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.”

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Day 15: Scared of Recovery

Hi everyone,

I normally would not write two blog posts in one day, but today has been a rough day for me, and since I said this blog would be nothing but the truth, I told myself I would write this post.  I don’t exactly want to write it because by writing it, it forces me to face my feelings even more, but I want to be truthful to myself.  I also am hoping that by writing out what I am going through in this moment, that it might be a sense of relief.

On Monday when I went to the nutritionist, she did not give me a meal plan (but to my disliking, she ensured me that the meal plan would definitely be given to me next Monday).

Instead, she told me to keep a food journal this week of everything that I eat.  At first, this didn’t phase me at all. I was actually relieved that I walked out of her office pretty much given a green light to keep on my own “meal plan” for myself-a meal plan that although consists of major calorie increases for me, will not be accepted by her.

I have been keeping this food journal for a few days now and as I am looking over it, I have realized that I really do not eat as many calories as I told the nutritionist I was, yet I am pushing myself every single day to consume these daily meals and it is extremely hard for me.

While I am content with my current calorie intake, I do not think she is going to accept that as adequate calories for my meal plan, and in a way I am thankful for that because I know I need the nutrients, but on the other hand, that scares me to pieces.

This made me think about what is going to happen on Monday when I go back to the nutritionist and she will give me a meal plan that might even be double the calories of what I am already eating.  I already believe that I am at a high enough weight just by what I see in the mirror and I think the few pounds I have gained from increasing my calories is enough, and at the moment, I really do not want to gain more.

I know that this meal plan she will give me will be one designed to help me eat more because while she did not say how much I weighed, she did tell me that my BMI was 18, and that she would like me to be at a healthy BMI of 20–which for a girl my height and age is 99 pounds.

On one hand, I am relieved because I see that she is not wanting to make me fat and obese, but on the other hand,  99 pounds is  a number I cannot accept right now.  I know one day I will be, and that I will have to, but right now I can’t. I can’t accept it right now because although I don’t know what I currently weigh, I know it is not 99 and whatever number I’m at now, it is enough for me to deal with at this moment.

The fact is that I won’t even know when I will reach that weight because as you all know, I am not looking at a scale until at least next January 21 (I actually hope to never look at a number again, but I am trying to avoid making extreme goals for myself, and just sticking to one goal at a time, so for now, that goal is next January 21).

So, here is where my immense fear of recovery sets in. If I already believe I am getting bigger, what will I think when I actually have to start following this meal plan next week?  What will I think when I start gaining more weight, and how am I going to handle it?

Right now, I am pretty much in a state of panic and anxiety.

This fear of what recovery is going to do to my precious “skinny” body is extremely over whelming.

I still am not sure if I should publish this post because it is so raw and truly is exposing my deepest feelings and fears right now—and that is a scary thought for me.  But I am doing this for me-I said I would document every feeling, every emotion and every good day and bad day, so that is what I am doing.

Right now I am scared. I am scared for what recovery is going to do to my body and I am scared about how I am going to mentally deal with it.

But on the positive side, I know that this feeling of fear is simply just that; a feeling.  It is a feeling that will come and go, and although it is dominating me at this current moment, it does not mean that it will do that all day.

And no matter how scared I am of recovery, nothing in this world-not fear and not even my eating disorder, can take away my immense desire to live a life of self acceptance and freedom- a life free from this prison that my eating disorder is forcing me to live in-and to that I can say, “hello life.”

Day 15: I can

Good morning everyone,

I am honestly pretty sick and tired about writing about how fat I feel every day and about the unhealthy things that my eating disorder tells me to do about it. So in hopes of shifting my energy to something more positive, I am not going to make this entry about everything my eating disorder can do and about everything it can control;and instead, I am going to make this entry about what I can do for myself-what I can do without my eating disorder in my way.

Part of me feels a little embarrassed that I even need to be doing this for myself in the first place.  I am thinking, “do I seriously need to make a list of the things that I can do to help myself just to get me through the day? how pathetic.”  But yes, that is what I need at the moment, and that is what I am going to do. And when I am done with this post, I will force myself to read this list every time I am feeling that my eating disorder is controlling me.

So here it goes:

I can wake up every day and not weigh myself.

I can take care of myself and eat when I am hungry.

I can be a good student.

I can make the commitment to not weigh myself for an entire year.

I can be a loving sister, daughter, friend and girlfriend.

I can write a blog.

I can listen to what I need from myself–such as the need to write this list.

I can laugh, I can smile and I can even make a joke.

I can eat dinner with my boyfriend.

I can be close to God.

I can have faith that God has a plan, and that everything in my life is happening for a reason.

I can see my future one day being filled with freedom, self acceptance and health.

I can be proud of myself for getting help for my eating disorder.

I can write this blog and not be ashamed of what I am going through.

I can be Shira instead of being a number on a scale.

I can be strong.

I can be grateful for all the support I have in my life.

And last but most definitely not least,

I can say “hello life.”

Day 14: Becoming A Fighter

Hi everyone,

From now on, I will be referring to my eating disorder by the name of Ed.  My eating disorder (now called Ed) is a big enough part of my life, so I figured I might as well give him his own name.

I feel that Ed and I are in a boxing ring and we are both fighting for the same title: my life.

I am fighting Ed with all my strength and with all my heart. Lately, it feels like every time I muster up the courage to throw a punch, he finds a way to duck and I end up missing my target.

Every day marks the beginning of a new fight for Ed and I.  Day in and day out, I fight every round to the end.  Some days I feel like I am winning, and some days I feel like Ed is winning.  On some days, like this morning, I even feel like tapping out.

It is mornings like this, where even though I am grateful that I am sitting here writing this blog instead of standing on a scale, where I feel trapped inside this eating disorder. I feel trapped inside the negative and obsessive “fat thoughts” and I feel trapped inside this vicious cycle.

I feel like this fight is never ending.  I know that one day, my fight with Ed will be over.  But that day is so far away from me right now, and I need to focus on what is in front of me in this exact second-and that is Ed. He is starring at me from his corner of the ring, and I am starring at him from mine.

I am drenched with sweat, I am exhausted and I am thirsty, but I have to keep on fighting. Every day that I fight Ed, I become more and more of a fighter. And even on days like today, where I feel like tapping out, I never do. No matter what, I will not tap out of this fight for my life.

Today marks two significant parts of my path to recovery: The first part is that today officially marks two weeks that I have not weighed myself, and that is a huge victory for me.  The second part is that today I am going to get my first meal plan from my nutritionist, something that I have tried to avoid for many months.

I am not going to sit here and lie and tell you all that I am happy and excited to be getting a meal plan because I am not at all.  I am scared out of my mind. I am scared that this meal plan will destroy the body that my eating disorder has worked so hard to create, and I am not so sure I am ready to give that body up yet.

But at the same time, I am not giving myself a choice.  I will go into that office today and I will get my meal plan because I know that time is not on my side when it comes to fighting for my health and fighting for my life-and if I don’t push forward today and get that meal plan, I don’t know if I ever will.

I know that Ed will try to knock me down a hundred times today,maybe even more, and I know there will be rounds that he might even win.  But I also know that at the end of this fight, I will be the ultimate winner.

I may not be able to completely knock out Ed today, but one day, I will-and when I do, it’s going to be forever.

On that note, I want to thank those of you who are in my corner in this boxing ring–those of you who are supporting me and loving me day in and day out-round after round-and step by step-it is because of you that I am able to become the fighter that I am becoming.

Thank you all for giving me the strength to know that I am not alone, and thank you for giving me the strength every single day to say, “hello life.”

Day 12: Changing My Morning Routine

Every day for the past year and a half, I have started my morning like this:

I wake up, walk to the mirror, lift my shirt, inspect my body and then weigh myself.  And even though for the past 12 days I have not weighed myself,  I have continued this exhausting process of what I call body checking every single morning.

My body checks go exactly like this:

First I look at my waist, then I look at my upper stomach and then I move down to my lower stomach.  After this I look at my chest bones, my shoulder bones and then my arms.  Lastly, I look at my cheeks and my jaw bones.

Once I get dressed, I complete the body checking process by checking how the  front of my legs look in my jeans, then the inside of my legs, and then the outside of my legs.  Every single part of my body has to be in check-meaning that it has to look exactly the same way it did the day before, and if it doesn’t,(which lately it definitely hasn’t), my eating disorder starts to tell me all the unhealthy things to do to fix it.

Ever since I have stopped weighing myself,  my body checking has become more intense than ever before. I find myself checking how my stomach looks and how my skin hangs from multiple angles in the mirror every single morning.

Beyond that, every day this week when I have gotten dressed, I have purposely made the conscience choice to wear the skinniest and smallest pants that I own to see if they fit tighter on me.

And it really makes me think, “why am I doing this to myself?”  It is pure cruelty.

If I saw a woman on the street treat herself the same way I have been treating myself,  I would take her hand, look into her eyes and tell her how beautiful she is and how deserving she is of treating herself well.

It makes me so sad to think that I would treat a complete stranger better than I treat myself.  It is a true measure of how far I have let my eating disorder go, and it hurts me to realize that.

But instead of continuing to feel sad and sorry for myself, I am going to make a decision right now to make a change.  I am committing to myself and to those reading this blog entry,  that I will not body check today when I get out of bed and I will not try on pants that I know I bought when I was starving myself. I simply will not do it.

I cannot say that I can do this every day, but I will do it for today.

The reason I will not body check today is because I feel that I need to make a change in the way that I treat myself, and it is going to start now.

I know that if I challenge myself every single day to make one small change at a time,  that I will successfully carry myself all the way to the finish line of recovery.

I know that getting up and getting dressed in my bathroom without a mirror will be extremely hard.  I know that learning to be kind to myself again will take a lot of time and adjustment–but I am ready to make it happen.

Today, instead of walking to the mirror and lifting my shirt to look at my stomach,  I am going to walk over to that mirror, look into my own eyes and tell myself, “hello life.”

Day 10: Drained

Hi Everyone,

I went to sleep last night feeling sad and broken.

After what I felt was a day of successful recovery,  I had someone who I barely know message me to let me know that they don’t think I have an eating disorder.  For whatever reason, this comment really threw me off.

Who is this person to tell me about my struggles?  Who is this person to try to take away my pain and tell me that this journey–that this fight for my life–is not really happening?  It is times like this, where I start to get doubtful about myself, that I need to remind myself of why I am here and why I am writing this blog: and that is for my life, and what others think of that cannot be a priority to me.

This morning, I wake up writing to you all knowing that I need to go visit a doctor today for a full physical exam and I know he will be asking me lots of questions about my eating disorder; but most importantly and most frightening, I know he will weigh me.

Of course, I have already made the decision to do a “back weigh,” where I turn backwards when I get weighed so I do not see the number.  But to be so honest, I truthfully do not know where I am going to gather the inner strength to stand backward and not turn around and see what that scale says.

This is where I need to remind myself that I am more than a number .

But I know that no matter how badly I feel the need to turn around and look at that number, I know I will not do it and I will keep my commitment and promise to myself.  Because even though I am fearful and unsure at the moment, there is one thing about me that always holds true, and that is that I never give up-and I sure as hell am not going to start now.

I have made the choice to be scale free for a year and that is what I will do.

How will I do it?  I do not know.

Right now, I feel hopeless and extremely alone in this fight for freedom.

The strength that I felt  I had the past few days seems to be so far away from me right now.  I am trying to sit here and close my eyes and tell myself that I am strong and that I can do this, (by this i mean my recovery) but I just cannot seem to find it.

I feel broken, I feel lost, and I feel drained- but I know that I need to pick myself up off this bed and go face the world today head on.

I need to remind myself  of the reason I am on this path to recovery in the first place, and that reason is called life. 

So,here is what I am going to do:

I am going to get myself together, sit up straight, and tell myself over and over again “hello life, hello life, hello life.”

Day 8: Swept Away By Support

Hi everyone,

I just need to start this entry by saying how speechless I am by all the unconditional love and support I have received from family, friends and even strangers during the past day.  To be honest, exposing my biggest secret (my eating disorder) to pretty much the entire world was scary enough as is. But when I made the choice to commit to myself, and everyone else who will follow this blog, that I will not weigh myself and be scale free for an entire year, it took things to a new level of scary.  But saying that, I know that I can do this now.  Because of your guys’ support and love, I know I can do this, and I will.

At first I thought I will give myself a few goals of where I want to be by next Jan 21, 2014, the official one year date of me being scale free.  But as I sit here and think about it, I find it impossible to do that because that year feels so far away, I don’t even know how to make it to that point.  All I do know is this: I need to make it through today.  So, for that reason, I am not going to set some specific goal for myself of where I want to be a year from now after being scale free, which is a weird feeling since I am always the kind of person to set extremely high goals for myself (sometimes that are unattainable) and do anything I can do reach them. This time around, I am going to make the goal to just get through this year; to get from point A to point B and God willing have the strength to be healthy while doing it.

Also, I feel I should let you guys know that not only did I make the decision to be scale free for an entire year, but I gave my scale to E (my therapist), so it is not even in my house.  Part of me feels like that is a relief and part of me, like right now, feels sad about it.

My scale was like my God-it was my number and it was what I defined myself by for that day. If it was low enough, I would be happy and proud but at the same time I would be ashamed because I knew the unhealthy things I had to do to get to that number. If it was high enough, I would be sad and angry and would punish myself by starving the rest of the day to fix it-but no matter what that number was, weather it was good or bad, it was a fact.

Today, I step into the world of the unknown, and that is scary.

I do not know what I weigh today.  I do not know the “damage” that I have done in the past 8 days of not weighing myself.  I have no number to tell me that I have eaten too much or that I have gone too far.  The only thing I have is myself-and that is the scariest thing of all.

I have never been in a place in my life other than right now, where I have not been able to trust myself.  I don’t trust what I see when I look in the mirror, I don’t trust my body when it tells me that it needs food or water, and I don’t completely yet  trust myself to be healthy.  But I am hoping this gets easier every day.

Right now, I can feel my skinny jeans pushing into the little tummy I now have and it does not feel good, but it is happening and I just have to go with it.  It is times like these, where I truly believe (whether it is true or not, I do not know) that my jeans and shirt are fitting significantly tighter on me and I need to find a way to stop it-but I know I can’t because that would mean letting this eating disorder take my life, and I am not going to let that happen.  I will win this.

So even though in this moment I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, and unsure of  myself, I know that I can truly look forward into my future and I can see that these hard moments are the moments that are going to make up a new life for me-a life full of freedom and a life free of this eating disorder.

I am going to finish this blog entry and take a second to realize, that yes, I feel not so great today about the way my clothes fit and I feel a little antsy and frustrated that I don’t know what I weigh, but I started my day by being Shira, not by being some number on the scale-and to that I can close my eyes and tell myself: hello life.