WIAW- (In My Mind) Something’s Gotta Give

by tessa8m on April 4, 2012

in What I Ate Wednesday

As always, your personal thoughts on Monday’s post was much appreciated! I really cannot help but open a post without first acknowledging how moved I am by your all taking the time to read my words! It was nice knowing I am not alone in thinking about those images, and it was also great for me to hear that I helped some of you understand yourself even more! Thank you again for your words :)

And now it’s time for a What I Ate Wednesday post and of course all credit goes to Jenn over at Peas and Crayons for continuing to put together this blogging event!

**In today’s post there is a lot of talk on numbers, measuring food, weight and all of that. As always if you are sensitive to such topics and are easily triggered, please read with discretion or not at all! Thank you :) Oh and one more preface to this… I understand if you get angry with me in this… just for the record.

If you have been reading my blog for the past several days, you would know that I have been talking about a lot of the same “stuff” recently. All of my current struggles, thoughts, and decisions are all going back to my commitment to not engage in any intense exercise. This is a major change to say the very least… I mean a break like this is something I haven’t done since I was 11 years old and I joined a swim team. Taking a rest for more than 2 days simply did not happen!

To keep you updated, I have not broken my promise to myself or to you all.. I have not partook in any strenuous/exerting workouts for 1 week and 2 days so far (not that I am counting or anything). Yoga, pilates, walks, and stretches are now part of my “new” routine and I don’t think my heart rate has exceeded 100 BPM recently… how weird it is! I will tell you that I have done some core and upper-body strength training because truthfully, I do fear losing muscle tone. As much as I ought to not be doing anything with weights, well mentally it’s intolerable.

So how am I doing with not exercising? The short answer is I am doing alright. I feel okay, I’m not going as bat-sh*t crazy as I thought I would. BUT, it seems there’s always another story to this, more to mention, items hidden or lurking below the surface which try to hide the entire truth in the matter.

This is where my promise to be a transparent and “real” blogger is going to be well-exhibited.

**(I am doing this WIAW post by breaking up my words with pictures of my food. Today is more about what i am saying here rather than the meals, but they still play an important role!)

Alright so as I said before I am doing “alright” with the lack of activity and this is a WIAW post which focuses on food…. and I am not exercising and burning everything off. Can you perhaps see where I am going with this? OH RIGHT, the whole food aspect of the rest period, what is going on with that? I have alluded to this a few times recently, and it’s once again time for me to be honest.

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Breakfast:

At school this means a hefty bowl of cereal…. my favorite while here:

In the bowl- 1 container of Vanilla Chobani, 1 T of milled flax seed, 1/3 cup of a new-for-me discounted cereal (this sucker was only one dolla bill!), 1/2 cup low-fat milk, blackberries.

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On that note HONESTLY, I am… restricting, to a certain extent at least. Now before I get more into this, I want to clarify something. I am by no means dangerously restricting. In fact my caloric intake is MUCH HIGHER than it ever would have been even just a year ago when I was beginning recovery. At this point, I know eating too little is just bad- slows down your metabolism, you lose muscle tone, it can manifest into continuing to decrease calories, makes you think about food more, etc.

Oh and that ever-so-fun one of binging at night…

Throughout this post you will see that I am still consuming an nice variety of food, with even some special stuff thrown in there. It’s not like I am once again “running’ on carrot sticks, an apple and a single sweet potato a day (fun times? Hardee har har). The food is there, but the focus on it has intensified. Not good.

I know eating too little is wrong and of course will not help my body (and mind!) recover and gain energy once again. BUT, I am still restricting to a degree.

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Snack:

A trail mix of sorts:

In the mix: 1/2 cup Kashi Go Lean, 20 almonds- cocoa and regular ones

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I am being very careful- while in the past few months I have been much more “loose” with measuring food, well I am back at it. I am no longer mindlessly picking- when I eat something, I remember and record it… count it toward my calorie intake for the day, oh and yeah, I am sure as heck counting calories. How many you ask? Well I am not going to give exact numbers for obvious reasons, but it’s… less compared to when I was exercising.

I am not longer putting my body through a hellacious workout and burnings tons of energy on a daily basis. Okay then, something has got to give…. oh I know! Limiting my food intake of course! Making sure I really focus on the food now and that will allow me to feel better about this rest period. Phew, I am so glad I found a way to mentally be alright with this break time.

And it always goes back to the same damn reason- I am petrified of gaining too much weight. After all of this time, after my thoughts and posts on how weight does not matter, and how we should learn to love who we are… what influence society has on me, and how weight really and truly does not define ME… After all of that, I still manage to hang onto this debilitating, irrational and illogical fear.

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Lunch:

I had to go out for lunch for a work-related thing and ordered a salad (I know, so different of me!)

This was great actually- mixed greens, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, onions, 1/2 cup chickpeas (that one was actually a rough major and yep, it made me very anxious to not know “for sure”), a sprinkle of feta cheese, and a slice of whole wheat bread on the side.

It’s pretty obvious why I was still hungry after this lunch and since I was near Trader Joe’s at the time, I decided to poke around in there for something else (plus I just love being there):

This is definitely one of my most favorite items at TJs! I ate this entire container which did a great job of filling me up with the high protein and bit of fat from the oil that is in there.

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I do apologize if you are sick of me venting about this, the weight thing.. I mean shouldn’t I have “gotten over it by now?!” Well good god this illness is hard to shake. To anyone with an eating disorder/disordered eating/fear of gaining weight, could this have been a more obvious statement? Don’t think so. I don’t want to lose weight necessarily (<—ED brain right there) but I sure as hell don’t want to gain even though I need to!!

Damn I feel like screaming sometimes.

In retrospect, I am pretty sure I don’t need as much food when I am not exercising… physiologically that makes sense. I am not necessarily worried about the physical symptoms of the decisions I am making on food now, but how my brain is turning this rest period into something else.

Plus I am unwilling to even give the theory of exercising less but still eating 2,400(+) a chance. As soon as I lightened up the workouts, the food intake was cut and to me (or the ED) this is an absolute no-brainer. Alright so not losing weight while intensely exercising and eating X amount. Changes must occur! Less calories burn= less calorie intake. Can’t gain weight- that would be the equivalent of the world ending!

Ugh. Plus I am starting to feel more guilty lately for my food intake and choices… yeeshe.

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Snack:

Fresh fruit was on the menu for that warm afternoon:

A few chunks of pineapple and strawberries. This was from the DC on campus and the reason I do no complain about the food here… I mean it’s sooo damn fresh and tasty! On the way out and to my next class I consumed this particular bar-

There was a brief thought of, oh you don’t need that, you just had a snack and plus ya know… didn’t exercise today! But I was able to overcome that irrationality and had the Mojo bar. A good choice, but a tad too crunchy for my liking.

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I am so AWARE that I am doing this, and so AWARE that this is the eating disorder manifesting itself in a different way. But I “have” to know I can keep my body in check, remaining at a certain weight that is so damn important to me… it means everything and yet, it means nothing, and again I KNOW this. The comfort I feel in being able to manipulate my body is alarming but feels so good and right at the same time.

Yet is is so wrong…

I have been talking to my mom and therapist about this and am totally honest with them (as I am all of you) about what I am doing. It’s a bit odd(?) understanding that restricting my food intake is not helpful or healthy and is hindering my recovery and my goal toward a normal relationship with food. And YET, I am doing it anyway and with very little inclination or desire to stop. I don’t want to give this up, I don’t know if I can, yet this has the ability to bring me back to the depths of the disorder.

Again, the awareness is bountiful, and I am doing it anyway. So why is this? Why is the compulsive need to have a handle on myself still so evident? What is beyond my fear of weight, of being “fat?” What the hell else is going on that is still leading me to hang on so desperately to all of this?

And this is where seeking the logical side of yourself is essential, I know it’s me somewhere. Continuing to not only be aware, but also ready to face some serious challenges and setbacks along the way and then OVERCOME them!

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Dinner:

A sandwich bought from another place on campus- (oh and please excuse the messy appearance… I was really hungry ha)

This was a 6-inch wheat sub- 4 slices of deli turkey, 1 slice of provolone cheese, cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, light olive oil/balsamic dressing, KETCHUP and a few baked Doritos for crunch.

An apple with a tablespoon of almond butter was consumed as well (not pictured, sorraay!)

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Honestly, I am really struggling right now. No not physically, but mentally-attempting to understand what the right thing to do is and then freakin do it.

  • One side, the recovery, rational one knows in order to establish a normal view of food and my body and to also establish trust with myself, I have to not only take a rest, but also eat the way I ought to be!
  • But then there is the illogical, disordered side- the one that tells me to restrict “just enough” in order to not gain weight… which of course means so much more than that simple goal.

Oh and we all know where this type of thinking can lead to- just a bit more, just a few less, just want to lose those extra pounds… and then I will be happy. Yet that never happens and whoops, there you are back to square one of the disorder. RELAPSE.

So what side is going to prevail? Well that is up to me.

I am sure there readers out there that are angry or perhaps frustrated at me for all of this. I don’t blame you and I am frustrated with myself. I am not looking for approval (durr) of what I am doing or anything like that.

I am just being completely HONEST and REAL with you all that this recovery business is hard work- a much bigger pain in the ass than I could have ever imagined. The disorder has the ability to rear its ugly head in so many aspects of your life and becomes very difficult to tackle them all. Oh well though that is what you (and me!) just have to keep doing… that is if you want to disconnect this sucker from your life- oh goodness I so want to this.

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Dessert:

More blackberries (they were on sale this week, can’t help myself!) mixed with yogurt,

In the bowl- 2% plain Chobani sweetened with a packet of Splenda (so sue me), and several rather plump, juicy blackberries.

I also enjoyed 4 (I mean 4?! What the hell kind of small number is that?! And yet I counted them out… I’m afraid for more) chocolate-covered almonds to finish off the day…

Goodness are those things delicious, but rather difficult for me to have around, especially now that I am “trying” to cut my food intake down. Well now that I think about it, having them around is probably just bad for the disorder, so they are staying in the room!

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So there it is- I am restricting again and while right NOW it’s not a physical problem, it certainly is a mental one and has the very strong potential to get worse. (Dare I bring that introduce that word in here again…relapse…) I am aware of it as I said before and unwilling to change or stop this habit while I don’t workout.

You know what though? That is just not allowed! Being aware is one thing, and now it’s time to be UNCOMFORTABLE while I overtake yet another roadblock in my recovery.

If I want to “get better,” really and truly, well then I must trust in body and how everything will balance out in the end- regardless of my food intake, and also trust that this is what I need to do NOW in order to recover. Although I don’t have a specific plan in mind, I do know the meticulous counting and measuring is the first one that has go to go.

Perhaps something does NOT have to give, and I won’t know until I give it a chance. Normal (for me and I will continue to seek what that actually means) intake is the new goal and one I plan on sticking to

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-How do you handle “roadblocks” and setbacks? Do you initially fall victim to them and then persevere? Or recognize them right away and deal with whatever stands in front of you? I am the former in this case, but need to change this around… more setbacks will be in my life, beyond this disorder.

-When you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, upset, just generally negative… how do you deal with these emotions? Do you turn to someone, or something?

-To follow up with the above question: Are these “coping mechanisms” something that are actually helpful or do they provide a false sense of comfort?

-I have sort of an odd question to ask here as well and feel free to not answer it, did any of you umm..expect me to pull something like this in lieu of not exercising? For me, the restriction was in the back of my mind before I even committed to all of this.

-Since this is a WIAW post, any new products/food finds lately? That ONE DOLLAR cereal I bought it pretty fantastic.

-And of course, please tell me the very best thing you ate in the past week!

Thank you for reading this uber long vent/confession if you did…. it’s certainly something else I owed you all and also to myself to do. Have a great rest of your day :)

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{ 134 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Khushboo Thadani April 4, 2012 at 5:13 am

Although you’re saying that your readers would get frustrated, I can honestly say that I don’t blame your coping mechanism at all! i personally don’t have an eating disorder but I am sure that if I were to ever give up working out/cut back severely on the intensity, I would question my quantities. I guess that’s where the challenge comes in: the challenge to trust our bodies that all will be fine even if we continue eating as we do. And to be fair Tess, you have come a long way and despite the mental struggles, I am pleased to see that you are still eating regular-sized meals which aren’t JUST vegetables!

Everything looks so delicious, especially breakfast and your nighttime snack- can you tell I have a thing for yogurt? I am looking forward to this afternoon’s snack as I’m trying a ‘new-to-me’ flavor of KIND bars: blueberry & pecan!
Khushboo Thadani recently posted..Feeling hormonal

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2 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Yes the challenge is to trust… and what a task that is! Ha I have a thing for yogurt too.. I have it at least once per day, but now its more like 2 and would be even MORE if it wasn’t too pricey haha :)

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3 Vien @ We Dare Food April 4, 2012 at 5:40 am

ooohhh this post really hit home for me. It’s amazing what our minds would let us believe even when we know the truth and consequences. When this happens, I’ll try my hardest to stay as far away as possible from any form of numbers by making lunch and dinner plans with my friends or brother who will keep me in check.
I really really wish that I could help out a bit more here but I’m still in the process of figuring it out myself! Just remember, don’t ever underestimate your mental strength and willpower :) *HUG*
Vien @ We Dare Food recently posted..Nobu, Southbank

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4 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:28 pm

Well it’s always nice to know I am not alone Vien!

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5 Laura@keepinghealthygettingstylish April 4, 2012 at 6:40 am

I can relate to so much of this. When I first decided to reduce my exercise I automatically started to reduce what I ate. It took me a while to come round to that fact that I need to keep on eating a good amount of calories. I found this blog article extremely helpful: http://www.gwynetholwyn.com/blog/2011/9/14/do-i-need-2500-calories.html
Please have a quick look at it, I know I’m not eating 2500 calories myself, not by a long shot (I don’t even count calories) but it has helped me to force myself to keep eating plenty and never ever restricting intentionally at least. Please don’t be too hard on yourself though, just the fact that you know your doing it is a step forwards! Delicious eats as always though!
Laura@keepinghealthygettingstylish recently posted..Just a quickie

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6 Catherine April 4, 2012 at 7:54 am

That is an AWESOME website thank you so much for posting it. Exactly what I needed to read!!! :) :)

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7 Amy @ Turtle-speed Runner April 4, 2012 at 9:09 am

Wow thanks for that link, a real eye opener for me too.

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8 Caitlin April 4, 2012 at 10:07 am

thanks for the link laura, i love finding stuff like that to read!
Caitlin recently posted..My Favorite Restaurant

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9 Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile April 4, 2012 at 6:52 am

I love that you are so open and honest. Although you said you may be restricting, at least you KNOW you are doing it and not denying it. That’s a step toward you getting better in my eyes! You got this girl, I know you can overcome this :)
Brittany @ GOtheXtraMile recently posted..WIAW

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10 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:30 pm

I agree it is a step in the right direction! Thanks Brittany :)

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11 Alexandra April 4, 2012 at 7:19 am

Yet again I’m blown away at how similar we are! I can totally relate with being aware of the disordered behavior and wanting to fend it off but somehow allowing it to come anyway. I think you’re handling this struggle so well though my friend. The mental aspect is the majority of the battle and the fact you are honoring your hunger with the right fuel is awesome!! Look at how far you’ve come even over the past year!! That ed voice is getting weaker and weaker every battle you win, you got this sista :)
Ps– I LOVE putting chips in sandwiches, totally a lost artform heehee ;)
Have a wonderful day girl, stay strong!!! Sending hugs!!! :)
Alexandra recently posted..the challenge IS ON…

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12 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

Yepp… the mental aspect, what a bitch it is! You got this too girl, I know you are feeling the same, but we both can do it!

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13 Cinnamon Girl April 4, 2012 at 7:49 am

Your honesty so important in order for you to keep yourself accountable! Good job! It seems crazy/illogical but stopping exercise will NOT make you gain weight. A few summers ago I went from running everyday for too long, and stopped in order to try to gain weight. Only eating 2200 was NOT enough for me to gain weight. Once I did eat enough to gain, it still took me 2 months to gain 8 pounds EVEN THOUGH I WAS NOT EXERCISING! It sounds like your metabolism is even faster than mine, so you do NOT have to worry. Remember that not exercising is a HEALTHY decision for you :) Stay strong, you CAN do this!
Cinnamon Girl recently posted..Whole Body, Whole Milk

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14 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:32 pm

Thank you so much for providing me with this information! Hearing personal situations like yours really helps me out!

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15 Fran@ Broken Cookies Don't Count April 4, 2012 at 8:18 am

I never heard of egg white salad, but it does sound good…most thing from TJ’s are! The chobani with blackberries looks wonderful.

Keep making yourself aware. You are adjusting you life and your choices to find out what is exactly right for you. It’s important to keep yourself aware and you’re doing it, Tessa!
Fran@ Broken Cookies Don’t Count recently posted..C Is For Crock Pot

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16 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Thank you Fran :)

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17 Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin April 4, 2012 at 8:29 am

Even though you’ve come SO far, I think it’s totally natural to struggle with this. This is an entirely new situation that you’re not used to, so it makes sense that you would find it hard. Just keep on trucking through it and it’ll get easier – and you’ll learn to trust your body in the process! :) I think you’re so inspiring for doing this girl. Stay strong! <3
Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin recently posted..WIAW #32: Meals among the mayhem

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18 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Thank you for the perspective Chelsea.. I needed that reminder!

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19 Michelle@PeachyPalate April 4, 2012 at 8:43 am

I would say and this is just my opinion, that you try and decide what is realistically the amount of exercise you will do once recovered…then you can begin to eat as you will be eating and try and develop a new balanced pattern. You’ve recognised that both the eating and the exercise are a problem but removing one from the equation is having a detrimental effect on the other…. you’re doing really well, don’t be so hard on yourself!!! :)
Michelle@PeachyPalate recently posted..Better late than never…

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20 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:35 pm

This is a good idea Michelle… and shall be considered as I try and make some goals in all of this!

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21 Amy @ Turtle-speed Runner April 4, 2012 at 9:03 am

I say persevere, continue on with the low intensity exercise and eventually you will be able to relax a little with the food and be able to eat enough. And don’t think we’ll be mad at you – no way! I know how hard it is to deal with EDs and couldn’t judge you at all.

When I’m feeling stressed or overwhelmed, I don’t usually talk about it. I go to my coping mechanisms… focus more on exercise or diet, try to see friends more often (which sometimes leads to more coping mechanisms haha), and other unhealthy options. I have started to talk a little more openly on my blog but now I just feel like a big whinger – and that’s not who I am!! I feel so sure anyone who reads what I write thinks I’m this huge downer…
Best thing I ate this week – lemon coconut pancakes. Yum!
Amy @ Turtle-speed Runner recently posted..Bridges 10k Fun Run

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22 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:36 pm

Nooo no you are not whining, don’t ever think of it like that! Get out what you need to and it will certainly help

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23 Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots April 4, 2012 at 9:15 am

the fact that you can acknowledge out loud that you know you are restricting speaks volumes, you are doing a great job of getting yourself back on track and on a regular diet, I think you are doing a good job of getting yourself on a well balanced diet and it seems to me that you are making eating and eating frequently an important part of your routine. You are doing an amazing job and should be very proud of how far you have come!

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24 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Thank you Kaitlin.. it helps when you remind me to put things into perspective and acknowledge that i have come far!

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25 Kat April 4, 2012 at 9:35 am

see and this is where I wonder, maybe throwing some exercise into your life would help you a bit with this?? I mean, you werent restricting or focusing as much on the food when you were exercising. I KNOW its like a double edged sword here, but you HAVE to find a balance you know? Obviously cutting out exercise is just screwing up your eating thoughts, maybe throwing in a day or two of workouts would help? I dont know, I just dont want you to face any more setbacks! This journey is LONG and you’ve come SO far and should be SO proud, you’re doing a great job. Obviously you know your body best, thats just my two cents :) Im supportive regardless!!
Kat recently posted..Edamame Salad

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26 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:40 pm

I know.. that whole balance thing.. gah a hard concept for me! It’s definitely a thought to throw some exercise in… but physically i just can’t right now. The fatigue is still beyond absurd! I will slowly ease back into it and I think I will be able to relax more
Thank you for your thoughts here Kat :)

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27 Dorsa @ Running Thoughts April 4, 2012 at 9:38 am

Even though it is a setback for you, you are still moving forward because you now have the ability to recognize that you are doing something negative, and bad for you health. You will get through it!

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28 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

Thanks Dorsa!

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29 Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense April 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

You are doing what’s best for your body and giving it a break and so remember that!! =) Can’t remember if you mentioned this but I think the best thing you can do while you are taking a break from running is to do yoga! Do something that involves relaxation, breathing, stretching… etc.

I LOVE that egg white salad from TJ’s… not much I don’t like from that store!! And I’ve got to try those cocoa almonds in my trail mix… fabulous idea!!
Lisa ♥ Healthful Sense recently posted..Cabot Cheese Giveaway & Recipe

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30 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I actually have started doing some yoga and don’t hate it! Exciting stuff for me haha… I will continue with it too, tomorrow there is a class
Oh yes, add the cocoa almonds- a small change that is just perfect

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31 Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries April 4, 2012 at 10:00 am

when i have a setback, i just try to remember that each day is a fresh start. i learn something from my previous “mess up” or setback, and move on from there. that’s all you can do, otherwise it’ll be a viscious cycle. you got this girl! you’ve come so far. keep it up!
Ashley @ My Food ‘N’ Fitness Diaries recently posted..WIAW #28: Work Day Eats

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32 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Thanks Ashley :D

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33 Caitlin April 4, 2012 at 10:12 am

hey tessa, as usual i appreciate your honesty and how you seem to be reading my brain. i went through a cutback on exercise period a little over a year ago in college when i was at a dangerously low weight. i have to tell you it was HARD. however with time i did get more used to sticking with yoga, pilates, walking, light elliptical, etc. however once i started taking the intensity back up i became addicted to that high intensity high HR stuff again very quickly. i’m still in that place now, where if i take a day to do yoga i feel guilty and sometimes feel like i need to eat less. i try to think back to that period in college where yoga was ALL i was doing and i didn’t even gain a “ton” of weight. i’m not going to say #’s because i know that messes with our heads. but i try to just think back to “reality”.
it’s so frustrating to know what you are doing is wrong, and yet what you are doing is a coping mechanism and makes you feel so comfortable. so it’s just so easy to fall back into that. i’m guilty of doing this daily. it’s hard to fight that urge. but keep fighting and keep using your arsenal of weapons – this blog, your family, your readers – against ED. you can do it, we both can!
Caitlin recently posted..My Favorite Restaurant

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34 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and personal experience here Caitlin.. I really appreciate it! I am sorry you are struggling a bit again with this, but that just means we BOTH are now going to work even harder and just face that discomfort. OH well it must be done and we will be both be better on the other side

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35 chelcie @ chelcie's food files April 4, 2012 at 10:21 am

I need to try that trader joes egg salad that sounds so delicious..I can complete relate with feeling the need to restrict still..your honesty is so impressive and really admirable:)
chelcie @ chelcie’s food files recently posted..WIAW-Yummy Eats

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36 Katie @ Peace Love & Oats April 4, 2012 at 10:24 am

Every day is a new day, so remember that when you get up in the morning. Say it out loud: today is going to be a good day! Today I’m going to do MY BEST! Also, I completely understand how you are totally aware of what you are doing, but you do it anyway! I’ve had some binge eating problems and I’m eating even though I’m full and I know it, I can even say it out loud, but I do it anyway!!! It’s ridiculous and something I’m hoping to move past, preferably by eating more at meals!
Katie @ Peace Love & Oats recently posted..Racing Bug and WIAW

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37 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Love this idea Katie and you are so right, every day is a new day and I have the potential to make it a good one :)

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38 Faith @ For the Health of It April 4, 2012 at 10:44 am

I hope this comment doesn’t come across as “It’s good to hear that you’re restricting” – I don’t mean it like that at all – but it is good to hear that you are acknowledging that fact so that you can take the right steps towards fixing it. Katie above me says it so well – every day is a new day, and you’ll get the hang of the right balance for your body over time – whether or not that includes structured exercise or not. Thanks for being honest about the struggles with your intake!

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39 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 12:00 pm

I didn’t think you were saying that at all Faith! Now that I am aware of this.. .I can do something about it, you are right!

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40 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie April 4, 2012 at 10:45 am

Of course I’m not mad at you–I really love how honest you are here because I’m in the same place right now. But I know that the amount I’m currently eating is dangerous and it has sent me into somewhat of a relapse, so I’m encouraging you to try and work back up to eating the amount you were before so you don’t continue to slip! Believe me, I know it is SO hard, especially since you’re taking a break from exercise and feel like fewer calories are needed. Logically that makes sense but to be safe, I would just make sure that you’re not losing any weight if you do continue to eat less. Maybe your body doesn’t need more, but maybe it does. And if it does, it’ll be scary but listening to it will help you so much!

I love Mojo bars! They remind me so much of trail mix which I love. If you can find it, try the white chocolate macadamia Mojo, it’s really amazing!
Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie recently posted..WIAW: Weekend Food and Fitness Thoughts

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41 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Ashley…. are you okay right now? I certainly do not like hearing you are struggling right now too! Let me know if you want to chat girl

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42 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Ashley, I can’t get to your blog! It says it’s private???

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43 Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie April 5, 2012 at 8:41 pm

Oh sorry girl, I was changing around some settings but I think I fixed it so it’s not private anymore!
Ashley @ AlmostVegGirlie recently posted..WIAW: Weekend Food and Fitness Thoughts

44 Michelle {the lively kitchen} April 4, 2012 at 11:02 am

The mama in me wants to give you a big hug and rub your back. You are a beautiful, smart, strong girl. Your worth is so much more than the number on the scale or the number of pull-ups you can do.

Take it moment by moment. You will get through this and you will be better for it

Hugs!!!
Michelle {the lively kitchen} recently posted..What I Ate With Carrots In It Wednesday

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45 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 11:59 am

Thank you Michelle, I appreciate that very encouraging comment

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46 Haley @ Health Freak College Girl April 4, 2012 at 11:19 am

i love that TJ’s egg white salad and the cliff mojo bar! two of my fav things :D

i always love your honesty. on my rest days, my obsession with calories is much greater. i hate it. but i know i need rest day for my body physically. it just messes with me mentally. whenever i have a setback, i would sometimes dwell in it but i have gotten better! i try to look at the reasons for the setback and why i am feeling that way. eventually i am able to get over it!
Haley @ Health Freak College Girl recently posted..WIAW – I saw a rooster!

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47 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:45 pm

I believe that taking the time to consider WHY I am making these choices beyond “I’m fat” is essential to do. I must keep on getting better at it, that’s for sure!

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48 Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table April 4, 2012 at 12:03 pm

You don’t need to apologize or think people are sick of hearing about this AT ALL. I continue to admire your strength and honesty. If someone doesn’t like it, then they don’t have to read. ;)

You rock. And I really love that you put chips on your sandwich. Nom.
Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table recently posted..Facebook and Eating Disorders + WIAW

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49 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:47 pm

True true… haterzz gonna hate ;)

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50 Anna @ The Guiltless Life April 4, 2012 at 12:25 pm

OMG choc-covered almonds are my FAVOURITE! And I know it sounds boring to always order salads out but I do that too because I love getting inspired for different salad varieties, and restaurants always have the most interesting combos!

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51 CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ April 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

Recovery is really hard work and it requires being ultra uncomfortable. To be honest I do the same things….Do well in one area of recovery n kind of slip in the other to compensate. You are so strong, brave and an inspiration to me and many others. You will get through this. And you have all of us here to support you!
CJ @ http://healthy-happy-whole.com/ recently posted..WIAW: Philly Farm Fest And Fighting Frustration

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52 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Yes.. falling back into something else… just to keep holding on in some way. But when does it end? We decide when it does

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53 Maggie @ Running on Fro-Yo April 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm

I love the honesty that you always put into your posts! I can definitely relate to the thought of “I know I’m restricting..and I know I shouldn’t…but I’m going to do it anyways.” Obviously both of us could gain quite a few pounds and still be a perfectly healthy weight yet the thought of it is still so scary and hard to push out of the mind! I just try to really remind myself that food is fuel for my body..it’s not the enemy!
Maggie @ Running on Fro-Yo recently posted..Nutrition for Runners

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54 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:48 pm

Food is fuel… a simple message that has a powerful meaning.. thanks for the reminder on that!

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55 Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health April 4, 2012 at 12:42 pm

I definitely know how when you stop doing something it is easy to start doing another, just to keep yourself in check. But you’re right…it can turn into so much more than that! Thankfully I am generally able to recognize when I’m getting toward that point where things might lead me down a bad path so I just stop them. I know how hard that can be though- and I think it’s awesome that you realize it and want to do something about it! As uncomfortable as it may be for you, ultimately your body and your health with thank you for it!
Lindsay @ In Sweetness and In Health recently posted..Food Diary

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56 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:51 pm

I know every aspect of my body will thank me for making the RIGHT decisions. I like your idea to just STOP when things start going sour.. a simple idea but definitely helpful!

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57 Kate @ Chasing It April 4, 2012 at 1:02 pm

ok well to answer that akward question, yes I totally expected you to do this…cuz it’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago! Now on the one hand…obviously you’re not eating as much as when you can work out. That’s just common sense and it would happen if you ate intuitively (versus counting calories) too – your’e just not gonna have the appetite for the amount you normally do and that’s okay! If you ate what you do during a heavy training period…you’d be making yourself physically sick. BUT you’re also right that thinking and stressing about it and purposely controlling every ounce of food that enters your body…even if you’re not physically depriving yourself, that’s a huge mental setback….I’m not even sure how to describe it, but I know EXACTLY how anxious and stressed you probably feel about eating right now. I’ve had days where I literally feel like I’m having an anxiety attack while trying to choose food, its like my brain goes into overdrive and my whole body tenses up. NOT FUN! I definitely think trying to stop measuring/counting is a great place to start. Eating intuitively is tough when you have those voices talking to you, but I guess it’s gotta start at some point right? And I know it’s easier said than acted upon, but our bodies ARE smart and are good at telling us what we need if we listen :-)

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58 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 9:03 pm

EXACTLY.. the mental set back thing, and that is the aspect I really need to keep addressing. Physically i am okay (still tired, hence the continued resting!) but yeah, otherwise not so much!
I just have to listen to my body and trust it. I mean I freakin talk about it all of the time on the damn blog, now it’s time to actually DO IT

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59 Amy Lauren April 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm

I can also relate, and I think you are a little hard on yourself. Not exercising when you’re used to exercising is hard for anyone- think about injured athletes! Then, throw in an ED, and that makes it even tougher. You might not be eating as much or burning as many calories, but at least you’re not restricting food intake like you once did. Plus, it’s like anything else- you’ll have bad days and good days. Honestly I’m really proud of you for not doing intense exercise and seeing how things go with that, that right there is a big step.

Pretty neat that you got cereal like that for $1. My latest food find… caramel almond butter spread from MaraNatha… so delish! You should try it if you can find some, they have it at Walmart here. I also had Greek yogurt and blackberries this morning :).
Amy Lauren recently posted..Hump Day Happenings

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60 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:54 pm

I really appreciate your words here Amy.. as usual :) You helped put things into perspective for myself and that is something I really need sometimes. Maybe I don’t give myself enough credit… although being hard on myself is something I have perfected, ugh.
That nut butter sounds glorious! I WILL be looking for that one next walmart trip!

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61 daybelis April 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm

First of all tessa, i seriously think you can read minds because all of the above is occuring to me. I promised myself to take this whole week off from exercise honoring your decision to do likewise and its been tough! While I haven’t engaged in any hardcore workous ( just yoga, walking, stretching), my mind has been racing with conflicting thoughts about what I should or should not eat.It’s like my “workout-holic” mind was substituted with the “health freak ” one. I know I have also been restricting and not a whole lot like you mentioned, but the fact is since Im not working out I feel as though I don’t “deserve ” the food, which is sickening. I truly admire and appreciate your honesty hun and I pray that we will both soon be able to conquer all of these demonic thoughts and just enjoy life with no stupid worries!

p.s we are not amd at you, actually this shows us how real you are!

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62 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:55 pm

Thank you for sharing your own thoughts and honesty here! I know I say this a lot, but it’s always good to know I am not alone in how I am feeling!

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63 StoriesAndSweetPotatoes April 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm

Hang in there Tessa! Keep at it! Just trust yourself in knowing you on the other side of this disorder. Recovery is a hard struggle, but you are fighting. You are stronger than the ED right now and that’s why you can tell it’s fighting back. Keep doing the best you can, which seems pretty darn good to me. Give yourself some credit and don’t lose sight of the big picture.
StoriesAndSweetPotatoes recently posted..Things I Might Literally Die Without

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64 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Thank you for this.. the encouragement is helpful :)

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65 Kristin April 4, 2012 at 1:53 pm

You took the break from exercise so that your body would reach a point where it had energy and was capable of having a period, right? If so, just keep reminding yourself of that goal. You mentioned restricting so that you wouldn’t gain weight…which I can completely relate to as I have done the same thing, too. On the other hand, I think that a little bit of weight is what is necessary for you to reach your goal. If you quit exercising to progress, you are derailing your efforts by restricting. I know you know that but maybe reminding yourself of it in a very blunt way will help. Keep your eye on the prize….I know you can do it.

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66 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm

Very true.. I am not allowing something to happen that I am taking the time off from to let happen, aka get my period back! Contradictory much?!

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67 Kristin April 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Bottom line: Tessa Merrick is a compassionate, intelligent, and beautiful daughter, sister, friend, and child of God who is deserving of SO MUCH MORE than restriction.

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68 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Thanks girl :)

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69 Nikki April 4, 2012 at 2:08 pm

I adore putting Doritos on my sandwiches!! Also, 1 dolla bill for cereal!? That’s a steal!

I am sure this is really hard right now but just keep your eyes set on the goals and then look back to how far you have already come! You’re amazing and strong and all of your posts go to show that!
Nikki recently posted..New York Style WIAW

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70 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 9:00 pm

Dollaaaa billzzzz yoo ;)

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71 Kat @ a dash of fairydust April 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

Tessa,how yould we be mad with you if you show such an amazing strength and not only keep on with your challenge but are that honest with yourself AND us at the same time?
I’m definitely proud of your for finally granting your body its much needed break; I know it’s so hard to do as I failed on the second day already. IÄm so weak and so sorry,but I want to be honest and that’s just the sad truth. :(
I can absolutely understand why you restrict sort of “automatically”,too,although you actually know it better… But you know,baby steps. It will get easier,I believe it for sure,and you will be able to do it.
You’re a strong lady,Tessa – don’t give up. For yourself. For your health. For your LIFE!
Kat @ a dash of fairydust recently posted..A [pretty unusual] WIAW.

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72 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Well thank you Kat… I don’t know I get nervous sometimes about how people might react! I mean I know it’s my blog and I can say what I want and all of that, but still.
So did you exercise excessively or intensely today? Don’t think of it as a fail, it’s not and now you have a whole new day (tomorrow!!) to get back to RESTING! Kat just do it, it will suck, but you will survive and be soo so much better

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73 Carolina @ Peas in a Blog April 4, 2012 at 2:39 pm

I made roasted cabbage a few days ago & it was so delicious I’m making it again this week. Healthy & delicious!
Carolina @ Peas in a Blog recently posted..Roasted Vegetable Tofu.

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74 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:05 pm

I think I saw something like that on pinterest a few days ago! I shall be checking it out :)

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75 Errign April 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm

So proud of you as usual for putting your struggles out there!

I can’t say that I really can understand your predicament since I don’t, but I think the first step is being honest and noticing that you’re restricting, which you did, so good for you. Have you been meeting with your nutritionist or anything? She might have some ideas to help you feel better about the balance between food and exercise…hugs!
Errign recently posted..TodayWasAGoodDAy.

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76 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:04 pm

I am meeting with her next week as a matter of fact! I will certainly be bringing these thoughts to her :) Thank you Errign

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77 Kristen @ notsodomesticated April 4, 2012 at 3:10 pm

I’m just sending many many hugs your way, because I can’t pretend to understand but I do hurt for you.

HUGS!!!! :):):):)
Kristen @ notsodomesticated recently posted..I could really use a better knife.

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78 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

The hugs help :D

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79 Laura @ LauraLivesLife April 4, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Lady, I am not frustrated with you AT ALL – I think you are so brave and even more brave to blog about it. I was teaching about ethics the other day, and when I asked how people viewed ethics, someone in class said – think about how you’ll feel about it (or what the repercussions would be) in 10 years. As a class, it was an “ah-ha” moment; we decided that many wouldn’t commit fraud if they were thinking further then immediate gratification. For me, this relates to disordered eating habits too – not because we aren’t thinking about the future, but because how we view ourself may not be related to reality (or how others see it). That doesn’t make it any less real or difficult though, and having other people be frustrated about it certainly doesn’t help. You are accountable only to you, and this is a hard process; you are truly making so much progress even if you don’t feel like you are, and the future you will be able to see that (like we can)!
Laura @ LauraLivesLife recently posted..Just Three Weeks (WIAW)

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80 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Excellent point and analogy here! It’s interesting that that you mentioned this too as I am currently taking a sociology of criminology class and we talk a lot about WHY criminals decide to commit certain crimes.. and we have discussed the considering the future thing! That is true about the reality portion of this, thanks for prompting some thoughts for myself!

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81 Katherine April 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Like somebody else said, I expected you to restrict…because I do the exact same thing. Even when I know I shouldn’t be doing something because it hurts me in the long run, I still do. Having an eating disorder SUCKS. When I’m really stressed out, I tend to restrict, both accidentally and purposefully. Obviously, this doesn’t help anything.
Hmm, the best thing I ate in the past week…roasted acorn squash, actually! Love me some vegetables.

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82 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Nope it doesn’t help but how easy is it to do huh? Any veggie roasted is so so good :)

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83 ~Jessica~ April 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm

When I can’t exercise through injury I always try to cut down, but end up bingeing. But if I ate like I do when I’m training, I’d be 400lbs…yet the bingeing piles on the pounds just as badly, so at the other end of the weight spectrum I too feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place.

I absolutely ‘knew’ you would react this way, but only because you basically told everyone this is what would happen in your exercise confession post! So I don’t think you’ve hidden anything or been dishonest at all.

It’s the same for me with overeating: I know I shouldn’t eat so much but I do it anyway. Sadly, awareness doesn’t seem to influence action.

xxx
~Jessica~ recently posted..WIAW – Going Against The Green

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84 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:17 pm

I never ever want to seem like I am being dishonest so this is good to know. Awareness can at least lead somewhere.. to a positive change if you let it… and by “You” I am certainly including myself in this! I am also “aware” that restricting has the strong likelihood to turn into overeating…

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85 Melissa April 4, 2012 at 4:28 pm

First of all, let me just say that I am not mad at you at all and I (obviously) TOTALLY get it!!! Of course you are going to have periods of progress and regression. This is a process, not an overnight fix! Let me ask you this, though–how are your hunger cues? Do you think you’re restricting because you’re thinking about food all the time and worried about giving in? I’ve noticed that when I do more structured eating/food journaling, I feel more of a need to restrict because I’m so worried about over eating. Just some food for thought (haha).

Last week when I was in DC for work, I took 3 whole days off from exercising. And I ate. (and drank!) And every time I thought about feeling guilty, I just told myself that THIS IS WHAT NORMAL PEOPLE DO! THEY EAT! AND THEY DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!!! And you know what? I enjoyed myself, listened to my hunger cues, and had a GREAT time! When I got home, I hadn’t gained anything. Seriously. It was kind of liberating. Not to say that weight gain would be the end of the world, but it just showed me that being a normal, non-disordered eater is possible!

Thanks, as always, for making me think, Tessa. I think sometimes that I’m a little afraid to get too inside my own head, but you aren’t. And I really appreciate that because these are things I need to think about! XOXO
Melissa recently posted..Several Things

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86 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:01 pm

I appreciate your questions Melissa! So how are those hunger cues…a very good question to ask! They are about the same to be honest… I am hungry quite OFTEN and it does scare me as it goes back to the same damn though, I shouldn’t be eating xyz because of not exercising. DUMBBBB. You brought up a good point here as well.. I am very afraid of giving in and then over-eating, food for thought indeed haha
I am seriously so thrilled for you and the fact that you were able to relax in DC, you are right, that is so NORMAL!

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87 Erica @ For the Sake of Cake April 4, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Love that you put Doritos on your sandwich! Doritos are awesome!
Erica @ For the Sake of Cake recently posted..No Time to Spare

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88 Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! April 4, 2012 at 4:44 pm

Tessa, my dear Tessa. First of all – you don’t owe the blog world anything. But this is a huge personal step for you, and you owe to to yourself to recognize that! We are here to support you through whatever – the worst thing a supporter could do is be *angry* at a relapse/struggle!
So no – I will never be angry. If anything, I’m a bit sad to see how much you are struggling. I am the worst person for this, since I usually shut everything away when I’m struggling, but it really is helpful to have someone to talk to, to help you through it. You are not alone, and you don’t have to be! Even if it’s as simple as messaging someone at a moment when you catch yourself restricting – it will force you out of your head, which can be such a relief. For me, the blog has helped with that as well as it adds the element of accountability.

You *can* do this – you have a whole slew of people here supporting you. Take advantage of us, it takes a huge weight off your shoulders!
Rachel @ Eat, Learn, Discover! recently posted..Riga, Latvia – 2 Days on a boat!

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89 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Well Rachel thank you!! You always leave such lovely, helpful and just GREAT words here and I am so glad you are part of my “blog life” :) Talking to someone is quite necessary during this time and like you, the blog world helps so so much!

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90 Julia @ girl with a stethoscope April 4, 2012 at 4:47 pm

Thank you for your continuos honesty Tessa. The fact that you are acknowledging that you are still restricting speaks volumes! It’s still a lifelong process and you are doing really well. Hopefully one day you can look back on your posts and be so proud of yourself and how far you’ve come :)

Are you as obsessed with cocoa almonds as I am?? Those things are seriously to die for! lol
Julia @ girl with a stethoscope recently posted..Chi-Town 1/2 Marathon Recap {Workout Wednesday}

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91 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I sure as heck am obsessed as you! I have them EVERY DAY :D

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92 Rebecca April 4, 2012 at 5:33 pm

Hey Tessa,
Firstly, thanks for stoping by my blog. That was very sweet of you.

Secondly, I think you are doing brilliantly. While you may still be counting calories and restricting your intake, I think you being aware that this is not always the healthiest option certainly is a good thing. That you know you shouldn’t always be counting calories and eating the ‘right’ food is a good thing. I am glad you are so honest, I find it difficult to be, and I was inspired by you to try to eat more and not worry. As it is Easter time, I haven’t been eating chocolate, but I have had a lot of carbs the last few days. Mostly in the form of bread, which I try to avoid. So I’ve been stressing because I think there has been a change in my appearance and I am unhappy about this. I think that you are so brave and so strong to be going through this, and like I said, you are an inspiration to everyone who feels as if they have suffered some form of ED or worry that they might because they cannot resist counting calories. If people are frustrated or angry, they don’t understand.

I hope you have a beautiful day. You deserve it.
x
Rebecca recently posted..WIAW #1

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93 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm

Hey girl,
Thank you for this message and your thoughts here! I am sorry to hear you have been stressing as well, but I think it’s great that we are both acknowledging the stress.. then perhaps some of reason WHY can be drawn from this!

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94 Heidi @ Idlehide April 4, 2012 at 6:30 pm

I am so impressed with the one dollar cereal- that popped out at me. haha! Don’t worry about people getting frustrated with you talking about calories and weight, there are plenty of people who read your blog who care, so just ignore the others:)
Heidi @ Idlehide recently posted..treadmill fun

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95 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 9:06 pm

Sounds like a plan! :)

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96 Devyn April 4, 2012 at 7:43 pm

Sorry if this sounds tough, but it was my first thought. You said “it’s not like im restricting to a dangerous amount” GIRL. lame excuse. you KNOW that at this point ANY decrease in calories, any measuring or counting of freakin almonds will only derail your process.

where do you want your life to be in five years? ten? are you eating to get to where you want to be in life or restricting to stay in this crappy mental state?

I truly do not mean to be rude with this comment. i really truly have been where you are and I can relate to every single one of your posts, and I wish people had told me stuff like this when I was relapsing.

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97 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Devyn,
I know you are not trying to be rude… it’s more of a “this is the deal- cut the shit” kind of thing. So true and I am not denying your words at all! In fact I appreciate the kick in the ass, I need it sometimes and it’s comments and words like this that give me that extra push. I don’t want to be dealing with this any longer, forget 10 years!

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98 Devyn April 4, 2012 at 9:55 pm

I am glad that you can see where I was coming from with that comment, but I also know how hard it is to beat old habits so I sympathize. Good luck with everything and stay positive! :)

99 jill April 4, 2012 at 9:58 pm

great reply…

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100 Rebecca @ Blueberry Smiles April 4, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Wow, only 99 cents for cereal? That’s a great deal! Looks yummy too.

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101 Erin April 4, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Again, I admire you for your honest post! It’s really good that you are aware of the restriction, but you also need to commit to making a change (ie. increasing… I HATE that term… but it is what it is). Personally, my eating disorder got to its worst after I was prohibited from exercising. They told me I had to stop, and out of fright I listened, but I also dropped my intake tons. And as you said, all of those horrible effects stormed in – dangerously low weight, HR, BP, cold, binges… Ah!

A few recovery ups-and-downs later, I kind of just tell myself that following my meal plan is no longer an “option” if that makes sense. I still count calories, eat weird things, take forever to eat, and obsess like a mad woman, but at least I’m “stable” and slowly gaining back what was lost from my last relapse. Supplements are helping, too. Every day I have to drink an Ensure Plus or eat 1.5 Clif Bars, on top of my meal plan, and since I don’t “count” those things, it makes gaining easier. I don’t know if any of that helps, but its my experience!

My cooking has stunk recently… chalk it up to too much recipe deviation in hopes of reducing calories… but I had really good overnight-oats in a coconut butter jar the other day! I put a tiny bit of hot, cooked oats in first to melt the coconut butter, and then added the rest of the cold/yogurt mess!

Hang in there… for me staying out of the house (even if its alone haha)…walks when the MA weather cooperates… a hot bath (only if I sit like a gargoyle and don’t look at my tummy!)… all help. Also, my whole family (me included) has a nasty habit of staying insanely busy with work/school to avoid emotions. Certainly not the healthiest, but like the meal plan mentality, my therapist agrees that it’s keeping me afloat for now.

Also… I’m pretty sure we were on NSSC for a little when I first moved to MA… then I became a Y convert!

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102 tessa8m April 4, 2012 at 8:13 pm

Gahh I hate that word too but yep, it is what it is! What you said about your meal plan does make a lot of sense! That is actually exactly what I have been telling myself about the exercising thing… it is simply NOT an option to exercise right now. Changing your mental approach to all of this is quite helpful, I mean so much of this is in the mind of course! I am glad you are sharing your experience with me, it helps to know! Weird question, but would I know you if I saw you? How often did we swim together? I actually switched to the Beverly Y team my sophomore year of high school! I HATED NSSC haha

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103 jill April 4, 2012 at 9:57 pm

I’m not terribly low…but I haven’t been exercising at all in ages (depressed about it)…are you still exercising? I have continued to keep increasing (I never restricted low and am not really low cal now) , but I “binge” at night (500+ cals i guess). But I don’t exercise. So I a big ball of guilt and repeat.

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104 Kristin April 5, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Hey Jill. At a point in my recovery, I also felt like my night eating was a “binge.” After reading this article, though, I learned otherwise and was able to be kinder to myself.
http://www.gwynetholwyn.com/blog/2011/9/14/why-is-bingeing-not-bingeing-when-you-are-recovering-from-re.html

105 Chelsea @ Chelsea Runs April 4, 2012 at 8:19 pm

Awww, Tessa. I kinda expected this to happen, but I was hoping it wouldn’t! You have to give yourself a break and see it as a CHALLENGE to eat more! It’s a viscious cycle that I don’t want you to get into again! You don’t eat enough, you feel bad/get frustrated, bad mood/feeling down on yourself = not eating enough AGAIN, and the cycle continues until you relapse! Which I know you don’t want to happen, and I sure as heck don’t want to see you go through that! You really have to convince yourself it’s okay. I had to do that when I was second guessing about being so hungry.. But I did, trusting my body to tell me what it wants, and I weighed myself yesterday to check in after about a month of letting go and not caring so much and my weight is EXACTLY where it always is because I trust my body to tell me what it wants when it wants it. It’s seriously all about trusting yourself! This is a weird thing to think about, but it helps me sometimes.. Think about it. You are a human. You’re one of 7 billion. WHY should food affect you so differently than everyone else? Fact: it shouldn’t. Food is food and people are people, and your body won’t betray you and you WON’T get to an unhealthy weight if you listen to it and feed it what it needs, because your body isn’t some special super-machine that can survive on less than what it needs. You can’t defy the scientific laws of the world! SERIOUSLY girl, please think about it and I’m here to talk if you ever need someone! Also, I’m not mad, it just makes me sad and makes me want to be able to help you. <3
Chelsea @ Chelsea Runs recently posted..50k training + fueling!

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106 L April 4, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Tessa, you are such a strong person and all of your readers here believe in you. Yes, you are making some poor choices right not, and some great ones. Stopping the exercise is fabulous, now is the time to gain your health back and kick out your ED. The thing is, it is up to you… You can recover if you want, you can choose to eat more, it is really a choice and right now you are choosing to stay partially in your ED. Have you considered more outside help, you are super amazing and strong but sometimes a little more help from others can be a good push. You are obviously super smart, you know you can change your behavior and recover but you are only holding yourself back. Take the risk, go, do it for you! We are all rooting for you, but in the end it is only up to you!

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107 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

Gosh you are completely spot on with this… it is up to me, and while the support is beyond helpful, yep still up to me! This reminder is needed and provides the kick in the ass that is needed as well :)

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108 Paulina (One Smile Ahead) April 4, 2012 at 9:44 pm

Tessa, I really love your honesty! Thanks for that. I totally get why you would feel this way. Struggle is always a part of the process of getting better. Every day is a fresh new start and you can start over at any time :] I think being aware of what you’re doing is the first step to changing it. Stay strong! I’m sending you big hugs :]

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109 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:34 am

Thanks Paulina, the hugs are helpful :)

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110 michele April 4, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Yipes. My bedtime snack was : 3/4 cup strawberries, 3/4 cup yogurt (full-fat), 15 almonds, 1.5 ounces of dark chocolate and a mug of granola…

I simply walk 30 minutes a day.

i have a feeling you could easily be eating 3000+ calories with only a daily gentle 30 minute walk.

Best of luck.

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111 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

Thank you for a providing a bit of perspective for me here! I appreciate it Michele

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112 Rachel April 4, 2012 at 10:15 pm

I absolutely love that you’re reaching for “balance” in your life and health! GOOD FOR YOU! In answer to your question about coping mechanisms, I’ve found journaling, “talk therapy” with a friend, and prayer are powerful tools for combatting my negative mindset and tendency to internalize my emotions.

If you’re interested, you can read this article on anorexia and college students. It outlines some stressors and pressure associated with college life and provides some strategies for implementing balance. You can find the article @ http://www.onlineuniversities.com/blog/2011/06/15-alarming-facts-about-eating-disorders-in-college/

Keep living balanced!

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113 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:29 am

Journaling certainly helps me out.. I do it here on the ole blog, and you are right, major stress reliever! Thank you for providing that article as well! It will really help with my current research project! In fact, i am going to use a lot of this info in my final poster, thanks again :)

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114 kaila@ healthy helper blog! April 4, 2012 at 10:22 pm

You are so brave for writing so honestly and genuinely like you do. I think it is awesome that you are acknowledging the negative thoughts you are having because really that is the first step to changing them. I believe in you Tessa. You are strong and much more important than ED.
kaila@ healthy helper blog! recently posted..WIAW-Simple Truths

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115 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm

Thank you Kaila!!

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116 Kelly April 4, 2012 at 10:38 pm

I completely understand how you feel right now, and I’m glad I read this post because today has been especially hard. I’m recovering from something close to bulimia (undiagnosed; I forced myself to recover), and it’s really, really difficult. I try to eat as my body tells me to, but I’m still always roughly counting the calories and IT’S SO STRESSFUL, because I want to stop doing it, but I’m always seemingly barely at the limit of what my body needs to maintain. I feel like if I stopped estimating, my intake would be somewhere around 2500 every day (but I also feel like if I didn’t count calories I wouldn’t try to “live up to expectations” of what a normal intake is). Sometimes I feel like I can afford weight fluctuation, but the problem is I already gained so much (from when I stopped purging and continued to binge) that I really can’t afford to gain another pound. My clothing is just barely fitting.
What’s even more frustrating is even when I have (unintentional) deficit, and even though I’m exercising for about an hour a day, the weight doesn’t go down, my pants don’t get a little bit looser. I’m trying to learn how to eat like a normal person, but I also, medically, need to lose weight. I usually feel good about food and safe about it, but I always imagine scenarios of myself eating a less healthy diet or actually indulging in snacks like everyone else does and I don’t know if I could ever maintain my weight. I just want to stop thinking about the calories, so I can get on with my life.

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117 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:27 am

Hi Kelly,

I first want to thank you for stopping by my blog and sharing your story and situation on here. I know that “letting it out” and really being conscious and hoenst with how you are feeling, helps this entire situation out so much. I am sorry you are struggling right now with all of this. I am not a professional and I don’t exactly know what is the best advice to give right now… BUT I do know that continuing to make the effort to stabilize your eating and exercise patter will lead to a more “normal” way of life. What normal means changes for everyone of course, but for me it comes down to what you said, to stop thinking about calories, weight and all of that and just LIVE! I know that seeing a therapist and nutritionist helped me out SOOO much, maybe you could as well? Good luck Kelly, I am here for ya!

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118 Yellow Haired Girl April 4, 2012 at 10:58 pm

I’m new to your blog (thanks for stopping by mine, by the way), and WOW do I appreciate your honesty. That can be rare, and it’s very refreshing. The fact that you acknowledge these things to yourself (and to all of us!!) is huge. Take each day as it comes. You can do it … and never be afraid to vent on here. It’s your blog, girl – do what you want with it! There will always be people to listen – or read, I guess :)
Yellow Haired Girl recently posted..WIAW Time!

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119 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:23 am

Aww thank you for telling me this, and stopping by my blog as well! You are right, it’s my place to vent and LET IT OUT :)

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120 lindsey April 5, 2012 at 12:06 am

girl, you are strong. you can do it. you are stronger than your ED. the things that you are FREE to do when you are acting against your ED will motivate you. focus upon them.

really, the best advice for this kind of backsliding–and it happens to everyone, and the fact that you are AWARE of it and HONEST about it makes it so so so much less-worse and more-manageable–is to stick to a meal plan that ensures that you are eating a certain # of exchanges (and therefore a certain # of calories) daily. and then just be good about sticking to it. that can also take the #s of calories out of the mix for a while… :)

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121 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 10:20 am

I actually have never tried using exchanges but it could be a could idea for me! Then, like you said, perhaps the calorie counting could at least start to diminish! It shall be considered :)

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122 Jemma @ Celery and Cupcakes April 5, 2012 at 7:24 am

I adore you honesty in this post and for being so brave. When I started my new job it meant that I din’t have as muc time to work out as I used to and I became so tired trying to fit everything in to 24 hours. In the end i decided to give myself an extra rest day. it was hard at first to get used too and was scared of the extra weight that I may gain, but now I just go with it. I have realised that as long as i am happy and healthy that is all that matters. x

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123 Debbie (Accidently Delish) April 5, 2012 at 11:18 am

oh honey it pains to to read this to be honest. it’s the same thoughts and feelings i have at times. know that you “like” that you can manipulate your body, because your ED knows it’s in charge. Its the obsessiveness of needing that control and you feel happy because your ED is happy. He hasn’t lost yet. There is something about eating disorders that literally releases hormones that make us “feel good” starving ourselves actually releases these hormones. which makes it oh so confusing for us. I’m not sure if I asked but do you see a nutritionist? One of my biggest fears as well is “gaining too much too quick” but I have an awesome nutritionist who reminds me and reassures me she does NOT want that to happen to me either and if she ever saw a pattern of that happening she would stop it. Again remember for yourself, if you do gain “too much” you know exactly how to go back. i mean, you starved yourself before you can do it again. I’m just re-assured that we will not WANT to go back. Acceptance of ourselves I think is the hardest part of having an eating disorder.

If I can give only one thing of advice. STOP COUNTING CALORIES. trust your body. It will tell you when it’s full, when it’s had enough. Calories mean nothing to your body, they should mean nothing to you.

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124 Alexis April 5, 2012 at 1:19 pm

Honestly, I would have to say that this is fairly normal for anyone recovering from a previous ED. Since I am in the limbo where you are (wanting to gain but wanting to restrict without exercising, wanting that control etc) I can completely relate to your food day and battle the same exact thoughts. Knowing where your body can just live off of a normal amount of food is kinda of scary and in order to not end up in a psych ward sometimes we have to compromise in order to get through the next hurdle. Maybe once you see that if you don’t exercise but are still eating a normal diet and you don’t balloon up you’ll start to trust yourself and your body more!

Keep up the good work and don’t get discouraged! :D
Alexis recently posted..Protein packed smores’ bar

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125 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 8:37 pm

Yep you put this very well and what you said makes sense… have to compromise something… I wish we did not feel that way, I mean enough already, sheeshe!

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126 sarah (onedayiwillseethesun) April 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

Your thoughts that you are speaking about sounds like I am reading about myself.I can so heartly and sadly relate. you are not alone. the ed has been a big strong part of your life for many years and it is not going t go away over night. don’t beat yourself up. I reallya dmire you for not exercsing, I struggle with one rest day. I can relate also to not wanting to gain quickly.

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127 Jess @ Blonde Ponytail April 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

Your honesty is to be admired. ALWAYS. I find myself nodding at the restrictive talk–my first 2 years in college, I was hell bent on staying “skinny” even though my sport (softball) requires muscle and power. I was consumed by the number on the scale as it kept increasing. Duh, I was putting on muscle, but I didn’t see it that way.

Cheering for you always as you WIN this battle.
Jess @ Blonde Ponytail recently posted..A Reunion & Plans Tonight

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128 tessa8m April 5, 2012 at 8:34 pm

Thank you Jess :) it means a lot that you added your thoughts here!

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129 Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen April 5, 2012 at 10:40 pm

Thank you for your honesty.

That is all.

And you’ll get there…it’s all part of the process. And it–I hate to say it-will never go away. Not completely. Not counting calories is as stressful as counting them. Not weighing yourself is as stressful as weighing. The mental is the hardest part to overcome.
Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted..Alphabetical (Dis) Order

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130 Living, Learning, Eating April 6, 2012 at 6:56 am

I’m proud of you for sticking with the reduced exercise, but pleeeeaaaase stop restricting! Your body can’t have the chance to get back to healthy and do what it needs to do, be what it needs to be (part of the point of reducing the exercise, no?) if you don’t give over control to it completely. Trust it! I know it’s hard, but God made your body beautiful, so let it be beautiful. :)
Living, Learning, Eating recently posted..WIAW #32

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131 Karla April 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hugs! You are absolutely right when you said, “restricting my food intake is not helpful or healthy and is hindering my recovery and my goal toward a normal relationship with food.” The devil wants us to believe that it’s okay if we just dabble with ed symptoms a little…. cut back a little, exercise a little more, etc. etc. BUT….it’s a LIE!!! It’s not okay because it does hinder our recovery and sets us on that slipperly slope. Even if we don’t relapse, it prevents us from ever being completely FREE!!!- Which I know is 100% possible!!!
I am now able to see roadblocks while they are still just thought is my mind, if that makes sense. When the negative thoughts appear, I am able to acknowledge that they are not positive thougths that will lead to recovery and I am able to ignore them/act out recovery rather than ed- despite the negative thoughts. Of course, it can be hard, but it can be done!
Lately I have been handleing all of those negative emotions by talking to my therapist (which I did before), journaling, and recently- praying and I must say, the praying/bible reading is what’s kicking eds butt!
Now for the “odd question”. I did expect you to restrict intake with decreased exercise, not because of YOU, but because the ed/devil is dang evil and will do anything to keep you from being free. The devil is the “father of lies”, so he will lie and manipulate and try everything to get us to act on the ed. But, you can totally kick eds butt!

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132 tessa8m April 10, 2012 at 10:07 pm

Hi Karla,
Thank you for your thoughts on this! That is great to hear that you can at least see or feel when those bad thoughts are coming in, that is so essential to all of this! Thank you for the encouragement lady :)

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133 kpb123 April 11, 2013 at 8:58 am

To me, it sounds like you are still eating enough calories in the day!!! SO that’s at least good. Sometimes what can keep you from restricting is doing this: take something easy and small, like chocolate covered almonds for example. And, each day, summon the courage to CLOSE YOUR EYES and just grab a handful of almonds at random. FORCE yourself not to count them, and if you have to, shove them in your mouth all at once. By not knowing how many you actually ate, you may feel scared. But by the next day, when you still look just as healthy as the day before, it might help you realize that it’s not as big of a deal as you think. Just doing this everyday may be a little bit of a push, and it will give you a little bit of confidence. Even this small act can help you overcome your ED!

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134 tessa8m April 11, 2013 at 10:08 pm

Great tips here, thank you for adding your own thoughts into this rather… well obnoxious situation to say the least. I agree that small acts really do add up to great differences and beneficial changes :)

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