Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Breaking barriers

Everyone with an eating disorder has a specific set of rules that they strictly follow. If they break any of these rules, it's the end of the world. Never ending guilt and pain for hours.

My rules used to be the following: no eating after 7 pm, when you eat, eat slowly, drink water before each meal, drink __ amount of water each day, never eat over ___ calories each day, etc. Since starting recovery, I've been trying to break those rules as much as i possibly can.

Today, i broke all of those rules. And i hope i'll continue to do so! Including counting calories. I talked with my therapist today and she said since i'm so hung up on counting calories, then buy foods/frozen meals that I've never bought before and have my mom black out the calories on the back. So far, it's giving me a lot of anxiety not know how many calories are in this food or that food but in the long run, i think it will help a lot. I mean, what normal person really does count calories? I didn't used to count them. Sure, i ate pretty unhealthy but i wasn't fat and i have to keep remembering that.

One thing that i'm really struggling with is body image. I have a really distorted body image. And it's weird, i don't think that i'm "fat" all the time. It comes and goes depending on the clothes i'm wearing at the time. My worst areas? my arms. I don't know why but my arms have always been hard for me. It's like they're always there, exposed. But another thing i have to realize is that I've probably only gained less than 5 pounds so far and my arms aren't going to magically get fat. They weren't fat before when all i ate was junk so why would they be fat now? They aren't fat. I'm not fat. I'll just have to start believing that.

-But on a side note, thanks to everyone for all the encouraging comments! Whenever i feel like a failure or i'm about to give up i read your comments and they keep me continuing recovery and avoiding relapse. Thank you :)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Losing Control

Ugh. Another day, more food to eat, blah. I know i probably sounded really determined yesterday, but unfortunately, that comes and goes. Sometimes i eat every meal and don't feel guilty at all. And then sometimes, i pick at my food and feel guilty because i didn't know the approximate number of calories i ate and feel like a complete failure. This was one of those days.

It started out pretty good, until i got to the kitchen for breakfast. I'm at my family's cabin, and the food that i brought, was in my dads car. My dad was gone. So i refused to eat anything for 2 hours and then finally i ate some mini muffins. They were stale.

Lunch was also bad. I ate a ton of fruit and mostly picked through everything else. I feel really bad about it but i can't help it! I didn't really like anything. By the time my dad got back, i was already done with lunch and was pretty mad.

For dinner, i had poptarts. I know my dietitian won't be very happy when she reads my food list sheet, but i wasn't really planning on eating dinner anyway. So this is a step up from not eating.

Hopefully, tomorrow will be a better day and i'll be more in control. But the sad part about recovery is, i never really feel that in control. People are always monitering how much food i eat, how much water i drink, and how much i exercise. And at the moment, i'm not allowed to exercise. Which really upsets me. I was just planning on going on a short, 15 minute walk but i can't even do that. I'm not allowed.

And knowing that i'm not in control, makes me want to go back to my old ways of barely eating anything and overexercising. But i know that isn't right. Whenever i have these feelings, i just picture myself in a hospital bed and it all goes away. Because that's where i'll end up if i don't recover.

So for now, i'll try to stick to my meal plan, do other things to keep me busy from exercising, and work through recovery. Recovery is hard, but i'm determined to overcome this disease.

Friday, August 27, 2010

New challenges

Weight gain was my first challenge. I've gained probably 2 pounds so far. Next challenge? ..Eating more. Eating more is really hard for me. Well.. for any eating disorder recoverer. Setting calorie limits for myself is such a habit now that it's going to be so hard to break. The habits that come with an eating disorder (cutting food into small pieces, eating slower, pushing food around the plate, hiding food, counting calories, working out, and eating safe foods) are hard to break. But the success and happiness that comes with breaking those little habits, are amazing.

So recovery is going to be a hard, long, road ahead. But i'm willing to get my life back. Who's with me?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A dream of what could have been

One thing that i haven't really shared is my dream. My dream, is to be a model. This wasn't really the main reason i became anorexic but it was one of them. Going to auditions, i felt confident. Something i never feel, because i knew that i was the thinnest person there and i had exactly what they were looking for. This wasn't necessarily true. Each agency/model management company is looking for something different. It isn't always thin girls. And i have to realize the model management company i am with now, is going to accept me no matter what.

Still, every time i look at those thin, thin models on the runway, i get really sad and dream of what could have been. I could have been out there. I could have been one of them.

My dream still is that i will be out there one day. But this time, when i picture myself out on the runway, i have a big smile on my face and i'm healthy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Weight gain or loss

This right here, is what i used to see in the mirror. And it took me a while to realize, this isn't true! When i used to look in the mirror when i was sick, i almost got dizzy for half a second and then this is what i saw. Now, i see me. I don't go searching for flaws.

But besides that, I've unfortunately lost a pound. No, i didn't weight myself. When i go to my dietitian every week, we do a blind weight test. I step on a scale that kind of looks like a black pad thing and she reads the number somewhere else. This is very useful considering people with eating disorders are constantly obsessed with their weight. She wasn't going to tell me my weight, but i told her my concerns that i wasn't gaining weight and that i thought my weight was staying the same. Judging by the way my smallest jeans fit.

And she said I've lost a pound and a half. Ugh, all the hard work for nothing! Sure, I'm kind of happy i'm not rapidly gaining weight (which could never happen) but i almost feel as if my efforts for recovery are squashed. Like my "great progress" is getting me nowhere.

She even mentioned the death word inpatient again. I instantly panicked again. If i went to inpatient, i would probably be very scared, lonely, the nurses may not be nice, people may make fun of me.. just because, and i may get worse because of peer pressure. Also, i would have to repeat a grade because who knows how much school i would miss?

I just wish they would appreciate my progress. I eat three meals a day. They may be small, but at least it's a start. And whenever they think i can't do something, i prove them wrong! After i left there, i told my mom "i have to gain weight. I don't want to go to inpatient and i want to show them i can do this. Can we go to Culvers?" Okay that may not be the healthiest choice but still.. it's more than i would eat in a day (considering i already ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner today) and i don't eat snacks yet. Hopefully i'll be able to show them that i'm stronger and i won't have to go to inpatient.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The difference between a good day and a bad day

A good day can mean a lot of things. It usually means that i'm comfortable with my body and the clothes i wear, i feel pretty confident about myself, and I've eaten breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and gone on an hour leisurely walk. A bad day usually means that i don't feel like eating much, i'm counting calories, i feel ugly and fat in anything i wear, and i haven't went on a walk. Yesterday was one of those days.

When people have an eating disorder, they try to avoid all things food. But that doesn't mean they're still thinking about it. When i was eating only 500 calories a day, food occupied my entire life. All i would do everyday is look up recipes, plan meals, and compare how many calories this food had or that food had. Now that i'm eating more, food is really only taking up 30% of my time versus 70%. Which is really great. But i'm getting off topic.. yesterday was a bad day pretty much because i put on a tight shirt that's always been tight no matter what and when i looked in the mirror i already expected before i even put the shirt on that it would look bad. I read somewhere that when you think positively, then you'll have a better outlook on life and feel better about yourself. So i guess next time before i look in the mirror i'm going to say: i look good! And maybe i'll believe it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Losing a best friend

Lately, it's been hard to try letting go of my anorexia. Weird, isn't it? You'd think i'd be wanting to throw it out a window and stop it into the ground or something but.. no. I guess it's almost like losing a best friend. I've been thinking about all the clothes i'll no longer be able to fit into, how food doesn't taste as good anymore, and when i look at pictures of skinny people i kind of feel a pang inside my chest. Like the feeling like you just lost a best friend.

I know this is probably a dumb feeling to have but i'm sure other people have gone through it too. And maybe it's even a normal part of recovery.
The truth is, i kind of don't want to let go of it. Part of me still wants to hang on, and is saying that i can live with it. But deep down, i know that isn't true. It's a disease. A person with cancer can't just live with cancer and not get treatment right? This is almost the same thing.

I know deep down that no, i can't eat 800 calories a day, i can't overexercise, and i have to eventually eat like a normal person and find a way to be happy with that. Hopefully, i will eventually be a normal person.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

So much to choose from, so little time

For someone with an eating disorder like myself, what to eat is a huge decision. Contemplating what to eat may even take an hour. Depending on the day. Today, i wanted to eat only 800 calories but i knew that would disappoint my mom. So i drank most of a 400 calorie protein drink, and we went to baker square.

Before the eating disorder, i never really had trouble deciding what to eat on a menu. But now, instead of giving us extra time to order, the waitress seemed to come back within seconds of handing us the menus. Or maybe it was just me? There was just so much food to choose from.. it was very overwhelming. In the end, i ended up ordering a veggie omlet, a cinnamon roll, a small serving of fruit, and a slice of pie. I guess now that i'm saying it, it doesn't seem like much food but restaurant portion sizes are completely ridiculous. They're huge serving of food and it seems like so much to eat.
So i ate most of the omlet, split the cinnamon roll with my mom, and ate all of the fruit and pie. Also when i got home, i had poptarts.

Now, it seems like a lot of food. My mom says thats what the average person eats but i don't know. I want to eat 1,200 calories a day and work out for an hour which is a big step from what i used to do but my mom "won't let me do that". She says the average teenage girl needs to be eating 1,500 calories a day to just sit and breathe and that i should eat more if i exercise. I wish she would just accept that i am eating more....

Friday, August 13, 2010

A new me, a new life

Hi, welcome to my blog. This blog is mainly about my recovery from anorexia nervosa and the little struggles along the way. The eating disorder probably started about a year ago, when i got food poisoning. I was eating normal at the time and got food poisoning from a marinara sauce from Little Caesars. Nothing would stay in my system and whenever i ate something, my body would immediately reject it. So i lost a lot of weight, and got down to 100 pounds. That's when it started. I looked in the mirror and liked what i saw. I looked so tiny and i finally fit into a size 1 jeans, which made me very proud. The proudness didn't last long though, it never does. The food poisoning or whatever it was went on for a week and my mom finally took me to the doctor because i was in so much pain. She said she couldn't really do anything until we had a few tests done and recommended me to an eating disorder place. At the time, i didn't think anything was wrong with me and really didn't want to go. A week later, my body returned to normal and i started to eat more. And also gain weight. I didn't like it and began critiquing everything about my body. So when we went to the eating disorder help place, i lied about what i ate and how i felt about my body. We didn't go back there. The eating disorder continued, me only eating an ice cream sandwich and pop a day (or less), not counting calories, for 2 months. In August, tennis season started and i became so focused on that, that eating didn't become too much of an issue for me.
Eating normally continued on for a few months, until my family went on a cruise, in March. There was so much interesting food on the cruise that i probably put on a few pounds. After i saw a picture of myself in a swimsuit, it was back. I started counting calories and working out for 2 hours a day. Eating 1000 calories, to 800, to finally 500 last month. The only difference between eating 1000 calories and 500 is that when you eat 500 or less a day, you become so weak and are unable to workout. Standing up even got me dizzy and walking was hard. So my mom finally found a new eating disorder help place and took me there. The woman was very nice and i confessed everything to her, unlike last year. That was on Tuesday, when i still hadn't fully understood the situation yet. Yesterday, we met with a dietitian and she told me i weighed less that my estimated 106 pounds. She really opened my eyes to some things and said that it doesn't matter how much you weigh when you have an eating disorder. You could die anytime, your heart could fail.
So after i got out of there, i wanted to get better. I challenged myself to have a "scary meal". This is usually a meal high in calories and fat and something I'm terrified to eat. I went to Culvers and got chicken strips, fries, and a chocolate shake and finished it all. And the best part is, i didn't even feel guilty. After that, my mom took me grocery shopping and i finally bought all my favorite foods that i haven't had in months. And when i was passing a mirror i realized that i didn't look too good. My eyes had huge bags under them, my hair was thin, my bones were kind of sticking out and my skin looked even paler than usual.
So this is my recovery story. I'm trying very hard not to count calories anymore and I'm trying to eat normal. This journey just started, and it's going to be a long one.