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The Blatherings Of A Blitherer

My Body, Myself

February7

Those of you who’ve been reading my blog for awhile know that in the past, I’ve grappled with disordered eating. It mostly took the form of binging and fasting (where “fasting” is “going 2-3 days without eating until I’m so hungry I consume the entire world, then freak out about it”) and severe calorie restriction (like, trying to live on 500 calories a day, mostly in the form of diet soda). I’m also really, really fat and it took me a while, but I’ve gotten comfortable in my body. It’s a fat body, but it’s MY body, and (at least until recently) it more or less did what I wanted it to do, when I wanted it to do it.

I used to do a lot of manual labor. I used to dig up (small) trees and haul them around; muck out horse stalls and wheel around overloaded wheelbarrows full of sodden straw and manure; toss around 75 pound bags of flour and sugar; unload trucks full of slate, mulch, compost, etc; work all day in the hot sun.

When I started trying to practice Health At Every Size (HAES) and intuitive eating, my weight stabilized. (I also stopped eating so much dairy, because it makes me ill. It helped me listen to my body more.) I mean, I had a kid 2 years ago, and I had no problems losing all the (minimal) weight I gained while pregnant. I currently weigh the same amount I did before I conceived.

Only I feel fatter than I used to. Like, I feel like I’ve gained 20 pounds or so. My clothes don’t fit well. I feel sluggish and confined. I’m a lot more sedentary than I used to be (this has been a long, cold, wet winter and I don’t have a driver’s license, so going out and doing things and moving is… challenging) and I think I’ve lost muscle and gained fat.

I don’t like my body like this.

So I’ve started working out and holy shit am I out of shape. I used to dance competitively. I used to Irish Step Dance, which means I basically used to jump up and down for an hour or two at a time. I can’t even imagine doing that now. Well, I mean, I can imagine it… and when I put my head down to work out, I’m done far too soon. It’s depressing. I’m still working on it, working out, waiting for the snow to melt and the temperatures to break so I can actually leave the house with the toddler in tow. We can walk a mile to the library, to the park, etc and that’ll help.

But I’ve gotten into some bad food habits as well and I need to correct that. I don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, I’m a sucker for bread (especially with butter), and I could stand to stop eating so much pre-packaged processed food. We have an actual fruit bowl in the dining room, on the table, and having the fresh fruit RIGHT THERE AND VISIBLE is helping us remember to eat it (Niko calls apples and oranges myommyom balls) and I’ve upped my fruit intake quite a bit. I found some great recipes for cauliflower and we’ve been doing a good job of eating more cooked veggies AND more salad (we splurged and got fancy dressings, croĆ»tons, flavored almonds, etc for extra fancy restaurant style salads).

So I’m doing what I can to, in general, improve my body’s health. But the urge is there: to stop eating entirely; to count and reduce calories to almost nothing; to go on a faddish crash diet; to try to win that elusive prize of thinness by any means necessary even if it means shaking hands and dizziness and vertigo and poor health. It’s so sick. There are foods that make me ill (upset stomach, mouth rash, migraine… not all at the same time) and I should keep a food diary so I can track what it is that’s making me sick so I can cut it out of my diet. But I fear that if I start logging food I’ll start restricting again. That way lies madness, and by “madness” I mean “obsession and compulsion and terrible anxiety nightmares.” There are times I wish I could just not eat ever again, never put anything in my mouth again, shed my physical body entirely and just drift away.

6 Comments to

“My Body, Myself”

  1. On February 7th, 2011 at 11:44 pm Brenna Says:

    Ugh, that’s exactly why I don’t do a food diary, even though I should because my calorie need is so weird. And why we don’t have a scale. But! I am not having the problems I used to have, with the binging. And I get to have pride when I look at old comfort foods and say to Chase “I don’t eat those any more.” I think that verbal confirmation helps.

    Good luck, lady. As you do more it will get easier. It’s this damned hump is what. And food allergies. Can you, instead of writing it down, just do a week minus one type of food and see how you do? Like a medieval science approach instead of a Victorian science approach. Not having a “log”, which can trigger (for me, anyway) way too much thinking and detailing and worrying, and trying to be looser with it?
    Brenna recently posted..Comics- Finishing- week 1

    Brigid Reply:

    I think part of the food PROBLEM is that it’s a minor ingredient, not a major one. Or something I don’t eat often. Like, I shouldn’t eat raw pineapple (but sometimes I do) because I get an itchy rash on the inside of my mouth (but when it’s cooked/grilled/broiled it’s fine). How often do I eat raw pineapple? Not that often. But that’s an interesting approach to use.

    I don’t NORMALLY binge the way I used to, and currently, there is a bunch of food in the kitchen that used to be guaranteed binging, and we’re just nibbling away at it like sensible folks. So yes, it does improve with time!

    Brenna Reply:

    It’s so exciting to be like, “I am going to get this food that was a trigger food and eat only a portion.” And then do it. I am the boss of my life!

    Aggh, if it is something that is only a minor part of your eating that is going to be annoying to track down. But! That means your regular meals won’t have to do the food-allergy-determination dance.
    Brenna recently posted..Comics- Finishing- week 1

  2. On February 9th, 2011 at 5:20 pm Brigid Says:

    @Brenna
    I have a fear that wheat/gluten is an issue. SIGH.

    Also: I need to eat less animal products because I just do not handle them well, probably because I grew up in a mostly vegetarian household.

    ANIMALS TASTE GOOD, DAMMIT.

    I’ve had a bag of pretzel M&Ms sitting on the counter for like a week now. I’m eating literally a handful at a time. Sometimes I’m like “do I want these? eh no.” it’s kind of amazing.

  3. On February 9th, 2011 at 5:26 pm Brenna Says:

    SAD! I do recommend chickpea flour as a savory flour substitute that is cheap. And sunflower seeds ground up as a cornmeal sub. Or, if it’s just wheat, oat things. Nom. Oh bulk oats how I cannot buy you anymore because I’m the only one eating them.

    I don’t know what I’d do if I had to eat less meat. Does fish do okay on you?

    Man, pretzel M&Ms did not live up to my hopes. I will admit that keeping either expensive nice cookies (each one is like 50 cents, so you have to savour!) or mediocre candy as the snack option in the house helps a lot.
    Brenna recently posted..Comics- Finishing- week 1

  4. On February 9th, 2011 at 5:33 pm Brigid Says:

    @Brenna
    Man I hate fish soooooo muuuuuuuuuuuuuch but as far as I can tel it doesn’t give me the shits. HELLO RED MEAT. So tasty! So painful! I think I’m going to try and just use meatly products as, like, FLAVORING. So, like, ham hocks in split pea soup, bits of cubed ham, but not a ham steak. You know?

    I adore pretzel M&Ms, they are super great. I like pretzels a lot, though.

    One of my resolutions is to not buy cookies unless they are special/fancy cookies. I am making all cookies. (and cupcakes/cakes and pies) This 1) cuts down on the amount of them that I eat 2)cuts down on the additives and preservatives that I eat 3) means I’m baking more and sending cookies with Nesko to work so everyone loves him. It’s interesting. I get a hankering for cookies, I make a batch, I send half to work with Nesko… and then i wind up sending most of the rest with him as well. I just don’t want to sit down and eat a million cookies.

    (that being said, a friend sent me cookies and I ate like 5 dozen of them in a few days, literally. THE PAIN WAS WORTH IT.)