So as some of my past posts made reference to, but didn’t go into any detail about, I have been facing a bit of a ‘rough patch’ where things were pretty crummy for quite a while. So, as I try to be pretty honest and open about my issues, struggles, obstacles, (and conversely, victories, accomplishments and achievements) because I like being open and honest and I think it helps me to talk about it, I think it’s time I finally open up. As much as I like to have my blog be positive and optimistic and a ‘feel good’ blog, my life isn’t like that all the time. And to only talk about the positives is an inaccurate portrayal of my life. So I’d like to be real. Plus, I have no reason to hide anything nor be secretive about it, so I think I’d like to take some time now to open up about everything that’s been going on lately.
Last week and through the weekend were particularly rough for me. I allowed myself to slip back into a restrictive-mode to an extreme degree yet again, but the full-on restriction was short lived. I quickly slipped into restricting during the day and then full-on binging at night. This became a vicious, all-consuming cycle. Nights I lost control and anything and everything (literally) became ‘fair game’. Time would disappear in the moments where I was binging and I would be almost in auto-pilot mode. Before I knew it, a substantial amount of time had past and I’d realize just how much I had eaten.
Waking up the following morning, even if hunger cues came, I’d deny them, ignore them, and refuse to allow myself to eat. How could I POSSIBLY be hungry or able to eat anything after all that I had consumed the previous night? Oftentimes though, hunger or the desire to eat didn’t even arise. My stomach most often would be in such pain and discomfort that the thought of eating just made me feel sick. Some days my stomach would be in such pain for the WHOLE day…only letting up and not being in complete discomfort and misery by the evening. Yet, that was the absolute worst time for my stomach to feel better and for hunger to ensue, because, you guessed it, that set me up for a repetition of the same cycle. As much as I told myself I wouldn’t binge again, that I could be strong enough to resist, I failed…time and time again.
It is no surprise that quickly I started to suffer emotionally and mentally, in addition to the physical problems I was having. I felt miserable. Every.single.moment of the day was miserable. Whether it be feeling physically sick, mentally exhausted, or emotionally drained, I was dealing with it (a lot of times all three at once). That combined with the cloudy, cool, and dreary weather made a recipe for disaster. Every minute of the day was a battle and was completely draining. Plus, I did the worst thing I could possibly do…isolate myself. That just perpetuated the problem because it made being stuck in my head even easier. I felt depressed, so I isolated myself…but that was the worst thing that I could do.
Fortunately, I had things planned for the weekend and I didn’t want to bail out on those plans. I am SO thankful that I didn’t. The pulled me out of my head and into the real world again. It was exactly what I needed. I got my mind off of all the mistakes I had been making, about how awful I felt about restricting and binging and continuing that cycle and I just went out and had a really fun time. Those moments saved me this past weekend. Granted, when I was back home alone and when the weather continued to be bad, I really did struggle, but any reprieve is welcomed. Sunday night, after having had a wonderful time out with friends for a birthday dinner, I still ended up binging that night. Monday morning was almost intolerable. It was STILL dark and cloudy and dreary and I felt like I was just never going to get this recovery thing right. I felt completely defeated and crushed.
But, miraculously (or so it seemed in retrospect) I ended up pulling myself out of the slump I was in. I got some really wonderful encouragement and support from my family and friends, and decided I just could not continue on this way. I was miserable. And I DO NOT want my life to be like that anymore. It’s time for me to regain control. Coincidentally, about the time my attitude began to shift and I started feeling a bit more optimistic, the sun started to break through the clouds. It seemed really fitting. 🙂
I ate more throughout the day Monday. I felt good about that. I felt good about taking a step in the right direction, regardless of how small. But I think more than anything, I embraced and felt wonderful about the shift in attitude and mindset. I was surrounded by negativity, and it seemed like I was trapped there and would never come out on the other side. Yet here I was, making my way back into the light, feeling more positive. When I got home from work, I took a nice, relaxed, slow-paced walk. This walk wasn’t intended to burn calories or to be for exercise-sake, but for ME, to give me some peace. It was just what I wanted and needed. I had made up my mind that I was going to make dinner when I returned home from my walk, no matter what. And so, that is what I did. I felt SO great about that decision because dinners are so hard for me. Elise: 1, Eating Disorder: 0. 🙂 I did a little yoga after and just felt really good and really centered. Then that night, I DID NOT BINGE! Elise: 2, Eating Disorder: 0
I felt so good about that day and the decisions that I made. That made Tuesday morning easy schmeasy. (Well, easier than it could have been) I was hungry and followed through with eating a full breakfast by 8 am. That set me on track for the rest of the day and my hunger responded well to eating early and getting my metabolism revved up for the day. I was hungry and ate accordingly. Tuesday night, I did, however, binge. It didn’t start off with the intention of being a binge, yet I let it happen. Wednesday I felt pretty crummy as a result. Not too bad mentally, though. I tried to be as kind to myself as I could be and realized that I will still make mistakes, and that is okay. Things get 100 times worse if I let the negativity creep in and if I berate myself for my mess ups. So I tried to prevent that from happening. I did, however feel pretty bad physically though, and as a result I didn’t eat much throughout the day. My stomach was upset and pretty sensitive. But I ate what I could muster up
Wednesday night was a success in that I didn’t binge. Thursday was scary and wonderful all at the same time. I started off my day bright and early with a good breakfast but my hunger seemed insatiable throughout the day.
Normally I would have been terrified of this, or listened to the clock instead of my body to tell me when it was next time to eat, but I didn’t. I didn’t question it or worry about it or wait until it was ‘time’ to eat again. I listened to my body and fed it when it asked for food. That was a wonderful feeling. My eating was spot on for the whole day…however I had a very, very small dinner…and that was enough for me to get hungry late at night and then spiral into a binge. Sigh.
There was a big difference this time though. I didn’t judge myself, critique myself, look down on myself or label myself a failure for having had a binge. I just acknowledged that it happened, acknowledged it as a mistake, and then moved on. Fortunately, I didn’t physically feel the effects of it the following morning, other than not being real hungry as early as I normally would, and carried on with my day, eating normally. That, to me, is a HUGE success! I’ve managed to just acknowledge that I hit a bump in the road, but not let it derail me. I am so determined to do this right.
I also realized that I’m finally okay with the idea of gaining weight. I realize that I need to gain weight in order to be healthy, because the weight I’m at right now is not healthy for me. I think the only thing that I’m worried about is HOW I gain the weight. I don’t want to gain the weight as a result of binging every night. I want to gain the weight as a result of eating healthy and balanced meals and foods throughout the day. There’s a big difference between eating foods that are good for me (I’m not just talking about fruits and veggies, but a balanced amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fats) and gaining weight from that, versus eating minimally during the day, binging on high-sugar and high-fat foods late at night and gaining weight that way. So I truly believe that if I get this binging at night under control, I will be okay with gaining weight. So now, my main goal is to break the vicious habit of binging at night. I know I can do this.
I have even gone so far as to create reminders for myself and ways for me to stay motivated to not give in to the temptation to binge at night.
I have this posted on my kitchen cabinet. (It says ‘stop’ and ‘think’ over and over again)
I have this on my kitchen counter. Some failures and start overs, but I’ll keep fighting to get this under control!
I have this posted at the entry-way to my kitchen.
I am so motivated! I know I can do this the right way. I will NOT give up. Last night reminded me of another reason why I so badly need to keep pushing to recovery. Scott’s mom invited us over for dinner (Turkey and STUFFING!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah, I LOVE stuffing) and normally I would have freaked out about it, especially because his mom loves using butter in everything, so I am certain the stuffing was doused in butter, but I didn’t give it a second thought. I actually decided that it would be GOOD for me to have the butter. I went, enjoyed my dinner and enjoyed my time with them. I felt alive again. I’ve been eating well the last few days, listening to my hunger, and feeding my body when it’s asking for food. Plus, my mentality and mindset about recovery is so positive, that I am just really thriving right now and truly happy. And it shows me how my life is worth living. I want to enjoy life, not dread every.single.minute of every.single.day. I want to be happy and healthy. I was my normal, fun, quirky-self last night with the hubster and I think he was SO happy to see me like that again. I become someone else when my ED takes over, and now it’s time to be ME, Elise, again. This is my time to reclaim what is mine; my life.