Sunday, January 19, 2014

If I Lose Myself

** Yes, I did name this post after the OneRepublic song. Like I said, I love music now. **

It’s hard when you lose someone you’ve known for years. There is a hole that is left behind, and life takes on a surreal quality until you come to terms with the fact that they are never coming back, and you get used to a routine that doesn’t include them anymore.

Which I think is the crux of the recovery process. Once you’ve gotten over the food and come to terms with gaining weight and your life doesn’t revolve around exercise or numbers or meals anymore -- then what?

Yes, losing someone is hard, and losing yourself is harder.

When I went back north in September, my sister said recovery must be like getting my life back. I said no without even stopping to think about it.

It’s not the same at all. I lost myself, the person I was before any of this started, and I will never get that back. I know that. Especially for me, as someone who never really “grew up,” it was like emerging into a tornado and I didn’t know which way was up.

I think some of us go into recovery expecting “to get the old me back.” I’ve realized that it just isn’t true, at least not for me. I’m not going to be the same. And that’s OK. It is a growing process. No one is the same as a grown adult than they were as a child. The things I have been through have changed me.

I’ve felt that hopeless “I have no idea who I am, what am I going to do, what is my life?” in recovery. I’ve wanted countless times to be that girl who didn’t care what food went in her mouth again. But it’s not going to happen. My life now is different and it always will be. But that doesn’t mean it will be bad. I have fond memories of that time, but I’ve realized that I don’t want to be that girl again because that girl fell into ED’s trap.

So, we are different, but that doesn’t mean we have to be alien. We are just versions of ourselves who have seen the worst of the world, and we will carry that knowledge with us forever. It doesn’t have to bring us down; in fact, it should hold us up, because we are better for it.

For every person who walks out of your life, someone else walks in. They are never exactly the same. But after a time, you notice that the hole is filled.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Apologies and I have a Tumblr now

I hope the year is starting out well for everyone! Apologies for being absent lately. My brain is trying to process many things at once and it is taking a lot of energy. But regarding recovery, I am in a very good mental place right now. I do not question my hunger, I do not question what I want to eat, and I do not hesitate to go out to eat after a day of eating and order whatever the hell I want off the menu.

I went to the Cheesecake Factory for the first time ever.

I ate deep-fried s’mores on a stick and French fries at First Night Raleigh.

So that part is good.

Also, I have a Tumblr now. My thoughts are coming in short random bursts lately, so that platform seems to suit me at the moment. It’s Check it out and follow me if you want. Ask me stuff if you want. :) It’s somewhat about recovery but also Sydney. And music. Lots of music, because I have been listening to a lot of music lately. It helps.

I also did my first freehand drawing since probably middle school today. I was nervous about drawing a person, because I never draw them. I think this was the second time?

And of course Sydney is always my buddy! :)

Hopefully I will have something up in the near future. Until then, maybe I’ll see you on Tumblr!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Supersize Me...Or Not

I’ve been picking apart Supersize Me (obsessively, it’s been on my mind for the last few days) and honestly, I take issue with the conclusion they draw. The whole thing just sounds similar to what happens in recovery and of course any movie trying to make a point will skew the facts in its favor.

I know there are people out there who believe it (I’m ashamed to say I was one of them) and are set in their ways and nothing I say here will change their minds. You might think I’m reaching, or trying to make everything fit when it obviously doesn’t. But that’s fine, everyone is entitled to their own opinions, and this just happens to be mine, based on my experiences and beliefs and the set point theory.

So we all know Morgan Spurlock ate three McDonald’s meals a day for 30 days, gained about 25 pounds (24.5 to be exact), and all his doctors were freaking out about his horrible test results. In light of set point theory, however, I would contend that fast food is not the demon the documentary makes it out to be.

So, consider:

1) Was he at his weight set point to begin with and was his metabolism normal? We don’t know. He had a vegan girlfriend who cooked his meals, which is a form of restriction. So yeah, I kind of doubt whether he was coming from a place of unrestricted eating. So gaining ~25 pounds in a month, like we do in recovery when we let go of all food rules, I don’t think can be attributed solely to eating fast food.

Also, the gain was about 13.5% above his starting weight, which is assuming that it was his set point. So let’s assume that he was at the lower end of his set point range (since he had an exercise regimen and “healthy diet”), and say that range is ~10 pounds. Then he gained about 15 pounds above his set point, or 8% overshoot. Which really in the grand scheme of things I have trouble taking his accusations at face value since so many of our overshoots (mine included; yeah, I don’t really feel that sorry for you buddy) are far greater and we don't eat McDonald's every day.

This is all assuming that it's actually possible to gain 25 pounds of actual tissue in a month, which I don’t believe it is. The week-by-week gains make me think it is some water. There was one week when he actually lost a pound (but of course it was chalked up to lost muscle mass, which I don’t know if I buy either).

2) When he started eating a less-restrictive diet (although I suppose quite restrictive in a way, but not from an “only eat healthy food” orthorexic-type standpoint) his liver got messed up and of course everyone was freaking out. Guess what? When I started recovery (i.e., gave up a very restrictive diet and exercise routine) my liver got messed up and everyone said, “Oh, that’s normal.”

3) I was reading an interview where he was asked about the lasting effects and he said he gained weight so much more easily now, like 5 pounds in a weekend. (Again, I would guess water plays a part in that big of a gain in a couple days, but anywho....) He blamed it on the extra fat cells he gained when he was doing the documentary. But looking at how he lost the weight...his girlfriend put him on her “detox diet” (don’t even want to know the details of that) and he now reads every label and “exercises like crazy” (his words). So I think it could be totally possible that his metabolism is suppressed from all this “healthy eating” and crazy exercising and yeah, (as we all know) when you do shit like that it messes up your body's ability to regulate itself.

4) He was deemed “addicted” to the fast food because he said that his “depression, lethargy, and headaches could be relieved by eating a McDonald's” (according to Wikipedia). Assuming that he is telling the truth (not just trying to support his hypothesis that fast food is our worst enemy), it sounds fairly normal to me...when you are restricting, “[the body] starts an almost voracious desire for high carb and high fat foods,” [ -- note: I mostly agree with this site but not completely] which we also know most people would interpret to be an addiction. And fast food is of course both of those ^ things. I have also been hit with extreme lethargy, headaches when I eat less than my body wants or wait too long between eating for my body’s liking, and at least episodes of extreme emotion which, depending on your tendencies, could be construed as depression. It’s all a normal part of recovery.

5) Never mind that his experiment is way extreme and eating nothing but McDonald's for 30 days is not representative of a normal person eating fast food, because a normal person would get sick of it (and he did, but he kept going). You would be extremely unhealthy if you ate nothing but vegetables for 30 days straight.

Conclusion: I still don't buy into the “bad foods,” and I still believe much of the public is sadly misinformed on diets and food choices. Eating whatever you want, when you want it, does not equal terrible health. And I feel that a lot of blame was placed on fast food when it doesn’t kill the average American.