Food Evolutions

Now that Maya is starting to eat solids (rice cereal with her 10 AM feeding — soon to be coupled with fruit; a veggie with her 4 PM feeding; a little more cereal with her 7 PM feeding), a whole new world has opened up for our family.

Watching her slurp up her solids (and getting them ALL over her face or all over ME when she blows raspberries with a full mouth [manners will come later!]), attempt to “chew” with her gums, and open her little birdie mouth for the spoon (it’s the cutest thing!) I got to thinking about how my own relationship with food has evolved since my infancy.

I’ve said before that my disordered habits didn’t begin til 2005, a year AFTER I lost weight on Weight Watchers. But looking back at my food history, I noticed there were some not-so-obvious hints at a future problem.

I could sum my evolution in seven phases: Childhood (ages 0-13), High School, College, Weight Watchers, Borderline Orthorexia, Chewing/Spitting, Pregnancy, and Now. Continue reading “Food Evolutions”

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Major Ink –> Mixed Emotions

A loooong time ago I mentioned that a student pursuing her master’s in journalism at Columbia was interviewing me during my pregnancy for her graduate thesis. Every two weeks or so during my pregnancy we’d touch base just to see where I was at mentally and physically, and it was a great way to put into words some of what I was feeling.

She recently told me that the story was going to be published somewhere big … but didn’t say where.

Well … today I got an email and whoa nelly, there it is! ABCNews.com in the Health section: Pregorexia: When Pregnancy and Eating Disorders Mix.

Aside from the title, which I think is a bit misleading (and I know editors make those decisions, not the writers themselves — I wouldn’t describe myself as having battled pregorexia) … the article is totally accurate and true to form.

I did chew and spit and overexercise previously. I was afraid of getting fat during my pregnancy. I did emotionally eat during the testing. I never returned to chewing/spitting or overexercising as coping mechanisms; I put Maya first.

There’s nothing untrue there. It’s just hard to realize that, hey, that’s ME they’re talking about! Continue reading “Major Ink –> Mixed Emotions”

From “Disordered” to “(Recovering) Disordered” to “Recovered Disordered”

My blog has gone through many changes in the nearly three years I’ve been writing (click here for my first post!). While I’ve undergone many physical and emotional changes in that time, the title of this post expresses the surface changes. (And once I can figure out how to edit my darn blog’s custom header I will!)

What does it mean to be “recovered”? I used to question this all the time, and still do.

Let’s look at the facts:

-I’m not chewing/spitting.

-I’m not over-exercising.

-I’m not waking and, half-asleep, eating in the middle of the night.

Those were the methods of my madness, er, disorderedness.

They are in my past. Continue reading “From “Disordered” to “(Recovering) Disordered” to “Recovered Disordered””

Be Safe, Be Well & As Always, Be Happy

That’s how my mom signs off on every e-mail. And though she usually uses the short-hand version (BSBWAAABH), I know what she means and love it every time I see it. They’re words to live by.

Going along with my mom’s mantra, this is a picture my hubby took of me this weekend in Spring Lake, NJ … one of the most beautiful places along the Jersey shore and NOT someplace you’ll ever see chronicled on the lovely reality show 😉

Spring Lake is an upscale seaside town comprised of mansions and B&Bs and beautiful surf … it’s just incredible and was a perfect setting for a family wedding!! 🙂 Continue reading “Be Safe, Be Well & As Always, Be Happy”

Trading Coping Mechanisms

Call me stupid, crazy, naïve, or all of the above … but I assumed that when I stopped chewing and spitting, I’d lose the 5-7 lbs I’d gained during those two years of my peak disorderedness.

HA!!! How wrong was I?!

In fact, not only did I maintain that weight gain, but I even gained another 5-7 on top of it! Ouch.

Granted, I’m 30 now (not 24 like I was when I first joined WW) and I realize I have a desk job and (despite being active at the gym) I realize I don’t walk to the Metro every day like I did back then … but I think it’s much bigger than just that.

In doing a little self-analysis, I think it’s because stopping chewing/spitting only put a Band-Aid on the real problem: I went from using chewing and spitting as a coping mechanism for anxiety to using emotional eating/impulse buying as a coping mechanism for anxiety.

See a common denominator here? Anxiety still remains.

Ultimately, I still haven’t been able to really get a grasp on my anxiety levels. Sometimes I think I’m OK, but other times, not so much.

It’s as though I replaced one issue with another; truly, it’s no wonder I’ve not been able to get a grip! I’m battling myself here.

I know Dr. G. would tell me I need to come up with another coping mechanism … and I don’t dispute that, I need a healthier alternative for sure — writing, talking to my husband or calling a friend or family member, etc., but this stuff is often so private that it’s hard to open up about it; no one really gets it (and I can’t/don’t expect them to).

I think I need to do what worked for chewing and spitting and apply it to my emotional eating/impulse buying problem — and that means choosing pride over guilt once again and just saying no.

Literally, March 15, I woke up and vowed not to chew and spit. And I haven’t since. I made a firm decision and stuck to it. I feel recovered from that disordered behavior.

But the impulsive/emotional stuff requires thought before action. And that’s where I still struggle. In fact, outside of this disordered eating realm, I struggle with impulsiveness — opening my mouth before thinking, jumping into a conversation that maybe I don’t need to be a part of, etc.

I need that next level of mindfulness and since awareness is half the battle, I think I’m going to start journaling my emotions in addition to my usual journaling. I’m hoping it’ll help with the other stuff.

I don’t want to go back to Dr. G., but I’m not ruling out the possibility of seeing a different therapist because ultimately, while I know therapy helped, it definitely wasn’t the end of the road for me. There’s still work to do upstairs … and I’m not giving up.

I feel optimistic right now … thanks for listening.

How about you? What are some of the coping mechanisms you use? And did you find you traded one for another, or were you able to nip them all?

Shrouding: Disordered or Not?

Heather’s recent post, “Helpful Hint or Disordered Eating” at Hangry Pants really got me thinking …

As Heather notes in her post, “For some time we’ve debated food destruction – ruining your food with something like salt or hot sauce so that it is inedible. Jillian Michaels pours candle wax on her food (thanks for the link Julie) when she is full, and instructs Biggest Loser players to destroy desserts with salt.”

While I think Jillian’s solution is on the extreme side, it saddens me to admit it’s not something I couldn’t have imagined myself doing back in the day of peak disorderedness.

Sad but true.

Continue reading “Shrouding: Disordered or Not?”

Impatience … Definitely *Not* a Virtue

I’ve always said, “If patience is a virtue, I must be a huge sinner.”

I was a breach baby — so very impatient to get the hell out of the womb that I had to be delivered via C-section because I was coming out that way, or no way.

In hindsight, I think it was a pretty good indication that I’m not the kind of person who waits for much. 😉

I tend to be horribly impatient, which I realize now is often to a fault …

On the positive, it means I’m dependable and rarely late for anything … but it can be a real negative trait in many situations.

So when I read “Hate to Wait” in this month’s SELF magazine (despite my misgivings, my subscription is still active; when it ends I won’t renew, promise!) — it hit me like a ton of bricks. Continue reading “Impatience … Definitely *Not* a Virtue”