Disordered Thoughts

24
Jun
2019

Diet. Day 1.

So if you read my last post, you’d know that the binges hit a peak 10 days ago. I actually ended up having 3 big ones in six days (Wed/Fri/Sun).

The following week I made it through the whole working week without one, and was very pleased, until I let it all hang out on Saturday night and went berserker. That cemented my decision that I need to put the brakes on for a while, and perhaps as a last hurrah, I had a little bit of a dessert feast last night (Sunday night) as well.

So  here we are, it’s Monday the 24th of June, and my plan is to diet for 3-4 weeks at most to get myself feeling and looking a little more athletic, before I try and attempt this ‘normal person eating’ thing again.

Perhaps this is a relapse. Perhaps this is a bad idea. I don’t know. But eating lots of everything doesn’t seem to have stopped me from losing control so perhaps relearning some discipline with myself will be helpful.

It’s slightly uncharted territory as it’s really only the second time I’ve attempted to lose weight without tracking calories/macros, and it’s the first time I’ve tried without the Fitbit. I’ve also got some slight changes to my diet in mind, including trialling a low carb breakfast (mostly eggs/cheese/meat), which will be interesting, and also a bit of a challenge to a fear food. I’ve always loved eggs (and some types of cheese) but always been fearful of the fat content. So there could be some good come from it as well.

This is gonna be interesting…..

 

15
Jun
2019

I’m done

No, it’s not what you think. I’m not done with recovery from this disordered eating shite, and I’m not done with life. But I’m done with my bulk, and let me explain.

It’s now Saturday night and I’ve had two more crazy binges this week – one on Wednesday night (in a fit of depression and loneliness, after hurting myself a bit in the gym) and one at work yesterday afternoon, for no real reason that I can think of except I just wanted to eat some nice food. And boy, did I ever. Dinner was supposed to be a pastie but ended up being soup, because I was so stuffed.

I’m not beating myself up about this, in fact I’m slightly proud of the fact that even though I had the urge to lift last night (cos yaknow… burning calories as compensation, plus I could send at least some of them toward building muscle, right?) I didn’t. I sat on my arse on the couch and spent a little time with my (long suffering) wife. Faffed about on Facebook and YouTube. Shed a few tears over an acquaintance from many years ago who recently passed away. Drank hot chocolate. Slept.

I weighed myself this morning (yes, I’m doing that again, but it’s not compulsive, just when I feel like it) and it was pretty much what I expected. But again, no big deal. I skipped breakfast (honestly…. truly… I wasn’t hungry), I did my chores, and I got a great training session in before having a big lunch, a nice afternoon, and the pastie for dinner (which was super good, thanks for asking).

But to the main point of my post – I am big enough now that I’m feeling sluggish and lazy, I had to order a new belt yesterday, and I said when I hit this weight that I’d be done with gaining. Also – I think I’ve let these feasts become a habit, and while I totally think they were necessary for me to get eating my fear foods again, I also think I’ve let my disorder become an excuse and allowed myself to slip into bad habits of snacking and not eating mindfully.

So this week is a new start – time to break the snacking habit, attempt to maintain this weight for a week or so, and then do a quick mini cut to drop some of the fat. Four weeks at most. If I lose a third of the weight I’ve gained in the past couple of months it’d be a miracle, especially as I intend to do it without tracking and without going too hungry. But I think I can get to a place where I’m happy with my physique and able to maintain it without feeling deprived all the time, unlike the last few years.

It’s a new phase of this journey and I’m looking forward to it a lot. Dieting on higher calories with no Fitbit and no off limit foods. Many would say I shouldn’t be dieting at all, but I’m a rule breaker who’s come a long way. If it causes some of the old issues to resurface, I know what I’ve gotta do, but I’m sure I can do this. Wish me luck!

 

 

 

06
Jun
2019

Desserts #2 – Now With Added Cereal

So I was feeling pretty down last night (after a particularly stressful day at work), and after kidlet went to bed I kicked off again, that’s twice in 3 days. My food journal is a dumpster fire of ice cream, puddings and Frosties. Oh, that honey flavoured corn flake goodness.

I had a training session planned and I even considered skipping that so I could lie on the couch and wallow in self pity. I didn’t, which was good. I felt a little less fat and bloated afterwards. Til I had my post training hot chocolate, biscuit and yoghurt. Then I felt like a beached whale again.

Today hasn’t been a good day either. The Frozen soundtrack was playing on my drive to work, and I decided to have a singalong, but instead of cheering me up it had me bawling my eyes out.

What’s more concerning, maybe, is that I had nawt but a coffee and a can of Monster for breakfast, a can of Pepsi Max for lunch, and didn’t let my first solid meal pass my lips until 4pm. And that was just a bowl of greek yoghurt with some fruit and muesli.

Sure, it could legitimately be said that I wasn’t hungry at breakfast time and not eating was a good example of listening to my body. But by morning tea time I was thinking about food a fair bit and by lunchtime I was definitely a little hungry – but I still decided to restrict and compensate.

Psychologically, I’m feeling pretty fucking delicate right now. It doesn’t help that my weight has almost hit the ceiling I set for this bulk (a week or two earlier than I want) and I’m almost unable to get my belt done up on the last hole, and I’m trying to avoid buying another one. But I really don’t want to be falling back into these old habits of fasting and restricting right now.

04
Jun
2019

Desserts

I like desserts.

Last night, after a rather bad mood bear night with the child, I ate many of them. I wasn’t hungry, just depressed and loathing myself and my lack of patience with her.

I want this to stop,  and I want to be a good parent, not a grumpy, shitty one.

Right now I’m not setting a great example.

30
May
2019

Perception…

I wrote this post today for a Facebook group I’m part of. Thought it was worth posting here as well:

There’s been a few posts on perception in here lately, and I thought I’d add my 2 cents worth.

As I may’ve mentioned, I’m bulking right now – I have let my eating get very out of control at times, and ballooned in weight really quickly. 

When I look at myself in the mirror, all I see is that I’ve lost all semblance of upper ab definition and my belly is round. When I weigh myself all I see is that I’m xx kilos heavier than I was a few months ago. When I get dressed, I freak out about the fact that my pants are tight and I’m on the last hole on my belt. 

Yet it’s really easy to forget about the other stuff.

OK, I’ve had some binges. I had another one yesterday, funnily enough. But I’ve also been enjoying many different types of foods that I’d previously cut out of my diet and so meals are more enjoyable. I went out for dinner for the wife’s birthday on Saturday night and it was almost a pleasurable experience, 6 months ago it would have been a really stressful experience of choosing what to eat and trying to fit it into a calorie target somehow.

Being well fed has also markedly improved my mood and motivation. I still get grumpy, but I’m generally happier than I was, and I’m actually getting more done at work instead of just drifting along. And people are noticing that I am easier to get along with, which is nice. This means I can be a better work colleague, husband and father – this is really freaking important!

On the training front, I am stronger in the gym than I have ever been – have been adding weight to the bar every single week and hitting easy PRs almost every session.

OK, my waist has grown. But my arms are filling out my t-shirts. My upper back wants to rip my work shirts open when I bend over to tie my shoes. My thighs are filing out my work pants and might be growing faster than my waist is. 

This week I have had 4 separate people comment on how good I’m looking. Obviously these are only people that see me with clothes on. But clearly, the changes in my body composition are noticeable and I have stacked on some muscle as well as the fat.

Not only that – while I do still have some niggles from training, I’m not sore all the time. I’m also sleeping better. 

So, am I happy with how I look naked? No. 

Am I able to rationalise it and be OK with it, considering all the other good things that have come along with gaining weight? Yes.

Sorry, this is a bit of a brain dump, but in keeping with this group’s theme… remember that the number on the scale and your physical appearance are just one aspect of the beautiful creature that is YOU. It’s OK that those things are important to you. In fact, I think they should be important to everyone, because if we don’t take care of ourselves and our bodies, we can’t take care of others.

But we can’t let them take over our every thought and feeling about our identity. There are more important things. 

I said to my dietician yesterday, I got into this fitness caper to get healthy, live longer, and be a better husband and father. Instead I let it become an obsession and the worse it got, the less time I spent living in the present with my family and giving them the attention they deserve. I regret that mistake deeply, but feel very grateful that I’m not divorced and I’ve taken steps to restore the balance in my life; I’m not quite there yet but have taken great strides.

If you’ve read this far, I hope it helps you in your journey. Examine your why, and consider whether your current path is really taking you toward that goal or if you’re just habitually doing the things you’ve always done. Is there something you can change? Why not make that change today? What’s holding you back? Probably just fear. It’s easy to say, but that’s just an emotion and usually, it’s an irrational one. The more you challenge that fear the easier it gets and the easier it gets the more motivating it is to continue.

I love the people in this group. I’m sorry so many of you are struggling. I know it’s damn difficult at times. But there is light at the end of the tunnel and you are all fantastic human beings that deserve happiness and peace. Go out and get it. Life’s too damn short to waste.

30
May
2019

And, again

Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea yesterday at work.

I was anxious about this, and somewhat relieved when Miss Four was sick and I had an excuse to stay home from work in the morning and avoid it – but in the afternoon I had some work scheduled so I had to go in after lunch.

Decided I would happily eat some of the leftovers, but wanted to get a chunk of work done first. Which I did. And then proceeded to eat one or two of everything (cakes, slices, biscuits, lamingtons), grabbed some more chocolate on the way home, ate dinner and then four bowls of ice cream plus more biscuits, chocolate, granola and nuts for dessert.

Gosh darnit. When will this ever stop?

I changed my training schedule and lifted yesterday evening instead of this morning. I know that’s probably a bit of compensation (which is not ideal). But I also was careful to train normally and not use it as an excuse to punish myself, which was good.

Really not very hungry this morning…..

24
May
2019

Yet Another ‘Feast’

So, as mentioned I hit the conference buffet hard yesterday at lunch.

I didn’t go to the conference dinner (this was pre planned). But now part of me wishes I did, I was so full from lunch that I deliberated for ages about what to have for dinner and I decided to grab a seafood salad from a nearby sushi place. At the time, I thought that was the right call. However I decided to have some ice cream and a hot chocolate afterwards. Sure, no problem. But that kicked off another few hours of eating cereal, chocolate, chocolate milk, and more ice cream. Faaaaark. Fell asleep on the couch in a carb coma.

Hit breakfast hard this morning too. Normal brekky, plus extra cereal and extra croissants and more coffee. Overfull.

More croissants, some banana bread and lamington and coffees at conference morning tea. Absolutely stuffed. Feel like I won’t need to eat again for days.

When will this end? Surely I don’t fear these foods any more. I hate myself so much right now.

 

Continue reading…

23
May
2019

Fitbit – gone, appetite – still insane

Good news and bad news.

This morning I took the Fitbit off and went back to a watch. The thing had been buzzing at me yesterday multiple times (since I’d been travelling and unable to move much) and I managed to ignore it. So this morning I figured it was time:

This is the longest I’ve gone without wearing one for a couple of years, it normally only comes off to charge or shower. I’m not sure if I’ll ever put it back on again – there might be some value in using it to track sleep – though in practice, what exactly will I do with the data anyway? If I ever do another longer term diet it might be useful to track steps, if I can avoid it becoming compulsive – but I don’t expect to do that for a while, hopefully.

The bad news is, I lost control at the conference buffet at lunchtime today and ate well past the point of fullness. I suppose there’s some consolation in the fact that it was mostly quality food, sandwiches and wraps and quiches and fruit and stuff, with only a smattering of extra small desserts. The anxiety of being in a strange place with strange people, I guess… but I wish I’d extricated myself from the situation. I’ve gained so much weight already, and feel like homeostasis at this size would be good. But that won’t happen if I don’t learn to maintain some control over my appetite and I’ll be cutting again sooner than I want to.

I was really looking forward to a decent takeaway/restaurant meal tonight, but now I’ll have to see how I feel. At least I had a small win last night and enjoyed a burger for tea, and avoided the temptation to get a light supermarket meal. That’s a win of sorts, I guess….

21
May
2019

Exercising in recovery

As noted in my list of symptoms one of my issues is compulsive movement. Mostly, it’s the fact that I wear a Fitbit and enjoy challenging myself to hit 250 steps every hour and 10k steps every day. However, if I can’t hit these targets it often causes anxiety. Even trying to sit still for 90 minutes to watch a movie can be difficult.

However in addition to this, I really like to lift weights. I’ve been doing this since midway through my big dieting phase a few years ago (the thing that started all this!) and it could probably be argued that I’m a bit compulsive about this too. I enjoy training hard, I pretty much never miss a session, and I have been known to use it as punishment (after overeating) or as a reason to eat more (as in hey, if I train, I deserve more food). The last two are problematic, because I don’t deserve punishment for giving into hunger and I certainly don’t need a reason or justification for eating until I am satisfied, that’s just a basic human need whether I’ve lifted weights or not!

I’ve digested so much ED material over the past year or so and much of it seems to suggest that during recovery we should just eat and rest – exercise of any sort is a bad idea. I’ve never quite been able to accept this, to be honest and it’s been a bit of a source of guilt. I know that my walking is definitely a problem, but the lifting, I think in most cases, is generally OK except in the cases I mentioned above – and in fact I think more often than not it is really beneficial for my mental health. I need the time out in my gym, away from the hustle and bustle of day to day life – getting under the bar and lifting some heavy ass weights seems to clear my mind better than almost anything else I’ve tried.

Thankfully, it seems like not all experts think exercise should be completely cut out, and I was pleased to have my own biases confirmed when I read this article by Emily Troscianko  earlier in the week. And this week, I’ve also confirmed to myself that the lifting is really a minor issue (if it is one at all). Due to some work commitments this week I’d planned a lighter week in my lifting, and often times in the past when I’ve tried to deload I’ve found myself just going hard anyway. But this weekend just gone I had two days out of the gym without guilt, have done a couple of light sessions since then, and will be heading interstate for a conference tomorrow (and a couple more gym-free days) with zero guilt as well. I feel like I’ve got some perspective on things.

On the walking front, well there’s progress there as well. I haven’t hit 10k steps quite a few days this week, and I’ve been quite chillaxed about it. It only really took a few days at work in meetings and stuff (which meant I was unavoidably low on activity) to realise that the sky wasn’t going to fall in if I didn’t do it. I just haven’t quite got around to removing the Fitbit yet, but come to think of it, since this conference means hours of sitting inactive in a function room, now is probably a good time to challenge myself so tonight I’ve pulled my old watch out of the drawer and I fully intend to wear it tomorrow instead of the Fitbit.

I still genuinely believe that a ten minute walk after every meal is useful for digestion and overall health (both mental and physical) – I don’t think that’s my ED voice talking, as in my head the post meal walks have nothing to do with weight management (it’s my overall activity levels that do that). I’d also like to make sure I don’t become deskbound all day at work, again just for general health. But it should be quite easy to do those things without relying on external cues to do it – if that means less anxiety (and being better in touch with my body) then that sounds like a win-win to me.

 

18
May
2019

Ice Cream and Biscuits

Another one last night. Ice cream, biscuits, cereal.

This time, I really don’t have a trigger or an excuse. There was some child-related stress (I was single parenting all afternoon/evening) but it really didn’t feel like a big deal at the time. There was some anxiety about working the election today, but not much. I’d eaten really well during the day and in fact really didn’t feel super hungry at mealtimes because I’d been so good about getting my snacks in.

And yet still, after E went to bed and the housework was done, I hit the sweets like there was no tomorrow. Just wanted the chocolate ice cream (it was so delicious) and everything else….. for no particular reason. Maybe a little bit of loneliness, what with my partner being out for the evening. I dunno.

I’m paying for it today. I’ll be working all day and now having to cope with major heartburn and indigestion as well. And I feel pretty hopeless to be honest. I don’t know when or if they’re going to stop, and I’m beginning to think that having an ED is just giving me an excuse to be a pig and deal with my emotions by eating, which is not what I want to do. Gotta use my damn brain.