Happy Anniversary

Today is the two-year anniversary of Ryan and my wedding, and I am sad to say I put a damper on the occasion by 5:00 this morning.

Last week my nutritionist and I came up with an experiment…an increased meal plan in exchange for increased activity, including moderate jogs. She specified a time and caloric goal, but we never discussed a speed.

More importantly, Ryan and I never discussed the specifics, defining the word jog, or what his expectations were as far as the newly implemented exercise routine. This was a bad idea on my part because our opinions tend to differ when it comes to intensity, and he is already not a big fan of the treadmill from incidences that have occurred in the past. So when he woke up this morning to me “pounding” away he was less than thrilled at the speed, which in my mind was rather slow in comparison to my old abilities.

But here is the problem. My old abilities were when I was either really sick and basically running myself into the ground, or when I was healthy and training with much more strength.

Now that I am nourishing myself, I want/expect to be treated the same way I was in college, when it didn’t matter than I had practice and went to the gym frequently, and meal plan exchanges were not even in my vocabulary, because I was at an appropriate weight, but unfortunately, I am not there yet. As Ryan pointed out, it is great that I’m doing better with food and being comfortable with larger quantities, but that doesn’t mean my physical health is at a point that permits my old version of “normal.”

I understand normal is a relative term, because it obviously differs from person to person. Someone who runs marathons may view normal as a pretty high mileage per week, and fitness as a major part of their lives, whereas a sedentary desk worker who despises the gym, might think taking an extra flight of stairs is over-exertion, but regardless, I am not at the point where I can form a definition for me.

Aside from re-training my brain to look at food and exercise in a healthier way, I need to also re-evaluate what life after recovery, or at least farther along in it, may mean.

Trying to remember a stage in my life where I was well is hard. My years in college are the most recent in memory that I can even somewhat equate to living a whole existence, but my routine then was vastly different from a life in the “real world.” I keep trying to compare then and now, attempting to create a normal based on the old CJ, when that might not be feasible.

I don’t know how to feel about this, because I can remember liking the old me, and our lives at that point! 

After Ryan and I discussed and worked out the unfortunate treadmill incident of the morning, I just happened to open my desk and saw some pictures from our honeymoon in Europe, some of which are actually on the perimeter of this blog.

(Just a side note, all the pictures on here are from two and a half years ago, when I was in a way healthier physical and mental state…I probably should have disclosed that a while ago so I didn’t give you some false sense that my life is still filled with mope heads and happy go-lucky explorations of ancient ruins…)

We had a fantastic time on that trip, and I’m really sad that I have prevented similar vacations, or even just more positive times at home, from happening because I was too consumed with being selfish, and alone in my disorder.

I am sad because I haven’t given Ryan a marriage; he had one woman before our nuptials and then a completely different one after. It breaks my heart when I think of what he, and I, have missed due to hospital stays, my insecurities or ridiculously rigid routines, and all the other aspects of being an ED family that make it nearly impossible to actually live.

I wish I could give an apology that would erase, or provide a re-do for the last two years, but unfortunately that can’t happen. And when he left this morning, as we were finishing up a very emotional conversation, he told me my relationship with the treadmill sometimes causes him to feel as if I don’t love him as much as I do my exercise routine. I tried to think of how bad that must feel, but don’t think I can accurately imagine it, because he does nothing but show me support, even if I don’t like to see it that way.

How could I do that to someone I care about so much and who cares about me more than I deserve most days? Not that this justifies my behaviors, but it’s because I’m scared. I am scared of so many things and I don’t know how to fix it. How do I change more than two decades of fear…fear of rejection, abandonment, being called fat, being unaccepted and not being good-enough…how do I change all that?

I have someone to tell me what to eat, even though I already know. I have someone to listen to me vent about my history, but I don’t have anyone who can manually reprogram my brain to make me believe I am ok, worthy of love without being 100 percent productive all the time, being perfect or mistake free in every aspect of life, running 094680946 miles, having the right body, keeping up appearances for the façade of my family to try to hold things all together. How do I fix this mentality?!

I fear that my recovery can’t progress, and I can’t reach happiness for me, Ryan, and the rest of my loved ones, without figuring this all out. I know this wont/can’t happen overnight…heck I don’t think it can happen in a year, but I need to work on these feelings of inadequacy, letting go of past-experiences, and realizing that I am more than a number on the scale or a Garmin watch, like ASAP.

I don’t want to look back next September 19th, and have another year of regrets, or end up talking over breakfast about the pain I have caused in my marriage. I would rather be reflecting on the progress I have made and all the amazing memories created from the process.

I guess it all starts with a belief in myself that I have the ability to change, and sometimes I just don’t feel like I can do it.  But the least I can do is try, and if I want it badly enough, and I DO (who wants to live this hell forever), then hopefully I can make it happen.  But I have to take it one day at a time, and thank gosh, today, despite a really sad and dissapointing morning, I have the outlook that change is possible…it all starts with me.

Have a good monday everyone!! Thanks for listening and being so supportive 🙂


27 thoughts on “Happy Anniversary

  1. You always give a lot to think about.

    I have to admit: I’m extremely jealous…I literally only walk once a day every day (for the last 3 years) and then eat and eat. My body could not jog 2 seconds if I tried. Seriously.

    And the worst is then when I hear people complain that they “ate this or that or too much’ and they can’t jog “as fast”…I want to shake them and say do you realize how lucky you are. Its like…if people who exercise and overeat feel guilty…then how am I suppposed to feel? Its like…its so difficult to accept it that way , you know?

    I worry I’ll never be able to exercise again. Its just my body. Its just gone and I’m so …its too much to talk about.

    Sorry if this is all off topic!

    • I expect you had good intentions with this comment, but being jealous of the physical efforts of someone overcoming an exercise addiction is like being jealous of an alcoholic for being able to win drinking contests.

      Like CJ, I’ve lived with compulsive exercise as part of an eating disorder for many years. I’ve been told over and over that my “discipline” in working out so much is enviable, and that people wish they, too, could get up every morning at 5 to exercise intensely for hours on end. But it isn’t discipline, and it isn’t even that my body is “able” to do it. It’s a psychological compulsion that I cannot avoid, and I can’t stop even when my body tries to give out.

      I’m sorry you’re facing physical problems, and that you can’t exercise enough to feel healthy. But that doesn’t justify being “jealous” of a disorder.


      CJ: Happy anniversary!! I hope this evening is special and wonderful for you and Ryan, because you both deserve it. And of course I hope that your next anniversary is as disorder-free as possible. Please, please remember that this isn’t your fault–I know you know that, but it never hurts to be reminded.

      As far as the treadmill problem is concerned, what if you set up a distance rather than a time, so you’d feel less inclined to up the speed to fit in an extra mile within the time limit? Or perhaps a speed guideline, starting at something like 5 mph (yeah, I know…ha) and gradually working up if you stuck to the current limit and also met your food goals?

      Take care and have a great day. ❤

      • Thank you for the happy anniversary!!! and thank you for reminding me that this isnt my fault.
        ryan and i are going to talk tonight about specifics as far as his expectations with exercise because if anything is vague or left up to me to determine i will totally take a mile! im sure you can understand how that goes!!!
        i always love when you comment. I feel like you totally know where i am coming from 🙂

    • please dont be jealous. the mental aspect and torture that comes with this is absolutely attrocious!! eventually you will be able to exercise again, when your body is strong, nourished and healthy! please have faith in the process and you will get there!

      • I didn’t mean it as “jealous”. Those girls above me completely missed my point. I was never compulisve. I just want to be NORMAL and HEALTHY…i want to be healthy..so i LONG for the day when I can exercise again and have that part of my life….its hard to explain. No one “gets” it.

      • hunni i get it. i want to be normal again too, but as my husband and doctors tell me, i will get there again but i cant have it RIGHT NOW. temporarily i have to deal with the discomfort and it stinks but if i dont go through this process i will never feel normal again. i want that for you too

  2. Eating disorders are destructive.
    I lost many relationships and I am still trying to recover the ones that I didn’t totally ruin. Use this as fuel. Ryan has been amazing to you and use him as motivation to eat / recover. I had to stop using myself as motivation and start focusing on others. When I didn’t want to eat I would think of how wonderful and loving someone was and then eat it for them. Then maybe text Ryan, tell him you ate an entire lunch and dessert for him and tell yourself you can’t be guilty for doing something that will help yall in the long run.
    YOU CAN DO IT GIRL. One day at a time. Remember that life is about happiness and relationships, not weight! I promise! xoxo

  3. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said, “one day at a time.” It’s a process, right?

    And congrats on two years of marriage. (My 2nd anniversary is coming up as well.) I hope your third year of marraige is full of happiness!*

  4. First, Happy Anniversary!
    And it really is a process, that what you have to keep remembering and I think that is exactly what you are doing! Some days are easier than others, and incredibly difficult too often too. We just have to work toward the hard days to achieve the good ones

  5. So, i hope this doesnt come across as harsh, but why does a woman with a history of compulsive excersize and anorexia have a treadmill in.the.house?? Maybe you need to put it in storage for a while and redefine what “activity” is. There are tons of yoga/pilates and low impact excersize options available via netflix etc. But im thinking the treadmill and you have too much of an abusive relationship to let it continue dominating your life. You and your health are worth more and a move like this will show your amazing husband how you are willing to make changes to move forward.

    • its not harsh, its honest. ive had a treadmill in the house since i was 12. my dad bought it and it has just never left, even after he and my mom moved away and left us with this house. we actually had our marriage counseling tonight and came to an agreement that i will not be jogging right now, but i am still allowed to walk so hopefully we will see how this goes! thank you for the suggestions though. ive tried yoga but i just cant get into it 😦

  6. Happy Anniversary Cj!!! You are doing so well and I know some days can be such a struggle but just think how far you have come and each day you will continue to grow and become stronger! you got it girl 🙂

  7. This might sound like a crazy idea, but perhaps sell the treadmill? Get rid of it so it’s not even there for you to think about or gravitate to. CJ, you can’t get up every single morning to exercise and work off every calorie you’re ingesting. Frankly, I’m surprised your dietitian is even allowing you to exercise more… it seems counter-intuitive or like you’re just breaking even by adding more calories to your meal plan but then increasing your physical activity.

    If you’re okay with eating slightly larger portions, then clearly exercise is the main culprit here. Your eating, your schedule, your life (second to your marriage) revolves around exercise. When I reached a severe point like this in my ED I realized (not completely on my own, but thanks to my worried family) that this was a huge problem and something about the treadmill makes me an addict to exercise. Therefore, just like an alcoholic must give up alcohol, I made the vow to give up the gym (specifically the treadmill, but I don’t set foot in a gym now because I feel I would be drawn to a treadmill too easily).

    It doesn’t mean I can never ever go back to working out like other people, but I’m still struggling with overcoming an exercise addiction. And I must say, it gets better and it gets easier. PLEASE consider doing the same…

    And happy anniversary to you two 🙂

    • I’m not trying to work off the calories at this point bc I’ve accepted the weight I have to gain which obviously equates to excess calories. I know no one will agree with me but I can’t help where I am and I’m trying to be honest… My walk ( n it will b a walk since jogging was taken off the table by my husband) n therapist, is the only time of day my mind just shuts up. And sometimes I need it to just shut up. Not about food calories weight or anything like that but the family n personal things that I’m working on.
      I know that isn’t what you want to hear but I’ve got to b honest. I’m doing well in therapy, learning to cope with my emotions and nutritionally I’m making strides so I hope it can be recognized that I m making progress.
      But as always, thank you for the feedback. I appreciate that u can help me see another side which is exactly what I need.

  8. I almost chuckled when I read about being able to incorporate jogs with an increased meal plan. Every time this happened to me in recovery, I’d start off ok and then end up “overdoing” it in my parent’s eyes. They would get so upset and I would just want to do it more to gain more control. To this day I have issues with exercise. I do it 6 days a week and go crazy when I can’t. But just know that in the grand scheme of things, life goes on.

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