Friday, September 30, 2011

Invasion of the body snatchers.....

I think I've turned into a runner! 

How did that happen so quickly??!  I'm LOVING my C25K training.  Aside from the first day and the run last week where we didn't take our rest day, it      Amazing what a change of mindset can do.

Running to me before starting treatment was something I could never be good enough at and was something I did to punish myself for eating.  But I've always sort of WANTED to learn to run.  I mean, the people who run, generally, seem to be enjoying themselves.  So, by making it fun and not a punishment or something I just knew I was going to fail it, it opened a door.

I may not be the fastest or the prettiest runner you'll ever see, but I can honestly say, "I don't care."  I'm loving it.  Loving how accomplished I feel when I get another session out of the way.  Loving feeling my body being able to take on me challenging it.  Loving knowing that I CAN do it if I just get out of my own way.  It's like a whole different person is living inside my head these days.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Thanks, universe, for deciding it for me!

At my appointment two weeks ago, my nutritionist brought up the idea of me starting to only see her one a MONTH instead of every two weeks. And, true to form with me, I totally freaked out. LOL I didn't know if I was ready even though I sort of knew I was ready - if that makes ANY sense. Any step down in frequency is considered great progress and I embraced that, but I just got a little nervous about the accountability piece - going in every two weeks means I HAVE to keep up on my meal planning and stuff or I go in and feel like a loser. LOL (Not really, but you know.) So, I told her that I wanted to keep my next appointment two weeks from then so I could think it over and then we could decide then.

Today was supposed to be that appointment and I just got a call that she's sick and out of the office. I absolutely had the option of rescheduling even as soon as tomorrow, but EEEEEEEEK! I'm going for it.

A month in between nutritionist appointments. 

Totally exciting and empowering and motivating and a smidge scary. But that's par for the course so far. Days like today reinforce that I'm doing it. I'm really, really doing it even though the dance takes its different paces and directions.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


I had an audition this morning.  For a musical. I haven't auditioned for a musical since COLLEGE.  Which was a loooooooong time ago.  LOL 

It's funny because before college, I had no idea I'd be any good at musicals.  In college, I because obsessed with musical theatre and fully intended to focus my future career on it.  After college, somewhere my brain decided to get phobic about musical theatre and told me I couldn't do it.

To break that cycle, off I went to today's audition.  And it went FABULOUSLY.  I felt great.  The people in the room were great.  Really just a solid positive experience.

And, here I sit at 9:50pm without having recieved any sort of phone call inviting me to a callback tomorrow.  After specifically being told the calls would go out tonight AND being asked to be sure I had tomorrow open and available for the callback.

So what do I do with this....

The primary thing I'm feeling is incredulous.  Not even a callback?  Really?  What the hell??

Then I think, well, maybe they're just making the calls super late.

Which shifts back to, seriously??  Not even a call back??  Or a "Thanks but no thanks" email to let me off the hook and into bed?

But in all this disappointment and uncertainty you know what's missing?  That little voice that has always used to say, "Well, it's because you're not good enough."  That's not there.  If they don't cast me it's because there are other opportunities out there for me.  I'm a firm believer in everything working out the way it's supposed it.

Doesn't mean things don't sting when they go a different way than I'd hoped.  That's for sure.  But, in this moment, I'm going to try direct my attention to embracing and encouraging that new voice of confidence which emerged today.

I like that one much better.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Trigger points.

A friend of mine is going through a situation with her daughter.  She's found out that her daughter has been cutting herself and like any parent caught totally off-guard, she's finding her way through the situation to a resolution that keeps her daughter safe from harm. 

As with a couple of previous incidents I've blogged about, things like this can be huge triggers for me.  It's like I'm instantly transported to when I felt those things and since they've been largely unresolved, it's an opportunity to talk myself through them.  Which isn't really the most pleasant process and is also one in which I have to remain vigilant in keeping them separate.  My friend's daughter is not me.  I'm not her.  All I can do is process out the feelings that are popping up from it and take it as a gift.  A chance to work through things and not let them sit inside where they can gain more control.

I'll start with copying what I wrote as a message to my friend:

I started cutting for attention. Flat out. I was overwhelmed on the inside and felt like I had no one who would believe/understand how bad things felt. I was a perfect student, child, friend - all on the outside and it can take immense toll to try keep all those plates spinning in the air. At the time I remember thinking, "If people see physical injuries on me, they'll ask me what's wrong and that will be great." I'd use a razor and would cut just enough so that if someone asked me if I did it to myself I could claim "a cat scratched me" or something else ridiculous as the cause. They weren't deep ugly scarring gashes in the stereotypical way we tend to picture cutting. There was too much at stake for me to be discovered as a "cutter" due to the stigma of who traditionally cuts and why.

I do know that I was desperate for someone to see into what else was going on, but since I didn't have the voice to do so, I took another avenue to get that concern/support. No one ever would have guessed that though. Ever. On the outside I looked perfectly well adjusted.

I guess I just feel like *something* made her go through with it not once, or even twice, but at least three times. Because of my bias from personal experience I can tell you the very last thing that would have helped me was to feel like I was in any way being punished for the cutting.
None of that part of my life is something I'm proud of as it was a really challenging, dark time for me.  So much work went into me trying to be the perfect everything.  All I wanted for for someone to say, "Hey, it's OK.  You don't need to be perfect at everything all the time."  But, as we know, that's not validation I received.  A lot of people talk about cutting as a release of pent up emotions.  I'm not sure it was ever that for me.  At least during that time it was more about wanting people to see the emotional wounds I was walking around with.  And the only way they could was through physical injury.  And I liked people showing concern for me.  It was something I wasn't getting enough of or at least didn't feel I was getting enough of.
It's strange, really.  In the grand scheme of all the baggage I have from that "era" of my ED, the cutting is the hardest for me to acknowledge.  I think it's because it feels like, in retrospect, that I was deceiving people.  I wasn't really - I was just replacing one "injury" with another so that it would make more sense to those I sought comfort from.  But because it was the most outward of ED behaviors, I have a harder time with it. 
I have a small scar on my right calf.  A battle wound.  It was my last cut, the deepest.  And it reminds me.  Reminds me that while you can wear your damage on the outside, it changes nothing on the inside if you're not able to embrace it and let it go.

Monday, September 12, 2011

And on another note...Eviction notice served.

UGH!  What the heck is the magnetic attraction I have to that damn scale.  I went for YEARS without having one and just went by how my body felt and fit into clothes.  I mean, I was totally curious about what my weight was during that period, but if you don't have a scale, you don't have a scale.

Tomorrow will be Day #3 of the Couch to 5K program I'm doing.  The first two days were a blast!  I'm running with two friends who are commited but slow non-runny type people just like me.  I felt fabulous after my run yesterday, I feel fabulous still today.  I feel strong and positive and capable and that I can totally make it to the 5K part of the process.

So, tell me WHY I felt the need to get on the scale last night to see if I'd lost any weight and when I hadn't, in fact, lost 40 pounds from running twice I felt a twinge of disappointment.

I'm not even DOING IT to lose weight!  I'm doing it to see if I can.  Stupid friggin' scale and its hypnotic magnetism. 

Today the scale will find a new home at my parents' house.  I'd say it could go to the basement, but I'm not there yet.  The pull is too great and I'm not ready yet.  And that's OK.  Just own where I'm at in the process and evict the scale. 

I'm excited for tomorrow's weigh in-free run!

Yup, this.

Recovered vs. In Recovery: Either Way, I’m Living Authentically

The debate over being “recovered” versus “in recovery” from an eating disorder is one that I have not participated in for quite some time.  A year ago, I reached a point in my own recovery where I felt comfortable with describing myself as recovered.  I also decided then that the only person I needed to define that word for was myself.  The debate became irrelevant to me, since I believe that every person’s definition should be one that works for him or her, regardless of what other people might think.

For me, at that time, “recovered” seemed to fit.  It meant that I was living my life in an authentic way.  My eating disorder was a part of my past, not present.  I didn’t need to put energy into saying “no” to the thoughts and behaviors on a daily basis.  I finally had time to put my energy toward rediscovering my identity and speaking my own truth, not the eating disorder’s.

Recently, however, I went through an emotionally turbulent period of life, and it uprooted me from my solid foundation in recovery.  Old thoughts and urges started creeping back in, and I found myself in a negative mindset I hadn’t experienced in a long time.  The word “recovered” no longer felt right for me to use, so I changed my language.  I am once again a woman “in recovery:” I make an active decision to say “no” to my eating disorder on a regular basis, and to say “yes” to my recovery and my life.  I focus more intently on practicing self-care, surrounding myself with my support people, and cultivating a loving relationship with my authentic self—body, mind, and soul.

So, have I relapsed? Have I “failed” at being recovered?  Have I taken a step backward in my journey?  Certainly not!  Having old thoughts and behaviors pop up along the way is normal in recovery.  It is not a failure but a signal to me that I need more self-care and more reflection on what needs of mine are not being met.  My eating disorder is something I once used to soothe myself in uncomfortable situations.  Right now, it just takes more work to find other ways to cope with discomfort and stress.

Changing my language around my recovery temporarily does not mean the eating disorder has won.  In fact, it means the very opposite; it means I am once again becoming more active against my eating disorder in order to protect my recovery, health, and overall happiness.  And that’s what I think this whole recovery process is all about.  No matter what stage of recovery I am in right now, I truly believe that moving toward my new beginning will ultimately lead beyond “recovered” and on to being simply me.

In the end, the language we all use to describe our journeys doesn’t matter, because being “recovered” is not the end goal.  The “end goal” of recovery is to create a beginning for ourselves; to build a foundation from which we can nurture our authentic selves, discover who we are without our eating disorders, and step freely into the lives we create for ourselves.

By: Maia Polson

As you've seen, I recently have been thinking about what "recovery" actually is.  This article laid out brilliantly what my own mind couldn't totally shape yet since I'm not quite there.  I'm getting closer every day, but this just illustrates exactly how I want to feel at the end of this process.  Especially this:  My eating disorder is something I once used to soothe myself in uncomfortable situations.  Right now, it just takes more work to find other ways to cope with discomfort and stress.  I need to print that out and stare at it every day.  Or something less OCD.  But yeah.  Good stuff.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why so serious?

PERFECT thoughts on a day when Pink's "Raise Your Glass" has already been running through my head......

Today I'm going to start officially running again.  I'm rockin' the Couch to 5K program.

How is this time different than last summer's attempt?

I'm embracing the FUN part of it.  The part that is all too aware that I'm no Olympian but will go out there and give it a try anyway.  Why can't it be fun?  Why does it have to be so serious?  It's just something I want to try to see if I can do it just like painting or cake decorating or any other "hobby".  Shifting the attention away from "Oh man, it's going to be hard and I don't know if I'll be able to do it and what will happen if I fail??!" to "Hey, this could be a really fun and funny thing to do.  I mean, how crazy is it for a 230 pound out of shape ED patient to go running??!"

I even invited others to be a part of the mayhem.  WHy not??  Everything's more fun when others are with you. And if we're all united in how sucky it feels to run and not be able to breathe, well, we'll channel the power of the humor to get us through!

I'm excited!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Happy 6 month anniversary to me!

Anyone know what the traditional celebration gift is for 6 months in treatment?  No?  Well, that's OK I guess.

So, yeah.  Six months in.

I'm not going to get too contemplative here because well, that's not really how I roll.  Some amazing things have happened in the past 6 months and some things have totally sucked.  How's that for romantic?  LOL 

To be honest, it feels like I've been in treatment forever some days.  I'm not a patient person by nature so frankly, this whole business of working towards recovery just pisses me off a lot of the time.  I'd like recovery now.  The end.  Stamps foot.  But yeah, that's not how it works I guess, huh?

Instead, I'm going to try use this anniversary as a chance to recommit and refocus and remotivate.  I feel a little like I've "settled in" and have to seek out the opportunities to push myself and my ED rather than there just being a bazillion things to choose from to work on like in the beginning.  Having the value assessment I think will help tremendously as I get back to having my appointments this week.  Get a little focus and direction going again.

Overall, I'm thrilled with how far I've come in the 6 months and will choose to embrace that part while I look forward.  The tremendous sense of relief that has come for me to have this all out in the open is worth any of the valleys I hit while processing and working on it all.  The relief in knowing it's OK to be fallible and deserve help and support is a gift in its own right. 

Maybe that can be my anniversary gift.  How does one go about declaring that?