Monthly Archives: March 2014

Lattes and Late Night Jazz

Lattes and Late Night Jazz

I have a latte instead of dinner tonight. I can barely afford any more calories but I long for a warm, comforting feeling to soothe me. I need something to fill me up and take me away from the never ending winter that eats away at my frost-ravaged soul. I need a reminder of home, of days gone by, of knowing where I belong even though I am not there.

I cannot stay here much longer. I checked out long ago. Now I am just biding time until I return home at long, long (so very long) last. I drive aimlessly into the desolate, snow-white night and turn the music up to drown my tears. I have been waiting lifetimes to go back.

The jazz transports me to sultry, summer nights far away from this place. They are burned into my heart, etched into my memory until the end of time. I am 17, I am 21, I am eternally there; young, in love and loved like never before. In a hotel lounge where the love of my life sits opposite me, cocktails flow and sweetness is imbibed in unending quantities. Laughter tinkles like the ivories of the baby grand serenading us. We are sun-bronzed and drunk with passion. We are giddy with life, like only the young now how to be. We glide across marble floors, under chandeliers and into each others’ eyes.

I have never known such happiness: not before this moment and not since. We walk out into the fairy lights, hand in hand. African stars are splattered across a midnight-blue-silk sky. Frangipani scents the warm, languid air. The palm trees are silhouetted against the night when I lost my heart forever. The band plays on… the barman refreshes our drinks and I am drowning in the bliss of his nearness, his smile, his cheek against my cheek. We are star-gazing together; imagining all the years together that we didn’t know then would not come to be. We are dreaming, hopeless dreamers that we were, without thought for anything other than this moment that would live on to haunt my homesick heart. We talk of growing old together, of children and memories we have not yet made not knowing that we never would until it was too late. We sit wrapped in each others’ arms and the jazz permeates our souls where we are entwined, always, immovable, in love.

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I’m A Machine

I'm A Machine

I’m a tank to be precise.

I skipped dinner last night. For the briefest of moments today, I woke up and felt thinner. I put my new workout clothes on (I rewarded myself for not bingeing), and went to the gym. As soon as I walked into the studio and looked at my reflection, I was furious. I am huge. I am big, heavy, undefined and hideous. Three months of working out, counting calories and reducing my ED behaviours have done nothing for me. I am bigger than I was at Christmas when I went home and that was big enough.

I worked out for 90 minutes today. Half an hour of HIIT and an hour of weight lifting. I begin to wonder why I bother. I am not losing size and I have no definition. I am just thick and chunky and bulky and revolting.

My girlfriend asked me if I have taken before and after photos to motivate me or track my progress and I laugh because the thought is ridiculous. I was thinner BEFORE I started working out five times a week and eating a “healthy” 1200 calories a day. I was thinner when I was starving, bingeing and purging regularly. I looked at photos taken last year when I was 15lbs lighter and I wanted to cry. I wasn’t anorexic looking but I was thin, for me. I loved it. And it is long gone.

Why take photos? To remind myself that ED works and being healthy doesn’t? I can see that every day in the mirror. I don’t need any more “motivation”.

Here is a picture of me 15lbs ago.

 

 

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Eating Disorders: From The Inside Out

An excellent TED talk on the biology of eating disorders. It puts a different perspective on it for people who don’t know much about this illness.

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When Food = Love

When Food = Love

If I had a dollar for every time that I have trawled the grocery store aisles looking for love…

Is it in the pasta aisle or next to the ice cream? Maybe it is on a shelf like the jar of peanut butter that wants me to take it home? Perhaps it is nestled in the bakery section between celebratory cakes and coffee-meeting doughnuts. I look every time, just in case. It would be a shame to miss it and go home alone instead.

At a child’s first birthday party, I am the only single person. I am the only childless person. I sit by the table and put cheese into the void where love should go. It sticks to my insides, my thighs and my arteries. Close enough, I think, to what love does. It mimics the comfort of romance and a hand to hold through the bleak winter for a millisecond before it becomes more regret. It pretends for a moment to be the arms I never feel around me or the kisses that have not filled my days. It seems like the love I have been searching for all my life long.

I ask God when he is going to be there for me. When some of the dreams I have held dear, clung to, fought for might come to be. He doesn’t answer me. He doesn’t show up when I need him most. In the dark, crawling hours of distress, He is not there. When I cry out in the endless night for redemption, I am met with silence. When I beg for salvation, for deliverance, there is only the emptiness echoing back at me.

No matter. ED is here, always. Faithful friend; companion of many years; lover of my desperately, lonely heart.

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The Birth Control Debate

The Birth Control Debate

I have decided to go off the birth control pill for several reasons:

1. I don’t need to take it to prevent getting pregnant, but I have been on it for years and never really questioned what it is doing to my body. (I am that dumb sometimes.)
2. I have been researching the effects of birth control on thyroid/adrenal and other hormone imbalances. I have hypothyroid and all the symptoms of adrenal fatigue. Most of the articles I have read say that it is impossible to restore hormone balance while pumping your body full of synthetic hormones. This makes sense even when I am being dumb.
3a. There is a direct link between birth control and increased cellulite/weight gain which can be due to water retention. A lot of women report increased appetite and fat accumulation from taking the pill. In the last few years, cellulite has taken over my body. It is on my arms and calves instead of just at the top of my thighs where it always stayed.
3b. There are some studies that show that taking birth control is linked to a lack of muscle tone. Considering that I have very poor muscle tone with all that working out is disheartening.
4. Synthetic hormones in my body are not necessary. I do my best to eat clean even with ED. Why am I putting these pills into my body?

And my favourite reason…#5. Decrease migraines.

At the moment I see no benefit to continuing it and potentially many benefits if I stop taking it. I am willing to give it a try and see what happens.

There are side effects to experience when you stop taking the pill. I am most worried about acne and hair loss, but I hope after a few months this will normalize. I have never suffered from heavy periods or the other symptoms that go with them. I am perpetually moody, so I do not anticipate mood swings being a problem! I will try and report back in a few months if there is a noticeable difference in any of the areas I referenced above.

Let me know your thoughts about birth control. I am interested to hear others’ experiences with this.

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Dark Places

Dark Places

“If I have to be in this dark place in order to dance, then I don’t want to dance anymore.”

One of my students said this after telling us she was suffering from bulimia and anorexia. We sent her back home to Japan where her parents have put her into treatment. She was the most talented dancer I have seen in my ten years at this school. I wept to lose her, but at the same time I know she is in a better place than I was at that age. I wanted to dance despite the darkness. I knew that a career in ballet would mean a life lived in the enduring darkness of ED. And I accepted it.

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Cookies at Recovery

Cookies at Recovery

Who knew cookies could be ironic? I walked into my church recovery group tonight and there were red velvet cookies on the food table as well as other delectable temptations. I had gone back even though I tried to quit more than a month ago and every week I have sat there miserable. I have lost hope and faith. Hope that I could be healed and faith in the “Freedom Sessions” program.

Cookies speak to me louder than the pastor doing the teaching of the twelve step program. I hear them over the drone of his voice trying to convict me not to “use” anymore. His reasoning is lost amid the thoughts of cream cheese icing on cupcakes. The cakes and doughnuts and cheese and crackers and chips and dips have a stronger pull on my soul than the enticement to be “sober”. They are there week after week, waiting for me. The drug addicts, alcoholics, sex addicts and abuse victims seem immune to them. I however am captivated by their obvious charms. Blinded by them, dazzled, hypnotized. Their allure knows no end.

For me, they were the final straw. Cookies at recovery for bulimia? Ironic but deadly.

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Gym Obsession

Gym Obsession

If this is true, then my fat cries a lot but evidently it is not upset enough to move out.

Gym is my latest obsession. I am worshiping at the alter of thin – again. In pursuit of (skinny) perfection, I track my calories as penance and confess their consumption to anyone who will listen, in the hopes that I will be absolved. I still pay for my sins. The only good thing is that I seem to be bingeing and purging less. But this is still ED in it’s many forms. I cannot deny the truth. It is gospel and I am a believer.

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