Day 13 and back to reality

I arrived back home today and it’s been a bit of a come down. It’s only natural after holidays but I have felt it creeping up over the past couple of days. It’s a fine balance between feeling ‘yay I’m going to beat this and I can eat anything I want and feel okay about it’ and ‘oh crap what have I done I’ve totally lost control the past week’ and I feel I’ve crossed it now. I’m feeling huge and wobbly and can’t believe I let go like I did, yet at the same time I’m trying to keep telling myself that one week won’t be the undoing of me, I won’t have gained 2 stone and I will get my fitness back (I haven’t run in more than a week and freaking out about it now).

I have been roughly sticking with structured eating but it has been a little all over the place. That’s only natural with holidays though I guess, this was always going to be a challenge. I think it’s better that I went with the flow rather than being too strict, but I can see I’m not ready for intuitive eating yet. The last two days have been a bit pants, with some purging on Saturday and overeating on Sunday.

I pulled it back though and did well today: breakfast, large lunch, large snack then another large snack. I have four more days where I can stick to routine and then I’m off again on Friday for a wedding which will be another challenge. After that there will be two days left then I will see my counsellor on Tuesday and get weighed. I am DREADING it, but I will do it because a) she’ll make me! and b) I need some proof of what happens when I let go so that I can make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Now though I’m going to bed bloated and uncomfortable but will keep telling myself that the memories of the last week will be worth it.

 

 

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Day 6- A holiday without ED

Hola! I am in Spain! It’s sunny! Hurrah!

I’m feeling pretty proud of myself today. I woke up feeling bad about yesterday but had a stern talking to myself (as in I actually talked to myself in the mirror- sometimes this is necessary!) about not letting yesterday roll into today. 

So today I travelled (a bus, 2 trains, a plane, a bus and another train- I’m a dab hand with the public transport!) and yet still manages structured eating! I got up early to make breakfast snacks and lunch for travelling and then just ate out with my friend. I am stuffed-more full than I’m comfortable with but I have excused myself to go to bed and I will sleep it off.

Another day done. I’m just slowly trying to inch my way to my next counsellor appt in one piece. But for now I’m on holidays, without ED. 

Day 5- and why using behaviours does not make me a failure

Today was 80% successful. I’m working this out as I have opportunity for success with structured eating 5 times a day: at 3 meals and 2 snacks. Today I did fine with 4/5 of those, and just fell at the last hurdle by purging dinner, then having a small and purge. But although I fell, I haven’t failed. I’m going to try explain why…

I could feel the urge to purge come on early today. I had a few things to do today and was on a tight schedule. I knew it was unrealistic but I didn’t want to let anyone down, but then I ended up having to cancel on someone at late notice and that sucks as I hate when people do that to me, and also as there are times when I just cannot be social (say when my mood is just too low) I don’t like to’waste’ these times on something avoidable. So I was a bit stressed I guess, even though my tight schedule involved nice things like a run with a friend etc. I also haven’t purged in 4 days which is magic for me but I could feel it building up. Plus I’m on holidays next week staying with a friend in Spain (woo-hoo!) so I knew I would be trying really hard to not do it there. I know these seem silly reasons but I’m just trying to figure out where the urge came from.

So anyway I ate my healthy dinner, but my boyfriend was out and I had made enough for two (lesson learnt – I’m not ready for that) and after mine I decided to eat more. I did this consciously though- I waited 15 mins while I weighed up pros and cons. I could see the pros were in the minority but I decided to anyway. I then purged and this is shameful to admit but I really did feel so much better afterwards. This lasted for about an hour before I decided to go to the shop to buy something else to eat which I did and had a ‘mini binge’. This second one wasn’t as rational- the switch had definitely flipped and I felt out of control, but I figured I had used behaviours anyway today another time might not have hurt.

Now it’s all done and dusted a few hours later I can reflect on how I feel. Do I wish I hadn’t done it? Yes. Would I do it again? Yes. That’s where my problem lies- I need to stop seeing it as a pleasurable experience. I feel sick now, my insides are definitely not happy. I spent £3.50 on food I just then threw up- money that could have been spent on coffee with a friend. I felt sneaky doing it while boyfriend was out- I had option of going to meet him but chose not to- I shouldn’t be choosing ED over him. On the other hand I feel a definite sense of emptiness in my stomach which I haven’t had all week, and I feel calmer and ready to enjoy my holiday now. No wonder it’s hard to give it up if I feel it still has a helpful role in my life. 

Usually I would just have switched off my brain and my emotions at this point, but I’m trying to turn it around by taking time to reflect. I’m also going to work extra hard tomorrow to not let this de-rail me. Structured eating is still the aim for tomorrow and I have a plan in place for travelling. 

80% is still pretty good going, so yes I’m disappointed in myself but still have two feet firmly on the path to recovery, this was just one teensy stumble along the way. 

Structured eating reflection- day 1

I’m not sure if this will work or not – I may abandon this after a day or two- but I’m going to try and blog my 3 week structured eating mission. I have 3 weeks until my next counsellor appointment and I am committed (at least for now- wait until ED gets a wind of this plan!) to trying my hardest at my goals of structured eating. I’m not overly concerned with what I’m eating at the moment, just the regularity of it. I’m not going to post what I actually eat as I don’t want to be giving any readers’ ED gremlins comparison ammunition; I’ll just more be reflecting on how it went and identify challenges and successes.  It will probably be boring for others to read, but if it has the potential to help me I’ll give anything a go

Breakfast- awesome, go me

Morning snack- was late as was at a work thing and didn’t want to eat my snack in front of people (something to work on but not for now). Felt okay about amount etc. though.

Lunch- ate this 40 mins ahead of schedule, so it was a bit too soon to snack. I wasn’t really hungry, I was just bored at my desk I think and wanted some distraction. I was meant to be working on something but I’d left it at home so was annoyed at myself. I think if my lunch bag had been in the fridge and not in my office I would have waited so tomorrow need to put lunch bag in fridge when I get in. Went for short gentle walk after lunch to distract myself from feeling full.

Afternoon snack- half an hour early but in line with lunch. Not particularly hungry, again a bit bored.

Unscheduled biscuits- they were in my drawer as they were leftover from a social  event. I shouldn’t have them in my office and need to remove them. Not even sure why I ate them, don’t think I was hungry. Could definitely feel a binge coming on but stopped myself after 3 and then packed up to go home as hoped change of scenery would help and I knew I could’t binge as boyfriend at home. Went to shops on way home and bought stuff for dinner. Urge to binge had gone at this point- was a quick one amazingly- need to remember the urges do pass and to not get caught up in thinking a few biscuits is a binge.

Dinner- made a new recipe and it was yum even if I say so myself! Ate at table with boyfriend and packed us both a lunch for tomorrow with the leftovers. Had some dessert and now feel too full – need to leave some time between dinner and dessert to suss out how hungry I actually am. Could easily purge now, and am very tempted, but after being so sick on Monday I think my body would be taking a battering-plus I know I haven’t eaten ‘too much’ so I am blogging instead and going to distract myself with some study now.

All in all- things to work on but not a bad start!

Two goals: boyfriend and porridge

I had a therapist appointment today and it was a rough one but I came away with two clear goals that is all I need to focus on for this week. One- telling the boyfriend and two- eating porridge for breakfast.

I’ll start with the second goal first as it’s probably the most manageable. Breakfast was always my safe meal of the day. For the past 7 years probably I’ve had porridge made with water and some kind of seeds or berries as my breakfast. I have varied this on occasion e.g. at weekends, when out etc. so I’m not stuck to it, it’s just more that it works for me and it’s nice to start the day with a meal that makes me feel okay and is nutritious. Then last week I ate porridge for dinner and ever since then I have a new rule that I can’t eat porridge for breakfast anymore. Such a random ED rule, but it’s meant that breakfast has been a nightmare for the past week. I agreed with my counsellor that I need to nip this in the bud as I can’t let ED have so much power over me, so for the next week I am to eat porridge for breakfast. It’s a bit frustrating that I have a goal for something that I could do fine a few weeks ago, but I guess recovery is two steps forward, one step back.

The other goal is far far scarier. We had a good chat about telling the boyfriend. I talked through all the points you guys had raised (can’t express how much I appreciated your comments) and she reiterated that she doesn’t think I will manage recovery on my own, and that she thinks I am frightened of me telling him as it will mean reducing opportunities for behaviours. I think she’s right about the second point, and probably about the first point although it makes me sad to admit that.  I asked her about what I should say, and what I should be expecting. She said that best case scenario he would offer me emotional support, which freaked me out a little. Practical support I could deal with, but any other kind of support makes me wince. Clearly a bigger issue there. She agreed the small steps approach would be best- so my challenge for this week is to tell my boyfriend that my eating issues have flared up again and that I have started to see a new counsellor to help with them, and that I may need his support in the future. She asked me to tell him about the purging but that felt like too much.

So I have a week to eat porridge and admit to the love of my life that I’m still quite messed up in the head. Fun times ahead! I’ll keep you posted.

 

Telling the boyfriend

My new counsellor has brought something quite important up that I have been mulling over for the last few weeks. Having spent the last 5 hours binging and purging I’m coming to the realisation that if I ever am to really recover I need to take action on it.

She thinks I need to tell my boyfriend about my purging. She thinks I need to remove the secrecy in order to remove some of ED’s power. And I guess to reduce my opportunities to purge at home.

The boyfriend knows about my ED in theory. We first got together when I was in an anorexic phase and he was very tolerant of my behaviours and food avoidance. When I started regaining weight I did talk to him about having to fight binge/purging, but we never really spoke about it and haven’t ever since. I guess he still knows I’m somewhat funny about food, but we’re now living together and I have no idea if he knows about how regular the purging is.

I feel sick having to talk to him about it. I could just about handle telling him about restriction but binging and purging is a whole other issue. I’ve no idea how I’d even bring it up. I know he would just be worried about me and would never say if he was grossed out by it, but I basically have been keeping a giant disgusting lie from him for well over a year now – how do we deal with that?

If any of you have experience of telling boyfriends, husbands, girlfriends, wives or parents siblings roommates etc. – anyone you lived with – I could really do with some advice about how to broach the issue, and how to survive once it is out there?

I love my boyfriend, I really really do. And while I hate ED, to date that has been my longest most passionate relationship.  How am I going to introduce them to each other?

Indecision

I’m a bit stuck. I’m alone in a hotel room tonight as part of my work trip. I’ve been staying with a friend’s cousin the last few days but now I have a night on my own before flying home. I got to my hotel a few hours ago and have been fighting indecision since then.

I haven’t had any dinner so I really should go find something to eat. However, I’m afraid if I leave the hotel room and find a shop I will buy stuff to binge on. I’m also afraid that even if I manage to buy something ‘safe’ like the salads I’ve been eating the last few nights, I will still want to purge. I’m not convinced the toilets here will be able to take it either (I’m staying in a very budget hotel!) so that is factoring into my choice.

This is when recovery gets a bit tricky- is it better to skip dinner or eat and purge? None of the self-helps books can help me with this choice! There is always the underlying assumption that when in this position I could buy something sensible to eat and just manage it, but honestly I cannot see myself executing such a rationale plan right now. The lady I was staying with gave me a mini bottle of champagne to celebrate my presentation which I have with me. Would a glass of that count as dinner?!

I could go to bed hungry but I’m not sure I’d sleep. Or I’ve just realised I have some oats with me, maybe I could make porridge with the kettle here and then I can eat and not go out? I’d have no oats for breakfast tomorrow then, but maybe I’d feel safer tomorrow anyway as I have to check out so no real option to purge whatever I then buy for tomorrow.

Oats could be a good call here… man, I love wordpress…just writing this blog has helped me figure out something I’ve been stressing about for two hours!!! I also feel I should maybe get out to explore but I have a couple of hours in the morning and could do it then. Is eating oats and not purging rather than exploring just what it takes? Argh, recovery is hard sometimes.

I’m trying to listen to what ED wants me to do. I think it wants me to binge and purge. If that’s the case I should eat oats and stay in. And maybe just sleep and hope the urge will have passed by tomorrow.

Okay, oats, mini champagne and sleep it is. Just an ordinary Tuesday y’know…!