she-ra

(no subject)

tonight I was feeling very 'snacky'.

nervous energy.

feeling overwhelmed with all the work to do and feeling like I didn't have enough tim eto complete it.

so instead of starting it, i fucked around. then i nibbled on cookies (i wasn't even hungry) - standing in the kitchen. then i gobbled up some endame - sitting at my desk. i haven't done much distracted eating for a while.

then i decided to just sit down and START the work instead of wasting time worrying about not being able to finish it.

and now i must get back to it.
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anxiety

This morning as I sat at the table eating a piece of toast w/butter and jam and some scrambled eggs (after having eaten 2 pieces of bread w/butter) I started to think about anxiety... the lack of it and the need for it. All the previous night I was very out of it, and I knew I had some concerns about my weight and S.

I seem to have met, fallen for and have been fallen for by this awesome guy who doesn't judge me by the size of my body. I don't try to cover myself up when I am fully exposed in broad daylight (though I'd like to - kinda ruins the intimacy tho...hehe) or try to stop him from touching the parts of me that I don't like (like my stomach, thankyouvery much). I have no reason to think he finds me unsatisfactory in any way. But that doesn't stop my mind from questioning it anyway, and I think in doing so, I am creating drama/anxiety in the stillness that is our relationship, because without some level of stress, I don't know what to do. I don't even have to vocalize it as some people choose to when needing validation for insecurities or causing their own ripples in their pond. Doesn't make me better or worse - just different. I guess I do truly believe that my insecurities are mine alone and no amount of external reassurance will change them, so there is no point in dragging someone else into them. I am solely responsible for my feelings, my perceptions and my reactions to them.

When relationships didn't work out in the past I'd immediately think, "Well, if I was thinner he would have wanted to try and make it work..." As if the size pants I wear has anyfuckingthing to do with how I loveable I am. Mark complained that Daesha had gained weight and felt that she had stopped caring about herself in doing so, and wasn't attracted to her her anymore. I felt vindicated. "A guy who is displeased with his womans size is ok with mine! I am acceptable!" Shortly thereafter, he hooked up with Pilar, who I, of course assumed was thinner than me. Over the years, I have avoided relationships with guys who accepted me as I was because I assumed there was something wrong with them for doing so. I believed that "real men" only wanted a thin woman. Fat is unattractive and unhealthy and I knew my weight was a symptom of other issues in my life. So for a guy to accept me fat meant that he knew I had issues and vulnerabilities and insecurities and would likely walk all over me because of it. So I avoided them. Meanwhile allowing myself to be walked over by guys who just wanted to fuck me. *eyeroll*

So during my bogged down mental haze last night, I wanted to eat. The interesting thing is, when I am hazy, I am cut off from myself. So I can't tell what I am feeling emotionally or physically. In my numbed out state I wanted to numb out even more with food. I didn't, though. Eventually I felt a little hungry and ate what sounded the most appealing at the time - a chocolate chip cookie. I sat in the kitchen undistracted and let myself enjoy each tasty bite as opposed to shoving it in my mouth in front of the computer, trying to pretend I wasn't *really* eating something *bad*. Afterwards, I made myself hunker down and work, and I started to feel better. About 5 hours later I was ready for dinner.

This morning as I sat with my eggs and toast, not sure how much was emotional and how much was physical hunger, I started to wonder if part of me wanted to binge and test the bounds of this new relationship. "Well, he says he loves me now. But what if I gained 10 pounds? Or 20?" It was like a part of me wanted to start shit. Cause turmoil. Why?? Likely because I am so used to having to struggle and hope for a guys genuine attention and affection, it doesn't feel right when things feel right!

Combine this with my own internal judments about myself and weight in general. "Fat is gross. I am fat, therefor, I must be gross. Fat people don't deserve to be truly loved for who they are because they are unacceptable, disgusting things." By default I believe I am unacceptable and disgusting. Has believing this made me become aneorexic and lose 100 pounds? Of course not. It makes me hurt. It makes me sad. It makes me want to numb out the pain I feel and the best way to do that is to eat. Vicious fucking cycle, aint it. Yay me.

On a positive note, I am moving through this. It's no longer an automatic thought process that I don't notice. If I stop long enough and pay attention, I can use my awareness to change the way I think. Therapy, OA, the Geneen Roth books and the workshop... Taking action instead of being laid to waste emotionally by thoughts I don't remember consciously deciding to wholeheartedly believe, and replacing them with a more self-affirming, reasonable and healthy mindset. How the hell did it even get to this point? Once I'm on the other side, I'm sure the path will be pretty clear. But for now, I just want to look forward.
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
she-ra

(no subject)

I can't expect myself to suddenly stop thinking about food. I've only been doing this mindful eating thing a few weeks. I am trying to break YEARS of habitual thinking. I am going to give myself a year to try this out. If it fails for me, then I will go on any diet I want to drop the weight. But I owe myself 1 year.

Also, I am trying to seperate exercise from weight loss. It's inextricably linked to dieting, so I resist. I actually enjoy exercise and I want to learn to do it for the sake of doing it... to feel better, not just to look better. To enhance my life, my health, etc...
she-ra

(no subject)

Sitting with the post-binge thughts and feelings. Going over it in my mind... what would have happened had I not eaten and just felt the feelings?

I didn't want to call Europe because...
1) When I have a task before me, I don't see it as having a beginning, middle and end. I see it as this never ending process. I am unable to look past that, to see what it truly is or requires to beigin, work on, then complete whatecer it is. There's this huge, overwhelming sensation.

What if I start and get to a point where I don't know what to do? At work I don't have much in the way of resources, and I hate to look dumb. Why would I willingly do something that I may not be very good at and let the customers and people I work with down. I don't want them to think I am stupid, but in cases like that I feel stupid - like I am trying to hide that from everyone by doing what i can really well and avoiding the other things.

As a kid, tho... I had the same huge, endless sense about tasks. I could not forsee any ending to whatever it was. Just this perpetual process. And if I get myself to a point where I need help? Who could I ask? I didn't have much of a voice when it came to asking for help as it was. So why put myself in a position of helplessness? Why not just exist in the boundaries of what I can control and feel safe in...

Shit, I am too tired to type more.

More on this later.
she-ra

so... I...uh...

For the last few days or so I have been feeling pretty good about my food choices. Being mindful, listening to my body and eating what I feel I am truly hungry for. Sitting down to experience the food instead of standing and being distracted. Noting the difference between eating at the computer and eating with no distractions and noting the different degrees of satisfaction from it.

Tonight I had a lil binge. I've been full of nervous energy all night. I can tell because I have been chewing gum non-stop. After a long nap, I found myself thinking of the chips in the kitchen. I was a lil hungry, so I grabbed the Fritos. They were good. Then the cool ranch. Then the Lay's.

By bag 2 I realized that I really didn't want to make some calls to Europe for work.

Bah... gotta go.
  • Current Music
    Rush "2112"
she-ra

more on stillness

Do I identify with the struggle? By that I mean, is my identity somehow connected to it?

I have resited working out all week and it feels just like when I put off anything. It's not that I don't wanna do it, I just don't wanna do it 'now'. So what is it keeping me from thinking of?! This has been a shit-ass week. I dunno why, either.

Prolly PMS. And therapy stirred up some crap, too. Hmmm.
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psychotherapy is what they wanna give me

So yesterday I returned to therapy after almost 2 years. Today i woke up hazy, unable to focus. The world felt blurry and fuzzy. This happens, I have gradually discovered, when I have things on my mind that I am not ready or fully able to deal with. My relationships are pretty good now, so I assumed it was from things broached in therapy.

I might as well write about them...

Daniel checked in on my Bulima. Until I posted on the Eating Disorder message board, no one really knew about it. I mentioned it to Jen once a long time ago, but it never came up again. He was then and still is uncomforatble with it. For one, because it's not a specialty of his and secondly, because I was very resistant to getting any help for it. I did see one therapist he recommended, but I didn't feel I really clicked with her and I couldn't afford her anyway. I agreed to find and attend an OA meeting that was specifically for Aneorexia/Bulimia. I had done so before, but when it came down to it, I'd forget about it. I have never been to any meetings. But this time I will. *prints out meeting schedule* :-/

I talked about it more than I had before. The act of it makes no sense. Eating and then throwing up is just... stupid! lol I said that through much reading, one common theme is that it represents control. Having it...needing it... I dunno. I can't really grasp how it applies to my situation, but I've been trying.

We also talked about what I wrote about last week... The Stillness. I had kind of a hard time explaining myself at first, but after a few minutes, things started to flow and he - and even I - were better able to understand what was happening. If not why, at least what.

When my life is calm, I am filled with anxiety and nervousness. The same happens when my chores/errands are caught up. When I could relax and do whatever I want, I am antsy. I don't know what to do with myself. So I've done my best to not get to the point where I am done with my projects. I'd rather think about them, have them dangling in my head. I'd rather think about having to do them then getting them done because then the quiet returns. And the nerves.

Why can't this apply to saying I would, and then not going to OA or SLAA before? I could never really fathom a life without a food issue, so god forbid I do something towards truly dealing with and overcoming it, right?

Something about following through that stumps me. It's not that I believe I will fail, or even care if I do. It's not a fear of success thing, but a fear of something. Daniel pointed out that underneath nerves and anxiety is fear. What am I afraid of? I thought about it. 2 things came to mind.

1) I remember my mom telling my that my dad was resentful of people who were successful. I don't recall if I was aware of it in his behavior myself or agreed with her or what, but I just know she said it a lot. That he was even jealous of her and the things she was good at. Could this have made me afraid of doing really well at anything?

2) I remember my mom telling me that she had a problem with really applying herself to anything. That Dan had told her she needed to put more effort into things. I have seen myself in her when it comes to that. But is it like a genetic thing or I just adapted to it b/c it sounded like a ready made excuse for my own behavior?

With 2 anti-examples of discipline and setting and achieving goals, I can see being afraid of the outcome. What happens when you're done? I had no idea. The unknown is scary... especially to a kid with no reliable parents.

When I was trying to explain this, I went back to when I was maybe 8 or so, and I remembered being unable to concentrate in school. What could have caused that then? Daniel asked if I thought it was maybe a form of ADD or something else. (Fuck ADD! lol) What could stillness have brought me then? The feelings I didn't know what to do with regarding my parents and homelife. And I had no structure! I was a kid, I didn't know how to structrure myself and my parents certainly didn't help matters.

So... there are obviously many, many layers to this. Next session he'll put me under for some 'eyes closed' work (hypnotherapy, yo!). I'm scared and excited to know what is lurking beneath my surface. Whatever it is wants to be seen. This I know.
  • Current Music
    NIN "The Fragile" then Led Zep "In Through the Out Door"
she-ra

Because I said I would.

b) You say you're 'tired of looking for answers,' having looked in books/food/alcohol/sex, etc. At the risk of sounding incredibly corny, all the places you've looked have been places outside yourself...and maybe the 'answers,' such as there are ever answers, are inside of you. Which is, of course, an extremely scary prospect, or else we wouldn't spend so much time looking ANYWHERE but there for our answers.

I know my internal reasons why. I know that I learned about overeating by example from my parents. Both parents struggled with their weight, and continue to lose the battle. I looked up to my dad and adopted his eating habits - bread slathered in butter, ice cream, and rich foods. My mom has much more of a sweet tooth than I ever did as far as candy. Food was a big part of the family life. When My parents would make up after a yelling spell, my dad would bring my mom pizza and ice cream or cake and a movie. And we'd all eat. Fast food and take out were more common as I got older, but there were often home cooked meals. And I don't think they were too unhealthy - but the portions were pretty massive. And I think I never had a problem eating all my mom dished up for me.

I suppose I could blame her for not paying attention to the portions, but why - even at maybe 8 years old - did I not just stop eating when I was full? Maybe I did, but I don't think so. I had a weight problem when I hit 5. Anytime before that, as far as I can tell in pics, I was just a lil chubby, but it was "cute". Once 5 hit, I was noticeably overweight. And it was that year my cousins moved in with us and I saw a tyrannical side of my dad I'd never imagined. My mom, too.

OK, wait. These are facts. I am so good with them. But what about the feelings associated with the weight gain at 5? I imagine I was scared of the tumult in my house and it created nervous energy and I turned to food to distract myself. Maybe my mom kept me fed. Ya know, even now if she has made something and asks if I want to eat, I have to fight myself not accept if I'm not hungry. Why would I eat if I wasn't hungry as a little kid? Is there something about my early relationship with my mom involved with that? Something about feeling bad saying no to the offer she made. Maybe I felt guilty because I blamed her for the problems in my parents marriage and didn't want her to feel any worse, so I ate when she offered, because she had gone to the trouble. Yikes.

And when I was older? I remember staying home from school on numerous days through the school years and being so restless. Staying in bed and watching tv only kept me so occupied. I'd raid the kitchen. Bran Muffins, toast, bagels... (AACK! Carbs! lol) Nervous energy eating. I recognize that as the same thing I do now.

So why was I full of nervous energy then? Chaos at home. Dad yelling. Maybe he was unemployed then, or mom was, or they both were. At some point I stopped playing outside as much. I spent more time at home in my room. And those feelings had nowhere to go. I didn't even know what I was feeling. It was just a blur. A haze.



c) You write: "It feels as though part of me would rather die than give up the relationship to food that I have spent years nurturing." Which is an all-or-nothing sentence if ever I read one!! And I wondered whether you'd really, honestly sat down and thought about this question: what if you DID give up this relationship with food? What if you didn't nurture your relationship with food, but actually nurtured yourself instead? What would you lose, in emotional terms? What would you gain, in emotional terms?

What would my life be like without the dependency on food? Without worrying about my weight? Eating when I was hungry, stopping when I was full, not being consumed with compulsion? It doesn't even seem fathomable to me, just a far-off, unachievable dream.

What if you DID give up this relationship with food?

I would have to discover/uncover how I came to have the relationship in the first place and heal. I have a general idea about it, but nothing sticks. It's all very slippery, somehow. And maybe it's my all-or-nothing attitude, or my belief that it really couldn't be possible.

And now for a less clinical response�

::deep breath::

If I DID give it up�. I would hear my thoughts, my voice. I would hear all that I am trying to blocking out with keeping myself busy thinking about food (or doing things to distract or numb me). Thinking about what I will eat. What I should or shouldn't eat. What I shouldn't have eaten. Why I ate it when I am already unhappy with my weight, when I wasn't even hungry to begin with.

What if you didn't nurture your relationship with food, but actually nurtured yourself instead?

Until I learn to recognize what I am feeling when I am feeling it, this will be impossible. (I am re-reading Geneen Roth's "Breaking Free from Compulsive Eating" after about 5 years, and she has great suggestions for mindfulness that I am starting to implement.) Also, I am not used to having people I feel I can lean on emotionally. I do now, more than ever before, but I still and know I need to stop believing that I only have myself and when 'myself' isn't up to the task, I don't turn to food or something else.


What would you lose, in emotional terms?

The reliability of what food can offer. I know what feelings a binge or even a small indulgence will provide. There is safety in that, something you can't often get with people.

What would you gain, in emotional terms?

I can't know for sure, but I imagine a more complete sense of self, similar to what I've felt after kicking certain vices. An inner strength. A more trusting relationship with myself; really believing that I can and will do right by me.


d) It occurred to me that there might be an element of 'habit' in your behaviour - it's something you did as a child, you say, and are still doing. The thing is, eating disorders are habits (some people go as far as to call them 'addictions') and as such are very difficult to break...but I think that, as with all habits, you have to look behind the behaviours themselves at the reasons you need them: what are they protecting you from?

I don't even know. I've been wondering about this since you asked and having been able to resume therapy at an affordable rate, this is one thing I plan to look into right away. My first thoughts have been that although I don't need to be protected from the confusing and scary feelings I had as a child, it's become a habit to keep my mind busy. At 5 years old, what was available to me? I didn't have the means to express let alone understand what was going on. So I drew a lot, I got lost in the worlds of my dolls, I listened to music constantly, and I ate.

I couldn't concentrate in school. There's stillness in concentration, a mental stillness that opens a door to all sorts of uncomfortable feelings. I see now I did my best to not let it happen. I was always talking when I was actually in school. Several times in several elementary grades my desk was moved to the back of the class because I was always talking! This is funny to me now because I am pretty anti-social. For the most part, people drive me crazy, and aside from a handful, I want nothing to do with anyone else in person.

Writing this and thinking about this now is making me understand why, although I have never doubted my ability to achieve secular goals, I didn't push myself. Because there is stillness in concentration and in focusing. There is peace in it, and god help me if I have a still mind. For someone who has feared that, it makes sense that I would avoid pursuing serious goals. After the goals are reached? More stillness = more time to "think". So, why even get started when I'll end up in the same place�

You seem to say that your ED is a way of suppressing emotions, or avoiding dealing with things emotionally - what emotions are you suppressing? Where do they come from, these emotions? What would happen if you expressed them - what would happen if you got angry, or extremely sad, or told people exactly what you thought of them?

I am much more expressive than I used to be and have been able to develop more relationships where I can be me and say what I am feeling and thinking without someone getting all butthurt. Granted, this is easier to do with males, because women are just more sensitive and I frickin hate having to deal with someone's feeling getting hurt if they misunderstand me. This is still a problem, though, because I will keep my mouth shut and stifle my feelings to avoid hurting someone else's.

I think the relationships that have me suppressing things the most are my best female friend who can be way sensitive, and my dad. My dad says and does shit that either gets on my nerves, or pisses me off, or makes me ashamed that I'm even related to him. I almost never bother to say anything about it because if I did, I would always be telling him that what he is saying/doing is getting on my fucking nerves! lol Detaching has been hard. Learning to let him be who he is and accepting that he is not the kind of dad I would have hoped to have had growing up. Since I don't tell him, the feelings of frustration and irritation and sadness and all that just stay inside. He's not doing it on purpose, so I also feel guilty about wanting to say anything. He's annoying, but he means well, ya know? And I think, "Who am I to tell him how to be or not to be just because it gets on my nerves?" And of course, telling him makes no difference, cuz I have before, and it's the same thing over and over.


"Food is always there," you say, when you "suppress too much." Why allow yourself to suppress too much? What would happen if you didn't?

From the last paragraph it seems that I still have some dad-work to do. I need to find ways to express myself to him when appropriate so I am not hanging on to all these feelings and then stuffing them down with food.
  • Current Music
    Days of the New III
she-ra

OCD OCD OCD OCD OCD OCD OCD

I am re-reading this book. I think I've read all of her books, but not for a while. And while they were all very profound and thought provoking, I wasn't in a place within myself to apply or even absorb all I was taking in. There are things I just wasn't able to "get" several years ago. And it's really not all that surprising because I was in my early 20's and still very much getting to know myself. Figuring out what was 'me', what was learned behavior, what was a continued reaction to a crazy upbringing. I'm a bit farther down the "know thyself" path, and am finding myself much more open to things I am reading.

2 years ago when I dropped from a 14/16 to a 8/10, I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about food. For the first time in my life, I was satisfied with my "diet" food. High protein/fat was very filling and I didn't have many cravings for sugars or sweets and was so in love with how I looked and felt, I had no desire to undo it. Thinking back on this now, though, I had to ask myself what was going on in my head? If I wasn't thinking about food, what was keeping my mind busy?

Boys. Sex. School. Sex. Boys. School. Sex. Then I moved and the alcohol intake went from next to nothing to every weekend. Maybe some pills, too. Soon, the weight started to come back on as my somersizing vigilance depleted. My personal life was becoming crazy. I was messing around with my boss, messing with a married guy at school. Messing with an old fling. I hated my roommate. Things went from super to shitty in a few months. I was eating more. I was throwing up again. I was taking pain killers as often as I could get my hands on them.

So, there was still distraction. Focusing on school was very positive and I remember being kinda surprised by how good it felt to be working towards something like a degree. I was happy about it and kept myself very much on track. But when the weight came off, my self-esteem shot through the roof and I was loving the male attention. The confidence helped me in therapy, too. I have become a lot braver.

But there is something about the stillness. There was a time 5 or so years ago when I welcomed the stillness, when I craved inner silence and basked in simplicity. Or so I thought. Obviously I still had other issues to contend with. I contended by acting out and dealing with the consequences (bad choices in friends, indulging in sex, alcohol, and food, of course...). Now I find myself unsettled by stillness. Last night I was wide awake and could have done anything I wanted. First choice should have been to clean up a little, because when that shit is out of the way, I can truly relax and think clearly about what I want to do next. I find that when I have that opportunity, I will opt for a drink or a pill because I don't feel comfortable just "being". I don't know what to do with myself. I feel anxious, nervous. I don't let it go on too long before I numb it out if I can. Sometimes I shop, but money issues the last year have prevented that. Booze and pills are easier to come by. And, of course, the loverly online world where many hours are spent chatting with my pals.

I guess I need to try and keep myself in the moment and try to understand why I feel anxious. I'm starting therapy again this month, so I'll definitely broach this. So many times I sense my mind wandering, then *boom* I am thinking about food. So I nibble on something. Sometimes, the urge to eat is so overwhelming. I am trying to stay mindful. I need to remember to ask myself where the desire to eat is coming from when it comes on, and if there is a desire for something in partic to eat, to ask where that is coming from. (This is from the book)

And, of course, there's the exercise factor. I like to work out. When I do it, I totally enjoy it. But if my mind is *too* clear, sometimes I don't want to think. Cardio totally clears my head and weights make me feel focused, which is cool. But again... this resistance to a clear head, to having nothing in front of me but the freedom to do whatever the fuck I want. I don't know what to do with myself. With my time. With my life.

Ok, what are things I could do?

Play music.
Record.
Clean/organize my room.
Read.

Uhhhh...

I'm not into watching movies a lot. I don't cook anymore now that I am back at moms.

Dude, I am fucking boring! lol And this totally reminds me of when I was in my early 20's and had given up my partying. I was SO FUCKING BORING. Not necessarily bored, though. I just had nothing going on. Just music here and there.

Why am I so overwhelmed with free time? What causes the anxiety? That I don't have anything to do? Why don't I? Why don't I jump at the chance to pick up my guitar, to lay some songs down, to write more, to fucking practice?! What the hell is there to do besides work and hang out with friends and go to shows?

Fuck this shit. I'm going back to school in the spring.
  • Current Music
    Days of the New III