Rehab Truth: Why Orthorexia and Exercise Go Hand-In-Hand

As so often happens, “weekend Orthorexia” creeps into me after I’ve worked out. What is it about that voice in your head?

Had a nice, 6-mile run and then immediately came home and couldn’t decide what to eat.

“If I just DON’T eat, well then those calories will be saved,” I always initially (and gleefully) think. “Whatever I eat will make me bigger. NOTHING is safe.” My Braveheart chant sings.

I’ve always had a little bit of an issue with working out and then eating. Somehow, it feels like when I work out- my appetite tends to dissipate for awhile afterwards; Even though I know I need to be eating. Does anyone else feel that way?

Anyway, I went to the little grocery store by my apartment and found myself doing what I always do when I’m in this position; walking up and down- and up and down- back down and elsewhere- into the store unable to decide what is “acceptable” to my ED to eat.

But alas, at the end of the day it’s a choice to hurt yourself- and I’m enough in recovery to understand that. It’s a choice to live by your ED and a choice to weigh your healthy voice over what your weird, instinct desire is telling you.

Fruit? Do I need the (natural) sugar? Cheese? Do I need the protein and fat. Bagel chips? Do I need the carbs?

Yup. I do. Cause I can’t live my whole life being scared of food.

I spent years of my life researching food; memorizing calories.

Years of my life google searching until my eyes felt like they were burning out of my head.

I’m tired of it.

I deserve better.

Flaming Self-Respect-

And it just ain’t no life at all.

Happy Saturday!

Rehab Truth: I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause My Whole Life- And I Was Lucky

2 Christmas’ ago, I was sitting in rehab when my parents called to say they had bought plane tickets, reserved a last minute subpar Coconut Creek, Florida hotel, and were rearranging their holiday plans -all to spend a sanctioned 2 hours with me on Christmas Day.

While time has passed in waves since that year, I was standing here holiday shopping in New York City tonight when someone close to me called from that familiar rehab pay phone:

Highlines

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“But Trix Are For Kids?”: Life As A Cereal Killer

Saturday, I texted my mom at 1:25pm.

“I’m not eating well today. Idk what my deal is I’m so bingey. All I want is all the cereal in the world.”

She called soon after and asked if I’d like to “talk it out,” but the truth I didn’t tell her, and only admitted to  my best friend later- is that I’d already devoured 2 boxes of cereal over the past 2 days.

…Even writing just that, I almost lied and put 3 days instead of 2 so that whoever reading this wouldn’t think it was as bad as the reality is for me and cereal, even now 2 years into recovery.

This last week or so has not been stellar in terms of my binge eating. I go months and months without touching trigger foods, but what inevitably happens is that I convince myself I’m “fine” (like Ross in Friends when Rachel and Joey start dating “fine”) and fall right back down the rabbit hole of my own ED delusion.

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2 Years Later: The Night I Asked For Help

 

Two years ago, I went to a wedding, drank 6 glasses of wine, and wouldn’t take off my coat.

Earlier that day, I binge ate 2 boxes of cereal, threw up- and went straight to the gym with my dad.

I ran for 45 minutes- analyzing how many calories I’d likely thrown up and how many I could continue to burn.

It wasn’t enough.

When my dad came over to the treadmill, he signaled he was ready to go and I hopped off and followed him out of the gym.

We chatted in the car that day, giggled about the latest Bachelorette (because, yes, my father watches The Bachelorette), and when we got home I lurked till he was back in his room before I grabbed the keys and yelled out I was going to “run errands.”

My brother, I was later told, watched me pull out of the driveway and went back to my parents room to let them know I still had my tennis shoes on.

30 minutes later, as I ran cemented to the treadmill, I looked up to find my Dad standing there at the gym entrance- his eyes watching me.

Filled with shame, I stared back as he walked discreetly over to my treadmill.

“Linds” he whispered. “C’mon.”

We didn’t talk much that afternoon. I stayed upstairs with a bottle of wine avoiding my family and getting dressed for the wedding.

Anxious because I hadn’t finished running 12 miles, I hated the way I looked in that dress. I hated how much tighter it felt, I hated my thighs, I hated my arms, I hated my stomach and I wore Spanx that sucked in what was already bloated from purging.

At the wedding, I lingered near the bar.

Please take off your coat, my Mom whispered at some point when I’d gone out on the dance floor with my winter coat zipped to the neck.

I’m cold, I lied.

That night, I got absolutely hammered. I spoke with people I don’t remember talking to but have pictures with, I spent the last hour finding ways to sneak the grilled cheese appetizers in my coat pocket to ”eat later,” and I danced with sweat pilfering through my coat because I wouldn’t take it off.

Wine-dazed and dehydrated, someone drove me home that night and as I walked in the door I heard my Dad call me into the living room.

Shit, I sighed drunkenly. I just wanted my bed and the Cheez Its I’d hidden in the bathroom.

As I walked into the living room, I immediately noticed the two empty boxes of cereal on the coffee table.

Lindsey, he said calmly. What happened to the cereal?

Dunno, I slurred, my face reddening.

Lindsey, he said again- softer. Mom and I counted before you got here and we had 6 boxes of cereal and now we have 4.

I stared at him.

Honey, he whispered. We just love you.

Tears welled in my eyes.

We know, he said. Lindsey we know you need help.

I’m sorry, I heard myself whimper. I’m so sorry.

Did you throw it up? He asked.

I nodded.

My mom shook her head. We have to get help, she said. Lindsey you can’t keep living like this. We can’t live like this.

I don’t want to, I mumbled. I just can’t stop.

Let us help, my dad pleaded. Let us get you help.

I nodded. I didn’t care anymore.

I was done.
Continue reading “2 Years Later: The Night I Asked For Help”

Holidaze: Surviving The #Blessed Season With An Eating Disorder

…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.

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.

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.

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Eat Dessert For Breakfast Because #Recovery

It’s dat simple.

Dessert for Breakfast:


…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

Rehab Reminder: Food Is Meant To Be Enjoyed

ED recovery pushes you to re-learn foods that you like; it requires that you try and explore and cook and prepare what makes your body feel full- mentally and physically.

2 years ago I would never eat Chicken Parmesan for lunch. I had a stringent, unyielding routine of minimal tuna, 6 raspberries, 3 strawberries, a handful of blueberries, 6 almonds, spinach, and half a banana. I didn’t budge. I ate alone. I avoided office lunches. I barely focused at my desk- scowering the internet for “acceptable” vegan, raw, obsolete recipes. I counted down every day to 4pm when I “allowed” myself an Apple to soothe hunger pains.

I’m writing this post on a whim today- because 2 years into recovery, I stood in my office kitchen this afternoon- eagerly unloading Tupperware to prepare lunch for my coworker and myself, and I finally felt that sense of community that food is meant to represent in our culture. The love that food can symbolize between people.

“Now I’m not a big fan of the sauce,” I said to her, a bit insecure (and always a perfectionist). “I’ve done better but it’s fine. Do you like fruity salads?” I asked, jumping around the kitchen. “This is a bit fruitier- maybe too much dressing- but the croutons even it out.”

“Linds,” she said finally- touching my shoulder. “Chill- It’s wonderful. Look at you,” she smiled. “Who knew you could cook?”

I smiled then, I calmed. It’s true. And it was nice to take a moment to realize that I’m at a point where I can prepare foods and judge them based on taste and not calorie count.

I will always be a bit of a perfectionist, tis true, but I win ED today, you sour lil’ bastard.

💛🍴

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.

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4 Truths About Dating After Rehab

Dating in 2015 is hard.

Dating in 2015 in NYC is hard.

Dating in 2015 in NYC while recovering from an eating disorder… bleh.

I could write short stories over the love affairs I’ve had in my life. Spain- Ireland- Germany- UK- Camping- Work Office- Subways- you name it, if I’ve set foot there- I likely have some tale of love and heartache that accompanied that experience.

Airports around the world have been covered in my tears as I’ve stood security lines – waving goodbye to the 8-week “love of my life” that was standing on the other end.

2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years – doesn’t matter, I’m a love whore at whatever length of time. *Cringe, sorry Ma*

To be fair, it’s not actually love is it? It’s idealization, because duh, that’s the best part, right? The daydreaming at your desk, pretending to know the future actions of a person when all you’ve ever spent with them is a night on a tarp.

I crave the heart-pattering, smile-inducing, neuro-transmitting 2:00am talks. The mutual friends who wink when they pass you talking. It is my personal heroin when I realize that another person is committing their night to being near me. I crave the instant attraction – the game of locking eyes till one gives in and comes over.

I love the moment you know it’s something.

And I love the feeling that you are free to leave if it changes.

In other words, I love the beginning of things.

The long-term commitment of relationships are lost on me. It’s not on purpose (much to the popular belief of my family), but it is sub-conscious.

BUT….BUT… THE VALIDATION* My mind whirls when things get serious. ONE PERSON TO VALIDATE MY EVERY NEED. IMPOSSIBLE.

Recovery is a lifelong process, sure, but what they don’t reiterate is that you’re still going to be the same person once you’re out of rehab. You’re not cured of fundamental habits; you’re just now made aware of them… and it’s your choice how you choose to learn from it.

I’m still not an ideal partner yet – it’s true. On the flip side, I also countless times have set myself up for emotional tantalizing and torture by becoming involved with someone who I know isn’t going to treat me the way I want.

Some might call it karma (no doubt some exes of mine call it this), but I frankly think it’s me ignoring the reality of the situation… which is almost always ”THEY JUST AREN’T THAT INTO YOU AND YOU CAN’T ACCEPT IT.”

That being stated, here are 4 truths I’ve learned about dating in recovery… They’re honest, blunt, and my mother will likely hate reading this, but recovery is owning your truths and then learning from them. And these are mine:

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