Looking at a lot of things in life, everything comes with a price. We pay a price and get something back all the time. When we are looking at what we want and the cost, we decide what is important and what is not — essentially, is it worth it?
When we are absorbed in the eating disorder we pay many prices. We don’t think about the price we pay when we are paying it. We listen to the eating disorder and have no idea that the price is our health and our relationships. I found out that I didn’t have the ability to ask “is it worth it?” Only after I started treatment and was able to get myself to a healthy point was I able to see that I am able to look back when I want to turn back to the eating disorder and say, “is it worth it?”… most times, the answer is “hell no.”
It’s “hell no” because the price you pay for the eating disorder is awful. When you are “in it” you don’t realize what you are doing. Restricting food for days on end seems like it’s not healthy to a normal person, but to me, when I was really sick, I was strong, powerful and I was in control for doing it! What I didn’t realize is that I was really damaging my liver, bones, intestines, and giving my heart a run for its money when I couldn’t control my heart rate. How I didn’t have a heart attack, I’m not sure. There was a morning that I got up and was taking a shower and could see my heart beating in my chest (very fast). I was confused. So I checked my pulse and googled it. My resting heart rate was 132 beats per minute (what a person’s is after intense workout). After watching it, I found that this was happening very regularly. I am so lucky that I never had a heart attack, and I truly think that God is the only reason I didn’t have a heart attack (given the fact that I still went running with a heart rate like that… crazy, I KNOW!!).
Needless to say, after many EKGs I’ve been given the compliment that it’s the most normal EKG my doctor has seen in a long time (HOLLA!!!) and I’ve reversed the liver damage, and even though my bone density was abnormal, I’ve started to reverse that as well, so the odds of me having osteoporosis is now slim to none! I wish I could say the paralyzed intestinal issue is gone, but it’s a doozie!!!! My intestines figured out that I was restricting, so they decided to save energy to keep my heart beating (thanks little guys!) and slowed the track. So now food moves soooooooo s.l.o.w.l.y at times. (picture this – in treatment all summer – I would eat 1 meal and it was still in my stomach when the next meal came…. EEP!!!). If I miss a meal it thinks I’m full mode anorexic again and turns that baby off…. yikes! awful! 😦 We have an amazing computer for a body that is designed to keep us alive, which is great!!!!! But man, I’m struggling to get past this part of it! I’ll fix it…. and it will end, just not sure when.
One of the last medical prices I’m paying is my metabolism – hence my 30 day meal plan challenge is trying to take care of that…. hoping for a fix! Like I said, our bodies try so hard to save us, so it literally slows your metabolism so you can’t lose weight. This is just like our yo-yo dieters!!! All my friends reading who are on-and-off dieters…. believe me if you want…. or call me a liar….. I know I’m right because I meet with my “bestest friend” Beth my dietitian all the time and I’m PRETTY SURE she’s right (don’t ever tell her I said that!!). Our Yo-yo dieters cut out foods and cut back portions and eat less calories and may or may not feel hungry…. essentially they think, if I eat less bread and meals I’ll lose. You’re right… at first you will (I did), soon after, it stops and you hit a plateau and your diet ends and you try diet after diet (or for me, I just stopped eating all together). Your body knows you are cutting out foods that are needed, and it’s in survival mode. It’s not a matter of the work you are doing… you’re probably working hard, but your body is fighting you because it isn’t sure when you will feed it normally again. It slows your metabolism so you can’t lose as much weight. This is the boat I’m in. My metabolism is so messed up and I have to fix it. It doesn’t trust that I will keep feeding it regularly. I thinks I’ll go back to lettuce and diet soda, or nothing. Our bodies need a variety of foods (including FAT!)! Cutting sugar and fat is not the answer to losing weight! So, it’s taking my body a loooooooooooooooong time to trust that I won’t starve it again. What fixes it you ask??? EATING!!! eating. and increasing your eating. I bet you can imagine how well that’s going! I love, love, love this part of it! 🙂 I understand this point, but it’s tough! I’m on a strict intake because I can’t eat too little, and I can’t eat too much because my body is trying to figure out how to metabolize the food. It’s a waiting game, really!!
I’ve always been a runner and it’s something that I won’t ever let the eating disorder take from me. Sadly, I think it’s a price that I’ve paid. When I was restricting and overexercising I had stress fracture, and now I’m in a place where my legs just don’t want to go. 😦 On my rail trail run they decided they wanted to take a walk. They felt like they were concrete blocks that I was lugging with me 😦 I’m in a place where there is a strong chance that my past nutrition choices and my current intake can’t sustain my running (intake is decided by metabolism). Hold onto your seats — here comes awesome drawings!!!!
I’m sorry…. please start working again very soon!!!!!
After I spent a good mile or two crying while walking I realized that there are worst things in life. Maybe I’m overtraining, and maybe not. I’ll have to talk to the doctor about that. But as I walking, I decided that I could be mad or I could try to enjoy this walk. (I didn’t enjoy the sunburn that I knew I was getting). 😦
So, I stopped to stretch my legs and apologize for being mad at them and then chose to enjoy the scene. The breeze was great, flowers were blooming and I could be in a place where the doctors are still telling me I can’t exercise.
I know there is a chance that I’ll have to stop running because my intake can’t sustain the longer running I’m trying to do, and that will feel really crappy if I have to cross that bridge, but it’s a price that I have to pay if I want full recovery. If I have to stop exercising to get healthy, it’s what I have to do. Do I like it? Hell no! Will I do it? ….. unhappily, yes.
Each time I catch myself at a crossroads of wanting to skip a meal and go back to the eating disorder I find that I am able to now ask myself some questions. I can sit back and say, “You can skip this meal right now, but is it worth it?” ….. I know that if I skip that meal, I’ll want to skip another and my body hates when I do that – it sends out awful hunger signals and makes me feel terrible (because it knows what I’ve done to it). And, I think about how far I’ve come and do I want to be back where I was? Was I happy at that low weight sitting in treatment? No. I will have to just climb right back out of this hole again, so why go backwards? I’ve come to realize it’s not worth the day long worry of food and eating disorder thoughts; I’d rather just struggle through the hour-long meal and move on about my day. Tomorrow marks day 21 of 30 on this meal plan! I feel like it will never end…. I think I know after 30 they will just say do it again for 30 more days, but I’ll just wait for that to cry….
I know for sure that I’m not the only person dealing with a struggle of some sort. So I invite you to think about it….. whatever struggle you are holding onto…. whatever price you are paying for something…. monetary? physically? emotionally? socially? happiness? —– is the price you are paying worth it? When we say it out loud it’s very easy to lie, but when we truly answer it in our own heads and hearts, we can’t lie. We know the right answer – so answer this one to yourself, and yourself only…. whatever the price….. is it worth it? If it is truly worth it – great! If not, how would you want it to be different? Is there a second step you can think about taking to make it different? Seeing that the price you’re paying isn’t worth it is the first step.
On a happy note…. I definitely came up behind this cute old couple walking together and it made me smile 🙂 The price we pay is not worth it if we can’t have this some day! 🙂