Sunday, July 8, 2012

Birthday Dilemma

Hello?  Are you still there, dear readers?  I know that it's been months since my last post, and thank you to those of you who reached out and inquired about how I'm doing.  Where have I been?  In short, I've been with ED.  I mean, do I really need to say any more than that?  You know what I mean; I gave up the fight so that I could slip back into the blissfully calm serenity and safety that comes with living by the rules of my eating disorder.

I've been so good at following ED's rules, in fact, that it has been giving me a false sense of confidence.  I've been thriving at work, fitting effortlessly into all of my clothes, and never stressing about whether I've gained weight or not.  The downside of that, of course, is the obsession and isolation that is necessary to live by such strict rules.  With exerting so much focus and energy on restricting, I have no room left in my head for the things that really matter....and I know in my heart that they matter far more than belt loops and timed meals.  I'm talking about helping other people when they need me, doing something fun, having friends, or even being creative.  As I sit on the couch, wrapping my arms around my thin waist, these are the things of life that I long for. 

I've been dancing too.  Taking classes and trying to reconnect with the dancing that I love so much.  See, here I am! 

I'm taking a break from dancing for now because, in truth, it is impossible for me to dance without obsessing over whether or not I am the thin dancer that I've always strived to be.  I so wish it could be different, but I'm just not there yet.

This past week, I've tried to step away from ED's rules, even in small ways.  Let me tell you, it's not going well.  Let me tell you, it's a mother fucking bitch!  Pardon my angry language; I've been watching too much Dexter.  

Still, even though things are rocky, it feels good to be trying.  It feels good to be working toward the things that I want in my life.  I want to help others, particularly those struggling with eating disorders.  I don't know how yet, but I'm going to someday.  Step one, I know, is recovery.  Damn it.

I have a goal, and I'd love to know what you think.  My birthday is coming up on July 27th.  I've spent the last 10+ birthdays celebrating with ED, which means isolating myself from friends and family and then crying alone because I have no one around me on my birthday.  A few times, my husband and I have attempted to go out to dinner, but I would always end up backing out at the last minute or crying in the parking lot.  Yup, I'm a hot date.

This year, I want it to be different.  I want to celebrate!  I know I'm not recovered yet, but there must be something I can do.  I sort of have a few friends, even though we mostly communicate through text messages.  If any of you have come across this dilemma on your birthday, I would love to know how you celebrated.  Any ideas on how someone in recovery like me can celebrate would be welcomed warmly and enthusiastically!



Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dietitian Appointment

Yesterday, I had an appointment with a dietitian, Kimra. My mom came along, but she was just an observer at the appointment. Honestly, it was an awful experience. I had so much excitement about creating meal plans and incorporating new, wonderful foods into my life, but none of that happened. The barrier between the dietitian and I seemed to be that I am vegan.

Some things I said:

"A plant-based diet makes me excited about eating food again. There are so many foods that I want to be able to eat and try."

"I am certain that being vegan is not a part of my eating disorder. It is a part of who I am and what I believe in."

"My eating disorder is actually preventing me from living the vibrant, vegan lifestyle that I want to."

Some things she said:

"I'm okay with 'the vegan thing' for now, but I would like to see you eating dairy again for calcium."

"Being vegan is really restrictive."

"It would be great if we could get you eating eggs."

Every one of those phrases felt like punches to my heart. She was not at all into helping me celebrate being a vegan. I was really expecting that she would have a more open mind and help me fit the foods that I want to eat into my diet. When I think of being vegan, I don't think of it as "restrictive" as she said; I think of a whole world of glorious, plant-based foods that I want to celebrate and put into my body.

Clearly, Kimra and I just aren't compatable for working together. After the appointment, my mom and I got dinner at Whole Foods and re-grouped. She and I, two non-professionals, brainstormed some flexible meal plans for me to use as a guide, and they incorporated the foods that I have been eager to eat and celebrate for a long time. I bought her dinner. She bought the groceries.

I am keeping a food journal. I'm not sure why or what I'll do with it, but it might be helpful in the future. I am more inspired than ever to show my body the love it deserves through nourishment.

Here's a peek into some things I've re-introduced into my life so far:

Peanut butter and strawberry sandwich
Glass of almond milk
Kashi TLC crackers
Amy's lentil vegetable soup
Trail mix

My life is getting more colorful every moment!



Monday, January 30, 2012

Getting Nervous

Today, at 2:40pm, I am leaving work early and meeting my mom for my first appointment with Kimra, a dietitian. I am both completely excited and totally nervous at the same time. I have no idea what to expect, but I am ready for some guidance. I am ready to eat what my body needs.

What will my meal plans look like? Is this goodbye to diet soda? Will she tell me whether I need to gain weight or not? So many questions.

I am glad that my mom is coming with me. I was hesitant about it, but I think that she'll be supportive and not try to control the situation. Plus, I have a birthday gift to give her. She also said that she'd help me with some grocery shopping after the appointment if I was up for it. Grocery shopping is always overwhelming, so I would be very appreciative of having help with that endeavor.

I will let you all know how the appointment went and what I learned! However, I will avoid posting my specific meal plans as I know that they will be tailored to my point in recovery. I wouldn't want to trigger comparisons. What I need to eat might be different than what you need to eat, right?



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Update on Heart Palpitations

Thank you for the support regarding the situation of my health. 13 years of bulimia has certainly taken it's toll on my body, and it all seems to be hitting me at once. Right now, as I'm sitting here writing this, the heart palpitations are hitting my chest, making me catch my breath. I truly thought that this stuff wouldn't happen to me. I mean, my body had held strong for so long.

Still, I have faith that, with lots of self-love and nurturing, my body can be healed.

After speaking with my primary care doctor today, I called a cardiologist in Portland and made an appointment for late February. She also told me to monitor my symptoms and to go to the emergency room if I experience any dizziness or shortness of breathe. I am also going to my dietitian appointment on Monday, and I can't wait. Healing through nourishment!

Thank you, all, and remember to take care of your amazing bodies.


Heart Palpitations

For the past couple of days, I have been getting these small flutters in my heart, like my heart is skipping a beat, which I think are heart palpitations. They're happening pretty frequently, about 10 times per hour. I have gotten these before, but only once in a while. Never this frequently. I'm not sure what to do about it since I don't have any other symptoms, such as shortness of breath or dizziness.

Last night, I called the advice nurse hotline, and, after describing what was going on, she suggested that I contact my doctor. My primary care doctor is my gynecologist, so I guess I could give her office a call. It sounds like a weird thing to ask a gynecologist, but I'm sure she could at least point me in the right direction.

I hate how discouraging this feels. I want so badly to move forward in recovery, not to be held back by the damage that I've done to my body. Through all the years of purging, I rarely thought about how much damage I might have been doing to my body. Recently, I also started having troubles with my lower jaw been sore and locking up. Didn't think about that happening when I was obsessing about my size!

Have any of you had issues with heart palpitations?


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sunday, January 22, 2012

It's Just Air!

"Food is a such a frustrating concept," I told my therapist, Sarah, yesterday, "It's one of the basic necessities of life, but, unlike air or water, eating food involves so many choices. What to eat, when to eat it, and how much of it? We breath and drink water without even thinking about it!"

"That may be true for you," Sarah replied, "but what if you were particularly concerned about the quality of the air you were breathing, so much so that it consumed your thoughts. You then researched areas of the world that had the purest, cleanest air and confined yourself to only those areas. In fact, you were terrified of going outside of those "safe" areas. You became so obsessed with clean air that it took precedence over friends, family, and all else in your life. You would isolate yourself from everyone else just to comply with the demands of your obsession with air."

"Wow," was all I could say at first. "I guess you could have an air disorder or water disorder. Although that sounds completely bizarre to me because 'it's just air', someone without an eating disorder would look at my behaviors and say 'it's just food'. I mean, my husband certainly doesn't think too much about food. He just eats."

"Right," Sarah said, "Food is not the culprit of an eating disorder. It's one's relationship with food and eating."

"Yup, I definitely make food to be about more than food. I make it about structure, control, and morality. Poor food; I have made it the enemy this entire time."

"That's okay. You're slowly stepping back and seeing the big picture."

This was a part of my conversation with Sarah yesterday. It helped me to realize that food is not the enemy, even though I get mad at food all the time for being so complicated and difficult to figure out. It isn't food that needs understanding; it's my relationship with the food that matters.

Isn't Sarah so super smart and awesome?!!