Monday, March 31, 2008

Help in the form of Better Homes and Gardens?

I had an interesting happening on Saturday. Kind of unnerving, but kind of cool. Okay, it was only cool because God intervened. I was with mom while she was working and where we were there were some magazines lying around. I had nothing to do so I picked up one of the fashion magazines and started flipping through it. Anyways, this magazine had plenty of pictures of runway shows and the models that walk in them (can you see where this is going?). They were all very thin. Over this past week I had just begun to see some very small appeal to looking like a girl (as opposed to looking like a stick), but as I continued to look through the magazine I began to really find that really skinny, stick look very attractive again. I felt it coming and I knew it would not be good. I shut the magazine, asked God for some help and picked up Better Homes and Gardens which was boring, but much more uplifting.

It was cool. It was really an answer to prayer. I've been asking God to help me turn to Him when temptation arises instead of running from Him and that's just what He did. A temptation arose (the desire to look like the models), I turned from the temptation, turned to God who provided me with an out (in the form of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine) and I took the out. It was really encouraging.

This week as a whole has been much better than last week. I know I had a couple bad days, but the whole week didn't suck! Hooray! But really, it was better. I weighed in at 104 this more pound and I'll have reached my goal...for the moment.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Okay, I was thinking about this last night and it was bothering me. Tuesday night was a rough night, but instead of running to God I ran (once again) to the thing that's not going to help me. But not only is it not the thing that helps me, it's the thing that hurts me. It's not like I flip out to the point that I forget He's there. I know He is, He always is, wherever I run He's there(psalm 139). I don't forget Him, but I choose to run the other way. I can feel His presence and I can almost audibly hear him calling me, but I still refuse to run to Him.

I don't get this. I know He's there and I say I want Him more than anything, so why do I still play the harlot when it comes to these desires? Why do I look to the One I love, then turn and run to the thing I hate? I run to the thing that hurts me and hurts the One I say I love.

None of it makes sense to me. The only thing I've found that has helped some is in Romans. Paul has a rather round-a-bout way of getting to it, but it makes sense.

For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Oh wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:15-25
Okay, I'm not trying to pull the whole "the devil made me do it" excuse. But sometimes (more like all the time) we can't stand up to sin. We MUST go to Christ for help. When temptation comes we must go to the higher thing. That higher thing is Christ. I guess it's all part of the retraining process.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

okay, I'm not gonna lie....last week sucked. But this is a new week and it's been a little better. Tuesday was actually not half so hot, but could have been much worse I suppose.

It all started last night. After a fun evening of going to the movies with mom and having a delicious smoothie I got to bed and realized that for the third night in a row I felt really full. Once again I had my snack too late and instead of being comfortable to mildy hungry, I was quite full. Well, this did not go over well. I got up, did some crunches (it never helps...i don't know why I still try it), then in a last desprate attempt to make my stomach go down some I tried punching myself in the stomach several times. That didn't work just hurt. Finally, after getting up and telling mom that I was changing breakfast to something less calorically intense, I went back to bed.

So, today went as well as could be expected for having a night like that. I managed to hit 2000, but probably not much more than that.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Don't think now, Take the Road

"And Peter . . . walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid." Matthew 14:29-30
The wind was actually boisterous, the waves were actually high, but Peter did not see them at first. He did not reckon with them, he simply recognized his Lord and stepped out in recognition of Him, and walked on the water. Then he began to reckon with the actual things, and down he went instantly. Why could not our Lord have enabled him to walk at the bottom of the waves as well as on the top of them? Neither could be done saving by recognition of the Lord Jesus.
We step right out on God over some things, then self-consideration enters in and down we go. If you are recognizing your Lord, you have no business with where He engineers your circumstances. The actual things are, but immediately you look at them you are overwhelmed, you cannot recognize Jesus, and the rebuke comes: "Wherefore didst thou doubt?" Let actual circumstances be what they may, keep recognizing Jesus, maintain complete reliance on Him.
If you debate for a second when God has spoken, it is all up. Never begin to say - "Well, I wonder if He did speak?" Be reckless immediately, fling it all out on Him. You do not know when His voice will come, but whenever the realization of God comes in the faintest way imaginable, recklessly abandon. It is only by abandon that you recognize Him. You will only realize His voice more clearly by recklessness.

That lovely was written by Oswald Chambers as the June 18th entry of My Utmost for His Highest. I read that last night after all the craziness. I know I am so not there yet, but it's some places I want to get.

This problem is real and I am actually dealing with this. Running from it isn't going to help and hiding is just a band aid. Focusing on Jesus is what's going to get me through. It's easier said than done, but with training it can be. Training doesn't happen all at once. Just like training your body doesn't happen all at once. It takes time and practice. I have to remind myself that I'm not going to go from sick to well in six weeks...this is a process. I shouldn't be beating myself up when I slip. I just have to work through and keep going, keep training. Also, it's not something that my mind can make happen. Just like training the body, you can't think your way to improvement, it takes training. So, reckless abandon is the prize and goal...but right here is the training ground.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Today was-a not so hot. Neither was yesterday...or the week in general. Monday and tuesday I just felt fat, wednesday I felt like a cow and today I started cutting corners again. I'd been pretty good, but I finally lost it a little. I was supposed to make 2100 and I think I came close, but I don't think I quite hit it. I didn't do as well as I was supposed to, but I did better than I wanted to...what the crap? I know it's another attack and I knew it was coming.

Anyways, so yeah. I knew it was coming on tuesday because God was trying to show me some cool stuff and I was almost grasping it. I was at work (teaching ballet:) and I don't remember how I even started thinking about it, but it occurred to me, that maybe there's more to having a "ballet body" than being a stick. Maybe it involves having a body that is physically structured in such a way that it can hold up to the stresses of ballet better than other body types(which I have for the most part). And maybe having that body is what helps you gain the technique...not being really skinny. And if technique is the vehicle for the artistry then being healthy helps improve the artistry. And the art in dance is what is so beautiful and moving about dance. So, if a healthy body produces artistry, then a healthy body produces beauty. I happened to be standing in front of a mirror this whole time and for a minute I almost let myself consider the possibility that I could fit that category....but no...not yet.

So that was a moment so truth between thoughts of "I hate my thighs" and "Here comes the cow". But it gave me something to hang onto for the day at least. I knew that an attack was on it's way after that, but no amount of knowing seems to make any difference when it comes. I haven't gotten to a point where I can stand up to it yet. I curl up into a ball, wait for it to pass and do the best I can to not lose it. And hang on to God...that helps.

The frustrating part in all of this is that my body feels so much better. I have energy, I'm dancing better, I can cope with life better and I can tell things are just working better...I have muscle...that you can see. These are all good things, but my mind I so freakin slow. The spirit and flesh are willing but the mind is stubborn. I'll admit it's better than it was, but this whole thing has been torture since I hit 1800 calories. Okay, torture might be too strong of a word, but I've been running into the same wall since then and my brain isn't getting past it. This was part of an email I sent tonight venting on a youth put it well; "Physically I feel 1000 times better, and I want to keep feeling better, and then I run into a wall. So I get up...and I run into again...and again...and again. It's very frustrating. And I don't want to push through it too hard and send myself down another path..."

Anyways, my mother, who is generally a good force of reason reminded me that this whole thing is a process. It's a process that takes at least six-months to a year...if you're lucky. I will have these days and tomorrow is another day. Another chance.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Holding Steady

So. The trip went well. No freaking out, not major attacks, nothing drastic (Thank you everyone who was praying). Saturday I did really well, I have no doubt that I hit my quota. Sunday was a bit more challenging, mostly because I'm still not very good at determining portion sizes and I was pretty much on my own. I ended up a little short, but I was able to make it up when I got home. By the end of the day I was close to 2000 if I didn't actually hit it. Anyways, I feel good about it. I feel like I accomplished something, which sound kinda sappy, but whatever. Once again I weighed in at 101. I'm nt losing any, but I'm not putting any on (I could swear I have been...maybe not so much last week though).

One good thing about going away was that it was sort of a forced reality. I had to cope with not having an exact food schedule and exact protion sizes measured down to the ounce. While I don't think I could keep it up on a regular baisis yet, it was kind of nice. And on top of all that I just had a heck of a time, which is why I went in the first place.

My body is still adjusting to the calorie intake. It's better, but every 2oo calories or so my somach goes haywire and I feel like crap for a couple days. Those are the worst days for me. It's not cool when the thing that's supposed to be making you better actually makes you feel worse for a while. But after a few days it gets better for a while.

Last thing for the night. I want to make a coment on something I wrote in my last post. Some one mentioned this to me and I wanted to make sure I get this across clearly. I have been using a tablespoon of olive oil (or flax seed oil) to help with the calorie intake. However, I don't want it to seem like I'm doing that as a substitute for food, if that makes sense. I guess, if you didn't want to eat you could drink the oil, but personally I think that would be really gross. Anyway, calories are not the only reason for adding the oil. There are certian nutrients that I need (even ore so now) and those oils are excelent sources of those nutrients (omega-3 and other fatty acids that help with mood and hormone production). Also, oil was a terrifying food for me for a while. I didn't want to have it. I was all about the dry salads or a salad with some salsa (10 calories in 2 tbs, so I'd put on 1 tabelspoon and I was good to go). So, adding the oil was a good and necessary step for me. The same thing goes for juice, it's a way to help add the calories and there's lots of good nutrients, but you can't just drink juice (which was another scary food for ask me to drink a cup of juice was like asking me to jump off a cliff...not happening). I was reading the other day that some one like me who should be consuming at least 2400 calories per day should have about 7 teaspoons of oil a day, in some form. Food is essential, but these things help and are an important part of a healthy diet.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Today is yet another step. 2000 calories. It's a little weird. The way we're going to do it though is with a tablespoon of oil. It adds the extra calories without the extra fullness. It's a little scary though, I'm not going to lie. The attacks are still coming (of course) and the effects still linger. For instance, God really showed me some cool stuff on monday. He's teaching me to stay where He puts me eventhough I don't get why I've been put where I am. It's about church. I'm frustrated because I don't feel like I'm getting fed on sundays and I'm not sure why I'm going even, but I don't feel released to leave. So, I asked God what the deal was. He said don't worry about it. He's got me there because that's where He wants me right now. My job is to obey Him, and He will feed me. Simple and cool. Anyways, so He showed me that and guess what...tuesday was a rough day. Wednesday was a little better, and today has

I got some encouragement yesterday. I went to get another massage. The lady said that while I still look yellow, I also look a lot better. So, there has been definite improvment in the last two weeks. I'm hoping that that after today we'll be able to wait an extra week before the next jump. Just to give me some time to let my emotional state catch up with my physical improvement. Mom said that may work, as long as I don't lose any weight. I didn't gain any last week (still at 101), but I didn't lose any either.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Another step today....I'm still fighting the mental block from the last step, but oh well. I did it. And I haven't exploded or anything drastic. I mean, I'm not thrilled with how I look (or the fact that I feel full), but I'm not about to go run to work off some more calories. I can't believe I'm almost up to 2000 calories. It seems like I was just down at 1100 not long ago.

The overall trend is up, but there are still problem moments (lots of them). Take sunday for an example. There was a freakin cheese catastrophy at my house. It's amazing the havoc an ounce of cheese can wreak. Ahh, the power of cheese (wasn't that a comercial? I don't remember). Anyways, we survived the cheese incident in one piece and are in a better place now. lol

I keep trying to remind myself that I feel better, my skin is better, my teeth are better, I'm kind of acting like myself on occasion, I'm dancing better...these are all good things.

Okay, I read this tonight, it was really good; "If you do feel trapped, remember you have the right to choose the kind of life you believe is most worth living. If you are spending too many hours exercising and fretting about what and when to eat and how to purge calories (vomiting? exercising?), know there is a gentler way to live. Perhaps, instead of being on a relentless diet, you could simply learn to love your body for what it is? After all, your beauty comes from the inside out, not from thinner thighs. And if the truth be told, who (other than you) really cares what you look like? Do you actually care about how others look? Of all the people in your life who have made an impact on you, did any of them have a "perfect body"? Likely not, but were they were still lovely? Yes!
People who fret about food and weight all the time cut themselves off from family, friends and relationships. They deaden their emotions with hunger. That's why people with anorexia can actually lose weight (as compared to most diet failures). They do not eat due to stress, nor do they find enjoyment in eating. They miss out on one of life's pleasures: enjoyable eating. "

Friday, March 7, 2008

Um...I'm okay-ish. I'm having a mental block with the whole 1800 calorie thing. I don't know why that's the magic number, but it is. I'm not really freaking out, but I'm finding myself cutting corners still. Overall, today was still better than Wednesday, but it could be better.

On the positive side though, I'm continuing to feel better physically. My stomach/digestive system was not good for a few days (changes in diet have a tendency to do that), but it's much better now. Raisins, dates, and pro-biotics are my friends. Prune juice is gross.

Something else cool...I was looking in the mirror today and got very excited (me? mirror? excited? strange, but true) because I actually sort of have like arm and calf muscles now. I was so happy. It's amazing what happens when you start giving your body the right stuff.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Another Step

Well, here's the next 100 calorie jump. Today I'm supposed to make it to 1800. I think it can be done. I slipped a notch yesterday, but I didn't plummet. I woke up yesterday and almost immediately I had that familiar irrational, freaked out, out of control feeling. I pushed through the best I could without really freaking myself out because I knew that would just make things worse. So, I ended up cutting some corners. I didn't eat quite all of my lunch, I didn't have all of my smoothie.

When I told mom she didn't freak or anything. It's a process, but it can't happen again today (and it won't, today's already better). I think something that helped me not plummet was that I got permission to go away next weekend to some friends' house. They live about an hour and a half away and my mom can't go to make sure I eat. She wasn't sure if she was going to let me go because of the food thing. In the end she said I could, but I have to eat. Anyway, this trip has given me something else to work towards. I know that if I lose between now and next weekend, I'm not going to be allowed to go. Since I really want to go, it will be helpful if I don't mess up too bad. I think going away for a weekend will be a good test for me. My friends know what I'm dealing with, so they'll be able to keep on my butt about it if I start acting up.

Overall, I'm still seeing steady improvement in my attitude and how I feel physically. My energy is so much better, I'm able to enjoy things again like being with my friends (really enjoy them), on occasion I'm actually enjoying the food I eat too. I had forgotten how much I liked chocolate. My dad (who didn't think I was yellow to begin with) even said that my color is better. The food plan is helping a lot. I'm very reliant on it right now. It really helps to have something that sets up guide lines and boundaries, even if it totally and completely sucks the first two weeks.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Good Eating Schedule

Real quick...I wanted to throw this out there, it's helped me a bit. When it comes to eating, three square meals a day just doesn't work for me. If I had to do that I'd feel awful. Right now I'm eating smaller amounts of food 6 to 7 times a day. It keeps me from feeling full and it keeps my energy up throughout the day. Here's an idea of what my "food schedule" looks like:
Breakfast 7:30
Snack 10
Lunch 12-12:30
Snack 2-3
Dinner 6-6:30
Snack No later than 8

Eating anything later than 8 leaves me feeling too full right before bed. It's really hard to get your mind off of it when (A) you're worried about it to begin with, (B) you're really full and (C) you don't have much else to think about. Evey one's schedule is different, but this works pretty well for me....especially eating dinner before 7. That way the food has time to digest.

Monday, March 3, 2008

What God's Been Saying this Week

God has been showing me some cool stuff this week. At the end of the year, He really placed on my heart that this spring I needed to spend working on my relationship with Him and getting so close to Him that nothing can get between me and Him. Naturally that's not the easiest thing on the planet to do and it takes a lifetime, but you have to start sometime. I really just want to get to know Him. Anyway. One of my devotions in My Utmost for His Highest last week was just awesome. It went like this; "The most impossible thing to you is that you should be so identified with the Lord that there is nothing of the old life left. He will do it if you ask Him." Chambers was talking about times when something disturbs your spirit and by yourself there is nothing you can do. It's impossible. You know then, that that disturbance is from God, because "God will do the absolutely impossible." And He will do it to His glory (that's February 29th for you Utmost readers).

And to top that off, in the Interior Castle (chapter 1 of the 5th dwelling), St. Teresa is talking about prayer. In the prayer of mature Christians there comes a point when occasionally while praying we become so absorbed in Him that we basically just stop everything and let Him just be in us for a little while (she calls it the Prayer of Union). She says it much better than I do; "Union lasts such a short time and it seems even shorter than it actually is. God presses Himself so fully against the inside of the soul that when she returns to herself she has no doubt whatsoever that God was in her and she was in God." I know it sounds kinda crazy out of context and I make no claim to be at that point in my walk with God, but I want to be there. To be so close to Him. So close that nothing can keep me from Him. Not busy schedules, not past hurts, not present struggles, not an eating disorder. Nothing. To be so totally His that He can come in and out as He pleases.

But it's hard to get there and sometimes it's scary. It's frightening to give Him everything, because He might not do with it what we would.

Not Bad for a Monday

Well, another week survived. I've come to the conclusion that the attacks come every other day or so. But knowing that seems to help. I almost feel prepared. In sort of an unprepared way. I don't know. Anyways...

Today the calorie count got bumped up by 100, so I'm up to a little over 1700 calories. I must say that even though that that's nowhere near the number I need, it's a heck of a lot better than the 1100 I was getting a month ago (it's already been a month since that really bad episode). It was hard, but I'm doing okay. It's so funny. Now that I'm eating, I'm feeling better and feeling better is helping me eat. I don't feel so sluggish, I played an hour of racket ball yesterday with mom and I had plenty of energy, I have plenty of energy for dance (or it feels like plenty of energy...comparatively). The fact that my thighs are touching and my profile is not quite as thin (nothing is quite as thin), is still uncomfortable (and noticeable in a leotard and tights), but I don't fell as disgusted with myself.

One thing though that I'm really not crazy about is that even though my energy level has gone up, my body is confused. I don't think it's quite sure what to do with all this unfamiliar stuff I'm ingesting (I had chocolate tonight...and I enjoyed the crap out of it). My stomach hasn't been right for the last several days. It almost feels like an old pair of shoes that I haven't worn in years and that are kinda crusty from lack of use. Stupid illustration, I know. But I have some good news...the bloating does get better. It's not gone, but it's not nearly as bad.

Mom has noticed that my color is getting better. My hands are still really cold and my temp is a little low, but it's a start. I'm still planning on a doctor visit. The only thing that's got me a little discouraged about that is something mom read the other day. It said that a lot of times the blood tests are inconclusive and bone loss may not show up on a bone density test for up to two years. On top of that, even if anything showed up, the only way to fix it is through (you guessed it) nutrition. So, we're going to look into that a little more and get some more info. Either way I'm still going to go. It would just be smart since I'm going to be gone dancing all summer.