First of all, thank you all so much for your comments on my post last night. I actually felt ok after writing all of that out, and that made me so happy – I used to try and talk about what happened and end up feeling unstable and extra panicky for days, but although it’s been on my mind more than usual today, the more prevalent feelings are pride and a sense of power. It used to be the case that whenever something triggered the memories I would end up a shaking, hyperventilating wreck, completely helpless in the face of the flashbacks – but now I feel capable of keeping my head and staying safe and grounded. This is the first time I’ve felt like this in a really, really long time. I have spent far too much time feeling helpless and hopeless and out of control, trying to get my mind back in line and my world to make sense again by placing strict rules on my body and my behaviour, like that would somehow make a difference. This, however, seems to be what genuine power feels like. It puts the illusion of control that the eating disorder supplies to shame. It feels amazing to have something to feel proud of again.
I have had a pretty good day today (but there’s some numbers talk to start off with, so skip this paragraph if you don’t want to hear it). I decided to check my weight this morning (I’m only getting on the scales a maximum of twice a week, which is a huge improvement from weighing myself every day) and discovered that I hadn’t gained any weight since I was weighed on Monday. I didn’t expect to have gained as much as I did last week, because I know from experience that metabolisms have a habit of speeding up faster than you expect them too, but I was hoping to have gained another pound or so by now. I have been keeping an eye on the calories – not weighing everything and counting obsessively, but rounding up meals to the nearest 50 or so and trying to aim for about 2200-2400 by the end of the day. When I was healthy and easily maintaining a BMI of 20 a couple of years ago I was eating about 2200 kcals/day, so I know that I will be eating a healthy, balanced diet on that much – but apparantly it’s not enough for my body at the moment. That scared me. Last time I was trying to gain weight I could easily hit about 3000/day and still only gain a pound a week, and it left me feeling really anxious that I wouldn’t be able to stop eating that much when I reached my target weight. That’s part of why I ended up relapsing again – I started to cut back to make sure that I could eat less when I wanted to maintain, and I…well, I am in no doubt that I am capable of eating less now, put it that way! I think I was hoping I could get away with gaining slowly on a smaller amount of calories this time, so it would be less triggering when I needed to cut down to maintain. My body is not cooperating though. It’s probably rather premature of me anyway – why the hell am I worrying about what I’ll do when I get to my target weight when my target weight is 30lbs away?! Gah.
Anyway, that’s enough numbers for one post. The point is, if this had happened the last time I was trying to recover I would have been pleased and relieved that I had maintained, and would have found it really hard to go back to trying to gain again. Similar situations triggered off mini relapses two or three times last year. But this time I mean business. I think I managed it pretty well – I didn’t try and cut down further, I didn’t go overboard the other way and binge, but I didn’t continue just as I have been doing either, because I don’t want to get stuck in another rut and have to work to dig myself out again. Instead of any of that lot, I added in little, manageable extras. I had a slightly bigger dessert after lunch, some nuts with my afternoon snack, and extra seeds on my pizza for dinner, which is the subject of another of my terrible photos 😛
Gluten free pizza base (courtesy of Tesco); sauce made from tomato puree, basil olive oil, onion, a little sugar, salt and black pepper; some courgette, red pepper and mushroom, pine nuts and pumpkin seeds aaand tofutti on top 🙂 I had to get the plain tofutti this time (I prefer the herb and chive one) so I mixed in some lemon juice, chives and coriander. It tasted much better that way, it’s a bit sweet to use as a savoury cheese substitute otherwise. Nuts and seeds make my life a lot easier, they are small in bulk but big in calories!
I spent most of the afternoon painting a t-shirt! It was really fun, and although I looked at the clock a couple of times (I have a bit of a time checking compulsion, it drives me batty) I actually managed to get lost in what I was doing a couple of times. That’s a big deal for me, usually I am aware of every.single.minute.passing and it makes me want to scream. I will post a photo of the finished shirt tomorrow, I’m really proud of it so far though! I missed doing creative things so much while I was ill, I just didn’t have enough brain power to think up ideas. I would sit in front of my boxes of beads and want to cry because I didn’t know what to do with them anymore. I felt something similar when I was having coffee with my friend yesterday – I can hold a conversation again!! I was a brain dead zombie last time I saw her, didn’t know what to say to her, got lost in my head worrying about calories and obsessing, went silent half an hour before lunch because I was getting confused and spacy from low blood sugar, etc. This time I was, dare I say it, much more fun to hang out with 😛 well, I hope so anyway.
On the subject of hanging out, I am doing something scary in two weeks time – there’s a big veggie/vegan convention in London, and since I don’t have any veggie friends or family I’m going on my own. Anyone out there going to be in London on the 18th? Never hurts to ask..!
Thank you all again for all your supportive comments yesterday. They really made my morning ❤