effortlessly perfect

{November 18, 2012}   Tired

Sometimes I just want to be done. Done thinking, doing, wishing, fearing, feeling. Sometimes I just want it all to stop.


{October 30, 2012}   i think my body hates me

I am very aware that I have had issues with stress and anxiety in addition to my lovely eating disorder. However, I have normally been fairly good at ignoring those feelings and issues, so I could go on with life.  Don’t get me wrong, they have definitely been an issue for me and have been slowly eating away at me.  But when I needed to step up and handle something I could.  They haven’t really gotten in the way of my job or day to day responsibilities… or at least in a way that I couldn’t recover from or work around.

However, I think that my body is starting to hate me. I think my body is trying to tell me that it is not a fan of my thick exterior mask that I’ve been putting up for so long, while my body and soul are being damaged and neglected. You see, I woke up yesterday and I thought my body was giving up on me. I will spare you all of the details, but after hours of vomiting and going in and out of consciousness, I found myself unable to lift my arms and too weak to stand on my own. Luckily I was able to sleep a little and eventually keep some gatorade down, which helped with the dehydration and weakness in my arms and legs.

To be honest, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. But I guess I don’t really understand how stress and exhaustion can do something that intense to my body. I mean, really?  I don’t think I’m that stressed. There are people who have it much worse that me and don’t react like this. However, laying on the bathroom floor, wondering when I was going to pass out next, it was hard to deny that something was wrong.

Luckily, I woke up this morning feeling better. I am beyond achy from the vomiting and probably from sleeping on the bathroom floor all day yesterday. I am back at work, because I have to be. But still rattled by the events of the past 36 hours. I think the sickest thing about all of it is how happy I was when I weighed myself this morning. Down eight pounds from Sunday… mostly water weight I’m sure, but it’s still progress!

You know, part of me wonders if this will be a never-ending battle between my body and I. Or if someday my body will win.

{September 6, 2012}   the truth

The truth is…

  • my smile hides a constant frown
  • my confidence masks self-doubt and an intense fear of failure
  • thoughts of weight and appearance are never-ending
  • i try to create the illusion of perfection, to distract myself (and everyone else) from the chaos that is my reality
  • most people would think of me as innocent, polite, and well behaved, but i have secrets that are eating me alive inside
  • i have a headache every day that never goes away. i have taken so many painkillers for it that i’ve eroded the lining of my stomach
  • i believe that life would be so much better if i were skinny
  • i have many friends, but don’t feel as though i can be honest or truly myself with any of them
  • i fake strength, but truly believe i am weak
  • i am becoming quieter and quieter, often times preferring to be alone
  • sometimes i wonder how much pain i can actually take before i give up
  • i hate crying and try to never let anyone see me cry
  • i pretend to have my shit together, when i really feel as though everything is falling apart inside
  • i question everything i say and do, but try not to show that to anyone
  • i live my life by the “shoulds”
  • i don’t believe i’ll become much of anything in life, failing to reach my potential, whatever that means
  • i worry about everything. constantly
  • i wonder if i will ever let anyone truly see the real me. i’m not sure they could handle it. or i could handle thinking about what they think of me.












{July 20, 2012}   What I want

I sat down at my computer this morning, with so much to say. Thoughts, words, feelings. But as I begin to type, I’m finding it almost impossible to put in to words… especially into anything eloquent or profound. Maybe I shouldn’t care if any of it makes sense or comes across well to anyone. Maybe I shouldn’t care if all of the ramblings in my head turn out to seem like one thought when I start to write. I started this blog for myself and as a way to get my thoughts and feelings out, since I am so good at keeping them bottled inside. However, I get stuck on thinking about how my words will be perceived or what other people will think. I guess that may be something I just need to get over. Add it to the list. 🙂

So, here’s what I’m really feeling. I want to be thin. (I know that’s nothing shockingly new.) I want to stop eating. Lose weight. Be skinny. Be beautiful. Have a body that I’m proud of and want to show off. I’m tired of being fat. Feeling self-conscious about how I look. How my clothes fit. What size I’m wearing. What people are thinking about me.

I want to be called scrawny. To wear a size 2. I want guys to check out my ass when I walk by. Flirt with me. Smile at me. Regardless of the chaotic mess that is going on inside, I want my outside to be gorgeous. I want to walk in to any store and have everything fit. And if I don’t want to buy it, it’s because it’s not my style, not because it doesn’t fit right on my body. Or that I look fat in it.

I want to stop being afraid to eat in front of people. I hate ordering food because I’m worried about what people will think. A fat girl ordering something other than a salad. She doesn’t need anymore food for that huge body of hers. She needs to eat lettuce and grapefruit until she loses weight. Look at her fat, lazy ass ordering something with carbs or sugar. That’s how she got this way. Gross.

I want to look good even when I’m not trying to look good. Throw my hair in a ponytail, no makeup, yoga pants and a tank top. I want white teeth. Gorgeous hair. Beautiful skin. A hot ass and long, smooth legs. I don’t want to have to agonize over what I am wearing. How I am sitting. If I look fat to the people I’m sitting with. I want to be able to throw anything on and look great. Because I look skinny. And anything looks good on skinny.

I want to be so pretty and thin that I don’t cringe when guys make comments about other women or celebrities, because I am just as thin or hot as they are. I want to do something about how horrible I feel when I hear comments about other women. If it bothers me that much than I should do something about it. There is no reason I can’t be thin or hot. Other than that I’m lazy and won’t make it a priority.

Well, I’m tired of that. I’m tired of feeling disgusting. I’m tired of feeling like a whale. Or that guys like my personality, but only tolerate my body. There is no reason that I can’t be that girl that guys talk about. That turns heads when she walks in a room. I watch guys look women up and down as they walk by. Check out their ass. Make comments about how hot someone is. I want that to be me. There is no reason it can’t be. If I just make it happen. I need to make it happen.

I met with my therapist this morning. I walked in feel very defeated, hopeless, and lost. Not in a run-away from home kind of way. But more in a lost in the woods without a compass kind of way. No real path or goals (other than lose as much weight as possible), little support, no voice, what’s the point, tired of trying… It’s not the first time I’ve been in this place, but needless to say, it pretty much sucks.

I sat down in her office without much to say. Things aren’t good. ED behaviors are getting worse. Not sure what’s going wrong or what I should do. Don’t want to talk to the dietician. Don’t want to do anything but restrict and lose weight. This morning wasn’t even a determined, because I get strength from it, kind of desire to restrict. It was more like a defeated, because I can’t do anything else right so I might as well be good at something, kind of desire to restrict. Not fun.

The session started kind of slow, as I rambled and she asked questions. But about halfway through the hour, my therapist made magic out of my ramblings. I honestly wish I could have tape-recorded those 30 minutes, because it was like things were finally starting to click in my head. It didn’t make me instantly want to stop restricting, follow my meal plan perfectly, and feel wonderful about myself, but it did make me think about a few things that I had never considered before… or maybe I had considered them, but they didn’t click with me until she explained them the way she did this morning.

I honestly don’t even think that the concepts were all that radical, but it was exactly what I needed to hear at the exact moment I needed to hear it. I’ll try to share the concepts here, so I can come back to them when I struggle…

1. When I first started seriously restricting, I had a goal weight in mind. I was (and kind of still am) convinced that when I get to this goal weight, I will be happy. Life will be better and some (not all, but some) of my problems will go away. I understand it’s not going to be all butterflies and rainbows, but I truly thought that being thinner would give me the confidence and strength to tackle some of the bigger obstacles that exist in my life.

My doctors, therapists, and a couple good friends have told me in the past that achieving my goal weight wouldn’t actually make me happy. That I wouldn’t be content, because there would always be something else to work on… something else that I would need in order to make me happier. While I truly was convinced that they were wrong, I had noticed this a little already, with my constantly lowering goal weight.  In the past eight months, my goal weight had lowered 25 pounds… and I wasn’t even close to it yet! I can only imagine what it would be if I were actually there.

But today, this concept hit home even more, as confessed that I had already noticed I was becoming more obsessed with achieving the perfect body and appearance.  Once I reached my goal weight, I was planning to get my teeth whitened, do something fabulous with my hair, find someone to give me manicures and pedicures regularly to make sure my nails looked perfect, pick out the perfect perfume, find a trainer to make sure I stayed in great shape… the list goes on. I even found myself looking into the possibility of getting a facelift, because I didn’t like how my eyebrows were starting to droop slightly. I think that’s when I realized my therapist might be right. I mean, I’m 31 and looking in to a facelift for an extremely minor (possibly non-existent) issue. Probably not the best sign of sanity.

As I realized that reaching my goal weight was just the first stop on my never-ending journey toward perfect, a light bulb popped on over my head. Perfect doesn’t exist. I will never be perfect. I may end up killing myself in the process. And I will undoubtedly be miserable during my pursuit of this perfection. I’m still not sure exactly how this new revelation will affect my life and thoughts going forward… but it was a big moment for me to truly understand what they had been saying for so long and actually grasp that they were right.

{October 5, 2011}   dinner

the chaos from my head during dinner last night…

So, I’m sitting at dinner, hungry from not eating all day. Stomach growling, head pounding, shoulders aching. I want to eat. I need to eat. But I can’t. I won’t. Everyone else orders food. I order a diet coke. I can’t eat. I can’t hate myself tonight. I want to feel strong. I need to feel strong.

I pick up my cell phone and google thinspo. I know better. I know I shouldn’t. I know this isn’t good for me. But I need strength. A reminder that I shouldn’t eat. That I need to lose weight. That I need to be thinner, better, stronger.

My phone fills up with pictures of thin, beautiful women. Long legs, thin arms, flat stomachs. Legs, arms, and stomachs that I so desperately want. Looking at the pictures doesn’t make my hunger subside. But my determination to restrict gets stronger.

I can do this. I can get through this one night. I won’t hate the number on the scale tomorrow morning. I will have a reason to be proud of myself. I will be one small step closer to my goal. With one less reason to be mad at myself. One less thing I am screwing up. The battle is constant. But tonight, it is a battle I will win.

{September 28, 2011}   Random thoughts from this morning…

1. I am always amazed at how much the number on my scale affects my mood. I mean, I know I have an eating disorder and that I put an unhealthy value on food, weight, and appearance, but it still surprises me as to how unconsciously affected I am by seeing a number lower or higher than I am expecting. Yesterday pretty much sucked for a variety of reasons, which led me to my first binge (although much smaller than normal) in more than eight months. I went to bed feeling defeated and depressed. This morning I told myself that I would weigh myself and start back with dedicated restricting… making up for the mini-binge and resuming a sense of control in my life. But the number on the scale wasn’t as bad as I feared, which instantly lightened my mood and gave me a little glimmer of hope. Because, for some reason, restricting, losing weight, or fitting into a smaller size can fix even the worst day.

2. Why is it that I know what I need to do to recover, but still can’t get myself to do those things? I’m not purposely setting myself up to fail, but yet continue to make decisions that take me farther from recovery. It’s maddening.

3. I never realized how crappy my body feels when I don’t eat. Emotionally, I love the feeling of not eating… it’s almost a high… strength, power, control, structure. But man, physically, I feel like shit. I get pounding headaches when I heavily restrict. My upper back hurts. I clench my jaw and grind my teeth. I never really noticed it before, because the emotional high normally blocked it out. But now, I notice it. And I’m not a fan.

{September 25, 2011}   make. me. numb.

Do you ever have those days when you just want to be someone else? Or somewhere else? Or dealing with anything but what life has dealt you? With different friends? In a different house? Working at a different job? Driving a different car? Just turn it all back in and start over. Or just, for a moment, not be you. Sometimes it’s not even the desire to be someone else… actually, most of the time it’s not wanting to be someone else… it’s simply just not wanting to be you. It’s wanting to take the problems, stresses, obstacles, roles, and structure of your current life and throw them off a cliff. To forget the stresses of tomorrow, problems of today, and pain of the past.

For me this happens almost daily. At least several times a week. I live my life based on “shoulds” instead of “wants” or “needs.” Constantly trying to please others, figuring out what I should be doing or not doing, and then rethinking and second guessing to no end. Needless to say it’s an exhausting and unfulfilling way to live life. It’s also a way of life that is completely void of self. There is no thought as to what I want to do or who I actually am. Just a neverending list of who I should be or what I should avoid. I received the “should” messages very early in my childhood. What I should wear. What grades I should get. How hard I should work. Who I should be friends with. What I shouldn’t say. So, I internalized it all and lived my life accordingly.

Living by these rules left me completely unsatisfied, since they weren’t really me. And all of the rules and messages created such a model of perfection that I could never actually live up to them anyway. Trust me, it’s no way to live. What I’ve been surprised to find out throughout this past year is that I really grew up and spent the last 30 years without any real idea of who I am. My identity got lost in the shuffle. With the multitude of shoulds, rules, messages, structure, and expectations running through my veins, my true self was never actually considered. The fascinating thing to me is that it wasn’t like I had an identity or knew my true self, but suppressed it due to the expectations of others. I fully believe that I just never stopped to consider that I had thoughts of my own. I grew up thinking that my thoughts, feelings, emotions, wants, and needs didn’t matter and weren’t as important than anyone else’s. So, why on earth would I spend any time developing something that was just going to get run right over anyway?

But honestly, my lack of identity and self is probably a conversation for a different day. I only bring it up this morning, because it leads to this pain I want so desperately to numb. My issues with food and addiction started when I was about 12, which is also when I remember having this intense desire to numb myself. It was like I was desperately trying to escape from reality. At that point in time, and with the limited resources of a 12 year old, I chose food. My friends and I would go to a nearby fast food restaurant or grocery store and I would find something to numb the pain. And while I was sitting there with my friends, eating my latest purchase, and blocking out everything else, I was free. It didn’t matter what had happened earlier in the day or how much the rest of my day was bound to suck. It didn’t matter that my 12 year old world was falling about around me… parents divorcing, people dying, unrelenting pressures and negativity. For those few minutes, none of it mattered. I was free. I was happy. I was numb.

In high school I started to flip between restricting and bingeing. With the added pressures of caring about my appearance, weight, and the opposite sex, bingeing really didn’t seem like the best fit most of the time. So, I would restrict. This is when I first taught myself that food was a weakness. That if I could just be stronger than the food, I could win. It was just food. How could a muffin or apple or candy bar have that much power over me? So, I drank diet coke throughout the day. And would eventually get hungry and eat too much in the evening. I didn’t say I was good at restricting at this point in my life, I simply said that I did it. In my first year of college I became much better at it. Eating only rice and Crispix, and exercising obsessively. I ended up losing 65 pounds in my first 10 weeks of college. And since I kept a smile on my face throughout all of the pain, my family and friends were so happy for me. Proud of me for losing the weight. And oblivious to the fact that something could have been wrong. But I did a great job of making them think things were perfect… forcing down an acceptable amount of food when I came home so they would believe that all of the weight loss was done in a healthy way. Little did they know the pain and torture I was putting myself through to become perfect. I had a 4.0 my freshman year, lost 90 pounds, and was completely and utterly miserable.

This past year, the numbing got worse. I started purging… something that isn’t very easy for me. Then, after a few months of eating and purging, I decided restricting would be easier. It felt controlled, less chaotic, and much less violent. It was similarly negative in my thinking, but it gave me a sick sense of strength. That I was good at something, winning even. Weight loss happened, feelings were numbed, and life is still pretty miserable. I know that eating disorders and addictions serve a purpose. They don’t come out of no where and they play a role in each person’s life. Mine distracts me, it diverts my attention from dealing with feelings or emotions that are too hard for me to deal with. Not eating numbs the pain, much in the same way a big meal would. I remember in college saying that I wanted to “drink until I didn’t know my name.” I rarely actually did that, because I didn’t enjoy how out of control I felt when I was drunk. And I never wanted to do anything bad or illegal…. drink and drive, public intox, sleep with someone I didn’t know, etc.  So, maybe it makes sense that restricting is my drug of choice or way I choose to numb out these feelings. The ultimate control and structure, void of needs or wants, and a distraction that helps me pretend nothing else exists.

I think deep down I know that the feelings I am trying so hard to numb have to come to the surface if I truly want to get better. I also know that my numbing methods don’t really work and are pretty detrimental to my health. And that the free, happy feeling I believe I had as a 12 year old, was (and is) really anything but happy or free.

et cetera