Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fight, Flight, or Freeze?

This post may make little or no sense. I'm somewhat rambling.

First off, My boyfriend is the best. He went out of his way to get my laptop to feed off his router for internet access. Considering he didn't know his password, and the CD is in nowhere land, the customer service dude needs raise (as bf says). Is it silly I feel so great about him doing this for me? (I insisted; no its okay, it's not a big deal, you don't have to do that) He's such a sweetheart!

Things are well, they really are. In the realistic world that I'm in, things are going great. Why is it never enough? Oh yeah I want to be thinner. That dictates half my mood, often subconsciously. Why do I want to loose weight? I really honest to God don't know. All I could say is it will make me happier, solve all my problems, boost my self esteem, create world peace (okay last part is a bit out there).  And with recovery I already know loosing weight won't accomplish these things.

It's the high of believing I'm getting to 'that place' by loosing weight. Except I never get there. The high of excitement about getting to weigh yourself in the morning, giving you that extra push to do even better that day to still loose more. The high of being at a gathering, only munching on carrots and celery while everyone is stuffing their face with chips and cookies. The high of what feels like no one else in the world could achieve, and a feeling of difference from everyone. Identity.

Is it so crazy I want to keep recovering, but also so want to restrict, make rules, and loose weight?

With all honesty, I've been cutting out certain foods. I'm not eating full meals. I know how few a changes I could make to loose weight. Why am I afraid of maintaining a normal weight? I most of all want the outside of me to appear different, as in the mirror I see a person I can't stand to look at. I had a significant dream about mirrors a few nights ago, and how when I looked into it my reflection was upside down, as was a few items in the room (a bathroom), like the sink upside down on the ceiling. I talked with my therapist about how the correlation between mirrors and bathrooms, how much they are a part of our lives. Bathrooms mostly involve routines with our bodies, how we shower, wash our hands, do our makeup, dress, etc.

We bath/shower, do our "duty", there's the infamous scale, often a mirror over the sink, all which are related to the body, in the flesh, and most of the time you are alone in this very room. You have no choice but to be up close and personal with your body. If my subconscious has believed I think I look fat in the mirror, than even as I try to change my thoughts, mirrors trigger that inner part of me to say I'm still fat. As many other things do; scales, certain foods, etc can all have a subconscious label. (i.e. if you saw a snake in your kitchen, you might freak out if snakes aren't your favorite animal. Your subconscious will increase your heartbeat, getting ready for the Flight or Fight response.)

The daily reminder through these things is a key foundation which may regulate our mood, thoughts, and actions that impact our lives. I believe this is why living with an Ed, feeling/sensing something 'different' , not part of our routine, we immediately need to find a way to fix it so it doesn't disturb this routine.  Fight or Flight, Starve or Binge. It's important to know, there's a third response; freeze. Freezing gives opportunity to think, take in sensory information, and make a logical decision. Adding OCD to the picture makes recovery even more daunting, but accepting that I see all this is huge.

I'm learning how to freeze. 

What do you see now that you are in recovery?


  1. i am also surprised that things are going well for me and yet i still want to be on the low end of my weight spectrum. i guess i believed when i had a good job, a great boyfriend, (almost) enough money, supportive friends,sobriety,etc., i would automatically be comfortable with a natural weight. i'm bummed i'm not there. NOTHING is easy. but i have to say, it's easier. i want it be even easier. natural.

  2. Color in my face....in my eyes...returning to my mind and heart.

    That being said, even though I think about it (my weight0 every waking moment of the day, I am chosing not to act upon the voice of anorexia encouraging me to restrict. I just eat what I feel like.

    That'sboth scary and relieving. I've finally got one foot out of the grave.

  3. I don't think being ok with NOT losing weight is something that changes overnight. You just gotta keep going on the recovery road. I still want to lose weight, but I don't indulge it. I threw out my scale because I absolutely could not use it in any positive way (despite efforts). It was just reinforcing my weight loss desires. What I've found is that, in this limbo, it's easy to feel like you can't do anything right. If you lose weight, you know that's "wrong" and you feel bad (though partly good). If you gain weight, that feels "wrong" too, so you feel bad, but you know it's "right" (so there's some pride). It's very confusing. I really think the only way out is logic. Logically, I know that losing weight will not make me happier. I know it will mess with my brain and create a disastrous cycle. Eating well doesn't always "feel" right. It seems counterintuitive half the time... but I'm experimenting. It helps me to think, "Well, I can always go back." I mean, we all know that we could restrict again with the simple flip of a switch. So, why not just try not doing it? Consider it an experiment. If you really, really don't feel better "the other way," you can always go back...but I have a sneaking suspicion you'll feel better :) That's my 2 (or 4) cents.

  4. Melissa, It definetely has become easier, when I really think about it. In a way our perserverance majorly shows, while we don't always take the credit for our accomplishments-once we finish one, there's another we 'need' to have before we're "happy", and it seems loosing weight is never off the list. I'm working hard to cross that out of my goals in life.

    E, those are beautiful words, showing deep insight in where you are in your recovery.

    Kim, very well said. I thought maintaining a healthy weight and eating habits I could be free from Ed. The mind and body are so important, when we ignore vital needs, things get screwy. I never realized how much work came after learning how to eat properly. I've learned it's my mind, not me physically that feels defective. The body is concrete, and the mind is not. Much easier to focus on things that can be seen.