Wednesday, December 26, 2012

whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer.....

i'm almost ashamed to post here, because it's been so long, and i feel i've lost the right now.  like i'm a neglectful parent and should give up custody of this blog to someone who will feed it regularly.  it's not that i haven't had anything to say; it's just that i couldn't be bothered to type it all out.  plus, it's embarrassing.  i feel horribly indulgent, like i'm waving the banner of my sorrows for the whole world to see.

"send me your pity in a self-addressed stamped envelope!"

"for a paltry 5 minutes a day, you can feel sorry for me!"

i mean, really, i feel like a panhandler.

i wasn't busy, just ashamed.  ashamed to post, ashamed to NOT post.  aye, there's the rub.

so this is Christmas.  or the day after, as it were.  but since.....Thanksgiving, at LEAST, and probably (OK, definitely) earlier than that, i've been subject to a near-endless barrage of "i've got to start a diet," and "we ate way too much!" and "that cupcake looks great, but i don't need it," AND "let's just have salads for dinner--something healthy!"

and for some reason, today was just really bad.  yes, over the holidays we ALL ate too much.  ate a lot of sweets.  ate cheeses, creams, heavy sauces, etc.  and i have not been going to the gym!  and i don't miss it at all!  i've been enjoying myself thoroughly, sans (most of the) guilt, and i haven't been able to do that in a very long time.  i had more time to myself, i didn't stress about having to hit the gym before or after work, or on my days off when all i really wanted to do was sleep in and be lazy.

and i'm eating also--not restricting myself to make up for the lack of exercise.  i'm eating terrible things and not working out and i love it and i think i've goddamn EARNED it after all the years of starving myself, working out for hours on end, degrading myself.  it's not all great--i'm putting on weight at a terrible rate, and i had to buy bigger pants.  that was an awful blow, and i've punched myself more than once for allowing such a slide into disgusting fatness.  it's not all great, but it's better than it's been for years.


i know the comments aren't meant to hurt; i know they're made innocently enough, even with the intent to deride the speaker herself.  but all i hear is that terrible voice that will always live in my head screaming at me because i've failed failed FAILED and now i'm fat fat FAT.  it tells me the comments really ARE directed at me.  "we're going to the gym, are you?"  no, my membership expired and i'm trying to save money to get the hell away from.....everyone.  "we're having chicken salads tonight because it's healthier."  i spent two years eating salads every night.  and water on my breakfast cereal.  and the salads got smaller and smaller and increasingly boring and now the thought of salad makes me want to puke.  and if you'd eaten what i'd eaten (so to speak) you'd feel the same way.  "there's some carrot sticks and cottage cheese in the fridge, if you want that for lunch."  after the two years of salad, and after what you thought was my recovery (joke's on you!)--even after i started putting on weight, and BECAUSE i was putting on weight--i redoubled my efforts.  woke up at 4:00 in the morning to do cardio for three hours.  ate nothing but cabbage, carrots, and fat-free sour cream (don't ask, i don't even know why).  starved myself like never before because the weight wouldn't STOP and i couldn't understand it, but had to stop it somehow.

in the end, i know i only made it so much worse.  i haven't weighed myself in well over a year and it scares me to think of doing so.  i know i'm fat--fatter than i've ever been.  i'm not happy with it, but i'm enjoying life SO much more now than i was at 97 lbs.  it's a give-and-take.  but then i hear about someone's diet! and someone's weight loss! and it becomes give-all and take nothing.  i just feel bad about me.

i've been looking online for some support, like a list of what not to say around an anorexic, because that shit makes me laugh and smile and feel better.  kinda like my Jake.  but the lists i've found are missing certain parts that i'd like to see, so i've made it my goal tonight to compile a list of "what-not-to-say"s based on my experiences.  some will be redundant, things you will find on any such list.  others are mine.

1. You look so healthy!  

if you know anything about the mind of an anorexic, you know that healthy=fat.  i don't want to look healthy, i want to look sick.  i liked it when you told me i needed to gain weight, because that meant i was too thin in your eyes and therefore, successful.

2. You're not starving yourself again, are you?

that's not a topic for you to bring up.  it feels like an invasion.  and it wasn't just "starving myself"--it was a whole mess of things.  how much or how little i eat is my business.

3. I just want a salad.

maybe you do, but every time?  or you're at a nice restaurant and you get something as plain as steamed vegetables?  i just want the bacon-wrapped sea scallops and molten chocolate cake a la mode.  if you are a twig and order only kale and vinegar (what used to be my dinner every night), and i'm seven non-budging sizes bigger than you and i order cream sauces and i-don't-want-to-know-how-much butter because it's a nice place and i enjoy real food--how do you think i'm going to feel about myself?  i feel like an out-of-control slob, that's how.  i feel dirty and smelly and ugly. enjoy your greens (if you even do); i'll slather on some more self-loathing.

4. I ate too much/There's way too much food!/Do we really need chicken, broccoli, AND soup?

you probably ate only half of what i did.  and you didn't eat at all the rest of the day.  even if i ate less than a normal amount, i still feel disgusting now.

yes, there is a lot of food here.  and now i don't want to be caught eating any of it because one bite=eating fucking everything.  i had one hors d'oeuvre, but feel like i wiped out a buffet.  i can SEE that there's a lot of food--why do you have to announce it?

and i thought the soup sounded good.  chicken and broccoli, just plain--that's not very fun to think about.  at least throw some rice in with that!  i thought the soup would be a nice addition, but now i'm berating myself for even thinking of eating all that food.  thanks.

5. I've only eaten an apple all day!

i had eggs and toast for breakfast, a tuna sammich for lunch, and i'm hungry for dinner now.  pasta sounds nice.  or, it did.  now i just hate myself.

6. I'm really not hungry.

well, i am.  again, i hate myself and feel like a failure because i'm not strong enough to NOT be hungry when i don't eat.  "i'm not hungry" is especially detrimental if it follows #5.  that's a 1-2 knockout to my self-worth right there.

7. I didn't think I'd eaten that much, but the scale says otherwise!

i can only imagine what the scale would tell me, then.

8. She probably doesn't want any more than that.

maybe i do, maybe i don't.  again, how much i eat is MY business.  saying that makes me think i shouldn't want any more, or even any to begin with.  and if i know that someone is monitoring what i eat, that's almost as dangerous as outright telling me i'm fat.  i don't want to be watched, because i know that you're ALSO judging me.  don't deny it.

9. You know, there's a lot of sugar in ketchup.

i like ketchup.  ketchup makes me feel normal.  i know it's full of sugar.  i didn't ask for your diet tips.  i don't want them.  all that does is make me feel even worse about myself.

10. Ugh, I'm bloated and my jeans are snug.

you wear a size 0.  i used to wear a size 0 also.  now i wear a size 9 and have an awful fear of outgrowing those.  also, your jeans are NOT tight, you're just saying that to draw attention to how thin you are.  i know, because i used to do the same thing.

i'm sure there are more things, but 10 is a good number and i'm feeling about ready to wrap this up.    i'm just down about myself right now.  i was feeling great earlier, until all this "too much food" talk around dinnertime.  and they ask what's wrong--they want me to talk to them about things.  but if i did, i KNOW that they'd tell me i was being too sensitive (that's a laugh, coming from them), that it's my own fault i have these insecurities--they'd probably deny that i ever had an eating disorder, since i recovered so easily (except i still do, and recovery is a grey area full of ups and DOWNS, and it most certainly was NOT easy, i'm just a good actress).....and they'd tell me to grow up and get over it, that's life, sometimes people say things you don't want to hear, we're not going to change our behavior because you're getting your little feelings hurt.

as i've said before, i don't expect people to weave their lives around me; i just want a little compassion and consideration.  think before you speak--i do!

no promises on the next entry, kiddies.  but this was nice.

love and peace in our new years!


This was me in March 2009.


This was me in May of this year (2012).
I think I look OK!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Tussin for the Soul

So, wow.....I didn't think it had been this long since my last post.  I thought my last one was somewhere around the 13th or something, but this has been almost a month!

Well, I never promised weekly updates and the truth of the matter is that I just forget things.  A lot.  Even if I left this tab open all the time, after a few days I'd get so used to seeing it that I wouldn't even notice anymore.  Once, when I was in high school, I wrote myself a reminder in big dark letters on red paper and hung it at face-level from my ceiling fan.  I still forgot it was there, and eventually was able to dodge without thinking.

Also, as I've said before, I feel like there's not a whole lot for me to say.  Never mind the fact that I actually have about 30-40 ideas on a piece of paper somewhere; those just don't feel organic, and I believe that if I'm going to have this blog, then it should be authentic and raw, not scripted.

Sometimes I feel that if I don't have a lot of angst and self-loathing, I shouldn't bother writing here.  But that's wrong because this whole thing is about the bad days AS WELL AS the good.  And actually, I've been having some good days.  Of course I still glance in the mirror when I take a shower, assess what's what--I think a lot of people do.

Side note: I've noticed that having long hair makes me feel sexy in the shower.  It has a certain silky, clinging quality that makes you feel like a model in a shampoo commercial.  A sexy shampoo commercial.

I'm also still recovering from a nasty flu (seriously, not in recent memory have I been this sick--not throwing up sick, but a profound, aching, shivering sick that can only be fought with drugs and a lot of sleep), and though I feel 110% better this Monday evening as compared to last Monday evening, it's still not completely out of my system yet.  Needless to say, I haven't set foot in a gym since last Monday afternoon (where I think I acquired the bug in the first place).  I probably won't set foot in a gym for another few days.  And (I love this) I'm TOTALLY OK with that.

The flu knocked my on my ass and I'm content to stay there a bit longer.

AND I still think I look OK.  One whole week off from the gym and I'm not 800 lbs--who knew?!  I've noticed something too, that during this whole thing I've been eating a lot of very simple food: eggs, bread, cheese, milk, fruit, etc, and I feel good about myself.  I really like eating real food, not a lot of processed garbage.  I want to continue this as much as I can.

So there's my post.  Long-awaited, I'm sure.

I can never ever run,

Monday, August 6, 2012

careless words can hurt me

My stepmom is a lucky person who has never had to worry about her weight a day in her life.  She’s naturally thin, has been as long as I’ve known her (about 20 years now).  She eats well, works out, and generally enjoys exercise.

However, I have come to know her increasingly as a person who unapologetically gives free reign to her thoughts, which more often than not seem to tumble forth before much consideration for tact (or for nearly anyone else) has been given.

I think it’s fine for people to have their opinions, even to speak their opinions, but as I try very hard to be mindful of my company, I expect at least that much courtesy from others as well.  It disturbs me that people speak without thought, saying things that may harm or insult, and then when confronted with their lack of discretion, they hide behind a blustering, “Well, I’m free to say what I please—it’s your fault you’re letting it get to you.  I can’t control your emotions, that’s your problem.”

I have very strong opinions, and I give free range to those online.  I rarely vocalize for fear that I may insult, and I don’t wish to start fights; however, in the digital arena, I feel safe to say what I want.  Of course I’m still measured to an extent, but any one of my Facebook friends or blog followers knows how rigid my convictions can be.

My whole point here is that people should watch their words a little more carefully, practice some economy.

I had dinner with my parents last night.  It was like a mid-year Thanksgiving—we had turkey, stuffing, and smashed potatoes.  Don’t ask why—it was some wild hair my dad had.  I claimed a leg for myself, loving the thought of biting right in (which I didn’t), and preferring dark meat over white any day.  Dad had a thigh, Michelle three thin slices of breast meat.

I don’t care about the breast meat—she always eats the least-fatty thing she can.  What got me was that she “couldn’t finish” her last slice.  She had “two-and-a-half-slices too many!”  Are you kidding me?  After I’d eaten a whole leg, you’re gonna claim to be full after a paltry couple of slices of breast meat?  And then later, we had chocolate pudding for dessert (again, another wild hair), and I was just about to polish mine off (totally engrossed in reading The Bourne Identity), she proclaims that she’s not sure she should finish hers.  It was a tiny bowl of pudding, and she’s acting like it’s a 20lb triple-chocolate cake!  This woman, who has never strayed above a size 2…..she does this all the time.  Always claiming that she’s not hungry, even though all she ate the whole day was a granola bar.  Or claiming that she’s stuffed after eating half a salad.  Or that id she eats X, she’ll have to go to the gym TWICE tomorrow, LOL.  Now, she may truly not be hungry—some people just don’t have strong appetites.  Some don’t care for sweets.  But in the presence of someone who has struggled her whole life with insecurities about her weight, who once starved and punished her body to a skeletal 97lbs, and who suffers every day with the knowledge that it all came back and then some and it just won’t come off—in the presence of that person, she can’t think to be a little more considerate?  Because what I hear is that voice in my head telling me how disgusting I am, that I ate too much, that it’s no wonder I got fat.  Thin people don’t eat so much.  Thin people make themselves go to the gym every day, not every other day.

I don’t ask people to change themselves because of my insecurities.  All I ask is the same consideration I show them.

Ever analyzing and ever yours,

Thursday, August 2, 2012

standard seeking

Sometimes I just want to know what happens to people, in a broad sense, when they “recover” from anorexia, or go into recovery?  Is there any clinical evidence?  They have these books for pregnant women, What to Expect When You’re Expecting—I would like something like that for current and former anorexia sufferers.  I don’t say former anorexics, because I don’t believe there is such a thing.  But a guideline of sorts, to let us know what we’re going to have to go through.  And so I’ll find myself of an evening searching the interwebs for…..something.  Something beyond anecdotes and individual stories.  And ever y time, I come up with nada.  Maybe I’m not looking in the right places, but I wouldn’t think the answers would be so elusive.  I found something on, “the consequences of eating disorders (, with its laundry list of adverse health effects as a direct result of the disease, but not of the recovery
But on my hunt tonight, I did stumble upon a gem of an article from the New York Times, “In Fighting Anorexia, Recovery Is Elusive” (  It doesn’t have what I’m looking for; it doesn’t have the cut-and-dry of “this is what recovery form anorexia looks like; this is what is going to happen.” 


The article asks if anorexics can ever be fully recovered, and the popular response seems to be, no one knows.  Recovery form anorexia can be likened to that of alcoholism: “the disease may be in remission, but the potential for relapse always lurks in the background.”  Dr. Katharine Halmi, a psychiatry professor at Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City, says, “About 50 percent of people with anorexia will be able to reach and maintain a normal weight, but most of them are very preoccupied with the calorie content of food.”

This is why I reiterate my stance on anorexia recovery being a myth, a nice story but not something real or obtainable.  Not for most of us.  Because anorexia is a disease of the mind as well as the body (or even, the body because of the mind), it’s up to the individual to determine what her normal is, how recovered she is.  One good day will not necessarily lead to other good days; likewise, one bad day will not result in total relapse.  I wish I could unlearn the calorie content of every food I eat, but that’s like trying to unlearn 1st grade addition or how to spell my name.

I keep chasing that rainbow,

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

rituals and regret

when i said i was bad at keeping projects going, i wasn’t kidding.  the problem, i think, stems from the fact that i just don’t know what to say.  everything that i’ve experienced, i’ve experienced.  that is to say, it’s old hat and unlikely to be of any interest.

when i began my initial recovery back in june 2009, i had just started a new job working nights at petsmart.  i was also moving into a new apartment that, to be honest, was only a mile and a half closer to work; it was a 14-mile drive one-way, though, so the move really didn’t make any difference.  i just wanted a change of pace.  over the next year, i would come to hate that apartment and view it as a cage.  maybe i was projecting my own unhappiness into my living space, i don’t know.

anyway, on moving day my family came to help me, so that i wouldn’t have to rent a truck or anything.  and one thing that a few of them noticed was that i had a lot of food in my apartment.
to give some back story, i’d been laid off 3 months earlier from borders, and had taken to buying food in bulk as much as i could.  i also bought a lot of vegetables, especially carrots, and to this day i still feel a little weird about eating raw carrots…..  cereal was one of the only treats i allowed myself (eaten with about a tablespoon of powdered milk to roughly ¾ gallon of water and some sweet’n’low every morning).  so when cereal went on sale (10 for $10!), i stocked up!  but my grampa was amazed.

“who are you feeding?”  because obviously, it wasn’t me.

there’s a sort of…..primitive eating style i adopted when in the midst of starvation.  you’d think i’d never been taught basic table manners at all.  i ate with my fingers, i slurped my “soup” (hot water with salt and spices).  most embarrassingly, i think, is that i ate food scraps.  like, stems and peels—the kind of thing you throw away.  i don’t know why—sure, i’d been laid off and needed to watch my money, but really….. 
i was mortified to eat around people, and would become angry to the point of hostility if my food rituals were compromised or observed in any way.

i still feel ashamed about all that.  i feel ashamed about the way i behaved.  i just didn’t want anyone to know—chalk it up to the anorexic mentality, which is a mental health issue as much as it is a physical one.

i guess that’s all i’ve got for now.

more coming sooner rather than later, i hope.

Friday, July 20, 2012

deflecting attention

those of you who know me, at all, know that i am, if nothing else, one thing: opinionated.  unfortunately, i lack the ability to control that rush of adrenaline when confronted with a verbal altercation, and so my debating skills are severely stunted.

to put it another way, i get so worked up that i forget pretty much everything i could and should say.

i would love to be more assertive in my opinions.  i would love to put people in their place when i see fit.

i've realized that one of the main reasons i don't assert myself more often is a deep desire not to draw attention to myself, because i am very afraid that the other party will comment on my weight.  i have a deep fear of people noticing and insulting me about it.

on a more positive note, today was a much better day.  in fact, i'd go so far as to say i think i look pretty good.

my cheek hurts, though.

OK, go.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

one of the bad days

there's a certain self-hatred that comes with anorexia (and probably all addictions, really) that just doesn't go away.  it may abate more and more as time passes, but then it sneaks up and hurts you, out of nowhere, at the strangest times.

there ought to be a term for this.  auto-guerilla warfare, something like that.  i'll play with it.

i put on a pair of pants that at one time would have fallen straight off.  and they were tight.  and they hit me in just the wrong place on my now rather fatty belly (i can thank myself for this, for a metabolism that refuses to settle down and operate normally).  i had to suck in so my shameful fat didn't blob through my shirt, and my pants were squeezing me.....

so i punched myself, twice, between my temple and cheekbone.  right side.  all thoughts dissolved to pain and anger and loathing and shame and disgust.

there will be a bruise.
there have been bruises before.
i hate myself for letting this happen, for getting fat.

i fucking hate myself.

this was one of the bad days.

later, and later still,