Trigger warning: this post talks about anorexia, calories, weight issues, & self-harm.
It’s been a week of struggling with Ana and as it turns out it’s not been as good of a week as I thought. I made a conscious effort to eat at least something everyday; a task I seem to have failed. Wednesday I didn’t eat anything at all and binged Thursday but for me a binge is usually less than 1,000 calories. Since today isn’t over yet, my numbers for today are low but I’ve already planned the rest of my calories for today, which adds only 170 calories to today’s numbers.
I set a goal to eat at least 500-calories per day this week, but only managed an average of 375-calories per day. While that may not seem like a huge deficit, a mere 125-calories per day, it makes a cumulative calorie deficit of 875-calories for the week. That’s roughly the equivalent of not eating for a day and a half. For the week I only managed to eat 2,620-calories total, or about the same as most people eat in a day. Consider that a Quarter Pounder value meal has 1,300-calories (McDonald’s USA Nutrition Facts for Popular Menu Items, link opens in a new window and is a PDF) assuming you don’t super size it (which brings the calories to 1,530), a value meal has half as many calories as I ate this week. Put another way, two Quarter Pounder value meals represent my entire calorie intake for the week. (For anyone curious, the worst item on McDonald’s menu is the Quarter Pounder value meal, super sized at 1,530-calories). While I made an effort to eat something each day this week, I am still far under what I should be eating.
Of course with my not eating much this week, my weight has continued its downward spiral. I have stopped reporting my daily weight as it was upsetting those in my life who worry about my weight. I have a love/hate relationship with the whole losing weight thing; I love it, everyone else in my life hates it. They tend to see my continued downward spiral as further evidence that my anorexia is out of control. My sister Casz has been pushing for me to go inpatient again until I stabilize, that’s not an option I’m willing entertaining at the moment. I think I can get this back under control on my own, as I have managed to live my entire adult life at an uneasy truce with Ana so I know I can recover from it again. I might consider inpatient treatment once and only once, I’ve gotten to my goal weight and then only if I can’t stop. Until I’m ready to try to recover, no amount of pressure from other’s is going to change my mind about recovering.
Another constant this past week has been Cutter (my name for cutting as a form of self-harm) and while I was doing better in this area for a while, Cutter is back in my life. I managed to go 12-days without any self-harm, but then fell off the wagon. I tried to get back on the wagon, managed three days without self-harming, and then fell off the wagon again. After that last fall from the wagon, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that Cutter hasn’t made an appearance.
With my antidepressants no longer working and not being able to get into the doctor until December 2 for a medication evaluation, I have fallen back on those old maladaptive habits which have always worked for me in the past. I’ve spent the past two and a half months in intensive outpatient therapy (IOP) trying to learn better coping methods, but I still seem unable to tap into those when I get overloaded. I know this is a process and going to be a long one at that, I just wish I could see the point of replacing coping methods that have always worked with other, more socially acceptable coping methods. Is it that my coping methods are bad or is it that society doesn’t understand them, so they reject them as unacceptable. Just who is this they anyway, who cast judgment on my coping methods?
As I mentioned in an earlier post, How PTSD Affects my Behavior, the realization all of my issues intertwine and need to address as one, makes it difficult to separate my cutting from my BPD, anorexia, and other issues which have a self-harm component to them. I am realizing that to stop cutting, I need to address those other issues, otherwise I will continually fall back on those old coping methods…
Peace, love, and contentment,