Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bug Killings and the Week Ahead

Whole lotta randomness heading your way:

I woke up last night at around 3am to pee, stumbled from my bedroom to the bathroom, turned on the bathroom light....and a roach scurried out from under the closet door into the kitchen. After freaking the fuck out for longer than necessary, I grabbed a sneaker, approached said roach which was now sitting quietly in the middle of my kitchen floor, debated whether or not it would attack me, decided to take the risk for the good of mankind, and killed that mofo WITH PLEASURE. Then I scraped his gooey body into the garbage, and finally went to pee (it was now an emergency).

Then I went back to bed and, naturally, couldn't sleep. When I got up this morning, I laced up my sneakers before going into the bathroom. SHUT UP it was a really big bug.

killer shoe

Unrelated: I am debating having my mom come to my appointment with Dr. P this week. Thoughts? I kind of count on my hour-long alone time with her each week, but I also think it might be good for my mom to meet her and hear a third-party perspective on how I'm doing. Plus, I know my mom worries about me, and it might give her some peace of mind to see the amazing support system I have in my therapist. My mom came to my first session with Dr. R (former therapist) and it was MORTIFYING, but I have a much better rapport with Dr. P and I don't think it would be that awkward.

Also on the agenda this week: family reunion with several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Some of them haven't seen me in a few years—a.k.a. haven't seen me at this weight. Trying to tell myself that family won't care.

I haven't stepped on the scale in several days now, as it was starting to put a major damper on my day from the get-go. A nurse did weigh me at my doctor's appointment last week and the number was higher than I expected, but at least I did a good job of rationalizing: I'm wearing jeans and shoes, it's a different scale, XXX lbs is still perfectly normal... And I still ate lunch!


Books of the week:
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand—The story of Louie Zamperini, a former Olympic runner who was captured by Japanese troops and held as a POW for two years during World War II. Amazing.
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani—Easy, girly summer read. It's a coming-of-age/sexual-awakening type thing. Kind of juicy but mostly just felt pretty adolescent. And it dragged on a little too long—I was definitely bored and over it by the end.
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane—I'm only about halfway through this one and it's a pretty good read; it's no Mystic River in terms of quality, but definitely a page-turner. I'm hooked!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Finding My Way Back

I know that my last few posts have been a less than cheery, and I wish I could take some of those negative thoughts back. Things have just been kind of hard lately—as in, more crying than usual, more feelings of desperation and despair and what if things stay like this forever? Nothing scares me more than being in pain forever, and navigating the healthcare system is an absolute fucking nightmare. If I have to punch my way through one more automated messaging system, heads might roll.

Because Dr. A is a plane ride away (and because he doesn't take insurance and costs a boatload of cash) I decided to find a local doctor to check in with. Problem is, finding a good specialist and scheduling an appointment in any kind of timely fashion is dang hard. Can someone explain why a doctor can't just take five minutes to pick up the phone and speak to me directly? Why must I leave messages for your nurse, who must then catch you between appointments to relay them, and then call me back to relay her messages? WHY? #inefficiency

After a couple of worthless appointments in the past few weeks at the supposedly "speciality" clinic where I went last year, I finally got back in touch with that doctor I saw in October. He doesn't actually see patients now (he's affiliated with my university and mostly does teaching and research) but will start in September and offered to take me on. Just getting that e-mail from him made me feel way better—he's got my medical records and knows the situation, so I have a much better gut feeling overall. Hopefully I'll be able to see him soon.

With that all being said, I am trying really hard to get back into the headspace I was in earlier this summer—when things were hard but manageable, when I had faith that my body would eventually heal, and when I felt that positive thinking and coping skills were within my control. Now, things have started to feel totally out of control, and it's scaring me more than I realized.

Having my friend here really threw me for a loop. I was majorly triggered ED-wise with an intensity I haven't felt in a long time. I started feeling this desperate need to restrict, work out, lose weight. I felt huge and blobby, and felt like the only way through was to run for hours. But, of course, I am trapped in this broken body that won't let me.

So then I started fixated on the nerve pain. I watched my friend hop out of bed every morning and hit the roads on her bike, traipsing across College City raving about the sights, the weather, the delicious exhaustion of having sweated through the morning, and meanwhile I sat there listening to her and wanting to cry.

This is nobody's fault, it's just the painful reality of the moment. A few weeks ago, I was beginning to accept that as a temporary condition, reminding myself that life could be worth living as long as I hung in there and hed on to the belief that things will get better, and I need to get myself back into that mindset.

Good news: Mama Bear is coming to visit next week, and I am SO ready to have some quality mom/daughter time. I am considering bringing her along to my therapy appointment this week. Haven't decided yet, but I think it might be good for both of us.

Okay, take care everyone. Things will be more interesting/exciting/happy around here soon—I PROMISE I'm trying. No one wants to read about Grumpy Kaylee!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Belated Bloggy Birthday

Dammit! YOU GUYS! I missed my own blog's birthday AGAIN! I'm so lame! Anyways, better late than never, I suppose. Happy birthday to me! Thanks to everyone who reads and comments and e-mails and makes me feel like a million bucks. Every last one of you just totally kicks butt.


Guess this means my blog is officially entering the Terrible Twos. GET READY.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Unexpected Insensitivity

Quick update from mid-visit: my college roommate is here. And things are a lot tougher than I thought. She's the sweetest, most compassionate, best friend I've ever had, but for some reason I find myself wanting to strangle her. Well, actually two reasons:

1) FOOD. Food food food. Don't really want to post specifics on here, but suffice it to say that she is triggering the shit out of me. I'm agonizing about food and weight in calories in ways that I haven't in months.

2) Exercise. Ditto above.

She knows these are hard issues for me. She's helped me through some of the hardest parts. So why would she greet me when I get home from work with a summary of her day as follows: 3-hour bike ride, no lunch because she didn't "feel like it," and feeling like she sweat off "ten pounds of body weight"? WHY? She knows what this does to me. She knows how hard it is for me to maintain my weight where it is. I expect triggers from other people—I regularly ran into girls from school at Eating Disorder Clinic in College City—but Roomie had seen me through the worst of it. And I know she isn't a vindictive, selfish, tactless person. But the sensitivity factor just isn't there this week.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Visitors on the Way

After surviving my first month alone in the new apartment, I'm about to get a whole lot of company. My friend is arriving tonight to stay for a week, followed by my mom for a week. Kaylee the hostess! In related news: my routines are about to get shaken up in a big way. Maybe this is a good thing, since some of the old food anxieties have been creeping in lately. I think I've been spending too much time in my head.

Oh, and I came across this article in the Washington Post the other day—hope it gives some of you a better idea of the pain I have: Myofascial pain syndrome often leaves doctors baffled and patients untreated. I also have some nerve issues, but that's the gist of it.

Okay, gotta go clean the apartment and dig out my extra set of towels. Happy Sunday, everyone!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Lingering Temptations and Caloric Musings

At my appointment with Dr. P last earlier this week, we were talking about food and weight and eating, and apparently I am still only eating a "borderline weight loss" intake. Huh? But I've gained weight on this amount. My weight is in a healthy range and I've been getting regularly periods for a year (exactly a year now, actually! Go me!). But how, if it's supposed to be a "weight loss" amount? I hope I'm not sounding paranoid and anorexic, but the numbers just don't add up.

Anyway, I don't know if that was bouncing around in the back of my head today or what, but for some reason I delayed eating breakfast until really late this morning—partly because I was juggling phone calls and had to run out on an unexpected errand (print, photocopy, fax—shout out to Mr. Librarian who walked this tech-un-savvy girl through it!), partly because I hadn't been grocery shopping yet this week and my refrigerator was basically empty, but also partly because once I realized how late it was, I found myself musing: It's almost lunch time...why bother with breakfast now? I've made it this far, why not push it back a little farther?

I ended up eating my normal breakfast about three or four hours past normal, which meant that lunch also got pushed back three or four hours. I had intended to add my afternoon snack onto lunch, but in the end I just....didn't. So here I am, almost dinner time, down XXX calories from the missed snack, half-disappointed in myself and half-bursting with pride. Look at that, I CAN still restrict when I want to.

Ugh. I've tried so hard to be recovery-oriented and positive, and I really thought I was past a lot of these stupid temptations, but at the end of the day I am still very much drawn to cutting my intake—which, apparently, is too low to begin with.

Which brings me back to what Dr. P and I discussed. It would be in no way healthy for me to cut calories any further, so the only way to go is up. BUT of course I'm terrified to do that, since I've already gained weighed on my current amount. Gosh, I haven't agonized about this stuff in a long while, but now it's really on my mind. Maybe there is some caloric threshold where my metabolism will kick into gear and start working normally again? Maybe bumping up my intake would bolster my defenses against all the other health problems I've been having? Maybe this stupid headache I've been fighting all day is a result of having been dumb and cut calories that I, even weight-restored, still desperately need? Maybe I just need a NAP.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Doctor Headaches, Books, and Sin

More therapy today...more tears, but way fewer than last week so, like, go me! And mostly, go Dr. P! The plan right now is to get me set up with a pain specialist in College City, to whom I will essentially dictate the terms of my treatment (unfortunately, I seem to know more about the nerve pain than 90% of the doctors I've seen)—a.k.a. "prescribe me this drug," "run these labs," "refer me to this subspecialist" etc. Plus, in a perfect world this new doctor would be in contact with Dr. A, who is just about the only one I trust at the moment.

I've gotten over any self-consciousness about being needy, demanding, and skeptical in the doctors' office; I'm THAT patient who's all like, "Why are you doing that? What are you thinking? Could this be anything else? I read xyz online, is that relevant? Why didn't you catch this last time? Should I get a second opinion? How long until I feel better? What are you writing? Can I read my file? What's your home phone number? Where can I find you at midnight on a Friday? What's your cat's name?" get the point. I just figure, if they make me jump through hoops to get an appointment, I might as well make the most of it.

Sorry for that lil rant—I got doctors on the brain. I've probably spent about 4 of the past 24 hours on the phone either on hold, spelling my name and repeating my date of birth a zillion times, negotiating with nurses, demanding politely requesting to speak with the doctor, and refusing to give my social security number. (Seriously guys, they don't need it.)

In other news, I've got a stack of books a mile high waiting to be read. I made the mistake of delving into Freedom by Jonathan Franzen—I don't particularly like it, but have now invested so much time that I should probably just get through it. I hate not finishing books. It feels like a sin comparable to something like throwing plastic bottles in the trash can or not changing my sheets once a week. These things bother me.

Speaking of sin, I went to a Catholic mass on Sunday. Not exactly sure why, other than that I needed something non-active to do that morning besides sit in my apartment and mope. As you may recall, I am not religious. I've attended cousins' first communions and my grandparents' funerals and stuff, but my religious education has consisted of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. That being said, I do find the whole mass ritual quite beautiful. I love the peace offering—there is something incredibly moving about a stranger holding your hand to say, "Peace be with you." Maybe because both my parents were raised Catholic (actually, I was baptized Catholic as well, but have never practiced), it all feels vaguely comforting and familiar.

So anyway, I was sitting in that church, looking like a total imposter as everyone else rattled off the Lord's Prayer and recited the responses right on cue, wondering what I've been missing. I looked up at the gorgeous ceiling painted with scenes from the Bible, the stained-glass windows, and tried to pray. Not sure if I did it right, or if there even is a right way, but I found myself so desperate for some greater power outside the human bureaucracy and the stupid automated phone message systems and the appointment scheduling protocols and the broken fax machines that mean my medical records never end up in the right place, that I tried. Maybe that's the point.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Saturday Notes

Okey doke, I think I am officially pulling out of that yucky period from earlier this week. Seeing Dr. P really did help tremendously, and my mood picked up a lot after talking with her on Tuesday. She gave me a good mix of cheerleading and concrete suggestions for how to move forward in a way that makes everything seem a bit less frustrating and unmanageable. So, stay tuned.

Work: My job is pretty demanding but in a good way. It's the kind of environment where my brain is totally engaged from the minute I sit down at my desk to the minute I stand up to leave (allowing for bathroom- and lunch-breaks, of course...). I actually brought a project home to work on this weekend, which I probably could have weaseled my way out of, but I wanted to see it through. My boss is a sweetheart, and let me peace out for an hour yesterday for a quick emergency doctor's visit with no warning. (Thanks Boss!)

Entertainment: I'm totally into reading, crafting, and TV right now. My current favorite set-up is sitting in my comfy purple chair working on a craft (embroidery and crochet so far) while watching a show on my computer. Favs of the moment: The Killing and How I Met Your Mother.

Food: Still pretty systematic, unvaried, and boring but what else is new? At least I'm being good about taking my vitamins. My cousin and I baked cookies last weekend and of course she was a carefree normal human person and sampled them afterwards (the recipe was a smidge experimental) but alas, I did not partake.
— BUT I have been expanding my dinner repertoire. Progress?
—And I've cut down on weighing myself again. Thank goodness. It was getting to be a problem.

Other Observations: My ESL students are CUTE. And inspiring, to be honest. Both are Chinese immigrants working on their PhDs. They are just so unbelievably grateful to be here in the US getting an education that they work their butts off day and night, and don't take a single minute for granted. As the proud daughter of an immigrant (Go Papa Bear!), I am amazed at how much people will sacrifice for what I was handed on a silver platter at birth.

Can't believe June is already half over. This summer is going to fly!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

A Tale of Two Eyes

Yet again, I am reminded of the power and value of a good therapist. Just left Dr. P's office and am feeling way more positive, relaxed, and capable than I did when I walked in. Of course, it took me sobbing on her couch for the first thirty minutes, but hey! I'm feeling better now, so it must have worked.

Without getting into all the details of the session, which would be boring for you and emotionally draining for me and probably not very productive for either of us, I want to (re)tell a story that should give everyone some perspective and a ton of hope: The Story of Kaylee's Eyeballs.


For anyone who has been reading for a while, this will be some old news. Once upon a time in the summer of 2010 (post-freshman year of college), I was semi-restricting, overexercising, and not having periods. I started having burning in my eyes, which were red and bloodshot. I went to the doctor, who diagnosed corneal ulcers (ewww ouchies), gave me some antibiotic drops, and sent me on my way. At the two-week follow-up appointment, I was pronounced cured.

Dun dun dun.

Two months later, my eyes were back to burning, red, and painful. By this point, I was dangerously underweight, running miles upon miles every morning, and barely eating. I put off a doctors' appointment because the student health center is STUPID and I didn't feel like dealing with them, even as my eyes got worse and worse. It was allergies, I told myself. Nothing a little Zyrtec and Visine couldn't fix.

Long story short, I ended up at an ophthalmologists' office in University Medical School who diagnosed me with punctate keratitis (MAJOR OUCHIES) caused by severe dry eyes. A three-month course of antibiotics and steroids cleared it up, but I had to switch brands of contact lenses, and started using OTC lubricant drops multiple times a day to keep my eyes from getting too dry.

Over those same three months, I left school (against my will...THANKS MOM AND DAD) and entered treatment for anorexia. I gained XX pounds, up to an almost-weight-restored number, and had one period. My eyes got better.

Then I got back to college, started restricting again, lost most of the weight I'd gained, and didn't have another period for many months. Around the same time (fall 2011), my eyes started hurting again.

I spent the next year bouncing from one eye doctor to the next, using multiple courses of antibiotics, steroids, anti-inflammatories, lubricants, etc. etc. etc. Between Home City and College City, I saw six different ophthalmologists. My father even solicited (unhelpful but well-intentioned) advice from his brother, who is a gastroenterologist but nonetheless gets consulted on every family medical issue.

Meanwhile, my quality of life pretty much sucked due to my eyes. I couldn't read for very long because they hurt so much. I limited computer time to about 20 minutes at a stretch. In spring 2012, I stopped driving for a while because I was afraid my eye would give out and I'd crash. My then-therapist Dr. R once asked me during a particularly, um, emotional session: "Do you ever find it ironic that you're crying about dry eyes?" #notamused

Finally, I found Dr. Q. Why didn't I find his name sooner, when I was scouring the internet for the most highly respected ophthalmologists? He is one of a two-man team running Major Vision Center in College City, and is nothing short of a genius and miracle-worker. He explained the connections between body fat, hormone levels, nerve sensitivity, and mucous membranes (eww I know, sorry—bear with me) and we found a solution that not only protects my eyes, but allows the underlying nerve damage from chronic dryness to heal.

The catch? Dr. Q reminds me at every visit that the only way to truly protect my eyes is by maintaining a healthy level of body fat and having regular periods. Sound familiar?

In conclusion: My eyes feel perfect. Knock on wood, because I'm still superstitious and paranoid....but 99 percent of the time, I don't even think about them because they don't hurt. They aren't dry. I can't even feel them. Six months ago, I was putting in drops continuously, all day long, just to get by. Probably went through about two boxes of these per week:

I should've bought stock in this stuff

Now, I use MAYBE one drop per day. Seriously. One box lasts forever. My monthly Walgreen's bill has probably been cut by 75%.

So, what was the point of all this, you ask? Well, it was to show you guys (well, to show myself, mostly) that miracles can happen. Healing can happen. It may take time, and a ton of persistence, but it can happen. My eyes feel so good now that I almost can't remember what it was like when they were so bad, but I think I should make myself remember. I need to remember, to show myself how much better things can get. And I need to remember so that I never start thinking to myself: Things weren't THAT bad, right? I could skip my snack just this once...I could lose a few pounds, just so my jeans feel a little looser... and we all know how that ends.

Monday, June 10, 2013

More from the Pain Chronicles

Today has been more a struggle than usual, physically and emotionally. Sometimes it's hard to determine which triggers the downward spiral—my body or my mind—but both are feeling pretty crummy right now.

I'm sorry guys—I know I tout this as an "anorexia recovery" blog and it's turned into more of a "chronic pain recovery (or not, who really knows at this point)" blog, so it may not be very interesting for some of you at the moment. But the nerve pain has mushroomed into this giant, overwhelming, all-consuming force that kind of overshadows everything else at this point. My blog would be pretty disingenuous and superficial if I didn't write about it.

Anyway, I'm just having a really hard time sitting with the fact that I don't know when or by how much this will improve. I hate going into a new job, new school year, new apartment—a whole new freaking life, for goodness sake—with this hanging over me. It's hitting me that it may be around for months (or years, God forbid...not gonna think about that...)

There are a lot of reasons that I should feel optimistic, but sometimes my mind can't process them. I'm tired of trying so hard to convince myself that maybe someday things will be better. For now, just doing my damnest to keep my chin up. Happier posts to come.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Recovery Progress Report and Musings

Hmm okay maybe I jinxed myself, or spoke too soon, or got cocky with how relatively well things seemed to be going... but my body image has started heading south in the past few days. Probably because that nasty habit of daily weigh-ins has come back to bite me, as it always does. As soon as the number on the scale edged upwards a few days in a row, I suddenly found myself feeling all jiggly and blobby and gross.

The only thing to do really is to stick it out, and trust that my body will end up where it needs to be. I think I'm about at my set point, although the daily fluctuations definitely still get to me a lot. And I'm still not totally used to being this size, which is objectively much bigger than I've been for at least five years. On the plus side, whereas these feelings once would have completely derailed any good intentions of maintaining my intake, I am now pretty much able to shrug it off and keep going. So at least there's that.

I suppose this is all part of recovery—occasional icky periods in an otherwise upward trend. I am seeing  a lot of parallels with my nerve pain; I am dramatically better than I was a year ago, but that has included lots of good days and bad days along the way. Nothing's ever a straight line, is it? That would be way too simple.

Another ED issue: I can't tell if my eating habits are becoming more rigid and distorted with living alone, or just lazy. For example: I have only cooked dinner for myself twice since moving out here, whereas my roommate and I cooked together almost every night in our college apartment. I don't know—it just seems like a whole lot of mess and hassle for a solo meal. That's not to say that I haven't been eating dinner, of course, it's just been more non-real dinner food like sandwiches, eggs, oatmeal, etc. or other snacky-type combinations. Stuff that doesn't necessarily qualify as "dinner," and stuff that I wouldn't try to pass off as "dinner" if anyone else were around to watch. My calories have stayed about  the same so it's not like I'm restricting per se; it's just the types of foods that have changed. I suppose you could say I'm restricting variety-wise, if we wanted to split hairs. So, is that a problem? I can't decide. I assume that "normal" eaters eat the same way whether or not they're being watched (What's that saying..."Character is what you do or say when no one else is looking"), but my habits definitely depend on whether or not I have an audience. Something to think about, I guess.

Anyway, that's my Saturday update for now. Take care, everyone.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Summer Days

I started work last week, and things are good so far! Everyone in the office seems super nice and the research is fascinating. Plus last Friday was 'Bring Your Dog to Work Day' so I spent much of the morning playing with puppies, which felt like a good omen.

Otherwise, I am doing my best to stay busy and entertained. College City is having a strange stretch of beautiful weather which we all know won't last long, so I'm trying to enjoy it while I can. While taking Dr. A's "no strenuous exercise for at least 1-2 years" to heart, I've been going for walks around my new neighborhood to explore the streets and soak up the sunshine. For the most part, my pain levels have been very tolerable and I want to make the most of it.

On the weekends, I've been going back to that food bank where I worked last summer for AIDS and cancer patients. It never fails to amaze me how much need there is in the world—right outside my doorstep, practically. How many times have I holed up at home and cried because of how goddamn unlucky I am to have been hit with so many health crises? Then I go spend three hours in a North College City shelter packed with people dying of incurable diseases. And they can't even afford food. So in reality, when you think about it, I'm probably among the luckiest people in the world.

Aside from that, I've also been tutoring a couple of Chinese graduate students in ESL, doing random crafts, cleaning/organizing/decorating my apartment, and reading. No joke—between my Kindle and the public library, I've probably read at least 20 books since graduation two weeks ago.

Books of the week:
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid—Really interesting take on 9/11 from a Muslim immigrant's point of view. It's a quick read but pretty thematically complex. I'll definitely be checking out this author's other work.
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer—My friend has been begging me to read this book for years. I suppose I've been a little slow to get on the JSF bandwagon; he seems to have a bit of a cult following and I'll admit that he's a good writer, but I wasn't in love with this book. The little boy totally stole my heart and I very much related to the story, as I was about his age (couple years older) and several of my friends lost parents on 9/11, but the story-within-a-story and other narrative gimmicks stuff got to be a bit much.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich—Well-written and heartbreaking. The story takes place on a Native American reservation and takes some concentration to follow, as there are a ton of characters and several overlapping subplots. I could have done without the mythical tangents, but overall this book was a win.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

'Fat Talk,' or Lack Thereof

Something my therapist has brought up several times is why I've always had bad body image. Had there been comments from my parents? My brother? My friends? Boyfriends? No, no, no, and no. In fact, no one has ever made a negative comment about my weight—except to express concern when I've gotten too skinny. I suppose that could be a result of me never having been overweight, but I think also because I've been really lucky to have amazing family and friends. Intelligent, thoughtful, compassionate people with the good sense not to make weight or appearance much of an issue.

Which is why it sometimes seems baffling to me that I've always been so gosh darn obsessed with my weight. It just seems so shallow and out of character for me, you know? Anyway, maybe that's why articles like this have never really resonated with me: 'Fat Talk' Compels, but Carries a Cost. When I sit down and think about it, I can count on one hand (well, maybe two hands) the number of conversations I can remember having with friends about feeling fat, wanting to lose weight, or any other general body dissatisfaction. Is this weird? Maybe I'm just lucky. Maybe I've just gotten good at steering conversations away from that stuff that I don't even realize it anymore. Maybe I'm so wrapped up in my own internal 'fat talk' that I'm totally oblivious to all the outside 'fat talk' happening around me.

Anyway, I've been thinking about this because I can honestly say that my body image is better right now that it has been in, like, years. No, I don't love my body, but I'm okay with it. Actually, I'm better than okay with it: I it?

Is it a coincidence that I am also at my highest weight in over five years? Is it the universe's greatest irony that I've spent most of that time killing myself to lose weight in pursuit of that elusive perfect, skinny body when in fact, the best cure to my body image woes was to gain weight? Someone pinch me.

I was walking down a busy street in College City yesterday afternoon in shorts and a t-shirt, watching myself in the passing storefront windows—because I still lack the ability to pass any reflective surface without scrutinizing my body—and realized, with a jolt, that I wasn't actually disgusted by the sight of myself. I realized that I wasn't fat, wasn't super disgusting, and wasn't a blobby freak of nature. I'm not super skinny anymore; I'm not even skinny, just normal. And that's fine.

The biggest body image woes I have right now are more related to feeling lazy and untoned, since I don't really exercise at all. The pain still makes it kind of tough, but I'm making an effort to get out and at least walk, if nothing else. Anyone ever used My Yoga Online? I'm thinking of trying some videos there.

Anyway, my point is: I feel so much more comfortable in my own skin than I have in a long long time, and am pretty much perfectly okay with the way I look. (Well, almost!) 'Fat talk' takes on a whole new meaning when you've got anorexia, and I'm proud to say that there is very little 'fat talk' happening in my brain right now. I can't say I've noticed any more or less of it among other women around me, but I can say that the internal obsessing has lessened tremendously.