Sunday, August 25, 2013

Truly Happy 21st B-day

So it has 21st b-day and the 1st b-day in 6 years I had cake! That's right I did it. Here is the play by play.

It was a great morning and afternoon except my timing got off. Because of this (and the fact wanted to get my timing down) I had to eat lunch then right after put together snack and dinner. I felt horrid, not really in the tummy department, but the guilt department...yet I knew I made the right decision.

So my friend showed up at 7 pm and drove me downtown where we first went to Starbucks and chatted. The anxiety just kept increase and increasing, because I knew the minutes were ticking to the time to face the cake. But I mean no one can feel bad when your friend gets you a tiara, pin, AND sash.

After talking a bit we decided to head to the fateful restaurant where we both would strike mighty victories and we arrived and Last Resort Grill! The anxiety in me welled up, but also so did excitement. They seated us at a reserved table and as we walked to the table I saw the cakes all in their displays and on the various tables diners were at...and anxiety kept increasing. What if there wasn't a flavor I liked? What if it tasted bad? What if it was too rich? All these questions swirled in my mind, but having Becca there just put me at peace.

 Our waitress came out and explained the dessert menu, but I already knew I wanted the lemon cake, so I didn't listen. She explained they had cheesecake, layer cake, and tiramisu and I told her we were doing layer cake. I then let her do her duty and tell us all the flavors knowing full well I was having lemon....but I noticed amidst the chocolate flavors (there were like four kinds), red velvet, carrot cake, hummingbird, raspberry, and strawberry...she had failed to mention lemon. That's when panic hit. I told her I wanted lemon cake and she said because it was Sunday they didn't get a cake delivery, but she would check to see if they had any leftover. She then asked for my second choice just in case....I had never thought of this happening and I got scared. I knew I wasn't a big cream cheese icing person and knew I didn't like rich cakes like the chocolate ones, but was that me or my disorder? I was so scared to make the wrong choice on such an important day. I really don't like heavy cakes, but was that a "scarier" more recovery oriented option. I really wanted something light and refreshing like the lemon cake.

The waitress said her favorite was the raspberry. That is was a white cake with a little raspberry jam in it and whipped topping. I mean it didn't sound bad, but I had never had a cake like that and I mean it didn't scream to my taste buds, but neither did any of the other choices. And I didn't want strawberry, so it was between raspberry and hummingbird...but honestly I didn't want just sounded too rich. Thankfully, Becca doesn't like hummingbird so we were left with raspberry. As the waitress left I questioned my choice. Would it be good? What would my family think? My mom doesn't like fruit flavored stuff so she probably would be more proud if I faced chocolate. I asked Becca what she would have done and she said raspberry or Mocha that moment my brain questions why I didn't do chocolate. Was it my disorder or did I really not like it. I didn't want to take the easy way out. Then the waitress came with a slice with a candle in it...when she came out to the patio where we were sitting...I could tell it was the raspberry. When she put it in front of us and explained there wasn't lemon I told her we were now thinking Mocha Chocolate. she said she could bring that out...but honestly...I didn't want the chocolate..I was just scared of the unknown in this flavor. Becca looked at me and with that peace only she can bring me said she thought we should stick with this flavor (she was right...had I changed my mind I would have questioned that). And so raspberry it was.

I got to blow out candles in a cake for first time in 6 years! I was so excited I forgot to make a wish! I then got to enjoy the 1st bite of a restaraunt cake EVER! And was amazing. It was light adn airy, but sweet too. It wasn't that fake tasting cake of childhood parties or the kind you buy at the grocery store. It was pure and simple and sweet. It wasn't a heavy layer of buttercream, but the refreshing taste of whipped topping. And the raspberry tasted fresh and light too. It was honestly the best cake I have had in forever. I still feel guilty that I like desserts like this and not the double chocolate or cream cheese ones my mom's family enjoys...but I am trying to accept it's not my ED...I just...I have different taste and that's okay (thanks dad for reassuring me of this).

And me and Becca did it together and it was so much more about the experience than the cake! It was honestly the best birthday I have had in...I don't even know how long!

Bite by bite we shared this cake and experience. And I felt true joy. My ED was talking was saying I ate more than her that I had more icing...blah, blah, blah. But I told Becca exactly what it was saying...and she assured me her mind was saying the exact same thing. That brought me a strange sense of comfort. We couldn't both have eaten "too much" or more than each other..nope...we both were eating the amount we wanted and what we deserved...that's why ED was so mad.

As the cake began to mind began to spin. I realized soon the cake would be gone, and unlike in times past where I have eaten desserts I didn't like just because others wanted me to...I felt okay about that. I felt..dare I say...SATISFIED! It gave me sweetness I wanted...but that's just it...I wanted and enjoyed it. Again I felt bad about this because my mom wouldn't have liked it and I again began to wonder had I done something scary enough. It was an amazing cake and the type I wanted but would it have been more right to eat something richer like cream cheese icing or chocolate if that wasn't what I wanted? But I silenced the voices and enjoyed my cake...the one I HAD CHOSEN. The one GOD had provided for me to choose.

And then we got to this piece and I got scared. I knew soon the experience would be over. I looked at the slice left and looked at Becca. I felt she needed to eat it because surely since I started from the top and she from the bottom I had consumed more cake and icing than her and thus didn't need anymore. She needed more than me. Instead of keeping this inside I told Becca and again she told me her disorder was saying the same thing. I won't lie...I am still scared I ate more than her, but you know what...I ate what I wanted.

To solve this dilemma we both had this piece together and when we got to the final bite we split it. And just as the journey had begun it ended: together with the amazing girl I am lucky and blessed enough to call a friend. It ended with a single bite as it had begun...a single bite taken together with a friend...a single bite that claimed our victory...a single bite that gave glory to God...a single bite that made it a truly (for the first time in years) HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

Thanks to Becca and to Last Resort Grill. Couldn't have done this without you, your support, and without God by my side. thank you Becca for never giving up on me and for letting me know it all was and would be okay. Couldn't have imagined a better girl to savor this moment with!

So some people may go out on their 21st and celebrate liberation in finally being "legal" to drink celebrated finally being "legal" to enjoy my birthday and the cake. To being legal to be free of ED, for allowing myself to experience life and live in the moment....I was free to just be me. That is the best gift I could have ever asked for!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Fear Foods No More

Alright…I am done with ED. I mean it’s crazy. This is the second weigh-in I have had where weight was the same as was on Tuesday. This is all despite the screaming ED has had about all the tons of fear foods I faced. You know…the ones that are supposed to make me balloon. Yeah…I’ve faced MULTIPLE a day. I’ve just been eating what I want…no matter the calories or fat or whatever ED is freaking about. This has meant facing tilapia, higher cal veg/fruit options, black beans, sweet potatoes, rolls, corn on cob, mahi-mahi, baked potatoes, steel cut oats…tons and tons of foods I have been petrified of.

Yesterday I weighed after doing this for three days and was in literal SHOCK that hadn’t ballooned. In fact I was in so much shock that I allowed ED to convince me I had actually gained but it was being masked by the amount I had pooped. Yes…I actually bought into this lie despite my attempts not to. Then I got e-mail from my N informing me that I was going to be doing one of her prescribed meals. This is just such a lovely thing.

To be honest it actually is. Because she gives me new meal ideas using my exchanges, but also using a fear food (which I am going to go back to calling freedom foods but more on that in a moment) to challenge my ED beliefs….it pushes me in ways I wouldn’t do. But it is scary as heck too. So for last night I had this beauty to face:

EGG WHITE OMELETTE! It was a struggle to do this and not restrict…took me 1.5 hours to get through the meal but I did it and enjoyed it. I didn’t get to cook it and the person who did didn’t precisely measure each ingredient as I would have so of course ED convinced me I ate too much. It didn’t help that after this meal I was completely full and had no appetite. This gave ED fuel and he told me it was all because I had eaten way too much and would of course weigh a ton today. But I just kept pushing through. I was freaking out, but I refused to give ED any victory. And this morning….weight was exact same and because I didn’t give ED any wiggle room….all I could do was accept that maybe, just maybe I could eat what I want and not gain…that maybe ED was wrong.

Yes…it’s sad…it’s still a maybe..because in my mind I am waiting for the other shoe to fall and all the sudden I balloon…but it’s just not happening…and I am so done feeding into that system in my brain. I want freedom…and heck God is providing my physical, undeniable evidence of the truth my N has been telling me. That my weight gain will require work, won’t happen overnight, and won’t happen any faster if I eat what I want.

And this brings me to the fact I am going to go back to calling fear foods freedom foods and this is why. I have come to realize there is really nothing to fear with fear foods except for not facing them. Or for facing them but skimping somewhere else or acted out in some other way. The only way to have victory and freedom over the fear is to eat the freedom food AND anything else body craving AND not exercise to make up for it. Sure this increases fear…but it is nothing to fear. Because if I eat fear food and stay on plan one of two things can happen

  • Outcome A) I find out I have ballooned (this has yet to happen) and ED is proven right. Thus ED is justified and I go on believing that I have to eat only safe foods or whatever. Well…this is exactly where I sit now with the foods. So…it’s no worse than I am now. It is just the same fear I am stuck in.
  • Outcome B) I don’t balloon and realize I can eat those fear foods (and hopefully one day accept all foods) and ED has nothing to cling to (I am going to do a separate post on importance and flaws can get in when facing fear foods) to explain why haven’t ballooned. Thus I gain freedom to eat these foods.

So basically if I eat fear foods….I can’t get any worse than I am. Eating them doesn’t bring more fear in the end…just the possibility of freedom. My situation can only get better…and thus I am going to call them freedom foods…because eating them can and I believe WILL only bring freedom.

And I am not going to lie. I feel in a better place than I ever have. Because this is first time IN MY LIFE I have eaten what I wanted even if scary. And guess what…I haven’t gained at all…yes I know this means meal plan increase and yes I know I need to gain…but I feel this is what I needed to happen this week. Because it is showing me I can trust my body and trust foods….that there need not be any fear.
Now just because it shows that doesn’t mean I am any less scared. I mean I feel slightly more free, but I know I am going to have to keep up the hard work and persistence. And I am going to need to gain and still accept the food…which is why this maintainance is good because its something I can fall back on. Now tomorrow is my 21st b-day and I am definitely going to be freaking out as I eat cake IN ADDITION to my meal plan. I am completely scared but I will not restrict or overexercise…because I DESERVE cake on my b-day and DESERVE a chance at freedom. Plus…worst comes to worst and I balloon…just means no meal plan increase come Wed for my session and if cake is to blame…then it will go away when I don’t have cake. But for now..not going to focus on what ED says will happen…gonna focus on the possibility of freedom it brings and the reality that it may be just like when faced cupcake….and I didn’t gain anything…and ED was proven wrong.

No matter what it is my b-day and this will be first time in 6 years I have b-day cake and I freaking deserve it and I will enjoy it. I know my weight is in God’s hands and whatever happens happens. In that moment tomorrow with my dear friend Becca…it won’t be about weight. I refuse for it to be. It will be about a victory….a victory to celebrate that God has allowed me to survive my past and for the years of continued recovery He is bringing for my future…and it will all be marked by the step of freedom and faith that will come from the first bite of cake J

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Where I am At Wednesday :) It feels so good

Well…for once I can say I am actually doing really well. I finally took a step of faith and stepped away from the scale today…first time in months I think and it’s huge that I did that especially with starting an increased plan yesterday. And honestly it felt great. Didn’t have number swirling in my head all day and had strange peace. Sure ED still told me I gained weight or whatever…but it just didn’t seem to matter without a number there.

Also today I did what I have been wanting to do and experienced recovery. I stayed present at meals and snacks and I ate what I wanted even when scared me so much. I still need to make some progress with my meal timing, but plan on doing that tomorrow. Still, all in all, it was an amazing day. Thought with all the fears I would feel miserable…but actually I feel excited. It’s weird…I am not dreading the weigh-in on Friday but am excited about it. I have been facing so many fears so I only see it as an opportunity for freedom. If I have ballooned as my brain says than I am no worse off than I am now, but if I keep challenging myself and find out I haven’t ballooned it just means freedom.

Oh and something else on my heart to share. I know in recovery I am so scared of ballooning as are so many others and when you Google search this all you find is people freaking out because they have ballooned. Let me just tell you that doesn’t happen for everyone. In fact, I have followed my N guidelines and only gained a lb in two weeks…gained it all in first week but then I plateaued and didn’t gain any this last week according to my weekly weigh-ins. Just thought I would share that….just because other people have these scary ballooning or rapid gain experiences doesn’t mean you will. It’s all about trust.

Which brings me to a new part of Where I am At Wed I want to start since Wed will be my N appt days from now on…and that’s to share my goals from my nutritionist. So here they are for this week:
    day cake on my 21st b-day Sunday for  irst time in 6 years. Not only that but it is one from a restaurant and I don’t know the counts on it…I have NEVER done that.
  1.    I will eat b-fast by 9:30 or 10 AM. You see I have this thing against eating in morning. I like to restrict during the day and then eat most of my food later in day. Well, let me rephrase, I don’t like it but it is what I do because I am scared of the hunger and lack of control I feel when I eat earlier in day. But it is better for my GI system, my mood, my health, and my recovery to eat throughout day and that’s only possible if I actually eat b-fast at a b-fast time.
  2. Stick to meal timing we have set out. Not gonna post all the times because its different for every day and let’s be honest…I’m only person really needs to know what time I am eating what haha. But we have planned it out and I am supposed to stick with it.
  3.   Fear foods: of course my N never lets me leave without choosing fear foods. I am to continue tackling raisins and bananas and sunflower seeds as they can easily slip back to scary, but new this week are: corn on the cob, black beans (did these tonight), pecans, broccoli, baked potatoe, dinner roll, fruit juice, and egg whites
  4. Eat at least two meals in dining hall and one day do b-fast in dining hall: I got in this habit of sneaking stuff out so I could eat meals in my room to avoid anxiety of not having my food scale or measuring or comfort of eating alone. Well, no longer. My N wants me in the dining halls eating. I also have NEVER in my 4 years here eaten b-fast in the dining hall…but this Sat I will be.
  5. Do meal plan increase: due to stall in my weight gain I have a new snack added I am to do.
  6. Last BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST I am eating b- My lovely friend Becca and I already have reservations. Without her and the accountability and love she brings to each of our times together….I honestly don’t think I could do it, but thankfully I got over myself and reached out and she is gonna be there for me…one bite at a time. Oh and it’s not to count as any exchanges…just extra for that day.
So I’ve got a daunting week ahead of me, but I am hopeful for the freedom it will bring. And dang nabit, I am excited about my cake J You know some people want to have their cake and eat it too…in recovery we learn a different scale…we learn to fear our cake but eat it too J

Monday, August 19, 2013

Experience Recovery?

I don’t know how everything got so crazy but I feel I am sinking in ED again. Every little thing triggers me and my weight scares me to death. I don’t know when I stopped trusting in God. How gaining 1.5 lbs in TWO WEEKS become scary. When in reality that is slow. How I decided to throw in the towel because I am hungry but not losing weight. It’s just so wrong.

I was taken back to that night on Aug 24, 2011 when I gave my life to Christ. I was so desperate for Him then because I was so miserable. Now when I am miserable I get mad at gone and turn my back on Him yet He is the only one who can save me. No wonder I feel so miserable nowadays…I turn from the only light that can shine through this darkness. I question every inkling of feeling I get from Him because it doesn’t seem safe or right…and in the end I am miserable. Why? Because I keep following the same ED path I have before…all because I don’t have all the answers.

I am so scared to just experience recovery. To just let my weight and meal plan change as it does and not question it. It’s like I feel this need to be obsessed about it because I am scared what will happen if my mind is allowed to wander and freely seek other avenues of thought. I just don’t know what I will think about or what will happen without the complete illusion of control my obsession with food and the obsessive thoughts with weight. I want to just hand it over though and actually experience recovery…and in that experience life.
I want to use my meal plan to help me experience life instead of just taking the meal plan now and wondering when it will change next. I need to learn to live in and experience the present moment and I guess my meal plan allows for the perfect avenue to do that. I mean right now I just eat the same thing every day to get in my meal plan because I just want to eat this meal plan so I can (hopefully) go into hypermetabolism and eat more…but guess what…once I can do that I will just want to focus on the next step, next increase, next challenge.

Instead what I would like to do is use my meal plan now and accept and experience it. Accept it’s what I need right now and challenge myself within it. Experience the meal plan by allowing myself freedom to try new exchanges and follow the cravings I get. Instead of eating the same thing just to check it off my list, actually experience and taste the food. It’s a part of treatment I actually liked. The first time I would get to go through the menus and try something…it was exciting because it had been so long since I ate. Now I have that opportunity again. No one is forcing me…I just have to choose it.

So perhaps instead of praying for the next increase or the next meal plan change as I do every night..I will pray for acceptance of my plan and the courage to experience recovery. To not treat it as a bunch of to-dos, challenges, or exchanges to check off. But to experience the challenges, meal plan, and tasks I am given. To feel emotions and not just blow through them. To feel the fear, excitement, and whatever other emotions come as I fight for freedom. TO actually live. To look at anything my N gives me tomorrow as a new experience, not a new task. I am tired of trudging through recovery…I want to use my recovery to experience freedom. I want to live. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

All it took was a banana...


So I weighed this morning and was so sad before I got on. I just thought I knew with how late I ate everything last night that my weight would be up and I wasn’t ready to see number closer to my scary weight. I weighed…palms sweating, mind spinning…and it was DOWN A LB. WHAT! I had had grits and scary veggie and eaten late and this happens. WHAT! I was so excited.

In fact I was so excited I sat down and relaxed and did a bible study and with weight out of my mind I was able to hear what God was saying. It was amazing and I will write more later, but basically I need to experience “hunger” from scale and cling to God instead of numbers because it will increase my spiritual/truth “hunger” which will be filled by the “food” God provides at my N weekly weigh-in. Without feeling the hunger though, my eyes will be on number not on him.

So anyways I was super stoked and feeling motivated.I was seeing that wt all the sudden shoot down when I think it be up and really there was no reasoning behind it…my body just did it. I didn’t restrict or overexercise and my body just worked itself out. This made me see that daily weighing doesn’t really give me any indication of what weekly weigh-in will be. There is no telling if wt will go up, down, or stay the same the next few days…so I still have no idea what weight will be come Tuesday and the daily weighing just messes with my head. So I need to stop it.

So here I am feeling motivated and excited. Facing challenges, trusting body…and it hits me I may have forgotten to eat my banana last night. Not on purpose, just because I am not completely used to plan and was kind of in a panic. I swore I did….but I am not sure and I counted the bananas in my fridge and there are 3 and I think  there were 3 yesterday…but there may have been 4 and I just don’t know. But know my mind is clinging to this idea that the banana is the reason for the loss. Here I was trusting God and believing that He does desire me to trust my body and trust food and if I step away from scale and cling to Him, He will show me that. But I can’t weigh daily and see that because numbers will get in the way. I need to “fast” from scale and let it only be used when to glorify Him (in sessions).

Now I am here blaming a freaking 80-calorie banana. I mean the logical me knows that’s ridiculous.I mean geez…I ate an extra calorie cupcake and weight didn’t budge…now I am saying not eating a banana causes your weight to drop a whole lb. And I won’t know if I don’t eat banana (which is exactly what mind saying to do). I will only find out if I eat the banana, forgive myself for the restriction, and move on. Otherwise I am just fueling ED and restricting on purpose. Accidents happen….but choosing to not eat banana is disobedience. And like I said…only way to find out is to eat the banana. So guess that is what I am going to do.

I am going to put into action what sermon taught me. I am “hungry” for the truth and going to expect God for the unexpected which for me right now would be eating the banana and my weight either going down again or not going up tomorrow. Yes this means complete fear today as I continue with my challenge foods and as I eat the banana not knowing if I will gain, lose, or stay the same. But it is perfect practice for next week when go whole week without knowing. Just trust Jess…just trust….

Friday, August 9, 2013

Illusion of trust

So I am learning I am acting like I am trusting people with this recovery process, but honestly I am not. I am still so stuck in having all the answers. Especially when it comes to my meal plan. It’s why I weigh myself still daily. I want to know how this meal plan is working, if it’s too much, how much it will take to gain…etc, etc, etc. And I freak out when I don’t get the answer I want.

Example…my meal plan. I was told by some that it was still really low and so I assumed I wouldn’t gain on it. Well my daily weigh-ins have proven otherwise and I am scared. I know I have been on a higher intake and gained less than I am gaining now so I am confused and scared. So what do I do? I waste hours in my day surfing webpages trying to find the answers. What does that do? Scares me and confuses me so much more. I read horror stories of people ballooning and blah, blah, blah. Granted I know the only people who are going to post things are the people going through extreme circumstances that scare them….and thus the internet will only provide me with horror stories. Yet I search in desperation for something to tell me how everything is going to go and something to tell me everything will be alright.

Well…if I was truly trusting my N and God and my body as I want to then I wouldn’t need all of this. I would eat the meal plan and not weigh during the week. I would trust that my N knows what she is doing, that my body knows what it is doing, and that all of that will be proven at the weekly weigh-in. When ED said I was gaining this week….I would have said that my N knows what she is doing. Instead I stepped on the scale and freaked myself out with daily fluctuations…becoming enthralled in the numbers and in trying to dissect and figure out my meal plan.

I want to EXPERIENCE recovery…not fight my way through it. I want to experience it as in experience the anticipation of a weekly weigh-in which is true recovery…not trudge my weigh through recovery tied down by daily weigh-ins. I want to trust and do whatever my N wants me to do with my meal plan…not freak out every day based off of a daily weigh-in and waste hours trying to deduce what the best step to take with my intake is. Fact is…that’s not my call anymore. It’s my nutritionist. I need to trust she knows what she is doing.

I just keep doing this research and hearing that people can gain on low intakes and then have horrible metabolisms and blah, blah, blah. I read that 2500 calories is the minimum needed to gain and I know I am not eating that so I freak out about that. I draw on past experiences and knowing that I lost on higher intake and wondering if I am somehow in a starvation mode and my body is hoarding food and I am just gonna balloon and never be able to eat.

You see what happens when I don’t trust and try and take back the control….I freak out and go into a tailspin. Instead of just handing my intake and weight over to my N whose JOB it is to deal with that and who has a degree in nutrition…I try and find the right answers.

I am just so scared because really handing over the decisions to her and not checking her work in a sense by doing daily weigh-ins it would mean blind trust. Not knowing if my meal plan will go up or down or stay the same (something I have always known because I’ve always been in control of it except when in treatment). It means just taking the steps in recovery and feeling that fear.

But you know what…there is also excitement there. In treatment it was always so crazy when my N would come and find me and tell me I had an increase when I was so sure I was gaining (increase meant gain stopped or you lost). I don’t get to experience that excitement now because I check my weight every day. But if I actually did weekly weigh-ins they could become exciting again. And my week could be freed from the daily panic that comes with daily weigh-ins.

I guess it’s time for that step I don’t want to take…I guess it’s time to step off of the scale. It’s time to EXPERIENCE true recovery and all the fear, excitement, and panic that brings. But maybe it will be better…I mean I have never tried. IT can’t be worse than the tailspin panic daily weigh-ins bring me now. Because even if the daily weigh-ins go all over…my weight could be completely suprising on the weigh-in day at N and all this freaking out would be for nothing…because it’s that weigh-in that counts.
And the fact is I am not supposed to be in charge of my weight or food anymore. And if I trust my N who says nothing extreme can happen in a week…then there is no reason for me to weigh myself. I should just wait for the weekly weigh-ins. I should learn to just trust and not question.

SO that is going to be my goal for next week. I am either going to allow myself no weigh-ins between my sessions or just one. I’m not sure yet. I am scared to experience the fear that will bring…but I am excited for the possible freedom that will come with it. Well…I didn’t expect this journaling to bring that out of me. For me to realize I shouldn’t weigh myself every day….but hey…guess this is again God knowing what He is doing.

He has shown me if I say I am trusting I need to fully trust…and that means giving Him and my N complete control and stepping away from the scale that gives me the illusion of control. I am not in charge of my food anymore….because I don’t know how to feed myself. So I don’t need to weigh myself. My N knows how to feed people with anorexia and is trying to teach me how to eat normally…so she is the one that needs to know my weight. Well…this sucks…but who knows…maybe something good will come out of it. Plus, it’s the Lord speaking to me and His plans are good…so if He plans for me to get off the scale so I can EXPERIENCE recovery then I will. I can give it a week…because as my N says…nothing horrible can happen in a week…and I choose to trust her.  

Thursday, August 8, 2013

RIP William C Guthrie

So today didn’t go at all like planned. Woke up find out mom lost job and weight up 1.5 lbs and in pain and it’s dessert day. Then grandpa got rushed into surgery because he broke his hip and I just knew…I just knew he wasn’t going to make it. But I couldn’t concentrate on that…I was so focused on my weight and why it was the way it was. Well…it caused me to decide to have strict meal timing today…and it worked out great. I was going strong…feeling scared, but good on timing…and I went to desk duty.

At 8 pm my dad called and I could tell in his voice that this was the news…my dad told me my grandfather passed. I still had dinner, dessert, and snack left and I didn’t want to do any. My first instinct was to restrict. That there was no reason to eat. Especially not dessert…who eats dessert when people die? Well…I do and here’s why.

My grandfather…he loved me. He loved who I was and any time I saw him I knew it pained him that I didn’t eat. I could see it in his eyes. Hear it in the comments of how one day I would go to see him, go to restaurant and eat whatever I wanted…I never got to. But tonight…tonight he is looking down on me…I know he is…and grandpa…tonight I am going to eat for you. Tonight, I am going to have this cupcake even though its scary, because I want it. I am going to eat my dinner because I should. I am going to eat, because you would have wanted me too.

I also found out something else that brings tears to my eyes. Today was my grandma and grandpa’s anniversary. My grandma died at this exact same time last year…like EXACT TIME like right before classes start. So tonight….tonight they get to be with each other on their anniversary…that means they have never spent an anniversary apart. She died soon after their anniversary last year, and tonight he went to be with and celebrate their anniversary with her. I can just imagine that beautiful reunion. I can see her, young and vibrant in her beautiful wedding gown and him in his naval officer suit reuniting. Embracing and holding each other as the love of God and heaven surrounds them.
So tonight isn’t a night to mourn or restrict or act in past behaviors. Tonight is a night to celebrate my Pop Bill’s life. Tonight is a night to celebrate the wedding anniversary taking place in heaven. I know the lovebirds are back together. I know they are at peace. I know I will see them again one day. I love you Pop Bill…and this cupcake….this recovery….it’s for you…it’s for the both of you. The most amazing grandparents a girl could ask for. The grandparents who showed me unconditional love and in their almost 70 years of marriage made me see love was possible. I love you both. 

Monday, August 5, 2013

New Me, New Plan, New FEAR!

Well today has been rough. I went into my nutritionist being honest and motivated. I put it all out there…and it was good, but the plan scares me and I have a lot of guilt for speaking up about things I wanted. I don’t want to share plan as I don’t want to trigger others by causing comparisons, but here are the things speaking up got me that scares me so much.
  • My nutritionist is having me do scary fish options every day because I told her about my lupus and arthritis. ED is telling me had I not said anything, this wouldn’t be the case. I am also on higher fats and I feel it is because I told her about my lupus and arthritis…but she assures me it is not because of that.
  • My nutritionist was going to allow me 30 minutes of yoga a week, but I told her I only did yoga to burn calories and was wondering if maybe I shouldn’t do any exercise. She was so proud of me and said that would be great. So ED is saying I could have had exercise had I kept my mouth shut.
  •  My nutritionist was going to have me do a safer snack, but later asked what other fear food I wanted to face and I told her I wanted to have the bagels in dining hall but would wait till it was appropriate. These replaced the lower calorie snack from before…without any compensation being made…so talking got me more calories.
  • Then my nutritionist decided I needed to do desserts but she was going to let me replace the snack with the dessert that day…until I opened my mouth about something one of my friends does where desserts are “extras.” My nutritionsit eyes got wide and she got so excited and decided she liked that idea better. So opening my mouth I know have to do dessert as “extra.”

I know reading this that those all sound like positive, recovery oriented decisions and they are. My nutritionist in no way thinks they are bad things…but I am just scared they will cause more weight gain than we agreed upon and it will be “my fault.” My nutritionist doesn’t even think I am going to gain the amount we agreed upon this week , but I am scared with all this I will. She is asking me to just trust.

Which brings me to my panic. Here I am feeling guilty for making these choices and speaking up. It’s just so different for me to do and I feel that somhow now I will gain weight rapidly. Not only that but this new plan is not like any plan I have had before. It is semi exchange-based, but semi-calorie based. And my nutritionist basically told me what some of the exchanges have to be. For example….my fats…I have no choice in them…you know what..I am just going to share my meal plan….just know this is MY MEAL PLAN MADE FOR ME….it is in no way a guide to any one else or their needs.

B-fast: 2 starches (must be either oatmeal/cereal and ½ English muffin), ½ dairy (activia light must be), 1 fruit (either applesauce or prunes are only choices), 12 almonds

Lunch: 3 starches    3-4 oz protein (must be fish)      1 cup veggies     ¼ cup raisins (is my fruit always)
1 cup skim milk (is only option for dairy)       2 T sunflower seeds

Dinner: 2 starches (can’t be any kind of bread or safe item)      3-4 oz protein (must be fish)
1 cup veggies          2 T olives

Snack: dining hall bagel and 50-cal spread
Snack: Banana, dairy (either 6 oz yogurt or ½ cup ricotta)

So as you see my nutritionist chose basically everything except for veggies and starches since dining hall only offers one option for fish every day.  That makes me so scared because I used to feel a little safer when I could choose and “balance” safe and non-safe items…especially when came to fats and fruits….and now I can’t….and that scares me. To me this screams rapid weight gain and I am really having to trust because I can’t compare it to past plans because in past plans I have always gotten to choose everything.

This new plan I am seeing the positives in though too. I mean I am struggling to just choose the starches now that I am planning meals for week…ED is just trying to tell me what is right and wrong, good and bad….so imagine had I had to choose more than just those exchanges. Also, the fact that it can’t be compared to past plans isn’t only making me trust, it’s also all the more reason not to restrict portions. Had this been comparable to past plans than I would have thought (or been told by ED): “Yes, but you only didn’t balloon then because you restricted portions, so you have to restrict portions now.” But now I can’t compare and don’t know how weight gain will be…so there is no reason to restrict…I need to just trust. It’s like a new plan for a new lease on life.

And so far today I have been taking that approach and doing the plan, but it is so scary and it feels so wrong, and I feel completely guilty and anxious. It’s just like it used to be when I was here. I feel lazy because I can’t exercise, I want to restrict or cut corners…but there is one difference…I am not acting on those impulses. I am just putting one foot in front of the other and doing the next right thing. It’s hard, and I’m scared…but I want to try…I really do. I want to give it a week and be prepared to be surprised by my body…

This plan is also making me see just how quickly things can become fearful again. After just a week I literally only have one safe starch….and now it can’t even count as the exchanges I am used to. That’s what an ED does though…it makes you scared of everything. So now I am stuck when it comes to meal planning. And due to “scars” from my last nutritionist…well….I am scared to eat more than the normal amount of fear foods because she convinced me that would make me gain weight faster because that’s all she wanted was more and more weight gain. Same goes for not exercising…she would tell me that was unhealthy. So now I am scared, but I am doing all I can think to do…I am reaching out to my current nutritionist and asking her to help me because I am frozen in fear. I literally have no idea what to eat. One week of severe restriction and now I literally can’t form meals…that is the power of relapse and the power of anorexia….so remember that when ED tells you it’s just a short, innocent lapse…nothing is short with ED…except his patience and temper.

So I really am having to trust my nutritionist right now because I literally have no facts or experience to help me make judgments on this plan and whether or not I should follow it. I just have in my mind what ED is saying and what my nutritionist is saying…’s up to me to choose who to believe and obey. Following ED is following the enemy, following nutritionist is following God….so I guess for now I am choosing to trust my nutritionist. It’s not easy, but I’m just doing it. Because I am motivated. I don’t want to die and I don’t want to see ED take any more people’s lives including my own. I want to become a warrior against ED, but as my N pointed out today…every warrior has to train for battle…so being obedient this week is my training. Wish me luck…and trust me….there will be more posts!

Let me know whether me sharing plan is trigger or helpful. And please…I want to know people are reading so pass on about my blog J  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Positive Post for my New Start!

That’s right….after all that negativity yesterday…I have clarity today. It didn’t come how I thought…it didn’t come with answers, it didn’t come through a sermon, it didn’t come through a conversation…it came through chest pains and headache last night that made me think I might die. I came face to face with the reality that this ED could kill me. Now I know that sounds negative, but bear with me here.

In that moment of fear…fear that I may die from this I realized how absurd my ED is. Seriously! Here I was possibly dying and for what? Because I was so scared to eat because I was scared to gain weight and scared what others would think. Where was this power ED told me I had then? Where was the weight I tried so desperately to keep low? It was nowhere. There was just me, fear, and the reality I might not live through the night. And even in that I couldn’t bring myself to eat more that night. And that…that was pure insanity.

It was in this near-death experience I realized I have to recover. That this semester…no this month is it. If I can’t get my act together, stop manipulating, and actually gain weight without lapsing…well…it means I need higher care. Do I want higher care? No! But do I want to die…heck no! That’s the reality. If I don’t gain weight, don’t stop this lapsing…if I don’t recover…I am going to die. Plain and simple.

But I don’t want inpatient. I don’t want to have to leave school for treatment yet again. I don’t honestly think the way treatment centers I have been to are run is at all helpful for me, but I told my dad today that if I keep slipping…I need to go residential again. He agreed. With him agreeing…I know I will have to go if I don’t get my act together.

So where is the positive? Where here it is. I don’t have to go inpatient. I have the strength of God in me to push through, I’m honestly at a point I don’t want my ED because I don’t want to die. I don’t want to leave school to go to residential and thus have to postpone moving to Denver and going to grad school there. I want to have my senior live, have it be awesome, graduate in May, and go to Denver. I want to run a half marathon, I want to date, I want to live life. And I can do this. I can! I just have to stop lying and cheating and manipulating and just do it. I just have to face the fear, say restricting/overexercising/lapsing is no longer an option and just do it. I don’t need inpatient…I can do this outpatient….but it’s up to me to show that.

And the only thing holding me back is the fear of others judgment from me gaining weight. That’s why I get so scared how fast I gain weight or if people see me eat. But I realized… doesn’t matter. Last night…when I felt I was going to die….I wasn’t thinking what other people thought about my weight…I was thinking about my life and the fact I hadn’t been glorifying God. The fact I would lose out on my dreams and Denver. How my family would feel if I died. I was thinking of the things that matter.

Reality is people will always be judging me. Whether its my job, my weight, my faith, or whatever…people will judge me. But just like a few weeks ago when I was being berated by my mom and for the first time chose not to accept what she said and ended up not even shedding a tear…I can choose to not accept other people’s judgements of me.

If they think I am a disgusting pig for gaining weight (which come on…whoever thinks that about me I don’t want/need in my life) I can choose instead to accept the truth that me gaining weight is an amazing display of the strength and courage God has put in me to recover. That gaining weight is making me stronger and building my testimony so I can help others in recovery. That gaining weight is what I need to do to live. I can CHOOSE to do that. People’s judgements don’t have to become my truths…they don’t even have to impact me. I may feel emotions because of them, but I can accept and feel those emotions and then let them and the judgements go.

I am also seeing that God will change my heart as I continue following Him in obedience, but that obedience must come first. Recovery isn’t going to get easier with lapsing, it’s going to get easier through recovery. My meal plan will get easier the more I eat it. Not doing food rituals will be easier the more I refuse to do them. I am realizing I just need to push through the discomfort, the feelings what I am doing is wrong, and the feeling I am disgusting. These are all feelings the people I am going to help in ED recovery will feel too….and how helpful will it be for me to look them in the eyes, or type it on this blog, that I feel that way too…but I pushed through…and it got better.

Honestly, I am realizing this process of recovery I keep thinking will only bring negative judgements….but that’s another lie.I look at my dear friends Becca, Jessica, Mary, Marissa, and Allison….I look at how I have seen them lapse and then recover…and I am completely inspired by them. I have no negative thoughts about them or any part of their recovery. I don’t see anything but courage and strength. And that’s what people will think of my recovery and weight gain too. It will be inspirational and those who know my story (aka the people whose judgments of me even matter because they are close to me)….they will see it in a positive light.

If I keep losing weight. Honestly, even if I realize I can’t do this and go inpatient  (not that treatment is a bad or “weak” thing it is strong and courageous thing to do, just for me its not right). It won’t mean as much as if I push through the fear and do this outpatient. It won’t be as much a testament to God’s power over my ED. But if I push through the fear and gain weight outpatient even though it looks like I am so deep in this ED I need inpatient….that will be an inspirational thing. Think of it! Think of the testimony it will be.

As I work with people as an ED social worker…I will be able to look them in the eyes as they tell me they will never recover or can’t gain weight because of what other people will think or whatever…I will be able to look them in the eyes and say I was there. And then I will be able to tell them that I clung to God, to my faith, to my strength, to my dreams, and I pushed through. That it sucked at first…it was hardest thing I have ever done…I wanted to quit and I was miserable…but I kept pushing…because my dreams mattered more, my desire to not go inpatient mattered more….and I recovered. That will be an inspirational story.

Not that it won’t be inspirational if I go inpatient…but I feel that will still be me giving up on myself and my dream to do this outpatient. It will be me saying that I need to escape the judgment of others and fear of that when it comes to gaining weight (inpatient its just other patients and idk….I don’t feel judged there) in order to gain weight instead of facing and pushing through the fear. For me…it’s the easier way out….which may be good for me to take….but I also know God can give me strength for the harder road.

So I am hopeful and positive. I am seeing I can do this. I just have to, in those frequent moments when I want to give in, realize that others before me have felt those same things and pushed through, that my dreams matter more, that God is stronger, that those I will help will feel the same things….and realize that my actions in that moment speak to what I am choosing to believe. Am I choosing to tell those in the future that I felt that way too and decided to give in to ED or am I going to tell them I did the right thing anyway. Am I going to tell God that I know He is stronger, but the fear is just too great..or choose to believe Faith is greater than fear. Am I going to choose to believe I am too “severe” to recover outpatient and must go inpatient, or choose to believe the truth that I have the strength to do this outpatient and deserve to get to do that. I am going to choose to cave into fear….or cling to my dreams? Choosing ED will be believing the negative and lies….choosing to do the right thing will be the positives and truth.

Oh and one more thing…I know its silly…but you know what I realized. I really am a strong-willed individual. Not to romanticize the disorder…but it takes a lot of strength and will to resist the bodies urge to eat. It takes a sad, twisted strength, but strength nonetheless. And the same strength. The strength/willpower pushing me to death right now….well I can give it to God and it can push me to live and to push through the fears and ED’s screams and judgements and stick to a meal plan. I stick to a low-calorie intake even when hunger is screaming….so I can just as easily use that determination/willpower to stick to weight gain plan no matter what mind says. And when I feel like caving in I will just remember I want to glorify God not ED….and trust me that will get me through and power up this strength and have me hand it to God to use instead of handing it to ED.

So I am thankful I almost died….because it made me hit rock bottom. I was already there…but I think I felt the floor this time. I don’t want to die, I don’t want to go inpatient, I don’t want to leave school. I want Denver, half-marathons, senior year…and I can do that….it will just take recovery and weight gain. But if inpatient is what I need to survive and I keep slipping back…then that becomes more important…because it will save my life. But right now…I am choosing to believe in outpatient and this feeling I have….I am choosing to believe I can do this. That “all things are possible through Christ.”

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Update and Cry for Help

Hey out there…I wonder if anyone even is reading anymore…if anyone even cares…or if, due to my lapse after lapse, people have stopped reading. But I promised myself this blog would be honest. It would be my true recovery…it would be me..and that’s what I am holding to. So for any of you who are reading, or care, or whatever…here is an update.

I moved back to college and jumped right into my 3rd year as an RA which means a third (and last) year of training and floor preps. I love the inspiration God laid on my heart for my floor ad have been hard at work with that. Training was…well…training…it’s not the best in the world but it wasn’t as horribly dull either.

Despite being overworked and running on little sleep…I am excited. I realized towards the end of summer I felt so trapped at home. I had fallen back into the “caretaker” position of my mom. Putting her feelings before mine and allowing her to berate me. My nutritionist was so scared I would lapse again and knew soon I would be leaving so she stopped pushing me and started letting me do whatever I wanted. She also started telling me things about exercise and fear foods that were… be honest…triggering as heck. I was desperate to get away from her and from the plan I was stuck doing. Not because it was a huge amount or anything…more because I realized she had let me write it…and by me, I mean ED. So even when I was eating it was all safe foods and all what ED still wanted me to eat, but she wouldn’t work with me to change it. Any time I asked she said it didn’t matter what I ate I just needed to gain weight. I felt unheard, lost, and again felt that outside pressure to gain weight that makes me close up.

The only relief I was getting at home was when I could sneak away to see my dad. He just knows how to bring a smile to my face. But then even that became hard as he started sending me texts about how he didn’t want me to go back to school and die. How I needed to recover. I knew where he was coming from, but I was desperate to just break free from all this chaos and pressure and get my recovery back to being mine.
The problem though is all of this just kept piling on and on and when I got back to school I ditched my meal plan and all the pressure and all communication with my family. I knew I still had a week till I met with my new nutritionist, but I wanted to throw my meal plan out so she wouldn’t force me to do that one. So I ditched the plan and the pressure I was feeling to follow it…but my only back up was restricting…so I went crawling right back to that. And the guilt that brought because I realized I was starting off this semester in the worst restriction I have had since I went to treatment two years ago…it’s just pushed me more and more into the lapse.

I feel like I am in a cyclone I can’t stop. My lapses are getting worse and worse and more and more frequent. All the excitement and nerves I have about my appt this Monday and the fact that I really think this semester is make or break it for me when it comes to recovery and the fact that I want to make it which I know means gaining weight…my head just starts spinning. Throw in all the pressure from work right now and I don’t know I just felt desperate to cling onto something and so I clung back to restricting. I thought it would make me feel secure especially because I could stop worrying about weight gain….I was horridly wrong.

The restriction is never low enough, exercise never high enough, and the fear of weight gain is just escalating higher and higher. The fear of food is skyrocketing. List of what is safe is shrinking. The lies are outnumbering the truths, both in what I say to others and what I am telling myself. And the desperation to get better….it’s there to an extreme. Yet I feel like I am desperately trying to climb up a muddy hill on my own and just keep slipping. I am running and running but getting nowhere. I am just here stuck waiting for Monday. I feel like I am waiting for Monday to exhale. That somehow seeing my old N (which  I have been waiting on since she left for maternity leave back in March)….will bring some relief. I don’t know I just feel like she gets me and will push me…and I just want her to tell me what to do.

The problem is though I need to learn to listen. I need to turn my back on lapsing to get my way. My way keeps getting me to this place and I need to commit to her and to recovery and to my therapist and to God and do this thing outpatient. OR I need to go inpatient. It’s either that or I die. The end. That’s it.
I just don’t know how to do that. I don’t know how to stop this lapsing. I don’t know how to push through the fear. I don’t know how to ask someone to force boundaries upon me. Like I want to have my old N make me do desserts, bagels, no exercise….but I feel like a disgusting pig if I ask for that and wonder what she will think of me. But it’s what I need….I just don’t know guys.

It’s a crossroads I come to a lot in my life…me or others…what matters more. I know what I NEED to recover but I don’t ask or push for it because I am scared what OTHERS WILL THINK. I know I NEED to gain weight, but what will residents think? I know I NEED more boundaries, but what will N think when I ask for them? I know I want and need to eat scary foods, desserts, whatever the heck I want….but what will N think? I know I need to eat real fats, not my low-fat fat exchanges, but will N think that means I am a fatty? I know I need to accept weight gain and not slow it….but what will others think if I become okay with gaining weight?

I guess I am just so scared others will think I am lazy or fat or weak or whatever. But what if by recovering and gaining and facing all this people think of me like I think of those I know who are in recovery. What if they see me as strong, courageous, beautiful. What if these judgements I think about myself and that others will have are just more lies I believe? And in the end…am I willing to die just so people don’t think negatively about me? I don’t know…I sure act like I am.

And then I am also empowered by this thought that the enemy (aka Satan/ ED) is attacking me so much, making lapses so bad, pushing me so close to death….because I really am supposed to do something great, to help save lives, to make a true impact against ED. ED wants me dead because if I am dead I can’t free others, I can’t fight against him on behalf of others, and his reign can spread. But what if God has put me here to fight ED…through my own recovery? What if I am supposed to allow Him to gain ground in ED treatment? All the more reason for ED to fight against me, and all the more reason for me to fight back.

And I know all this. I know I should fight. I know it means facing fear. And I guess I am scared maybe I can’t do this outpatient and will just fail. But heck…if I keep lapsing instead of trying that will always prove true.

 So…I don’t know. I am here asking for help I guess. What tips do you all have to, in the moment, when that fear is escalating…to just push through and stop. How do you overcome the fear of failure long enough to give yourself chance at success? How do you allow what you need to be more important than what you and others think? What can I do to make outpatient work?

I love you all and hope to write more this semester. Again…it’s something I need…something I need to schedule in my life…but I wonder if anyone reads, if it matters, and again…what others will think…