My Apologies And Asking For Advice

I am going to be honest and say I felt very conflicted about comments and e-mails I have received the last few days.

As always I am incredibly appreciative that people took the time to read, and reflect on what I wrote, and then provide their insight and opinion on my health and situation.

One of the best things about the blog world is the connections I make and when a bl-iend makes a suggestion for my recovery I try to take into careful consideration and re-evaluate what is truly going on in my world.

The first time I really had to do this was after The Healthy Living Summit when I got a pretty negative e-mail from someone saying things that were very hurtful, particularly about my denial of my problem, but ultimately helped me immensely.

From that point on my recovery efforts became way more authentic and substantial. Before and during the conference I truly thought I was doing the right things and pushing so hard, but from an outsider, or non-ED prospective, I was still pretty wrapped up in addiction.

This person helped me realize I lie to myself a lot. Not intentionally, and I would never intentionally be untruthful to any of you, but sometimes the distortions in my mind seem very real.

My perception of things is totally off and in my alternative universe I consider having a slice of pizza a major feat, even though calorically I need more. My brain says, “OK, CJ, you did great by having that super challenging food, so that is he best effort you can possibly give…who cares if you are a bit short on the meal plan?!”

Reality: it is great to challenge something scary, but that does not negate the numerical amount needed to gain.

Recovery is all-encompassing and multi-faceted, which I guess means you cannot chose to tackle one thing at a time and ignore the others.

Anyway, the reason I am bringing up the summer scenario of being told I was a “recovery-faker,” is because I am questioning if that is the case now.

Like I said…I am not a deliberate phony, but I know I can trick myself into thinking I am doing so fabulously when not much has changed, and what I mean by changed, is an increase in health, weight and happiness.

My treadmill time has decreased; awesome.

My fear food list is getting smaller; great.

My weight is not really going up; fail.

And as much as kicking an ED is not about weight gain or the food, initially, a lot of times it is, because for our loved ones, and medical professionals, it is the only actual gauge they have to measure progress.

So many of you seemed frustrated with me in the recent past and I get it. I am the student I got so upset with during my days in CLIIP; the one that made excuses, wanted everyone to do the work for them, constantly making identical mistakes even though they preached things would be different this time.

Well as Ryan said to me this morning; the definition of insanity is repeating the same thing over and over, expecting different results, and perhaps that is why eating disorders are such mental conditions, because I cannot seem to get out of this rut.

For those of you who have had trouble altering a bad habit but then became successful…do you have any good tips on how to stay motivated, accountable or implement a lasting change?

I seem to stay strong for short periods of time and then get a bit lackadaisical, so although I do have a relatively good arsenal of knowledge as far as what I SHOULD do, maybe ideas on how to “talk myself into” actually doing those things, and sticking with them, could be helpful.

Thanks for always being honest, and encouraging, even if I am incredibly difficult to read.

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12 thoughts on “My Apologies And Asking For Advice

  1. Oh hun, don’t apologize for being a victim of a disease that is so difficult to overcome! It is not your fault and it is certainly not something you act upon overnight.First of all I would like to tell you that though you haven’t seen any of my comments on your recent posts I have read every single one of them but since Ive taken the week off from working out and negative ed websites(about dieting,losing weight bla bla) ,I didnt have the time to.Cj I want you to know that though ur ed mind is telling you that you have progressed immensly ,it is so wrong.You are beginning the race,taking your first step in a marathon.Though you have ‘reduced’ treadmill time, though you have eaten pizza etc you are still not eating enough to end these tormentous thoughts caused by the neglect of necessary calories.The lack of calories are causing your mind to continue thinking irrational and ways that are just not normal.No matter what ‘new fear food’ you eat in a day it really doesn’t matter if your eats in the whole day don’t add up to what you need to get better.For example when I began recovery my fear food was eggs,specifically scrambled.One day I finally had the courage and ate them for breakfast .This to me felt like a HUGE step which lead to me to feel guilty in eating ‘excessively’ or normal during my other meals,so I restricted and my total intake for the day didn’t cut it.After some time my progress stalled,I was doing enough,I had to take initiative.Instead of challenging myself to eat fear foods ,I challenged myself to just eat normal in everyy single meal.Whats normal?to eat whatever Daybelis wants to not the ed.For breakfast I ate my oats with pb unmeasured,for snacks nuts,fruits,granola bars etc for lunches various items like quinoa ,brown tice,yams etc combined with chicken or fish,Dinners included avocado,various veggiess,eggs ,simply whole foods that nourished me well.I ate double portions if my stomach told me it needed it,I stopped eating at a ‘set’ time.

  2. I also began to add healthy fats into my diet like olive oil which helped boost my calories and made me feel more satieted( fats help absorb nutrients from food:)In addition to all of this,I also made sure I knew how many calories i needed in a day in order to make progress and divided that number for 6 meals.This helped me alot because it made sure I met my needs without having to eat alot of food in a sitting.After some time I started gaining healthy weight and believe me it was a slow process.You see as recovered anorexics our bodies need alotttttttt of calories in order to repair itself.We need extra because the damage done internally is hard to mend with ‘normal’ food intakes.I simply stopped exercising because I was getting tired of not eating enough and the exercise just made it more difficult because I had to add more to my alreadh high number.I substituted my hour of working out to reading,gentle yoga,writing,trying new recipes etc ,I focused on ME.Please cj if you need any additional help don’t doubt contacting me because we are here to give you our hand to hold on throughout such a journey not to judge you! Blessings 🙂

  3. Confession: I deleted your blog from my google reader a while ago cause I was bored and frustrated by how you repeat the same things day to day…you have an honest post, then a “happy” post, then a post about how you walked around all day and was wnting to try some food samples, but couldn’t, etc etc etc.
    And you are “in recovery”???
    CJ, You have NOT even STARTED recovery.
    Recovery means
    1) meeting your meal plan calories EVERY day that you can first feed your underfed brain (to think) and heart and organs.
    2) NOT restricting…walking around all day and avoiding samples…that is called “restricting”. If you’ve read Gwyneth’s site you will see that THAT exactly creates MORE havoc (increased metabolism suppression, etc etc).

    WHEN you get to a healthier weight, when you get those calories in day after day after day, THEN you can APPROACH “Recovery’ with a more natural, carefree fun approach.
    BUT in the meantime, you are (to me) just like the other 1000 bloggers that write these posts and then ONE YEAR later, are writing the SAME things: NO CHANGE.

    You are under 25 and you “decreased” your treadmill. Woo hool.
    You should be sedentary, 3000 +, then up to a weight where you can actally THINK and put on clothes without looking like a rack of bones…
    EVERY day that goes by you are
    1) worsening your bones
    2) suppressing your metabolism
    3) screwing with your set point
    4) ruining your chance for kids
    5) wreaking extra strain on your kidneys and liver
    6) pushing your family and fiance away
    7) WASTING time (I do this TOO)…all the opportunities and things you miss…etc

    IT is NOT NOT enough to have the “Desire” to get better.
    Desire can only take you so far.
    What is more important to ACTUALLY get better? EXPECTATION (realistic) + EFFORT (actual action).

    sorry, but I’m fed up (not personally with you), but with THIS life and with people who I see who 1-3 years later write the same things and NEVER recover (because they trick themselves into things…that exercise HAS to be done during recovery and that “x” calories is sufficient because they don’t want to “force” it and want to feel “hunger)…all excuses and very stupid…
    no you don’t have the luxury of hunger and being a dancing willow that finds out the “real meaning of recovery”…I personally hate the “la-la – hippie ” approach…I think if you want to have a LIFE , you have to get the biological stuff in drive.

    THE only bloggers that i’ve seeen that have actually left their blogs and GOTTEN a life after are those that did 2500+ (when older) or like you 3000+.

    I’m fed up with myself. So maybe this is why I get frustrated by this stuff. But I’m tired of it. I have to delete these blogs from my reader and delete blogs of people who eat a yogurt for lunch and eat no bread cause its the “latest blog trend”….I have to sit back an think “does that really even matter to me?” seriously…does it matter…to ME? NO.

    It’s only your life. Good luck with it.
    But I think you actually consider STARTING recovery. Because you haven’t even dipped your toes into the shallow end yet.

    • You make a good point (not just for CJ, but for others) that the desire to recover is not enough. For as long as I was sick, I desired a different life free of the torment of this numbers jail and exhausting lifestyle… but for 4 long years I continued to destroy myself.

      Recovery isn’t about wishing to recover and eating a fear food here and there and cutting back X amount of minutes on exercise. Whatever is tied to your ED, even if it’s just 10 minutes on the treadmill and eating oatmeal every morning, HAS to be cut out completely at the beginning of recovery in order to truly succeed. Minimalizing stuff but still allowing it is not helpful at all and just tricks you…

      Motivation should be that comfortable feeling of fullness after a good meal, and thinking, “Man, I HATE feeling hungry. I hope I never have to feel like that for long periods of time again!” Any time I feel ED thoughts linger, I realize I have NOTHING to show for that lifestyle and I never want it back. If you still need it in some form in your life, you will not recover…

  4. I can completely relate to what you said about feeling like you are staying strong for only a certain amount of time and then falling back again. This is actually happening to me at the moment…I seemed to be really motivated for about a month, all gun-ho on getting stronger and working out and eating more and so on, then all of a sudden, when things started getting really uncomfortable, I back off and feel a lack of motivation to continue to fight through. I am pushing myself really hard in order to be strong even on the days I feel like falling back into everything. I have to keep in mind that it’s not worth it…it’s not worth feeling like shit again, being cold, making people mad, etc. I love how honest you are…it’s the only way to truly move forward in recovery. If we keep denying what is wrong, we won’t get anywhere. Don’t be too hard on yourself, though…those steps that you have made, facing fear foods and decreasing exercise are HUGE steps and you should be very proud of yourself (I know, however, that these might not feel like accomplishments, but they really are!!). I hope you are having a great day Cj!! Stay Strong (even when things are rough) ❤

  5. This might not be helpful, but I always say that finding my new group of friends and tailgating (and drinking) is when I really started to recover and gain weight. I think I was just having SO MUCH FUN at the tailgates, getting a little tipsy and subsequently eating food I would have normally avoided, that I didn’t want to stop. It wasn’t an ED recovery “plan” and it wasn’t all health food, but it was FUN – way more fun than I’d had in years!
    Can you think of anything like that that might just be so FUN that you’d want to keep going, but might also include some normal eating?

  6. Dear C.J….it is no wonder you are conflicted. You are opening yourself up to too many different opinions on this blog…you have your comrades in e.d. Who reinforce every crumb you put in your mouth, you comrades in e.d. Who call you out on each behavior they recognize as being their own, folks who read this blog to feel better about how little they are actually doing, people who just plain care about you and want what’s best, and professionals trying to guide your towards a new health and well being in the best way they know possible! Geez, confused would be putting it mildly! You graciously accept every well meaning word and go on to do what is most comfortable. You repetition being a function of your malnourished perseveration.
    It is time to take a good look at what this blog is doing to/ for you, and perhaps focus more on the relationships with those around you rather than on the web.
    I know you want to help others, BUT, I will perseverate a bit, and say you have to do a way better job of helping yourself first.
    I really do love you girl, you know I do….and I know I don’t even have to say what I think you need to do! ❤

  7. You’ve said many times before that there are some things you simply cannot (or will not) stop doing, like exercising in one form or another for example. To me, even though your apparent reasoning like “Well, everyone needs exercise and the point is to have a healthy balance!” is true, it’s true for a HEALTHY person. For someone who is addicted to exercise, is addicted to calorie-counting, is extremely afraid of gaining weight, true recovery means facing all of these fears head-on, not watered down or at a snail’s pace.

    You probably find yourself cutting back here and there or making excuses to please your ED because you still cling to many of your disordered behaviors. If an alcoholic wants to recover, they cannot cut back, take a swig the next day, then say “Oh it’s ok, I’ll just drink less tomorrow and maybe not at all the day after.” It doesn’t work that way. It’s always going to be tempting, ESPECIALLY during the recovery phase.

    I’ve said it before, but from my own experience, I failed at recovery by myself because I wasn’t held accountable, was able to give in to ED behaviors like exercising, cutting calories, and the like and no one noticed because I wasn’t really losing weight anymore. But I was still miserable and completely withdrawn from society. The only reason I still post on blogs like yours saying things that might hit you like a bag of bricks, is because I’m doing very well in recovery. I can credit that to the fact that I gave up exercise COMPLETELY for 2 months, and re-introduced it lightly. I stopped paying attention to numbers and ate what I was hungry for and ate until I was satisfied since I could no longer just “stop” at a certain number, nor did I care to.

    As much as you try to prolong real recovery, you’re just making things worse for yourself and you’re making it harder to accept reality. This lifestyle cannot be sustained for too much longer. Either you completely go down the wrong road and revert back to your ED or you give up your ED’s control and allow yourself to gain the weight your body determines you need to gain. Trust me, it’s not the end of the world. You learn to love yourself in such different ways.

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