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?