My Journey Toward Recovery

Another Day Under My Belt

After talking to a few wonderful, caring and important people in my life, I feel a renewed sense of determination. I almost gave up on recovery. I know it's going to take a lot of effort, tears and frustration, but I'm willing to continue on. 

Today is a beautiful day. I will be spending it with my daughter and grandchildren, not going down to the beach, I think we are going to hang at the pool, that way the kids can swim. 

Thank you all for your continued support and words of encouragement. It really helps and I love you for it.

Until tomorrow!

TIGF

It's been a long week.  I am so thankful that it's Friday.  Today, I don't feel well. I am extremely tired and bloated. All I've had thus far was a cup of coffee. I got up at 4 like I normally do, did a Pilates workout, but for some reason, today I feel like crap.

I don't think I'll be able to eat breakfast this morning, I feel extremely full. I didn't get on the scale today; I don't know what I would do if the number went up or didn't go down.  This recovery is definitely a rollercoaster. Honestly, had I not put it out there I would just give up on it.  FYI, peace didn't find me yesterday.  

Have a wonderful Friday.

Thursday 4/11

Today I stepped onto the scale and it was 2 lbs higher than the day before. The anxiety and disgust I felt was unbearable. Now I know that if you gain 2 pounds overnight it is water weight not actual fat. One would have to consume an awful lot of calories to gain 2 pounds in one night. That is the logical part of my brain, but my eating disorder tells me an entirely different story. It tells me that I must eat even less and exercise more to stop gaining weight. I should probably throw my scales away, but it is my security and besides, the f'ing doctors feel the need to put you on one at each visit. At least if I weigh myself at home before my appointments, I can prepare myself and wrap my brain around what the scale will say when I get there. Let's hope peace finds me today and I will be able to think logically vs emotionally.

Peace!

Hump Day

Yesterday the kids came over for dinner and I actually sat down with them. I had sauteed peppers and onions, no protein. Baby steps.  I really don't know what I'm feeling today. My mind seems to be all over the place. If I could just focus. I'm worried about what I will eat or not eat, worried about being judged because of my disorder, I'm worried about my new book coming out, worried about what people think, worried that all of the grammatical errors were not corrected.  I know I can't do anything about the book, I can only control what I eat and don't eat.   I really never realized how much I rely on my disorder, being in control of that part of my life makes it easier to cope with other stressers. Now, the dietician is "pecking" at my control over food and it is very frustrating!  I am glad I put this out for the world, because it is truly holding me accountable. If not for doing that, I probably would have given up by now.

Have a wonderful Wednesday.

 

The Day After-

I am having an emotional morning. Yesterday's session was hard. I did not meet my goal of having mayo on my turkey wrap five times. I thought I had it in the bag, it seemed like I had mayo every day. When my log was tallied, I only used mayo 3 times.  I couldn't believe it. I failed at such a simple task. So that is what my goal is for this week, again I have to try to use mayo, but this time at least 4 times.

I know that people without eating disorders have no understanding as to why this little task was so hard. I get it. I put myself in this hell and I can't expect anyone to understand or even care about what I am going through, they have their own lives. I have to accept that this is my journey, and no one can take it for me.

Monday-Session Day

I find myself still searching diet fads and how to lose 10 pounds in a week.  I know those diets don't work, and to lose 10 pounds in a week is very unhealthy. But my mindset keeps me going back to the weight loss merry-go-round that has ruled my life for as long as I can remember.  I just want to be thin, healthy never crosses my mind. Although, I do use health as an excuse to try to find the miracle I need to lose weight. 

I know society judges everyone by the way they look.  I shouldn't let that bother me, but unfortunately for the past 45 years it has and trying to change that mindset is hard. Every day I look in the mirror disgusted by what I see. I pray that today I will be in control and eat only what is necessary to survive. I try to focus on my recovery, but the weight I carry is sabotaging my success.  I need to figure out how to lose the weight and be healthy.  I am hoping this program will help me get there.

 

Took Saturday Off

I took a day off from posting. I was having trouble getting my thoughts together.  I had someone reach out to me and asked me to tell them about the program I am going through. I figured I'd share it with everyone.  The program is Nourish and it is covered by most insurance companied.  You can read the bio's of all the dietician's they have and pick the one that suits your needs best.  The one I picked has extensive experience and education in eating disorders.  There are also dieticians that will help you if you just want to eat healthier.  

Nourish (usenourish.com

I have been doing my mayo goal, and I think I've done well.  We will find out tomorrow. I did notice that I would try to compensate for the mayo calories and fat, by removing something else from my diet. I have managed to keep my mind busy. I have been working hard to finish Tortured Soul. I'm still hoping for a 4/15 release date.

The stress of the book, trying to sell our condo, and finding the extra money for the new car is taking its toll.  I'm doing the best that I can.  I am aiming for a really good week next week. Wish me luck!

 

 

It's Friday

The weekend is about to start, and I feel a little better today. I was more in control of my diet yesterday.  The guilt has subsided to an extent. Saturday and Sunday I will have to keep my mind active.  I will probably spend most of my day writing. I have a lot to do in that area.  

I am thinking of joining a support group. I keep putting my feelings out there and it is helping. But then again, I see how ridiculous my thoughts are, I recognize that, but I struggle to stop it.

This blog is going to be short, not much to say.  If something of importance happens today, I'll come back and let you know.

Accept yourself for who you are, not what you think others expect you to be. 

It's Not Easy

Yesterday was a rough day.  I consider it a binge day.  Although, I know most of you would not agree with me, but let me tell you, the guilt, the feeling of being out of control and the shame is very real.  I will tell you what I consumed as to be totally transparent.

Breakfast-1 cup of Greek Yogurt

Lunch-Turkey wrap with no mayo (oops) and a snack bag of chips.

Snack-2 oz of Colby Jack cheese.

Dinner- 1 slice of cauliflower pizza with peppers, onions and zucchini.

A diet coke, water and coffee with protein powder and collagen powder.

When I had to log my food into Nourish (the company that my dietician works for), I never felt more ashamed and disgusted in a long time.  Now I know she is going to say that in clinical terms this is not considered a binge, but in my world it is. I felt out of control. This morning, all I am thinking about is how not to lose control today.  Almost like I have to punish myself and not eat anything to undo the damage I did yesterday.

Please if anyone else is going through these issues, please reach out to me. I feel like I am drowning out here on my own.

 

Exhausted

Today the last thing I wanted to do was get out of bed and face the world.  But my disorder wouldn't allow. I had to get up and do my morning exercise routine. If I didn't get up and do at least 30 minutes, the quilt would eat at me all day.  Thus, making me not want to eat, as I hadn't burned enough calories. 

It is rainy and gloomy here, makes me feel extra gloomy. I would like nothing more than to stay home, but I have a meeting this morning.  

So, this morning it was a vanilla sugar free Greek yogurt. Already worried about what I will have for lunch. Yesterday, I did have a turkey wrap with a tsp of mayo. Today, I will forgo the wrap, maybe a rice cake with all natural, no added sugar peanut butter. The hubs will not be home for dinner, so I'll probably skip that, maybe have a snack.  I have to show I'm making progress, it's just so hard to force yourself to eat because you're afraid you'll get fatter. 

It's a rough day today. I'll keep trying.

 

One week in-

The anxiety is very present this morning.  I really don't know why.  The fear of this process and gaining weight scares the crap out of me.  When I brought up the fear of adding calories and that I was trying to make peace with having 1200-1500 calories, she stated that with my activity level that I would be looking at 1800-2000 calories a day. I literally wanted to throw up. Luckily the screen on her end froze at that time, because I am sure the look on my face was pure terror. She assures me that will be way down the road, but I will dwell and obsess about that forever. I knew this would not be easy and I willfully signed up for it, but I don't know.  Keeping the faith.

Day 6 - Session 2

Today, was my second session with Teresa and she was very honest, which is very scary. The best part of the session was I no longer have to take pictures of my food.  My goal for the week is to add a condiment to my turkey wrap, sounds easy enough, but the one she chooses is the highest fat content, Mayo.  Apparently, I am not getting enough fat in my diet. I have to try to do it at least 5 times this week. It will be difficult, believing most of my life that fat is not healthy, but I will give it my best shot.  

I realize to some of you that have not had to deal with an eating disorder/ or someone that suffers from one, this seems like a ridiculous goal, but trust me when I say it is terrifying. Adding any additional calories causes extreme anxiety.  I'm a big calorie counter and to see that number rise makes me sick. 

I hope that once I conquer this small task, that adding additional calories might not be so scary.  I have to remember this is a marathon and not a sprint, I'm not going to get better in a matter of weeks, it will take me years to work through this. Trying to reprogram your mind, trying to be okay with who you are, and not worrying about what other people think of you is all I really want. It's exhausting and I'm tired of it ruling my life. 

Love to you all. 

Day 5- Easter Sunday - End of March

Happy Easter to everyone.  I know for those of you who are like me, holidays are very hard.  The stress of family gathering around the table for a delicious meal and create a lot of anxiety.  Luckily for me, I don't have to deal with that stress anymore.  I used to work out until I burned 1500 calories, to ease the anxiety of having to eat. I no longer live around extended family and my husband usually works on most holidays; I don't really have the added stress anymore. Today it will just be me, my daughter, and grandchildren. No big meal, as the kids will probably be filled up with candy and my daughter understands my issue and never presses me to eat. We will be spending most of our Easter having fun on the beach. 

Tomorrow is my next counseling session. I will hold off on writing until after!  Try to have a wonderful day with family and friends.

Day 4

 

It was a busy morning. The fam spent the night, my daughter and 2 grandkids.  They are the light of my life.  This reminded me of one of my lowest points in my disease; it was right after I got married. My husband and I moved from Ohio to South Carolina, he was in culinary arts school, while working full time, so I was home alone a lot.  He even had to do a 3-month internship in NC.  I didn't have to cook or eat, and I could take laxatives unnoticed. I think at that point I had gotten down to one of my lowest weights, I was in a real downward spiral. When my husband returned home, and I got pregnant with my daughter.  I often tell her she saved my life.  I could no longer be alone in my disease; I had another human being relying on the nutrition I was putting into my body. This was one of the happiest times of my life, but also one of the most terrifying. I was going to be a mom, but my body was going to gain weight and get "fat".  

I worked for the practice that would be delivering my baby.  I was so obsessed, that when I had a routine OB appointment, I would get to the office early and weigh myself before I had put anything in my body. I would get drilled, okay asked, by the doctors how my nutrition was, obviously I would fib, as I didn't want a lecture (that would come later). When it was toward my due date, I met with the nurse midwife, and she wanted to discuss breastfeeding. What was she talking about? I had no intentions of breastfeeding. She lectured me about brain development and immunity and all the other good things it had to offer my new baby.  I could not comprehend what she was saying, I was selfishly thinking about me.  How could I continue to eat "healthy" I have been doing it for 9 months.  I made the sacrifice, I gained the weight, I was miserable and offended by my own body. Needless to say, I did not breast feed either of my 2 children, and I was blessed, and both of my children were healthy and very intelligent. 

As I continue to fight the urge not to eat, I think about my family, wondering how I got to be so selfish. It's a struggle every minute of every day. I ask those who are reading this to know, you are not alone. I am documenting my recovery to hopefully give you hope that it is never too late to get help. The hardest thing you will do is admit you need help, that you can't do it on your own. If you could have done it by now.

To the family and friends of those who are suffering, it's not as easy as "just eat".  I know you don't understand, and you can't understand, we who suffer don't even understand why we can't "just eat". I will say, for me anyway, I lack self-confidence, fear judgement and fear not being accepted.  Eating disorders are an emotional disease, and facing those emotional demons is difficult and scary. Something in our life triggered the disease, and every little innocent comment about our body feeds the disease.

Love to you.

 

 

Day 4 

Took a walk on the beach this morning to clear my thoughts. It was chilly, but the sun was bright and there's not a cloud in the sky.  Now, I sit wondering what I should do about breakfast.  I hate the thought of having to take a picture and upload.  I really feel like this is counterproductive, at least for me. I have never been more aware of the calories I'm taking in verse the calories out; I find myself weighing myself every day (multiple times a day) being happy if I lose a pound and disgusted if I don't.  Now, the professional assures me that it will get harder before it gets better.  I hope she is right, because right now I feel like I am spiraling down. The concept of take a picture makes sense if you are trying to lose weight or trying to stop bingeing, but when one is trying to stop focusing on food/calories I don't see how it's going to work. She's the professional, so I will trust the process.

My health journal book and my anti-anxiety supplements arrived yesterday, so today will be my first day utilizing these tools.  Hopefully this helps.  I took a big step and had a talk with my boss about my disorder, as I had to get permission to leave early every Monday for my zoom session with my dietician.  I will say, her name is Teresa and she works for Nourish. She is wonderful. I look forward to talking with her on Monday about my setback.

Have a wonderful day. 

 

Day 3

I am sitting here contemplating what to have for breakfast.  The idea of having to snap yet another picture of my meal makes me not want to eat anything.  Normally I'll have a rice cake with peanut butter or a sugar free Greek yogurt, but I've already used those.  I may have to break down a make egg whites. At least it's little calorie for a large amount.  I know that is not what I am supposed to be doing, but she wanted to see my baseline.  I haven't had to change anything, so I don't know why I am so anxious.

I have noticed that all of this anxiety has exasperated my asthma.  I am finding I have to use my inhaler more frequently.  today will be a true test. We are having "happy hour" afterwork for a coworker's birthday and the finalization of her divorce. No one at my current job knows anything about my issues, so always trying to avoid the food is always tricky. Eventually, I am sure I'll have to come clean. It's getting really hard to hide my anxiety while there.

So, not much is new here. But if I have to be completely honest, I do kind of regret making the decision to get help. She said the fact that I showed up for my first session was a huge step. But I feel lost and like everyone is watching what I eat.  I hate when asked "What did you eat today?" If you know, you know!

Love to you all.

 

Day 2

Good morning, everyone. I'd like to say that I am doing better today, but unfortunately, I'm not.  I will say for the most part people are being very supportive. These are family and friends that have known about my disorder for a long time. I was surprised that some did not acknowledge the challenge I have a head of me, and others were worried about what people would think. I don't care what people thing. This is something I have to do for me.  I need to address this, those that struggle know it is extremely exhausting keeping up the facade.

Someone asked me when this first started.  I can tell you exactly when this disease took hold.  I was a freshman in high school and in gym class they weighed each of us in front of other people.  I was mortified, was I obese, no but it didn't matter. Two weeks later when we were weighed again, I was down more than 10 pounds.  That's how easily it can suck you in.  Here we are 45 years later, and I used my eating disorder as a crutch.  Anything that happened to me emotionally, physically, or spiritually that I was unable to control, I turned to my "friend".  

This is what is happening now, I am not in control, the dietician is, she has set goals for me this week and I now more than ever want to turn to my "friend".  I want to just stay home and hide from the rest of the world.  I've talked to the dietician about the anxiety, and she stated it will get worse before it gets better. Isn't than comforting. She suggested journaling, this is what I am doing here on my website, putting it all out there for the world to see and judge. I've also found a supplement that is supposed to help with anxiety, it will be here on Friday, hopefully it helps.  I will let you know.  In the meantime, if anyone reading this is struggling with eating disorders, whether it be anorexia, bulimia, binging or any disorder in between I hope that by following my journey, you will find comfort in knowing you are not alone and that I've walked in your shoes. I will be here for you, and I hope you will be here for me.  I know I will have set backs, that's when I will need you the most.

Thank you and love you.

Extreme Anxiety

I know I just posted, but as I sit here at work my anxiety level is rising to an extreme high.  I am more aware of my eating habits than I was previously.  I am scared that the journey I am on will make my disorder worse than better.  Having to take pictures of what I eat is causing me great distress.

The ANXIETY IS REAL! Lord give me the strength. I don't know if I can do it. The last thing I feel like doing is eating. I actually want to be sick. I feel like I am losing my best friend. The one friend I could always count on, the friend that let me be in control. I'm not going to lie, it sucks.  But if my journey can help just one person, then I will try my best to see it through to the end.

 

Eating Disorder consultation.....

Well, I had my first consultation with my dietician. It was very emotional. I had to face my eating disorder head on. I didn't realize how much of a "security blanket" it was for me.  I hate the thought of giving up control.  This week my goal is to log all my food intake for the week without putting the calories down. I also have to take pictures of each meal/snacks. I feel like that will trigger me to eat less. 

I also have to write down emotional stresses that cause me to withhold food. Due to low self-esteem issues when I am feel unworthy or rejected I eat less, thinking if I lose weight I will be worthy and loved.

This is needless to say, very hard for me.  I am scared I will regress instead of getting better.  Next week I have another appointment. I really like the dietician and she puts me at ease, but it does not make this journey any easier.

 

Getting Help

Good morning. I've took a big leap last night.  For those of you that know me, you know I have always had self-esteem issues as well as a poor relationship with food.  In my younger days, I suffered from Anorexia/Bulimia.  I never sought treatment for it.  I never considered it a problem, as it was just "eating healthy" and "exercise."  As long as I was thin, I didn't care what it took to stay that way.  Well, now I am older and hopefully wiser.  I still struggle with my eating disorder and exercising, but now I'm menopausal and take many, many medications for my eosinophilic asthma.  I tried to talk to my doctors (both of which are female) and the first one told me it was just menopause and lower my calorie intake.  The other one told me it was caused from the steroids I take for my asthma and there was nothing I could do until I come off of them.  I'm never going to be fully off of steroids, so I thought I was destined to be heavy for the rest of my life.  I know most of you will say I'm not heavy and I look "great", but to me these extra pounds is devastating.  If anyone has ever had an eating disorder, you know.

Last night I decided to address the disorder, not with a therapist, not with a doctor, but with a dietician that specializes in those conditions.  I am hoping that I can adapt a better relationship with food and myself.  I know she is going to tell me I have to up my caloric intake, and that terrifies me.  I am already very anxious about the whole ordeal.  My first consultation is March 25th.  So, wish me luck!  I'll update you after my appointment.  I'll allow you to follow my journey in hopes that it will help someone else.

Remember, you can't judge a book by its cover. No one knows what struggles any of us our facing.  Always, be empathetic, not judgmental.