Day 27: Changing My Mentality

Hi everyone,

When I was fully under Ed’s wrath, I had a very specific way of thinking when it came to the way I would eat.  Monday through Thursday, I would restrict, and then on Friday I would let myself eat because I would see my family for dinner.  On Saturday I would restrict again, (to make up for Friday), and then on Sunday I would restrict all day and then pretty much eat anything and everything I wanted for dinner.

Sunday nights were the night my boyfriend and I used to go eat dinner at his parents house, and his mom would make incredible food and always had delicious desserts.  I looked forward to this dinner all week–I even started calling Sunday’s my “fat Sunday’s.”  After every single fat Sunday, I would wake up sore.

Now, even though I am not restricting my calories during the week, I still have that same mentality about the weekends–that when the weekend comes, I can just eat what I want because I know during the week I will starve it all away.  Even though that is not the case anymore, my mind still thinks this way and it is hindering me from making the progress that I would like to make.

For example, yesterday, I pretty much did not even think about the meal plan and just ate whatever I wanted all day long.  At first  I enjoyed it-I enjoyed challenging Ed. And then, I got mad at myself.  And then I got mad that I am mad at myself for enjoying what I love to eat–I got pulled back into that cycle of anger.

This morning, whether it was because I ate too much or if it is because of something that I ate, I woke up with my body feeling sore again.  Whenever my body feels sore, it feels like a  punishment.  I feel like it is my body’s way of punishing me for eating too much.  The fact that I am sore on a Sunday is different for me, since I am used to only being sore on Monday mornings, after my “fat Sundays.”

I feel so weird and even ashamed writing how me, someone who is in recovery for anorexia, a disease where you don’t eat, has my biggest downfalls not when it comes to restricting, but when it comes to actually eating too much.  My downfalls in recovery have been when I eat sweets.  It is not a downfall necessarily because I eat too much of them, it is my downfall because I can’t just let myself enjoy them.  Even when I was at my lowest weight, I still found a way to incorporate sweets into my diet-but then, they were the only thing I ate all day, or I would take laxatives afterwards, so it wasn’t a big deal.

To have to be able to find a way to enjoy my sweets now, without purging, or without restricting afterwards is very hard for me and it is a balance that I am trying to find.

I so badly want to get out of that mentality of starving and then eating whatever I want and thinking I can fix it later, because I can’t now.  I’m not expecting my weekends to be just like my week days, because I do want to go out on the weekends and enjoy myself, I just don’t know the balance yet of how to do that without getting pulled back into the cycle of anger.

Could I go now and look up the calories in every single thing that I ate yesterday?  Yes.  Could I go and body check and try on every small sized pair of jeans in my closet? Yes.  But I will not do that because truthfully, what is the point?  So I get mad at myself all over again and then continue to not treat my body kindly today, either by binging or by restricting? While Ed is telling me that is  a great way to spend my day, the healthy part of me is smarter and more caring about myself than that.

So today is Sunday, and I am going to be kind to myself and I am going to honor myself.  I am not going to have a fat Sunday, and I am not going to beat myself up for not sticking to the meal plan, which in reality, the nutritionist would probably be happy that I ate more than what was on the meal plan anyways.  And even if she would not be happy, I still would not beat myself up over it.

It’s a new day, and while I know that changing my eating disordered mentality will take time, I feel that by viewing today as a normal day back on the meal plan and not as fat Sunday, I am taking a step in the right direction. I will get past this soreness, I will get past this bloated feeling, and I will one day find balance when it comes to food.  And if that takes one month, or even one year, so be it.

Hello to being kind to myself, hello to no more fat Sunday’s, and “hello life.”

Day 24: Letting Ed Back In

Hi everyone,

So yesterday I let Ed back into my world and I let him contribute to my first slip up on the meal plan.  While I intended to eat lunch yesterday, when the time came, Ed told me that it wasn’t a big deal to just skip this one meal and that my muffin would do just fine, and I listened to him.

Once I listened to him and pretty much skipped lunch and moved right onto my snack (my muffin), Ed’s voice got louder than it has been in weeks. I won’t lie and say that I was upset about skipping lunch, because I wasn’t,I actually felt a little sense of relief. But I was disappointed in myself that I was letting Ed back into my mind, that I was letting him win this round in our boxing ring.

Yesterday afternoon was filled with Ed talking and me just listening.  Once I skipped lunch,Ed told me that I should skip dinner too .  After I ate two chocolate’s that a student I tutor gave me for Valentine’s day, Ed tried to tell me that I binged on those two chocolates and that I should just finish the entire box and then “fix” it all tomorrow.  But this is where I drew the line.

At that moment, I was able to pull myself out of the dark hole that Ed and I were fighting in, and I was able to find my own voice.  Although I didn’t quite believe it myself, I did tell myself that eating those two chocolates is not a binge and that it is o.k. to enjoy them.  Even this morning, I still don’t fully believe that statement, because I do feel guilty about eating the chocolates.  The calories I saved from skipping lunch went out the window with those two chocolates–and yet, even that thought alone about saving calories, is not me speaking, it is Ed.

I was able to eat dinner (and my last snack) last night despite Ed’s voice telling me not too, and I think that it was only because I knew my boyfriend was coming home from work expecting to eat dinner with me.  It is those tiny moments, where I feel I am in the right place at the right time, such as being home when my boyfriend came home to eat dinner with me, that I feel God is really watching over me.

If there is one positive thing that I learned yesterday, it is that skipping even just that one meal, or that one snack, will never just be that one time and it will never make Ed quiet.  Skipping that one meal could lead to skipping more, and therefore it can harm my recovery.

After not eating lunch yesterday, I know that if I want to break that cycle today, I am going to have to really put on my boxing gloves, get in that ring, and fight Ed until he is begging me for a tap out.  I can’t be casual about it and I can’t let myself think that one time is no big deal because I know now how loud Ed’s voice will get if I give into him telling me to skip that meal.

Even though I had one slip up yesterday, I feel that for the first time in a long time, I am able to forgive myself and move forward with my recovery.  I am learning that self forgiveness and self compassion go hand in hand with re-feeding my body into being healthy and I am ready to forgive myself and move forward.

Today, I have entered the ring ready to face Ed with my boxing gloves on.

I have an entire army of people in my corner ready to cheer me on.

And I have my goal of reaching full recovery in front of me.

The only thing left for me to do is step into that ring with my game face on and say, “hello life.”

Day 20: Feeling Uncomfortable In My Own Skin

Hello everyone,

All of yesterday and especially right now,  I am feeling extremely uncomfortable in my own skin.  I am feeling bloated, huge and just all around pretty much disgusted with how I look.  I am aware that it is Ed telling me to feel this way, but at this moment that does not really matter because the truth of the matter is that no matter how hard I try to tell him to be quiet, it is just not working right now.

Whether I know these feelings will pass does not matter to me right now-knowing they may not be realistic does not matter to me either-what does matter to me right now is that I am feeling this way-and these feelings are completely real, true and very present to me in this moment.

For many years, I have always had a way to deal with any negative emotions I was feeling; if I was angry, sad, mad or hurt, I was just restrict my food and I would instantly feel better.  Sometimes I would binge, feel horrible, and then starve myself later to make up for it, and then everything was fine.  The bottom line is that before recovery, I always used food as a way to deal with my feelings.

That way of dealing with feelings is not acceptable anymore.  I will not let myself restrict my food today, because I know if I do, I will never come back from it. I am not going to let myself binge today because I will not let myself do some kind of unhealthy thing to fix it later.  I can’t even step on my scale to validate my feelings of gaining so much weight and weighing too much.  I just feel stuck.

How am I supposed to get through today and deal with these negative feelings of mine without using food as my coping mechanism?  How am I supposed to go to a party later tonight that my boyfriend and I are invited to and put on a fitted cocktail dress and not cry in the mirror when I do? (Because I am almost 100% sure that is going to happen.)

My answer is that I simply do not know, and that is very scary.  I know I will have to eat today, I know I will have to go to this party,and  I know I have to do homework and laundry.  I wish that I could just sit in bed all day with Ed next to me and obsess over and over again about how fat I am, because at this moment, that feels safe.  But I can’t do that.

My mom used to always tell me when something bad happens, that you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on.

I can’t necessarily say that I am dusting myself off and moving on because it would be a complete lie. But I am going to have to pick up myself up and face the day.

I am hopeful that my feelings will be able to change throughout today and that these negative emotions I am feeling right now will pass,and if they do, that is great, and if they don’t, I will still be committed to my recovery and I will be good to myself and to my body no matter what, because I have come too far to turn back now.

Even if I am uncomfortable in my skin and feel huge all day, I will continue on my path to recovery.

I will not let Ed convince me to give up on myself, and to that I can say, “hello life.”