Sunday, May 6, 2012

Moving and Motivation

Just popping in for another end-of-semester update! I spent most of the weekend transferring stuff from my current apartment to my new apartment and wow, can I just say how hard moving is? I'm not exactly a buff gal to begin with, but six-plus months of no exercise (combined with being underweight) has really wreaked havoc on my strength and stamina. Lugging all my stuff downstairs, packing it into my car, and unloading it into the basement of the new place probably took five times longer than it should have because I kept having to stop and catch my breath and wimper about how tired I was. The heat and humidity definitely didn't help, but bottom line: dis girl's a wimp.

For reasons that are too complicated and boring to explain here, I'm only going to be in the new apartment until August, when I'll move back to the building where I live now. Hopefully, I'll have built myself up a bit by the end of the summer so that transition will be easier. One of my summer goals is to ease back into exercise in a balanced, non-obsessive, non-ritualistic way. I really want to work on strength instead of jumping back into my usual compulsive running. Back in high school, I used to be able to do a good amount of pushups, abs, etc. - eventually I want to get back to that.

My schedule has continued to be in flux for the past few days, but overall I've managed better than expected. I ate in restaurants three or four times, and the guilt got a little less with each meal. I also had a really good talk with my mom about the ED in which I was much more open than usual. Often I just get defensive and clam up, but this time I stayed clear-headed and honest, and we both came away feeling better than before.

One iffy thing that has stuck with me from the conversation is this: I asked my mom if she thought I'd gained weight. Not a fair question, I know, but I have such a hard time gauging for myself what my body looks like. Anyway, I'm pretty sure my mom thought it was a trick question, because she avoided answering outright. After a little fumbling around for words, she finally ended up just saying: "I think you look beautiful."

Oy. Thanks Mama Bear, but you know that I'm still XX pounds underweight, right? If I'm beautiful now, what happens when I'm up three, five, ten pounds? When does it become noticeable? When does it become not beautiful anymore?

I'm not appearance-obsessed, I promise. I'm a jeans-and-T-shirt girl all the way. Actually, during finals, I'm a sweats-and-T-shirt girl, or a running-shorts-and-T-shirt girl, or a get the idea. But I do have anorexia, thus I do hate my body and the thought of gaining weight is still pretty repulsive to me. It's not that I wanted my mom to tell me I look sickly and skeletal, but I did not want to hear that I look fine as is - because I am trying to gain and I am trying to make a life for myself beyond the eating disorder. Appearance shouldn't factor into that, but I gotta be honest, it does. It's hard to stay motivated when you feel like a porker.

Besides that little snag, I'm feeling a lot better about the whole recovery outlook in general. More and more often, I find myself thinking seriously about what if I actually did get past this stupid thing and was able to live like all these normal, healthy people around me? I have a lot of exciting things coming up this summer and after, my friends and I have some fun stuff planned, and I am looking forward to having a more equal, adult relationship with my mom instead of feeling like a needy emotional wreck all the time. Life is changing fast, and the damn eating disorder is sucking up way too much of my energy.


  1. Congrats on moving, the restaurant successes, and an open conversation with your mom! That's so awesome!

    I'm totally with you on the awkward comments/feelings about it all. I think it's hard for parents to know what to say that won't be triggering, but also will sound genuine. I mean, it's obvious when someone doesn't know what to say, and it comes out very superficially, so I think it's hard for parents to know how to phrase what they want to express. The last time my dad saw me he said I looked "healthier," which of course, cued my brain to think that my underweight status was "just fine, I must not need to gain any more." Blech. Gaining weight IS scary, and uncomfortable, and just yucky overall, and being motivated to do so is incredibly difficult, in my opinion. But I think you make an excellent point about wanting a normal, healthy life, and hopefully that'll help keep your focus on the goal and help tune out those negative feelings about gaining. Hmm, I think I need to take that advice myself as well. Take care!

    1. Yes, definitely take it - it's good advice! Our poor parents. I don't think there's any good way to answer weight questions from a kid with an ED.

    2. So true! My mom (actively AN) would always ask me weight questions growing up, and I never knew what to say. I tend to forget that now and in turn, put my parents in the hot seat with weight questions. Oops!

  2. Oh I have this gut reaction every time Match compliments my appearance. "If I look great now then will you be disappointed if I change X?" seems to be the automatic response. Remember, though, that you are never, ever as beautiful when sick as you'll be when you're at a healthier place. It is even more than your weight/shape...your skin, hair, eyes, etc all benefit and no one is as radiant as someone that is happy and healthy. You can be beautiful now but it doesn't mean that you won't be even moreso when you get to a more balanced place health wise.

    Moving is such a pain, I hope the transition back to your original building is easier at the end of the summer!

    And way to go with having an honest talk about the ED with your mom. I have yet to come even close to mastering that, and it's something to be proud of. You rock.