A Confession and Much Needed Motivation

Let me preface this post by saying thank you. Thank you to everyone who comments, e-mails, and just overall provides encouragement, support and love. You have no idea how much it means to me to be part of a community that is helpful and compassionate about a subject that is very personal and ultimately pretty scary to discuss. So thank you for reading, writing, and being awesome bl-ends!

With that being said, I have to confess the difficulties I have faced in the last week. I have mentioned them in a variety of posts but haven’t gone into much detail about the eating disorder behaviors I used in order to cope. This was WRONG, very WRONG, so please do not think I am condoning, or even happy with myself for these actions, especially since I knew what I was doing, and why.

Enough with me being vague…there were days last week I over-exercised. Not necessarily distance wise, but as far as intensity goes, I did more than walk. I took a jog a few days, and although I knew Ryan wouldn’t be happy, I justified it because I was eating to compensate.

And that’s true. I was eating to gain…I didn’t restrict or neglect my immense feelings of hunger; I tried a variety of new things, and baked delicious muffins I thoroughly enjoyed. But that doesn’t excuse the fact that I did not tell my husband I went over my permitted speed on the treadmill, and after I confessed to my dietician yesterday, asking for advice on what I should do, she helped confirmed what I already knew, and that was that I had to tell him, which let me tell you did not make for the most fun ride home.

On the positive, however, my appointment yesterday went really well, in the health sense. I had the results I am supposed to, aka, a weight gain, so at least I did make up for the extra activity with the proper nourishment.

…This is all true in theory. Notice I said I got the results I was “supposed to,” rather than sounding a little more enthusiastic about the higher number on the scale. The truth is, as much as I KNOW it needs to go up, and how much I want to run races, and participate in different activities that I haven’t been able to for a while, it is still difficult to hear numbers that just a few months ago were in my mind, completely out of the question!

My nutritionist could tell I was having difficulty with my situation, with the running, the gain, and all the body image issues that continue to curse me, and she gently pointed out how contradictory I am/was being. I have written about this before but you really cannot have A without B…no recovery (and all the good stuff that comes with it!) without weight gain. And as much as I have convinced myself in the past that I could totally have it all…health and happiness, while still maintaining a ridiculously small frame, it’s just not true.

Why?

Well there are a ton of reasons, but I am going back to science since that is the most helpful reality check I can find…

It has been proven that starvation causes this effect on the brain…and unfortunately starvation is typically what your body is in, when it is not at a “normal,” natural weight for YOUR body….

  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Lack of interests other than food
  • Minimal to no Libido
  • Paranoia

These are just a FEW of the many things that occur when your mind and body are begging for food!…and overall, they lead to a pretty dull existence, no social life, friends, etc. But since I have known these things for a while (and I’m sure most of you all know them too!), and still haven’t been fully convinced to change, I have concluded that I (and perhaps you) have to find something more personal as motivation…

Enter the phrase “everything happens for a reason…”

This morning I was walking down the hallway at school, running an errand before the middle school homeroom, and I hear a small voice say, “CJ! CJ! Wait!” I turned around to see my younger cousin, Skylar, waving and speed walking toward me.
I was so excited to see her.

Another unfortunate thing that has occurred because of my ED behaviors is a distance between me and my Uncle Stu’s family. Uncle Stu was my father figure until Poppy came into my life. And even then, he still has, and always will be, the most influential male in my life. He lived with my mom and I when I was little, is very close with Ryan, walked me down the aisle at my wedding, and has always been there for me in every type of life event.

When I began pushing people away, he was pretty much the first to go. I pushed him the hardest because he was the first to be totally honest with me. You see Uncle Stu can be quite controversial…he is a tell-it-like-he-sees it kind of guy. You will always know where you stand, what he is thinking, and his opinion, regardless of if you want to or not. So when he would notice me slipping, he would be one of the first to bring it up.

I (CJ) secretly liked this because it showed me how much he cared, but my eating disorder did not. Ed did not like that he questioned me measuring my cereal when I lived with them after being in residential. Ed did not like when he questioned what behaviors I was still engaging in. And ED certainly did not like when Uncle Stu text me the day I came home from my last inpatient stay, and asked if it was necessary that I lift weights (THE DAY I GET HOME FROM BRANDYWINE HOSPITAL) in front of his impressionable pre-teen daughter, when she was already starting to have body image issues of her own.

That was the beginning of the end of our super-close relationship. What the eating disorder part of me heard was an accusation…

“See, no one believes you can actually recover…he is telling you that YOU are responsible for people saying Skylar is getting too thin, that she is following in your foot steps, and you are ruining the lives of all those you love most…Don’t you get it CJ, you need me because I am the only one that cares…”

So because I was still too engulfed with myself and my disorder, I totally listened. I believed every sick and twisted thing ED wanted to tell me. So when he whispered those nasty sentences in my ear, I intercepted that as “stay away from Uncle Stu and his family…”

And I am sad to say I listened.

Like I said the other day, when you push hard enough, for a good amount of time, people will eventually back off and take the hint, even though these are the times you need them most.

Seeing Skylar today was awesome, because I really miss her and she is growing up to be the most beautiful young woman! I swear she has grown a foot, has full, layered, blonde hair with bangs that make her look so much older than a 7th grader! And her smile just made my heart melt.

Instead of focusing on things like wanting to get back into running as my incentive to do well, or negative things like my Buddha belly, and pants that are getting tighter, as things that keep me down, I need to remember what is truly important to me, and what should be the ultimate motivation…that for me is family.

I want Skylar, Uncle Stu, Aunt Steph, little Stu, my sister, my mom, Ryan, Poppy, and numerous other people to be back into my life, fully, and I can’t achieve that without higher numbers of the scale.

It’s not like biology is trying to punish me, or provide me with even more self-hatred. It is simply trying to protect me, and all I hold dear, by making me understand how much I need to love myself, through nourishment and positive self-talk, to truly love others and let them love me.

So Skylar, thank gosh I saw you this morning. Someone truly must be watching over me because it seems as if anytime I needed an extra boost, it’s been there, plain as day for me to see. Or perhaps I am just more open to seeing it now.

What is your motivation?

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14 thoughts on “A Confession and Much Needed Motivation

  1. Oh jeez. I have zero right now and I’m running a half on Sunday. Hmm. I’m glad you are getting better every day! Pushing people away always seems like a great idea and then it’s just not. ❤ Keep on truckin', girl! I can't wait for our KOP date in the future! 😎

  2. Great post, CJ! I need motivation right now…I’m kind of stuck in this place between I know what I want and I know what I need. I’ve been in that “starvation” mood before where I have no energy, no ability to concentrate, no drive to be social, etc. That’s definitely not the life to live. My motivation is feeling comfortable in my own skin. It’s somewhat of a daily battle but my faith usually sees me through. Keep plugging along! 🙂

    • Faith can be such an amazing tool. And i have to agree about being comfortable in your own skin as an awesome reason to keep moving forward. I can rmember a time where I felt much better about myself and it was so much more pleasant to face each day! thank you for sharing Cassie!!

  3. I’m so glad the things you are realizing and seeing that will help you get batter. My motivation right now is just what you walked about, pushing people away. I did it for sooooo long and lost so many of my good friends that I don’t want/need to lose anymore. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t regret how I thought. Dang starved brain! And of course, I hate the way I felt when I was restricting and overexercising. I was miserable, tired, cold, couldn’t concentrate, you know the drill. It’s a feeling I never EVER want to experience ever again!

    • i feel like the loss of relationships is one of the worst parts of having an ed…there are obviously about a bagillion negative things that come from it, of course, but your health you can most of the time get back, sometimes family and friends are a different story! but i definitely agree about being cold, tired, irritable…my gosh its like im a different person than i remember…i think i can withstand a few months of the buddha belly to get back my life! and some warmth 🙂

  4. Came over from twitter. It is amazing how the struggle with the opposite eating disorder is so very similar. Your candid words will help others in ways you will never know.

    The inner struggle is the stuff missing from magazines and health tip shows but it’s the most important to address. Overcoming the self deception is a very difficult but very rewarding process.

    It’s not until we can see ourselves as we truly are that we can begin to mold ourselves into who we know we can become.

    • Thank you for coming to visit! and that is such an insightful thing to say…”its not until we can see ourselves as we truly are that we can begind to mold ourselves into who we can become” I love that and it is so true! thank you for being such an inspiration. I know you are helping many people, as well!!

  5. Dearest CJ, Thank you for bringing me back to your blog. The first time I went to your site, I could only read a little bit and decided it was too painful for ME. I started reading about recipes and food shopping and specialty ingredients and…..well, it just emphasized your addiction that I know too well (and there’s a lot I don’t know). I saw positive comments from others about those blogs and it upset me to think that the impression you were giving them was so wrong. You spend your life obsessing over those things that just don’t matter in the scheme of things. I know this is hard to hear and especially see in black and white. I’m sorry. What I want to tell you now is…after you texted me to revisit your blog again, I am SO PROUD OF YOU! Maybe it just took you a few blogs to get comfortable and do what you really need to do…be honest. Open up. Get it out. Now you are REALLY helping those who are here to read what you have to say. You are helping us all understand and relate to ourselves as well as you. I had Skylar read your post out loud this morning before she got on the bus. She needed to hear it from you and not my rendition of what I read. She loves seeing you at school. She hates hearing the comments. Someone made a comment in front of her one day and didn’t know you were cousins. Skylar told the girl you were her cousin and she didn’t appreciate her insensitivity and walked away from her. Skylar has had many personal struggles with mean girls since last year. She has been bullied and made fun of and it breaks my heart. As a parent, I want to know every name and confront them myself but the reality is,,,she has to learn to deal with it herself. A parent’s nightmare. I feel that way about you too. My heart breaks because I am so helpless. Just when I thought we knew how to deal with you (from what we learned in Tennessee) and you had broken up with ED….you go back to him and shut us out. HE abused you again and you ended up in another clinic and you learn new rules. Unfortunately, we didn’t. The rules keep changing and we can’t keep up with them. I feel like you choose the rules that suit you the most. I hate to say this but I often wonder if you picked up more habits each time you were in the different clinics. Instead of learning how to get away from ED, you learned how to get closer to him. I thought at times it was better when you were still in the “closet” because we used to socialize, eat together and talk about non-food-related things. Fun things. I realize now it was because you didn’t want us to know you were struggling. It makes me sad and I’m sorry you were struggling. That isn’t the way to live. We all need to get through this TOGETHER. Thank you for opening up, like you need to. Realize ED is here because he takes all your focus away from what you really need to nurture….get rid of the baggage in your life. Take the weight OFF and you’ll FLY instead of crawl. You are a beautiful swan…just caught in a messy oil spill. We are here to you spread your wings again! How’s that for literary genius? Aunt Steph

      • Wow. Perfect. Also I do agree with the recipes and talking about food…I really don’t know how healthy that is. I still think it’s obsession. I know my friends don’t care how a meal looks or get pumped over certain foods, etc. It holds food to a higher special level when LIFE and US and OTHERS should be there instead. Seek the advice of these Smarties CJ 😉

      • the unfortunte thing is, i do still hold food to a very high level, because i want to use my calories and eat my meal plan, perfectly with the most delicious foods, if that makes sense. I have a long way to go, and I hope i never come off as i dont, but i have to be real here, and food still is very important to me. i hate to admit that because it sounds so sad, but its true.
        not to mention, and my aunt steph can attest to this, our family has always bonded over food…i dont know if u read the post about mickey waffles, but its always been like a celebration…kinda weird now that i think of it!!!
        ps. i loved ur post the other day on the news show about models. that industry is so messd up. i boycotted americas next top model a few years ago because its just ridiculous what those girls go through. thanks for always being honest with me 🙂

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