Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reflections.

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.

15 comments:

  1. wow Tori, this post was amazing, and more helpful, and more inspiring than you could imagine for me right now. hearing how sick you were last summer, and now hearing how well you are doing in recovery gives me so much hope.
    obviously i am one of those people who are struggling now, and things did get really bad again...i am having such a hard time with this increase, and gaining/getting healthy, i need to just give it a chance, like you said because sometimes thats all you've got, so true, i have been postponing this weight gain for almost 3 weeks now, and have only lost another 1-2 lbs while increasing from under 150...and as you said give it a chance, what bad could happen? come on seriously ED is so freakin crazy to think that eating more when i obviously need to that something "bad" will happen...i mean what is the worst that could happen if i just take that leap like you did? you are a perfect example of that taking that leap into recovery and not playing around or being non compliant with recovery is only going to make your life better, like you lovie, a job, a boy friend, going out, meeting jemima, and getting fro yo, and having fun, and not being scared of sodium and every little gram of this and that, and rituals and everything...like i could have met Jemima too which breaks my heart, but the fact that i was in a full blown relapse made that so not a good idea, which i am so sad about. :( well lovie, thank you for sharing this amazing post, truly so well written and so helpful to me and so so many others who are reading this...seriously darling you are beautiful and so strong, and just an amazing person.

    love you loads xo
    Eliza

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  2. wow that was incredibly brave, inspiring, touching, motivating, and hit home to me i am at a loss for words Tori, you are truly one of my role models, u have no clue how many times there has been that i have thought of you or something u wrote to me, and reflected back on that for help. i think "if Tori did it, i can"...even though it was such a hard long battle, you came out and are continuing to fight get stronger and u are winning! i am so proud of you.

    like you, i have had so many ups downs, so much struggles within a year. one year ago i was in renfrew philly, went in at my lowest on full bed rest for the majority of my time there i was on b-rest, the treatment team wanted to send me to a 'higher level of care' bc they thought i couldn't do it. i only stayed for 4 weeks(insurance) and left still needing to gain alot...i then went on to over exercising and lost 1/3 of what id gained in renfrew, gained it back, but still maintaining a low weight then in april decided I NEED to do this..so i did it i went from april to june and gained those last 15 lbs and got to almost 18.0 bmi i was so proud. and now........i am one of those struggling girls... i am back to square one. it sux, and makes me sick and sad to think of this year, the hard work, and the waste 2 months in a dreadful relapse this summer what ed did to my mind body and future, horrible.

    I NEED TO TAKE THAT LEAP!!!

    but reading this and knowing ur story really makes me feel like there is a shinning bright light at the end of this tunnel.

    love you and u inspire so many, ur wisdom,beauty inside and out, strength wow just an amazing women.

    xo
    maya

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  3. I don't want to jynx myself... but the same kind of thing happened to me today and im working on a plan to man it up like whoa... kinda like this guy:
    manorexianerbrosa.wordpress.com
    But... like i said, i dont want to jynx it (knocking on wood). Just know that your an awesome inspiration and i will let you know what the challenge results are!

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  4. Your post is so so helpful. So inspiring and motivating, uplifting too. I think a chunk of positivity like this has really helped lift me out of a bad day! My mum is a school secretary too, and it did help that she was around during summer, otherwise I can see how easy it would have been for me to slip back. I am so glad things are looking up and I know they are for me too now :) xxxxxxxx

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  5. Wow Tori! You can't believe how proud I am of you!!! You have come so far, are so strong and are such an inspiration!
    You were one of the reasons I started recovery, FOR REAL. Not only in my mind, but also in my behaviors. And since then I worked really hard and things are going really, really well. It's not easy, and I'm not there yet, but it's worth it. And this post reminds me of that again. So thank you from the bottom of my heart!
    I really hope you continue in this right direction, and increasing when it's necessary. But I have so much faith in you, WOW!

    xxx Julia (Taste of Living)

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  6. Thank you Tori. You never fail to post the perfect topic at the perfect time. <3

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  7. you don't know how much this has helped me. today i am going to eat.

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  8. :-) so pleased for you that things have become better, it gives us all hope. There are times I wonder will it ever get any better? Will I ever stop obsessing? Thank you for sharing your story, Im always amazed at your strength to fight this.
    xoxo

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  9. Wonderful post...really inspiring and motivating. Thank you, Tori :)

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  10. so happy,
    I think the blogging world needed that wake up call!
    x

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  11. i needed to read that. i am struggling so much lately, but you're right. what am i afraid of??? the only thing i should be afraid of is anorexia and what will happen to me if i keep living under its spell. i should be EMBRACING weight gain because it will lead to a happier, more fulfilling life!!! you are such an inspiration!!

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  12. I can't say much... Just... Although I followed your recovery since you started this blog, this post broght me to tears a little!!
    I hope everyone who struggles and reads this, will gain the little piece of will left to come as far as you've come.
    You are amazing!! xo <3

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  13. This is amazing. I love how you can reflect on ED without getting triggered or angry/emotional. It really shows how far you've come mentally. Keep it up! You're doing great and it's an inspiration to all of your readers struggling with anorexia as well.

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  14. I love it! Very creative!That's actually really cool.
    謝謝你的文章分享,請你有空到我

    參觀,Thanks

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