Monday, March 26, 2012

It's all in the numbers.

I've been meaning to write this post for a little over a week.  But I wasn't sure what to say.  And still am not in many ways.  But, it needs to get out of my brain, so here it is.

As part of treatement, my nutritionist weighs me from time to time.  I'm totally fine with this.  She doesn't show me the number, I don't freak out.  It's totally fine.

The first time, it felt really weird because she asked my permission to get a weight.  I've never had that experience before.  Scales are something forced on a person publically in the entry hall at the doctor's office or multiple times a day at home in the privacy of my bathroom.  To have semiprivacy and permission, well, that was all new territory.

I think I've mentioned before that I'm in an uncomfortable place right now where I feel like I'm too overweight (which I am.  That's a fact and not solely the voice of ED) but am not sure that I can trust myself to intentionally LOSE weight.  So, it's this body hating limbo. 

As an interesting counterpoint, I'm also totally in love with my body right now.  Since starting running and regrouping my thoughts on food and the permission to eat what I want and when I want it, I have never felt stronger.  Running has completely changed how I feel about my body's purpose and capabilities.  Fuelling it properly has only added to that.  And within those two components, my body has changed.  I can feel it, I can see it, I had to buy new jeans. 

All this has happened under what I had embraced as the "freedom" from weight.  My husband, on my request, took our scales to the basement and tucked them out of sight so I could get rid of my obsessive weighing/punishing cycle.  I've been living free from that and it has felt amazing.  And in my brain, I guess I decided I was pretty darn smart being all nonchalant about what my scale number is or isn't on an hourly basis.  Smug even.

Until my nutritionist said this post-weigh in two weeks ago,

"Would you like feedback on that at all?"


She said it all casually while looking down at her paper, writing.

I was totally confused and the only word I really heard loud and clear was FEEDBACK.

Instant overwhelm.

No I don't want feedback.  I'm too fat.  Why would you ask me to willingly open myself up to critique about my weight??!  If I lost weight, it won't be enough.  If I didn't, it's going to make me feel bad.  I THOUGHT WE WERE LIVING FREE FROM WEIGHT HERE PEOPLE!

I put together an extrememly eloquent response despite the swirling in my head.  Talked of not wanting to potentially derail the amazing progress I'd made towards living scale free, blah blah blah.  A very pretty package which I'm sure convinced her of nothing, but bless her heart, she let me make my argument and agreed.

Then I proceeded to think about it for the entire night all the way into the next day.  Of course.  OCD is FUN.

Thankfully, I had a therapy appointment the next day.  And first thing I said, "I totally freaked out in my appointment yesterday.  Did she tell you?"  Because if I tell on myself first, that makes it better.  I explained what happened from start to finish.  I even tried my prettily packaged reasoning as to why I shouldn't know what I weigh.  I ended with a statement like,

"It finally doesn't matter to me what I weigh.  I don't want to do something that all of a sudden wrecks that!"

And the therapist said, "Really?  Because it seems to me it still matters to you what you weigh.  Otherwise, why would the possibility of finding out matter to you enough for it to be stuck in your head for a day?"

Doh.  I guess that's why she has her job and I have mine.


The discussion continued that the goal isn't to not want to know what the scale number is but rather to know and not CARE what the scale number is.  And clearly, I have some work to do on that.  She explained that it will be up to me to decide when I want to know and start working on the not caring part, but that they need to introduce things like that to check readiness and get the idea in as a seed.  And since I'm prone to panic when a new task is suggested, well, this is a good system.

Do I know where I'm at with it right now?  Nope.  I have visions of me knowing my weight and being all Ghandi/zen when I hear the number.  I have visions of feeling humiliated.  The problem with my OCD/perfectionist/ED brain is that it can't control how I'll feel and that makes it all worse.  For now, my plan is to just keeping plugging away and staying open to the process.  If that means I say yes the next time she asks if I want feedback, well, great.  If it takes more time, that's fine too.  They know what they're doing.  I don't need to. 

And that, right there, may be the hardest part.  Not needing to know.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Jagged Little Pill

It's early March.  I live in a northern climate which does not see much sunlight in winter months.  It's a proven fact that this lack of sunlight can screw with a person.  Knowing that I have trouble once we start hitting a second grey day in a row, I felt like I was being proactive in buying my happy blue light.  And I do feel like it has helped a little.  But during my therapy session yesterday, it was brought up that I might need a med adjustment to get me through until spring.  I KNOW my meds are helping.  I can feel and describe at least a dozen different ways my life has improved by the magical 50mg of Zoloft I take every morning.  I know all of this anxiety, S.A.D, ED lives in the chemistry of my brain which I have no control over.

So, why does it feel like I'm failing every time I consider having to up my dose.


I feel like there's this voice in my head saying I should be able to cope and that by admitting I'm not stronger than the dreary winter season, somehow that reflects on my capabilities.  Like it will pass if I can just get out into the sun or feel some actual warmth outside.

Because that's exactly how brain chemistry works, right?


She wanted me to call today to ask for an adjustment. She said she brought it up because most of her clients have needed a med adjustment in the last few weeks for the same reason.  And I do get that.  I do.  I'm just stubborn and want to somehow will all that crazy juice flowing through my brain into getting its act together and doing what I WANT it to do.

I'll come around.  A year ago, I was absolutely adamant that I didn't need any meds at all.  I just needed time to accept that they could help and there was no reason to feel crappy if there was a way to remedy it.  My plan is to allow myself that time again.

Who knows, maybe spring will show up if I wait long enough, right?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Let the sun shine.....

OK.  I'll admit it.  I've been MIA of late.  Not just here, but sort of everywhere.  Checked out.

It sort of started with me being sick a few weeks ago and just completely got away from me.  I didn't want to do anything.  Didn't want to go anywhere.  Was tired and fed up with every single thing.

Depressed much? 


It's this winter weather.  I know it is.  Grey for days and days on end.  And we finally got 2 feet of snow this past week so it really feels like winter as well.  I don't do well with the absence of sunlight.  I need it.  I've often said I'm solar powered.  I do have my bue happy light, but there's just no substitute for feeling the warmth of the sun on your body.

So, what did I do once I noticed I was in a depression whirlpool.  Well, first, I laid around in it and wallowed.  Yup.  Totally did.  Then, I decided the time limit on wallowing was up and I needed to address parts of it.  Had a wonderful talk with the hubby about how I'd been feeling "treatment fatigue" of late and that it was really hard for me to feel like I was doing this all alone.  I didn't tell him as an indictment because if anyone needed to shoulder blame, it was me.  I'm so good at hiding my needs that no one knows when I need something.  It's not his fault I felt all alone.  That led to some other good conversation about where I'm at ED-wise and made me feel a little better.  Then, I made sort of a big decision. 

I made my ED Facebook official.  As part of ED awareness month, I knew I wanted to post something.  As part of trying to get out of this lonliness vortex, I knew I wanted to post something.  As part of my need to just have everyone know so I could finally eliminate the secrecy aspect, I knew I wanted to post something.

So I did.

And the response was totally overwhelming.  I had private massages from friends who are currently fighting ED battles, I had public messages of love and support, and it was all so freeing.  I also knew that my parents were probably pissed as all get out that I made something like that public, but you know, that's their problem.  I can't hide things away for fear they will be disappointed in or embarassed of me.  I'm almost 38 years old.  It's time for some emotional freedom.  As scary as it is, it's also just something I need.

The next step was catching up on our bills, filing our taxes and getting real honest about our money situation.  Which sucks.  But, it is what it is and we do have the power to improve it and be more vigilant about it.  So, that's what we're doing.  We're on the same page about it now and have some financial priorites in place and it feels good to have a unified approach at this time.  We're putting in a bathroom downstairs and were able to work together getting estimates for the items, we were able to agree on a layout - after MUCHO discussion, and we're going to work together to get this done.  Team building.  :) 

So, after all this, where am I at?  Well, this morning, after weeks of grey, the sun was shining brightly out our windows.  Casting it's light across the trees, the snow, the world.  It was perfect.  I feel composed and re-focused and that there's light in my spirit to lift me through it.  It's empowering to know that these grey times can and will go away without doing too much damage.  I can even do my share of wallowing and will come out of it.  That's good to know.  I haven't always known that.  And now I know, the sun will come and shine if you wait long enough.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The dance continues....

Today's not a great day in my war against ED thinking. 

The good news, it's a great day in staying strong in my "not acting on it" thinking.

I'm not totally sure what triggered it.  It WAS a crazy weekend for us - my daughter turned 8 and there was mucho celebration.  I know I saw a photo which horrified and fascinated me in terms of what my body looked like.  I get pretty frustrated that photos can't be trusted.  And I do know they can't.  There were many other photos which looked totally different and it's impossible that I gain 75 pounds in time for one photo and then lost it for the next.  Clearly.  But of course ED just keeps drawing me back to the unflattering photo.

Then we got busy with sleepober party prep.  My eating was erratic/non-existant.  By today, eating anything then made me feel bloated and loagie and ick.  I know I didn't overeat.  But I'm sitting here feeling disgusting.  And since I know my therapist will ask me all about what I did next when I see her Wednesday, I'm trying to follow a path of which I'll be proud to report.

So, here I am.  Acknowledging it.  Reflecting on it.  Deciding it's not the end of the world and that tomorrow I could very well feel totally differently again about my shape/size/body.  And when I'm done here, I'll make a little food plan for tomorrow to get back on track with consistant eating.

This is the best I can do.  It's enough.  And this section of the dance will move on.

Friday, February 3, 2012


Eliminate talk of “good” food and “bad” food and replace with talk of “everyday” food and “sometimes” food.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I love you.

I tell my daughter at least once a day that I love her.  Probably more times than that, but we'll be conservative for the sake of this rumination.

She's the only one.  I don't say it to anyone else.  Well, not in the same way anyhow.

When I realized this, I wondered why it came to pass.  Curious isn't it?  I mean, there must be other people in my life that I love, right?

Well, I don't know.  There are people in my life I know I should love.  I'm supposed to love my husband, my parents, my sister, nieces and nephews.  And I'm sure I probably do.  But it doesn't live in the same part of me that this tangible love for my daughter lives.  I can feel that love with every cell in my body, can feel it motivate me to protect, encourage, comfort.  It moves me on a visceral level.

I'm left wondering why I don't feel that for anyone else.  Is it because I can't?  Is it because I don't?  Is it the love of a mother for her child in all its magical and biological glory?

An idea that sticks in my brain is that I can love her because it's completely and totally safe for me to do so.  The love is reflected back to me 10 fold and is absorbed like a sponge.  There's no fear of rebuke, no fear of not seeing it reflected back in her eyes.  Just as I can feel the love I have FOR her pulsing through me, I can also feel it in return.

Walls are frustrating.  While they keep things neat and tidy and defined, sometimes they are just so thick and so high.  I'm curious what it outside the walls.  But fear is keeping the gate locked.  ED is a sentry allowing no one but the purveyors of basic supplies in or out.  What began as protective walls have now become a prison.  What would happen if I dismissed the sentry and set off to roam?  How would I keep myself safe without these walls and these watchmen?  Will I find I didn't need them?  Will I rush back screaming for sanctuary?

I wish I could say that today is the day I will storm the gates and free myself.  I'm not sure that's something I'm ready to do.  Another goal for another time.  Until then, perhaps I can steady a ladder and peer over the top.  Survey the landscape.  Send a message out that soon I will be on the outside and will need travelling companions to keep me company on the journey.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Faster and further....but not too far....

As I've discussed in previous posts, I've begun a love affair with running.

This past week, after finally figuring out where to run on the treadmill (why does that sound like something that should be obvious??!  LOL) as well as finding a comfy pace (4.8) I did what I never would have dreamed was possible.

I ran 6 miles.



And then, yesterday, I did it again.

On one hand, I'm THRILLED and proud and super excited that another barrier has been knocked down.

On the other hand, I'm sitting here fighting the urge to go down and run again.  To see if I can beat that time.  Beat that distance.

Which means the last place I'm allowed to go today is downstairs to the treadmill.


What a stupid trigger.  But, there it is.  My limited success is bringing out one of the most frustrating sides of Edie.  The compulsive exerciser.  It's frustrating because of all the ED behaviors I've ever had, THAT is the one which garners the most praise and adoration from my peers.  Boy people applaud you for minor fitness goals.  Additionally, it falls into that "I can compute success and failure in this activity" zone, so ED steps right up and starts tracking.

Not totally sure what my next step should be with running.  There's absolutely a place for it in the healthy version of my life.  I'm just not sure exactly how to get it there right now.  And that's OK.  That's what therapy will be about on Wednesday.

For now, my plan is to do a run tomorrow and then nothing until after therapy.  And that's an OK balance I think.