“It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’

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Had one of those moments today – sitting at my desk around noon.

My personal email dinged as I haplessly knocked buttons on my keyboard trying to make a press release for work sound remotely articulate.

I sighed, tabbed over to my gmail account.

A Paperless Post invitation appeared at the top of my Inbox.

I clicked on it – going through the whole masquerade of electronically opening the letter.

Like, cmon Paperless Post, it’s 2017. Envelopes are dying. You can’t trick us millennials with your virtual envelope rip. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

An invitation appeared to a friends house in a couple weeks.

Immediately intrigue followed by immediate dread as I opened the invitation and saw the two glowing little shitty words:

POT LUCK!

Pot. Luck.

I groaned –  audibly – bashing my forehead onto the keyboard.

…. Okay, dramatic. I didn’t do that.

But God I hate pot lucks, which leads me to this post.

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5 situations that I just ‘can’t even’ with my eating disorder. Let’s see if you agree: Continue reading ““It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’”

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Calorie Counting: Does It Ever Go Away?

… I don’t know. And maybe, that’s okay.

Hear me out:

Calorie counting. If you struggle with it, you relate to Lily Collins in Netflix’s “To The Bone” scene when her sister refers to her calorie counting as ‘calories aspergers’, and if you don’t – I can only beg that you never attempt to. ((Also, I originally entitled this post Calorie Asperger’s in light of this scene – but it is insensitive to co-opt the two, so I changed it.))

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To The Bone

Coming off a weekend in Texas. Ate a lot – drank some wine. Went to my 10-year high school reunion and visited family. Feeling uncomfortably full as I write this – sipping a vanilla latte; ordered it and forgot to ask for nonfat milk, which made me laugh a little because I immediately thought to myself “Wonder how many calories that adds on?”

Some things never change.

You know that scene in Good Will Hunting? The 1997 movie about Matt Damon as this poverty-stricken Boston math genius. Beautifully written (RIP Robin Williams). But, there’s that scene where Matt Damon is told he has this ‘ability’ to solve math equations faster than anyone ever. He’s the best in the world – has a unique brain that rattles off numbers.

There’s a parallelism that resonates here with calorie counting for me, which leads me to this post.

 

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Continue reading “Calorie Counting: Does It Ever Go Away?”

“But, The Scale Says I’m Fine”: Gaining Weight With Anorexia

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“But, I’m like, fine now.”

The other day I’m on the phone with my therapist.

“How’s your eating?” She asked – after we covered the mundane and I had no other drama to manipulatively fill the time.

“Better,” I said. “I’m diggin’ outta anorexia part 2. I weigh XXX. Put on some pounds in Mexico on that bachelorette.”

I hear her *harumph* on the phone. (And if you don’t know that sound – familiarize yourself with it immediately.)

“That’s not enough.”

I feel that growing flicker of annoyance in the pit of my stomach. “It’s fine.”

It’s FINE. LEAVE ME ALONE. ALL OF YOU – LEAVE ME ALONE.

“And you were …. how much did you weigh when you were in treatment?”

I tell her. “I don’t want to still be that though. I wasn’t even active then. They wouldn’t let me do shit so it wasn’t fair to say that’s accurate – I knew I’d lose a little. That was 3 years ago.”

“Regardless,” she says. “You’re still xxx off.”

“Yep,” I agree – ornery as eating disorders can be. “Yep, maybe. You might just be damn right.”

WHATCHU GONNA DO ABOUT IT, I want to say.

Instead, I wait.

A chess play. Always a chess play with eating disorders.

“So, what are you gonna do about your meals this week, now that you’re not on vacation?” She asks – which irks me.

WAIT, thought I was CONTROLLING this dialogue.

“Dunno,” I say, nonchalantly. “Do what I’m doing.”

“Skip meals?”

“I’m not. I’m gaining weight. I’m figuring it out.”

“But you’re not making it a priority.”

“That’s fair,” I said. “I don’t care if I gain weight or not. I’d be fine if I stayed this forever.”

“But you know you can’t sustain that?”

“Maybe.”

“Maybe,” she says. “Maybe isn’t good enough.”

“Maybe is all that I got sometimes.”

Alex
Mexico!

Continue reading ““But, The Scale Says I’m Fine”: Gaining Weight With Anorexia”

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”

“If I Eat That, I’ll Have To Work Out”: Exercise With An Eating Disorder

Oh, Exercise. The ultimate double-edged sword of an eating disorder.

 

^BUT MY GOD, HOW CUTE IS THAT?

People ask me every so often “What was the hardest part of rehab?”

Depending on my mood, the answer varies.

“The food, the confinement, the emotion overload, the disparity of sick people… the exercise.”

Ah, the exercise, I always land on – or lack thereof.

3 years ago, I was escorted into rehab (yes, escorted. Two people at each side in the case that I bolted… and ran to the highway? I don’t know where the hell they expected me to go.)

Anyway, I remember looking around the vast expanse of my prison-like surroundings, and spotting what looked like a runner’s path.

Circular, brown dirted and perfectly suited to run on during what I assumed would be many hard days ahead, I was relieved to see this silver lining.

“YOU CAN TAKE MY BODY, BUT YOU CAN NEVER TAKE MY FREEDOM (TO EXERCISE)” – the William Wallace inside of me screamed. (Side note: Braveheart, oddly enough, happened to be a fan favorite to watch while in rehab. We were banned from all trash television, as well as any movie baring nudity of any sort – but yet, somehow, Braveheart slipped the radar.)

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As it goes.

Continue reading ““If I Eat That, I’ll Have To Work Out”: Exercise With An Eating Disorder”

Add A Pinch of Salt: Must We? Cooking With An Eating Disorder

Happy 2017 y’all! My fingers have finally found their way to the keyboard again and I couldn’t be more relieved. (Always have this mass blind anxiety that after each blog post I’ll suddenly run out of subjects and dive into a deep writers block and lose my voice and never write again and and… well, you get the picture.)

Anyway, I’d say my resolution is to write more consistently – but hey, I think resolutions are bullshit – and I don’t like writing unless I have a subject to delve into.

SO, with that being said, lez’ talk about cooking and eating disorders ’cause LORD – I gots some venting to do.

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Pancakes from my roomie

Picture this:

The other night my roommate walks into our apartment right? And there I am leaned over on the kitchen counter – squinting at a laptop screen.

She halts in the doorway. “Are you cooking?”

I look up from said laptop, brow furrowed –  a dripping colander of black beans, a pan full of burnt rice, and reading some eye-rollingly beautiful blonde bloggers “easy, earth shattering sweet potato and grains bowl” recipe.

“I dunno what the hell I’m doing,” I say – turning back to the sink and pushing sweaty hair off my forehead.

SUCK IT BLOG LADY, I think. I hope all your cabbage rots and fumigates your 10,000$ oven.

“Well, this is interesting,” my roommate grins.

I make a face. “I’m on a budget.”

“Lemme know if you need anything,” she says – walking back towards her room (likely with deliberate stride).

“IS A CLOVE THE WHOLE GARLIC?” I yell.

“Jesus, NO. That’s the bulb.”

I sigh. Look over at my dog.

“Wanna give me your gruel?”

He did not.

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Hello, Juno – you greedy bastard

The truth about cooking with an ED?

It’s a minefield.

Continue reading “Add A Pinch of Salt: Must We? Cooking With An Eating Disorder”

Independence Day Reminder: It’s Okay To Hate The Buffets

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Quick reminder: buffets suck when you have an eating disorder. Buffets will always suck.

Accept that.

And yo – It’s okay to work out on a holiday. It’s okay to not work out either. Had the worst binge of my life on 4th of July 2013, sitting with my relatives and frantically shoving the buffet brownies and coleslaw and baked beans and biscuits in my mouth. I laid on the floor that night, throwing up bile in a toilet, and I thought to myself “I’ll never be okay – I won’t ever be normal.”

I was right then, I’m not “normal.” I am a girl with an eating disorder, and I have to manage it. I have to be proactive.

I worked out yesterday, the day before, and this morning, ran 4 miles- sat down and took a selfie on a treadmill – cause it’s okay to do that too. I know what I’m capable of and I know that I need a run in order to keep my lil Ed head straight on a holiday.

I write a lot about “eating whatever” on vacation or not working out when you don’t feel like it, but the truth is I do love exercise (cardio) … in moderation. I love a good run. I love to bike. I don’t give a shit about weights but I love to clear my head.

Do what ya gotta do to stay present, to stay whatever your version of “normal” is. None of us are normal – were all sittin around with issues and demons. So run if you need it, do yoga if you need it, meditate if you need it, walk if you want it. It’s okay. 

The buffet will never change. But you can change in order to survive it. Self care people, self care. 💛

Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia

UGH, it’s crop top season.

Alright guys, so I’ve been pretty MIA the past month and a half (unless you wanna count my previous red-faced emoji rant about the UK coverage as “blogging”) and I haven’t really been writing because truthfully, I’m like a lizard changing its stripes (is that even the idiom??)

Moving is a huge change- goes without saying – and I haven’t really wanted to write until I felt more settled, or at least more genuine, about what I’m even writing about.

Some days I wake up overlooking those Colorado mountains and think “This is where I was always meant to be,” and other days I wake up with this incessant loneliness, longing, and nostalgia for my life in New York.

The world is a playground and I can barely figure out where the slide is (also, I’m directionally challenged). Yes, I’m meeting people. Yes, I’ve gone on a few dates (post on that to come soon ’cause my GOD my relationship life is always a hot mess) and yes, I’m interviewing quite often for jobs, but it’s been over a month and I haven’t yet found that “comfort” of the familiar, and I find that theres always tis feeling of insecurity when meeting new people.

Sometimes, I think because I was sick for so long that I literally just didn’t learn basic human skills and abilities. I was so obsessed with food and being thin that like I missed the college lectures on how to balance a checkbook, or even the cultural staples of my generation.

I will never really be a girl that has “seen that movie,” “heard that song,” or “read that article.” I can tell you how many calories are in that banana by weight and size, but I have zero idea what Games of Thrones is, or what band sang that song – and that reality comes out when I’m meeting new people and like trying to relate to them in a basic millennial way. Therefore, I feel more insecure than usual.

I know I’m not meant to yet, but it is hard some days to not wake up and go straight to g-chatting my former co-workers as I lay in bed picturing them in their offices. Picturing the sounds of the office, knowing who’s always late to work, who is getting their 8th coffee –

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Co-workers! (one of the few times I wore a dress)

I miss my familiar. I miss my work husband walking into my office every morning, happy hours with my female coworkers at the wine bar across the street – knowing which subway line will be delayed – and even the comfort of “the crazies” who roam the subway trains spouting off about religion, and how we’re all going to hell.

I miss my banana waiting for me on my desk, and a granola bar in my office desk for breakfast.

I miss New York – yet I know it’s over. Funny how people do that, yah? How when we lose something, we have this human ability to only remember the good, and negate all the negative.

Anyway, I know in my heart I made the right decision – but you leave pieces of your soul wherever you roam.

Continue reading “Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia”

When Your Eating Disorder Looks Like A Freak Show

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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. 💛

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Moving With An Eating Disorder

I officially live in Denver, y’all.

Garden Life

Scratch that. I officially live in a Jungle. Just call me Tarzan, or Jane. Whichever floats your boat.

As I lay here this afternoon, feeling both nostalgic for NYC as well as overwhelmed, terrified, and elated about everything else going on in my new life in Denver:

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I’ve realized that I’m now living the exact mantra my therapist quoted at me 100x before I made this move:

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

In 5 years, I’ve lived in 5 places:

Fayetteville, Arkansas (c. 2007- 2011)

Seville, Spain (c. 2011- 2012)

Fort Worth, Texas (c. 2012 -2013)

New York, New York (c. 2013- 2016)

Denver, Colorado (c. 4 DAYS)

I’ve lived in about the most conservative state in the US – to the most liberal. I’ve lived in the state that thinks it IS its own country, and I’ve lived in a country that prides itself on siestas (can you even imagine if NYC were to implement such a thing. LOLZ. Does nodding off on the subway count?)

I’m idealistic to a fault; every place is better than the last. I’ve experienced American “life” at many different angles; in many different perspectives – but hey, GUESS WHAT?

 At the end of the day, none of it “fixed me.” I still have my bloody eating disorder.

Moving – again – does not change that I have to maintain my ED, and that’s a reality I’m coping with today.

It doesn’t streamline recovery, or evaporate the habits you created over the years. I don’t get to walk into a new apartment and say “Hi Ms. Denver, here’s the trash from my eating disorder – could you toss it please? Thx!”

Changing environments doesn’t mute the voice in your head. I will always be in recovery; and no matter what stigma I surround myself with, my environment will not “cure” me.

I have to choose to cure me every day, and right now it’s a struggle to center myself because I’m vulnerable and antsy and out of place and over-stigmatized.

I’ve always had this quirky idealism about moving (lies- okay about everything).

OH MOUNTAINS, I thought before I moved, through rose-tinted goggles. MOUNTAINS AND INCLINES AND BIKE PATHS GALORE. DENVER- I’M IN HEAVEN. DENVER – YOU’LL CURE ME. THIS IS WHAT I’VE ALWAYS NEEDED. DENVER- YOU’RE MY NEXT LOVER. TAKE ME IN.

I’m like a stage 5 clinger to cities. (Insert mental image of me wrapping myself around a New York skyline, planting sloppy kisses on the wall of the Drumpf Tower… )

I’ve shuffled through cities about as quickly as I’ve shuffled through partners – and in the past, I’ve always inevitably felt deflated when one or the other didn’t just “fix me.”

Continue reading “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Moving With An Eating Disorder”