Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Storytelling Advice

I'm taking a fiction writing course this semester, and we have to write two short stories of about 12 pages each. 
I want to write a story about someone with an eating disorder- it's been begging to be told for some time  but I have no idea how to write it, and I feel like writing about such a serious topic could backfire horrible if the writing isn't good. 
My other worry in using it for class is that people will easily guess that I have or have had an eating disorder, one of those people being my close friend who I haven't told. 
I'll decide myself whether or not to share it with the class but I'd like to get your input as well. Do you think sharing the story is a horrible idea?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fasting Fail

Yesterday I wanted to fast to break away from the cycle of binging I was stuck in over summer vacation. I ate a small breakfast to start my metabolism and then resolved not to eat anything until the next morning.
Boy did that fail.
By 10 AM I had a splitting headache, and by noon I was starting to get tired and nauseous. In my third class of the day, my hands started shaking and I felt lightheaded more than anything else. I got up to get a drink and could barely get myself to the water fountain. I felt incredibly hot- like I was burning up, and yet when I looked in the mirror, my face was whiter than Kleenex. I needed to sleep, yet I wasn’t tired. I needed to vomit, yet I hadn’t eaten anything. It was an awful feeling. Strangely, I did not feel hungry, but in my mind all my symptoms were related to me not eating, and sure enough, about an hour after I scarfed down a yogurt and two granola bars, I started to feel like normal again.
Do things like this normally happen when you start to restrict? I don’t remember this ever happening before.
Those few hours that I suffered were more than enough to convince me not to fast ever again. The purpose of this eating disorder is to make me happy, and what I felt was the furthest thing from happiness that I’ve ever experienced. For me, even grief and loss can’t hold a candle to this kind of discomfort. All I could think of was that my body was shutting down, that I needed some way to escape it, that I had to get out of this state as soon as possible. It was terrifying!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Goals of the Week 7

My goal of no binge during breakfast...
Well, it kinda worked? I went about 3 days in keeping with my goal, but then circumstances intervened. The family had a big reunion over the weekend, and desserts were scattered around the house like ant infestations. I didn't even try those days, I was too intoxicated by the cookies, cakes, lemon squares... pretty much everything. I know, I know, it's no excuse. I was pretty much just being greedy. I don't know if it counts as being greedy if you feel you can't help yourself? I've often wondered how much my compulsions are compulsions. For instance sometimes I will have an absolute need to purge after I binge, but then sometimes I decide I should purge after I binge. When I binge, I don't feel as if I have a choice, but sometimes I'll go out of my way to get food for it, like make an extra trip to the grocery store. That takes fore-planning. Does it still count? 
My new b/p goal will be to not binge on dessert foods. 

My non b/p goal was to finish the ED book from the library. I did, although it didn't help me much. My psychiatrist from school got his own little blurb, which made me annoyed at him. I know most people would be happy that their mental health doctor suffered from an eating disorder just like them, because that means that the doctor has additional understanding. But in my case, I don't like it, because I want my doctor to be a pillar of strength- to not have weaknesses that I know about. 
I kind of wonder about him. Does he still worry about food? Does he weigh himself and then feel his stomach plummet when he looks at the number? Does he count the calories in his meals before he eats? Does he think about his weight and his disease as much as I do mine? 

My new goal will be to... sigh... spend at least an hour a day talking to people from the other suites. I hate to do it because in my mind they all hate me, but I have to overcome this fear of socializing. Or find other people to talk to. The same problem presents itself with suites I don't know though. They already have their group. They don't want me intruding. 
Oh dear, I'm not looking forward to this at all.

What are your goals for the week?

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Express Yourself

My family will say that I’m obnoxious, but I’ve always been wary of expressing myself around others. I’m good at acting, but acting is becoming someone else, and what I do on stage has no bearing on my worth as a human being. But if I publish a poem and then show it to people, or write about my life, I get really defensive. This blog is even a struggle sometimes because you guys know my first name, so if someone I know stumbles across it, there’s a one in a million chance they could guess who I am. (instead of zero chance)
Lately, I’ve been trying to force myself to be more expressive. A few months ago I published a poem on a social website instead of anonymously. I hung up my drawings instead of sticking them in a folder where no critic could lay eyes on them.
My hope is that getting more comfortable expressing myself will get me to be more open with people. Or with myself. Who knows!
There are a lot of good things that can come of learning to express yourself. The risk is that someone will become egotistical or that your vulnerabilities will be exploited. I’m extremely worried about both of those things happening, increasingly the first one. (And ironically, the more I get worried that I’m selfish the more selfish I become, because then all my thoughts are directed inwards)
How do you express yourself? Not only would I enjoy hearing about it, but I could use some ideas. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Guilty Verdict

I’m sure a lot of people feel like this, but more and more I’m feeling guilty about looking for attention relating to my eating disorder. Although I’m 120 pounds, (which is a low weight for some heights) I am by no means skinny. My weight is in the normal range, and when I read about people thinking they’re fat and seeing how flat their stomachs really are, how thin their arms really are, how small their thighs really are… I just feel like a sham. I am not anorexic. I wish I could be at a low enough weight to be considered anorexic, or that I looked skinny enough to be considered anorexic, but I’m not. When people blog about trying to not binge, I have to remind myself that some mean 600 calories instead of 200. I’m not saying it’s not serious to binge on 600 calories, but boy I wish I could stick to that. Instead I ingest around 1500 calories per binge, most likely more.
My point is that I feel like I have been leading people to believe I’m something that I’m not. Unintentionally, of course.
In addition, my disorder has gone on for a mere 2 years. And my binges and purges have been few and far between compared to others that I’ve read about. How was I the one who ended up in treatment? And how could I even think of wishing for more? I want inpatient treatment so badly, just to help me stop binging. There are people out there whose lives are in danger because of their eating disorder, and I want to take away one of their spots.
            I keep telling myself I deserve treatment as much as they do, but even if that’s the case, treatment is a limited resource. There are limited number of spots in inpatient and outpatient therapy. There are limited numbers of therapists. Shouldn’t the people who are more in danger get first dibs?
            What’s worse is that instead of motivating me to get better, this only makes me want to get sicker. Then I’ll deserve all this attention I’m getting.
            Well, I made a promise to myself that I wasn’t going to purge ever again. This is only the 200th time I’ve tried to stick to it. If I was going to give up, I would have done it 100 times ago. I guess my brain wants me to be self-centered. And I hate myself for it. But it’s working. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Goals of the Week 6

I did not accomplish my no binge goal last week. Therefore, I'm going to go smaller. This week, my goal is not to binge at breakfast. When I binge during breakfast, my whole day becomes a binge, and I'm hoping that I'll be able to put a stop to that. 
As for my non b/p goal, I accomplished it! I was definitely hard not to weigh myself an entire week, and I'll admit that the first thing I did when I got up today was step on the scale, but I made it!
My non b/p goal for this week will be.... finishing the new eating disorder book I got from the library. Not too hard. 
What are your goals?

Friday, August 17, 2012

Food Pyramid

So today I was listening to some therapy tapes that involve a certain diet (I know, ironic right? But they were treating the people with diet therapy to help with their depression) and one of the therapists happened to mention that the old food pyramid, the one that actually looks like a food pyramid, was created by the grain companies. So I looked it up, and she was right! I never knew that. Apparently nutritionists recommended about 3-4 servings of grain a day and then the lobbyists for the food companies got it to say 6-9 servings a day (or whatever number they put there). That’s just awful!
So then I read up on a whole bunch of blogs claiming that this disgraceful food pyramid is what’s making American fat.
I have a problem with this. Who actually followed the food pyramid? When I learned about the food pyramid, I sort of thought “Oh, great.” And then never thought about it again. It didn’t change the way I ate at all. In 10th grade, when I was obsessed with getting healthy (the seeds of my current eating disorder) I never followed the food pyramid. I never followed ANY food pyramid. And I don’t think there’s any reason to think that Americans as a whole follow the food pyramid. My family never did and no one I knew did... I’d wager that Americans still ate more bread than they needed, but I bet that they ate even more bread than the food pyramid recommended! And they did this without a thought as to what the food pyramid said.
Of course, the fact remains that America was pushing out the knowledge that grains were the most important foods to eat. Everyone who knows what the old pyramid looks like knows that grains are on the bottom, and so must assume that the government advocates eating more grains than any other type of food. This could have something to do with America’s weight gain, but who knows. A lot of things influence obesity.
The current food pyramid is a plate. And while this works better than the pyramid, it still has its problems. For instance, how big is this plate supposed to be? If I fill up a pizza pan with the same proportions as the guide, I’m still eating a hell of a lot more than I should.
What do you think? Did you ever follow the 1992 food pyramid?

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Success and a 10 lb Weight Gain

I have officially not purged for 15 days!

However, since I've been binging at about the same rate as normal, I have already gained 5 pounds, which means I will be 130 pounds by the time school starts if I continue. I've been 130 pounds before, and I don't like it. This means I'll need to lose at least 15 pounds over the course of the school year. 
But I'm going to continue. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Psych Ward

Today I went to the local psych ward as part of my summer internship. 
Let me tell you, there is a strong sense that these people are sick. Before you walk into a room all the doors are locked so that no one can get out. As soon as you enter a room the smell of urine and formaldehyde fill your nose. People in hospital robes sit in chairs and stare at the wall, unseeing.
One person who had no shoes on and whose pants were safety pinned together flagged me down to “teach me.” She mentioned that she was going to get down to a size six, and then she would be able to participate in class action lawsuits and work at McDonalds. Although there was nothing wrong with that conversation, it just isn’t the type of conversation you’d normally expect from a stranger. The fact people around her were moaning and drooling accompanied by the smell just made everything seem sicker.
Of course, there are many people who act normally on these floors, but there are also many that you might expect to see stereotypes of in movies like Shutter Island.
            To tell the truth, it was a little overwhelming. I want to be a psychologist. If I worked here, I would have absolutely no idea how to help these people. Of course, treating people with eating disorders would probably present a different sort of population, but I’m not assuming that I’ll get to choose which field I go into. My hope is that I’ll be taught what I can do for everyone before I have to go do it. 
         The other point that I wanted to make that I forgot to add is that these people don't need to seem sick. They're made to seem extremely sick by the atmosphere of the hospital. Now, I have no idea how sick anyone is, but it's just something to think about. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Goals of the Week 5

My goal of no binge/purge through Thursday of last week was sort of completed. I did binge, multiple times. However, no purging commenced. I'm pretty proud of myself for that actually. If you've ever binged and then tried not to throw up, you know what a hell that is. 
My new goal is no binge or purge at least through Wednesday. And not just no purge this time, but also no binge. For real. If I make it through Wednesday, I will have lasted the longest amount of time EVER without. Fingers crossed!
My non binge-purge goal last week was to throw away my scale. Well, that didn’t happen, but it is in the back of my closet, untouched.
This week I think my non binge-purge goal will be to not weigh myself until after I see my therapist on Friday. It’s a really lofty goal, since I’m now 125 pounds, 5 pounds heavier than I was at the beginning of the summer. It makes me really anxious and uncomfortable, and in the past I’ve tried to resolve this anxiety by binging and purging and checking my weight to make sure it continues to decrease. Well, it won’t this time. And as awful as that is, I have to make sure not to remind myself of that.

Things that challenged my beliefs:
Gaining weight is the worst thing on earth: No one has noticed that I gained weight. No one except me. I obviously don’t look extra hideous or anything from gaining that 5 pounds. Life goes on.
No one thinks I’m interesting: Well, I was invited to a wedding. And that was great, even though I definitely binged. I met some really cool people and they were very welcoming.
I have no motivation when I don’t restrict: I still exercised when I wasn’t restricting. I still made pizza bubbly. I still practiced my instrument. My motivation to do these things was down, but it was still there. 

What are your goals for the week?

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Do any of you know if you can feel yourself gaining weight?
I've heard that you can't, but after a binge, I sometimes feel a sort of bubbling in my stomach or my thighs, and I always feel like that's the fat being stored there. Does anyone know what this is? I haven't been able to find out. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Binge Example

Here's what I ate today:

Fruit juice
½ tortilla with lots of peanut butter.
2 cold waffles with lots of peanut butter
1 square of chocolate

1.5 pieces of nutbread with marshmallow sauce
30 peanuts
4 slabs of chocolate
1 kit kat
¼ tortilla with peanut butter and jelly

brown rice
green bean casserole
corn with butter

½ tortilla with butter and sugar
½ tortilla with peanut butter and jelly
non pareils

And I might not be done. 

Goals of the Week 4

I succeeded, finally in a binge/purge goal! All week! It wasn’t really all that much to live up to though. Refraining from binging and purging in adjacent meals doesn’t really put limits on what I can do in a day. However, I managed to not binge/purge for the last 5 days. August is going well so far.
My new goal is to not binge/purge through Thursday, when I’m next seeing my therapist.
My goal of enjoying the rest of my vacation went pretty well. I didn’t get irritated with anyone on the drive home, as I expected I would. I didn’t exactly love it though.
My new goal is to throw out my scale. It doesn’t work anymore anyway, so it won’t be too hard. The point is to “purge” the need for it. I’ve still been checking my weight with my parents’ scale, but less often than during the school year. The other point is to not buy a new one. That will set me up for going back to college WITHOUT A SCALE. Oh my god. In my entire life I’ve never been without a scale in my house somewhere. The first thing I bought at college was a scale. I have three weeks to get used to it.

Things that challenged my beliefs:
I did binge this week. I didn’t purge, and lo and behold, my weight on the scale has stayed relatively the same after this one small binge. This counters my Binging Will Make Me Gain Weight belief.
I had a lovely conversation with one of my friends, which counters my You’re Not Intersting con.

Not much else happened.
What are your goals for the week?

Sunday, August 5, 2012


You’re not allowed to binge, it’s bad for you.
You’re not allowed to be overweight.
You can't drink diet soda, it's bad for you.
In fact, the only GOOD drink is water. 
You're not allowed to eat food that's bad for you.
But you need to try desserts to get used to them!
You have to exercise at least three times a week.
You should weight lift!
You can’t be too proud of yourself- that’s called bragging and immodesty.
But you can’t hate yourself either- that’s called self-deprication.
WHY ARE YOU SHY? No one will know you.
WHY ARE YOU SO LOUD? Everyone thinks you’re self-centered and bitchy.
Keep up with fashion.
You need to work hard in your classes.
You don’t have friends? There’s no excuse for that- you have to spend time with people in order to be friends with them.
Practice your instruments.
Clean your room!
You have no excuse to get bad grades.
You have no excuse to have bulimia- nothing bad has ever happened to you.
You have no excuse to STILL have bulimia, not after all these treatments.
Unfit? Get your act together, there’s no excuse.
There’s no excuse for making mistakes at work.
No excuse for not working hard.
No excuse for being unprepared.
No excuse for not being a leader.
No excuse for looking less than perfect.
No excuse for being tired.
No excuse for thinking negative thoughts.
No excuse for purging.
No excuse for letting myself binge.
No excuse for stealing food.

Friday, August 3, 2012

2 Positives

Today I binged. I've eaten at least 3000 calories by this point, but I'm not letting myself purge. I have to fight through it. I have to know that I have the rest of my life to lose weight. I don't need to rid myself of the calories immediately. 

I've been feeling lately like my therapist is annoyed with me; like she thinks I'm stupid or lazy or just some whiny girl who doesn't want to lift a finger to save herself. I felt this way with my other therapist too, so I'm wondering if it's just me. Or maybe I'm just not a nice person and so my therapists don't feel a connection with me. 
Yesterday I told my therapist that I don't want to go on meds and she basically implied that I was stupid for allowing myself to suffer when I didn't have to. 
I just don't want to go on meds. And now I feel pressured to try them in order to get her to like me more. I'm not going to go on them either way, but it would be nice to know where I stand with them. 

One technique that I wanted to share with everyone is that every time you think a negative thought, counter it with two positive thoughts. This can be used when people say things like "you look so fat" when they don't mean it, or when they say something that wasn't intended to be hurtful but is at face value. I haven't gotten a chance to use it yet- or maybe I'm trying to ignore my chances to use it, but it might help.