Lots of things happened yesterday. Lots of scary things. Some definitely went well, some make me anxious and some made me very concerned.

Yesterday, I had an appointment with the psychologist. We were discussing how to get aggro on all this and making a solid plan to get as much out of my last block of sessions from him (I’ve only got eleven left so we’re in the final stretch, though I’ve got an assessment with CMHT next Wednesday for my other problems so I might end up with more therapy afterwards). This week, he’s given me the task of weighing no food at all. No weighing or measuring or anything. Just eating what looks about right. Mostly, I’m not too worried about this as I’ve been phasing the measuring out for a while, but it does mean I’ll have to start addressing the cereal issue.

Cereal is the food I most want to be denied access to. I love it so much and have it everyday, but I portion it out into little 40g bags and have one bag at a time whilst the rest are hidden from me. Cereal scares me a huge amount – I have way too many horrible memories of binging on it. I remember I would get shot glasses and say “Ok – you’re allowed one shot glass with a dash of milk” then end up having like 8 shot glasses and freaking out about it for hours and hours (or purging, which was always worse). I never felt I was in control around cereal and at certain points, I would know I’d eating more than I was willing to live with, give in and eat like 7 bowls full purely to purge afterwards. This got so bad that it was everyday and I would fall apart and viciously hate myself for it, so for my own sanity, the fam hid the cereal almost a year ago now and I haven’t seen it since. It was the first food to be hidden and the last food to stay hidden.

As of last night, it’s back in the kitchen. And I hate it. I hate knowing it’s there. I haven’t had any urge to binge it, but I hate the fact that I could. I don’t trust myself and it makes me feel horrible. So now I’m anxious and edgy in the kitchen. I haven’t had any unweighed portions yet as I’m getting through the last few portions first, but they’re looming at me anyway. I hope this goes ok. Fingers crossed.

Yesterday, I made cookies. Proper cookies. With peanut M&Ms. They weren’t aesthetically pleasing so I didn’t photo them, and because I get impatient with baking I didn’t let them cool for long enough and they kinda stuck together in a big cookie lump. However, I baked.

During the worst of anorexia, I baked constantly. All the time, all different types of food. I made some pretty nang things, and some less good things and became the lord of low-calorie baking. Some low-calorie baked goods are really awful, but to be fair to them, I made some absolutely fantastic blueberry bran muffins. However, during recovery, all my baking stopped really. The idea of unknown calories, maybe having to use butter and sugar instead of low-calorie substitutes plus the fact that I might be tempted to over eat by having more than planned or eating left over mixture scared me too much. I had good reason to be scared – restriction led to binges on many low-calorie biscuits, eating raw pastry, chewing and spitting hot cross buns and other pretty low points. So I stayed away. Far, far away.

So yesterday was a big step for me. They weren’t amazingly good. I didn’t want to go for something perfectly great or super beautiful as I just wanted the experience to be as simple and pain-free as possible. I had the urge to bake, so I used stuff up from in the house and made cookies. And they were really nice anyway because cookies are always nice.

I definitely ate some mixture and had more than one cookie, but it wasn’t panicked. I felt a little bad about it, but I worked my meal plan around it so it’s all good. I didn’t eat them all or destroy them or force them on others. In fact there’s still a few left (I had another two today and they are still nom). This may seem really silly, but it’s actually really big news for me. There is home-baked things in my house and I’m eating them when I actually want to and not eating so many I feel sick and I’m not thinking of ways to dispose of them! I still find them scary but I’m building up a little evidence that I might be able to hack their existence.

Yesterday, I saw my GP about my bone density scan results. To be honest, I haven’t been too worried about them as I figured it’d improve if I just kept got to a healthy weight for my body and ate bare yogurt and milk – it was only osteopenia after all, nothing too severe. My GP on the other hand was very concerned. He told me that my overall results are pretty close to fully developed osteoporosis (though it’s already present in a few areas) and if I don’t start to address this now, I could end up with it very soon. He kept stressing how bad it was and how high my risk really was and how, regardless of my ongoing physical recovery, this probably wasn’t going to get better on its own now as my bones are almost fully developed, so now I’m taking four calcium and vitamin D supplements a day to be revised in a month. Plus I have to get my vitamin D levels tested. Urgh – another blood test. I’m not sure how much help the prescription will be until my body is happy again, but I’m concerned now. Very concerned. He kept telling me that I had to take care to stay out of accidents, which is actually really hard for me because I fall over a lot. I wasn’t at all concerned until now, but now I’m really worried. Is it actually that bad? Because I didn’t think osteopenia was that bad really. I don’t know whether my GP was right to be so worried. How worried should I be right now?

For one day, that was pretty recovery-busy for me. I’d like it if things were more evenly spread. Sometimes recovery is stressful.



Filed under recovery

24 responses to “yesterday.

  1. Stressful or not, you handled it well :)

    I know from my own experience how it feels to be all nervous around the kitchen when certain foods are in there somewhere, and it does NOT help with the non-binge urge. So, maybe address your nervousness first before you go back to your old, healthy relationship with the cereal again. You know, have a ‘moment’ in there to look at it, shake it, pop one, put it back. Walk around. And maybe the first time you pour yourself some, have your mum in the kitchen, keep chatting to them, etc. to keep your mind off of it. Then process afterwards. Just to take the stress off of the situation. It’s just cereal for bloody sake Ellie, why do we let it get to us! So not worth making your stress-o-meter run wild!

    I have no idea about any osteowhatever. I havent been to my GP in…. 2 years? Though I’ve been having some annoying, strange shit going on for the past few days and I’m really starting to get myself worked up about maybe having to go. My worst fear is needles. Ever. We do NOT go well together. Not like, not okay, but it’s a whole other level of that. So Imma sit it out for a while longer. I therefor also have NO clue about my bloodworks either, so, hmm..

    And yay for baking cookies! I used to bake a LOT too, and then stopped. But I bought some baking stuff 2 weeks ago again as well. After midterms, cinnamonrolls here I come. (Though, can I be a little cheeky? No need to work your mealplan around a few extra home baked cookies. Its what happens sometimes you know? You don’t need to actively ‘calculate it in’. Or whatever. But this is in no way trying to make your victories look less awesome. YOU ENJOYED YOUR HOMEBAKED COOKIES!)

    • I didn’t calculate them in or anything, just instead of snacks or desserts or the like. I know just eating them as extras wouldn’t have been so bad, but it made me feel more comfortable to eat them. They were tasty though. I love cinnamon rolls! Maybe I should make some too.

      I know the cereal thing is silly, but I’m trying. They are there now. My Mum helped me move them, but I’m yet to have an unmeasured portion so I guess we’ll see how that goes. Most of the time, no one’s home when I have breakfast so it’ll probably be on my own.Thankfully, I don’t really get binge urges at the moment, it’s just the potential that worries me. It’s been a whole two days almost now and nothing but increased kitchen anxiety yet. Fingers crossed!

      Seriously, get yourself to your GP. I don’t know how to help with needle anxiety but if your still not having periods it’s really worth getting your bones scanned – no needles require! Plus getting a check up is always good.

      Good luck with midterms!


  2. The cereal challenge? You can totally do that. Totally. Just think of ALL the things you’ve done, all the challenge foods, the changes in routine, the changes in food choices – all part of the process. I know it’s a real fear for you, but the other aspects were fears as well and you did it, you can do this to. Perhaps because it’s the last big-major-ahhhh inducing challenge your anxiety is bigger? Sooz’s suggestions are spot on. You can do this.

    Kudos for the cookies too, yum yum! Amazing to have one when you want one and leave them if you don’t – still struggling with that one here. Nice one.

    Now, with the Osteopenia, I don’t want to doubt your GP but, hmmm. I too have got Osteopenia and saw my GP a few weeks ago, the results weren’t great. Leading more towards Osteoperosis than healthy and I freaked a bit asking what I could do. He didn’t seem phased by the results AT ALL. Basically, you can reverse the damage. I’m 27, 5 years older than you and he said at my age there’s still time to reverse the damage as bones are still forming etc. (I wish I’d listened to his explanation more carefully to be honest!) I have 2 chewey Calcium tablets each day, and was advised to continue eating properly and that’s about it. He said it’s important to bear weight on the bones to strengthen – so your Yoga will be great for it to strengthen the spine and hips etc. (My GP did say, “you could try Body Pump classes or something?”)…erm…yeah, not so great to do Cardio when you’re recovering from anorexia, don’t think so Mr Doctor!

    So, I wouldn’t be too worried about the results as a healthy diet and strengthening exercise can definitely help it. At least that’s what my GP says, and when I saw the Dietitian ages ago she mentioned it too (before I had the scan) so next time you see your Dietitian see if she knows any more about it. Then tell me – because I need to know if I need to stop being accident prone!


    x x x

    • They tried to give me the chewy tablets but I wasn’t having any of that. Are they horrible? I imagined they would be so I made him look up some obscure caplet things that no pharmacy has. My GP definitely told me to just make sure I’m doing regular cardio and weights “like you should in order to lead a healthy lifestyle. You cannot be healthy without lots of exercise.” Needless to say, I had to set him straight on this matter. GPs can be stupid sometimes.

      I hope you’re more right than my GP. I will ask the dietitian when I next see her though. I don’t know if yoga is all that helpful, but I asked my instructor last week and she said she’d do some research for me. I’m worrying now.

      Fingers crossed on the cereal front though. I hope it’s the last big anxiety issue but I some point, I might have to tackle this walking business and I think that might be a horrible mess too.

      Hope you are well x.

  3. I like to take a middle ground on the osteopenia – it IS something to worry about because it’s associated with having more breaks which take longer to deal, and it’s very important to recover bone density as much as possible. However, I have one friend who recovered a great deal of bone density in her 40s (she drank a pint of full fat milk a day during recovery!), so it’s not impossible. Getting and keeping your period is the most important thing, and after that having enough vitamin D, possibly taking calcium tablets (my friend in her 40s is also a biologist, and tells me that research shows limited efficacy of calcium supplements for osteoporosis/penia- although vitamin D is vital) and doing weight bearing exercise. Weight bearing exercise is the whole reason my hips are in slightly better shape than my spine – I love walking. Anyway, it’s NOT something to mess about with, and I have friends who are severely physically disabled in their late 20s due to osteoporosis – so taking an active approach to resolving it is essential. But at the same time don’t wrap yourself in cotton wool :)

    • The reason I haven’t been worried is that I just eat a lot of calcium anyway. I have way more than I need to everyday because I just like dairy a lot. I have at least 5 portions a day at the moment. And with gaining weight I figured I was doing all I could already. My GP disagreed though which is why I’m worrying now :(.

      Its a bit of a relief that it is possible though, even as I get older. I really want healthy bones. Hopefully if I keep eating all this calcium and getting my weight up to healthy for my body again, I’ll be ok. I’m not sure whether exercise would be that helpful right now though. My GP said regular cardio and weights, but I already walk way too much and do yoga. I don’t really want to have to eat even more… Hmm… I’ll think about it.

      Hope you’re well x.

      • hey I used to think that too – i used to think 1. i have overloaded on the calcium all my life, right? and 2. i have done so much weight bearing exercise all my life. so my bones should be so strong!
        Not true.
        Calcium is a tiny little part of the whole picture.
        Calcium is useless if you are deficient in vitamin D.
        Vitamins and minerals are generally useless if you are not eating enough – your body cannot absorb them, so past calcium probably passed straight through you.
        Hormones and general nutrition make up a larger part of the picture overall.
        Exercise can actually break down your bones if it’s too excessive and you do not have the nutrition readily available for them to rebuild.

  4. G

    Hey there,
    I’m sorry I haven’t commented in ages – lots of things going on. I have read all your posts though & for what it’s worth, I think you are doing really well & are cracking it… Even when you mention the things you are struggling with or you have found difficult, you seem to be pickng things up and moving forward. I guess it’s a journey, & things will be up & down, but as long as you’re heading forward at the same time, it seems to me that you are winning. You sound in a much better place. I’m so impressed. (Can I steal some of your new chirpiness & confidence?).
    On the osteopenia – I have osteopenia, too, though it’s not too bad. I would take it seriously in as much as make sure you’re taking steps to reverse it, but I wouldn’t drive yourself crazy about it either. At this stage & at your age it’s still reversible and you’re doing all the right things…
    WIth regards to the cereal – can you do it in two steps? I weigh cereal, too, largely because I’d never really eaten it before starting recovery, so I have no idea how much is normal – but I was given a great suggestion by my treatment team: either move from 40g to 1/2 cup (i.e. the American baking cups – I have a list of the different types of cereal & roughly what cup=page they should be) – but you can just as easily use a mug or some other container. Do this a few times, until you have a rough idea of what your new “measuring container” looks like with the cereal portion. Then just start using the measuring container & eyeballing it – it’ll be close enough. Hope that’s helpful, if not ignore!
    Keep going :-)
    PS: Someone commented under one of your last posts about your posts being inspiring – I second that :-)

    • I was thinking about doing that with cereal, but I’ve been weighing out my 40g for years now, since before recovery started (I still had my 40g cereal everyday during the ED) so I should know what it looks like right now. If it’s too stressful and just isn’t happening I’ll give it a go. Hopefully I’ll find a comfortable way to do this.

      Thank you though! I think I’m am getting to a better place you know? It’s ridiculous really but I think that maybe I’m actually doing ok and this is all the right idea (even though the anorexia likes to make out otherwise quite regularly). You’ll get some chirpy confidence soon enough and it’s totally worth it.

      I hope you’re doing well x.

  5. WG

    Sorry about the possible dx. You can’t change the past but can the future. It sounds like you are working hard by eating and getting to a healthy weight. Also the food challenges. Only way to get past the fears and past is to face it.

    I did read in your entries that you have a compulsive walking issue and I encourage you to really work on this. I had that in the past. To be ED free you can’t be walking hours a day. I know how hard it is to stop (thought I would lose my mind but did not) but once I did I saw how unhealthy both mind and body it was. For me the constant walking was ocd,anxiety,and the ed issues. I had to sit with all those feelings but as I saw I could and nothing bad happened it did get easier. Even for a non ed body this amount of walking sounds unhealthy so for a person who needs to repair and needs a strong body it is really is. Plus the mentally trapped feeling that no one deserves.

    Again I hope I don’t sound negative cause you are working hard but just wanted to bring this up

    Good job on the cookies and I hope you can face the continued cereal issue.

    • I know I really have to deal with the walking issues. Like really really. I just don’t seem to be able to. It’s an anxiety thing as much as an ED thing which is the problem. I know I should just sit through it, but I really struggle sitting through anxiety. I can get through all the other “YOU NEED TO EXERCISE” noise that ED gives me (it’s so much effort not to run every day I swear), but once I get the physical effects of anxiety, I just don’t know how to deal with them and it gets unbearable. I don’t know how to manage physical anxiety at all – even if the mental anxiety fades I’m still physcially wound up tight. I know it’s just excuses really and it is actually a problem. Any tips on how to manage the physical effects without walking (or restriction/SH) as these are all I know?

      Thanks you thought!


      • WG

        Hi again. For me the worst was the first few days of making the changes and not allowing myself to constantly walk or move. I knew I could not live a normal life always needing to walk and burn off anxiety or what ever at the time. Lets say you got married,had a job,so on it would really interfere with that. Plus it is a really horrible mindset to be in don’t you agree?

        Back to the first few days of the change though even months later it was still hard but the first days I thought I would lose my mind. I was so anxious and did not want to be near or talk to anyone. I was bitchy to say the least. I emailed my dietician and therapist everyday that I still completed my meal plan but did not engage in the walking and was on exercise restriction so I know that is so hard too. I rented movies,went to a movie,bookstore,crafts. Just tried to get through the day. Some people find meditation or guided imagery helpful. I did not but it may work for you. I knew that I had to do it and if not then when? Same for you.

        Can you just try to imagine sitting with the anxiety but not acting on a behavior? What do you see happening or if you did something sedentary such as watch a movie? Tomorrow if you do no activity but still eat the whole meal plan can you share your fears? Can you try 1 day at a time to do this? I know you can

        If you want an accountability buddy let me know. You can do this and it is ruff but in the long run you will feel better.

  6. Hello :) I read all your posts, i’m quiet, I’m sorry. I think it’s inspiring that you ARE fighting – it’s hard, but you have a fighting spirit and you have come a long way.
    you need to be very, very concerned about the osteopenia/porosis you sound like you are that close to full blown osteoporosis and believe me, from living with severe osteoporosis it is NOT good. it can be a life sentence. I can break bones by sneezing. And I am in constant chronic pain. From being diagnosed with osteopenia it took as little as 6 months for mine to progress to full blown osteoporosis, and once you have the osteoporosis you can NOT TURN IT BACK – you can improve osteopenia, you can NOT improve osteoporosis, that’s it, for life.
    Hang in there, keep fighting. xxx

    • also, you bones will not repair as well either, with osteoporosis. a usually simple, non-serious fracture will result in disability and agony for life. People often die when they break their hips with it. Please take this seriously, Your life will never be the same once your bones get too brittle. xxx

    • i don’t mean this to be a scare, I’m trying to say – listen to your doctor and go in guns blazing now, to prevent it getting that bad xxx

      • Fiona, thanks for the added info on Osteoporosis that’s really useful.

        Where Scrunchy’s Doctor said bones are fully formed and there’s not much that could be done – is he right? I’m confused with my GP saying I can improve my bones through better nutrition etc even at the age of 27, is he just getting my hopes up or is that true?

        If we ever needed MORE motivation to recover, this is it.

      • You CAN improve your bone strength. Our bones are in a constant state of rebuilding. The peak period for this is in our adolescence to early 20’s, after that, it slows. This is why it’s such a dangerous time period to to be having a low bone mass – you are already behind when you should be building up as much as you can to see you through to old age.
        Nutrition does help us rebuild our bones, even after osteopenia. I’m not sure exactly why but osteoporosis is permanent. You can then, with nutrition, prevent it from worsening, but you cannot reverse it. Osteopenia CAN be reversed.
        There are drug treatment and hormone treatments out there but try not to have to rely on them. they are NOT as good as doing it naturally. Drug treatments have been useless for me, as has hormone – because my osteoporosis was not caused by the usual ageing factors but by malnutrition, and with the hormones, it’s too little too late.
        Fosamax et al are not much help for people with brittle bones from anorexia.
        If you have not been having your period this is even more reason to be concerned – i found that as well as the malnutrition factor, lack of hormonal activity was one of the biggest contributors. We NEED those hormones.
        It’s essential for everyone with an ED to have regular bone scans, at least 6 monthly if you can, and if you have loss of period get seen by an endocrinologist as soon as possible. xx

      • and yes, very very good motivation here! anorexia RUINS your body. RUINS it.
        Please don’t let it hurt your bodies more than it has. A lot of the damage, you don’t even become aware of til years in the future, even years after you are much better xx

      • important to differentiate – osteoPENIA is the stage before osteoPOROSIS. Penia is reversible, Porosis is not. xx

      • Fiona, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this blog by my friend Cathy –

        She had severe osteoporosis from having anorexia for thirty years and never getting her periods. She started recovery just before she was forty and actually has improved her bone density a great deal, so it’s now only osteopenic in places. So osteoporosis CAN be improved – but you need to get to/stay at a healthy weight and get your periods (plus vitamin D). I know enough people who have gained bone mass despite advanced osteoporosis to know that’s it’s not necessarily permanent, or at least that the severity can be improved.

      • OH WOW, that’s amazing and I have to look it up more now! My doctors have said that mine is too far gone, that meds will not help etc, I guess mine is extreme, but you just reminded me of 3 things –
        1. there’s always hope
        2. get a second opinion and
        3. medical science is leaping and bounding all the time :)

  7. Thank you for that (and sorry Scrunchy for spamming your comments!)
    Yep, it’s Osteopenia I have, but appreciated the added info on Osteoperosis. I might look into making an appt with an endocrinologist, it’s not something I’d heard of or considered! I’m so inept.

    • I hope Scrunchy doesn’t mind, I do think it’s helpful this is here for people to see and learn about. No you aren’t inept.. we have to all start somewhere :) xx

  8. Oh my gosh so many comments!

    Thank you for this little debate though! It’s given me a lot to think about. Hopefully I can reverse this. It’s scary stuff though. :( x.

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