Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Revised Commitments

I guess it's do-or-die time. Or at least do-or-hurt-again time. I started having pain last Friday or so, which continued through the weekend. I called my mom an absolute wreck on Monday afternoon because the pain had persisted and I was so scared of going through that again. It brought me right back.

Things have eased up a bit since then. I'm still having some pain, but much less. And it's still nothing like it was before October when I started using my miracle fire cream. And what has changed?

I stopped running.

No, I'm not happy about it. Yes, I feel fat and gross and lazy. But yes, ultimately, if it keeps my periods coming and the pain at bay, it will be totally worth it.

On the phone the other day, in between me crying and hyperventilating, my mom said something I needed to hear: "Your body is still fragile." I didn't want to hear it, because I wanted to hear that I'm cured of the nerve pain, of the hormonal deficiencies, and of the anorexia. I wanted to hear that all the running has been good for me; that the muscles in my legs and abs and heart are powerful and strong. But the truth is, I am still fragile. I haven't let my body recover and just be; I am constantly fighting it, abusing it, forcing it to perform over and over again until it inevitably gives out on me.

My body can't handle running that much. Not now, maybe not ever. I've committed to taking a full week (maybe two) off, or at least until my pain levels get back to baseline. Then I'll think about incorporating it back, slowly, and definitely not back up to the mileage I was at before. For whoever's keeping track, you can revise my commitments accordingly.

It's going to suck. I love running and I hate not running. I love flying down those trails, hearing my sneakers hit the gravel and the wind whipping past my ears. I love that it gets my heart pumping like nothing else does. I love that my legs get wobbly and stiff afterwards. But I hate being in pain more. Actually, it's not even that I hate the pain; it's that I simply cannot take it again. I cannot be the person I want to be when I'm in that degree of pain. I won't go so far as to say that this wakeup call was a good thing, but I will say that it's hard for me to understand the need for moderation until something knocks me back down in my place.

Will keep you all posted. Take care.


  1. This may be not what you want to hear-- and I for one shot murderous glances at ANYONE who dared breathe a word of "maybe you should do X instead of running" but-- I've found other things that give me that same free-joy-breathing feeling that running did. After years of bland yoga classes, I finally found a vinyasa instructor who I absolutely adore. Seriously. That class moves at a pace so fast that if you stop to think about whether you look silly or what you ate for breakfast, you're likely to lose the level of concentration required and tip over. (Not that it's not okay to tip over.... it's more like, I could never do the still/quiet meditative things. Running brought me that. But this variety of fast paced yoga, which also took up my whole mindspace, has also brought me that) And it feels *good* for my body.

    And it's been kinder to the bones too. Strength training was good for me too-- which I initially started because my bone density was shot to hell (having fractured both femurs, and several vertebrate over a 3 year period in my late teens/early 20s) and I was scared.

    But reaaally proud of you for taking the break. And thank GOD you took the break soon enough that your body could still recover from the damage you were doing. I was scared for you that it'd take too long for you to convince yourself to take a break & then you'd stop & still be in pain.

    Bodies are fragile things, and I'm so, so glad that you're taking the necessary steps to take care of yours. I have faith that you'll heal completely. I had follow up scans on my spine this past year-- 10 years after the initial injury, and they are finally fully healed. I have thrown SO many tantrums (mentally & IRL, too) when weight restoration did not equal any bone restoration/fractures took years to heal, but I got there, finally.

    Bodies can be slow, but I regained height, my bone density is for the first time ever normal and the vertebrate are finally fully healed. No one actually expected them to heal *that* much, just wanted to make sure they weren't deteriorating still etc.It took a solid 5+ years of being mostly well for that to happen-- of being actually weight restored, not just like, marginally "healthy" etc. And like you, when I return to behaviors, I can feel those familiar aches.

    Bodies are strange things, but they are also pretty powerful and resilient. Be good to yours, and be good to yourself too. You've come a long way.

  2. This is a very wise decision - to not run.... and it's the only option if you want to choose a healthy, whole, pain-free life. Proud of you. I know it's hard, and I'm really happy to read about your committment.

    I took 2 years off running POST weight restoration, post discharge from an IOP.... and what happened to me is my eyesight improved and I grew 2 inches in height (at age 26 or 27).

    It's hard for any other exercise to replicate running.... but if you can "handle" anorexia, you can "handle" not running too. It's a simple - but not easy - choice.

    You've got this!

    I'll be watching for more check ins - b/c I'm concerned and b/c I care.


  3. I agree with the very wise ladies who have already commented. I know it sucks to take a break from running. I would definitely suggest a longer break than the one you mention above. You *are* still fragile. Unfortunately, there's a lot of healing a body still has to do after WR--a lot that we don't see in ourselves, but are reminded of when things like this happen. I would encourage you to find a yoga class, and also, if/when you feel you can do cardio without it being compulsive, try something different. There are plenty of things that produce those lovely "feel good" endorphins, but are easier on the body. I just worry that these compulsions are taking over again for you, and that exercise has been the only way you've been managing your anxiety. Also, nothing wrong with walking those same lovely trails! I'm really proud of you for staying accountable in your "real" life, and also here. I'm rooting for you!