It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted. I quit therapy and that’s left me somewhat unprepared to deal with things on my own. About a month ago, I started seeing my counselor again, but I still haven’t gone back to see the Therapist. I can definitely see where I still need a lot of work, but I’m just not feeling ready to tackle that again quite yet. I still have a lot of triggers apparently, even though I didn’t realize it. Either I was always triggered so much by the ex (Huey) that it was just the normal state of affairs, or I simply wasn’t being triggered for a long time. I’d argue for the latter option, but I have a feeling those who know me well would agree with the former.
Right now, I’m dealing with a brand new issue…well…sort of. I fought on and off with an eating disorder for about 10 years. Most of that time it was undiagnosed because I never did manage to get my weight down to the magic “15% below minimum ideal” body weight. Even so, I spent the better part of 10 years jumping back and forth between starvation and purging, and sometimes some combination thereof. I was at a very healthy body weight for a while and, although the number was higher than I’ve always wanted, the size was small enough that I could be content. Then I moved to a different state with two unhealthy, abusive “friends,” and my healthy habits fell apart. I put on weight, and I’ve never managed to take it back off. For the past six or so years, I’ve dealt with it by refusing to actually look at my whole self in the mirror (if anything I just look at the part necessary for whatever I’m doing…like my teeth or my hair). I ignore sizes in clothing completely. I guess at my size, but I don’t actually know what it is. I don’t step on scales, ever, so I don’t know how much I weigh (even though I could probably estimate it with some accuracy). I just refuse to think about or acknowledge anything related to health or nutrition or my body, or at least that’s what I did.
Then I met a guy. Actually, I met him back in August, but I just started going to the gym with him recently. I’ve had to confront my body and what it actually looks like, think about where I want to be and how to get there, and evaluate all of my bad habits. I’m huge…absolutely huge for my short stature. I need to lose at least 20 pounds to even resemble healthy. I’ve been eating horribly…too much, too often, too unhealthy. I decided that I wanted to make some changes, so I go to the gym several times a week now; I’ve started working up to running because I want to run a 5K in April. I also lift weights to strengthen my arms, legs, and core. I’m trying to stretch a lot more too. I also decided to change my eating habits (I should clarify that this only started about 5 days ago or so). I needed to eat less overall, seriously minimize the sweets and fatty foods, watch my carbs, and be more careful with liquid calories (chocolate milk and hot cocoa are killers). I’ve been doing well so far, focusing on protein and fruits and veggies and limiting sweets and fatty foods.
I realized over the weekend that I need to be very careful though. Although what I’m doing sounds very healthy, I know that I’m very aware of my body now and that puts me in a dangerous place. I avoided self-loathing by simply avoiding acknowledgment of my body, but I can’t do that anymore. Now I have to face it. I realized today that I have to be super SUPER careful with food. I walked into the cafeteria at lunch and walked around to find something to eat. I dismissed every single choice one by one, and I ended up walking right back out with just an apple and some hot tea. The vegetarian dishes were all carbs (noodles, potatoes, rice) and setan (some kind of fermented bean curd that turns my stomach), so those were eliminated. The pasta bar was an obvious no-no. They had chicken parmesan sandwiches, but I already had cheese today on my eggs at breakfast and I didn’t want the bread or breading on the chicken, so I moved on. They also had chicken nuggets and fries (both deep-fried of course) and beef pot pie. I couldn’t bring myself to eat any of it. I thought of grabbing a salad, but I just wasn’t in the mood.
I have to run home between classes this afternoon, so I’ll make myself half of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich then. I’m taking a dance class tonight, so I know that I have to eat something. Lunch today was a good wake up call for me. It was a reminder that I am still treading a very fine edge and I need to stay aware and be careful. Being healthy is important. I still long for some of those old habits sometimes, but I have a lot more to lose now, and it’s just not worth it. I have to keep that in mind, and find healthy ways of reaching my goals no matter how tempting the alternative may seem. Right now I don’t want to go down that path, but I also don’t want to ignore bad choices only to find myself well on my way down a dangerous road. I’ve done that before, ignoring the warning signs until I was already in a bad place. I just need to stay aware.