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.
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.
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
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.
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
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