Anorexia in the Family

Anorexia nervosa or really just any eating disorder doesn’t just affect one individual, it affects everyone. For 3 years now I have been dragging my mom and dad through hell all because of my eating disorder. At this point, they are tired, frustrated, and well . . . sick of me being sick. If I could tell them all that I am feeling right now, this video I made says it all. . .

I Thought I Closed the Door, ED . . . .

Yep, there's ED again. Refusing to leave me be as usual . . . .
Yep, there’s ED again. Refusing to leave me be as usual . . . .

During the 3 months of freedom commonly known as summer break, I worked my ass off to try to get ED (my eating disorder) out of my life.  I used every single muscle in my body to push him out the front door. Of course he still would still find a way to barge it open sometimes and try to convince me to let him back in my life, but as time went on, I thought I was got a hell of a lot better at ignoring his tempting words and kicking him back onto the street where he belonged.

But then school started and things changed. . .

I notice now my flexibility when it comes to food is beginning to dissolve. It is nearly impossible for me to eat with my family because their version of dinnertime is off my rigid schedule.  The idea of going out to eat now strikes an enormous amount of fear in me, more than ever before. Even just someone mentioning that they would like to go to a restaurant when I hadn’t planned on it, causes me to lash out due to the overwhelming amount of anxiety that overcomes me.

All these behaviors are causing my parents to become immensely disappointed in me. I can just see it in their sorrowful eyes. They just want me to get better. They just want me to be the old Claire. Hell, they just want me to be happy. That’s all they ask  from me and yet I can’t even give them that. What kind of daughter am I?

A selfish one that’s what I am! I always allow ED to get in the way of the fun things my family does. I can’t go out to eat. I can’t go too far away because of my fear of sitting for long periods of time and missing my scheduled eating period. I can’t be happy because I am constantly anxious about something.  The list just goes on and on . . .

Can’t you see? I am just letting ED ruin everything. All I want to do is stop him so everybody can smile and actually mean it for once, but I apparently can’t do it. Over the summer, I thought I would soon be out of the woods. Now though, I feel like I will be forever trapped in ED’s clutches.  I don’t want to be, but I don’t know how to recover because whenever I try to, I fail. I just fail. . . .

“Sorry but my Behind is Going in that Chair . . . . “

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I do not care if you are pink, ED still won’t let me sit in you!

What is the one thing I hate more than anything?

No, it’s not getting one of those mortifying flu shots (I don’t care what the nurses say, they still hurt!) or even being forced to ingest a meal that I didn’t cook. ‘

It’s sitting. Yes, you read that right. The simple act of placing my gluteus maximus on a hard surface causes my mind to race, my heart to pound, and my hands to begin to persperate. In other words, it causes me to experience one of the worst things imaginable – an anxiety attack.

Now, a few of you guys may be wondering why on earth kicking my feet up and relaxing in a La-Z-Boy causes me such distress. I mean, we all know sitting isn’t going to kill me . . . but to be honest with you, for me it might as well.

You see my good friend ED (just an FYI, I’m being sarcastic) doesn’t like it when I am still. He somehow came up with the irrational idea that not moving results in a massive amount of weight gain, even if its just for a few short minutes! Despite the fact that ED’s belief is completely illogical, I still believe him with every last bit of me.

As you can imagine, having “sit-o-phobia” causes a lot of dilemmas when I’m out in the real world. I look like an idiotic in school because I refuse to sit in any of my classes (except math) and traveling is a nightmare since it requires long & horrifying periods immobility.

I realize allowing ED to rule my life and cause me to fear so many foolish things is no way to live, but I honestly struggle with challenging him sometimes especially when it comes to sitting. People think it’s so easy to just overcome my fear and get on with my life, but they’ve never dealt with ED. They never heard his deafening screams in their hears. They’ve never had their self-confidence cut down by his cruel, heartless words. Hell, I am positive they probably never were eaten away by the extreme guilt ED makes you feel when you break one of his ridiculous laws!

I just want people to be more understanding because you know what I don’t want to be the odd one out anymore. I know standing in class looks rather bizarre and unorthodox, but ED honestly gives me no choice. I want to be normal, but I can’t . . . not right now at least. Just not right now . . .

Let’s Stuff ‘Em! – Why This New Method of Eating Disorder Treatment is Disordered Itself

The new worst place for eating disorder treatment.
The new worst place for eating disorder treatment.

If any of you guys have been trapped in an eating disorder treatment center, you know how the meal plans work. Basically, you come in and the staff stuff you with about 1,200 calories worth of food. With each passing 24 hours, the staff slowly increases the energy content of your meal plan by about 100kcal per day until the diet is incredibly rich in calories. Now for anorexics who are used to eating a diet that consists of a freakishly low amount of calories, this “treatment center diet” seems like some sort of ghastly feast. In reality though, this diet is quite low in calories. Actually, I am almost positive most healthy folks would be FAMISHED if they went on this diet.

The reason why treatment centers start off their new patients on this tiny diet is because the centers are trying to prevent a dreaded complication that occurs when feeding malnourished individuals  – refeeding syndrome. This life-threatening medical condition causes dangerous fluctuations in a starved individual’s fluids and electrolytes, which can ultimately result in acute heart failure and death. By starting anorexic patients on a low-calorie diet and slowly increasing their caloric intake, it is believed that you are giving the body time to adjust to its new dietary regime. Thus, sparing the patient from becoming refeeding syndrome’s next victim.

Recently though, this orthodox method of nutrition therapy is under scrutiny by medical professionals at UCSF (University of California – San Francisco) Benioff Children’s Hospital.  They are claiming that patients suffering from anorexia nervosa should be started off on a more energy dense diet (starting off at 1,800kcal and increasing the diet by 120kcal per day) in order to achieve shorter periods of hospitalization and to meet the heightened caloric requirements of anorexic individuals.

So the folks at UCSF conducted a study. They got a hold of 56 adolescents who were admitted to the hospital for anorexia nervosa between the years of 2002 and 2012. The group of adolescents that were admitted in 2008 and beyond were started on the higher calorie diet while adolescents admitted before 2008 were started on the more traditional, lower calorie version of nutrition therapy. The results of the study showed that the teens who were fed the more energy-rich diet gained weight at nearly double the rate and got discharged from the hospital almost a week sooner than the group who was prescribed a lower calorie diet.  An added bonus was the fact that the high-calorie patients also didn’t have any increased risk of refeeding syndrome.

So of course now the folks at UCSF are treating their anorexic patients on a high-cal diet plan because of this study revealing a more “successful” treatment method . . .

And I can’t describe in words how sorry I feel for each and every one of those poor anorexia sufferers who are under UCSF’s care.

You see, all the study focused on was the rate of weight gain in patients, as if weight was the cure-all for anorexics.  Believe me, if the antidote for anorexia nervosa was packing on pounds, then I would have been healthy (both emotionally and physically) a hell of a long time ago!

When I was really sick, I cannot even describe in words how terrifying it was to eat a treatment center’s “huge” meal. Now I know my meal plan for the first day contain just 900 calories, but for a girl who was surviving off of 100 calories per day, it seemed enormous.  With every bite I was forced to take , my ED shouted in my mind, reminding me how fat this meal would make me become. The thought of gaining even a single ounce caused me a huge amount of anguish, so I cannot even imagine how distressed the UCSF eating disorder patients are when they are forced to experience the horrors of accelerated weight-gain.  Plus I can’t stop wondering how these patients feel when they go back home and find out their “sick” pants are so tight  they can’t even get them above their knees! Think of how triggering that would be! I don’t know about you, but that would send me right into a full-blown relapse!

In my opinion this study should be thrown into a fire and burned.  More doctors than ever before are just focusing on weight and forgetting that anorexia nervosa is a PSYCHOLOGICAL DISORDER that requires INTENSIVE PSYCHOLOGICAL TREATMENT. By focusing on the root cause of the disorder  and treating its psychological implications, the patient will be able to eventually master the ability to properly nourish themselves.  I really do believe that if this was the treatment I received, my life would be so different right now.

Not different for the worst, but different for the better.

WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THIS CONTROVERSIAL STUDY AND TREATMENT REGIMENT? HERE ARE SOME RESOURCES!

Stop Being the Judge!

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Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. — Plato

Those were the words I came across while trying to ease my state of complete boredom on StumbleUpon. Let me tell you, this tiny little sentence is probably one of the most powerful ones I’ve ever laid my eyes on.

I know we all hate to admit it, but we human beings are a rather judgmental species.  I mean, just take a few minutes to think about it. When you walk down the street and see some man wearing his pants around his knees and some oversized profanity-filled t-shirt, what are you thinking? Is it that this man must be some successful businessman or an affectionate father? 

No? Yeah, that’s kind of what I thought. . .

Hey, I’m not going to lie. If I saw this man coming down the street, I would immediately think this guy was a drug dealer or some blood-thirsty gangster. I’m sad to say, I would also probably get my butt over to the other side of the road as fast as I could. I am pretty darn sure that a lot of you would do the same.

But you know what, who are we to judge? We don’t know who that man may be or what his story is. For all we know, this man could of grew up in an abusive home where he was lucky to go to bed without a black eye. Right now, he may have a child at home and he’s working two jobs just to put Easy Mac on the table.

So why don’t we just do what Plato said and be kind.

Maybe that smile you flash him as he walks by gives him the strength to make it through the day.

Maybe that compliment you give that girl stops her from cutting her poor arms that she hides under her long-sleeved shirts.

Maybe, just maybe, one random act of kindness we show stops someone from taking their own life.

So let’s remember what Plato said when we start criticizing and critiquing others, because we honestly have no idea what that person may be struggling with on the inside.

 

 

A Little Poem for a Little Inspiration

I made this poem and I know I am not even close to being another Edgar Allen Poe, but when I’m having a hard time I look at this poem. It brings me back to center and reminds me what my goal is. . . . TO KICK ED’S BUTT!

 

Success

By: Me!

Success is not something that you can measure in pounds, kilos, or stones,

It cannot be measured by the size of your pants,

The clothes on your back,

Or the troubles that have tainted your past,

Success is not something that can be evaluated by your family,

By your friends,

By your teachers,

Or by some unknown stranger,

Success is something that can be judged by you,

And only you,

Because success is a journey,

A journey that may bring times of tears,

And times of jubilation,

A journey that may bring times of terror,

And times of magnificent courage,

A journey that may bring times of internal and external battles,

And times of peace and serenity,

Though this journey may be a challenge,

Remember that every step you take,

Every single goal you accomplish,

Brings you closer to your version of,

Success.