The Truth About Recovery (Recognizing Your Eating Disorder)
Thursday, August 30, 2018
I know I haven't posted for a while, and for a few months I was quite active on Sparkpeople...obsessive just like I used to be about my tracking and macros and about being HEALTHY. I was even getting really obsessed with making sure I got the "right" amount of sugar and calcium. No more than x amount of sugar and making sure I got x amount of calcium. I had lost 15 pounds at one point. And losing weight had started to become really important to me again. I was using HappyScale and had a SmartScale that measured all of my stats so I was really concerned about bodyfat and all of the little details like how much muscle I had etc. See, HEALTH was important to me. And I was listening to a lot of HAES/BOPO podcasts and they were talking about orthorexia on there and mentioning the very things I was doing and I'd have to turn off the podcasts because I didn't like what I was hearing, I was like, "I don't want to stop what I'm doing." So there was a big element of denial there. And then all the rigidity and obessiveness started to backfire a little bit. My nutritionist had me start doing a Food & Feelings tracking diary and I blamed it for the start of my binge eating again (binge eating disorder). I started gaining the weight back again. I would show her my diary and she warned me that I was too obsessed with tracking and I had an unhealthy relationship with food. I refused to listen to her. My Fitbit was my entire life. I had no mental space left for anything else. I'm a novelist and yet I put writing aside so that I could focus on weight loss. I was weighing myself every day and despite myself it was determining my mood. I just thought if I could be healthier that was the point of the whole thing. I would go to the grocery store and I wasn't allowed to even have Gummi bears unless they were sugar free, sodium free, and fat free because I was trying to lower my sodium and sugar. I kept word documents that tracked all of my macros and if I went over my goal for something then I would be stricter with that thing (like sodium) the next week. I would feel guilty for eating pizza and cake on my birthday. I was angry with myself because I couldn't exercise as hard as I used to be able to. I used to be able to exercise enough to compensate for eating too many calories (bulimia) but now I was at too high of a weight for my body to handle that kind of exercise. But I was still pushing myself with exercise more than my body could handle even if to me it seemed like I wasn't exercising enough. When the binging got bad again and I had gained almost all my weight back, I got incredibly depressed and suicidal and felt like just giving up on everything. I didn't know what to do at that point because I felt like I had tried intuitive eating and I had tried diet culture and I couldn't make either one work for me. I went out with my boyfriend and got wild, as we do, and we got hungry and were going to make brats on the grill and I found myself saying things to deter him from making them that weren't really true, just because I didn't want to eat in front of him, and because I felt like the brats weren't healthy enough, and because I hadn't eaten at all that day, and the gnawing feeling in my stomach felt kind of addictive (anorexia.). I was putting judgments on every bit of food I ate and trying to diet but also do intuitive eating at the same time and neither one was working for me that way. But after that night out, my Fitbit broke and I just realized the futility of everything. I thought, why am I doing these things to myself? I decided to commit to intuitive eating fully, and just STOP DIETING. I decided to stop pursuing health. I decided that there is nothing helpful about the intentional pursuit of weight loss. When you have a bad history of eating disorders, it is not helpful to diet, even if it's wrapped up in "wellness." I loved nothing more than my tracking and macro counting, but macro counting is as much a diet as the keto diet, even as much as I wanted to deny it. As far as weighing myself goes, I still weigh myself, though not every day anymore. The scale is my biggest obsession by far. I don't know how to part ways with it yet but maybe that will come with time. I'll write more later, I just wanted to update on how I"m doing with my eating disorder. I used to think I just had binge eating disorder, but now I recognize that my eating disorder is more complicated than that, that I have qualities of anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia, and binge eating disorder all wrapped up in my ED. Things aren't always as simple as they seem. And recovery is not always as simple as it seems. But I know that intuitive eating is the answer and that I have to at least take a break from tracking and pursuing health because it's not helping me.