Thursday, August 30, 2012

School, Schmool

Almost through my first week of school! My schedule is massively different now than it was over the summer, which I am handling surprisingly well. I have enough breaks throughout the day that fitting in meals and snacks isn't really a problem, although I definitely struggled a bit the first couple of days with the uncertainty factor. But now, things are settling into place and I feel a lot better about things. I'm already stressed about my classes, but that's  a different story altogether.

I haven't seen my therapist or dietician in about two weeks now, just with the move and the schedule changes and everything. Actually, that's not entirely true—I probably could have fit in a session with R this past week, but purposely didn't. I'm feeling kind of "eh" about therapy right now and don't really feel like going anymore. Also a topic for another day. Anyway, I have an appointment with him tomorrow morning and I am NOT excited. Not scared or dreading it or anything, I just don't feel like going. I'm kind of over R. Maybe I need a new therapist.

Stuff with my dietician has been going better lately, except when I spontaneously melt down in her office, which may or may not have happened twice in the past month. Poor J, I don't think she's trained to deal with my wacky emotions. The past couple times I've seen her, she's been bugging me to go to an ED support group at Treatment Center. Part of me is intrigued, but mostly it sounds like a terrible idea. I already compare the size of my thighs to those of every person within a five-mile radius and am immensely triggered in the process—subjecting myself to an hour in a room with a bunch of fellow ED patients who are probably skinnier than me and are probably all doing the same comparisons just seems like more than I could handle at this point. Anyone had a good experience with groups?

In related news: my body image, in a word, sucksWhy do skinny girls seem to deliberately seek me out and congregate within my line of vision? I swear, they're everywhere. Especially at lunchtime.

On the other hand, my eating is fine. I actually upped my calories by a teensy bit over the past couple weeks entirely of my own accord—I had pretty much stopped gaining on the old amount, and found myself hungry for more. I KNOW. STOP THE PRESSES. So, after much hand-wringing and pacing and mental gymnastics, I calmly (haha...) concluded that the next logical step would be to up my meal plan. And the result? Not much, really. Mentally, I'm already used to the new amount and didn't have a whole lot of anxiety or self-loathing with regards to eating it. Since classes have started, I'm walking a lot and probably burning a whole heck of a lot more calories than I was a week or two ago, so the increased intake just makes sense, even to my warped brain.

Okay, lotsa work to do. Don't want to get behind the first week! This homework thing is really throwing me for a loop. Take care, everyone.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Post-Move Check In

Finally, I'm all moved in to my new place! Compared to the disgusting summer apartment, this one is spacious and beautiful and CLEAN. And - wait for it - no bugs. Saturday was a full day (as in, 8:00 am to 8:00 pm) of lugging boxes and lamps and suitcases and books etc. etc. etc. up to the third floor, rearranging furniture, unpacking, cleaning, shopping for missing odds and ends, and panicking about how to make everything fit. We also had to deal with some bitchiness from the girls who were trying to move into our old apartment, but we out-bitched them so it's alllll good. ...what? They were giving me attitude. People always assume I'm super nice and sweet and, like, basically a doormat to wipe their muddy feet on but when something gets me fired up, I turn all scrappy and start spewing cuss words and growling and stuff. So it all got done, everything is set up, and the apartment is lovely.

My mom was here to help me move, and I'm ashamed to report that I was much more anxious-freak daughter than mature-intelligent-cheerful daughter this weekend, but alas. Sorry Mom! My routines were all messed up and we ended up eating out a lot, so I was stressed and on edge all weekend. My mom kept telling me I "look good"—not sure how to feel about that. I've gained since she last saw me in May, but I definitely haven't reached my target weight. So I don't really want to look "good" yet, you know? Of course I cried when she had to leave, and I could tell that she was just aching to stay and make everything all better for me. In case I haven't emphasized this enough on here: I love my mom.

Yesterday was really hard for some reason—lotsa anxiety and crying and sadness, but lunch out with my best friend and her mom pulled me out of my head and cheered me up immensely. I was determined to make today better, so I jumped out of bed, showered, drank coffee, ate breakfast, and headed out to run errands, buy textbooks, hang out with a friend, and tie up some last loose ends for work instead of staying in and letting myself get bogged down with depression and fear.

Other miscellany:
- Textbooks are expensive.
- My schedule is already overbooked.
- I know we're in a drought or whatever, but rain sucks.
- My building needs a bigger parking lot.

I think that's all for now. Classes start tomorrow—fingers crossed I make it through Day 1!

Friday, August 24, 2012

A Better Update

Hey all—I was in a pretty sad place when I last posted. I'd been really upset and was crying off and on all day and really needed to just vent and tell the world I'M HURT AND IT'S NOT OKAY. So I wrote my post and hit "publish" and walked away, still feeling pretty crappy. Then later that night, I came back to all your wonderful comments and literally cried as I read them because I felt so understood and supported and loved. It meant the world to me and I'm doing much better, thanks in large part to you guys. I started to go back and respond to each and every one of your comments, but then my laptop pooped out on me and has been in the laptop hospital since Wednesday.

Anyways, I've got my computer back and am happy to report that things have been looking up from Tuesday. It's not that I've been trying to keep everyone in the dark about the nerve pain, it just makes me upset to talk about it and the "chronic" part is still really hard to swallow. That's all I really wanna say about it right now, sorry. If anyone like really wants to know more or ask questions or anything please feel free to send me an e-mail:

As far as other updates, today was my last day at work. Well, I actually have one last project to finish up on Monday, so I'll probably just work on it at home for a couple hours and submit it to my bosses via e-mail. This internship was an incredible experience for me, and I'm SO happy I was able to land it. My mom and dad were thisclose to making me stay home and enter treatment in May, but I got my shit together and made it work and I'm REALLY proud of that.

Speaking of treatment, things are still mostly moving forward. I'm eating nearly everything on my meal plan and generally being pretty cooperative. My sessions with R still often resemble teeth-pulling efforts, but hey! At least I'm eating, right? My weight is up almost to where it was exactly a year ago when I was returning to college after taking a semester off for treatment. It's crazy to me that I've been seeing R and J for almost a year now. And it took almost a year, but I'm actually doing what they've been telling me to do all along. Whoops!

Oh yeah, I'm moving tomorrow. And no, I have not started packing. It's not as bad as it sounds though - we don't have to move any furniture, and the new apartment is literally two blocks down the street. I'm just planning to throw stuff in my car and make as any trips back and forth as needed. My mom is getting into College City late tonight, we'll spend the whole day tomorrow moving, and then she leaves Sunday morning. School starts on Tuesday and I am.not.ready.

You guys! My jeans are getting all tight! I haven't worn jeans in, like, forever because it has been approximately 508292 degrees here every day all summer long so I've gotten away with dresses and skirts for work which are way more forgiving, but I tried on a couple pairs this weekend and the situation is dire, I tell you. DIRE. It's gonna be fall soon and I don't exactly want to be known as Girl Who Wears Sloppy Sweats Everywhere for my senior year, ya know?? Help! Bear in mind that I hate shopping! And I don't have money!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Aftermath

Today I had an appointment with my dietician and I burst into tears again! What is wrong with me and why am I such an unstable freak? The stupid part was, I wasn't even really upset about dietary stuff—I'm doing relatively well with the meal plan, drinking Boost and eating snacks and all that. According to weight alone, I am very nearly "not anorexic" anymore (HAHA). I've restored pretty much all the weight I lost in my most recent slip, which started back in the spring.

But now I've got some non-ED stuff going on that is really stressing me out and getting me down. At the moment, starvation/overexercise/malnutrition are nowhere near my biggest health issues. In fact, I'm finding myself wishing that weight gain and bad body image were the only things I had to deal with right now. Suddenly, it all seems pretty trivial to me. When I sat down in J's office today and we started going over my meal plan, there was so much else weighing on my mind that the prospect of having to sit there and talk about calories and fats and grain servings seemed pretty pointless and dumb. I can deal with feeling fat, you know? This other stuff–I can't cope with it. J asked whether I'd rather add an extra carb to dinner or tack on another Boost to my evening snack, and it all just seemed trivial. So I started to cry.

Okay, backtracking: I don't mean to say that EDs are trivial at all. The agony of eating disorders, mental and physical, is immeasurable and I would never suggest otherwise. But having chronic nerve pain all the fucking time, and being told that it can't be cured and it's something I'm going to have to deal with for the rest of my life, makes me wish I'd taken care of myself better before things got this bad.

Sorry guys, just needed to let it out. I'm being grumpy and sad today, it'll pass.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Positive Feedback

I was really nervous for my appointment with a new doctor yesterday morning for a variety of reasons, but mostly because I knew the nurse would weigh me. I'd brought records from another one of my doctors (I have a lot) that had my weight from May, which was significantly lower than it is now. Of course, I assumed that the new doctor's reaction to my new weight would be OMG FATTEST PATIENT EVER! WHO GAINS THAT MUCH WEIGHT IN ONE SUMMER??? I CAN'T WORK WITH THIS! GET OUT OF MY OFFICE! I'M GONNA PUKE! instead of something more reasonable and positive, considering my current weight is much healthier than my old weight.

So imagine my shock when the doctor turned out to be the sweetest, loveliest, nicest woman ever. And she was not - if you can believe it - disgusted by the sight of me, or by the number on the scale. In fact, when I mentioned that I was in recovery from anorexia, her only reaction was: "Good for you. Really great job. I'm so happy for you."

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Good/Bad Therapy

I was anticipating a pretty lame session with R this morning, since they've all been pretty lame lately and I was feeling pretty lame going into it. Just not in the mood to get therapized, you know? A couple weeks ago, I was all ready to give up on R and quit therapy for a while. But today went okay, surprisingly, so I guess I'll keep at it for now. We spent most of the time talking about meal plan stuff, and about how I won't increase it because the calories are too scary. Boo on calories. Really wishing I'd never heard of them in the first place. Nutrition label-free world, anyone? Actually no, never. I'd have a nervous breakdown.

What else? Oh, we also went over this list about what I want when I'm "not sick anymore" and even though I'm doing way better on the food front than I was a few months ago, it was kind of demoralizing to see how not far I've come on the mental/emotional side. I know I shouldn't have expected the anorexic mindset to melt away in eight weeks, but it would be nice to see some progress. I'm still completely and utterly consumed by thoughts of my weight and calories. I still eat an incredibly limited (variety-wise, not quantity-wise) diet. I still count/measure/tally obsessively. I still get incredibly anxious about social eating. I don't eat spontaneously. I don't eat according to hunger cues. And I don't have a shred of self-esteem, body image or otherwise. In fact, my body image is a hundred times worse now than it was back in May when my weight was X lbs lower than it is now and R told me to gain asap or I'd land my butt in treatment.

R keeps telling me that all the mental stuff will start improving once I'm around 95% of my ideal body weight, which scares me because I don't think I can manage getting to 95% with my mind still like this. I told him how scared I am about the weight coming on so quickly, and he pointed out the fact that my rate of gain has in fact been painfully slow. Well, darn you, R! It feels fast!

Funny unrelated text conversation with Mama Bear (fyi my mom is a teacher) this morning regarding my ripped physique and brute animal strength:
Mom: I need your help, K! I'm moving into my new classroom today.
Me: You mean you need my superior musculature?
Mom: Oh, honey. No.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Phone Calls Galore

My day today consisted of:
- calling Dr.'s #1, #2, #3, and #4 to confirm appointments for tomorrow, Friday, and Monday.
- calling campus health center to get referrals for the above four appointments, being told I need medical records sent from primary care doc first
- calling primary care doc for records
- calling campus health center back to confirm they received the records
- realizing that my appointments with Dr.'s #2 and #3 actually conflict on Friday
- calling Dr. #3 to push that appointment back to later in the afternoon
- a few hours later, receiving an automated confirmation call from Dr. #3's office with original time
- calling Dr. #3's office AGAIN to remind them of the changed time
- calling my insurance company to get my updated account information because they don't issue the new cards until September 1, even though the plan went into effect on August 1. (?????)

Why didn't I do any of this sometime in the past two months instead of saving it all for the day before my first appointment, you ask? Well, there is a good explanation for that...actually no, there isn't.

And yes, this was all done while at work. Best intern ever? I will be expecting a full job offer any day now.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Male Binge Eating

There's a great article online today about binge eating disorder in men. Really glad the author portrayed BED as a legitimate psychological disorder rather than just a matter of modern Americans lacking self-control with eating. It doesn't seem to get as much attention as anorexia or bulimia, but I imagine BED can be just as damaging in many ways. I really feel for people who struggle with this.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Weekend Wrap-Up

Sometimes I sit down to write a blog post and then keep getting distracted by, like, life! It's been a busy few days - out on Friday night, dinner with my aunt and uncle last night, and shopping/errands/work today. Some friends and I are going out to a restaurant tonight, which means that again, I will have eaten out three times in three days. I would be lying if I said it didn't stress me out a whole lot, but I'm going with it. Tonight I'm seeing a girl I haven't hung out with in a long time, and it was great to hear from her again and be reminded that I'm not actually a total loner island all the time. So, I can deal with restaurant food for that.

Like I said earlier, I skipped therapy this week and actually felt better for it. I'm not dropping out of treatment or anything, but the break felt needed. Maybe I'll talk to R about scheduling appointments every other week for a while and see how that goes. I have a feeling he won't be thrilled, but I think it's ultimately my decision. Plus, he's expensive.

I did see J on Friday, which was both helpful and frustrating. Helpful because she pointed out a lot of places in my meal plan where I cut corners and therefore could easily bump up my calories; and frustrating because she pointed out that even when I think I'm really pushing myself in challenging food situations, I'm still cutting corners and falling short with alarming regularity. I just can't get my mind around how much food she wants me to eat - like, I assume she can't actually be serious when she writes it all out and hands it over. I just get so scared to change anything and I can't make sense of it. It's just food, you know? Why do I have such a mental block there?

Many, many thanks to everyone for all the kind words. I probably should be clear that even though I'm still making lots of mistakes, I am still moving forward in recovery and doing worlds better mentally and physically than I was even just two months ago. The constant weighing and calorie-counting are definitely major, chronic problems for me that will need to be addressed more aggressively some day, but right now I am still able to make progress and take care of myself in spite of them.

P.S. If anyone was wondering about my TV show situation, which I'm SURE you all are, I stumbled across The Killing on AMC. The first scene was scary (shut up I'm wimpy) but so far I'm a fan.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Confession #1: I cancelled my therapy appointment with R today. He pissed me off last week and I really didn't feel like going back. Sometimes I feel lost without therapy and really want someone to talk to - but right now, I don't know, I just don't feel like it. I'm getting a little therapy-ed out, and I'm not convinced it's making me feel any better.

Confession #2: Every morning, I do the following: walk into the kitchen, turn on my coffee maker, walk down the hall to the bathroom, pee, wash my hands, and step on the scale. But that's not the real confession. The real confession is that I've recently discovered if I step on and off the scale (it's digital) three or four times, the number eventually drops a few ounces. So now, my morning routine has evolved into this: turn on my coffee maker, go to the bathroom, step on the scale, step off, step on, step off, step on, step off...and I keep doing that until the drop happens. Then I can breathe again, and start my day.

Confession #3: Those few ounces have become VERY important to me.

Confession #4: My dietician J e-mailed me yesterday to check in and see how I was doing. I wrote back that I'm doing "great" and "really trying to do the things we talked about last week" - which included hitting a minimum of XXXX calories per day.

Confession #5: I have not made it to XXXX calories even once this week. Not one day. I'm always close, but never there.

Confession #6: I am feeling really really really really fat and don't know if I can take those feelings getting any worse. A variety of people/situations are triggering the hell out of me right now and I'm not sure how to handle it.

That's all for now. I could probably write pages and pages of confessions (ED and non-ED) but you guys don't get to read about ALL the salacious juicy details of my life, sorry!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

August Randoms

I have lots to write about life and treatment and fears and stuff, but I'm too lazy and my thoughts are too disorganized to post anything coherent or substantial. So, some miscellany:

- I recently read Columbine by Dave Cullen. Great book, but hard to read. Not for the faint of heart. (No one warned me ahead of time.) Other great books I've read recently: A Prayer for the City by Buzz Bissinger, Mystic River by Dennis Lehane (see the movie, too!), and Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber - kind of fluffy, but not bad for a summer read.

- My mom and brother are currently in Germany for the week. Everyone in my family has been to Europe except for me. The only other country I've ever visited is Mexico, which was an amazing experience, although I have a hankering to see all the usual major sites around the world: Coliseum, Louvre, Great Wall, pyramids, etc.

- I used to be quite the little social butterfly, but I've become A LOT more withdrawn over the last couple of years. Blame the ED, blame the anxiety, blame the weather, I don't really know. I have a few super close friends, but my health (mental and physical) is a total off-limits topic of conversation, so it's hard not to feel lonely sometimes. Still, I'm really proud of pushing myself to maintain somewhat of a social life this summer despite not really ever feeling up for anything.

- Among my many recent restaurant outings, I've discovered gyros. Anyone else a fan? I was scared of them at first and only ordered one out of peer pressure, but since then I've become quite the tzatziki aficionado.

- My apartment this summer doesn't have cable and I'm bummed that I can't watch the Olympics. I've tried getting the live streaming online with my dad's account info, but NBC sucks. Any tips? Illegal methods welcomed.

- I used to judge my roommate for watching The Bachelorette, but then she made me give it a shot and I've gotta admit - it's a pretty juicy guilty pleasure. Emily is just a doll, is she not? I was totally Team Jef all the way. And Chris Harrison makes me laugh because I always get the sense that he is about to start guffawing at how ridiculous the whole premise of the show really is. But seriously, guys, it's been an emotional roller coaster this season. I was totally hooked. And I may or may not have also agreed to watch Bachelor Pad.

- Between work, school stuff starting up, and keeping in touch with family/friends, I've been sending approximately 5,000,000 texts and e-mails a day. And yes, I check my phone obsessively even when the light ISN'T blinking and I KNOW that I don't have any messages. I can't help it. I have a problem.

- My calendar is color-coded, and I recently had to make an entirely separate category for doctors' appointments. FML.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Exposure Challenges

I've eaten out three times in the past three days. Lunch on Thursday, dinner on Friday, and lunch today. Anyone impressed yet? Anyone? Oddly, I'm feeling guiltier about the money part than the calories part, although I'm definitely struggling a whole lot with body image and gross fat feelings right now.

As my weight gets closer and closer to a healthy number, I feel myself wanting to tighten the reins. Can't let your guard down, now. Don't want to overshoot your goal. I'm still a ways from the final target, according to J's calculations, although I am pretty close to a minimum healthy BMI. And that scares the crap out of me. It's as if I'm thisclose to being not underweight, which means I must be thisclose to being fat. Because there's nothing between underweight and obese, right? ;) I'm actually bouncing right around this threshold that I mentioned a couple weeks ago, and it's seriously messing with my head.

Anyway, my instincts are screaming at me to RUN RUN RUN AWAY CRAWL IN A DARK HOLE AND HIDE AND STARVE AND DIE. But if anything, I'm being more adventurous, putting myself out there, telling myself why restrict? Cheese is good for you. Upping your cals is the whole damn point. Dinner out last night was totally my idea, and it was one of those meals where my friends and I spent half the night gabbing away at the table long after the waitress cleared our plates. This morning, my roommate suggested lunch out, and I stressed a little about whether to adjust breakfast accordingly in anticipation of a bigger lunch. Then I decided that was pointless, ate my normal breakfast, and tried not to worry about lunch until it happened. Lunch came, I ate, it was delicious, story over.

When I saw my dietician yesterday, we talked a little about how the only way to overcome anxieties is through exposure. Scared of restaurants? Eat in one. Still scared? Do it again. According to J, the key to exposure therapy is confronting the source of fear over and over again until it isn't scary anymore. To which I wanted to be a little smart ass and respond: "But playing with spiders or jumping out of airplanes won't make you FAT!" Just kidding.

Eating out still scares me. It's the unknown calories, the unknown ingredients, the pressure of eating in public with other people, the scrutiny, the spontaneity, etc. But I can do it. I'm trying so, so hard with food lately, even though I'm still pretty miffed with R and I may have burst into tears with J yesterday about my weight.

As for the rest of my dietary appointment - J was an absolutely sweetheart and didn't make fun of me for getting upset. She implemented a change of strategy: I now a minimum calorie goal of XXXX to hit every single day this week. I guess she has finally realized that I wasn't kidding about the automatic and obsessive counting, and that trying the hide the numbers from me is futile. So far today, I'm on track to hit XXXX. I'll keep ya posted!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lunch and Therapy

Today was one of my co-workers' last day at work, so a few of us went out for a farewell lunch. Of course, I spent the morning stressing and freaking out and secretly trying to look up the menu online (what kind of restaurant doesn't have a website these days? What century is this??) and then eventually just went and ordered and ate. And it was good. Granted, I had a pretty safe item that fell almost within my comfort zone - not a salad, I'm proud to say, but nothing too adventurous. Although it was bigger than my usual lunch, it probably didn't put me too far above my usual calorie baseline. Semi-victory?

But now I'm feeling incredibly gross and fat and icky. Trying to just sit with it and not get too down on myself, even though I'm having major post-meal guilt. Someday this will pass... I am getting really fed up with all my brainpower going towards feeling miserable.

Speaking of frustrations - major frustrations with R at therapy yesterday. We started off on a bad note because he made some comment (don't remember the exact quote) basically implying that the reason I have so many health problems is because I refuse to practice self-care and I deliberately self-sabotage. I honestly don't want to get into it because the context is too complicated to explain and it will just make me grumpy, but suffice it to say that I was pissed. His arguments were bullshit and completely misjudged my mindset. I tried explaining my feelings to him,  but for some reason we just didn't connect at all. So then I clammed up, shut down, and withdrew. Not looking forward to my appointment next week.

This was super negative. Some positives from my week so far:
- The maintenance man FINALLY came and fixed the five million things broken in our apartment.
- One of my best friends is coming down to hang out tomorrow night.
- Work is going great. Even though I'll only be at my internship for a few more weeks, I'm hoping to stay in touch with my bosses during the school year.
- Peanut butter has lots of fat and calories and is totally J-approved and tastes delicious on everything.