Today I got really really scared. Not of weight gain or the scale or any of that crap (well, I mean, I am scared of those, but that's not what I'm talking about...), but of going backwards. Of undoing all the months of relearning to eat, and relearning to go about my day without having to burn XXX calories first.
The running is getting out of control. I used to go five days a week, which has become seven. I used to run 4 miles at a time max, which has become...more than that. I'm skipping snacks, and not just occasionally or accidentally either. My weight is still pretty stable—actually it has bumped up a tad, which scares the crap out of me, but I do honestly think it is a matter of my body FREAKING OUT at this return to old habits—but my period has gone from 5 days long to about 3.5, and comes at weird and erratic intervals as opposed to the perfect 30 cycle I was on for about a year.
So I got really really scared because I had laced up my sneakers and hit the trails in Big City Park as usual, when I realized that my legs were heavy and tired, and I needed a day off because I hadn't had one in two weeks. And then I realized despite that, I couldn't stop.
Luckily I had therapy right after and managed to hash this all out with Dr. P. Because she is a beautiful and perfect human being, she calmed me down and reminded me that I used to say I would do anything—gain weight, give up exercise, stand on my head for three hours a day—if it meant that my eyes would heal and that I would no longer be in pain. But now that I've been doing okay, I find myself sliding right back down the hole. I'm not necessarily trying to lose weight, but I am certainly trying to see how far I can push myself....until what? Until the nerve pain comes back and I go right back to being suicidally depressed? Until I do lose weight and realize, again, that it doesn't solve anything? What the hell am I doing?
For a while I thought I was over the eating disorder, and in a lot of ways I am. My weight is solidly in the "healthy" range and lines up pretty well with where my natural growth curve should have landed me. My eyes still feel great and I'm not having pain yet. But the vanishing periods seems like the potential first step down a long and miserable path. I've already been there, and I don't want to go back. I can't go back. I cannot do that again.
So, here is my commitment to you.
I will not skip snacks.
I will eat a minimum of XXXX calories per day.
I will not run more than 5 days per week.
I will not run more than 30 miles per week.
I will not forget how horrible this day was. I will not do that to my parents again.
I can't promise that I'll do it perfectly, but I am going to try. This is my commitment.