Three Days

Three days of feeding my body.

Three days of being normal.

Three days of planning for – and deeply enjoying – my dessert without guilt.

Three days isn’t much, but it’s big in my world.

Did I mention the Chocolate Halo Top is just heavenly after a sixty minute adventure on the stairmaster? Because it’s lovely, lovely, lovely.

I woke up early today (potty break – too much water in the day) and, since I was strangely awake, I went for a run …and, sort of like Forrest Gump, I sort of kept going just because I felt like it. Almost 12 miles! Just a tiny bit short. I felt so tired, but it was a GOOD tired, and after a shower, I was motivated for work even more than normal.

Shockingly, even 16 hours later, I still feel well-rested and energized. I guess fueling your body right – not over or under feeding it – really does optimize it.

 

I feel strong. I will love myself again, and I’ll do it three days at a time. 🙂

Bon appetit, my friends.

~ Tori

An Anniversary Thought

Today marks four years since I originally started this blog.

Four years of successes and four years of failures, all shared vulnerably and with the hope of connecting with others who are enduring the same lifelong journey toward health and wellness with me.

For the first three years of the blog, I was consistent: I posted several times per week, often daily, providing insight into the diets I’d tried, the recipes I’d created, and the emotional roller coaster that is an eating disorder.

And, during those first three years, something magical happened: in sharing my inner thoughts and secrets with the world, I was somehow freed from the pain (for the most part) of the eating disorder. By making it public, it lessened its power over me. For the first time in my adult life, I managed to gain some semblance of control over my eating (and obsessive thoughts about food), even hitting my goal weight in June 2014 and maintaining it for almost six months.

But, around the end of year three, I started to slip.

I posted less and less. And, as the time between updates grew longer, my relationship with my body and nutrition began to regress.

I watched my weight slowly climb up on the scale, and over and over again I tried to convince myself that I would take back control “this Monday,” always excusing each binge as my last fling with food.

My posts grew more sporadic, and I found myself spending hours at the gym, trying desperately to counteract the more frequent binge eating I was experiencing. I was logging 40-50 miles per week running, not to mention the time spent on the elliptical, stairmaster, and other random cardio, while watching my weight increase and my clothing get tighter.

As my good friend Fitz always tells me, “You cannot out exercise a bad diet.”

For me, this wasn’t a bad diet. My eating disorder was back, the demons had returned, only now it had manifested into exercise-bulimia instead of the more common purging through laxatives, diuretics, or vomiting. Regardless, I was punishing myself. I was losing the battle against my body.

I randomly posted on here, more out of guilt for my silence than genuine concern for my body, and I could tell I was losing my readership. Worse, I was no longer believing anything I had to say, because I felt like I had lost any validity or right to talk about health – considering I’d stopped carrying about mine.

Last night, while out on a date night with my husband, Fitz forced me to wake up.

After reading a message I’d posted earlier in the afternoon in a Facebook Support Group she hosts about my heavy workouts (and my overeating, which I tried to playfully minimize), she messaged me on Facebook.

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I don’t think she realizes it now, and I’m not 100% sure I fully grasp it, but I think having her call me out (with nothing but love in her heart) might have saved my life.

I was spiraling, and fast. I had recently purchased boxes (yes, that’s plural: boxES) of laxatives and diuretics. It was only weeks (or days?) until I started to purge in every way I knew how. And, let me tell you: taking tons of diuretics and laxatives while overexercising your body is probably one of the most dangerous things you can do. I know it logically, but, looking back at how I was feeling even 24 hours ago, I honestly don’t think I was very far away from trying it, trying anything, to make the guilt of the binges go away.

Her message, though, reminded me that there are people who SEE ME, people who CARE, and people who expect me to take care of myself. Not for the benefit of others – not so that I can be a role model or an inspiration – but so that I can be the healthiest, happiest version of myself.

I owe Fitz so much for throwing me a life ring, because I see now I was drowning. Which, looking back at it, I don’t know how or why I didn’t see it. I don’t know how I let my ED sneak back up on me so quickly, and how it managed to spiral so fast. In less than a year, I erased nearly three years of success.

Well, I’m viewing this as my second chance. My second chance to regain control of my life: not of my diet, but of my life. My relationship with food, my relationship with my body, all of it. Fitz gave me a second chance, and I’m not going to waste it.

Expect to be hearing a lot more from me in the coming days, but let today be the first good day of many to come:

Bon appetit, my friends!

~ Tori

P.S. It’s good to be back.

Slipped

I didn’t post my Weigh-in Wednesday update yesterday. You may or may not have noticed.

Why?

I slipped.

I went on a binge for the first time in several weeks.

Yes, I’ve over-eaten junk food several times in the past month, but I’d always maintained control. I stopped myself. I splurged and then regained composure.

Last night, I didn’t stop.

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I couldn’t stop. I wouldn’t stop.

I started innocently. Healthy. A piece of salmon. Some cheese.

Then beer. Chips. Cookies. Chocolate.

I couldn’t stop shoving food into my mouth. My stomach growled, my brain roared. My husband came home during the middle of my binge. Normally, that snaps me out of it.

This time, I kept eating.

He asked me if I was hungry.

“No.”

He asked me why I kept eating if I wasn’t hungry.

“I don’t know.”

He suggested I eat some baby carrots – they would fill me up and I wouldn’t feel guilty.

I went into the bathroom to shove cookies into my mouth.

I finally stopped around midnight, not because I was full, but because I had run out of accessible junk food. The only options left were apples, carrots, celery … not the satisfaction you want during an episode.

My husband, confused (and likely disgusted), took our puppies for a walk while I sulked on the couch. When I was sure he was gone, I slipped into the medicine cabinet and pulled out my hidden supply of laxatives. I’ve told him, and everyone else, that I don’t buy them anymore.

(There is a box hidden in my car. Another in the kitchen.)

One pill? Three?

FIFTEEN.

Fifteen small, pink pills. Fifteen guarantees of pain, of redemption. Fifteen annular gifts, each promising to purge my stomach and my soul.

The pain this morning was unbearable. Knife in the stomach, tearing a burning path into my lower intestines. Cramps, exaggerated by dehydration, crippled my abdomen. It feels as if you’re slowly digesting a belly full of razor blades. You can feel the acid churning.

I sat in a hot bath at 4:30 in the morning. I prayed, vows of lies and false promises.

“God, if you make this pain go away, I promise I won’t binge again.”

“I swear I’ll throw the box of laxatives away.”

“I will start fresh tomorrow. I will eat right. I will exercise. I will take care of myself.”

“I promise to love the body you’ve given me.”

Each lie, greater than the last.

The pain subsided, a combination of warm water and 800 mg of ibuprofen, and I climbed back into bed, damp and despondent.

My husband slept, my puppies snored, and I cried.

It wasn’t until 8am that the true effect of the pills kicked in and, despite the previous hours of suffering, I couldn’t help but smile when the scale consigned a loss.

Laxatives: 1, Scale: 0

Self-Esteem: -1,000,000.

~ Tori

  • Slips (thewavesofrecovery.wordpress.com)

Spoke too soon.

I am ashamed.

So very ashamed.

Yesterday, I blogged about the fact that I had gone so many weeks without an episode, without giving into the devil inside me. I had gone six, seven weeks without binging and purging.

All I did was taunt the beast.

I don’t know why I did it. I was attending my online lecture, calm and quiet, when it started. A cookie. Then another. Then another.

While the class went on, unknowingly a witness and an accomplice to my self-destruction, I shoved it in. Cookies.

Chips. If it was edible, it was going down.

My brain screamed at me. It yelled and cursed and chastised me.

“You don’t even like cookies!”

“You are not even HUNGRY!”

“You’ve had dinner. And a snack. Now STOP.”

But my damned hands wouldn’t stop. They couldn’t. Treacherous, five-fingered harbingers of hate and lust and sloth. Just shoving away.

Oh, and my mouth!

The greedy bitch – she took it all. Happily, eagerly, little porcelain teeth gnashing with joy and ecstasy as the chocolate melted and the crumbles fell.

It lasted maybe five minutes. A package of cookies. A bag of tortilla chips. Gobbled up. Devoured. Inhaled with barely a breath between bites.

The lecture continued.

How were they to know the sin I had just committed?

My stomach flipped and the bile rose in my throat.

What had I done? What could I do?

I excused myself as quickly as I could from the closing banter of my class, shoving my laptop away and rushing to the only salvation, the only punishment and recourse available to me: the drugstore.

I had no other option.

Of course, ipecac syrup was out. Why have places stopped carrying this god-send for the bulimics? Perhaps they realize that their product is never used with the right intentions and that they’re encouraging (and enabling) people to continue this self-destructive habit. Well played, pharmaceutical companies, well played. I’ll just find another way.

I had to settle on the old favorite: laxatives.

Would 15 pills be enough? I’ll buy the 90 count, just in case.

In the darkness of my car, no one to witness (or mock or judge), I popped them, washed down by sugar free Gatorade [as if it mattered anymore] and prayed it would hurt as much as I wanted it to. Please be painful. Please let the memory of this pain last long enough that it prevents a future binge. Please let this be the last time I go through this.

I’m not religious, but prayers filled the car like music fills the church. Please, God, please.

When I got home, I told my husband I had a sour stomach (not a lie) and he felt guilty that it might have been the dinner he brought me. The thoughtful, healthy dinner he dropped off that served as an appetizer to my binge.

Ashamed to tell him the truth, I let him believe that.

“Perhaps the chicken was bad?” I offered.

I’m a terrible human being.

The pills kicked in around 4am, the pain in my abdomen so violent that my half-asleep brain was convinced that a murderer was stabbing me, unrelentingly, eager to rip the very intestines from my body.

Purge, purge, purge.

Three hours, off and on.

Step on the scale… down.

Down, down, down.

No… don’t let that smile creep on your face as the numbers drop. You’re sick. Sicko. Look what you did to yourself. Look what you’re doing. Look what you’ve done.

I couldn’t go to work today, my stomach in shreds, my head aching. I’ve done this to myself.

WHY?

I’m ashamed. So very ashamed.

~ Tori

A Small Success

I’m writing today’s post with mixed emotions. Currently, I’m battling with a mingling of hurt and pride. It’s hard to explain, but I’m trying to find the words.

I guess I should start the story from the beginning.

Last night, I was involved in a discussion which included several people. There were several individuals with whom I’m friendly, but not close to. They do not know my personal situation anymore than I know theirs.

I do not want to go into details, as I do not want relive the situation nor call the person out, but the conversation eventually steered towards weight.

Now, I’m not overly sensitive.

I can discuss weight, food, addictions, and more without issue.

I can separate myself from it because I realize that 99% of the time, the conversation is innocent.

However, a few comments were made that were downright cruel.

Regardless of whether or not I [or anyone else involved in the discussion] had an eating disorder, there were insensitive phrases, comments, and judgments tossed around by a specific person that were inappropriate, painful, and, in some ways, ignorant. Again, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but some examples would be the phrase “fat chicks,” or the generalization that all fat girls just want to be pretty and thin because they have issues with self-acceptance.

A comment, intended as a joke, was even directed towards me that slashed deep into the core of my insecurities.

It froze me.

I stopped talking, stopped thinking, and stopped reacting.

I was speechless.

Fortunately, the conversation naturally ended among the group a few minutes later, so I was able to leave without drawing attention to myself.

However, the damage was done.

I could feel the monster inside me, tugging.

Worthless.

Fat.

Ugly.

STOP. STOP. STOP.

It chanted from somewhere deep inside, reverberating in my ears like the echoing cacophony left behind a passing ambulance. I couldn’t shake it.

Yet… I did.

A year ago, this would have caused me to relapse.

Pills. Ipecac. Something.

I would have done something.

Hell, six WEEKS ago I would have relapsed.

But I didn’t.

I talked it out with a close friend. I confided my emotions, releasing the valve – watching as the scalding steam of my self-hatred leaked away, dissipating into the air of understanding.

I didn’t slip.

I didn’t binge.

I didn’t purge.

A small success.

And for that, I am proud.

~ Tori