Just Beachy.

Long time no post, hmm? Let me fill you in. Last Sunday Jay and I drove down to visit my grandparents in Virginia Beach for four days and I’ve been working every day since we returned home. It’s nice to sit down, relax and know that I have nothing planned for tomorrow.

Our mini vacation, while enjoyable, was also stressful for me. It was cloudy most of the time and I consequently spent more than my fair share of time in the kitchen. When we got home, I felt so relieved, which seems sort of backwards and sad but it’s something I can’t help. Home is where I feel comfortable and happy, it’s where everything is familiar. The knives are sharp. That’s important. And I also feel more stable here.

As for our vacation, Sunday was absolutely beautiful. Jay and I arrived around 1:30 pm and let the day melt away with swimming, sun bathing and the like. Unfortunately Sunday was our only cloud-free day. It poured most of Monday and we had a few showers on Tuesday, too. Luckily, Jay and I got outside for a walk on the beach one morning and spent at least an hour each day swimming in the pool.

If only that blue sky on the horizon had been directed towards us! You can see the big, huge gray cloud overhead. I thought the slate-gray color of the water was lovely. Ominous, but lovely.

While I loved being down the beach and hanging out with my grandparents, my grandmom and I seemed to butt heads in the kitchen. A lot. I helped her make dinner almost every night and really couldn’t work in peace without her questioning me or suggesting that I do something differently. I know in most instances she was trying to help, but sometimes I just need space to do my own thing.

I like trying out new recipes, using quality ingredients and eating fresh food. My grandmom relies on tried and true recipes that she’s followed for fifty years. She saves the smallest leftovers, all in saved, opaque I-Can’t-Believe-It’s-Not-Butter containers so that you can’t even tell what’s what. She also tends to value coupons and cheap produce over quality ingredients. It’s frustrating to me to say the least. I cringe every time she whips open the Crisco or sprays a pan with baking spray. It’s called BUTTER people. It won’t kill you and it tastes a hell of a lot better than the rancid, manufactured products that line her pantry.

I know that instead of criticizing her, I should accept my grandmom and her cooking methods as they are. I should recognize that any dessert she makes, whether it’s made with butter or crisco, still has a lot of sugar in it and isn’t good either way for me to over indulge in.

I think that a lot of my frustration with my grandmom was due to my feeling a lack of control over what I ate down the beach. Β I decided on this vacation that I would allow grains back into my diet; it would be very difficult and borderline insulting to my grandparents if I did not consume the same things that they did. Β Also, my grandmom makes the best oatmeal coconut cookies known to man. Oh, and another thing — I’m not sure if I’m cut out for this whole paleo-diet thing either. But that’s another post for another day.

I simply wanted to enjoy her handmade pies, cookies and other treats while down the beach. It shouldn’t have been that difficult. Nevertheless, I was stuck in my head a lot, calling myself fat and feeling remorseful about that second cookie. I am convinced that I gained weight while on vacation and it’s been pretty hard to deal with. Instead of seeing a toned stomach, it is simply flab. My legs are bigger. My arms are bigger. No piece of me is how I want it to be and I’m angry. Angry for letting myself go. Angry for caring. Angry that I’ve come so far and still indulge my eating disorder with relentless mind games.

To be honest, I haven’t felt this adamantly opposed to my body in a long time. Perhaps it’s because I spent a week in a bathing suit, staring at and criticizing myself. Perhaps it’s because I weighed myself and didn’t like the number on the scale. Perhaps it’s because I haven’t been eating as “clean” as I would like. Perhaps I really am gaining weight every time I feel sickly full. Perhaps that number was accurate.

I need to breathe, calm down and take this next week to focus on productivity. I need to focus on letting go of the simple things that nag me. I need to not weigh myself. That’s a bad, bad thing for me to do. I need to focus on the things that make me happy. I need to get consistent and decent amounts of sleep. I need to stretch, exercise and recover. I need to take care of myself — that’s all. And it’s all so much.

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14 Comments

Filed under ed, recovery

14 responses to “Just Beachy.

  1. Just wanted to say that you’re not alone and that we’re all here for you. As a former dancer, I know exactly what you mean. I struggled for years with an eating disorder. Even though I was a great weight for my body, I was always the biggest girl by at least 20lbs. Since retiring from dance, I obviously gained quite a bit and started trying paleo to get back down. One thing that I find is really helping me is doing the Whole30. It’s not a lifestyle change. I’m not giving up grains or sugar forever. It’s 30 days. And every time I think “man I really want a cookie” or “it’s just a small scoop of ice cream,” I pause and tell myself that I can have it, as much as I want, in September. I think that sometimes telling yourself that you’ll completely switch over to a different style of eating can be overwhelming. But by putting an end date on it, it becomes more manageable. Anyway, hang in there. And also do what I did. Throw out the damn scale. Seriously. It’s a number. If your clothes fit, you’re good. Because those 5lb that keep going up and down will drive you crazy even though it’s probably just water.

    • Thanks so much for this. The silly thing is it isn’t even my scale. So I can’t really throw it out. But I know what you mean, I shouldn’t be weighing myself. The scale isn’t even mine to use and seeing my weight (real or water-fluctuating) is only putting myself through a silent torture. It’s not worth it, you’re right.

      Whole 30 has always kind of scared me. I don’t know if it’s “healthy” for me mind-wise to put myself on that kind of restriction. I don’t need to lose weight, but I do want to eat healthy, nourishing foods. In any case, I feel like I’ve been floundering on a paleo diet these past few weeks and now I’m eating grains on a daily basis. I just don’t really know where to go from here. I don’t know what’s right, or what I’m really trying to prove in the first place.

  2. livepassionatelytonight

    I’m so sorry you’re feeling this way 😦 I definitely know where you’re coming from. Any time I indulge in something that isn’t on my “safe foods” list I immediately freak out and think I’ve gained 5 pounds. Maybe it’s true in water weight or sodium making you bloated, but it’s never as bad as you think. All you can do is go back to clean eating now that you’ll home and you’ll gradually begin to feel better about yourself. And I completely understand what you mean about being happy you’re home. I tend to avoid doing things I know will be fun, because I know I would just rather be in the comfort of my own home. It makes me happy. I’m trying to get out of it, but then I think, “why is it bad that I want to be home? no one says I need to go somewhere and do something exciting every day.” Do what you love, do what makes you happy; you deserve it πŸ™‚ And don’t ever let anyone tell you what to do!

    • I can totally relate to being a homebody! I’ve always been the type to seek the comforts of home. And while maybe it’s not the fun or cool thing to do, this is my happy space. I don’t need to do something exciting and new every day.

      Thanks πŸ™‚

  3. oh girl I am sorry. I feel you on so many of these things. I think when you are in recovery it is hard to be in touch with the new you, the real you, especially when you do things that bring back memories of when you were not ok. or at least that is what happens to me. when I am with family I lose touch with that recovery alex sometimes because all I can remember is the sick alex, that is all they think about too. it is hard. I can so relate to this and please reach out to me if you ever want to vent or talk. You have come so far so remember that.

    • Thanks for your wise words. I do find that places where I was once really bad seem to trigger me. I can relate to what you said, about only remembering when you were sick. I guess it’s up to us to create the new, the good, the healthy memories. Thanks again x

  4. Your grandma sounds similar to both of mine, one of which passed a few months back that I miss dearly. My other grandma has numerous faded I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and Cool Whip containers that she stores food in, and I can totally relate with your mention of this! I’ve never shared kitchen space with either of them, but I imagine it wouldn’t be too bad since they’re both understanding and open to my lifestyle choices.

    I’m sorry you’ve been having such a hard time lately and in your head so much. I understand how it is to get in your head — it’s something I did a lot in the recent past, but have gotten better about (granted, I still do it). Again, I commend you on posting something like this. You are a fighter and will get through this sticky spot that you’re in, and unfortunately, as you know, it’s all part of the process. My best advice is to focus on what makes you mentally and physically feel good (in terms of your food, hobbies, exercise, who you spend time with, everything!). Additionally, I know we don’t know each other super well — just from what we gather on each other’s blogs — but please know that I’m always here to listen.

    • I can’t believe – no pun intented – that your grandmom uses those I can’t believe it’s not containers too! I think that since my grandmom as a youth was coasting off of the great depression it was somehow instilled in her to save EVERYTHING. Not that creating trash/waste is good, but…

      Thanks for your kind words. They mean a lot πŸ™‚

  5. I know exactly how you feel,but let me assure you,you are NOT defined by your weight. It’s a number,nothing else,and you are the only one who knows it. And pretty possibly,you are also the only one who sees the “weight gain” (if you’ve actually gained weight) – for the others,you still look the same: Beautiful. In a bathing suit or a jeans,a skirt or a dress. Simply beautiful,even if you might not believe it yourself.
    Hang in there,you’re strong – and we’re all here for you. Always.

  6. Keep it up and stay positive! While I have never had a diagnosed E.D., I have dealt with a terrible self-image and relationship with food for a number of years. I find myself constantly debating what to do, regretting eating the simplest of things that honestly should not be a problem. Also remember we have a different opinion about how our bodies look and how others view them. Sadly I think we always (at least I do) think that we are appearing a lot worse to others than we actually do. My mom is always upset at me for caring about how I look, especially in comparison to others. Tip…don’t over analyze the scale. (completely agree with blogger above) It’s such a tough thing to remember (goodness knows I need to remember it) but true. I completely feel the same way about being out of my comfort zone (in terms of eating too)! When I was abroad, I was miserable because I couldn’t really control any of the meals and because I couldn’t run every day, I over analyzed and was miserable, when I shouldn’t have worried so much. I also find that worrying about it so much, makes it worse? Do you find this?

    Take it for what it is worth, but the fact that you have such a strong determination to be healthy and creative is great! Again, focus on the positives. Just found this blog and love all the different posts!

    • Haha thanks I’m glad you like my blog…it’s definitely all over the place.

      Worrying about weight is not a good thing to do. I know I’m guilty of it and I think that when I took medication it helped ease some of the constant negative thoughts about my body. Sometimes it’s hard to let go but it is possible. With practice, and time and patience. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  7. Oh this makes me sad, but I wanted to say that I believe in you ❀
    I know how you feel. When I was down at the beach, it seemed there was someone taller, thinner, or prettier everywhere I looked. Each time I was in a swim suit I felt flabby, large, and just generally fat. Of course the obsessive thoughts started creeping in, and coupled with going out to eat every night, I became very cranky and moody. However, we can't let one experience stop us. At least at this point we can identify the thoughts and actions that harm us. If only we could stop them completely.

    P.s.- I saw the beach pics and still thought you looked really good {please tell me if I'm out of line saying this?} Goes to show how differently we can view our own bodies when we're so bent on hating them.

    • Thanks for the comment, dear. The summer + bathing suit season is always hard for me. There’s always someone longer and leaner than me and I just need to accept that my limbs/body will never look “long” because I’m 4’10. It just ain’t gonna happen. I know that I won’t let my negative thoughts impact my actions this time around, but it’s still hard to deal with the mental berating that my ED puts me through.

      I don’t think you’re out of line at all! I just have a hard time looking at my body, never liking what I see. If it’s the wrong angle, I look fat. Even when it a “good” angle, I sometimes still think I look huge. And that’s when I need to recognize that my perception is distorted, that I am essentially trained to not like what I see. Body image is still an area that I really need to work on.

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