Open

After yesterday and some of the feedback I received about my breakfast of the past few weeks and the new incorporations, I felt compelled in a sense to elaborate a little further on the topic of my progress as of late.

It is no secret that from December to now I have not been doing as well as when I came home from HLS and felt so inspired to get my life back in order.

At that point I was fueling my body properly, exercising only in the approved fashion from my doctors and dietician, and I did have less intense eating disorder/negative thoughts (I emphasize LESS…they by no means went away!)

Anyway, then the holidays came and things just started to deteriorate.

My meal plan was only maintained half the time, my mood started to sour and I felt immense guilt if I did not get an hour of exercise a day.

These things are NOT ok, and cognitively, I know that.

I could see my meal plan diminish…going from 2/3 cup of egg beaters in the a.m. to 1/3 now, being more fearful and avoiding foods that are natural, healthy and delicious, but that can’t be measured precisely, berating myself for not lifting weights during the commercials of my favorite shows…

All these things have recently escalated due to lack of nutrition and a starving, obsessed brain.

It is a fact that those who are deprived just don’t think properly, because, go figure, they are trying to use the minimal energy given to survive.

Despite me knowing this stuff rationally, my recovery focused behavior has only changed marginally.

I am petrified sitting down to meals, especially alone, and although I have cravings for certain things; things I will sometimes give in to, I will then sacrifice something else because I feel so much shame.

When I do have accountability and support I do better, but then I feel embarrassed afterwards.

Let me explain because that is probably unclear.

I feel embarrassed to share with you some of the challenges my family and I have done these past two weeks.

All I keep thinking is, “oh my gosh…you can’t write about that…then it just confirms there is no problem at all and you are just a pig who eats everything and anything.”

Here is a pretty specific example:

Monday night my mom came home just overnight before she was leaving for Florida.

Ryan and I had a tax appointment at 6:30 so going to a restaurant wasn’t really feasible, as she initially suggested, so we opted for take-out; ITALIAN TAKE OUT…aka the scariest food genre in the entire world for me, aside from dessert.

On my fear food list presented to Ryan last week (we are trying to check them off one by one) pizza was very much near the top.

It is there for a very good reason…

The only time I had a REAL pizza was when Ryan and I were in Pompeii. We had just hiked Mt. Vesuvius and went on a tour of the ancient city and were literally ready to gnaw our arms off we were so hungry when both excursions were through.

There were not many options near our location and we were at the mercy of the tour bus taking us back to our ship so we had to go with the lone shop on the corner.

It was so small with a long counter and behind the glass displays were trays full of vegetables, meats, cheese, some fruits, etc. It was like anything you could imagine was laid out to make your mouth water.

Aside of the huge case was dough neatly rolled into balls, and behind this was a ginormous oven with flames in the background.

It was a pizza or pasta establishment where you basically build your own meal.

The pizzas were probably about 8 inches and I suggested we share one, sans cheese.

Ryan pretty much laughed in my face because he was easily ready to devour an entire pie and some pasta after our morning.

“Just get a pizza CJ, they aren’t that big and you can fill it with veggies, but get a little bit of cheese for the protein.”

…I think he knew I wouldn’t touch the prosciutto that he was salivating over.

Long story short, this was the best tasting thing that had ever touched my lips.

It looked so beautiful on the round plate, full of color and vibrancy, and the flavor was just phenomenal. I mean, really, you cannot beat fresh basil and an authentic pizza.

I ate the whole thing.

I was so ashamed and scared.

What the heck had I just done?!

It had been over 6 hours since we had breakfast and I was so hungry that I wasn’t full with the section I originally portioned out in my mind, so the entire thing went into my belly.

The rest of the trip I craved pizza, and the excitement my taste buds had experienced that afternoon.

I was terrified and felt gluttonous.

Since then I have made my own form of a pie at home, and even tried the Trader Joes kind featured a few weeks ago, but the thought of having a slice made by someone else, not knowing how it was prepared, how much of things were put on top, etc. just horrified me.

Monday night I didn’t necessarily have a choice.

Of course I did, but my mom and Ryan would have been incredibly disappointed in me if I elected another salad and vinegar.

Since she and I have similar taste, Geege and I ordered a small pizza with vegetables and light cheese.

It was only 12 inches and Ryan encouraged me to have two pieces to which I complied.

Oh my gosh it was good.

Good doesn’t really describe it to be honest.

I was very full but the taste alone was enough to make me want it again.

I have still not eaten the leftovers in my fridge but to me, two slices sitting side by side with those I love was a pretty big feat.

That was Monday…

Meaning I toyed with the idea of mentioning it during WIAW, but then I pulled back.

“You may not tell them you ate that! You don’t eat pizza and I can’t believe you would even consider disclosing such an indulgent meal!”

Get real, CJ.

People eat pizza all the time and I would like to think none of my readers and friends are judging me too harshly for having, AND LIKING, my dinner.

But these are the insane things that run through my mind, when I really should be thinking how disappointed you might be that I am failing miserably everyday at getting to my goals.

Please let me know your thoughts.

I am open to honest feedback and appreciate any form of constructive criticism. When someone e-mailed me months ago with a bunch of concerns they had, some of which weren’t put super nicely, it was actually a great spark for me to make improvements, so as much as I might regret this, if you have something to say, or a request to make, please feel free to e-mail me.

Thanks for everything bl-iends.

I apologize if I have omitted certain things I was ashamed of. I think it is time to stop.

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19 thoughts on “Open

  1. hun do not feel ashamed or embarassed to share these type of challenges with us because ideally its a major step and slowly recovery will become much easier to you.Eating pizza isnt gluttony,eating pizza is just eating food,something all of us need to survive.Pizza has the perfect balance of flavor,healthy fatss,carbs and protein,don’t feel guilty eating it at all.life is too short to spend our days debating whether or not we are ‘allowed’ to give in into our cravings,we have to live each day as our last.Pizza was a major fear food for me but now I can enjoy it with no problem.What helped me was balancing the meal with a side salad filled with veggies and it made me see the entire meal as something more filling and nutritious.I am just so proud of you no matter what doubts you have had,you are a strong woman who I admire.love ya:)

    • As always Daybelis, you are so full of wisdom and truth. I really appreciate all that you have done for me and I am so so proud of you for all your accomplishments. Ryan suggested we have the leftover pizza tonight and maybe add some fresh veggies of our own on top…spinach, peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, to amp the nutrition and add foods that arent AS scary and I feel good about eating 🙂

  2. I’d think MORE of you for eating pizza! It’s a horrible mind set being scared of foods which aren’t deemed ‘healthy’, I know the feeling well.

    At the moment, in recovery, ANY food is good food. Regardless of nutrients, or lack of, if it looks good and you want it – have it. Nothing should be out of bounds.

    I’ve got back into eating Pizza recently and I do the same as Daybelis, always try to have some salad with it. I don’t have less Pizza to compromise for having salad – the salad is an extra.

    Also, I know it’s easy to say (but not so easy to do), try not to get hung up on what other people may or may not see as a ‘healthy’ meal. I know there are a lot of very healthy eaters who blog and just because they choose not to eat Pizza for example, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t. You need to eat a much wider range and much bigger quantities while you’re recovering so don’t compare your food to other’s if you can help it. (As I said though, it’s ridiculously hard not to).

    Good luck, and keep challenging yourself. the more you do it, the easier it gets 🙂

    • Thank you so much for the encouragement. It is really nice to know there are such supportive people out there that I can share this information with and they will understand. I really appreciate your kind words and definitely agree that comparing myself to others within the blog world can be extremely triggering and tricky!
      I wish you didnt know the feelings well that I was having, because I would never want anyone to experience how awful they can be, but thank you for your help! i cant express how much I appreciate it!

  3. Cj, we WANT you to succeed, and we WANT to hear about these challenges. We are SO PROUD when you do something seemingly “indulgent”, and we love hearing about your thoughts and letting you think through them on the blog. You are the most honest and open of any blog I’ve read.

    • Clare, this is such a sweet comment and really what I needed to hear today. Thank you for your feedback. Hopefully one day soon I can enjoy a slice with you 🙂 Or anything with you! haha

  4. There is just so much guilt and shame involved with EDs. We feel ashamed if we eat in a disordered way, because by others’ standards, it’s disappointing; we feel ashamed if we eat in a recovery-minded way, because by the disorder’s standards, it’s unacceptable.

    As you know, I’m not really actively pursuing recovery right now–just trying to quit purging. I get so many messages and comments and e-mails talking about how horrible my life must be and how much happier I’ll be if I eat normally, blah blah blah. Yes, that wul be true IF I WERE NORMAL, and it could become true for me, but only after YEARS of hard work. Right now trying to eat nrmally is WAY harder than just starving or b/ping, simply because this way I nly have to deal with shame and disappointment on one side, not two.

    No matter what happens, I respect you SO much for trying at all. I’m sure it’s easy for people without an ED histroy or with minor disordered eating to criticize your choices and your actions or say you “don’t want it enough”, but I completely understand how hard it is. And you are AWESOME and so strong for fighting.

    • I HATE the guilt and shame aspect of this disease because honestly, I feel that it keeps me trapped. There is never any “winning.” Neither side of you can ever be happy; not the reocvery yearner or the person who wants to remain eating disordered. It is so difficult to sort out which is worse because often it can change.
      I know you arent one hundred percent sold on recovery, and I am so so proud of all that you are accomplishing, because like you have said before, the baby steps to others, are MAJOR feats for us.
      Recovery sucks. It is hard, annoying, a process that requires constant attention, and sometimes restricting/exercising just seems easier.
      thanks for being so supportive of me. when i read your posts i feel like i could write them myself (not as eloquently of course but the thoughts are very much the same)
      you are awesome!!! and really worth recovery. I hope you know that ❤

  5. I love that you had Pizza! I am impressed because I know that how scary it is. It is scary for me too. My husband and his whole family love pizza. When we get pizza, I can’t seem to just pick up a piece and eat it. I pick at it and tear it apart and blot the grease. It encourages me to hear you talk about eating pizza!! Thank you!! Please continue to share what you are eating because it helps me so much!

    • I did the same thing; not being able to pick it up and just eat it! I used knife and fork which actually my mom does too so I felt ok, but honestly, I should have just enjoyed it and not agonized over it for hours!
      I am so glad I can help you! I wish you the best of luck in your own journey and if you ever need anything dont hesitate to pop me an e-mail 🙂

  6. It just blows me away how much the ED distorts things and makes us think that we’ll be judged for doing normal things (eating pizza!) or that cutting a normal portion in half will work just as well as the whole portion. I can completely relate to this.

    I think it’s so great that you’re working through a list of fear foods, and that you ate pizza! I had a chat with my mentor yesterday about recovery and how it’s so different from person to person, and there’s no such thing as “perfect recovery”. I think enjoying pizza for dinner is an excellent step in recovery! Way to go!!!

    And I’m starting to feel inspired to write my own list of fear foods 🙂

    • I one hundred percent agree that there is not a one size fits all plan for all those struggling! make your list! it really does help, and I am also as specific as possible…for example if there is a local restaurant I used to really like I will list a particular item that would be challenging there.
      Good luck hun! I am here if you need me!

  7. Oh dear C.J., I am starting t o think that this blog may not be the best for your recovery! I know your HLS friends were very encouraging to you and aided in your turn around after the Summit. However, if you have to devote so much energy as to what/how you report your intake~that seems to defeat the whole purpose! Perhaps that energy should be devoted to recovery. I feel sure that the good connections you have made will continue to support and encourage you in other ways than through your blog. Just something I felt I should throw out there, as someone who cares about you and is very concerned about your well being! Xoxo

  8. I just keep reading the http://www.gwynetholwyn.com/ blog and the forums…I ate ALL my calories today per usual (no exercise per usual) and tonight i ate like 500+ cals before bed (bag of grapes, bowl of nuts and nuts, full cup of yogurt,, 45 grams of dark chocolate, a lot of jam, granola, etc…i feel SO bad cause I keep binging and people keep telling me Im making my digestion + constipation worse this way…and I never purge (yucky to me)…so of course i just sit, etc all over again…i keep trying to do each daytime “perfect” and efficient and only binge at night…end up the next day in so much digestive distress..i feel i need a few good days of “clean” eats…how do i escape the cycle? are these binges really bad? how do i recover from them? i am in so much cramping and gas pain now 😦

    • You have the same questions every time you post on someone’s blog and we have emailed before so I’m just going to remind you once again, YES, this cycle is normal because you are severely underweight! It won’t normalize until you reach a healthier weight. As far as the cramping… maybe eat slower? But do realize that although uncomfortable, it needs to be done and you WILL eventually reach a happy medium.

      • sorry Jess.
        I guess when one is in the thick of it, it is freaking guilt-inducing and overwhelming. Like now this morning as I eat a gigantic breakfast + sit on my butt all day long. Jeesh.

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