A few months ago I posted my blog entry about my experience in starvation (http://wp.me/s3uKpY-eat). My recovery was going pretty slow and I wasn’t really getting anywhere. I felt like my support was scattered. My parents were afraid, so were my friends. My insane hormonal imbalance meant nobody knew what to say to me. I could snap at any minute and I regularly did.
The hardest was at work. If I would protest I used to be heavier I’d hear responses such as “You mean you used to be six stone?” and if I ever tried to eat more as a way to prove I was able to people would stare me down in mock horror; “You’re eating biscuits?? That’s not very healthy” They were only teasing me, having a joke as you should around the office but each comment would slap me in the face. I just couldn’t win. The transition from my role in Sales Support to Finance induced stress I never knew, and being surrounded by their snack foods brought out the worst in my fears. How many times in a row can you turn down a cake before you develop a reputation? But I already had one. And I hated it.
August and my Italian holiday finished (the thinnest I had ever been) and I found my weight difficult to manage. In the above image I can’t stop staring at my collarbone and arms. Sometimes I can look at this picture and feel repulsed. Others I feel a sense of longing to be thin again. But I wasn’t just thin, I was sick. 10 days off the gym in August lead me to complete obsession with it. I was no longer obsessed with starvation so long as I had the gym.
In October I forced myself to try and eat no matter how uncomfortable I felt. I ate more and let myself feel consumed by guilt. It was hell, but it worked; I started gaining weight. It wasn’t until the end of October when my mother innocently bought biscuits and cookies and because I wasn’t prepared for them to be in the house, I got scared. I protested to her as though she was trying to force feed me or something. And there it was, evidence of my obsessions resurfacing and time for help. I made a doctors appointment and told him everything. He put me on a waiting list for the closest Eating Disorder clinic, where I would be able to get an official diagnosis and then proceed with treatment, which the likelihood would be CBT. All I had to do was wait for a call to arrange an appointment. I never got a call.
In November, as I’ve previously mentioned in other blogs, I won a Macro-Nutrient Plan from Simon Roshdy of The Diet Kitchen – http://www.youtube.com/user/thedietkitchen. I leveled with him and explained my situation, and it’s been the best thing for my recovery yet.
Si gave me a steady diet plan to gradually raise my calories and get me to eat carbs again. He looked at menus for me for when I was scared to eat out. He got me through Christmas, something I couldn’t believe how scared I was of. He was a point of contact WHENEVER I needed him, and having previously felt abandoned because everyone was so afraid of me, I appreciated it more than anything. I wasn’t alone anymore. Honestly, I wonder if I’d be in the same place I was in August without his guidance. In short, Si pretty much saved my sanity.
I don’t always like what he says. Like when my fats or carbs are too low, or when he tells me I just need to relax (“It’s only food, your goal is to be HEALTHY” dammit my goal is to look good…yeah I’m still warped). I’ve been getting scared because my clothes felt tighter. Water weight keeps clinging to me, and I still can’t face the idea of weighing myself.
January hasn’t been a great start to the year. I failed an interview to get my old Sales Support role back, I was wobbly and disgusting and I was having a hard time turning down food for comfort, even sometimes going over my calories. There was no guarantee I could move out of home, my confidence dwindled and I felt as though I was dangling off a cliff and no one would even lend me a bedsheet as a crude parachute.
My stress has built up to an intolerable level and my workouts have been awful. I had no energy for anything and so he has ordered me take a week off the gym. It’s been torture, but with good things now happening this week, I feel a little like my old self. Like, my real old self, when I could fathom eating in restaurants or drinking occasionally and not feel so guilty the next day that I consider flinging myself into traffic.
I still hate this picture regardless of what I’m told about it. I see the love handles and how my belly button now droops downwards with the additional fat. I see in my shoulders you can no longer determine where my collarbone finishes. I can’t see my ribs, my hips, there are no dips or rigid edges and my skin is no longer tight against my bones. I definitely have more muscle, which I adore but this image is still hard to accept and I still live in fear of weighing myself (I haven’t since before Christmas).
I will continue working with Si though. He’s been right so far and I expect to only get healthier.
Just one more try.
Smile for me.