So, I know this is a bit delayed, but I’ve had lots going on. In any case, here we are, 11 weeks into this, and I have hit a wall. Things have been so good and I really and truly believed that I was not going to struggle with eating disorder issues anymore. But then I had a couple of not great weeks. I still lost 1 lb over those two weeks, but I definitely wasn’t eating what I should have been eating. And that’s when things began to get hard emotionally. I had some pretty high expectations for last week. I was ready to recommit. That was the plan.
The thing is, when planning, sometimes I think only about what I want and not what is realistic. Realistically, losing weight last week would have been extremely difficult. I was going to be traveling, I had two other dinners planned with friends on top of the trip. And once things started to go downhill, I just lost all control, which is a weird form of control in and of itself. I know that sounds strange, but it’s true. I get to this place (and it’s been a while, which is why this week was so hard for me) where I basically say “eff you” to my body and my lame-o metabolism. I think, “Fine, if you’re not going to cooperate, I’m not going to cooperate.”
Since my food intake and exercise levels are totally within my control, whereas my metabolism, body shape, etc. are not (not totally, anyway), I have two ways of taking control. One is to not eat and exercise obsessively. The other is to eat everything in sight and stop exercising. Both are unhealthy. Both end with me being miserable, either because I can’t maintain the one and end up gaining back anything I lose, or because I gain weight and feel horrible about how lazy I am.
Well, I was out of control in D.C. I won’t go into the gory details, but the worst part was at the airport on the way home. I had two hours to sit there, and all kinds of food options. I wish I could describe to those of you who have never struggled with this what it feels like to think about food constantly; to think about what you should eat, what you shouldn’t it, what you already ate, what you are going to eat. It is miserable. And the worst part is, I am aware of what’s going on. I am aware that it’s not healthy. I am aware that I am not really hungry. I am aware that I am going to be really angry at myself after I make certain choices. I know all of this, and yet, when I get to a certain point, I just can’t stop.
So, there was some serious binge eating going on. Thankfully, there was no purging, laxatives or otherwise, but I still felt miserable. I got home and thought, “Okay, tomorrow will be better.” But I hadn’t forgiven myself. I was still so mad that I had lost control. So while it’s nice to think, “tomorrow will be better”, if you can’t let go of yesterday or today, you can’t really get to tomorrow. Tomorrow was not better. And then it was Wednesday morning.
I was not in a good place. My week had been so busy that I had yet to run even once, which only adds to the depressed feelings. While I don’t necessarily love to run (and sometimes I really and truly hate it), I definitely like the endorphins. I woke up Wednesday morning (after choosing to snooze my alarm and not run, once again) and decided that, since I couldn’t handle going to my meeting having not lost any weight, I needed to just starve myself Wednesday and Thursday.
Thankfully, I am healthy enough now (emotionally) that I let that thought sit for about a minute before deciding that I did not really want to do that. And that is when I decided that, if going to my meeting was going to cause me this much stress, that I did not need to go. And that is how I ended up not going to my meeting.
I weighed myself, so I know where I’m at (on my scale) and I gained about 3 lbs. While I’m not fine with that, I have been working on forgiving myself so that I can move on and so far (you know, yesterday), this week has been better.
I have figured a few things out. I realized that I really do have to calculate everything I eat into points and do it realistically and then write it down. Part of what I was doing was overestimating point values. I know that sounds weird. Most people underestimate. However, when I don’t know a point value, I just guestimate and I want to be safe, so I overshoot. Well, then I know that I’ve overshot, so I allow myself to fudge a little here and there. And, apparently, the “here and there” add up to more than the overestimations. Seriously, don’t try and understand why my head works the way it does. I’ve lived with myself for 29 years and still don’t get it. But, at least I’ve learned how it works, so I can manage it.
I am feeling pretty good. It was a good reminder that, really, eating disorders never do leave you. I think, after 8 weeks, I was lulled into this sense of security. The truth is, I will probably be fighting this battle the rest of my life. And I’m okay with that. It’s better than lots of other things lots of other people have to deal with. I just need to remember that such is the case. It’s in the moments when I feel so strong that I am the most vulnerable, because it is in those moments that I forget how hard I have had to work to get to where I am.
So, as for weight loss, it didn’t happen this week, but I am choosing to not make that official, because I can do that.