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June 8, 2011

Ok, so I just want to get straight to the point here: I’ve been slipping.

It’s been emotionally I think, more than anything. When I first started my ED behaviors, I judged everything by how large my waist was. If my waist was too “large” but I was hungry, too bad. If my stomach was rather flat, but I wasn’t particularly hungry, I could still eat something.

For the past 3 months or so, what would happen was that I’d eat, my tummy would stick out (obviously – I just filled it with food) and about 2 hours later it’d flatten again. But for about the past week, my stomach has just stayed stuck out, like a constant food-baby, even when my stomach is empty and I’m veeeery hungry. And seeing as my stomach has always been the focal point during my ED, I’m sure you can understand that eating has been increasingly difficult.

I’m not really ashamed to say this, nor disappointed: for the past 4 days I’ve been restricting or eating in a very disordered way. I have every intention to continue tomorrow unless I wake up with a flat stomach like I used to wake up with. On Saturday I got fed up with the way I looked and the way it was making me feel. So on Sunday, I restricted to about 1300 calories. Now, in my pathetic defense, I had had a stomach bug and fever on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, so my appetite wasn’t completely back by Sunday. I probably wouldn’t have eaten much anyway, but it’s really the motive behind the restriction that’s the problem.

On Monday I ate less as well – about 1300 until dinner – then went for a very ED fueled run with a friend. I loathe running. Absolutely despise it. I am a dancer. A ballerina. The two types of exercise are worlds apart. Ballet is really high, killer intensity for a few minutes, then it’s all over. Distance running is lower intensity for a long time. My body and stamina are not built for this. Nor are my muscles. (The muscles used and the way in which they are used are very different in running and ballet.) I hated every minute of it. I wanted to stop and cry and pass out, but I forced myself. For the first time in months, ED was screaming, shrieking at the top of his horrible little lungs. When I got back from my run, I ate another 250 calories or so of Chobani, banana, and cereal, which brought my total up to approximately 1550. But in the end, 1550 doesn’t count, ’cause I exercised at least a couple hundred of them away.

Really guys, the fact that I did ED-fueled exercise is saying something. Before Monday, over the two  years of my ED I’ve only ED-exercised 5 times. I hate that type of workout with a passion; I’d much rather not eat than exercise it away. But that was my problem, I’d restricted already, yet my bloat was still there. It was the only thing left I felt I could do.

I will not go on any more runs ever again, but restricting (for 4 fucking days now) has done nothing. Ballet ended 2 weeks ago, and since then, I’ve gained 2 pounds. During my last weigh-in, it turned out I’d unintentionally lost 1 pound in 6 weeks. Now in 2 weeks I’ve gained 2??? I hate it. I feel like that’s where those two pounds have gone – directly to my stupid fat stomach. I just want it off. I lost my period at 110 pounds and got it back at 111, so there is no need for me to be 113.

Logically, I know 2 pounds is nothing. I know that I only gained weight because I stopped exercising. I know it will melt right off when my summer intensive starts in 3 weeks. But now this is starting to feel like deja vu. Last year, I got up to 107 pounds in June and freaked out; I ate about 800 calories, danced 7 hours per day, and lost 5 pounds in my first week of the summer dance program. The weight just disappeared. As much as I hate my weight and appearance right now, I do not want to get to the point where I eat 800 calories and dance, then lose all that I have accomplished. But I really don’t know what I am going to do if my stomach (and weight) stays like this. I’m actually getting slightly depressed at times throughout the day.

I reduced the volume of my meals, then I reduced the calories, and nothing has happened. Right now, I just can’t stop thinking about how much I want ballet to start so I can lose these two fucking pounds. I wouldn’t have to restrict because the exercise would take care of it. But that’s 3 weeks away, and who knows how much more I’ll have gained by then. I hate to even think about it.

Ok, I had a bit of a question for you ladies. It’s sort of related, and maybe it could be why my stomach has been bigger lately. My period hasn’t come yet since last time, but it will any day now; I know my body and I have all those signs like I had the first time. Could this big tummy and weight gain have to do with that? I could just be bloated (hence the large stomach) and retaining water (hence the weight gain). Have any of you experienced either of these? I’d really appreciate absolutely any advice. Thanks.

16 Comments leave one →
  1. June 8, 2011 11:18 pm

    Girly, I hear ya, I really do. My stomach has been doing the same and I’m not even getting my period yet. But my question for you is, why are you paying so much attention to your body right now? Is there something in your life that you are trying to hide away or numb yourself from? Really try and think because more often than not, we use our eating disorders as a methods of coping with feelings that we do not wish to feel.

    YES, bloating is a sign of getting your period. Heck, I’ve heard of girls gaining 4 pounds before getting their periods. It’s something you have to grow to accept as a female of the species – we fluctuate in weight like crazy because of our menstrual cycles. It’s completely natural but it can really fuck with your head at times.

    Reading this post, it was like I was reading what your ED had written and not what Bryana was writing. Bryana would rather be “bigger” and eating food that makes her happy than restricting and putting herself through hell just to be skinny. Seriously, hun, you’ve GOT to pick yourself up from this and LEARN from it. You can’t carry on like this otherwise you’ll just be back at the drawing board. You have shown so much strength and determination throughout your entire recovery – don’t let go of it when you need it the most!!!!!!!!!

    Contact me whenever, k? I’m here for you!

  2. June 8, 2011 11:26 pm

    Bryana, I’m sorry to hear that things have been so difficult lately! *Hug* I will be thinking of you. However, I want to let you know first and foremost that the 2 pounds are just because of your period! Girl, some people gain up to 5 pounds in water weight while pre-menstrual- as soon as they get their period, though, the bloat goes away and so does the weight. Most people experience this right before their period- it’s totally normal. This has happened to me every single month when I have my period.
    Remind yourself why you want recovery. Like you’ve said, recovery has brought your vibrant personality back along with your gorgeous curls, and your social life is better, and you have more energy for ballet. Negative body image is so painful, but it’s not worth going back to the ED- the ED will only make everything harder.
    Keep fighting, Bryana. You’re worth it and you can get through this!!! ❤

  3. June 9, 2011 12:33 am

    Ugh I’m so sorry to hear you’re struggling. 😦 It’s likely your period because bloating is different than just adding two pounds of fat and I doubt you “got fat.” My weight can fluctuate 2 lbs on any given day (so annoying) and even like 5 lbs before my period! Even if you are legitimately gaining weight, do you really want to give up everything you have worked so hard for just to lose a few pounds? I find that my stomach actually bloats more when I restrict because I start retaining water like crazy. I know how hard it is though to deal with the body image… I still struggle with it every day. I agree with the person above who said it doesn’t sound like you writing, mostly it seems from the perspective of your eating disorder. Hope tomorrow is better for you! ❤ Can you try not weighing yourself at all?

  4. June 9, 2011 12:50 am

    Bryana please DO NOT let the ED have its way. Go back and read some of your past posts where you were fighting and winning. Listen to that girl, look at how much you’ve progressed – you know you have the strength and courage to fight this.

    HOWEVER, I can relate so much to your stomach issues. That’s my trouble area too; the part of my body that ED likes to focus on and I know how hard it is to come to terms with it. That being said its size (or at least my perception of it) is definitely affected by my period. The week leading up to my period my stomach is bloated and I feel giant. In fact, I feel pretty bad all around before my period. But then when it comes, I feel so much better again and I actually kinda like my stomach. So I have a feeling this is what’s going on in your case. Also, you said you’ve been sick. Did you have any internal stomach issues that could cause bloating (constipation or upset stomach)? Sorry if that’s a little gross, but it’s important to consider.

    I hope you feel better soon. I’ll be thinking about you. Remember – you are beautiful!

  5. June 9, 2011 12:52 am

    bryana dear girl, this makes me sad to read =( i’m sorry you are having a hard time, but i can so relate. i carry most of my weight/fat on my tummy area, and that’s what i’m most critical of in terms of my body, but think about how that is the area that protects so many of your organs and (if) you have a baby in the future! also, weight is NOT a good determinant of health… really… and it can honestly fluctuate about 5 lbs up or down. if you need to talk, i’m here girl! praying for ya =)

  6. June 9, 2011 3:58 am

    Hun I am relapsing at the moment. i don’t want you to go down the same route because I’m already trapped in my own head 😦 It sucks. It is most likely just your period. Don’t let such a natural thing allow you to destroy you mentally and physically. You’re so strong! ❤

  7. June 9, 2011 4:00 am

    YES!!!! Bryana for me i always put on at least 2 lbs of water weight before my period.. and after my period about a few days later it goes back down.. its probably just that!

  8. June 9, 2011 6:01 am

    As I was reading this, the first thing that came into my mind was period-related bloating. To then read your query at the end…it absolutely could be related to your period. I got serious bloating this week and, yeah, it was pretty crappy. I don’t usually get it so noticeably either and it’s tough to deal with. Don’t let this swerve you too far off course. You have been doing so well and it’s not worth it, ed doesn’t deserve you. I hope you feel better soon.

  9. June 9, 2011 11:26 am

    Bryana, you are SO much stronger than ED! I know you are. For the past month or so, I’ve loved reading your ‘kick-ED’s-butt’ posts because they show how fat you’ve come. I’m glad you’re being honest with yourself and us and reaching out. It really sucks to have bad body image days or weeks after we’ve been successful in keeping those stupid thoughts out. Trust me, 2 lbs is nothing. Like everyone else has said, it’s most likely because you’re about to get your period. It happens to me too, and while it does freak me out, it’s normal. Please keep fueling yourself enough and shutting ED down. I know you can get past this. Recovery is hard, but it’s so much better than relapsing.

  10. proudpatriot07 permalink
    June 9, 2011 4:03 pm

    Really sorry for you lately with feeling that way and going for a run compulsively like that (I run, but usually because I want to, not because an ED is telling me to), but I’ve been feeling the exact same way myself lately so I can definitely empathize.

    I’m pretty sure the weight gain is water weight or bloating. You can’t always trust numbers on the scale, and you really shouldn’t anyway. I know sometimes around my period, I even have certain pants I don’t wear, because I know about bloating and all that jazz. And restricting will only make you feel worse about things and about yourself if the numbers on the scale don’t go down (and even restricting for a few days, it usually results in a binge or just guilt feelings, not real weight loss- not that you need to lose anyway!).

    *hugs* I hope you feel better soon!

  11. Beth permalink
    June 9, 2011 8:14 pm

    Hey, I read but I don’t really comment, but after this post I really really have to. It is so common for me to experience a sticky out tummy and bloating before my period, like even for a week before. I also definitely gain a bit. Listen to your body – if you are hungry then you need to eat. I always feel depressed, uber hungry and HUGE before I get my period and feel like restricting and going backwards. Then it arrives and I’m like, ohhhhhhh. That’s why. Try and hang in there and keep going, thinking of you x

  12. emsalot permalink
    June 9, 2011 8:18 pm

    I have experienced the same thing and it is very very very frustrating to deal with a bloated stomach. But restricting is NOT the answer. If anything, it will make your digestive system less efficient, then causing more constipation and bloating. I’m sorry that you’ve been struggling Bryana, I know it is very hard to get out of a spot like this, but I know that you can- you are SO strong.
    I get more bloated before my period and gain weight, so there is a good chance it may be the same for you.
    Weight gain and bloating are scary- and I’m literally dealing with the same exact feelings now- let’s get through it together! ED can’t win- happiness is at stake.

  13. June 10, 2011 12:46 am

    I am so sorry you have felt this way 😦 It is just unfair, I see you so happy and full of life and I see ED just sucking this out of you. I won’t allow it!

    Those two pounds are nothing, and I assure you your stomach isn’t big. But what would it mean if it was? it does NOT determine your worth!!

    Bryana, you are so much more than a stomach, or a weight. You are so much to so many people, an inspiration and friend to me, a role model for younger dancers, a wonderful daughter to your parents. ED wants you to believe you are just a body, but you simply are not!

    You can do this Bryana, I feel like this is just a rambling comment I am writing, but I just want you to know I am here for you for anything, and I really mean that ❤

    Praying for you and sending my love,


  14. Rach permalink
    June 10, 2011 10:27 am

    You need to talk to someone about this. Maybe your mom? Someone who lives with you. Obviously you are aware that you have an eating disorder, and you know that it is wrong. But with EDs, it doesn’t matter if you understand how wrong it is, it can still be difficult to make yourself eat enough, to eat healthy and nutrient-dense foods, and to not over-exercise. Having someone who lives with you to help you make decisions on what or how much to eat is unbelievably helpful during this recovery time (I know from experience). Whenever you start to feel the need to restrict your eating or ED-exercise, immediately talk to someone close to you because that’s just the ED-monster creeping up on you. I wish the best for you; I know it can be difficult, but you can do it!

  15. time for happiness permalink
    June 10, 2011 10:44 am

    my love
    a) i am positive its just period water inside your stomach
    b) i promise that 2 pounds is NOT visible, noticable, or significant! honestly, people fluctuate up to 4 pounds in A DAY! I swear! So… just remember you are worth more than going backwards. You are amazing.

  16. June 10, 2011 4:46 pm

    Precious Bryana,

    first of all : you CAN do this. You have already taking the first step to change negative beahviour : recognizing that this is not okay, not how you want your life to be. Restriction leads to nothing good, we both know this. It does not make you feel better in the long run, it only eats up your amazing body. The one you have worked so incredibly hard to acchieve, the one who is now well on its way to feel happiness and peace. Don’t let anorexia take that away from you again, Bryana.

    What you should pay the most attention to in my opinion is not why you have gained, but how you react to this. As Katy said, your thoughts and urges are clearly disorded. They do not represent the genuine Bryana, the one who wants to be healthy and live. Our bodies do not mind gaining more protection, the issue is in our minds. Recovery demands us to make a concious effort to change our mentality just as much as change our bodies, because it is in our mind we have to learn acceptance, respect and love from ourselves. Use this situation to continue work on these aspects, take it as a lesson that anorexia still tries to affect how you feel about yourself and keep on fighting to break free from this. As I started with, you can break free. You have already accomplished so, SO much and showed more strength than you ever though possible. Learning to get to know our bodies and accept that our weight fluctuates from time to time is also a part of the process. It is scary and causes anxiety, but we can’t let the fear and disorded urges prevent us from taking care of our amazing bodies.

    Perhaps you are obsessing about your weight as a way to cope with something challenging that goes in your life? I tend to focus more on my weight and body when there is something that feels “out of control”.

    Love you Bryana, allways here for you ❤

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