Monday, March 7, 2011

Why I'll stay in recovery

I didn't realize it had been a whole week since I last posted!  The boyfriend's best friend has been in town visiting, my brother is having surgery tomorrow to fix his fractured wrist, and my parents have been in and out.  But all in all things are better than last time I wrote.  Except for the surgery bit of course but even that is routine and my brother should be back in school the next day.  Mostly he's bummed about not getting to snowboard again this season.  Probably a good thing since that's how he fractured his wrist in the first place.

I'm already planning our first camping trip of the season with some friends.  We went camping with them last year and had an amazing time so we're going for longer this year.  The boyfriend and I also celebrated our anniversary this weekend which was nice.  And best of all the boyfriend got his first grad school acceptance!  I can't even explain how much it feels like a weight has been lifted.  I knew he'd get accepted but it wasn't for sure until he had the letter.  It's such a relief, even though he's still waiting to hear from all the other schools and I don't know where we're moving yet.  But hey, in 6 months I could be a Colorado resident.  Weird.

Anyhow, the eating disorder has been pretty quiet this past week.  I can't let my guard down even when it's not actively trying to kill me but it's nice when things feel a little less insane in my head.  I get to breathe a little.  So I think now is a good time to make my list that I keep talking about.  So without further rambling:

Why Eating Disorder Recovery is Worth it

1.  I'm not freezing all the time.  I've always tended to be cold, even years before the eating disorder, but not eating results in this bone-deep, aching cold.  It hurts.

2.  I can enjoy meals out with friends and family.  I turned down or suffered through so many social events just because they involved food.  Restaurants were the scariest things.  These days I rarely even check menus, let alone calorie counts, before I go somewhere anymore.  It's refreshing.

3.  I don't get horrible headaches.  Hunger headaches suck, enough said.

4.  I have room in my life for relationships.  My eating disorder isolated me from friends and family, especially my parents who I love so much.  There was no time or energy for romantic relationships either.  If I went back to the eating disorder I'd have to accept the fact that I could lose the man I love.

5.  I don't feel like I'm in a fog.  I can't think straight when my brain is calorie-deprived and I need to for my job.  Who wants to be working with hazardous chemicals when they're mentally a mess?

6.  I'm not frantic if something interferes with my workouts.  Last night a friend from out of town was around unexpectedly.  I'd planned to workout but it was easy to pick which was more important.

7. I want to someday have children.  An eating disorder screws this up in so many ways.  Even if I could get pregnant how could I submit a growing fetus to starvation and then, once it was born, teach it to treat food like an enemy?  I want my kids to have a healthy relationship with food.

8.  I don't have a scary sunken face anymore.  I still have trouble accepting that my body looks better now but I can at least look at the pictures of me from when my eating disorder was bad and see how sad and aged my face looked.  It's a cosmetic reason but whatever works.

9.  I don't have to sleep in crazy contorted postions with pillows everywhere.  Between 2 people and 2 cats the bed is already crowded enough without me having to worry about putting pillows under my hip bones so I can sleep.

10.  I rarely have huge bruises that I don't remember getting anymore.  I bruise easily still, it's a fact.  And sometimes I don't know why I'm black and blue but nothing like when the eating disorder was bad and I was embarrased to wear skirts because of my brusied shins.

11.  I don't cry if someone gives me food.  I take it as the nice gesture it is and move on.

12.  I almost never have uncontrollable binges.  I suffered from binge eating before the anorexia, binges are something I will always struggle with ocassionally.  But when I was underweight I physically couldn't stop eating sometimes.  It was awful but now at a normal weight I can tell my body I will feed it again when it's hungry and it's starting to believe me.

13.  I cook more exciting things.  If a recipe calls for sugar or oil or nuts I don't run away screaming anymore.  It's really fun to experiment and try new things.

14.  I enjoy travelling much more.  What would a camping trip be without s'mores?  One trip to London when the eating disorder was bad I didn't get to enjoy hot chips on a cold night like I did when I lived in the UK  These things are okay and won't hurt me.

15.  I don't have to worry about a low heart rate or getting osteoporosis before I'm 30.  These health things are abstract and still don't really scare me but it's important to remember how physically dangerous eating disorders are.

16.  I don't have my mood decided every morning by a random number on a piece of plastic.  I'd like to one day be okay with knowing the number and not have any emotional response to it but for now I'll settle for just not weighing myself and being okay not knowing.  Seriously, who flies their scale around the country with them?  It was sad.

17.  I enjoy food.  Ice cream while watching trashy TV, my mom's delicious salmon, the stew that my boyfriend made that I have no idea what was in.  Why should these make me afraid?

18.  I don't get sick anytime anyone sneezes within a 50 yard radius.  I ride public transportation almost daily.  I need a better immune system than the one that let me catch 2 colds and a stomach flu all in one month.

19.  I lose it, emotionally, less.  I will always be sensitive, it's just a fact.  I don't need to cry over things like eating something that has 50 more calories than I thought it did. 

20.  I have a lot more free time.  Writing down every bite, scouring the web for diet and exercise tips, and staring at pictures of skinny models leaves no time for the things I really enjoy like reading or discovering a great new TV show.

And that's what I have for now.  I felt like I should maybe do a big one for the last one but these are more honest.  Yes, an eating disorder might kill me but when I start to get stressed and it starts to feel like restricting might be good, that won't stop me.  These might actually remind me why I'm doing this.


  1. I adore this post!! #6 and #20 are my faves from your list but they are all fantastic. You should see the huge grin on my face sitting here reading these. It feels SO GOOD to be on the other side of this chasm, doesn't it??

  2. I agree with all of these of course! #20 is being pointed out to me too. I never realized how much TIME my ED took up. It's almost like I did some of those things out of boredom (surfing the net for recipes that I never made). Now those very same things would bore me if I did them now! Haha :)