them out, but i managed. after this was over my job was done. dr.d and some other guy who was running the whol shindig said i did a great job, which felt good to hear. i was getting ready to leave and a couple students asked if i would mind them asking me some more questions. i agreed so i spend about another 20 minutes doing that. AND to top it all off, the students got me a thank you card AND a starbucks gift card. how did they know people with EDs LOVE coffee?

overall it was a great experience, one that i didn't think i would enjoy so much. i really do feel like if i'm going to have such a shitty illness then why not at least help educate those who could potentially treat people with EDs and help them understand the complexitites and the actual thinking of people with EDs. and as a sidenote, my friend who is back in treatment :( was talking to dr. d in her meeting and as dr. d likes to do, she was asking who she was close with in treatment last time and she said my name and she said how i told her i was doing an interview with her that week to which dr. d responded that i was less nervous than her and that i performed brilliantly. i feel like i'm boasting but it just feels really nice to get such praise and complements and to know that maybe i actually did help the students understand more about this illness. of course the cynic in me is still struggling with trying to accept this feedback, but i'm trying to ignore that voice and take the feedback for what it is.

but, on the ED front. i'm really not doing well at all. i can feel it getting really strong, like heading in the direction of how it was in the summer. when i got out of treatment last time exercise was fairly easy to cut down on. this time, i've been out for 10 days and have exercised 7 of those days and recently 4 days in a row. i know that once i start this spiral it really can't be stopped. missing one day now would cause me to not be able to think about anything else for the whole day. exercise has once again become a way for me to justify while i still eat (barely). the only good thing is that i'm still doing considerablly less exercise than i was doing in the summer as far as time goes, but even this i know won't last long as today i increased by five minutes and i know the increases will just keep compounding. this is bad and i know it won't lead to anything good. i have also gone to the grocery store (sometimes two different ones in one day) everyday for the past 4 days, not to mention the other days i did it since i've been home. i go down the isles, with no intention of buying anything, and look at the nutrition facts of various foods. some to see what i might consider eating and others just to confirm why i don't eat those foods. it's bad.

i have quite the dilemma at hand because yesterday at my dr's appt, i asked at what weight he would force me to go back in to tx and it was not a weight that i expected. however, if my vitals start to get shitty, then that'll get me back in sooner. i've been blacking out when i stand up so i know things are not good. yesterday my heart rate jumped up 10 points and my bp when down when i stood up. still, that doesn't reach the criteria for being orthostatic, but i know it's coming. anyway, the dilemma. i want to go to school in janurary, but, with how i'm doing, and judging by the direction i'm heading in, things are not looking so good. my doc said he was fine with me going to school and that he would do everything in his power to keep me in school once there, but i'm worried that i might not even make it to school. my next appt is the 21st and i will most likely be at that weight that he'll want me back in treatment. so you say, then just eat more and stop going to the gym, but if it were that simple, then i'd be recovered and clearly i'm not. i can't just go over my daily calorie intact that i have established and feel ok about it. even one calorie over and i feel disgusted with myself and feel compelled to restrict the next day and exercise more to make up for it. so there in lies the dilemma, oh, not to mention i might have a job in the next few days and that'll only mean i'll be more active which means quicker weight loss making my goal of going to school seem even more impossilbe.

there are ways to sort of work the system, as far as weight goes, which i do employ, so that'll by me more time. but as i loose more weight more drastic measures will be needed and that deception can only get me so far because believe it or not, weight loss becomes noticable and when the number on the scale doesn't compute with appearance, a doctor is generally smart enough to know that something fishy (ha, the name of a site about EDs) is going on. but even more telling are my vitals and bloodwork which are the things most affected by malnutrition, so even if my doctor gives me the benefit of the doubt when it comes to the number on the scale, there will be no denying what my vitals and blood work say. of course there are ways to manipulate this too, but i'm not so sure it'll work out so well.

so breifly, i've got some shit to work out. yes i want to go to school, but badly enough to eat more? at this point i'm pretty sure that the answer to that is a no. do i want to go back to treatment yet again? no. do i want to stay out of treatment buy doing the one thing that will up my odds of staying out (eating)? the answer to that question is not a definite no, but almost.

i hope no one else in the world gets and ED. it really does ruin lives and makes everything that used to be important, unimportant. school used to be the most important thing to me, and now my ED is so important that i might just not go back to school so i can be very activly engaged in my ED. recovery does not seem an option at all right now, and by acknowledging that, i also need to acknowledge that that closes a lot of doors for me. i still have the distorted thought that all things are possible with a severe ED. i do doubt it more than i used to but i still think i'm fairly capable of doing many of the things that were once important to me and still have my ED, at least holding a job and going to school. other things may suffer, such as my social life, but i'm not so sure how much that actually matters to me now too. my life has changed dramatically and so have i.

EDIT: i just remembered some thing funny i had to say. so when i was at my therapist's office on friday she said to me "you look like you're having trouble eating." i replied with "ya" but what i really wanted to say was "of course i'm having trouble eating; i'm anorexic!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Trying to start up again

so much for posting while i was in treatment.

this post might be triggering for some...these a lot of ED thinking in the end...

i came home from treatment on wednesday...lucky me, just in time for thanksgiving. needless to say i was quite anxious for thanksgiving and for the extended family that was coming to my house for the holiday, but really, i had no one to blame because i'm the one who wanted to leave treatment and i'm the one who chose to leave on wednesday rather than friday.

thanksgiving is probably one of the worst holidays for a person with an ED. yes, most holidays include some sort of feast, but at least the feast is only a component of the holiday and not the sole focus of the holiday. the dietitian at treatment ran a group and talked to us about thanksgiving and said that it is a day where everyone as an ED. the accepted practice on thanksgiving is to starve yourself all day so that you can over-stuff yourself at one meal. but for those of us that have EDs and have been to treatment, it is just another day where we eat all our meals and follow our meal plan, we just have a bit more choice when it comes to our dinner because of the plethora of food offered at the thanksgiving feast. for me though, it was not just another day where i follow my MP. it was my first full day out of treatment--which did not help me one bit this time--which means it was my opportunity to once again engage in my ED. My plan was not to eat with my family but to just basically hide all day, which i succeeded at until my mom came down and asked if i was going to come sit with everyone. i told her i really didn't want to because i knew i'd have like nothing on my plate and everyone would look at me. she said that no one was going to say anything which lead me to believe she already alerted everyone to how hard this day was going to be for me. so i ended up going up stairs and putting some stuff on my plate and ate with my family. that's all i had to get through, because not eating dessert was a given.

since thanksgiving i've been busy redoing my room. lots of painting, moving furniture and cleaning.

i've gone shopping a few times--of course on black friday--and have spotted some places that are hiring for the season, one of which is Michael's. I filled out their application last night.

i had my first OP appt yesterday and don't have anymore until friday. i'm not sure if i'm going to stick with doing OP this time.

while i was in treatment my psychiatrist asked me if i wanted to do and interview with her. i sceptically agreed and then she told me it was in front of 200 med students at Harvard Med school. i got crazy anxiety just thinking about it. i asked who else she was going to ask and she said no one and then i asked why do you want me to do it and she told me because she thinks i do a good job with the interview process. i don't really believe her. i feel like she had no other choice but to ask me, but maybe that is just me being cynical. needless today, that day has come. the interview is at 4pm today but she is giving a lecture at 3pm which i want to go to. i guess this will be a good opportunity; to help educate prospective doctors about EDs. i guess if i'm going to have an ED i might as well do something useful with it.

a quick update of how i'm doing with food...BAD. basically the same as i was doing when i got out of treatment last time. something that is good is that when i went shopping with my mom, i got a tad bit more variety than last time but everything i got did have to follow a strict set of rules to qualify for me to eat them. i'm a bit overwhelmed right now though because i feel like i have too much food in the house that is for me and i feel like i need to eat it all right away which obviously isn't going to happen. i have this fear that it's all going to go bad and i hate wasting food. but i also know that this is a distortion because all the food i bought are non-perishables and the ones that aren't don't expire for a few weeks and those are the things i'm eating first. but still, i have this anxiety around that and it just won't leave until all the food is gone. but, once all the food is gone then i start to freak out that i have no food or that i'm low on food. it's just a loose-loose situation. oh, and i bought some jelly belly jelly beans...why??? i have no idea. in case i wanted to indulge? even though if i had one serving size of them i basically wouldn't be able to eat anything more for the day according to my rules. that means i'll probably have to eat like one a day just for a little taste. ahhhhhhh!