The Parental Showdown Saturday, Jan 23 2010 

I’m not even sure how to start this post… my parents pretty much had it out with me last night. It started when I decided to tell my dad I have a date coming up soon. I will set the scenario for you. Friday nights my parents typically have pizza and beer. So they had been drinking, no they don’t get drunk. So I’m sitting at the table with them, had just finished rib eye and pork steak for dinner and told my date I have a date with a guy from work.

 My mom chimes in “so what are yall gonna do?”

I reply “I dunno dinner and drinks most likely that’s what most first dates are”

She says “ so what do you do if you go for pizza and beer”

I hesitate… “I dunno I’m sure there’s something there I will eat”

She goes “you don’t drink or eat pizza”

 So I tried to end it here but helllllllllll no it didn’t end there. Both my parents go on to inform me they think I suck at recovery, I am worse off than I use to be, I am giving up so much happiness, I always give into ED and pretty much I have gotten no where. I was so pissed. They said I justify ten ways to Sunday everything I do, I’m not healthy at all and then my mom goes, “don’t you want children and a husband?” I answer yes. Then she goes on to ask if I get my period and I reply no, but I have no gotten a period in 5 YEARS since I went off birth control.

I weigh 30+ more pounds than I use to. They go on to share they have tried everything with me and it is up to me now. They have sent me to therapists, doctors, nutritionists, a counselor who wanted to put me in the hospital on a feeding tube and outpatient with twice weekly doctor visits and therapy appointments. I felt about this big. I felt like a failure. I resented everything they said and I was so annoyed, confused and upset. I told them I had put on 5 lbs in the past week! I have too I was not lying.

But it all boiled down to I only eat meat. They shared how I get stuck in this “one thing” and whatever that one thing is, it will not be un-ritualized as long as I am stuck on it. When I am into and on that one thing whatever it may be, no one can stop me and I am sucked into being addicted to it. All my thought and control are on that one thing. Okay this I agree with, because whatever I am into, I am full force into. Meat works for me though. I have no mental battle to deal with and it keeps me calm and low-anxiety. This obviously is not enough. They swear I am unhealthy (basing on the fact I don’t get my period), but besides my menstruation there is NOTHING wrong with me. My blood work is perfect, my blood pressure, heart rate all of it checks out top notch. If I ever thought I was in “ill health” I think I would know. My dad swears I need fruit and vegetables for vitamin C so I don’t get scurvy even though I KNOW scurvy is not caused by a lack of vitamin C.

Then they point out how I have no friends in Mississippi and I don’t regularly date which is something you do at my age. Well, again this is based on what I eat to them. But it went on from there. I am bypassing all the happiness I could be having in life, my brothers refuse to have any kind of close relationship with me because I “eat meat” and I pretty much all around suck because I eat meat. They said they worry and talk about my meat eating all the time, my dad does not want me to move out and my mom has done everything she can to try and help me. I am just giving into the ED instead of fighting it; I am living with the ED instead of getting rid of it.

I eventually said screw this and went to bed. I didn’t want to keep justifying everything because it was not getting me anywhere. I slept for 12 straight hours last night.

 Like always, they will never understand why this works for me, but I will admit I am stuck in a rut. I am in this control phase and I need things structured, planned and routine like. When they aren’t, I freak out, I don’t eat, and I constantly spin horrendous thoughts in my head. They want me to branch out and eat fruits and vegetables. I will never touch fruit again in my life, which I am sure of. My dad promised me I “wouldn’t turn into his sisters.” He has 4 sisters all of which are obese. I backfired at him pronouncing “DOYOU KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR AND SEE AN OBESE PERSON WHO ISNT THERE!” Of course they don’t, and they cannot possibly wrap their minds around what I see. Again, my mom chimes in that it’s my choice to see what I see, and I can make myself not see that, it’s all in my head and again it is justifying. THIS pissed me off. Really, don’t you think if I could change what I see in the mirror I WOULD. Don’t you think if I could be normal and manage an unroutine life I WOULD. Don’t you think if I could go back and do it all again I NEVER WOULD HAVE DIETED.

Then mom mentions she thinks it’s all her fault, that she failed with me…okay if I didn’t feel like the scum of the earth before, I sure as hell did now… Anorexia is NOBODY’S FUCKING FAULT. Especially not my moms, hell I became anorexic in college I wasn’t even at home!

There is nothing either of my parents can be there to do for me. I don’t know what to tell them and I sure as hell am at a loss on what to do. It royally sucks being 24 years old and living in anorexia. Hell if I was 12, 16 or even 18 or 19 my parents could have full control over my food, my recovery, but I’m an adult. I am about to move out of my house and it is UP TO ME to get better. It is up to ME to fight this, to change my habits, and to branch out.

I Got a Date! Friday, Jan 22 2010 

I got a date…. WOOWEE!!! With recovery and dealing with my head I must admit, I have not been the social butterfly who loves spur of the moment plans and random encounters with guys who I loathe for a week afterwards. Well, a lineman at work was in earlier this week and low and behold he mentioned to someone else he was interested in me. He was a cuite pa-tootie too! He is in Kansas right now doing storm work but should be back to Mississippi in a week or so. So how do I feel about the mini branch-out…

 At first my head kinda sorta freaked. A change to my routine, a change to my predicatatory (is this a word?) lifestyle and even a meal. This is obnoxious. I am 24 years old! My immediate thought was “how can he be interested I have recently put on __lbs!” That is so ridiculous I wish I could laugh typing it! then flooded in the thoughts of what I will eat or drink, what I will wear, will I be shy like I always am? I’m rather quiet upon acquaintance. I just never know what to say, or for the million thoughts that run through my head everyday single day, when I am with other people it’s like a blank slate. Nothing even enters my head to think about talking about. Either that or I am to distracted in ED world to have anything interesting to add to a conversation. So note to self- I need to start branching out my life, my daily routine, and start doing some things (or forcing myself) outside of my comfort zone. I have lived in the little “recovery bubble” for almost 4 years now. I am technically still underweight for my height but am a “healthy mostly functioning” individual. I have been underweight now for what…6 years. Ludicrous. I think I finally have realized that I need to let go. Live and let go. All this sparked thought from a date! Haha- I don’t have a target weight per say and I really do not know what my natural weight would be even if I did. I have said for the last 3 non-menstrual years that I would be a good weight when I get my period back. Well this surely has yet to occur so I am obviously underweight.

 I have this nagging desire to stay the way I look right now forever because I can deal with it on a daily basis. It is livable and no one makes snarky “eat a damned steak” or “you look sickly” comments anymore. While I have the body dysmorphia in full force when I look in a mirror, I know that I look okay because I have seen pictures. But this is not the end. According to standards, the weight range for my height, 5’8, is between 125 – 164 lbs. but wouldn’t ya know the damn same webpage says I would be “ideal” at 122. HELLO that’s not in the range! I am not sharing my personal numbers, but I have a little ways to go. Nothing like when I was stuck in the disease, but none the less it will be a freak-out-tears-spilt-anxiety-lunatic experience. I have to do it, I am way too far into life to KEEEP on “trying” at recovery and doing only enough to suffice and keep me healthy. I am anticipating it already which I need to stop because it freaks me out all the more. And there is this one INCREDIBLY VAIN problem…

 I am in a wedding in May. That is 5 months away. Any fellow recoveries know a LOT of body change can happen in a mere 5 months. I have already been sized, paid for and ordered my dress. With this newly acquired __lbs, ED has been FREAKING out that I will not in any way shape or form fit into this dress. I think about it, a lot. I know dresses can be altered to be smaller, but I seriously doubt it will be able to be broadened. Preposterous. Absolutely self absorbed, self centered desire inflicted by my ED. I can’t help but worry about it. Actually I have been freaking about it. I guess my stay-thin motto is so strong in me because a) I’m stuck in my ED and b) I had been a cheerleader and dancer my entire life. It was expected of me. Tall and thin, skinny and lean. It is engraved in my hard stubborn noggin and I need to again, live and let be the unrealistic desires I hold so tight. I am more important, more special, more lovable than anorexia will ever be. I need to dedicated and throw my everything into recovery. I am currently dedicated to staying how I look, how I feel and eating that which offers my comfort and attainability. REBEL DAMNIT! I need to do that- rebel, against anorexia, against everything that it deals with.

 I want to be a mother- of like, some million children. That is what I treasure, value and desire. I want that more than anorexia, and it is my DRIVING force in recovery. Grrr. It always seems I can make the idea in my head. Eat more food, sit still more often, tomorrow you will eat “this” and make sure to “have that.” Tomorrow tomorrow tomorrow!! But then when it comes down to it I freeze. I can’t do it, won’t allow myself, and fall back into my comfort zone. The bloxygen blog gave me some great insight into my beating around the bush recovery way of doing things. Her recent blog included a list of secrets she needs to write down that she has been keeping and hiding form people. I felt a lump drop in my throat when I read that. I hold a tight knit circle of secrets from others. Things I am ashamed I do, things I know do not benefit my recovery. I plan to start my own list, of all the secrets I have been hiding. Will I share it with anyone? HELLLLLLLLLLL NO. but I will have to face them, and confront them one by one to make myself stop the ritual behaviors and secrets I possess.

 

I do LOVE the Sun Thursday, Jan 21 2010 

THE SUN… IT WILL CURE WHAT AILS YOU. This I am totally convinced of. The sun makes me happy, brightens my spirits and gives me a much more positive outlook. I am feeling much better today than yesterday. I think maybe a combo of not wearing tight clothes and staying clear of the full length mirror is a help. I couldn’t sleep last night because I was thinking, thinking, and thinking. THEN, my mama woke me up before my alarm…?? She goes “it’s 6:30, you might wanna get up”…. I WAKE UP AY 645 EVERYDAY…haha somehow it didn’t seem to bother me. I am not a morning person, at all. Anyways…

 I thought about my will power and motivation a lot last night. I came across this very interesting study done in the 1970’s. It was performed by a psychologist named Walter Mischel. This experiment was conducted on four-year-olds. He placed each child in a room, where they sat down at a table. In front of them- a marshmallow. The psychologist made each child an offer:

 1. He could eat the marshmallow right away

2. Or wait for a few more minutes and receive another one.

 Almost everyone decided to wait. Mischel then left the room for 20 minutes.

 While a few of the four-year-olds were able to resist the temptation for up to fifteen minutes, many lasted less than one minute. Others just ate the marshmallow as soon as the psychologist had left the room.

 

This was a test of self-control. If the child wanted to achieve the goal of receiving another marshmallow, then he needed to temporarily ignore the feelings and delay gratification for a few more minutes.

 What I found interesting are the strategies the successful children employed in order to endure the experiment. They kept themselves distracted. Covered their eyes, played with their hands or just entered a trance-like state where it seemed they were lost in their thoughts. Their attention was elsewhere.

 So how does this play into recovery? In the stage I am in now, I need to simply resist “the marshmallow” which is relapse in recovery. I want to achieve my goal, and my goal is recovery. This takes a hell of a lot of will power, and lots of “eye covering” and distraction. My ED is right in front of me… I can blow it off and delay gratification because I will come out stronger in the end. Like the children who ate the marshmallow as soon as the doctor exited the room, I have to option of immediately giving into my ED just because I am unhappy with my appearance. Recovery does not work that way. I need to be one of those strong children, who exhibited the characteristics to avoid the temptation.

While anorexia involved a lot of self-control, this sort is very damaging. I think I spend too much time focusing on my goal and when it suddenly seems to have surpassed me, I end up sabotaging myself and reverting to the comfort of anorexia. This may not hold much ground in other areas of life where, in order to be successful, focus and time investment is of critical importance.

 

Stay distracted.

Have hobbies.

Have a life.

Eat.

 If I focus my every move on myself, my recovery and my future, the road to recovery will feel like a very long road indeed. Commitment and dedication dispensed over a longer time period is superior to more focused efforts. Therefore, instead of taking 2 steps forward and wishing I could fall5 steps back, I need to move on and stay strong.

The reality is I need to work on separating myself from my ED and giving it no identity…lots of distractions. But in reality, this is not where I am at the moment. My body image and food preoccupation is still haunting me and preventing me from attaining the health I desire. I am convinced to not let ED win though and I know I am not alone. Gaining weight is an obvious plus to any spectator here- it is a good thing. I still don’t have my period and can’t even remember the last time I did have one. I lived in this comfortable plateau of recovery for WAY to long now, and just because I bump up my weight, my effort and my motivation in recovery does not mean in any way that I am mentally okay with it. it is hard as hell. I despise looking in the mirror and constantly being bombarded with hate. I know this is “not me” who I am seeing and I know I don’t look like what I do see. It is still there though; my two eye balls still see what I see.

I plan to stay distracted. I will do my nails, my toes, go on walks, and the Saints are on TV this weekend against the Vikings. I CANNOT WAIT FOR THIS GAME! my older brother is a HUGE Vikings fan, he bleeds purple and yellow. Me, die hard Saints fan. I love my fleur de leis!! GEAUX SAINTS!

* Images from weheartit.com *

I’m Lost… Wednesday, Jan 20 2010 

I am having a lot of difficulties this week. The “blog world” seems to think I suck at recovery, that I am no better than I ever was, and that I need to go into real ED treatment. News flash…been there done that and I am no longer underweight. Yes, I feel like a whale, yes I obviously do not see in the mirror what I should, and yes I would love to exercise this off until the cows come home. I asked for a membership to the gym for Christmas thinking I would take yoga class…well that didn’t quite work out as planned. As soon as I stepped foot in there I hit the weights. I was frustrated with deciding whether I think I am doing well at recovery, I am frustrated with the fact that only eating meat helps me mentally, and this is sick, but I was envious of all the people who are in recovery for anorexia, eating a 180 from where I am and are much smaller and less recovered than myself. I miss that. I miss knowing I need to help myself and knowing I need to do well. While I know I still need to do recovery and always pursue what it is I want out of recovery(which I am still figuring out) there is something triggering about hearing from those who are not as far into recovery as myself and who are younger and will not be missing out on the best years of their lives. I totally BYPASSED ages 21-23 in an isolated freak depression of a world. I’m at a loss…what IS RECOVERY? Where in the process did I decide that I need to turn one eating disorder into another? I am SO wrapped up in learning about health and nutrition it is RIDICULOUS. The truth of the matter is that nobody, no doctor, no scientist, no nutritionist KNOWS what healthy is. There is no “perfect” way to routinely “do healthy.” This is my problem. From fats, to carbs, to meat to starch, they all have studies “proving” their viability however a quick peek around the blog and the views are a war zone! I don’t know what the right answer is, and I don’t know why I feel so damned low and worthless right now. Wait…yes I do… I  have recently put on a good 8-10 lbs and it seems to be SOLELY sitting in my stomach. I have a desk job, I sit ALL DAY. I can feel this gain ALL DAY. My mind is turning a million miles a minute with fat thoughts ALL DAY.

 

I don’t want to look back on this time in my life and see yet again more regret. I’m sick of looking back, regretting and wishing I had done things differently. I’m not glad I suffered as extremely as I did. Yes, I matured real quickly and my body is aged well beyond its years but I surely don’t think 3 years of a hell hole was “worth” anything. I feel like I am missing out on so many important aspects of life, of living and it make me clinch my fists and tighten my chest knowing I may just be screwing myself up more than I otherwise could. I don’t want to be so damned entangled in this ED that I cant live my life but lately it seems to be encompassing a hellofalot more than it should. I am working hard, working my ass off at recovery and I would LOVE to feel some mental relief from it rather than seeing this growing creature I don’t recognize every morning in the mirror who seems to be growing wider at lightning speed! I don’t want to be slapped with the anorexia tag for the rest of my life. Hell, I do not look anorexic at all anymore, but I sure as hell feel as though my mind is still “in” the disease and it’s just not all better. I cant keep trying to promote this healthy well off person when that is not what I am.

 

Maximize pleasure and minimize pain…that’s the key to this all. I just wish I could figure out how to get it done, how to accomplish that. I sit through my work days searching for a peace of mind and waiting for my brain to click into “normal.” But day after day it does not happen. There are good things. I don’t count calories or portions, I just eat. But according to any appetite I have not been eating anywhere near “recovery calories” which scares me that much more considering how damned easy it is for me to gain weight. This mere fact is driving me up the wall. It causes so much unnecessary anxiety and stress.

 

Monday I had a doctor’s appointment…this was the peak of my recent gain in weight. I asked the doctor NOT to tell me how much I weight and I stepped on the scale backwards. OBVIOUSLY SHE NEEDS TO BE FIRED… she tells me “girl you aint got nothing to worry about you ___lbs.” I just about lost it right then and there with her little southern smirk. I did NOT want to know my weight because God damnit I KNOW what it does to me. I wanted to leave the office, I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry, I could hardly catch my breath and all this because I know how much I weigh?? This sounds ridiculous but it is the truth. I have been over thinking, overanalyzing, and over everything since Monday and I’m driving myself CRAZY.

 

I want recovery. I want it really bad. I have not been restricting myself at all, but it does not seem to help one way or the other. I know I am calm and at ease when I DO restrict. Im a hell of a lot happier, I have more life to me and I can function. When I am 3-meal-a-day eating I am an absolute MESS. This is so hard and confusing.

Questions from Kim! Wednesday, Jan 20 2010 

Kim at Adventures in wanting proposed some questions. I decided to make a post of my answers!

  1. What do you think were the keys to your recovery?

 I needed to understand why I was going through what I was, why I was living in a horrendous nightmare, and why I just wasn’t like your average Joe. I needed to understand the brain chemistry and science, the genetic connection, and how diet played into nutrition and health. It wasn’t until I understood the link to nutrition and brain function that I could “key in” on my own recovery and really want recovery as opposed to making others happy. My parents have been my EVERYTHING in the whole process. I used no doctors, nutritionists, or therapists when I took recovery into my own hands. It makes you feel good about yourself and boosts your confidence knowing you can do it

2. What effect did it have on you to work with recovered staff?

 I worked with no staff when I really took a stab at recovering. When I initially did it was outpatient and it was horrible. Not one of the people I saw knew what anorexia even was. They would say things like “so you throw up your food” WTF ANOREXICS DO NOT THROW UP! They hounded me time and again with NO support, only criticism and eventually telling me I would never get better and it is all my fault and vain. GET REAL

3. How would you describe the concept of an eating disorder self vs healthy self?

 Every recoveree knows the ED and the ME. It is a compulsion in your head, an anxiety provoking stimulus, and an imbalance in chemicals. It is an insulin surge or drop that causes your brain to snap into RUN mode and thoughts encompass everything from self hate to food hate. The healthy self catches the feeling before it comes. I personally can feel when my body is “low” and needs food. I know from my thumping temples when I have a surge in insulin and I need to write, talk it out, or find a way to calm my head. The ED is absolutely hateful, it’s that image you see when you look in the mirror and want to cry. The healthy self looks at the mirror, praises her body, checks out her ass and smiles.

4. What would you say to those struggling with reaching out to people instead of food? How did you learn to do this? How has it changed your life? What made it so hard?

I never reached out to anyone. I was forced into recovery. I would most likely be dead had I not been approached and forced to start changing. It is just a selfish uncontrollable disease when it is active and youre encompassed in it. When I wasd forced into change, I hated it all and I despised food. However, when I got a break and was allowed to start a low-carb regime with my parents is when I took studying nutrition and mental illness into my own hands. I eventually concluded that ll mental illness can be linked as a disease of civilization due to bad dieting. It is all encompassed in the fact that humans do not eat how they are supposed to eat. This leads to malfunctions, in genes, in biochemistry, and one of those side effects are eating disorders. TRUE REAL nutrition is the only cure for mental illness. This fact has changed my life. What made it hard? I was being told my entire recovery that is is all my fault, I has fucked up almost to the point of death, and I would never get better. Again, I was out to proved people wrong and thus far have done just that!
5. “It IS about the food”: Thoughts?

 I agree to disagree. Hippocrates said “let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food” This rings true to any sufferer. You cannot get better without the food, but the food per say did not cause the disorder. The only way to fix the malfunctioning mentally ill brain is through food, i.e. nutrition. You cant get healthy without food. The body must catch up before the mind is able to understand. On the same note, once you learn to eat again, the disordered does not magically disappear. Now, with rational thoughts you have to learn how to de-stress your life, get rid of the clutter in your mind, and learn socialization again.

6. How have you found meaning outside of your eating disorder? How have you created a fulfilling life for yourself?

 I separate my ED and my present life. My ED is a PAST separation from who I am now. I cannot change the fact that it happened, and I know and realize anorexia nervosa, the mental disease, will be with me forever, but I am no longer “anorexic.” I am Mallory, a healthy 24-year-old girl who needs to get laid (haha). I am a full time employee as an accountant. I am a lover of the sun, the beach, and football. I am NOT anorexic. I fulfill my life by achieving success at my job, by helping others, and now by getting my story out there for others to understand and hopefully benefit from. I am still working on what it is I think I want to “do with my life.”

7. How did you get motivated to get better? What helped you stay motivated? How did you find motivation after losing it?

 This took the longest. I kept wanting to “just hang on” to my ED long enough because I was never convinced I was “good enough” at anorexia. I had no motivation to leave the comfort I had in my own little world and bubble which never changed. Not until I was forced did I decided “well if I HAVE to do this, I mine as well do it right” this got me into studying NOT DIETING, but nutrition, evolutionarily. This in a way saved me, because I understand so much more the how and why’s to anorexia and the whow’s and why’s to stay free from relapse.

 

A Look Into My Once DiSoRdErEd Mind… Tuesday, Jan 19 2010 

The following is a peek into my brain and excerpts from a journal I kept at a time when I felt isolated from the world, depressed, and stuck in anorexia indefinitely. I tried not to include any triggering comments and insights, but if you can relate or feel that you know someone going through this, please get them help. Please approach them with a heart filled offer for support. I am proud to say that I lo longer live this nightmare, and cannot even recollect this period in my life…

 

I couldn’t sleep last night; nothing unusual, just wide awake lying in my bed wishing I could sleep. I can’t get my brain to stop going in circles. I think I have added up my food intake 20 times. I wrote it down in all 3 classes today before I even ate. I stretched it by about 250 calories so I can convince myself to run an extra couple miles in my break between class. I bit into an apple in one of my classes, and someone looked at me. I freaked out and threw it out. My teeth hurt. The apples hurt my teeth really bad but I won’t eat anything else. I try to stay away from my house as long and often as possible. I am on campus an hour before my class, and I walk around campus and keep myself occupied after class at the mall, or the movie store. I dread going home. I will have to eat if I go home. I will have to tally, add up and figure out how I’m throwing out food and how I will get away with stuffing lettuce in a la tortilla wrap. I hate being starred at when I am at my house. I feel like my every move is watched. I’m paranoid- about myself, about walking, my food…everything. My stomach does not even growl anymore. I am not hungry- I cannot figure it out. I think my stomach has just given up on me ever since I stopped exercising. Chris(my brother) said abs on girls is not attractive- I got to get them to go away, no more crunches. Better for me so I won’t have to eat at all then. When I laid down for bed last night I did the usual body checks. I can still wrap my hand around all parts of my arm with room, my hip bone still protrude from my body. I felt fat as hell when I dressed for class this morning. I am not eating until the jeans I put on hang from my hips. I can’t stand my jeans. I am freezing in them and need to be able to wear leggings under them. I was freezing all day besides when I was out in the sun in 3 layers of clothes. I must have starred aimlessly in the mirror for 20 minutes this morning figuring out why one pair of jeans fell off and one was so small. They didn’t use to fall off and I look the same. The scale said different this morning- 92.1. fat ass that’s all I see. I can grab the blobs, it is sickening. I am freaking huge. There’s something about the number- when I see it I am calm. As long at it does not go above 94 I am ok. 94 and below are safe numbers. Anything over that is just not okay, I will lose control then, I will overeat and I will not be able to tally up and stress about all my food. I weighed 4 times- I must weigh 4 times. Scales lie, so I probably weigh much more than what it says. It sure looks like I am a good 140.

 

I sure seem to have plenty to write about in here- I am mute all day. When I get home from class I have my lettuce wrap, while using a paper towel to wrap it so I can smush up some of the tortilla in it and be able to dispose of it. No need to eat it but to make my parents happy- it does nothing for me. After dinner I put on my usually 2 pairs of leggings with fleece pants over, a tank top, an under armor shirt, long sleeve shirt and fleece hoodie. 3 pairs of socks, my heated blanket and heating pad on my stomach and set up on the couch to lie around thinking while I stare at the TV screen.

My mom got on me today about the hair I leave on the side of the shower. I can’t help it keeps falling out and I don’t want to clog the drain. I think everything I did say to my parents today was a lie. I told them I ate the lunch I packed; I told them class went well, my grades were good. None is true. I keep thinking about making cookies for my parents and my brother. Ill juice them up nicely, chocolate chip cookies with peanut butter cups, white chocolate- they will enjoy them. I can add up their calories too. I don’t even eat crackers but I can tell you the calories in every brand at the store. I walk through the grocery store to pick out a piece of fruit and am floored by the amount to junk people buy and eat. Why can’t they control that- it is not good. I am scared of them- almost like they are a contagious disease…I hope it is not airborne.

I’m still shaving my stomach and upper arms too because the white fuzz keeps appearing. I answered a question right in class today and got a piece of chocolate thrown at me. I have never liked chocolate. This piece was especially hateful. Chocolate makes you fat. No one should touch that stuff- fat people eat chocolate and they just get fatter.

Mom tried to get me to eat dinner she made too. Hamburgers and sweet potato fries… is she crazy. She knows what I eat, the same thing for dinner every night. If I run out of wraps, I have a salad. I am still replacing the Walden farms dressing in the Italian dressing bottle. She would flip is she knew it was zero calorie. It makes me incredibly thirsty. She makes me mad- wish they would stop starring at me when I eat.

Another thing, when I was lying in bed I kept getting these electric feeling jolts in my brain, almost like a shock. I don’t know why it happens. I had a nervous energy high all day, I could not contain myself- bouncing off walls- thoughts kept going round and round. 230 calories in your apple, full of sugar, must walk around campus during class, sitting in class makes you fat, go walk NOW… did your fat ass need an entire ½ an apple? It hurts to sit in class anyways. My legs fall asleep, I’m freezing, and my tail bone hurts. I cant concentrate all I do is add up and read up food totals, think about ways to cut more, which lies I will pick to tell. What I will say I “ate for lunch today” no sleeping- I’m to busy really. I must decide what I will eat tomorrow, and how much I can cut it down. Must keep the scale below 94. The ice cream my mom had has 150 calories in a ½ cup. I can’t have that many. I only used the blender 3 times tonight. Parents gave me dirty looks every time. I don’t see the problem if I enjoy 32 ounce frozen crystal light drinks. It’s my choice. The only thing is 3 of them a night makes me have to pee all night. Its ok, stomach feels full. What the fuck why do I need a full stomach, ew, so annoying. I’m sick of fighting with myself over every little minute detail of my life. Do you really think a leaf of lettuce has 10 calories? If I only put lettuce in my salad bowl with Walden farms I will save some calories. Carrots, cucumber, celery- all unneeded.

I need a 4.0… if I fail then it’s done, I’ve just failed at life and I mine as well give up. I need to learn this stuff- I need to go to class, no more walking. But I need to if I eat, maybe ill do no more apple and go to class, get the 4.0 and then decide. Nothing will be better if I eat; it’s a waste of time. I eat anything my mind goes nutty yelling at the top of its lungs. ANYTHING I touch is not good enough- must put the fork down, start hiding the food in paper towels. You’re not exercising now, so no more nibbling on veggies. I can’t control it though. Nothing can stop it. It only calms when I listen, I obey and I do everything perfect. No food besides my planned allotment. Add; re-add, re tally, no mental uplift occurs. I must keep counting, must keep analyzing. SPIN AND SPIN AND SPIN AND SPIN- THAT’S ALL my thoughts do. I must promise to myself not to change, I must keep it going so I don’t go out of control. If I could accept myself I would get over it. I just don’t understand. How does someone go and put fast food in their mouths, cookies in their mouths- DON’T THEY KNOW. Am I the only person who sees this? Food makes you fat. I must not eat. My mind- I wish it would stop…hello can I have a timeout please. I just may want something here and there- a conversation, a date, a drink, a social connection. Anything- I want break from my head, my thoughts, my everything. Ill lose control and snap if I quit though so I must continue.

Some things I just can’t change. My bones may be thinner than they use to be, but they are going to stay there. This vanishing I am attempting is going to be a failure, because my bones will always be there. My figure isn’t going to change. My skin won’t disappear. I want to vanish. I saw this show on TV where the girl was able to turn herself into water and move around different rooms. That is what I want. I’m a burden to everyone around me and I need to just go away. I read a suicide headline today and wondered why this person would kill themselves, and it sickly comforted me… it is official. If I am uneasy in a situation I will immediately become hyperactive. Nervous energy. Running around circling a million thoughts a minute. Came up with hilarious things to say and make people laugh. Did some stupid things. Elbow hurts… I have all my gaps tonight. All the spaces I am use to. Between legs-check. Hands wrap around waist- check, right hand wrap around left upper arm- check. Hands wrap around upper thigh- check. Ew that means my thigh and waits are the same size. Gross. Thunder thighs. I need to get outta here and figure out why the hell this is going on. I feel like the Michelin man. Marshmallow legs and a rolly-poly belly…. I hate this. All I wanted was isolation. Leave me alone. Now I got it. no friends. No life. Hell who would want to be friends with me. There is WAY too much of me to go around. I mean I take up way more space than necessary. I think I am way too much for everyone. I’m too depressed. I’m too happy. I am too anxious. I have too much energy. I eat too much. I weigh too much. I’m inclined to act incredibly erratic… stupid skinny asses. Skinny woman. Pale skin. Thin frizzy hair. Dry skin. Boney feet. Outlined arms. Collar bones for days. Skeletal cheeks. How did she do that? I must suck at this I’m not pale at all. Jesus Mallory you can’t even be good at anorexia?? You want perfect, and you can’t even accomplish the perfection in the one thing you control! Whoa… hold up… what IS the perfect anorexic? What the hell are you trying to accomplish. If you are the perfect anorexia you will be dead. So when you break twenty bones, lose all electrolytes, use up all body fat and suffer cardiac arrest and die will you be happy. Is that a perfect anorexic? Well if I suck at anorexia and I can’t seem to lose all body hair, shut down all organs, and simply get out of here, disappear. I’m even a firkin loser here to! This is ridiculous. I won’t be happy until I finish this, until I am thin enough. Well at least I won’t have to worry about disappointing anyone or causing a burden. I would never get that far anyway. I just want out of this all.… window shopped in town today down a stretch of outlet stores(thinking the whole time about the calories I was burning walking)… I did the mushroom thing again. Went to the market. Got a veggie bag. Filled it with huge white thick stemmed button mushrooms. Paid for it on the weighing scale but didn’t put the full weight on there. I don’t want to know how much mushrooms I am buying. It is cheaper this way. Take them home. Open up 5 packs of stevia and pour them out on a napkin. Dip mushroom after mushroom in stevia and eat. I. FEEL. DISGUSTING. Stomach hurts. Head is spinning. Stomach is big as a barn. Passing gas like a cow…Passed a reflection window. Holy shit. For a split second I saw this diseased sickly twig in the window. I tripped and fell off the sidewalk. Lady comes out of reflection window store. Red dress suit and flat black shoes on. Short blonde full body hair. She was only like 4’11ish. Asked if I was okay and saw something I wanted. I glimpsed back in the window. I saw fat hanging off my thighs, round cheeks, and blubber all over my stomach. I finally picked up my jaw and said no… I will never just be one of those girls. Those girls have it so easy. They are gorgeous. Make up or no make up. They have everything they want. Friends, money. Nice cars. Boyfriends. They eat. They drink. They are funny. Everything works for those girls. Why am I so damned different. I am ridiculously authentic. It is not good. I can’t get past the idea that thin=success. They have it so easy. Why does everything have to be a hassle and a damned nervous breakdown for me? … ew, sitting here bored and bloated. Flipped through cookbooks all evening. I think I drooled more than my dog over a bone. Nervous, anxious, anticipating… what? I’m so fascinated by cookbooks. Cookbooks with pictures. Luscious pictures of greasy food. Greasy cheesy bready sweet food. I opened a family size bag of baby carrots while my hands shake flipping pages. I subconsciously eat half the bag of carrots. I got so intense with the cookbooks. I took a sip of water and immediately whaled out to oblivion. Ew, stupid fat girl take control of yourself already. 14 servings in the bag! You ate 7 fucking servings of carrots? Jesus you pig. You’re never going to get anywhere until you can at least control yourself… spent most of the day in my bed. Moved to the couch. Felt like it took everything I had to get up and walk to the living room. Didn’t shower. Too much energy for that. Slept. Let me re-phrase. Tried to sleep. Weird things keep happening to my brain. Found my under armor spandex suit. Locks in body heat. Put a hoodie and sweat pants over that. Put a fleece over my hoodie and fleece pants over my sweats. Turned on my electric blanket. I’m freezing…. Why cant people just leave me the hell alone? They cry to me. They tell me I’m to thin. I look bad. My eyes are sunken and I seem like I should break in half. No idea what they are talking about. I see plenty of fat on this body. I can grab it, it is there so trust me. Seems they want me to get some help go see a couple people and talk to them about my dieting. Wishing I didn’t cause so many problems. Why can’t I just be normal?… HA 3 meals and 3 snacks. These people are insane. Out of their mind. I don’t cover that much food in 2 weeks. Each day? I’m so overwhelmed. My nutritionist is fat. Seriously, I’m supposed to take advice from you? She asked if I wanted a candy out of her bowl. Yeah, no thanks ill pass I see you eat enough of them so ill leave them for you. She has a fupa. She wears too much makeup. She has her nails done all whacky. She has got to be in pain in those heels. Heels with cotton pants? Guess they don’t sell her size in pants. Ew- that scares me. I don’t understand how people cannot control that. How come their heads let them eat. Food isn’t failure and death to them? …Don’t have an appetite. No desire to eat. This recovery thing, I wish it didn’t involve food. Why don’t we fix why I have 2 people in my head? Why don’t we discuss how I will never get anywhere in my life. Why don’t we discuss my non-existent opinions, my bizarre thoughts, and my unknown desires. Food? I don’t wanna talk about food. I don’t want to eat food. I just want to be normal. What the hell is WRONG with me?… everything must be counted for. It is either 25, 50, 75 or 100. all food falls into one of those. What ease that brings me. I taken my 80 calorie yogurt, dump half out(40) and all a couple flakes of cereal(10). Nice. Easy. 50. calm…my parents forced me to eat what they served when I got home from work tonight. I flipped out. Everything bad happened. Thought my life was ending. Heart was racing. Hands were shaking. Swung in and out between flushed cheeks and pale death. Feet bounced and tapped the entire time. I think I switched positions in my chair 50 times. Looked at the food. Biggest hamburger I have ever laid eyes on. Holy shit they must have used the entire cow for this thing. I’m gonna be huge if I eat that. Can feel my thighs and stomach expanding just smelling it. Sweet potato oven fries. Can we add any more crap on this plate? I start bawling and pushed away potato-burger-zilla and scream and yell. I’m so confused. So scared. I couldn’t move until I finished. The hours passed as I cried, so lost, so out there. My mind was traveling faster than thoughts. I can’t even recall. I know I must have pit stains from the sweating. I went from numbness to absolutely and total hate. I hated my life, my parents, my world, my mind, my disease. I wanted it all to end. Wait, disease? I don’t know if I would consider it all that. That’s a little much. I just have really good control over what I eat. You think I’m skinny as a rail, I think you are full of shit. Your eyes are brown. Case and point. Please…get rid of me already. I am wasted space and now I am going to be fat wasted space. Make room, because lardo will be around if she ever finishes this damned meal…. What is this guilt/shame/lying/deception? GRR I am so frustrated. But I showed them. Skipped class all day and used my time wisely at the gym. Ran 9 miles, walked 3 miles, stair stepped 2 workouts and did abs. spent the rest of the day on a brick wall sleeping in the sun. Haven’t eaten all day. No desire to. Not hungry. Hope I never get hungry again. But if I could have anything I wanted. Ice cream. Vanilla bean home churned. Honey roasted peanuts. Toast with butter. Reese’s pieces. Quaker rice snacks in honey graham and cheese flavored. Broccoli and cheese casserole. Sweet potato over baked in the oven. Mashed potatoes with heavy gravy. Why can’t I get my mind off food. I feel so lost, lonely and rejected about everything in life. I will be thrown in the hospital if I don’t snap out of this. Supposedly I could die on the spot at any given moment. My organs don’t work well. My heart sucks and beats slow. My hair is all falling out. Sudden cardiac arrest could happen while I’m obsessing in cookbooks. Are you fucking happy now? Is this the end line? Maybe there is something a little bit more rewarding than being told your victory in control encompasses death. I should give this recovery thing a go. There isn’t a lower point I can feel than this… now officially scared of food. I lost control. I went to the kitchen in an attempt to meet some sort of meal plan goal. I didn’t know what I wanted. I had no plan. I had no laid out, pre calculated, written down and analyzed plan. What the fuck? I looked in the fridge. Put some yogurt in a bowl. Added some cranberries. Ate it. nope, that wasn’t what I wanted. Looked at the cereal. Something called granola oat clusters. Ate half the box. Dry. Gross. Ew. You fat lazy ass slob can you even control yourself? You only needed a snack you didn’t need to eat the whole fucking kitchen! This fucking ‘better thing’ – I don’t get it. not eating until dinner tomorrow. What am I supposed to feel? Recovery… sounds like I should feel BETTER. I feel like shit. Worthless extra fat hanging around society. This is so tedious. So frustrating. So annoying. So time consuming. And I thought will power and starving was hard. This shit is impossible. I am hopeless… I caught myself today. You wouldn’t believe it. I laughed at a joke my parents told. I listened to the joke. It was funny. I laughed without thinking about laughing. Both parents looked at me like a confused dog. Felt embarrassed for laughing. I even ate dinner with them. At the table. All three of us. Very silent at first. Center cut pork chops, green beans, baked potato. I starred at it for a good 15 mins. Overcome with nervous energy. I started calculating, portioning and thinking of how to exercise it off. Butter is in the greens beans with ham hock. Gotta be a good 2 tablespoons of butter in my portion. Pork chop on the grill. Cut off the fat. Baked potato. Shit. What do I do. Scoop out all the insides and complain it is dry. Eat the crispy skin with ketchup. Easy enough. I hate baked potatoes. Plain. Dry. Tasteless. Started talking 500 miles per hour about anything and everything after my mind ceased twirling. Tried to start eating. Hate being starred at. Had to cut up pork chop in 938465 pieces. green beans must be eaten one half at a time. French style. Baked potato last so hopefully people will be done eating and I can purge it to the dog. Food was cold… parents yelled at me tonight. Dad is pissed. His temper and anxiety is the same as mine. He scared me. He scared me back to step one. GOD I FUCKING HATE THIS. I was trying to make dinner. I don’t even remember what it was now. They had eaten. I went to sit on the couch and watch TV while I ate. He flips. Mad about my rituals. Mad about my food. Mad about my lack of weight gain. I become hysterical. Food went in the trash. Grabbed my keys and left. Drove to the gas station. Cried in my car. I hate my life. I hate all this. Got a diet coke. Thought about lighting a match near the gas pump. Curious if I would blow up. Was going to go rent a hotel room. I hate home. Dad calls. Apologizes. What else is new. He apologizes every time he looses his mind and gets angry. I’m still pissed. Convinced me to come home. Don’t know if I am mad at him or myself. I’m so new to this feelings thing. I enjoyed the numb and mute life with no decisions. It was easy. I was good…. Can’t sleep. Bad insomnia. There are always soldiers marching in my head at night. My temples march. I count the beats. One two three four five six seven eight. One two three four five six seven eight. Everything is an eight count. All my walking, all my thinking. Everything must be done in an eight count. Very calming… I had a funny feeling when I saw a guy today. Butterflies. Sucked in my stomach so he couldn’t see how fat I was and walked in the bank. Could feel my shirt go up under my ribs. He looked. Actually starred. Hope I didn’t look to fat. Maybe I will see him again. Feelings for guys again? Wow. That’s new. Hope it continues. Hell, who would want to get to know me. I’m weird. I’m different. I’m nervous and shy. I’m happy then I’m sad. I’m funny then I’m mute. I’m so many different things I think I am too much for any guy to ever like. He would think I’m a lunatic. I can’t think straight to save my life… I gained weight this week because I chugged a bottle of water prior to my weigh-in. immediately had to take a shit afterwards… I can’t decide if I want this or not. The past was so easy. It was so dark and lonely though. Recovery is pulling me between then and now. I can’t decide what the hell I want out of this. Eat? Don’t eat? I can’t run anymore. I think I’m on watch like a crawling baby around the house. There’s got to be a better way to do this. I’m way too stressed. 26 hairs fell out in the shower this morning. I’m sweating then I’m freezing. My hearts racing. I can’t catch my breath. Way too much thinking… came up to a stoplight today driving. Looked over at the lady who pulled up beside me. I watch people. I watch people all the time. I watch the world work. I watch the animals, the flowers, the sun set and the moon rise. I watch everything. I think constantly. Lady was a big ol black woman. Huge head and chins for days. Shoved a handful of fries in her mouth and inhaled what looked like half her burger before she started chewing. How the hell is she breathing during all this. She had on way to much make up. Must have eaten half her lipstick with that mouth stuffing. Took a sip of her drink. Guarantee it is diet coke. Weirdoes. Can’t seem to turn my mind to off. Wish there was a switch… made my own dinner. Rewrite. I attempted to make my own dinner. Chicken cooked in butter and brown rice, broccoli and cheese mixed up. Scary meal. Not the chicken I don’t care about it. I love rice broccoli and cheese. I don’t eat it because I like it. Rice starts to boil. I look at it. I look at the cheese. I look at the hot steamed green trees. Mom is there helping. I break down. Start bawling my eyes out. Fall in my moms arms telling her how hard this is. No one understands me. I don’t even understand myself. Have no idea what she is thinking. This makes no sense to her but so much to me. Took a while to gather myself. Sat on the toilet and continued to cry. Came back and ate dinner. All of it. Scared shitless I enjoyed the cheese mess… this is ridiculous. All of it. Life it to fucking short for me to be so fucking caught up in this shit. I am what I am. I am who I am. Deal with it. Need to figure out stuff I like. Decorating. Planting. Landscaping would be cool. I like puzzles. Brain teasers. Scrabble. Sudoku…. That is it. I’m starving. I’m starving emotions. Why do I do that? It’s so calming. Need to learn to deal with it. No more controlling it. If I am unhappy I am unhappy. Being sad is better than being nothing. No more starving emotions. So scared because they are out of control. Need to eat something… great news. I can go back to a low carbohydrate diet. Mom and dad are doing it. Ahh, a sigh of relief. I think I’m excited. Crap..

 

And that’s it. That’s the life in the mind of an anorexic I no longer remember, and one I never want to see again. That was me. I was suffering. I was depressed. I was sick. I was forced into help by my parents but I found recovery on my own. It is never really over. The ride goes smooth, gets bumpy windy and curvy, but it is all worth it.

I’m not perfect and I have accepted I will never be but there are things I want out of life and self identity I have been able to find. My eating disorder kept me from being successful for a very long time. The time and thought I put toward my eating disorder could have been used in so many different ways, and part of my eating disorder was a struggle in me finding myself and my true desires in life. I think I changed my major 5 times since starting college. Finding success in me and accepting me are big parts of getting past anorexia.

I prime a lot of my value and life around what it means personally for ME to be successful. Personally, I could care less about a job, finances and things besides what I need to get by. I take my education seriously and strive very hard to keep a 4.0- but still, it’s not as important to me as other things

I find my family and my environment with others to be the biggest part of me having a “successful” life. I want people to want to be around me, I don’t want to ever “try” to be happy. I want it to all come natural. I want to love myself- that is success to me

I want a family, husband, and lots of kids. I would love to be a stay at home mom and possibly help those with eating disorders- nonprofit type thing. This is where it gets hard for me right now getting past my ED. My “success” in life is centered on a family and kids. I have no period. Anorexia took my fertility from me. That equals no kids. It would slip me in a huge depression mode if I were to find out I cannot have kids. Adoption is one thing I know- but I want to birth my own kids.

Deal the hand your dealt- I’ve heard it and I’m learning to live it.

The letter I have never delivered Monday, Jan 18 2010 

I wrote a letter to my parents one day after being starred at for eating copious amounts of meat… I was frustrated and needed to vent. I had full intention on handing over the letter but I never did… thoughts?

Mom and Dad:
The last couple of years have been the most confusing and difficult years of my life and at the same time the most precious and cherishing. I want you to understand a few things about anorexia and me. Recovery is hard. It is hard as hell. It is hard every day. There are some good days and there are some bad days. There are some fat days and there are some normal days. I do not tend to share much of any of it with anyone, let alone you guys. I can’t open up about it. I don’t want to nor do I feel I need to. But I want to let you know this is so very hard. I do not tell you everything, but I also no longer lie to you- I hope you know this. I have also put on close to 25lbs from my lowest weight. This is remarkable, especially considering I took recovery into my own hands. There are a few things I would like to say here that I need y’all to understand.
There is an overwhelming power in anorexia. It is a horrendous, scary, life threatening disease, and I know this. It has this power over my actions my thoughts and my body. I feel like an addicted crack head sometimes because the disease sucks me in so deep at times. It is going to take time, a long time to overcome such an illness. What I do not think you and dad realize is that anorexia is a psychological and biological mental illness. I am positive one of you has probably googled basic anorexia and have seen the facts. You know to an extent what it is, but I do not think you understand. Most studies and most research based studying on anorexia is showing it’s biological component and genetic link to the disease.

The current report, noted abnormalities in areas of the brain that are associated with bodily sensations, including getting pleasure from food. One of the affected brain areas is called the anterior insula, which plays a critical role in how people are aware of their internal body signals. A short-circuit in this area may be a contributing cause of anorexia. The imaging studies suggest that people who have anorexia also have an imbalance in brain circuitry that regulates emotions and rewards. This coincides with the tendency for people with anorexia to have difficulty experiencing pleasure, to have worry excessively about the consequences of their actions, and to be perfectionists. It IS a mental illness, meaning it is a biologically-based disease. Not because of the physical ravages of malnutrition, bingeing or purging that the patient has chosen to do– but because something is wrong with brain function.

The entire field of study is confused by the disease simply because they can’t cure it, nor find effective treatments. Eighty-six percent of “recoverees” relapse. Obviously, the conventional wisdom on anorexia is wrong and ineffective. I do not want to be in that percent and I expect to be in the 14% who flourish in life. I can always see you staring at my food, my body, and eyeing me every time I eat. I know you guys care about me, love me and that is unconditional. But I know you worry and are scared at the same time- I am too. Everything unpredictable about my future scares the hell out of me. You have no idea what it is like to be self destructing to your body, to deal with 3 years of shameful, selfish, depressive non-existence or to starve yourself to enjoy the pain and suffering you inflict upon yourself. Everything about the rasp of anorexia is calming. Everything about the high energy, the repetitive thought, and the starving is all about control to calm down my head.

Do not think for a second that you know more about this than I do or that you have ‘one up on’ me. I have researched mental disease, anorexia, and nutrition for more hours than I care to remember. I also write about my experiences and journal online at a forum where I get much needed support day in and day out. Many of these people understand the torment I go through everyday. Many also have no clue, but support me regardless and inflict much needed confidence. I can relate to them and I desperately want recovery. I want to help others, which puts more influence and passion into my own recovery. I can see the annoyance in you and I need you to know that a carefree attitude of “normal eating” is not going to happen. It is not in the future or on the horizon. It is simply not possible with anorexia, and this disease does not just go away despite what you may think. I want you to let me live my life on my own, by my own rules, and allow me to go out and blossom. This is part of my recovery.

I need to be trusted and trust myself I will get better with time. I need not to be judged and commented about. What you may think is just blowing off steam, eating ridiculously and having rituals is nothing in the grand scheme of things. You set me back 3 steps when you do things like that. Keep your comments to yourself. I end up acting like a fool and starving when I get antsy and uncomfortable in front of people who feel the need to ‘joke’ or be rude to me about all this. Recovery takes years, and years, and years. Small things you don’t see or notice happen, and it is huge to me. It does not just vanish like with a z-pack for the flu. Whether you trust me or not I will get my independence and will live my life how I deem I am capable of doing. Leaving home scares the hell out of me, but I need to do it. I need to make myself trust my mind and body. Will I fall back? Probably, for a short period, but I will regain my strength and build up my confidence and get on with life.

Do not come at me with an argument, I will become angry and defensive ten ways to Sunday. I use to tell myself this family would look a hell of a lot better with me not in it, not being a burden and not around. Do you know what it is like to live when everything you do feels like a burden? When your mental disease is running your every action and thought? I am not trying at all to make you guys feel bad. That is not my intention and if you think I am trying to get under your skin and annoy you then I further believe that you again do not understand anorexia and the reality of it. I can’t make you feel what I feel, I can’t let you live what I live, but I can attempt to describe how much of a hellish nightmare anorexia and the fight for recovery is. When life is stressful and hard, I revert back to comfortable habits. I don’t do well with change and choices that encompass unpredicted outcomes. It overwhelms me. Anorexia does not overwhelm me, it is very predictable and I am constantly reminded just how close and nonjudgmental the disease is to me. Is it intolerable to me that anorexia can torment me as it does and make me sick and fearful at even the thought of the food. It teams up with guilt, pleasure and shamefulness.

On many occasions this disease has practically taken my life, and in past years it has taken any spirit I once had. I do want you to understand that the girl I “use to be” does not exist anymore, and she isn’t coming back. I can’t backtrack my past and re-do everything I fucked up. You need to accept me now while I learn and adventure to accept myself. I can’t let the annoyances of life get to me either. I hate more than anything watching people diet- it scares the living hell out of me. I hate seeing someone or hearing of someone who succumbs to this disease and are living the days of depression and obsessiveness I once lived. It is all addictive and compulsive. It is anything but about weight, size and food. Please, if you get one thing out of this, understand anorexia is not about those three things. I dieted, I became obsessive, but along the beaten path I came to the conclusion that exercise and body fat and equivalent to failure, weakness, letdown and disappointment. Along the way I learned and was confident in the fact that I could control one area of my life while the rest seemed to be going no where. I became addicted to perfecting myself in a sick and unhealthy manner. I eventually thought I would be better of simply vanishing, disappearing so no one would have to deal with me.

If there is anything you can do, stop the food starring, stop the food comments, and stop trying to make food look like this wonderful force fed part of my life. Learn to deal with me and accept that I am not your typical person. I will not ever be. I also won’t be the girl I use to be, who I know you hope and pray will come back- she’s not. I have a disease and it isn’t going away. I would love to believe that a mental illness simply vanishes with “recovery” but that is so far from the truth. Don’t tell me how good certain foods are- I know they are fucking good. That causes so much upheaval in my brain it’s not even funny. I immediately want to restrict and fall into old habits. ALL I WANT from you is support. I want nothing but support. Know that I am trying, know this is hell, know this is hard, but know that I am doing my God damned best. That is all you can do and all I want you to do. You can’t change me or anything about me so don’t try, but accept. Please accept and support me. I do not plan to be like I am forever but it is going to take time and a lot of it to dig out of the grave anorexia made for me. Six feet under is a long way to climb up. Sometimes I feel suffocated and stuck in the coffin, like I will never get better and I get frustrated and want to quit, falling back to old behaviors. But I can and will accomplish it- I am strong enough and I believe in myself. Anorexia left me with isolation, solidarity, depression, obsessive compulsive thought and behavior, and counting. SO. MUCH. COUNTING. It took and ripped the soul I had, the glow I had, the charm I once possessed and almost my life right out of me.

I want you there in support for this. It is all I need. I want you to understand not what I am going through, but to understand the capabilities and reality of the mental disease.

Love, Mal

What if… Monday, Jan 18 2010 

You only had one year to live…
Me and my friend Becky

My little brother and I

My first reactions:
I don’t want to leave my parents. They would be devastated without me. I want to see my little brother right now. I need to show more love to the people I love and start living each day like it was my last.

Changes I would make in my life:
I would spend time with more people, particularly my family. I would introduce myself to attractive men everyday. I would start volunteering at food kitchens/shelters and get the word out about eating disorders and trying to help sufferers. I would change my own recovery method and be carefree regarding it. I would stop caring about how my body has to look and let it look like it wants to look. I would always, always present myself the best I can in looks, clothes and attitude to feel good about every last day.

New things I would try:
Surfing, water skiing, jet skiing, any water sport- I love them. I might go skydiving. I would sign up for salsa class and hip hop dancing (my passion)! I would dance- everyday. Travel to Italy, France and Germany and sample real true cultural cuisine. I would sample every fruity girlie alcoholic drink at a bar.

Unfinished things I want to complete:
Recovery or simply disregard it altogether and make my mind switch to “normal.” If I only have a year to live I would care less about college. Travel.

Things I would NOT do:
Pay off my debt (sorry!), look down upon only having a year to live, stray from my family

Things I need to say before I die:
“I’m sorry and grateful and thankful for you putting up with me” to my parents and brothers for everything I have put them through in this hideous self absorbed disease. Tell God thank you for keeping me on the earth as long as he has. Tell my friends “I’m sorry” for isolating myself in anorexia and having to move to Mississippi.

Describe my last fling:
I would want it to be passionate and feel a real open connection with someone. Yes, and have hot monkey sex everyday. I would finally OPEN up to a guy.

Spiritual preparations:
I would without a doubt spend every Sunday morning at church. I would call Father Pat.

Where and how would I spend my last days:
At home with my family by the pool in the hot sun and our bathing suits. The grill would be fired up with good eats, we would all be throwin back beers and might even brew up some crawfish. Totally carefree without a worry in the world. Music would be on the entire time of my choice haha. I would watch the sun set every evening and stare up at the stars and reflect and think.

Throughout the fantasy there were key moments involving significant persons in my life. Whom did I involve and what did I learn about my relationship priorities?
My relationships with friends are not as deep and special as I would like. I take way too much for granted. I need to be sweeter and approachable to more people.

During the fantasy, I found myself doing things significantly differently from how I live now. Why would this be so? If they were so important to get done, what prevents me from doing them now?
Control and Fear. The biggest thing is letting go of my need tos and have tos and living in the moment. I see myself not fearing anything and caring only about what was truly important. Now I feel pressures to get things done, be good at it and fearing failure and consequences. Money is a big part of the scenario which prioritizes the have tos and need tos and want tos.

How do I feel about facing my own death?
It scares the hell out of me. I know I will be going to a higher place, however, I feel like I am leaving a lot of questions unanswered and a lot of people behind who deserve a lot more from me.

Thinking about death provides a way to look at what is real and what is important in our lives. How have my ideas of what is important and real to me changed after experiencing this death fantasy? What can I change in my life not to reflect these new priorities?
I realize just how important my family is to me. I realize I need to strengthen my connections with more people. I enjoy getting to know people on a deeper level. I realize fear and priorities stand in my way too much. I want to start freeing myself from responsibilities and allowing myself to spend time with people and spend time having fun.

A little bit about myself Monday, Jan 18 2010 

Though y’all might be interested in learning some quirky, normal, and random facts about me!

 I have a dream of becoming a salsa dancer or a hip hop back-up dancer

 I love the ocean, the beach and the sun. If it is out, I am out.

 I lived in Maryland for 21 years then moved to Mississippi

 I LOVE FOOTBALL…New Orleans Saints. I hope to one day attend a game.

 I think cheerleading should be an Olympic sport

 I never ate a salad until I was 15 years old

 I count everything in sets of eight.

 I make weird images from tiles in the bathroom.

I think girls who wear too much makeup are hideous. I stick to accentuating the eyes.

 I love trying on weird outfits that seem eccentric

 I use to hate my name but now like it because not many people have it

 I often smoke up the kitchen cooking dinner- my parents despise it

 My favorite food is probably pork steak or beef ribs

 I don’t get into the designer clothes, purses etc- one because I can’t afford it, and two I don’t want someone who can make a purse be a billionaire.

 I can be the biggest tightwad you’ll ever meet

 I love barefeeting it but I hate my feet. They are long and flat.

 Walking is the only way I can clear my head

 I love being a girl, wearing attractive clothes, feeling attractive and grabbing the attention of males J

 I love dogs. I have a blue tick coon hound. I’m more of a lab girl. If Beethoven dogs could survive in the south I would want one.

 I smoke….not weed

 I don’t like to drink alcohol

 I only wash my hair every 3 days. Keeps it healthy.

 I swear deodorant makes my pits sweat more than they otherwise would.

 There is nothing more I adore than sleep

 I hate movies and TV. I hate sitting there and having to watch it…bleh

 I want to learn to quilt.

I love crawfish but crabs are better

 

Why I am reaching out Monday, Jan 18 2010 

I am guessing you’re wondering what exactly it is I would  like to accomplish with this blog. I plan to share what works for me, and how I personally manage anorexia. It’s not fun and exciting, nor is it brutal and punishing. It simply keeps it at bay and allows me to live my life. Why do I feel meat is the best source of nutrition for any mental illness? I’m going to go on a limb here and say if you’re reading this, you or someone you know has an eating disorder. The signs begin to be so clear when the mind set is there. Symptoms of anorexia vary among the sufferer, however isolation, food rituals, social problems, dry skin, dark circles under the eyes, weakness, dizziness or headaches, peach fuzz on the skin, dry and falling out hair, brittle nails, energy highs and lows, uncontrollable moods and tempers, layering of clothing unnecessarily, depression, counting, tallying, food obsession, meal time obsession and yellowish skin tone provides you with an exhausting list of symptoms. Organs in the body begin to work slower or shut down, mental function slows down, spaciness in thought occurs, heart rate slows down and bone become very hollow. Some eating disordered individuals exercise, and some never do. Some become self destructive in other ways by cutting themselves, bruising themselves, abusing drugs and having strange habits like wearing an elastic band around their waist way to tight for it’s circumference. People with anorexia are extremely sensitive to failure, and any criticism, no matter how slight, reinforces their own belief that they are worthless. To set the picture I remember two occurrences which have been plastered in my mind for far too long. I remember riding in my parent’s old ass blue pickup home from cheerleading practice one evening- maybe around age 9. The seats in this truck practically dusted and were held together by duct tape. It smelled like old leather mixed with oil/gas. I was so embarrassed of this truck. It was loud and obnoxious too with rust all over it…but it ran. Anyway, my mom made the comment on the way home “there isn’t much of a future for a fat cheerleader”… Those. Exact. Words.

It still haunts me and I don’t know why I took it so hard. Nothing has ever been taken with a grain of salt with me. She to this day recollects saying it. She still remembers the sentence she uttered when she saw me for the first time after a semester in college “It looks like you’ve been doing more than beer drinking.” Both comments shaped these horrendous effects in my head. They came from people I loved, cared about, and opinions I OVER valued. It made me 10 time more self conscious and shy than I should have been. It took away my self esteem and any outgoing spunk I had about me. All eating disorders all vary from individual to individual which is why treating them has been such a failure in medical studies, but I stand by the knowledge that this mental illness as all mental illnesses are, is another “disease of civilization.” Science Daily describes and eating disorder as “a compulsion in which the main problem is a person eats in a way which disturbs their physical health.”

This is true, but the root of the problem is encompassing why this individual functions in such a way and why the food responds in physical deterioration. For an anorexic, starving themselves of the necessary glucose in the blood is calming. Binge eaters and bulimics use food to temporarily soothe themselves of stress. This is very temporary because their blood sugar shoots through the roof, only to come crashing down. It is all based around the diet. Because of what the eating disordered individual chooses to eat or not eat is the reason their brains and bodies are not functioning correctly. There is some form of stressor in each ED individual. Vin Miller put is nicely when he said

Although modern forms of stress rarely originate from life threatening situations, they still activate the sympathetic nervous system. As such, any occurrence of stress will cause physiological damage and will shut down digestion, the immune system, and all other function that contributes to building and maintaining good health. The chronic stress that many of us experience is continually breaking the body down without allowing enough time to recover and rebuild. Over time, this often leads to conditions such as adrenal fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome and can even lead to fatal diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Many people mistakenly think that the only source of stress is mental frustration. In actuality, anything that stimulates the sympathetic nervous system is a source of stress. This includes excitement, fear, nervousness, mental challenge, and demanding physical activity. Basically, stress is anything that isn’t calming or relaxing. If this load exceeds your body’s capacity for recovery and repair, then it’s detracting from your health (http://naturalbias.com/).

In this case, detracting from your health is your resulting eating disorder.

To get a clear view of the obvious impact on carbohydrates and mental health the website survivediabetes.com has presented the following as an understating of blood glucose :

Hypoglycemia means low blood sugar, and it can be caused, paradoxically, by high levels of sugar in the diet. Measures which stabilize blood sugar also stabilize mood, and make the therapeutic process infinitely easier. Low blood sugar, on the other hand, can make life a misery. First, there’s “relative hypoglycemia,” so-called because symptoms coincide with the blood sugar falling about 20mg% relative to the fasting level. These symptoms may happen while the blood sugar is in the normal range. The second category of symptoms stem from stress hormones secreted to raise the blood sugar when it falls below normal. One of these hormones is the fight-or-flight hormone adrenalin which affects mood dramatically, causing heightened vigilance, shaking, sweating, tremulousness, anxiety, irritability or even paranoia without any change in present circumstances.

The combination of adrenalin and low blood sugar negates the comforting effect of the endorphins, so the sufferer is doubly uncomfortable. This distress is evident to observers, and the corresponding blood sugar and stress hormone levels can be measured during the Glucose Tolerance Test, so this kind of symptom is well accepted. The third category of symptoms is caused by “neuroglycopenia” (literally “brain-sugar-lack.”) Glucose reaches the brain cells by the slow process of diffusion from the capillaries, so the brain runs out of fuel if low blood sugar persists. Incredibly, brain metabolism fell to 22% of baseline in experimental, insulin-induced hypoglycemia. The cortex suffers first, so cortical functions such as insight are the first to be affected which means that the sufferer can have little insight into the cause of the suffering.” Further in survivediabetes.com has provided clarity saying “A creature cannot have any kind of “genetic adaptation” to a food unless it was available during its evolution! During the evolution of the human race, free sugars were available only in small quantities, seasonally, in honey, while all other sugars were to be found only in fruit and vegetables along with vitamins and minerals, and fiber which slows the uptake of glucose into the bloodstream. The intake of refined sugars has grown explosively to the present astounding average of 150 pounds per person per year in the past few dozen generations. On an evolutionary time scale, this is but the blink of an eye. A more fitting conclusion is that refined carbohydrates, especially sugar, are a defective food because people have had so little time to adapt to them.”

All the causes of hypoglycemia are not known. What has grown up, however, is a body of knowledge of things one can do to help alleviate the symptoms. The basic problem is that for some reason the body does not handle blood glucose properly. If you eat sugar, or something that is easily converted to sugar by the body, the sharp rise in blood sugar causes too great an increase in the levels of insulin. The result is that the blood sugar is driven too low, too fast. Since the brain doesn’t store a great deal of energy, like say the muscles do, it is very sensitive to the levels of blood sugar. If the brain isn’t operating properly, then you can get all sorts of different symptoms. The first basic treatment is to avoid all foods that contain elemental sugar. This includes almost all desserts and junk foods. (Actually that wouldn’t be so bad for a “healthy” person would it?) It also includes all non diet soft drinks. A lot of people find that caffeine also stimulates the release of blood glucose and precipitates a reaction. That is the reason why caffeine helps keep people awake and “gives” them energy, it’s really the increase in blood glucose giving them the extra energy. Beware of anything that comes in a box from the supermarket. The food industry loves to add sugar to things to entice you to eat their products. The worst offender you can think of are breakfast cereals. They not only put sugar in their product, but on their product. (http://www.fred.net/slowup/hypotret.html)

 So common sense again tells us the cure for this is to restrict and exclude carbohydrates altogether. It is not to say I am presenting another diet or another anorexic restriction. The evidence and studies CLEARLY prove my point to link mental illnesses such as eating disorders with carbohydrate metabolism malfunctioning. As you have seen, the domino effect is the toll taken on the body from mood disorders, to glucose problems, to stress reducing habits, to eventually anorexia.

  Katherine A. Halmi presented a four-year condensed overview on eating disorders entitled, “Basic Biological Overview of Eating Disorders” in which she recapped many important studies. Here is what stood out to me: In a study of taste perceptions in eating-disorder patients, the anorectic restrictors and anorectic bulimics displayed a pronounced aversion to high-fat stimuli. The anorectic restrictors also showed a strong dislike for solutions that contained little or no sweetness. The negative responses to fat persisted following weight restoration, suggesting that this behavior may be a stable trait characteristic of anorexia nervosa. The bulimic patients did not differ in their hedonic ratings compared with control subjects. The results of the taste study match those of a cognitive preference study , in which all patients with a current or past history of anorexia nervosa significantly disliked high-fat, high-calorie foods compared with the control groups and the bulimic patients. After weight restoration, this intense dislike of high-fat and high-calorie foods persisted and, therefore, appears to be a stable trait characteristic in anorexia nervosa(http://www.acnp.org/G4/GN401000155/CH151.html).

 High fat is not what calms the anorexic because it essentially cures the disease. What keeps the disease running rampant is the carbohydrates taken in by the individual. It feeds the disease. Anorexia cannot run off of high fat, therefore the fear and feeling from a diet high in fat is heresay to anorexia when it is precisely the solution.

 There is a proportional link to brain chemical imbalances in the brain and eating disorders. In specific, researchers have noted “The primary setting of many of these abnormalities originate in a small area of the brain called the limbic system. A specific system called hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) may be particularly important in eating disorders.” This is followed by the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and amygdale malfunctioning. With these malfunctions are resulting depression, anxiety, OCD tendencies and the regulation of bodily functions(temperature, blood sugar, hormones) to all go hay-wire. Another illustration of the cause of bad genes due to dieting is “The HPA system also releases certain neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) that regulate stress, mood, and appetite and are being heavily investigated for a possible role in eating disorders. Abnormalities in the activities of three of them, serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine, are of particular interest. Serotonin is involved with well-being, anxiety, and appetite (among other traits), and norepinephrine is a stress hormone. Dopamine is involved in reward-seeking behavior. Recent research suggests that people with anorexia have increased activity in the brain’s dopamine receptors. This overactivity may explain why people with anorexia do not experience a sense of pleasure from food and other typical comforts.

All these problems are cause not by anorexia, but by carbohydrates and their consumption. There is an appreciable amount of research on genes and heredity compared to eating disorders. So the individual asks, why me? The western diet has done all it can to disintegrate the health of everyone in America. Health is crumbling as more and more individuals are pushed drugs to deal with mental illness. The reason the brain doesn’t process and uptake the required nutrients correctly are due in part to the western diet. Carbohydrates have a huge link to mental disorders. Unreal food consumption by previous generations, and yes by you the sufferer have caused genes to malfunction and people to be bred malfunctioning. There is no reversing the damage the western diet has done on mental illness. We can however, act to manage it and act to understand and promote good health. Every person suffering an eating disorder also suffers a blood glucose malfunction. Either he or she does not process carbohydrates correctly causing brain illness resulting in eating disorders or one is encompassed by overproduction of insulin in the blood. The disordered eater is either insulin resistant or insulin sensitive. Why one God’s green earth it is not common sense to turn to a correct diet to fix glucose problems is beyond me. The answers to so many health problems have been at the fingertips of greedy consumers and under the noses of selfish bigot doctors for way to long(http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/anorexia-nervosa/causes.html).

 As with all success non-drug treatment for a mental illness, reversing these dietary faults should reverse the symptoms and should manage the correction in brain chemical uptake and functioning. These faults? Carbohydrates, regardless of their source or complexity I mean all of them.

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