FRED (what I will refer to as my ED head) needs to get the hell out of dodge. I have been home running him outta the ballpark so far this week!
Well what a heck of a past couple days though! I am doing MUCH better mentally. If you read the comments from the previous entry you will see the amazing comment from Katie at The Milk-Free way. She told me:
Maybe this advice from my previous therapist will help. She told me that a person’s gut reaction in recovery is to fight with the eating disordered thoughts – but that is actually counterproductive, because it just makes them louder. Like screaming at a toddler having a tantrum. Eating disordered thoughts have no logic to them and they don’t respond to argument. The way I deal with them, as my therapist suggested, is to tell myself that they are symptoms of a mental illness, nothing to do with reality. Then I ignore them. I know it sounds too simple but really, labelling them as ‘disordered’ takes all the power out of them. It takes practise but it’s the single most helpful thing I’ve learned in recovery this time around, after 13 years of eating disorder. I agree with Kim too – beating yourself up increases your anxiety and so increases the ED thoughts. It’s so hard I know, but remind yourself that EVERYONE with an eating disorder has EXACTLY the same thoughts about being greedy, out of control, scared etc – but you wouldn’t tell anyone else that they were right about being weak, would you? You would tell them that’s just their illness talking.
Amazing advice. I printed it out and have read it the past two mornings. I am trying to understand and separate “that voice” with MAL’s voice. And wouldn’t ya know, it’s been working! Not 24/7 any kinda easy breezy but… I am very proud of myself. I added not ONE but TWO NEW FOODS!!!! GO ME! I think there was more undecidedness in WHAT to add than adding it turned out to be!
First up, I stopped at the local Farmer’s Market after work (we do not have Whole Foods in Mississippi…just Ma & Pa shops…grunt) to check out the selection and low and behold I finally, after long searching, found FULL FAT cultured yogurt! Yum, I had never had it before. It has a tart tang to it but I doooo like it! New snack last night! Second, I was skimming the shelves, which is something I never use to do because I only ate meat, and came across raw nut butters. Now trust me, I have been around the blogsphere, I KNOW me some nut butters- y’all are obsessed! Haha. Now I can join in…slowly…to the club. One jar at a time. Here’s what I got:
Tahinni nut butter! Yumm. I mixed it with the yogurt, so that makes it a two-in-one goal! My thoughts on the nut butter: it was very very dense & rich, I needed to stir it a lot and prolly did not stir it enough, and a little bit goes a long way. I like it. Mostly because it is NOT sweet. I got the idea because I remembered reading another blogger, I think her name was Tatiana(?) using the sesame seed butter on like everything so I had to try. I am not into the chocolate flavored peanut butter and those sorta sweet-add-on nut butters. Next up I plan to tackle raw almond butter- I have had this before so I know I like it. Here’s some eats from the past…day I’ve been away? Haha
Buttered chicken with 3 cheeses and olive oil & brussel sprouts!
Chicken livers frying in butter!
Cravings: eggs, livers, tomatos & mozzarella, cheese & pickles
So on the food front I feel like I am doing surprisingly well. I am proud of myself for pulling it together but everyday, I am still going through constant undecidedness, anxiety, stress, fear. Like pretty much all day yesterday. I got hungry(WOAH!) before I am use to. So that freaked me out a bit and I wanted to just wait, but decided hell if I am hungry now mine as well eat. So I went in the fridge at work and grabbed 2 hardboiled eggs-they sell these vac-packed at wal-mart in the salad section- BOUYA- a chunk of cheese and a few pickles. I had an egg in my mouth and a guy walks in the break room to comment on my 2 handfuls of food and egg in my mouth. I was so shook up I dropped the pickles. The rest of the day I was CRAVING pickles and cheese. I included them with dinner last night. THEN, Lunch yesterday. We have our lunch hours set up at work so no one’s overlaps more than a half hour. Well there was a meeting in the morning to all the girls took their lunch hour at the same time. I walk in to break up a bowl of steak-ums to microwave for a minute. Now, if you have ever had steak-ums you are well aware that they produce a bowl of grease when you cook them. I got my salad, eggs, and olive oil out while they were cooking.
Please note, EVERYONE in the break room was starring at me. Why do people ALWAYS care so damned much about what I eat. I just want to tell them to worry bout them damned selves! Anyway, I chop up a couple eggs and pour in the olive oil. Steak-ums are done, lady makes comment that I put a crapload of fat in my salad. I look, and glance at her diet cook and fat free yogurt snack and get back to my own food. I poured the steak-um grease into the salad with the olive oil. Now the comments are rollin in, my mind is going nutso and if I was not FULLY well aware of how many calories and “unhealthy” my meal was, I sure as hell was now. Talk about being self conscious. One lady said “looks like your constructing one of those 4,000 calorie salads they sell in restaurants to trick people they are good for you.” Quiet. I sit down. I am pacing in my mind. My legs are a hoppin and boppin under the table. I INHALLED the salad and left the room. I went in the bathroom, sat on the toilet and started crying. A combo of the inhaling food, crying, and being worked up left me incredibly bloated, exhausted and self conscious. I wore a jacket the rest of the day.
I still had like 40 minutes of my lunch hour so I walked up to the mechanic shop to be around men, who don’t comment on a girl’s food and I LIKE being around. I shared the story with one of the guys and he told me “you know, you’re a gorgeous girl, everyone is going to watch what you do. They are going to talk about their diets and tell you they are healthy but all you can do it just show them your own health and what you think is healthy.” I make that a direct quote but I’m not sure those were his exact words. Anyway, it brought about an epiphany in me. I can talk the damned talk when it comes to nutrition and what I believe to truly be healthful versus what I really think is scum-of-the-earth bad for people. HELLO- I need to walk-the-walk. And that is what I have done. I think full fat yogurt is really good for gut flora with its live cultures. Why the hell wasn’t I eating it? I think an incredibly high fat diet compared to common wisdom fat intake is incredibly healthy when it comes from the right fat sources. This I was already doing, but still. I think correctly manufactured nut butter are perfect for health. So in come nut butters!
I am still wildly obsessed with cheese. I watched myself with it the past couple days…I eat between 8-12 ounces of cheese A DAY. That is a LOT OF CHEESE. Holy goalie moly! It doesn’t seem to disagree with me though. I have whole milk mozzarella, raw cheddar, romano, parmesan, and queso fresco…haha you should see my cheese drawer. Not only that I not have yogurt, eat gobs of sour cream and butter. Talk about a dairy girl. I need to find me a man with cows…and marry him. He can produce me dairy for life! Haha.
Speaking of men… the guy I told y’all about earlier has been a text messaging maniac the past couple nights keeping my sleepy butt up until like 11pm. You must understand me and sleep, like peas and carrots. I adore 9-10 hours a night. I usually get…about 7. Anywho, he seems very nice and funny- sometimes wish he would call but guys are wusses like that so go figure. Good thing I have unlimited texting.
I got to thinking while I was trying to battle one of my daily what the hell do you want moments about me before anorexia. Me before suffering. Me before starving, learning about dieting, learning about exercise, me when I was just…me. I surely did not think when I ate and I can’t really tell you how I ate because I never really thought about it. I started my “first diet” in high school when my mom went on the Atkins Diet and tug along me was living on sausage, cheese, and bottles of dressing (holy soybean oil overload!). Even then it wasn’t much of a care to me; I just switched how I ate. The thought of the overly processed chemical laden, MSG and sugar loaded grossness of sausage never crossed my mind and the excessive rancidness of vegetable oils didn’t seem to occur as a problem to me. Now, holy hell if you try to get vegetable oil, processed food of any kind or a soy product to cross these lips you better be saying hello to my glock blowing away that food!
I remember my favorite foods use to be meatloaf. I have always adored meatloaf. I am going to cook myself a mini-loaf this week sometime. I have no problem eating it (because all meat is fair game in my little disordered world) and I know I like it! Other favorites use to include chicken fingers with obnoxious amounts of honey mustard. I don’t remember liking pasta, rice or starch in particular. I don’t remember liking cereal either. I never really had oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat- that I can remember growing up. I did enjoy a sleeve of Ritz crackers with a jar of chunky peanut butter or a package of cheese- much and often. This was so long ago though. My eating has been “disordered” since high school. That was EIGHT YEARS AGO. College got me absolutely in a world of control, nutrition studying, exercising, and easing my mind with the overwhelming whatever it is, by controlling my weight and size.
Now, it’s like decision decision decision. I need some carbs, I need lots of fat and I need protein. How much? Number of servings? Vitamins included? Minerals? Pats, teaspoons, scoops, slices?? Oh lord, it’s ridiculous. I don’t measure anything so that is a GOOD thing, but gosh darn I definitely use to. I’m proud for officially LEAVING that habit behind this time, along with daily calorie notes over everything my hand and a pen passes.
I use to be my own person. I have always cared what others thought about me and always cared how others perceived me which led me to be the shy person I am today and have always been. But there was a time in my life where I could light up a room, be easy going around food, laugh, and be decisive and eager for life.
Now, it’s full of doubt, confusion, second guessing, struggling- almost like an out of body experience. The person I have to act like now in recovery is SO confused but because I have to battle everything- thought and action- over whether it is a mental illness FRED thought or a Mallory thought. Whether my intentions are going in the right direction or whether I am regressing. I guess I am struggling, as always, with trusting myself and trusting recovering will leave me feeling better and more secure about me than anorexia leaves me. I know I will continue to become more comfortable in this position as time goes on, but right now it is damned hard to feel like you are not you but another person passing through the motions of life.
Analogy: Rollercoasters and emotions. Recovery is definitely a roller coaster ride of emotions. I’m up, I’m down, I’m here but my mind is there. I’m laughing, I’m crying, tears are flying. I want it to be a straight shot metro ride. Fast and quick- doesn’t work that way but hey a girl can dream.
I am also getting frustrated attempting to talk about things that bother me with my parents. You know the saying you hurt the ones you love the most and push the ones you love away. I think I do that in recovery. I tried to tell my mom about my food deal that happened at work yesterday after dinner last night. She just starred at me like what the fuck I don’t care? I got SO LIVID– but only inside, no one SAW what I felt.
So I decided I only plan to share these battles and experiences with one person, my older brother. He has been there everyday and evening for me. I sent him via cellphone the picture of my yogurt nut butter bowl last night because damnit I was hating it and at the same time I was so firkin proud of myself. I wanted to run around screaming in joy and hate at the same time! All I wanted was to praise myself, and let him know I am doing better everyday, even doing well with more variety. He congratulated me and CHANGED THE TOPIC. IT CONTINUED to a normal convo in texting. I LOVED IT! He had a couple things he wanted to tell me. Got my mind off the fact I had just spooned copious amounts of thick nut butter in my mouth and my mind was elsewhere! I didn’t dwell on it. He’s great, I think I forgot that in the midst of anorexia.
On a side note- I am SICK of people, especially my parents STARRING AT MY FOOD. I see BOTH parents eye down my food and I know damn well they have “thoughts” about it but damnit its my dinner, its not like I haven’t eaten 3 other times today so I will be eating what I WANT- get on with your life and PLEASE stop starring! GRRRRR. I am so easy to get along with really, ask anyone who knows me; I can always go with the flow and just play happy. However, when it comes to food, nutrition and exercise- do not test me. Do not intrude in my little bubble because you will not change my mind. Only I can change my mind. I am so damned stubborn about it and not always for the better. However, I am taking a sane approach to food this time and it is simple.
Interestingly, a CNN article recently released this story Abnormalities of Visual Processing and Frontostriatal Systems in Body Dysmorphic Disorder. It was published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. They said:
It turns out that people with this condition have abnormal brain function when it comes to looking at pictures of their own faces, according to a new study led by Feusner and published in the Archives of General Psychiatry.When viewing themselves in photographs, patients with BDD underutilize parts of the brain used in seeing the face’s overall shape and size, he said.
As I said earlier, separate the disorder from you. I look in the mirror and see something that isn’t there. That is the mental disorder talking. I close my eyes and I visualize the girl I remember, the girl I AM, and the girl I will become. Deep Breath- now gets your butt on with life. Not always a slice of cake like that but it does work and it gets easier. I started rolling my eyes at what I see in the mirror followed by routine confirmations with myself that what I SEE is NOT what is there. Delusional, but it is the truth.
Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.
– Ambrose Redmoon
I want it. I want recovery so bad. But I am confused on whether I have accepted it. My body is GOING to change it’s part of recovery. My mind is GOING to stop hating what I see. I will eventually CHANGE the way the view food. I will venture and TRY food outside my comfort zone (like the yogurt!). I will become SOCIAL and insolated. I will stop determining my day by how I think I look, how my body looks and be set up for disaster.
I know all of this, but have I accepted it? have I let it happen and occur or have I stuck with my FRED instinct and just gotten by? Recovery includes my body growing, everywhere. I realize but I don’t think I have come to accept this- it terrifies me to no end. All these meal and snacks, all nourishing my mind and body and I’m angered no one seems to see the strides I make, the things I handle, the situations I am put in.
I hold high expectations of myself and recovery. BUT- this includes letting go of what I am comfortable with now. Expectations need NOT include staying or even maintaining how I am now, the rituals I hold onto now, and the bubble I am in. I NEED IT TO POP, and I need to keep fighting, keep disagreeing with everything I think, keep agonizing over every little minute detail of all this. All the guilt, worrying, complaining and anger. All needs to be dealt with- I am at a stage where all I can do is sit through it, struggle through it, and see through it to the better ending. I AM REAL GOOD AT BLOWING THINGS OFF AN AVOIDING THEM WHEN I WANT TO AVOID THEM. Things like a skipped meal, lowering a portion of something I want a full portion of, keeping just enough in me to get by and stay the same. It terrfies me I am putting an end to this. It is SO HARD to fight and SO HARD to do, but I can do it and I will accomplish this minute task of recovery in the grand scheme of things. This is the damned hardest process I have ever single handedly had to do all on my own. In the end, all the encouragement, praise, lecturing, fighting, screaming and tears- it is ultimately up to ME to put the food in my mouth, to gain the weight, and work my way INTO life and live it. It is damned hard for me to constantly put myself in positions where I am uneasy or distressing because I just want to run away. I am way to obedient to FRED who needs to be exiting the premises pronto. He’s a flipping psycho, mental illness. MALLORY is going to be obedient to recovery even though the struggle appears to feel like the opposite of what I should or want to be doing.
Start envisioning the life, YOUR LIFE WITHOUT ANOREXIA
I am ultimately suffering because I am FIGHTING the pain. Pain is part of life, but suffering is usually a choice.
I am without a doubt scared of my own body and my own hunger. It makes me anxious and brings about the decision making and indecisive practice I am getting use to. It annoys me like a wood pecker at 6am on a Saturday morning. So I deal by throwing food in me and freaking out about it. good? I guess, but I am hoping it gets easier. Can’t we just get along? My and food, me and hunger, me and life without FRED.
I WANT IT ALL, ALL OF RECVOERY BUT I THINK I GET SO ANXIOUS BECAUSE I FEEL LIKE I AM OVERWHELMED AND PRESSURED TO RACE TO THE FINISH LINE. It aint gonna be no breeze. I might can get myself to slow down and take it one step at a time. I feel remorse because there are aspects I haven’t tackled, but gosh darnit I WILL get to them. I can’t change over night and I feel as though I need to. I feel like currently being underweight I can allow myself to an extent to eat more because hey I need to gain. But following this feeling of allowance makes more food = more coping= more stress= more anxiety.
Dr. Briffa recently posted an article related to omega-3 and mental illness I found interesting. There are a million studies showing the impact of a balanced omega 3:6 ratio and mental disorder. I take krill oil now to balance the omega 6 I get from store bought meat. I simply can’t afford grass-fed pasture meat.
He says :
The omega-3 fats led to a statistically significant reduction in risk of individuals progressing to a full psychotic disorder over the course of the study: 4.9 per cent of those taking omega-3 became frankly psychotic compared to 27.5 per cent of those taking placebo. Symptoms associated with psychosis were also reduced and functioning was improved by the taking of omega-3 fats. Adverse events were similar in both groups.
There is a lot I feel I have accomplished over the past 6 months, even zero carb included:
I fight through the anxiety attacks. I let them present themselves and experience them when previously I would have backed down and run away from anxiety provoking situations. Yes, very structured still, but I can let go a liiiiiiittle bit.
I can sleep an entire night on one side of my body without it aching the next day and going numb through the night. My fingers and toes are not icicles because being inadvertently cold is a sure fire sign I am not eating enough.
I can talk openly to people in a socially kinda way. I can tell them funnies that occurred during my day. If I had friends, I would sure schedule things with them when I got off work. Because frankly, I am sick of living at home and sick of not doing anything but sit around my house.
I can take and accept pictures of myself showing how ungodly skinny I really am. I see them in pictures but not the mirror. I have pictures I would love to burn but hold onto them because there ARE some cherished memories from my first years in the south but never will I be showing my kids most people. I can now take a picture of myself and use it for CHANGE and motivation to keep striving and doing better.
I am not actively trying to slowly kill myself one day at a time through starvation. I DO NOT WANT TO BE ALONE. I want someone to tell me it is all going to be alright, to tell my parents that their daughter will be okay in life, she will make it and she will flourish. I want someone to express to me how hard they see me fight and how hard this really truly is. My days are so emotion filled and intense that I am wrecked at the end of each day. Recovery without a doubt is a million times harder than staying with FRED.
So I feel good…again, last night in bed I took Kate’s advice and as I was laying there starting to freak about all the food I ate… I told myself to ACCEPT it- accept what I ate, accept my body will change, and accept my thoughts are irrational…and dozed off to sleep (being constantly awaken by texts from boy).
Good Eats to y’all!
– What all can I do with tahini?
– What BESIDES sweet dishes can I do with plain yogurt? Recipes!!