Sometimes, my body amazes me. Through taking care of myself, I have come to see that I need far more than I realized to maintain my weight. I had not lost weight over the summer, but since I've increased my calories, to keep up with my schedule, I physically and mentally feel better than I did before. I am more myself - I am happier, more energetic and overall just feel more alive. I suppose this shocks me. I thought that was I was eating was plenty enough to maintain. And while I didn't lose weight on what I was eating - I can see now that it is very possible to eat an extra 200-300 calories a day, maintain the same weight, and FEEL better. I suppose I haven't actually maintained *sigh* I now have to gain an additional 2 pounds since I lost a bit after adding in an extra snack or two. Surprising? You bet. But its nice to feel even better than I did before. Granted I now need to eat an absurd amount of food and will need even more to gain at least another five pounds. But its what I have to do and its what my body apparently needs. So be it. I'll be damned if I won't do my best to enjoy this.
I see so many of us struggling lately, and it breaks my heart. There is so much I want to say to so many people, but I am afraid that I am just being redundant. First and foremost - I want to tell you all who are struggling that things will get better. I know it seems impossible, especially when you've slipped back so many times. I cannot put into words what kind of hell I was living a year ago. I was beyond emaciated. I was constantly sick and cold and could barely digest food. It took me 5 weeks to raise my calories from under 100 a day to 2400. I had to give up the obsessive compulsive exercising. I had to drink about 1400 calories in milkshakes every day because my body rejected most solid food for weeks. I thought I was going to die. The only reason I survived the summer was because my mom is a secretary in a school and had time off. The minute she went back to work, my calories slipped down and I started running every day. Then it became twice a day. I lost three of the four pounds I had managed to gain. I spent two months getting my calories back up to 2500 and ended up needing even more than that to gain. I went back and forth between pushing and failing until sometime in February when I finally had enough. I was sick of myself. I couldn't take the pressure, the fights (oh, were there fights. Slammed into the kitchen floor, punched in the face) I thought about giving up. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking "What are you doing?" I had been playing games for so long, I didn't even realize I was doing it anymore. I had been eating pretty much the same food day in and day out for months and had been whittling my calories down from 2800 as I became more and more depressed. But one morning, I decided not to let the world break me down anymore. I couldn't. I didn't have the strength to fall even further away. On that morning. I raised my calories back up to 2800. And ten days later, I was up to 3600. Sure, I was afraid. I had spent so much time in that little shell. I was used to my own misery - I lived, breathed and basked within it. Anorexia was my crutch. Even as I ate more and more - I could hardly believe what I was doing. It seemed so surreal. The entire duration of my recovery - I was in a trance. None of it seemed real, and I was never sure that it would work. I hoped, but in the back of my mind always lay the question "Will this ever change? What if I just gain the weight and the voice is still there, the fears still present?"
I can tell you now, that with proper nutrition and sustaining what has been determined to be a fairly decent (though not great! I'm still getting there!) weight for my height and frame - so much of it all has disappeared. The food rituals disappeared. The anxiety, the nerves, the guilt - all of it slowly fell away. I strongly believe a part of it was purely conditioning - getting used to being around and consuming food. But the other part was the healing of my mind and body. I am no longer depressed like I used to be. I don't sit and think of all the reasons I should be dead or have died anymore. I don't wish to punish myself and I no longer believe I don't deserve to live. All of these positive things take time. You don't need to believe in it right off the bat - its hard to really truly want recovery and have faith in it when you are still so sick with the eating disorder. But you have to give it a chance. That's all you need. And sometimes, its all you've got.
Living the Crazy Life
4 weeks ago