Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Phase 7: the Best Day in my Recovery (thus far)

Today was such an amazingly wonderful day! Why, you may ask?!? Because I was able to completely trust my Higher Power and remain fully aware and alert in my abstinence. I walked around High as kite all day long today... almost manic even. I was literally exuding joy, happiness and excitement!!!

I woke up VERY early this morning and text messaged with a fellow (she's a new mom and has as erratic a sleep schedule as I do). On my way to school I decided to call a newcomer I met a couple weeks ago, and I am so grateful that I did. I was able to share with her a lot of the things that my sponsor has shared with me (about progress and not perfection) and help her while simultaneously helping myself. I also go her to commit to coming to a meeting on Thursday. I feel like just reaching out to made, even if I said nothing of value, made both of our days more wonderful.

I enjoyed my morning class, where we learned more about group therapy (loving this topic). Then I was off to the gym and enjoyed my workout and mindful meditation class. Right after class, I had my therapy session with Dr. Marson. We spent the ENTIRE hour celebrating my success and the progress that I have made. For the first time ever I felt that I deserved to be happy... and she let me just sit and fill the room with my joy. I owned my success in working out, eating mindfully, abstaining from purging and living life just one day at a time trying to recover from my eating disorder. I told her that I really had lost the desire to purge, and for today my obsessions with food were manageable. Each day is going to be different and I feel that I am able to handle them. It felt AMAZING!!! I did not have to feel ashamed or guilty or like I was being conceited. I just got to feel over the moon with Joy. I instinctively wanted to not spend the whole time talking about it, but as time went on, it felt really comfortable to just enjoy it.

That being said... I have to remember that my diseased/vulnerable self has a very cunning and baffling side that can pop up at any moment. I spoke with Dr. Marson about how I feel really good, but am ambivalent to sit with that for too long. I have to still remember that I am a bulimic and that I have been known to binge and purge over being exceedingly happy. I am so grateful for my recovery and my abstinence today, but I am still at the beginning of this LIFE LONG process.

I didn't get to read Dr. Marson my writing about my worst day of my disorder, because we were focusing on the good stuff, but just having it written, (and seeing that it was 3 pages of hot mess) was very freeing for me! Hopefully I will get to read it to her at another time. I went ahead and read on, and the next step is to talk about my current stage of recovery. According to Costin & Grabb there are 10 Phases of Eating Disorder Recovery, and their next writing assignment is on which stage I am currently in

I feel like today, I am a solid 77. I CAN STOP THE BEHAVIORS, BUT NOT MY THOUGHTS.
-I can't stop thinking about food and binging all the time.
-I keep counting calories over and over in my head and still want to lose weight.
I feel like I have been completely relieved of my desire to purge. In the last approximately 50 days I have only thrown up twice,and to be honest, I would be perfectly fine not doing it ever again. My awareness about the purging (as well as my experience with my abstinence) has completely ruined purging as a coping mechanism for me. I know that wont make anything better, that it complicates my health issues, and to be honest, the last time I did throw up... it REALLY hurt. However, I still obsess a lot about the food, my weight, and engage in body checking behaviors. 
Food Obsession: Even though I know I need to eat larger, more satisfying meals, I still want to plan out my entire day of food, and obsess about making sure that it is perfectly balanced and not too many calories. Hours of my day are dedicated to this process, and it makes focusing during important events. I also am obsessed with the scale and wanting to weigh myself. For years, this is how I have defined myself and I still want to use it daily. I have removed it from my primary site, but I am still very much aware that it is there. I also still do a lot of body checking and negative self talk. I am particularly fond of how well my ribs and my hip bones protrude from beneath my skin. I am trying to incorporate more positive body checking rituals like vocally showing appreciation for my body, openly thanking it for all its hard work, not sucking in my stomach and just looking at myself and telling myself that I am beautiful and that I love myself. I still have a long way to go, but I feel like I am on the right track. Secretly I have not fully accepted my body for what it is, yet and want desperately to lost more weight. I am still holding on to the idea that "Thin Is Perfect" and I need to be thin to be worthy of anything. But, as long as I keep doing what I am doing, I am certain that I will make more progress.

I made another call to a different newcomer on my way to the 6 o clock meeting and felt equally as beneficial and lifted. Now that I have eaten my dinner I am starting to come down, and am soooo ready for bed. For now I am going to veg out and try to get to sleep early. So here are my AEIOU's for this MARVELOUS day.

A- Yes
E- 30 minutes rowing, 30 minute walk, 1 hour mindful meditation
I- I allowed myself to feel joy for all of my accomplishments, fed myself intuitively, went to a meeting, did program reading, meditated love and kindness, Put myself to bed early.
O- outreach calls to two fellows (both that went REALLY well), gave away a lot of energetic hugs, sent several outreach texts.
U- I can trust God to do for me what I have been unable to do on my own.

Cheers to more days JUST like today (or better). God, I pray that you help keep me abstinent for yet another day.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Post- Race Munchies!!!

I'm going to try and make this short... because I am tired and still have a lot of homework to do.

Today was somewhat of an odd day for me. I started with a nice slow shake out run that felt like it was never going to end and then headed out to internship. My metabolism has kicked in to overdrive and all I want to do is EAT THE WORLD!!!! Now, I understand that I just burned a billion calories yesterday... but that does not mean that I can just go willy nilly about my food. I have tried to find a good balance today, but I am still left sitting here at the end of the night wanting to go shove my head in to the refrigerator! I don't know whether I am hungry or if I am wanting to binge... so I have decided that I just need to stay away from the kitchen and ramp up my calorie intake for tomorrow.

I also had a very bizarre day around my readings/meditations. Lately I have felt as though my program and the things I have been experiencing in my life have been revolving around giving up control, and giving it over to the will of God (aka the third step: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him).  I woke up today and did a small reading that my sponsor asked me to do from the Big Book, and something interesting really stuck with me. The writer began talking about how not looking at how his addiction was affecting every aspect and behavior of his life hindered his recovery and made it more difficult for him to find the solutions. I feel like this really spoke to what I had been fighting with all the week.

My abstinence is that I must keep what I eat. And it is a miracle for me that I have not thrown up for this many days in a row (whoo!). However, there are several other things that I "engage in" that continue to feed my disease. By counting calories and obsessively planning my meals, I am not giving it over to God's will. And I am not allowing my Higher Power to return me to sanity by allowing the scale to dictate my life. I spoke with my sponsor tonight about what I read, and she suggested that I do some writing about the scale, and what it does to me mentally. I'm not sure I have the energy to do it right now... but perhaps that can be tomorrows post... I feel like I spent yesterday writing about it... so I'm going to bring it up in therapy tomorrow with Dr. Marson and see where it takes me.

The rest of my day was pretty selfish and almost lead to some overeating. I came home from internship and ate dinner, then went to Trader Joe's for some grocery shopping before getting a wonderful sports massage. However, my massage therapist was running late, and I booked my appointment a LITTLE too close to my meeting, and was not able to go to the 8pm meeting I wanted to. This made me feel REALLY guilty. How could I plan something so close to my meeting time. How could I be so self-centered?!?!? But then I realized that I could not control him being on time or late. It was out of BOTH of our control, and you know what... it was damn well worth it. Plus, it is not as if I scheduled it PLANNING to miss the meeting. It was just the way things worked out. Apparently my HP thought I had heard enough messages for one day.

I ate my snack afterwards and found myself extra hungry. I went back for another spoonful of peanut butter and before I knew it I was searching in the cabinets and the fridge for more to eat. I picked up the jar to have ONE more spoonful when I paused and said... "This is not a good idea."I quickly put the jar down and picked up my phone to send out some text messages. And now here I am. I grateful for the willingness to be aware of compromising situations. Eating Peanut Butter straight from the jar is a dangerous deal for me and something I have to watch for.

Ok, I keep trying to fall asleep which means it is time for my AEIOU's!!!

A- Yes
E- Ran a slow 4.4 miles (35 minutes)
I- Got a massage!, did some reading, spoke honestly about where I am at
O- encouraged 2 friends who were struggling to be gentle with themselves and not beat themselves up. Shared words of encouragement with those I care about
U- My willingness to be aware is my greatest asset today :)

God, I pray you help keep me abstinent for another day. Amen.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Measuring Stick

Happy Sunday Everyone!!! I am writing about my day for the delicious comfort of my bed!!! I ran the Ojai Half Marathon at 8am this morning (which meant I was up at 5am) and just now (2:30pm) have finished eating, showering, and putting my things away so that I can comfortably relax with my swag!!!

Holy Cow was this an amazing race! I wish that I was one of those people that ran with my cell phone so I could have taken pictures... but I am not, so you will have to pretend. The trail was fair, the scenery was breath taking (most of it), and the spirit in the air was exhilarating. When you add all of those things together, you got your self a pretty wonderful race day. So it should could as no surprise that I PR'd at this race:

Avg Pace

Yes, ladies and gentlemen... that says 1:46:48 (My previous PR was 1:47:37... that's almost a whole minute off my time!!! However, my chip time results were 1:46:16. but when I crossed the finish line my Garmin said 13.05.... which meant it was not TRULY a Half Marathon, so I kept running until it read 13.1 (crazy much?!?!?) Either way... it's a PR, and I am super excited! I really surprised myself with this race too. There were a lot of hills, and I was not anticipating doing anywhere near this well. There were some amazing moments during this race. The girl that actually let me talk to her while racing.. so sweet, at mile 10 when I poured a cup of Gatorade on my head... thinking that it was water (and the guy in front of me who I scared the shit out of when I cursed out loud), the finish line when I pounded so hard I thought I was going to fly and being able to bring in all the ladies on my running team, and anyone else who came in after me with a resounding applause as they crossed the finish line!

These are the AMAZING women I ran with from RacePace running

Now, that being said there are some things that I have to be aware of that my vulnerable/diseased self are trying to impart on me.

1) The only reason I did so well was because the weather was really cool and overcast for the first 45 minutes.
Now, this may not seem this harmless, but really it's pretty damaging to my psyche. Sure, the weather may have influenced my performance a TAD... but there were a lot of other factors at play. I have been training really hard, I have been taking care of my body by fueling it with good nutrition and self care (not binging and purging) and I deserve credit for my PR... not Mother Nature (although I do love her, and I am thankful that she gave me a WONDERFUL world to run in). I too often don't allow myself to take credit for my accomplishments... but for today I am going to say that I kick ass!!!

3) I burned over 1500 calories... so I should eat WHATEVER THE HELL I WANT
Some runners may feel that this is true, but that does not hold over well with this compulsive overeater/bulimic. Yes, I do need to replenish the stores that I have taken from, and do my part to refuel my body so that it can continue to work well for me... but that does not mean six extra helpings of food, or a free for all at the frozen yogurt place (although that is what I really want to do). Instead, I am going to reward all of my hard work with some healthy treats that I know will leave me satisfied. I am going to feed myself the way I usually do, but add JUST  few extras to make sure that I am not putting myself into starvation mode (which then leads to binge mode, and then into purge mode).

3) That I have now had 3 bowel movements and have burned over 1500 calories... so I should DEFINITELY weigh myself .
UUUUUmmmm... this is just all around a terrible idea. I have been thinking a lot about how much I let my weight dictate EVERYTHING about me. And I am not going to let it define my success for this day... or any day for that matter. That number will not make me happy and it will ruin the beautiful, blissful feelings I have about myself right now, and I am NOT willing to let anything take that away from me right now! So i am here to say that Just for Today: I can own and accept my accomplishments, and not look for others excuses for why they occurred. THE SCALE DOES NOT DEFINE MY SUCCESS. I EARNED MY PR... NOT MY WEIGHT!!!

When I finally got home I received a call from one of my FAVORITE OA's who was carrying the EXACT message to replicate what I was already thinking. She brought to my attention that what keeps us miserable in our disease the most is that we are constantly using a "Measuring Stick" to compare ourselves to others, put them down, and make our selves feel better. Like, "My shoes are better than her... I'm a better person," "I'm thinner and faster than her, so that makes me more superior," or

She told me that we use a lot of tools to compare ourselves to the rest of the world: our weight, our size, our cars, our clothing, our ability to restrict food, our ability to eat a healthy diet, education, housing status, partners... YOU NAME IT!!! The measuring stick has served a wonderful purpose in my life as a great coping mechanism to protect myself and make myself better... but it has simultaneously made me hate who I am for being so judgmental and petty. So, I have decided that I am going to turn over my scale to God... and no longer use it as a measuring stick in my life to keep me perched above the world.

The rest of my evening was filled with food, an OA meeting some quality time with Tyler. We went and got some Frozen Yogurt at our favorite shop. Every bite was delicious and enjoyed :). One of the pieces of advice that I have come across in my recovery is to try new things when I'm feeling good and to play it safe when I'm not. Today, I am feeling good... so I mixed it up a little.

With that, I think it's time for some AEIOU's  and bed time!

A- Yes
E- I ran a half marathon!!!! and PR'd :)
I- I was gentle, I fueled my body, I celebrated my successes, I rested, I shared my struggle, I opened my heart to my HP, I asked questions and was genuine, I thanked each piece of my body for all the hard work it put in (literally, I did this in front of the mirror and in the shower...).
O- I was kind, I bought coffee for the two women I ran with, I celebrated the success of others, I opened my heart and my mind so that someone elses' story could come in. I outreached to two fellows.
U- When I take care of little Christina, Big Christina can accomplish amazing things! I have to relieve my self centeredness by not allowing myself to play God. I am no longer in control!

God, I pray that you will help keep me Abstinent for another day. Amen

Saturday, April 27, 2013

My Worst Eating Disorder Day

Today was somewhat of an unbalanced day... as I feel most of them have come to be. I woke up early for a CPR training on campus, had a WONDERFUL time, and then came home to a beautiful nap. From there... it got a little unpredictable and started to go downhill... but we wont go in to the details. Just know that I felt REALLY embarrassed, REALLY agitated, and became somewhat irritable and "Brat-Like". I knew that regardless of my mood, I had some homework and personal reading that I wanted to get done, so I tried to dive myself into that instead of the food.

One of the personal reads that I wanted to pick up was a book called "8 Keys to Recovery from an Eating Disorder" by Carolyn Costin and Gwen Schubert Grabb. It is designed as a "self-help" and clinician's tool to help people recover from eating disorders (much like the title implies).

book cover
The twist is that both of the authors are therapists who consider themselves recovered from their eating disorder (from what I gather thus far both battled anorexia). The book has lots of tips, stories and exercises to use to put into action to help the recovering ED'd person (like MYSELF ;] ). One of the tools that they suggest is writing, and of course they have PLENTY of writing exercises for us to try out (what have I gotten myself into). So, I just finished reading the intro and the beginning of Chapter 1: Motivation, Patience and Hope and I have come across the first journaling exercise; Your Worst Eating Disorder Day Ever. Since I am way too cool lazy to hand write in a journal, I decided I would use today's blog to do just that. So, here goes nothing:

It's hard to imagine what my worst eating disorder day was, because I feel like ALL of them were the worst. Just being and living in bulimia felt terrible the majority of the time. My days that I would consider to be exceedingly bad were full of deception, isolation, self pity and a ton of binging and vomiting. I consider myself a night owl and this is when I did most of my "Best" work. I can remember one particular time that Tyler (my boyfriend of 5+ years) and I were having some awkward fights all night long because I wanted to have sex and he simply kept reporting that he was, "Too tired to make love" to me. Although I genuinely knew that he was just exhausted I took this as a very personal insult to me as a female.

"What must be so wrong with me that my own boyfriend doesn't want to have sex with me? I must be the ugliest woman on the planet. The thought of me naked is making him sick, and he has to "pretend" that he is tired just so that he doesn't have to look at me. I bet there is another girl, someone... someone who is everything that I am not. Not that it would be hard to find her, because I am nothing. I am a disgusting piece of fat, human flesh that is undeserving of the kindness and compassion of another human being. Look at him, He doesn't care about me... and why should he?!?! I'm annoying, unattractive, a horrible FUCK, and a true pain in the ass. I don't know why he is wasting his time on me...."

And so it went on in my head for HOURS as we watched a movie sitting in his living room. I had already made up my mind that if he didn't care enough about my satisfaction, then I would find someone that would. I don't believe in cheating in relationships, and I care way too much about Tyler to ever become emotionally or physically involved with another man... so I had to fill my void with something else. Something that has ALWAYS worked in the past. Food. When the movie ended and he announced that it was time to go to bed I made up some excuse for why I needed to sleep in my own bed that night (I had to get up early, I wasn't really tired and I didn't want to keep him up, I needed to work on "homework"... I was an endless lie factory) and I walked myself out the door. Of course, he didn't put up a fight for me to stay and off I went into the night to go replace every ounce of angry, jealous, dissatisfied and hurt emotion in my body with something of substance. 

I stopped at the Ralph's just before the freeway on ramp (because they have self check out machines) and stocked up on all the essentials. Pop tarts, cookies, ice cream, trail mix, chips and danishes and Reese's peanut butter cups over flowing in the hand basket, because I had to have enough food to last the 30 minute car ride home and then still have something to eat when I got home as I paid and hopped in my car. I could not wait to open up a package and dive in. My mouth had been salivating for hours waiting for the sweet taste of food. Before I could even get my seat belt on, the bag of chips was open. I mindlessly ate through the entire drive home. It is hard to know exactly how much I ate... most of the items are a blur and most were gone by the time I got home. I believe only the cookies and the ice cream were left for me when I got home. 

I cleaned up most of the wrappers from inside the car, but then placed them in a bag in my trunk. I would throw them away on trash day so that my family wouldn't see the wrappers. When I got home, I put the ice cream in the fridge and looked to see what my mother had made for dinner and if there was any left overs. Lucky for me, she made beans and rice for dinner. I grabbed a bag of Frito's Scoops and headed off in to my bedroom. I turned the television on and just ate away. before I knew it, the entire container of food was gone and I was left with nothing but salty, greasy fingers and crumbs all over my bed. I remembered that my mom had a piece of cake from a work function that was sitting in the fridge. I grabbed that and decided to make a Double Decker Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich while I was at it. I knew the cake wasn't going to last all the way through the next commercial break. 

At this point, I was beginning to feel full, but I had plans to eat so much more. A bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats and Cheerios, the Ice cream I bought, graham crackers and more peanut butter... and I there were some frozen waffles in the freezer that I had totally forgot that I wanted to eat!!! I decided to go for the ice cream since I had gone out of my way to purchase it. By the time I went through the pint I literally could not breathe because I was so full... Each breath sent a shooting pain up my side, and the only position that felt comfortable was to lying down. 

I laid there for a few moments... trying to decide whether I could manage to eat one more thing, or if I should just wait for the commercial break so I could go throw up. A few minutes passed and I FELL ASLEEP!!! I woke up about an hour later in an absolute panic and headed straight for the bathroom. I knelt in front of the toilet, put my right index and middle finger in my mouth and gently pushed them back and forth until the vomit   came spewing from my mouth. I could BREATHE again and I felt exhilarated. I vomited for a few minutes, each time feeling like the world was being lifted from my shoulders. Eventually my throat my sore, my stomach was empty, my eyes were watering, and I was exhausted...

But I felt great. In fact... I felt nothing. 

I went back to my bed and continued watching my television program. During one of the commercials I began to remember the Frosted Mini Wheats that I never got to eat. I told myself that I could have them with tomorrow nights binge and convinced myself that I was too tired. A few minutes passed, and all I could think about was the damn cereal. I told myself that I really needed some sort of nutrient in my body and that one bowl of cereal would not hurt me. I even decided I was going to eat the Cheerios's instead, because they were better for me. Within in minutes I found myself in the kitchen making a bowl of cereal. Only, I couldn't just eat plain Cheerios... I added chocolate covered raisins to them so that I felt really satisfied. I went back to my bedroom and polished off the bowl.

I wanted more. And so it went on for about another 40 minutes. A bagel and cream cheese, more Graham crackers, a piece of string cheese and wheat thins with cream cheese, a jello pudding cup, and eventually the beloved Mini Wheats that I NEVER ACTUALLY ATE!!! (I had two of those to make up for the one I never ate). It was two AM and I knew that I needed to go to bed. I found myself in the bathroom one more time and vomited until I felt a rush of euphoria and then the sweet, serene void of emotions. I rinsed my mouth out with mouthwash, and put myself back to bed. I had forgotten all about Tyler and the fact that he was unwilling to have sex with me... I was ready to go to sleep.

When I woke up the next morning, I felt awful. My mouth was dry, and tasted horrible, I felt as though I had only been asleep for a couple minutes and I could not believe what I had done. I felt so ashamed. I had lied to my partner, I had spent so much money on food that I had then flushed down the toilet, and I was embarrassed by the food crumbs in my bed, and I instantly remembered the trash in my trunk. What kind of horrible person was I?!?!?! If only I had just stayed at Tyler's... none of this would have happened. I began to cry, because I then remembered that I was angry with him, and knew that I wouldn't hear from him for hours. I just wanted to pull the blanket over my head and push the "Do Over button". I told myself that I was not going to eat for breakfast to make up for all the calories I knew I had consumed and eventually drifted back to sleep.

Eventually I heard my mom and step dad making breakfast in the kitchen, and all I could think was, "God I hope its something I could eat." I dragged myself out of bed and went to find that they had made waffles! I had never been so excited in my life. But I knew that I could justify eating waffles after what I had done. I decided to eat half of a banana, go for a 5 mile run, and then I could eat a waffle after I returned.

During the run I raddled off the list of food that I had eaten... things I didn't remember planning or actually eating. I think that I was hoping that listing them would remove their content from my body (especially since it was while I was running). I vowed to myself that this was the last time that I was ever going to treat my body this way, and pushed my pace just a little bit harder. I had made a plan of all the "healthy" foods I was going to eat for the day in order to "Get back on track". 

When I got home I drank a glass of soy milk and hopped in the shower. I saw the scale sitting next to the toilet and was tempted to step on it... but I knew that was a horrible idea. Besides, I hadn't had a bowel movement yet, and I had rules about weighing myself 1. I have to have exercised 2) I had to have not eaten breakfast yet 3) I had to have had a bowel movement.besides, even though I had exercised (I ran 6 miles) I felt HUGE. I talked myself out of stepping on the scale and just stood in front of the mirror looking to see all the bulges of the foods I had eaten the few hours before. I sucked in my stomach, lifted my breasts and looked at myself from all angels, grabbing the fatty side ares that I felt the most ashamed. I finally left the bathroom and I quickly got dressed in a fresh pair of pajamas away from my bedroom mirror where I could continue to scrutinize my hideous shape. I grabbed one waffle, sliced up a banana and poured almonds, honey and syrup all over it. I told myself, there was no sense in continuing to punish myself and that I might as well eat something for breakfast and start the day over. I ate in my bedroom because my parents had already eaten, and I felt awkward eating in front of them.

Only, waffles are not a very safe food for me. I felt guilty for eating something and told myself I should have had eggs instead! How could I be so stupid!!?!?!? I was still exhausted and had wasted almost and entire day. It was noon, and I had accomplished no homework and had not heard anything from Tyler.. Wasn't he worried about me!?!? No, of course not... he was being a good, productive student and doing his homework unlike lazy, worthless me.  My parents were getting ready to leave to run errands and my mental planning began.  As soon as they left, I hit the cupboards. 

I binged and purged a few more times that day... each time ending in tears... wishing that I could stop. My mom called me when they were on their way home and asked if I wanted anything for lunch from Del Taco. Without hesitation I said "A veggie works burrito, a quesadilla and a large french fry". I threw up one more time before they got home so that I had room. I ate each bite of that food and then vomited silently in the bathroom. 3 o clock... and nothing had been done. I remembered that there were some ice cream bars in the fridge, so I ate those with some almonds and held on to them for a bit. Eventually Tyler called and we resolved not to make plans for the day. this was perfect because now I could keep binging. As I hung up the phone I laid in bed and cried myself back to sleep. 

My phone rang, and i did not answer it. I could not talk to anyone right now. I checked my emails and mindlessly refreshed Facebook, but I could not actually interact with the human race. I could not put clothes on and be a functioning member of society. I laid in bed all afternoon drinking caprisun and vitamin water to rehydrate myself. Eventually I fell back to sleep to a lifetime movie. When i woke up, it was dinner time... and the cycle just went on. 


Wow... that was really difficult... even somewhat triggering... and so sad. I am going to commit now to reading this to my therapist during our session on Tuesday. I don't have the will power to read it back now. Although it was hard to be this brutally honest... it somehow feels freeing... but I am sitting with a lot of those feelings right now.

Sadly, it is late, and I have to get up at 5am for my RACE TOMORROW!!! I am running to Ojai Half marathon as part of my 13-13.1's in 2013 and I am super excited... yet nervous about this race. It's going to be very hilly, so I am not expecting a PR... but I will bring my A-Game regardless :)

Well, last but not least, here are my AEIOU's for the day

A- YES. I kept what I ate :)
E- 40 minute light sunset walk
I- I was gentle with myself, I fed myself, I made outreach calls, I did some reading and writing, I learned CPR and First aid, I did some reading for class on Group Therapy, I sat in my back yard, I choose a MUCH needed nap over going to an OA meeting (bad sponsee!!!), I did NOT compulsively buy new running shoes, I cleaned my own room. I did NOT go in for 4pm-12:30 work shift because I knew it would ruin my race!!!
O- I rehearsed Madrigals with Tyler, I complemented a stranger. I checked in on a struggling OA, I shared my story on this blog to try and help someone else, I helped clean the kitchen and bathroom
U- I have come to a point where I am no longer controlling my "diet", but it is controlling me through my disease. I do not want to be married with children still struggling to let go of this affliction, and my desire to get better and healthier has to be stronger than my FEAR of gaining weight or failure. I want "to look my past in the face, see it for what it really was, and release it so I can live today."

Wish Me Luck!!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Moving a Mountain


This was the quote that I woke up to today on my dailyrecovery app. I think it is pretty poignant to where I am at in my life right now. I'm becoming really frustrated in my recovery. Not that I don't enjoy being in recovery... but some days it just feels like too much work!!! I get irritated when I feel like I can't do anything right and that it is not ever going to make any sense to me. I just want to have it all figured out TODAY!!!

For me, my Bulimia, restricting and compulsive eating is a mountain that I am trying to remove in my life. It is blocking me from being able to be present and genuinely enjoy life. But this is not a removal that is going to happen overnight. Each day in my recovery is just one small stone... and there are many stones that have to be carried away. I have already moved quite a few, some of them heavier than the other, but staring at the giant mountain left in front of me becomes very intimidating. 

The stone that I carried away today was one that was tied to not listening to my body. As you guys know I have been struggling for the last week and a half to try to add more food to my diet. Dealing with feeling disgustingly fully and miserable, it feels like I should just be binging. So, just for today, I listened to my body. I didn't eat to the clock (well, not as strictly as I usually do) and ate when I was hungry. I didn't eat in the order that I "thought" I was suppose to, and I ate what i really wanted to eat. I think this worked out much better. Don't get me wrong. I still felt really full after my dinner and was a little uncomfortable, but I didn't eat my last snack until about an hour ago, and I am OK with that! I can eat at 10 o clock and night and it doesn't mean that I have to binge. These are all things that signify a "Diet" and I am trying to eliminate the "D" word from my vocabulary. 

I went to Group Therapy this morning, and we went over the goals that we had set for ourselves for the week. We have one food related goal, and one non-food related goal mine were:

Food Related: I will keep what I eat every day this week & not weigh myself this week
I did really good with both of these goals this week. I did not purge once... even when I REALLY wanted to. To be honest, my desire to throw up has pretty much disappeared since I started eating more satisfying meals. Except on the rare occasion that I felt like I REALLY overate (Mexican food and lunch on Thursday) And I stayed away from the scale... even though I was tempted to do it. On the first of the year I brought the scale out of hiding, hoping that my will power would be strong enough for me to really lose some weight and appropriately track my progress. So far, that has proven to be impossible...So, after talking about it today in group, I decided that it is time to put it back in its respectful place on the top shelf of my Mother's closet. Having it in the bathroom, where I have to see it several times a day is like a reminder for me that I am unhappy about my weight and that I define myself by the number on the scale. So, when I brushed my teeth tonight, I put the scale back in my Mom's room. I'm really good at the whole "out of sight, out of mind" things, so I am hoping that I'll forget about it in a day or two. However, I am running a half marathon on Sunday and the first of the month is coming up, so I am going to be VERY tempted to pull it out. But, just for today... I will weight myself on the day that will never come: tomorrow.

Non-Food Related: I will find one thing to be grateful for everyday this week.
To be honest... I completely forgot that I had written this goal... but I feel like it is something I did pretty subconsciously ;) Maybe I can try to incorporate it into this week and add it to the blog

My goals for the upcoming week are 

Food Related: Be less obsessive about counting calories and more intuitive about food choices. Use running for meditation and not food planning

Non-Food Related: Do my readings for my classes!!!

We'll see how these work out. I think I might have set the bar a little high, but I have hope for myself :)

The rest of my day was nice and relaxing. I enjoyed a wonderful podcast from the OA intergroup, because I choose not to go to a meeting so I could spend more time with Tyler. The speaker had a lot of really great things to say, and I enjoyed hearing her strength and hope. Two things that I pulled from her share was her definition of being a Compulsive Overeater. It gave me an idea to do the same thing for myself, since we have some differences

I am a compulsive overeater and bulimic, and there is no quantity of food in the world that is going to fill me up. I will eat until I am sick and then I will make myself throw up. To fill the void, I will then just keep eating. I will eat and purge until I am miserable. I will eat foods in excess that I do not even WANT. I will spend hours and days figuring out what I am going to eat, when, where and how to eat. I will spend an equal amount of time figuring out how to get food because I cannot let myself fill that place with love, compassion, integrity or God. I am not perfect, I will never be perfect, but I will always be a compulsive overeater and I need to learn to accept myself just the way that I am so that I can begin to heal. 

The other one was: "One of our slogans is not: "I'm going to figure it out."" and the theme that losing weight is not what my recovery is about. I heard this message yesterday at the meeting,  it is about accepting myself exactly the way I am and learning to be comfortable in your own skin in order to love myself unconditionally. . She spoke about being at goal weight, and still feeling absolutely miserable, but feeling more comfortable in her own skin at a much heavier weight. I know that this is something that I really need to start affirming to myself daily in order to start making it a part of my life.

With all of that being said... it is time to my AEIOU's so I can go to sleep!!!

A- Yes
E- ran 35 minutes (4.35 miles)
I- had some jacuzzi time and relaxed, listened to my body to dictate when I should eat, and not external ques. I called two people that I respect in program to talk to them. I was honest with myself today. I choose to listen to a podcast instead of going to a meeting to spend time with Tyler 
O- I outreached to fellows, volunteered at the Suicide Prevention Center and helped 3 people in suicidal crisis, I made myself available to a friend to help her figure out a very big decision in her life. 
U- I do not remember how to live without being on a "diet", but I am willing to learn :)

Time for bed :)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

The Wallflower that dances on tabletops

My goodness was today a good day. The sun is shining, my schedule is packed, and I am abstinent from binging and purging!!! What more could a girl in recovery ask for?!?! I think part of my serene mood is coming from the fact that I actually got some solid sleep last night. I took a target sleep aid before going to bed, and drifted right off to sleep at around 11pm. I woke up at 2:30 to pee, but was able to get right back to sleep. I woke up again at about 5ish and had more trouble lulling back off (until 5:40 when I feel back in to a deep sleep) and was "Up and Atem" at 6am this morning... READY TO GO!!! I got to school in PLENTY OF TIME and had a wonderful day of learning.

I was having a conversation with one of my good friends who also suffers from an ED. I'm not sure what prompted me to bring it up, but I asked her about her thoughts on permanent recovery. I really admire her, and respect her so I hold a very high regard for her wisdom and insight. Basically we found that we both feel that our ED's are something we are going to have to struggle with be conscious of for the rest of our lives, and that there is no true "cure" for our illness. However, we also do believe recovery is possible (depending on how you define it) and that not engaging in ED behaviors does create a more meaningful way of life.

We discussed how long we had been living with our ED and how long we had be "clean".. and it was at that moment that I realized that in the last 46 days... I have managed to only throw up twice!!! This may not sound like a big deal, but if I was still engaging in my sickness I would have thrown up somewhere between 50 and 80 times. I don't know about you guys... but that sounds like progress to me ;)

In the afternoon I went to a lecture called on the Neurobiology of Eating Disorders. It really focused on the etiological factors of eating disorders and the effects of learned fear responses and anxiety on the development and stabalization of Eating Disorders. I found it really interesting and took away some "nuggets" of info

1. The act of starvation/restricting makes food the most important thing in life
2. We can tend to view restricting as a sign of strength and moral character
3. The feelings of abnormality or that "something is wrong with me" originated at a really young age. For it, it stems back to when my father and mother divorced and his and my relationship became strained
4. We are programmed NOT to starve, so when we do, our body begins to compensate by doing very bizarre things
5. The feared consequence goes of an eating disorder goes beyond the fear of gaining weight, but it is more or less about what we are afraid of once we gain the weight
(For me, this is that people will think that I am disgusting and not want to be around me. I am afraid that I willl be alone and unloved if I gain weight.I'll write more about this later)

The most important thing I took away from the lecture was a quote that the lecturer said:

"The bulimic is a Wallflower that dances on tabletops" - Norman Kim, Ph.D.

I don't know exactly how to describe what this means... but when he said it, I felt as though he was saying it directly to me!!! I feel like I try so hard to not stand out, but be the center of attention with everything I do. I want to blend in perfectly, but be noticed and appreciated my others... its a very bizarre combination of needs and wants.

After this lecture, everything went down hill for me today. I felt so insanely full, and uncomfortable and all I wanted to do was either poop, run or throw up to get rid of the horrible knot in my stomach. I spent the rest of the afternoon irritable, agitated and pissed off at everything. I even created an "Irritated Inventory" while I was on my run. It looked something like this:
I'm irritated that:
- I have made my life unmanageable
- That I have a boyfriend who takes 24 hours to respond to my texts
- That I have to compete with everyone
- That this damn process has to take so long
- That I spend the majority of my day thinking about food
- That people in the Lifeline Sampler have found recovery and are abstinent
- That I am so aware of my maladaptive behaviors that using them for comfort wouldn't be comforting at all
- I'm irritated that I cant just figure this shit out

This could go on for a while... but I think you get the point. The best part, is that this is one of the best runs I have EVER had off of a treadmill!

Avg Pace
Do you see that dark blue line.... that would be a sub 8 minute mile. There's a really good story behind this. So, I'm running, and all of a sudden this guy comes out of nowhere and starts passing me. I had been running a pretty good pace up until then, so I saw this as a challenge... CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!!! he was running SUPER fast and it was actually really difficult for me to keep up with him, but I had accepted a challenge, I couldn't back down! So I kept at it, and eventually he dropped out of the race (that he didn't know he was running). I looked down at my watch and saw this for my lap time and about died!!!! That is suuuper effing fast. 

I wish I could say I was proud... but I have still just been in a sad place all evening. I'm not sure what to do. I really want to binge, but I know it wont help. I'm going to try and go to sleep and hopefully I can wake up in the morning feeling better.

Take care and Pray for me,


Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Accepting Life... Just as It Is


Today has been a sorta rough day. I'm still having a lot of trouble sleeping so I have been very exhausted. I think tonight I am going to take a sleep aid to see if that helps, because I cant keep feeling this sluggish. But, that did not stop me from having an AMAZING run this morning. I'm not sure if it was the "rest day" that I had yesterday, the pasta dinner I ate last night or the honey I added to my 1/2 a banana this morning (or the combination of all 3) but I had the best avg pacel and lap times that I have had in FOREVER during my 6 mile run this morning. Granted, I got a little tired by the time I hit mile 5, but I still kept up and amazing pace! Check out my splits!!!!!:

Avg Pace

I haven't ever run that fast off of a treadmill!!!

It was super overcast and gloomy this morning... and all throughout the day... because it was suppose to "rain" today. Although I love this type of weather for running in (I am a cool weather runner), I do not appreciate it on productive days :/. I just felt sluggish and wanted nothing but to come home and take a nap all day. I was having trouble focusing in meetings, staying alert when talking to people, and had a hard time getting through the work I had to do.

This was not the only thing occuppying my thoughts today. Lately, I have been obsessing A LOT over my meal plans. I find my self spending hours out of the day trying to "perfectly" plan my foods and make they fit ever so. Not only that, but all I concern myself with all day is when I am going to eat next, whether or not I am going to be hungry? (really, Christina, You're ALWAYS hungry!!!!) if I wait too long... does that mean I am restricting? Is it the right amount of food, are the calories right?! Is the balance of protein, carbs and fats right?!? Literally HOURS out of my day. I know I mentioned it yesterday during my AEIOU's, but I am really getting concerned that I am losing out on all of the things that life has to offer because I am so preoccupied with food. I keep looking up recipies, "pre and post workout" snacks for runners, recepies (that I know I am NEVER going to make), using Fooducate to give me the grade of my food items to make sure I am making the "BEST" choice for me, calorie counting....and anything to keep me over involved in my food plan. I am still getting really hung up on the "timing" of my meals... because I am not always hungry when i am suppose to eat, or I am not in a place where I can eat like a lady. I know I'm not going to be perect right now, and the nutritionist just suggested that I do what works for me. I might be sending her an email tomorrow to set up an appointment with her next week. I have some portion questions for her, and want to see if she has any other suggestions.

I know I am still in the beginning of my recovery, and that I need to be much more gentle with myself, but I am just sooooo afraid of gaining weight. I am afraid that eating this amount of food is going to make me gain weight. I realize that I need to give up the control that I am holding onto over this, or I am not going to actually recover... but hey ONE DAY AT A TIME! I am just not ready to give over this control and obsession over to God JUST yet.

Anyways... I went to a meeting tonight and met the most AMAZING woman who has over 26 years of abstinence in program. She has everything I want, and i literally hung off of every word she said. She spoke about being able to be nonjudgmental, having a good life, with valuable relationships and a genuine happiness towards life.l. all the things that I want to eventually achieve. I stuck around for a bit to get her number and talk to her about how to build a relationship with my Higher Power, and her suggestion was to just say one prayer everyday and slowly, but gradually let it grow. She said a lot more, but that was the gist. I also feel like this summed up her message....:

She spent most of her young life overweight, which is something I really relate to. It is really difficult to grow up having a very insecure sense of yourself. I have very vivid memories of being a kid just completely submersed in food. I had a giant recliner in the back room of my grandmothers house that I would just crawl in to and become invisible to the rest of the world. Most of my afternoons were spent sitting in front of a television with a TV tray eating snack after snack after snack. Sometimes I would do homework, or go play with the neighbor kids... but most of the time, I could not wait to go home and get to that chair. Most of the time I didn't even have to go to the kitchen and get it, my grandmother would just bring them to me. I can remember being made fun of, teased, and having horrible things said about me behind my back and to my face, which always made me feel like I was less than. I suppose thats why I now feel like I have something to prove to the world. My perfectionist tendencies, my constant drive to be better, do better and become better and always feeling like I am just not good enough... no matter how many people (including myself) tell me differently. And it just becomes painful and discomforting. 

So for today, I will accept the fact that I am STILL a Compulsive Overeater and there are just certain things my vulnerable self still have a large control over. But, I know that as long as I keep making the right choices (even if I don't want to) that eventually my healthy self will will become stronger and start having the louder voice in my head!

Anywhoo, I still have some reading to do for class tomorrow, so I am going to close this with my AEIOU's for day :) I am also going to start adding my food plan... because WHY NOT?!?!

Breakfast: 3 egg whites and 1 yolk with mushrooms, kale, salsa, Mediterranean flatbread, avocado and apple sauce
Snack: greek yogurt and 1/2 cup cereal and coconut
Lunch: 1 cup rice, veggies and tofu
Snack: Banana, Peanut butter and toast
Dinner: 1 cup oatmeal, 12 almonds, coconut, bluberries, almond milk and honey.

Now, let's do some AEIOU's!

A- yes
E- ran 6.13miles (50 minutes)
I- Enjoyed my food, ate lunch with my colleages (I usually eat alone... and almost did today. They wanted to eat at the restaurant and I was going to eat back at the office, but I ate with them in the restaurant like a "normie") Went to a meeting, did some writing. listened to my body as I went running, checked in with my sponsor. 
O- I held my mom while she was crying and in pain, donated pairs of shoes to a charity, I was of service to a fellow and encourage her to continue her sobriety and was of service in the meeting I attended, thanked the meeting leader, check in on a friends. 
U- I need to learn to accept the life I have, both the good and the bad. I should eat Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Prince, and Dinner like a Pauper.