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6/23/11 4:00 P

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Thanks Jenny that was really helpful. Next time I am feeling like I want to purge I will definitely try to think about those things. Unfortunately, I haven't ever talked to a counselor about my problem. I guess it is because I am scared/ashamed and feel vulnerable when I admit that I have a problem. It's hard because I know this does consume my life. I am constantly thinking about food, my next meal, my next workout. I guess this is my first step to getting better. Learning about portion sizes and keeping track of what I eat has helped me alot. I just struggle with those moments when I feel out of control and I can't stop.

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6/23/11 11:14 A

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Hello!

Thanks for sharing your story. It sounds SO familiar! My mother was who I learned my ED from so I can empathize with you.

Remember that there is usually (99.99999999%) of the time an emotional reason behind our ED's and why we practice them. The trick for us is to figure out what that emotional tie is, without dragging us down while we try to figure it out. Have you spoken with a campus counselor and/or therapist?

One of the problems with our ED's is that they take up a LOT of our time - thinking about food, thinking about whether or not to binge/purge/exercise, how we are going to do it in secret, cleaning up, beating ourselves up afterwards, etc. And YOU have school to focus on that needs to be taking up your time - not your ED.

When you feel yourself wanting to binge/purge ask yourself this question: What am I FEELING right now? And see if you can figure it out. One step at a time so even if you can't figure it out this time, and you practice your ED, don't beat yourself up. Try again the next time and see if you can figure it out. And so on. Practice being gentle with yourself while you attempt to figure out why you practice your ED.

Keep posting! Sharing helps!!!

Hugs and healing to you,
Jenny

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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6/23/11 11:03 A

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Hi Everyone,
My name is Caitlin and i am a recovering/struggling bulimic. I am 20 years old and I am going to be a junior at Indiana University. There are very few people that kmow about my ED. It started in high school when I began to gain weight from birth control. I learned terrible eating habits from my mother growing up. She is very tall and very thin and could eat basically anything she wanted. Therefore, I developed a mentality of eating chips, candies, burgers, whatever I wanted with no concept of portion sizing. I have always been a very active person. I love sports, running, cycling, swimming, you name it.. I have probably tried it. I have never struggled with being overweight, purging has always been mental. And when I went to college it became worse. I became close with my roommate freshman year and she was VERY conscious of her weight. Calorie counting, working out twice a day, extreme dieting and then binging late at night when we were studying/or drunk. This only enhanced my ED. I found myself purging at least 3-4 times a week, and hitting the gym very hard. When i joined a sorority, it seemed to get a lot better. I became more busy with my new friends, I joined the cycling team, several committees on campus, and it seemed that I hardly had time to worry about what I was eating. Then I came home from freshman year and i was 15 pounds heavier (which even though my nutritionist told me it was muscle gain from cycling.. it didn't matter.. it was a mental thing). I have gone through stages where I seem okay, and go months without B/P. I'll eat healthy, and workout, but usually the week before I start my period, I feel out of control. I can't stop eating. Then after I eat everything in sight, my immediate thought is to throw it up and run 6 miles on the treadmill. Most people would never guess that I have a problem, and like I said very few know about it. But I am happy to find people that can relate to my problem without being judgemental. I look forward to getting to know everyone!

Edited by: CMPITTS at: 6/23/2011 (11:07)
FANNYPUMPKIN's Photo FANNYPUMPKIN Posts: 5
1/30/07 9:17 P

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Hi everyone,
I have just joined this team. My name is Veronica (Vee), I'm 27 and live in New Zealand. I am so grateful this team is here. I have been Bulimic since I was about 12/13. I have had one or two periods of not being active in my bulimia (both were about 2 years) but the only way I knew how to manage was to weigh and measure everything I ate - so I ate basicly the same thing everyday for both of those 2 year periods. I have joined spark people 18 days ago and have been binge and purge free for the last 17 days - that is the longest time I have been binge free for about 6 years. The truth is I don't know how to eat like a regular person. I have no concept of portion sizes and if something isn't completely 'natural' ie steamed with nothing added I have it in my head that it is bad, I've screwed up and I may as well go ahead and binge now coz I've blown it anyway. The last couple of days have been quite hard and I'm really scared that I'm going to give in to the urges to have a huge binge. And that if I do I won't get free again. I have been measuring everything that I've eaten over the last 17 days which has been good in helping me come to grips with portions etc and I haven't been as strict as in the past in terms of I cook a stirfry at night using a little oil and a bit of sweet chilli sauce. And I eat a bit of yoghurt (flavoured) most days. Also, its summer here at the moment so some days I have a Juicy - its like a popsicle but just made with fruit juice. I couldn't have eaten those things in past binge free periods with out feeling like I had failied.
The worst thing for me about my bulimia is that I'm quite overweight. It feels so embarrasing to have an ED and be overweight. I feel like a fraud and that people don't understand.
ANyway, I'm kinda going on a bit. My biggest thing right now is that I'm terrified I'm going to binge but want to at the same time.

 
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2JENNY2's Photo 2JENNY2 Posts: 1,082
12/13/06 2:15 A

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I posted this on our Sticky Topic but also wanted to post it here so everyone got a chance to read it.

I thought this was a great thing for us to read this week:

To be nobody but yourself- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.

- EE Cummings, poet

Becoming the person you want to be

Take a look at your priorities and your goals. Where did they come from? Are they the products of soul-searching, self-analysis, and careful planning? Or are they a reaction to pressures from other people? Did you find them within yourself or within the pages of a magazine? The answers to these questions are important because they tell you if the person you're becoming is someone you want to be. Here's another way to look at a goal: do you want it, or do you just think you should want it? It's not easy to follow your own direction in life. But it's more possible than you may think. Question everything. Every priority in your life needs to justify why it's there. If you can't come up with a good reason that actually comes from YOU, maybe it doesn't belong.

Live for YOU and for YOUR reasons. Be the BEST you you can be. And remember to always be gentle with yourself and others and always remember to breathe...
Take very good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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TIASHARON's Photo TIASHARON Posts: 15
12/12/06 5:47 P

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Sounds like absolute bliss to have one day to absolutely feel good in my own skin!!!

Thank you for the words.....I appreciate it all so much!!!

Take care everyone!!!

 
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12/12/06 2:07 P

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You shouldn't feel bad or guilty that you are posting negative things. This is a place where you should be able to say what you are feeling when you are feeling it. Maybe it's not positive, but if you're not letting it out anywhere else, those things will just build up inside of you and make your healing impossible. So I say vent all you want! Jenn has some awesome words of wisdom though, try your best not to be so hard on yourself. This is a very long, rough road to be going down and unfortunately, it will get harder before it gets easier. You will start to feel the things you're trying to avoid before you will get used to feeling them and realize they are NORMAL. You're right, you are your own worse analyst. It just comes with the territory.

I know it is a huge step, but I recommend sitting your fiance down and working on explaining your feelings to him. Tell him that you want to feel better about yourself and to do that, you'll need some help from him. Now I know it will be hard, and please know that I am not pushing ANYTHING on you! It will only happen when you are ready for it to happen. But I truly believe that you will need his support if you are going to accomplish this. It was one of the HARDEST things I did...to tell my boyfriend about my mental hell. I was in recovery and I was terrified to tell my family. I told my brother when I started going to therapy knowing that he's the ONLY one in the family who can keep a secret. Then I told my mom, and then I told my sisters. I still can't bring myself to tell my father. Opening up is a very, very scary thing and it will ONLY happen when you are ready. So please don't freak out that I mentioned it, but it's a little food for thought.

As for your work questions and apologizing...I STILL do that! I am also terrified of people thinking I'm stupid. I have that nagging thought in the back of my mind at all times...one of these days someone is going to figure out I barely get by and know close to nothing and then I'll be mortified. But that's not the case. You obviously got your job for a reason, and asking questions is normal. I think I bug people with how many questions I ask, but if I don't ask them, I'm hurting myself even more because I'm KEEPING myself in the dark. It took me a long time to figure that one out too!

Please take Jenn's advice though...and be gentle with yourself and remember to breathe. It may seem impossible to do some of the things I've mentioned or that you've already thought, but practice makes perfect. And you are NOT alone. So please, write whatever you need to on this board. It is here to help you in any way possible!!!

Oh yeah, I know this will give you little comfort, but those last 20 lbs will NOT ruin your wedding day. I kept putting off buying my dress cause I wanted to lose weight, and when I finally listened to my friends and just got one, I was amazed. It doesn't matter what your size. EVERYONE looks good in a wedding dress. You'll be so wrapped up in being a wife and having a husband that other things will melt away. I know how it sounds...yeah, it's easy for YOU to say, but I know what I will feel. And I could be wrong, but what if I'm right? Maybe imagine a wonderful day when you "take a break" from those thoughts? Sounds like bliss, huh? Think about it. :)

Edited by: SLSOTAK at: 12/12/2006 (14:12)
Any goal worth having is a goal worth achieving!

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair.. it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere. - Van Wilder


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2JENNY2's Photo 2JENNY2 Posts: 1,082
12/11/06 8:30 P

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I would tell you all, briefly, things DO get less complicated and easier to figure out. The trick is to focus on one thing at a time and then move on to the next instead of overwhelming yourself with a thousand different things. It's not easy, I know, but remember to always, ALWAYS be gentle with yourself. And remember to breathe...Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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TIASHARON's Photo TIASHARON Posts: 15
12/11/06 8:05 P

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Thanks...

It is extremely tough. And I so appreciate the votes of confidence and the thoughtful words because somedays it's like swimming in this huge ocean and you just question if there is anyone out there that understands or is like you?

My finance "knows" of the eating disorders that have bothered me in the past but I don't know that he really understands it, gosh I don't get it myself most of the time. I think as of late because of the wedding planning he's understanding my desire to work out more and be at the gym, but he doesn't necessarily understand where all of it stems from.

I know I'm a "driver" I push and push towards goals but when and if I meet them than it's like I'm let down becuase now what? Or I never meet them and I say to myself well of course you didn't you can't! You know I'm so darn hard on myself and I really do try to stop that and be kind to myself but than I feel guilty. Crazy. It's such a circle...like sometimes I think maybe I act this way because I want attention but why would I? I think I'm my own worst analyst...literally I sit at times and pull pieces of my life apart.

As for apologizing...at work, I'll apologize for asking a question in a meeting because I'm prepping myself in the event that I ask a stupid question. I have this fear of being seen as dumb or none educated. I hate it when I am not an expert (hence why my new role is making me want to leave because I know nothing and it's been almost 9 months).

Now I have this thing in my head that if I don't lose the weight (20 more pounds) that my wedding day will be ruined...god I'm such a control freak. My life is just out of control at times especially since I have moved to Florida and I know that is where most of this is popping up again. I have moved in with my fiance, his father, and niece and nephew and between living with 2 teenagers, the spanish language that I do not always understand and his sister always being around (love her but the family is so close and I miss mine)...I don't know I hate that I'm even complaining or venting here becuase it doesnt' feel right.

I don't know....gosh I almost said I'm sorry....I feel bad for making this negative when I know these are supposed to be positve posts...yet I keep coming back and reading and hoping that one of these darn days I'll learn to love me.

You know that is my biggest fear...I'm going to wake up one day at 60 and realize how much of my life I wasted chasing after perfection!!!

Thanks guys!!

 
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12/11/06 3:08 P

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Jenn is right. You need to practice something like this. My therapist was the one who made me realize that I WASN'T in control of everything and everyone. I don't remember what I was talking about, but her response was something like, "whoa. That is an awful lot of responsibility for one person. For you. Who died and made you God?" And I realized she was right. I can't control what ANYONE else thinks of me. I am who I am. And even though I was still finding the real me...the one I had buried deep down because I was too afraid to let her out, I decided that if I spend too much time worrying what others think, I will waste my whole life away. I had a boyfriend who supported me in every way possible. I opened up to him about my therapy sessions and why I was going. And he still proposed. Now we're married. Jenn is also right, that if he would leave because you gain some weight, then obviously he wasn't in love with YOU. He was in love with our image. And no matter what anyone says, your body is NOT you. I know it seems so hard. In fact, it probably sounds impossible! But you just have to take it one step at a time. Practice. You said you have things at work that you apologize for. What types of things? Try and pin point ONE that you LOGICALLY know is out of your control. Practice NOT blaming yourself for whatever happened/didn't happen. Logically think about HOW IT IS NOT your fault and it is out of your control. It may sound like lies and ring totally false in your mind, but you also have the logical part of you that will tell you what is right. Practice letting the logical side of you speak more often. That logical side is the side that is hidden. The one you don't want anyone to see. The one you are terrified of. No one is saying you have to stop caring or worrying. Just stop for a second and let the logical side of you say their part...you don't have to act based on what it says, but at least listen to it. Maybe start a journal where you write down what that part of you says, and then what your reaction the the situation is. It may give you a little insight into your inner self...the one that is beginning to TRY to get out. I hope this gives you at least something SMALL to work on. And if you want any more suggestions...let me know! I still battle the apology thing! Every single argument I ever got into with my family, husband, friends I took upon myself as MY fault. Even when I KNEW it wasn't, I still took the blame. And it was letting my logical side speak sometimes along with having my husband echo what that logical side was saying that helped me. Does your fiance know about your eating disorder? Just a question! Try to remain calm when you answer that! None of what I am posting is supposed to freak you out, k? It's all to get to know you a bit better and try to help out just a bit more! :) Ok, this one was long winded and I'm starting to think I've gone in circles! I look forward to hearing back from you! Try to keep breathing! :)

Any goal worth having is a goal worth achieving!

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair.. it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere. - Van Wilder


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2JENNY2's Photo 2JENNY2 Posts: 1,082
12/10/06 1:46 P

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Whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Take some deep breaths. Sit down and relax. First of all, it's not that you don't "care" about everything ~ it's that you can't take on the responsibility of "fixing" everything and everyone. Worrying about other people, and sometimes people you don't even know, over yourself or your needs and wants is something, I THINK, people with eating disorders have to get through. One thing I learned is that whatever is going to happen in my life, will happen whether I try to "control" it or not. Being afraid of being unloveable or not being good enough or not being enough period, those, too, are classic feelings to have if you have an eating disorder. I had the very same ones with my boyfriend, now husband. I was always worried he was going to leave me because he would find out the "real" me and not like or even love her. I worried he would leave if the house wasn't cleaned just right or if I didn't wash his clothes or make his food or pick out his clothes for work or if I gained an ounce, on and on and on. It actually started driving him crazy. He said he never said those things or even felt those things and for me to "put them on him" was hurtful to him. He would NEVER leave me because the house wasn't cleaned "just right" and your husband/boyfriend won't leave you because you gain OR lose weight. They might be driven crazy by all of our perfectionist ways and we might push them away by these things but these are things WE need to stop doing. And there is no magic button. We have to PRACTICE letting these things go. Talking about them is very helpful, which is what you're doing. Realize that if he leaves you because of the way you look, there was no genuine love there in the first place. You ARE good enough for anyone and too good for 90% of the people out there. Try to relax and be yourself - the one you're trying to hide that's deep inside you who's caring and loving and is HERSELF. Not the perfectionist, the one who tries to "fix" everything and everyone. They will love you if you're YOU ~ the REAL YOU. Try to find her. Practice letting her out once in a while. I bet she likes being free of all the restrictions and rules you put around her. Let her LIVE. Or at least, try. Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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TIASHARON's Photo TIASHARON Posts: 15
12/9/06 12:48 P

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You know you guys I never thought of it that way I guess. I have always apologized for everything...gosh I swear it's my fault if the sun doesn't come up. But seriously, I apologize for all my actions all the time to everyone, from work to home. It's something that I think is engrained in my mind that I obviously did something to not "please" someone so I have to say I'm sorry.

Can anyone tell me how you start the process of not apologizing? Or not really caring about everything? I almost at times feel imbolized because I'm so deathly afraid of being judged by everyone. It's like I have set thes goals so high that nobody can reach them.

I'm so fearful of these feelings especially now that I'm really getting married. I think for most of my adult life I would be a lone that nobody would ever love me. I know my fiance loves me but I'm so worried about this perfectionist part of me that I won't be a good enough wife, or that what if I gain weight, or whatever and he totally does not put that on me...so tell me what has everyone done to get over this?

I have a party tonight, I'm a mess because I don't really know anyone and I"m so worried about them judging or what do I talk about...it's like I'm a social reject :)

Thanks

 
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2JENNY2's Photo 2JENNY2 Posts: 1,082
12/8/06 1:33 A

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Great way to segue between the message boards, SLSOTAK. Yes, let's not apologize for being ourselves and venting or saying positive things which are going on in our lives or asking for advice - no apologies necessary.
Take very good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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12/7/06 6:04 P

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Jenn posted on one of the other forums that we all need to stop apologizing! And I believe that. We are all in this to support one another and find either some comfort or support or encouragement or just vent sometimes! I know it is part of our normal behavior to apologize all the time (I'm guilty myself!) but let's all try really hard NOT to do that anymore! No one is here to judge. We are here to support one another. That said: post anything, anytime! :)

Edited by: SLSOTAK at: 12/7/2006 (18:05)
Any goal worth having is a goal worth achieving!

Worrying is like sitting in a rocking chair.. it gives you something to do but it doesn't get you anywhere. - Van Wilder


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12/7/06 1:59 A

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Thanks, CARA! You don't know how much those words did for me. I'm running around like a mad woman getting my house ready for my bookclub Christmas cookie exchange with 10 women tomorrow night. Thank you so much.
Take good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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12/6/06 10:11 P

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Welcome Sharon, don't apologize for feeling down. We all do sometimes. You've made a great step in putting your feelings out there. Allow yourself to feel bad, but then pick yourself up and keep going forward. Try not let your past haunt you or get you down. But the best advice I can give you. Listen to Jenn. She's amazing.

Cara



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TIASHARON's Photo TIASHARON Posts: 15
12/6/06 7:15 P

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Thank you!!! Those are the simpliest but most meaniful words that I can share with you!! I mean them sincerely!!

 
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12/6/06 12:24 P

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SHARON ~ you just sound completely overwhelmed! Your life is full and chaotic and you're trying to do way too much and trying, I'm guessing, to do it perfectly. Am I right? You probably feel like there are a thousand things you can't control in your day-to-day life right now so you are focusing on what you think you CAN control: exercising, eating, self-talk. But the more out of control your life gets, the tighter you think you have to hold on to those things you think you can control. When they don't look quite like you want them to, then you feel like they are "wrong" or "not good enough" and you beat yourself up about them. I would suggest taking breaks during the day for you. Just five minutes to sit and just breathe. Just "be" for 5 minutes. You've got some challenges in your life you are going to have to work through but remember to try to hold on losely to those things you most want to hold on tightly. They are the things which can only define us if we let them. Take very good care and thanks for sharing your story! Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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TIASHARON's Photo TIASHARON Posts: 15
12/5/06 7:39 P

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My story....

Jenn...you gave me the idea and I think it might just help me to get this out on paper (well internet technically). I think my story is pretty typical to a lot of people...grew up thinking I was fat..was anorexic most of my high school years and than I missed food too much so in college and the next years to follow I was bulimic. I understand for me it's about control...it's about feeling the need to be perfect and when I'm at my most incomplete stage of not being perfect I fall back into it...

You know it's tough. I think more than anything I want to find a way to figure out how to really like myself. I give so much to others, and I like doing that but than underneath it all sometimes I feel bad about that as well like I'm forgotten but it's nobody's fault but my own. I am my own worst enemy and I know that. I think for me the best way to put it is that there is either black or there is white...I cannot seem to stand living in the gray.

I have not purged in a long time, more I've "controled" other things, exercising, portions, etc. I think my biggest wish is to stop being so mean to me...literally I do not believe there is a day that goes by or an hour for that matter when I'm not beating myself up over not being perfect, that I did something wrong.

My current living situation has added a lot of stress and I think that is why all these feelings have come up again. I moved to Florida (from WI), moved in with my fiance, his niece and nephew and his father (who speaks no english and Spanish is the dominate language in the family which I'm a little versed). My family is not here, my best friend is not here, new job (same company but new role). It's just tough. I feel lost in my own home most of the time, and if I cry than I'm weak, if I get angry or depressed than I need to find a way to pull myself out and put on that happy face and I"m just so sick of that right now. Doesn't help that I'm trying to plan a wedding and going to school at the same time.

I don't know I think I just need someone to tell me I'm normal.

Anyway sorry...it's been one of those days...bad workout (well to me it was probably really wasn't) I do not want to be a downer either to everyone that is positive here...so I'm so sorry....another character trait...always apologizing.

Anyway...thank you...thank you for listening/reading!!

Sharon...

 
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2JENNY2's Photo 2JENNY2 Posts: 1,082
12/3/06 5:28 P

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I think it would be GREAT!!! Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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12/3/06 3:49 P

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Maybe I'll look into it. Wouldn't it be funny if we took classes together?

Cara



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12/3/06 12:36 P

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I think it is too. And, I've probably said this, at The Moore Center, Meghann, my nutritionist, was the BIGGEST help for me and my eating/binging/purging. I aspire to be as good as she is. Take good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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12/2/06 11:48 A

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I think that is fasinating! It's something I would consider studying myself.

Cara



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11/30/06 11:25 P

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Good for you! I bet you feel pretty good about helping out and "using your brain" again. I signed up for Winter classes at BCC today. I'm taking 15 credits and hope I'll be able to handle the work with everything else I have going on. But I'm REALLY excited to get started towards my goal of Nutritionist!!! Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
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11/30/06 7:17 P

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Speaking of using my brain...today was a good day. I am editing a paper for a friend and helping another write one. Nice to flex my mental muscles.

Cara



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11/29/06 10:22 P

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Yes, my sister is great and she's trying to lose weight too. She's not doing Spark, she's doing Weight Watchers but we are still supporting each other. She wants to lose some weight before she gets pregnant again and since they're going to start trying in March, she knows she's on limited time. It'll be fun to have you up here! I hope you got some sleep... Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
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11/28/06 4:26 P

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Yeah I graduated with a Bachelor's in English, but now I feel like I can barely complete a sentence. Not really, but . . . Anyway--you are not the only one who is looking forward to me moving back there. We have tons of friends and I miss them all. It would be great to get to know each other in person. There is support that a "real" person can give that you can't find online. It sounds like you find some of that in your sister. It's good you have here there. Besides that it is more fun to go out to dinner with a friend instead of a computer. HA HA. Okay can you tell I am tired--all my jokes are stupid. Better go clean the house before the kids come home and make it dirtier. What fun. Need more sleep!!!

Cara



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11/28/06 3:04 P

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I'm SO looking forward to you moving back here this summer! If you want, we can take walks together. I think they have a UW campus in Bellevue, if I'm not mistaken. But there are TONS of on-line classes you could take. Although, I've heard they are tougher than campus classes and there is more work you have to do. Sounds like fun to me but I don't have any children...You should do something even if it's one class. I bet you would feel good about doing it. A little self esteem booster is great for anyone.
Take good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/28/06 2:07 P

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That's awesome!! I need to decide what to study and where. We will probably be moving back to Washington this summer so I can't really start anything here. I might try something online. If I pick the right thing I can start in on a Master's and commuting to University of Washington from Sammamish doesn't sound like fun--wouldn't work well with a Kindergartner. We'll see. I'm full of excuses--I should stop that and start moving forward.

Cara



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11/27/06 11:25 P

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I took the assessment tests today for math and english to get into Bellevue Community College and get all my prerequisites done there before moving on to Bastyr. I have to take remedial math...but hey! I'm 35 and haven't done it in 17 years!!! Good thing I LOVE math. I'm actually looking forward to it...I got 97% on my english so I can start with 101 - I was happy about that because that's what my husband does for a living so I had better know what I'm talking about...felt weird to be on a campus again. I felt so old. But I think it's going to be a GREAT experience and build character and I'm looking forward to aceing all of my classes!!! Woo-hoo!!! How's THAT for a goal?!?! Take good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/27/06 9:52 P

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I thought about going and getting my Master's in nutrition but my Bachelor's is in English so I can't get into the program without getting another degree.

Cara



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11/25/06 8:56 P

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I'm actually going back to school to get a Bachelors in Nutrition, then move on to my Masters so I can be a dietitian and work in an eating disorders clinic - who knows, maybe The Moore Center. So that should keep me busy at night. I don't know anyone who would want to chat or stay up with me until midnight and at that time of night a hobby, other than reading, is pretty draining because I'm tired at the end of the day. But school work should keep me away from the tv...take very good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/24/06 8:58 P

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I know I sabotage myself too. But I am trying to improve that with the stay in my calorie range goal. Sounds like you need more friends and hobbies to keep your mind off weight. I know I need to do more but I am obsessed with tracking my food and exercise. It takes up way too much of my time. I should work on that next.

Cara



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11/24/06 3:36 P

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I think we DO have so many things in common when it comes to our outlook on life. Thank you for your sweet compliment on how I look in my pictures! Of course, I have a TON where I'm not all that wild about how I look so I don't post those but I've got them...I bet people look at you the same way you look at me. I think we are all SO hard on ourselves. And for me, it's what I go to when I'm feeling down about ANYTHING. I turn it in on myself and my looks and my weight. I could look fine one minute then something happens to upset my apple cart and I look in the mirror 10 minutes later and I'm ugly, fat and hideous. I know this is just my mind but Body Dismorphic Disorder is a real thing and I think I fall victim to myself in this way a lot. But, I'm aware of it and know when I do it and TRY to reverse it. I work on it constantly and I think it's the only way I'm going to "get better" when it comes to how I look. Does all that make sense???
I'm 5'4" and want to be 120. I loved how I looked when I weighed that much. The funny thing is I know I sabotage myself - like I really don't think I deserve to look like I want to or be the weight I want to be. It's funny. I think Oprah said something about it on one of her shows. It's true, if I really think about it. Something else I'm working on...work, work, WORK!! But it's the only way to get better and feel better and be a better person. But you know, sometimes it's overwhelming. And I'm alone a LOT so I do what I call "mental incest" where I roll an idea around in my head so much that it becomes true - even when it isn't. Geeze! But, again, I've come a LONG way and am MUCH better than I was even a year ago so I'm going to keep on keeping on.
Take very good care, Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/20/06 6:49 P

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I totally agree! You and I are trying to have a similar outlook on life. We are also struggling with the same number of pounds trying to get to the same weight. I'm 5"6' How tall are you? In your pictures I think you look great, not like you need to lose any weight at all. But when I look in the mirror I think I could lose a few pounds. I wonder if others look at me the same way I look at you. I'd post pictures if there were any of me, but I am always taking them, or wishing they weren't being taken of me because it is not a good looking day for me. Oh well.

Cara



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11/20/06 2:21 P

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Overeating is a hard one to diagnose, I think. Sometimes we WANT to overeat because we're dealing with hard feelings; sometimes we start eating "healthy" foods and correct portions and then just get into a zone and eat, eat, EAT and we feel out of control or controled by the food and can't stop. When we finally do stop, it's like we were in a trance and we can't BELIEVE how much we just ate. Then, of course, we all deal with how THAT feels differently. It was so hard for me to just sit there with that over full feeling and not do ANYTHING about it. It took me a LONG time to not "act" on what I really wanted to do and to accept how I was feeling without trying to outrun my own skin. I don't know why we get into a "trance" or "zone"-like state - maybe because the numbing, comforting feeling of the food takes over and we want and crave more of it, hoping to be numb and comforted when it's all over. But, honestly, are we ever numbed and comforted when we finally come out of the food coma? I know I'm not. And THAT'S when we beat ourselves up because we can't eat anymore, we're out of our "coma" and we realize we aren't comforted at all. We blame ourselves and our lack of willpower and get very down on ourselves and THIS is where the self-hatred gets started and grows and eats us up. If we can see the path and turn away before we go down it, we won't have to get to the end and have those feelings. If we go down the path and can "sit" with those over full feelings and be gentle with ourselves and talk ourselves through the pain and shame, we can get through it and the "episodes" will be less and less as we get more practice with them.
Take very good care,
Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/19/06 11:02 P

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I miss you to Elisa. Sorry your life is chaotic. Typical really. Why can't I just eat normal? If I start to overeat I just keep it up. Blech!!

Cara



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11/18/06 8:51 A

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Hi ladies,
Oh my gosh, Jenn, I would be so broke if I paid you every time you wrote what I felt...MY GOSH! One of the big things was what you said about being a "just" stay at home mom and not using our brain! I fel like that on a DAILY basis and especially more so here on the island because every time I get around an adult, I feel SOOOO lame and uneducated and just plain STUPID. This is also when I go back in the winter time to America. I feel so DUMB....I am the best mother on this side of the world though and that gets me through the self doubt and self destruction and hatred...I have to step back and think about it hard though. It is difficult for me to accept the fact that I can say "hey, I am okay"...

cara: I miss our daily conversations! These past few weeks for me have been very emotional and busy and different. I guess I meean by different is that my "normal" every day tyoe of schedule has been changed by little tiny things that are HUGE in my book. Maybe I have to go somewhere for a few minutes that I normally dont go to so my daily plan is all out of whack...Those little things, you know what I mean??
I am trying real hard to type fast and think fast so forgive me everyone for making mistakes or writing irratically...I have my bro in law here and a friend of his watching the huge soccer game and Ermanno is napping, I am in the middle of trying to cook, wrip all my couch and chair cushions off to wash AND entertain AND type and get back on the posting and read whats been going on...
I did my hike today, felt excellent and husband came too! I LOVE that time together. and I LOVE that he LOVES it too...Oh, dog came too, of course...Eating is weird, crappy and blaoty now...PMS?? Yep...So we also are tryin for baby...Cross them fingers girls...

What else? Nothing really, am going to go read all the other posts and try to catch up, so sorry if this is a weird email..Jenn, all your emails are WONDERFUL and they make me think.....HARD...and I love you to peices for being so honest and you are so DEEP...know what I mean??
Gotta run..
love you girls..
Elisa

Elisa

heaviest weight 175 in 1989
lowest weight 114 in 2004...

SW:132 9-4-06
GW:125 by 6-17!


 
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11/17/06 1:53 P

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My sister goes through the same type of emotions you do about staying at home. She has a 15 month old and sometimes she gets discouraged because of what people say or how they treat her/act around her - like she couldn't carry on an adult conversation because she's "just" a stay-at-home mom. It's sad for me to see that and see how it hurts her. I try to keep her positive and upbeat and she's really good at rebounding but every once in a while, you just need a few minutes to say, "Dang! I wish I was somewhere else!" That HAS to be ok. We need to give our emotions the right outlet and feel them, even if it's temporary, so they don't come out in ways we don't want them too - ie: our eating. It's ok to feel like you would rather be somewhere else once in a while - heck, I think it's even healthy! But I know you know you're doing the most important job in the world and it all pays off when one of your little ones comes up to you and says, "Mommy, I love you!" ~ Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/17/06 12:00 P

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I know my job is important. There really isn't any other place i'd rather be, but sometimes I don't want to be here. But I am glad my kids have a mother who loves them and is there for them. Thanks for your kind words. It helps to know that others recognize the value of what you are doing.

Cara



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11/17/06 12:44 A

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That's such a sad story about your post partum depression! It's sad you didn't know what it was until 8 months later either. I'm so sorry you didn't get help with it right away - that must have been an awful time for you.
I think, to some extent or degree, we ALL have disordered eating. And it's funny how it's so common to turn to food to deal with our emotions. It soothes us and hurts us and gives us a little "hug" when we need it. But abusing it to abuse ourselves and our bodies is more common than I think anyone wants to admit.
My sister's husband suggested that I put my ED books out of sight and hidden in a closet and I did it because I was ashamed that I had an ED. The fact that he was embarrassed for me speaks volumes about the stigma we attach to eating disorders. Now I want to pull them out and put them on the coffee table for coffee table books! "I had an issue in my life and I dealt with it and deal with it daily and I'm the best me I can be and it's partly because of what's in these books that makes me who I am today which is a wonderful person!" That's what I would imagine those books would say, if I could make them talk.
It's hard, I think, to figure out what drives the ED. Is it my childhood (if I had a dime for everytime I heard THAT!!), my self image, my self esteem, my lack of drive - what is driving it?!?! It took me 5 years to figure out that my childhood started and drove my ED. FIVE YEARS! But that's neither here nor there - I'm just glad I figured it out.
I think a LOT of stay-at-home mom's think and feel the way you do. Like you aren't contributing so therefore you must not be worth much. And that you don't feel like you're using your brain because you aren't getting paid for your work monetarily. Thinking like this can start a vicious cycle of self doubt and loss of self worth. But you are contributing SO MUCH to your childrens' lives and their futures! What if you were raising the next president of the United States? Next Microsoft executive? Next world-famous actor? Next Olympian??? You don't know and won't find out until they grow up and become their own little people. You have the MOST valuable job in our world - raising the next generation of selfless, healthy, confident, thriving people. Our futures, when we get old, depend on their ability to problem solve and come up with solutions and plan for the next generation while taking care of the older generation. Your children have big, important jobs out there, waiting for them and they need to be prepared by YOU - their rock, their teacher, their embassador, their coach and cheerleader, their solid ground, their warm lap of comfort, their MOMMY! As long as you continue to mother your children and help them grow into productive, happy human beings - you are the furthest thing from a failure. YOU are a winner and one of the BEST people in the world today with THE MOST IMPORTANT JOB of ALL.
That's my two cents about all that... emoticon
I saw that you read and posted to the other topic - it's funny how it totally covered the last part of your post here. Funny how things are in our lives just when we need them most. And very cool.
I'm happy to have you in my life and I think you're wonderful.
Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/16/06 11:14 P

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When my 2nd child was born i had severe post partum depression. I didn't really realize that was what was wrong with me until she was 8 months old. I was nearly starving myself (I went on an all liquid diet) and I exercised like crazy. It was so not good--I didn't even look good. I didn't get over it until I figured out I was suffering from post partum depression and that it was okay. You are helping me realize that I have and eating disorder. I eat to punish myself, I eat to reward myself, I eat when I am bored or sad or mad. And then I beat myself up about it. You also made me realize that it is okay--that it happens and you can move past it. I have also started to figure out the reasons behind my disorder. Sometimes I feel like I am wasting my life. I graduated from college, but now I stay home and cook and clean for a family of 6. I never use my brain. it feels like it is broken--food is my cure-all. I am afraid of change--afraid of failure--and I don't know what I want to try anyway. But I am working on that.

Cara



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11/16/06 2:08 P

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That's MY thing too. I have to know the calorie count of what I ate for each meal before I can eat the next meal or snack. It used to drive my dietitian crazy. It's my only sort of "control" I've kept from my ED. Since that's what it is - it's the one thing I can control so I keep doing it so I don't feel so out of control about other things. It's easier to cope with if I have that. I know it's a little obsessive but I think that I'll eventually be able to kick this habit when I feel "safer" in my own skin. It beats the other stuff I used to do to myself. It gets a little overwhelmiing at times, doesn't it? And then when you calculate a BIG day it brings you WAYYYYYY down about yourself. Well, that's what happens with me. I feel like it keeps me honest and more on track but eventually I will have to start trusting myself to eat the correct portions and the right nutritious things without the need to know the counts of everything. I'm happy to hear from you and will post more positive, helpful things about this struggle of ours when I do some research in my materials from TMC (The Moore Center).
Take very good care, Cara,
Jenn
PS Elisa, are you out there???

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
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11/15/06 11:37 P

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I like souls. You are my inspiration. Your advice to Elisa applies to me to. My compulsion is recording and tracking what I eat. When I don't or can't I am out of control. The last half a week I have just about eaten everything in sight. ARGH!!! But tomorrow is a new day, and I am determined to do better. I have to track what I eat, but hopefully I can wean myself of that eventually. Once I was telling Elisa that I had 4-5 good days followed by 1-2 bad days. That pattern seems to have reversed and I need to get back on the band wagon.

Cara



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11/10/06 5:39 P

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CARA - I LOVE that you joined the team! I think it's wonderful!!! I'm thinking of taking out the word "bulimics" and replacing it with "souls." What do you think?
Thank you for your kind words and understanding regarding "My Story" - it was hard to live through, hard to write down, hard to tell to strangers (the Moore Center) and hard to post here but I think it's beneficial for me and, hopefully, others who struggle with themselves on a daily basis - even if they aren't eating disordered. There's a lot in there about the past, emotions, relationships and I'm learning that many people can relate to something in there. I've gotten some wonderful, open e-mails from ladies from our "Slowly Losing It!!!" team about it. The response, frankly, has been a bit overwhelming but I have to say I feel like I'm adding something instead of just taking support and understanding from others. I'm so happy you were able to take something from it - it truly makes my heart smile.
Take very good care,
Jenn

Edited by: 2JENNY2 at: 11/10/2006 (17:39)
The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
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11/10/06 5:33 P

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ELISA - I knew we had a lot in common - it's almost like I can read between the lines in your posts to what you REALLY mean and what you're REALLY thinking. When you beat yourself up about eating and being out of control - it's all about trying to cope with your emotions in ways that have worked for you in the past but are failing you now and you feel more and more out of control. It's not the food or eating that you can't control - it's the feelings and emotions coming out that you can't stuff down anymore. None of your old habits and tricks are working and the emotions HAVE to come out. Try not to be afraid of them. CRY! Yell, scream, shout - TALK to someone. But don't let the emotions scare you. I PROMISE you: if you let them out, you WILL NOT DIE, you WILL NOT CRY FOREVER, you WILL SURVIVE and be a stronger person for it.
It's funny the sentence you wrote: "We will never be CLEAN of our past..." Sweetie, we aren't "dirty" and we aren't "bad" or "unclean" people for how we deal with our emotions. I want my past to be there so I can reflect on it and remember it and SEE how far I've come. It has to be there for me to be complete and know how strong I am and how brave I was for dealing with things I thought would kill me. Instead they made me stronger. You can do it too. Don't be ashamed of your past or afraid of it. Don't try to outfun it because it can run faster than you. Hold it in your hand, look at it, treat it gently and it will soften and it's power over you will fade - I PROMISE.
I'm always telling you to be gentle with yourself - also be gentle with your past. It's made you who you are today and your son and your husband LOVE the you you are today. They love the passionate, strong, powerful, loving woman in their lives and need you with them - past and all. It's the only way they can truly "have" you in their lives.
Take VERY good care, ELISA,
Jenn

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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11/10/06 12:08 P

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I hope you don't mind if I joined the team. I just wanted to ready your story and afer I did I wanted to reply. As I read your story I was impressed by the strength you have had during the battle, and your willingness to share your experiences. Also i realized that although I have had some mild boughts of both overeating and anorexia. Thanks again for your knowledge and experience and for sharing with us. It is helping me develop my own healthy realationship with food and immprove my self esteem.

Cara



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11/10/06 12:03 A

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Jenn,
It is 6:55 in the morning for me here in Greece and I have TEARS rolling down my face. I read and re-read your story and I can not beleive how mch we have in common, sad to say that 2 of us went through this and are going through it now. The self hatred, the planning, the everything. Your story is so incredibly inspiring to me Jenn that I want to hop on the next plane and hug you. I can read the strength in your voice and the commitment in your heart with how much healthier you want to become. We will never be CLEAN of our past but we can deal with it on a daily basis. We will always be a "recovering" bulimic,binge eater,over eater, whatever the issue is for us. Baby steps for me, I know that...easier said than done...
Jenn, I love ya! You definetly inspire me to actually LIKE myself, to wake up HAPPY, to enjoy life...I will try..On a daily basis, I will try....
How I wish we lived closer...
XOXO
Elisa

Elisa

heaviest weight 175 in 1989
lowest weight 114 in 2004...

SW:132 9-4-06
GW:125 by 6-17!


 
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4.25
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2JENNY2's Photo 2JENNY2 Posts: 1,082
11/9/06 2:11 P

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Here is my story about my ED and how and where I got help for it:
My Story

• My name is Jenn and I was a practicing bulimic for 20 years, since I was 13 and was also anorexic for about 6 years.
• I started seeing a therapist about 9 years ago & told her about my bulimia just 3 years ago. When I finally told her about it, it got worse.
• After discussing my eating disorder with her over the next 2 years, I realized I would need more support and help in my every day life and that I would need to tell my husband.
• Before telling him, I copied information about bulimia from the Internet so he could begin to read and understand what I was facing and what bulimia was all about.
• This is the first thing I had him read: “The first thing to keep in mind is that as someone not suffering from an Eating Disorder, there are many things you cannot do to help a family member or friend get better. You cannot force an Anorexic to eat, keep a Bulimic from purging, or make a Compulsive Overeater stop overeating. The first thing to realize once you’ve come to the awareness that your loved-one suffers from an Eating Disorder, is that you must not concentrate immediately on the food. All forms of Eating Disorders are emotionally based and the behaviors are only a symptom to emotional and stress related problems. Disordered eating is an attempt to control, hide, stuff, avoid and forget emotional pain, stress and/or self-hate.”
• I wanted him to realize that it wasn’t as easy as him saying “just stop” and I would - I wish it was that easy but it’s not. It’s not “easy” at all. There’s a lot of hard work, discipline, learning and emotions involved. And it takes a great deal of time to get through the recovery process successfully.
• I realized I was going to need a lot of compassion, understanding and patience in the coming days, weeks and months ahead. Compassion because I was at a point where I was working to get past my disorder, to stop the behavior and deal with my feelings and emotions in a safer, healthier way. By admitting to my husband I was bulimic, I had opened myself up to potential judgment and criticism and I needed compassion and understanding most importantly during this time.
• I realized there was no “switch” to turn on to make my husband immediately understand all the things I was trying to tell him about how I was feeling and about the things I was doing to myself. I also needed patience and understanding for him too.
• I thought that telling my husband about my bulimia would make me stop doing it because now he knew what a “horrible” person I thought I was and I didn’t want to disappoint him any more by continuing with it. But the exact opposite thing happened. My behavior got worse and more out of control.
• I was so ashamed of myself and didn’t know how to deal with those emotions other than by practicing my eating disorder. Which, in turn, made me feel more ashamed so I would practice my eating disorder more and more which brought on more shame - it was a vicious cycle and needed to end.
• I remember being in the shower one day and I could literally wash handfuls of my hair down the drain. It was coming out in clumps and patches all the time. I remember being tired all the time but couldn’t sleep very well which made me more tired. I remember seeing the calloused skin on my hands from forcing myself to throw-up and feeling ugly and unlovable and ashamed. I remember feeling so horrible about myself that I couldn’t look into a full-length mirror because I felt so fat, ugly and unloveable.
• My therapist, my husband and I decided intensive out-patient treatment for long-term recovery would be my best next step. That’s when I discovered the Moore Center.
• Deciding to go to Moore Center was a HUGE step in the right direction and, for me, took a lot of courage. It wasn’t easy to go, to admit to anyone else I was bulimic and that needed help to stop.
• I remember my first day at the Moore Center like it was yesterday. It was the first time I met with Meghann, the dietitian at the time. My meeting with her was before my first core group session and when it was time for the session to start, Meghann and I were standing at the door of her office. She pointed to Dr. Moore’s office and said “They’re in there.” I looked at her and my eyes filled with tears – I didn’t realize until that moment how truly scared I really was to face my eating disorder and to talk to a group of strangers about what I considered my “awful, embarrassing, disgusting behavior.” Meghann saw the look of what I would describe as pure terror in my eyes, put her hand on my shoulder and said, “Do you want me to go in there with you?” She was so kind. The look of concern in her eyes for someone she had just met an hour before who had told her that she regularly ate thousands of calories worth of food at a sitting and then forced herself to throw it all up, was amazing to me. She cared that I was terrified and helped me through the door into my first core group meeting and, ultimately, into a healthier life.
• I quickly realized I had a lot of rules and restrictions about my eating and was going to have to be open to different, but essentially “normal”, concepts and behaviors. To someone who isn’t eating disordered, this would be simple but they don’t, or didn’t, have my skewed ways of thinking.
• Meghann was always telling us that “food is just food.” The concept may sound so simple, but when you’ve used food most of your life as a coping mechanism, it’s hard to change that pattern of thinking and behaving. It was hard for me to make food “okay” and not be afraid of it or think of it in terms of “bad” or “good.” There’s healthier choices and choices which are not as healthy and I understand that simple concept so much better now - again, sounds simple but is hard to grasp and believe with the skewed thinking I had nurtured for years.
• I remember a girl in a group session said that doing the meal plan, planning out meals and making sure you ate what you agreed to eat, took a lot of energy and time. It was then I realized the eating disorder took much more time and energy: planning a binge, buying the food, finding a secret place to eat, purging in a private place, cleaning up the bathroom, getting rid of the wrappers, etc. But it was such a habit and so second nature that it didn’t seem like it took much energy or effort at all. In reality, it took all I had and left nothing for anyone or anything else in my life. Which, I guess, was my ultimate goal: keep busy focusing on the behavior so that there’s no time left to “feel.”
• Something I found extremely helpful during group sessions was that the girls allowed me to talk about my feelings and emotions in a safe, non-judgmental place. It was hard to talk at first. I was so scared they would think I was a freak - but they didn’t. It took me some time to really open up and share, but when I did, I felt so much better and more free. Free from the pain of carrying around so much emotional baggage. I could talk about anything and everything and the girls in the sessions would understand and give me ideas about better ways to cope than by practicing my eating disorder.
• Getting a better handle on my eating freed up a lot of time for me to focus on the reasons why I practiced my eating disorder. I had more time and energy to listen in therapy and to take it all in. Interaction with other eating disordered people allowed me to let the walls down I had built up and let the healing begin
• It feels so good to feel good about myself now. I didn’t realize how awful I felt about myself until the people at the Moore Center helped me to see the “real me” - inside and out. I can look into a full-length mirror now without wanting to run and binge and purge. I see the woman in the mirror as a reflection of myself and not some strange, disgusting creature who doesn’t matter to anyone.
• All through this whole process, my husband has been very supportive and never once made me feel disgusting or ashamed of myself. He’s never run out of patience when I tell him I’ve had a “bad day,” which I occasionally still have. Only now it’s maybe once every four or five MONTHS instead of once every four or five hours. I’m not perfect and recovery takes time so I don’t beat myself up about it. I try to be gentle with myself and learn from the experience and work to change my behavior the next time a similar situation comes up that makes me want to practice being bulimic. My husband’s told me recently that he doesn’t want me to have a bad day, even though we both know it’s a part of the recovery process, because he knows how much I don’t want to have a bad day.
• For most of my life, I tried to be someone I wasn’t – I tried to be what I thought other people wanted me to be and act like so I could be “perfect” in their eyes - which, I thought, would make them like me and maybe even love me. I thought that if people knew the “real me” they would run away in terror at what a hideous and disgusting person I really was. What I’ve learned is that people will love me if I’m just me – the me I tried to hide for so long; the me I tried to stuff down inside with food or by restricting food; the me I was ashamed of; the “bad” girl; the “fat” girl; the “unlovable” girl.
• But I realize I’m none of those things – the real me is a good, kind, lovable person with real feelings and emotions. The real me matters; not only to myself but to my loved ones and friends.
• I realize the real me doesn’t have to be hidden anymore. This is the me I am and the me I want to be. I’m letting her out more and more every day and I now realize how much she enjoys her life.
~ Jenn 11/9/2006

The effect of life in society is to complicate our existence, making us forget who we really are by causing us to become obsessed with what we are not. Chuang-tzu
Life is a Journey, Not a Destination


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