Chocolate Tarts and Hamburgers.

Hi.

I totally ate a hamburger the other night. The works actually; a roll and a meat patty and salad-ey like stuff (lettuce and cheese and beetroot and tomato) and barbecue sauce (the superior sauce) and also ate hot chips and drank lemon lime and bitters. Ahuh. I don’t really care if you think that’s bad because I tend to not do that everyday so it was pretty lovely.

And then the next night I had a maccas caramel sundae (had one last year but purged, so we had to tackle that one again.)

And YESTERDAY I drank not one, but TWO full creamed milk coffees and had a delicious chocolate tart.

So now the only thing left on my scary food list is pizza. And I think I’ll eat it with great success. And hopefully in great company.

I could rattle off a lot of wonderful things that have come about as a result of recovering from an eating disorder. Just the general, you know, putting on necessary kilograms and having a healthy weight again and being able to eat wonderful food now. But I bet you never would have thought that I’d have a least favourite thing.

But I do!

Dun dun dunnnnnn.

The worst part is having to deal with real core issues that the eating disorder was covering up. In many ways, having an eating disorder was so much easier. I didn’t have to FEEL stuff or deal with stuff. I’m pretty much past the stage where I’d return to my eating disorder now, but a few months back I would’ve gotten overwhelmed with how difficult this stage was / is going to be and quit and probably heavily relapsed.

I guess I just want to urge you that … if you’re recovering and you think “there is absolutely no way I can deal with this stuff“, then be brave. Do not take the easy way out. Because as absurd as it sounds and seems, relapsing is the easy way out. I know that this stuff is difficult to deal with. I’m in the same place that you are. But I’m pretty sure this season, this place you’re in and I’m in now, will be a worthwhile one.

You can do eeeet!

Bek Xo.

P.S – this was totally my first post ever from my new laptop. History in the making right here!

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and I forgot to mention …

That some people are really ignorant and will say things like “hot dang girl, you don’t look like you have an eating disorder” (or equiv) or not really understand what’s going on and thus appear to not really care even though they probably do, they just haven’t quite grasped how to show it yet. Then there are the people who will choose not to support you through the hospital visits, dietitian visits, trips to Sydney etc and won’t ask you how you’re going. Or those who may not ask you what is going on in your life at all even though they know full well that you’re trying to recover from this eating disorder and damn it’s hard.

Yeah, you gotta forgive them too.

B.

Forgiving (yourself and others.)

I’ve been thinking about some specific-ey eating disorder-ey things as of late, but first I just wanted to share this picture with you if you haven’t seen it on my Facebook page:

Pretty funny, eh? It’s from a book called ‘Real Gorgeous‘ by Kaz Cooke and it’s simply wonderful. If you ever need a good book to sway you from dieting, here it is. Highly recommend!

Lately I’ve been pondering the topic of forgiveness and how it all fits in to the equation of eating disorders. If you’re someone who has suffered with an eating disorder previously, whether you are still suffering, whether you’re someone who is supporting someone who is in the midst of it all – then forgiveness if for you. In fact, it’s actually for all of us, eating disordered or not. So hopefully whatever these fingers type is helpful and useful for you specifically, regardless of where you are currently in your life.

First, let me talk about forgiveness, the individual and the carer. If you as a carer are really struggling with the demands and attention the eating disordered patient requires, if you currently are finding that you are slowly coming to resent them and how much time they are taking from you; how much energy they are taking from you and how much of a strain it puts on your relationship with them: you need to stop for a second. This is when we need to look at the big picture – hopefully, (we pray!) the eating disorder isn’t a permanent illness. Hopefully, it’s for a time – not a long-life issue so with very, very hard work, commitment and a helpful medical team, a full recovery from the eating disorder is possible and quite likely. The eating disordered patient will not continue to rely on you as they need to now as they continue to get better. So – remind yourself of this, and as difficult as it may be sometimes, don’t resent what you feel is being taken from you. In the long-term, it will produce wonderful things and as you see the ED’d individual continue to thrive you will recognise that the hard work has paid off! But yes, it is very hard work and it is difficult at times for everyone … but oh so worth it.

Likewise, the eating disordered patient needs to recognise that the carer can only do so much. They aren’t perfect. You’re not perfect. None of us are perfect and basically we can’t always be of use to people as often as we would like to be. You, the eating disordered patient, have needs. Which is perfectly okay. But what is often hard to remember is that your parent or spouse or friend or whoever is looking after you also has needs. And your needs are not any greater than theirs, neither are their needs any greater than yours. It’s about serving each other – and if you can both forgive each others flaws in the process, it’s a wonderful thing!

If you’ve just gone through hell and back and are just coming out of your eating disorder but can’t seem to shake the fact that it happened and yeah, there were some ridiculously hard times and you inflicted a lot of hurt and anger and sadness on those around you and you just feel so guilty for all of that – then forgiveness is for you too. Yes, you had an eating disorder. Yeah, it sucked. But people helped you, not out of obligation but because they love you and wanted to see you out of it. Yes, it put an immense strain on your relationships with them. But the best part is this: you came out the other side, you now eat regularly, you still have these people in your life and they still love and support you. I hope that blows you away. They have forgiven your flaws … so you too can forgive what has gone on. And this, I believe, is a huge part of the recovery process and will help you to continue to move forward to a new, lovelier, eating disordered free life.

Similarly if you are still suffering from an eating disorder (or any other health issue, really), it’s a wise thing to realise now that things will happen that you probably will feel guilt for. And it’s not all you, a lot of it is driven by your eating disorder but it’s also important to recognise that you can make your own decisions too. Realising that will help you recover more quickly I think: owning your actions and seeking to change behaviours; not letting your eating disorder gain the upper hand.

And if you’ve not had an eating disorder, but plenty of things have occurred in your life, things that were within your control or things completely out of your control that you still continue to rerun in your mind and blame yourself for immensely: stop. What’s gone is gone; what’s in the past has happened, perhaps things have happened to you even unjustly but being unforgiving hurts you even more so than it hurts the perpetrator.

I just think that it’s something we all need to mull over. So have a cliché: hope I’ve given you some food for thought.

(The best part about that last sentence is that it was a cliché and a pun. Food, eating disorders. Don’t tell me you didn’t smile.)

Love, Bek

Xo.

Exercise Monster!

Yeah, like I said in my previous post – I’m prone to becoming quite obsessed with exercise. I think I might still use it as a form of punishment if I overeat or eat something my eating disorder deems “bad”. And it starts slowly but quickly takes its grip on you and before you realise, you’re doing too much.

I wouldn’t say I’m doing too much at the moment, but I’m doing more than usual. And a lot of it is stress induced / boredom induced / eating disorder induced. When I first began to exercise again, I was allowed to walk the dog 20 mins a day. Then M, ze dietitian lady said only 5 times a week – because I’m (or the ED!) is so rigid in my (its) actions.

So now I’m walking the dog for 20-40 mins a day and swimming for 2 hours a week. Which I think is a pretty normal amount of exercise, nothing too obsessive there. Except for the fact that I still would freak out if I had to miss swimming (which I did today, and thus did some extra walking) or if I didn’t do any exercise at all in a day.

I know that it’s great to have a break from exercise at least one day in the week. I know that I don’t need to do as much exercise as I am to maintain my weight. I tend to do either too much or not enough of most things and the result is me being a big ball of stress. So here we are.

Don’t have much to comment on really, or encourage with but here’s my parting words: don’t overexercise! It screws up your brain. And the exercise monster can often be one of the most challenging monsters to beat in the long run.

Love, Rebekah X

Isolated?

The eating disorder life becomes focused on isolation. Eating alone. Exercising alone. Doing everything independently so people won’t realise that you’re not eating, or that you’re throwing up, or that you’re doing far, far too much exercise.

This week I have gone swimming 4 times, and I was thinking today as I lazily swam up and down the pool that I really should get into exercising more often with people. It’s probably an eating disordered thing that I generally opt to do it alone. I mean, swimming alone has its benefits. I find it quite relaxing actually. It’s lovely to shove the ear plugs in the ears, whack the goggles over the eyes and think – it’s so quiet and wonderful!

But having other people around can be a good thing every now and then too. Perhaps it’s a useful tool for anyone who takes their exercise too seriously, or is prone to becoming obsessed and addicted to exercise. So maybe it’s good to be accountable to someone.

I think even now I have to be pretty careful – when I started exercising heavily, I only did a few gym classes a week before that erupted and then I was somehow doing 30. I think I could still quite easily become obsessed with it. So in order to prevent that, I need to acknowledge it, be aware of it and cut right back on my exercise if my eating disorder is completely lapping up the attention.

But I’m mostly eating disordered free these days, isn’t that pleasant?

I think one of my other big fears in exercising with some people is that they also would take it too seriously, or be competitive (and oh man, is the eating disorder competitive!) and not just see it as a relaxing, slow paced activity. So yeah, I’m being a control freak and preventing that from happening in exercising alone. I’m not sure how one goes about solving that.

So be honest with yourself: are you doing too much? Are you isolating yourself for a purpose? Are you in control of your actions, or are they driven by your eating disorder and fears of weight gain? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – don’t let your eating disorder win!

 

BEK X

Eating Disorder Jokes.

It’s taken me awhile, but I’ve come to appreciate eating disorder jokes quite a lot. Back when I was stuck in eating disordered habits, L bought me a place mat that said “Eat”. Needless to say, I didn’t really see the humor in it at the time – but now I think it’s hilarious! Other eating disordered jokes have included me telling A I felt sick and him telling me rather flippantly to “go and throw up then” (though he was rather apologetic because he didn’t really think that one through!), making remarks about going on diets so as to weigh less when I next saw my dietitian and eating a wonderful piece of salmon with a pear and walnut salad and then saying “thanks, that was great – going to purge now, however.”

The best part about the last two in particular is that I can make jokes like that these days because there is absolutely zero truth in it – I wouldn’t dare starve myself or dare throw up my food these days. Because I don’t do that any more. Eating disordered behaviours are no longer part of my character – isn’t that a relief!

Tonight I sent S a text about the smaller dinner that C had cooked tonight. It consisted of two salmon patties and a spoonful of peas. It was delicious, just not enough. I don’t mean to sound rude or ungrateful in any sense, so I apologise if I do! He replied “on a brighter note, that once would have been too much!”

How right he is. And I can so appreciate the humor in that, because now I have the ability to laugh at myself and my extreme behaviours. Don’t get me wrong: eating disorders are extremely serious and really shouldn’t be taken lightly at all. But what a wonderful gift I have been given to be able to laugh at myself these days; to not be so serious and to really appreciate the food that I eat and the fact I am alive.

How marvellous God is in bringing me to this point in my recovery. And I really hope He brings you to this point too; not taking yourself so damn seriously all the time!

Love Bekah X

I Wrote this for You! (and you and you…)

Dear You,

If you have perhaps stumbled across this blog post out of the blue or because I posted it on Facebook and you felt the urge to click on the link – thanks a bunch. I’m glad you’re sitting there reading this.

Whether you have an eating disorder, are trying to recover, have recovered, are in the midst of an all out battle or don’t have an eating disorder whatsoever – this blog post is for you to read. To maybe learn something different, to be challenged. To be reminded of a few things that perhaps aren’t quite clear.

Anyway. I’m getting sidetracked. Here’s what I really wanted to say:

Some days, your eating disorder will win. As in, you won’t always beat it. As in, you won’t feel as if you have the capacity to. And that’s okay. So don’t beat yourself up about it. But don’t let it be a big slip up, continue to move on with your recovery. Your eating disorder might win for one moment or one situation or one day or one week – but it doesn’t get to win forever.

Some days, you’ll miss the eating disorder days. And that’s when you need to tell those around you so that they can remind you how crap your life was back then and how much you now have to look forward to, now that you’re eating disorder free.

Some days, you’re going to be by yourself. Like, with no support. No one you feel you can text and say your day sucks. No one who can give you a cuddle if you feel low. But that’s okay. And you’re okay. It’s a part of recovery and it’s important that you learn to become independent too.

One day, crappy things like eating disorders will be no more. No more pain, suffering, starvation, murder, injustice … No more sin. When Jesus returns. And how glorious that day will be.

Embrace opportunities to be alone. Alone – without your eating disorder. Alone – without your friends. Alone – without your family. Reflect on change in your life. Reflect on your journey and how you have been shaped into the person you are. Journal, sing songs very loudly and terribly. It might not be what you want, but heck – it’s useful.

People love you, think you’re valuable and care about you. So don’t let your eating disorder or equiv. tell you any differently. Ever. It’s offensive to others and it undermines your self-worth. It’s not an area for your eating disorder (or equiv! ;)) can win in.

Some days are happy and some days are sad and there’s crap to be worked through but it’s oh so worth it.  Believe me, it’s true.