The “Wha!?”, and the Girl.

February 20, 2011

Good morning, boys and girls!  Making another appearance, poking her head out from behind the curtain… the Girl.

Food. The word can barely encompass the vast amount of time and space and BRAINPOWER that goes into thought of that tiny word.  food.  Food is frequently described as a pleasure, we are reminded to ENJOY it, the tastes, the textures, the bonding of you to new flavors you love, and the connections you form with the people around you.  Celebrations are represented by the pretty little cake, the expensive treats, making sure you have your friend’s favorite snack in your cupboard, or knowing your boyfriend’s favorite candy bar, and stashing a few in the back of his freezer for him to find later, and a few in your pantry in case you have the whim to whip up some brownies, with favorite candy hidden in each bite.

So, prepare to be knocked head-over-heels when you get a piece of paper, FINALLY, telling you that your body is in pain for a reason.  And the reason… is food.

Ive struggled with anxiety and dizziness my whole life.  i was an anorexic 9 year old, I literally COULD NOT eat.  I was a really sick kid, from unexplained persistent dizziness, to debilitating depression, to learning disabilities causing problems at school, to finding dance again at college, and an audition to change my life.

Six months later I was bedbound, sick after sips of electrolyte drinks.  that was in 2006.

This, now, is the first time i have a list of things i can eat.

and a WHOPPER of a list of things i cant.

My life, from nervous childhood through engagement, through breaking of that engagement, and a few years more of life… had given me an extensive repertoire of things I could eat.  I lived on peanut butter, ice cream, cheese on toast.  oh, and bean and cheese burritos, from one restaurant.  the rest made me sick

so when my food blood reaction results came back, and told me that was alllll out, i panicked.  No milk, wheat, yeast, vanilla, corn, eggs, ginger, melons,peanuts, walnuts, beans, cheese, squash, potato.. and pineapple?  what will I EAT?  I survived taking gluten out of my diet in october (though let me say I am sensitive to wheat, but do not have celiac disease) , survived another horrid week near Thanksgiving, and three days before xmas, my blood results came back.  There was a stage when I thought I just had to cut out the bad foods was a huge ENOUGH task, and very confusing- It got more intense, as I continued to do research, and I found my next pursuit would be to ONLY eat the foods that came back with no reaction to my blood.  This is something I do for 90 days. after that, every few days, I can add in one new food.  And.. this is my favorite part… I can’t eat my safe foods only once every FOUR days.  If I grab a grape, that day is the only day in the next four that I may have any grapes, grapeseed oil, juice, or raisins.  So before I make a muffin, I have to choose which fruit to add, which nut, because I will not have access to that again for four days.  This feels SO limiting, I can’t branch out in food families yet, and most of my list is spices and seafood.  From graham crackers and peanut butter girl to… staring into the fridge, AGAIN, in pain, going “Please tell me I have food in here… something beyond just INGREDIENTS”.

negatory.

And this is where I write down what I learn, and hopefully, this Girl might be able to help someone else who needs more nutrients in a cracker, but cant use the same whole grains the next day.

Sometimes, this is going to be VERY frustrating, and I will be grumbling!  But I aspire to make simple, nutritious foods, and introduce myself to more than four flavors.  I have more spices and options than I know what to do with… and I feel limited, because i don’t know what the majority of these things are.

But, so far…..I’ve learned to make chicken pot pie, coffeecake, several style of muffins, probably THE best apple pie crust in the world….and I think that even though TODAY, I’m nibbling almonds and frozen strawberries, because I can’t think of any options…. next strawberry day might be different! :)

The Skinny and the Girl

March 26, 2009

Whilst perusing the internet today, I came across an online group.  It was pro eating-disorder…”thinspiration”, they call it, when it is image-ispiration based.  I am constantly on the search for beautiful dance pictures reminding me of ballet lives past, I frequent upon sites such as these not uncommonly.  Something about the hip shape and leg extension of a ballerina is still so magical to me, and has kept me moving forward in my goals to get healthy and lose weight.

This perusing of the web stopped me today though.  A woman had bombarded the site with an exceptional piece of work saying “are you all insane?!?! And a well-written essay of what to expect when you are dying of anorexia.  For those of them lucky enough to die from it, and not just need organ replacements and such.  I knew all the facts she brought up, but it was written from and to the mindframe of a woman in the throes of anorexic delusion, circling the drain. 

“By then you can’t eat less though. You’re barely eating enough to stay alive as it is. & you can’t stop. It isn’t working & you still can’t stop. & whether its working or not, you won’t see the truth. You’ll never actually know what you look like. Nope…no matter what you’ll think you must weigh at least four hundred pounds. This is true if you weigh 150 or if you weigh 70. You will be fat. Insane is the proper term for it, isn’t it? Yes, you might just be one of the lucky ones, one of the ones that doesn’t lose weight. But don’t sit there & think that means you won’t be sick. Not true…not true at all. Your skin & hair will be dry, your teeth sore, your period gone, your bones aching, your muscles cramping…well, no need to go on. You still want this, of course. After all, you won’t be like that. You won’t be one of the failures. You’ll be successful; you’ll be thin & perfect. Beautiful.”

Having a personality easily swayed to the addictive aspects of life, I respected this woman.  She spoke from delusions she knew girls reading the post would relate to:

“Well, since you’re going to win, why don’t I tell you about your prize, hmm?? It’s quite nice. You will be skinny. You will be sickly thin. Your ribs will stand out & your hipbones will be sharp. You won’t see it. You’ll look in the mirror & see fat. You’ll see rolls. You’ll look at girls who weight fifty pounds more than you & wonder why you can’t be as thin as they are. You’ll look in the mirror everyday & swear that you’ve gained at least ten pounds. Other people will see you shrink but you won’t get to watch. You’ll never see the truth. Others will though. You’ll be sickly skinny…but you won’t be pretty. & they’ll all see that. You won’t though…you’ll be too busy staring at your ass & wondering when you turned into your fat Aunt Bertha.”

The fact that she spoke directly to the girl behind the illness, the one who thought she had control, with every rib exposed, every time her legs didn’t touch when she stood with her feet together, was new to me.  This was not written as a science book.

“I know, even after reading this, that you’re still sitting there, wanting this. Why? What is it you want?? Is it beauty? Do you honestly think you won’t be like this?? Do you honestly think malnutrition won’t steal your looks? Is it glamour? READ THIS. Show me the glamour. Is it control?? Let me tell you, you’ll NEVER be more out of control than you are when you have an eating disorder. You don’t control what you put in your mouth. Hell, you don’t even control your thoughts. You have NO control. None. Do you honestly think that you’ll be able to do this & not wind up this way? Do you think you are the one person on earth who can control this, who can just stop??? Do you think that maybe you can just do this, get thin, & stop?? WRONG! It doesn’t work that way. Do you WANT to die? Do you want to be a martyr or something? Do you think this is beautiful? I bet you think its some sort of tragic beauty. Its not. There’s nothing beautiful about it. Do you want some attention? Buy a new eyeliner, dance naked in the streets. Needing attention is a natural thing but there are a hell of a lot better ways to get it.”

“One thing’s for certain though. Insane is a definite part of the package. Your mind won’t be yours anymore. Kiss it goodbye”

I couldn’t read this and not respond, because the beautiful thing about this post was that the first five girls who responded to it… AGREED.  This was unexpected to me, I was sure so many people would say she could show them all the proof in the world, but they knew what thin was, how it felt.  But the girls…. the girls talked about having a goal, and health.  

Dieting for practicality and health while having a mind or psychological setting in your brain that is addictive is scary and dangerous, and something you have to do very carefully.  Here was my response. 

“The coolest thing about this article, to me, is that the first few peopel who read it thanked you for posting it. I am pro getting healthy, and for me and my structure, that means being a lighter weight. I also remember liking hunger pangs.  Despite the ability to have a mindset that could easily go anorexic, due to chronic pain and medication to help me deal… I’m fat.   I mean I JUST got below the “obese” section of the BMI. But…. you talking about this, despite the yelling sentences, is a good way to get people to think about whether they are here to lose weight and be healthy… or here to scold themselves with these pictures of skinny women. I love my collarbones and cheekbones, and love seeing them come back. And pictures of audrey hepburn and pin up girls are awesome… because you know they moved, and ate. Pictures of ballerinas show them as scary skinny sometimes, but the ones who can actually perform EVERY night are the ones who dont faint on stage. They dont wish their hipbones stick out. They are the ones who look at their pelvic structure and can think “Hey, thats pretty”.  But they laugh, and apologize to their boyfriend when they hug them because they poke them with their hipbones, or know they are a bit too bony to be good pillows.  But these particular women,  they are also the ones who have enough love and energy and passion to love the feel of hands gripping their hipbones in dance, or being pulled in by them for a hug or a kiss.  There is a difference between loving your thinner self because you are so scared what anyone else thinks of you, or are positive you are grossly malproportioned, and loving it because you are capable of so much more, including loving how you feel and the way your body moves.   I miss my hipbones, but I dont want a hollow abdomen inside them. I want my thighs to not rub together, but I dont want sagging skin from lack of muscle. I want to be a shape, not a frame. I love my muscular legs, and as fat leaves them, they become longer looking and muscular. I have wide shoulders and a big ribcage, but I know dieting isnt going to change my bone shapes. I DO know that I have more of a waist when my torso has less fat. My knees like me more when they dont have to carry 160lbs, and I know that in my family, a small rounded tummy right near my hips is the last thing to go away. I have a long way to go, but I know what I want, and what to expect. I think having a goal is a great thing…. and being able to stop and maintain when you get there.”

The ability to stop and have a reasonable goal is what seperates healthy dieting from binging and purging, because you cant help but look in the mirror and cringe.

I love what ocassionally happens when I write in a stream of consciousness.  I find a few sentences that help me understand who I am, moreso than I can do just listening to my thoughts.  

“I want to be a shape, not a frame.”

Thats such a good way to think, for me.  In terms of dieting, and modeling, and dancing.  I am a frame to my personality and devotions, and become a full person when I have committed to them.  Today, I feel like a person.  And through this whole argument with weight and pain and dance and muscle and sanity… I’m ready. 

The Title and the Girl

March 14, 2009

Figuring out this whole blogging thing.  The original name was 

The Boy and the Girl, or, You and Me, As I Know It

I could change the word “know” for “see”  would that make more sense?

then I realized, I don’t want all my posts to be about boys, so, I created it to “blank” and the girl.

should it be 

The {Blank} and the Girl

(Or, “You and Me, As I Know It)

to more clearly specify that the “blank” will be filled in?

or should the “you” be taken out and specified as “the blank” again, or merely “blank”

The {Blank} and the Girl

(Or, “The {Blank} and Me, As I See It”)

 

As I was falling asleep last night, I was composing a letter in my mind. I write letters in my mind as a precautionary preparation for my death.  That way if I suddenly have a few hours to love, I can pull it from memory and tell the people I never told how I feel, well… how I feel.   People say I’m morbid for this, but after a consultation with a friend, we decided “practical” is a more accurate description for my mind wanderings.

The letter was in story form, trying to simplify everything for the reader.  

The boy and the girl

Once upon a time, there was a boy, and a girl; For simplifications sake, lets call them  Henceforth known as {their name} and {my name}.  Or, “You”, and “Me”

They met under rather ordinary circumstances, considering most children meet people their age at the place that the two did: school.  I can’t remember our first meeting, but I see pictures of us both in our preschool class pictures, and even in our pre-preschool pictures.  Though I cannot recall exactly our first encounter, I can tell you this.  By the time I was four, I was positively, madly in love with you.

 

And thus we come to our problem.  Am I goign to pretend that I am not the girl in the story, despite the fact that I am?  Am I speaking as myself, or an omniscient presence in my life? I realized speaking omnisciently or as a third party would be safer and less personal for the recipient, but…. its me.

Thus was born the name of my blog.  It will be, from what I know so far, from my point of view.  I have memories, down to the exact color, stored in my brain, taking up space.  I want to tell them, to remember them, here in the Interverse.  

 

But if I have multiple stories about one person, shall I use their given privacy name each time i refer to them, or confuse people even more by giving them a new name each chapter of my memory?

I will discuss current events in my life, though attempt to be vague… did you know that employers and people considering becoming your employers will google you and your email address to find your blogs now?  What a terrifying concept.

then again, the number of names I’ve created for each facet of my online personalities is daunting in and of itself.

 

I have two goals:

  • To document my findings and experiences, for the sake of not having to remember EVERYTHING
  • To document my past memories and artifacts of my memory drawer so I have more room to WALK in here…
  • To challenge myself, and you, to a game I play.  “Best/worst/most/least/and everything ending in ‘ly’” This game is a memory challenge as well as a get-to-know-you.  “What was your best date that you didn’t expect or realize WAS a date until you were on it?”  “Favorite memory involving a fruit tree?” and whatnot.  I will write one, and I’d love if you emailed me or commented back your own version of the story.  It makes you search your brain, and get it on (theoretical) paper.  Good practice for you creative writing types
  • To open my “trap door” (I will explain in a moment)
  • Learn to count…jeez….

It is said, by a Rinpoche who was in and out of my life for a while….

Rinpoche or Rimpoche (rinˈpotʃe) is an honorific title used in Tibetan Buddhism. It literally means “precious one”. The title is generally reserved for tulkus (incarnate lamas) and those recognized by the proper authorities within a lineage as “choje lamas” (“superior dharma masters”).

 that journaling is good for the soul.  He said to “imagine being inside an armored tank, and firing a gun.  The bullet would continue to ricochet around inside the tank until it was given a place to rest or escape from”. (alright, alright, lets pretend inertia doesn’t exist now, eh?)

“Now open the hatch.  The bullet has an escape.  The tank is your mind, the bullet…your memories and thoughts.”

 

I think of writing these things down as letting the paper hold my thoughts for me.  Too many thoughts when I try to fall asleep, too many ideas and inventions.  This has saved my sanity a few times.  Also, if you are looking to describe a former part of your life you cant find the current words for, you can grab that notebook for that time and take a peek.  “Wow, I was really agitated when I wrote this… But I was exhausted! I see i kept falling asleep, but I had shakes and motor overflow so viciously that I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t pay attention in class because I was SO tired, and I couldn’t sleep because of my shaking… hmm.”  Being able to read that part of my life this year allowed me to see how long I was on a harmful medication, and what my side effects were THEN, that my brain had since blocked out because of exhaustion, or a self defense mechanism.  This is invaluable when it comes to medications.  

I’m not one to preach on about journaling, as anyone who has ever spoken to a therapist has most likely been advised to keep one.  I think of it as my meory holder, and all I know is that typing is a lot easier than writing for me.  

To go overboard, I also keep a handwritten one sometimes.  I can read back online and see how I present myself to the public, and read in my private journal how I was dealing with it all privately.  I have one full binder on a shelf behind me, and in it is every communication transaction that was important to me, in a timeline with my private journals and more public blogs.  Its like a scrapbook of my brain…. very odd.

Input on the title would be appreciated…let me know which titles make more sense, considering what I’m going for.

In insanity,

The Girl/


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