Taking its toll 

I just purged and I’m now lying on my bed feeling awful. I had to sit down in the shower after as I felt so nauseous still even after everything was gone, and now I just feel wiped. I have jobs to do- need to get lunch sorted for tomorrow, need to put on a wash, need to dry my hair etc but I don’t think I can pull myself together to do it.

Purging used to make me feel clean, it would give me a boost, afterwards I’d have a spurt of energy and I’d always br stupidly productive in the hour following a purge. Now I just feel tired and sad.

I can feel the illness taking its toll. It’s nothing acute, or critical or dangerous, but just a slow degrading of my body. Eating properly has got my body mostly on track, but I’m kidding myself if I think I can be fully healthy if I keep purging.

I have cut it down to a bare amount, and I’m so proud of myself for that, but I feel like I will forever be stuck with this last little bit, and my poor tired body is having to put up with it.

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A challenge

I’m going away with a colleague tomorrow for a work thing. 4 whole days of eating meals together. My anxiety is through the roof. I’ll want to eat only safe foods, but I know that will bring attention to me. Actually I’ll probably want to eat some of the nice foods that will be available, but the  that will just bring on the guilt. And no purging, definitely no purging. I really really really want to make it through with no purging as we’ll be sharing a bathroom.

Argh, this is stressful and trips away should not be stressful. I’m going to keep to my run schedule as I know that will help, both with some time alone and feeling like I can bank some calories as needed. These are old thoughts for me, I shouldn’t be thinking like this. I think it’s just I don’t know the friend that well so my default setting is to be very careful of what I eat in front of others, but then that inevitably fails and I’ll eat more than I allowed myself and then beat myself up about it. If I know this, I can act on it.

I need to:

-eat three meals and three snacks a day as usual

-eat a ‘treat’ if I really want it and feel like it, but be mindful of the decision and then move on from it

-be present so I don’t focus only on food

-run

-remind myself that 4 days out of schedule will not make me balloon

-breathe—> that always helps!

-and enjoy myself, this should be the easy part!

 

 

 

The difference between then and now

Earlier this evening I was looking at old pictures of me, and of other random people on the internet, and thinking that I would really like to lose weight. I was thinking that I’d quite like to be ‘lanky ‘again, that I’d love my bones to be visible, that it would be nice if I lost enough for people to say ‘you’ve lost weight’ or ‘wow you must be running a lot as you’re shrinking’ etc etc. I pictured it and it gave me a nice fuzzy comforting feeling inside.

I then stood up to get a cup of tea and realised my feet were like blocks of ice and I shivered. That made me think of when my whole body used to feel like a block of ice, when my joints hurt from the cold that came from within, not matter how hot it was outside. As I made my cup of tea I thought about what I would have for dinner, and it was a relief to not have to accept that the cup of tea was going to be the only thing I would allow myself that evening, which may have ended up in deprivation or binging/purging.

I made my cup of tea and then got on with things, and since then I’ve done some work, sorted out some bills, renewed my car insurance, chatted to a friend, been to the recycling centre, had dinner with my boyfriend and now I’m packing my bag for the morning before getting into bed with a book.

Sometimes the differences between illness and recovery aren’t glaring. They’re not always shocking like ‘I’ve gained X kilos’ ‘I now eat X more calories’. Sometimes the difference is a subtle as making a cup of tea, paying the bills and sorting the recycling! Before I would I think about losing weight and that would being my all consuming thought and action for an evening,  with its mission gnawing at my body. Now it’s sometimes simply a passing thought before I get on with the reality of life.

This might not seem like a large enough motivation to work towards recovery, but for me being able to be present and engage in the real, big, messy world is so much better than being trapped in the small dark ED world scrolling through photos thinking what if…

That’s my happy midweek thought!

 

 

How can I stop making silly choices?!

I’m going to abandon my positivity for the moment and have a little moan about my stupid behaviour!

I ran today with my club and it was a killer. I wasn’t well enough – I wasn’t sure if I was fully better or not but I’d been at work and seemed okay so I thought I’d give it a go- it was a mistake as I felt rough on every step. Usually we’d be chatting while running but it took everything I had to breathe and put one foot in front of the other. Bleurgh.

Anyway, I knew I had the house to myself once I was home so when driving back (oh yes, I drive to run club, so bad!). I played out my regular Tuesday evening debate in my head. Do I:

-make a healthy dinner that would nourish my body after running, and leave it at that, no purging, plus my boyfriend would have dinner for when he got home. Clearly this is always the best option!

-get chip shop chips (fries) on the way home and definitely purge them (chips were a new addition to my diet last year but I struggle to eat them without purging). This would be the quick fix ‘fill me up rapidly and easy to throw up’ option, but I would have to tell the boyfriend I didn’t make any food for him, and I would probably lie about the chips and have to hide the evidence. Plus I’m sick and in training and fries are not exactly nutritious!

-buy some binge food to eat after a healthy dinner as I’ll probably want to purge my dinner anyway seeing as I’m alone.

-not buy binge food, but then risk wanting to binge after dinner and then eating random crap at home.

This is the exhausting crap that goes on in my head. I did wonder if it was related to the bad run but I go through the same process most Tuesdays. It’s something about having the house to myself that I get overwhelmed by the need to purge. I have been experiencing this for nearly a year now and have yet to find a solution.

Anyway, I stopped at shop on way home. Bought some quorn mince for dinner and a large chocolate bar.  Ate the chocolate bar in the car sitting outside my house. Immediately wanted to purge so made a smoothie to make it worthwhile (does anyone else do that?!) then purged.

After this, I then set about making a lovely health dinner which I ate, but then felt ill from purging earlier so got sick again. I’m now in bed feeling a rubbish and frustrated with myself for making ANOTHER stupid choice. Why couldn’t I just have made a normal dinner and then had a chocolate bar after like a normal person? Why do I debate decisions of which I know the right answer and then choose the wrong one? What will it take for me to stop making the same mistakes again and again and again? How can I be so confident about myself and my behaviour in other aspects of my life yet be at mercy to a chocolate bar?!!!

Sigh. I’m really frustrated with myself right now, and really wish I knew how to break free from some of this long-lasting ED crap.

Okay, moan over. Aside from this evening I had quite a pleasant day so not all doom and gloom!

 

Strength or weakness 

Yesterday I got the bus home at the end of my long run. I’d not been feeling great when I went out but I was down to do a 22 miler so I really wanted to get it done. I lasted 8 miles before turning around as I felt so awful, and running another 7 until I could get a bus. The bus man told me I was cheating by getting the bus and I burst into tears. I got home and sat in the shower as I was too tired to stand, then got out and cried to my boyfriend. 

I felt so rough, yet felt so awful for not finishing my run. Thing is I’ve been doing great with my training and know that had I not been ill I would have loved the run. I just wasn’t well enough. But that didn’t stop my mind beating myself up about it for the rest of the day. The truth is though I listened to my body and not finishing that run was the best thing I could have done for myself. 

I often wage this battle in my head about what is strength and what is weakness. Is cutting a run short strong or weak? Is spending a day in bed strong or weak? Is  eating certain foods strong or weak? On and on this battle rages.

Fact is life isn’t really broken into strength and weakness that way. I don’t know when or how I got so caught up in what makes me a strong person and why makes me a weak person. I’m just me, one person who can’t be divided up in that way. I’m really going to try to stop thinking about my actions in that way and instead reframe it as ‘is this good for me?’

So, today I’m sick, would running the miles I missed yesterday be good for me to do on my rest day? No! 

Would watching trashy tv all day be good for me? For a little while yes, but not all day and that will stop me sleeping tonight so I should do some small easy jobs around the house.

Would snacking all day rather than eating proper meal be good for me? No.

It’s worth a shot anyway! If you catch me writing about strength and weakness again feel free to call me on it! 

This will be the year

I will be discharged from ED services at a healthy weight with a healthy enough mindset to keep going on my own. I will ensure my purging does not exceed 8 times a month.

I will write three chapters of my PhD.

I will PB in the marathon.

I will complete another 70.3 triathlon and enjoy it this time.

I will make an effort to be positive in work- I like my job so I should not moan about it when there, and hopefully this might spread positivity to others.

I will save 1/4 of the money needed for a house deposit to one day own my own house!

I will make more of an effort to text/ring friends, as I have some of the most amazing friendships I want to make sure they are maintained.

I will blog at least once a fortnight so that I check in with myself to see how I’m really feeling (I find sitting down to write is really good for this).

2016, I’m ready for you!

That was the year

That was the year I realised that ED recovery involved accepting the weight gain.

That was the year I realised ED recovery involved eating a range of food and a range of amounts.

That was the year my amazing ED nurse helped me on my way but then I had to say goodbye to her.

That was the year that ED shrank and other aspects of my life took over.

That was the year I got made permanent in a new job.

That was the year I got funded for two projects.

That was the year a student said I had helped her achieve her ambitions.

That was the year I set personal bests in the 5k, 10k and half marathon.

That was the year I got involved in my running club committee and made lots of new friends.

That was the year I moved in with my boyfriend.

That was the year of lovely weddings (not mine!)

That was year lots of lovely new babies were born (not to me!).

That was the year I cut my hair short.

That was the year I took a break from my PhD.

That was the year I came off my anti-depressants.

 

It was a good year, I feel lucky to have been alive to experience it all.