Monday, February 28, 2011


I've been struggling a bit the past couple days.  I've just generally felt kind of down and anxious.  We ended up going to the boyfriend's mom's house on Saturday to see her and his brothers.  I love the boyfriend's mom to death, honestly.  I couldn't ask for a better future mother-in-law, especially having watched my mom (my grandmother was not a very nice person) and now my best friend struggle with theirs.  But when we got there she asked me if I'd lost weight.  I muttered, "I don't know.  I haven't been trying to."  She said that my face "looks very slim".  And that I "look great."  (She added that I always look great though.)  That, of course, sent me into a panic of "What if I've lost weight?  I don't need to, that'd be bad.  But it'd be happy about it.  Maybe I have.  My face always looks skinny first.  Do I need to lose weight?  Should I lose weight?" 

I want to smack myself.  Why does an innocent comment have so much power over me?  I just need to tell her a little about my eating disorder next time we're alone, I think.  She runs a non-profit for handicapped young children.  She would definitely understand and be supportive.

Then we went to the mall since one of the boyfriend's brothers needed shoes and his mom wanted to go to Macy's.  I'd been thinking last week about how I hate all my clothes (seriously, I wear the same few things every week) so I was hoping I could find a couple things.  Then we got there and the boyfriend's mom wanted to buy me clothes and I choked.  I tried on a couple things that looked terrible on me and then mostly wandered around the massive store being overwhelmed and angry about how clothes look on me now as opposed to when I was skinny.  I desperately wanted to find something but the boyfriend's brothers kept telling me to hurry up so I ended up walking out empty handed.  I'm pretty sure his mom thinks I'm nuts now.  Sigh.  And I still have nothing to wear.

And then at the restaurant where we went for dinner the conversation came around to where the boyfriend is going to get into grad school, how he needs healthcare (he's a Type I diabetic), that we're going to move and not be married, married student housing, weddings, etc.  So because I was completely freaked out by the entire day I ended up eating this giant dessert that wasn't even good and I didn't even want.  All in all a fantastic day.

Oh, and my parents called to say they were coming into town to take my brother to dinner since he's been sad and that they wanted to get coffee with me afterwards.  Of course I couldn't because I was out of town with the boyfriend but all I could think was how it'd be nice if they realized I could have used a visit from them, not just as an after-thought, and how they'd know that if they ever bothered to call me and ask.  I have trouble asking for help or support.  Always have.  These are my parents.  Shouldn't they get that by now?

Anyhow, I'm just having a blah few days.  I'm sure it'll pass soon but it's hard to eat right (not too much or too little) when I feel like this.  I'll try and make my next post cover what I talked about last time.  I could kind of use that right now.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Turning it around

So, it's been pretty much a shit week where work is concerned.  Nothing has gone right and that sucks because it means I've put many hours of work into experiments and have absolutely nothing to show for them.  Plus the weather has been cold (for California) and rainy and gross.  But my eating has been pretty good so I'm happy with that.  We got a new veggie box full of delicious things.  I made a tasty stir-fry last night with frozen veggies as normal but threw in fresh baby bok choy and it totally rocked.  I had the leftovers today for lunch with some leftover cauliflower from a few days ago mixed in.  Yum.  And tonight I've promised the boyfriend I would try making him kale chips since he hated the sauteed kale I made with onions and garlic last time.  I also have some sausage-less Italian sausage from Trader Joe's so I might make fake sausage sandwiches with peppers and onions.  Hopefully it all turns out well.

In other news, a conversation I had with the boyfriend really got me thinking about eating disorders and turning points.  Our anniversary is coming up and I made some comment about how, on our first date, I ate plain salad, even though we went to this delicious Italian place that has amazing pasta and how I definitely wouldn't do that now.  The boyfriend said something about that being weird because I was past the worst of the eating disorder by then.  And he's right but, as I explained to him, I was still very much in it then.  And he asked me, "well, what changed?"

It's a very good question.  I mean, I was obsessively over-exercising just weeks before the boyfriend and I started dating. And the second time we hung out as friends (prior to any dates) we had plans to go out for lunch, but when he called to meet up I said I'd already eaten but we could get coffee.  Of course I hadn't eaten, I just felt I'd eaten too much the night before to deserve lunch. 

This was all just prior to my second recovery period, the one I'm still in now and hope to be for a long time.  The first was in the last couple months leading up to finishing my Masters degree and I know what changed then.  I realized (over a few weeks) that if I didn't eat more I wasn't going to graduate.  I was going to end up in the hospital and my parents would have yanked me out of the program, no question about it.  So I ate a little more, gained a few pounds, and managed to get my period back.  But then the program ended and I started obsessively exercising and stressing about my eating again.  I guess I relapsed though I've never really thought of it that way.

As for what made me turn things around this time, I don't really know.  Gaining the rest the weight I needed to, as much as I hate it, has helped keep me from relapsing again.  And not having a gym for a while helped with the exercising.  But what about the eating?  In my relapse I wasn't as bad about food as I was at the height of the eating disorder but I certainly wasn't great.  I keep searching my memory for that "Aha!" moment when I realized I couldn't go on this way and had to change but I'm beginning to realize it doesn't exist.  It was a very gradual process of realizing simply that although this whole recovery thing sucks sometimes, being deep in the eating disorder sucks more.

It's a little scary to recognize that.  I wish I had that moment of realization as part of my arsenal so that when, inevitably at some point in the future, the eating disorder seems like a smart choice I could whip it out and say "no, remember this!"  But I don't.  I have a few small reasons and just the nice, but vague, overall feeling that I'm happier now.  I don't really know if that's enough.  I think hopefully soon I'll try to do a post cataloguing some of those small reasons so I have them in one place if I ever need them.  Maybe that'll help.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eating in

I'm disappointed in myself.  I turned down dinner with my boyfriend and some of his friends.  Part of it is they all went to college together and I find the rehashing of those memories super boring after a while.  Seriously, I think I could recite word for word the stories they tell every time.  And a lot of those stories involve another (previously mutual) friend that my boyfriend is no longer friends with because of how this guy treated me (a whole other story on it's own).  So that always makes me feel pretty awkward.  But mainly I did what I always do.  I hear the words "eat out" and my brain says "restaurant, unknown, scary, too many calories."

I know eating out is a huge fear for a lot of people with eating disorders and I'm no exception.  I remember once calling my dad 3 times while he was out picking up Subway to change my order as I scoured their website calorie counts.  And don't even mention eating somewhere without posted stats.  I basically ate only undressed salads at restaurants for years.  These days I'm pretty good about picking something that balances what I want with what won't give me an anxiety attack.  Sometimes I even manage fries or dessert.  But I still struggle with the initial brain freak-out.

The conversation in my head today went something like this:
"Who knows what restaurant you'd end up at or what would be in the food?  Restaurants are scary."
"But eating out is fun sometimes."
"You eat out all the time.  Way too much.  It's unhealthy."
"And you're going to eat pizza at your lunch meeting.  That's more than enough."

So I didn't go.  It's okay.  It's just once.  I think it's alright if it doesn't become a pattern.  I ate dinner at home, including a cookie the boyfriend brought home for me.  I worked out but not too much.  All in all it's not too terrible but still.  I need to watch out for losing these battles.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Lesson learned

Never make posts about other people when you're PMSing.  I'll leave my last post up because it's honest.  It's how I was feeling at the moment but I swear, I'm not actually a horrible person even if it kinda comes off that way!  My brother and I talked and while things aren't fixed per say (we still have some issues both from this and other events) at least we're speaking and I think we can give our dad the birthday he wants.  And that's what really matters to me.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Why I might kill my brother and go to prison

Warning: The following rant has nothing to do with food or eating disorders and is really long.  I'm sorry.

I think I might have mentioned this before, my brother and I currently aren't on speaking terms.  Haven't been for more than a month now.  Maybe that wouldn't be so weird but we live on the same street (he goes to college in the city I live in).  We both have a nasty habit of saying things we don't mean when we're angry, just to hurt the other person, and so our last conversation about why I don't like his girlfriend ended in him calling me a bitch and me telling him that his girlfriend "dresses like a slut".  Straight out of a Jerry Springer episode really.  To be fair, I am a bitch sometimes and once, when I got home from some family event, the boyfriend asked me in regards to my brother's girlfriend if "the boobs were out to play".  So maybe neither of us was that far off the mark.

Regardless, we have to patch things up because our dad's 60th birthday is at the beginning of next month and he wants to do a trip to the snow.  (Yes, I live in the magical land when going to the snow is considered a vacation.  Hate me if you must.)  I can see it now, us all locked in a cabin when some blizzard hits.  I might kill myself.  Thank god people will be escaping to the slopes.

The problem is I genuinely dislike this girl my brother's seeing and I have so many issues with her and his relationship.  I know, I know.  Any advice columnist would tell me to shut up and be nice and that I'm a bad person, and it's true, but seriously.  If I have to listen to her shriek one more time when my parent's dogs come near her or watch her hang off of my brother or hear her baby talk to him or see those damn booty shorts she wears to my parent's house, I might murder her.  I just don't understand.  She goes to the same really good college my brother does, doesn't this mean she's supposed to be smart?

My boyfriend keeps telling me to stay out of it and he's probably right but I'm kind of offended that my brother brought her home.  I guess it's part of me always having a plan but my boyfriend was the first guy I ever took to meet my family and that wasn't until I knew for sure that he was the one for me.  I had great, long-term relationships before him but I never brought them home because I knew they wouldn't fit in with my family or wouldn't have gotten along with, let alone been good influences on, my younger brother.  Why inflict that on any of the involved parties?  It just doesn't make sense to me.  So I'm upset that my bother brought this girl home who so clearly doesn't fit in that I can 100% guarantee if he wasn't dating her, he would hate her.  Neither of my parents really like her but what can I say?  They're better people than I am.  I've never known how to be friendly with someone I don't like.  It's just one of those skills I completely fail at.

Even more so than my issues with this girl I have issues with how my brother acted when he started dating her.  It went from him calling me once a week to have dinner to never, instantly.  And I could even handle this since he's very young for his age and this is his first serious relationship but when I started dating my boyfriend 3 years my brother threw a fit.  He told my parents and even some of my few friends that I was ignoring him.  And it's half true I guess, we went from seeing each other a couple times a week to once a week.  But it seriously damaged my relationship with some friends and he didn't even try to talk to me first.  I guess I'm still a little bitter over that.  And extremely bitter over him acting the same way he complained about.  Nothing drives me more crazy than hypocrisy.

But my family is really important to me and I do want to have a relationship with my brother so I know I need to get past all this.  I'm supposed to have lunch with my brother tomorrow.  I plan to apologize for not really making much effort to talk to or get to know his girlfriend.  I did some but when she started annoying me I gave up.  I have to find some way to ignore that.  But I'm also going to tell him how upset I was by his actions.  I should have when we had the last conversation and I'll never get over it unless I do.  I also really, really want to say that although I'm going to be nicer that he needs to be realistic about her fitting into our family.  My boyfriend (and okay, probably common sense) says I shouldn't but I'm worried that my brother's so immature that he just can't see it.  But I don't want to make things worse and so I'm really going to try to contain myself.  We'll see.

I just don't handle conflict well.  Never have.  I say too much or too little and then invariably I cry.  It sucks.  But I guess it's one of those things I'll never get better at unless I work on it so here's a chance.  Hopefully we'll be speaking again after all this.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I've been struggling a lot lately with all the unknowns in my life.  I like order, I like plans, I like stability. And as long as I can remember I've always known where my life was going.  I mean, I said when I was 4 that I was going to be a scientist and now?  I do science.  I knew I was going to go through school, get good grades, and get into a good college.  I knew before I even started college that I was going to study abroad and I did.  I lived in Scotland for a year.  The only time when there was some uncertainty in my life was after I got back from studying abroad with only 1 year left of undergrad and hadn't decided whether I wanted to go to grad school or find a job.  It's not too surprising to me that that was the point when I finally crossed the disordered eating/eating disorder line.  As I've said, I don't deal well with uncertainties.

The thing that I have a hard time facing is that this isn't a normal state of affairs.  A lot people in their mid-twenties still have no idea what they want to do or where they want their lives to go.  Most the people I know are still figuring all that out.  It's really normal.  But for someone who's always had a plan it's hard for me to suddenly have my life connected with someone who hasn't. 

I'm so lucky to have my boyfriend in my life, I know this.  Without him my eating disorder would still be really bad.  He's helped me get through so much of it.  And he makes me happy.  But he's still working on figuring out what he wants out of life and it's hard.  He's applied to grad school and beyond all the unknowns of where I'll be living in 6 months, I'm not completely convinced that this is even what he really wants to do.  I really hope it is because I can only handle so many changes.

My best friend told me that she thinks this move will be a really good thing for me.  She said she thinks I need to get out of my comfort zone.  She's probably right.  I'm comfortable living an hour from my parents, living in the same state I've spent my entire life.  My job can be boring but I know what to expect from it.  I'm even comfortable skirting the edges of my eating disorder.  This is all safe to me.  On the other hand my boyfriend says he's really excited to go somewhere new, explore a new city, all of that.  Maybe if I could see that I would be too but the problem is right now all I see is the massive unknown of where this new city will be.  And beyond that I see moving, leaving my family and the few friends I have here, and adjusting to a new place.  I find it all terrifying.

Furthermore, there's the uncertainty of when I'll get married and when I'll have kids.  Honestly, I love my boyfriend to death and I want these things with him but if I could solve that uncertainty by doing them by myself I might actually do that.  Unfortunately it's kind of hard to get married by yourself and that's what I want.  I don't even really care about a wedding, though that'll be fun I'm sure, but more than anything I want to fully share a life with the man I'm in love with.  Sorry about the sap a couple days late but it's true.  I look forward to buying a house together, sharing a name, all of that.  And it'll happen.  I just have to learn to deal with the fact that not everything can follow some aribitrary plan I've laid out.

My response to all the unknows is to fix some of that anxiety by restricting.  Just skipping a snack will make me feel so much better.  But then it's like taking a drug (or at least how taking drugs was explained in my elementary school program).  Skipping a snack isn't enough to quell the anxiety anymore, it needs to be a meal.  Then 2 meals.  And so on.  But I'm not willing to do that anymore.  It's not worth it because the anxiety is still there waiting for me.  My only option is to face the uncertainty, even though it feels awful because there's absolutely nothing I can do to make things more certain right now. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Pro-anorexia and why I can't hate it

Hmm, did I say I was going to do a post this weekend?  Well, I kind of got distracted what with all of the TV that required watching, books that required reading, and video games that required playing.  Someone's got to do it!  But now I'm at work and bored which always equals more blogging.

I mentioned pro-anorexia a few posts ago and thought that it deserved a bit more of a discussion.  I've read a lot about pro-anorexia from people in ED recovery and it's run the gamut from "it ruined my life" to "it didn't tell me anything I didn't already know."  The interesting thing to me is that every single ED sufferer (in the western world at least) seems to have some familiarity with it.  I'm sure there are exceptions but my guess is they're rare.  Like so many other things it seems it was made bigger when it was revealed to the general public as this huge scandal.  I certainly have had my experiences with it and I even missed the media blitz on it by several years.

Personally, I heard about pro-anorexia on a TV program.  It wasn't even a news program is the sad part.  At the time I was already restricting (as I had in the past) but I'm not sure if I'd quite crossed that eating disorder boundary yet.  I started looking around online immediately afterwards and found all the tips and pictures I could have ever wanted, including the Livejournal communities that I ended up being a part of.  Did pro-anorexia cause my eating disorder?  Absolutely not.  A genetic predisposition and the right conditions at the right time caused it.  I believe I would have gotten just as sick as I did on my own.  But pro-anorexia certainly sped that process up, made me feel justified in my behavior, and helped keep me sick longer.

Additionally, pro-anorexia gave me some symptoms that I don't think I would have developed without it.  This includes comparing my body to celebrities.  Even as a heavier teenager I didn't do that.  I can remember wishing I looked like skinnier classmates but I never looked at celebrity pictures or obsessed over how thin they were.  To this day I still do that now.

Considering all this you'd think I would be the first to jump on the bandwagon that supports banning all pro-anorexia on the internet.  The thing is that when I was sick it filled a hole that I don't think anything else would have.  To make things clear I steered far away from anything that handed out tips or actively discouraged recovery or supported competition between sufferers.  So for the most part it was just a lot of sick girls talking about their symptoms and telling each other they weren't the only ones.  True, no one ever told me that I should go to a doctor when I admitted to almost passing out but if they had I wouldn't have mentioned those symptoms.  Same reason I didn't mention it to my friends or my parents.  Online I could admit to things like crying when my flatmate accidentally broke my scale whereas when I mentioned that to a friend she stared at me like I was a crazy person and asked me if I had therapy later that day.  I think I might have exploded if I hadn't had a place to get out some of these issues.  And it's a very comforting thing to know that other people understand your pain.

Yes, I do think pro-anorexia helped me get sicker faster but when I inevitably reached that point that was the only support I had to tell me I wasn't alone.  So I guess I think the energy that's directed towards fighting pro-anorexia would be much better spent on working towards better ED treatments (with the obvious exception of sites that consider eating disorders a lifestyle and the like).  Because once I started recovering I left those sites behind forever and I have no urge to go back to them now.  If we help people recover better I think they'll naturally start to disappear on their own.

And let's be fair here.  Sure, pro-anorexia sites collected pictures of stick-thin models for me but who put them out there in the first place?  It's like treating the symptoms of any disease.  Until we address the deeper issues of weight obsession in our culture it's like trying to save the Titanic with a tea cup. 

Friday, February 11, 2011

Quick hello

Just wanted to say hi tonight and that I'll try and get a real post up this weekend.  It's been a pretty great, but busy, week!

I'm loving the new elliptical machine still, though I have to say I'm so relieved we ended up putting it upstairs in the game room with the TV that does not have cable/Tivo.  I realized tonight (as I was watching Teen Mom on Tivo) that if the machine was downstairs I would not be sitting on the couch eating ice cream.  I'd be feeling horribly guilty for not working out while I was watching it so I'd end up doing that.  Because it's upstairs and I can only watch Netflix I have to make more of a conscious decision as to if I want to exercise.  It's a good thing for me.

In other news we got our first Community Supported Agriculture box.  Oh god.  It's amazing!  We got delicious oranges, avocados, cauliflower, kale, chard, lettuce, cilantro, carrots, lemons, potatoes, and beets. I've already had an orange that was bright and sweet and juicy.  I also roasted our cauliflower with lemon and garlic and my veggie-hating boyfriend deemed it "alright".  Success!  And then tonight I made pesto but with cilantro instead of basil.  It was super tasty with a bit of a kick and I even used the olive oil the recipe called for.  Last time I made pesto I used tofu instead of oil so go me.  I've never had kale or chard really though so I have no clue what I'll do with those but that was the point of signing up for this.

I'm planning to save the potatoes for Valentine's Day since it's my year to cook.  Our anniversary is in just a couple weeks so we save the fancy restaurant for that and have a romantic V-Day in instead.  I've never cooked Russian Banana Potatoes so we'll see what I do with them.  But the boyfriend loves potatoes so no matter what I'm sure he'll be happy.  Similarly I think I'm going to make salmon and cheesecake, also favorites.  I've never cooked either so I'll let you know how that goes!  But cheesecake seemed to make sense since I can make it in advance since it's a work night.  I also picked up some red icing so I'll put a cute heart on it and call it good.  Hopefully it all works out.

And I think that's it.  The ED thoughts have been pretty quiet this week, which rocks.  I even ate a cupcake today with not too much guilt.  I mean, my lunch was a little lighter than normal so that might be it but whatever.

I will leave you with a couple kitty pics.

Please don't judge me on my books.  I enjoy escapism lit.  So does this kitten.

He also likes to play Wii.

This one likes heat.  (I'm just waiting for her to set her whiskers on fire one of these days.)

Also, tasty flowers.  Mmmm.

And sun.  Of course.

And now I feel like this.  Goodnight.

Okay, maybe more than a couple.  I couldn't decide!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Another thing came out of the birthday party I went to this past weekend, besides the whole I'm so weird and no one wants to be my friend thing.  I realized, I'm still jealous.  I'm jealous of girls who have flatter stomachs than I do.  I'm jealous of girls who are more petite than I am.  And I'm sure as hell jealous of girls who are skinnier than I am.  But more than anything else I'm jealous of people who can skip meals and diet and lose weight.

Saturday night the host and hostess ordered Pizza Hut for dinner since there were so many people at the party and I think they wanted to keep it from being a fortune.  I don't really like cardboard-esque pizza, especially since pizza as a whole causes me a little anxiety still.  I mean, why be anxious over something that doesn't even taste good when I could be anxious over something totally worth it, like the fabulous deep dish pizza near us or the co-op that does a different pizza every day with things like corn or potatoes.  A few years ago if I'd been at this party I would have said "I don't like this" and not eaten anything.  A couple of years ago I would have brought my own food and only touched that.  But I'm really working on eating more "normally" and facing some fears.  And bottom line, I can't skip meals.  That way lies ruin.  I have to eat even if it's not my favorite.

As we were walking out after the party with our friends, one of them (let's call her Emma), was complaining about how hungry she was.  She said she was starving since she hates pizza, especially that kind of pizza, and so she didn't eat anything.  It took me about 0.3 seconds to chime in with "Oh, I hate that stuff too but I have to eat.  I can't skip meals."  (Like I needed to defend my eating.)  Emma knows about my eating disordered past though I don't know if she actually connected the two things.

Anyhow, I was upset that she talked about this kind of thing again (she does this pretty frequently) but it occurred to me as we were driving home that it wasn't the fact that it made me feel bad about eating or something, I was actually jealous.  Emma can do this whenever she wants to- not eat lunch until 4pm, skip dinner, and lose weight.  I want to do those things.  As we were leaving another friend even told Emma's partner to "make sure she eats something."  All I can think is how I want all of that.  I want the feeling of skipping meals, of being that in control.  I want to lose the weight that I've gained.  Just a little, that'd be okay, right?  I want people to worry when I don't eat, be jealous of how I can lose weight better than anyone.  Why does it have to be the other way around?  Why is this acceptable behavior for everyone else except me?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sun, elliptical update, and not making friends

I love living in California.  Seriously, I went to the grocery store in flip-flops today.  How much does that rock?  It's been chilly (by my standards anyways) and it will be chilly again soon but I love the chance to wear a light cardigan out in February.  I'm going to cry when I move and there's snow.

Things that are awesome about having my own elliptical machine:
1. Working out in a sports bra and shorts.  (I would never ever show my stomach in public so that's awesome.)
2.  My Netflix shows give me a built in timer.
3.  I finally have a chance to wear the shorts and pants I have that are too tight or short or see through.  (I knew I kept all the junk for a reason!)
4.  No one but my boyfriend has to see how sweaty and red my face gets.
5.  From the machine to the shower in less than 2 minutes.  (And not having to use gross gym showers.)
All in all I'm so glad we spent the money.  Maybe I'll have to invest in some weights one of these days too.

In other news, we went to friend's 30th birthday party yesterday.  He invited a ton of people (as in more than 50) and everyone hung out and drank a little and played video and board games.  It was the kind of atmosphere where you'd finish some game and the group who'd been playing with you would split up, get more food, and join games with different people.  I knew some of the people there but not a lot and more than once found myself playing games with 4 or 5 guys whose names I didn't even know.  I've grown a lot in the past couple years because before this never would have happened.  I would have been glued to my boyfriend the whole time.  So I felt pretty good about being able to ask people if I could play and joining in.

On the other hand I still had my fair share of obsessing.  I know I'm kind of weird and awkward and easily overwhelmed at the best of times and I've never been someone who made friends easily.  There's those people who others just seem to be drawn to, everyone wants to be their friend.  I feel like I'm kind of the opposite.  There's just nothing about me that compels people to want to keep talking to me or learn more.  There's also been some research into how people with eating disorders don't interpret emotions from others very well.  This makes sense to me.  I often think that people are annoyed at me or disinterested with what I'm saying, even if this isn't the case.  And so why would I open myself up if I think someone else feels this way?

In addition, I generally don't really like myself so why should someone else?  Still though, it made me kind of sad when a friend of mine who was there was being asked by all kinds of people she didn't know to come out drinking after the party broke up.  Things like that just don't happen to me.  I'm sure it's my fault but still.

This worries me because when we move I'm going to be in this new city with no friends or family nearby and my boyfriend (who already makes friends easily) will have a built-in social circle with the people who are in his grad school program.  I guess I'll have the people at my new job but um, I made zero friends at my current job.  Why should that change?  Not that I think my boyfriend will go to things without me and I'll be lonely but sometimes it sucks always being the tagalong.  I don't know.  Maybe I just need to accept that this is my personality and stop obsessing about it.  But I do have some great friends and my boyfriend so I can't be completely horrible, right?  I just wish I knew how to show it to more people.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fighting the feelings

I'm exhausted.  It's just been one of those weeks.  It doesn't help that I essentially compressed 5 already busy days into 4.  I was in the lab until 7pm yesterday and have basically been in there constantly every day, except for the few minutes I force myself to take a break and eat lunch.  And tonight even though I left at a decent time it took me more than double my normal commute time to get home.  Weeks like this tend to wreak havoc with my sleeping, eating, and broken brain things.  And by that I mean my self-esteem has been low and my body dysmorphia has been high.  I've been beating myself mentally black and blue for little things like losing a protocol sheet or eating an extra cookie.

This wasn't helped when today I followed a blog link from a link from a link in the comments of a blog I love.  I do this often and I've found some of my favorite blogs that way.  Unfortunately today I ended up at a pro-anorexia blog, complete with "thinspo".  (I have a lot to say about pro-anorexia but that's for another post.  Look for it soon!)  It was like seeing a car wreck.  I couldn't look away even though I so desperately wanted to.  I just stared at these pictures of totally normal-sized girls deemed "whales" by this blog writer and at the emaciated, supposedly good, comparisons.

And I wanted to cry.  It's been so hard for me to smother the voices in my head that tell me I'm a cow and insist that everyone who sees me is staring in disgust at how huge I am.  They say I'm not worthy of love, not worthy of anything.  But I've been doing pretty well at not having those thoughts as much lately, or at least ignoring them.  I still hate mirrors and pictures of myself but all in all I've been feeling okay in regards to that.  This one single website though just brought it all rushing back.  It was truly incredible how quickly it happened.  All the hatred and anger at myself were right there, just waiting for me to let my guard down in the slightest.  It was like the last 3 years of recovery never happened.  I could only stare at the mirror in the bathroom, wishing I was dead, positive that every single person is, like this one sick individual, as horrified by my appearance as I am.

It sounds overly dramatic, I know, I'm sorry.  But I'm a little scared now.  It feels like I have some sort of chained beast right behind me and the littlest thing will set it free to eat me.  (Get the irony? Eating?)  I really thought I'd put most of this behind me and it was shocking to realize just how present it still is.

The good news though is even though it upset me way more than it should have, I didn't let it change my behavior.  A therapist once had me take phrases like "I gained a pound and I'm upset so I can't go out with friends" to "I gained a pound and I'm upset and I'm going out with friends".  She said that it was okay to have these thoughts but you can't act on them.  So today I felt fat and didn't want to eat dinner but instead I felt fat and ate dinner.  It's a victory.  A couple years ago I would have done anything I had to to not eat tonight.  But I had a big tuna sandwich and some kettle chips and I feel better.  Still fat and gross and terrible but okay.  I can live in this body another day.

Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to eat ice cream and watch the SciFi channel.