Tag Archives: disordered eating

Fasting for Surgery

Apparently being told I am not ALLOWED to eat is still a terrifying concept for me.

I am having my wisdom teeth removed tomorrow morning, and need to do a 12-hour fast before it. 12 hours isn’t even that long, but it made me freak out a little bit. I binge ate tonight, and now I’m really uncomfortable because I am so full.

I think part of it is that I still make mistakes. I still misjudge how much food I need. I still catch myself hungry. I cannot trust myself that I have actually eaten enough to make it through until morning. 

In direct contrast, last night I came home from work at 10:30 and went to bed without eating. I wasn’t hungry, and just needed to sleep. But apparently I was wrong, because I could not fall asleep due to my thoughts whispering
*I’m hungry!* 
*I’m hungry!*
over and over. 

I had to go downstairs and eat some cheerios and milk before I could fall asleep. That shut the whispers down.

So tonight, I made sure that wasn’t going to happen. But I ate and ate and ate even after I knew I was full. I feel the most full and uncomfortable right now than I have been in months. And I want to throw the food up, but I can’t because I am afraid the *I’m hungry!* whispers will come back.

What am I doing to myself? When did fasting for 12 hours become such a big deal?

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

“Adequately Thin”

I have this “365 Days of Cats” calendar. (Yes. I have a “365 Days of Cats” calendar…)

The quotes can be weird, they can be random, but they usually do make me think.

Thursday’s quote read: “The way he treats his body, you’d think he was renting.” (R. Brault)

I really doubt it originally had anything to do with disordered eating, but the quote made me think about the way I treat my body.

In my nutrition appointment this week, my nutritionist and I were discussing how far I’ve come since the beginning of the semester. And really, I have come so far. I am much happier with my body and who I am. I exercise more, I feel stronger, I am enjoying food again, and I am allowing myself to feel pretty.

But. I do written stream-of-consciousness reflections as part of my healing process. I write for a few minutes without censoring or erasing anything. It helps me do an honest self-reflection. And sometimes things come out that you didn’t realize were there.

This week: “I feel much prettier now, more comfortable, and thinner. I feel like I am thin enough for my clothes now. I feel adequately thin.”

I am doing so much better, but there is still this insane obsession with thinness and fear of gaining weight. I am allowing myself to eat more freely and feel better about myself because I am thinner.

It is so complicated. My nutritionist and I are now working to keep my eating the same, but to shift my mental focus away from the ideal of being thin toward the ideal of being healthy.

I need to focus on being healthy— the way I treat my body, you might think I was renting. I need to take care of myself and love myself. Maybe that’s it. Maybe I like my body, but I still don’t love it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

toasters

Sketch 2014-03-22 15_40_06

My friend’s nutritionist showed her a magnet that had a similar quote on it.

It’s a little bit sad, but we both laughed over it.

Although emotionally it is much, much more difficult than this, we logically know that obsessive weighing is just as “silly” as saying:

“today, I think I will base my self-worth on the workings of my toaster.”

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I like to pretend…

“I guess I like to pretend I don’t have this problem.”

I’ll be studying abroad in Hungary in the fall, and was discussing logistics about it during my psychiatry check-in this morning. I was feeling really good and comfortable with the plan we were working out–we figured out how I will get my prescriptions–but then she said to me:

“Yes. But what will you do if you are all the way in Eastern Europe on your own and you become symptomatic again?”

Oh.

I have no clue how, but that concept had completely slipped my mind. I had literally given no thought to what I would do if I was abroad and wasn’t okay anymore. I guess I like to pretend I don’t have this problem.

Even with my disordered eating habits, I have been doing so much better this year than ever before in my adult life. I feel so stable, so good, so in control of myself right now. I take my meds when I wake up, I go to nutrition and counseling check-ups, exercise, write in my diary, keep my food logs– I’ve found a self-care routine that’s working.

For the first time in my adult life, I know what it feels like to not live in constant fear of my illness.

I know I am so blessed and lucky to be able to say that. I never thought I would. But my appointment today gave me the necessary reminder that I will always, always have this part of me.

I will never outgrow my mental illness.

I will never be cured of my mental illness.

My mental illness will always be a part of who I am, and something I will always carry with me– even as far away as Hungary.

I’ve already had six years to try to reconcile myself with my illness, and even so, I’m still trying not to be angry about it.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Food Logs

I am doing a lot better. From the beginning of this semester, I met with our college nutritionist every week for about a month, then every other week, and have now “graduated” to once a month.

I have been keeping a food log this entire time, recording specifics of what I eat as well as my feelings and reactions to food. It makes nutrition appointments really easy– every meeting we start out by looking at my log. She can see what I consumed and how I felt about it in “real-time.” There’s no forgetting what happened since the last appointment, and no hiding certain meals/lack of meals.

My food log is helping me transition my obsession with food from an unhealthy restriction of what I will allow myself to put into my body towards a healthy awareness of what I am eating and why.

I have been using my food log as a crutch–but honestly I think that’s okay. In the beginning, I needed it. I needed my food log to give me something to obsess over as I tried to increase my food intake. Now I just like it. Sometimes I even forget to log, and that doesn’t bother me anymore. That’s one of the ways I know I’m doing better. But I like having someplace to reflect on food and notice how my emotions impact what I eat. My log is helping me to enjoy food again.

For anyone who has kept a food log: Were you forced to use it? Was it helpful? Do you continue to use it?

One of my recent food log reflections:
I have really not been concerned much with food, exercise, and weight recently. I feel happy and calm and comfortable with my body. I have accomplished one of my goals– to feel less anxiety surrounding food. It is still there sometimes, it still exists, but I feel that I now have enough knowledge about myself and healthy eating habits as well as tools to be okay. I fear that this might not be the case tomorrow or next week or in six months, but I can deal with that when it happens. My food choices and habits are definitely different now than ‘before,’ but I think that it okay. I think I am okay.

IMG_5653

My Food Log

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Self-Allowed Food Freedom

One of my food goals involves a “challenge meal” in which I basically allow myself to eat whatever I want, without planning it out in advance. This week, my challenge meal needed to involve pizza. At my last nutrition appointment, I spent a while telling a story about my friend eating pizza in the dining hall. I had wanted some so badly, but I couldn’t let myself have it. I hadn’t planned to eat pizza at that meal.

Even though I wanted it, I knew it wasn’t worth it. The sheer amount of anxiety caused by a single slice of pizza was going to ruin the entire rest of my night. It was better for me not to eat it.

Tonight was my challenge dinner. My dad was driving past my college on a business trip, and he stopped to eat with me. We went out to dinner, and I had pizza, frozen yogurt (chocolate!), and a chai tea latte. So many things that I love.

I have come out of the meal amazingly full. It is one of the first meals in way too long that I actually ate until I was completely full (and yet still not too full. Just normal.) and didn’t restrict anything about my meal.

On top of that, it was coupled with the love and support of someone who cares enough about me to stop by even for just an hour and a half. I think him being here was the reason I could do what I did without anxiety. I doubt he will ever understand how much this dinner meant to me.

I am back in my dorm now, finishing my chai tea. I am overly aware that as I finish my tea, my self-allowed food freedom is coming to an end. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about that. But, for now, I feel full and I feel happy and I will just let that soak in.Image

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Food Goals

My nutrition appointment actually went really well! I like our school’s nutritionist a lot. I talked to her for an hour about my history, where I am right now eating-wise, and where I want to be:

I have struggled with depression/suicide/self-injury/etc. I am restricting. I want to be able to eat without feeling overwhelmed.

I liked talking to her because I never felt like she was judging me. It is so refreshing to be in a safe space like that– where you can admit that you self-harm, take meds, aren’t eating … and the other person doesn’t stare at you like you’re a sick puppy. She asks what has helped me cope in the past, and how can we apply those methods to this new problem?

We came up with three goals for me to work on this week. They are easy. Right now she is not asking me to change the way I eat my meals, which I appreciate because honestly I don’t think I am capable of that at this point. My big goal is basically to stop being hungry all the time. I want to do that. I think I can.

My three nutrition goals for this week:

  1. Snacks. I am adding in 2 snacks to my regular 3 meals. One at 3pm and one at 9:30pm. Something that has helped me cope with stress in the past is having a very specific schedule that includes self-care on it (eat, shower, go to the gym, watch TV). I am able to follow my self-care schedule, even though I struggle to do those things otherwise.
  2. Challenge Day. Right now, my eating involves obsessive pre-planning of all my meals. I look at the menus for our dining halls before I go, and decide what and how much of it I will eat. I might plan all three of my meals for a day the night before. I don’t like doing it, either– it stresses me out. I want to stop. I am attempting to have one challenge day this week where I don’t look at the menus or pre-plan my meal.
  3. Read. She gave me a reading list of some books relating to disordered eating and body image. The one she recommended to me was Eating in the Light of the Moon. I’ve started it– it’s about women reclaiming their feminine body and improving their relationship with food. As a women’s college & gender studies student, I’m not sure how I feel about the whole femininity thing, but I’ll give it a shot. I take all of these mental illness books “with salt” anyway.
    Has anyone read it? What do you think?

So far this week, I have been doing pretty well. I am taking my snacks, and eating them, and it’s nice not feeling hungry. I have more energy.

However, I wasn’t as good today: It’s 5:00, and I’m really hungry. I have a headache and my stomach hurts because I haven’t eaten enough. I missed my afternoon snack because I forgot to put it in my backpack when I left this morning (I’m still trying to get used to having nutrition goals), so I haven’t eaten anything in 5 hours. And even so I can’t make myself eat.

This just proves to me how important my scheduled meals and snacks are right now. One would think I would be able to eat my snack now since I missed it, but my brain won’t let me. It’s not 3:30. I physically cannot do it, even though choosing not to do it (as if it’s a choice) is making me feel sick.

But, overall, I feel positive about where I am emotionally right now.

Tagged , , , , ,

I love food. But it sucks.

One thing that is frustrating me right now is my weight. Well, actually, my weight is fine (I weigh 10 pounds less than I did a year ago at this time, and am very healthy). I’m frustrated with my worry over my weight.

I was doing pretty well when I was at college. I was controlling my eating more, as much as you can in a dining hall situation, and exercising a lot. Almost every day. At home, I just don’t get to exercise as much. Somehow, there’s no time.

I need to exercise at home, though. Not doing to makes me feel anxious. When I do exercise, I can go about the rest of my day without any worry over food or what I have eaten. But if I don’t, thoughts of food and of my body pre-occupy me and take over my mind. I start to resent the people who take me away from my workout time, and get angry at the food I’ve eaten. I plan my meals– what I am going to eat and when, and struggle to restrain myself from eating anything else.

I went to a Christmas party tonight. Of course, I ate more than I needed, and I didn’t work out today. Had I worked out, I know there would have been no issue. But since I didn’t, now I am left hating my body.

I don’t understand– It’s f*ing (sorry) Christmas. You’re supposed to eat lots of Christmas cookies! I keep trying to tell myself that it’s okay, that I’m beautiful and thin (which logically I know I am!), but it doesn’t always work.

My mom brought up my weight today. She asked me if I’d lost weight (I haven’t since summer), and told me I looked thinner (I was secretly pleased). I am worried about my worry over my weight. I have talked to my counselor before about disordered eating, and will continue to do so.

Underneath all this mess, there is a healthy desire to just be physically strong and to love my body. That exists. If I can keep that frame of mind, I’ll be okay. But I have been skating on the edge of an eating disorder for over two years now.

Tagged , , ,