Tuesday, December 9, 2014

ED thoughts can KISS MY ASS

Anyone who has had an eating disorder knows what I mean when I say "ED thoughts".  These are the thoughts that sneak into an otherwise healthy mind, telling the person that they aren't good enough to eat, or aren't good enough to stop eating, or that they are shit because of FAT.

I have been hearing those old ED voices again.

Lately, I've been having a few too many "I need to lose a lot of weight by the time I get married or else I'm shit" thoughts.

I've been thinking stuff like "I can at least lose a pound a week, right?  RIGHT???!!!"


My ED thoughts tend to be all caps, and also profane, so I apologize for any offense.

Anyway, I think that I have made a lot of progress with my EDNOS, despite these thoughts.

Here's why:  I recognize them as ED thoughts.

I realize that it's not true. 

I'm not a "LAZY FAT FUCK". 

I can lose a pound a week, sure, but it's not "THE MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER  and if I don't lose weight before the wedding I'm SHIT OMG!!!". 

I'm a strong, intelligent, beautiful woman who deserves nice things and nice thoughts.  I deserve happiness and health.  I deserve to not give into these ED thoughts.  I deserve to continue to choose recovery over dieting, time and time again, no matter what the scale says.  I deserve to not worry about my weight or my pants size. 

And I know these things.

So, I'm going to recognize and acknowledge these old ED thoughts, and I'm going to breathe. 

I'm going to accept that I still have these thoughts, and I'm going to breathe.

I'm going to love myself, and live my life, and I'm going to take comfort in the thought that as long as I don't give into the ED urges that these thoughts are trying to give me, eventually the thoughts will stop.

Friday, December 5, 2014

My Weight Gain Palete

Duh, the chocolate now and the apple later.
Or the chocolate now, then go to the store and
get more chocolate and let the apple go bad! 
Yes, do that.

I just ate a banana and it was delicious.  But it tasted and felt... somehow wrong.  It was strange.  It was all rough and natural and fiber-y. 

Halfway through, I realized that the strange sensation wasn't the banana's fault: it was mine.

My palette is no longer used to things like raw produce.  It's been a long time since I've eaten a banana.  It's been a long time since I regularly ate any raw produce.

I never crave fruit, vegetables, or beans anymore.  I can eat these things and enjoy them, but they just don't satisfy me anymore, other than I feel good about myself momentarily.

I have developed a "sophisticated" weight gain palete.

Things that feel normal in my mouth: soft bread, pasta, fast food, cake, cookies, chips, steamed vegetables, chicken, fish, lunch meat, pickles, yogurt, granola and cereal bars, fruit cups, soup, pizza, popcorn, and anything else that I have consumed regularly since Mom died.

Things that feel strange in my mouth: fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, beans, whole grains, and pretty much everything that I ate when I was a healthy vegan, including plain water.

That's right.  I no longer enjoy water.  It has to have Mio or some flavoring shaken up inside for me to want it these days.

I'm not quite sure what to do about this, other than to begin reintroducing some old favorites back into my daily diet.

Of course, since I'm trying to stay away from dieting and "food rules", I don't want to be strict about this. 

BUT I feel that the old intuitive eating concept of "eventually your body will tell your head that it needs healthy foods, and you will begin to crave bananas and salads and all healthy things and they will taste better than EVER before!!!!" is bullshit.  At least, it's been bullshit for me every time I'm tried to listen to my body after extreme weight gain.

My body either is not craving healthy foods at all, or that mind-body connection has truly become lost in me.    Since I'm not a Gilmore Girl, I am going to assume that it's the latter, and that my body really does want healthy stuff but my mind refuses to admit it.

I'm 30 years old now, and I'd like to have kids before I'm 40.  I fantasize about having figured all of this food/body shit out by the time I have kids.  It may be just a fantasy, but it's still there.

I think it's one of those things that will remain a dream instead of a goal unless I make a plan to get there, ya know?  Kind of like getting that college degree, or moving to NYC (one out of two isn't bad...).

A good start to getting past this is to start adding healthy foods back into my regular diet, one by one.

Today I ate a banana.  Next week I will try to eat one every morning.  Over the next several weeks, here are some things that I'd like to add back in, one week or so at a time:

- oatmeal for breakfast
- cooking a big batch of a veggie/bean/grain dish on the weekend and eating it for lunch all week
- cutting up fresh veggies on the weekend for easy cooking through the week
- drinking a decent amount of plain water every day
- eating salads and raw vegetables regularly
- regular exercise

These are just some examples; I'm sure that there are more!

I'm never going to take things out of my diet (unless a doctor tells me to), but I will begin to add back in some old healthy favorites that my palete has grown out of.  I'm hopeful that I can develop a healthy appetite and maybe one day get those health food cravings for real. 

But if I never get the health food cravings, I'm still hopeful that one day I will choose the healthy options more often than not, out of love and respect for my body and mind.

What things do you naturally crave these days?

Monday, December 1, 2014

a food and feelings journal

I have created a sister-site to this blog, where I plan to track my food and feelings for awhile.

Click pic to link

I'm not going to commit to blogging there every day, but I will try to blog daily for the next couple of weeks, just to get into the swing of things.

The main reason that I quit My Fitness Pal (see that post here) is that I thought it was detrimental to my EDNOS recovery.  But I still feel that planning and tracking my meals would be a positive thing for me, so long as I track feelings instead of calories.

So, if anyone is curious about what I'm eating or how I'm feeling about it, please feel free to follow my new blog along with this one.

It is a completely judgment-free zone, so I disabled comments for the posts over there.  I don't always eat "perfectly" or even kind of okay.  I started the blog on a lying-around-the-house Saturday, so it really didn't start out pretty. 

Anyway, I encourage any of you who has issues with emotional eating, whether or not you are recovering from an eating disorder, to track their feelings after they eat (and/or before!).  If you have a need to track calories or other macronutrients, that's fine, but please don't discount  your feelings. 

Were you really hungry before the meal?  
Were you really stuffed after the meal?  
Do you feel guilty?  
100% neutral?

Since I've started this, I've realized that there are many feelings associated with my eating.  I always assumed that my binges and overeating happened because of boredom and depression, but sometimes nowadays it really is just out of habit.  I feel a strong habitual desire to binge eat whenever home alone with easy access to those foods.

I haven't noticed any true patterns yet, but I hope to figure some stuff out over the  next few weeks, while journaling on my new blog.

It feels very vulnerable to share my food and feelings with you, because I know that it doesn't look "good".  But I felt like it was time.  I may one day make that blog completely private, but for now, I'm being 100% vulnerable and allowing you all to peek if you so choose.

I have a link to the blog over to the side under "Stuff to Check Out", along with a link to my amazingly talented brother's site.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Deleting "My Fitness Pal"

Saturday, I took a big step towards real EDNOS recovery:  I deleted my My Fitness Pal accounts.  

My Fitness Pal is a great site for people who want to log their food and exercise for whatever reasons, including weight loss and fitness goals.  But for people who have major issues with food and body image, including a history of disordered eating, it can be a scary place that feeds into an addiction.

I had created several accounts over the years, including a couple that I had forgotten about.  I have gone back to MFP time and time again, between bouts of binge eating and bouts of recovery (intuitive eating).  I always went back.  I will try really hard to not go back this time, because I feel that counting calories is not for me anymore.  

I started with my oldest account, VeganGal84.

Then I moved on to other accounts I had made but hadn't used very much, including one that I made especially for this blog.

Next, I moved on to my most recently abandoned account, BuffyEat2Live.

Finally, I deleted my active account, after saying a final good bye to my friends.  Earlier in the week, I had made sure to give my email address and social media information to them, so that we can stay in touch outside of MFP.

my final "food journal" entry - beautifully blank

I don't know if I can fully express how scary this step was for me.  People who don't have ED histories may not understand why anyone would devote a blog post to deleting accounts from a calorie counting website.  But I know that most of you guys will get it, because you know me pretty well by now.

MFP's "are you sure???" warning message

Anyway, that's all done.  Now it's time for me to find a better balance in my eating WITHOUT the calorie counting.  Because I have been overeating a lot lately.  And I've also been eating nothing but junk food.

So for now, for health's sake, I am going to focus on adding healthy produce back into my diet.  Fruit with breakfast, raw veggies with lunch, and cooked veggies with dinner.  No "rules" about junk food, because I don't want diet mentality to sneak in; I just want to eat vegetables and fruits again.

What scary steps towards health and/or recovery have you taken?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Goodbye, calorie counting websites

I am working towards full recovery from my EDNOS. 

What does this mean for me?

Basically, I want a life that is centered around living, not around food+body+exercise thoughts.  In order to accomplish this, I'm taking steps towards it.

The first step was realizing that calorie counting and food planning/logging in general no longer seemed important to me.  One day, I realized that it had been several days since I had logged my food, and I was okay with it.

Also in this first step was realizing that I am not okay with exercising to eat more.  When I start a regular exercise routine again (hopefully soon), it will be because my leg and ankle are feeling better.  It will be to get my left leg back to normal.  And then, hopefully, it will be to train for a marathon.  But it won't be because I ate Pop Tarts this morning, or because I want to eat pizza tonight.

The second step was realizing that I cannot follow steps towards recovery anymore.  This entire process needs to be day by day, and intuitive.  Why?  Because every time that I have assigned steps to myself, I ended up failing, and giving up, and going back to what I know (dieting, tracking calories, exercising to burn calories, body hate, etc.).

One thing has become clear to me though:  I need to step completely away from all of those calorie-counting and dieting websites.

I am going to step away from those sites, which will hopefully help to discourage me from going back to my safety net of food logging.

If there was a site that allowed me to track my food but not any macronutrients, I would probably sign up, just to keep that security blanket for a bit longer, while I sort though my emotional eating issues.  Like a food log that tracked feelings instead of calories. 

A place to recover from emotional eating habits, and from disordered eating in general.  Perhaps I have just found a need and should start creating a site like this?  Hmmmm...  Or maybe I should start to keep a real paper journal again, with real feelings written down, along with an emotional eating journal for as long as I need one.

Anyway, I'm going to start by removing all of the links anywhere on this blog that are about anything "diet-y".  The next step will be to deactivate my multiple My Fitness Pal accounts (which is deserving of its own blog post, in my opinion, because that will be a huge step for me).  I'm planning to deactivate my MFP accounts (I have at least three) on Saturday.

I am also going to stop following any diet pages on Facebook (as myself.   I won't unfollow anyone as my blog page, because I hardly use FB exclusively from the page).  I will continue to follow the people who don't trigger me, but if your page makes me want to hop back on the diet bandwagon, then I'm sorry but we have to part ways for now.  I love you, I get it, and I am not saying that your page is bad or that you are doing anything wrong.  I'm just saying that I need to fully recover from my EDNOS and seeing posts about calorie burning exercise challenges and how only organic food is food, is not helpful to me right now.

Sorry for no pictures, but I'm posting from work (slow morning, thank goodness.  Monday and yesterday were CRAZY).  I may come back in here later and add some pics. 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

I struggle.

I'm not talking about the struggle to lose weight.  In the grand scheme of things, that is relatively easy for me to do (I know that makes me a lucky bitch to those of you who have issues in that area... but hey, if it makes you feel better, I just turned 30, so that ability may disappear soon, who knows?).

Also, keep in mind that though I've always managed to "easily" lose weight, I have NEVER kept it off, so in the long run, that's not actually weight lost. 

Losing weight comes pretty easily to me.  If I wanted to, like really wanted to, and focused on weight loss as a central part of my life, I could lose a pound or two a week.

But here's the rub: 
I don't want to make it a central part of my life.

I really don't.

But, at the same time, I don't want to be unhealthy.

I would like to stop eating so much convenience foods, and to begin cooking more.  I'd also like to start a regular exercise routine, now that I have the doctor's permission to stationary bike, elliptical, and walk short distances. 

But, I wouldn't like to
Or to
Or to

So the struggle that I am talking about is the struggle between my desire to lose weight, and my desire to enjoy life and accept my body as it is currently, thin privilege and (self-)fat shaming be damned.

I deal with the internal struggle daily.  I do find myself and my current body to be attractive.  So does my future husband.  And I make enough money now that I will soon be able to afford stylish fat people clothing.

But my damn desire to experience thin privileges.  To be able to know that I will always fit in seats.  To be able to shop at Express or Gap.  To be able to eat junk food in public without being judged.  To be able to know that when I'm "feeling fat", I'm not actually fat.  To see "my people" represented as the attractive main character instead of the joke-cracking best friend.

Ultimately, my desire to not have to count or burn calories, and my desire to be a well-rounded adult without constant body-hate thoughts win over my desire for thin privileges these days. 

But I still struggle. 

I struggle to let go of my younger, food-obsessed, get-skinny-or-die-trying self. 

I struggle to accept that it really is okay to not be thin, or even "normal" sized. 

I struggle because letting go of the food journal, and the scale, and the desire to be thin is just scary, because I have literally not been like that since age 10.

I struggle because I'm afraid of the unknown.

I struggle because I'm afraid to let go and to just be happy.

I struggle to find the balance in food and exercise, especially without any RULES lording over me and my thoughts.

I struggle. 

But I'm going to try to let go of these unnecessary problems.  Life is hard enough.
What area(s) in your life are you struggling with right now? 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Intuitiveness and not caring...

So the last couple of days I have been trying to listen to my body and mind, and to respect myself.  

I have tried to be an intuitive eater several times in my life, so I'm not going to try again.  Instead of giving myself that "intuitive eater" label and preaching about the benefits of "intuitive eating" and following steps,  I'm going to instead just stop thinking about it.

I just don't care anymore.  Not in a "giving up" kind of way, but in a "eating is a part of life but it's not the most important thing anymore" way.  I am beginning to think that my disordered thoughts about food may actually be disappearing.

My attitude about food now is that it just is.  I eat when I'm hungry and when I feel like eating.  Usually these are the same things, but sometimes they are not.  I try to avoid emotional eating, but I'm not obsessive about it.

I've been obsessively trying to avoid emotional eating for years now, and that has not resulted in the behavior ending.

My new theory is that if I stop caring so much about my eating habits, they will eventually end up in that intuitive place, and my weight will end up where it's supposed to be.  I will still lose weight, because I won't be obsessed with food anymore, which will lead to less binges and more healthy decisions.  It may not be a fast paced weight loss.  I may lose 20 pounds a year or less.

But that's okay.  I have about 70 pounds left to lose to reach my goal of weighing what I weighed before Mom died. I truly believe that I will reach that goal (if it remains my goal, that is).  It may take a couple of more years, but I will reach it.

I also believe that along the way, I'm going to let go of my EDNOS completely, run a marathon, do a pull-up, go to law school, get married, and do anything else that I set my mind to.

I will have to figure out what to blog about, if not food and exercise.  Maybe I will take a break from this blog.  Maybe I will find a way to write more about my EDNOS recovery.  Either way, please know that I'm doing very well right now when it comes to this area of my life.

selfie in Central Perk