A Reminder to Remember

I mentioned that last week I was sick with the stomach virus, causing my hunger to be a bit off for a few days.

I also said that I would be lying if I did not disclose that I was kind of happy about this fact because it meant that my tummy didn’t always seem to be begging for more food when I didn’t exactly meet my meal plan.

Now that my flu is gone, and I am supposed to be getting back on track, it is really really hard because I get caught in the comparison trap with myself.

“Yesterday you only had X amount of calories so today you only need that many or less.”

“Last week you went to Zumba three times so this week you need to go AT LEAST that amount”

Every day my negative voice tells me to do “better” than before, which ironically is never a healthy option, but because I opened the door ever so slightly to let ED creep back in, he basically shoved it open to push forward full-throttle.

I noticed this yesterday when I was doing my grocery shopping and my personal choices were getting a bit skewed.

“Pick up the Light and Fit this week…way less calories than the Chobani.”

“Get the diet bread you used to eat. 40 calories a slice is nearly half the calories than those English muffins you have been eating…”

My head would just not quiet down, and with every aisle it progressively got worse.

As Ryan and I were eating dinner, and catching up on each other’s lives since he has worked the past 856487 nights in a row so he can be off when his brother flies home from Colorado, I semi-reached out for help.

“I might need some encouragement to stay motivated.” I said.

He asked for specifics since we have only been having one meal together and our schedules are pretty off with such opposite hours.

When I told him my corner-cutting of the last few days (don’t worry its only been minor) and the strong desire to switch back to more diet foods, he looked strongly disappointed.

“Think about where you want to start the new years, CJ, because I will not hesitate to take you back to the hospital.”

Ok, and that was that.

Maybe from an outside perspective that sound firm and diminutive, but tough love is what I personally need to process the reality of where I am mentally.

I sometimes tend to live in an alternate universe, and maybe some of you can relate.

The best example I can give is that I will look in the mirror and see a ginormous person; a person with arms that flap around like chicken wings, thighs that jiggle when I move and a stomach that looks pregnant.

It is a fact that I have put on weight since the beginning of last December. I cannot argue or deny the number that now comes up on the scale, BUT many times I need a person to bring me back to Earth to ensure me that it hasn’t risen the astronomical amount I am envisioning.

I wrote a post a while ago about cognitive distortions; and one of the ones I am totally guilty of is all or nothing/black and white thinking.

You are either fat or skinny.

Things are either completely and utterly horrific or they are so darn peachy there are butterflies and rainbows in the sky (ok maybe not to that extreme.)

But the point is, often I get wrapped up in my own head; a head that is filled with negative thoughts, a super mean eating disorder voice, and lately, wayyyyyy too much pessimism.

Ryan reminded me of that when he was strong in his stance against my resorting back to destructive decision-making.

Where do I want to start the new year?

Despite my comment the other night; I don’t really want to be woken up at the butt crack of dawn to put on a hospital gown and walk down the cold hallway to a big ass scale.

I don’t really want to be told I can only use the public telephone in the hall for fifteen minutes.

And I certainly don’t want to be restricted in seeing my family for half an hour increments in communal rooms, surrounded by eagle eyeing staff.

So instead of eating my dry diet bread, I am going to remember the good things about being home, no matter what the address is.

My brother in-law is in PA for the holidays!

I will be able to wake up in my own bed on Christmas morning.

I get to go to Trivia with my family on Wednesday nights.

Drink more than one cup of coffee….use the computer whenever I want…

And because I have amazing and supportive friends that are here to help me through it.

I can do this.

I just need some help remembering that sometimes.

Thank you for all those who contribute to my successes, and provide me with these much appreciated reminders.

You are truly a blessing to me, and the best gift a girl could possibly receive.

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9 thoughts on “A Reminder to Remember

  1. aw hun i love you believe me when i say i admire you.You are such a strong and sweet person and I know you will get through this.be thankful to have such a great hubby and always remember that there are other ways like blogging to cope with stress and to shut those destructive voices…have a great day:)

  2. Writing this post is a reminder to remember how far you have come, how easy it is to fall back into old and dangerous habits, and all of the reasons that you are NOT going to do this!
    Life is sooo worth living without the burden of this illness and you and I both KNOW IT!

  3. Don’t let it take away anymore than it alreay has! I have finally hit rock bottom and after 8 years done with this. Knowing you girls are going through the same thing makes me feel a little less crazy and know that we can all do this together!

  4. Ah, the insidious aspects of any kind of inadvertent reduction in calories. As little as 200 calories less in a day than what is optimal for a former restricting patient and that’s enough to get the ED-controled neurotransmitter cells in the emotional center of the brain all excited that they get to take over again.

    Sometime in the New Year I hope to generate a Relapse Emergency Intervention Kit of some sort I think.

    Having to fast for a medical test can be enough to careen someone back into a full relapse. Like any chronic condition, you have to be somewhat vigilant about what the triggers for a flare up might be and then have a rock-solid intervention effort as soon as the first signs show up to avoid being sucked back in again.

    Looks like you’ve already got number one checked off on your own Relapse Emergency Intervention List: tell husband. And that was an extremely effective and powerful intervention I must say! 🙂

    So congratulations on embracing the greys of chronic illness and doing exactly what it takes to keep yourself well away from a flare or relapse.

    Neither optimism nor pessimism is a successful framework for living life — both are rooted in fear. The optimist fears that bad thoughts and feelings will manifest bad outcomes, so she bans them outright from any conscious decision making process. The pessimist fears having her hopes dashed. She solves that by never hoping for anything, ever.

    Where you want to be is realism. A realist lets all kinds of emotions wash over her and overtake her because she knows that emotional states are malleable and changeable.

    You have been sad lately. You are also facing a level of change that even change-loving people find tough to navigate (new job, a move). Your challenge will be to allow all those feelings, and yet ensure those feelings don’t have you mired in believing they are your only reality, or conversely have you screeching out the door trying to avoid their existence altogether. Both of those extremes would leave you wide open for a relapse.

    So far, I’d say you’re doing an excellent job at letting the feelings flow through.

    Your honesty on this blog is so valuable for modelling the process of restoration and remission for others. That’s not to say you have the pressure of being some kind of heroine, but rather you offer the opportunity for someone else with ED to just walk alongside and get a good sense that this is what the path to remission really looks like.

    Sorry for the long comment (when am I ever not typing reams of stuff?!). I hope I have somehow conveyed that I think your conscious and thoughtful approach is going to keep you safe (away from a relapse). Virtual hug, Gwyneth.

  5. Keep fighting! I struggle with bulimia and I have been doing really well until I got sick today too, now it seems like its a fight to not let that trigger the same old behaviors. I just don’t want that in my life anymore.

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