Monthly Archives: August 2012

Camping – Round 2

It’s a long weekend! We are off camping again which is frightening to me on many levels in regards to food consumption. Unlike last time, we are going with friends and each couple is responsible for 3 meals. I tried to fight this decision as the thought of surrendering control of 6 out of 9 meals to my friends is terrifying! My eating rules are so stringent even on my new ‘healthy’ plan and the idea of not being in control over what I consume this weekend is scaring me.


I have packed as many extra, healthy snacks as I can and a large salad to offer at meal times so that I can make a better decision if the food I’m fed is ‘bad’. I think my boyfriend is realizing how stressful it is for me to go through this and he alluded to my need for control last night. Poor man. He has no idea that I threw up before he got home and threw up our dinner an ice cream later on. It has really been a bad month for ‘recovery’.


I took my girlfriend (who is 57 and weighs 90lbs) out for her birthday at lunchtime. She is kind of like a surrogate mum to me considering mine is so far away. We talked about our love affairs with ketchup (too much sugar!) and mustard (barf!), during our starvation phases in our lives. She told me at lunch – as we shared a greasy, cheesy quesadilla – that I need to let go and indulge this weekend. She said at some point I need to stabilize my eating and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. I agree with her 100%. But……ED has a strong hold these days. We had2 glasses of wine and I am a bit too merry for a Friday afternoon at work (I’m not teaching, I’m just in the office!). I want to race home and get rid of the quesadilla because it is not sitting right. I haven’t eaten dairy in 2 weeks. I fight with myself not to go purge right away. I consider relaxing my eating rules and enjoying the weekend if it is going to be a write-off anyway. I have a huge bottle of Bailey’s to drink by the campfire, after all. Drunkorexia, anyone?!

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Ballet: You Are What You Eat

Ballet: You Are What You Eat

Two subjects that are always close to my heart: ballet and ED.

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Another Monday, Another Attempt at Recovery.

I was so hungry last night that I couldn’t sleep. I haven’t thrown up in 3 days but I have been trying to restrict my intake somewhat. At the end of the day, ED is so deeply rooted that I what I really want is to be thin. More specifically, I want thin thighs.

My boyfriend’s family finally left on the weekend which was a huge relief for me. Yesterday we went bike riding in the sunshine and made dinner together and I felt happy, lighter, freer than I had in days. I want to try and get back to the point where I was working out and eating only healthy foods because it was better than the bingeing and starving phase of the last few weeks. I just don’t know what is normal anymore. Yesterday I saw a reflection of myself and wanted to die. If I really look like that then shoot me and put me out of my misery. I am going to yoga in a few minutes to kick off the week with something positive but my biggest fear is what to do about this insatiable hunger. It is eating me alive.

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The End of Sanity

Today I had to have brunch with my boyfriend’s extra-dysfunctional family, half of whom have been staying with us for a week. The week has been a disaster on the food front and I have been eaten alive by anxiety (see previous posts about his step mother’s cooking/force feeding). I come from a fairly dysfunctional family myself, (well mainly my dad), so I shouldn’t throw stones, but his take the biscuit. They are putting so much strain on our relationship that I don’t know how long I can hold on any more. I have gone from fighting with him over why we aren’t engaged to wondering if I actually want to marry him and if could tolerate his family for the rest of my life. I feel like I cannot.

This is not the place for me to go into details about them, but suffice to say brunch was a no go for me. Firstly, they chose a dive of a diner that I didn’t want to go to. Secondly, there was nothing remotely healthy on the menu for me to eat. Thirdly, they behaved rudely and spoke inappropriately for the whole meal. I perused the menu trying to think what might do the least damage to my body considering that my sanity was already shot. The waitress took everyone’s order and then looked at me expectantly. I ordered fruit – it wasn’t an option on the menu. By this point most people had downed a milkshake each and conversation was not improving. Our meal eventually arrived and the plates were drowning in cheesy scrambled eggs, greasy hash browns and butter laden toast. It made me feel ill. My little bowl of fruit arrived and I ignored the stares and eye rolling from my boyfriend’s sisters. If they thought fruit was awkward then they should try being a fly on the wall at their own family gatherings.

After brunch I had to endure a couple more hours of family time and then we got to say our goodbyes, at last. This week has felt like an eternity and these odd people have made me rethink whether I want to be with this man for the rest of my life or not. That to me is heartbreaking. Anxiety derived from our relationship has the most detrimental effect on my ED.

I asked my boyfriend to stop at the organic store on the way home and I picked up a tofu salad. I didn’t give him a chance to interject or comment on my inability to eat shitty food in an even shittier diner with his fucked up family. Earlier in the week I alluded to the fact that my eating was suffering and so was I. Today I don’t have the strength to have one more battle with him not over food, family or our (lack of) engagement. It is enough for me now to crawl into bed with Marya Hornbacker’s “Wasted”, and pray that I recover from this ordeal/relapse as soon as possible. This week was a major setback that I did not need at this point in time.  I wish I had something more enlightened or inspiring to say for the weekend but that is how the cookie crumbles (no ED pun intended)!

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Better Days

Last night I had a bit of a break down after a disagreement with my boyfriend. He didn’t understand my need to make ‘healthy’ vegetarian burgers for our BBQ tonight and thought we could just buy frozen ones in a box. I had to tell him that I have been struggling lately and that when I ask to make and eat something that I really want, that he honour that instead of fighting against it. I had to tell him that for me that is a healthier choice to make in my life than bingeing/purging or starving. I know in the end he understood because he told me that it shed more light on why our trip to the grocery store had been so unpleasant.

Last night was the first night in a month that I didn’t binge and purge. I chose not to eat dinner and believe it or not, this felt like a step in the right direction to me because it felt like I was breaking a cycle. I wanted to eat dinner but his step mom wasn’t making anything that I felt safe eating so I opted out pleading a migraine. To most people this would not seem like an improvement but I felt better this morning for not having spent last night purging. I have more energy and I ate a breakfast consisting of a banana, peanut butter and gluten free crackers. In a few minutes I am off to yoga which is always a good thing for me.

Today feels like a better day after my mini confession last night and the absence of purging. I feel like I just turned a corner back towards my recovery. I am even looking forward to eating my veggie burgers tonight!

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She’s not that skinny, is she?

She’s not that skinny, is she?

This article published in Psychology Today is for all the people who suffer but don’t look sick to others.

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Lately I have found a lot of excuses to relapse. Excuses, not reasons because there is never a good reason to relapse! The more I analyze the anatomy of a binge/purge cycle, the more I realize that it can be cut off at any point. I am busy doing all this self analysis because I am trying so hard to be recovered everyday. I am also determined to set an example for my ballet students by both preaching and practicing (yikes!) a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I feel like it is my mission to ensure that this generation of dancers have long and happy careers free of eating disorders, self-loathing, injury and poor self esteem. Perhaps I will elaborate on that in another post some day.

Back to the excuses and here they are in no particular order:

  • work stress
  • relationship stress
  • anxiety
  • my boyfriend’s step mother force feeding me sticky buns tonight
  • size 4 pants not making it past my knees
  • cellulite
  • general dissatisfaction with my body – too big, not toned enough
  • disruption to my healthy eating regime

When I write them out like this they all seem pitiful and weak. There will always be stress in my life (and mine is minimal in the grand scheme of things) and I need to find a better way to deal with it than sticking my fingers down my throat every five minutes. I am determined to get out of my rut this week and back on to my healthy eating plan.

On the plus side I have managed to go to yoga twice this week and then I went on a long walk this evening before I had to face my boyfriend’s step mother’s cooking. She stir fried tofu, veggies and noodles for me; slathered on the soya sauce; made me try 3 types of sticky buns from China Town and smiled the whole time while she was doing it. I know she is well meaning and that it comes from a place of motherly love, but she has no idea the demons I am battling. By that point I was too tired to fight. It was just another excuse to binge and purge today. Tomorrow I will have that lovely hung over feeling from puking: dehydration, kidney pain, a migraine and exhaustion. I must be getting old or maybe my body is allergic to ED these days!

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The Size Dilemma

Tonight after work I decided to break my routine of coming home and bingeing and purging. I decided to go to the mall instead and buy some new clothes for work as I am sorely in need of things to wear outside the studio that aren’t sweat pants. I went a little bit crazy in H&M (probably like a binge but with clothes) and grabbed a dress, a skirt, a pair of pants, 3 blouses, 2 blazers and a belt. I can always justify spending money on clothing and I thought I had managed to put several outfits together from these basics making it even more worthwhile.

I didn’t try anything on at the store. The thought of the changing room mirrors and the fluorescent lights bouncing off my cellulite riddled thighs was more than I could stomach. I grabbed everything in a size 4 or a small (which is the size that I wear in every other chain store), gulped as I signed the visa bill and came home proud of myself that I had done something positive for myself.

Disaster struck immediately. I raced upstairs, tipped all the clothes from the bag and put on my highest heels. Nothing fit. Nothing. I wriggled the skirt up like my life depended on it and eventually managed to get the zipper up after I caught my hip fat a few times. I swore like a sailor. I looked like a sausage roll. My flesh was squeezed into the outfit so that it looked like it had been spray painted on my body and had an eerily similar look to cling wrap. I tried the blouses on and they pulled across my bust. The blazers would not button up. The pants did not make it past my knees and no matter how much I blasphemed, nothing changed. The dress was the only thing that fit. Yippee. It was dull and shapeless (which is probably why it fit), and at this point I was so mad that I knew I would return everything tomorrow. Just for good measure I tried the belt on. It didn’t fit because it was so big that it wrapped twice around my waist. At this point I thought I might cry from the irony (?) of everything being too small except the damned belt which was too big.

In a fit of temper I ripped all the clothes off my hideously over-sized body and threw them back in the bag. I stared at my disgusting flesh in the mirror. Two weeks of starving, puking and exercising have done nothing for me. My brain cannot understand it. How can I easily fit a size 4 except in that store and except for today of all days? How can I be this huge despite all my efforts to the contrary? Trying to break the binge/purge cycle by rewarding myself with a shopping spree ended up back firing. I’m sitting here debating several options for the evening now: go for a walk to blow off steam, give in to the urge to eat everything I can see and then throw it up, or cry myself to sleep.

Maybe my self-worth is not defined by the size of my pants, but try explaining that one to ED!

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Yoga and the Treatment of Eating Disorders

I went to yoga today. It is the first kind thing I have done to myself in a week and I am hoping it is the start of good things. Coming from 25 years of ballet which is highly competitive,  I find this article interesting on the relationship between yoga and eating disorder treatment.

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