Day 23: Finding Space (Disordered)

I’m not going to attempt to put this blog entry down in any real order, or edit it when I’m done. I want to be in bed by 10pm sharp, so that gives me 20 minutes to ramble, then close this computer for the evening.

First off, here’s a thing I realized today: I weighed in at 190.2 lbs this morning, and though that’s not the first time I’ve weighed that amount this month, it’s the first Monday that I’ve weighed that. Also, if I go back and look at my weight history on a charted line, though I’ve had fluctuations since starting this new way of thinking about food and exercise, I am on a constant downward course. So yay me.

Another thing I realized today is that I’m legitimately in recovery. I’m a recovering binge eater. I have been working at this for 23 days now, and though I will always be working at it, for the rest of my life, I’ve done a good job for these 23 days. And that’s something I’m allowed to feel proud of. (Not so proud that I can go out and order pizza to celebrate, but you get what I’m saying.)

Today I went to a meditation class at my local yoga studio, and was happy to find that an old art world acquaintance of mine was leading the class. I love where his mind goes, and find him to be such a compassionate and lovely man, so it was a pleasure getting to hear his take on mindfulness. I talked to him for a little while, and it turns out that the studio will start offering a weekly meditation class this summer, so that’s exciting.

Another thing that is on my mind is not as great. My stomach feels weird. I was having cramps all day yesterday, which I assumed were ovulation cramps, since that’s a thing that happens to me. But now something just feels off. Not painful, not cramping, not bloating or constipation (although that’s certainly a thing that I need to get better about regulating). It just feels not right. So I’m writing about it here in hopes that I’ll be able to pinpoint a date and symptoms in case it becomes something more serious than not enough fiber and probiotics in my diet.

It’s 9:59pm, so I’m signing off.

Today’s Weight: 190.2 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 15,712 steps (9.11 miles), which includes a 30-minute round on the elliptical. Also, a 9-minute tabata routine on 8Fit.

Today’s Interactions: Various, including a long conversation about fantasy books with a coworker, a phone call with my parents, pre- and post-class conversation with the yoga teacher, and some messaging with a couple of long-distance friends.

Day 18: The Old Job

I picked up a shift at my old job tonight – returning to my hospitality roots, so to speak. Currently standing here at the front desk of a little boutique hotel just outside of the French Quarter, bopping along to a live rendition of “We Got the Funk” being played across the street. Maybe the dancing will help work off the bagel I just ate when I lost all self control and broke into the continental breakfast supplies.

It was a pretty good bagel, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Have I mentioned how much I adore bagels? They’re up there with New England clam chowder on my most desired foods list. When I went to NYC for the first time a few years back, I spent a month obsessively researching bagel joints to make sure that I’d get to try everything worth trying in my short trip. Spoiler alert: I did not even make a dent in my “must try” bagel list during my trip. I love bagels. As in, why did anyone ever bother inventing sliced bread? I think I’m just going to say “the best thing since bagels” from now on.

Anyway, it’s Day 18, and everything’s OK. Didn’t get to hit the gym today, so looking forward to doing that tomorrow. Haven’t had a true binge since I started the blog, so I’m feeling pretty good about that. And it put me in such a wonderful mood to get here to this job this afternoon (after leaving my other job) and feel so welcomed and loved. I really enjoy working the front desk here. So many opportunities to be kind to people, and to really help improve lives in tiny ways. It’s days like this that I remember that I got into hospitality so that I could learn, learn, learn and run my own little albergue one day.

Today’s Weight: 190.6 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: Standing here at the front desk has to have gotten me somewhere, right? My feet are killing me!

Day 14: In Which Anxiety Rears Its Ugly Head

Things are not OK in Anna-land today. There’s nothing specifically wrong, exactly, but I am freaking out. My thoughts are scattered, I am shaky and just the slightest bit dizzy, and I am having a lot of trouble just typing these thoughts in a way that reads somewhat well. I’ve been working on this paragraph for going on a half an hour now. Hello, anxiety.

Last night, my old coworker mentioned that he’s going to be moving out of his rent-controlled apartment in a month, and asked if I’d like to consider renting it. He has an “in” with management, and thinks he could get me to the top of the applicant list. My other old coworker also lives in the building, so it would end up being a pretty fun arrangement.

But while I should have been over-the-moon, my initial reaction was closer to dismay (though it makes so little sense). The new apartment is $650/month (!!!), 750 square feet with a large bedroom and bathroom, has central air/heat, a dishwasher, a washer & dryer, and is in a condo building that’s well-maintained. My current apartment is $750 a month, 425 square feet, has a window unit that blows moldy air directly onto my face at night, no water pressure in the kitchen sink (and no dishwasher), and no washer & dryer. I’m currently so broke that I hand wash all of my clothes in the tub and drape them over the balcony outside my door to dry. Cat hair is clinging to everything. No matter how much I sweep and vacuum and scrub, there’s always a fine dust of cat litter over all surfaces because the place is way too small for two litter boxes and three grown cats.

There should be no contest. I should be scrambling to secure my place in the cheaper apartment. But instead I’m frightened. Yeah, my current place is too small and has no amenities, but I love my neighborhood, and had harbored a desire to move further into the Bywater, to be with artists and freaks like me. But the new place is in the Warehouse District, which is pretty much as bougie as this town gets. It’s Uggs and pumpkin spice latte all the way down. And yes, not everyone is that, and yes, I’m not all that cool, myself, but will it be possible to make the ever-so-colorful mental and physical versions of myself sync up if I go back to live in the monochrome world I left behind when I moved to my neighborhood three years ago? For that matter, was it ever going to happen? Should I just give up and find a pair of Uggs? Ack.

I also started my current relationship around the same time that I moved into my current place, and we’re not exactly on solid ground right now, so I’m probably scared that giving up my apartment will simultaneously put the finishing touches on our relationship. There’s also the fact that moving back to the Warehouse District is going back to the place where the death knell of my old relationship occurred, and I’m probably nervous about dredging up old memories (especially after the other night). Plus, it’s about a mile closer to my work, so what if I end up getting less exercise each day as a result of the move? (Yes, I can counter all of these thoughts with realistic solutions, but this is just what’s happening in my head currently.)

The only real “con” of the argument would be the neighborhood/leaving my current neighbors. But the “plus” side would include all of the aforementioned amenities, a built-in cat sitter (since I’d have a friend in the same building), more room for the cats to live and play, cheaper rent and utilities, much closer to the vet and the grocery store, and a cleaner, more polished appearance and lifestyle, since having a washer and dryer would revolutionize the way I care for my house and my clothes. I could potentially be more successful in my career just by having an improved appearance, and the money saved each month would help get me closer to paying off my debts, which could lead to better overall quality of life.

Plus, to live in this building at a reduced rate, I’d have to make an artist’s statement and dedicate more of my time to actually achieving my artistic pursuits, so it would force me to work on my writing. And if the boyfriend and I work out, it could be a more inviting place for him to come over, since there will be more room for us both. For that matter, it will be large enough that I can actually have friends over to play cards or watch a movie, which is not a possibility here.

I guess I must have slept on the decision process and freaked myself out in my dreams, because I woke up anxious, and my thoughts have become a louder, jangling discord as the day has gone on. I tried to talk it through with my boyfriend, which was helpful in a way, but also made me feel more anxious and out of it. And now I am feeling an intense urge to eat to make it stop. I want to go to the grocery store, buy soup, sushi, a chai, a bag of marshmallows, gelato, and a bottle of wine, and see if packing those in will help drown out the thoughts. (Obviously, this will not happening. I’m trying not to make any food decisions at all until I can get my shit reined in.)

I wish I could explain why moving to another neighborhood feels like such a huge negative in the face of all of these positives, but it’s entirely based in my emotional brain, rather than my rational brain. It feels like giving up and retreating. It’s a literal physical representation of where I don’t want my life to go – living a cookie-cutter life in a cookie-cutter neighborhood full of cookie-cutter people. My rational side says that I don’t REALLY know this to be true, but my anxious brain is insistent on it. Side note: I am clenching my teeth, tapping my feet, and chewing on my cheeks as I write this.

Man, this is Saturday. Don’t most people have lives and go do things with their friends on Saturday? OK, that’s it. I’m wrapping this up and finding a craft project to work on to get my mind off of things. And I’m ordering Chinese food for one via Postmates. So there.

Today’s Weight: 191.6 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: Existential Terror

Day 13: …

It was our Ops Manager’s last day before moving on to a cushy sales position, and the office flowed with snacks all day today in celebration of his promotion. There were doughnuts at breakfast, and I was able to avoid the box until they were gone. But then lunchtime rolled around, and they brought out the chicken wings and fried rice, and all bets were off. I ate a piece of cake, and drank a can of coke, too. Oh well, I was planning a gym visit for the afternoon, anyway.

At the gym, I was proud to up my running time a little bit. I’ve been doing 35 minutes on the treadmill, alternating five minutes of walking with five minutes of running. Today I felt a little bored after my first five minutes of walking, so I cut down my walking time to four minutes the next round, then three minutes, and then sprinted the last minute, too. It felt great, though my hip has been hurting since last week, so I really need to take care not to stress it out, even when it feels so good to be running again.

After the gym, I got a text that my old coworkers were having drinks in my neighborhood, so I went out to meet them for a second, and ended up staying for a couple of hours. They offered me a drink, but I had a club soda. It was a nice chat, and I really liked the little bar patio where we were perched up, talking. When they went home, I walked over to the grocery store to get a piece of pizza, then talked myself into a package of smoked salmon, instead. It’s one of my favorite “treats” and so much healthier than a big slice of bread with cheese and tomato sauce slathered all over it.

Man, this is the most boring post ever. I am just flat out exhausted. It’s almost midnight, and I’m yearning to be in bed. Very proud of my actions today, overall, though. I’m also happy that I woke up in the 180’s this morning. I can’t tell you the last time that I weighed less than 190 lbs, but I do know that it was not in the recent past. And for that, I’m going to bed without doing dishes. Woohoo, I’m wild and crazy!

Today’s Weight: 189.8 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 18,782 steps (including a 30-minute treadmill run/walk), 10 minutes of rowing, a 10-minute tabata routine via 8Fit, and some TRX stretching/foam rolling

Today’s Interactions: A 2-hour gym/gab session with Theo, and another 2 hours at the bar with Loc and Vic, talking about all kinds of stuff that would typically make me anxious and possibly trigger a binge – marketing, social media, money, politics. I stayed pretty cool, though, and really enjoyed hanging out outside my apartment, and for free!

Day 7: Love And Reese’s Pieces

Trainspotting2

Sorry if you missed me yesterday. I actually wrote a pretty long and involved post about the planning and preparation that goes into making sure that my weekend doesn’t derail before it begins. The beauty of this blog as a self-help tool for me is in the writing, and I did find that in the process of putting together yesterday’s post, I discovered some things that have a habit of pushing me off of the deep end into abusing food (namely any activity that requires me to make small talk with strangers or acquaintances, which appears to encompass about 95% of social engagements, so that’s going to be a really fun issue to tackle – not). Anyway, working this out in writing was useful, but I didn’t have time to finish the piece, electing instead to go to the movies with my boyfriend. We’ve been in a weird place lately, and don’t see as much of each other as we used to, so when I found out that Trainspotting 2 was playing at the Broad Theater, I impetuously purchased tickets for the both of us. Such a great decision; it really hit the spot. I loved being back in the middle of this crazy film friendship, finding out where Rent Boy, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie were, 20 years later.

Overall, it was a great night, though I wasn’t as successful as I would have preferred to be in being mindful of my food and drink intake. I find it nearly impossible to go to the movies without eating way too much. My all-time favorite activity is to go to a double matinee by myself on a Sunday morning, starting off with a jumbo soda and popcorn (the size where you can get free refills), and peppering the experience with candy or Dippin’ Dots if the mood strikes. No, I don’t do this anymore, but honestly it’s only because I don’t have a car, so I can’t get to the cheap movie theater out in the ‘burbs anymore. If you’re reading this and worried that’s where I went off the rails last night, don’t worry – I was actually pretty good. Before leaving, I was smart enough to eat a small, healthy meal, so when we got to the theater, I had a few bites of the boyfriend’s popcorn, a beer…and most of a giant bag of Reese’s pieces. Oh well, can’t be perfect 100% of the time.

Afterwards, we went back to my place, drank a few more beers, and talked about real things until the wee hours, which I’d call a perfect night. No putzing about online or watching TV, no politics or social media, no one else around to turn the conversation to lighter subjects – just us, giving each other the time we deserve. We’re both going through some intense life transitions right now, and we work opposite schedules, so we don’t see that much of each other. We also both quit Facebook at the beginning of April, and I don’t know if either of us knew how much we “talked” via sharing and liking posts on each other’s walls. Add to that anxiety and depression on both sides of the aisle, food issues on my side, and your general boundary exploration that happens once you’re three years into a relationship, and we’re in a weird place together.

What’s absolutely magical about our very real friendship is that I can be completely honest with him about all of these things without fear that he’ll take it the wrong way. We’re opposing signs (Scorpio and Taurus), and have always shared this dogged determination to understand and really absorb how the other person is faring. We’re each other’s shadow sides, for better or worse. So last night, we had a really good, long conversation about what we know and don’t know about what we both want, our growth as individuals, and how we’ll continue to keep the lines of communication open and provide avenues for both of us to be free and explore and make whatever next steps seem best. There were no revelations, but that’s OK.

ChooseLife

Just a note that this blog isn’t here for me to talk about love and dating, but I do want to make sure to note this portion of my life here, since no one is an island, and no issue stands alone. It is going to be impossible for me to overcome my issues with food and dieting and body image without taking an honest look at how my relationships affect my emotions and food intake.

But on to today. Did I derail myself through last night’s exploits? I’m not entirely sure yet, but I don’t think so. I woke up and made a great breakfast – scrambled eggs, sauteed spinach and garlic, half of a baked sweet potato, and a scoop of salsa. Now I’m at the cafe, having an iced coffee (black, no sugar), and catching up with the blog. I had originally planned to go to the gym to work out, but I can’t see that happening. So what I’ll probably end up doing is completing a short workout from 8Fit, maybe going on a run around my neighborhood, and calling it a day. If I don’t have the energy to do all that, that’s OK, too. It was a great first week of working out, and I know I’m going to Zumba tomorrow, so I’m allowed a break if I want.

Once I’m done here, I’ll go home to do some food prep – I’ve got a rotisserie chicken to cut up for chicken salad, plus eggs to boil, and I’m sure something else I’ve forgotten. Then maybe I’ll clean the house, throw out some more junk, and then attempt to do some “real” writing for the first time in a while – work on one of the fiction projects that I’ve been rolling around in my head for years. We’ll see.

Yesterday’s Weight: 194.0 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 7,574 steps, including a 35-minute/2.5 mile run/walk

Day 5: This Sh*t Takes Time

Thoughts this Afternoon:

Let me start by saying that I overate at lunch, and now I feel sick. It happened, it’s over now, there’s nothing I can do to change any actions that have preceded this moment. All I can do now is examine how I feel and see if there’s a way to use the information to work towards not doing this in the future. Well, that, and try not to puke. I seriously feel ill, guys. I did not see this coming.

Luckily, though I ate too much for one sitting, if I look what I’ve consumed over the course of the entire day, I’m well within a normal limit of food. It’s not like I ate an entire birthday cake. The meal in question was a medium-sized wrap sandwich thing, some chips & salsa, and a side of rice and beans, eaten in two sittings, over the course of three hours. Pretty much nothing, by my typical “I’m going to eat this entire Kia, hubcaps and all” standards. Even so, I ate half of my meal at the restaurant, decided to pack the rest up for dinner and despite that, still tucked into the leftovers not even an hour after we got back to the office. Now I feel like you could roll me down the hall like Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

willywonka_rollingviolet

First off, the things I’m proud of:

  1. I was craving a Diet Coke while we were out on errands, but I talked myself out of one by promising that I could have it with lunch if I still wanted one then.
  2. Drank an unsweetened tea with lunch. Considered the Diet Coke and didn’t really want it anymore.
  3. Ordered a moderately healthy meal – a shrimp & veggie wrap with a side of rice and beans. Not a huge burrito with unhealthy stuffings, nothing deep fried, and nothing smothered in queso. I thought briefly about getting a salad, but it sounded too depressing. This was enough of a shift in the right direction for now.
  4. I ate half of the food, then got a to-go box. It felt like a no-brainer. I was very happy with this part.

Now, the things I’d like to change:

  1. I didn’t want to go out to eat lunch. I ate breakfast a little later this morning, and I wasn’t hungry again yet. But my coworker wanted to treat me to lunch, and more importantly, I knew HE wanted to get lunch, and I didn’t want to disappoint him. I could have found a way to say no if I really wanted to.
  2. During lunch, I was doing a good job of paying attention to how full I was getting, but I still ate a few bites mindlessly while waiting for the server to bring me a to-go box.
  3. Once I got back to the office, I ate the rest of the food out of boredom. I wasn’t hungry, and that would have made a great dinner after the gym.
  4. I ate even though I was uncomfortable.

This feels a little like my subconscious is trying to sabotage my gym trip this afternoon, but joke’s on me, because I’m still going to go. Just maybe a little later than originally planned, because I’m pretty sure I’d puke if I tried to go in the next half an hour.

Thoughts Tonight:

Man, I’m exhausted. Gonna keep this short. I worked my butt off at the gym with a 35 minute run/walk and a circuit training session via my new workout app. Afterwards, I made the executive decision to go and buy groceries, even though I was a little apprehensive that I’d make some impulse buys that wouldn’t fit my budget and might lead to true binge. I didn’t want lunch to merely be the prelude to something larger and shittier, so when I got to the store, I took my time and thought through every purchase. Was $4 over my weekly grocery allowance, but that’s because I bought cage-free/free range/organic eggs and allowed myself a treat at the checkout – a coconut LaCroix. But the things I did get were awesome, and I’m going to have very tasty, healthy meals this coming week.

I was supposed to talk with my friend Trin tonight at 7, but she had to reschedule, which actually worked out perfectly. It let me shower, get a little housework done, make a pitcher of tea, and bake sweet potatoes (now you know how Southern I am, lol) before my friend Danica and I talked at 8:30. I don’t talk on the phone very often, because it’s so difficult to find the time, and I don’t like talking on the phone (or Skype, for that matter). I prefer communicating in writing if at all possible. But now that I’m not on Facebook, I don’t see any of my best girlfriends, since they all live out of the state (or out of the country). So I’m going to have to make time to hop on the phone if I want to do the work of maintaining these wonderful friendships. All the talking out loud really drains me, energetically, but it’s very much worth it. I loved getting to catch up with Danica after months of only communicating via social media posts and the occasional text.

Today’s Weight: 193.4 Lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 18,850 steps (including a 35 minute run/walk at the gym), and a circuit training session on 8Fit.

Day 3: First Goal Accomplished

I did it. Last night I spent some time researching my health plan and figuring out who could take my insurance, and it turns out that Oschner (my old hospital/clinic) takes Cigna (my new health insurance). Today I found the courage to call and make an appointment. I was trying to get in with my boyfriend’s doctor, whom I know to be professional and accommodating, but it turns out he’s not seeing new patients right now. So I talked it through with the appointment setter, and she got me in with my old primary care physician.

I have mixed feelings on this. While I don’t have any negative memories regarding my old doctor, I also don’t have any positive ones. As I remember, she was nice, but also pretty hands-off, which didn’t do me any good then, and definitely won’t do me any good now. So I’m going to take my own advice and write down an extensive list of what I want to talk about with her when I’m there in the office, and give it to her as a bulleted list for us both to look through together.

I’m going to have to be my own advocate, and not go anywhere until she’s provided me with the proper channels to continue my journey. No more backing down. No more being acquiescent. I’m too old for this shit. I am going to kick binge eating and anxiety in the face. I am going to unravel all of these knots – physical, emotional, and mental. It’s not going to be instant, but it will happen, as long as I keep working at it, just a little bit each day.

Today’s Weight: 196.6 lbs.

Today’s Exercise: 14,827 steps (including a 30-minute run/walk on the treadmill), 7 minute tabata session

Today’s Personal Interaction: I’m adding this section because it feels right in regards to getting out of my head. Today I talked to my parents for 30 minutes on the phone. It’s never great, but I keep trying. Basically just my dad complaining for the entire time, asking how I’m doing, then immediately moving on without letting me answer. Joy. However, yesterday, I wrote three personal emails to friends I haven’t spoken with in months, and coordinated upcoming phone chats with two of my best friends in the world! So that’s a win.