Wednesday, February 25, 2015

5K training plan (Active.com)

So, I'm totally doing a 5K on May 9.

It's one of those fun ones, with no real race or time goal involved.  Perfect for my first 5K post-leg-break.

http://www.foamglow.com/nashville-tn/

It's the Foam Glow 5K, coming to Nashville on May 9, 2015!!!  (Click pic to go to site and see video)

I'm excited but a little scared.  Mostly scared because it's at night, and there is foam, and I have weak ankles.  So I'm going to spend time not only training to run a 5K, but working in physical therapy on my ankle issues.

Anyway, I started a 5K training program this week, and I'm very excited about actually having completed day 1 last night.

Click this link to go to Active.com's program that I'm following.  Here's a snippet from it, showing what I am supposed to do for the first 2 weeks:


The only thing that I'm changing is that instead of outdoor running, I am training on a treadmill.  There is no sidewalk or running area anywhere  near my place and it's cold out anyway.

My first 30 minute workout went very well.  I stuck to 30 second intervals, and ended up going for 1.55 miles in that time, which puts me at about a 1 hour 5K time right now (probably actually longer than that, since this was a zero incline treadmill workout).  So there is definitely room for improvement! 

I look forward to see how the rest of the training goes.  I love to compete with myself, so I will try to go further than 1.55 miles in 30 minutes tonight, by adding in some 60 second running intervals (but probably sticking to mostly 30 second ones - I'm still a beginner and don't want any injuries!).

Anyway, it's amazing to me how much better I feel about pretty much everything after one workout.  Like life could be good or something.

Updates on my updates:

1) The 1 mile run went great!  It was a very hilly mile, and I hadn't trained AT ALL, so I walked oooooooooooh about 75% of it.  However, I had a blast and we raised money for a great cause! Here's a picture of me with some of my team:


2) The ED center rescheduled me for next week because of last week's storm, so I still haven't gone there, and honestly I'm starting to have second thoughts because they are expensive!  Maybe I should just get a "regular" psychiatrist and a "regular" counselor instead of insisting on ED specific ones??  Hmmm.

Anyways, I'm thrilled to be running again, even if it is for 30-60 seconds at a time.  I stretched afterwards, and my legs are not that sore today!

me before killing last night's workout

What have you done to make yourself proud lately?

xoxoxo

Friday, February 13, 2015

Things are happening!

A few things that are happening soon:

1) Tomorrow, I am participating in my first running event since the terrible leg injury in July!  I haven't trained at all, and it's an underwear run, and it's a one miler after drinking... but it's for charity and I'm running with my favorite people in Nashville besides Stacey (my fabulous co-workers), so I'm stoked about it.  If you have a couple of dollars to donate to cancer research, please click this picture and donate to my page:

Donate to Cupid's Undie Run- Leah K. New
 
 
 
2) Next Wednesday, I have an assessment at an eating disorder treatment facility.  I am going to go in there with an open mind, and hope that they can help me build a treatment program that is right for me, including my life, my income, and my mixed bag of mental illnesses.  I'm happy to finally be getting some help again.  It feels good to take care of myself in this way, even though it is also pretty scary.
 
 
3) Tonight, I'm going to the mall and I am going to finally treat myself to some underwear and bras that fit my body as it currently is.  I will probably also find myself a cute new sweater for work.  This is a great thing to do for myself, and I fully intend to blog about the experience soon.  It's important to have underwear that fits right and feels comfortable.
 
I guess that's it for now!  What's going on with you? 
Let me know in the comments!
 
xoxoxo
 
 
 
 



Tuesday, February 10, 2015

I need help with my B.E.D. and to get out of the ED cycle!



I have decided to reach out to some local eating disorder specialists.

It's time for me to ask for help again. 

After a decade of recovery, I am going to have to return to the beginning stages again.  I have reached rock bottom of my binge eating disorder.

Last night, I actually had an episode of bulimia.  I purged after I binged.  It was terrible.  But at least it was rock bottom.

Sometimes you have to hit that rock bottom before you realize you need help.

I know now that I need more help than I can provide for myself with internet searches, self help books, and positive thinking.

This is bigger than me.

I need help.

I hate that I'm back to this point, needing professional help with an eating disorder.

But it's important that I take these steps now, before it gets worse.  I need to get out of the cycle, once and for all.




It definitely is a cycle, and I'm back at the VERY beginning again.  This is an epiphany that I just had today.  Here are all of the stages of the cycle so far:

1) Age: 17-19
Weight: 170-230 lb
ED: BED

My main disordered eating began at age 17, with binge eating disorder (undiagnosed and untreated, but I know now that is what it was). 

I hated my life, and hated myself, and large amounts of food helped me to smother those thoughts and feelings away.  I gained a lot of weight, going from my high school norm of about 170 pounds to around 230 pounds by age 19.

2) Age: 19-21
Weight: 230 - 130
ED: EDNOS (anorexia with "normal" weight)

I felt like total crap at that size, and just wanted it gone ASAP.  So I did some research, and actively chose to behave like an anorexic.  I chose anorexia as a diet plan.  It was a conscious decision in the beginning...

Within a year, I weighed 130 pounds.  But at that point I was so woozy and ill that I had to get help.  So, I enrolled in an intensive ED treatment program.

3) Age: 23-25
Weight: 140 - 220
ED: yo-yo dieting/binge eating cycle

By age 23, I thought that I had it all figured out, and that I was completely recovered.   This is when my weight started to creep back up.  I was overeating and not very active, but I didn't really feel like I was binge eating very often at the time.  By the time I was 25, I was over 220 pounds again, and it felt like it had happened overnight and without any true ED.

The reality is that I had become a binge eater again.  I tried desperately to cling to my EDNOS weight, because the doctors that I worked with while recovering all told me that was a good weight for me (I still think that was pretty shitty of them.  I was on the low end of a "healthy" BMI, and you could see my ribs and hip bones, but yeah, super healthy weight!).

This was a time of yo-yo dieting and binge eating.

4) Age: 25-27
Weight: 220 - 144
ED: none! (so I thought)

When the scale showed 220, I had had enough, and decided that it was time to lose the weight again.  I was determined to do it in a "healthy way" "this time".  So I joined Weight Watchers, and followed it, plus a few other programs, for a couple of years, and got down to 144 pounds. 

I felt on top of the world, like I had FINALLY solved my problems with food.  Like I could really live now, and that my ED was in the past, where it belonged.

5) Age: 28-30
Weight: 144 -265
ED: BED


So I started gaining weight again, this time a bit slowly.  I was back up to 165-ish by 2012, and realized in May of that year that I could easily maintain that weight.  Perhaps it's my "happy weight" or even the weight that my ED counselors from years ago should have told me was okay to be, so that I wouldn't have been so obsessed with 135 for years.  Anyway.

Then Mom died, shortly after my 165-is-A-OK epiphany. 

And I allowed myself to take comfort in my old friend, binge eating.  It all happened so quickly this time that I didn't even realize how disordered it was this time.

I gained weight so ridiculously quickly.  The binges were worse than ever before.  I went from 165 to over 200 pounds in a little over a month.  That is NOT an exaggeration.  Then I gained 60 more pounds over the next year and a half, all the while trying desperately to get back to where I was before Mom died.  I was out of control.

That's where I'm at now.  And looking at it this way, it's easy to see the pattern, and that I still obviously have an eating disorder.

It's not normal for my weight to have gone up and down such extreme amounts over the years.  It's just not.  And each time, it has been more extreme than the last.

I'm not beating myself up over this.  It's clearly a problem, and it's always served a purpose.  Sometimes, the alternative was worse.  I'm ready to admit that I still have this mental illness.  I still have the ED.  It just changes every couple of  years.

I need help for it.  I feel pretty shitty that I was not able to get out of this on my own, but it is what it is.

I need help with my binge eating disorder, and to get OUT of this disordered eating cycle.  Let's let it end this time, instead of my going back to extreme yo-yo dieting or anorexia or bulimia, or continuing the  misery of binge eating until I weigh over 300 pounds (all very real possibilities if I don't get help).

Thanks for reading.  Thanks for being here.  I love you guys.  More updates soon...  For now,  just know that I am going to get some real help.

xoxoxox




Friday, February 6, 2015

Healing Hair

8 weeks ago, this is what my hair looked like:


It was super long, and not very pretty because it's super thin, fine, and damaged from so many colorings.  The platinum blonde was seeping through May's dye job pretty horrendously, giving most of my hair a very yellow tinge.  Also, it was a NIGHTMARE to brush through after washing it.  Like, it would take me literally an hour to brush through the tangles.  I hated this hair.

So I got 6 inches chopped off, and had a few subtle layers added.  I was honestly hoping for one of those big sweeping bangs, but my hair refused to cooperate with that.


It felt nice, and was easier to comb through.  And I started to feel pretty again.  Selfies began to happen again, just because.


But it still didn't feel like "me".  I really feel that once someone finds their signature look, they become more complete.  Any other looks that person has in the future will forever be measured against that signature look that they loved and felt comfortable with.

For me, that look is short hair.  I miss my short hair so much.


March 2011



I may be a few pounds  *cough*100*cough*  heavier now, but I still have the same face shape, even if it is a bit rounder with a less defined jaw line.

I have never felt more like myself than the year that I had that haircut.  It was just so... ME.

I felt unstoppable with that hair. 

I started to grow it out in January 2012 because I couldn't afford the upkeep anymore (only because I insisted on only going to my favorite salon, which always cost me at least $60/month to keep it that short length).

By the time Mom died in June 2012, my hair looked like this:



Then, I stopped caring about everything when Mom died (less than a month after the above pic was taken), especially about taking care of  myself.  This included my hair. 

I cared a bit here and there though, even trying to new things like this:


But usually, like 99/100 days, I looked like this:


...because I just didn't care.  And also because I wasn't... myself.  I have been a grieving version of my former self.

I know that I will never get back to the life that I had and the self that I was before Mom died.  I accept that.

But things are slowly but surely getting better for me.  And I'm ready to get back to being me.

One step towards that is getting help with my binge eating.  Another step is making sure that I take care of myself, from the inside out.

This includes all sorts of things, including healthy eating and exercise.

But also personal hygiene.  I don't know if any of you are familiar with depression and grief, but one of the grosser side effects of it is that personal hygiene can take a nosedive.  That has been the case for me.

I still shower and stuff, but I don't wash my face at night, or brush my teeth every morning, or put on face cream or sunblock, or wear makeup/do my hair regularly. 

I'm pretty okay with leaving regular makeup behind me, but the rest of it needs to make a comeback.

Another way that I'm working on cleaning up my act:  Cleaning the house.

I've never been the world's greatest housekeeper, but I really have let things go since Mom died.  My grief vision didn't even really notice it.  But I notice it now.  Stacks of laundry, both clean and dirty, all over my bedroom.  Dishes stack in the sink.  Bathroom counter filled with junk. 

So along with working on my personal hygiene habits, I will be working on my housecleaning habits. 

Anyway, back to the main point of this post.  My hair.

I got SICK of waiting to be thin again before cutting my hair off.  Which, by the way, is something that I wasn't even admitting to myself.  But I totally was.  I hate my long hair, and want my short hair back, but I feel like I will look grosser and fatter if I get it all chopped off, like somehow long hair hides or balances out my girth. 

So I am going shorter in steps again.

Here's the first step:



 
My beautiful angled bob.  I already feel more like myself.  I'm getting my signature look back! 
 
It feels great.  

xoxoxoxo

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

YouTube Wednesday - "One Size Fits All" on Different Body Types

I'm going to try to start some fun regular posts to help me to make 2015 a comeback year for this blog!

Here is the first installment of "Video Day" and since it's from You Tube and it's Wednesday, I'm calling it "YouTube Wednesday".  I'm very clever with the title.

I will post videos that I find inspiring, interesting, funny, or cute and that relate somehow to the point of this blog.





More new regulars to look forward to:

What I Ate in Pictures Day
Off-Topic Day
Mental Health Awareness Day
Recipe Day

and more!

What are your thoughts on this video?


Monday, February 2, 2015

January 2015 - Weight Loss Results

So I've decided that I will do monthly updates on the blog about how my weight loss is going.  Again, I'd like to remind everyone reading that though I am once again trying to lose weight, I am not making this the main focus of my life.  Therefore, the results may not be HUGE every month.

But perhaps taking a more recovery-focused path will make the results, whatever they are, huge in a way.  Because it's nice to be losing weight while still loving my body.

I love my body for what it does, and for sticking in there despite years of my not taking proper care of it.  It's mine, and it's the only one I will get, and I love it.  Thanks, body!  You freakin' rock.

So here are the stats:

Starting 2015 weight: 255 lb
Weight lost in January 2015: 10 pounds
Current weight: 245 lb
Total weight loss in 2015: 10 pounds

I'm pretty happy with the weight loss.  So much fluctuating happened in January, reminding me that even weekly weigh-ins may be too much.  I'm going to only weigh in twice in February because of this. 

Here are my progress pictures so far:

Official 2015 "BEFORE" picture:



January 2015 Progress Pictures:


Any realizations learned, any EDNOS progress made in January:

The biggest thing that happened this month, ED-wise, is that I binged a few times.  I recognize that I have a problem with binge-eating, and that I need professional help with this problem.  I am now on two waiting lists:  one for a psychiatrist and one for a psychologist.

I am also super proud of myself for blogging 8 times in January!  I would love for 2015 to be the year that I get back into regular blogging.  The last 3 years have had very sad total blog counts at the end of the year.  :-(

So this will be a monthly blog entry: Results.  I wonder how much I will lose in February?

Friday, January 30, 2015

Hello, my name is Leah and I am a binge eater.

I try to not be one, but I totally am.

I think that I have tried to accept this about myself in the past, but was never successful.

This is a part of my EDNOS now, and I need to treat it as such.  Because honestly, though I am super proud of myself for not giving into most disordered eating thoughts, there is still one that I actually do give into regularly.

Why do I not want to group binge eating with the other disordered behaviors?

Is there still a part of me that is more ashamed of overeating than of undereating, because one implies that I'm fat?

I am ashamed to admit that the answer to that question is YES. 

Binge eating disorder is just not as acceptable to me as anorexia or bulimia, or even just saying EDNOS.

But let's look at that last one, my diagnosis, more closely:

EDNOS.  E.D.N.O.S.  Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.

This is the umbrella term used for those of us who don't fit neatly into one of the more specific eating disorders.  No two cases of EDNOS are the same.

And my own EDNOS has evolved over time. 

Originally, I was diagnosed in 2005 as having EDNOS because I behaved like an anorexic but was not underweight by BMI's standards (though you could see my hip bones and count all of my ribs, I wore a size 10-12 jeans and weighed 130 pounds - thus disproving BMI all by myself with my wide set hip bones, tiny wrists, and heavy muscles).

From 2007-2011, I was "recovered" from that part of my EDNOS, and moved on to a cycle of yo-yo dieting, trying to hold onto what I thought was my happy weight of 135, and failing miserably, but never returning to the starvation and over exercising techniques of my early EDNOS days.

In 2012, I had had enough, and decided that my happy weight was actually higher, more like 165, and that I needed to learn how to be an intuitive eater FOR REAL THIS TIME and move on with my life.

Then, of course, Mom died and I was suddenly trying desperately to stay at my new happy weight of 165, and once again failing miserably.  From 2012-2014, I gained and lost over 150 pounds (mostly gained though).  I couldn't really see a pattern of my EDNOS during these years, until now.

My EDNOS has taken a new deadly turn: binge eating disorder.

Yes, since Mom's death, I have had issues with binge eating.  First, it was emotional eating.  True emotional eating, which I actually think helped to save my life a little that first year, so I was not mad at myself for it.

After I gained, oh, about 80 pounds of grief weight, and at about the 2 year post-death mark, I started to actually rebuild my life.  I am a different person now, my life has changed dramatically, and I will never have the life that I used to have or be the person that I used to be again.  But though life stopped for Mom, I chose to remain living (yes, life is a choice, and suicide is an option).  I still choose life.  And I plan to continue choosing life for myself every day.

But just because my life was starting to normalize didn't mean that my binge eating stopped.  It wasn't emotional eating anymore, and it's more than just a bad habit for me because of my EDNOS.  It's full blown binge eating disorder. 

Now that I've realized that my EDNOS has crossed over into BED for the most part, with some slight differences, I can tackle this problem like I tackled the problem a decade ago:  Get professional help.

I have health insurance now, so I'm working on getting back on my anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications.  I will also begin to seriously research for a therapist that specializes in disordered eating, specifically EDNOS and/or BED, and possibly a nutritionist. 

I considered OA meetings, but after just a quick look at their site I found that it was way too religious.  What's an atheist overeater to do?  Go with science, I guess.  Therapy and nutrition it is.

xoxoxoxoxo