Overall, I have been doing fairly well with my attempt at recovery. Slip ups here, restricting there, purging now and then. Even with this, I am doing much better than I would have if I never would have gone to treatment. Saturday I did a 15k. I found out just a few days earlier that I have a small tear of my meniscus. Against numerous opinions and comments, advice, what have you, I still chose to run the race.
I had been slipping, I knew that. Throwing up more frequently, eating less. My meal plan has become more of a suggestion than an actual guide. So, Saturday morning came, I was told by someone from treatment to make sure I packed extra food, even though the staff there all thought it was a bad idea for me to do the run. I wrapped my knee the best I could figuring if nothing else, for some stability. It was pouring the rain, my knee was in a lot of pain.
It was definitely a pride thing. I wanted to accomplish this run, finish, be proud of what I had done- even if it was self destructive and disordered.
I finished the run even though by mile 7 my knee and hip were in so much unbelievable pain. Afterwards, I ate a snack, but never added anything else to it to make up for the calories I had burned off. I got home and my best friend and her family were making tacos. In my head I thought, “Ok, cool. Protein, fat, veg, starch.- perfect.” I attempted to eat some, then I began to freak.
The disordered thoughts came back twice as loud, demanding, screaming, threatening, belittling. I went to the bathroom and threw up everything. Ed was screaming at me, “You did the run without any extra food, you are fine. Think of all the calories you burned off today during that run, I bet you are back in negative calories. What the hell did you just do actually eating?! Why the hell would you even choose to run if your fat ass is just going to eat?!?!” The following day, I skipped breakfast, restricted for snack, then attempted to eat lunch. I heard it again, “You barely ate at all yesterday, you did great. I bet you could have gone all day today without eating too….but NOOOOO, had to go and ruin that one too, didn’t ya?” So, then I threw up the little lunch I had consumed.
It occurred to me, that running the race wasn’t probably the smartest idea I had. I knew how badly I struggle with exercise addiction. Everyone else from treatment knew as well, plus with my knee. I was just so stubborn I didn’t want to listen or believe it. Running over 9 miles, and puking twice, all within 24 hours… this is not a good sign, I thought.
So, I emailed treatment, was honest and told her about how I did the run. It reignited some major disordered thoughts. That was late Sunday. She responded, and set me up with an appointment on Monday for outpatient services.
It was stressful and embarrassing to walk back into treatment for help. I told my dietitian that I had really begun to slip lately. She knew I was going to struggle with working out, and I explained I would make up excused to avoid adding anything extra to my meal plan after working out because I hadn’t, “worked out long enough, or hard enough, or just wasn’t hungry.” She told me her main goal was to get me back on the meal plan.
After that, I went and spoke with the clinical director and she asked about the run. I told her that it probably wasn’t a good idea. Besides limping with my knee, she quickly realized that it had probably set off a domino effect with my eating and the thought patterns
So, here I am. Trying to get back on the meal plan, going to treatment now for outpatient guidance and help. I have said it for months now, I so desperately want a healthy relationship between eating and working out.
Trust the process!!