Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Yuck. In an effort to try and normalize my eating patterns the nutritionist at program has added a dessert to my lunch two times a week. I usually only eat sweets on binge days, and apparently if I expose myself to small amounts of ice cream and cookies on a regular basis I'll be inclined to pig out on them less. It makes sense I suppose, but having to stop after half a cup of rocky road is torturous.

So I decided to follow the theme of risk taking throughout the rest of the day too. I went back to the gym for the first time in like... five weeks. I prepared myself mentally for the fact that I would probably be triggered by all the people working out, all the fitness magazines and stuff.

Coming back to the gym after a month in program was such an eye opener actually. You're surrounded by dozens of different machines to burn off all the food you've eaten, plus monitors to tell you how hard you're working your body to do it, not to mention the thing that clocks how many calories are being slashed. NO FUCKING WONDER it screwed me up so badly. The place is a breeding ground for eating disorders.

Anyways, I did half an hour on the elliptical. I figured it was best not to jump right back into my 45 minute sessions because I didn't want beat my muscles too much on the first day back. I listened to my ipod, read some non-threatening magazines, pondered some other stuff too... getting back to cardio was amazing. My heart was pumping fast enough for me to feel it inside my chest, and I LOVE that feeling. I was able to stop after my half hour though, figuring it was time for afternoon snack and I wanted to get home and clean my room.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Truckin along

Well I managed to make it through the weekend without behaviors which was very rewarding for a change. On Friday I kicked back and watch 2012 with my dad and brother- which just went to show me that no matter how bad things may seem, at the least California isn't sinking and the ground isn't splitting under our feet. Yesterday I went shopping with my little sister because I wanted to buy distress tolerance toys and she wanted to come along and see what gifts she could squeeze outta me. I ended up with silly putty, a squishy ball, and a friendship bracelet making kit which is TOTALLY engrossing and I can already tell it'll be an awesome DBT distraction skill.

Tonight my cousin made dinner- chicken chili and a vegetarian version for me. I was sitting on the kitchen floor munching on vegetables and keeping her company while she fooled around with the stove and then my dad comes in and says, "Eliza try and save room for dinner, alright?" I looked at him and paused because I sort of thought he was kidding, but he just stood there so I said, "...Dad, this is a carrot." The ED stepped in and I got this huge lump in my throat so I had to leave the kitchen and cry for a few minutes in my room. Luckily no one noticed so it was all good and the dinner turned out yummy.

Tomorrow I start my fifth week of treatment. Hooray for me making it this far! Probs have like another month to go I would guess...

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lets kick this mother

Okay guys, now I know you've heard me say it before and I know it's probably starting to sound repetitive and blobby- but I have to start working harder at this recovery thing because I'm losing the battle right now. I just cannot stop binging. I feel like that little girl in The Exorcist. The devil possesses her- one day she's just peeing on the carpet and the next she's throwing up all over people and her head spins around 360 degrees.

In a couple minutes I'm going to sit down and fill out a weekend planning sheet so that I can stay nice and in control until Monday. Does anyone have any advice? I mean obviously I have my list of DBT coping skills and my mom is a super awesome support for when I feel urgey but I feel like it might not be enough.

Tomorrow at program is going to suck since I'll feel like restricting after today but you know what? That's what I get for being such a fucking idiot.

Anyways, thanks everyone for putting up with my crap. This blog must be awfully frustrating to read. It's like, "JUST GET BETTER ALREADY!!!!!!!"

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

ED bites back

I've decided to stop bragging about the good days I have because it seems like after every happy post, the following one is hopeless and relapsey.

Today I flipped out about how much I ate last night so I called in sick to program. The worst part is I essentially purged through fasting and a tiny bit of exercise. This is serious, people. For the past few weeks, even though I've had occasional binge episodes, I was really trying NOT to compensate for them. When you compensate for a binge, either by vomiting, exercise, fasting, or using pills, all it does is reinforce the binging in the first place.

Right now I'm on quite a starvation high so the reality of how stupid I'm being hasn't quite sunk in. It's going to take every fiber of my being to eat dinner tonight. I haven't decided if I'm going to yet. I should though.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Things to think about

Today one of my favorite girls was discharged. It was a little sad but everyone could tell she was ready and totally strong enough to get on with her life so that was awesome too.

I had a crappy-ish day. I woke up this morning and KNEW the day would suck because, lets face it, whenever the first thing I see out the window is rainy and apocalyptic, it's never a promising day. On the other hand however, I got to boast about my first weekend in treatment without binging!!! YAY ME!!! However I just ate quite a bit and I'm not sure whether or not it counts as a binge. I had a bag of reese's and three big cups of low-fat vanilla ice cream. I feel a little overly full, but not stuffed... after most binges I usually can't move so maybe I've made some headway?? Oh well. Something to explore tomorrow in group.

Oh and something else interesting- I've lost weight! How weird yet awesome is that??? You know I've never actually given my body a chance to let itself find a set point because throughout my whole teenage life I've either been slightly too thin from restricting or slightly too fat from binging. Who knows where I really belong? Not me. Anyway, I'm changing the subject now because I promised myself I'd only write 3-4 sentences about weight.

Oh oh oh! Yesterday I went running!!! IT WAS AMAZING. I don't count it as an ED behavior because: a) I didn't try to calculate how many calories I burned
b) It wasn't to purge after a binge
c) I didn't overdo it.

Hmmm... sometimes I wonder if I will EVER want to write about other topics in my blog besides ED stuff. I chose the name "Working on it" because I'm hoping that eventually it can apply to more than just my eating disorder.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A blog from the boonies

So I'm up in Maine for the weekend. The Quakers from my family's meeting house are on a retreat and I was hired to come along and do childcare while the adults have their little workshops and activity groups.

The internet out here is a little touch and go so I figured I'd try to get some blogging in before the connection dies again. Ugh. I'm in the middle of nowhere. Also, trying to remember what it was exactly that possessed me to go on this trip. I mean granted I'm leaving tomorrow so it's not like I'm dying but still you gotta wonder... do you ever agree to do stuff because it's like a month away and you figure, "I have time to prepare myself," only to have one month fly by and then you're like.... uhhhh, why did I commit??

Behaviors have been kicking up since I got here yesterday- I'm not surprised though. Whenever I leave home for college, vacation, even weekend trips, I start restricting like crazy. So yesterday I met maybe half of what my meal plan calls for, and so far today has been no different. Oh man. I wanna go home.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


My mood is neutral today. The weather is incredible and sunlight has given me a considerable dose of happy for today but on the other hand, my therapist is so frustrating she makes me want to tear off my own head and eat it. Well maybe not eat it...no extra calories for me no thank you.

I feel like I'm making little bits of progress every day but whenever I start saying hopeful and optimistic things about recovery or myself in general, she gets all defensive and says things like, "Yes... but you've got a long way to go." Ummm... DUH! What am I, stupid? I've had an eating disorder for five fucking years I think I've accepted the fact that it's gonna take a while for it to ever really fade out of my life. ARgh! Then I changed the subject and told her about some urges I have been having lately, particularly exercise urges. My cardio urges come in waves throughout the day. Basically for about five or ten minutes all I can think about is moving around and getting my legs moving but then I distract myself and it subsides. So I tell her how proud I am of myself for not giving into ED behaviors or whatever and she says she's happy too. So I pause and clear my throat before casually asking how much longer I'll have to wait till I get to return to the gym. She says, "If you're still needing to ask that, you're not ready."

Anyone else ever feel like their therapist is a judgmental poopie head?

Saturday, March 13, 2010


I hate weekends!! The only reason they were created was to make it harder for addicts like me to avoid behaviors.

Our last group in program yesterday was weekend planning. I filled out my packet, made lots of plans- basically tried to schedule myself with people and activities round the clock so I wouldn't binge. When I got home though my dad was still at work, my sister and my mom were on a girl scout field trip, my brother was watching t.v. with his friends, and it was raining so I couldn't run. Boredom and restlessness took over and before I knew it I was fully engaged in stuffing my face.

The worst part was that I went to the grocery store and purposely brought ten dollars so I could only buy a few things to pig out on, but just like last time there was a sale on ice cream so I ended up with two cartons again. UGH.

Anyways. That was yesterday. Today is today. Last weekend I binged on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Gonna try to stay strong and keep it to just the one slip this week. It'll still be a fail but at least it's progress, right?

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Body Image

Today in Body Image group we did this activity called Dear Body, Dear Self. Anyone ever heard of it? I hadn't. Well, you sit down and write a letter to your body, as if it were a friend that you've been having relationship problems with. You can write about how your body has let you down, how it made changes you weren't ready for, or how it made you feel ashamed. My letter was pretty accusatory. I think I wrote something like, "You are the reason I don't go to parties anymore, you are the reason I shroud myself in baggy clothes, you are the source of everything in my life that sucks..." Something like that. Anyway, then we respond as if we are our BODIES writing back to OURSELVES. That was more challenging because how exactly do you put yourself in the position of someone or something that you hate? Then, after about three minutes of pencil tapping and staring out the window, it was as if my body literally took on a voice and started speaking to me. I realize this sounds corny and maybe even a little nuts but I'm totally serious. I started realizing just how much I've been abusing my body over the years- rapidly gaining tons of binge weight then losing it by crash dieting and beating myself to death at the gym. The letter from my body was angry and VERY hesitant to trust me. And lets be honest, why should it?

In other treatment news, we had two new girls today! This is nice because it means I'm not the newbie anymore and now I can impart my wisdom on these vulnerable little chickens. Granted, I was exactly where they are a week ago so I'm not sure how much wisdom I've actually accrued...

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I am so fucking sick of having an eating disorder. Honestly, it's been so long I can't even remember what life was like when it didn't revolve around food and weight. You know I never really enjoyed being a teenager because it held me back so much? When I was fourteen I was so overwhelmed by the high school environment that starvation was my only way of dealing and consequently wound up anorexic. I guess that's where it began... everyone assumed I got better because sophomore year I gained back a whole mess of weight but the truth is I'd just found another ED- binge eating. The next few years I went on off different diets, never really feeling happy with my weight and always kind of avoiding life. College finally rolls around, I get so depressed that I put on not only the Freshman 15, but the freshman 30 to boot. I get to be about five or ten pounds overweight, freak out, then decide to get "healthy" again, so I spend the summer eating right and exercising. I go back to college in the fall, fifteen pounds thinner, and much happier with my body. I figure, if I'm happy here, imagine how much better I'll feel if I lose another fifteen pounds!!! One thing leads to another and my periods have stopped, my jeans are falling off and the school nurse starts calling me mean names like anemic and hypertensive. So I go on medical leave to try and figure out what's happening to me, only to take up binge eating again so now I'm right back where I started.

Oh man. Sorry for that annoying little trip down memory lane, but this is my life you guys. Sure, there have been inconsequential love interests and wonderful friends every now and then, but for sure my primary relationship has always been with an eating disorder. When will it end? I hate what I've become so much that I don't even feel like I deserve treatment. I'm not brave! I'm not strong! I have only my behaviors to get me through the days and without them I'm just a struggling little kid being forced to grow up.

Yuck. I hate pity fests but that definitely needed to be said.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Today was one of those mornings where I would have given away my right leg NOT to get out of bed. It was cold, the heat had been turned off all night and I was snuggled under like fifty fluffy blankets so I pretty much felt like dying when my alarm clock went off at 5:45. Luckily dad was able to give me a ride to program...

Speaking of which, I stuck to the meal plan 100% in treatment today. No hiding nuts or tucking cheese into my pants! It felt great actually. Unfortunately my appetite was completely thrown off due the unexpected arrival of period. On the one hand I was relieved to get it because that means my body hasn't gone into starvation mode, but on the flip side I was irritable and SO EFFING HUNGRY. I had my afternoon snack, then another when my stomach was still growling, then another, and another, and another until finally I was just like, "What the hell do you want from me?! You want food?! I'll GIVE you food!" So I ate pretty much everything in the house: Ice cream, cookies, peanut butter, and a huge burrito for dinner. Yes, at least I didn't skip dinner.

I don't feel too guilty about caving in and going on a bender; mainly for three reasons: The first being that I do have my period and I usually cut myself some slack around that time of the month. It's so much easier to handle the cramping and fatigue if I can eat eat eat. Secondly, I had my physical yesterday and my weight was highly acceptable- not low enough yet but acceptable indeed. Thirdly, ummmmm.... okay I guess there were only two. OH no wait the third reason is I know I didn't binge out of restriction because I stuck to the meal plan today.

Am I making up excuses? Maybe. Either way I promise not to restrict tomorrow. Do the next thing right, right? I promise to tell the group at check in, and I promise to try and suppress the urge next time.

Woah I get really spastic after pigging out! It's the chemical thing with the neurotransmitters I think.

Also did I mention that program in general is actually getting kind of fun? I'm already friends with all the other girls on facebook and in groups we get along well. I'm also learning more about the connection between thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, and how they don't necessarily have to dictate one another. I do think it will be good for me to stay longer than two weeks. I think I deserve my life back.

Although who knows. I'm on the verge of a food coma right now so I dunno how sound my judgment is.

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bad food mood

I AM EXHAUSTED. I never thought a day that involved so little exercise could be this draining. The commute to program in the morning wasn't bad, but I was forced to wake up at 5:45, starving- so I was running on empty for two hours before breakfast.

Can't say I did any better on the meal plan today. I may have actually done worse. At breakfast I prepared myself a big bowl of cornflakes with 8 ounces of soy milk and an apple. I thought this was sufficient but apparently I was still missing a fat exchange so the supervising counselor helped me portion out some almonds. Anyways, being the cowardly and conniving little brat I am- slipped all of the nuts into the sleeve of my sweatshirt throughout the meal and tossed them later. I did the same thing at lunch with a cheese stick.

Needless to say after the restriction I was feeling pretty hungry and by the time I got home was hit by this HUGE urge to binge. Then I felt terrible because obviously I'd set myself up for this. Anyways, I practiced some progressive muscle relaxation and after about five minutes I decided to have a cookie flavored luna bar and that seemed to suppress the urge. I give myself 3 points for the successful utilization of program skills but minus 10 for all the cheating I did throughout the day.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Two steps forward, one step back

Today started off much better than yesterday. Breakfast at program went totally fine- in fact, by the time my dad dropped me off this morning I'd already been up for two hours and the last thing I'd eaten was my pittance of a dinner the night before so I was ravenous. My breakfast meal plan calls for 2 grains, 1 fat, 1 fruit, and 1 milk. It sounds like a lot but I was perfectly comfortable eating 3/4 of a cup of low fat granola (2 grains, 1 fat), 8 oz. of soy milk (1 protein), and an apple (1 fruit).

Later on in the day we met with the nutritionist; this tiny blond doll who obviously weighs like 70 lbs. I hate that. Anyways, she brought with her bunch of commonly found food items at Starbucks like muffins, scones, bagels, parfait, sandwich etc.. then had us go through each one and guess how many exchanges they were worth. I suck at this game- I gave muffins and scones 4 grains and 5 fats when in reality they're like 2 grains and 2 fats. Just goes to show how screwed up I am!

No exercise freak outs today. It was my Dad's birthday so I spent the afternoon picking out gifts at the mall with my little sister and that provided a nice distraction. I started going off the meal plan later in the day though. I skipped both my afternoon and evening snack, then when we went out for dinner I picked at my plate of salad. I'm really not supposed to be restricting at this point- no wiggle room with meal plans! It's not like I'm at a dangerously low weight or anything but the program considers it just as serious as purging or bingeing and all of these eating disordered behaviors are cheating treatment.

I'm sleepy now so I'll turn in. My stomach is growling. I feel so guilty about it- being dishonest with the meal plan, denying my body food that it rightfully deserves, all of it.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 1

One day down. Nine more to go. HOPEFULLY just nine more.

To be fair, it wasn't the excruciating pain I was expecting it to be. We kicked off the morning with a weight check. We have to wear these skimpy little johnnys for the weight checks so thank god they're only twice a week because I hate undressing. After that we had target and planning group. This is basically where we go around and discuss the different types of things that trigger our maladaptive behaviors, and then give each other advice on how to combat distorted thinking or whatever.

The worst parts of the day were of course the meals. I didn't actually eat breakfast with the group today because I was getting an orientation, so that part was okay. Snack wasn't bad either. I was allowed a piece of fruit and a glass of water. Lunch was tough. They made me put TWO slices of cheese on my sandwich and as if that wasn't enough, I still needed another dairy exchange too. I only drink milk with cookies so I opted for soy milk instead but still, the extra calories left me feeling fat and pissed off.

It could be worse though. The girl sitting next to me is on a GAIN weight meal plan, so for lunch she had to eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a pear, cottage cheese, a yogurt, a snack pack size of little brownies, and a Boost. At one point during lunch I must have seemed particularly distressed because she looked over at me and said, "I swear it gets easier."

Anyways, I came home and started feeling antsy and bored because I'm usually on the elliptical by 4:00. I tried sitting with the urge for about fifteen minutes like they tell you too, but it wouldn't go away and all these images started coming into my head: Eliza getting fat, Eliza having no friends, Eliza not going back to school, Eliza drinking soy milk at lunch. I feel like soy milk was the trigger because that was the last thought before I pulled on my running shoes and bolted out the door.

So I walked/slow jogged to the reservoir near my house and went around twice. I honestly can't say if I was in it to burn calories or just to get my heart pumping. Either way I felt better afterward. I feel less guilty about feeding myself if I know I've exercised at least some.

I'm looking at my meal plan right now. It's almost funny actually. I'm expected to have another grain or protein for snack later in the day, then 2 grains, 3 proteins, 1 veggie, 1 milk, and 1 fat for dinner, then another grain or protein snack before bed. Ummmm... since noon I've eaten 3 carrot sticks and about half a cup of black beans with some shredded cheese for dinner.

I'm nervous about eating breakfast there tomorrow.