Running from the Urges

What do you do when you have the urge to use a symptom? When suddenly, you feel like you must cut or you will die? When purging seems like the only option? When isolating for a week sounds like the only thing that will keep you safe?

You have to run. Run to a coping skill. Run to a loved one. Run to your recovery.

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Lent with an Eating Disorder

Lentil dish

A lentil dish that I ate out in Oxford

Lent used to be rather simple. Give up candy. Don’t eat sweets. Turn down desserts.

However, anorexia made it more confusing and dangerous. Recovering from that the next few years was difficult but possible. Trying to find a new way to fast that did not include restriction made me creative.

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Managing New Symptoms

Drained But Not Depleted

Just when you conquer one type of symptom, another one seems to arrive. Either that or a whole new disorder itself.

Life is so wearying sometimes. I am tired of vaulting between not eating and over eating and getting rid of food. All of it is just too much.

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When One Person Complains about Body Image, Everyone Feels Awful

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

There is nothing more rare, nor more beautiful, than a woman being unapologetically herself; comfortable in her perfect imperfection. ― Steve Maraboli

Growing up overweight, I always hated hearing thin girls complain about their bodies. If they feel gross and dislike themselves, what must they think of me?

However, I kept my mouth shut and felt disgusted with myself. The years of anorexia changed that a bit. I am ashamed to admit that I began complaining about my weight and appearance more publically. Still, I tried hard to be positive so as not to trigger others.

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Why Do Loneliness and Hungry Go Together?

Olaf cupcake

Olaf cupcake

For some reason, certain emotions seem to be linked together more often than others. Happiness and relaxation, sadness and tiredness, stress and irritability.

Another pair that I often link is loneliness and hungry. When I am lonely, I get hungry often. This does not seem uncommon from what I can tell. Others seem to eat when they are lonely or feel unloved.

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Old Habits Die Hard

Mickey Ghost Apple

Sometimes I am okay with eating, and other times I struggle.

Why is eating so difficult? I eat too much or too little or get rid of it but mostly just obsess about it all of the time. When will I be free of this?

Getting rid of an eating disorder, escaping its clutches, is so much hard work. Will I ever be free? I am not sure but certainly hope so.

Despite my present annoyance at myself, I know that there is progress being made. Do I mess up? Sure. Does that make me an awful person? No. I am human and make mistakes.

Still, fighting the voice inside is so difficult. There are many small victories and big setbacks each day. Progress is all that I can hope for right now.

Today I Ate Too Much…And That is OK?

Breakfast

Breakfast with my wonderful coworkers

This morning, I had a character breakfast at Ohana which is in the Polynesian resort. Piles of Mickey waffles smothered in syrup, selfies with Lilo, and laughter with friends were well worth the price.

“You will not eat the rest of the day,” I told myself. However, my friend stopped for food in Hollywood Studios. I joined in a bit nervously. After that, there was a College Program party where more pizza was served. Once again, I joined in the festivities, feeling happy but fat.

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Ten Things Not to Say to Someone with BED or Compulsive Overeating Disorders

Mario eating food

Mario eating a S’More

When thinking of eating disorders, most people know about anorexia and bulimia at least by name. However, even more common are disorders that fall under EDNOS or eating disorder not otherwise specified. Two of these are BED  or Binge Eating Disorder and Compulsive Overeating. These are just as painful and certainly dangerous to your emotional, physical, and mental health.

Another hard element of these eating disorders is the judgement that goes with them. All eating disorder are judged, but if you also struggle with being overweight, that makes it even worse. Although most people would not have labeled me as having one of these disorders, I certainly feel like I had them through my teenage years. Some of the comments that I heard have altered my body image and confidence for over a decade now.

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Cycle of Overeating and Restricting

Mario eating food

Mario eating a S’More

Ew, gross. That is your first thought when you wake up and look in the mirror. The stresses of work, traumas of the past, and pressures in your relationship are all too much to handle, so you skip breakfast. And snacks. And lunch. Before you know it, the sun has set in the evening, and you still haven’t eaten one bite.

Head whirling like a carousal, you stumble over to the fridge to make a salad. Healthy, right? But the leftover cake catches your eye. Just one bite, one little nibble…a half of an hour later, the cake is gone as is a jar of peanut butter. Still, you continue to search, now in a state of frenzy, for more food. Your stomach cries out like a ravenous beast as you tear about the kitchen in search of prey.

After a tiring binge, you lie down for sleep. The barren craven of your stomach that throbbed all day now aches as Noah’s flood rages inside of you. Lulled to sleep by your own tears, you promise to not eat anything tomorrow. You must be stronger.

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What I Wish That I Learned in Eating Disorder Treatment

Figures of women in Oxford

Figures of women from a museum in Oxford

The past few days have caused me to realize that there are many things that I wish I learned in eating disorder treatment, important aspects of living a normal life with food in it. Without these lessons in treatment, I have struggled greatly to try to adapt to the real world and maintain my recovery.

Now, most of my time in treatment was instructive, healing, and motivating. Health care providers gave me hope with their optimism and constant support. Fellow friends in recovery stood by my side and told me their own stories. Therapy groups taught me to use music, art, CBT, or my faith as a coping skill. Dietitians crafted a meal plan to support my body, lifestyle, and other needs. Acupuncture, yoga, family nights, outings at restaurants – all of the different activities allowed me to heal and explore new aspects of myself that had lay dormant for years.

However, something was still missing. More was needed in my treatment to help me further along in recovery.

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