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!