Thursday, July 30, 2009

Fear and Confessions.

I haven't been posting much lately, I know. I've been spending a good deal of time out with D. But its not just that.
I haven't weighed myself in about 2 weeks now. I am terrified of getting on the scale. In my heart, I know I haven't been eating enough. Still well above what I would consider to be restriction - but I know that the fear foods, the fear of gaining while cutting down on my smoking and the lazy days spent watching movies - have probably caused me to not really eat what I should be eating. I know I probably over estimate at times.
The other day I looked in the mirror. I don't see weight loss per se. But I could swear certain parts of my body used to have a bit more "padding" than they do now. I'm not sure if I was just not seeing myself properly before, or if what I am seeing is real. Its so hard to know. I'm giving myself two solid days of eating at home, and then I am going to get on the scale and see what, if any, damage has been done.

This is not to say no progress has been made. Quite the opposite honestly. Yesterday, me and D made breakfast at his house. I ate french toast made with white bread, whole milk, butter and powdered sugar. I ate scrambled eggs. I made a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the use of a measuring spoon. I ate dinner at Olive Garden and I finished my plate (OK I took my appetizer home in a box. But I figured it was more important for me to eat all of my meal as opposed to filling myself up on a 100-calorie soup.) I ate bits and bites of food that I couldn't account for and drank about a quarter of a rum n coke (because D apparently cannot handle Bacardi 151 like your girl here can) all things I didn't even count towards what I need to eat in a day. I don't know if I can express how huge it is for me to eat or drink a little bit of something and not look at it as more calories consumed. I admit - by the end of the night and D was trying to get me to eat some of his dish - ED started acting up because I had been eating bits and bites all day and I just couldn't do it anymore. I ended up needing to have a long with the boy and explaining things to him - why I suddenly seemed anxious and all that. He still doesn't understand. But I at least got him to see that this was all good for me - that I need to feel anxious and afraid at times or else I will never get better.

I have come to so many new revelations. Like it doesn't matter if the food I eat is the 100% perfect and healthy meal every time. Its okay to eat white bread and butter some times. It won't kill me, and it won't kill anyone else either. In fact, its quite enjoyable (especially when your sitting on the front steps eating breakfast with a cute boy) and that its OKAY to let yourself enjoy the indulgence once in a while. Its good to not eat just what seems safe and perfectly healthy - you've got to branch out into the foreign territory if you ever want this illness to end. And you know what I figured out too? Its OK if I lost a bit of weight. Because I know in my heart that I have the ability and mindset now that I can increase my calories if I need to, that I can gain when I need to and that I do not need to be afraid. Because like everything else - mistakes and steps backwards can be fixed. As long as you learn from what you've done, that's all that matters.

I am making peace with myself - shortcomings, mistakes, and all. Nothing is ever going to perfect, and I am OK with that. As long as I never give up - I can let go.


I feel happier already, just writing that down with permanency.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday Morning

So I woke up this morning, walked around the house. I am officially pain-free this morning! I am SO relieved and happy. I guess I haven't done as much damage to myself as I thought I had, and that my body is far more capable of repair than I thought.
*happy dance*

Last night was a rough one. My ex-boyfriend from this past winter was talking to me last night. Ugh. I'm not sure if I told you all this - but he really, really screwed with my head those months ago. On Valentine's Day, he called me to ask if it was okay for him to sleep with another girl. He wanted me to move with him to Rochester (where he goes to school) while I was still very early in my recovery and was quite unstable. He used to talk about me having his children and such. He was very controlling and manipulative and would use guilt to get me to do whatever he wanted. He was hurtful and would be make me feel guilty over everything. To the point where I had started restricting again (OK. 2200- 2600 calories isn't really restricting per say, but I had cut back enough to stop gaining and start losing slowly for about a month before I ended things w/ him and bolstered myself back up properly) One time, he wanted me to eat a cookie and I really didn't feel comfortable having it - he pinned me down to his bed, shoved the cookie into my mouth and held his hands over my face until I chewed and swallowed. Not cool. As much as I did like him and care about him, and as sweet as he could seem at times - he himself was rather unstable and he definitely has some anger issues.
So this boy is talking to me last night, begging me to take him back. I told him I was dating someone. He said he didn't care as long as I was still his at the end of the day. He wanted me to have his children. He said we belonged together - that I was the only girl he could ever love. At one point he asked me to marry him (wtf? Who does that on the phone?) At the same time, he was also bashing me, telling me I was a liar and that I was manipulative and that I broke his heart by not moving to be with him. That I led him on and caused him great pain by constantly letting him down and not following all of his demands and wishes. He kept saying how worthless he was and how he would never be good enough for anyone if the one girl he truly wanted wouldn't have him. I ended up talking to him for over two hours - partly defending myself and partly trying to calm his own self-hatred. It was soo frustrating. No matter what I said - he kept insisting that we had to be together no matter what. I felt immensely guilty because of what he said but you know what? I cut him off for a reason. That's the way he works - he abuses my guilt complex to get what he wants and needs. Not this time though. I told him I really, really like D. I was not going to let him try to worm himself back into my life and ruin something that was good for me. I eventually ended the conversation by telling him that us talking wasn't going to change anything and told him to have a good night.

Life is interesting, isn't it? The one thing I AM proud of is that I did not let a single one of the negative or hurtful things he said get to me. I know him - he gets angry when he doesn't get what he wants and he lashes out in attempt to make me change my mind. Its a game and he doesn't even realize he does it. I took every word he said and shrugged it off as his attempt at neutralizing his own feelings. In the past, a conversation like that would have led me to feel an immense need to punish and hurt myself. This time - I walked away feeling confident and proud of myself for not letting him get the better of me.

Well after having that happen literally just before I was going to bed, you can best bet I wanted a serious bowl of comfort (and triumph!) this morning for brekkie:

Kashi Autumn Wheat and some bearnaked granola in vanilla soy with slivered almonds, sliced banana, raisins, WCW and coconut flakes. <3 heaven. Also had my usual cuppa with Cinnamon Bun creamer. Ooh. The perfect breakfast to make you forget about the crazies in life. And a lovely way to start a Monday morning.

Love you girls! I apologize if I haven't gotten around to commenting as much, but please know that I DO read everyone's blogs almost every day. For whatever reason, I feel like I am short on words lately. It may be a twinge of social anxiety coming back as I get closer to going back to school. I always feel like I say waay too much so I think that's why I haven't been writing as much here or in response. I apologize for that - I need to work on not slipping into a shell when I get anxious.

Hope everyone's having a beautiful Monday!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ouchies.

So, I fractured a bone in my pinky toe this morning.

Bloody fucking perfect.

I don't deal well with feeling like I am crippled. Limping around the house and yelping every time my foot hits the floor just so is NOT my idea of fun.

I do not like this. Not at all.

It really doesn't hurt that badly to be honest - but its a big fat screaming reminder that I am physically compromised. Someone with healthier bones probably wouldn't be in as much pain. Of course, I can't be sure of that. I did drop a full weighted stainless steel frying pan on my poor little baby toe. I keep trying to tell myself that it would have hurt someone with healthy bones just as much. I'm sure of that. But I can't help but blame myself for all of this. If I wasn't so clumsy, if I hadn't kept myself at such a terribly low weight for so many many months, years, maybe. I don't know.

I hate being injured. It makes me feel so stupid and helpless. I do not like this feeling at all. I fight so hard to be strong and independent and now I can't even cross the kitchen floor for a glass of water.

I know its totally silly to get this upset over such a small injury. Its just so incredibly frustrating to feel this useless and helpless now. And I am terrfied that due to my osteoporosis, it will not heal properly or in due time. That I will be feeling this pain for weeks on end and I will grow more and more fed up with it and fall apart out of fear.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Recap.

I spent Wednesday in New York City, with the boy of course.
I have never been there before.

It was amazing and I think I just fell in love with the place. We went to the Museum of Modern Art. LOVED it. I don't think we walked around the whole place, but what I saw was incredible. And oh-em-gee. I did really well with eating. I was a bit disappointed though. I entirely forgot that in NY, resturaunts are mandated to post the caloric content of everything. I was all looking forward to not even thinking about calories, and there they were, posted everywhere. :\
It was OK though - it did prevent me from over-estimating what I was eating. I was really proud of myself actually - I ate what I wanted anyways. Even had a strawberry-short cake ice cream bar in Central Park.
The most amazing thing though: I recognized hunger cues. For the first time in I don't know how long. I felt hungry, knew I needed to eat more and I did! Honestly - I had to come home and make a ginormous snack since me and D split a sandwich for dinner (for the record - I could have eaten the whole damn thing plus a dessert, I was starving! But food was expensive and D refused to let me pay, so i suggested we split something since I felt a little guilty)But just the fact that I ate three meals and came home and ate again because I knew I needed to is huuuge. I'm really, really proud of myself for that.

I have been feeling a bit scared lately. I find myself not wanting to care about the calories any more, not really thinking about grams of fat and all that other formerly-obsessive stuff. It just doesn't plague my mind anymore. And while I know that is absolutely wonderful, its a bit frightening to think that the life I used to know is slowly becoming something new. Its weird to think that hey - you ate that sandwich yesterday and that ice cream and didn't even wonder about how many grams of fat or protein were in them. I don't even know how many calories or grams of this or that were in my breakfast this morning, and I don't know what I'm going to have for lunch exactly - I'll be raiding the fridge to see what needs using up.
This is liberation. I have no idea where it came from, and I won't ask. It feels amazing, new and intimidating - but amazing nonetheless. I've heard that this sort of thing happens upon reaching your body's "happy place" - the obsessive and consuming thoughts just start to fall away. I hope that's true. I admit a small part of me fears that this lack of thinking or obsessing about food is the first step towards relapse. But I do keep a general idea of how much I've eaten versus what I know I usually have in a day from when I was planning and I can tell when I haven't eaten enough. I don't think that sounds or feels like anorexia stepping back into my mind. I hope its not. I hope its just me making one more step forward in recovery, and getting one hurdle closer to being free again.

I hope everyone's having a great Friday! Remember, all things are possible as long as you don't let go. I never on my life thought I would have been able to get this far on my own - if at all. I honestly did not expect to see my 20th birthday last fall. And here I am, approaching the 21st. But I have done this, and I've done it for real this time. I've maintained a pretty healthy weight since late April (longest span of time ever for me). I've noticed a lot of girls in blog-land seeming like they are slipping back, or struggling over all. I understand this to a certain extent, but honestly even on my worst days, I still force myself to eat what I need. Even when the ED used to scream in my head that I was getting too big or that I was too close to X pounds - I kept going. That doesn't happen much anymore, but on the rare occasion that it does, I do not let it stop me. You can be damn sure I still eat three meals and 2-3 snacks every day. Because I know in my heart that one day of restriction will lead to another. And I also know now that the events and circumstances of my life should not dictate how I treat and nourish my body. Ultimately - it is YOUR choice whether you eat or not. No one makes you restrict, you choose to let the stress or sadness you feel be manipuluated by anorexia. And yeah, I'm sure you probably think that's easy for me to say given where I am now. But I've struggled a lot, with more than what I have revealed on this blog. I'm not looking for pity on those things - they are part of life. People die. We get disappointed with the way our lives our going. It is part of recovery - learning to deal with life and not take it out on yourself anymore.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Epic Postage.

Hello again all,

I really wanted to thank you guys for all the support and positive reinforcement and encouragement. You have no idea how much it means to me to have so many people who believe that I can overcome this too. I know its treatable, but I admit to being skeptical. I suppose I've been having a hard time lately with the staying positive. Not just with the osteoporosis business, but with my life in general. Its very frustrating as I'm usually not like this. ED hasn't been making an appearance per say, but the past day or two have felt endless.

I'm sure a big chunk of that can attributed to my immense lack of nicotine yesterday. Yep. Yours truly is working down to quitting. I'm not proud of this, but I was smoking about a pack a day. I've halved that amount thus far. I know I feel better physically already, but mentally I am sort of freaking out. I have a history of anxiety and panic. In high school, I would literally leave school after I had my art and english classes for the day (no, I wasn't supposed to) because I couldn't handle being there. Somewhere between then and college, I picked up smoking and the anxiety ceased. It became like a crutch. Feel anxious? Smoke a cigarette, feel better. *sigh* I'm doing OK though. I've taken to keeping only 10 cigs in a pack and smoking each one half way at a time.

Another big feat for moi: I bought JEANS. Three pairs. At the mall.
Jeans that actually FIT.
Huge deal, no? I haven't had a pair of jeans fit me since I was 15. Well, they fit when I came out of inpatient treatment of course, but you know what I mean.
Imagine me, coming out from the dressing room, looking in the mirror. Standing there. Twirling and turning and looking, trying to gauge whether or not the aforementioned jeans fit or not.
An attendant comes up to me. "Hi, how are you? Need any help? Those jeans look fabulous on you. Are you nervous about the wash or the cut? They're a new style but they look really chic."
Victoria responds "Oh no, I love the color. I'm just not sure if they fit."
"Oh? Do you like your jeans tighter usually?"
"What? Oh no. I was nervous they were too small. I haven't really owned a pair of jeans that actually fit me in a while so I'm not sure how they are supposed to look when they fit."
"Oh! No, sweetie. Those fit you perfectly. They look really great. Let me go get you a few other pairs to try on."

I don't think that woman knows what relief and comfort she gave me. I truly was at a loss as to how pants were supposed to fit. Its weird. On some level I *knew* that's what a pair of good-fitting jeans should look when worn, but I couldn't quite believe it until someone else actually said it. So I'm very grateful.
I also ended up having to spend $140 on three pairs of pants.
Oh, I hate being tall. Ok. Don't hate it. But having to spend an extra however many dollars to find longer-lengthed jeans kinda sucks sometimes. I ended up giving my debit card to my mom and asking her to take them to the checkout for me. I knew if I went up and saw how much money I spent on myself, I'd chicken out and still be pants-less. Its something I need to work on, I know.

Oh! The boy brought me flowers yesterday. Red roses. Aww, I know right? It was so cute. He took me into his work to "show me off". Hah. Like three older/elderly men came up to us throughout the day and said to him "You need to treat her good, she's a keeper. As long as you treat her good, she'll take care of you. Hold on to her." Soo funny. Its so weird though. We've literally known each other for two weeks. Yet, I like him so much and feel so good when I'm around him. I suppose its not that strange - but two weeks? I don't think I've ever felt this way around someone I've known for that short an amount of time.
I feel badly because these past few days have been hard for me. So I've really not felt all that comfortable with going out to eat and such and just felt more secure sticking to figuring out for meals at home. At the moment, I feel like I need to do that at least a few times a week until I trust myself a bit more to be able to eat enough everyday without a plan. D wanted me to eat a cookie this afternoon and I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I mean, in my had, I knew it would be OK for me to eat the damn cookie. But I really didn't feel like I wanted it. I wasn't hungry and I don't really care for chocolate chip. Much prefer oatmeal raisin personally but I felt really badly. Like on some level my brain also says "You're so anorexic right now. You would have eaten the cookie if you didn't have an ED." So I never know what to do in those situations. Not hungry. Not really a necessary meal or snack time - do I eat anyways just because its offereed? I really have no clue.
On top of that, I know he worries about me. *sigh* I hate when people worry. It always makes me feel so guilty. I know I don't force them to be concerned and its their choice. But i still tend to think that people shouldn't care about me that much. Years of self-loathing will do that I suppose. I'm getting better. I know that. I wish I could get better with all these things much faster though. Some day I suppose. Some day it will all be a memory.

Anddd since I've been lacking in the photo department lately, here's this morning's breakfast:

Bircher-Muesli, cherry pie style. Made by soaking 1/2 c. oats overnight in 1/4 cup vanilla soy, very thinly sliced banana and a fage 2%. This morning added 1/4 c. dried cherries, handful almonds, and a good scoop of WCW. This was sooo good. Letting the banana slices soak in the oats overnight made it almost-melt into muesli so it got super thick and creamy, and it sweetened up the yogurt just perfectly.

And here's what I drew up for the boy the other day:


Hope everyone is enjoying their week so far. Despite the struggle I've felt the past few days, I know its a good week and that it will only get better. As long as I stick to my guns, all things can become good again. I know its really easy to fall into the trap if despondancy and despair. And sometimes, I admit, I wish I could just go back to it because, yeah, it was a hell of a lot easier than trying to constantly keep on top of myself and push forward no matter what. But in the end, its truly the only choice to chose that's worth it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Mulling it Over.

Last night, I was hysterical. Tears kept coming everytime the word or thought entered my mind, no matter how hard I tried to stop it.
For a minute, I felt like giving up. Like all this past year had accomplished nothing. My eating disorder suddenly felt like something I could never truly be rid of - it left its mark on my body now, permanently and irreversibly. It has now taken more from me than ever before, more and more things that I can never get back. It shattered me honestly, hearing that news last night. I felt like saying "What is the point of all of this then? I will never escape anorexia. I give up."
Then rationality started coming back to me.
About ten months ago I had stress fractures in my feet from obsessive running. It took about a solid month for me to be able to even walk without pain. A month or so after the pain went away, I aggravated those fractures by walking around the house too much. That time, it took two weeks for the pain to go away.
I can run 3 miles at the gym now - pain free, no fracturing, nothing.
Obviously, whatever is wrong with me IS getting better. My bones have gotten stronger than they were a year ago. Sure, they aren't perfect. But they are in the process of getting better. The osteoporosis is probably only in my hip region. It is treatable, and given my age, possibly almost reversisble.

I didn't give up. I ate a full dinner with a dessert, and a snack before bed just as always. Anorexia has given me its consequences. I will not faulter and I will not be distracted by this upset.
My life can and will still belong to me.

I'm getting an appointment on Monday with a bone specialist so I can get started on some sort of treatment to help restore my bones faster.

"Fear not for consequences, fear not at all. My focus shall not fail, I shall not fall and nor shall I despair." - All That Remains

Friday, July 17, 2009

*Drum Roll*

So! I did my little drawing of winners this morning. I couldn't figure out a more precise way to to do it, so I wrote everyone's names on scrap paper and put 'em in my trusty knit hat, shook 'em around. I'm not sure if there was a more technical procedure to use for that sort of thing? Probably so. But scrap paper does me just fine, as long as you all don't mind.

Winners:
Mitri
Laura
Coco

So, y'all can hit me up at cloudyskies3443@yahoo.com to let me know where I should be sending goodies. And I will write back to let you know when you should be expecting them.

Happy Friday!



Edited: I hate to steal the thunder for these beautiful girls. I recieved a phone call this evening. Remeber my DEXA scan back in June? They finally called me with the test results.
I have osteoporosis. I am turning 21 in October. And I am an old woman already.
I'm trying so hard not to cry anymore over this. It's only in a few bones and it will most likely be reversible given my age and the probability that my bones were actually worse than they are now and are in the process of improving densisty wise.
This is my nightmare. I'd rather have any other health problem - give me anemia, my arrythmic heart - any of those I can accept. But this. This is heart breaking.
I hope I can fix it. I hope so badly. But now, I'm not sure my hope will ever be enough.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Slippage.

Wow! Alright I was NOT expecting that many resposes to the last post haha. I will be doing my raffle draw tomorrow though and will update with the winners.

I'm sorry for not posting in the past few days, a lot has been going on. I've spent nearly entire days with D. Yours truly not only tried on her old bikini but wore it. Twice. In public. I have not worn aforementioned bikini since 2006. Soo much fun though. I met some of D's friends, we went to a swimming hole out in the woods. That was a blast. The water was absolutely freezing but jumping in felt soo good. Totally loved that. I did slip on a rock and bashed my knee pretty good, but it's alright now. I have also had to eat out a lot. And I fear my calories may have slipped because of it. Despite the boy's assurance that hey - its pretty cool that I'm a girl who can eat - I do have a tendency to feel a wee bit self conscious. There have been several nights this week that ended with me coming home around midnight and raiding the fridge for Ben and Jerrys and almonds. I've eaten a lot of "fear foods" too (Kraft Mac n Cheese, and diner milkshakes anyone?), and even eat some things that I didn't even count towards my daily calories (like the gummi bears I ate on the car ride up to the woods) I am immensely proud of myself for that. My fear is that because I have eaten out so many times, and I do still sort of tend to over-estimate on my calories when I'm not 100% sure, that I may have been shorting myself by 100-200 calories the past few days.
Today though. I am taking today, and the next few days to myself to get myself back on track. Its a little scary bringing the calories back up after several days being short. Even though its really not much at all, I am a bit paranoid that the 2-3 days of not eating quite enough totally shot my metabolism. (yeah right, I know.) But I know this is what I need to do for myself to prevent another relapse. D has told me repeatedly that its ok for me to eat around him. Well, I know that but knowing that I probably eat more than he does in a day kind of frightens me a little, even if what I'm eating each day is probably only going to be enough for me to maintain lately and I'll probably need to boost up to 3600+ to gain even another pound or two. :sigh: I know everyone wishes they had my metabolism but it is really hard to eat SO much at times. But I need to do what I need to do. I keep telling myself that and it seems to be helping.
Mega embarrassment yesterday though. D wanted to meet my mom. OK. So I brought him in. We're in the door for like five minutes maybe before my mom started interrogating me about what I ate. In front of the boy.
I was pissed. I understand that she is concerned. But really. In front of someone like that? I wanted to die. D knows I'm recovering from anorexia. But he has no idea how bad I used to be, mentally or physically. I haven't told him much about it - not about how I used to lie about going out to eat, or how I used to hate myself so much that I didn't feel I deserved to eat. I didn't even think I deserved to be seen at one point. I don't know if I want him to know that part of me. I am very afraid of those parts of me at the moment, terrified of it coming back full swing. I know that fear will help me stay on track. But its still very tough to cope with. At times I wish I could run away and live my life as if I was never anorexic. I know that's impossible but I keep wanting to forget. At the same time I force myself to remember how much pain and suffering I inflicted upon myself so I will make sure I keep eating enough and don't slip back. A few days cannot, and will not, break me. Not this time.

Oh. By the way, I'm officially someone's girlfriend now. How's that for something new and exciting, yes?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Leaps and Bounds and Beads.

Aww, I love you guys so much! Seriously - I've never had any friends be as good to me as you all are. <3 I cannot say thank you enough. I am really glad that I have this blog - you've all helped me SO much. I don't know that I would have ever made this much progress on my own.
Speaking of progress. I decided something big today. Something huge.
I know a week or two I decided to stop counting grams of fat/protein/etc. But I was still planning out meals, still counting the calories.
As of this morning, I am a FREE woman. No more counting. Paying attention? Yes. but counting down to the nanogram - no. I know in my heart that I know what I need to eat to maintain my weight. I know what I need to gain. I am going to trust myself. How did I come to this decision? Because I have wanted to do this for a really long time. I knew no one else was going to give me the permission to go without micromanaging my diet - my family will probably always see me as their anorexic daughter. So it hit me the other night that if I want my freedom, I need to take it for myself. No one else will grant it to me, no one will hand it to me on a silver platter and say "Here, you can have this now. Its safe." No. I have to try for it and have faith in myself - even if there isn't anyone else around me who does. I can do this. I know I can.

And Victoria's first free breakfast was something she hadn't had in quite some time:

Bircher Muesli! Made by soaking 1/2 cup oats in 1/4 cup each soymilk and Fage 2%. This morning, I added the rest of the Fage, thinly sliced 'nana, chopped dried figs, a handful of almonds and a scoop of WCW. This was sooo good. I've never made bircher-muesli soaked in both milk and yogurt overnight - it definitely was much creamier this morning. I think perhaps the active cultures in the yogurt help the oats soften up?

Now, I know y'all want to hear about the second date. We went ice skating. I live in New England and I have NEVER gone ice skating before. Isn't that fantastic! I was terrified I was going to fall. But I didn't, not once.Not even when a little five year old boy clung onto my leg for about half a lap around the rink (which while adorable was slightly unnerving) And I think I fell in love with skating haha. It was soo much fun. And yes - I still really like the boy. He's quite wonderful. I don't think he quite realizes how much I have stepped outside of my "comfort zone" just in the past week or so alone. I mean really - I have had cups of ice cream with fudge and nuts several nights now since we were out and I needed a boost to make my calories for a day. Never would have done that before. I feel like anorexia is not in my head anymore. It may be that I've felt that way for a while now actually, but it took the change of routine and stepping outside of my familiars to see it. Also something HUGE happened. Third date is today. Going to the beach.
To go swimming.
Yours truly has not been in a bathing suit since 2006. :gulps: I tried on my bathing suit from all those years ago. And much to ED's dismay - it still fits perfectly and I look pretty damn good - if I may say so myself ^.^ Certainly much better than the last time I wore it when I was 17. Sooo stepping outside of the box there too. Woo-hoo!
I feel so incredibly good about everything. I read through my old journals now and it literally stupifies me - how much hate I had for myself, and how much suffering and punishment I inflicted upon myself because I believed in my heart and mind that I deserved it all. I cannot imagine going back to that life of self-persecution and torment, or having all those horrible hateful thoughts and conflicting feelings. It honestly seems like a whole different world to me now. I imagine that is a good thing. I can recall it and remember it quite vividly, but I do not forsee myself going back there. And that in and of itself feels freeing.

P.S. I will be raffling off 3 necklaces in honor of all you beautiful and incredible people. So! If you want one - leave a comment and include your favorite color (cuz you know, I need to know what will be best to send to whom) and at the end of the week, I'll pick winners. There *may* be a few other surprises tucked into the packages as well.

Have a wonderful Monday everyone!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday.

Okay! I cannot put into words how much I love everyone right now! You guys are soo sweet - every single one of your words put the biggest smile on my face. You girls are too sweet and absoultely wonderful. Seriously - I appreciate so much. I don't really have any girl friends to gab with. So you all get to be victim to my boy-ramblings ^.^ I am reeallly nervous about the whole second date thing (tonight btw!) I haven't had a real relationship with a guy in...a long time. Sooo I'm not really sure how it all works but I guess I'll figure it out as I go along haha. Hopefully anyways.

And since some of you had asked, here's what I wore, first date:

Cobalt blue ruffled and banded bottom top. Also a dark khaki skirt that you can't really see...and one of my hand made necklaces.


So! I haven't posted up any eats in what? Two days now? Right. Well here's a few fabulous breakfasts I've concocted in the past few days:

Ginormous bowl of shredded wheat in Vanilla Chai with raisins, banana, dozen or so almonds and liberal spoonage of PB. Nuked all up in the microwave and smushed. Best way to have shreddies in my opinon. Well, that or with Greek yogurt.



And infamous Brownie Battered Oats. 1/3 cup Multigrain cereal cooked 1 cup chocolate soymilk, 1 large sliced banana mashed and melted in topped with WCW. My peanut butter sunk into the oats, making a big pit in the middle of the bowl :(. Vaguely like a volcano, no? On the side there you can sort of see my big blob of cottage cheese and dried cherries, and my fancy schmancy mug of cinnamon bun coffee. As a note - if one is without chocolate soymilk - 1-2 TBS of cocoa powder with a bit of brown sugar + one cup milk of choice will also yield a lovely chocolately bowl as well.

I hope everyone is having a great Friday and taking some time to enjoy themselves. I think something I have finally learned is that before I actually can really love myself as a person - I need to treat myself with love and learn what it means. You don't just wake up in the morning feeling great about yourself and like everything is perfect and peaches. I mean, we all have our good days, but you know what I mean. The negative self image, the harsh and critical thoughts, the disreguard for our own needs - those things take time to work through. But something I think that has helped me tremendously is learning to take time, not even every day but at least a few times a week, to do something that I enjoy and that makes me happy, or something that makes me feel good about myself. And it truly has helped me a lot. I mean - I'm not where I should be in terms of self-appreciation and what not, but I can at least allow myself to enjoy little things (and some big things!) in life without feeling guilty because I "didn't deserve it." I've noticed a lot lately that many of my ED thoughts and feelings are gone. Entirely. I almost never feel the urge to restrict when I'm upset. I don't feel guilt or anxiety about eating. Honestly - now that I've gotten the "real resturant" bit under my belt, I do not expect any more issues with eating out again outside of my indecisiveness. And I believe that all this change started with something so small and simple - doing something nice for myself. It gave me the ability to understand why enjoyment was necessary in life, no matter where or what it came from. Feeling good or happy and doing something nice for yourself, even if its just for an hour, probably is the gateway into self-acceptance and learning to love you for you.

So, what do you guys do that you enjoy? Or feel is something nice that you do for yourself?
Something I do to keep occupied and also enjoy is making necklaces and such. I've been making a lot lately actually. I was thinking about "raffling" off one or two as a give away if people were interested. Any thoughts?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Recap of The Date.

Oh my gosh.
I really like him. A lot. We have so much in common - its kind of weird. Like we know a lot of the same people - one of my best friend's friends has been dating his best friend for years. I went to middle school with his best friend, and due to alphabetical order we were perpetually assigned as partners together on projects. We like a lot of same music. He has an appreciation for art (yay!), and likes photography. He likes being outside just as much I do - trekking through the woods or strolling down at the beach. Soo weird. I guess not weird - just kinda one of those things. Look what an awesome and cool person I meet when I'm not even expecting it, right? I got a bit nervous trying to figure out what to order myself to eat and he was really patient about it - didn't get annoyed or anything. He kept telling me it was OK and that I didn't have to worry about it. Made me feel a lot better about the whole situation. And I'm really proud of myself haha. I took a page from Jaime and ordered grilled shrimp with brown rice, broccoli, pico de gallo and pineapple salsa. Wooo. I had long since forgotten how much I loved spicy food. It was cute - D kept asking me if I was doing okay with the anxiety thing and making sure I wasn't freaking out inside. I really was fine though - once I got the decision making part over with. I really appreciated the concern though, and it did make me feel a bit more comfortable, knowing that he wasn't annoyed or totally irritated by my apparently obvious initial nervousness. (I tried so hard to supress it! Apparently I'm fidgety and kept moving around in my seat without realizing it.) But since I knew I didn't really get enough calories with dinner - I was perfectly fine with having ice cream after dinner. Yay! I am SO happy. I feel so normal. I mean - I admit to trying to figure out in my head how many calories I was eating, and how much more I needed to go to make my quota for the day. I was a bit nervous about not eating enough- girl lost weight this week and had to increase :\ - BUT fortunately for me the fact that I'm a girl who can eat is a good quality haha. Very encouraging for yours truly.

So. I really like him a lot. Yep. We strolled around for awhile, played on the playground and people-watched and talked. He's in college, has a job, and can drive. OK three things I've never seen in a guy all at once so I'm rather impressed. He's my age. Woo! Apparently he thought I was like 17 initially, so me being his age was a bit of a relief. To be honest - I was afraid he was going to be younger than me too, since I always get hit on by guys that are still in high school. But yeah...I had a really great time with him and I'm really glad I went out with him.

And for the ultimate "Aww", I awoke this morning to find a message on my phone from him - saying he had a great time and he'd like to see me again.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

::enter happy::

Sooo I cannot thank you all enough for all the positive and encouraging feedback on my last post! I admit, I am a bit nervous about going out to dinner. I'm going to eat as normally as possible though, and I will be reminding myself the entire time that my meal needs to be 700 calories minimum anyways, so I should enjoy the fact that I can basically eat whatever the heck I want. I am really excited and will definitely give you all a full update on that Thursday. Hugs all around to everyone!

I forgot to take a picture of brekkie this morning. But I am sooo proud of myself. I was torn between having brownie batter oats and shredded wheat. OK. Not torn. Victoria wanted brownie batter oats, but ED kept insisting shredded wheat would be better for me to have.
I wanted brownie batter oats and that was what I made. First time ever deciding exactly what I wanted right then in the morning. I have been planning at least a day in advance for a long time now - though in the past week or so I have been experimenting more and more with choosing what I want on a given day. But I was still following meal plans that I had already written out in days prior.
Today was without plan. Entirely. I had oat bran cooked in chocolate soymilk with mashed banana and 2TBS White Chocolate Wonderful. And coffee with cream. And cottage cheese with raisins.
For lunch I had figured on having a ricotta and sundried tomato wrap because that was what I had last time I had brownie batter oats. But I really wanted hummus and cheese. So I had that for lunch instead because it was what I wanted, and I knew the calories would be pretty much the same as long as I added the proper accoutrements.

I feel unbelievably proud of myself. For the first time in I don't know how man years - I can actually thinkg of what I want to eat. I honestly cannot remember the last time I ever had a feeling of what I wanted to eat versus what anorexia said was OK. This is truly liberating.

Now, I do have one slight dilemma. There is a girl I was inpatient with last winter and spring. She keeps emailing me. She is struggling a lot with the weight she gained (she had to go back to IP again this past fall) and she is insistant on losing some of it. She keeps sending me emails and I get the feeling she is trying to get me to relapse. It is really, really frustrating. Some of the things she has said to me are really upsetting - like "Me and A from Cornell were talking about it. You looked good thin. It works on you." or some odd quote from Marya Hornbacher's book. I keep telling myself that she meant I looked good when I left - because when I left IP, she said to me that it wasn't fair how I gained the same amount of weight she did and yet I looked so much "better" than her. I hate the comparitive nature of ED's by the way. But it was still really hurtful to have that idea of her (or anyone) possibly telling me that I looked fine when I was dying. I was fucking killing myself. And I hate that people think it was glamorous or beautiful. I mean honestly. Anorexia is perhaps the most cruel and grotesque of mental illnesses and to have this girl essentially idolizing me from when I was at one of my worst points is just....ahhh! I want to shake her and say "What is wrong with you? Why are you doing this to me?" She KNOWS I reached an even lower point than when she met me, and she KNOWS I have fought like hell to get my health back. And then she tells me that she is happy that I am doing better. And sends me emails entitled "losing weight is a labor of love" - never opened that one. I don't know how to get her to stop though. I want desperately to be able to help her. But she is about seven years older than myself - I cannot help her if she won't help herself. I know its toxic to me, and my ability to sustain recovery, if I keep getting messages like that from this girl. But I feel horribly guilty if I tell her I don't want her talking to me anymore. She doesn't have many friends and she is kind of lonely. And I was that girl for a long time so I have softspot for that. I guess I keep hoping that if she hears about how much better life can be without an ED ruling it, she will want to let it go.

I have no idea what I should do.

I think for now...I am not going to worry about and think of all the other happy things instead. Like that the sun came back out just now, full force. Hooray! The rain is gone.

Wow. OK So I've got my music on shuffle. This is what just came on:

"Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
I can't help but ask my self how much I let the fear take the wheel and steer.
Its driven me before, and it seems to have a vaguely haunting mass appeal. But lately, I'm beginning to find when I'm in drive, my light is found.
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there.
With open arms and open eyes, yea.
Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there. I'll be there."- Incubus

I used to listen to this song EVERY day. Multiple times. I haven't heard it in ages but it felt appropriate to be shared for some reason.
I think its beautiful to be able to think of a tomorrow again - and think of it with fondness and a feeling of knowing whatever comes, it will be survived.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Good things.

Oh my gosh!
I am SO happy right now - can't even put into words.
Yesterday, I hung out with my friend Liza. She's actually my older brother's friend from high school so she's 29. She has recovered from anorexia herself, so that's how we became friends. My brother told her about how I was struggling so much all those months ago, and she offered to take me out for coffee and such around my birthday - to help me see that it was truly possible to have a life after anorexia. She's married, has a job and is going to school to become a psychologist.
Anyways! I hadn't seen her in a few months and yesterday she dropped by and wanted to take me out to Starbucks for coffee. I really didn't feel like getting anything though as I'd just eaten lunch. So, we were sitting outside on the patio. A girl comes out of the Bucks and says to me "Excuse me, this is going to sound really weird - but the guy inside with the glasses thinks you're really cute. If you could go inside and talk to him, it would totally make his life. If not, this conversation never happened."
So, I went inside. Ordered a drink and tried talking to the kid.
Apparently he is very shy and the few words I managed to get out of him were barely audible.
So, I go back outside like "Why is it that guys always get so super shy around me?"
Liza says to me "You know what, I'll go inside and get his number. Maybe he won't be as nervous talking to me."
So Liza goes back inside and I'm sitting there like "Is she really going to do that?"
Another guy comes out. I'll call him Tim for the sake of making the story easier to tell. So Tim says to me "Did your friend just go inside?"
"Yep."
"Oh well she's asking the guy behind the register for his number for you."
"Really? Fun stuff, I didn't think she was serious."
"You know, I do that all the time to my friends. I have no shame and I'll go right up to a girl and ask for her number for them. They get so mad at me. It must be different for girls I guess? You seem pretty cool with it."
"Hah yeah...well I'm outside, he's inside. He won't know if I turn 10 shades of red."
"Ah well, he's a real good guy, you should give him a chance."
"Yeah? Okay, I think I will."
Then Liza comes back outside. Number in hand.
Tim goes back inside and I'm fairly certain he was talking to boy behind the counter with the glasses about me.

Annnnd I called him last night.
We're going out on Wednesday night - to the beach and out for dinner.
Holy shit.
I think I like being healthy.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Independence Day.

Ironically, the days leading up to the infamous Fourth have been anything but independent. I hate to be the downer, but I haven't been feeling like myself lately - thus my lack in posting.
I've spent a lot of time thinking about the way things used to be. Reading through my old journal and seeing the occasional photo of myself from when I was sick. It frightens me how bad I looked. I had taken pictures before I went inpatient in 2008, of when I came home and when I ultimately relapsed. In 2006, when I was at Pratt and I realized I'd lost weight - I took those same kind of photos. I sent them to my mom, asking her if I was OK. She called me within the hour, in tears, begging me to talk to the administration and see about getting myself help. Turns out I didn't even have to. My suitemates had already spoken to the RA, and he talked to them first. This quest to be free from my eating disorder has been a really long one. And it's had many, many set backs. I think about it sometimes and wonder what I did wrong, what I could have done better to not have relapsed so many times. Maybe I just wasn't ready those other times. Maybe I just didn't have the ability to take that leap of faith, or the confidence in myself. I don't know. People often ask me how I got myself to recover on my own, from the shell of life that I had come to know. I don't think there really is a "how". Only a "why". I did it for my family, because I knew I couldn't make my parents bury me at 19. I told myself that I had to get better, repeatedly day in and day out. I have an obsessive-compulsive personality, and once I get it into my head that I am going to do something - I damn well do it and I do it well. It's a bit of a dangerous mindset to have, and I'm quite sure that's why each relapse was always worse than the one before. Its one of the things I need to work on therapy - allowing myself room to breathe.
Anyways. I think that even if who I was, and where I was last year frightens me, its good to look back. It keeps me in check and it reminds me that I need to stay strong as I possibly can right now. Because there have been so many time when I thought I was better, and I truly wasn't. When I went to community college in September 2007, I was up to a fairly decent weight after the '06 slip-back. Thought I'd do perfectly fine at school. :sigh: So many times I thought I would be okay, that I was free from my ED. Apparently, I wasn't.


When I came home in April 2008 (if you look *really* good - I still have the hospital bracelet on my wrist lol - certain friends of mine were incredibly anxious to see healthy me). After seeing this picture, a great deal of my friends and family have asked me why in hell I relapsed again because I "looked so great." I wish I had the answer to that question, but I still don't know. I don't think I ever will.

About six weeks later, I dropped to my all-time low. This was actually taken after the first five pounds gained back.
I never realized how bad I got. How quickly I could slip. When I came home from inpatient last year, I thought I was going to be free, that I'd never have to look back. Its funny how that happens - always when you think you're safe. I remember how incredibly proud of myself I was - gaining that first five pounds. I thought it was the biggest deal in the world. My mom looked at me that morning and was just like "Five pounds is a drop in the bucket for you right now." I didn't appreciate it at the time, I got very upset. But looking back now, I can see why she said that. It's really frustrating and frightening for me to look back at that time. When I came home from inpatient last spring, I honestly believed it was going to be the last time I ever put myself through it again. I thought I was going to be okay, that I would be able to hold on. It frightens me to think back at that because, well....it didn't hold true. And because of that, I question myself now. It's a huge part of why I still count calories, even though it drives me NUTS. I have a very, very hard time trusting myself and I wish that I could feel more secure in my ability to nourish myself appropriately on a day-to-day basis. But the history I have...I've never maintained a weight above X pounds for more than maybe two, three weeks before. So I guess its a good thing in a way, for now. I really, really hope one of these days I feel secure enough in myself that I can just eat, without needing to measure to make sure my portions are big enough, or counting calories to make sure what I want to eat is sufficient. I suppose that no longer counting how many grams of protein/fat/carbohydrate I'm getting in each meal or snack is a big step foward in and of itself. It's been quite freeing to be able to just sit down and say to myself "Breakfast has to be 800 calories and this is what I want."

And today, what I wanted was a bowl of this goodness:

Kashi Autumn Wheat with vanilla chai, sliced banana, dried cherries and two tablespoons of Simply Jif natural peanut butter. Nuked it up in the microwave since it was a bit chilly in the house this morning. I wonder if my need to heat almost everything up is an ED thing? Hm. Oh well. Also had a glorious cup of fresh coffee with Cinnamon Bun coffee creamer. looove that stuff. For real, if you haven't tried it - you should.

Please don't take this post the wrong way. I am not sliding back, or reminescing the "old" days. I just think its important to remember what we've grown from. I think its important, at least for me, to realize that no matter how much better we think we are sometimes, no matter how much we tell ourselves that we don't have to worry about relapse - that possibility is always there. And I know for a fact, the longer one has had anorexia, the easier it is to slip back without even meaning to. In my mind, freedom from anorexia no longer means not caring about the calories I eat or how much I weigh because I have learned that when I do not care, that is when the eating disorder seems to step back in. Maybe it won't be like that forever, but I think that for a long time, freedom from ED means that you are able to eat and maintain a healthy weight without guilt, and it means caring enough about yourself to keep it that way.