Friday, April 19, 2013

Catch Up!

So, I feel awful bad for depriving you of a true post yesterday, and I have had so much happen since 6am that I feel like I need to write about it :)

Lets start with Yesterday: 4/18/13

I finally updated the software on my iPhone! I have the iPhone 4 (which I bought when everyone was buying the 4s/5)... which in cell phone years means mine is a dinosaur!!! I never updated the software on my phone, because everyone who was updating their 4s' and 5's were losing all their contacts, and having a lot of difficulties... so I was too afraid to do it. But, recently there have been a lot of apps that I have wanted to download onto my phone, and couldn't because I did not have the appropriate software :( I finally bit the bullet and did it yesterday and I couldn't be happier!!! I have fun apps, and everything is much much prettier. I am glad that I faced my fear and updated my phone.

One of the apps that I was really excited to upload to the phone is called Recovery Record. It is an app that is literally created to help you recover from eating disorders. You log your foods, thoughts, binges, purges, feelings, set goals for yourself and each time you make an entry it sends really beautiful inspirational quotes... Like THESE ones:        

Really wonderful, right?!?!?! I'm only on Day Two of using the app, but so far, I really like it. It has the potential of being really tedious, but hey.. have to put in the work to recover. There is also a separate log in for your clinician so that they can see everything that you are tracking and you can work together to create a more complete recovery plan. Once I've spent a little more time on it, I give a full report ;)

Remember when I went to go see the Dietitian last week?!?!So, I went back for my follow up appointment yesterday, and got some wonderful news!

1. I lost 3lbs (secret yay)
2. I still need to be eating MORE FOOD!!! (yikes!!!)

Last week, she told me to start aiming for 1800-1900 calories a day... ok... I can handle that. After "further analysis" of my daily food intake and my activity level, she has decided that the ACTUAL caloric range that I need to be aiming for 2200-2600 calories!!! I'm not sure about you guys... but that just sounds like a RIDICULOUS amount of food.

Hearing all of this information (and high numbers) got my head spinning! visions of mountains of food started dancing in my head.

When things like that start to happen, that means that it is time for formulate an ACTION PLAN!!!

My food Action Plan:
1. Keep eating the way I have been eating for at least the next 5 days.
      (adding a portion of carbohydrates to lunch and dinner)
2. Continue to try integrating new foods, and mixing up the types of food (moderately)
3. After those 5 days, I will slowly begin to add about 100 calories of food to my day. Each week adding more than the week before for 3 weeks.

If I just starting adding on mas amounts of food now, it is going to result in sabotage... so "Easy Does It" and "One Day at a Time" is how I plan to work on this goal.

The rest of yesterday was a bit of a challenge. I had an "argument" with one of my good friends and it got me REALLY upset. She snapped at me in front of a group of people over something that I did not understand and I was left feeling surprised, hurt and embarrassed. Although having those feelings did not automatically lead me to thoughts of binging (progress?!?!) I knew that holding on to it was something that WOULD make me want to binge. I kept to my self for a little while, trying to figure out what I could have done different to have avoided the situation. I was starting to beat myself up and get really angry. I had plans of just leaving class, not talking to ANYONE and just going straight home. Then it hit me... I simply can not control how other people are going to respond to me all the time (yesterday's U). I'm still not exactly sure what I did that made her so upset, but it did. I can't change that, so dwelling on it is not going to help. I also cant go through life worrying about everything I say and do with the notion of pleasing everyone. Sometimes people are going to get upset with me or things I say/do... and that is OK. I can respond by trying to figure out what happened and make amends for whatever it is.

So that's what I did. Pretty mature of me, right?! There were other things that went on yesterday, but those were the most important :)

On to TODAY!!! 4/19/13

I woke up at 5:30am today to do a long run (11.5 miles). Now, you wouldn't believe it, but it was an amazing run. I woke up with so much energy and excitement and I kept that momentum through every mile. I don't normally do long runs in my neighborhood, but with a timing issues, I didn't have much of a choice. But it was surprisingly nice. I added some random streets, tried out some new routes, and found that the hidden hills of Chatsworth, Ca are actually pretty impressive. After my run I ate my usual breakfast, showered and headed up to UCLA for Group Therapy.

Now, usually I am the one facilitating a group process, but for today I got to be a participant! At first, I was a little uncomfortable, but in the end, I really enjoyed the experience. The group is lead by my therapist and there are 7 other people participating (both male and female). All of us are at very different levels of our recovery, have very different histories and bring a lot to the table. We began with a mindful meditation that focused on body awareness and acceptance that I found really soothing and a little triggering. At one point Dr. Marson asked us to picture our bodies and scan ourselves from head to toe, and just be cognizant of what we saw.... and the strange thing was, I could envision my face. I could see every inch of my body (every imperfection, line, bulge, and colored detail), but I really had to think much harder about my facial features.

I'm still not sure what that really means, or signifies, but it brought a small tear to my eye. Do I view myself as so unimportant that I don't even have a face?!?! It's something to meditate on and discuss during therapy I guess.

She also had us repeat some positive affirmations in our head to ourselves, and I thought that it was really nice. They were phrases like:

"I am at home in my body" "I accept myself the way I am" and some others. I really focused on the first one, because that is how I want to feel! The rest of the group went really well, but my favorite part was when we discussed what Recovery is. She gave us a wonderful Quote from a book by Carolyn Costin called 100 Questions and Answers about Eating Disorders. It was a really beautiful passage and I want to share it:

"Being recovered is when the person can accept his or her natural body size and shape and no longer has a self-destructive relationship with food or exercise. When you are recovered, food and weight will take a proper perspective in your life, and what you weight is not more important than who you are; in fact, actual numbers are of little or no importance at all. When recovered, you will not compromise your health or betray your soul to look a certain way, wear a certain size, or reach a certain number on the scale. When you are recovered, you do not use eating disorder behaviors to deal with, distract from or cope with problems. "

Man... there are so many wonderful things in here, and it brings up a lot of things for me. I only have time to write about one though, so I will start with the first sentence.

"Being recovered is when the person can accept his or her natural body size and shape and no longer has a self-destructive relationship with food or exercise."

What I see here is that I have to be willing to accept myself JUST THE WAY I AM! Not who I want to be, who I am meant to be, what I think others what me to be, or any other definition of me.. than ME. I have disliked and been disgusted by myself for so long, and have always wanted nothing but to change who I am. I wanted to be thinner, smarter, more driven, funnier, more energetic, faster, less combative, less emotional, more open, and fearless. I wanted to be #1 at everything, yet modest. I want to be EVERY ONE'S best friend and the person that they can rely for anything. That is a TALL IMPOSSIBLE order to fill.The harder I try to fight my imperfections (or as I now like to refer to it as my "Humanness") the more unhappy I become. Refusing to accept myself and love who I am will only lead me to feelings of inadequacy and hatred.

The second piece of this is the SELF-destructive relationship. The implies to me, that this is ALL me! The only person who feels that I am inadequate, is me. The only person who feels that I need to be thinner, prettier, or more athletic, is ME. The only person who got me in to this relationship with food is ME. I have to begin to own this, and hold myself accountable. I can blame my family, or Tyler, or all the other men who refused to love me because I was fat... but I am the only one who told my self to restrict to the point of self-loathing. That also means that I am the only one who can get myself out. Don't get this confused with doing this alone, because we know I cant... but I have to be the one to take action, and make the next right choice for me!

Doing this exercise in group got me thinking about what MY personal definition of recovery is. In all fairness, it is something I struggle with. In one program (OA) we are told that Compulsive Overeating is incurable. ("We do have an incurable disease.")  and that it is impossible to make a normal eater out of the compulsive overeater ("neither does there appear to be any treatment which will make alcoholics of our kind like other men"). To me, this means that there is no RECOVERY! So why bother?!? What am I working so hard for if there is no HOPE?!?!

The tenets of OA are rooted in the philosophies of AA... but they are not the same thing. We simply cannot abstain from ALL foods for the rest of our lives. We need food to survive, and to be able to function. An alcoholic can not drink any type of alcohol, whether it be beer, hard liquor, wine or champagne, but we OA's need certain foods to survive. I do believe that there will be certain foods that I may have to stay away from, but for me, I hope to one day feel comfortable with all foods available to me. Right now, I can not eat wedding cake, or cookies or other delectable desserts, but I have plans to taste test and enjoy my wedding cake when I get married... and not feeling guilty about it. Overeaters have an unhealthy relationship with food, and like all relationships they can be salvaged with some understanding, hard work, love and compassion.  I have hope that one day I can completely recover from my bulimia. I'm not sure what that will look like, or how it will happen, but I know the possibility of it happening is also true. If I don't believe that... then I have NOTHING to hold on to.

I still have some discovery to do, but I starting to form what I want my recovery to be. Hopefully I can do some more writing on when I have some more insight. But now, it is time for me to get going.

Take Care, and Be Well!!!

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