I recently thought about how very ironic it is that I, probably one of the world’s most impatient people, make my readers wait for months between blog posts.
I would apologize, but I’ve done that so often already and I probably won’t become a dedicated, dependable blogger in the near future so I’ll just congratulate you on your spectacular patience. I wish I were as dedicated to blog reading and writing, but I’m not. There’s a grand total of three blogs I read regularly, and I don’t even keep up with every one of their posts.
“So,” you’re probably wondering, “if she hasn’t posted anything in months, why is she writing this post now?”. Good question.
The truth is that the most urgent reason why I’m typing this right now is that exam period is fast approaching and I’m frantically, desperately procrastinating.
The other less urgent but no less valid reason is that a lot has happened between the last post and this one.
For one thing, there has been a change in the thyroid situation (see here and here for previous posts on the subject) – I switched to a different brand of levothyroxine, was prescribed 150mcg by my new GP and switched back to taking it in the morning. I feel a lot better and I believe it’s due to all of the above. I sleep better and subsequently feel more rested, I have more energy and I feel less depressed overall. The change has been significant enough that I’ve felt comfortable with taking up running again, and that’s improved my mood as well.
Another thing that has happened, that has been happening for quite a while now, is that I’ve very slowly slipped back into disordered eating. It’s not too obvious yet, and nobody noticed, but I’m very glad I caught myself. I am constantly ill at ease with my body, but I’ve managed to hold the disordered eating at bay for the most part… until now.
When I suffered from anorexia nervosa, I was the restrictive type – I did restrict my food intake, but I generally based my restrictions on the type and not the amount of food. I didn’t even count calories until I was taught to do so in inpatient treatment.
This is important because I now struggle with this – I don’t restrict foods as strictly as I did before (though I still don’t eat certain foods) but neither do I restrict the quantity… and that’s the problem, right there. I have major issues with portion control, which stem from my particular pattern of disordered eating. I am perfectly comfortable with not eating anything for 18 hours (from 8pm until 2pm), I won’t even be hungry, but I balance this with eating too much in the afternoon/evening. Now, you might think that this is something similar to ‘intermittent fasting’, which many people practice with great success, and you would be right. For me, though, this pattern is destructive. I’ve already caught myself feeling guilty about listening to my brain and eating something around noon a few times, which makes all kinds of alarms go off in my head.
There is some beautiful irony in this whole scenario, which is that this behaviour was never as strong as it is now, when certain members of my family are denying me certain foods (which they deem ‘weird’ and ‘not normal’) and rather strongly encourage me to eat what they believe is normal food.
It makes sense, of course – their behaviour leaves me with the distinct impression of having to hand over control of my eating habits, which I am not comfortable with at all. This is due to my eating disorder, yes, but also to the way I eat – vegan, high raw diets demand a certain level of mindfulness to be balanced and nutritionally adequate, which I am very aware of.
For now, I manage. I feel okay physically, I make a conscious effort to avoid thinking about food too much (it’s working quite well so far) and I just downloaded Recovery Record, a brilliant (free) app that offers support to people in recovery (get it here).
As it is currently the last day of #NEDAwareness week, I encourage all of you to reflect on your eating habits now and then – even if you have recovered successfully, relapse is always a possibility. If you know someone who has suffered, is suffering or might be suffering from an eating disorder, offer them support and help them get the help they need.