Friday, May 29, 2009

Good Friends. And other goods.



OMG! I did it! I figured out how all of you copy and paste those little buttons! Oh I am so excited. YOu have no idea, I've been trying to figure that out for weeks! Okay. Back to the point.

I was tagged by the lovely Jemima and Learning To Relove thank you both <3

The seven bloggers I am passing the award on to are :
Determined
Neela
Devan
Stef
Karina
Nell
Brooke
Obviously, there are a TON of other people I could give this award to, but I tried to give it to people that I didn't think had recieved it yet and should. I'm really happy you guys liked my tattoo post. I have two more, the chest piece and a pair of cherries on my hip that I will proabably post about on Thursday again, just to keep up the rhythm.

Onto today. Its mostly been a good day, woke up feeling a lot better. I actually slept through the whole night solid AND I could breath through my nose! Woo. I'm easily excited haha. Since I woke up feeling so great, I decided to put on some of my new clothes. Which I'm sure you're all just dying to see.

Almost look 20 now, right? Well. I can dream. I love that shirt though. And yes, that is a stuffed purple elephant. His name is Clarence. My brother sent him to me when I came home from Pratt in 2006 as a "cheer up" gift.
I'll be honest. Seeing myself in picture form is totally different than when I look in the mirror. When I see myself, I see the girl who has gained 30 pounds and think I look perfectly healthy and fine. In photograph, I realize I do not quite look like someone who's gained 30 pounds. Its a bit hard to accept, as I do have it my head that I've gained a lot and look a lot better than I did those months ago. Must keep pushing forward though.

Downside. Today was a weight-check. I've tried really hard to keep my calories up despite being sick, and I lost 1 1/2 - 2lbs since last week. :sigh: I admit, I may have slipped back by about 200. But even that really shouldn't have resulted in such a loss. The eensy bright side here is that my ED-related fear of pizza has been entirely shattered.

Breakfast this morning was an immense, but delcious bowl of Chocolate-Brownie oat bran.

In my bowl: 2/3 cup oatbran cooked in 1 cup vanilla soy milk with a few splashes of vanilla caramel coffee creamer, 2TBS cocoa powder, 1tsp each brown sugar and cinnamon, 2TBS crushed walnuts stirred in and a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter on top.

Morning snack was a Fage shake made with Fage 2%, some vanilla soy, sliced banana, almonds and honey in the blender with ice. Forgot to take a picture but it was soo good. Super creamy and thick. I bet if I put it in the freezer for a bit, it'd be like banana-ice cream. Hmm. might try that.

Lunch was a new one too.

Hummus-grated carrot-raisin sammie and a Gala apple with two tablespoons of cinnamon raisin PB.

After lunch I hung out with my friend K for a bit. I really love hanging out with him. He never puts pressure on me or anything, and he's super sweet and understanding. We just sat and listened to music and talked mostly. I feel bad though, because another one of my (male) friends was texting me and loking to hang out later too. Oh I know, the woes of my life. I also got a message from one of the guys I tried to gently let down on the relationship front telling me I was fucked up and a horrible human being. That made my evening, really it did!

I took myself to Starbucks for my afternoon snack and got an iced Mocha Frappucino with toppings. Never had one before today. It was soo good. I'm a bit jazzed now though because I hardly ever have caffeine anymore. I was such the anorexic cliche last year. I remember I did a portrait of myself for school. It was an atmosperic thing. I set my camera on the hood of my car, and stood on the edge of the sea wall on an over cast day. My painting essentially consisted of long stretches of grays and blues making the sky and ocean, flesh tones, creams and grays making up the stone and side walk. I was a a few thin dark lines stretched on the side, a small red dot marking the burning end of my cigarette. I did get an A on that one. But I remember being there, so cold, smoking my cigarettes, drinking my black coffee. Every day. At the beach or at school. Te boys I sat with used to ask me to go to lunch with them, offer to buy me dinner ("Anything you want, as long as you eat 10 of it.") or tell me I "have such a beautiful face. if I gained 20 pounds I'd be a knock out." One of them actually asked me out on a date once, but I was so entrenched in ED, I didn't even realize it. Sucks too because I had a crush on the boy. I remember it perfectly - he said to me "So what are you doing tonight? I don't have anything planned. I really want to go out on a date though." Me - "Oh? I didn't think you had a girlfriend. Who's the lucky girl?" That boy looked at me with the most crushed expression, ever now that I think about it. Later, another kid from our class was like "You know, he meant out on a date with YOU, right." Oops. Thanks anorexia, because you know, in my head I couldn't begin to fathom someone being interested in me at that point and couldn't allow myself to pick up on the most obvious of signs.
I know they probably won't still be at HCC when I go back, but part of me is kind of hoping they are. Just because. There is one teacher I know I have to see, Mr. F. I saw him last June, when I was barely above my lowest weight. I had signed up for online courses and needed to buy books. He had seen me just after I came out of IP (I had been in his class first semester, and left another in 2nd for IP- when I came home, I went in for a visit). When he saw me that day, the sadness in his face overwhelmed me and I just about ran away. I am really hoping to see him again and talk to him, to tell him how much better I am now. I don't know why I feel this need to do that. I guess in my heart, I know an awful lot of people figure I'm dead by now. And its like I need to prove to the world that I am okay in order for myself to believe it as well.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday (and tattoos)

I don't even know where to begin on the thank-yous. The comments I got on my last post brought tears to my eyes, literally. I cannot tell you guys enough how much your words lifted my spirits today. I've been really struggling with being sick - I have no appetite at all so I've been forcing myself to get the calories in. But reading through the things you guys had to say really helped me a lot and it kept me motivated not to let this eensy weensy cold get the better of me and be a way for anorexia to take hold of me again.
Also, someone posted anonymously (Sami) - I really wanted to say thank you for how heartfelt your words were. I am more than flattered to know that I have in some way given you hope for yourself and the possibility of recovery. My email is in my profile page, and if you ever need anything, feel free to email me. Truly, that goes for anyone.

Despite being sick, I managed to enjoy my breakfast.

I found full-sized (5oz!) Blueberry Bran Vitamuffins at my grocery store <3 Had to try em, you know. And yes, I am weird and I cut my muffins in half by top and bottom, not side and side. Anyways, spread each side with a tablespoon of peanut butter after nuking it in the microwave. On the side there is some cottage cheese with almonds, banana, and blueberry preserves. I was really excited because I could actually TASTE this morning! It took some good doses of Affrin, Advil Cold & Sinus and Cloraseptic spray, but I got to enjoy my muffiny-goodness in peace.

Today's been kind of a mixed bag for me. Did therapy over the phone because I didn't want to get the poor guy sick too. I've had to turn down a lot of my friends on going out in the past day or two, and I feel really badly about it. I always hate feeling like I am disappointing someone. But I do need to take care of me first, and while it has taken some time for me to learn that, I am coming around. I'm actually really proud of myself because I say two of my guy friends down and explained to them I really only wanted to be friends right now and wasn't interested in a relationship with them. That has always been hard for me to do - to know I am hurting someone's feelings. But I really couldn't take the pressure those two were putting on me, throwing around the girlfriend word a lot and I really didn't like that. Its funny you know, how many things anorexia takes away. Like your ability to feel like its okay to assert yourself and think about your own needs. I haven't felt like it was OK for me to do that in years. Its a strange sensation to be honest, but I know its good and that its a step in the right direction.
So. I know I mentioned a while back about doing a "tattoo post". I decided that since my two biggest ones have rather long stories, I would just do one at a time. So, here is my first tattoo, done at age 18 in 2006.

I actually designed this at age 16, when I was in my second (third?) IP stay. Originally, the words I had scripted above it were "Mi amore et mi inedia" - Italian for "my love is my starvation". Can tell how I sick I was then right? At the time, I felt those words totally melded with my relationships with everyone I knew, including myself. I let people suck the life out me, without ever getting anything in return, because I felt like I could give and give, and consequently I stretched myself far too thin.
Fast forward a bit. I am eighteen. I have relapsed into anorexia twice now. I am home from college after 3 weeks on campus because of how quickly and severely I relapsed. My birthday has passed, and its already Thanksgiving. On Thanksgiving day,November 28th 2006, I tried to kill myself. I do not even remember exactly what transpired. I know it must have had something to do with my mom wanting me to eat something I didn't feel comfortable with. But I utterly refused. She lashed out at me. I remember her and my father, screaming at me, saying how I'd never get better, that I was worthless because of AN and that they didn't care about me anymore that I might as well just go lay in bed and wait to die. I burst into tears. I ran into my room. I scrambled through my art supplies and found my heavy-duty Exacto. I hadn't intended on slitting my wrist. At first I was just cutting (I have visible scars that line the opposing side of my rib cage and both thighs, even now years later since I stopped) And then I figured I'm already bleeding, why the hell not? Call it what you will, but at that precise moment my older brother decided to come in and check on me. He freaked, obviously. He sat with me on the floor of my room and held me in his arms as I cried and told him about how I guilty and miserable I felt after what our parents said. He talked with me, mostly listening. I don't know how or why, or where the motivation came from, but that night I went back into the kitchen, and pulled an Ensure Plus out of the fridge and drank it down. That night, I thought for sure I was never going to let anorexia steal another day of life from me.
The following day, I confided in my then-best friend S about what had happened. I asked her if she would come with me to Physical Graffiti to get my ink done, and she gladly obliged. By this point, I had taken my old design and revamped the wording to something far more appropriate for recovery.
"Vivero E Prevarro" I will live and overcome.
Getting that tattoo done, I never felt more in tune with myself or my body, and I never felt more happy or proud of what I was doing for myself. Whenever I am feeling down, I try to remember its there, and what those words mean, and the spirit they were born from. Sometimes, I do forget. But lately I have been finding myself thinking those words more and more.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Out to Lunch.

I am so sorry for not posting yesterday! Oh man. It was such tremendous day. I was exhausted by the time I got home, plus I started coming down with a cold. I think I have dranken more fluids today than I ever thought humanly possible.

Anyways! Most importantly. I wanted to thank everyone who left comments on my previous post. You all...your words leave me speechless. Something I would like to touch on though - it does not matter where you've been or what you've done to get there. The bottom line with eating disorders is suffering. I know a few of you have read my experience, and thought less of your own. Please do not think that. I was on an acute, locked down ward. Entirely different situation, and it is not fair to yourselves to compare one with another. Everyone with an eating disorder feels those same feelings of losing themselves. It just so happens that my most recent inpatient facility decided to run with that idea. In some ways, it was easy there. It some ways, it wasn't, just like any other place. There is no perfect treatment protocol as we are all individuals and respond to different ideas and techniques.

Now. About Monday. Oh. It was glorious, truly. My mom and I went shopping. And I bought clothes! Nice clothes! Things that made me feel good in my body, that were flattering and most of all - I actually looked twenty!! I've been wearing the same t-shirts and things since high school. So needless to say, coupled with my genetic predisposition to looking young, I easily passed for 16 and yes, I have been hit on by boys that age. So! looking 20 is good stuff. I even tried on and purchased PANTS! Ok. Technically capris, but y'all get what I mean. I found things I liked that fit. This is huge for me! It was really hard, because things were a bit more expensive than what I am used to allowing myself to spend. My mom kept insisting it was okay though and she reminded me that I keep clothing for a long time, so it was a good investment.She also reminded me that I have actually gotten about an inch taller since I last really purchased clothing, so if we actually found stuff in my size that was long enough, we needed to buy it.
After doing some shopping, we stopped for lunch. OK. Now if you know me, you know that while I get scared or nervous quite easily, whenver I do anything, I do it with a bang. I don't typically take baby steps as a person. I was the girl who cannon-balled into the deep end of the pool before anyone else even had their bathing suits on (actually, I did that at age 2, no floaties on. muahaha! talk about giving your parents a heart attack right?) Anyways! Here is my cannonball:

Yep. Sbarro's cheese pizza. Ate the whole slice too, with a non-diet soda on the side too. ^.^ Oh man. OK. My head kept telling me to go home and make a peanut butter sammie instead. But I was determined. This is my first "self-administered" slice of pizza in seven years. I have eaten pizza whilst inpatient all the times I was admitted, but never on my own at home or anything like that. And given all the trauma that followed aforemention IP-pizza, I don't think it counts.
When I came home, I purged my wardrobe. I went through everything, tried everything on without getting triggered by the ED. I know its mainly because my only issue was things being obsecenly short, or just holding too many memories of the ED-days. It felt really good though. And now I have so much more closet space. Yay! Afterward, I went out and hung with my dj-friend again for a bit. I really do like spending time with him, he is so understanding and he never places judgment on me. He's very sweet.

So then last night I started to feel ill. Super sore throat, could barely sleep. I am really, really proud of myself though. I had three throat lozenges to help me sleep throughout the night. Normally, my anorexic self would kick in and be like "WTF are you doing? Those things are like drugged candy! They have calories!" And yea, I did feel a bit nervous by the time I needed a third one. But I had it anyways and I slept like a baby for a good four hours.
This morning's been a bit rough. I've been needing to drink so much, its really killing my appetite. Plus it hurts to talk or swallow. But I made a few changes to my meals to incorporate soft, creamy and cold or warm things. And its worked rather well. For instance, I have discovered the ultimate go-to-when-sick breakfast:

In my bowl: 1/2 cup each Swiss Familia and vanilla soy with 1/4 cup raisins soaked for 45 minutes in the AM. Then stirred it up with a Fage 2%, a little over a dozen almonds, a tablespoon of walnuts and some honey. Soo perfect. Bircher-muesli is great to have if yor throat is bothering you. The cold-creamy-softness of it totally soothed my throat. And honey is supposed to be a natural soothing and healing agent. Plus, the taste is lightly sweet, so its not over bearing or anything that might upset your stomach.

I am also proud to say that throughout the day to day, in addition to my waters, I have indulged in some cream soda. I haven't had that in years either. But I always used to drink soda when I had sore throats in the past, and it always helped. So I got three strikes in one with that - relief, enjoyment and I have allowed myself one more thing that my ED denied me.

Well, I hope everyone is having better health than I am at the moment. Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Sunday, a Better Day.

Today has been much better than yesterday. I don't really know why, I just feel better mentally for some reason. I won't question it though.

I did something today, something I wouldn't ever have had the courage to do months ago. I was at the grocery store, going to pick up some things. On my way in, a girl was walking out. She was probably about my size, not sick looking but very, very thin - thin enough to be considered anorexic. A guy working there started yelling "Lynne! Lynne! Somebody thinner than me! Somebody thinner than me!" The girl rushed her way out. I walked up to him and said "Excuse me, I know I don't know you - but if that girl really does have a problem, saying things like to her could be hurtful and make it worse." He said to me "Oh but I know her, she's my friend." I said "That's why I am telling you, she could very well have a problem with eating, and teasing her doesn't help. Look, I have an eating disorder. And I know that when my friends say things like that, it really doesn't help and it makes me feel worse." He kept trying to say it was okay, "Because if she had a problem, she would tell me." and I just told him again "I understand, but she might actually have a real problem, whether you know it or not, and saying that kind of stuff really is not helpful." I find myself feeling guilty now for speaking to him, wondering if I just embarrassed the hell out of myself. I get these moments of boldness and I almost always regret them. Someone else who works at the store that I'm friends with came up to me and actually said it was good of me to do that. So that makes me feel a little bit better, but not really enough to dissuade my feelings of "HolycrapwhydidIdothat?" panic.

I've calmed down a bit since then and am generally OK with it now. I have a rather lengthy history of these bold moments where I speak far too much for my own good. I mean it when I say I have a big mouth.

Anyways. Onto some eats! I tried a new oats idea this morning. Ladies and gentleman, I give you:

Peanut Butter Cookie oat bran. In ze bowl: Oat bran, Vanilla Chai protein shake, 2TBS raisins cooked in, topped with a few chopped almonds, flaked coconut, and a crumbled PB Cookie Larabar. Yes, I made this bowl sans-banana! Amazing. There is a noticable difference without the banana in my oats - much more creamy/pudding like consistency. But mixed with the crumbly bar and coconut flakes, quite nice. I admit, I was afraid of not having actual peanut butter in my breakfast (only god knows why) I think my ED was making me nervous, knowing how many calories it was and I feared I wouldn't feel "satisfied" without real PB. Fear proven unneccessary. It was really, really good and I think I may have to do mix bar+cereal/oats more often.
I wil admit though, I still had a banana with my AM snack, fage+nana+WCW+honey. But it was somewhere different! Does anyone else feel like there are certain foods they have to have every day? I do. Its rather frustrating at times. I suppose one of these days I'll be able to get past it. But certain foods, like bananas, are foods I like but have had immense fear of for a long time. My way of breaking the fear is to have it every damn day until I'm not afraid. No lie - I ate a protein-powdered-up muesli mix, PBJ sammies and tuna casserole every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner for MONTHS. The only things I ever changed were flavor granola bars, jams/PB, and where I put different yogurt/oat toppings. Every day from like sometime in September or October (when I started switching to more solid foods over shakes) through I think January. A few foods I am not afraid of not having every day, others...still feel like there is too much likelihood that I will start refusing to eat again (a la bananas)

I did something a bit different for lunch.

That there is a hummus-sliced avocado-roasted red pepper sandwich. I also had some veggies with cottage cheese and an apple with PB. Yummy. I've been afraid of having avocado and hummus together for a long time. I think I became afraid of a lot of foods or food combinations that I had while I was inpatient, just because I associated it with the memories of being there and struggling so much. When I was in Renfrew, the hummus and avocado sammie was a popular one to give us vegheads. I was actually vegan in high school, and was up until I had to start refeeding again in 2006. Then I was just vegetarian. Vegetarianism was not permitted in my first inpatient of 2008, LIJ, so when they tranferred me to Cornell three weeks later, they essentially said "When we decide you are stable enough to get partial trays, you can't be vegetarian because you weren't in LIJ." BS I know. But whatever. Have I ever told y'all about Cornell? Oh...man. When I think about that place, while I met some great people there, it sends chills down my spine. Just the fact that it all became so routine frightens me.

I remember when I was transferring, they had been sent my medical records. But they ran their own blood tests on me. I was .2 under their minimum iron levels. They sent me to White Plains Hospital for a blood transfusion. I flipped shit in the hallway. There was no way in hell I was doing it. But my parents were legally bound to bring me there. If I went home instead of checking into Cornell, and LIJ was going to call to see if I made it, they could be sued. So I went to WPH, for the sake of my parents. Not before cursing every doctor on the floor and screaming "You assholes coordinated this with LIJ four fucking hours ago. My iron level couldn't have dropped below an acceptable amount in that span of time. Fucking jerks!" Meanwhile some man tried to tell me I was a very, very sick girl and that if I didn't calm down, I'd have a heart attack.
I still have small scars on my arms from being in the emergency room of that hospital. It was under construction, and very cold. Despite being inpatient for three weeks, I had gained MAYBE one pound total. My veins were shot to hell from being malnourished and underweight, and probably worsened by the fact that I smoked, did drugs, and hadn't eaten anything since my breakfast at the old IP that morning. This young guy kept sticking me the needles, prepping me for the transfusion. Over and over and he couldn't find a vein. Finally someone brought me a hot-wrap. This woman was most sympathetic to me, kept saying they had to keep me warm. She's also the woman who decided to run her own blood test first, and determined that Cornell had made an error and I did not infact need a blood tranfusion. Enter my happy dance. I actually hugged her.
So I got checked in. Strip down. Body check. Mark off the tattoos and scars on the chart. Explain. Then I was given a hat. Not the kind you wear on your head. The kind for measuring your urine. Yes. Every time I peed, I had to measure it. Everytime I had a BM, I had to "gauge" the size. The showers were open, public showers. We had clear plastic curtains to "guard" us. A woman sat in the shower room to supervise. I didn't get the unsupervised shower privelege until the fifth or sixth week I was there. I was placed on bed rest. Even sitting on the floor of our room, working on a puzzle, got me and another girl in trouble. For the first day, I was given 175mL Ensure Plus, and a single 4oz juice cup six times a day. I still remember sitting at that tiny round table, every day, swishing and swirling that same Vanilla Ensure around in my clear plastic cup. Eventually, there was so much Ensure in the cup, I couldn't swish it around anymore. I remember new patients coming in and staring at my massive glasses of Ensure, and the trays of food I had to eat.
Anyways. They had to bump my ensures up to 275 by the end of the first week (they did 25mL bumps)because I kept losing weight. The main doctor took me aside on my third or fourth day and told me I was going to end institutionalized in a state hospital for 2-5 years if I didn't get my act together and prove I could care for myself. My response "How the hell do you figure this weight loss is my fault? I was eating 3600 calories a day in LIJ. I told you that day one, when I came here. You cut those calories in half. What did you expect? Don't you dare threaten me because of your own mistakes."
Did I mention I have a big mouth?
After two weeks,maybe three, I was permitted to have three slices of toast, total, througout the day. Then after another week or so, I got bumped to partial trays. The deal with partials was this: You got your Ensure Plus and juice, drank those up first because they contained all the configured calories you needed. Then you got called to the kitchen window and picked up a partial-entree to help reintroduce you to food. So if a full breakfast was cereal, milk, fruit, toast, butter, and a yogurt - you'd get maybe cereal, milk, and fruit. To eat on top of your Ensures. By this time, my Ensures were in the 350mL range. I topped out at 425mL Ensure. The nutritionist there told me she "had never seen a female inpatient need so many calories to gain." They wanted to continue increasing my calories since I wasn't gaining appropraitely, but the nutritionist felt it was physically impossible to cram anymore Ensure into me without having me feel too sick to eat my partial trays. After I moved on to full trays (which meant I only had to drink the Ensure 3X a day!yay!) they resorted to boosting two of my shakes to 545mL every few days when I stopped gaining. They also restricted my hard-earned outdoors/cigarette privelege. I was only on full trays of food for four days (out of a nine-week stay!) before I got sent home. First thing I did was take a shower in my own bathroom, shave, and drive my car.

The strangest thing that happened there was a conversation I had with one of the other inpatients, R. R was a wee bit too medicated, I'll admit. But one afternoon, when she was on constant observation, I sat in the hall talking to her while her "watchman" was sitting on one of the sofas across from her door. She got up out of her bed, came to the doorway, sat across from me on the floor and took my face in her hands. She said to me "Tori, you are healer. The universe brought you to Long Island Jewish, and to Cornell, to help us all. You are a healer and you were meant to save us."

As if that wasn't freaky enough, every girl from both inpatients that I have been able to remain in good contact with has stayed strong in their recovery and they are all doing beautifully, graduating high school, going off to brilliant colleges.

I have absolutely no idea why I just told you all of this. I guess part of me still feels dehumanized by the experiences I had at Cornell. The employees used to call our meal times "feedings" as if we were cattle. They kept us like that all day too, stuck in between the two small pen-sizes spaces of den and group room all day. Constantly watched, constantly accused. Though I suppose I don't blame them for not trusting an 80-some odd pound anorexic. When I dropped to my lowest in June, I had to cry, beg and plead my father not to physically force me back there. My insurance refused it anyways. :sigh:

Sometimes I wonder if these memories will always haunt me. Like how when I was in LIJ, I was given a heart monitor. When they took it away to give to another patient, I thought it meant I was getting better (even though I hadn't gain a single pound). It took me MONTHS to realize, they gave away my heart monitor because I was the oldest patient on the unit and the least likely to recover. They gave the thing that saved my life when I was 16 away to someone else, because my life at 19 was considered expendable and less worthy of attempting to save than someone who was younger and more apt to make a full turn around. Making this connection hurt deeply, but more than that - it angered me. I am more determined now than ever to do something to fix our health care system. I don't quite have it all figured out yet, but I am going to find a way.

Ok y'all. I need to sleep. Enough of my babbling and ranting. Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Saturday.

Hello again all. I really, really want to thank everyone who left comments on my previous post - you all are so sweet and encouraging! Thank you so much - you have no idea how much your words ahve lifted my spirits. To be honest, I have been struggling with myself lately. I think perhaps the lack of feeling like I am moving forward in my life is affecting my mentality about recovering. At the moment, it feels like everything is as it was before, except now I happen to weigh more. And its incredibly frustrating. I hate myself for this, but I tend to blame my mother. She won't allow me to take more than one or two classes per semester, and she doesn't want me to get a job, she doesn't trust me to go out with my friends and get something to eat, etc. Its incredibly disheartening. I feel like even though she says she wants nothing more than for me to be able to live my life, she is never going to trust me enough to give me the space to do it. At times, and I have believed this since I was young child suffering with untreated and ignored depression/anxiety, that the only way things can ever truly get better for me is if I leave home. Its the only way to move away from the pressure and fear that has been instilled in me. Its very frustrating because I do not want to hurt my family, but at the same time, I often feel like my mother's immense need to shelter me from myself is destroying me as a person. I have cried a lot in the past two or three days. Because of how helpless I feel, like I've no where to run, no where to hide. At times it seems like there is nothing left for me here. But where is there for me to go? I need a change. Desperately. I am immensely afraid of relapsing right now. I hate to say this, but every day I feel like anorexia is trying harder and harder to creep up on me, slowly trying to usurp control again. Even in just little things like "Ooh! You've got too many carbs today. You're over by 2 grams, and you're under 2 grams of fat. You need to fix that." I mean for godsakes. Why is this suddenly becoming an obsession. I always watched my fat intake, because I know it is a fear of mine and I always wanted to make sure I got enough. But I never payed attention grams of carbs or protein before, lest it was way, way too much - I never thought anything of it. And now all of a sudden anorexia has decided that I need to worry about everything. And I just want it to stop. I wish I could just make it all stop sometimes.
Its been making me want to go back to my old way of life. Fortunately, without a steady job I can't quite afford to go there. That should help keep me clean. But even just having thoughts about getting back into drugs is annoying. I get afraid that I cannot control this, and that everything is going to slide out from under me. The fact that no one else around me seems to truly believe I can pull through doesn't help. I mean, my parents have their hopes, yes. But do they have confidence in me? Not really. Every word I speak is always twisted into something else, something that anorexia would say. Example, this afternoon at lunch. "Mom, can you hand me a butter knife?" "What do you need that for?" "To spread my peanut butter on my apple slices." "Why can't you just dip it like a normal person, is this another anorexic thing? Do you want a fork to eat the apple with too?" "Mom. I wanted a knife to spread it on with to make sure I got all of my peanut butter on my apple. If I just dip it, it'll get smeared all over the plate." ::enter Mom's agitated groan::
You'd think she'd be happy I was trying to make sure I didn't leave any behind. :sigh:

On the bright side, breakfast went quite well. And lunch was good despite the apple and PB incident.


Breakfast: 1/2 cup oat bran cooked in vanilla soy, a tablespoon of ground flax, and half a mashed 'nana. I stirred in two tablespoons of raisins half way through.After it finished cooking, I topped it with the rest of my banana, flaked coconut and cinnamon raisin peanut butter. Soo good. I forgot about the ground flax in my fridge - glad I used some of it today. It adds a really nice texture/flavor to oats. I've also determined that flaked coconut probably goes well with just about anything you can think to put with it, even cinnamon raisin peanut butter. Not sure why I was apprehensive about it, but it was a good combination.


Anndd here's lunch.

Bulgur wheat with hummus, sweet corn, almonds, broccoli and half a baked tomato. Salmon fillet with herb dressing. Also had my aforemention apple with a loving spoonful of creamy peanut butter. You know, it was so warm this afternoon, my usually-thick PB was actually melting on my plate. Crazy! Amazing how soft the end of the jar gets, yes?

I hope I didn't rant too much, I'm just very frustrated with things lately. In addition to the recovery bits, I've got somewhere in the vicinity of seven to ten boys talking to me, and at least three call me every day. Aggh. I am making myself nuts, trying to keep everyone happy. I know its an impossible feat. But its like part of my personality - to do whatever I can for someone else. :sigh: On the bright side, I am learning to say no when I need to. I suppose that's something, albeit a small something. I hpe my 20/21 year old emotional stability and maturity catches up soon. Right now I think I'm still stuck in 16/17. I imagine dating the same guy for eleven months in height of my anorexia didn't help much. You know, we broke up within a week or two of me returning from my first long-term IP stay. Yep. He didn't like that I was trying to take care of myself more and not just focusing all on his problems. Anyways. A year later, people at my high school still thought we were together. It sucked. I felt so trapped by him, even after he was gone. I think that's my aversion to being in a real relationship now - I am afraid of being cornered again by someone who won't allow me to have my own needs because they are too busy and concerned by their own. Have you ever fet like that? Where its like you need to take care of everyone else, or even just one some one else, and its like there's no room for you to pay attention to your own self?

Anyways. That's more than enough babbling on my part.
Hope everyone has a nice, relaxing, sunny Sunday. For those of us up here in New England, lets hope for 2 out of 3, eh? Rain rain go away...

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Busy busy bee.

Hey all - sorry for not updating yesterday. On top of rediscovering my inner social buterfly, I had a really, really long talk with my mom and then we plopped down on the sofa to watch Criminal Minds. It was a really good conversation. I haven't talked outloud about my illness with my family in a long time. Not really talked anyways. There's always jibber-jabber about how I'm doing with food and such. But last night we really talked. About when it started, and this past year or two of it progressively worsening, and about what I needed to do now to make sure I didn't relapse again. I'm going to start picking one meal a day where I have whatever I choose as a snack, build up to two, so on and so forth. And mumzy and I have decided that we need to go out to eat at least once a week. And I need to learn to gauge a portion without a measuring device. Its a lot to do. But I need to do these things or else it'll never truly get better.
Also. I got a letter in my inbox - actually it was spam I think - from the Obama campaign on health insurance reform. He wanted stories, signatures, donations. You bet your girl here just wrote up an essay summarizing the mistreatment I experienced over the past year. Supposedly the stories are going to be read, so I am really hoping mine gets seen and that it strikes a chord. I feel a bit self-righteous, but I am determined to somehow find a way to make sure that no one looking for treatment gets turned away because they are too sick to be helped ever again. I mean really. I could have, actually should have died this past summer. Doing refeeding on my own without any sort medical support was an extremely dangerous thing to do, especially with how low my weight was. Unfortunatly, it was the only option I had besides waiting to die. No one should ever have to be put in that kind of position. People should recieve help when they reach out for it, not be told that there is nothing that can be done because its too late.

Ah well that's enough ranting. Here's a few of my most recent concoctions:

Wednesday Breakfast: Banana-Chai oats made with oat bran, Bolthouse Farms Vanilla Chai, raisins, banana, flaked coconut, almonds, creamy peanut butter. This was an old fave I haven't had in a while. I suppose it kind of reminds me of the 3800-calorie days from last month and some part of my brain has been avoiding aforementioned shake for that reason. Ah well. I finished off my bottle, and you know what? Maybe I'll make it up again in the future, regardless of the ED-stigma. Cuz you know, banana chai oats wouldn't be the same without chai.


Midmorning snack: Fage 2%, raisins, crumbled Peanut Butter Cookie larabar. ooh man. I loved this! Definitely going to be having this snack again.

Anddd this morning's breakfast:

Tropical Muesli. In the bowl: 1/2 cup Familia muesli soaked this morning for 45 minutes in vanilla soy, fage 2%, pineapple chunks and slivered almonds stirred in, sliced banana,flaked coconout and peanut butter on top. This was super refreshing, and perfect on this warm, sunny morning.

Well. I'm going to try to stay out trouble today. Hopefully go out later and actually have some fun. To be honest, the eating disorder is still rather mucking around in my head and making me feel self-conscious about myself and what I'm eating. But. I am sticking to these calories no matter what. I know I can't afford to lower it, even if my ED is insisting I should, because that would be letting my eating disorder win just one more time. I'm doing well with following my meal plans, but its been really hard because I never feel hungry. :sigh: I suppose everyone has those days.

Cheers to the sunshine and here's hoping it'll brighten everyone's day.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday.

Today was an exceptionally hard day for me. :sigh: I guess that's what happens when you have so many great, good-feeling days in a row. This mroning I looked at myself in the mirror and I abhorred my relfelction. I actually had a full-blown eating disordered fit while attempting to get dressed. Clothing was strewn all across my room as I tried to find something to wear that I didn't feel afraid of putting on. I ended up wearing a black crcoehted skirt and a black screen printed tee with a black zippered sweater. Hmm. Trying to hide much, eh? Yeah. My mom totally picked up on the fact that anorexia dressed me this morning. Asked what was wrong. And I really don't know. Its just like all of a sudden this morning I felt like I didn't recognize my own body. The ED thoughts were really strong all day. To keep myself from taking any steps backwards I decided to take pictures of all my meals today. I know I would never post a meal/snack if I had been restricting, so telling myself I had to do a full post today kind of helped in a weird way. Plus this way, if ED is still hanging around tomorrow, I'll have photographic evidence of the fact that I did not restrict today, so there will certainly be no reason to go down that road tomorrow.
All heart-aches aside - something good did happen today. Hung out the boy again. Ah, I really like him. He is such a good friend to me and I really appreciate that he doesn't put pressure on me about anything. I always feel really comfortable when I'm with him, like I don't have to be afraid of myself or embarrassed by my ED.

Well. Despite anorexia rearing its ugly head this morning, I still made a new breakfast concoction. And it was awesome, for real.

Dark Chocolate Coconut oatbran. ZOMG. Okay. In the bowl: 1/2 cup oat bran cooked in 1 cup chocolate soymilk, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1TBS unsweetened cocoa powder.I forgot to mash half my 'nanner in there so I sliced it on top with a handful of almonds and a tablespoon each of flaked coconut and creamy peanut butter. Really - this was heaven in a bowl. I attempted to take a picture of my oats on the spoon so y'all could see how fudgy it looked. Attempt failed. I am not terribly coordinated at 6AM as it were. But you can actually see it almost blends into my black bowl haha. Wasn't quite expecting that, though it was a nice surprise. Also had the other half my banana with cottage cheese and some juice. Loved! This breakfast. Wouldn't have it every morning, but for the occasional treat - hell yeah.

Also. I made another new discovery this morning. Ladies and gentleman, I give you:

Fage 2% with raisins, honey, and oh whats that? White Chocolate Wonderful fudge Yes. Apparently WCW + fridge = fudge-like substance that can be cut with a spoon. Oh man. I think I need to refridgerate my nut butters more often. Only after dishing out how much I want of course, otherwise it'd never get out of the jar.


Lunch: Hummus, grated carrot and cucumber sammie, grilled corn salad, and an apple with cottage cheese and Nutella. Chocolate again? Damn right. It amazes me how on even the most down days, I still manage to eat like this. Really. Six months ago I'd have been like "Oh Hell No. Not. Eating." But today, I pushed through. And while it doesn't exactly feel like victory right now, I know that it is. And next week, when I'm feeling a bit better about myself, I know I'll be glad I didn't slip back.


Afternoon snack: Strawberry-almond parfait. Can't quite tell its a parfait since I don't have any of those fancy glasses. But in there is two layers of strawberries and slivered almonds and vanilla yorgurt, plust a few left-overs that I plopped on top. I don't know why but I really like layering things into my yogurt instead of swirling it all up together. I'm not sure if its an OCD thing, or just a personal preference. Long as I eat it, I suppose its not important.


Dinner: Pasta with peas, broccoli, tofu and Thousand Island dressing, oven-baked tomato halves. Slowly but surely, I am overcoming this aversion to salad dressing.
Dinner was hard tonight really. My mom had a big talk with me after dinner about how far I still have to go. And it just wasn't what I really needed to hear after such a hard day. Like I'm barely coping some times right now, and she's off talking about my future...and its just...ah. So overwhelming. I ended up crying because sometimes I just don't know if I can do this. The ED gets to me, and in my head at times its like "When are you going to stop pretending you are okay? Why not show the world what you really are - broken, pathetic and weak. That's all you'll ever be. You have been this way far too long and been shattered far too many times for anything to ever really fix you." :sigh: Like I said. Long day.

Fortunately, I had comfort in a bowl planned for this evening's snack.

Multigrain cereal, canned pumpkin, cinnamon/brown sugar, coffee creamer, raisins and Cinnamon Raisin Swirl. Yep. After today, this was definitely a good one to end with.

I'm a bit tired, think its time for me to call it a night, finish watching the Mentalist and get some sleeps. I'm hoping for another sunny day tomorrow, and hopefull this time I will be more able to enjoy it. I hope you all get that too - it seems like a lot of people are struggling right now. If there is one thing I have learned so far though, its that if you push through the worst of times, you get an oppurtunity to see things become better. If you don't hold on, you end up in the same miserable place you were in before. So, I'm holding on as best I can right now. And for everyone else who's doing the same - I hope the better days come sooner rather than later.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Rough Day.

Today started out well enough. I actually did something for myself. I had planned on going to the gym, but found myself feeling tired this morning still (another late night out) so I decided not to go. I know it seems silly, but we all know how ED loves routines and hates changes in plans. But I did what I felt was best for me this morning and to hell with anorexia. And I still made an absolutely wonderful breakfast.

Bircher-muesli! I took a half cup of Swiss Familia Muesli, added two tablespoons of raisins and soaked it this morning in four ounces of vanilla soymilk for about half an hour. Then plopped it on top of a Fage 2%, and added 15 almonds, a sliced banana and a tablespoon each of flaked coconut, orange marmalade and creamy peanut butter. This was so good! I hadn't had the Swiss Familia cereal in forever - I highly reccommend it. For me, it ranks right up with Dorset Berries n Cherries and shredded wheat. So you know, its good stuff. It gets really nice and creamy when soaked in soymilk - almost looked like a pudding. This was definitely a breakfast to keep in my "books" for future reference haha.

So. Then the day started going south. I don't really know why, I just started to feel really overwhelmed by all the attention I've been getting lately. I kind of wanted to turn off my phone and curl up in bed so I could just hide. :sigh: I hate that feeling. I know logically, most people would love to have that many people interested in them. But for me - I've gone so long depriving myself of everything and trying to avoid drawing attention to myself, its like a shock to my brain and I can't always process it all at once. meh. I suppose in time it will get better. Maybe one day I won't even think anything of it. But coupled with the bit of nausea I had (anxiety much?) the attention just wasn't doin' it for me.

Not that long after, I found out my neighboor/childhood best friend was beaten and robbed the other day. He has seven staples in his head from being pistol whipped. Apparently, he heard a knock on the door and three guys came in, cracked his head open, duct taped his hands and feet, and stole everything of value that was transportable. Hearing this just...I don't know. Its really made me think a lot about things. Like this was something entirely out of his control - he was a victim, and truly there wasn't anything he could do to prevent it. He's lucky he wasn't hurt worse, for sure. But still. He's still fighting to keep his life as normal as possible and not let this affect him. Meanwhile, I've let my damn silly eating disorder essentially steal my life. And the eating disorder is something I can have control over, relapse is something that can be avoided and prevented and these thoughts and feelings are mine and mine alone - they are not the product of someone else's doing. But its just...I don't know. It doesn't seem right for me to have gone on struggling so long with something that now appears to be so petty. I know I shouldn't even be comparing the two situations, I mean really - two totally different things. But its hard to not have that little voice be like "You're weak, that's why you struggled so long. You're not as strong as you think, you're just pretending. if you were strong, you'd get over this an instant just like C" Argh! And I'm rather shocked and upset that this even happened to him. It just seems so surreal. I mean, he can be a little smug at times, but he has never purposely done harm to anyone so why would this happen? I mean really - who knocks on a door in the middle of the afternoon to beat and rob the person who answers? I just don't get it.

Needless to say, I have since spent the majority of the afternoon feeling like I would be sick and have been kind of struggling to eat. I am eating everything I need to - just not very keen on it. :sigh: Hopefully tomorrow will be better and I won't be feeling so out of it.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday Nights and Saturday Mornings

Hey all- just really wanted to say thank you so much for all lovely compliments on my art work. It really means a lot to me to get such positive feedback on something that isn't even finished yet. You all brightened my day so, so much. I'm sorry I didn't post last night, I truly meant to. I went out with the boy again though :grin: And I ended up coming home a little after midnight and kinda passed out after haha. But it was a really good time and I'm glad I went out - specially since the anorexic-thinking tends to make me want to stay home at night ("you've been eating all day! you can't go out and let people see you!") But! I wanted to go out so ED-thoughts be damned. He's a great guy and I'm glad to have him as a friend again. Bit nervous because he talked about some day things evolving into more than that - but I am glad that he's not putting pressure on me about it, unlike most. So 'twas a good evening. It was a little awkward though. I met his mom's boyfriend. As I was waling up the porch, one of his dogs jumped on me. Forunately, I'm tall so when I slipped back off one of the steps, I didn't actually fall clear over, just stumbled a little bit. Mom's boyfriend: "You okay? Lucy weighs more than you do! You're lucky you didn't fall right over."
Lucy is an eighty, maybe ninety? pound golden retriever. I have been out of that weight range for several months now. >.< I guess this is just another affirmation to me that increasing my calories again was the right thing to do.

Speaking of that,in addition to my usual accoutrements (CC, toast,jam, juice) here's the glory of yesterday's amazing breakfast:

In ze bowl: 1/2 cup each Kashi Autumn Wheat, BearNaked granola, 2TBS raisins and vanilla soymilk nuked in the microwave, topped with sliced banana, tablespoon of flaked coconut, drizzle of honey and one scoop each of White Chocolate Wonderful and natural creamy peanut butter. Breakfasts like this make me forget I have an eating disorder ^.^

Last night's dinner:

Bulgur wheat with tahini, sweet peas, and corn. Grilled tilapia with lemon-butter dressing, and half a baked tomato (olive oil+rosemary)

Anddd Friday night bedtime snack before going out:

Chocolate Brownie oat bran. Mhmm. 1/4 cup oatbran cooked with a teaspoon each cinnamon and brown sugar, a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and some vanilla coffee creamer, topped with a tablespoon of Nutella. This was sooo good. Truly like brownie batter, but healthy. I've made this using chocolate soymilk too, but I don't think I noticed much a difference. Perhaps because I use less cocoa powder when I use chocolate milk? hm. That would make sense.

And I don't know what I'm doing the rest of today. I have got to work on the idea of planning in advance, seriosuly. I run around like a nutcase all the time because I'm always making plans like two seconds before I'm leaving the house. Anyways, since I don't know if I'll be posting later here's today's brekkie creation:

Trail Mix Oats! In the bowl: 1/3 cup multigrain cereal cooked in one cup vanilla soy with cinnamon and 2TBS raisins. Added 1/4 cup granola and a tablespoon each of slivered almonds, coconut flakes and creamy peanut butter. On the side I also had toast with cottage cheese and jam and juice (like every other morning of my life)

Well, I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far! It was so beautiful out yesterday and now they are predicting more rain and fog again. :sigh: The sunshine is such a terrible tease. I hope soon, it will stay for more than a 12 hour time slot. Hmmph. I'm still crossing my fingers for summer...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thursday...

So. Today was my check-in. Despite increasing calories last week, I still haven't put back what I lost. :sigh: Had to increase again today. This is crazy. I'm almost back to eating what I needed to gain in order to maintain. Honestly, while I am not afraid of food per say, the amount of food I need to eat right now to maintain my weight is a bit frightening. I really wanted to be able to stop planning menus and counting calories, and start trying to learn to eat what I want in the moment. Because we all know how hard it is sometimes to plan your meals out days in advance. But having to eat 3,000+ on my own without a plan in place seems like it would be rather difficult for me to do. I mean, don't get me wrong. I have fun being able to maintain on so many calories. But it is a bit frustrating at times. I'm scared I'll never be able to function normally. i don't want to spend the rest of my life counting calories to make sure I eat enough. But I do recognize that I am not far enough out of the woods yet anyways. I know from my past experiences, I have a tendency to jump back into my life full swing and food falls by the wayside. And when that happens,I lose tremendous amounts of weight very quickly. And I cannot afford to let that happen again. So I guess it'll be a few more months of this. I'm thinking once I get my weight up and know what calories I need, I'll start reusing meal plans a few times a week so I don't have to plan so much. Right now its okay, since I'm not in school or working yet. But once I get those things back, having to plan a day's worth of meals would be rather time consuming. And hopefully it will be time I don't have because I am off living my life.

Today's breakfast was absolutely incredible. This increasing of calories today totally whipped anorexia's butt.

Muligrain cereal cooked in vanilla soy with 1/2 mashed banana, topped with rest of the 'nana, a dozen almonds, and one tablespoon each Nutella and White Chocolate PB. This. Was. Awesome. and I have to say, I feel mighty proud of myself for eating it. I also had the usual juice and a slice of cinnamon raisin toast with cottage cheese and jam. But yknow, compared to the Nutella and WCW combo, toast just doesn't make the photo-cut.

Mid-morning snack was nothing special - Fage 2%, agave, granola, almonds, coconut. Lunch was an avocado-hummus-cucumber sammie with grilled corn and tomato salad, and an apple with creamy peanut butter. Wasn't very photogenic, but quite good.


Mid-afternoon Snack: Plain yogurt with sliced strawberries, orange marmalade and chocolate chips. mmm. I hadn't had yogurt with chocolate chips in soo long. I highly reccommend it. Really.

My dinner also wasn't terribly pretty. But I felt so immensely proud of myself for facing a fear - I decided to share with you all anyways.

Whole wheat rotini, peas, broccoli, greens, grated carrot and tofu. Topped with thousand island dressing. OK. This will sound odd, but for me, salad dressing is actually a bigger fear food than olive oil or even peanut butter. No idea why. Its jsut been something I've been trying to avoid having. I think because of the amount of flavor perhaps? My dinners tend to err on the side of "bland", or at least not overly rich in zest or anything like that. So salad dressing was a huge deal, as it certainly a more noticeable flavoring than olive oil. But it was really good, and I will definitely have it again.

I'll be honest. A good portion of today was spent questioning whether or not I should have increased my calories or not. Logically, I know it was the right thing to do. But I guess the ED-voice is trying to make me feel badly about needing to eat so much. "One pound less than what you were isn't a big deal. Get over yourself." Arrgh. But I followed through with my plans. I painted for some time and that really helped me a lot. I am so happy to painting and talking to my friends again. Slowly but surely getting a feel for what my life used to be like, and what it could be again. One day, it will be all good and I won't worry anymore. At least not as much. And that day will be cause of celebration.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Learning.

Today, I learned a great many things. First and foremost - I have made more progress than I realize. I hate to reveal more information than needs to be told. I know my self-worth is not the greatest it could be, but the fact that I am not choosing to please every boy who shows any sign of interest in me is a huge step. I feel good about this being able to say "No" when I don't like someone. I think that my past history actually fueled my ED. It enabled my eating disorder in that it could fill my head with thoughts of "You're not worth anything to anyone. This is all you'll ever be and its all your good for. You''re just another notch in the bedpost." I am learning not to let that happen anymore though. At least not as much. And I have noticed my sense of self worth improving because of it. I can look in the mirror and feel good about who I am. And that is wonderful. I'm also really excited to be able to say that I haven't lost my knack at painting.

It's only a third of the way done so far maybe, but I figured I'd show y'all what I've been working on.
Today was also a gym day. Now, I was blissfully unaware of the fact that the ladies' locker room had a scale until this morning. :sigh: I just don't understand why they need to put something like that there. For one thing, weighing yourself after a workout really isn't an accurate thing. And secondly - who the hell wants to weigh themselves in public? I mean really now. Some woman actually asked me to read the scale for her! I did of course, but I felt rather silly given my current aversion to scales. I'm rather anxious about tomorrow being a weigh-day. :sigh: Must take what comes. I know I can deal with whatever it is that tomorrow brings, but at times its hard. I felt so good about myself today and I guess because I'm so used to attributing good with weight loss, its hard to distinguish whether I felt good because I just was happy and had a good day, or if it was somehow my ED being happy for currently unbeknownst reasons.
Mm. No use worrying about it I suppose. I didn't feel any ED thoughts today, so I was probably just happy.

Breakfast this morning was my favorite.

!/2 cup Dorset Berries n Cherries (<3 this. Too bad they stopped selling it at my local grocery store. I've been trying to save what I've got left) with 1/2 cup Bear Naked granola, 1/2 large sliced banana, almonds, flaked coconut, creamy peanut butter and soymilk. On the side I had the other half my 'naner with cottage cheese and toast.

Ok. Midmorning snack I made a discovery. See, I made part of my snack before I went to the gym so I wouldn't have as much to fuss with when I came home. So - plopped my Fage 2% into a bowl, scooped some Nutella on top and drizzled it with agave. Added plastic wrap, back into the fridge it went. Apparently, there is a reason why the jar of Nutella says "Do Not Refrigerate".

Do you see how well formed and solid that is? I mean really - its a perfectly frozen-in-time drop. As you can tell, what I came home to was not the usual, soft goopy Nutella we all know. Instead, it was a solid-but-semi soft chocolaty hunk in the middle of my yogurt. I didn't realize this until I tried to dip my apple slices in it. I ended up cutting the Nutella with a spoon so I could eat it. ZOMG. It was like fudge! I kid you not. I can see where putting the whole container in the fridge would be a bad idea. But for reals - this semi-solidified Nutella discovery was amazing!
Next time, I may do this on purpose. Perhaps with banana.

Lunch wasn't anything special - a basic PBJ with the usual accompaniments. And afternoon and evening snacks were pretty much the usual as well - yogurt/strawberries/honey/almonds and pumpkin-raisin-peanut butter oats.


Dinner was bulgur wheat mixed with tahini and some spices, sweet corn and peas topped with grated carrot, olive oil and a wedge of raw tofu. Soo good. I liked using the tahini and spices as a change from just plain ol' hummus. Made me feel like I was actually cooking again instead of just mixing a bunch of this and that together.

Today has been super busy for me. Its almost kind of nice, feeling tired at the end of the day, and starting to see myself get my life back. Well, the latter is definitely nice. The tired part may take some getting used to. In addition to this, I may not post as often anymore. I'll try to update everyday, but there are going to be days where I just don't get to it or don't feel up to it. And of course there will be days where I spill all, and days (like today) where I only get a few meals up. Because I really love my blog, and I cannot express in words how this has helped me get through the past few months. Even before starting my own blog - I read many of them, and so many of you all inspired me so much. I definitely don't want to give it up - I love the community. But I think I need to move away from the pressure a bit. There are days when writing everything down, and really thinking about things is truly helpful and makes me more aware of the things I need to watch for, but also of the things I have improved and made progress in. But other days, I just don't want to think about it. I feel like I am following suit of so many others, but in a way, I think it makes sense. So many of us are all moving into the same phase of recovery now - where we are trying to regain ourselves and our lives. Hopefully, this time around things are going to be different, and become real for everyone.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Monday monday monday.

Today was a pretty good day. I spent the afternoon at my friend's house, playing with his dogs (yay! I miss my own dog so much at times) and listening to him spin records ,which he's very good at. I always love his mixes - its something I can never do, despite his attempts at teaching me to spin. We're a lot a like, very critical of our "work" and I always have to remind him not to be so hard on himself. He does the same for me when I'm talking about my art. We have a somewhat odd relationship (then again - aren't all of my relations to the opposite sex a bit peculiar?) In November, it will be six years since we first met. I remember it clear as day too, it was a bit gray outside and he asked if he could walk me home from school. I said yes and as we made our way down the streets, the sun came out. :sigh: Its a terribly confusing story, but I haven't talked to him in a long time. He is a really good friend though and I am glad we are talking and hanging out again. He's really understanding, and while he doesn't quite "get" anorexia - he does understand that it screws with my head, and that recovering from it is like a responsibility I have taken on for myself. Which is nice, because most people tell me to just eat a cheeseburger.
I also went to the gym this morning. i really love going - it makes me feel so good about myself. I've only been going for like 2-3 weeks but already I can tell my body is 10x stronger. I'm also really proud of myself - I worked on my painting a bit more today. For some reason, the ED hates whenever I do something that makes me happy. But I did it because its what I wanted to do, and I felt good about it.


Breakfast was Bircher-Muesli. 1/2 cup oats soaked over night in vanilla caramel coffee creamer, with a 1/4 cup raisins stirred in this morning and mixed with a pear yogurt. Then I added almonds, sliced banana and 1/4 cup granola, with a scoop of creamy peanut butter on top. This bowl was soo good. Definitely a favorite combination. Also had the usual glass of juice.


Snack was cottage cheese with honey, 1/2 a chopped apple and 1/2 a crumbled Apple Pie Larabar. I had the rest of my apple and larabar on the side


Lunch: Bulgur wheat mixed with hummus, sweet corn, grated carrot, almonds, 1/3 mashed avocado and tofu with half a tomato. I also had some strawberries and cottage cheese and toast. I was late getting home from the gym and needed to pack in the extra calories.


Afternoon snack was a plain yogurt with orange marmalade and coconut flakes. Love this combinaton, even if it slighty resembels a fried egg. :\



Dinner: Pasta mixed with green beans, peas, romaine and olive oil with cooked broccoli and a dressed salmon fillet. :sigh: I still feel odd at times eating fish like this - my head just spins. But I am eating it, and will continue to do so until my family understands and believes its not an anorexic choice to be vegetarian. I have caused them enough worry, and I fear any changes in my diet right now will make them paranoid about me.
Honestly, I am so sick of having to worry, wonder, care about what other people think or feel. I'm tired of being afraid of causing any upsets or distress. I'm tired of trying to make everyone else's lives as easy as possible even when it means I sacrifice my own needs and wants. I don't know how to stop it though. Its a habit I suppose, like anything else. I always desperately want to make sure other people are happy. But I am trying to remind myself that its okay for me to be happy too.

Snack before bed was a little bit of a treat, hadn't had this combo in a while so I figured, why not?

Oatmeal with strawberries and Nutella <3

Overall, I like to think today was a good day. With the weather turning up, I hope there will be more of them. For everyone.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I'm not posting food today. Today has been dedicated to my mother and grandmother.
My mother has stood by my side and encouraged me and helped me through this recovery. She never turned her back or gave up hope on me when I had long since begun to feel that this disease would bring my untimely end. Even in our fights (god knows there were lots) she always forgave me for letting anorexia take hold, and she always apologized for the things she said and did (won't get into that now - its mother's day). She is one of the strongest and bravest women I know, and she has had to deal with so,so much. She has put up with more than you can imagine over these years. She is amazing and that's really all I can say. I feel so lucky to have her as my mother, and allie.

My grandmother - she never forgets a birthday or anniversary, and while she doesn't have much money, she always manages to send the most beautiful cards she can find. She is a strong woman, must be where my mom gets it from. She raised nine children on her own (my mom is the oldest), learned to drive when she was 45 years old - women didn't drive when she was young and it was unheard of in the 60's or 70's for a woman that age to start learning. She worked a lot to provide for her family as best she could. And while she may not know much about anorexia, she has tried to provide for me as well. She has made me irreplacable afghans and even has attempted to teach me to crochet to help me stay calm and keep my mind off non-ED related things. Today, she asked me what I weighed (she hasn't seen in me in nearly a month) I told her. Her face lit up. "You may not really look it, but I am SO happy. Victoria, you have made my Mother's Day perfect." And of course she had to hug me. And I felt good. See how grammas have that effect? Even when you feel bad or uncomfortable with yourself - make your grandparent and smile and I guarantee you'll feel better about it. Because the love is unconditional and even ED can't tamper with it in those moments.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Saturday.

First and foremost - I wanted to thank everyone for the beautiful comments on my last post. You all brightened my day and made me smile so much - you have no idea how flattering you all are. SOmetimes I truly can't believe its me you all are talking about and I swear I feel my face flush as i'm sitting on the computer. But thank you <3 You're all the best.

So, today has been not the best day. It wasn't bad really, I feel really proud of myself for all that I did. I had to increase my calories. I did really well with it, but I'm a bit scared. I lost about a pound since my last weigh-in, and now I feel like I have no idea what I'll need to maintain, let alone gain those next few pounds.:sigh: I'm going to just take it one step at a time and see how it goes. On the bright side, my mom didn't get mad or upset with me like she would have in the past. She said she knew I was still eating the same amount every day and having an extra 200 on the days I went to the gym, so she knew it wasn't something intentional. That was a huge relief to me. I also went shopping with my mom and got this really awesome vintage plaid belted shirtdress. <3 Can't believe I tried on clothing in the middle of the afternoon, when I have my period, and had increased my calories all in the same day, and was still happy with how I looked in something. Incredible.


Breakfast: Multi-grain hot cereal cooked in vanilla soy milk with cinnamon, chopped apple and raisins topped with creamy PB. On the side there was also cottage cheese with some of aforementioned apple and raisins. Also a glass of plum juice.
This was pretty good - definitely a change from the usual banana-based oats. And it also set me up for the following challenge:


Morning Snack: Fage 2%, most of a sliced banana, handful almonds drizzled with honey. On the side there is the rest of banana with a tablespoon of Nutella. OK. ED has a rule - bananas are breakfast food. Well, its only been pushed back one meal, but hey. Banana + Nutella = <3.


Lunch: Dark Chocolate Dreams with blackberry jam. Chocolate-nut butter twice in one day - oh man. Didn't even think twice about it. Also had some cooked broccoli and green beans, and cucumber with cottage cheese. After lunch, me and mommy-dearest went on our shopping adventure. Good times.


Afternoon snack: Vanilla yogurt with strawberries, orange marmalade and an apple cinnamon rice cake. I know, I know. Rice cakes are anorexic food. But for real - apple cinnamon rice cake dipped in yogurt is really good - its like having cereal in there, only you get to dunk it. I suppose its my equivalent to cookies and milk (I really dislike drinking milk. So! I eat yogurt instead)



Dinner: Bulgur wheat mixed with hummus, olive oil, corn, peas, and romaine topped with tofu and grated carrot and half a baked tomato. Okay. This was officially the best dinner I've made in a while. I know its mainly the same ingredients as per usual, but I enjoyed so much more tonight because I got through the entire meal today without a single ED ritual. No counting, no picking through, no picking apart. Nothing. And it felt so good. Actually, I made it through just about every meal today without an ED ritual or stupid thing that the ED makes me do - like smooshing around my yogurts or analyzing my vegetables or whatever. None of it, at all. I feel really proud of myself because I have been wanting desperately to move past those ED behaviors. And today, I just said "fuck it. Just stop all of this now. No more one at a time. Just do it once and for all." And it worked.


Nighttime snack: Oats cooked with cinnamon, brown sugar and vanilla caramel coffee creamer topped with melted frozen mixed berries and flaked coconut. This bowl was pretty good, though not really a favorite. I didn't realize the bag of mixed berries contained raspberries - which I'm really not a fan of. Oh well.

I suppose overall, today has actually been quite the successful day in a lot of ways. I guess just dealing with the loss was a bit hard - totally felt anorexia pulling my strings and jumping up and down with glee "OK! One down nine to go before you can be happy again." asfjdk! Not going down that road again. Cannot, will not and absolutely refuse. I came too far and fought to hard to let that slip back into mind. Its just frustrating. It was a bit hard today - I admit. Because we all know that feeling, and how easy it is turn one into ten into thirty. I feel afraid of relapsing again already, even though I know I remedied the situation. I'm still nervous. I guess this nervousness won't go away for some time though, until I feel secure with wherever I end up at and my ability to continue to maintain it. That may take more time than I like to though. Sometimes, I really hate having to make up meal plans for myself, and I just don't want to do it anymore. But I still feel so afraid of anorexia sneaking back in and I feel like I can't trust myself to eat enough on my own. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever be able to do that, or if I'll always have to follow some sort of meal plan. I've been considering going to a nutritionist to see if I can find a way to sort of loosen that up a bit - maybe try working with exchanges again or something? I'm not sure. I did kind of tend to manipulate that system to the fullest extent possible, so I'm not really sure its such a great idea for me. But it would be nice to just know that I needed say four starches, two fats, a fruit and a dairy at breakfast, and be able to wake up in the morning and have what I wanted right then instead of having to plan it all out in advance. Granted, I also still have the "What does Victoria want?" issue, so planning ahead may be best for a little while longer.

Sometimes, I feel like no matter the progress I've made, that fear of my anorexia may never leave me. I wish it would. First, you're afraid of not listening to it. And then you become afraid of it perpetually consuming your life. :sigh: I'm being far too pensive and contemplative tonight. Time for a cigarette and then bed. (I know, naughty me smokes! I'm italian. We smoke.)

Hope everyone is enjoying their weekends! Tomorrow is supposed to be beautiful here. Lets hope, no more rain.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Infestation.

So, I've got a lovely story to share with you all.
This morning, for the first time in a long time, I had the urge to paint. I went out in my yard, easel, stereo and massive box of paints, modeling past and brushes in hand (actually, more like arms - lotta stuff). So, I'm outside, in my yard painting. Enjoying myself in the 10 o'clock sunshine, zonining out with Isis blaring and paint smearing. Then I start seeing these little flying bugs around me. Okay, no big deal. Only a few. Then there were more. And more. I ran off the patio to get a better look. Literally, at least 50 in the air, and another hundred or more were crawling up out of the ground and swarming two or three feet of patio tiles.
This girl has never bolted so fast. Ran back inside the house, paintbrush in hand, leaving all my stuff outside.
I called one of my friends and he came over, braved the swarm (apparently they were termites) and brought my stuff inside for me. ^.^
I also managed to lock myself out of the house in the same afternoon.

Brilliant day, yes?

On the bright side - I painted for the first time in MONTHS. And, I had some new creations today, so I'm rather proud of that.


Breakfast: 1/2 cup oats soaked overnight in vanilla caramel coffee creamer, stirred into a peach yogurt this morning with slivered almonds,sliced banana and creamy peanut butter. I also had a glass of juice and a slice of cinnamon toast with jam. I really enjoyed this - adding the coffee creamer gave it a totally different taste and it was really neat - it got even creamier than with soymilk. Yay.


Morning snack: Fage 2% with chopped gala apple, creamy peanut butter and agave nectar. i haven't had an apple with PB in ages, so this was lovely. I don't why, but I really like the yogurt and peanut butter combination. Also peanut butter and cottage cheese. Is that weird? I really don't care if it is, but I'm curious.


Lunch: Tuna mixed with mashed avocado and cucumber sliced on sprouted grain bread. I know I'm bent on being vegetarian again, but for something I'd rather not have to eat - this really wasn't bad and it was actually kinda good. I also had cottage cheese with a sliced tomato, and some grilled corn.

I didn't photograph my afternoon snack - the whole experience of being locked out of the house was rather dramatic (imagine me, standing at the front door, cussing like a sailor as I search for house keys. I live four houses down from a Catholic church/school. School was ending. I fear I may have corrupted some youth today) But! I did have a vanilla yogurt with sliced strawberries.



Dinner: Whole-wheat pasta with green beans, peas and broccoli tossed with olive oil and rosemary, topped with cubed raw tofu. I haven't been one to use much seasoning in the past, but I tried a little bit tonight - and I have to say, it does make a big difference. Its been a fear of mine, not sure why. But I'm glad I decided to try it out.

Nighttime snack was a new creation. Ladies and gentleman, I give you:

Chocolate-Coconut Brownie Oatbran. Hell yeah. It was even better than it looked.
In the mix here is: 1/4 cup oatbran cooked in ~1/2 cup water +1/2 cup chocolate soymilk, 1/2 TBS unsweetened cocoa, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp brown sugar. Topped with 1TBS flaked coconut and dark chocolate chips.
This bowl was possibly the only way to end my day today. Can we all take a guess at what time of the month it is to boot? Yeah.

:sigh: After some deep discussion with my mom, I have come to the conclusion that I need to gain more weight, even if my doctor said I was fine. I don't want to say what my BMI or weight is at, I don't want to trigger anyone. But lets just say, it is a *bit* lower than I thought it was when I was given the OK to maintain. Apparently, my doctor didn't think I could handle weighing more than where I am at now, and said "I'd rather see you be underweight but able to live your life, than see you push for optimum health only to end up having another severe relapse like last spring. I don't think you or your family could handle going through that again, do you?" How very inspiring and motivating, right? But, I've spent a week thinking on this and I'm not going to let any doctor tell me what I'm capable of. I mean, really now - last June this same man said I was too sick to be helped via outpatient treatment, and that there was nothing he could do because no IPs would take me at the weight I was at ("too far gone for their facilities to be willing to take the risk") and my insurance was refusing to cover me for anything more than a week of NG-tubing (because that would *really* help - if anything, it would have revved my metabolism up and I'd have ended up at even lower weight when I got home) If I can do what I've done, with their rejection and disparaging outlooks, I can do this now without their faith. I don't need it.

Something I wanted to share. In the past - my recovery has always been for other people, and promoted by outside sources. I never did it for myself or of my own volition. I always needed someone else to make it okay for me to stop exercising, or to start eating more. God, I can remember so many times, spending those hours tormenting myself with exercise, I would hope and pray, sometimes even cry, wishing that someone would come home, hold me and tell me I didn't need to do it anymore, that it was okay and I didn't need to continue punishing myself. Or when I was pushing myself to run those miles in the depth of January, I would feel my bones growing stiff and achey, and I would wish that a friend would drive by and insist that I was insane, and that I needed to stop. I was always wishing, hoping for someone else to save me, to give me that assurance that it was okay for me to not listen to my ED-voice, to tell me that it was wrong and that I didn't need to suffer and sacrifce myself and my happiness anymore. But those words never came, no one ever stopped me. The biggest and most valuable lesson I have come to have is this: We do not need anyone else's approval to be good to ourselves. ED may say to do certain things, but we always have the choice in the end, whether to listen or to rise above. While the reassurance from others is good, and it is certainly helpful, its not something to depend on. We do not need anyone else's approval. Just because someone doesn't tell you that its okay to have that extra snack you know you need, doesn't mean its not okay to have it, or just because no one tells you that you don't deserve to be punished, doesn't mean its not true. Having your own voice to tell you those things is more than enough reason. Something I am still working on is building that trust and belief within myself, but I have to say, as time progresses, it is getting better. Every day we get through, makes us one day stronger. Especially the bad days. IAnd the more we get through, the easier it will become. Life may never be easy - but that doesn't mean it should be spent suffering in the corner. We can live as we always dreamed, without ED or anyone else's permission.