Thursday, April 15, 2010

Long Couple of Days!

Hey guys!
   Sorry I haven't been able to post in a couple of days, it has been really hectic. I interviewed for a job about two weeks ago that I literally NEVER thought I had a chance at getting, but found out on Monday that I got it! The only problem is, it will require me to move half way across the country to one of three cities: Boston, New York, or Washington, D.C.-and they want me to start ASAP, like as in mid-June. That doesn't give me very much time to work out finding a place to live in a totally new city, and tie up all my loose ends where I am now, including my current lease. Also, I just got a new car less than a month ago (well, not NEW, used...but new to me lol) and the only one of those cities I can see needing a car in is D.C., as I'd probably live in Maryland or Virginia. But if I get the NY or Boston location, then I can't see bringing a car. Ahhhh I have until Monday to either accept or reject the offer, so I've been going nuts the past few days calling everyone and their mom trying to figure out all my options and how quickly certain things can get done.
   Also, I have one of my best friends' wedding to go to in Antigua from June 12-15th, which I told the person who interviewed me, and they basically said "Oh, that's fine, you'll just start as soon as you get back, then." AS SOON AS I GET BACK? I feel like I have no time to prepare for such a major life change! Not to mention, of course, that as usual in the background of everything is my ever constant ED. Moving to a new city will require finding a new doctor, a new psychiatrist, and losing my current one with whom I've developed a lot of trust. Plus, for specialists there can sometimes be a long waiting list, although since they are ridiculously huge cities compared to the little town I'm in now, they probably have more to go around. Still, it is also a big concern for me.
   I was also thinking about it in terms of stress, and I think that although this would be an amazing opportunity, I'm really scared that the stress will dramatically increase how often I binge-eat, which I feel like I've gotten down to a much lower level over the past few months. I'm much more on the restrictive side of things at the moment, which I prefer. I've gone from binging and purging up to 5 times a day to only about 2-3 times per week. Of course, I'm not eating more that 200-500 cals per day and I make sure to do at least an hour of cardio every day to counter-act, so I know its not like what I'm doing is any "healthier" per say, but it does make me feel a little more in control then when I'm doing nothing but binging and purging all day long. I'm just afraid that with the stress from moving I'll go back to that daily life style, which could really effect my work performance. And the LAST thing I want to do is pack up my life move, move across the country, just to epically FAIL at the job I'm taking because of my ED.
   I have a lot to think about right now. Anyone been through something similar or have any suggestions? I'd love to hear from you guys! Also, Liz [ED], I read your blog and did see that you tagged me for that set of questions. I wanted you to know I haven't been ignoring it, just been out of my mind since Monday! I have a draft post with the questions, hopefully I'll be able to finish them later tonight!


Saturday, April 10, 2010

"For some, love fades; for others love is simply lost"

   What is funny is that when I first thought of writing this post, I had thought that a post not having to do with weight or food might be a refreshing divergence of my train of thought. Then, when I actually sat down to write it and thought about what to say, I realized that this still, at its core, has EVERYTHING to do with weight and food. So the story goes.
   I could write a dissertation's worth of background information and explanations, but I will spare you 10 years worth of history. In short, I've only ever been in love one time, with one person. In true cliche fashion, I fell in love with them in the seventh grade before I even knew what love was, and stayed in love with them the rest of my life. I've dated others briefly in that time, but never let anyone get too close. I've always kept my relationships very shallow, because (as terrible as it sounds) I've always known going into it that it wasn't going to last.
   Well, my love, henceforth to be referred to as "J" (clever, I know) and I have had quite a Romeo & Juliet journey, with various obstacles throughout the years keeping one or both of us from being able to be in a relationship...with anyone, let alone with each other. However, about 3 years ago it had finally seemed like the stars were aligning for us. I truly, perhaps stupidly, thought that we would finally be together. What ensued was pretty heartbreaking, and its difficult for me to think about it. We basically got incredibly close, exchanged mutual feelings of unrequited love for each other, and were on the brink of finally beginning a romantic relationship.
   Yet, despite having shared things with J that I'd never even considered discussing with anyone else, and having this feeling of "kindred souls," there was one thing that I couldn't bring myself to disclose, and that was my eating disorder. We had a mutual acquaintance that had struggled with bulimia and gone to treatment, and whom we happened to not particularly like, and J always thought it was funny to joke about. I callously laughed along, and even made some of my own jokes at her expense, all the while telling myself that I could never, ever let my own ED be known.
   J had a family history of mental illness, as do I, and it was always an area that we both bonded over but were very sensitive about at the same time. In addition to my struggles with food, I've been diagnosed with various other *things* over the years, some that I believe and others that I don't. One of them happens to be the same thing that J's father suffers from, and because of that, J had/has a lot of negative and painful memories associated with it in childhood. I realized that no matter how much I loved J, it wasn't fair of me to not disclose information about myself that could potentially be a source of very big problems in the future.
   So, as I am prone to do, and can't really justify, I completely fell off the face of the earth with no explanation whatsoever. I stopped returning J's calls, blocked their AIM account, stopped all e-mails and text messages...just went from spending at least 4 hours of every day with each other to no contact at all in span of 24 hours. Then I put myself in treatment. After about a month in treatment, I finally got up the nerve to call J and explain myself. When I did, I was met with so much more understanding than I ever imagined. J even dropped everything and traveled 5 hours the next day to visit me. I thought everything was finally going to be OK.
   Well, treatment wasn't exactly the magical quick-fix that J had hoped it would be, and once I got out, I think J thought I would be "cured." But as I continued to have daily struggles, and because now I felt like I could finally talk about it, more and more of our conversations came to, at least in part, involve my ED, therapy, meds, etc. Like a lot of brothers and sisters out there struggling not only with ED but other issues, I have been and still am very resistant to medication, which became a really big source of disagreement between us, mostly because of the awful things J's father had done while unmedicated.
   We had been growing more and more distant, and finally about a year ago I ODed in the bathroom of a bar and was hospitalized for the third time in about a 6-month period, which was then followed by being Baker Acted to a pysch ward. I called from there crying, asking J to please come visit me.


   That one simple word, and I knew that it was over. I realized that this was the straw that broke the proverbial camel's back. When I got out, I tried for weeks to reach J. Nothing...the tables had certainly turned, and it really sucked being on that side of a communication cut-off.
   Its now been almost exactly a year since we last spoke. I try not to think about it, and for the most part I like to think that I've at least partially gotten over it. I've moved on in a lot of ways: I no longer spend entire days crying in a fetal position thinking about J, I don't spend hours in bed at night thinking about all the "what if's" anymore, I finally stopped expecting J to have a sudden change of heart and remorsefully contact me, and I've largely accepted that it just wasn't meant to be.
   Well, of course once I finally reached sort of a healthy mindset regarding what went down with J, I sign into my e-mail account yesterday to find...what? An e-mail from J. No subject. Just J's e-mail address in the "sender" section, staring at me. After all the progess I thought I had made, just seeing J's name and e-mail address made my heart completely skip a beat. I came close to bursting into tears as my mind screamed "FINALLY!!!!!!"
   I briefly fantasized about what it would say, whether or not J was even still in town, if there would be an apology, maybe a peace-offering coffee date? Want to know what it said?


   Nothing. An empty e-mail with nothing but a link that wouldn't load. I've come to the conclusion that it was probably just some stupid spam from J's account getting hacked or something. Sigh. I'm such a fucking idiot.
   You know what the saddest part is? That I've been dealing with this by stopping all eating, and spending all my free time exercising. The same fucking bullshit that made me lose J to begin with. Somewhere in my twisted mind I still think, if I can just get thin enough, if I can just be pretty enough, if I can just prove that I'm good at SOMETHING...maybe someone will love me again one day.
   One of my favorite movies is "The Holiday" with Kate Winslet and Cameron Diaz. I know, its really cheesy. I just love Kate Winslet's character so much, and I know the movie pretty much word-for-word. The title of this post is something she says while narrating. The full quotation is:
For some quite inexplicably, love fades; for others love is simply lost. But then of course love can also be found, even if just for the night. And then, there's another kind of love: the cruelest kind. The one that almost kills its victims. Its called unrequited love.

True story.



Friday, April 9, 2010

Tips and Tricks

   I've actually been really hesitant about writing this post. As a person living with an eating disorder, I know that I always appreciate learning new tips and tricks here and there that I may not have thought of, however, I worry that it is a very fine line between sharing ideas with others that already have an ED and possibly encouraging or helping those without one to develop one.
   So, I'll just reiterate some of the things I said in my first post. This blog is not PRO Ana or PRO Mia in the sense that I am not trying to glamorize eating disorders or encourage others to develop one. This is not intended for insecure teenagers obsessed with Mary Kate Olsen who want to "lose weight." An ED is NOT a diet. With that being said, I still think that for those of us NOT in recovery, we should be able to talk to each other and share our experiences without worrying about being judged for our actions and attitudes.
   OK, I feel a little better about posting these after typing that. Especially because, lets face it, for those of us who have been living with ED...most of this information will not be new. But I always like reading other people's "Tips and Tricks" because every now and then there is something I hadn't thought of. I'll read a list of 25 tips, and I may have known about 24 of them...but learning just that one new one is really cool sometimes.
Drumroll, please...

~Tips and Tricks~
*Always carry sugar free mints and gum to help with hunger pangs and cover bad breath from purging or ketosis

*Cut all your food into as small pieces as you possibly can. Everything, even lettuce. The cutting will keep you focused and aware of how much you put in your mouth, and it will make whatever you are eating last MUCH longer.

*Never pour dressing on salad unless it is zero calorie, just have it on the side and dip your fork into it before grabbing the lettuce, you get the taste without all the extra cals.

*Always try to eat something for breakfast to start up and boost your metabolism, just don't go overboard. I like to keep it between 100-150 cals.

*Drink lots of water and green tea, it helps flush your system and boosts metabolism so you can burn more calories throughout the day.

*Try to drink everything ICE COLD, your system has to work harder to burn the calories

*When you are bingeing, try to start with something healthy and very recognizable, that way if it gets absorbed its not the worst food you ate and you'll know when you got everything up. I'm a big fan of carrots.

*Drink a TON of liquids when bingeing, everything will come up SO much easier and faster. Just don't drink a ton of high-calorie liquid...even though you're purging you don't need the extra cals to get absorbed in the meantime. Stick with water and zero-calorie/5 cal stuff like those powdered Crystal Light or flavored water.

*I never use my fingers to purge, it can create tell-tale marks. I always use the end of a toothbrush or the round end of a piece of silver wear.

*It helps to switch up the kind of method for purging, so that you don't get too used to any one way and stop reacting to it. For example, one way that always gets the food to start coming up for me is to try to breath in WHILE touching my gag reflex, its almost instantaneous. But I tried only ever doing that for about a week once, and soon it didn't work anymore. Another thing that always works for me is sticking whatever I'm using AS FAR BACK AS IT WILL GO, and then lightly pulling it up and forward at the same time, so that it brushes over, almost tickles, the back of my throat and gag reflex. One other method that usually works for me is very rapidly jabbing the instrument down my throat, but along my tongue so that you are not stabbing your throat in a "straight back" way but very quickly going almost up and down along your tongue and down your throat. Alternating these three has worked best for me,

*Once I'm done bingeing, I'll do my first purge. I like to think of that as my first, practice round. Once I get everything that is going to come up out, I go back and drink some more. My favorite thing to drink is half crystal light, half club soda. Then I jump up and down for about a minute, and then I do sort of a head stand for another minute, but I lean against a chair or the wall. This kind of shakes everything up and the carbonation from the club soda helps SO MUCH! Then I go for my second round, and like magic a ton more always comes up than I even thought was left. When nothing will come up anymore, do it one more time.

*As soon as you are finally done purging, drink some green tea. It will sooth your stomach and esophagus and also provide some antioxidants and caffeine, and beccause you are totally empty, it will get absorbed more quickly.

*The worst food to binge on is anything HOT or HURTS LIKE A BITCH coming up! I've read that a lot of other people have problems with peanut butter or starches, but I have personally found that if I use enough liquid I can purge ANYTHING without a problem EXCEPT SPICY FOOD! Even that, I CAN purge...its just so painful that its almost not worth it. I've had one too many bad experiences with that, so much so that now if I eat something spicy....I'm running and swimming that shit off, not purging it.

*If you're into drinking alcohol or smoking pot, DRINK A LOT OF WATER AND EAT SOMETHING BEFOREHAND.'ll be munching like nobody's business, and when you are drunk or high the likelihood of remembering to effectively purge everything before passing out is slim to none. So if you drink a lot of water and eat something before, you'll be less hungry and less likely to give into temptation when you have less control and judgement.

*When I'm really hungry and on the verge of bingeing, sometimes I'll give myself activities to do and say "you can eat when you finish this." Then, when you finish it, do the same thing again with something else. Keep going as long as you can, and usually the desire will subside AND you get a sense of satisfaction from the self control you exercised.

*Don't take escalators or elevators, always take the stairs, no matter how heavy your bag is or how much you're carrying or how high your heels are. Every bit helps, and it all helps with your overall feeling of accomplishment.

*I've read a lot of tips along the lines of buying clothes too tight or wearing a tight belt to make you more aware of your size, what size you want to be, and how much you've eaten. But for me, I hate walking around looking and feeling like I'm bulging everywhere. It may work for some people, but for me, it actually increases the liklihood that I'll break and binge because it makes me feel insecure and hopeless. INSTEAD, what I do is wear something really loose, flowy, or baggy on top (Like a loose dress, big sweatshirt, etc) and then wear something tight underneath, like skin tight leggings or jeans, and that way you get the subtle reminder you need to watch what you eat and be careful, but its just for you and no one else can see it.

*Reward yourself when you reach milestone goal weights. Donate clothes that are too big to Goodwill, Salvation Army, or whatever organization you like. That way they aren't there anymore for you to allow yourself to be that size again, and you can go shopping for something new.

*I've never really been into music or songs that are explicitly about EDs, but I do have a playlist that I go to when I need motivation. Whatever works for you, mine is mostly broadway musical solos, ballads, some Mariah, some Beyonce, some Mary J, some Regina Spektor....that sort of thing. Whatever floats your boat, but it really does help get you to the next level when you need to be on your own planet.

*This is going to sound like a no-brainer, but don't keep binge foods in the house. That way if you really want them, you have to actually get up, get out of the house, into your car, and go get them. That way you can minimize binges to only when you REALLY REALLY want them instead of just when you are stressed or bored. It seriously took me years to realize what a big difference this made. I used to buy them  and think I had the self control to just NOT eat them...but I don't. Never will.

*Always carry hand sanitizer and perfume...sometimes it's not just your breath that smells like vomit, the smell can stay on your hands and clothes, too.

*If you are out in public and it is really apparent that you have taken too long in the bathroom, come out and go to the nearest girl and act really annoyed that you got your period and you don't have anything with you and ask if she has a pad or tampon, it pretty much immediately erases whatever they THOUGHT you might be doing, as long as you don't smell like vomit.

*Add Miralax to all of your liquids. Its supposed to be about a capful for every 8 ounce glass, so I make 2 litre pitchers and mix accordingly. You can't taste it at all, and then its already in there for the next couple days. Helps with digestion and keeps you from getting bloated and constipated, which is the WORST. Its by far the most gentle, mild and natural laxative out there. In fact, it was the only one that they let me have when I was in treatment. That's how you know its legit, lol.

*If you are really in a pinch, baking soda mixed with water will make you throw up, and epsom salt mixed with water works as a laxative. Both of them you just need like a tablespoon for an 8 oz glass. Both of them also taste like shit.

*If your throat gets really raw or sore from purging, I've found that taking 1/2 cup of light vanilla soy milk (only 40 cal) and blending it with a 1/2 cup ice into almost a slushy consistency is incredibly soothing. 

That's all I've got for now, if I think of anything else I'll be sure to post it!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Good News!

   First off I'd just like to thank those of you who have subscribed to follow my blog! It really means a lot to not just be mindlessly rambling to myself all the time-plus it was such a welcome surprise when I came back from Wisconsin to see that I had gone from zero to eight followers! Sometimes, its the little things in life...
   Well, I finally found the time to run to Walgreens for some of those little disc shaped batteries for my scale...can you tell how technologically inclined I am by the fact that I have no idea what else to call them? Anyway, the good news is I DID NOT gain any weight while I was away, and am in fact down to 105 lbs! A couple days late, but welcome news nonetheless!
   I'm going to try to start posting some pictures, but I lost the battery for my camera in Wisconsin, rendering the lens unable to retract and the camera unable to turn on. I just ordered a new one on eBay. (Are we seeing a pattern here with my luck relating to batteries?) It should be here in 4-7 days, then I can take pics of the scale and some body shots to try and keep a better record.
   Short and sweet for now, will be able to make a longer post later, I'm compiling some tips and tricks, since that seems to be a staple of all the blogs in this genre. But I'm trying not to be completely redundant, and actually have some stuff that I haven't read anywhere else before. Ciao for now!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Back in Town

   I'm finally home after an exhausting week in Wisconsin. I would pretty much kill to have those 6 days back, as now I have more work to do than ever and less time! The whole time I was out of town I kept telling myself that it was going to be OK, and that I would finish everything when I got back...HA! What a joke. I now have so much just piled up from being put off that I don't know how I'm going to finish it all by this weekend. And to make things worse, my parents are visiting this Sunday, which means I have to MAJORLY clean and pretend that I live like a functioning human being.
   As for food and weight, I was overall pretty happy with how I did for 6 days, although I know I could have had more self control in a couple of instances. I brought my own food with me for travel so that I wouldn't buy/eat airport food, so that helped a lot. I can't say that everyone else's pizza and fries didn't smell outrageously delicious as I ate my celery sticks and carrots, but what can you do.
   While I was actually there, in the hotel and at the event, it was kind of impossible to carry around celery and carrots, as it was a very hectic schedule from 8am to 9pm every night, and I was already carrying so much...I had my gigantic tote that is half my size, so that I could have a change of shoes and clothes, along with my laptop, camera, chargers/cords, was packed. Then I also had a visual aid case, which is basically a giant tripod/easel thing that the visuals for my presentation rest on. Basically...lots of shit. No room for baggies of food and little cups of dressing, not to mention what a disaster it would have been if any food had spilled on something important.
   Nevertheless, I tried very hard to be good. The organization holding the event gave everyone a card with $35 on it to use for lunch everyday, and there were some TERRIBLE options! Typical food-court crap: greasy pizza, hamburgers, cheese fries, chinese...luckily there was a sub place where I could just get nothing but vegetables and vinegar on a wheat sub. I got that every day, never adding cheese and always taking the top half of the roll off and eating the rest with a fork. I wish I had been strong enough to not get the roll entirely and just have the veggies in a bowl, like what I do at Subway...but I was so exhausted and hungry by lunch time each day that I let myself rationalize half a roll.
   We also had gone to a Target the night we got into town and got some groceries to keep in the fridge at our hotel, so I had bought some soy milk and some granola, which is what I had each morning before leaving. Thank god the hotel didn't have bowls, and I just poured a little bit in one of the water cups, or else I would have definitely eaten too much. For dinners each night we had the option of just going back to the hotel and each figuring it out individually, or going to dinner together at a restaurant. Almost every night we chose to just go back to the hotel, which was great, because then I either didn't eat or just ate the fruit and veggies I had in the fridge. The one night we did go out, I ordered this spinach wrap that was (thankfully) terrible, so I only had about 4 bites out of it. I did, however, have a vodka club soda, which was sort of cheating but DAMN did I need a drink after that day.
   The worst thing I ate the whole trip were some cheese fries that someone offered me. I dipped them in ketchup, which is a condiment I haven't even TASTED in SO LONG! I had forgotten how much I love ketchup...too bad its nothing but sugar. My biggest "trigger" was being out of town on Easter Sunday, which the event organizers felt compelled to compensate for by having candy and chocolate and egg-shaped cookies FUCKING EVERYWHERE!!! I cheated with a few Reese's Pieces and a cookie, but then I went to a bathroom and purged because it dawned on me that I had NO IDEA what was in that cookie, and it had been really thick and covered in green icing...which is NEVER good.
   I'm a pretty good judge of whether I've gained, lost, or maintained my weight...I can always just feel the slightest differences. Coming home I felt relatively confident that I had not gained any weight, but as luck would have it the batteries to my scale died while I was gone. They are those round-disc batteries that I don't just have laying around, so I haven't been able to weigh myself since I got back...which is a little unnerving.
   I'm in the office now, but I'll pick some up on my way home so that I can get an accurate reading tonight. I had been pretty proud of myself for only purging twice while away and managing to (for the most part) keep to a really low-calorie diet each day, trying to never go above 500 cal. Although I didn't get to hit a gym while I was gone, the walking between building and up stairs carrying all that shit ALL DAY LONG in HEELS did a pretty good number on me. With any luck I'll be down to 105 (as per my April 5th goal) and if not, I will hopefully have at least not gained anything.
   Since being back, I haven't really eaten much at all. I've been so stressed with all this catch-up work and pretty close to a panic attack at any given moment, that I haven't really been able to think about food. It was a friend's birthday dinner last night, which I really didn't want to go to but went anyway to be polite...I ordered an entree that came with soup and dessert, all of which were delicious, but that I purged as soon as I got home. Usually I go out of my way to get every possible bit of food out when I purge, taking drinks and doing various jumping exercises in between...but since it was all I'd eaten in two days I was too exhausted after the first purge to go back and do my second and third go-rounds.
   Got to get back to the endless pile of work I have to do, but it felt good to take a little break and process some stuff. Will give weight update after I buy replacement batteries tonight.