I Need To Vent

My legs are so swollen today it is uncomfortable; physically and mentally uncomfortable because they feel like they could rip open any minute they are so tight, and it “confirms” my fears that I can somehow gain 50 pounds overnight.

This sent me for a bit of a loop the last few days, since today is not the only day I have had this annoying edema.

I should be used to it, as this is a pretty common symptom I experience, but every time it flares up it becomes one more reason why I should not follow an “insanely high” meal plan.

As my husband pointed out, I am fabulous at making excuses.

“Every time things start to get hard, CJ, there is an excuse why you don’t need, or can’t handle, feeling uncomfortable to get better, but obviously your way hasn’t worked.”

I really hate it when he is right, especially because the majority of my mind does not one want to change a gosh darn thing (except to start running again rather than sticking to boring walks).

Ryan has just recently switched to dayshift and is headed to Vermont for a snowboarding weekend so our plan of him portioning out my meals hasn’t worked as well as I envisioned.

In all honesty I should be fully capable of taking things into my own hands but I have demonstrated time and time again that my brain does not function properly and won’t always permit me to make the best choices.

When I am in control, I tend to count and overanalyze every single morsel that touches my lips.

I don’t want to do this…in fact I have mentioned several times that if I could delete all the skewed nutritional nonsense that swirls around in my brain I totally would, but my mind unfortunately naturally tabulates the days eats and nags, nags, nags about my selections.

When I was really sick I could override any hunger signal I had if I waited long enough.

Sure the incessant tummy gnawing would be there, but I could ignore it and move on.

Ugh, now, not so much.

Once you start feeding your body again it decides it wants everything, and hunger can become off the charts.

This isn’t the case for everyone, but for me, my appetite definitely comes back and annoys the hell out of me because I can no longer simply ignore it.

I then feel weak, pathetic, out of control, and like a gluttonous pig if I “give in” and have a snack, or more at a meal than I anticipated, and the guilt is horrible.

It is so distracting and frustrating to feel mentally horrendous all the time.

This is probably my own fault, considering I am still not following my dietician prescribed plan…just slowly increasing my daily intake, bit by bit, and so my stomach is probably trying to tell me, “hello I need more!” but the aforementioned edema keeps popping up in my mind as a “reminder” that I actually DO NOT need more at all…

It is not water retention remember, it is huge globs of fat that happened from two weeks of an extra maybe, 200-300 calories.

It is just so cyclical…

Enthusiastic about gaining back my LIFE so I do well and enjoy delicious things that haven’t touched my lips in forever….

Freak out because I feel like I am physically gaining enormous amounts of weight that will never ever stop and I will soon be up to a million pounds…

Try to justify that I can be healthy without actually gaining weight and start acting on behaviors that are totally ED in order to self-soothe, even if it is just a teensy bit.

*Not here yet in this rotation* Give into ED and just saw screw recovery. It is just too hard and I can’t do it.

Am I the only one that does this?!

I feel like I can never go the distance because I hit the breaks when the going gets tough.

I had an extra two tablespoons of nuts for my pre-workout snack and nearly had an anxiety attack that I overate for the day…

I need to seriously get a grip.

Sorry to vent to all of you but I am just so frustrated with myself!

So much of me wants to LIVE and be fulfilled, but I cannot seem to get there.

I really wanted to tell you all the challenges I had discussed Sunday at the kick off of NEDA week, but I didn’t really accomplish much of what I had planned.

I hope you all are having more successful weeks.

Until tomorrow, when I hopefully have some better news to report.


19 thoughts on “I Need To Vent

  1. The medical nerd inside of me is wondering what the mechanism of your edema is. Your protein levels should be fine now, right? Is it just from standing a lot at work – because we all get that. I actually wear diabetic compression socks every day because of the swelling I get after a long day on my feet. You can get compression socks/hose at the drug store for $15-20 and they really do help alot. Maybe that would help keep the swelling down so it wouldn’t set you back.

    Praying for you CJ. Remember, you can do all things through Him who gives you strength.

    • i have compression socks because this happens a lot…i had to go to the ER once because I had like 6-7 pounds of water in my legs and they just wouldnt go down. thanks for the suggestions and i appreciate all your support 🙂

  2. Okay, lots to say on this.
    a) this is why having a blog i think would help me…to VENT…cause boy do i want to vent…(the only reason i don’t start a blog because i think i would risk “becoming that person”…i.e. making MY identity one as “person with eating issues” whereas I’d rather separate myself from that versus morph into that mindset (…yet, it is on my mind 24-7).

    b) edema…yes, just last night (as i snuck back to the kitchen and OVERATE on multiple servings of granola and peanut butter that go BEYOND my meal plan) my legs (especially my calves and ankles were on fire, swollen, fat like i had had some allergic reaction as was a blown-up person (like you’d see a person on a comedy movie after being stung by a bee and swell are)…one huge factor is that i SIT ALL THE TIME (but this actually makes no difference if i stand or sit , so big deal i guess) + I don’t drink enough…i think i REALLY need to be more conscious of drinking A LOT of water

    c) when i was in hospital and in a bed or chair for 3 months and never waalking and eating a ton, my legs would swell up too…doctors would check it now and then cause it freaked me out and they said it would go away…gained weight…it did

    d) i’m eating WAY MORE than my “meal plan” calls for….seriously…its a mental (bored, lonely) and physical (i think hungry?) reaction

    e) I think you need (at the least) a dedicated outpaitent program…FINALLY tackle this and sign up for a day program that you attend daily to eat and talk with all the other people….that way you get a bit of both (you appease RYan and your family and take the stress support of caregiving off them and FINALLY do this NOW versus drag it out for another few years going up and down) and you also still get to go home and sleep in your bed and pack your lunches, etc etc…

    f) I think http://www.pbandjenny.com wrote a post recently about her fear of going overboard…that is my fear…BUT i know its a stupid fear because even if we keep eating and eating and gain OVER the necessary bmi or weight, sure you’ll gain maybe an extra 5-10 lbs, THEN your body adapts and trusts you and falls to natural set point…so basically have to trust yourself…my problem is that i’m different from all you guys cause i am binging and overeating a LOT at night (and i only walk once per day..>BORING).

    • you have such great insight and i wish you could apply it to yourself. you are probably not overeating…just your mind telling you you are! and as far as the set-point theory goes, you are right…your weight might be a little higher in recovery than your natural set point, but it will eventually reach the set-point. our bodies no longer trust us and so they hold onto any bit of nutrition they can. I hope you can feel better. You deserve a much better life than this!

  3. Yes, I get it. Every time I try to reduce my behaviors and move toward at least approximating healthy behaviors, it’s so overwhelming that it just doesn’t even feel logical to continue. (It’s especially challenging for me since I deal equally with restriction/fasting and bingeing/purging–resisting one pretty invariably leads to the other.) I’ll often find myself thinking that if it’s this “hard” to eat/not throw up/be okay missing a day at the gym, maybe it would just make more sense for me to continue in the disorder because it’s less disruptive to my daily life than resisting. And obviously I’m still very much in my disorder and in no position to be giving advice, but here I go anyway, soooo:

    they never said it would be easy; they said it would be worth it.

    It is a struggle right now. But the longer we resist the ED compulsions, the more times we make a good decision or keep going anyway after a bad one, the less overwhelming it will be to keep doing that. I don’t believe that the disorder will ever go away completely, but I do think (for both of us) it can get to a point where managing it is a conscious decision but not a daily catastrophe.

    • i agree that i think i will live with a part of this forever…i just hope it doesnt have to be so obsessive, so ritualistic that it dictates my entire day. i feel like you know me so well. thank you for making me feel like i am not alone!

  4. Oh dear C.J. I believe you need more than a MICU nurse husband to manage this medically! What happens now when he is in Vermont. You need a village…a good team. You need to sit down and elevate your legs…it is water and not fat! You need someone to monitor your labs, examine your medication and make the necessary changes. Can you go spend the weekend with your mom? What would that be like for you?
    I am glad you are venting and I hope you can listen to encouragement. I know alot of the above posts can relate to what you are feeling, yet give you words of wisdom that you must fight through this really hard stuff to get to the freedom and happiness of recovery!
    I love you girl, you know I do….

    • I already have some plans this weekend with a few lovely ladies you may know. He is also coming home saturday night now so that should be good! thanks for the encouragement Mary! you know I love you!!!

  5. The best and first piece of advice I’ve EVER been given regarding my eating disorder: “One bite at a time”. One day at at time – one step at a time. One recovery piece, one healing piece at a time. Embrace it, girl! And one day at a time, maybe even one minute at a time, work to ignore that nasty, lying ED voice! 🙂

    • Thank you so much! I agree…I tend to get overwhelmed when I look at the entire duration of recovery rather than focus on the day by day! thanks!!!

  6. I here you CJ, I have ha all these thoughts too. Just remember that God doesn’t give you anything you can’t handle, you can do this.

  7. “Giving in” when your tummy is so hungry you can’t focus on anything is nothing to be ashamed of. And I know the “logical you” understands this but the “ED you” still gets in the way of accepting it… but for me, it’s gotten so much easier the more I give in because when I’m satisfied, I realize “This feels ONE MILLION TIMES BETTER than when I was so hungry it hurt like 5 minutes ago!” And why oh WHY would you EVER want to prolong this uncomfortable, hungry experience? I know ED wants you to, but you just have to work on blocking those thoughts out. Life being hungry 90% of the time is sooo not worth it. Your tummy is your friend.

    I’m sorry about your edema though… I’ve never experienced it but I know it must be awful :\ I think it just proves though that you still have a ways to go in healing yourself… it’s your body telling you everything’s not okay and that you need to rest and take care of yourself.

  8. Sounds like you’re being hard on yourself and you’re actually doing rather well. Not saying you’re finding it easy, but you’re recognising difficulties and aware of what’s going on, so clearly not brushing anything under the carpet which I think is a real asset!

    Great to hear that you can feel your body and listen to it’s messages – such an important thing that so many people struggle with. Maybe you’re doing better than you think? 🙂

    (I do know what you mean about feeling out of control with the wants etc etc, but for me I simply have to start viewing my body as my inner child, so she wants wants wants, and just as a loving parent would aim to do, I try to give her a somewhat 3 meal a day healthy yet enjoyable sensible eating plan, making sure there is a treat or something I really fancy somewhere in it.

    In between meals, don’t need to think about it, she/I need to get on with other things other than food. For me, if I’m craving food in between times, I have to do a double-check as to whether it’s food I need or whether it’s love or some other creative activity. If it really is food, I prefer to up the size of slow release carb content of the 3 meals, rather than snack in between, as if I start snacking, I get obsessed with constantly feeding myself, which I don’t find useful).

    Just thought I’d share what works for me. Everyone’s different, but I do think we’re all trying to do our best and never get it quite right, just as parents don’t (no such thing as perfect), but at least we keep trying 🙂


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