Monday, November 30, 2009

the Flu and my ED

anyone else feeling achey? aaargh, i have an all-day flight tomorrow. AND i am the worst sick person. i am sick; hear me whine.

feeling under the weather scares me. it's weird.

i think a part of the fear circles around my ED. it's hard to connect with hungry and full when i'm sick. when i'm well and my stomach gurgles or my head aches, it's often a sign that i'm hungry. when i'm ailing and the tummy churns or the head throb, i can't be sure, and i lose equilibrium around food.

do i want to eat for comfort when i'm sick OR am i hungry.

my ED sees an opportunity and remembers something about starving a fever and feeding a flu. or was it the reverse. ahhh, why not starve them both, he suggests, while he's gaining strength and mine is failing from fever?

my healthy brain kicks in and says NO, NO, NO, Ed. We have to nourish our achey body.

But readers, you know how much work this whole process is.

so, i'm off to rest my aching bones. and i will feed them. i can't stand the obsession. it's just sort habitual now.

but then again, there ARE other things bothering me. i fall back on the ED diversion.


Monday, November 23, 2009

I Need an Ear

i've been on the road for weeks and will be traveling until xmas. thank you everyone for your comments on the blog, and i'm sorry i haven't had much chance to respond. i've been reading everyone's blogs but again, i run out of time. can't wait for the xmas break!!!!

so, as i've said repeatedly, i'm a travelin' gal. some of it's good -- i've read gallons of wonderful books, journaled numerous pages, seen very pretty parts of the country and had some really good business meetings.

on the other hand, the travel can wear me down. right now, i have my period and my usual cramps and have two very long days of convention ahead of me. that means long hours on my feet, cheerily (how?) greeting and informing throngs of people.

my cramps can rule my life. (sorry if this gets a little graphic). nothing works (i have tried EVERYTHING but surgery for endometriosis and the IUD.) for the first time in a very long time something popped into my head (i was doubled over on the toilet. not much else to do but think.) when i didn't get my period for years, i didn't have to deal with cramps. that was wonderful. BUT, when i didn't get my period it was because i was way too thin to menstruate.

that's really dysfunctional thinking, and i won't starve myself like that again. but it was a thought and it lingered. and it still lingers. i have some mental work to do.

also, the time changes screw up my eating. we've been going to california (three hours earlier) almost every week, and we layover in denver (two hours earlier). wherever we are, my brother wants to eat. if it's noon somewhere, it's lunchtime. we land in california at 4pm, but it's 7 back home so, you guessed it, it's time to eat.

i don't always eat with my brother and sister-in-law, but i do have a hard time figuring out when i'm hungry. i'm jet-lagged and tired a lot, so it's challenging to be in touch with my body.

the schedule's different too. this morning we had to be at the convention center at 6:30 am for a day of exhibiting (i'm on a break now.) getting up at 5;30 throws my whole day off and again, i can't get into a comfortable eating mode.

if i'm traveling a little less, i can handle it, and i've got it fairly well covered at home -- i live my life and don't obsess about the whole food/weight thing too much.

BUT, BUT, BUT here on the road, i'm noticing a new (re-newed) interest in food, my body, restricting, etc. is it a distraction? is it that i'm not in control of my time or my own schedule, so i'm trying to control what i can? i bet that's it. right now, i'm on my brother's time. he and my sister-in-law are the bosses. and they have the car. my sister-in-law talks about her weight ALL THE TIME. she also complains constantly about my brother's weight and yells at him for everything he eats. they're both short-tempered. you never know when my brother's going to get nasty, so i'm on usually on edge. he's so rude to service people -- waiters, hotel clerks, starbucks baristas...

any ideas for keeping me mentally healthy? i'm resistant and cranky (hormones, anyone?)

traveling's hard on all my recovery. when i go to california, i get back into sleeping pills. i don't abuse them, but i do take ambien. i need to stop that, no matter the consequences. but i DESPISE the thought of not sleeping and being even more exhausted.

finally, a glass of wine would be nice (no, it wouldn't). we go to lovely restaurants, my sister-in-law drinks a lot, and i wish i were home with my fiance and my lemonade. i'd like to stay in my room sometimes, but rarely have that choice.

the alcohol i can handle. the sleeping pills are harder, but i want to be drug-free. i think i'll start that over xmas break. also some of our trips until then are more local, and i won't need (want) the ambien.

food. it always comes back to food and the body. i don't have answers right now. i just wanted to write this out, to "speak" to people who understand.

THANK YOU for listening. it's so important to have friends on the road!!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Ironic, Alanis?

so Alanis M. was anorexic and bulimic as a teenager while facing the pressures of the music business.

these days, she says she's feeling great. i so hope that's true but find myself so skeptical. my skepticism makes me feel guilty -- am i always seeing the negative.

anyway, back on topic, i have read a couple of things that make me wonder.

first, the singer is s participating in the Bizz Johnson Trail Marathon on Oct. 11 to raise money for the National Eating Disorders Association. to my mind, a marathon could be pretty excessive for someone with an ED. i still think it's weird that National ED Association connects with it. i did read that Alanis was sort of a jock growing up and this is just part of an extension of her love of sport.

second,Alanis turned to the vegan diet after gaining a few extra pounds and reading a book which covers the many health benefits of a vegan diet. after Alanis went vegan, she lost 20 pounds and, evidently, felt better than ever!!

The singer starts out with a spinach banana smoothie and then digs into a kale salad for lunch. she says she's practically addicted to those spinach smoothies. For a snack, she’ll have her "favorite" grapefruit. yes, i added the quotes, but still...

her comments and actions make me wonder -- with that super-healthy eating and lots and lots of exercise, how "healthy" is she. but if she really is feeling and doing great, what can i say? whatever makes her happy!

she's quite public about her eating and running, running, running, hoping to encourage those struggling with EDs. is this the best message? i say this with apologies to my vegan friends and exercise lovers. maybe you can educate me?

is this the best message? i really don't know. and don't know what i think. my first reaction is... well, no. but maybe that's me and and my anger. am i secretly pissed that she's figured it out? that she's exercising and apparently happy? like i said, i really don't know.

my own eating frequently stumps me. the best eating for me frequently stumps me. i still don't know how much i want to get into food and how much i'd rather just get more finesse with hungry and full and skip the bells and whistles. a work in progress.

on another note, there's a new Miss Seattle, 21-year-old McKinley Smith. McKinley's platform, "EveryBODY is Beautiful," deals with eating disorders. "For many years, negative body image defined my life," she writes. McKinley struggled with anorexia throughout high school and then bulimia in college.

I am assuming Ms. Smith would tell you she's recovered? wasn't she bulimic like -- last year or something?

Can you really be in a BEAUTY pageant and do well with a just recently cured (?) eating disorder. Aren't there lots of heavily dieting women around you? are some of them clearly disordered? is any of this triggering?

i know i'm awfully skeptical today. maybe i'm jealous. i think it's more that if i were Ms. Smith, i'd be still be major struggling, horribly triggered and certainly nowhere near recovery. if i were Ms. Morrissette and eating spinache smoothies and kale, hold the dairy and running marathons, it would be an extension of my ED.

but that's me.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Walk the Walk

one morning last week, while on a business trip, i watched Live with Regis and Kelly (if you don't know, it's a typical morning chat show). Country music star Reba McIntyre was the first guest. I've met Reba McIntyre, and she's pretty tiny. But she was at least twice the size of the morning show's host, Kelly Ripa. In the last few years, Kelly (hope she doesn't mind the familiarity) has gotten thinner and thinner. She's full of energy and good cheer, so i assume she's healthy, but she looks really, really thin.

there i sat in my hotel room, wishing i were Kelly's size.

what is that about?

if Russian peasant stock me were Kelly Ripa's size, i'd seriously need hospitalization, as i wouldn't have been eating for months. She's a very pretty woman, but whenever my fiance sees her on TV, he says it's painful to look at her -- she's "scarey" skinny. (sorry kelly. this isn't about you.)

to summarize - for me to be her size, i'd have to be very, very sick AND my own fiance would think i looked scarey. (currently, he tells me i'm beautiful the minute i wake up. okay, so he must like smeared mascara and alfafa hair, but he's entitled to his opinion.)

after all the work i've done getting my mind and body healthy, why would i want to be painfully thin?

my teeny, weeny type A sister just got a colonoscopy. after the laxative part of the pre-op prep, she complained that she lost a few pounds she really didn't need to lose.

as i commiserated with her over her sad little weight loss, my little green ED monster bit it's tongue.

i've gained a few pounds, after a weekend of fun with family. it's fine. i know i'll go back to my usual eating and weigh whatever i usually weigh. i'm healthy at this weight. i have energy, i'm not weak or dizzy from hunger. i'm not stuffed from stuffing down feelings with food. when i go to the store, there's a nice assortment of clothes that fit well. no one tells me i look too thin; no one suggests i could stand to lose a few.

but in the secret dark recesses of my devilish brain, if i could, i'd switch for Kelly Ripa's body.

there. i've said it, but i won't accept that this is my final destination thinking. i'm trying to get my 14 year old niece to accept her thighs. i pray her friend will stop purging the little she eats (in search of kelly ripa's body?) i take my 20 year-old niece shopping at Lane Bryant and help her enjoy all the cute clothes in her size. we had such happy days finding a new wardrobe. each time she repeatedly dissed her body -- i told her she looked beautiful, and she did.

i believe i'm forgetting someone. me. how can i be my own aunt?

Monday, November 2, 2009

anxious about my weight?

i worried about my weight this morning - hadn't been on the scale since last Monday (you go, girl)AND had a big weekend of eating. but my period's over, and in my book, it's time to weigh in.

anxiety built all morning (i don't have a scale, so i wait until i get to my brother's around noon). oh, what if i've gained? why did i eat pizza and pretzels and chocolate, mindlessly? how should i eat today? could i settle for a higher weight, so i wouldn't have to worry so over pizza and pretzels and chocolate?

what a tizzy! all over the potential of small weight gain? hmmm.

so, i bounced on the scale and the number was around the same it is most mornings. but, lo and behold, i was still anxious. very anxious.

could it be that the problem wasn't my weight? what about the fact that i dread my job and find myself lazier and lazier at work. i goof off when i should be cold-calling,and i'm not setting up the appointments i need to. I HATE COLD-CALLING! my brother and his wife are going to notice!!!! ow, my head hurts. dizzy and nauseous. i hear my heart beating rapidly.

today, i made myself focus and get to work, but i was so anxious and nervous that i could barely speak when potential clients picked up their phones. i know i sounded nervous, but there wasn't much i could do. i just kept calling, and i'm proud of myself for that.

i dream about my job - i'm terrified that my brother will get his awful condescening tone and yell at me. ANXIOUS!

also, i'm planning to go back to school, but it's going to be expensive, and there aren't schools near me that offer what i want. if i want to fulfill a dream and change careers, it's likely i'll have a tremendously long commute or i'll have to move somewhere else. what about my fiance? he's in career transition too and isn't sure what he'll be doing. AHHHHHHH!

none of this is coming easily. sometimes, things fall into place, but i'm totally confused.

thru all this, i haven't thought about food,other to eat when i'm hungry. i have so much on my mind and none of it is my weight. how interesting.

unfortunately, obsessing about weight was actually easier than dealing with the real stuff. wow, i'm doing better. well, look at that.