Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Travel Anxiety!

   Well, I'm leaving on a trip to Wisconsin in about...ohhhh 4 hours, and I'll be gone for about six days. I've been incredibly stressed and nervous about this trip for a lot of reasons, but two of the biggest ones (surprise, surprise...) involve weight and food. The trip requires that I wear a suit almost every day, and about a month ago I bought a new suit just for this trip and had it tailored to fit me like a glove and kind of create the illusion of an hourglass shape. I was sick of comments from people about how my suits were too big on me or how I looked like I was playing dress up. Anyway, I'm making this way too long of an explanation. The point is that I was at close to my lowest weight when I had it tailored, about 101 lbs, and since then I've gained weight!! I was so happy to be under 105 again, and then I fucked up and started drinking alcohol again...which led to (in addition to the empty drink calories) a few late night binges that I didn't get to purge because I passed out.  So I'm kind of FREAKING OUT that my suit isn't even going to BUTTON and I'm just going to look like a giant, bulging, disgusting mess.
   On top of that, eating the food I'm comfortable eating is really difficult when I go out of town, and always gives me some anxiety. But usually my trips are between 2-3 days, and I have a pretty down-pat routine: One day, I just let people see me eat some salad or fruit-whichever is provided-around lunch time and then either just order another salad for dinner or a plate of steamed broccoli. I got some strange looks the first time everyone saw me do that, but since I'm a vegetarian its a little easier to explain away. The second day, I avoid everyone at meal times and don't eat anything, and if anyone asks where I was I tell them that I was doing work. THEN, when we all go out to dinner together, I binge and EAT WHATEVER THE FUCK I WANT! Appetizers, wine, pasta, dessert-the works! Then when we get back to the hotel I say that I have to make a "personal phone call" and use the bathroom in the lobby to purge, so that the bathroom in our room won't smell. 
   It's not exactly rocket science, but it has kept everyone from knowing about my eating disorder, which I am a fan of. The problem is, that works when you're only gone for 2 or maybe 3 three days...but SIX DAYS?! Shit. I feel like there is no way to pull that for six days without anyone getting suspicious. So I called the hotel and asked if they have fridges in the rooms, which they do, so now I'm thinking I'm going to bring a bunch of my own food to have with me, which I'm thinking that because its Passover I can get away with because no one else knows what the fuck you can and can't eat on Passover. 
   Anyway, I've just been so stressed out about this trip that all I want to do is binge on comfort food, but I know that I can't because I need my suit to fit and I've been working so hard the past week to lose weight before leaving. roommate's mother sent her a GIANT CARDBOARD BOX FULL OF CHOCOLATES for Easter!!! And when she opened it, she opened every single bag and had one of each kind, then just LEFT THEM ON THE KITCHEN TABLE and said "have as much as you want!" Well, GD!!! I somehow miraculously managed to keep from eating them the past three days, but tonight I was about to have a panic attack about the trip-not only because of what I just explained, but in addition to those personal issues I also just am not nearly as prepared for this as I should be and have SO MUCH work to do and finish before my presentation is anywhere near the level it should be...UGH just typing it is making my heart race...I should be researching and finishing work not writing this blog...but I just needed a break from looking at that stuff! 
  Well, I wanted to eat every last morsel out of all SIX of her bags of chocolate when I got home tonight. But I kept trying to tell myself that it would throw away all my hard work this week...but I wanted them SO BADLY! What did I do? I took one piece from every bag, unwrapped them, stood over the kitchen sink and chewed them all one by one and spit them out. After each bite I rinsed and gargled to make sure there wasn't any "residue" to absorb through my gums or something before moving on to the next one. The whole process took about 15-20 minutes as each piece had about 3 bites in it.
   But as I was standing over my kitchen sink, spitting chewing and spitting chocolate down the garbage disposal, I had two thoughts. First, that I was so proud of myself for having the self control to not binge on all the candy and what a smart idea it was of me to just chew and spit it, instead. Second, what a fucked up thing to think my first thought was. There I was, chewing delicious chocolate that I wanted to eat so badly, spitting it out and into a drain, rinsing and gargling with water, and then repeating about 18 times...and then thinking that I had SO MUCH SELF-CONTROL!! 
   Ya, like people who are in control do this shit! I realized how completely backwards my relationship with food is: it controls me, I don't control it. I remember being told that in treatment one time, but since I didn't want to be there in the first place and was a little resentful, I pretty much just ignored it. But damn, I could hear that bitch's voice in my ear tonight! Shit...I really have to stop doing this now and get back to work and print stuff out. Just needed a venting break. More like a journaling break, since the only one listening/reading is me lol. Aight-party's over.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Add some spice to your life!

   I realized that I left out some important ingredients in my last post, and they are SEASONINGS! After the dissertation I wrote yesterday, though, I'm going to try and make this a relatively short post. I know that spices, seasonings, marinades, sauces, etc can be a bit of a touchy subject for the ED community. On one end of the spectrum, there are those who absolutely refuse to put any kind of flavoring into anything they prepare; and on the other side, there are some who "sabotage" their food, so to speak, and over-season/over-flavor it in order to render it unenjoyable or inedible.
   I'm not going to go into a discussion about either of those extremes right now-maybe in a later post. All I'm going to say is that, for me, bland food is just about the worst thing in the world. I kind of have this attitude of...I don't really want to eat in the first place-so if I'm going to ingest food and calories, it better damn well taste good and be worth my while! Obviously, if it is a binge and I know I'm going to purge right afterwards, it's a little different. But, I digress. Here is a list of spices, seasonings, marinades and sauces that I use that have very little to no calories in them, but make a huge difference in helping my food taste better.
   Wherever possible, the links bring you to the product and nutrition information. If there was not a page for the nutrition info, then the link will bring to to the manufacturer/company's product page. If there was no official product page, then the link brings you to a retailer that sells it. Everything on here I buy in Publix. =)

*Wish Bone Salad Spritzers in Balsamic Breeze, Raspberry Bliss, and Ceasar--1 cal/1 spray

*Wish Bone Fat Free Italian Dressing--15 cal/2 tbsp

*Hidden Valley FAT FREE Original Ranch Dressing-- 30 cal/2 tbsp

*I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! Spray, Original--0 cal

*Spice World Select Lemon & Pepper Seasoning Salt--0 cal

*Pomi Strained Tomatoes--30 cal/half cup

*Regina Fine Red Wine Vinegar--0 cal

There you have it, my favorite low and zero calorie seasonings, dressings, spices, etc! These are real life savers when food tastes too bland! 


Sunday, March 28, 2010

What I'm Doing Now

   OK, so over the years I've tried pretty much every diet out there, and every "quick-fix," and a whole shit load of pills that I hoped would be magical. I've also over-exercised, exercised regularly, and not exercised at all while dieting, in addition of course to doing all of the above + bingeing/purging.
   Every time something new comes out or hits the market, I always try it to see if it is any better than what I'm doing at the time, or if I can learn any new tips/tricks from it. In fact, one of my future posts will be a review of products I've tried, which will hopefully be helpful for anyone trying to figure out what to spend their money on. However, with a few exceptions, I almost always end up going back to what I'm doing currently-which is basically my own sort of combination of foods, drinks, pills, and exercise that I've had the most success with as far as losing the most weight the fastest. So here it is:

   Basically, I only eat what they call "negative-calorie" foods (when not bingeing, obvi), with a few calculated exceptions. For a list of these foods and the best article/explanation I've found, click here. Out of the list, my personal preferences are for celery, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, lettuce, strawberries, blueberries, watermelon, and grapefruit. Although the article does a much better job of explaining the science than I can-the basic idea is that these are foods that burn more calories to digest them than there are calories in them. 
   The exceptions that I have are: egg whites, 2% cheddar cheese singles, Luna bars, caramel-flavored rice snacks, Werther's Sugar Free Hard Candies , and Sicilian-style pitted olives. As I said before, these are calculated exceptions. Here is my reasoning for them: 
(1) Egg whites- a big mistake that a lot of people make when they are trying to lose weight, especially if they are ana/mia, is not eating breakfast. However, you will lost more weight faster if you do eat something for breakfast, as it will jump start your metabolism so that you can burn calories more efficiently during the rest of the day. Now, I could just eat breakfast with some of the negative-calorie fruits, but I have found that getting in some protein in the morning helps me have more stamina for exercise. The greatest thing about egg whites is that they have very little calories but a lot of protein. There are 25 calories in 1/4 cup, so I usually have a half a cup in the mornings, which is 50 cal. 
(2) 2% Kraft Sharp Cheddar Cheese Singles- I really don't use these very often, one pack usually lasts me until they expire. BUT I like always having them around incase the food I'm eating just isn't cutting it for me in terms of flavor or satisfaction. If I'm on the verge of bingeing, sometimes making egg whites or broccoli and melting a piece or two of cheese into them will make me feel as though I've splurged or had a treat, without completely throwing me off track. At 50 cal per piece, its worth it if it keeps me from going out and buying $50 worth of junk food. 
(3) Luna bars- same basic idea as the cheese, except that they are more portable. I don't eat them every day, but always keep one with me incase of a sudden craving for junk food, or incase I unexpectedly find myself having to be in a food court-type area, or someone brings/orders delivery to work or social gathering and the smell is really making me want to eat it. At 180 cal per bar with flavors like "Peanut Butter Cookie," and "Caramel Nut Brownie," not only are they much better than pizza,  chinese, french fries, etc--but Luna bars also have 9g protein and 3g fiber. And if I'm going to have an extra 180 cal, I'd rather they not be "empty," and at least offer valuable nutrients in boosting metabolism. 
(4) Publix Fat Free Caramel Rice Snacks- while the cheese and Luna bars are sort of "emergency" alternatives to possible bingeing, these delicious little mini cakes are part of my every day diet. I've found that when I try to not eat anything sweet at all, I'm much more prone to bingeing. Sometimes fruit can satisfy a sweet tooth-but very rarely for me. I crave that sugary taste that caramel and chocolate give me. After trying tons of other stuff, I've found that these are both the best tasting, most filling, and lowest calorie. There are 60 cal in 7 pieces, and unlike things like crackers, chips, and even cookies (if they are the little ones) where its IMPOSSIBLE to JUST eat 7-the serving size for these is actually pretty perfect! And if I REALLY want more, usually another 3 will do it, rather than a whole other serving. 
(5) Werther's Original Sugar-Free Hard Candies in Caramel Coffee- most ana/mias know how helpful chewing sugar-free gum can be in curbing appetites. Due to a lot of issues with my teeth, however, including enamel erosion and cavities/fillings, I try to avoid gum as anything chewy can be painful sometimes. Instead, I just pop one of these babies when I'm hungry in between meals. There are 40 cal in 5 pieces, meaning there are 8 cal in 1 piece. Not too shabby. 
(6) Sicilian-Style Pitted Olives- there's really no big explanation for these. I pretty much just LOVE them, but they are pretty high in fat/cal. 2 olives = 20 cal, 15 from fat. Everyone needs a "splurge" item, and these are mine. I'm known to eat half a jar at a time when the craving hits me, but I figure they are still better than a pint or two of Phish Food. 

   Unless I know I'm going to purge VERY QUICKLY after drinking them, the only non-alcoholic beverages I drink are: water, green tea, black coffee, Crystal Light, and laxative tea. Obviously, the first three have no calories in them as long as you don't alter them with sweetener/cream/milk etc. Crystal Light only has about 5 cal per serving, and is a great alternative to water if when I am craving more flavor. I use Traditional Medicinals brand Organic Smooth Move laxative tea, which has senna in it. It has 2 cal per serving, which in my book may as well be nothing-especially considering what it does for you. 
   I try not to put myself in situations where I'll be expected to drink alcohol, however, when they are unavoidable/inevitable I only order: vodka and club soda (100-200 cal depending on single or double) or MGD 64. I heard Budweiser recently came out with a beer with less than 64 cal, but I haven't tried it yet. MGD 64 doesn't taste like shit, though-and I suspect Bud's might. Sorry for the bias-was never a Budweiser fan lol. 

   Like I said earlier, I've tried just about everything out there. But I always end up going back to some combination of the following products: Cellucor D4 Extreme Weight Loss, Diurex Water Pills, 200mg caffeine pills, and saline enemas. 
(1) Cellucor D4 Extreme Weight Loss Pills- These are a little pricey, around $40-70 per bottle, depending on where you get them and whether or not you have a membership card. I get them at GNC for around $50 with my member card. They are actually just one type of pill in a set of four, I think, but this is the only one I buy. The others have different purposes like muscle building and stuff like that-but this is the only one I care about: weight loss. These pills are "fat-incinerating" adrenal agents that, in conjunction with exercise, releases stubborn fat and enhances caloric burn. I love them...enough to spend $50 on them, obviously. Each bottle has 120 pills, but you have to take 4 a day, 2 in the morning, 2 in the afternoon. 
(2) Diurex Water Pills (Original Formula)- These are super cheap and widely available over the counter at every drugstore I've ever been in. They are the mildest most effective diuretic I've ever used, and really do help a ton with bloating/water weight. I think they are like $5-6. 
(3) 200mg Caffeine Pills- I just buy the Walgreens/CVS brand, they are over $1 cheaper than the brand name and are EXACTLY the same. 200mg is 200mg. I use these to help me boost my metabolism, especially when coffee or tea isn't available. I just keep a bottle in my purse. Not to mention, they are great when you just need an extra boost of energy to keep you more focused and alert. 
(4) Fleet Saline Enemas- You have to be careful not to overdo these, as like harsher laxatives, enema abuse can cause some pretty serious problems. I try not to do more than 1 per week, but sometimes I'll feel like I have to use 2. For years I refused to ever try an enema, because the idea of them freaked me out and I thought it would be gross and hurt. However, I finally tried one last year while I was attempting this weird at-home colon cleanse liquid diet, and I was SHOCKED at how easy, comfortable, and quick they were! Ever since then I've integrated them into my regimen. 

   Finally, there is exercise. When I first started working out, I only did cardio and I only used machines/did activities that I liked or were easy for me. Since then, though, I have discovered that I am much more willing to do a difficult activity or exercise that I don't particularly like or enjoy when it burns twice or three times as many calories as what I did before! Similarly, the fear that a lot of women have towards using weights (that it will bulk them up/make them heavier) was easily calmed for me once I realized that this will absolutely NOT HAPPEN as long as you use low enough weights. They are great for toning and sculpting target areas, and building muscle allows you to burn more calories. It would be really difficult for me to explain in writing all the exercises I do and how to do them, so below is a list of links. 

ShapeFit- This is a link to a list of cardio exercises that burn the most amount of calories. Swimming, running and jumping rope are the three I do most often, as they burn the most in the shortest time and work my body the hardest.

Fitclick- This is one of the best sites I've ever found! I was so happy when I stumbled across it! It is COMPLETELY FREE to register/sign up and has everything you could ever want in diet and exercise tools. There are food journals, calorie counters, calories burned calculators, recipes...and EVERY workout/exercise plan you can imagine! I only use it for the exercises, because to be honest...calorie counting is second nature for me, so I don't really need a special calculator for it. But the exercise plans are INCREDIBLE and they are thousands and thousands of videos or anything you want. My favorites for weights/toning are: "Pilates: 10 Minute Sculpting", "Stability Ball: Kneeling One-Arm Rows", "Weight Roll-Ups", "Squats: Body Weight," and "Best Way To Exercise: Modified Leg Lifts." Once you register, click "exercises" from the "Workout and Fitness" drop-down menu, then click any random workout video, and then when it comes up there will be a search box in the top right corner where you can type those titles in.

Whew! That was intense to write! It's weird though, because just remembering all that info and typing it out really gave me some much needed drive, and I feel sort of rejuvenated and more determined to reach my goal weight than I did when I started writing this! If anyone else reads this, I hope it is at least a little helpful and motivating for your own weight goals, and possibly even provided some new ideas and resources.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

And Here. We. Go.

   Here it is, the first post. The reason I've started this blog up is that, there are so many resources and websites and blogs out there about recovering from your eating disorder--which is great if you've chosen to do that--yet, there are very few outlets for those of us with EDs who AREN'T in recovery. And the websites that are available to us are immediately dubbed "Pro Ana" and "Pro Mia" and demonized for encouraging and promoting an unhealthy lifestyle. However, there is a big difference between PROMOTING EDs and being allowed to talk openly and honestly about how we live. 
   I have great respect for those who have chosen to embark upon the recovery process, and I can't say with 100% certainty that I will NEVER make that decision for myself. What I can say, though, is that I was in an inpatient/residential treatment program for three months-and not only did I relapse within a day of being discharged, but continued to purge in secret throughout my stay there. I sincerely believe that this is because in order to truly recover from ED, you have to truly WANT to-and I do not want to at this point in my life. And I know, both from being in treatment and from all the blogs and websites that I read, that there are so many others like me out there. People who recognize that EDs are dangerous diseases, who would never ENCOURAGE someone to develop one or PROMOTE it as a "glamorous" lifestyle--but who nevertheless are not at a point in their lives where they want to recover. 
   With that being said, it should not come as a surprise that I WOULD NOT recommend reading or following this blog if you are trying to recover, as the entire point of it is to provide a safe place for myself and (hopefully, in the future) others who ARE NOT IN RECOVERY. Therefore, I will not be censoring myself and do not want anyone else to, either. For that reason, material in this blog may be triggering. So please, only follow and read it if you won't be offended by posts relating to diet, exercise, tips, tricks, and other topics that are central to the lives of people choosing to live with ED. Im going to try and make this blog as useful and relevant as possible for us, and encourage ideas and contributions from others, once anyone other than me starts reading this =) That's all for now, new posts to come!