The Scale

I don’t own a scale. I thought it would change my perception on how much I weighed, stop me from defining myself by a number. In reality I still feel the weight of that number all too much. I don’t have a scale because I want to avoid it. I am so petrified of that number increasing I choose to not let myself see it at all costs. Ignorance is bliss, right?

So at my therapists office I step on the scale when she tells me to, trying to overcome that fear. Over the past couple of months I haven’t been that affected by it. It hasn’t made me happy by any means but it also hasn’t upset me. That is until last week. At the end of the session she asked me to step on the scale. Reluctant per usual, I did. I gained five pounds. I honestly lost my shit and have yet to regain it.

I haven’t binged in months which is great. But I don’t feel great. I have been feeling hopeless, upset, lost, and frustrated. I stopped binge eating and I started working out and I don’t feel or see change. So when I saw a five pound jump it felt like every one of my thoughts had been validated. I am supposed to be this way. I’ll never lose weight. My bingeing isn’t the cause, it’s just me. I’ve talked about it to try to make myself feel better. I know five pounds isn’t the end of my journey. I know that those five pounds aren’t just due to food – I just got back from vacation where I drank more than I ever do, I was about to start my period, I’m extremely stressed, etc. I repeat these types of things to myself as much as I can but in reality my brain is going insane trying to figure out what to do. Do I binge? No, but I want to. Do I restrict? Oh my, do I want to just stop eating all together but that won’t help me. I want to give up. I want to so badly escape this.

I can’t let 5 lbs be an end all for me. I have to move past this. I may not be moving fast, productively, or confidently but at least I’m moving. At least that’s what I’m going to tell myself.

 

Comparison

Mental health is one of those things people don’t like to talk about — of course until there is some traumatic event, then its all the rave for a few weeks. But I’m a public health person….I don’t shy away from mental health discussions. I don’t stigmatize the internal battles that people (including myself) are dealing with. I have all of this rational background (i.e. education, beliefs, etc) when it comes to addressing mental health and yet recently I’ve been ignoring everything I know.

I’ve found myself comparing my issues to other people’s all too often lately. I have noticed that I am holding back on sharing with people on how I really feel because my issues are pale in comparison. Somehow I feel inferior just because my struggles aren’t as outward as theirs.

So I sit here wondering why. Why do I feel like my illness(es) aren’t bad enough to be considered bad? 

I’ve realized that some people don’t really ask outright how things are going with counseling. I’m aware that that could be quite odd and uncomfortable to do but it isn’t being asked in a concealed way either. I’m really forthcoming with my experience and I tell my friends and family about my journey. So, I feel like some of my conversations have been pretty one sided. And to be frank – that pisses me off.

I don’t want to feel weird talking to the closest people to me about my mental health struggles. I don’t want to shut down and run away from them when my eating disorder becomes too much for me to handle. I don’t want to be afraid to lean on someone because my problems “aren’t serious enough.”

Truthfully, all I’m looking for here is some care for me. I know, I know I get care from them in other ways. But my mental illnesses aren’t separate from me, they are a part of me. Neglecting them is neglecting me. I think I’m also picking up on some of that mannerism. So this is me recognizing that and trying to not do it.

-I’m hoping this isn’t coming off as if I’m throwing myself a pity party over here. I’ve just realized something about my interactions with others that is leading me to feel like this.-

 

Writing Hiatus

If you couldn’t tell I haven’t been around lately….I haven’t written in weeks. I have been struggling to put my thoughts into words. Not only for all of you but also for those closest to me. I’ve been aloof, distant, and distracted. In therapy, my therapist and I came to the conclusion that I have been waiting to live my life due to my body. This was a really difficult revelation for me to grasp. For a few weeks after that meeting I couldn’t sleep through the night. My mind couldn’t stop… I couldn’t stop going over every decision for the past 23 years and trying to figure out the real motive for them.

Did I chose to do this because I wanted to or because of my body?

Did I chose to not to do this out of lack of interest or did I not think I was good enough? 

I also came to the realization during all this reflection that I had a list of things that I really want to do but haven’t because I don’t want to do them until I can look better doing them.

I want to travel with my boyfriend and see the world……but I don’t want to take pictures of disgusting me in these beautiful places.

I want to go kayaking as much as possible with my boyfriend and my friends….but oh lord I can’t even imagine what my body would look like sitting in a kayak.

I want to learn krav maga and/or boxing…but I can’t do that until I’m actually fit. Fat people can’t do that…I can’t do that.

These are 3 of countless things on my list. I hated learning that I had a list of wonderful things that I’ve been holding back on simply because I weigh more than I’d like to. It’s absurd. I’ve always thought that I was someone who tried her best to live life the way she wanted to but yet here I am with a LIST of things I refuse to do simply because of my body. So I’ve decided to start doing some of these things on my list. I’ve decided to make myself uncomfortable, do them, and enjoy them.

I’ve started small. We took a day trip to Cincinnati with one rule – no pictures. I don’t need pictures to have a good time and to savor memories. I just need to be present. I had a blast. Two of our friends went with us – we went to the aquarium, tried out some new breweries and restaurants, and went to The Taste of Cinci. I also decided to take an intro class for Krav Maga as well as boxing. I enjoyed both but for now I’m going to continue with just boxing. We’ll see where I go from here. I’m just going to keep repeating to myself — live.

UPDATE: The Challenge

So I actually worked out last night. I’m shocked at myself. I mean I hated every moment of it but I followed my therapist’s advice and I think it really helped.

She told me to go into my workout with the thought that it was going to be awful. She said you know its going to be hard, you know you’re going to struggle, you know it is going to suck, so tell yourself that. Don’t set yourself up with expectations that aren’t going to be true. So that’s how I treated it. So when I started to feel a real burn I told myself “I knew this would happen. It’s okay, I expected this. I knew this would happen.” When I needed to take a break I told myself “It is okay, I knew that it would be really difficult to make it through the entire workout without taking a break. I am okay.”

I was a lot nicer to myself during a workout than I ever had been before – CHEERS TO THAT. So I’m going to continue with this challenge. I’m going to keep trying to exercise throughout the week. I want to make a schedule so it becomes routine. Workout 1 complete, more to come.

The Challenge

So I have been doing pretty good with my eating lately. I can’t say that I’m extremely happy with all my choices but I’ve been doing better. Now, I’ve challenged myself with exercise.

oh my goodness….it’s so daunting.

 I used to be a pretty active person. I enjoyed working out. I enjoyed pushing myself. I think that’s what makes working out now so hard. I know what I’m capable of…or rather what I used to be capable of.

So now I’m dying 5 minutes into a simple workout and I honestly just get so angry.

I am pathetic.

I used to be be able to do this in less than half the time I can now.

Wow, I’m so awful. I am so fat.

These are a snippet of the thoughts that fill my head while I workout now. I know the more that I put off that first workout the more daunting it’s going to get. I am dreading this so much.

The Challenge: (From last Tuesday to tomorrow) Complete 1 workout.

It’s almost been the whole week and I’ve yet to workout once. Its the last night I have before I have to go to counseling and be honest about my exercise for the week. So it’s now or never. Stay tuned to see if I can finally get myself to do my first workout in I don’t know how long.

 

Recovery is so…WEIRD

I have been putting a lot of effort into my recovery because I really want this to work. I really want to love myself. I may not be fully believing everything I do and obviously things aren’t always at an upwards trajectory, it’s a roller coaster but I’m putting in work.

Fake it til you make it right?

So I’m sitting here reflecting on my changes. Because……I HAVEN’T BINGED IN 9 DAYS. When was the last time that happened…..couldn’t even tell you.

So I’m feeling good right now. I’m starting to think about all the changes I’ve made and how good I’m doing. And during this moment I just realized recovery is so weird. I never think about the positives. I’m a very reflective person and usually when I’m thinking about how things are or a situation or anything I focus on what I could be doing better, what I should be doing, what I didn’t do, what I “failed” at, etc. But here I am thinking about the good things I’ve done. AND WOW IS THAT WEIRD.

I still have this little voice in the back of my mind whispering at me “you still emotionally eat too much, you need to workout, you still hate taking pictures, etc” but it’s a little bit easier for me to push it away and focus not on what’s still to be worked on but what I’ve done already.

So I know not all days I will be feeling proud of myself or happy like I am today but I am going to revel in the moment because I don’t remember a time when I was proud of myself.

Remain Calm

So as you know I am a full-time staff member and a full-time graduate student. Today was my last day of class for the semester…woooooo….but I still have final exams to wrap up. So needless to say last week and this upcoming week are…..hell. School has been coming at me from every direction with everything being high priority.

Its really testing who I am and how much work I’ve already started to do on this recovery journey of mine. I don’t want to put effort into food or eating because I’m already exerting so much of my energy for school and work. Its tough. I really just want to live off of granola bars and anything else I can just grab and eat. I’m also trying to deal with all this stress and anxiety in different ways. I can’t just eat. Food can longer be my source of contentment or distraction in tough times. I am trying to remember that food is sustenance and fuel for my body. It’s not a comfort zone that I want to step into because I know that’s just diving down the rabbit hole.

So here I am repeating this mantra over and over. Remain calm. 

I am capable. I may not be capable of doing all schoolwork, working out 4 times a week, doing everything on my to do list at work, cleaning the apartment, getting enough sleep….and the list goes on. BUT I am capable of things. Just because I can’t complete everything in my highest hopes this week doesn’t mean I’m an inadequate person. It means I’m human. So I’m remaining calm. I taking my week day by day.