Speaking my mind.

My binges and purging (usually through laxatives and exercise as I’m rarely able to be sick) are always a result of my restrictive anorexia. Before having a restrictive eating disorder I never ate out of control, ate quickly or had the urge to eat loads. Until today, I never told anybody LITERALLY what happens. I found myself saying that “I ate loads in one go, had to rid of it and then sat in a panicked state, unable to physically move when I was unable to do so. No money for laxatves, unable to be sick and not feeling like I could ever do enough exercise…”

I have never been so open about what goes on in the short binge phases I experience, and I feel so relieved. I have admitted that I DO have a problem in that respect, and while it isn’t its own entity- more a biological and psychological response to deprivation- I do need to address it in order to reach the ultimate “middle” of eating well and being mentally ok.

I am not yet in a place to contemplate not losing more weight, and so I am going to accept that, but create a calorie range, so there is a bottom to my restriction. That way I will still lose weight, but be “allowed” a certain amount… this will be new to me, as throughout my problem with food, lowering the calories has been a constant focus. What I have learned is that 100-300 calories less a day barely speeds up the weight loss at all anyway!

5 THINGS I WILL DO IF I FEEL LIKE I AM GOING TO BINGE:

-Think about how I will feel if I do
-Do my favourite breathing exercise
-Listen to music
-Remind myself that I don’t need to “stock up” food, because I have induced the deprivation and I know I am going to get x calories tomorrow anyway. Know that my body is programmed to survive, but the instinct to eat large amounts in unnecessary in society where food is readily available
-Call someone and talk about anything! This is good because it proves food doesn’t have to control my llife

I feel like I have just had a massive revelation! Never using clear language has stopped me from fully admitting to anybody the truth of this side of my illness. So I will say it again and see it in black and white:

My anorexic brain wishes me to be perfect. When biology eventually cuts in, my instinct makes me eat and eat. The eating disorder makes me guilty, get rid of the food, and perpetuate the cycle. When the phase ends, I am back to restricting all the time and so pretend I have never binged. Like most people. I HAVE BINGED. I am not proud of it, and have hidden it by wrapping the statement in cotton wool when speaking to others. Now this is a fact, I can break that cycle. Then I only have the one (starvation)  cycle left to break.

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A year of this blog.

When I started this blog I was struggling to accept that I was a recovering anorexic who had started bingeing. Perhaps it is quite fitting then that tonight I have “binged” (or eaten what is considered a normal amount)

I feel pretty crap about it. Sitting here wondering whether I will be able to regain control tomorrow is playing on my mind. Since around August I have been losing, so I know a short period of time like this can’t effect what I look like…. but I think that it has. 

All I want is to be back in control and eat my usual amount tomorrow. Part of me thinks that is totally realistic and fine; another bit of me is remembering where I was a year ago and is terrified of the binge, starve, binge cycle.

Promises to myself for tomorrow:

1. To do some toning exercises
2. Designate eating times and stick to them
3. Know that finally having time by myself doesn’t mean I need to eat. The desire to do so is just a reaction to feeling overwhelmed with living with 5 people.

I was afraid of going back to bulimia, but I think I’ve stopped it. I should feel bad that I’m comforted by keeping anorexia…

I feel like I should be cross that I’m so happy about my bulimia worries not coming true. I know that is a good thing, but to me it was sorta like I went back to bingeing, laxatives, purging OR I let that one day stay in the past and continue losing. Surely my aim should be the healthy middle between the two?! Having a restrictive eating disorder shouldn’t be the right outcome of anything…

Sometimes I long for that calm, easy middle ground; instead I’m relieved to be staying disordered…. well, in some ways. I hate that I love it & I hate it for being the only way I can hope to love myself right now. I hate myself for being unable to apply the rational thoughts I have to my own behaviour. I am not stupid, yet I do things that badly contradict my intelligence. Crazy huh..

Bingeing (or eating a more normal amount)

I only ever completely lost my period for a few months. My body just keeps it going- even when I exercise 5 hours a day on less than my BMR of calories… so anyway, either the day before or the first day of my light, half period, I get hungry. 

Usually I don’t notice it too significantly, and life goes on as normal. But once every few months, I just go into crazy eat mode. It makes me feel like crap, especially since my bulimic phase. I am scared that I will go back to being bulimic again. I know the chances are that this is the same as always: a day where I feel so horrible about what I have done by eating that I feel like I will eat forever and be out of control. Only that’s what it is- A day. Not everyday, not half a week… a day.

I wish I could see the future and know for certain that it is the same this time. Cos right now I just never want to go out again. I want to wish this day away so that it never happened. I’m a failure. I hate it.

“Binges” (air quotes explained below…)

Today I FELT like everything food-wise fell apart. For most of the day, things were going well- meaning I felt unattached to my surroundings due to fatigue and headaches from lack of energy…But then, out of nowhere came a burning desire to eat. At first I felt powerful in overriding my longings for food, but my hunger (emotional and physical) overtook.

Not very anorexic sounding really, is it? But frankly, this is the truth of having an eating disorder.

So anyway, I ate.

Because I had spent so long being determined to shut the idea of eating out of my head, it felt like a binge, despite the fact it was not excess calories. I find it weird that I don’t remember when my brain began registering “normal” calories as too much… it just happened. 

As I am writing and rationalising my day, I still feel like the only answer is to keep marching on the spot, just as I always do. I simply cannot come to terms with how the hell it is possible for me to have the intelligence to know this is crazy, yet feel consoled by obsessively exercising and compelled to carry on?! In my mind, the only way is to “settle” the calories before I sleep…

Power & binges

I have never been told that officially had bulimia, but as I was starving all day, eating tons at night and then throwing up/ taking laxatives/ exercising for hours into the night, I think it is safe to say I’m not wrong to assume this diagnosis! Sadly for me, the binges began while I was awaiting a second period of appointments with my local ed service, and so they told me my eating disorder was Atypical at that point (weight was a bit higher than anorexia criteria), but a GP counsellor later told me I had anorexia (I lied about the binge/purge and was fully in an anorexic mind frame by then anyway…)

Right now, months after that bulimic phase, I am still PETRIFIED of ever, ever, ever returning to that cycle. The other night I ate “out of control”, but calorie wise it was actually fine, it was just not “safe” enough for my liking, and aside from that I am back to full time restricting and planning my intake. 

It is now 11.26 pm and I am marching on the spot (to burn calories) feeling proud of the fact I have not allowed myself to binge. The high of “achieving” my restriction goal today makes me feel brilliant  I just wish I didn’t have to feel on edge all day with worry about what I will have to do to myself if I eat something bad/ too much. 

I always think that my inner anorexic will make me happy. It does, but only in fleeting moments.

The three phases of an eating disorder according to me…

Usually people consider themselves to HAVE an eating disorder, or to be RECOVERED/ RECOVERING.

My third phase is one I have named MANAGING, because right now that feels like what I am doing…. I don’t feel better about food, I’m not able to even imagine a time when I could live happily at an average size, but at the same time, I am more in control of my panic attacks and I have some days when my existence doesn’t feel pointless. I feel like I’m not about to suddenly start bingeing every day or stop eating altogether, but I am not better- merely better at having a more ‘together’ exterior.

So, is the madness being confined (mostly) to inside my head a good thing in the long run?! I guess it does mean that I can get on with my life, even if it can sometimes be incredibly difficult, but then again, do I really wish to spend the rest of my life feeling so limited by my strong thoughts and fears about food and my body?! Can anybody truly ‘manage’ an eating disorder or is it just an interim period, while my subconscious decides whether I get out or go further into this?

I couldn’t have less of  a clue if I tried…typically though, my head is telling me that I would’t have to worry if I was thinner :S