So Long Social Media “Friends”

Lately I have been reconsidering the number of “friends” I have on social media.

Why?

It’s not that I have an overabundance of friends or that I don’t care about them or value “knowing” them or supporting them (many are people from running circles that are either at the acquaintance or online friend level only); but rather I have found that having all of these “friends” is making me worse. Mentally worse.

A great deal of my Facebook and even more so Instagram, is fitness and running posts from friends, groups, myself, etc. This isn’t a bad thing normally and I love following my friends’ posts about their trials and tribulations running, getting and staying fit, what races are coming up or new workouts to try but honestly, some of the posts are just not healthy for me to see.

Those posts are major TRIGGERS.

In case you aren’t versed in triggers, triggers are something that when a person with an eating disorder (or disordered eating) experiences them, they can cause that person to have the same emotions, experiences, behaviors, thoughts or anything of that type that instigates the ED or revives it.

For me these come in the form of many posts but the two worst are:

  1. Food Photos
  2. Diet/Detox/Supplement/Quick Fit Posts

Food Photos

I HATE this trend. Hate hate hate hate hate! Instagram takes first place for this one. It is inundated with photos of food and eating everywhere I look. It’s like a coffee table book of food sometimes.

Runners eat. A lot. Actually, I should say most runners eat which is part of the reason I hate this trend, because when I see the food it triggers me to either not eat because I see it as a “challenge” or to want to eat which because I restrict and purge isn’t easy. Fact: Even though you have an eating disorder you can still eat, still be hungry and still want to eat, it’s just that with an ED your actions and thoughts regarding food always revert to the negative. However, in a world where I am already consumed with thoughts of food, fear of food, hate of food, secrecy, lies and everything else associated with food the last thing I need is to open my app and have food thrown right in front of my face because I only treat it as a challenge of willpower rather than an association that people are supposed to eat.

Diets, Detox, Shakes and Supplement Posts

#sorryimnotsorry but I think all these posts about x day challenges and detox diets, cleanses, etc. are bologna. Do you lose some weight yes, but honestly all they seem to be is a natural (or manufactured) way to get the same effect that abusing laxatives and diuretics do for people with eating disorders. Additionally, they are usually accompanied by some unrealistic before/after shot of the 1 person who actually lost an insane amount of weight during the x day time frame.

As for all the other supplements and shakes it is rather ironic how I feel about these. On one hand I feel that anything you should be putting in your body should be good natural food. Why have a shake when you can just eat some darn broccoli or kale or protein or whatever you’re liquefying? And why are you paying so darn much? I’m skeptical of them. On the other hand I am skeptical for one reason and one reason alone: how exactly can you put food in and lose weight and be healthy and happy. In my current ED world that possibility doesn’t exist. Food is bad. The end.

On top of that the one thing that drives me just absolutely bonkers and is the trigger of all triggers when it comes to this is when I see the post and it is captioned: “Call/message/talk to me about how you can lose weight and get healthy too!”

OMGGGGGGGGGGGGG this one line on a picture/description/product image is like the king of triggers. I know about 99% of people that read this will probably think, “Why? If it isn’t something you subscribe to why do you care, why do you let it bother you? Just blow it off.” But I CAN’T. Here’s how I interpret that:

“x product is absolutely amazing see how skinny and healthy these people are you COULD be that way too but you’re not right now and that’s because you are eating too much and BAD foods. If you were to eat this food you would look like this too! And if you don’t contact me, it’s because you’re fat and don’t want to get healthy and skinny.”

And then I think about all the pain and torture I went through when my GI issues get worse and think of all the bad things that could be in x product or diet or whatever and then I get upset because I really shouldn’t eat that food (if you can call some of it that) and because I don’t want to get sick again and really it’s unsafe to eat anything other than what I know is safe because I have kept my illness under control by doing it and then I just get irritated because thinking of all the food makes me feel fat, unhealthy and alone.

Yes, I know that’s delusional.

Every time I get triggered the ED gets stronger and the person fighting it retreats more and more. Lately I have been struggling so bad with wanting to be around people I just don’t like it anymore. I had to force myself to go to my best friend’s birthday, I am dreading my other friend’s wedding in 3 weeks, I skipped my sister’s birthday dinner, I almost had a panic attack on the way to Mother’s Day dinner and I don’t even want to go to the grocery store and have to talk myself into it for hours before I can accomplish it.

Anyway, that’s why I am condensing my “friends” list. Getting rid of IG followers and hopefully helping myself eliminate at least a few extra triggers.

Time to Tri

Last Wednesday I was sanctioned to a month of being in an air cast for my chronically broken sesamoid bone and the sesamoiditis that it is causing. My doctor wanted to put it in a hard cast and immobilize fully but I promised that I would only take the cast off when I was (a) sleeping or (b) showering and that exercise will consist of upper body weights, swimming and biking (but no standing on the bike while riding).

To me, this seemed like certifiable torture. I don’t like biking because it hurts my bum and I don’t like swimming because I always feel uncomfortable in a bathing suit and I am just not efficient enough in my freestyle stroke to be good at it.

Last Friday I went to my gym, OrangeTheory and my trainer was AMAZING about letting me know how we would adjust the class schedule so I could still come to class. In case you don’t know what OTF is, you go take a class with x number of other people (no more than 24 usually), alternating between the treadmill, ergs (rowers), and a weight room (with med balls, dumbbells, benches, bosu balls, SBT bands, etc). So the predesigned schedule doesn’t necessarily work when you can’t do lower body, rowing (my fave!) or running (my ultimate fave!).

But while I HATE the bike, I decided to embrace it and swimming. And now I have set my sights on something I would never do: the Triathlon!!!

And, I am excited about it! I am starting to get used to the bum soreness after biking and swimming I am just practicing getting better. I am going to get a swim coach at least for a few lessons to work on my efficiency with freestyle strokes and breathing and get better at that. I am a solid swimmer, I’ve just never done it competitively and that’s the part I am most worried about.

Right now, I am aiming for an August triathlon! It’s a sprint tri so it will be a short tri distance and will have a 1/4 mile swim, 10 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. If I feel ready I may go to the full tri distance for this race which is double the distance of all of those (1/2 mile run, 20 mile bike, 6.2 mile run). I don’t have a super snazzy tri bike but this one allows road bikes, which I do have and I think it’ll work well for my first one at least until I decide if I like doing triathlons.

My only concern is changing clothes (?) I am not sure how that works or what but being in a bathing suit and changing clothes is something that makes my skin crawl. I hate thinking about me being at all exposed in front of people. Heck, I hate even being around people but I am just going to try and think of the bigger picture and focus on my goals.

For now, I am going to continue using the bike at OTF during my workout (as if I have a choice), jump back into marathon training once I am freed from the cast monster, and work on my swimming at my pool just doing about 30 minutes of laps every few days. Once I am out of the boot though I am going to take a swim class and try road biking a few miles every week too.

But goodness I miss running. I can’t wait for the trails, pavement and pounding of my feet.

Every Mile is Magnificent

Well, A while ago I posted about entering the lottery for the Chicago Marathon. And the results came out… I’m in. Now, I’m a bit delayed in stating that because well, it was announced last week and while I spent the whole day at work on lottery results day hitting F5 on my computer in anticipation and then actually ran down the hall to tell a friend when the screen finally changed green at 3:14, I still feel a sense of dread associated with it.

Don’t get me wrong, I am beyond excited to go (I even already booked my flight and hotel- which is much more than I usually do for trips 5 months away) but I think my excitement is dulled by fear.

Fear of what? For starters:

1. Last year this race was MY race. I ran flawlessly, made my time goal, felt tremendous afterward, walked around the city the next day, felt so good 2 days later I went for a run, never hit the wall, took in the whole experience and enjoyed the whole thing. So why am I scared? That’s a LOT to live up to and I am a perfectionist.

2. My mom is coming- SOOOOOOOOO Excited because she didn’t get to come last year and this will be the first marathon she sees me run! But, my mom is coming. My mom. My mom who worries about what I do/don’t eat. My mom who doesn’t know about how badly I struggle with food. My mom who will be with me in the hotel, the day before and after and will realize how little I do eat and will comment. My mom, who if I end up getting help for this eating disorder before the race, may or may not be the help I need before the race.

3. Temptation. Chicago has a reputation for good food. I can vouch for it. When I am there I would love to taste a bit of it and enjoy it but it’s so laced with dread, hate and fear that when I am forced to eat, I throw it up and that comes with it a whole other set of fears (what if someone hears? what if I can’t get to the bathroom after the meal? what if I can’t purge it all? what if someone sees me eat? what if they think I am eating too much? what if they comment? what if I get sick? what if I get fatter?).

4. The boot. That’s right, I am in an air cast. I have a “traumatized shattered sesamoid bone” according to my podiatrist (or some combo of those words) and we have been trying everything conservatively for the last 15 months but I still have horrendous bouts of sesamoiditis so I am currently in an air cast and the only thing that kept me from getting a full blown hard cast is that I promised him that I would only take it off when I (a) shower (b) sleep. It’s been 4 days and I am dying to go run. I miss it so much and as much as I hate to say this, I am scared to death of having extra calories in me. The good news is I have been wanting to train for a triathlon so I started swimming in the mornings and my trainer at the gym said I can still come to class (I go to OrangeTheory- look it up it is fabulous) and that we can modify it so I only bike (no standing and pedaling) and do upper body per doctors orders.

So here I am with both of my must do marathons this year. On my way to Marathon Maniac status and I still have so much dread. I know it’s 99.99% due to the eating disorder. My sister’s birthday was yesterday and the restaurant she chose to go to is on the COMPLETELY FRICKIN UNSAFE list and when I found out that’s where she was going, I refused to go. My mom called today because I “seemed off” yesterday. I wonder if she’ll connect the dots, probably not though. Sometimes when these things are right in front of you, you are the most blind to them. I should know I have been convinced I am getting better….in all honesty though, I think I am worse than ever. Hell, I flaked on my own sister. I am contemplating flaking on Mother’s Day tomorrow too.

Anyway, I still remember my goal from my Chicago Lottery post: I am going to try and eat one meal, just one while I am in Chicago.

 

But, I am really not sure I can do this. I am already anxious.

Crying in Aisle 5

This isn’t a first but today I started crying in the middle of the grocery store. I shop primarily at the Super Target by my house and I was “okay” while I looked at jewelry, clothes, shoes, and housewares but as I was crossing from housewares to the food area I started to panic. I say I was “okay” before I reached the food section because I was still uncomfortable. I had eaten today and I feel like I ate a lot even though I didn’t eat a lot of calories and I can barely  look at myself in the mirror my face is so fat, my body is huge, my legs are gross and I feel like I quite literally weigh 300lbs. So yeah, I was just “okay”.

But then I got closer to the food section-mind you, I was just going for trash bags but of course, there is almost no food at my apartment so the idea that I should be there to buy food like the dozens of other folks kept running through and panicking my mind. I aimed for trash bags first, on a scale of 1-10, this was about a 4 as far as fear. It’s located near food. It’s like I could feel the temptation to buy food but at the same time I could hear the louder “don’t buy it” voice.

To get to checkout and out of the store I had to then walk past all the other aisles of food. Bad food. I tried to go down one of the aisles to try and find something that was safe or that was possibly safe but when I got to aisle the panic was full blown. Food is bad, not good, bad. It is terrible. And honestly, I can’t believe that people actually eat and don’t experience (a) pain, (b) nausea, (c) purging after. I just can’t. That’s my current life, it has been my life for a few years and it has become normal.

So as I stood there in the aisle I went to grab something that I have eaten on occasion, often when I am in the middle of running season and need carbs, I went to grab Cheerios. Frickin Cheerios. I touched the box, pulled away, tried again and just couldn’t. It was like someone was inside of me scratching to the surface, screaming that eating wasn’t and isn’t allowed, telling me it was bad, that I need to protect myself that I am not hungry and that when people say they ate, they lie.

And then, the tears started.

It wasn’t like the flood gates opened and I was hysterical but I was in the middle of the Super Target crying. Staring at Cheerios, crying. I’m not sure if it was out of disappointment, fear, hate, anxiety or what but it was just too much. I got my wristlet, phone and keys and I nearly ran out of the store. No trash bags, no food, nothing. And even if I semi-think it’s normal not to eat. I know crying in the middle of the grocery store is not.

I cried in the car, I cried on the way home, I cried when I got inside my house. But you know what, I still feel guilty because I ate earlier. I feel guilty that I THOUGHT about buying food. I feel guilty about it all.

I ended up looking up the “recommended daily caloric intake” for both the US and Canada. I chose Canada too b/c quite frankly I figured the US would be wayyy off base and would overestimate what people need- hence, the obesity rate. Canada says for a sedentary 20-something you need 1900 calories a day. 1900!?!?!? I haven’t come close to 1900 in years. I am also not sedentary. But that just makes me feel worse because I have not been losing weight, I feel fat as a damn hippo and I still fear the return of the pain that started this whole thing.

So, I am back to crying in the grocery store.

Being Sucked Back In…

Trigger Warning: Do NOT continue if you are easily triggered. This is NOT a hopeful post.

I HATE FOOD.

The last couple days have been so hard. I just want to give up. I can’t even stand my safe food right now. I feel like eating is the worst form of torture on Earth and honestly, I don’t understand how people enjoy this. All I hear in my head is awful thoughts, my stomach is bloated, I can feel the food attacking my body. I keep trying not to purge because the side effects have been scary the last few days (chest pain, this odd cramping feeling by my kidney, being so lightheaded when I stand up I have to brace myself against the wall and wait for the black out to pass) but I CAN’T TOLERATE FOOD.

I couldn’t even run today because the cramp in my upper stomach was so bad. Yesterday, I powered through it but today it was almost like a knife went through my upper, right stomach. This does nothing to help encourage me to eat either. It was upper stomach pain (mostly on the left and middle, though) that was my main problem when my GI issues started so now on top of trying to convince myself to fight through my hatred of food, I’ve also got the obstacle of trying to convince myself the stomach pain won’t return-which is virtually impossible when the pain is there and often accompanies eating  food that doesn’t sit well with me and even though I haven’t strayed from my safe foods.

On top of that I feel like my mind is playing tricks on me. Telling me I do have an ED when I don’t. I eat. I don’t eat a lot but I eat food-unfortunately and also how I ended up in this Hell. I am failing at keeping my body safe. Food is not safe, it is the enemy.  I can’t even shower right now I am so grossed out. I ate a bowl of cauliflower. My one safe food and I feel like this. I can’t keep doing this to myself. At least not eating doesn’t cause this type of distress and torture. It’s a different kind of torture but at least it’s manageable. I can’t do this. I loathe food, my body, my mind, everything right now. Today, I don’t even want to seek help either because I know they are going to make me eat and then I’ll have to endure this torture and people will be watching for me to purge so that will just be harder which means this feeling of disgust won’t go away.

I honestly don’t know if it is my mind making all this worse or not. That’s the worst part- not knowing which of me is telling the truth. The part that keeps saying don’t purge anymore or the part saying purge it and restrict better. Either way, the “purge and restrict more” person is winning the battle today. I’m done. Nothing can be worse than this pain, not even the pain from purging despite what side effects come up.