11am- 2 hard boiled eggs
12:45pm- about 6 oz pork, roasted broccoli
7:45pm- about 10 oz pork, handful of jalapenos,roasted broccoli crowns
I'm going to have some herbal tea to help 'move things along'. I've been backed up this week and it's pretty unpleasant. My credit cards and ID are safely frozen in a chunk of ice, and I only have $10 for the weekend. I tried to plan lots of activities to keep me busy over the next 2 days, and I think the liquid diet for 2 days will help me to feel much better. I will have a clean weekend! I will break this pattern!
Up around 8am today. I had a good sleep, felt pretty good upon waking. I drank lots of black coffee and water before going to an OA meeting. An older woman led, and it was heartening to hear her talk about finding a happy life, but terrifying to consider that I may be dealing with disordered eating for the rest of my life.
I'll edit this to fill in what I actually eat today. Assume lots of seltzer and herbal tea, all day long.
1pm- protein shake
2:15pm- protein shake
7pm-1 2-liter diet root beer
9:00pm-protein shake, 1 bottle of kombucha
Last edited by TinaJefferson; 04-20-2013 at 08:26 PM.
First I should let you know that this is my first ever post on this forum, though I have been a reader of this site for over two years now. I almost never participate in online discussions because they are generally not worth my time, no matter how much fun a good old-fashioned internet fight might be . But you, TinaJefferson, are very much worth my time. You are deep in the trenches fighting an extremely difficult but extraordinarily worthwhile fight, and I just wanted to offer you my heartfelt support and some advice based on my own experiences.
I’m sure you don’t want to hear this right now, but the absolute last thing you should be doing at this point is focusing on weight loss. You are attempting to break out of a powerful cycle in which you have been deeply entrenched for the past several months and with which you have struggled on some level for many years. Your body and mind have taken a severe beating, and more than anything else they need love, nourishment, and time to heal. A diet geared towards weight loss will not help you to achieve these goals and will potentially only aggravate your tendencies to binge and purge. I’m sure getting down to 160 pounds felt amazing and seemed to indicate that you finally had everything under control, but it obviously did not cure you of your problems or else you would not be where you are today. You do not have a weight problem; you have an eating disorder, and hitting a particular number on the scale is not the ultimate defining factor in determining success or failure in conquering this issue.
I firmly believe that for most people the most important thing you can do to stop binging is to stop restricting. A diet geared towards weight loss is inherently restrictive. Fasting is most definitely restrictive. The urge to binge is both physiological and psychological, and restrictive behavior ignites that urge on both levels. Physiologically, you are making yourself really freaking hungry. If you don’t eat enough food all day or week or month or year (and purging what you do eat is the same as not eating enough), then of course your body will be crying out for you to EAT ALL THE THINGS. You are not bad, weak, or unworthy for giving in to a basic bodily need. Psychologically, however, you feel like a terrible person, a failure at life.
Restricting food often seems like a solution to ease this psychological pain, but it leads to even more issues. Firstly, promising yourself that you will restrict at some point in the future (tomorrow, next month, etc.) often tricks you in to giving yourself permission to continue to binge right now. You eat one thing off-plan and then tell yourself that you might as well keep on eating because you can make up for it by restricting/purging later. Or you tell yourself you have to keep eating right now because starting tomorrow (next weekend, next month) you’re going to be perfect and never eat like this again. Restricting both allows and forces you to see your eating behaviors in black and white, good and bad, with no gray areas. You can never be simply good enough. You must either be eating perfectly or be completely out of control.
To choose not to restrict is not the same thing as choosing to eat uncontrollably. It means giving yourself permission to eat enough food every day to nourish yourself because you are worthy of that nourishment. You don’t need to binge because you can eat as much as you want at each meal today, tomorrow, and forever; there is simply no need to cram everything in right now and then punish yourself for it later or to obsess about food. So please take the focus off of your weight and stop trying to diet. Easier said than done, I know. But if you ever want to be able to lose weight in a sane and healthy manner, or even just live day to day without the pain and destruction of a warzone in your mind, then you need to address your disordered habits head on and just let go of your weight for now.
Your weight does not define who you are as a person. Being thin will not make everybody love you or fix all your problems, just as being fat will not make everybody reject you or keep you from improving your life in other ways. As a human being, you are inherently valuable and worthy of love, kindness, and attention, both from yourself and from others. The fact that you weigh more than you would like or that you have spent years of your life struggling with a vicious eating disorder does not in any way detract from your value as a person. Beaten down and bruised as you may be from your experiences, you are still here fighting, and that is a true sign of strength. I know that you can overcome this. You may always struggle with certain thoughts or behaviors on some level, but it will get much, much easier and it will no longer consume you. Ah, freedom…
On a final note, I noticed that you discuss feelings of isolation. Escaping this isolation is extremely important to your recovery. As you’ve probably noticed, eating disorders both fuel and are fueled by isolation. If you are alone with your eating disorder, then you are more easily able to engage in disordered behaviors without fearing the interference or judgment of others. This might lead you to choose to be alone rather than have anyone get between you and a binge or see you after you feel fat an bloated, and in this way eating disorders can push you to isolate yourself. On the other hand, when you feel alone and have no one to talk to, you might choose to soothe yourself by binging, in which case isolation is pushing you towards disordered eating behaviors. It is a vicious cycle, one from which you absolutely must escape. It might be extremely difficult at first, but you need to find ways to open your life and really connect with people who will have a positive influence on you. How many people in your life know what you’re going through? Can you reach out to any of them and rely on them more for support? If not, or if you need even more support or even just more friends to keep you focused on living instead of on eating/not eating, how can you find people to fill these roles in your life? What, if anything, is stopping you from finding this support?
Anyhow, I know all this is extremely long-winded, but when I read your journal I just saw so much pain. I hope something in this novel that I’ve written will resonate with you or even just make today a little better. Best of luck to you!
Thank you so much for this kind and thoughtful message. I was so surprised to see a response to my posting. I so appreciate the time you took, and you've given me lots to think about. Thank you, truly.
Originally Posted by Crush
8am- protein shake
8:30am- protein shake
10am- protein shake
11:37am-3 hard boiled eggs, 2 packs tuna
11:57am-3 eggs scrambled in ghee
1 fried egg, roasted mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, sugar free jello, greek yogurt, some pork ribs.
On why I'm eating this way this weekend:
I've been stuck in a routine of restricting all week and the binging on the weekend. Despite my intentions or plan, it's like something would click in my head on Fridays after work, and off I would go. Sometimes I'd binge on 'primal foods' (bags of trail mix, dried fruit, yogurt, meat), sometimes I'd give in to an 'off the rails' binge/purge attempt (ice cream, dozens of donuts, chips, fast food).
My therapist suggested juicing to break this habit and rewire my brain. As I have no juicer, and know that I feel better eating ample protein, fat, and low sugar, I'm doing the protein shake thing. It's about breaking the habit and association in my brain rather than losing weight or restricting. I know that I'll eventually lose the weight I want to lose if I just treat myself well with primal foods, fun exercise, and good sleep. If I get past the point where every weekday is penance for the weekend, things will fall back into a place where I can manage them.
I was doing really well with my food 6 months ago. No thought to calories, eating lots of nutrient-dense, joyful food. I just want to get back to the place where having a pear with my ghee-scrambled eggs in the morning won't send me off the deep end.
Last edited by TinaJefferson; 04-21-2013 at 04:00 PM.
I completely understand your desire to break out of this seemingly endless cycle by changing things up for the weekend and avoiding old habits. Success breeds success, and I can see how getting through one weekend binge-free could give you the confidence and strength to continue improving. Based on your food logs, it looks as though you’ve done really well with achieving your goal, and you should be extremely proud. However, I also do see a couple of issues with this approach that you might want to consider as you move forward. (But don’t in any way let this diminish the success that you’ve experienced!)
In my opinion, this approach places too much emphasis on the binging portion of your problem. Your plan is to not binge during the weekend so that you won’t also *have* to restrict during the week. But you don’t *have* to restrict just because you binged. It would be just as powerful and important to your recovery if you chose not to restrict during weekdays regardless of how much you ate during the weekend. You could choose to forgive yourself for your eating “transgressions” rather than, as you so aptly put it, spend your weekdays as “penance for the weekend.” Remember, you restrict because you binge, but you also binge because you restrict. After a week of restriction, it might feel as though something just randomly “clicks” and you go off the rails on Friday night, but really it’s not that unexpected if you think about it. And it most certainly does not mean that you are a failure or are weak.
I understand that you are just trying to make the weekdays easier by focusing on fixing your weekends first, but remember that every single meal that you choose to nourish your body with an appropriate amount of food is a success and is propelling you further down the road to recovery. You don’t have to wait for the weekends to see how successful you will be, just as you don’t have to wait until tomorrow to start treating yourself right after even the worst session of binging/restricting/purging.
I know how much it must hurt to think that just six short months ago you seemingly had everything together, and now everything has just been spiraling out of control. It is almost more painful to have done so well and then “failed” than to not have done well at all. But the reality is that you don’t want to go back to six months ago. What you really want is to move forward and become even stronger, more resilient, and more at peace than you were back then. The success you had was an important part of your recovery, but so too are the struggles you face now. It’s a shitty, frustrating, painful, confusing, and wonderful process to learn from every meal, “good” or “bad,” and every experience during this time. You are doing so many things right! (Paleo is a great place to start, and you’re going in for therapy and medication and focusing on health and happiness) Never be ashamed of where you are or where you’ve been. You will come out of this tumultuous time more recovered than you were before, and if you start to slide again, you will be better prepared to pick yourself up again.
Perhaps it would help if you shared some more details about your story (only if you’re comfortable, of course). For instance, how and when did this all start, and what did you do to get yourself on track six months ago? How long did that last? Did you have any previous successes or breakthroughs? What changed that led you to where you are now? Also, in your example of the breakfast pear sparking some out of control thoughts and behaviors, what is it exactly about the pear that would trigger that? The sweetness? The fact that it’s off-plan?
11am- 2 hard boiled eggs
12:50- large romaine and mixed green salad with grilled chicken, banana peppers, green pepper, some broccoli salad
6:30pm- large mixed green salad with a pack of tuna
while cooking/packing lunches- 1 beef rib, skin/pickings from 3 roast chicken breasts, some roasted asparagus
coffee, seltzer, tea
7am- 1 hard boiled eggs
12:50pm- roasted chicken breast, roasted asparagus
7:30pm- 6 oz beef ribs, plate of roasted broccoli, giant mixed green salad
Water, tea, coffee seltzer.
I went to the gym tonight and was struck by the realization that this is the first Tuesday in a long time that I wasn't trying to cope with or erase the effects of a binge. It felt really good. Even though I ate in a careless manner on Sunday night, I still kept the weekend relatively under control, and I went into the week feeling good.
Crush, I'll add more info when time allows. Thanks again for the thoughtful questions.
6:30am- 1 hard boiled egg
12:45pm- roast chicken breast, roast asparagus
6:30pm- 6.5 oz beef ribs, giant mixed green salad
10pm- 6 oz pork ribs, roast broccoli, 4 oz chicken
(I came home from the gym, not tired, and needed a snack!)
seltzer, tea, coffee
And a million pieces of gum. I have to kick that habit. I'm planning to go to a concert tomorrow night. It will be the first social outing in a really long time. I've reaaaalllyyy isolated myself, and the concert is something I want to do, I invited a friend, and I made the plan. It doesn't sound like, much, but it's a big deal to me!
I'm nervous that drinking will send me over the edge. I've planned my meals for the weekend, and 2 bourbons tomorrow night won't set me off.
Last edited by TinaJefferson; 04-24-2013 at 08:40 PM.
11:30am-1 hard boiled egg, about 1 oz grilled chicken
12:45pm- 6oz pork ribs, roasted broccoli
5:55pm- small mixed green salad, 1 pack tuna
6:45pm- 2 packs sugar-free jello cubes
I'm going out to dinner tonight. I'll get an order of chicken wings (hot sauce, no bleu cheese). I will drink alcohol, whiskey with soda water. I have a kombucha on hand for when I get home, and will eat a bag of green beans if I come home with the munchies.
One night of 'normal' socializing WILL NOT derail me! I will act with my future self in mind!
Last edited by TinaJefferson; 04-25-2013 at 05:26 PM.