Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Recap


you have been warned...

It's raiiiiiining it's poooooouuuuurrrrring, the olllllld man is snooooorrrrring.

Yes, that's right. It's absolutely raining BUCKETS over here where I live. I haven't seen this much rain in a loooong time....it kinda reminds me of Forks from Twilight. Too bad there's no Robert Pattison in these parts though:)

So I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter!! I just love celebrating this holiday with my family, having fun dying easter eggs, and waking up to an easter basket full of goodies. Before my eating disorder, my family would always celebrate by going to church and then heading out to a fancy shmancy breakfast buffet. I used to love the buffet!! It meant that I had a whole plethora of tasty, yummy and delicous food to choose from and I could fill my plate to my heart's content. I remember indulging in some of my favorite foods--fresh shrimp, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, FRUIT GALORE!! And of course I would always save a little room for a slice or of cheesecake. What I love most about these memories is not the delicious foods that I would hungrily devour, but rather how comfortable and at ease I felt around food. Never once was I afraid to go back for maybe a second piece of pie when I was a kid. No way!! I allowed myself to eat what I wanted and enjoyed what I ate and didn't spend the entire day fretting about every last calorie that I put into my mouth. What's more I actually LOOKED FORWARD to special outtings like this--they only came once a year!

Unfortunately....sorry to be a debressing Debby....but my Easter was a far cry from the carefree, happy days of my childhood.

Actually, to be quite honest, it was pretty horrible.

From the moment I swung my feet out of bed I serioulsy felt like someone was out to get me. I had been having mixed feelings about this day all week. Some days I was excited about Easter because it meant that I would have a chance to challenge myself at the buffet, while others I was just plain nervous about the whole event. Easter morning I was still feeling a little anxious but I was determined to approach it with a positive mindset. To be honest I wasn't all that worried about the food sitch but was more worried about getting in enough exercise. Stupid eating disorder....

After getting ready I was still a little bit anxious so I said a little prayer asking God to give me strength, and trust for today and most importantly to keep my eyes on Him because this day should not be about me! Then I headed downstairs, happy and confident and fixed myself a delicious bowl of i cereali.

Oatbran+PB+Strawberry Yogurt=love in my book. So yummy....

Although this may look like a normal breakfast I was actually extremely proud of myself. You see, in the past when I've known about holiday outtings I would start restricting right away with breakfast because I knew that my routine would be interrupted and I didn't want to eat too much. But on Easter morning I was feeling good and WANTED to treat my body right. This is a HUGE step in recovery for me.

Well, dum de dum dum, everything was going great and I was eating a super yummy brekkie and doing some crosswords and havin' a good ole time. I finished eating and got up to put my dishes in the sink when--KERBLAM!!

Life happened.

Before I knew what was happening my beloved breakfast bowl slipped from my clumsy fingers into the sink, instantly chipping the bowl's lip. I was beyond devasted. It wasn't even fair!! The bowl had barely even been dropped more than a few centimeters but had still somehow managed to hit the sink at such an acute angle that it chipped. It was my absolute favorite bowl ever, deep enough to hold a decent amount of cereal and painted with cheery pink and red Valentine hearts. There was no way to replace it. Immediately tears sprang to my eyes....and my day went
from there.

Before church I decided to go on a walk to relax, destress, and err.... exercise. The walk was pleasant and I found myself able to get over the incident from this morning. I like walks. Walks are fun. So once again I was bouncing along and feeling good and even started to perk up a little. BUT THEN... Suddenly as I neared the corner to my house, I spotted some ominous looking black clouds looming in the sky. Cue possible thunderstorms, and sinister rainfall. This could not be good.

Church was amazing. They did an extremely inspirtational skit called carboard testimonies. Basically a group of people would come forward one by one and hold up a sign to the crowd. On the sign would be a description of a trial that had destroyed their lives. Then they would flip it over to reveal how God had helped them through that trial and how their lives have been changed.

I couldn't help but think about my own story during this. God has really blessed my life in incredible ways and has conquered numerous battles for me. He helped me to reconcile with my past and is teaching me daily how to walk and trust in Him. I may not always I say that I am striving

I would not be here today if not for His love.

He saved me from death, literally.

My carboard testimony would read something like this:

Consumed and controlled by anorexia--Learning to trust God with all of my life
What would your cardboard testimony say?


After church we drove downtown to meet my relatives. The drive is about forty-five minutes to an hour long. By this time all feelings of happiness had pretty much dissipated and the eating disordered thoughts started to kick in again. (TRIGGER WARNING) Ever since I developed an obsessive addiction to exercise (gee thanks ed) I absolutely HATE sitting for long periods of time! I always feel so lazy and immobile and idle and I feel the urge to start moving around. So this was a very tough trip for me. For a while I contented my anxiety by fidgeting around but then eventually just decided to sleep to relax my mind. I swear though I was even fidgeting sub-consciously in my sleep I was so uneasy. Eventually I drifted off though. When we got down there my parents started talking about perusing the mall until it was time to meet up for lunch. I felt a little better knowing that I would get to walk around for a little bit. But then my dad suggested that we go see his family. That made me even more worried because I knew that I would just be sitting more. Sigh.....

We ended up spending our Easter holiday with my family at the Country Buffet. Like I said before, I wasn't all that worried about the food. Actually, last Easter I had made great strides and conquered my fear of buffet eating by branching out and eating more than just the standard plate of salad and various fruits. Last year I challenged myself by adding in about a 1/2c of peas and 1/4c of chickpeas and a spoonful of sunflower seeds so I could get in a little bit of grains, protein, and satieties. I was actually pretty dern proud of myself for being able to do that.

So this year I did about the same thing except I just had some peas because I was feeling super anxious about sitting all day. I also had some about some fruit. I love fruit!! For the most part the eating went okay. My dad actually told me later that he was really proud of me because I looked and acted comfortable with the eating even though I wasn't even eating a substantial meal.

What was hard was that my relatives kept looking at me and making comments about my eating behavior. They know that I have an eating disorder but they really just don't get it. One of my aunts even started grilling me about how my recovery was doing asking me all sorts of weird questions. She really wants me to go traveling with her and my grandma but says I can't until I've got the eating thing sorted out. She said that I'll have to be okay with eating out most of the time and I can't bring anything like a scale because it'll be too heavy. I almost had to surpress a laugh with that comment because it was so bizarre. I mean it really showed me how ignorant and uneducated she is about eating disorders. A scale....haha....that's funny. Unless she was talking about a food scale which I used religiously last year. Now though I am proud to say that I barely even pull it out except to measure out my tuna fish. PROGRESS!!!!

Anyways...the meal left me feeling more defeated and like a failure than anything because I didn't try to push myself outside of my comfort zone. By the time we arrived back home at 4:00 I just wanted to cry. It was still raining outside and I was STARVING and anxious and twitchy and felt horrible because I couldn't exercise. I knew I would go out of my mind if I stayed at home just sitting around so I took the car and walked for about an hour up and down the aisles at the grocery store. UMMMM....CAN YOU SAY MAJOR EATING DISORDERLY BEHAVIOR!!

Yea...unfortunately when I got back home I wasn't feeling any better so I decided to restrict and not eat anything.

My mom saw what was going on and came in to talk to me. We talked about my anxiety and my fears and my sadness at just an overall crappy day. I actually broke down and cried while I was talking to her because I was so worried about gaining weight and upset that I hadn't gotten PROPER exercise. The moment I started crying I began to feel better. It just felt so good to let everything out after keeping it in for the whole day. This is another huge accomplishment I have made in recovery: TALKING ABOUT MY EMOTIONS. After I cried she helped me come downstairs and prepare a modest dinner. I hate to admit it, but God gave her an incredible (albeit annoying to ED) gift at getting me to eat dinner when I have planned on restricting.

Dinner was a cooked tofu sandwich on bread with a bit of hummus and tomato paste. My FAV combo!! I also had an apple (love) with a side of veggies and a yogurt. And you know what? It felt good to eat and it helped me to calm down even more. Does anyone else ever find that when you honor your hunger signals and eat a decent meal, your feelings of anxiety slowly fade away? I do. I think that partly our crummy moods are connected to brain chemistry and blood sugar levels dipping when we starve ourselves.

Almost done girls I swear!!

Afterwards I was both emotionally and physically drained so I relaxed in front of the fireplace and watched TV with my family. Well everything was going good and fine and dandy until about 10:00. That's when the anxiety started creeping up again. I began worrying about the dinner I had eaten. I was convinced that for the little amount of exercise I had gotten would cause me to gain weight. Sitting all night after eating dinner didn't help my anxiety any more. Suddenly the stress of the day just overwhelmed me and I broke down crying hysterically in my room. It was not a pretty sight and it was probably one of the worst melt downs I have ever had over eating disorder related issues.

Eventually my parents heard me (crying like a baby I'm sure) and my dad came in to talk to me. It was kind of a personal conversation and he did his best. I still don't think that he fully understands the extent of my eating disorder and what it entails but I love him for trying to work with stubborn ole' me. Basically he tried telling me that fat was not a bad thing (disagree) and that I will not get fat, but he told me that I would grow at least a little bit bigger because I'm supposed to. And he told me that this is not a bad thing. Like I said, he tried. Well, by the time we were finished talking I was completely drained and went straight to bed. It was a LONG day.

Ironically the only good thing that happened on Easter was the Easter service itself. If I had just focused on the amazing message and testimonies of that day I could have handled the day a lot better. But instead I was just so focused on ME that the only thing I could think about was exercise and food.
I just want to clarify something on here real quick before I wrap up. I know that sometimes I may make a lot of references to God. That is because God has been a huge part of my recovery process and I want to continue having Him be a part of my recovery. But that is not to say that I do not have my faults. Oh contraire. I want you girls to know that in no way am I implying that I have a perfect relationship with God. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. Most days I am so consumed by my stupid eating disorder that I completely put God out of the picture. It's awful. I feel really shameful for doing this and I feel unworthy of His love because I still fall. On Easter I felt incredibly guilty for my selfish behavior. I should have been focusing on church, and I should have been focusing on praising and worshipping Him for His good works and His glory and His amazing power in my life. But I wasn't. But I am going to keep trying. I so desire to have that intense, personal relationship with Him and I love Him so much. And I post topics about God because of that love and my amazement in Him. But I am not a perfect Christian.


Are you ready? This is pretty huge!!

When I woke up the next morning, I recalled the previous night and my worries about gaining weight. And I looked down at myself and stood in front of the mirror and even body checked but I found that I did NOT gain weight. In fact, I didn't even feel like I had gained weight, even though just a few hours ago I had been convinced that the sandwich I had eaten would make me gain.

Here was my revelation:
When we give in to our anxiety and obey our desires to restrict, we give the eating disorder power. Essentially by not eating we are confirming that we have prevented ourselves from gaining weight. The more we keep doing it, the more those beliefs are ingrained into our minds. And we never find out what's on the other side.
BUT when we defy your eating disorder and go against its wishes suddenly we are able to see the truth. It's like realizing that your best friend has been lying to you all of this time. Imagine the kind of power this could give us. If we know that our eating disorder is lying, and I mean really KNOW, then we can slowly begin to defeat those thoughts. It also helps us to overcome our fears when we realize that those fears are irrational and unfounded.

When I woke up that morning and realized that I had not gained weight, I felt incredible relief but also felt extremely silly. Here I had believed this whole time that one little sandwich was going to make me gain weight. But when I realized that it actually hadn't, it was as if the wool had been lifted from my eyes.

So? Go against your eating disorder. Deliberately do the opposite of what it tells you, and you will see the truth.
But you can't begin to see the truth if you don't at least try:)

Have a good night girls!!

Love and hugs!


Okie April 19, 2009 at 7:09 PM  

Hi! I'm a fairly new reader, and you can call me Okie. :) I think we're really similar! This post was absolutely beautiful and I just wanted to thank you for writing it. I agree with so many things on here that I just can't write them all out! One thing that made me laugh was how you said that sometimes, when you're feeling very down, eating a substantial meal can help—that is so true! I call it a "food-induced coma" for some reason. :) I love your blog and its focus on the One who saves us from all of this if we continue to trust and have patience! Praying for you, girl!
xoxoxo Okie

Anonymous April 20, 2009 at 5:42 PM  

Wow. That was a lot, but I'm definitely glad I waded my way through it. First of, I'm sooo sorry to hear about your bowl :(

Also, congratulations on making it through all those ups and downs. I know, its so rough fighting ED (I have a lot of breakdowns too) but you did an amazing job getting through everything!!

And it's awesome you have such a supportive mom and dad. Though they may not understand it all, they're definitely there for you and from what you said, I can see the love they have for you. Immense.

Oh, and nice to meet you, I'm adding you to my Google Reader! I really enjoy your blog.

-Emmy (Prop & Pedal)

Meg April 21, 2009 at 7:30 PM  

Thank you so much for the comment on my post yesterday - I'm so happy that you enjoyed it :)

I really liked this post, you're amazingly inspirational and you really know how to push through your struggles, I love that. Giving up is something that is NEVER an option in recovery. I hope you have a lovely night!

Love, Meg:)