6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse

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Haven’t written in awhile.

Mostly because —  I’ve lost weight — And I don’t know how (nor want) to talk about that.

How do you talk about the reality that’s occurring – and less about the past you can reflect on? (Writing about the past is so much simpler.)

What does it mean when you’re generally “okay” and yet — not being okay?

How do you write for the people you know that read this — put yourself out on the gurney —  and still make it human?

It’s hard to maintain a sense of transparency about your life – while also worrying about what other people will think.

So, I write in this way. In numerical values like this headline — because it seems easier to own.

6 “real” signs of a relapse.

I’m in one – but I’ll dig out of it.

And, I think, while I’m in it — it’s worth shedding light on the little manipulations we use in order to get away with it. Continue reading “6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse”

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When Your Eating Disorder Looks Like A Freak Show

UK articles
Feelin’ about 50 shades of WTF.
Haven’t posted in a hot minute because I’ve been struggling a bit in this transition to Denver (love the city, love my life here – but just having some control issues that OF COURSE manifest into weight loss) and I’m working through them with daily OA meetings. (Post to come on OA soon.)
However, I’m coming out of the woodwork because I am all sorts of emoji red face P.O’ed
Everything in that picture above is what I loathe about the portrayal of eating disorders.
Yesterday, I woke up and these article headlines about me ran on the UK Daily Mail, Sun, and Mirror.
YEP GUYS -there I am – the two-headed eating disorder freak show splattered across UK media.
My agenda every day is to represent recovery in a way that relates to ALL yet time and time again the world has a tendency to portray people with eating disorders as though we are some fictitious character straight outta American Horror Story.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful every single day for the opportunity to write about this shiz. It’s kept me connected with the community as well as find an outlet of accountability, but the problem with this kind of portrayal is that it sends the message to people that you have to be “that” sick to really have an eating disorder.
It discourages people from voicing their struggle because they look at horror headlines like that and think to themselves “Oh, well I’m not vomm’ing blood into a toilet – I guess I’m not really that bad.”
The truth is, am I proud of those articles content? Yes. The journalist was respectful and asked real, human questions about my recovery and ED experience. She does not choose headlines, and I have nothing but kind words to say about our interview process.
However, when I read these headlines, I absolutely bloody cringe. Not only because it’s grossly and salaciously manifesting as cheap click bait, but because the headlines heighten my experience with body dysmorphia and eating disorders in a glorified one-of-a-kind manner.
Did I feel and do all those things? Yes. I did have trouble sitting on a subway. I passed people on the SIDEWALK (not street) and had moments that I panicked. “WHAT IF I RUN INTO THEM WITH MY THIGHS.”
I was very sick. I’d never deny that and I’ve got a whole helluva lot of war stories- we all do in recovery, as I’m learning through my resurgence of OA meetings.
Half of recovery is letting those “war stories” go and moving forward.
I just want to reiterate today that I was still a real person back when I was sick. I went to work like anyone else (albeit not fully present), and I functioned as best as i could.  At the end of the day my experience is really no more extreme than anyone else out there struggling with BDD and ED.
PLEASE REMEMBER — You don’t have to have “bloody vomit” and “fear of walking down the street” to quality for an ED or BDD, just as you don’t need to have a salacious bikini pic to qualify as “recovered.”
I hurt myself a lot over the years, and I am still learning what it means to be healthy of mind. However, I want to continue to reiterate that you don’t have to look, act, or be any certain way to suffer from ED.
Ignore those headlines – not everyone’s experience with mental illness has these glorified extremes that they imply.
If you are sick, you know. You know because your life is passing – one day after the other- and you’re missing it, and it’s sad. 💛

“Are There, Like, Cals In Gum?”: Life As A Calorie Counter

It should qualify as a skill set.

I was revamping my resume the other day (for my big ole move to Denver tomorrow! P.S. HIRE ME PLZ) and as I was modifying my skills I actually had a moment ((while eating Greek Yogurt and a handful of almonds)), that I smirked to myself and considered including:

  • Fluency in Calorie Counting
    • Sharp cache for all sugar, carb, fat, and sodium grams
    • Extensive fieldwork into the calorie counts of all processed and baked goods
    • Well-versed to all sugar in fruit juices, caffeine, and alcohol

Eating disorders are amazing lil boogers. I was completely focused on perfecting the language of my resume and yet as I glanced down at the yogurt, I caught a SMIDGEN of the label and my brain went all “Beautiful Mind” and added the calories of the almonds and yogurt quicker than I could stop myself.

a-beautiful-mind

Not to brag, but I am like the Speedy Gonzalez of calorie counting. My brain doesn’t really retain historical info, or anything actually pertinent or useful- but bloody hell, I can count calories on a plate of food about as quick as Kobayashi can choke down a hot dog.

hot dog

Continue reading ““Are There, Like, Cals In Gum?”: Life As A Calorie Counter”

When You Have The Flu But Still Have An Eating Disorder

 

everythig hurts

My eating disorder amazes me.

I legit have the Flu people- THE FLU….yet yesterday at around 6pm I still thought as I rode the bus home “Am I sick enough yet to miss a work out?”

Inevitably, mother nature answered for me. In the 45 minutes it took me to ride the bus, get home and eat dinner (which my taste buds were already rejecting) I could feel the fever flame through me.

Ugh, fine- I thought, feeling the weakness fever brings. GUESS I CAN’T WORK OUT.

If felt like failure.

Huddled in my bed last night- teeth chattering- running a 102.3 fever and crying at Undercover Boss (because apparently fever makes me HIGHLY emotional)… I find I still have that little voice in my ear.

feeling like....
Feelin’ Like.

Continue reading “When You Have The Flu But Still Have An Eating Disorder”

Holidaze: Surviving The #Blessed Season With An Eating Disorder

gifffff tgiving

…Because, likely, if you have an eating disorder you love Thanksgiving- but hate Thanksgiving food.

Personally, I have no problem admitting I am the scrooge of Thanksgiving (okay, fine. And Halloween… Costumes and Body Dysmorphia just DO NOT fly with me no matter if I dress like a slutty nurse or a Pentecostal nun.)

Anyways…

Give me your pilgrims, your Indians, your Thanksgiving Charlie Brown VHS, The corporate Vacation Days, Family small talk, The sweet smell of doughy rolls-

But my God, keep your stuffing, your pecan pie, your cranberry sides, your corn pudding like 1000 feet away from me.

thanksgiving 21

There are times I wish I could use a get-out-of-jail-free card on my eating disorder; Thanksgiving is one of them.

If it were up to me, I’d sit at the ”kid table” far far away from the buffet of food and play airplane while someone feeds me a spoonful of carrot mash alongside my cousin’s 1-year old.

airpline food

Alas, recovery- however- doesn’t exactly approve of carrot mash (although it might just  be the ONE food item I actually don’t know the calorie count on…)

Anywho, despite my silent protesting- Thanksgiving feast occurs again- as it did last year and the year before etc., etc.

Continue reading “Holidaze: Surviving The #Blessed Season With An Eating Disorder”

Eat Dessert For Breakfast Because #Recovery

It’s dat simple.

Dessert for Breakfast:

eating cookie
…Because 4 years ago on 11/22/11 I was a lil girl I can no longer recognize, and I’m going to enjoy 3 cookies.

“I’m tired of living like this,” I wrote then. “Can’t stand drowning in food. Just want to be a person; To enjoy a meal. To not rape myself for eating a candy bar. Need help Bradley, where are you? My god come help me. I’m tired and just want to be okay. When I look into a field I don’t see grass anymore. Don’t see the scenery. I just see a long treadmill made to run off what I ate this morning. I’ve made everything I do a way to burn calories, and the joy of life has left me in so many ways. Nothing is interesting if I can’t make it about weight. I’m 22 years old and lived like this for so long I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a meal; the last time I sat down and felt hungry. So far in and don’t know how to get out. Afraid I can’t. Can’t remember what’s enjoyable, only in theory. Was given so much, and am wasting it. Given looks and I cut them away; given a brain and am using it on everything senseless. Given morals and forgot how to abide. Can’t remember how to be apart of anything.”

belly button cookie
Belly Button Cookie

The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder 

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

 

This sentence helped take away 8 years and 40lbs of my life.

Such a simple few words. We say it all the time.

“Oh, you’ve gained weight? Couldn’t tell.”

“You’re hungover? Couldn’t tell.”

“Wait, I don’t see any zit on your chin? What are you talking about?”

“You got a haircut? Sorry, didn’t notice.”

We’re human. Our sensors are overloaded by stigma. We don’t always notice much outside of our peripheral.

It’s okay, and likely for the good of mankind… But, to someone with an eating disorder- that sentence is a trap.

That sentence is what continues to breakdown conversation for someone who may need the professional help that our country can provide.

Continue reading “The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder “

7 Things People Say About Eating Disorders That You ”Can’t Even”

1. (Said while eating a meal) “It’s such a relief to see you eating again…. (pause)… You look so healthy.”

lay off me im starving gif

*Clammers Fork onto Plate*

…Never eats again.

2. ” Was it the media? IT WAS THE MEDIA.  Don’t believe the media – they’re airbrushed you know?! Those models aren’t even real.” 

colbert facepalm

… Yes thank you, we too know about Photoshop.

3. (Forced smile) “I’d really appreciate if you’d finish {insert food}.”

office gif again

…And I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t speak to me like I’m in a straight-jacket, but good talk.

4. “Oh God, I’m so glad we’re past the eating disorder phase. You were so difficult then.” 


bradley cooper gif

Oh, was it hard for you?

5. “It’s so selfish of you to do this. I don’t understand why you’re doing it.”

leia-what gif

You’re right. I’m cured.

6. “I like you with some meat on your bones, when you got a little junk in your trunk.”.

bridesmaids gif.

Bet you like me draped over your couch with a bearskin rug too, Kanye.

And last but not least:

7. “OMG, I couldn’t even tell you had an eating disorder.”

office gif

…But actually.

7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery

7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery:

(Because there ain’t no sense lying about it)

recoveryis

1.) Pant Suit Is The New Black?:

Your style changes. Maybe not drastically- but it will.

Roll with it.

Go through phases; experiment.

I spent 8 years in over-sized t-shirts and sweatpants. I was like a walking groupie for Iggy Azalea.

Concert t-shirts, college sweatshirts, fraternity function v-necks-

And the sweatpants. Oh, the pants. Victoria Secret black sweatpants that dragged at the feet. Seen here:

all black again

And here (CRINGE):

Spring Break
Spring Break 2010

I loved those thigh-hiding safety nets. I wore them everywhere. Throw on a pair of Sheepskin Boots and at any given point, heat or snow, I had only 10 fingers visible on my whole body.

Hideous in retrospect. I don’t quite know what I was trying to ”pull off” other than I can remember thinking:

“Oh, you’re just chill- yo. You’re mad chill and you just don’t like dressing up.”

Truthfully, I don’t like dressing up. It doesn’t come naturally for me, but those sweatpants were not an attempt to prove my ”chill” factor, and my style has been a constant source of evolution the past year and a half.

Even when I first exited rehab, I wore leggings and big t-shirts everywhere.

“Hey,” I thought to myself. “At least I’m wearing form-fitting tights.”

That too, has since changed. My career, I imagine, has played a part; New York/Colorado as well.

But so has just simply rolling with the current of recovery.

I’m still figuring out what I like; what feels flattering to my body. My friends joke, but I feel like at 26 I’m a pubescent teen in terms of figuring out what my “style” actually is.

It often depends on the stage of recovery I’m in that day.

This summer, I’m attempting to wear shorts again and it’s a struggle. I’ve got cut-off, ratty denim shorts, black linen Gap shorts, knee-length cargo shorts- the options are endless and I still can’t decide.

I haven’t worn shorts since my anorexia days so I’m feeling around blindly in the dark.

On another hand, I banned dresses at the end of last year in an attempt to “define” my style, but as the days reach 90-degrees I’m finding that all I yearn for a bit of a breeze on the thighs.

Even in gym clothes – I no longer wear baggy t-shirts to work out in, but still sometimes find myself running in leggings when the weather calls for shorts.

One day, I’ll wear a bikini and rock my version of a ”screw it” attitude – but other days, I’ll feel more self-conscious and wear black-on-black-on-black.

It’s fluid- just as recovery is fluid- and I’m realizing no clothing is “off limits” as I once believed, which has opened up doors and windows.

Your waist isn’t too short, your legs aren’t too chubby, your arms aren’t too skinny. Your chest isn’t too flat.

And, hey, if pant suits are what you enjoy, then rock ’em-

2.) Battlefield Wounds:

Consequences are consequences.

And straight up, my feet are foul.

feet
My thighs/feet featured as part of the #thighreading Twitter campaign by @princess_labia

Running ruined my feet. Not just because I’ve never been a fan of spending money on pedicures, but because I didn’t tend to them in the prime of my exercise addiction.

So wrapped up in clocking miles and burning calories, I ignored the hang nails, and the blood blisters. I scoffed at the calluses and the ingrown nail.

“The price you pay,” I reasoned.

Binge-eating, Bulimia, Anorexia – those choices affect your body outward and inward. Fluctuating weight over the years has left stretch-marks on my thighs (as seen above).

There are great social media campaigns going on right now over stretch-marks and thighs. #ThighReading on Twitter. Check it out; it’s comforting (and you can see my blistery little feet)

As I continue on this journey of self-love, I’m realizing even the nail beds of your feet are yours to protect.

I used to run on stress fractures and shin splints. At some point, I was told I had bones of a 70-year old.

What’s beautiful, however, is that often your body is resilient, and wants to fight for you.

I ran last night in Central Park and at some point it dawned on me how strong I felt- gliding up and down the path.

Nothing hurt- and as T-Swift “Bad Blood” kept me revved up,  I ran 3 miles appreciating what it feels like to be healthy.

Accept that you’ve put your body through hell- in whatever way ”hell” is to you- and be gentle in the recovery of it.

Continue reading “7 (Real) Truths About Eating Disorder Recovery”

“Hey, Don’t Forget to Pack Your Bulimia”: Traveling With An Eating Disorder

Rehab Truth:

Last week, I went on a business trip to Idaho and had a full out ED panic in the airport.

Wednesday- 7am in the morning – JFK Terminal 2-

And there I am pacing the airport halls like an Eating Disorder secret service agent.

WHAT DO I EAT? WHERE?

HOW MUCH?

WHAT TIME IS IT?

7?!?!?! 7:00AM. 7 O’CLOCK.

(I CAN’T EAT YET.)

BUT YES, LINDSEY, YES YOU CAN.

(YOU’LL BE HUNGRY BY 11)

WHO CARES IF YOU’RE HUNGRY BY 11-

(SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE)

YOU’RE HUMAN AND YOU HAVE TO EAT.

(NOT TILL 12)

JUST EAT SOMETHING AND MOVE ON.

(UGH.)

Bagel? I thought, peering towards the cafe beside me.

NO- TOO MUCH TOO SOON.

Croissant? I said aloud, feeling my mouth salivating.

BUTTER.

Bagon, egg, and cheese biscuit? I mumbled, pushing forward- past my gate.

GROSS – IT’S NOT EVEN EGG WHITE

Hudson News store? I can grab granola in the bag.

NO- binge food! I corrected, moving past.

Gate 6-7-8

Are you even hungry- or just feeling hungry because you’re awake?

I try hard to feel one with my stomach – and fail.

I turn the halls and start back up the line, past the Hudson store, the croissants, the Sausage, egg, and cheese burritos.

Coffee- I decide- veering towards the Starbucks.

WAIT- NO, I say- veering out.

Coffee just helps me not eat.

I sigh.

Throw my bag on the ground.

Throw a mini emotional tantrum in my head.

I’m a hamster on a wheel.

Go back to my seat- sit down – self-deprecate.

Calm down.

Text my therapist.

Start over.

Start over again.

Start over again and again and again.

One foot in front of the other.

I lop back down the hall.

Sigh for being so difficult.

Sigh because it’s never easy.

Grab a coffee-

“Tall, please” I say.

Find a granola bar. A banana.

A Chobani yogurt.

I walk back towards the gate.

I’m okay, I remind myself.

I think about the hiking I’ll do in Idaho.

You’re fine dude, I think.

I think about how fortunate I am to be in an airport traveling.

I sit down and eat.

I think about all the times I traveled and sipped coffee.

All the views I missed because I was thinking of hunger.

One bite after another, one meal at a time.

I move on with my day.

—-

hiking idaho
Idaho Hikes!

Continue reading ““Hey, Don’t Forget to Pack Your Bulimia”: Traveling With An Eating Disorder”