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!

 

 

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If you can’t get out of it, get into it

I’ve been a bit tired and grumpy today. I was disorganised this morning so was a bit rushed getting to work, then I had to do some computer stuff which just failed so was a waste of an hour and then I completely forgot a work training session I was meant to be at this afternoon – one of those days. All through that I’ve had some admin to do that is due on Friday that I am procrastinating from I avoided it Monday and yesterday and I can feel the anxiety building up about it.

I am a total procrastinator. It is the biggest source of stress for me typically but it is something I have worked so hard on the last few years that it doesn’t often get the better of me anymore, but I have definitely fallen foul of it the last week.

But! I finally pulled myself together this afternoon and took myself off to the library. It’s lovely and peaceful here and I’ve got about a third of way through my work- totally worth working late as I’m back on track for getting finished. The anxiety about it is easing already. Going to head home now and watch bake off on iplayer guilt free!

As the saying goes, if you can’t get out of it, get into it!

procrastination

Testing and proving the theory

Straight in the door of my nurse appointment today and I was up on the scales. I was super anxious after being out of a routine over holidays and was really reluctant to be weighed as I wasn’t sure I could deal with the fall out (I was sure I had gained a massive amount). However, my nurse is very effective at not taking no for an answer so there I was, waiting for it to set at 0.0 before I could step on and face the number that was terrifying me.

It was up. But only by 0.2 kg, which is really nothing for me now- my weight has been stable for nearly 6 months now so I can deal with minor fluctuations like this. I don’t like them, and I did need to sit with it for a few moments, but I got through it. It’s typical for people to gain a little on holiday and they naturally readjust when they come back and in any case it wasn’t anything significant (I could probably have peed out 0.2kg before going in if I’d been made to!). I ate out quite a bit over holidays and I had been binging/purging etc. so in fact I’m pretty impressed that my body has just kept plodding along at this weight despite all of that. This is my set weight and my body can cope with life at this number it seems.

At the beginning of this summer my new nurse said if I wanted her help I had to trust the theory that if I ate enough, got to and stayed at my set point then recovery would start being easier and I would eventually find the balance of food and life. I have teetered on this time and time again for many years but this time I went for it, I trusted her and tested the theory.

I kept eating. I ate more amounts. I ate more variety. I ate in different places. I ate at different times. I ate from different plates. I ate with different people. I ate different lunches. I ate different dinners. I ate seconds. I ate desserts. I ate snacks. I ate at work. I ate at home. I ate in the park.  I ate in the library. I ate with family. I ate with friends. I ate with strangers, I ate things I thought I didn’t like. I ate without reading the label. I ate without measuring. I ate when I was tired. I ate when I was celebrating. I ate when I was busy. I….just….ate. Because we need food to live and I wanted to live.

It wasn’t easy but it is getting easier. The binging is notably less and it seems to have lost its power over me. I’m working on the purging and while that is still an issue it feels manageable now. I couldn’t bear my body a few months ago but now I am starting to make peace with it.

The theory was that if I got to my set point and ate enough to fuel my lifestyle, then I would get myself in a position where I can make sensible decisions about recovery. The theory seemed to be have been right. The view looks pretty good from here 🙂

Why will I not give up on my eating disorder?

I hate having an eating disorder. I hate the secrecy. I hate feeling out of control around food. I hate the fear of being caught purging. I hate the feeling after purging. I hate binging. I hate the urge to binge. I hate exercising when I’m tired. I hate the acid reflux. I hate my bowel problems. I hate the looks and the suspicion. I hate the feeling of certain numbers on the scale. I hate the continuous thoughts of calories. I hate the comparing I do with other people’s bodies and eating habits. I hate the fear about not being able to have children. I hate the damage I have to done to my body that has not yet shown itself. I hate depression. I hate being tearful. I hate my self harm scars. I hate the feeling of fat on my body. I hate my rolls of flab. I hate the bloodshot eyes. I hate the feeling of realising there is vomit on your shoes. I hate that the only time I feel good about myself is when I restrict. I hate the lying. I hate putting my eating disorder ahead of all of the wonderful people and parts of my life.

If all is this is true then why do I keep going with it? Why do I not put every ounce of my being into getting rid of it and staying rid of it? Why is that feeling of losing weight worth all the above horrors? Why is the fear of gaining weight worse than the fear of dying? How can I see so clearly that my eating disorder is trying to destroy my life and yet not use any of the knowledge and techniques I have to fight it? How can I sit here and write all of this knowing I am about to go purge my dinner?

I wish I knew. I really wish I could figure this one out.

I think I’m going to be okay

I had my last session with my ED nurse as she was leaving today. I have so much emotion around this and I will write properly soon, but just for now I want to say that … I think I’m going to be okay. As in, I think I’m going to recover, that I’m going to be one of the people that make it.

I don’t know if I’ve ever thought this, or believed it before, but I do now. I’m going to have to keep fighting, I know it’s not going to be straightforward, but I do believe I can make it happen.

And that is a pretty powerful thought.

I’m willing some of my positivity across to the rest of you, we can do this.

x

Stumbles and a run

I read something the other night that said something along the lines of ‘if you stumble but right yourself you’ve still actually gained a step’. I kind of feel this is what happened to me with my chocolate peanuts incidents. Yes I ate too much but I didn’t purge. Sometimes if I’m too forgiving of myself I feel like I start to make excuses to engage in negative behaviours, but beating myself up about things isn’t productive either. So I’m recognising these as stumbles but also as steps gained.

On another note, I had a great race yesterday- it was really hilly half marathon but the more that goes up, the more that comes down, and I love downhill running so that suits me! It was a gorgeous countryside route so I made sure to take some deep breaths and enjoy the scenery. I was mindful of my breathing and my steps on the road. I listened to the sounds of the animals we passed (and inhaled some of the smells they made!). I smiled at and thanked all the volunteers. I watched the clouds move across the sky and felt the odd raindrop. It was a very peaceful run, despite being a really hard route. That’s the beauty of mindful running I guess! A lovely way to end a positive week in recovery.