Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Importance of Deadlines

Something about deadlines makes you get stuff done. You have a project due in 24 hours and it’s not started, you work your butt off and voila, it’s finished. Even though if it were two days before the project was due you wouldn’t have been able to finish it in one day. 
There’s a science behind it, which I think is kind of cool. The science says that people have a certain amount of discount for the future. That is they value the present time more than what they would do in the future. So having fun now instead of doing work always looks like a better option, even though it might hurt in the long run. Anyway, people can’t really control their discounting, but they can control how big penalties are if they discount too much. Deadlines, imposed by yourself or others, come attached to a penalty which is so bad that doing work in the present is actually better than doing work in the future.
It makes sense. If you had five years to write a paper, would you write it right away? Or wait?
Now apply that to EDs.
My new year’s resolution was to binge less than half the year and to purge less than half the year. So each month I keep track of my progress and I have those thirty days to eat normally 16 days. If I don’t meet my goal at the end of the month it means I’ve gained weight because I’ve binged more days than not, and it means that I’ve failed in my goal. Those two penalties are somehow enough to keep the binging at bay. The first half of this month was littered with binges. And there was a week and a half where every day was a failure. When I came back from break and looked at my behavior calendar, I noticed that if I wanted to keep my goal I would have to keep the binging down to three times in the remaining two weeks. That’s a tall order for someone who’s been on a binge spree. And yet somehow I did it. I had almost an entire week without binging. Maybe not just because of my deadline, but it definitely factored in. If I make it through today without binging I will have completed my goal exactly.
I guess what I’m saying is that if you really want to get something done try setting a concrete deadline and imposing some penalties if you don’t meet it. I mean goals that you know would be good for you if you completed but somehow can’t make yourself do. For me, the deadline takes away some of the choice to engage in behaviors. I want to purge, but I’m not allowed because I’ll fail the goal. I want to eat the pint of ice cream, but I can’t.
I’m amazed and ecstatic that it’s working for me, so I wanted to share it. 

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Just thought I would share that it has been a week and a half since I last purged!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Parents' Responsibility

A lot of us have parents who know we have EDs. 
Why don't we send them away to treatment? Or make us go to a therapist or something. My mom told me she thought I had an ED when I was in my bout anorexia. I was 13 and I didn't really even know what anorexia was. She could have sent me to a counselor and I wouldn't have resisted. Why didn't she? Was she afraid? Does she think counseling is only for weaklings? Did she now know how to proceed? Did she think it didn't matter enough? 
   Again during junior year o high school she told me she thought I was obsessed with working out. I refused to believe her, but she kept telling me.
  Who knows if treatment would've helped, especially in the second case. But it couldn't have hurt. I do wish she had done something. Maybe I would have realized sooner that I needed to get out of the cycle. 
   I can't blame her either. Even if people know about our EDs, there are a lot of reasons not to interfere. I just wish parents would be able to see what's best for us and do it.

Do you wish your parents had forced you to go to treatment? 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Goals of the Week 36

It's 2 AM where I am and I'm up because my bf is finishing a paper. He should have started it days ago but he didn't. So we're awake. 

I've been stressed out about school this week, if you couldn't tell by my last post. There's so much to do in so little time. I can't handle it. 

My goal for last week was to sit out of the way of the desserts. I did, and it helped some. I didn't eat as much of them, although I still ate them.
This week my goal is to eat no bread. This is because from Monday night onward, it's Passover! So I'm not allowed to eat bread. And I feel strongly about following the tradition, so I'm going to try. 

My non-b/p goal was to get exercise every day. And I did it! My goal for this week is going to focus on my schoolwork. My goal will be to make goals every day to complete the following day. Making daily goals dealing with schoolwork helps me get stuff done and I haven't been doing it often enough. 

What are your goals?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

School and Bulimia

School is about a third of my life. Bulimia is another third. So of course they would affect each other, I just never really thought about it. 
Bulimia never affected my grades.
What bulimia did affect was how I felt about my schoolwork. When I'm on a low from a binge-purge cycle, I tend to get very depressed about the quality of my work. And if I'm on a high from a binge without the option to purge, I get very distressed about my work. 
There were a few times this and last year in college when I skipped a class because a b/p cycle left me so depleted of energy. I've hated classes because they leave me no time to purge or walking to them leaves an ache in my throat because of all the throwing up I do. 
It's so unnecessary. I like school. I'm thankful that my grades continue to be what they need to be, but the whole experience could be so much better if I let it.

On the flip side, how did school affect my bulimia? 
School is a huge stressor. Tests and projects and homework and getting to class on time, ugh. Right now I have a project and a test coming up for the two hardest subjects I'm taking this year. And they happen at the same time. 
I have literally binged because of math problems. 
I often make goals that relate to food and interpersonal problems and leave out issues with school, but I think that needs to change. School stress can cause a lot of things, and it's so easy to fix, so why not fix it? Taking the time to get a tutor, or put "homework" on the calendar, or make a goal to study a certain amount for a test could go a long way to reducing stress. 

How does school affect your ED and vice versa? 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Goals of the Week 35

My goal last week was to de-stress myself before meals. I tried, I really did. It worked for one dinner but otherwise I couldn't keep my anxiety in check. This is a good one for home but since I don't stress about about eating at school I'm going to hold off on trying it again. My goal for this week is sit far away from the desserts. And to not go near them during meals. Out of sight, out of mind, as they say. 
My non b/p goal was to get an hour of exercise every day. I did this 3/7 days last week, which is more than I would usually do, but it wasn't enough. My goal for this week is to get exercise every single day. There's a workout room right by my dorm so it should be easy. 

What are your goals?

Friday, March 15, 2013

You're Wrong.

I keep waiting for someone to leave a comment saying I’m too smart-ass, I’m too high-and-mighty, I’m too anything. If someone did, I would look at it with the corners of my mouth turned down and think to myself “they’re right. I’d better shape up.” And then proceed to apologize to that person and get really self-deprecating on my blog. Whatever you can call me, I’ve heard it before from myself. I’ve considered every single bad personality trait in the history of personality and if I have even a sliver of it I prepare myself for the possibility of someone calling me out on it, hating me for it, judging me for it.

“You’re fat.”
“Tell me something I don’t know.”

“You’re mean.”
“I think so too.”

“You’re a horrible person.”

“You’re a thief. And a bad friend.”
“And a horrible person as well for not changing it. You forgot that.”

“You’re stupid.”
“You’re right.”

Something I’ve been working on for the past few months is to not feel sorry for who I am. And to not feel like I have every single bad personality trait on the face of the earth. It’s hard, because there’s really no way you can know for sure. Other people can’t always tell you you are or aren’t something because they don’t know what goes on inside your head.
My biggest success has been taking ownership of my opinions. I still try not to insult people, but now if I think a certain way then I tell myself “it’s ok to think this. No one will crucify you for thinking this.” And then I can say or write my opinion without feeling bad.
If someone were to call me out on them I could defend them too, instead of relenting and changing my opinion. It’s a good feeling. I feel like I have more of an identity. And strangely enough, it’s allowed me to become less vulnerable to other people’s opinions, because now I don’t feel like I have to conform or be perfect. I also understand how someone could think something negative about something I do and still like me as a person (because I do it!).
If you feel like you have to try to conform to others’ ways of thinking in order for them to overlook your “awful” personality traits, I suggest trying this. Type out a strong opinion and post it. Or tell a friend.

Does anyone else feel this way? Can you say what you mean to people without fear? 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

There's a Girl I Don't Know

There’s a girl at my school who I sometimes see at lunch. She’s probably around 4 ft 10, and she always wears the same outfit- a white sweater over black running pants. Her legs are probably as thick as a chair leg. When I see her get food she carefully picks out pieces of cauliflower, a mountain of shredded carrots, and a few other vegetable-y things. If that’s what she eats for lunch, yay. Except then I thought, maybe she doesn’t eat dinner or breakfast.
I wonder if she is anorexic. She might have some other medical condition that causes her to be super thin. I want to ask her.
She seems nice. I accidentally bumped into her as she was getting a plate and she smiled at me and said “sorry.”
I wonder if she thinks she’s the only one at our school with an eating disorder. I wonder what she would think if I told her I had one too.
I hope she’s ok. I hope she’s working on recovery, because frankly, if I had to guess, I would say her low weight is putting her at high risk of death in the near future.
Am I being judgy? I’m just worried about her.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Goals of the Week 34

Thank you for all the comments! The reason I haven't been around to blogs or commenting is because I've had a lot to do lately, plus I got sick, so I used all my free time sleeping and being lazy.
This week I'm back at my house for spring break, this time with my lovely supportive boyfriend! He has this mindset where he doesn't like to change things he does, so it's hard to get him to travel with me to my house instead of just stay at the dorm. But I managed to convince him this time! I'm ecstatic not only because I get to show him around everywhere, but because he can help keep me in line around all these ridiculous dessert foods. (thin mints, dulce de leche cookies, hershey's kisses, mini donuts, butter, chocolate milk, mint chocolates, chocolate pudding...)

My goal was to make entirely healthy choices the entire week. That didn't pan out as planned, which I kind of figured would happen because it was a hard goal to complete anyway. I binged on about 5/7 days but only purged on 1. Which is good! My b/p goal for this week is to de-stress myself before meals. In our house we have dinner together, so I can't control when I eat. If I don't stress out about it so much beforehand, I'll be able to stick my my meal plan.

My non b/p goal for last week was to spend money at the vending machine only 3/7 days. And I did it! I can say it was probably because I got sick though, so I had no desire to eat dessert foods. This week I can't spend any money because I'm at home, so my new goal is... to get an hour of exercise everyday. Since the rest will be spend sitting, I think an hour will be okay. 

What are your goals?

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Transition Girl

For some reason, I tend to be the girl people make friends with before they make friends with better people. I make friends with outcasts because I feel a certain kinship with them. I want to strengthen them up and make them feel good about themselves, and I genuinely enjoy their company. But then they do get confident and make other friends and forget about me.
I hate it. Why am I forgettable? Why aren’t I interesting enough? 

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Secret Letter

** Update: I put the note in a popular vending machine while no one was looking. When I checked back there three hours later the note was gone! So someone definitely found it! **

Ruby posted a challenge on her blog: write an inspiring note to a random person and place it in a place anyone can find it.
I thought this was a great idea, so here is the note I wrote.

Dear you,
People aren’t told often enough how much they’re appreciated. This is a reminder. You could be the guy with a dark sense of humor, or a girl whose laugh sounds high and frilly, or someone who simply stands in the background… no matter what, there are people who appreciate you for being exactly what you are.
Here are some joys I find in life: watching sunset from on top of a hill squeezing my boyfriend’s shoulder or making him laugh, snuggling under comfy blankets, and sipping hot tea on a cold morning.
I hope this note reminds you of what and who makes you happy.
Now go and have a good day J

I wonder if the person who finds it will actually appreciate it. I tried to write it so that it wouldn’t come off as untrue- because really, if you don’t know a person, how can they believe that you’re right when you tell them they’re beautiful? So I just tried to be general, and I hope that whoever picks it up is someone like me who would enjoy the mystery of whoever put it there. But even if that person picks it up and throws it away, I still had fun writing it.