Tuesday, October 20, 2009
So I suck at blogging...and I don't even know if anyone is reading...
This is the first time I've written anything since I decided to start this page... Yes, I know, epic fail. Seriously. This was months ago. I initially thought that writing what I feel and think here could, in some way, serve to help me in addressing my body-image/disordered eating issues. I suppose, though, that if I don't give this type of therapy a chance, I can't fault it for not working, now can I? Yes, I'm rambling. On to the reason I was compelled to return here once more...
I'm going to go ahead and forgo any background information for now; the real reason I'm here is to write for myself, for my own sanity, to get everything off my chest and out of my head to avoid further loss of said sanity. Damn it...My two year old daughter is fussing to my left, peanut butter smeared across her face, complaining that her 'legs hurt too bad' to...to do what?..to be a toddler? A child? A perfect, precious, innocent and ignorant little human with not a problem in the world? What I wouldn't give for that kind of freedom for just one moment... for just a few seconds...I'd relish it forever, remember it when the weight of the world overcame me, threatening to crush my psyche and my soul...
I am not overweight. Far from it, actually. I am not underweight. Far from that, as well. I am, alas, painfully average. Seen as 'slender' by a few, but not by my own eyes, and that's what really matters (to me, at least).
**Short intermission...time to put the little one down** I hope to return before my writing muse leaves me for the night...
All right. Back. I apologize in advance for the sporadic nature of my entries, as well as the ideas I present within them. My therapist calls it ADD, but I just call it me. I wasn't diagnosed with that bologna disorder until I was 22, and managed to get through life just fine without treating it thus far, so screw that nonsense. Anyway...back to my point...I promise I'll try to stay on it this time.
So yes...I'm average. Lemme give you some stats. If you've ever seen a Sear's or JCP catalogue featuring lingerie models then you've seen me. No, not ME personally, but my body type, for the most part. I'm approximately 5'6 and 1/2 (the half matters to me), 140 lbs, measuring in inches a perfect 36/27/38, on a good day, and measuring in all the right places...You know how a lot of people really don't know where their correct waist is, or where their hips should be measured, or even their bust, for that matter... Well, when you're as obsessed with weight and appearances as so many of us are, you tend to learn these things pretty early on in the game. 36/27/38... Not too bad for a 23 year old mother of a two year old with a whole shitload of genetics/family history of obesity against her, right? That's what I like to tell myself sometimes, but I know it's a crock of shit. A BMI of 22? Seriously? So... fucking... average. I can't stand it. I look at myself and see imperfection after tormenting imperfection...sometimes...SOMEtimes...If I'm lucky and my brain is feeling benevolent...I'll catch a tiny (faint) glimmer of...what's that?... beauty? Really? HERE? In my fucking mirror?! I was fairly certain that didn't exist... No, it's not all horrible here in my world, and I know so, so many have it worse, but I won't let that fact alone make me feel shitty for complaining. You know why? Because this is my blog, damn it, and I came here to complain. Hopefully, if we're both lucky, you came here to read.
I don't have anorexia. I used to wish I did. I still sometimes wish I did. But I know how stupid that would be, to wish such a dreadful, debilitating disorder upon myself, my daughter, my friends and family. Selfish, in a word, to WANT that, when so many would give anything to be rid of it. I have, however, precariously teetered along that ledge for over a year now, my arms outstretched in hopes of finding balance, instead finding nothing but self-loathing and yet... there's that other ...quality...that can't be ignored. Were my self-deprecating nature not balanced by this other thing, I don't know if I'd even be here writing now...I may have chosen instead to follow the path of self-harm, cutting, bleeding and punishing myself for all the wrong that I do in Ana's eyes....No, that life is not for me. For so many, many reasons, that life is not mine, and I am truly grateful. What is this thing that keeps me from that, the quality that changes my mind in the last instant, before I reach for the contract, signing my life away? My eyes, my mind, my heart have seen how absolutely beautiful this world is, and how precious life is, and my sheer appreciation for these facts will not allow me to so selfishly squander it.
Still... She doesn't let up. Ana has shown me her beauty as well, and it is not lost on me. The bones, the thin, perfectly fragile and frail, perfectly pure bones, under smooth, porcelain skin... They are the structure, the strength, the power that drives our bodies in their every movement, and I want to see them, everywhere. Every...single...morning... I wake up to an alarm I wish didn't exist. Every day, as I slide out of bed, my eyes instinctively drop down to examine my ankles...up the calves to my knees, perusing the flesh that covers my legs and connects them to my pelvis at the hips... I don't do this intentionally anymore. It just happens; it's routine by now. Do my legs look thin enough today? Never. I still hope, though, every morning... I keep hoping.
Then I make my way to the bathroom for weigh-in time. I'm always so excited to get there, and yet simultaneously hesitant to even look at the dreaded number that will decide how I feel that day. I remove every ounce of everything not naturally native to my body; clothing, of course, rings I never used to take off, any necklaces or earrings I may have left on overnight, hair clips or ties or elastic pony tail holders, bracelets, my glasses, contact lenses... Yes, they all weigh something, and it will show. I want to know what I weigh, all by myself...and then, suddenly, after I know...I no longer want to know. I want to forget. I want so badly to have never seen the number, because now my day is shit. 142.8? Are you fucking serious? But yesterday I was 140 even! God damn it.
Allow me to say that I am fairly well-versed in the ways of the human body, specifically the female version (obviously), and I am fully aware that it is entirely normal for any given woman to experience a fluctuation in weight anywhere between .5 and 5 lbs daily. That being said, I am STILL disappointed and disheartened, daily, by any difference (read: gain) in my weight, regardless of the amount or the reason for it. Shit, it could be water weight. It probably is. I don't care. It's more than before, more than it should be, and I hate it.
All right, so here I am again, quite a bit off topic. By now, you very well could have decided that I am way too longwinded for you. If not, though, and you're still reading, congratulations, because you're awesome; you can hang. Sweet. Let's move on.
Main reason I sat down to write tonight: I fucking binged, again. Like I did yesterday. Like I did the day before that. Like I said I wouldn't again, because I'm working hard to lose this weight, right? I started at 160 about 12 months ago, and lost 20 lbs in 20 weeks, EASY, no eating disorder required, just a quick, simple cut in calories (1200 a day) and I was golden. UNTIL, of course, the inevitable plateau, at which point I found myself stuck at 141 or so, fluctuating off an on as I ate/exercised/binged/starved my way through this summer. Diet pills, lemme tell ya, are addictive only to the mindset of a person obsessed with losing weight. Other than the caffeine you'd be missing if you gave them up, there is hardly anything to be 'hooked on' in any of them anymore. Sure, ephedra had its run, but now that it's illegal, you hardly find it anywhere (easily). Hydroxycut made me feel depressed, and since I already pay good money for actual prescription drugs to get RID of my depression, I figured it pretty counterproductive to my cause to continue taking it. Alli will help you lose about a lb a month, apparently, when taken in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise plan... Pssh. I'm after bigger fish, thank you very much. I take Alli with any super fatty meal before which I actually have time to think and take a pill...thing is, before most of my fatty meals I'm not thinking about preventing those calories from setting in at all; I'm usually not thinking of food, in fact, right before I dive right in...That's the danger of the binge. It sneaks up on you (usually) without much warning at all, and still somehow manages to take your entire day by storm, throwing you for a loop you never could have seen coming...Indeed, it is a formidable opponent, and I have yet to find a way to conquer it.
I may often make light of the binge situation, or the events that lead to one, because it's such a common occurrence for me now and I see it mostly as a hopeless part of my life that cannot be helped... Fact is, it kills me. It really does. That's why I'm here tonight. I started my day off so well. Ran a couple miles, as I try to do daily, and then went to school for a few hours, as I do five days out of the week... Came home...ate. No, not just 'ate' like a normal person would. I ATE...like I do... Ugh... let's back up for a second...I feel the need to expound upon this briefly. Please stay with me.
When you eat, why do you do it? What's the reason behind the action that ultimately results in food ending up in your mouth, and then your stomach? Do you ever think about it so much that it rules you? Overwhelms your thinking, overtakes your life? Probably not... I mean, maybe...since you're reading this and all. But if not... be thankful. Really and truly. I say that without an ounce of condescension in my internal voice... Be fucking thankful. To be free of the obsession with food that arrests my thought constantly...I'd give so much. Thing is...when I eat, it's not for the same reason most people eat. Because you're hungry? Because something looked good? Because of a certain event or occasion at which it is expected that you eat a little something? Nope... I eat...
*because I'm hungry. Normal? Not when you're hungry because you've starved yourself all day and you're about to faint unless your body gets some protein and carbs in it...you know, to survive? Why have I starved up until this point? Because I feel guilty for whatever it was that I ate/thought about eating earlier/yesterday, and I don't deserve to eat more/don't need to eat more or I will simply add to the disgusting fat that already layers itself over my perfect bones...they just want to show...
*because I'm depressed. Simple enough. Food tastes good. Food makes me feel better. Temporarily. Very...temporarily.
*because it's forbidden. That's right. I'm not supposed to eat, and so, naturally enough, I want to. And I want to eat a lot. When I feel like being bad, being naughty, breaking the rules, I eat. By myself, in my car or my room or the bathroom at school, because it's just that...it's against the rules, and by breaking the rules I feel like I'm saying, just for the moment, "Fuck you, Ana, I can eat, see? I can eat all this shit and it's all because You don't want me to..." ... She still wins in the end, though, you see, because she owns Guilt and she commands Self-Punishment, and she uses them well against the parts of my mind I thought I was using against her. Clever bitch, she is... Such a clever master.
*because I wanted something and have wanted it for a long...long... time. This ties into the whole 'forbidden fruit' idea. When you deprive yourself of something for so long, and then are somehow presented with it in an instance of weakness or peer pressure, you are very likely to give into it much more easily than you would had you your wits and will-power about you. Chocolate, for example, will always be my downfall. I have grown to accept this fact. When I am smart and strong, I stay away from it and all of its temptation. When I am weak and hungry and/or intoxicated (alcohol), I hardly stand a chance. And by then you won't settle for just a little...oh no... You must have all of it. Tons of it. Go to the store at 2 AM and buy more because you just need it, and you've already fucked up today and had so much, there's no coming back from this binge, you had better just give in and enjoy it now...Tomorrow's a new day, a day on which you have a brand new opportunity to be strong and solid and right... but not today...Today is suddenly binge day, and it's okay to eat all this shit, because, well... you've come this far, right? May as well...
Another short aside...I realize that this logic may be quite unfounded. In fact, I'm fairly certain it is a crock of shit. Doesn't matter. It's how I feel and think and my thought processes are hardly ever logical, so there you have it.
Today, after school, I came home and ate some fruit. People will say that you can have all the fruit/veggies you want and it'll be fine because it's so good for you. Bullshit. Not when you're in binge-mode, and all the fruit/veggies you want includes two bananas, an apple, two peaches, a cup of blackberries, a cup of applesauce, three handfuls of baby carrots, two stalks of celery, and a glass of Odwalla Superfood fruit puree...In one sitting. That's only the produce. To that we'll add two Atkins chocolate meal bars, a chocolate Slim-Fast milkshake, one serving of skim milk string cheese, two chocolate bars and a small bag of M&Ms. By now, naturally, I'm feeling more than uncomfortably full. My entire abdomen is distended and swollen, pushing out as far as it did when I was eight months pregnant. When tiny air bubbles struggle to escape from my stomach in a burp (which is expected after such a feast), vomit pushes up in my throat, threatening to escape as well. I swallow it down and wince through the burn of acid reflux, which is so common now that I actually feel odd when it's NOT present. I drink some water...take some tums... and get on with my life.
That was today. I did it again, tonight, and I know why. This afternoon's binge just served to erase any healthful/responsible eating and exercise of this morning, and in my twisted sense of reason, I felt that there was no coming back from it, no point in trying. So instead I go off the deep end, further perpetuating the cycle that won't quit, no matter what I do. Tomorrow, I will wake up again, as I always do, to the alarm I want to throw against the wall. I will stare down at my legs, my stomach, my hip bones that don't show enough, and lightly graze my collarbones with my fingertips...at least they're always faithful. They always show through...my ribs... they're finicky. They show when they wanna. My sternum, where the ribs connect... it's there, when I pull my arms back... and I love how my spine juts up through my skin down the middle of my back... All of this studying of my body will take approximately ten minutes of my morning, possibly more, and will ultimately end the same way: I will head off to school hating the way I look and the way I feel. I will run and work out and count the calories on the treadmill, watching the miles melt away the grams of fat I will inevitably ingest as the day goes on. In the evening...who knows what the evening will bring? More starving? More eating? More writing? Absolutely no one knows... guess we'll have to wait and see.
Thanks for reading. Time to go.