Monthly Archives: April 2013

Stress Fractures and Eating Disorders

Diagram of the Foot looking from above. It shows various types of fractures that involve the fifth metatarsal

I have just been diagnosed with my third fracture in 18 months. The last two occurred when I fell down the stairs and this one is a stress fracture presumably from work as I teach ballet six days a week. I have had other stress fractures before and also broke a bone that required surgery a few years ago. I am currently waiting on a referral to a knee surgeon as I also have cartilage damage in both knees.

There are many articles on ED and its effects on bone density and studies “showing that stress fractures were significantly associated with a more-restrictive diet”.*  There are also a lot of studies on dancers with ED and injuries: “It isn’t surprising that ballet dancers who have stress fractures also diet more and eat less”.**

I remember as a teenager with anorexia that my mother warned me about the toll it would take on me when I was older. Now at 30, I have soft bones. I will be in a walking cast for 4-6 weeks which is depressing to say the least. I will still be able to go to yoga as long as I modify the poses. None of this stopped me from bingeing or purging today. After all, the damage has already been done….why stop now?!

* Am J Clin Nutr. 1990 May;51(5):779-83.

Nutrition and the incidence of stress fractures in ballet dancers.

Source

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, New York, NY 10019.

**Brooks-Gunn, J, Dhuper, Saruta, Fox, Richard P, Frusztajer, Nina T and Warren, Michelle P.

1990 Nutrition and the incidence of stress fractures in ballet dancers. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 5: 51, 779-783.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, http://www.ajcn.org/content/51/5/779.full.pdf+html, accessed January 25, 2012.

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Atonement

I decide in all my ED wisdom to come home and eat 8 slices of toast with peanut butter and honey. No matter how long and hard I try, I cannot purge it. I curse myself for being too stupid to remember that this deadly combination doesn’t come up easily. So, I resort to laxatives. I know that they won’t stop the calories but I need to empty my system as fast as I can. I am dreading waking up tomorrow and seeing my sins staring back at me in the mirror. There is no penance for this.
The last few weeks have been painfully non-descriptive. I restrict during the day. I binge and purge at night. My weight stays the same. I lose the will to exercise. I slip into a state of being constantly overwhelmed by life. Every day is more or less the same. I see no end in sight.
Tonight I uncovered a diary from seven years ago in which I had written that I felt like death was near. There is no mention of how bad my ED is but I can tell from the state I was in that it was out of control. I read the goodbye letters that I wrote for my parents, my two brothers and my (ex) husband. They were suicide notes. There is no denying that. I weep for my twenty-three year old self and then I weep for my thirty year old self. Nothing has changed. I am still in turmoil, inside and out.
Does Your Life Need A Laxative? Dr. Fred's Practical Prescriptions for Happiness by Dr. Fred Broder ... New Outlook Press
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ED Humour

Funny Thanksgiving Ecard: The meals not over when I'm full, it's over when I hate myself.
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Interludes

Interludes

I am hiding from real life in my river cafe again. I was about to cry at work because things are so bad there so I packed up my laptop and ran. I know that the stress of the last few months has just compounded so much that I cannot cope anymore because when the zipper on my boot broke, I cried like it was the most devastating thing in the world. I am at my limit for bad things happening. I just need a break.

I have been trying to stay out of the negative atmosphere and get to yoga every day but no matter how hard I try, something comes up every day to prevent it. It is as if the universe is conspiring to tell me something but I am not sure what.

I went to the health food store before coming to sit here and escape into my cup of green tea. I was thinking how terrible I looked today (see my last post re: bad skin, hair loss, weight gain and chronic exhuastion), when a little girl in the store whispered to her mom, “look mummy, isn’t she beautiful?”

I think the mom saw the tears in my eyes as I walked away.

On that note, happy Thursday, everyone! I hope that wherever you are you are happy and healthy. Be kind to yourselves and others.

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Eventually

Quote - African Proverb

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Hot Chocolate and Apple Pie

I am sitting in a cafe by the river as the snow falls outside despite the fact that it is ‘Spring’. I am hiding from life in here. I am also in the middle of a binge (what else is new?) and am listening to the girls sitting next to me gossip.
Work is excessively stressful right now and the bad situation there is spiraling out of control. Unless I pack up and move countries, I can’t quit my job which is a hard place to be on a day like today. I am not sure what the future holds for me here but at some point I want to move on either by going home for good or to Australia. That will be a few years away at least so I am praying that a miracle happens in the workplace soon. Right now it is hard to get the motivation to wake up in the morning and go to ballet which has never happened to me before.
Home life is stressful because I have a new roommate and one of my cats is dying of cancer. I can’t go home and binge in front of him because he doesn’t know that I am bulimic. So, I eat out then go home and puke from a “migraine”.
Although it has been four months since I ended my relationship, I am still struggling to come to terms with my break up. It is hard to love the wrong man. I don’t seem to be moving on on letting go and I find myself thinking about him constantly. I wish there was a way to short circuit grief.
I am stressed out about my finances since I decided to buy a condo and also because any spare cash I have, I spend on food. I want to go home for Christmas but that will cost several thousand dollars that I don’t have.
So here is my current binge that I am on:
  • 1 scone
  • 1 cheese bun
  • 1 veggie sandwich and yam fries
  • hot chocolate
  • apple pie

I am disgusted with myself especially because I have put on weight in the last week. I need to go home and purge but I feel so safe here. I just want to close my eyes and go to sleep. I am so very, very tired that it hurts.

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Failing ED; Failing Me

Good news! My plateau ended. Bad news…..it ended with me gaining weight. Over Spring break and Easter, I took a few days off ballet and went to the gym every day. I still restricted and purged any binges but obviously not enough. Perhaps a few too many glasses of wine? Whatever. Imagine how thrilled I was to have gone back to work heavier after waiting to break my plateau that went on for weeks. The mirrors taunted me all day.
I have decided that since I can’t succeed at ED that there is little point in keeping it up. Right now I am suffering all the side effects of bulimia and none of the benefits (and by that I mean weight loss).
Here is a list of the toll it is taking on my health:
  • dull, dry, acne prone skin that is aging badly
  • thin, brittle hair that keeps falling out
  • soft, peeling nails that won’t grow
  • scarred knuckles
  • sore throat
  • weak bones (I have ANOTHER stress fracture)
  • constant injuries from overexercising/malnutrition
  • sensitive teeth
  • blurry vision
  • migraines
  • thyroid issues
  • chronic exhaustion
  • electrolyte imbalances
  • dehydration
  • poor muscle tone
  • fatigue and lack of energy
  • mood swings – irritability, anxiety, depression
  • no money because I spend it on binges

I feel like all of the above would be worth it if I was thin. As I am not thin, I might have to rethink my game plan because gaining weight again is a worse ED mind f**k than the plateau.

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Still Trying To Let Go

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