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Confessions- off my food plan

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yesterday and today, I confess, I completely ignored my food plan. In trying to break good-bad, black-white categories I am letting myself blow things and not feel bad. It may not be the best route but I'm trying it. And the effect is that I am feeling optimistic and am excited to get back to it- go figure. I have tried this before when I was getting over binge eating as a frosh and it seemed to help some. I definitely want to be back on, however, because I enjoy proper nutrition, I love all sorts of fruits and veggies and the 'lite' feeling that eating a proper amount gives you. So don't worry, I'm back on plan. My therapist is worried that I was not eating enough at 1300 cals for my level of exercise, even if I was wanting to loose a little. She's having me see the dietician that works with her, and is a specialist in EDs. She also wants to make sure my electrolytes are even because of the binge/restrict cycle, as well as look at my bone density just in case... whew, heavy stuff! I'm excited to be eating a bit more on a more regular basis, and I am also excited to have the motivation to eat right again. Apparently my change in habits will come from deep within, changing the way I think, feel and handle stress, and after a while... maybe a long while... my binge/restrict cycle will subside. Until then, this is where I am at. I am doing the best I can to cope, and I'll do what I can when I can to take care of the actual problem, but it's important that I expect that sometimes I will turn to ED in these early stages. Thanks to all of you who have been friends and ways to soothe myself other than ED.

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BLEEDINGROSES 5/20/2010 8:27AM

    Good luck dearie!! Lean on us from the group for support, we are here for you!!

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Come to the Dark Side, says ED inside my head

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Many people call that voice in their head 'Ed.' My therapist today called it 'the Dark Side.' When I am weak, tired, lonely, scared, angry, hungry etc. etc. the Dark Side calls to me, promising protection and comfort (wheezing voice)- Christi, come with me to the Dark Side... But when I follow that voice into the Dark Side I am entering into a horrible spiral. I loose control and that voice drowns me out by shouts into my head, and I become convinced that ED will protect me and so I can't let go, even as I am dragged deeper and deeper down.
When I go to 'the Dark Side' I am irritable and angry. I hide food and want to eat alone. Looking in the bathroom mirror is like looking at a funhouse mirror. I become obsessively negative and selfishly reclusive. I complain and feel voiceless. I loose a life as ED consumes my moments. I'm critical and can't make decisions. I fear my fat and fear others will not love me. I lie. I give up. I cry. I avoid. Fog. Brain cloud.
This is what I want to leave behind.

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 5/18/2010 9:50PM

    Wow, that's pretty deep. I think we all have that voice, the dark side calling...and you are working on taking control of it! Good for you!
I know it won't be easy, but baby step by baby step, you will get there! I think this journey is not just about losing weight, but also about learning to love yourself and ridding yourself of those emotional demons that plague your thoughts and sabotage your efforts. But please know that others do love you, whether you're 'fat' or not!
emoticon emoticon

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How I learned to love to run

Monday, May 17, 2010

Ok, so I am cheating in that I already posted this on a message board once, but I wanted to have it somewhere more accessible, so I dug it out and am posting it as a blog:

A long time ago, coming out of middle school I always hated gym class. It was always humiliating. Then that summer on a family vacation my elder sister went for a run. I told my parents that I also was going for a run. So I started out running around a huge horse paddock, stopping to walk some times. It was so beautiful there (Scotland) and I was all on my own and I was able to be thoughtful and introspective. I came to know running/jogging/walking apart from all the pain of middle school laps. I was hooked. I was also beat, so I watched the stretches my sister did, remembering the ones I did in gymnastics as a little girl, and that same day stretching became part of my life. For the rest of the vacation I insisted on heading out for a jog everyday. After a week or so I found that I could run for a half hour easily. So I stopped and stretched and tried running for another half hour. At this point we were in London where would stay for a while since my dad was doing research there, and I was able to explore London parks on foot. It was very exciting. I noticed my clothes were much looser and that I seemed to be getting attention like I hadn't before. One rainy day I couldn't run outside so I decided to try doing some sit-ups and push ups and realized they weren't that bad. By the end of that summer I was toned, both inside and out and I began a life long love of exercise. Whatever eating issues developed in my life, exercise was never something I abused. I truly loved it. It was how I first experienced independence, and where I learned how to motivate myself to reach goals. Finally, the space running gave me for introspection has made it a refuge for me in some of the hardest times of my life. I emoticon emoticon

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NURSEJEANNIE 5/19/2010 9:18AM

  Thanks for posting this! I was never a runner, but I used to walk for 3-5 miles/day 3-5 days/week, and occasionally 8-10 miles just for fun... and I loved it! My friend & I would walk & talk, or I would go alone & just think & pray while I walked... it was truly my place of refuge.

Several years ago, my back problems reached a point where I could no longer walk more than just what I had to do around the house. Walking & gardening were my two favorite forms of exercise, & I had both taken away from me. The docs & physical therapists told me I would never again be able to exercise anywhere but in water. I like working out in the pool okay, but it has never given me the joy that walking & gardening did.

After several years of very limited mobility, I am finally getting to start doing some of the things that I love again! I have lost some weight, + found a great pain management doc who has found what I need... after bilateral nerve root blocks for the pain caused by my spinal stenosis & degenerative disc disease, & adjusting to a med that is helping TONS with the fibromyalgia pain, I am out working in my flowerbeds again, and have even been able to tolerate walking 1-2 miles at a time! I had forgotten how sweet it can be!

For those who do not yet love exercise... keep trying until you find a couple of types that you DO enjoy. :-) Sure, some days we have to make ourselves do it when we don't feel like it... but it is a lot like our jobs... If you have a job you hate, life is very hard... but if you follow your passion & find a job you love, you will still have mornings that you don't feel like going, but once you're there & get into it, it is very rewarding! :-)

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 5/18/2010 9:53PM

    Beautiful story, thanks for sharing!
I love running (or rather, jogging for me) too, it really does help clear your mind and lets you just live in the moment. I just wish I could run for more than a few minutes at a time!

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SWEETZMIX 5/18/2010 8:12PM

    Loved your story!

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AMARAN 5/18/2010 12:22PM

    Thanks for sharing this! I, too, need to find that place outside of gym class. I was back in my old high school gym a couple weeks ago, and there was that indoor track staring me in the face. I kept hearing the ghost of my not-so-kind gym teacher yelling at me to pick up the pace. "Six laps! Six laps! It's only six laps!" (six = 1/2 mile, I think.)

I'm beginning to find that lovely place on my walks. And I'm trying to make friends with the telephone poles by running them. I'm not having much success in May, though, due to injury and schedules. I may have to start my "couch to 8 poles 4 times" in June. My introspection at this point is more along the lines of "you can do it, just a few more steps." I have trouble being reflective when I'm doing something really hard for me, like running. I want to get there, though.

You are an inspiration, friend. Thank you for sharing.


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Holiday in Oxford and Paris

Sunday, May 16, 2010

This Thursday my husband and I will embark on our holiday to Oxford and to Paris. We have friends staying in Oxford with one of the institutes part of the university and we will enjoy staying with them. In the middle of our 12 day stay we will head off on our own to take the Chunnel to Paris, where we will spend three nights. After three nights in Paris we will return to our friends in Oxford and round-out the trip. Needless to say I am very excited.

I am also a little anxious. I wanted to have lost the binge weight and be at my smaller size so that getting dressed each day on holiday would be easy, and not as stressful as it is now. There is really nothing I can do now to dramatically change my weight, so I am focusing on being kind to myself, reciting that I can be beautiful at this weight as well as at my small weight.

I am especially excited about running in Oxford and Paris, two places I have never run. My parents work involved a lot of moving and travel (that included the entire family), so I have had opportunity to run through all sorts of cities and places. Besides my current home of Chicago, I have run in Cambridge and London, Torphins and Glasgow, Dublin and New York, San Jose (Costa Rica) and El Paso (TX). Oh and New Jersey ;) I am excited to explore Oxford and Paris on foot and learn the streets and sites and sounds the way I love, running.

I am also excited to enjoy the foods. I personally love the fusion of many diverse cultural food flavors that is happening in the UK. I love getting curries at pubs and scones in tea rooms and the many many coffee shops. My personal favorite was one in Cambridge run by Italians- they really know how to make a cappuccino.

Paris will be an adventure. I have only been there once and loved it. I know that my broken and virtually-non-existent French will not do me any favors, but I do not mind that one bit.

All this to say, I may be absent from Sparkpeople for that thime- I will still be able to track my food and exercise with my phone application. I look forward to sharing my travel stories upon my return.

Au revoir!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AMARAN 5/18/2010 12:13PM

    Hooray for holidays! I like that you are trying to be kind to yourself. Enjoy your trip. I'm praying for you! Say hello to the Queen for me. :-)


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FRANCOPHILE619 5/17/2010 11:09AM

    HAve so much fun, love yourself!!! One of my favorite streets in Paris is Boulevarde de Vilette. If you head north from metro stop Jaures, every specific shop smell mingles with the others. Cheese, wine, flowers, perfurme, It is not exceptionally beautiful, but exceptionally parisienne. If you head south, you can find my favorite restaurant of all time - Chez Papa. Teh cassoulet is incroyable!

bon voyage!

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ANNASBF 5/17/2010 1:14AM

    Just a note from someone you don't know.... I have a daughter who got her Masters last year...what a great accomplishment it is but I am hoping you will be a little easier on yourself about the difficult process of getting the thesis through revisions and remember what an amazing thing it will be once it is done and you survive the defense... maybe you have even done this already? This is such a subjective process, so much ego on the line when you send it back and forth, back and forth, which everyone has to do! I thought it had more to do with endurance at times than finesse! Anyway, let your fun flag fly and relax just a bit. Have a great trip and best of luck!!!

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 5/16/2010 7:11PM

    Wow, sounds like an awesome holiday! Have fun!
I like your attitude - you've done all you could and there's nothing you can do about it now, so just go off and enjoy your holiday!!
emoticon emoticon

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THORNBIRD1 5/16/2010 4:23PM

    Wow I am so jealous wish I was going there. So you didn't make your goal by this date and I know that is disappointing but the fact is you WILL make it and soon. So take that information with you and not the disappointment and you will succeed. have a great time on your trip.

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ROCKYCPA 5/16/2010 12:30PM

    Have a great trip - sounds like it will be a lot of fun. Enjoy the running and keeping up with your exercise.

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What I am feeling today- laying it out there

Friday, May 14, 2010

Today I had a great conversation with my husband when he asked me what I was feeling...

I found that I am feeling frustrated:
1) I am frustrated that despite my best efforts I could not take off the binge-weight
2) I am frustrated that when my thesis proposal was sent back for revisions my advisor said he 'expected it'
3) I am frustrated that my parents continue to give me sweets despite hearing about my struggles

I found that I am feeling disappointed:
1) I am disappointed that I did not reach my goal weight before my trip abroad
2) I am disappointed that my binge eating habits have not changed even though I tried
3) I am disappointed that my thesis proposal was rejected

I found that I am feeling angry:
1) I am angry because I feel like my efforts are not amounting to much
2) I am angry because it feels like I can't changed any of it

I found that I am feeling worried:
1) I am worried that I will never get this binge habit under control
2) I am worried that I will never go back to my pre-binge weight
3) I am worried that there is nothing I can do to improve my thesis proposal, that it's a lost cause
4) I am worried my advisor thinks I'm dumb and that he'll say he doesn't want to work with me anymore

Laying it all out like this, I can see what I CAN in fact change...

Towards the binge eating:
1) I can see a more specialized counselor
2) I can do an inventory of my attitudes and do an adjustment: ie, I am holding on too strongly to 'good-food/bad-food' categories and I am focusing too much on 'perfection' rather than 'progress'
3) I can continue to exercise and celebrate that for 10 years this month I have been a self-motivated fitness queen ( I started running all on my own as a freshmen in high school :) )
4) I can say 'this too shall pass' and know that if I keep steady things will get better
5) I can take a closer look at my sabotaging behavior- I am always scared that I will blow my progress or that I can't sustain my goal so I sabotage my efforts on purpose out of fear (my husband attests strongly to this :) )
6) I can affirm to my parents that I know they love me, making a point to say so especially when I am turning down excess sweets
7) I can practice not calling myself bad names when I eat sweets

Towards my thesis proposal:
1) I can choose to not take certain remarks from my advisor personally- I need not internalize them even if he is the authority figure
2) I can email a few people in the know for some advice for where to take the project
3) I can try to rework things, and not fret having to do so several times- ie, accept that perfect is not part of the process
4) I can be ok with doing an ok project instead of a stellar one
5) I can make a list of what I want the project to look like, what would be fun for me, not just what I think the committee is looking for

What I will do today:
1) Call the counselor back for an appointment
2) Brainstorm thoughts about what would be fun for me to do with my thesis
3) Go for a jog and tell myself 'this is enough for now'
4) Choose to refuse mean thoughts when I get dressed for going out tonight

Overall I think I need to take inventory of my emotions more often

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MYRADIANTLIFE 5/15/2010 8:56AM

    The hypno experiences I have had have been terrific with really good practitioners directing them. I now also have a set of simple hypno's on my ipod so I can use these whenever and wherever I need. Its a matter that sometimes these thought patterns are so entrenched that we really need to get to the sub-conscious to change them. Logically we can see what we are doing however logic hasn't anything to do with eating or emotions really. The advantage with a personal appointment with a hypnotheraperist is that they tailor the session for you and quite often record it for you to play back at regular intervals until it is reinforced enough that it becomes a natural habit. If you choose this track its a matter of talking to people around you to see who they recommend locally for you to see. Let me know how you go. I am really impressed with your blog today - well done for your honesty. XX Nicky emoticon

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MYRADIANTLIFE 5/14/2010 8:34PM

    Hi sweet, I thought you might enjoy this affirmation I repeat to myself constantly from SparkPeople:

* I am a good person, and I deserve respect.
* I choose to respect myself today by refusing to engage in verbal or emotional self-abuse.
* I have been successful at many things I have set out to do, and I can learn to do better at the things that give me problems

I have also found that hypnotherapy has really helped me, I can send you try and send you some if you like?

emoticon Nicky

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PRINCESS_TWISTY 5/14/2010 7:41PM

As they say, recognising the problem is often the hardest step - you've done that AND come up with a plan as to where to go from here.
It's always good to have an organised plan of attack!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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THORNBIRD1 5/14/2010 7:19PM

    Wow that was extremely well thought out and insightful. It sounds like your husband is a great sounding board and helps you to reach these conclusions and that is a great support system. Good luck with the thesis with all of this insight I know you will succeed with it. Hang in there.

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NEELIXNKES 5/14/2010 7:03PM

    I think that you have a great plan. Knowing what the issues are helps in overcoming them. Not sure about your binge problem but when I was struggling with emotional and binge eating, I set some rules for myself. They were:

1. I could not open anything that hadn't already been opened in the house to eat.

2. I could not go out or order food to binge on.

3. I had to track everything I ate out of emotion in my daily food log.

These seemed to help me. There were some others but right now when I feel a binge coming on I just stick to these top three and it seems to help curb the damage.

May you have a healthy weekend! emoticon

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LAURAC2010 5/14/2010 6:05PM

    I think that is a good idea, to take inventory of your emotions, excellent job I give you an A for Awesome Attitude. You should be proud to have a husband to talk to some don't. My bf sounds like your hubbie if you want to change you change cause you want to and do it don't just say oh next week I'll do such and such. Its good to have goals "inventory" you did just lay it all out there and good for you it helps relax doesn't it. I do it. emoticon

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