May Wrap-Up

I’ve been reluctant to write new posts lately.

As you know, I gave up calorie counting and food measuring a few weeks ago (on the 13th I think?). While I have continued to not count calories since then, I feel that my eating has been out of control. Not that eating is bad, but the way that I’m eating and the feelings and atmosphere around it are bad. Couple this with me being around and then on my menses and it’s a recipe for disaster.

I need help. But the one person that could possibly help me right now, my mother (aka my roommate) is far too timid and reserved to be able to help me or do what I need her to do for me. I don’t know what to do. This is not something that a “professional” or doctor can help me with. This is in my own home.

I don’t know how many of you know this, but I don’t have a stellar support system over here. It’s good when things are going well, but when things get hard I’m pretty much on my own and have to find out how to deal with and fix it by myself without so much as a comforting embrace.

I’m okay with gaining weight. I need to gain weight. What I’m not okay with is what has been happening; which is rapid weight gain as a result of uncontrolled eating. I still would not term this “binge” eating, because I’ve gone through that before as a result of my last recovery period. But, it’s still far outside of “normal eating” behaviors.

Not only has this been damaging me psychologically, but physically as well. My digestion is completely screwed up, and with my IBS that is downright dangerous. I’ve had to be hospitalized many times because of things like this happening to me.

I worked so hard to get my body into a rhythm, a routine, and now that’s all gone and my body feels like crap. Literally. I don’t feel good when I wake up and I don’t feel good when I go to sleep at night. I’m scared to be back where I was last fall; in and out of Emergency Rooms and Urgent Care facilities and screaming in pain and in tears every day. Not able to sit-up, let alone do something I love like run.

I’m usually okay when it comes to breakfast, and as long as I’m on campus I’m usually okay during the day because I’m busy focusing on other things. It’s when I’m at home, like in the evenings and on weekends, where I feel that I’ve lost the control that I had even just a few weeks ago when I was home 24/7 on my week off between finals and summer classes starting.

So, now that I’ve given up the calorie counting, my next goal is to work on intuitive eating and eating more on a regular schedule. Not so strict that it’s “It’s 5:37pm I have to eat dinner right now“, but in the sense that “I just ate an hour ago, I should probably wait a while before eating again so that my medications won’t be screwed up”.

I’m tired of “screwing up” and I’m tired of not liking myself both inside and out. I wanted to do this recovery my way for a reason (the other way didn’t work) and I’m just sort of seeing it slip away. I’m taking the time right now to post this so that you’ll support me and so that I have something to look back on to motivate me when things get hard. I know that if things continue going the way that they have been for the past few days/the past week that I will regress and go back to counting calories (and thus probably eating too little).

I don’t want to backslide.

I believe that once I finally get the hang of intuitive eating then I will finally be able to give up my dependence on the scale and my “need” to weight myself every day. Baby steps, although these are far from being baby steps. These are mondo-huge monster steps that even Godzilla would shrink in fear after seeing.

May Highlights:
– Ran 81 miles, including my longest run to date
Gave up counting calories
– Got on the Dean’s List
Began participating in WIAW
– “Celebrated” my 20th birthday

June Goals:
–  
Complete my 10K race in under 60:00 (although just being able to finish would be great)
– Work on intuitive eating
– Continue to not count calories/measure food
– Ace my classes this semester (semester ends at the end of June)
– Incorporate more cross training into my training schedule (aiming for 1 day yoga, 2 days strength, 3 days running – 1 long, 1 medium, 1 short, and then 1 day for rest)

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Some other posts from around the blogosphere:
“calorie counter – kind of.” – Clean Eating Chelsey
 “The Vicious Cycle” – Trying to Heal

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Don’t forget to enter my Clif/LUNA bar giveaway here! LAST DAY to enter!

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Do you have a good support system at home/where you live?

What are your June Goals?

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14 thoughts on “May Wrap-Up

  1. I wish I could offer some advice! I’ve never had an ED. I’ve had an unhealthy relationship with food, but never something like what you are going through. I do not what it feels like to wake up feeling horrible and go to bed the same way- feeling like you have no control over what you eat- feeling angry at yourself for eating too much/ too fast.

    All I can say is try and keep it in perspective. When you eat, have a reason for doing so. Are you hungry? Is your body really craving that particular nutrient? Have you not eaten in X amount of hours and know you need to? Etc.

    • I am still learning what my body feeling “hungry” feels like. Most mornings I can tell, because essentially your body was just “fasting” through the night. It’s the rest of the day, when my IBS starts to “wake up” and my medications take over my system that I’m not so sure anymore what is pain and what is hunger.

      I’ve been able to write it off as “I need to gain weight”, but that’s a really poor “excuse” and I know that I need to work more on slowing down and thinking “WHY am I doing this in the first place?” rather than “Why am I continuing to do this?”

      Treats are fine and dandy and so is eating too much on occasion (hello: Thanksgiving, holidays, and get togethers), but not every day and for no reason at all.

  2. i understand completely!! what would rly help is a meal plan!. like a solid meal plan tht wil gradually put on the weight and that has a schedule! tht way u are eating at times or certain times a day and stick to it and still ain weight.. the problem with intuitive eating is that u may not pu ton the weight! and thts never good for many health reasons!! being underweight for a long time left me with osteoporosis so yeah… its so dangerous!

    • I’ve thought about that, but I think that if I went back to meal planning, which was what I was forced to go through in my first recovery, that I would regress back into bad habits. Plus, if I was meal planning then I would focus way too much on the calories.
      And what if I’m not hungry? With my IBS, if I eat before I’ve given my body time to work the previous food through a bit of my system first then I cause myself a good deal of pain. Plus, I want the spontenaity! I want to go with my cravings (to a healthy degree of course). If I’m not feeling a big bowl of veggies and a grain I don’t think I should have to force myself to eat something that I really won’t appreciate and end up feeling deprived.

      Wow, that sounded laden with excuses, but I just don’t think that meal planning is for me, especially given my previous experiences with it. It works for many people, I know, but I subscribe to the theory that, although intuitive eating may make me lose weight at some points, overall, intuitive eating brings you to your “natural” healthy weight.

  3. Mrs, you are NOT screwing up! You have to remember that our bodies are clever things – if you’re eating a lot at night, or feel like you’re overeating (basically how you said you feel), know that your body wants so badly to be healthy, and it WILL find a balance. Rcently I’ve felt out of control a little too – eating too much at night even though I wasnt hungry, going to bed feeling sick and bloated..but when I looked back at my daily activity and my daily eats, there was an imbalance. So my body was just trying to make up for what it lacked in the day. If I ate a bigger breakfast or lunch, the nighttime snackstuff went away.

    I think you need to be flexible with your meal planning / home recovery (coming from someone that’s been there). When I was recovering and gaining weight, i did have set times to eat and I stuck to them, because your body needs the fuel, so bad. You don’t have to count calories necessarily, but I do think it’s important to stick to a plan for a little bit…after an ED or illness or whaetver, your cues are likely a bit screwed up anyway, so if you do eat intuitively, you might run the risk of losing weight.

    Oh, and as someone above said – look at WHAT you’re eating in the evenings. Cereal? You probably haven’t had enough carb in the day. Nuts – need to add more fats to your diet etc etc. Our bodies really do want the best for us – not thin, not obese! Balance will come 🙂 Just stay positive and strong, it’ll be worth it!

  4. This is just what I went through. It is so weird how both of our stories are the same. I for one do not have a great support system at all.. its like my ED is the big elephant in the room, but when everything is fine at my house then everything is fine. I as well live at home, and I think this has really made me become the rigid person in which I am. I have a schedule and I must stick to it with running, working out, eating, school work.. everything must be on a schedule. But I have learned that life does not work like that at all. I have to learn to listen to my body. I dont know how many times a day I need to tell myself ” I am doing this for a better me, a better runner, a better all around person” ( I am mostly talking about food when I say this).
    I know just how that it is to stop counting, you realize how much wonderful food is in the world and it like you just want to stuff your face with it all… this happened to me and I gained weight.. and that was rough.. you tell yourself its okay to gain because i need to but in reality its hard. I am not going to lie at all. I am still going through that weight gain and realizing the clothes are not fitting how they use to.
    But I had to step back.. really step back and look at my life.. look what i wanted out of my life.. and ultimately that was a balanced healthy life style.
    So this worked for me I dont know if it will work for you… but every time I would go to eat I would tell myself will this make me be a better runner/person ect. if I ever answered no I would put down the food.
    Our life is a struggle and food is just not the same to what food is to other people.. it helps to talk and it helps to think about the life we want.
    I also found that I had trigger foods.. mine was peanut butter and I realized that I literally can not eat peanut butter at all because i will go on a binge and I will not be able to stop. Acknowledge which food you ate right before you binged and this could help you.. it really helped me. I hope this helped.. thank you again for being honest.. this blog helps me so much and makes me realize that I am not alone with the struggles I have.

  5. I just read this post from start to finish and could not move from my seat. This hits home for me so much and I really want to reach out to you and offer some support if not help, because I know that not having the support you are craving makes the situation you are in even more challenging.
    I am in a very similar place to you at the moment ( hey, I just celebrated my 20th birthday and stopped counting calories too !) and I know the hardest part is not necessarily the current weight, or your current feelings, but the fear of what COULD happen, because you feel like there is no control, rhythm or predictability. At least, that’s how I feel .
    When I had to regain weight after my ED I went through (and still sometimes struggle with) shocking binge eating, and I appreciate there is a difference between uncontrolled eating, and actual binges. When I start to feel anxious about uncontrolled eating, its hard to get support even though I do have an understanding mother and boyfriend, because in there eyes they cant see whats wrong with eating, especially given the past. For me, aside from anxiety episodes (which arent helpful), the only thing that helps me is thinking about all the foods not in terms of calories but in terms of nutrients. I think about all the nutrients that I OWE my body after my ED, and if they are a little in excess, my bones and organs are just going to soak them right up. This is my mental mantra to soothe any panic about eating too much. I also try and focus on seeing each day as new, fresh and without any overhang rom the day before. This is a long and ongoing process for me, and I feel your pain. I just want to help . I hope all of this makes sense, please email me if you ever want to discuss because I would be happy to talk about this for hours. I hope you sleep well and wake up feeling better. Sometimes a sleep can help a whole lot. – georgia. x

  6. Hey girl,
    Yeah, it’s tough to focus on intuitive eating when you NEED to eat and your body isn’t used to eating normally. I think as long as you focus on other things and not let food be a forefront, your body will end up where it needs to be. It will eventually stop when it’s had enough, and your mind will be at peace.
    Hang in there, you’re smart you’ll be fine 🙂

  7. Hey girl, I am sorry to read how you struggle with eating right now! I understand you feelings about not having a strong support in your surroundings. As far as the supporting family/friends/groups are important, sometimes you just have to count on yourself and deal with a lot of ugly stuff on your own. Having disordered oeating history/presence is a condition that doesn´t help with feeling good and strong, especially on those days when you feel that the world is falling down on you. Maybe there are some communities/self help groups/art therapy sessions around where you live where you can find a lot of support and tame your struggling mind a bit? Maybe visiting a nutritionist/RD/holistic medicine center would help you finding balance and restoring your intuition when it comes to healthy eating habits? Writing journals to sort things out is a bit helpful usually, too. Don´t be too hard on your body. Set yourself goals but be aware that reaching goals is hard and demanding and small steps count too!

  8. Aww Ellen. I know it’s tough, but remember be patient with yourself. Have you considered following a meal plan? I could show you the one that I used to follow (and still kind of do)! It really helped me get on track with both the content and structure of what I needed to be eating. That out of control feeling is so hard to deal with, and the meal plan helped me transition into more intuitive eating. You know I’m always here for you! xoxo

    • Hi Megan, I know this is kind of random, but I’ve been looking for a good meal plan. I had one that I used to follow about 4yrs ago, but I’ve since lost it since I’ve moved. I was wondering if you would mind showing me yours? If not, that’s okay — if so, I’d love to see it! Squigglemefloey@hotmail.com is my e-mail 🙂 Thankies!

    • Hello Ellen!

      My name is Sarah and I have been reading your blog for a while. I struggle with intuitive eating and a disordered past and I am wondering if maybe I could see a sample of your meal plan. My email address is: illiteratefolk@gmail.com
      Thanks! Sarah

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