Wednesday, June 8, 2011


If you ever come back to this site to check up on me and see how I'm doing please note that you lost all privileges to know anything about my life when you abandoned me.

You broke my heart, shattered my soul and took away my trust in myself.

I hope you're happy with yourself and the cruelty you showed me.

Friday, May 13, 2011


I know that I still have a long path to travel on my road to recovery but I'm so excited about getting there. Before I learned that I have a problem I just assumed that every one thought about food the same way that I did and that my thoughts about food would always be the same. I never questioned that I would have to fight with myself about food ALL the time forever and always.

I knew that I had a bad relationship with food. This is evident in the fact that I use to envy people with eating disorders. The voice in my head would say

look at them! at least they care enough about their bodies 
to actually develop a real problem. They are strong!
You are weak. You don't care enough. 

I know now that this was part of my disorder but I am still so embarrassed by these thoughts. To anyone who has ever suffered or is suffering with an eating disorder I apologize deeply for thinking such things. Please forgive me for being so ignorant.

However, now that I know a life without these destructive and disordered thoughts can exist 

I am Oh So Excited to find my way to that life. 

I can't wait until I can stand up and shoot 

"I was 'THAT Girl' and now I have recovered!"

*Disclaimer: Yes I know that my thoughts given here are in contrast to those given in a previous post (That Girl) but I am only human and therefore can have contradictory thoughts in my head. There were parts of having an eating disorders that I viewed as strong and envied but I also use to see those who suffered as weak; before I learned that eating disorders are a mental illness I wrongly thought they were more like something you caught. Now I view people with an eating disorder as normal everyday people, as unique and individual as every one else. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Drugs. Drugs! Drugs?

About a month ago I found an article documenting abnormal dopamine levels in the brains of people with binge eating disorder and it made a big difference in how I view myself. It helped me to understand that having an eating disorder is not an sign of weakness but is an actual mental illness. There is something wrong in my brain. I am not weak. I have a real medical problem.

Along with needing to know how much damage I have done to my body the other reason I initially went to the doctor was the thought:

if there is something wrong with the dopamine levels 
in my brain then does there exist a drug to fix it? 

This is the first time I have voiced that thought. I went to see a doctor for her medical opinion and not to ask for drugs.

I had my follow up meeting with the doctor today and received good news: I am relatively healthy. My vitamin B levels are a little low but other than that (and a few physiological symptoms) I have not hurt my body too badly.

After reporting this she asked if I wanted to supplement my treatment plan with drugs. (Right now my treatment plan involves counseling and blogging only). After we talked about what I can expect the drugs to help me with and the possible side effects I said YES.

Don't get me wrong there is not a magical drug out there to cure eating disorders. However, this drug will take the edge off of my obsessive thoughts and will therefore allow me focus on setting up healthier eating plans and habits. It will buy me some time to allow my focus to be on getting better and not just on preventing (or minimizing) the next 'incident'.

Part of me feels like I am taking the easy way out. I feel like I am cheating; like it won't count as a 'real' recovery if I don't win every battle via pure bare-knuckle boxing.

What will it say about my mental strength, 
will power and determination if I cheat? 

The only answer I could come up with is "who the f--- cares as long as I recover". 

What are your thoughts about treating eating disorders with drugs? 

Have you used drugs as part of your recovery plan? If so, what was your experience like?

Right now my biggest concern is how or if they will affect my parenting. 
My daughter shouldn't have to (nor will she) pay a price from my recovery.

I would love to hear your stories, warnings and ideas. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Sick Enough

I often feel like I'm not sick enough; like things have gotten all blown out of proportion and my disordered relationship with food isn't all that bad. And if it's not that bad then I don't need to recover because there is nothing to recover from.

I was slow to seek help because I never felt like I had a real problem; at my worst I felt like I was failing at having an eating disorder.  I still feel this way:

I am failing at having an eating disorder.  

When I told this to my doctor she actually laughed out loud. Not in a rude way but in a
that-comment-caught-me-off-guard-because-you-can-not-fail-at-having-an-eating-disorder,-the-very-idea-of-that-is-crazy type of way.

I am not anorexic and I do not meet the criteria to be classified as bulimic. I am a prime example of someone with EDNOS (Eating Disorder not Otherwise Specified). A 'catch all' phrase often used to classify those of us who aren't sick enough yet to have a label all our own. I've seen it described as the term for someone who, if left untreated, will most likely develop a more serious eating disorder with a "proper label" but I feel like this label (EDNOS) is true to the wide assortment of symptoms that people can display. It represents the wide spectrum of what disordered eating can be.

Moreover, it allows me to cling to my belief that I'm not that sick, that things have somehow just been blown out of proportion and I'm not really THAT GIRL.

This belief was broken down a little bit when I read on the F.E.A.S.T. website that
  EDNOS symptoms can be more lethal than those associated with 
anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa. 

Wow! What a wake up call. This is real. I am lucky that my body has been able to handle the abuse I've handed it. I am lucky that I found help when I did.

I am officially done arguing with myself about whether or not I have a problem. I am officially done feeling like an outsider from the ED world. I do belong in such groups. My opinions on eating disorders matter. I am sick enough.

Please don't misunderstand this post. It's not about comparing and a twisted game of "You're sicker than me". It's about me trying to convince myself that I do have a problem and the voice in my head that's telling me to just stop treatment and return to 'normal' life is wrong.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mother's Day

Today two of the main reasons that I need to recover are front and center:




I will recover so that My MOTHER doesn't find out about my condition from a Doctor after I've become so sick that I need medical intervention. I will recover because she loves me and because I am her daughter she feels my pain whether she knows the cause of it or not. 

I will recover so that if My DAUGHTER ever finds out about my condition it will be in the past tense: Mommy had an eating disorder but she recovered. I am so proud of her and the relationship she has with food. She eats when she's hungry; it doesn't matter if you offer her cookies, cake, candy or ice cream, if she's not hungry she'll say no thank you. She says 'no thank you' without regard for her weight or for what other people will think of her if she says yes. This is a control that I can only dream of. 

Whatever your relationship with your mother is I hope you are all finding motivation to stay on your path to recovery today. 

Happy Mothers Day!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Who is 'That Girl'?

Most people have some sort of assumption about what type of person has an eating disorder. I think it's partly a way to protect ourselves. There is a 'them' and an 'us'. We are not like 'them'; this makes us feel safe and to some degree lucky. We can sympathies with, support and love them but they are not like us.

As a member of society my heart hurts for 'those' girls. We see eating disorders portrayed in television and movies. We hear reports about actresses who suffer from them. The terminology has become part of everyday conversations and facebook status updates. Before I found out that I am 'that girl' this is what I thought about her:

A person with an eating disorder is weak and stupid. She would have to be in order to continually harm her body that way. She has an unbelievably low self-esteem. She is one of those girls who is continually (and often annoyingly) looking for praise and complements. When she gets them she often argues or disagrees with them. She is fragile, pathetic, insecure and selfish.

I'm embarrassed and ashamed to think about how wrong I was.

This is not how I would describe myself.

This is no longer how I would describe any one with an eating disorder.

This is what is keeping me silent. 
I have no idea what my loved ones preconceptions about eating disorders are and I can't bare to think that they might be as wrong as I was. I can't bare to think that they might feel this way about me. Or even worse they might not believe that I have a problem because I do not fit their preconceived notions of who 'that girl' should be.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blindsided by the Down Slide

I read a great blog post the other day about how the game of Chutes & Ladders is like recovery: sometimes we slide downward but never back to the same place we started at.

In the game of recovery I was blindsided by a slide today and I don't know why. I was doing so good. I thought I was doing everything right. So how did I end up on a square with a chute on it?

Now I'm left feeling sick and the food so desperately wants to come out. I don't understand why people want me to keep all this food inside. Yes I know it's wrong to binge but once the food is in there how can you ask me to keep it inside? It's too much! my body needs help dealing with it.

I've eaten so much I feel sick to my stomach and if that's not enough the thought of how much and what I ate makes me down right nauseous.


I don't know what to do. I want to recover! but I also really want to get this gross awful food out of me!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Dear Self. You are not hungry please stop eating!

but on a positive note I am not eating food I'm allergic to


I was driving home from yet another out of town business meeting yesterday, which created the perfect situation for an 'incident'. I was alone (no one could judge me and I could hide all evidence), I was bored and I was tempted. There was nothing preventing me from stopping at any number of convenience stores and eating everything. As a matter of fact, so the store clerk didn't think I was a pig, I could stop at many stores and just buy slightly too much at each (a 'trick' that I have used in the past to save face). As the epic battle between relapse and recovery ragged on in my head I managed to drive past every single store! and the thing that distracted me enough to keep driving was thinking about the Tea Party song Temptation.

You can listen to it here: Temptation

With the exception of one line ('Shaking as her sex takes hold')  this song perfectly describes my disorder.

What makes recovery so hard is that temptation is right in front of me all the time. Recognizing that 'temptation will never let me down' is helping prepare me for battles. Temptation wont change. It will always be there. So instead I must change. I must be ready to fight temptation at any given moment.

Seriously though, look at these lyrics, this is my life, this is my battle:

Driven by restrained desire
I want what I need

I've lost all control

Drowning in a sea of rage
I taste the embrace
Helpless as it steals my soul
I've lost all control

It never lets me down
One foot in the ground

We exist in a world where the fear of
Iillusion is real
And we cling to the past to deny and confuse the ideal

Destined by a fate so cruel
And drugged to delight
Laughing as these lies unfold
I've lost all control

You satisfy my soul

*NOTE: The above is not the entire lyrics of the song. They are just the lyrics that I found most relevant to me. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chips For Breakfast

I was out of town for a few days last week for some business meetings and I was lucky enough to have friends who let me stay with them. Staying with friends however means that you're not allowed to be on 'just' a business trip. On Friday morning, after a few hours sleep, I woke up slightly hungover. Due to poor planing, being allergic to dairy and the fact that it was not at my house left me with literally nothing to eat for breakfast, which is the most important meal of the day (especially if you're trying not to get or stay fat).

Given that I was running very short on time, my only option was to stop at the grocery store beside the train station on the way to my meeting. A perfect recipe for failure!

I was hungry, hung over and in a hurry - Not the best time to be making good food choices.

I found myself in the chip aisle, with blackberries and a sesame snap already in my basket, staring 63-ish grams of tasty uncontrollable chip consumption in the face (and once I've eaten a whole bag of chips, what's to keep me from eat . . . . . . . and into the downward spiral I go). To make it worse, have you ever read the contents on a bag of chips? It is really hard to find ones without dairy. But like I said, I was hungry, hung over and in a hurry, my self control was at an all time low!

Then I surprised myself by walking by the 'late night cheeseburger' flavoured doritos and putting down the 'cheddar cheese & sour cream' flavoured baked chips (yes I actually picked them up and held them in my hand). I picked up the (completely dairy free) ketchup flavoured baked chips and ate them in moderation on the train ride. I knew they would all be gone before the day was over but I took great comfort in the fact that I was not allergic to them (i.e. eating them would not cause me physical pain) and the entire large bag contained a comparable amount of fat to a single serve bag of regular chips.

Today I won despite setting myself up for failure.

I am proud of myself!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Small Thank-you

In the last few days I have been emotionally and physically recovering from a binge episode. I am so over the 10lbs conundrum and am very glad that I wrote those feelings down so that I can remind myself that I did, at some point, actually feel that way. At this very moment I am okay. I am working hard at identifying what triggers or is likely to trigger an episode and I am doing my best to stay away from, or at least be prepared for, them.

I just wanted to say a big thank you to all the people who have taken the time to read this blog. Knowing that you are participating in my journey with me by reading this journal motivates me to keep taking steps toward recovery. You inspire me to reach harder for successes so that I may have something positive to share with you.

Thank you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

On the Record

For the record I went to see an MD about my condition yesterday and now it's officially part of my medical record. The thought of that makes me sick to my stomach. Now anyone who picks up my file has access to judge me.

Part of me heard her: she said that she was really proud of me for taking such steps to recover and that an eating disorder is nothing to be ashamed of, there is something physically wrong in my brain, the neurotransmitters don't fire correctly. In an attempt to make me feel better she also mentioned that I wouldn't criticize someone because they had cancer, which is true but I don't feel like an eating disorder is not comparable to cancer. It feels more like a cross bread of herpes and schizophrenia - you didn't purposely get it but it's embarrassing and fraught with social stigma. You can hide it from most people but once they know they will always treat you differently from that point on. You can treat the symptoms, reducing their likelihood and frequency but you'll never be truly cured.

The reason I finally saw a doctor is that I learned (via this Questionnaire) that my unexplained health problems (the one's that have taken me to six different doctors (of three different specialties) in the last 8 months) may be a result of my eating disorder. Moreover, some of the things and traits that I had just accepted about myself may also be a result of it. It's scary to think how sick I have made myself without having a clue - I knew I had a bad relationship with food but I didn't see it as a problem because look at our society - it's clear that many people have bad relationships with food. However, mine apparently goes beyond the 'normal' bad relationship with food.

I am actually hurting myself and that knowledge was enough to get me over my fear of talking to a doctor. I needed to know how much damage I have actually done.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Now What?

Alright I've come to terms with it: I have an eating disorder. Now what?

Initially the thought of recovery made me sick to my stomach. I could only think of all the positive things that this 'voice' in my head has done for me but now I see the truth and am ready to recover (alright, most days I see the truth and I'm already sick of this so I better get around to recovering). All I need to do is change how I think, what I think about, my eating patterns and habits, how I view the world and how I view myself. No problem! If only it was that easy.

I got angry at my boyfriend yesterday because since we found out that I have an actual problem (a real eating disorder - it's not just that I'm an emotional eater) I haven't been able to purge as often; now purging does more than just hurt me physically it also hurts him emotionally. Most days I am grateful to have this extra presence and awareness of my disorder in my life but some days I am angry that I can't just take refuge in the calmness of a purge. A purge wipes the slate clean, gives me a moment of emotional peace and lets me move forward away from a binge; it is the conclusion of a very bad thing, without the conclusion where does that leave me?

He uses words like 'just don't do it' to illustrate that even though he loves me more than anything he just doesn't understand what it's like. If it was as simple as 'just don't do it' then I wouldn't have a problem.

Which brings me back to my question: Now What?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The 10lbs Conundrum

You don't put on 10 lbs in less than 2 weeks in any type of healthy way.

The fact of the matter is that the non-disordered aspects of my life have needed a lot of my attention and energy recently. Thus, there has been no energy left over to fight with myself about food.

In researching eating disorders I have learned that people with binge eating as part of their symptoms typically binge in one of two ways

(a) Fast and Hard - 2 to 4 hours of complete all consuming power eating
(b) Long and Slow - days of prolonged (secret) overeating, sometime with periods of type (a) bingeing. 

I am unlucky enough to be inflicted with type (b) binge episodes. Lucky me!

I hope you never know what it's like to eat so far beyond being full that it hurts (and more than just that undo-your-top-button-after-dinner type of pain) or to be so disgusted at the amount of food you've consumed that you cry as you put more food into your mouth. It is unpleasant. 

To paraphrase something I read on another blog:

Fuck you and your two cookie binge.
Two cookies are not a binge. 

Anyways, that is not the point of this blog. The point is that not having the energy to fight myself out of this epic binge has had (so far) a 10lbs consequence and this 10lbs has had surprising consequences of it's own: 

There are parts of my body I like more at this weight. My breasts look fantastic (both with and without my everyday padded bra on). The slight amount of gain to my stomach has pulled the skin slightly tighter making my stomach look firmer. Moreover, all my clothes still fit and the gain hasn't done anything noteworthily 'bad'. The larger breasts actually make me look ever so thinner by creating a more defined curve. 

I, by no means, plan to stay at this weight but something amazing happened:

I finally see how my boyfriend can see me as beautiful at any (reasonable) weight I may be. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Glimmer of Hope

I love moments like I had this morning. Moments when I feel like myself. Moments when the core of my being is at peace and I feel like I have fully recovered. When I think about my eating disorder in moments like these I can barely imagine how I ever could end up in that dark place of bingeing and purging again. These moments are fleeting but they give me hope as to why I'm fighting so hard to recover. Eventually, one day, all my moments will be like this.

This is in stark contrasts to how I've been feeling the last few days when the fight did not seem worth it at all! I was caught in the thought pattern of 'my eating disorder is not that bad', 'the physical health consequences are not that severe' (yet), fighting this is SO fucking hard, I was happier before when I wasn't fighting, I was happier when I just let the 'incidences' happen and if the goal of recovery is to be happy then shouldn't I just stop fighting it and let myself be happy like I once was, happier than I am now'.

I wish I could find a magic button that would allow me to switch between these two types of extremes. I don't understand how some days the voice of my disorder can be so quite when just hours before it was screaming at me.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


I know eating disorders are a serious illness that people die from every day. I do not want to be sick! I don't want to have an eating disorder!

But if I have to have one can't I have a better one? I look at media images of women suffering from anorexia and although I don't want to be that thin or that sick, a small part of me envies them. If only I had the type of control that they did. If I'm going to be sick can't I be sick like that? If only my recovery could include eating.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) you can't pick your illnesses. But if I have to have this one then can't I at least be sick enough that I can get real help? If I could just be better at having an eating disorder then people would notice and I could get more help! I could put my life on hold and focus full time on my recovery. If I was sick enough then people would be more understanding when they found out the truth, I wouldn't need to defend my illness to them.

I look at the requirements to be medically labeled as bulimic; the thought of being that sick scares me and I my heart hurts for people who suffer like that but a small part of me envies them. They are successful at having an eating disorder and because of that success they can seek help.

I know logically that envying (even just a little bit) the girls that are sicker than me is part of my illness and will need to be one of the things I get rid of/change about myself as I recover.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick Update

I just wanted to let you all know that I am doing okay. I am under a lot of stress right now and taking the time and energy to battle my disorder is really wearing on the rest of my life. However, I will not let this be an excuse to stop the fight. I will triumph over this illness. In the mean time the stress is making me physically sick and I'm not sure if this is a step forward or backwards in my recovery.

It was nice to meet with my councilor today because she reminded me of how far I've come. I am slowly getting better. 

We also talked about a letter that she asked me to write. It is a letter to the voice inside my head, the voice of my eating disorder. I would like to type more about the epiphany's I had while writing it but I do not have the time right now. You can look for more on this subject to come. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Celebrate the Small Victories

One of the characteristics of my eating disorder is obsessive thoughts about food. I can only assume that these obsessive thoughts are similar to what an addict experiences. I hear this voice in my head about a specific food and it is so loud that it drowns out everything else. The rest of my entire life goes into auto pilot as this internal battle rages on in my head. The thoughts usually focus on a food that I have in the house (or candy or chocolate, which may or may not be in the house) and my entire focus is on eating it. The battle goes something like this:

You need to eat it! It tastes so good. It's right there just put it in your mouth. 
You can eat better tomorrow. You'll make up for eating this today tomorrow. 

But I've already eaten enough calories today. I don't need it!
I know that I'm not going to exercise it off tomorrow. 
I never 'make up for it tomorrow'.

Just eat it anyways. 
-persistent thoughts about the taste, texture and smell of the food- 
You're not going to stop thinking about it until you eat it.
You need to eat it!

I don't want to be fat. Think about all the hard work
I've done to get into this shape and I want to get smaller. 
Eating this will not help! Please don't eat it. PLEASE!

This thought pattern will continue for hours on end and is often accompanied by negative thoughts of what other people will think of me if they see me eat it. The voice to eat is so loud that I often lose. 

Do you know that satisfied feeling you get when you eat a tasty tasty treat, especially something that you've been craving for a while. You savour and enjoy it. Often the calories and fat are worth that enjoyment. That is NOTHING like when I lose the obsessive thought battle. When I finally give in and lose and eat it there is no joy or satisfaction. I often don't even really tasty what I'm eating. The positive feelings associated with treat eating are replaced with guilt and shame. Moreover, as I eat there is a stream of negative thoughts about how weak, fat and pathetic I am running through my head. To make the whole situation worse the voice in my head is never satisfied when I give in and instead I hear one of two things (1) "that was so good, eat more!" or (2) "what are you going to eat next?"

BUT today I won! 

Lately my obsessive thoughts have been focusing on cheese whiz - an unhealthy product that I haven't eaten in years but is in the back of the fridge - particularly cheese whiz on rice cakes. I've lost the battle many times in the past week and to make it worse I am allergic to cheese. So when I lose, along with all the crappy negative thoughts, I get physical consequences too. I break out, get stomach aches, gas, constipation and an overall feeling of lethargy - like the dairy gets into my muscles and makes them tired. 

BUT today I won!

I tricked the stupid internal voice by eating (dairy-free) cream cheese on rice cakes. I took such pride in figuring out how to shut the stupid voice up that I tasted every bite. I enjoyed it and the calories were totally worth it!

Today I won! 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What living with an Eating Disorder looks like:

Life is like walking upstream through a river. There are parts of the river that are calm and the walking is easy, sometime even effortless. Then without warning I find myself in deep rapids and I get pulled under the water (a binge). The rapids are rough and I get tossed around, never being able to get a breath of fresh air, I’m drowning! I’m being tossed and turned, I don’t know which way is up or down and my head keeps getting smashed painfully on the rocks, making the confusion and disorientation all that much worse. I can’t breath! I need to breath. I have no idea when the rapids will be done with me, when I’ll be able to breath again. It’s so painful and scary, I have no control! and then I stick my head out the water and breath, a huge satisfying breath of fresh clean air (a purge). There is so much calmness in that first gasp of air that I can put my feet back under myself and regain my composure. I am okay now, the water is calm and I can start my journey on life’s path again.

There are times when I recognize that I shouldn’t purge. That it really is unhealthy and no matter how much I need to breath I force myself to stay under the dark scary water. At some point I loss consciousness from the lack of oxygen and smashing of my body against the rocks. When I eventually wake up battered and bruised on the shore there is no satisfaction to that first breath. I am standing alone emotionally and physically beat up with nothing to do but start walking back upstream.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

How did I not know?

Part of me must have known that I had a problem but the voice inside my head, the voice that I thought was my own, was so logical that I couldn't argue. It would say things like

You can't have a problem, you're not small enough or 
large enough or sick enough. No one will believe you. 

You don't want to be obese. Did you see what you just ate?
You deserve to be punished.

You're just an emotional eater. There is nothing 
wrong with you, lots of people are this way. 

I was fortunate that before I got sick enough to need medical intervention I happened to be in counseling for another reason and as that reason for counseling was coming to an end I mentioned how I feel about food and my fear of having an eating disorder and something purely amazing happened:

She believed me! 

Thinking about and typing that right now brought tears to my eyes. I really do have a problem, I am sick, I am getting help and I am going to recover.