Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I did tell you yesterday that I would be a smidge more specific in regards to what my husband and I discussed Saturday that was so difficult for me to process, so I guess I will try to explain.

I don’t really understand why I had such a hard time grasping where he was coming from, since I have heard this all before and I should have expected it to be coming sooner or later, but he suggested I get my act together before he gets home from Colorado or we need to explore options beyond recovery at home.

At first I was in shock.

Hello, I am not at my lowest weight so why are we even considering a program as an option?!

But, in his defense I am not too far off from that point and he knows how quickly I have fallen off the deep end…aka, three weeks of him not being home to ensure that I am doing “ok” could potentially mean me dipping lower than last years hospital admission weight, and more importantly, me completely going into “Ed’s” wide open arms.

The problem is I don’t see any of this.

My dietician equated my lack of acknowledgement to the situation as me being a blind person; unable to see what is right before my eyes, and essentially she is right.

I look in the mirror and see a completely average sized person, who functions every day as an adult female; albeit a robotic one, but still I go to work, perform my obligations in other areas of life and even have thrown in some fun lately. All off these things make me have a hard time believing I would need any exterior help beyond a meal plan, my outpatient recovery team and the support I have from my bl-iends and loved ones.

Another thing, and I have found this pretty common in the eating disorder world, is I am never sick enough.

Every time you relapse, unless caught relatively early, there seems to be a new low, more or different habits that become engrained, and you kind of reach an elevated level of disordered that is worse or harder to combat than the last time.

I took the idea of a structured program off that table for a variety of reasons; mainly because I am working and that is important to me right now, that I have cheated every single program I have ever entered making it, in my mind, a waste of time, and it is EXPENSIVE.

I have told you all before that I firmly believe recovery is most possible when someone commits to it. It doesn’t matter where a person is, a hospital or at home, recovery, long-lasting recovery, cannot be achieved without a person surrendering and embracing that the journey is going to be uncomfortable and pretty much horrific, but eventually it will get better.

I admit, I have never ever been to that point. In partial hospitalization, residential and as an actual floor patient, I was only there because I had to be.

I didn’t BELIEVE I needed to gain weight or change my ways.

I didn’t really care to do any real work or feel the pain that comes with opening up emotionally and challenging every, single, rule I have lived by for as long as I can remember.

Thinking about it now, it is a shame because I might be a lot better off if I had just complied, listened and accepted what I needed to do, because I think it is SO difficult to keep taking a few steps forward, but then running many steps back.

I know I need to get healthy.

Cognitively, I know this.

But what changes have I REALLY made?

Not too many…

Walking rather than running, eating at a few restaurants, maybe some challenge foods here and there, being a bit more assertive, but at my core I still don’t believe I am really worth it and that is sad.

A friend recently asked, “what can I do right now, today, or in this moment to make progress?”

I didn’t have an answer. And I still don’t, but I sure have a lot of thinking to do these next few weeks.

Or maybe rather than thinking, I need to be DOING.

Actions do speak louder than words, I just seem to have a bit of a problem with that lately.

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14 thoughts on “Actions Speak Louder Than Words

  1. Hey Lady –
    First of all: LOVE YOU.
    Secondly…a question I was thinking about…when yo uwere doing SO well a few months ago and making some progress, what was different about your mindset? I think it was coming off of HLS and being inspired to get truly healthy again, but can you somehow find a way to get that back? Going back to the weekly weigh ins with the nutritionist or something to help without going back into a structured program.
    I just love you and want you to beat this because I KNOW you can and you deserve it!!

    • I love you 🙂 and you are right, HLS really did give me a boost because I was embarassed by the reaction I got to photos from it (you are old looking, ugly, etc) and I had great role models and friends (you, of course 🙂 ) to show me that regardless of my physical state I am an ok person that people might want to spend time with.
      i need something like that again because i am currently doing weekly weigh ins and nutrition appts and just dont seem to care what my team has to say. it is sad really.
      thank you Clare. I always love hearing from you 🙂 You have such great insight and I miss you terribly!

  2. It did seem as though HLS was a huge motivator for you. After that you did accomplish all of the external changes you mentioned above….now the REALLY hard part…to incorporate all of those externals with the excruciating work of surrendering your need for such extreme control and committing totally to recovery…really, really hard I know!
    You have to believe that you are worth it! (you so are). You are right….a treatment facility is only as good as the commitment you make to it.! If you enter a program it has to be with that surrender and commitment. I know I am a broken record…but read between the lines…
    I love you girl and want this struggle to become less and less for you …and Ryan.

  3. I know what you mean, my mom can’t stand seeing me, I’m not at my lowest point but she knows I’m on my way and I just can’t see it and I just don’t know what EXACTLY I can do or in other words, willing to do.

    • i think you said it correctly when you said, WILLING to do. We are all very smart…we know what we have to do to recover, its just a matter of applying and committing to it.
      I am here for you girl if you need me. Maybe we can do it together 🙂

  4. Tough stuff girl. I still really feel like if you could get back to your old job you would be so much better off. I know you said financially that wasn’t an option but if you’re not working at all and having to spend money on a treatment program that has to be financially worse then going back to your old job.

    I was reading Brendan Brazier’s (vegan triathlete)’s book last night and thought of you. There’s a section that made me think of you so I’m going to type it out for you. Bear with me b/c it’s going to be long…

    “Scientists now believe that will power is finite; its supply can become exhausted at the hands of excess stress, most notably uncomplementary stress. A person’s desire to achieve is closely tied to stress level. That came as a surprise to me. I had always thought that motivation was simply a personality trait – that a person either did or didn’t have drive. While personality is a factor, it now seems that there is more to it than that. Regardless of the desire to excel, if a person is forced to deal with mounting stress, that stress can cause motivation to flicker or extinguish altogether.

    To use the analogy of a car, will power is burned like fuel. As gasoline is to the internal combustion engine, will power is to stress. Each time the car meets a headwind, it burns more fuel. The greater the resistance, the greater the fuel consumption. If a person is dissatisfied with her workplace – the hours, the lack of aptitude required, and the paycheck all become a source of discontentment. She will be required to “burn” will power to cope with her situation. Having to push herself to get through each workday, she will arrive home, her motivation exhausted. Even minor challenges will appear great. It’s important to understand this. Many people believe that those who have trouble obtaining their goals are lazy or simply not motivated. Yet, it might be that stress is extinguishing their drive; it is stress that is standing between them an their goals, not lack of ability or fortitude.

    I can’t overemphasize the importance of enjoying your livelihood: You can’t be discontent for that many hours of each day and expect to be healthy in other aspects of your life. Even if only subconsciously, your determination will be eroded and making changes, even those as simple as dietary ones, will be a challenge.”

    pg 25-26 Brendan Brazier’s “THRIVE; the Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life”

    Sorry so long and sorry if there are typos. Just thought this might help.

    • oh my gosh. I needed to read that. thank you so much for taking the time to share that passage with me. Although leaving my job really isnt an option perhaps there are thigsn I can do to make me like it better….like actually leaving my desk for lucnch so i am not pestered by 890468036 people.
      that book sounds fascinating and makes so much sense.
      it was so so so so sweet of you to think of me. Thank for again, Meagan! ❤

      • Glad I could help. I know you can do this. You have so many goals and dreams for yourself – don’t give up now!

  5. So sorry that you are going through all this. Do you think you could every forsee a point where you could just stop exercising completley, instead of continuing with the walking? I know it sounds IMPOSSIBLE but in my recovery process, I finally made the choice to stop exercising and it was the BEST decision I have ever made. I am by no means perfect or completley “recovered” but it was a huge step in the right direction. Trust me, life won’t end if you stop exercising. I really hope things get better/easier for you soon.

    • what made you make that choice?? and how in the world did you stop without going absolutely insane? at this point, honestly, i dont forsee myself giving it up because it is my only stress relief during the day, but i am hoping to become less rigid about it. any pointers would be MUCH appreciated! ❤

      • i actually started doing yoga. it kind of started when i was re-reading some journal entries. they were similar in terms of your blog entries in the way that you post that you KNOW what you’re doing is wrong and that you’re hurting your husband and your relationship, etc but you just can’t stop. i pretty much saw my therapist every single day during that point and decided to exchange exercise (bootcamp/spin/running/etc) for yoga. i tapered down at first by reducing the time i was exercising and then skipping every other day. it was a slow process and believe me this was not easy and took an insane amount of support from my therapist and boyfriend/family/friends. my boyfriend actually started coming to yoga with me for support (and maybe to make sure i didn’t go to a bootcamp or spin class instead….)

        and let me say i absoloutley HATED yoga at first. but it has been the most amazing thing for me. i used to use exercise for stress relief and also to justify sticking to my meal plan. i found that as long as i was still exercising i could escape some of the panic that came from eating “so much.” so i started with deep stretching/easy yoga to ease myself into it and it was hard. i could hardly stand how slow the classes were and my mind would scream at me that my time would be much better spent in a spin class buring real calories and de-stressting. but i stuck with it because i knew it was so important to my boyfriend (we’ve been together for 7 years) and our relationship and my well-being.

        i guess some people would still consider yoga exercising but they’re only hour-long classes and i don’t do hot yoga or anything intense like that and it has been so good for my mental health and well-being. like i said though, it’s not easy to turn your mind “off” in a yoga cass but it feel so good to just focus on your body and the poses you’re holding instead of all the crazy thoughts in your head!! and i still battle with the exercise thoughts! i don’t think they’ll ever go away and that scares and frustrates me but i am learning to deal with it. basically the only form of actual exercise i get right now is anything FUN i do with my boyfriend/family/friends. i’ve gone skiing a few times but it’s so much fun that i’m just enjoying the moment and fresh air and company, not worrying about calories burned, etc.

        I hope this helps. i know you’ve reduced your exercise from running to walking so keep at it girl! baby steps and TONS of support (which i know you have) is key. just slowly keep reducing. just keep thinking about your relationship and how important it is to your husband and your family. and your HEALTH! i repeat that in my head every single day.

  6. It’s probably frustrating to your husband and somewhat of a barrier in your recovery that you still hold on to the relatively “safe” measures… you still exercise, still eat to a T what’s in your meal plan, and still have the habits that are of ED-nature.

    For me, I considered REAL recovery to take place when I actually let go of ANY form of exercise for about 3 months, ate whenever I was hungry (never had a meal plan), and bought yoga pants as my skinny jeans were getting tighter and tighter, but went on like this until I reached a healthy weight, and then finally menstruated again.

    Since that point, about a month ago, things have been really good… and I think a lot of it has to do with being at a healthy weight; YOUR healthy weight, not what a computer calculates based on only your height and your age. I was in pseudo-recovery myself at the beginning of last year when I thought running 4x a week as opposed to 6 or 7 and eating maybe 300 calories more than I was used to was “being recovered,” but my weight barely budged and I was constantly moody and depressed and very fearful of doing anything that interjected in my “perfect” schedule.

    I was not living and I knew it. I hated it. Now, those days are almost becoming a blur… I can’t imagine ever going back. But things only TRULY got better when I LET GO of it all. And I think that’s what everyone expects of you too, as overwhelming as that is. It’ll be extremely uncomfortable for a while, but trust me, you’ll be seeing with a different pair of eyes when you actually get healthier — it’s amazing. I really wish that for you, but it takes a lot more change…

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