Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I wish things weren't as they are

There is so much I wish for right now. I wish this would be a positive post. I wish I could recover and not gain weight. I wish my dad were here for graduation. I wish I had gotten an interview for the assistantship this week. I wish I knew what I was doing this summer. I wish food wasn’t something I feared so much. I wish I could go to fro-yo or out to a restaurant. I wish I could eat what I wanted. I wish the food scale wasn’t bound to me. These things I wish.

So, in saying all that I am going to do one thing I have been wishing to do, and haven’t been able to. I am going to update you all on how I am. The truth. Well, the truth is I was doing well. I was challenging myself and pushing myself. I was being amazed by how much food my body needed and amazed that with my huge meal plan I was still maintaining. This all changed..I’m not exactly sure when…but around the time of the intervention last week.

That whole scenario made my life fall apart. There were a lot of emotions, a lot of tension, and a lot of changes in my family life that caused my picture of summer to change. It really shook up my world and starting that night I went back to using the food scale more than I should. I had been slipping a little bit with that before the intervention, but that day I used it for EVERYTHING. The intervention made me feel so out of control that I clung back to some sense of stability and security. I promised myself it was just to help me get through that day.

But then I went home for the weekend, and I kept using the food scale. I challenged myself a little at home, but didn’t push myself as much as I could have. Then I weighed and I freaked out. The maintanaince ended and I am back in weight gain. Or so it seems (they say could be flux but I don’t know). I thought I would be okay with it, but I am not. Everything just seems out of control and I want to cling to something for safety. I can’t distract with school, because classes are over as are my finals. I can’t call my dad for support because…well…I can’t even say it, but you all know. I don’t feel I can open up to anyone with my struggles because I fear another intervention. So I feel scared, alone, and shaken to the core.

I want to be this strong pillar of recovery and I am realizing trying to force myself to be that keeps me from speaking up when I start to slip. When I stop using the starch box and start choosing safe starches on my own. When I start weighing foods again even though the true, authentic me doesn’t want to. When exercise starts becoming a have-to, instead of a want to (luckily that phase ended). I feel I probably started slipping before the intervention, but it awaked a monster in me. It made me feel I really did have to fake it and couldn’t tell anyone I was slipping because they would force me to treatment, when slipping and relapse are completely different.

Problem is, the more I pressure myself to perfection in recovery, the more I slip, the more I hid it and try to fix it on my own, and then I slip more, and downward spiral it goes. So this has me panicking. How do I pick myself up. How do I start pushing my food choices, step away from the food scale, and get back to the somewhat happy relationship I had with food just a few weeks ago? I want to be in a better place. I do. I just feel I have fallen so far back in behaviors to control my weight and now I can’t even control that and I just am panicked.

I am still doing meal plan exchange wise….but the mentality behind it has gone. I have lost this desire to nourish myself and am just consumed with numbers and trying to control everything and keep it safe. To keep me in a comfortable recovery. But that isn’t where life is. Where freedom is. But I am scared by so many things right now..I just want to be in comfortable right now. Or I think I do. I honestly don’t even know. I want to be free….but I wonder if it is okay to play it safe sometimes…just to get through a hard season. As long as I am eating…can that just be good enough?

But then I wonder if that’s really what I want. Because I am in the good enough right now and I am miserable. But again I wonder if it is the weight gain, not living in the comfortable that makes me miserable. I just don’t know. Right now everything is a blur and I am feeling myself starting to shake in recovery and that scares me. Summer is coming. Therapy has ended. And soon I lose my N. Entering recovery on my own….in this mindset…it scares me.

I want to be only using my food scale for meat. I want to be eating real desserts. I want to be eating the scariest options on the menu. I want to go back to drawing from the starch box once and just trusting the selections no matter how scary. But I've already screwed those things up for my mind says maybe tomorrow. But we all know tomorrow never comes.

Thoughts, prayers, messages, support…anything. I will take anything right now just to get by. Right now I am fighting for you all…so I don’t have to come on here and say I skipped out on my meal plan with only 9 days of commitment left. Today I will recover for you all. Stay in the fight. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

God of Restoration (Short post)

Sorry it's finals week and I am also preparing to graduate and having to check-out all my residents so not much time. But there are lots of victories I want to sharre and I will be doing a post devoted purely to Peanut biggest fear food, now turned staple food. 

Saw this verse for first time today and thought it was perfect for ED recovery. 

Jeremiah 29:14 "I will be found by you," says the LORD. "I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land."

The Lord will end our captivity to ED, to overexercise, to fear foods. He will gather us out of these nations (ie struggles) where he has allowed us to go, and will restore us to our own land. To knowing ourselves. Our true selves. To nourishing ourselves. To the amazing, beautiful, free, whole people we are without ED. Praise be to Him. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

It's my recovery...uniquely mine

So just wanted to fill in everyone about my past two days. Basically..I got cornered and was faced with an intervention by my stepfamily and pastors. They were convinced I was relapsing. Why? Because of my appearance and my weight.

It is so frustrating. People tell me not to judge myself on my weight and to learn to accept my body. Then they judge me and my recovery off my appearance and body. The whole meeting was about how sickly and frail I look. And here I was starting to actually accept my body.

I was held hostage for almost three hours in the intervention till I agreed to go to the ER to get labs done. Luckily I go to eat before we left, because we were stuck at the ER for another 7 hours only for the labs to prove what I had been saying. I may be a low weight, but I am in recovery. I am eating, my body is healing, and everything is normal. Yes, I was hypoglycemic, but that’s what happens when you are surprised by an intervention and can’t eat.

Do I still have a lot of progress to make. Yes. But does that mean I am not in recover? No. It just sucks when you think people believe in you, but then they don’t. That they come and force you to prove yourself. I mean, I understand their fear, but it still hurts. Really hurts.

I am finally, truly experiencing recovery and people start questioning me. Does my recovery look typical? No. Yes, I am exercising before what would be considered appropriate, but my team supports it and I support it nutritionally. And for me it’s helpful.

Am I putting on a lb or two a week? No. But again my team is okay with that, because piling weight on me leads me to lose it, because I don’t have time to cope with it mentally. I’ve put on weight 2-4 lbs a week in treatment…and let’s see…how has that worked out for me? Not very well.

But this slow weight gain that allows me to cope with the higher number. It’s helped me. And it’s helped me trust food and my body and see why I need nourishment. To see I need a lot of food just to maintain let alone gain. To me that…the mental healing…is more important. Gaining weight just for the sake of gaining weight, but not healing your relationship with your body and food….that’s what I’ve done in  the past and all it leads to is relapse.

Yes….my recovery looks different, but it’s my recovery. Yes..I’ve slipped up, but that’s part of recovery. IT’s how I learn what works for me. Recovery isn’t one size fits all. I’m sorry I am not recovering how other people want me to, but that doesn’t mean I am not in recovery.

I guess I am just angry. Really angry. I am tired of having to prove myself to others, especially when it comes to my recovery, food, and weight. I am tired of people judging me by how I am not “normal” yet and by how far I have to go instead of how far I have come.

Luckily, this experience has made me see not everyone in my life judges me that way. My mom has supported me and my decision to recover outpatient no matter what. Because she has seen me through treatment after treatment in rehabs and realizes they don’t work. She realizes my life is more at risk through only temporarily recovering inpatient just to come out and relapse, then slowly recovering (weight –wise) outpatient.

It was nice to have my labs justify everything though. To show I am stable and healthy and not in the imminent danger some in my life assume. That I was right in how I was feeling in my body. That I am nourishing it enough and that this recovery is working for me and isn’t hurting me. IT also felt nice to have my mom justified. She has stood by my side even with people screaming because of my weight I should be in treatment and shouldn’t be running or cycling. But my mom has seen how this type of recovery is bringing me to the best place mentally and spiritually that she has ever seen me. And that that is what really matters. That she would rather me heal mentally and spiritually while gaining weight slower than inpatient, than quickly gaining weight only to get worse or not progress mentally/spiritually.

I am just so tired of having my recovery judged based solely on weight. I am tired of everyone expecting all eating disordered individuals to recover the same. I am tired of all the judgment and stereotyping of recovery. Recovery is an individual process and it’s about more than weight. That’s why I want to go into this field. To fight for a new view of recovery. One of trial, error, and individualization. Is slow weight gain appropriate for everyone? No. For some it makes them panic more or there are health issues in the way. Is exercise in recovery good for everyone? No. For some it is just purging their calories whereas for me it is learning what is “normal” and how to rest and the power of my body. This is my recovery. It’s not stereotypical of rapid weight gain and sedentary lifestyle. But I’ve tried that and it didn’t work. And this is. And I shouldn’t be judged for that.

Thanks to all who have been supporting me in my recovery. In the triumphs, setbacks…the whole process. The trials and errors, twists and turns. Who have helped me see what is working and what is ED. Who haven’t judged me and my recovery based solely on my weight. Thank you. And I am happy to report I have a clean bill of health and need not be admitted inpatient, residential, or to hospital.
Hope you all are well.

P.S.—In good news with all this progress when the doctor said I needed to eat something to get my blood sugar up while I waited…I got a snack I wanted to replace my typical one and did it with excitement and only slightly fearful. Had apple juice and jumbo rice krispy. Enjoyed it. NEVER would have been able to do that even a few weeks ago. Progress people. Progress. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter...He Saves!

I almost lapsed again today. Don't want to go into the details, but had some not so nice words spoken over me by someone I love and was left feeling selfish and unworthy. I was also, because of this, left alone for Easter. This is the first Easter not spent with family in years. It made me feel alone, abandoned, unloved. A flood of texts from friends and non-blood family when I expressed this made me feel a warm embrace. I realized I couldn't lapse...not on Easter. So I found a coping mechanism I now LOVE.

I went out and did something for someone else. I was being so me-focused and feeling selfish so figured best thing to do was something selfless. So I went to Kroger, bought Easter candy, and went to Starbuck's where I got my drink and then gave all the workers there candy. Their smiles...they saved me. They gave me back some joy. And then I just prayed. Prayed my way through the day. And I ended in victory. Thank the Lord for His Strength.

And honestly..I didn't have that deep longing for my dad today. Because I felt happy for him. I knew he was in Heaven celebrating Easter and can't imagine how beautiful that must be. And I felt him with me...carrying me through today. Love you papa, happy easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Another strike against food scale

So I weighed the Jimmy John’s again and it got me thinking. I started freaking because too large (aka larger than serving size). But then a friend told me could still be less calories because I don’t really know what that 195g is. How much is lettuce, tomato, bread, turkey? So really…this thing I think give control is but another illusion. It is just as trustworthy to weigh as to just eat the sandwich as a sandwich. Either way….all I really know is that it is one sandwich. I don’t really know the calories.

And I started thinking this applies to other things too. Things I weigh in hopes it give me more control.Cereals. I know a cup is a cup and thus 1-2 grain excahnges. I used to weigh them (have broken out of that habit now). Thought it helped me control calories…but all it did was make me panic. And realy how do I know if my grams are the same components in the grams when they measured? I don’t. It would be better to just go with a cup. Because a cup of cereal (no matter weight) is same exchanges.

Just another reason not to weigh foods. It at least makes sense with protein because exchanges based on weights…but everything else (except potatoes) they aren’t. I mean even weighing breads and tortillas stupid. May weigh more just because more water in it. May not actually be more calories. And I have to eat the whole thing anyway….why give myself more stress.

And I want exchanges, not calories. Why is that so hard for me to grasp. Why! Why do I keep standing in my own way after doing so good for so many days. After having such freedom with exchanges past two nights. Guess this is the panic getting off plan today did to me (yeah...didn't go so well...probably too early to do something like that with ED yelling). But I did do cupcake (it was disgusting and tasted mediciney) and didn't weigh it!

Will add this to my arsenal of why not to weigh things…but I bet I will weigh them  once again. I'm so tired of this. Why can't I just stop. I do meal plan, I am not overexercising, I am challenging myself (read CUPCAKE and JIMMY JOHN'S)...but then I slip up and do something stupid like food scale use. WHY! Why! Feel disgusted. I much prefer the fear with a side of freedom from challenges than the disgust and defeat with listening to ED...

Living Life Outside Meal Plan

So by the time you all read this I will either be dreaming of or at the dance show I do every year called Restoration. Will be first one without my dad, but my mom and stepdad are coming and that means so much to me. But onto the point of this post (which I am actually writing Friday night). Restoration this year has taught me something else…actually today taught me it too. Sometimes…life just happens. And sometimes when life happens you can’t stick perfectly to your safe meal plan. But that’s life…that’s freedom. Because being bound by your plan forever…that isn’t freedom either.

Now I am NOT SAYING TO NOT DO YOUR MEAL PLAN. What I am saying is sometimes it’s okay to do it in a different way. To move around exchanges or do what you know is calorically similar, but that allows you to enjoy life. Let me explain.

Example from today. For dinner…I REALLY REALLY WANTED grits…even though starch box didn’t give it to me. So…I went with grits. It was the same in exchanges to what starch box gave me and my N approved. In fact…she thought it was more important I do what I wanted instead of what the box gave me.  As long as I wasn’t using that to do something safe..but grits are a fear food for me.

When dinner time came I was also really craving an apple. But I am not supposed to do two apples a day and had already had one. But I honestly didn’t want the other fruit options. I thought it was more important I do what wanted than deny myself and stick to another set of rules. That is just replacing Ed’s rules with other and that’s not freedom. So I did apple, but I added more spread to bagel later to make up for the “safe” of the apple.

So that’s just an example of when WANT replaces the RULES set up. Of course..all of this should be done with the approval of a trusted recovery friend or better yet your treatment team.

Now onto what to do when LIFE HAPPENS AND DOESN’T LEAVE ROOM FOR YOUR PLAN. That is the reality of my day tomorrow.

I have spent the past week stressing about it. I haven’t talked about it though. Figured I would just talk about it in session this week…but sadly that session got cancelled…so I was stuck on my own.
Here is the dilemma. I have to get the performance hall very early so have to carry b-fast. Will only have on break so can only do lunch…and won’t get out till late. At this point I will go out to Jimmy John’s with my family. Usually I eat Jimmy John’s at home and add some exchanges, but also weigh the sandwich. Neither of these will be an option. I do have time when get home to do one snack….but that leaves me down three snacks…including two of my biggest ones.

This at first made me…no make that ED…very happy. It seemed the perfect way to cope with feeling lazy on performance days and to be able to restrict but with a reason. I just…I don’t want that to happen. I’m almost at 60 days of recovery. I didn’t want to throw that out. But there was no way to do my plan the way it was written. And that’s life. That’s recovery…so I have to go off plan..but without restricting…enter fear foods and a cupcake.

So I am bringing b-fast and lunch like normal…but also packing snack in case I have time. I will do a higher calorie option of a kind bar to make up for the dairy I am missing from lunch. Dinner I am going to have to cope with not being able to weigh my Jimmy John’s and not being able to add exchanges. I won’t tear the sandwich but will just eat it. That is what normal people do. They don’t sit there stressing about too many or too little exchanges…they just enjoy the experience with the people they are with. And that is what I am going to do too.

So what about the two snacks I will miss (since bringing one and doing one after). Well…if I have time I am going to do one after dinner, but two…that’s not possible. Enter: cupcake. At an event I was at a few days ago I grabbed two cupcakes I wanted but wasn’t ready to do and I frozen them. Well…seems like perfect time to pull one out. It will defy ED by allowing myself a cupcake when didn’t plan to do dessert this week. But it also will help make up the calories.

If I have cupcake replace two snacks I might be slightly on the low side, but I have to realize some days that will just happen. And I decided if do have time to do snack I am going to do the higher calorie bagel snacks…because that is scarier options since cupcake would be replacing a lower calorie option of my PB, yourt, fruit, snack option.

Either way..I am happy and excited for the challenge this day will be. IT will be allowing myself flexibility and living in the grey. Not restricting, but not completely sticking to the food plan I have. Just making the food plan fit into my life on a different kind of day. And I don’t know the calories on these cupcakes or the bakery they are from…so I really don’t know if it is equivalent to my snacks…I just have to trust it will get me enough and beat ED and not stress about the numbers.

Now the true challenge will be Sunday. Will I weigh? If I do…I am scared ED will come in. If I don’t do cupcake out of fear…definitely won’t weigh because will mean I restricted and if weight isn’t down wouldn’t want back on plan. And if do cupcake as two snacks…still don’t know if will weigh for same reason. And if cupcake only one snack feel better weighing, but still scared what ED will say come Sunday. Either way…I know ED won’t want me to go back on plan on Sunday. But I have to learn that is part of life to. ED will always want to tempt me back...but I can choose to not listen. 

Sometimes we will go of plan. Sometimes over, sometimes under. Sometimes we will not be able to perfectly fit in our exchanges because of life…whether that be holidays, parties, or just a hectic day. And that’s okay. That’s life. But when life gets back to normal…we need to go back to the structure of the meal plan that keeps us accountable and safe. Not doing that isn’t okay. And that will be my challenge this weekend. But it’s Easter weekend. God defeated the grave…He can defeat ED too. Wish me luck!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good in Good Friday

Happy Good Friday everyone. The Lord has blessed me so much today and has laid on my heart what is truly good in this Good Friday.

I have gone through so many Good Fridays in the past (21 to be exact). Each one just thinking “Oh it’s Good Friday…well guess that means almost Easter. And this is the day Christ died. That’s a good thing I guess. Wonder if we are going to communion?” Literally, that’s all I thought about Good Friday (hard for me to admit). But this Good Friday is different.

This Good Friday I realized the power of the day and the event it celebrates. This is the first Good Friday without my dad, and because I have lost him, I finally understand the power of today. What makes something as horrible as the Crucifixion of Christ a truly Good thing. Because Christ died, because God let his Son be tortured, beaten, murdered…we are ALL saved. We never have to feel the sting of death. We never have to get the punishment we deserve for our sin. And…we don’t have to be perfect. We can make mistakes and still be saved…all because of what happened on the first Good Friday. All because Christ broke the chains of sin by fulfilling the law for us all.

I don’t have to be perfect. I can make mistakes…be imperfect, but ask for forgiveness and be freed. Be washed clean as white as snow. I don’t have to live in regret of all the mistakes I made…I don’t have to walk around in life scared I will make a mistake and lose my eternal life. All because of what happened on that first Good Friday. All because the Perfect One laid down His life for my imperfections. Took the beatings I deserve. Took the death I deserve. To save me. And He did that for you too.

And the most amazing thing…I never have to say goodbye. Even though I deserve death because of my sins, because of my ED, because I have fallen short…I will never die because of God’s love. His pure, unconditional love that has saved my life. So I never have to say goodbye to the ones I love. I don’t have to let go of my father or get over his death. Because we never said goodbye…we never had to. The last thing I said was: “I love you.. can’t wait to see you when I come home. “ And because of that first Good Friday, that is true. I will see my dad again when I go Home to Heaven. When my work here on earth is done and Christ calls me home. All because of that first Good Friday. All because God in His Goodness laid down His life for me. And He did that for you too.

So that’s what is Good…dare I say Great about Good Friday. God poured out His love through the blood of His Son that washed away our sin. He washed away all conditions, all laws, and just showed His Love. His Amazing, Saving, Glorious Love. The Love that has set us free. In His death we were made whole. We were saved. In exchange for His life we received life eternal. I am humbled, overwhelmed, and crying with thankfulness for Christ’s deed on that first Good Friday. For the sacrifice God made that day. Because of His love…because of the events of this day…I have ETERNAL LIFE. I will be in Heaven with God and my loved ones.

 And you know what…I will run to the Lord and embrace Him (after I get off my face in pure reverence of His power). I will wrap my arms around Him, tears streaming down my face, and say “Thank you Father. Thank you for loving a sinner like me. Thank you for saving a sinner like me. Thank you…thank you my Father.” Then I will turn to Christ and say “Thank you for your sacrifice. For dying for a sinner like me. For loving a sinner like me. For saving a sinner like me.” And then I will turn to my dad, my grandpa, my grandma, my beloved aunt…the ones already living in glory…I will run to their arms and say “Told you I would see you again. Thank you all for being here for a sinner like me.”

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Brief Posts from my Brief Freedom!

May be triggering for some as I mention specific foods…not numbers though!

So this will be short because I have to get to a practice, but I just wanted to share. Tonight, I didn’t plan my fruit or veg for dinner..honestly because I didn’t know what I wanted. Well…my tummy let me know it was dinner time and so time came to choose. I was also in a rush as had taken longer to finish my project than I intended. So I didn’t have the time to sit there and debate with myself higher/lower cal options…and the options in my room were limited.

For fruit..I have to do a different fruit for each of my 5 exchanges (though I can double on scary ones).  So my only options were melon, banana, or tangerine. Seeing as I am sick as a dog…an acidic orange on my throat didn’t sound appealing. Melon sounded safer…but honestly…I wanted this cute banana I had found in the dining hall. But this would mean my second banana of the day. In the rush I was in I didn’t care and just ate it.

Then came time for veg. I knew I wanted cherry tomatoes…but I just couldn’t let myself have them. So I sent text to my support. But they weren’t responding. Here I was…stuck. I needed to get started eating so I had to make decision. I realized I had text them just hoping they would say do tomatoes (as I knew they would)…but I could tell myself that. So I took of leap of faith and did….and you know what..

I AM SO HAPPY! Really. I have been in a down funk the past few days. Panicking, grumpy, tired. Yes…part of it is probably because I am sick….but I also threw myself back into the number games these past few days. I still did what I was supposed to..but the numbers were constantly swirling in my mind.

I thought I would get some relief today at my N appt…but she had to cancel for a family emergency. Then I thought spin would help, but it was really lame and I made decision not to workout extra after. I bet that helped this moment of freedom too. It kept me from being in the number game. I just wanted to be normal.

And so it’s weird…but today the lack of support (due to my friends having their own personal emergencies right now)..has almost helped. It has kept me out of the number game. I have just made decisions based on what I wanted or what I knew they would say was right (because I know in my heart it is). It’s hard to trust myself like this…but it feels AMAZING.

Of course….it was short-lived and ED is yelling at me and telling me all the ways I can compensate later. He is yelling about the numbers with me, but the deed is done…and I am going to try and focus on this joy. Because just those brief 30-seconds of a break from numbers. That moment when I was normal and chose what I WANTED…it felt amazing…I felt free. ED always tells me numbers will bring me peace, but again I am seeing the opposite is true. 

And I know the numbers have come up because of the blog I wrote saying I wanted freedom from it. That’s how the enemy works. The one place you strive for victory, he will try and stop you. But tonight…actually all of today…God has won. In His strength, He has helped me overcome…and I know He can tonight too. Thank you Lord for your Strength, for this moment of freedom, and for all the moments to come. The Victory is Yours. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Numbers no more (short edition)

Welcome to the shorter post (for those of you who get lost in my rambles lol). It's not exactly what I posted here, but just a spin-off from it. Thanks Melissa for inspiring me again!

Two posts in one night! Yep…it’s true. This one is more directed than last though. It is inspired by a text from my dear friend Melissa. I was freaking out tonight over what to eat for dinner. And why? Because those numbers came back in…but it wasn’t just obsessing about high calories, but low too. And Melissa responded by telling me to eat what I wanted. No worry about safe or not safe…just what I want.
That’s when I realized any number obsession is ED. Obviously freaking about too many calories is…but so is not eating what I wanted because it’s safe.  Yep, that’s right. I’ve started to get scared about undereating cals too, but I am seeing that’s ED too. Let me explain.

Obviously obsessing about getting too many calories is ED in my mind. Choosing not to do an exchange I want because I am scared of calories being too high is clearly ED. That did happen tonight. I was scared to add dressing to my salad and scared to do melon instead of applesauce because of the higher cals, but those were what I wanted to do. And so I pushed through. It was clearly ED and I knew I had to do the opposite.

But then there was this new thing that started. I had to choose a snack starch to add to dinner due to a hectic day causing me to have to join the two. I have been battling a sore throat so I really just wanted to add more peas or do a corn tortilla. But my mind told me that was disordered. Those were safe choices so I couldn’t eat them. I needed to do more challenging starch like tortilla or English muffin. But I didn’t want those. Honestly…I really wanted peas. It just sounded good.

In the past, when this has happened I have pushed myself to do the more challenging and felt good about it because I ate more calories. But it was a weird, sick pride I felt. I did it more to prove to myself I wouldn’t gain more from slightly more calories. But that is still being ruled by the scale. Because beneath this pride I also would still be wanting the safe option I craved. I would just save it for the next day. But how is that any better than saying I won’t do an unsafe/scary choice because its more calories? It’s not.

Reality is…I live by exchanges right now and need to accept that. I have a plan on exchanges, not calories, in order to bring me freedom. Freedom in knowing I can choose whatever I want in that exchange group no matter the calories. No matter if they are high or low. Just choosing. It allows me to honor what I am craving. No numbers, just honor.

So I went with what I wanted for dinner. I am remembering why I love this starch box because I don’t have to make so many decisions. It’s still hard for me to honor myself and my cravings because it means trusting myself. It means completely letting go of the illusion of control even having the thought of numbers brings. And it means living in the grey.

But that’s life. Some days I may crave all scary choices. Others I may crave more safe options. But that isn’t what matters. Because food is food. I should honor what my body wants, because usually it knows better than me. And plus…if I have to eat to nourish myself might as well be what I want. So maybe this is a new part of the freedom from numbers. Not thinking safe or unsafe. Just going with what I want. I don’t have to do all unsafe exchanges to be in recovery. And doing all safe certainly isn’t recovering either. But denying myself what I want…whether safe or unsafe…will never be recovery. Because it means I am still letting calories, categories made by ED, and food control me. Instead I want to honor myself, honor my body. I want to tell myself I don't need to be controlled. That I deserve to be free. 

Numbers, numbers everywhere (ramble edition)

Had the time and inspiration to write TWO posts tonight. This one is the ramble edition. Just free form journaling because needed to get my thoughts out. The other found here is a short, specific edition with a slight spin from this topic. Happy reading!

Was gonna make another video, but this lovely spring weather got the best of me and I basically have no I’m gonna ramble through words. The events two nights ago really scared me. The fact that I almost threw in my recovery over numbers. It annoyed me. Part of me is tired of being controlled by weight and even still calorie thoughts. I know I could not be obsessed by weight by not weighing. But I would still think about my weight. And calories...I don't seek those out as much anymore..I just know them. 

With calories it’s getting a thousand times better. I honestly feel myself starting to think in exchanges and its come through eating based on exchanges, doing the exchange box, having to do a different fruit for each of my 5 exchanges, and just pushing myself. I have done all this and I didn’t balloon. Heck..if I’m honest I’ve barely gained. But there are still those days or moments when the numbers creep in. When EDs lies become truth to me again and I don’t know how to stop it.

I am a logical person. I have physical proof I don’t need to be concerned with calories. That I don’t need to weigh food on food scale. And yet…those temptations and calorie thoughts are still there. There is still such a large part of me telling me I am somehow tragically unique. That for some reason my body has to be controlled. That I have to be controlled. That I can’t be free out of the “harm” that might cause (in ED’s world this harm being going back to obesity). But that’s not what these past 51 days (proudly smiles and pats self on back) of recovery have shown me.

No. They’ve shown me numbers only control me, I don’t control the numbers. That for some…looking at calories is fine, for me though…it’s obsession. They’ve shown me my body needs food. Even more than I think it needs. They’ve shown me I can look at food for what it provides category wise (ie fruit, fat, starch, dairy, veg, protein) and don’t have to figure out the calories. They’ve shown me I can truly eat like everyone else. That I am not tragically unique. That my body doesn’t need controlled. Calories don’t need to be counted. Food doesn’t need to be weighed. That I can just be free.

So how do I stop the thoughts. That’s what bugs me. I can’t just stop thinking what I think. Or feeling what I feel. I am liking seeing though that I can now have the feelings of fear and push through anyway. But I now fear this won’t last when I graduate. Right now my motivation to push through is so I can get all the freedom my N has to offer me. But come May 9th…that ends. So what then?

And then there is the scale. My biggest frenemy in life. I have begun taking breaks from the scale and on the days when I know I don’t have to weigh the next day I feel so free. Numbers don’t haunt me. The fears don’t come. And yet I don’t feel completely out of control because I know my weight will be checked again. I know in my heart I won’t balloon. That not weighing doesn’t actually change my weight. It just keeps me from having to focus on it.

I so want to be able to get down to only weighing 3 times a week or even just weekly come graduation…but it just doesn’t seem to be happening. But time after time I see daily weighing is a detriment to me. I have a flux like did two days ago, a flux I know can’t all be real weight, and ED finds his path to come back in and torture me. I don’t give in and restrict anymore, but allowing him to steal my joy and freedom is just as bad.
So I am here wondering why? Why do we let these numbers control us? Calories, fat, sodium, weight. Why? I mean I know when I was a binge eater I didn’t think about these numbers…and honestly I was happier. I know the reason I love going to treatment is because I escape these numbers and feel free. So why do I torture myself by bringing them back into my life?

I know the scale is my choice and is a number I could avoid by not weighing. Or only weighing with my team or on session days. But what about the calories, fat, sodium. Those are literally programmed in my mind. I am not slave to them as much any more (though there are days it does creep in and I make a calorie based decision). But why do they still consume my thoughts. I don’t seek them out…but when I see an apple the calories just jump in. When I go to get cereal I know which is higher. I have lived this way for so long, controlled and surrounded by numbers. Comforted by the illusion of control my mastery of them brought, that now I can’t escape. But I am doing all I know to do, feeling the fear and doing what is right anyway. Maybe for now that is all I can do and maybe the numbers will one day fade.

This is the misery of these disorders. If you keep putting off recovery as I have…it only gets harder to truly break free. Numbers become something you can’t not think about, despite your desperation. The disorder becomes such an ingrained custom that it takes such attention to ensure you don’t act in it. I mean…it’s been worth it. The freedom in mind I feel even just from knowing I can have these numbers in front of me, but not let them control me is great. Scary, but great.

So I will keep pushing on. I will rejoice in the moments the numbers aren’t there. Praise God for the freedom. And when they come back in…I will praise God too. I will praise Him because I know He will show His strength by letting me not be slave to them.

Yet I know I am not completely free. I still face the calorie fears, freedom foods, and EDs lies under the guise of numbers. I do it as a test. I tell myself I will give the new life a try and see If I balloon. I don’t know if that is smart, but it is working for me. Because I come to see I don’t balloon. But then if those day happens and the scale goes up too much. Even if its one day out of 50..I all the sudden question the 49 others. But right now…I don’t know what to do any different. I am just so glad God gave me the strength to get through that day. To not let it control me. To rest in the Truth.

Right now my “test” recovery where I look at the choices I make as just testing EDs theories. Meaning I don’t have to commit to them for the rest of my life if Ed turns out wrong. Just have to commit in the moment. It’s working for me. Because everything ED says is being proven a lie. I am continuing to build trust in my body and myself and food.  I just don’t know if it’s the “right” way to recovery. Heck what does that mean anyway ? (I feel another blog post coming on…maybe there is no right way to recover. Maybe the right way is whatever works for you…but I am getting long-winded).

This journey of recovery is a terrifying one. But I am starting to see…it’s worth it. The only way to see EDs lies are lies is to bring them to light by doing the opposite. Just letting yourself test his lies instead of believing them. I guess this is the truth to darkness not being able to exist where there is light. Well…it’s time to go face another one of EDs lies. One I secretly look forward to every week: dessert night!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

When it seems to go may just be right

Dear my Abba Father—

Thank you for renewing my peace…for bringing back my light. For being my Savior, my Reedeemer, my Father, my Friend. As you know, today didn’t go as I wanted. Or as I told myself you had planned. I received news today that I didn’t receive the fellowship at UTK. The fellowship everyone said I was sure to get. The fellowship people told me You planned for me to get. I rested in these proclamations…and was hit with devastation when it didn’t happen.

I was scared, hurt, confused. Did this mean my dream didn’t matter? Did it mean my dream was all a lie? That I am not meant to do veterinary social work. That I am not meant to help those in recovery? I felt like this was another thing I was taunted with that was then yanked away. Like with Denver. Like with my dad. It just seemed something else was snatched from me.

I wanted to restrict. It just seemed natural. It is how I cope with anger as you well know. I turn it inward. Instead I went to spin.  I did do a little extra afterward, but I just wanted to get my anger out. I then realized it wasn’t working. I felt defeated, alone, like a failure, unloved. I felt I was out from Your hold. That I had done something. Hadn’t been good enough, worked hard enough, recovered enough and so you were punishing me.

This feeling persisted. Even as I angrily forced myself through snack. I was confused. Because I was still doing recovery but it didn’t seem to matter. That’s when the Spirit spoke to me. You made me realize I wanted recovery because I am actually starting to enjoy it. I am liking this freedom. I am liking not clinging to a food scale. I am liking the freedom of honoring my cravings. And I am LOVING seeing that ED has only ever lied to me and that I can do this and my body does deserve and need food. Even without UTK….this remains. This motivation for recovery remains…recovering for me.

Still..I felt let down. I realized how on fire I am for UTK. How much I desperately want it. And the hurt of realizing this not be the year. It got too much and I went back to wanting to take easier way out tonight. Still eating…but not pushing myself. Again..You came through as my Savior. My Strength.

In the shower of all places You spoke to me. As the song Jesus, only Jesus played I realized in the end…You are who matter. You are my Joy, my Life, my Song. In my heart, I know I am called to work with girls with ED through animals. And if I am called to it…it will happen. But if I am meant to make real change in this field…the enemy is going to try and stop it. And here I am fighting he is pissed I haven’t given in to recovery. And here he was again trying to get in the way of recovery. By telling me this was another shut door and that You didn’t care about me. But as I heard the lyrics, as I broke down in the shower letting the water wipe away my tears, I felt Your arms around me. I heard you whisper:

“My daughter. I love you…more than you know. I love you and designed you for your calling. This may seem like a shut door, but it is only because I have something so much more amazing for you. Watch what I will do. Trust and watch. I know trust is hard for you. I know you are scared. But I am here. I am holding you in My Everlasting Arms. Cling to Me my daughter. You are loved.”

I felt these words in my heart. I realized there is still potential for UTK. I could get a second-hand fellowship if someone drops out. I could also get awarded an assistantship through the school of social work, and that is renewable unlike this fellowship. I feel again like You are holding me. I know You have this. I know it will all work out. I don’t know how, I am scared to trust…but I have to.

And I see the doors aren't shut. didn't go how I planned or how I had convinced myself You had planned...but that doesn't mean its the end and there aren't other possibilities. I need to start trusting Your trust You..and stop trying to figure out or tell myself what You have planned. Just need to trust Your plans are good. They are better than mine. Help me with that Father. 

You are all I have. My only guarantee. I know You are good. I know You are for me. I know You will see me through.

So hold me father. Wipe away these tears. Heal this pain. Help me to remain in hope and to continue to fight for my recovery and my calling. Drown out the words of the enemy, and see me through Father. I love You. Thank you for the strength and the cravings tonight….even if they are terrifying foods. I love You God. Hold me close. Never let me go. Let me see it will all be okay.

Your daughter,