Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reclaiming my Thanksgiving

So there are two posts here but both reflect the transformation in behavior that can come when you realize the panic ED causes, and the peace recovery brings. When you choose to do what is scary in the moment but brings peace long-term (i.e. challenging ED) instead of what seems easy in the moment, but will only bring chaos in the end. Here is my mental change during Thanksgiving. I started planning to restrict like have for years, but ended up kicking ED's butt! Thank you God.

Pre-Thanksgiving (written night before thanksgiving when decided to choose recovery)

So I started flipping out about weighing tomorrow because ate late again….but then wanted to weigh tomorrow because was using it being Thanksgiving as an excuse to restrict and wanted to see what restricting did. But then started to freak out about having to get back on plan on Friday. And what family think about me tomorrow and so on and so on.

I told myself the freakout was because of weighing. That really I just needed to figure out whether to weigh tomorrow and I would feel better. But reality is…what was making me freakout was the fact I was planning on restricting. I didn’t feel was restricting enough (ED part of me), but also felt I was restricting too much because restricting at all. Part of me wanted to show the “strength” to restrict (again ED part because restricting is easy….recovery is hard) and other part of me wanted to push through and do plan.

Sure it wouldn’t be same. I wouldn’t bring all my safe foods to Thanksgiving (not ready to do this in
front of strangers since family invited random people) and couldn’t eat what family was serving because of tummy issues…but I could make up for missed exchanges later in the day. That was the right thing to do…that decision brought me peace…so that’s what I decided. To go with what I had planned to bring, but with intentions to make it up that night instead of just restricting whole day. Then won’t be lying when I say I am going to eat more later…but will also be respecting the challenges I am ready to take. This was plan, let’s see what happens.

Thanksgiving (written thanksgiving day)

At 5:30 AM my grandfather passed on…but I didn’t let the news destroy me. In fact, I felt peace about it. I went to spin class like planned and enjoyed it by letting my body have a break when it needed. I also used the fact my body got me through spin to push me through the day.

Turkey hat for spin 
I ate everything I took to my aunt’s and felt good. Well…semi-good. My exhaustion hit me, but it wasn’t food related…it has to do with another medical issue I am facing. I was able to enjoy time with family and not worry about food.

I must say I do feel a little down. This is the spread from my family’s Thanksgiving and I just want to be “normal” one day and have some instead of bringing my own food. But I think part of recovery is also knowing how much to push. I knew if I pushed to eat some of this food (a) I could cause myself to have a reaction to things I’m intolerant to and (b) I would restrict afterwards as has been my pattern in the past. So I did what I knew was best and packed my food.

On our drive home I started to get scared. I suddenly was overcome with dizziness, exhaustion, and nausea. I powered through this feeling when I got home and made myself a dinner…no skimping and even honoring a craving for veggie soup.

I am sitting here typing this with two snacks left…and I will do them..but the dizziness is still here. I am happy I am nourishing my body, I just wish it felt better.

I can’t say I don’t feel guilty about now eating dinner and two snacks. I know I said I planned on getting them in today….but right now I am feeling guilty about it. Though I will still be behind a little on meal plan (4 exchanges)…it’s not like every Thanksgiving time before (a time spanning multiple days when dad was alive because would have 2 thanksgiving festivities on 2 different days) where I would restrict @ the meal and that night. ED is very, very upset with me…but I know what I did was right and honestly that I shouldn’t have restricted at all.

I will do what I know I need to and I will finish these snacks. For you all, for me, for my dad, for my grandpa, for God, and for my body that needs and deserves nourishment.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Have to confess...

So I have a confession to make. One my eating disorder doesn’t want me to tell anyone. It’s a behavior I do and have done and wonder if it’s normal…or if its ED obsession. Guess I am scared to admit it because I am scared to acknowledge just how much of a grip this thing can have on one’s life. But how will I ever know if its normal if I don’t share. So here it is.


This obsession/behavior started when I got diagnosed with some food intolerances and my doctor told me to cook my things separate to make sure I didn’t get any oils that upset my stomach. So I took this to mean I needed separate pots/pans and also separate clothes to dry them with and separate sponges to wash them with. Then ED came in.

I started to wonder if rags/sponges could spread calories. If they could spread intolerances…why couldn’t they spread calories too. So then I started using one sponge to clean my George Foreman with (the only appliance other than microwave I use to cook food) and one sponge for my food scale and never let anyone use their own sponges on my food. I also have a separate rag to dry hands, a separate one for George Foreman, and a separate one for food scale.

As you can imagine this gets crowded and complicated and I am starting to wonder if this is all ED. I mean what is normal? Do people use one rag to dry hands and dishes and food scale. Or will that spread calories because scraps/juices from what you wiped remain on the towel/sponge? This is where my brain is stuck. 

The more I think about this though….the more obsessed I get. Wondering if microwaving things makes calories fall in. Wondering how clean a dishwasher really gets things. Freaking out about hand washing. So I figure the start to freedom is to get it out of my head. I hope people don’t think I am crazy now…because that’s what I am starting to think…

So I guess this is my question…what is normal? And can sponges/dish towels spread calories? What is the best way to clean things that can’t go in dishwasher like the food scale and the George Foreman. I’ve been with an ED so long I think I have lost grip of reality. And though I may be eating a meal plan….I want to do more than just consume calories to survive…I want to be truly free.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Blessings of my father

This is actually a post about yesterday. November 20, 2014: the one year anniversary of my dad's death. A day I thought would be horrible, that ended up being filled with success. I won't lie to you all. After this day of freedom, I went back to the slavery of the scale this morning and it scared me. But...I am going to try for just one more day to trust in recovery. To choose life. To push forward.End this week strong. 

Wow! I am so blessed by the love, joy, and laughter a day I thought would be filled with tears brought me. Today being the 1-year anniversary of my dad’s death, I expected it would be one filled with sorrow, but all it has been filled with is success. I feel so blessed and so amazed by the blessings of God in my life.

This morning wasn’t the best and I was filled with tears, but I allowed myself to sleep in and shrugged off the scale. Two big things for me. I then sent a text out of grief which I shouldn’t have sent, but still got a loving response in return. I must say my stepmom is one of the most gracious, forgiving, loving people I know. Thank you Joanne for being a backyard miracle for me today. Your text meant more than you know and I know this is how you “challenge” turned out.

I then went to spin class to spread my little backyard miracle. Not only did I listen and respect my body and not overexercise, but I gave my spin instructor a thank you gift for our last class. It was just a little thing of candy and energy bars and she was so happy. Almost to the point of tears. It just felt great to give. Thank you Alexa for being a backyard miracle.

I then got support from one of the most amazing angels in my life, Melissa. She helped support me in a decision to face chicken, cottage cheese, and an onion bagel for my dad. You will see more of this later. Thank you Melissa for being a backyard miracle for me today.

I then did my other honoring dad event today…I returned to therapy. I was nervous about going back to a true therapist instead of the check-in therapist on-campus, but I swallowed my fear and did it. And my new therapist is AMAZING. She is seeing me at a very low-cost and though she doesn’t “specialize” in eating disorders in the traditional sense of the world she specialized in a way books can never provide…she has lived through an eating disorder. I just felt so comfortable with her and can’t wait for our next session. I really feel her coming into my life today is a backyard miracle from my dad himself. Thanks Papa Bear.

After therapy and later as I fixed a fear food lunch I had an amazing talk with my mom. It just lifted my soul. We got to share so much about what was going on in our life. It was nice to have a full conversation with her, not just a drop-in how are you. But a full conversation. I love and miss my mommy so much and love how much she believes in me and my dreams. I know today was hard for her too. She lost the man she loved and had kids with. A divorce doesn’t end love and the bond it brings, so losing my dad she lost someone too. Thank you mommy for being a backyard miracle. I love you times a million, billion chameleons.
Freedom food as dad called them 
I was then greeted by two of my new roommates and two of my amazing lifegroup members for a balloon release to honor my dad. We wrote obstacles and our hopes and released the balloons. They were silver because we called my dad Sir Greybeard because of his “silver” hair and also because his car was called the Silver Fox. It felt like such a true release. We even released an “empty” balloon (one without an obstacle note tied to it) to show we are now free of our obstacles. These amazing friends are such blessings in my life. They even prayed for me after. Thank you Jenna, Logan, Lizzie, and Carmen for being my backyard miracles.

Returning to my dorm I got more lovely text from those in my life I love so much. My old nutritionist, Claire, and others. It felt so great. Thanks for being backyard miracles for me.

It was then time to face a challenge for my daddy. I faced chicken and a full potato and had the Pasta Zero I was craving. ED started to creep in and even told me to restrict fluids….but not today. Not on this day honoring my dad. There was no room for ED. So I drank what I wanted and enjoyed. Such a backyard miracle. Thank you God for the strength.

While I was cooking I also got one of the greatest surprises of today. I got a text from my Bubba Bear. This guy is my hero, my protector and I love him so much. I just don’t really hear from him anymore now that he moved and grew up. I don’t even think he knows how important he is to my recovery and how much of a motivation he is for me. And tonight he sent me a text I needed to get through my dinner challenge…it had three simple words: I love you. Thank you James for being my backyard miracle.

Later, at snack, I did the flavored oatmeal I wanted instead of the boring original oatmeal ED wanted because heck…I wanted it. And my dad wanted me to recover and honor my cravings. That’s what he did….he didn’t balloon, so I won’t either.  Even ate this earlier than was comfortable because I was hungry. Honoring hunger and cravings=definite win!

And to finish out the night I faced my onion bagel. If you remember, on my dad’s b-day this year I faced cinnamon raisin bagel with cream cheese. What’s up with me, my dad, and bagels. Well for as long as I can remember, my dad would make himself bagel sandwiches in the mornings, especially if it was on-the-go or if it was after tennis. His favorite was everything bagels, but he loved onions too…and onion bagel is more my forte. So I faced it and it was delicious! Yes, I even spread that PB on the bagel. Strange…but oh soo good. And faced fat free cottage cheese with it too, because my dad was so cheesy lol. And because it sounded good.


It’s so amazing to me how God can take a day destined for bad, a day that sent me into a relapse last year….and transform it into a day of victory and miracles. God is so good. Can I get an “Amen.”

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Food Hoarding vs Saving: What's normal?

Well…it happened..I got the move-out request offered and will be changing roommates and suddenly I got scared…or maybe it was ED got scared about moving. My lifegroup is coming to help me move and I started to worry if they would judge me. Not on behaviors, not on my clothes…nope…but on my food.

I get scared over being able to afford groceries and freuquently buy things I think I may one day face and I buy it. But I kind of have a stockpile of some things, like oatmeal and unsalted pretzels, etc. Some of it is because people got it for me or it was on sale…but then I got scared if my stock started getting low because was scared wouldn’t be able to afford something that week. That would run out of everything at once. So I keep buying it even though have 4/5 boxes. And now I’m flipping out.

I am moving in December and when people see this stockpile what will they think? Is it normal? I mean some of the things its just like I bought a 12-pack of Snackwells when had the craving, but haven’t had the craving since. Do people keep these? Or do they toss them? I mean I feel that is normal.

But then there is the other food. Like the oatmeals. I get scared I can’t afford it or will run out of it or something. So I keep a large supply built up. Like it literally spikes my anxiety if gets low. I start freaking out.

And then there is the candy. I have candy I got last Christmas, easter, Halloween and I just never ate it, because can’t find place in meal plan and don’t get cravings for it. What do I do with that? Is it normal to keep it. I am just so confused. I’ve been so far from normal for so long.

So what do all my normies do? Do you stock up on things you know you eat? Or should I just keep one back-up not 3 (guess that makes sense). Or do you wait till it runs out? But then what if you run out before can get to store?
And what about things you buy out of craving, but then don’t crave anymore. Do you just keep it…I mean that seems normal.

I am so black and white…and this seems so grey. And then I guess I also want to judge self. To know if I am being ED or not. But it seems like maybe part of my stockpile ED (ie large amounts of oatmeal etc and fact I buy them again when still have two boxes in stockpile) and other is normal (bought it when craving and stuff leftover). Why do I do this? Any insights?