Hi, My Name Is CJ And I Am An….

So I suppose it is time to be pretty honest again and tell you about something that I am NOT proud of at all, but that kind of puts things into perspective as far as where I am in my process, and how far I have digressed since December.

You may or may not have been able to tell that I am reluctant to use terms such as ANOREXIA, or ANOREXIA ATHLETICA.

In fact, I don’t know if I have ever written those words, spoke them out loud, or confessed to myself that those are problems I have at some point experienced in my life.

Anorexia was always OUT OF THE QUESTION because I never skipped a meal, fasted or restricted to the point where I was below what even medical sources say is the lowest amount of calories a person can eat safely while on a diet.

And of course I felt my exercise routine was completely appropriate and normal, partially because I compared myself to all the bloggers I saw training for marathons and what I interpreted as running much further distances, all the time.

If they could do it and have no problem, I could too!

More recently, especially, I have been very much in denial of my current habits being ultra unhealthy because I was eating more than when I was considered “restricting” and my physical activity was not nearly as intense.

I hadn’t been weighed in weeks, haven’t had labs, a medical or therapy appointment; really anything other than maybe bi-weekly meetings with my nutritionist. This made it really easy to sweep everything under the rug and go about my business as if I were the most normal adult in the world!

I had been doing really well at NOT using my scale at home, but for some reason, Wednesday (probably because I did have a nutrition appointment) I felt compelled to bust the thing out and step on.

Oh goodness.

It went a direction ED seemed to be ok with, but no one else in my world was going to be.

So when I arrived at the office, and was asked if I wanted to be weighed I said no it wasn’t necessary because I had done so earlier that day.

We sit down to start our discussion and the nutritionist asked what the scale read.

I told her and it was lower than the last time I was “evaluated” in one of our sessions, and that prompted the conversation of how I felt about the number, and what needed to happen now.

The poor woman functions as way more than just a clinical advisor and I e-mail her regularly for the most ridiculous things, so of course I ramble on in my messages about how I am losing Ryan, he is frustrated beyond belief, my life is falling apart, yada, yada, yada.

One would think if I truly believed all the things listed above, or at least could process them rationally, that I would adopt the easy solution of working to change; gain weight, get healthy.

Mentally this is easier said than done, because the slew of emotions that comes from eliminating symptom use is freakin’ awful, but the actual reality of coming up with an energy equation that works, is not so difficult.

Nutritionist pretty much tells me everything I already know, and gives me a signed permission slip saying I can eat a larger amount, since I had just told her it was mentally easier to justify my meals when someone gives me confirmation that it is ok.

I left with my little green paper of validation, kind of chuckling that she took it so literally, and went home to make dinner.

Ryan arrives after golf and we sit down to a meal catching up on each other’s days, thoughts, etc. and he asks why the scale looked as if it had been moved from the previous day.

“When was the last time you weighed yourself?”

I couldn’t lie, nor did I want to provide such a blatant denial for something that was pretty obvious since I hadn’t covered my tracks effectively, so I simply responded, “This morning.”

“And what did it say…”

Again, I told the truth.

Not good.

The next two hours were not good…eventually they were productive and useful, but so not good in the moment.

I put ED before him. His feelings mean very little when it comes to me making tough decisions concerning food and exercise behaviors. I am completely inconsiderate of my husband and his needs.

These things are all one hundred percent accurate.

I have danced around that truth for weeks; basically putting off the hard work that needs to happen until “tomorrow,” and when the time comes, I forget about it entirely.

Sure I have challenged myself with fear foods, abided by his request to shorten my walk, but has that really altered anything when it comes to my mind set and the continuation of these horrifically unhealthy habits in my physical state?

If I continue to measure out my nut butters with a teaspoon, and the almonds I have as snack with a 1/8 of a cup, will I ever normalize the practice of eating and be free of ED?

The answer is clear, but other people need to do those things NOT ME!

I am not anorexic. I don’t need treatment.

I need to be on my treadmill to remain sane! I need to use a measuring spoon or I can’t even eat the Trader Joe’s Sunflower Butter!

It is hard to overcome things that you don’t view as a problem.

Ryan suggested when the ED thoughts come to actually say, “shut the f*ck up,” out loud.

I may sound like a lunatic but it does feel pretty good to express my anger toward the relentless negativity.

Does that mean I should also say “I am CJ, who does have anorexia and is obsessed with exercise to a point where it is unhealthy and a disease.”

Would that help?

I wrote it, but I still can not bring myself to verbalize that sentence.

My measuring cups are no longer in the drawer, however.

We did bag those up and Ryan hid them so I could take that very major step toward being free.

I guess it is time for some other changes, as well.

“I have a very serious illness called anorexia and it could kill me so I need to stop.”

Fake it till you make it, baby!


6 thoughts on “Hi, My Name Is CJ And I Am An….

  1. Cj, what Ryan suggested to do is what I do, just say out loud, “Ed, go to hell” and other nasty things! Of course I will only do it when I’m alone but I’ll say it in my head when others are around, it actually works because then it separates you from Ed. You and Ed are not one!! Have you ever read “Life Without Ed” By Jenni Shaefer? I found it to be so helpful, as it focuses on “divorcing” Ed as if he were a real person…this way of looking at it has been very helpful for me! I hope you have a great weekend! 🙂

  2. I am so proud and happy for you… getting rid of measuring devices and such in one sweep could not have been easy. BUT you did it; you took a stand against anorexia even though your thoughts were probably screaming a million different things. Of course, it will feel foreign and uncomfortable to eat and prepare food in this totally normal manner at first, but you have to keep fighting and remembering that, in time, it will become a new normal (and that is beyond a GOOD thing). It’s another little step towards a happier, stronger you.

    I also understand the concept of not accepting the gravity of the fact that YOU HAVE AN EATING DISORDER… and that this isn’t just an attempt to eat healthier and be in shape and have a fit body; it is a DISEASE. It’s hard to understand that a lot of the things you do and thoughts you think are disordered when it is what has become normal and an everyday affair to you. You are not alone… the gravity of accepting that you are risking your life by engaging in a disorder is hard to grasp for many of us.

    I love your honesty. And I admire your bravery.

  3. Hey CJ, my offer for a Healing Touch session is always on the table. No pressure….no judgement….just wanted to let you know.

    Keep going….one day at a time, one hour at a time, one second at a time….you can do it.

    On another note, I’ll officially be a Healing Touch apprentice in May after I attend the level four class! 🙂

  4. “Anorexia was always OUT OF THE QUESTION because I never skipped a meal, fasted or restricted to the point where I was below what even medical sources say is the lowest amount of calories a person can eat safely while on a diet.

    And of course I felt my exercise routine was completely appropriate and normal, partially because I compared myself to all the bloggers I saw training for marathons and what I interpreted as running much further distances, all the time.”

    This is exactly how I felt during my first experience with anorexia. I was eating three meals a day, and (as a dancer used to seeing people being very active) my exercise seemed totally reasonable–I was just “conditioning”. I also didn’t think I was fat and I wasn’t trying to lose weight. I honestly believed I didn’t have a problem at all…no wonder IOP was so productive. Full disclosure (and I sort of blogged about this today), it took me developing bulimia to admit there might be something going on, because it was way harder to rationalize puking on purpse than just running more and eating less. I guess that’s the only good thing to come out of bulimia for me–at least it let me recognize that there was a problem.

    Still, I have a hard time accepting it in “real life”, despite blogging about my ED all the time. And dealing is pretty much impossible if you’re not committed to owning the problem for what it is.

  5. I have been on my high horse about recovery mainly because I know that compared to so many others who suffer, I turned my act around relatively quickly and with such hatred towards my ED (it’s really hard to consider giving in again after what I feel my ED robbed me of the last 4 years of my life).

    BUT… I do realize that there are others out there who suffer and cope in different ways and it’s really insensitive to compare my ED and recovery to everyone else’s. (Though you’ve noticed some of my comments are hard to hold back when I get frustrated and wish only the best for people like you who still suffer so much!).

    I believe that letting go of the measuring devices is a HUGE step forward. It’ll be uncomfortable and feel totally foreign, but if you stick to it, it’ll eventually feel normal… like ANY routine. You just have to bear it. It sucks, but it must be done! Good luck 🙂

  6. I think you should think about this: part of what makes eating disordered is not JUST the physical part, but also the mental part. ie. – someone could be training for a marathon and be okay, another could be training for a marathon and be obsessive over it, beating themselves up when they take a wrong turn and accidentally run 0.5 miles less than they planned, etc. Also, each body has its own healthy. I actually think I have quite a high metabolism so I have never dipped under those calorie marks they say either, but yet I was still eating too little calories for ME and it caused me to lose weight. Disordered eating just encompasses all of these things.

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