Friday, July 29, 2011

Finally-letting go of clothing

A few weeks ago, I posted Measures of our worth
, discussing unhealthy things we hold onto--the things we know we should let go of but don't necessarily until we finally realize how detrimental that item is, whether it is behaviorally or emotionally or both.

Many of us have old clothing items we have held onto for a long time, even during recovery. Whether it is out of security, a longing for, or a symbolism of the past, truly, it just is not helpful to us in the end.  

Earlier this week, I decided to get rid of this pair of jeans.  A local rescue group is having a yard sale this weekend, so I thought I would put this in my donation box.  I was actually going to hand this pair of jeans plus several other items over to an upscale consignment shop, but I just never got around to it.

This pair of jeans got some usage, mostly in my twenties, but hasn't been worn in several years to be honest.  Besides that I'm no longer starving myself, I think it's also the fact that I decided I wanted to wear things that actually fit me better-not only waist wise but also length wise.  This pair of jeans has an inseam of 30".  On someone who is only about 5'1, it was way too long.  When I originally bought this off of ebay, I was stoked, because I found a pair of Abercrombie & Fitch men's slouch jeans. (I had another pair my mom had found for me years before which I loved) 

I think I kept this pair of jeans hanging in my closet for the sole purpose of wishing-knowing that there was always the option to go back.  And I needed to hold onto that for a long time until I felt strong enough to know there was the least bit likelihood that I would revert back.

So this is now farewell, good riddance to this piece of clothing.  Though there isn't quite as much anguish as I thought there would be, it is still removing a part of your life-a symbolism of sorts.  I just hope now that whoever buys them does it for the right fit and not a yearning to be something they are not.

In case you didn't see these other creative posts by some fantastic bloggers, check them out:
Sarah used her jeans as an art project.
Katie, for her 100th post, took more drastic measures and watched her jeans melt and crumble.

p.s.-yes, this photo was staged-see the symbolism?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend pet festival

Yesterday, I went to a local Pet Festival.  This doesn't seem like anything special, except that I was horribly nervous to go.  Why you ask? Simply because I was afraid I might run into my former employer.  I had actually neglected going to a few events I heard about earlier in the summer, because I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I saw her.  And I'm still not really sure.

Before going to this event, I made sure to check the website and see if she was exhibiting there.  I did not see her listed, but still, there was a chance she was a late entry.  Entering the site, I just held my breath that I would not see her. I made a quick walk through and was soon relieved.  Even if I had seen her, it would have been an awkward situation, especially if she had a tent beside my vet like last year.

There was a fairly good attendance despite the high temperatures, though my vet and I were both worried that dogs might have heatstroke, especially because there were dogs there who were excitable and not prepared for an event like this.

I saw a few other people there I knew, as well as some former clients--the large Mastiff, now probably over 150 lbs, the now socialized and happy Goldendoodle (before he had been terribly fearful), and the smooth coated Parsons Russell Terrier who does quite a few dog sports.

I spoke to my vet a bit (she knows my situation) and saw her cute 10 month old, bubbly, smiley baby.  Though I am not a baby lover per se, I do love when they smile at you.

Overall, it was fun to get out and go.  There were a few negatives in that people simply did not watch their dogs and scuffles broke out.  Luckily, no dog got injured, and no human this year (last year a woman got bit in the face while trying to give a dog water. He startled and bit her)  I left feeling like I was glad I went.

The other thing this situation made me realize (or maybe I already knew) is that the dog community is small, and I'm bound to run into her at some point.  I'm also bound to run into other people who know her and a trainer who she hired after me due to the whole six degrees of separation phenomena.  But I can't let her presence stop me from going to an event, a seminar, or a workshop. It's like allowing her to remain in power over me, and that is just dumb, hard, but dumb.

Later, I came home and e-mailed a gal I was going to try to meet up with at the event.  Actually, I saw her several times (she owns the PRT), but she was always at a distance, and I was always talking to someone; thus, we never got a chance to officially say hi.  She immed me back on facebook and asked how my jobless situation was going. I was honest: crappy.  The last thing she said to me before we both signed off was:

"You need to get back into training. You are too talented not to be teaching people how to train their dogs."

It was such a nice compliment and meant a lot to me. So for now, I will end this post with that note of positivity.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wednesday fun: Harry Potter!

I thought my blog was in need a Wednesday fun post, so what else better than Harry Potter!

The last installment of the Harry Potter series opened last weekend. I have not seen it yet but hope to soon. I came across this blog post asking which Hogwart's house you belonged to: Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, or Slytherin.

"You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart"

"You might belong in Hufflepuff,
Where they are just and loyal,
Those patient Hufflepuffs are true,
And unafraid of toil"

"Or yet in wise old Ravenclaw,
If you've a ready mind,
Where those of wit and learning,
Will always find their kind."

"Or perhaps in Slytherin,
You'll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means,
To achieve their ends."

I took the two tests that were mentioned in the above blog post. These were my results:

From the helloquizzy test:
Gryffindor: 34
Ravenclaw: 61
Hufflepuff: 61
Slytherin: 44

From the Personalitylab quiz:
Gryffindor: 74
Ravenclaw: 94
Hufflepuff: 98
Slytherin: 32

I was really surprised that Slytherin came out beating Gryffindor on the first quiz. My feeling is that it is because this test is only True/False, so there is no grey area. The second test had a much wider range, allowing you to pick between 1-9. But I think both quizzes are correct that I am more suitable towards Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff. I guess I'm not quite as brave as those in Gryffindor.

Anyway, so take the quizzes and post in the comments which Hogwart's House you belong in.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wading across a cautionary line

Some of you know I joined a local running group back in late Jan./early Feb. I had reservations at first after many years of solo training, but so far I have enjoyed it quite a bit. There are a variety of ages there, but quite a few of us in our late twenties/early thirties.

In general, this group is small compared to some of the other local training groups. Within the past several months, however, there has been an increase in members, especially if they have started to train for a specific race, like a 5k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon. One new person is a young woman who stands out quite visibly due to her thinness.

I try not to speculate whether this woman has an ED/has had an ED/is in recovery from an ED, but I seriously keep thinking to myself whether this woman should be running at all. She is very tall which can easily guise for thin, except that her hip bones are easily visible through her shorts, her face is gauntish looking with a pointy chin, giving a "lollipop" appearance, has stick thin arms and legs, tiny waist, and a slight hunch/ rounded shoulders in her upper back.

I've only talked with this woman a few times, so I don't know her well enough to broach this intimate subject, but it really does cause me concern. She has a young daughter who is almost three, so I wonder too how much of this could be a backlash of trying to be healthy o perhaps pregnancy weight loss. I learned recently that she is vegan, but I'm not sure what the reason is or how that reason came about.

I know a number of us have dealt with similar situations or seen the "avid" gym-goer, so what do you do? I had a similar post awhile back about gym observations and mentioned seeing an underweight woman there. That situation felt different--there was a distance, and I did not know this woman from adam. This situation is slightly different. Our group meets a few times a week, I've talked with this woman a little, she friended me on facebook, etc.

It's one of those cautionary lines--you never know how much to ask so as not to be offensive, but at the same time to show concern. I struggle with approaching the subject to her, but I would feel awful to turn a blind eye too.

Thoughts? How would you react?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Self diagnosing

Today was a bit of a ho-hum day.  Though I got a few things accomplished, there was still lots of things on my list untouched.  When stuff like this happens, I try not to get too bent out of shape, reminding myself that I can start afresh tomorrow.  Sometimes, this thinking works and sometimes not.

Then, this evening, I noticed two bumps in my mouth that I do not ever remember seeing before.  They were quite large and hard, and kind of freaked me out.  I ran to the bathroom to look at them.  Yes, they were they-it was not my imagination.  I kept thinking WTF are these?

*cue google*

Yes, I admit, I am a self-diagnoser for the most part.  Somehow, it comforts me to know if whatever bizarre, strange, out of the blue bump, lump, headache, fever, chills, whatever is benign or some life threatening disorder I really need to worry about.  Though for some just the act of searching google makes them feel even more nervous and worried.  I've always looked at it as being more the informed consumer, so that if I had to go to a Dr., I had all the information right there.  Some of my Drs. found this helpful (the ones that knew me well), but I'm sure there were others who may not have appreciated my fact-filled information.

So I looked up these hard bumps and came up with exostoses and toris.  Basically, these are bony growths/swellings, typically found in your mouth.  They're not harmful unless they cause problems with eating or if you had dentures, they wouldn't necessarily fit over them.  However, there is one instance where these growths are worrisome, and that is if they are an indication of a disease called Gardener Syndrome.  I won't go into those specifics, but it is rare.

I was certainly happy to have an idea what these bony structures were, but still, it left me thinking I had one more thing to possibly worry about.  I'm beginning to think that I am one big abnormality!  Seriously, right hand, right arm, bunions on both my feet, left toe sticks out which the podiatrist called a deformity, extra vertebrae, hmm what next?  I'm thankful that none of these affect me greatly, more or less just annoyances.

As I would tell anyone else in this situation, go to your Dr., or dentist in my situation, get checked out, make sure it is nothing, and then go on with the rest of your day.  I'll be calling my dentist in the morning.

Curious to know, are you a self diagnoser?  Or do you find searching more problematic and worrisome?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Measures of our worth

I read this article today about a scale bashing party. I thought what a fantastic idea for those who struggle or feel chained to the scale. If you're in the central New Jersey area, this might be a good event for you!

It's funny how a mere piece of metal can be symbolic for many of us. Where did we learn this?

I've never been what I called horribly "chained" to the scale. It mattered, but for me it was more how my pants fit and whatever my tape measure read. Yes, I don't think I've ever mentioned this on this blog, but I used to have a bit of an obsession with my tape measure. Similar to a scale, it used to be the measure for what I was going to consume that day (or not).

Even when I was in college and in my 20s, when I tried buying a scale, I wound up taking it back to the store a few days later. I was somehow afraid I'd become a devout worshiper to it. However, I could not let go of my tape measure which I brought with me to many conferences, sleepovers, visits to my parents's houses, etc. It essentially went with me everywhere!

Where am I now with this once over obsession? Well, it's not completely gone but a whole lot better than it used to be. It no longer holds so much value as it once did but is still a lasting reminder of the ED. It's like the old pair of jeans you know you should get rid of but hold on to for security purposes.

What are reminders of your ED that you know you should really get rid of? Is it the scale, a piece of clothing, a book, etc.? What are other measures of your worth?

On the same taken, have you ever bashed your scale, burned clothing, books, journals, all out of symbolism?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Short races

Yesterday, I ran a local 4th of July race. The race was not far from where my running group typically runs, so I was familiar with the course. Overall, the race went okay. I was trying to better my time from the last 5k race which did happen but not very significantly at all, despite doing some speed work the last month or so.

After finishing this race, I've begun to think that 5ks are just not my race. I think the determining factor is feeling like I'm going to hurl periodically while I'm running. Even at the finish line when the person was handing me a bottle of water, I almost threw up on her which warranted a look from her and asking if I was okay. And truly I was okay.

A few of the running group girls and I met up after the race (they met up before the race and ran over there together and did not wait for me even though I was the one who set it up! No worries though) and were talking about this very thing. One girl agreed that 10ks and 15ks were probably more her race. The interesting thing was that all of us said the exact same thing--that they felt like they were going to hurl or that their stomach felt in knots. I think the difference with me is that I always feel like I am that close to vomiting like when you burp and have that nasty rush of backlog but am able to restrain yourself (sorry if that is TMI) A part of me wonders how much is due to my past with ED and purging. Or, it could possibly be completely unrelated just due to running faster than my normal pace and the weather.

The odd thing is that when I was running a lot 4-5 years ago, I never remember feeling like this, even on long, fast runs. During those times, I was running at all times of day and temperatures. So it just does not make sense to me now why I keep having these incidences. It's quite frustrating, because I'd like to be able to run short races too but without feeling the awful sensation of my body revolting against itself. The other problem is that something that becomes physical can easily turn psychological, especially if there are aversive effects.

It took me a long point to stop self induce vomiting. It's been almost completely 2 years purge-free. After my last conjuctival hemorrhage, I have not since then at ll. I'm to a point where I want to save as many teeth as I can, especially with the lasting effects of years of abuse.

Anyway, I don't have any upcoming 5k races to worry about, just more or less long training runs. I and my body will, however, be happy when it is cool again.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Disruptive sleep's probably one of the things that I have yet to truly recover from. Since my mid-teens when I learned of the productivity (at least this was how I saw it in my mind) of sleep deprivation, it is something that has afflicted me. Within the last several years, I had gotten better at getting a few more hours of sleep than I used to live off of, however, it's somehow taken a different course the last three or so weeks.

There is no doubt that I am a nightowl for the most part--like going to bed at 12am or later. However, at the same time, I've always had the ability to get up early as well. Sometimes, this was related to dogs getting me up (they have the best alarm clocks!) or I would just wake up. Baxter used to wake me up by 6:30am everyday no matter what. But now that he is gone, there has been no one else to take his place. Basically, they just let me sleep in or Tovah will ring the bells to go out. It is nice no doubt, but the last several weeks, I feel like I've been getting up later and later like 8am or last weekend, it was 9am!

For the most part, I have never been an insomniac. Whenever my head hit the pillow, I was out and just went into nice, blissful sleep. Quite frankly, I enjoyed that. Though the eating disorder did result in me becoming a light sleeper, still, head hit pillow, I was asleep.

As I said the last three weeks or so, my sleep has been incredibly off. In the past, this has only been when I was in restrictive mode. My eating is sufficient on most days, so should not warrant this type of distress.

Now when I go to bed (often it's me saying, okay, I should really go to bed now), I do not seem to go to sleep right away. Likely, it is only a few minutes, but it feels like an eternity. What really gets me is that my sleep has been very distraught. Typically, I do not move a lot in my sleep, and I am now tossing and turning and waking up very frequently. This has resulted in me being more tired in the afternoon/early evening than usual and literally sacking out. I realize this is not the best for sleep later, but seriously, I just crash!

Part of me wonders on a deeper subconscious level how much my lack of work situation is causing this, or whether this is the start of a slow descent into depression (I tend to either go into one extreme of sleep a lot or zero sleep) or possibly both. When you get to this point, it is so much harder to keep any motivation--not that I'm there yet, but some days certainly feel like it.

Anyone else feeling anything similar or have thoughts?
Sleep posts here, here, and here.