Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When the Going Gets Rough

I hate using this blog as a whine fest but things have been a teeeeeeeeensy bit rough lately. I guess I started restricting during the chaotic travel/move-in/general transition period with the mindset that it was "just temporary" and "just to be safe" from all the unpredictability and that I would "go back to normal" once I settled into a routine.

Well, basically I kinda sorta maybe just settled into the routine of restricting. Not horribly, but some. I'm not starving and I'm not dying. Just teetering a little. It's hard to keep perspective about it because the last time I was in this environment, I was so much worse. If the Kaylee of 2010 could see what the Kaylee of 2011 eats, she'd have a heart attack. Not from malnourishment - from shock. (Maybe a little bit from malnourishment.)

I guess I just thought that being back in college would make everything easier and it's not.  I think I expected that the excitement of having a life again would carry me and I'd sail through recovery. Oh hey Friend, you wanna go out to eat? No problem! I can do that now! Food rocks!  Now I can almost see how staying on track at home was way simpler because I was so isolated. I mean, it sucked, but I could mope and moan and groan my way through weight gain without having to participate in real life too. Real life is complicated.

When I saw R for my second appointment yesterday, he said again that he definitely wants me to gain at least another XX pounds. Last time he told me this, I said okay. This time - well, I didn't outright refuse, but I left R's office with absolutely zero intention whatsoever of following through.

I had a hard time articulating my thinking to R when we were talking. My weight was down a little from where it was last Wednesday, but the difference was small enough that I assumed he would attribute it to normal fluctuations. Instead, he made a really big deal about it and said: "I think we can safely assume that you're losing weight." Basically, I told him the truth: that I'm not trying to lose weight, but I'm not doing much to keep it on either, much less gain any. He asked me to keep food records this week, but I'm scared to. I don't want him to tell me to eat more because I feel like I'm eating just fine, dammit. Or maybe it's not totally fine, but I don't care because I don't want to eat more and I don't want to gain weight.

The biggest problem is that none of this feels like a problem. I'm not dead on my feet from exhaustion. I'm not at a dangerous weight. I'm not even skinny. I'm fine. I don't know how to express to anyone that the issue is not that I don't know how to gain weight. I do. Gaining weight is very simple. The issue is that my mind is not okay with gaining weight. R can tell me to pack my extra Clif bar, but if I've already decided that I'm not okay with eating it, well, then, I'm not going to eat it.

I hope this doesn't sound like I'm being purposely stubborn and difficult. Nothing bugs me more than feeling like an obstinate brat around the people who are trying to help me, but this really is how my mind works. Once I've decided something (e.g. I can only eat X calories today) then that is what I do. Period. If you offer me a bite of your cookie, I will say no. If the store is out of bananas, I will go to another store. I am not flexible and I do not adapt.

My motivation is still there, but it's shifting. I'm definitely motivated to stay in school,  which is contingent on me being healthy. So I'm motivated to being healthy, but I'm also motivated to not hate myself, and I don't always have healthy ways to accomplish that. And I can't help it that when I go into the student center bathroom and catch sight of myself in the full length mirror (that was NOT there last year!), I get so disgusted with myself that all I want to do is throw out my lunch and run for hours.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really hard position to be in. The "but I'm so much better than I was at X time" line of thought can be pretty convincing but also pretty dangerous--a first or second degree burn is not as bad as a third degree burn, but you still are way better off avoiding getting one at all.

    I definitely feel you on the issue of "this is what I do, so this is what I do" rigidity. But I think that if you can force yourself to take some steps, it can also work to your advantage. If you can up your intake and make that the new normal, it will get way easier once it's become habit. Same with weight--sometimes adding the weight is uncomfortable and stressful, but once you have had time to adjust, you'll feel even better and more energized and the "fat" feeling really will fade. I highly recommend the book 'The Body has a Mind of Its Own," it talks about how our physical sensations of our body can lag behind changes in weight (it talks about a bunch of other body-brain issues besides weight too).

    It's good that you're recognizing the decreased intake for what it is, that's an important step. The next one is to not let it snowball, and the next one is to reverse the trend.

    You deserve better. You deserve better than getting by, better than making it through the day, better than just enough, better than compromising your experiences for the sake of a disease that would take everything from you if given the chance. You are an incredibly intelligent and insightful person; that's obvious even to people who only know you through words on this blog, and you deserve nothing less than the best.

    Hang in there and treat yourself like you would a best friend. This fucking process is really hard at times, but the only way out is through. You've put work into it and made great progress in the past, for which you should be incredibly proud, and you can do it again.

    take care,