“christmas, thanks for nothing”

Hello everybody! I hope you all had a very merry Christmas with lots of lovely times, lots of cheer and some good eating. We have officially entered the nothing space between Christmas and New Year now where there is absolutely nothing to do but sit it around and enjoy famo times. I really like the festive period so it’s been pretty nice. Lots of Christmas colouring, general body pampering and Frasier DVDs. Nothing wrong with that. I got some lovely pressies, gave some lovely pressies and now find myself at a bit of a loss of what to do. I guess tomorrow starts my normal life again – seeing the psychologist. Gah – but at least for today, I’m going to sit about some more. Hope everyone is having happy festive times!

I think that this Christmas was generally less crazy than last year, so I think I’ve made some progress. Last year was the year of exercise biking for hours every morning whilst simultaneously entering nutritional information from food packaging onto a calorie counting app on my phone. At that point I think it was obvious to most people that I was behaving slightly bizarrely. Everyone except me that is. Still, I did manage to “earn” Christmas day as an eat whatever I like day. Last year was the first year I had a proper Christmas dinner ever. No joke. And I had lots of chocolates and pudding and felt incredibly ill but I didn’t have guilt because I’d earnt it, so although the weeks before and after Christmas were definitely more bizarre, Christmas itself was probably less mental than this year.

This year, I’ve been lapsing slightly. I got it into my head about a month ago that it was possible that I’d reach my target weight just before Christmas and that would be rubbish as I wouldn’t be able to eat what I liked on the actual day. This led to me maintaining my weight for weeks, until I went to the puppet theatre. Me and the boy went to Ed’s Diner for dinner afterwards and I had chips and a chicken breast burger and half a portion of onion rings and a brownie with ice cream (All fear foods! I haven’t eaten any thing like this is so long. Whilst I was having it I was so proud of myself and so happy with the boy that I was just grinning. I couldn’t believe it. I thought I was doing so well! And it tasted so good! And it was normal! I had a burger and chips with my boy and that is entirely normal!) and even though I’d been restricting my food all day and had eaten no snacks, I still freaked out about the calories of it all and worried about Christmas weight gain and since then, I’ve started under eating more heavily. The prospect of two days over my maintenance amount in a week terrified me, especially as Christmas is full of unknowns and I was struggling to plan for it. At first, I just wanted to even out the calories so it averaged at my maintenance level, which I managed in two days, but then it was Christmas Eve so I knew alcohol would play a part in the evening so I under ate pretty drastically to make up for the maximum amount of alcohol I could possibly consume. Of course I didn’t consume 12 double vodkas so ended up under my target again. On Christmas I did hit my target I think, but not through comfortable, free eating. I halved my breakfast, didn’t have lunch, made my own Christmas dinner without any of the trimmings, measured out my panettone pudding and ice cream, had 4 chocolates and made up the rest of my calories in winter spiced fruit and nut mix (which is really really good obviously). I think I hit the top of my calorie range recommended by the dietician, so I restricted yesterday, much more heavily than I needed to average out to maintenance. Now I’m a bit lost at what to do. I wake up every morning and say “If I’m under X weight, then I’ll eat my maintenance amount. If not, I’ll restrict till I get there” Right now I’m half a pound heavier than I was three weeks ago and although I’m supposed to be gaining and although that really is pathetic amounts of weight to gain in that time period, I desperately don’t want any Christmas weight. Basically, I’m being an idiot. The only justifications are anorexia justifications and they really don’t justify anything.

I really should not weigh myself every day. You think I’d learn that indulging eating disordered behaviours only makes everything worse. Apparently I don’t though. Now I’m back to weighing every single thing that I eat, cutting things out of the meal plan, counting calories religiously, eating mostly safe foods, clock watching for when it’s appropriate for me to eat. Under eating and obsessing over numbers has made me more settled though, and I can at least concentrate on the T.V. now which I couldn’t when I was eating more. I’m less mentally anxious, but more physically tense. I don’t know. At least I know this isn’t ok. I’ve started to worry that maybe I won’t get better. The statistics aren’t great when it comes to eating disorders – less than half reach full, long-term recovery. This is my first real shot at it and it’s entirely possible that I won’t make it. I’ve just expected it to happen if I go through the motions but now I’m realising that I’m actually still pretty vulnerable to going backwards again. If I’m going to get well, I have to do better and get past this. Staying here isn’t going to help me in the long-term, even if it settles me now. It’ll only leave me in a more vulnerable position for longer, increasing the likelihood that I’ll get sicker again. I have to get my gain on. Not sure that I have the mental willpower right now though. Still, I didn’t weigh my peanut butter this morning in protest against my stupid eating disorder behaviours. No where near enough, but at least I’ve done one uncomfortable thing. Hopefully there’ll be more. Pandering to anorexia to make weight gain easier only makes it harder I think.

I think this might be on par with 2009 mental Christmas levels. At that point I was slightly lighter than I am now, restricting heavily at uni, eating normally at home and gaining some weight back, successfully hiding my completely broken relationship with food and eating from my family, at the gym more days than not and thinking I was completely fine. Hopefully this year I’m moving into healthier and happier rather than sicker and sadder though. I’ll count it as successful if I can make it through to New Year without any net weight loss and determined to continue gaining to my target. Christmas is stressful – lots of eating expectations, uncontrollable schedules, eating in front of others etc. Basically, I’ve been freaking out.

How were all your Christmases though? How did they compare to other years? Hopefully all good and well!

p.s. the title is the name of my favourite Christmas album. I’m not that angry at the world.

p.p.s. this is a formal apology for my absolutely outrageous drunkeness on Christmas Eve. It was intended and I’m quite glad I reached a state of not remembering but because I don’t remember, if I was awful and hideous – sorry. Also thank you Siblets for keeping hold of my Christmas jumper and generally looking after me. And Nat as well!



Filed under general, recovery

4 responses to ““christmas, thanks for nothing”

  1. I think it sounds like you HAVE had a productive christmas, altho you have been toing and froing with numbers and weighings, you seem to be alot more relaxed n your mental approach. This is such a hard time for us in recovery, we really need to stop and take perspective of the situation. gaining a little more over this festive period is NOT such a bad thing!! yes, it is guilt inducing, but at the end of the day what does it matter….

    I have eased up alot on my exercising compared with what i WAS making myself do. I had alot of nasty comparison guilt over the trip to france. i find it so damn hard to eat around my sis… but i tried. goddamit i tried! i think the cuttting back on exercise was my main goal, cos i restricted my food quite abit according to how i was feeling emotionally. But since coming home (yest) i dont feel compulsive about going out for a wlak, which is nice… i just have to try really bloody hard not to START walking more, cos thats whn the ED will pipe up and say i need to do the same or more again. and i dont… i havent for the past week, so why start over now! (the only thing that i still cant budge is my morning abs workout. but one thing at a time eh?!)

    Im off to see the boy today for a couple of days so i will totes be using that “inbetween” chill time to watch dvds and generally rest up before new year…. i love frasier too. classic comedy :-)
    take care hun and congrats on christmas 2011… no comparisons, ok!

    • I hope I can get out of this silly slump I’m in. It doesn’t feel like the most productive of times, but maybe I just see it negatively. I’ve basically maintained over Christmas (little gains, little losses, all within the same pound) so it’s not even like I even have actual weight gain guilt – I have guilt for eating, not for weight. I don’t know. Basically I’m being an idiot and I absolutely need to get over this. Urgh. It shouldn’t matter though because I still need to gain. You’re right.

      Woop on the exercise front – that’s so good that it’s improving! I’ve managed to do slightly less walking recently (not many reasons to leave the house between Christmas and New Year really) but it’s not great right now. Your morning work out might still be irritating, but you are decreasing the silly compulsive thoughts so you’re doing really well. Hope you had lots of fun with the boy! And even more relaxing obviously.

      Hope things are still going good and you’re getting easier on yourself exercise wise x.

  2. Merry Christmas! :)

    By the sounds of it, despite the fact you’ve been restricting your food intake and maybe indulging in some of the behaviours you’ve been trying to avoid – you ARE in a much better place than you have been. Have you been hitting your calorie target every day or have you gone under? It’s important not to let it slide further down because you know it’s a slippery slope.

    The run up to Christmas can be hard for people with eating disorders, but look at it this way – you went to Eds! You had a day out, and spent an evening with your boyfriend in a restaurant, eating yummy ice cream, that’s got to be good right?! How was the puppet theatre?

    And, you’ve been out with friends rather than spending hours locked away on an exercise machine. While it might be horribly difficult, you’re doing it. There are bound to be set backs, slip ups and off days but I don’t think you should look at it as ‘I might not make full recovery’. You WILL make full recovery, you have to push through it. One really good thing you said, “staying here isn’t going to help me in the long term” – you couldn’t be more right. That’s exactly what happened with me, I was discharged after making good progress while still underweight (almost 3 years ago), I maintained that weight up until now as I was comfortable with it and since the Doctor had discharged me I assumed I was fine. But it’s not. It’s not fine until you’re at a stable, healthy weight. The really really good thing is you’re aware of this whereas I wasn’t. Push past it if you can, you’re not going to balloon to 60 stone, and it will feel uncomfortable but I can’t stress enough how much I wish I’d have pushed on. Staying where I was wasn’t the best thing for me and while I can’t say it will be the same for you (after all everyone’s different) if there’s any advice I’d give it would be to keep on going way past the point you’re comfortable with. This will inevitably involve a lot of anger, frustration, hatred, and lots of other disordered feelings but they’ll go, and it’s got to be worth it in the end.

    Well done miss, enjoy your time with the family and try to focus on fun Christmas times x

    • I hope it’s a better place. I’m having real difficulties joining up what I absolutely know is true and what I feel is true if you get me. I haven’t been hitting my target really. Sometimes I try to push my calories up, but I’m always freaking out, then letting them slip more because it feels right even though it’s entirely not. Ergh. I am still hopeful that I can do it and get through recovery, it’s just hitting me that maybe I won’t. There isn’t any way to predict what’ll happen – all I can do is go by what I am doing in the moment and quite often that seems to be lapsing into eating disorder thoughts and behaviours.I know I just have to push past all this but right now I’m not dealing with it all well. But I am doing some things I guess, it’s just when you do something positive and then end up using ED to make up for it, it doesn’t seem like a positive anymore you know? Argh. My head is such a mess right now. Thank you though, maybe I am still doing ok. I duno.

      Hope your Christmas was lovely and you’re doing well! x.

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