A Little Bit Of Honesty…

Everything about recovery is hard.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, it is an exhausting and difficult process.

I can’t really pinpoint any one particular aspect that I find more challenging than another but I will tell you something I have a lot of trouble with is being honest.

Not even necessarily with other people, but being honest with myself, and truly acknowledging the downfalls of my recovery and doing something positive to overcome them.

On Tuesday I told you I wasn’t facing fears like I should and that is probably the most simple, yet truthful thing I have admitted in a long time.

I am eating more calories. I am exercising for a shorter amount of time and with less intensity than I did when I was sick, but is that enough?

Those are the things my ED wants to notice about my recovery and yell at me for everyday, but really are those changes sufficient?

Have I gained the necessary amount of weight for my brain to function, my hair to stop falling out, my body to overall work properly and stop feeling like absolute s*it?

Nope. In fact, I might feel worse now than ever, biologically, but I can’t seem to mentally take the leap into full-blown “get healthy” mode.

I realize I am opening myself up to a ton of negative remarks here, and I accept that, but I need to process my internal lies and I think here might be the place to do it.

1. If I eat over 2,000 calories I freak out, when the plan is minimum of 2,500.

-I justify this by the fact that my body has changed a little by eating the 2,000 and therefore tell myself, the 500 extra would make me blow up like a balloon.

2. I still cannot fathom starting my work day without some form of physical activity.

-On the weekends I have become much more flexible with this…opting for walks later in the morning, going outside, limiting to a short, slow walk on nights I go out and dance, but the truth is I am getting SO bored with the treadmill.

Yes…I said it…my old “best friend” is starting to really annoy me.

I used to be able to handle and thought I ENJOYED over an hour on that damn machine but now sometimes 45 minutes feels like a decade.

I know a ton of treatment professionals do not advise exercise or physical activity for that duration of time but it used to be such a release for me.

Exercise is still a release in some regards; for example when I dance or partake in more unstructured activity like going to the park with Ryan, but the monotony of a belt and time at 4:15 in the morning is getting old.

I can’t believe I just wrote all that out because now I feel lazier than ever…my mind keeps telling me it isn’t that long of a time, and it is only a little over 3 miles, but if I am being completely honest, it is boring and I do not like it.

3. I am still very fearful of certain foods.

-I made my first legitimate scrambled egg this weekend. Yolk and all….not from a carton marked “Beaters” and it was delicious.

It does taste a lot different and I wanted more.

But I couldn’t bring myself to make another.

Instead I scrambled 1/3 cup eggs beaters with it and thought it would be ok.

The point here is not really about eggs specifically, but the fact that it is still restricting if I want more of something but my mentality prevents me from having it.

The same rule applies when I still might be a little hungry after meals, and yet I think about the impending snack that is a few hours away and don’t listen to my cues.

In theory I should be ecstatic that my body wants food…that it is tired, napping a lot and craves sleep…that the treadmill does not provide me the high it used to….but instead these changes cause me anxiety and misery because of my worries of becoming fat, undesirable and worthless.

Being open about these things is hard, but so is being sick.

Everything seems like a struggle…agony…and I often go back and forth which is worse; the mental strain of doing the “right things” or living with ED on a constant basis and trying to maintain that lifestyle.

As Ryan constantly reminds me, the distorted and tormenting thoughts CAN be temporary IF I continue ti fight and push through…it just takes a little while, whereas a life with ED is pretty much guaranteed an eternity of misery.

I think I can’t win now, imagine what a complete existence of negative self-talk would be like.

Courage, hope and patience.

Three words I am keeping in mind today, and hopefully everyday on this seriously long road.

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25 thoughts on “A Little Bit Of Honesty…

  1. honestly i think you need treatment ASAP! i think you dont need to exercise PERIOD and you prob shouldnt for a very long time honestly. i think you are in much more denial than you realize and just keep justifying yourself and the disorder. i feel sorry for you and pray for you. you are never going to get better if you continue doing what you are doing and say u are doing…honestly u should just cut out all this im eating more and im exercising less blah blah you are never going to get better if u keep eating the way u do your not going to gain weight by eating all the health crap u keep buying which is feeding into ur eating disorder and then exercising. you need THERAPY and you need TREATMENT! right now your body needs to be very sedentary and it needs a lot of nutrients. im scared for you. i dont think i can read this blog anymore im not sure this is very healthy or realistic for me or anyone in RECOERY really. best of luck to you. please get the help you need unless you like being stuck in this…. sorry to be so blunt i dont mean to be rude i just think you need a big reality check but i dont think i will be reading this blog anymore

  2. This is a very honest post CJ. I’m so glad that you realise despite the effort you have put in so far, it might not be enough.

    Ryan is right you know, the discomfort and mental torture IS temporary. You are prolonging the process by recovering the way you are at the moment with the exercise you do and the ‘diet’ products you eat so often.

    A simplified version would be: slow and painful recovery as you are doing now – still exercising and not eating enough might last 2 years for example. A full on, 100% effort recovery which would undoubtedly be more difficult (psychologically) would be over SO much quicker. Ultimately it’s up to you which method you choose, but I would recommend throwing yourself in there and dealing with the discomfort in order to recovery your health as quickly as possible rather than dragging out the process x

    • Thanks Meg! As always you are so kind and thoughtful with your words. Deep down in my heart I know you are right. I love being outside and being with Ryan so I thought of perhaps just getting rid of the treadmill for a while and opting for doing activities with him that arent obligatory but out of actual affection and enjoying one another’s company.

      I also need to ditch the rigidity of my meal plan. Calorie and exchange counting is NOT helpful!

      I hope all is well!

      • It’s SO hard to start with, especially when routines/meal plans have been in place for so long and the smallest change seems overwhelming but honestly changing little and often does help.

        I also had to stop buying certain ‘safe’ products I always used to eat so I stopped being reliant on them ๐Ÿ™‚

        Keep going CJ! x

  3. I can really relate to this. I KNOW what I need to do, but it is so hard doing it day after day. And I don’t entirely stick to my meal plan either. It’s hard to consistently want to recover day after day, but I guess it will pay off in the long run. ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for such a good post x

  4. You are honest and that is all you be. I want to tell you my experience, when I was forced to stop exercise I was devastated. I too had that release from it BUT after a week I felt the amazing comfort of not being restrained by this schedule. It wasn’t so much the not exercising but the idea I didn’t have to wake up each day and do this, make it part of my schedule. The first week will of course be hard, it is something you are used to be but I promise you it will be so helpful in the long run.

      • I appreciate your feedback! Especially since I know we can personally realte to one another I really do thank you for the suggestion. I was thinking of trying cutting out the treadmill and trying to do things I like for a week and seeing how it goes. There is nothing like a walk just talking with my husband when I get home from work but the darn treadmill is like a tormeting monster!!!

  5. I have a suggestion, not sure if it will help, but I found this really worked for me. This past year I underwent a double mastectomy, and struggled with body image (big time) while going through the process. I know it is not the same, but that negative ED voice sounds a lot like my own. To help battle some of my feelings I started a journal, and I wrote things I LOVE about having a “HEALTHY” body (the ultimate reason for having the surgery). A lot of the things I love had little to do with how my body looked and more about the life I got to lead instead. And when I sat down and read through all those things, it really changed the way I look at my body and my health. It was my greatest lesson in self-love. And I am hoping something like this could help you too!

    • I am so sorry you had to go through that, but it sounds like you really turned it into a positive experience for you.

      It is ironic that you made this suggestion because my husband was recently away for a week and I wrote him an e-mail saying how much I missed him and he said he missed me, THE OLD ME especially, also. We then got to chatting about our lives and how much I have to LIVE for. I have been blessed with a wonderful life and all the things we used to love have been taken away due to my ED.

      thanks for helping me realize that and I think a journal, even just listings of these things, could be really helpful!

  6. CJ I think you express an amazing amount courage by putting all of this out there for people, your peers and whomever else to read. You are accepting what comes along with it. Isn’t a huge part of life and recovery to talk about the most uncomfortable things? I think you are hitting the nail on the head here. Admitting your oals, progress and setbacks are courageous, show that you are hopeful. Keep doing what you are doing, I agree with your husband. Keep fighting and each day you will get closer. A lot of people could learn from all the things you post and all your honesty. Good luck girl!!!

  7. Another post I can TOTALLY relate to, CJ. And this is a touchy subject imo. There have been blogs I used to subscribe to where I eventually had to stop because every time I read a new entry, I came to dread it rather than be empowered or encouraged. The posts were more about reading about one more food I should permanently abolish from my list of ‘no-nos’ or reasons why I should NEVER take a cheat day to eat something I just want to eat, why taking a rest day will eventually lead to weight gain, etc. And reading those types of things kept me up at night, and just made me feel worse about myself so I just cut those blogs out of my life. It’s Better that way (for me at least).

    Like you, exercise has lately become something I have come to dread and just want to get over with. I don’t have access to a treadmill but I do DVDs( jillian michaels, bob harper, P90x, etc). And even when they’re around 40 minutes, they just seem to drag on and I’m always tired by the end of them. But like you, a day without a workout (except maybe sunday) I just don’t like to think about or consider except under the most extreme circumstances and even then, it really bothers me. My boyfriend’s suggested going for a walk together around out college campus after I get out of work throughout the week, and I struggle with allowing that to replace my ‘hardcore’ workouts once or twice a week. I know that’s not good and I need to change that.

    I hate scrutinizing every little thing I eat but it’s just so hard to stop. Nowadays, I’m scared of foods like dried fruit or having any type of wheat in the evening (like a Flatout wrap or something) I think it really does come down to courage, hope and patience. My boyfriend is always telling me I have to stop being so afraid, and I need to start hoping-not just that I’ll get to a size where I’m comfortable, but that I can be comfortable with myself just for myself, able to eat the things I want, and still be healthy. For me, this will take time…

    You’re awesome. Thank you for writing a blog that gives me hope for myself and the future ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Awe Jess you are so sweet! I am so sorry you have to go through this struggle but it really sounds like you have a great support system in your boyfriend!

      Utilize him as a resource…he really just wants you better and the old you back!! I know it is hard but I am rooting for you all the way love! One step at a time!!!

  8. I don’t know what to say besides someone somehow has to force you to eat more and simply NOT work out. I’ve seen your recent pictures and just based off of those I know you are much worse off than even I was when I started recovery. Even though eating more and not being allowed to exercise (at all) was super tough for me as well, I did it because I was committed. Sure two weeks in I put on my tennis shoes and went for a brief run around my neighborhood… but when I came back sweaty and out of breath, my family knew right away what I did and was angrier than ever and asked me whether I wanted to recover or not. I was floored. Of course I wanted to, but I was fed up with the effort because I was being driven crazy within my own mind! But THAT is where you realize that it’s insane to be so hard on yourself, so rigid, and so manipulative. I knew that if I didn’t put in the effort, I was going to be stuck with a life that is run bynumbers and a workout schedule and weird eating habits and constantly obsessing over food.

    You just…. have to do it and have to do it ALL THE WAY not just half-assed. For me, there came a point where my ED was no longer comforting at all and was in fact getting so depressing and exhausting I couldn’t take it and took the only alternative I had left. I’m just really surprised you haven’t reached that point yet and don’t want to embrace recovery whole-heartedly. It reminds me of the support groups I went to and stopped going to after about 2 months because I was getting annoyed at everyone always saying the same thing “I wish I could get better, but… I just can’t.” No, you can. You just won’t. And it’s probably a good thing I’m not a therapist or I would have no clients because I get to the point where I simply have no sympathy for people.

    • Jess,

      It is not as if I dont want to get out of this life because it is tormenting being so rigid, I just obviously am not good at throwing myself into it whole heartedly.

      I feel like I am nearly to the point where the costs outweigh the benefits of my behaviors, but I guess from your standpoint I am not there yet but ill get there.

      At least i still have hope. I am really greateful for that because it means I am not giving up.

      Thanks for your feedback!

  9. Ahh I’m loving the honesty, Ceej. I’m glad for you, because it shows growth and introspection, but I’m glad too because it makes me feel less guilty about freaking HATING recovery sometimes (read: basically ALL the time) and wondering when the hell it will be over and I’ll finally feel better. I convince myself that eating more and exercising less are making me better, but really recovery is about so much more than that. Its hard hard hard, and I don’t have any words to help you out. All I know is I just keep begging God for patience and trust, so that maybe I can stop focusing on how hard it is or when I’ll be better, and rather focus on little triumphs, blessings and happinesses that I’m noticing now that I’m starting to get healthier. Love you!

    • I love your attitude Sloane! It makes me so happy to see how far you have come since we first met a few summers ago! thank you for the encouragement and believing that even though I have been at this for a while, I can still do it! thanks lady!!!

  10. As always, CJ, a wonderful, honest, introspective, and insightful post. I truly look forward to each and every one of your posts.
    I notice that you talk measurements a lot on your blog…have you ever considered/tried (despite how difficult it is) to ditch your measuring cups? For example, with the egg whites. I am the same as you in terms of using only 1 whole egg, no more, but when I add egg whites in, I usually just pour straight out of the carton because (nobody can deny this) egg whites are basically PURE PROTEIN! ๐Ÿ™‚ My ED likes the fact that they are carb, fat, and cholesterol free, so in order to fight back against those ED thoughts, I allow myself to pour as much as I want into them. I probably go through a 10 serving (2 tbsp = one serving…so silly…about 25 calories!) carton in a couple of days, depending on if I’m making egg white and oatmeal pancakes (a full 3/4 cup for those babies! protein packed!). Just a thought ๐Ÿ™‚ I know it’s easier said than done, but maybe you could start by giving yourself permission to keep the measuring cups and spoons away from the healthier foods in your diet.
    Keep on fighting and giving us updates!!! I wish I could join you at the Philly clubs…I miss PA! And I have no friends who like house music here in Boston. My boyfriend is totally not into the Euro scene that goes hand in hand with clubs here in Boston. I try to explain to him that it’s not about who is there…it’s about the music…FEELING THE MUSIC…dancing…Ian Carey, Mark Knight, Tiesto, Benny Benassi, Spencer & Hill, the list goes on…
    OK I’m gonna end here before I spew on about my undying passion for house music…but a question for you: Any DJ recommendations? ALSO where do you download your house music? I have always had trouble tracking down Mark Knight stuff!

    Take care, CJ!

    Alli

    • That is such a great idea about more “safe” foods like the egg whites. I have trouble with things like nuts, and nut butters, especially since I am trying to increase those things but of course dont want to increase them “too much” (if there is such a thing in this sense) but i think with egg whites I could do it!!!

      Actually I downloaded a few songs from Mark Knight on itunes but I listen to Gareth Emery radio and Mark Knight radio on Pandora most of my day at work. They also both have podcasts every week if you visit any DJ websites.

      I actually really like some local talents and people I have seen live…try Justin Sheppard (DJ at Space in Miami) Dj John G from Philadelphia, Cosmic Gate, Gareth Emery, Bingo Players, markus Shulz….if i think of anymore I listen to pretty regularly I will let you know!!!

      We could always meet in NYC and go out! I will be there next week for Ezoo!! the more the merrier, lady!

  11. Oh sweetie! I am thinking about you a lot! And definitely fear the same things you do! It is really hard to un-train our minds to what they have fallen victim to believing these past years that we have been suffering from this disorder. But, its simply not true! Everytime we go against our eating disorder, we aren’t getting fat we are overcoming the thoughts it has engrained in our minds and we are beating the ED. Its really hard to feel uncomfortable, when in reality we are just getting healthy. A lot of people who are skinny and maintain their weight don’t even workout everyday. I have friends who think I am crazy for even going to the gym twice a week, and all of them are pretty thin. You know I can relate to all of this, and it is a breath of fresh air to hear your honesty in this recovery process because so many people are in denial of their problems and just come off as “oh, everything is fine” when you can tell that it is not. Admitting you need to make progress and that you feel these things are steps in overcoming this. Now you just need to apply these things to your life. It will be very hard at first, but it gets easier everytime we break the ED rules. You have tons of support to overcome this as well! All your friends, readers, husband!! You can e-mail me whenever, and just no I am supporting you 100% in your journey!! I know you can do this!<3 xox
    Sorry about the long comment ha ha.

    • Seriously Lisa I love you. You are like the sweetest person and have been nothing but supportive and wonderful to me during this process! I hope you know I am here for you, as well! We relate to each other on so many levels and I am very sorry a person as genuine and nice as you has to go through such ED hell.

      You totally made my day by this comment โค

  12. Love your honesty here. I was just writing about why it’s so hard to let go this morning. It is HARD CJ! But, it’s not impossible. We think it is impossible sometimes, because we have such fear of the unknown. We’ve let Ed control us for so long we fear loss of that control. Remember, recovery is doing what we know true recovery is despite our fear. I love Meg’s suggestions. I think it’s important to define Ed vs recovery and refuse to engage on Ed behaviors despite fear. If its something you want to try, maybe Ryan or blog readers can help make the list… Because God knows Ed will try to put his two cents in when making the lists! I pray for you and know God wants to bless you with that full life I can tell you are longing for!

    • You are SO SO SO right about ED putting in his two sense in these lists I make of challenges! I was thinking about doing a post on a challenge every day and maybe there others could link up how they have challenged themselves and suggestions! Great idea love!

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