Instagram: Body Talk

View this post on Instagram

Like many who experience eating disorders, much of my problem comes down to a disconnect between my head and my body. 🚺 Body is full, head wants ice cream. Body feels nourished, head feels guilty. Body craves water, head seeks out sugar. My #bulimia lives at the point of this conflict. 🚺 I’m tiptoeing into #intuitiveeating, and the challenge for me, as always, is to get my head and body working together. Right now I’m really focused on listening to and honoring my body. 🚺 At the moment, that means eating a largely #plantbaseddiet. I was a strict vegetarian for many years, including my peak years of disordered eating. These days I love a ribeye as much as the next girl, and I would literally eat my own arm if it were dipped in nacho cheese sauce. But I’m working to respect my body’s wishes. 🚺 I’ve also given up coffee. Not in any hard-and-fast, “I don’t drink coffee anymore” kind of way, but simply not pouring it even when it’s readily available. My head wants the ritual, the taste and the caffeine, but it’s hard on my stomach and it messes with my appetite — so I’m respecting my body’s clear signals that it isn’t feeling coffee as a daily habit. 🚺 How does all this feel? Well, it varies from hour to hour. At the moment… content. The challenge is making it through the moments when my head starts to upset the balance. 🚺 #bulimiarecovery #fatbulimic

A post shared by Medium Blogger (@searchingformedium) on

Instagram: Weighing In

View this post on Instagram

The last week or so has been a little rough. 🎭 The last few days of my #JanuaryWhole30 did not go well. I’d been sick and eating very little, I was tired and having a hard time preparing food, my husband was out of town and I was home alone with two tiny kids, and I ended up spending close to a week struggling with constant nausea. 🎭 It’s taken me days to get my body feeling good again. I just felt well enough to exercise on Sunday. But of course, through all of this, in the back of my mind my ED was thinking “Hey, I didn’t eat for days! I bet I lost a ton of weight!” 🤦🏻‍♀️ 🎭 Surprise: I did NOT lose a ton of weight. In fact, a month of Whole 30 barely moved the needle on my scale. And by the end of the month, I was no longer feeling good about eating. I was feeling limited, restricted, and depressed. 🎭 I mentioned in my diet history post (link in bio) how disingenuous it is for Whole 30 to insist it’s not a “diet.” It is. And while there are people who can follow the diet and maintain good health, what I learned in January is that right now, I’m not one of them. 🎭 It’s still important for me to lose some weight. My current weight isn’t healthy, but neither is falling into my old patterns of drastic schemes, starvation and obsession. 🎭 Health, hunger signals, hydration — these are the things I need to focus on. Cutting out whole food groups isn’t the right solution for me. 🎭 One thing that DID work for me on Whole 30: Not getting on the scale. I get easily discouraged by slow progress. It might be time to take the batteries out of my scale.

A post shared by Medium Blogger (@searchingformedium) on

Instagram: Carb Love

View this post on Instagram

My #JanuaryWhole30 ends soon, and I’m feeling a little nervous about being done with it. 🍪 (Can we talk about how there’s no muffin emoji? Such an oversight.) 🍪 I realize there’s nothing stopping me from continuing with the Whole 30 diet after the end of the month, and I see some appeal in that, but at the end of the day it’s just too restrictive for me to stick with all the time. Too many rules are not healthy for this #bulimic for too long. 🍪 More importantly, it’s time for me to learn some moderation. The Whole 30 provides a comfortable little out: “Oh, I can’t have that; my friend talked me into doing this Whole 30 with her.” It’s much easier for me to say a hard no than to try to work with a healthy amount of yes. 🍪 One thing I am leaning toward leaving out of my diet is grain, though. At least for a bit. I’m not missing it as much as I thought I would, and I know limiting starches will help me forge an easier path to a healthy weight. 🍪 It’s not a permanent solution, however. Carbs aren’t something I’m willing to go without completely. And that’s where my nerves kick in. 🍪 My big challenge, post-Whole 30, is to learn how to coexist with starches in a healthy way. I need to learn to have and savor the occasional cookie, croissant, slice of cake, muffin — without overeating, without considering one bite a lost cause and surrendering to mindless consumption of more than I want or need. 🍪 I’ve been feeling like the Whole 30 is hard. But now that I’m looking at the end of it, it feels like completing the Whole 30 and trying to find a healthy medium is the far greater challenge. 🍪 After January, I’ll be back in a world where there are no “good” or “bad” foods. There won’t be a hard and fast list of prohibited things. I’ll have to make those calls myself, listen to my body, and begin to make peace with an occasional relationship with the foods I both love and fear. 🍪 #healthyweightloss #eatingdisorderrecovery #carbsarenottheenemy

A post shared by Medium Blogger (@searchingformedium) on

Instagram: Hunger Games

View this post on Instagram

There is no feeling I fear more than fullness. 🍽 I’ve been sick for days, with absolutely no appetite. Tonight I felt hungry enough to eat a handful of pecans and a few bites of some leftovers. 🍽 Even though I’ve barely eaten for days, I listened to my fullness cues and stopped eating as soon as I knew I was no longer feeling hungry. What I ate wouldn’t even constitute a full meal. So why do I feel nervous about how full I am now? 🍽 Hunger and fullness are hard concepts for me as a #recoveringbulimic and #overeater. I don’t usually wait until I’m hungry to eat; I don’t usually stop eating when I’m full. That was true even before I started bingeing and purging. My #eatingdisorder started with restricting calories. Keeping myself deliberately hungry was the only way I knew I was making any kind of progress. (That’s #edlogic for you.) 🍽 In my mind, hunger became associated with purity. Fullness became irrevocably associated with guilt… and the need to make it go away. Hence purging. 🍽 If I could go back in time 17 years and have the chance to tell myself one thing, I’d tell her this: Get help now. Find help getting healthy the right way. Because if you continue down this road, you’re going to do damage to yourself that will be with you half a lifetime from now. You will go through #edrecovery (and pay plenty for it), you will still not be thin, and anytime you feel as though you have eaten enough food, the feeling of satisfaction will immediately and enduringly be joined by a feeling of having done something terribly wrong.

A post shared by Medium Blogger (@searchingformedium) on

Instagram: Active Listening

View this post on Instagram

I’ve been laid flat with a bad cold for a few days, subsisting on seltzer and vitamin C. 🍋 It’s funny that illness is the only time I truly and completely listen to my body. It’s the only time I clearly hear my hunger signals. 🍋 Eat when you’re hungry, stop when you’re full. It seems simple to most people, but for me, it’s a daily battle. 🍋 I woke up this morning relieved to be feeling a bit better but also nervous. With my body feeling better, my brain will be kicking back into action. Now I’m going to have to start over the hard work of trying to listen to my body over the noise of my mind. 🍋 What techniques work for you? How do you get your head to listen to your body? 🍋 #overeater #bulimiarecovery #mindfuleating #healthyweightloss

A post shared by Medium Blogger (@searchingformedium) on

Instagram: Everyday Recovery

View this post on Instagram

I came very close to a bulimic binge last night. 💜 I know there are many of you who are in the very early stages of #edrecovery, and I’m not sharing this to discourage you. I do want you to know, though, that this is something that will probably be a part of your life for a very long time. 💜 I was discharged from therapy more than seven years ago. For the most part, my bingeing and purging has been under control since then. But the underlying issues are still with me and must be confronted every single day. 💜 Some days are easy. Some days are hard. Some days are easy until BOOM! they’re hard, which was what happened last night. Most people around me have no idea the amount of time, energy and emotion I put into thinking about food and eating. 💜 For me, #healthyweightloss isn’t as simple as cutting back on carbs or watching portion sizes. It’s far more complex than that, and it will likely never be straightforward for me. 💜 If you’re just starting recovery from bulimia, know that it will be an uphill path. It will not be easy. There will be setbacks. But I am glad I went to therapy. I might be thinner now if I hadn’t. But I might not have my beautiful children. I might not have a fulfilling career and a happy marriage. I might not be here at all. 💜 Recovery is hard. Recovery is forever. And recovery is worth it. 💜 #recoveryquotes #bulimiawarrior #bulimiafighter

A post shared by Medium Blogger (@searchingformedium) on

Instagram: Portion Control

View this post on Instagram

As a binger and an overeater, I have big issues with moderation. The idea of #portioncontrol makes total sense to me intellectually, but actually listening to and managing my hunger and fullness cues? Forget about it. 🍩 “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” was the popular mantra on the pro-ED websites I used to frequent in the early 2000s. In those days, I was primarily restricting, and I would repeat it to myself to keep from eating that second bite. 🍩 When restricting gave way to bingeing and purging, I tried to dig myself out by going back to that pro-ana mantra. But for someone like me who’s naturally inclined to overeat… once the dam was broken and I realized I could eat whatever I wanted and then in-eat it, I was swept away. 🍩 Even though I rarely #bingeandpurge anymore, the compulsion to overeat is ever-present. It’s something I fight every day, and something my therapy never got to the bottom of. 🍩 If you are successfully managing #overeating, how do you do it? How do you stay present with yourself in the moment and remind yourself that you’ll be happier and healthier if you don’t take another bite?

A post shared by Medium Blogger (@searchingformedium) on