I’m having a weekend full of weird and unexpected highs and lows. I had planned to write a different post this weekend (about an opportunity I had to speak about my ED to a swimming team) but that’s had to be postponed to allow me to process some triggers I’ve come across the past 48 hours.
Firstly, on Friday night I found myself locked out my house for 5 hours, in my pyjamas and bunny slippers nonetheless! As part of those 5 hours, whilst at a neighbours house I nipped to the toilet and found myself facing a set of scales.
Secondly, on Saturday, I had an impromptu meet up with a couple of friends. Sat chilling in the park but around 3, maybe 4 hours after I’d eaten my dinner, I felt queasy and involuntarily threw up.
Thirdly, today, Sunday, I have to follow an extremely restrictive diet due to some testing that’s happening tomorrow and I mean restrictive. I’m only allowed black coffee, plain oats, plain grilled fish (no herbs, spices, sauces), eggs or plain rice/potatoes. In terms of fruit and veg I am limited to 10 blueberries or raspberries, a handful of spinach or cucumbers…nothing else. There’s nothing in the snack column.
So here we go, 3 days, 3 different challenges and I’m glad to say I’m coping well but it’s been a SHOCK to the system to say the least.
I stared at the scales for maybe 5 minutes. It definitely felt longer. I haven’t weighed myself voluntarily for 2 years. It’s only been inadvertently that I’ve found out my weight – e.g. being weighed before surgery 2 months ago. But when I saw the scales I had this inexplicable urge to step on.
“Just a quick look”
“Don’t you want to know?”
“It’ll be our little secret”
I wanted to but I pulled myself away from that urge as hard as I could. I knew that if I saw a number I was happy with, I might become obsessed with keeping weight off. If I saw a number I was unhappy with that would risk me restricting my diet the next few days. More generally, stepping back on the scales might tempt me to start that cycle again. So I stayed off and that was an achievement.
I have no idea why I was sick last night. It was very unexpected. Unlike everyone else I hadn’t been drinking and I’d had my healthy aubergine parmigiana 4 hours before. I’ve cooked and eaten that dish many times in lockdown so I have no idea why it might have caused me to be ill. I don’t even feel unwell or run down, although I do have a big coldsore which usually means my immune system is low.
I lost count how many times I said to my boyfriend, “I didn’t do it. It wasn’t me. I promise I didn’t make myself do this.” I mean, it was obvious it wasn’t self induced but I still felt the need to convince him it was all purely involuntarily. The feeling I had of being empty afterwards though was also very triggering but I seemed to distract myself well enough last night.
Today, I have to follow this really strict diet and it’s important I do so because my doctors are testing my gut, bowel, stomach (you name it, they’re testing anything gastroenterology to do with me) and in order to see if certain substances are the cause of my pain I have to eat this strict diet followed by a 14 hour fast and then 3 hours of testing.
In all honesty, it’s fine. The restrictions are tight but I know it’s only for one day and I managed to make a very nice filling lunch regardless (see yummy picture below).
However, it’s still strange to have had these three different eating disorder habits crop up accidentally during the last 48 hours. It’s strange because it’s made me realise that I’m able to fight them better than I used to and that’s a pleasant surprise. It doesn’t mean that they’ve not affected or upset me but instead of seeing these three triggers as a test of my recovery, I’m looking at them as an opportunity to to realise how much stronger I am right now.