Monday, May 31, 2010

Last Week's Inspiring Posts

  • It sounds like Charlie over at Diary of a Mad Overeater 2.0 is doing the same work as I am on Step One. I can totally relate to his very awesome, inspiring post "Step One Question One."
  • Check out a post called "Independence" from the blog Does Every Woman Have an Eating Disorder. I thought this was interesting - something I had never though about before:
"I went to an eating disorders/body image lecture a couple of weeks ago and the presenters noted that with each advancement in the women's movement, there has been an consequent increase in eating disorders."
  • I love this little poem that Miss Molly from The Happy Loser reminded me of.
  • I thought it was so funny that I came across a posting from Make Friends with Food called "Hate to Eat Alone? Or Love it?" because I just had a discussion about this in my group therapy session last week. I was telling everyone that I admire people who eat alone in restaurants. I have a weird stigma about eating alone and often avoid doing this in public, but then have horrible bingeing habits when eating alone in private. Let me know if you can relate!
Happy reading!

Self-Soothing Techniques

Last week, in group, we talked about self-soothing techniques. I had a bad night tonight after I got back on Facebook (bad idea) and should have used some of these (although I didn’t)...

Self-soothing has to do with comforting, nurturing, and being kind to yourself, and can prevent you from “acting out.” One way to think of this is to think of ways of soothing each of your five senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch.

Self-Soothing Ideas

  • Light candles or incense (for vision and smell)
  • Look at artwork
  • Clean my room
  • Go for a drive or a walk
  • Watch TV
  • Read
  • Buy/look at flowers
  • Call a friend
  • Listen to music
  • Listen to a book on tape
  • Drink hot tea (smell and taste)
  • Drink cold water with ice
  • Chew gum
  • Make art
  • Take a bath or shower
  • Take a nap
  • Organize something
  • Play with marbles
  • Pet animals
What self-soothing techniques do you use to help you from bingeing or acting out?

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Midnight Anxiety

I feel sad. I was supposed to be in a wedding today and didn't even go. I went to another friends shower and felt like an outcast even though I'm supposed to be in the wedding party.. I have no idea what I am going to do about that wedding... I'm so anxious. I can't even be in public. How am I going to be IN a wedding. I feel so much pressure. Everyone is geting engaged and I haven't even had a serious boyfried. I am starving but it's midnight so it's too late to go anywhere. Well, I guess not starving just anxious... I am debating about just going to a 24 hour cvs to pick up some food... Is that weird? I want to just go to my parents house but I know they are sleeping. I have no friends to call and don't know how to calm down. I hate this. I hate myself.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Facebook Free

I deleted my facebook account. I feel free.

I am tired of wasting time comparing my life to everyone else's through facebook. I am tired of looking at facebook pictures and feeling inadequate and ugly. I AM DONE!

(ps- this decision scares me. Is this bad for my non existent social life? I am trying to move that part of this decision to the back if my head. I am doing this for my self esteem!)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Step One Assignment

Today, I presented my Step One assignment to the group. I am posting it here so that you can get to know me a little better.

Here is the assignment:

Step One: “We admitted we were powerless over our eating disorder - that our lives has become unmanageable.”

This step and any exercises that accompany it are more about admitting where we stand than about pushing forward. What sacrifices in life (happiness, health, and relationships) have you made, in order to protect your eating disorder and carry out the behaviors? The following questions are meant to help you realize what the eating disorder has taken from you and what has become of your life as a result. Your answers will help you clarify those strange terms “powerlessness” and “unmanageability.”
1. Make a list of food memories from an early age until now. This can go in order, or just be random. Its amazing how many memories you will find once you write down the obvious ones. So often we are tempted to overdo; see how much you can write down in half an hour or even twenty minutes. 
  • I remember eating from the giant family-sized box of gold fish after school (in middle school), sad that I wasn’t in the popular group and “nobody liked me.”
  • I remember restricting food when I was studying abroad because my medications made me feel full. It felt powerful to have control and be thin.
  • I remember when my dad used to take me and my friends to Taco Bell late on Saturday nights when I was about 10 years old.
  • I remember drinking bottles and bottles of very bitter cranberry juice to loose weight.
  • I remember dieting all throughout high school and college, feeling defeated every time I broke the diets.
  • I remember sneaking off to Subway in high school to get chocolate chip cookies and stuffing them in my mouth before I got home and anyone could see.
  • I remember my mom and grandma always writing in food journals and counting calories and points.
  • I remember my grandma would say “tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life” when I would break a diet and need to start over.
  • I remember not eating in public and then going home after to eat everything in sight.
  • I remember bringing a turkey sandwich to school every day for years because it was healthy.
  • I remember when I was 14 or 15 that the server at McDonald’s asked me if I was pregnant. This happened two times after that incident. I will never forget how it made me feel.
  • I remember stealing food from my roommates cabinets and then denying that I did it.
  • I remember bingeing on so much Chinese food that I couldn’t stop throwing up. Then, I had to clean the puke out of my shower... gross.
  • I remember visiting a friend in Montreal and having a group on random strangers taunt me on the street, call me a “fat fuck," and ask my skinny friend why she was with me.
  • I remember requesting a special fridge and bringing 5 days of Jenny Craig meals with me to the Bahamas. I broke the diet on the first day and then felt guilty the whole trip.
  • I remember declining plans to stay at home and binge.
2. List foods you have binged on in the past and foods you have restricted. Again, don’t spend too much time on this.

Chick-fil-A, kolaches, bagels, cereal, goldfish, cookies, Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, milkshakes, chocolate, sandwhiches, tortillas and cheese, chips, crackers, pizza, Chinese food, cake, bread and butter, breadsticks

3. Have you promised yourself or others in the past that you would stop using your eating disorder? Did you try to stop acting in eating disordered ways and fail? Have you tried to reduce your eating disordered behavior and failed?

I have tried to reduce my bingeing countless times (for many years) by recording what I eat, counting points and calories, etc... and I have failed every time because I am embarrassed to write down what I binge on and see it in writing (even if it just for myself). Dieting and eating healthy only makes things worse. I notice that I binge less when I eat what I want and it is MY idea (when nobody is forcing me to do it, so it doesn’t feel like a diet).

4. Have you continued to use your eating disorder even though it has produced negative consequences in your life?

Yes, I have continued to binge even though it has caused me to gain a significant amount of weight. This has had horrible consequences in my life. I am too embarrassed by my body to have an intimate relationship or even be social. I don’t go to bars, parties, or anything where there are crowds. I only go to work and out to dinner. I had to back out of being in A’s wedding, I can’t wear any of my cute designer clothes, and I have had to buy an entire new wardrobe. I don’t wear anything without sleeves and avoid being outside where it is uncomfortable (because of my weight). I haven’t blown dry my hair in months. I don’t keep in touch with many friends from college because I don’t want them to see what I’ve become. I avoid being in pictured because I don’t want a record of how I look. I feel like I am only happy when I am sleeping. I can’t move to a new city, apply for new jobs, or go to grad school. I truly believe that I won’t ever get married or have kids because nobody will love me like this.

5. Have you ever done anything you would have stopped yourself from doing if you could have? If so, what specifically did you do? Do you ever do any of this habitually, or in a pattern of any sort?
If I could have, I would have stopped myself from gaining all of this weight back. I would have moved to a brand new city after college if I weren’t so scared. I wish I could have stopped myself from dieting and told myself to enjoy life. I would have stopped myself from standing down to my parents and listened more to my own thoughts and opinions.

6. Make a list of all of the things you missed and are missing because of your eating disorder or all the things you lost in life because of it.
  • I wasted my teenage years and half of my twenties dieting and counting calories. Aren’t these supposed to be the best years of my life?
  • I have lost hours and hours (and days) bingeing, just to feel horrible after
  • I have lost the ability to put myself out there to meet guys
  • I miss having a social life
  • I have lost countless friendships
  • I have missed life events (like A’s wedding)
  • I miss having fun and feeling free and uninhibited
  • I miss being happy and smiling
  • I miss going where I want to go regardless of who else is there
  • I miss feeling confident
  • I miss being able to walk up a flight of stairs without feeling winded
  • I have lost size 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 16, and gained almost 100 pounds since my thinnest weight.
  • I miss feeling like I have a future
  • I miss feeling like I can be in control around food
  • I miss feeling like I haven't completely ruined my life
  • I miss the person I used to be
Congratulations. You have, in essence, just taken Step One. Please don’t delay. Move on to Step Two. Step Two holds the ticket to freedom and a new life. Even if you don’t think you can do Step Two yet, get started. Even if you are not entirely sure you have done a perfect job at Step One, you will be probably working these steps again; the steps are such a useful process for understanding and solving problems that they are likely to become part of your daily life skills. Put Step One down now, and go on to Step Two.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Treatment Plan

I woke up this morning feeling a lot better because all of the good things I did for myself yesterday. I went to group, did something social (dinner), went to borders to work on my homework for the program, and ofcourse made my super awesome list of things to do before bed. Yay :)

At lunch today, I had an appointment with Amy, the program counselor. She is really awesome and I feel like I can really relate to her. We went over all of the good things I did yesterday and then talked about my individual treatment plan. One of the main goals  of my plan is not to spend the night at my parents house during the 10 week program. That really scared me. I don’t know how I am going to stick to that. I really want to do this, but in he moment, when I am miserable and upset, all rationality is thrown out the window and I only think with my emotion mind. I need to learn to stay with my feelings and not run to my mom or soothing.

The other parts of my individual treatment plan include seeing a dietitian on a weekly basis, following a food plan, going to 3-4 support groups per week (OA or EDA), getting an OA sponsor and working the 12 steps, making a structured plan for each weekend, journaling (or blogging) daily, reading Mindful Eating by Jan Chozen Bays, and completing three assignments for the program.

Anyway, some things I could have done better today were: 1. I had some negative body image thoughts when I saw my reflection in the window. I did not do a good job of ignoring those thoughts and 2. I did not go to the EDA meeting that I was supposed to go to tonight. I wish now I had gone.

Some good things I did today
  • I went to my session with Amy which made me feel good
  • I went to work!
  • I went to dinner with my roommate and then spend some time with her after
  • I cleaned my room and picked up all of the clothes off of my floor
  • I am writing in this blog now
  • I talked to two out-of-town friends on the phone
  • I called my grandma
  • I kept my food journal today
  • Even though I am hungry, I am staying out of the kitchen b/c its late

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Ten Things To Do Before Bed

Today was a good day, but it didn’t start out that way.

I woke up and didn’t want to go to work (again). I slowly and reluctantly got up anyway because I knew I had a lot of work waiting for me. I got in the car and became hysterical. First, I left my phone on the bed and had to go back in and get it. Second, it was so humid and gross outside. I panicked thinking about how I have no summer clothes and I am going to be miserable all summer. Even the traffic made me angry and anxious. I felt like I was almost hyperventilating.

When I got to work and got into the swing of things, everything was fine and I calmed down. It is a good thing I stopped the adderall today. I think it was making me anxious and panicked.

Anyway, enough about that. I feel better so I am not going to dwell on this morning.

Today I went to my third group therapy session for the ED program. It was great and I left feeling really good, like I have a lot of support there. Then, I went to dinner with L and went to Borders to work on the Step One Assignment for the program (which I will post when I finish it on Thursday). The best part of my day though was coming up with the idea to make the following list. I got the idea because I was nervous that I would come back to my apartment and feel lonely and bored. 

Ten things I am going to do tonight before I go to sleep:
  1. Water the plants
  2. Put away laundry
  3. Find receipts for insurance
  4. Take a shower
  5. Brush my teet
  6. Update my Netflix queue
  7. Call R
  8. Clean kitchen sink and put dishes in dishwasher
  9. Write in blog
  10. Read chapter 2 of Mindful Eating by Jon Kabat-Zinn (for the ED program)- I plan to do this after I finish this post
Crossing items off of this list felt really good. I know some of the things seem ridiculous  and ordinary (like brushing my teeth), but sometimes when I feel really low and depressed, I neglect my health and taking care of myself.

So, yay for me and my super cool list. 

Did any of you do anything uplifting today?

Monday, May 24, 2010

My Favorite Posts From Last Week

Since the creation of this blog, I have started to follow a good number of blogs in the health/weight loss/mindful eating blogosphere. I thought I would share with you some of my favorite posts from last week because I enjoyed them enough to "star" them as favorites on my trusty iphone:

1. I loved this post from Tiffany at Weightlessly, who decided to bravely forgo anonymity and introduce herself to the world. Awesome.

2. Carrie at ED Bites wrote a post that really made me think. When I buy food, I always wonder what the people behind the counter are thinking. Carrie showed us what it is like to be on the other side of the counter:
It's just food.
That's all.
You don't have to feel guilty
or ashamed
for eating food you like.
There's nothing wrong.
I'm not judging you.
It's just dessert.
Enjoy it.
And then move on.
 3. The post Are Our Brains Hardwired to Hate our Bodies was pretty interesting.
“Women are actually engaging in an evaluation of who they are and whether they are worthwhile as a person,” Allen said. “Even though women might claim to be well adjusted and not care about body issues, subconsciously they might care.”

4. Last but not least, I thought Recovering Anorexic's post Recover Thoughts vs. Relapse Thoughts was very insightful. I am not sure I am ready to take a look at this now, but I am saving it for the future.

Playing Hooky... to Binge

This weekend was not a good one.

On Friday night, my mom had a few family friends for dinner because two  of the kids just graduated from college. I had fun, but I felt really awkward towards food the entire night. I felt like I kept eating because I couldn’t get full. I am not sure if this is in my head, but I kept feeling like everyone was watching how much I was eating, thinking “Why is she eating that? She needs to be dieting.” It is blatantly obvious that I have gained an extreme amount of weight in the past 2-3 years. Anyway, dinner ended late so I slept at my parent’s house. When I fell asleep, I pretty much knew I wouldn’t make it to the EDA meeting Saturday morning even though I was so motivated to go on Thursday. I keep doing this to myself. Deep down, I know that I need to go to these meetings, but I have no desire to be there.

So, I didn’t set an alarm and slept past 11 a.m. on Saturday. I was really exhausted from such a long week. I was also supposed to get a haircut and my highlights redone at 1 p.m. and called in sick... that was the last thing I wanted to do. I can’t stand my hair guy (even though he is awesome with hair). All he does is talk about shallow things like designer bags and his “glamorous” lifestyle and it makes me uncomfortable. I know he also judges me on my weight. Usually, I can stick it out for a good haircut, but I just wasn’t up to it.

So, after canceling my appointment, I ate as much as I could at my parents house and then went back to sleep until 4 p.m. I did not take any of my medications and I am sure that didn’t help things. When my mom came home and woke me up, I felt pretty out of it. and kind of dizzy. My mom lectured me about forgetting to take my meds and then I got annoyed and left. I went to my apartment for an hour or so and then got really, really tearful and depressed. I felt very alone. So, I called my parents and they came over. My mom looked at my room in my apartment and freaked out. I admit that it was a disaster, clothes and books and papers all over my floor. She helped me clean it up a little and then we went back to their house.

They were supposed to go to a movie that night my dad was upset and so they didn’t go. He didn’t tell us why.

On Sunday, I woke up and went with my mom and grandma to get manicures/pedicures. It was nice to get out of the house and I was in a good mood, but my grandma, who is 85, asked me about my “program.” I am not sure what my mom told her, so I basically said that they teach you how to eat mindfully and that there are no good or bad foods. She then said, “Well, then how do you lose weight?” That made me feel bad. I am sure my mom just told her it was a diet program because she is taking care of my 93-year-old grandfather and has a lot to deal with, but it just reinforced that the way I look is not/has never been acceptable. I didn’t say anything to her though. I just let it be.

After that, I went back to my apartment and became really sad again. I can’t be alone. I just didn’t know what to do with myself. So, I went back to my parents house (while they were at the movies) and then stayed to watch the Lost finale with my brother who is home from college for a week so I didn’t have to watch it alone.

Last night I slept at my apartment, but I woke up this morning with no desire to go to work. I emailed my boss and asked her if I could take a vacation day. Her last day is Wednesday so I am not sure that she cares - and she said okay. I know that I will stay home all day today and binge, but I feel like I need that. Part of me knows that bingeing will not make me feel better, but the other part of me doesn’t want to listen and just wants to eat mindlessly in front of the TV until I feel sick. Great way to start the week..

Less than one week until A’s wedding which I will no longer attend/be a bridesmaid in... pretty depressing...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

There is No Such Thing as a Big Enough Binge

This week, I started the eating disorder outpatient program. Tuesday was the first group therapy session. There are 4 other women in the program and I related to all of them, which is nice because that was one of my biggest fears. That first session consisted mostly of paperwork, and then we each introduced ourselves. Everyone was very nice and welcoming, especially Amy the counselor leading the program. So, I felt good about the meeting overall, but when I left, I got very, very anxious. I kept asking myself “Am I ready for this?” “Do I want to get better?” So, right after the meeting, I binged. I picked up food at Panera, went back to my apartment, and ate as much as I could. That night, I felt even more panicky and anxious. The food didn’t help. I felt like I was going to crawl of out my skin. There was just too much pressure. This program is a big deal. It is going to cost me a lot of money, it takes up a lot of time, and I just don’t know if I really WANT to get better. Part of me wants to continue to feed my addiction and just eat more and more. After some crying, I took a bath and called my mom and she made me feel a little better. Even just hearing her voice comforted me.

Wednesday morning I woke up still feeling like shit. I drove through Chick-fil-A and ordered a #1 (chicken biscuit sandwich and tater tots)... this is one of my binge foods. Anyway, I did this ON THE WAY TO MY THERAPIST. Ridiculous... I just felt she couldn’t comfort me like the food could... I was wrong. Once I got there, she made me feel a lot better. I told her that I felt stressed and pressured and worried that I wouldn't be able to succeed in the program. I told her that maybe I wasn’t strong enough or ready to change. She told me that it was important to think about these feelings and figure out why I feel like I am not ready. She also told me that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A BIG ENOUGH BINGE. No matter how much food I eat, it is never enough to take away that deprived, lonely feeling. I am not sure if that has sunk in yet. She told me to accept that this is where my work is right now: to realize that there will never be enough food!

Here are some other notes that I wrote down during the session:

  • It is very painful to think “What if bingeing really isn’t the answer?”
  • At the end of a binge, I am disappointed and angry that the binge didn’t make me feel better.
  • The deprived feeling is there whether I binge or not. It has nothing to do with food.
  • I need to make a commitment to get to know that deprived feeling, that screaming voice that wants to be heard so badly.
  • Part of me is angry that the bingeing isn’t working/stopping that feeling.
  • Maybe this program will make me realize that I am not in this all alone.

After my appointment with the therapist, I went to work for a bit and then left again for my appointment with Amy, the head of the program. She ensured me that i wasn’t the only one having these fears. She mentioned that it took years to create these habits and I cannot break them right away... it will take time. We figured out an eating plan for Wednesday and Thursday, not a diet but a plan of the normal food I would eat. I felt really good about it. We also decided that it would be best for me to go to as many OA meetings and eating disorder anonymous (EDA) meetings as possible and that I would go to one that night (yesterday).

After the appointment, my plan was shot to hell. I didn’t keep any of it. I picked up something else for lunch, and that threw off my whole plan. That night, instead of eating dinner with two of my friends and going to an EDA meeting, I went home, got in bed because I felt sad, and slept for two hours. I then woke up and binged on Chinese takeout. So, of course, I felt horrible and anxious after the binge, and then ate badly today and felt angry and guilty.

This afternoon was the second group therapy session. I thought it went really well and it made me feel a lot better. I told the group about my fears and they shared similar ones. They told stories that I could relate to. We all decided to go to the next EDA meeting on Saturday morning. I WILL ATTEND! NO EXCUSES!

After group, I met my roommate and another friend at a restaurant by my apartment. I told them about the program and they were very supportive. So, although I did some bad things this week, I also made some big, positive changes for myself and that makes me happy/proud.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Searching for Balance

Today was my first appointment with the dietitian. I thought it went pretty well. I got there at 8:00 am (before work) and talked to her about how I have been since I saw her in January. I told her that I am having trouble controlling my eating, that I have been bingeing even more, and that I have gained about 15 pounds since I saw her last. She was very nice and supportive, and I really hope what I learn here can sink in.

We talked about the Hunger Awareness Dialogue, which is basically a chart of what you think to yourself when you are “hungry.” It starts with you deciding if you are physically hungry or emotionally hungry. If you are physically hungry, you choose what you are hungry for, how hungry you are, and then eat until you are comfortable full. If you are emotionally hungry, you decide what you are feeling, assess whether food will help, and then take part in alternative actions instead of eating (alternative behaviors, affirmations, support, etc). I guess this is how normal eaters behave without thinking about it. I saw the worksheet explaining this dialogue last time I went to the dietitian and I left with the same thoughts that I have now: who in their right mind thinks like this? I guess the whole point of this is to make yourself think this way.

Unfortunately, when I left the dietitian and got to work, I pushed everything aside. It is had to concentrate on food or emotional stuff with my busy work schedule. I guess that might be a good thing also. Anyway, by the time I got to work it was 9:15 (which is late for me) and I was starving. I got two kolaches (potato, egg, and cheese) and a Diet Coke from a place near my office. I know I would have probably been satisfied with one kolache, but I was starving and thought that I HAD to get two. I just thought one would not be enough. Often, just like I did this morning, I eat a lot because I feel like I will never have that food again. It is that diet mentality that I know so well.

Anyway, it was crazy at work today because my boss resigned (her last day is next Wednesday). I have no idea who my new supervisor will be and it really stressed out my entire department. We all went out to a chinese restaurant for lunch and I could feel tension in the air. I ordered the lunch special of hot and sour soup, chicken with vegetables and steamed rice, and a spring roll. I ate my entire plate. It is always really hard for me to know when I am satisfied. After I scarfed my food down, I looked over at my coworkers and noticed that each one of them had food left on their plates. This happens to me often. I know I shouldn’t care about what others eat and just focus on my own eating, but how could that not make you feel like a pig? Again, I think I ate so much because I felt like I had to get in as much food as I could while it was an acceptable eating time.

I worked until 5:30 and then went to my parents house for dinner. We had hamburger patties, whole wheat buns, and cucumber salad. I also had about one cup of fruit salad. I ate 3 or 4 pieces of cheddar cheese after that because I still did not feel full. An hour or two later, when passing by the kitchen, I grabbed a large handful of pretzels. I really wanted something sweet (like chocolate), but my parents don’t keep anything bad in the house.

I thought about sneakily picking up something else to eat on my way back to my apartment, but decided not too because the weather was not good.

Once I got back to my apartment, I had the urge to eat something here, but didn’t because I have no food in my apartment (and I don’t keep food at my apartment for this very reason). And now, as I write this, I realize that I did not really think about the Hunger Awareness Dialogue all day. Just seeing that worksheet makes me feel anxious and annoyed - I don’t want to think about food (it makes me miserable!!) and that work sheet makes me dwell on it - maybe thats my issue with it.

At least I recorded my food all day. That is a big step. Usually I’m not good at keeping food records because it is embarrassing (bingeing is a very secretive thing), but I know I need to succeed. On my food records today, I wrote the following: “Overall, I did really well today. No binges, although I did overeat a bit at lunch. Still, not bingeing is an accomplishment!”

Still, I feel like a failure for not keeping a perfect diet record. I know that is CRAZY because I have been eating so, so badly that I actually ate pretty well compared to normal, but I can’t help it. It reminds me of dieting throughout middle school and high school. When I am not dieting like crazy, there is something about seeing my day of food in writing that is gross - Usually, I just eat as much as I can and then try to forget about it. I push it to the back of my head. So, I guess recording my food intake is good for me, no matter how hard it is. I need to learn balance and really realize that is going into my body (and how much). I am used to such extremes: extreme dieting or extreme bingeing.

Wish me luck on my journey to find balance in my eating habits, and in the rest of my life! Outpatient starts tomorrow!!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Anxiety before Week #1

I feel really anxious right now. The front of my head hurts and I feel panicked. I am writing this post on my iPhone from my bath tub. I thought a bath would make me feel better. I'm not sure why I feel this way all of the sudden. I had a good weekend for the first time in months and didnt sleep at my parents house.. They were so excited..My psych. gave me aderol and it made me really zippy and energetic in the mornings. Maybe it's wearing off and that's why I feel bad now? I am really anxious. That is the only word to describe it. I really want to call my mom and go sleep at my parents house but it's almost 11 and I know they are asleep. I just don't know how to soothe myself. I would go eat but I have no food in my apartment and it's too late to go somewhere to get it. The city I live in is not the kind where you can roam around at night..

I started to get anxious thinking about all of the stuff I have for my first week of the outpatient program. Tomorrow before work I am going to a dietition (who I have actually seen before) who is part of the program. I am not sure how it is going to work...last time I went to her I couldn't even write down my food records because I was binging so much. It's funny because I am binging even more now and probably weigh 15-20 pounds more but I know that I have to get this under control. I just need to suck it up and record my binges.

Tuesday and Thursday I have the first group therapy sessions from 4-6, Wednesday I am seeing my regular therapist before work, and Friday I am seeing the program therapist at lunch. It is going to be an exausting week!! I am really nervous - and I don't get nervous easily. I just really don't know if I'm ready for this. It is so much easier just to binge and stay the way I am. Ahhhhh I want to scream. How did this happen to me??


I just watched the HBO documentary Thin and it scared me that I could relate to the patients at The Renfrew Center so much. I do everything they do, except I binge instead of starve myself. The weird thing is that part of me (the rational side) knows and understand that these anorexic/bulimic girls are killing themselves. I do see that. The other crazy part of me is actually kind of jealous: they have all of the same problems and issues that I do but they are THIN. I would do anything to be thin again. Meanwhile, all I do is eat.

So, I am starting this outpatient program on Tuesday, but this movie made me realize that maybe I need more than that. But, are there even inpatient places for people who just have BED and not anorexia or bulimia? When I finished the movie, I had this horrible thought that the outpatient program might be all anorexics and then me. I don't think I could handle being the only fat person in the program.

Tonight (before the movie) when my roommate left the apartment, I sneakily ordered a pizza from Papa Johns and ate the ENTIRE thing by myself (yes, every single piece). I also got bread sticks and ate half of those with cheese sauce. Then, later in the night, I had edamame from my freezer. The kicker is that I had a big lunch (french onion soup, a huge grilled cheese panini, and sweet potato fries) - so much so that after lunch I felt really ill. But, ofcourse that STUFFED feeling passed and I was ready for a binge at dinner time. For some reason I have felt the need to eat as much as I can before this program begins - like a last hurrah. Gross, I know. I am truly a sick person. I need help.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

A Best Friend is not a Therapist

I met with my therapist again this morning and she said that I really should be doing way more writing to really learn how to be IN the moment and listen to my feelings. She suggested once in the morning and once at night. Blogging in the morning before work seems a little crazy to me because I know I don't have time to do it once I get to work, which means I would have to wake up extra early. Hmmm... Maybe ill just have to make time at work.. Anyway, enough rambling. I'll figure that out later.

Today I had a talk with L. I was really upset with her last weeked because I felt like she didn't want to be there for me as a friend. I have been feeling like this a lot lately with all of my friends not just her - who would want to hang out with me? I truthfully feel like a burden and a "debbie downer all of the time." She made me feel better and told me that she just didn't know how to react sometimes and she didn't know how to be there for me in some situations. I think if I were going to therapy more this wouldn't be an issue. I think I am looking for my frends to be there for me all of the time and sometimes they just can't... or don't know how to be. I have to remember that they arent therapists. They don't know how to handle these situations.

Fellow bloggers, did any of you have trouble relating to your friends during your ED?

I figured out that I keep testing my friends, pushing them away to see who will come back. Why am I doing this to my relationships?

I guess I just figured that a best friend would want to listen to you and boost your self esteem like my mom and therapist have been doing. I guess that's a bit crazy though. Friendships are just different. I haven't always had a best friend because most of the time my mom filled that role. Not healthy, I know.

I guess I really need to learn what to expect from a friendship.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Today was a Peanut Butter M&Ms Kind of Day

Chick-Fil-A breakfast sandwich with tater tots
Bagel with cream cheese
Diet Coke

12 boiled shrimp
Spicy french fries
1 pack of peanut butter M&Ms

Meat loaf
2 slices of cheese
Cucumber salad
4 leftover potstickers
5 Nilla waffers

... And I'm still "hungry"

Monday, May 10, 2010

My Second Greatest Talent

Hi guys. RecoveringAnorexic made another comment to my last post that really made me think:
"A big part of why I didn't want to get better was because I felt that if I lost my eating disorder, I would lose a sense of myself. I was good at starving/bingeing. I didn't know who I was without the eating disorder, and if I didn't have it, I felt I wouldn't have anything to turn to in my time of need, and I felt that I wouldn't be able to cope when things got bad. As much as it made me miserable, it was all I knew and it was my security blanket. After I went into treatment, I had to find out who I was without the ED."
This is so interesting because I can totally relate. In my life, I have been good at two things 1. school and 2. bingeing.

Here is some background: I was an awesome student. in college I graduated with almost a 4.0 (magna cum laude). I just GOT school. I understood how to do well... and I did!

Throughout high school and college I was always extremely busy with youth organizations, extracurricular activities, homework, sorority, the newspaper, etc... When I graduated college, things got bad. I left the city I was living in, moved back home with my parents, and got a pretty good corporate job. But, as I worked day after day NOT using my creativity, I thought to myself "THIS is why I worked so hard?" Truthfully, I thought my life would be more glamorous than this. I thought I could do something great.

Instead, my parents made me come back home until I found a job. I applied to jobs all around the country. Nobody wants to hire someone from a different city though. Once I found a good job, they convinced me to take it and I still have that job today (2.5 years later). I could have gone to grad school (I got in but didn't go) and I could have moved to a brand new city, but here I am...

Unfortunately, I have wealthy friends and many of their parents supported them while they figured out what to do next. I know it was financially unrealistic, but I really wanted my parents to say “Go figure out what you want to do; we will support you.” I also resent MY decisions because I now realize that I could have NOT listened to my parents advice and moved to a different city and figured it out myself. Most people my age do not rely on their parents nearly half as much as I do. I have a lot of trouble making decisions that they don’t agree with (this is a topic for another post).

Anyway, my life is boring now and I am unhappy, so I do the thing I am second best at... BINGE. I went to a therapist with my mom today and this is what we talked about. After the session, my very insightful mother (my best friend- who I love more than anything), sent me the following email:
“I think that one of the most difficult things for you has been you not being a student. You know, you got HUGE strokes for your self esteem being a student all through elementary, middle, high school and esp. college. Everyone was always complimenting you on all your successes and everything almost always went your way academically. Maybe after graduation, being in the "real world" where you don’t get those kind of strokes, etc has been hard. Also, that along with being in a job you feel you are too smart for and where you are bored makes for you feel sad.  I guess that is why you always want to be a student b/c you know you do that so well!! Of course, you are doing this job well also but its not the same. I believe this is a big part of your sadness. I also think you don’t have enough to do like when you were in school (like we talked about in our session today). You are so use to be busy and now you come home every night with nothing to do. So, in the meantime, until you make a new plan, try to be as busy as you can. Starting next week, you will be a lot busier with this program. I actually think you like having structure and goals and work to do, and this has been hard for you not to have all that. You can incorporate this into your life in other ways... let me also add that whatever you choose to do in the future we will help in any way we can....the sky is the limit!! you are only 25!!!!!!”

I know. She is very insightful. I hope that this outpatient program really works and that I do feel better and get to a place where I can do some things for myself. I am tired of being sad.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Am I Ready?

RecoveringAnorexic, one of my favorite bloggers, made this comment on my post "Listening" and it really made me think:

"I did a 12 week outpatient program as well as the inpatient. The outpatient program was three days a week, two hours a day... It would have helped more if I wasn't the only one with an eating disorder (it was a treatment center for ALL addictions) and it also would have helped more if I wanted to help myself. NO treatment will work FOR you unless YOU work it."

I have decided to do the eating disorder outpatient program, which starts in two weeks, but I am nervous about it. I am really excited, but scared. I think a lot of the things I have tried (therapy, dietitians, etc...) have not worked simply because I was not in a place where I wanted it to work. I know that might not make sense, but part of me is binging for a reason (even though I might not fully understand that reason)

Although I hate to admit this, part of me does not want to get better. What if nobody realizes how unhappy I am if I am skinny again? I am not sure why I am doing this to myself, and its confusing because part of me wants to get better and part of me doesn't.

Can anyone with an eating disorder relate? Why do we punish ourselves like this?

In the next two weeks, how can I prepare myself to really "work" this treatment program so that it "works" for me? 

When Binges Dont Feel Like Binges Anymore

It scares me that I can eat some of my normal binge "meals" all the way through and not feel sick anymore. I guess I am getting used to the food, the calories, the fat...

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Notes from therapy 5/5/10
  • There are powerful reasons why I am in the place that I am in right now. I am in this place/weight for a reason, even if I don't know what that reason is yet.
  • I am really quick to assume that I can't make a decision by myself and I have to get someone else's advice on everything (from something as small as an outfit to bigger life decisions like job stuff). It is helpful now that I aware of how quickly I give other people (mainly my mom) the authority to make decisions for me. I often think that she knows better than I do when that might not be the case.
  • I have to keep in mind that on the days that I don't binge and do eat better that I feel happier and more energized
  • When eating well, my deprived feelings aren't really even about food, even though I am not sure what they are about yet. I do know, though, that those deprived feelings still existed when I was thin and much happier. I could have been thinking/currently think in the following way:
    • "I don't WANT to diet"
    • "I want to be my own person"
    • "I don't want to just be 'good'"
    • "I just want to be free to want what I want"
  • The only way to understand these deprived feelings is to really feel them and to listen to myself. I need to try not to binge in an effort to hear this voice that needs to be heard. It is NOT just about NOT binging - It is about creating the space for hearing that voice. When I binge, the binge immediately silences it.
  • My therapist told me to imagine two crying little girls. In situation A, the mother gives the little girl a cookie to make her feel better. In situation B, the mother asks the little girl what is wrong and then listens. Situation B doesn't immediately soothe the little girl like the cookie does, but the little girl eventually gets to the same soothing place by understanding and listening to her thoughts. That little girl in B is more likely to come away understanding something about herself and that there is so much value in simply LISTENING. This will help her in the future. It is about being in the moment with yourself and having the ability to be in tune with your thoughts.
I thought that session went really well.

Today I also had an assessment at an eating disorder outpatient program. I heard all about the program and I am really hopeful. It includes the following (over a 10 week period):
  1. Two group therapy sessions per week (Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6pm) which include about 6-7 people with similar problems
  2. One individual therapy session per week
  3. One meeting with a dietition per week
  4. A weeky family support group for my parents
  5. Two family therapy sessions
  6. Weekly aftercare groups following the 10 week program
The brochure says, "Participants will focus on recovery around their eating disorders, as well as other self destructive behaviors. Individuals will work on identifying triggers and patterns of their eating disorder behaviors, learn healthy coping skills and tools, and gain peer support. Coping tools will include mindful techniques, self-esteem building skills, healthy communication, and boundary setting."

I talked to my HR department and my boss at work today and they both approved as long as I can get a doctors note, which my psychiatrist can write me. Now, I just have to figure out the insurance portion of it and then I am ready to go (in two weeks)!

I really hope this is the program that can turn my life around! Have any of your bloggers out there done similar programs? Any advice?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Avoiding my Reflection

I have noticed that ever since I gained weight, I have been avoiding mirrors and photos. Unlike when I was 125 pounds, I wake up and quickly get dressed, not even noticing how I look. I never wear my hear down anymore and I don't focus on looking cute. I used to spend a lot of my mornings straightening my hair and putting on makeup. Now, I am lucky if I even shave my legs.

When I meet new people, I avoid looking them in the eyes.

When I am with friends or family in a group setting (which is rare), I avoid pictures. Why would I want to document this part of my life? Tonight, I went through my apartment and removed every photo from the wall and their frames that showed me in my skinny days. I am tired of looking at them and remembering how good I felt/looked. That isn't me anymore. I am tired of being reminded of that person.

Everytime I see a photo of how I look now, I cringe. Those moments remind me of how much I have changed and how miserable I am. They make me feel horrible and hopeless.

Tonight I went to dinner with two of my friends, shocker I know - I left the house, and I couldn't stop looking at myself in the reflection of the window compared to my skinny friends. I look like I should be carrying a sign that says "wide load ahead." My stomach is huge. Meanwhile, I have quit that whole prepackaged meal thing... back to binging.

In other news, I told A that I would not be in her wedding at the end of the month. It was really hard for my to tell her that, but I feel a big weight off of my shoulders. How can I stand infront of 400 people in a strapless dress when I am too scared to even go to my place of worship because I am embarrassed to be seen in public. I am too sick to go and pretend to be happy for an ENTIRE WEEKEND. I am a horrible friend. A was very nice about it, but I know she is upset. How could she not be?

I am looking into an eating disorder program and I am meeting with a social worker from the program tomorrow. Hopefully this will be a good thing- I really need it.