Journal #64

March 2nd, 2016

Today hasn’t been a very good day. As I’m writing this, I’m getting frustrated at myself for even saying that. Who am I to say today wasn’t good? I sat inside an insulated house with a roof over my head while it was pouring down rain outside. I have a car that was able to take me over to North Portland to meet up with a friend for coffee. I was able to take a hot shower to clean myself up after running through a muddy trail in Forest Park. I guess what I mean, by saying that it wasn’t a very good day, is that it wasn’t a very satisfying one. Every meal has felt like a chore, none of which I have been hungry for. I woke up at 6:30 and couldn’t fall back asleep, even though I’d taken a sleeping pill last night, so I decided to get up and go for a run. I’m technically allowed to run for thirty minutes, five times a week (or 150 minutes of exercise total), but since a large part of my eating disorder throughout the years has been struggling with exercise addiction, there was quite a bit of anxiety about me just jumping right back into the work-out world, full force. I went to bed last night not knowing if I was going to exercise in the morning, telling myself I’d wait and see what I felt like. Well, my E.D. instincts kicked in, and even though I knew it probably wasn’t the best idea to have my first return to exercise be a run, on my own, when I would be left all alone the rest of the day, I felt like I had to. Because if I didn’t, that would make me not only fat, but lazy as well. So, I put on my running clothes. Trigger #1. The last time I wore those clothes, I was lighter, skinnier, and significantly more muscular. I felt disgusting when I looked in the mirror, like I didn’t even qualify to wear those clothes. Then, I got into my car and drove up to Wildwood Trail. Trigger #2. Looking back now, I’m really not sure what got into my head to think that was a good idea for my first run back… I’m pretty sure my rationale was that I didn’t want to see anybody that I knew. Regardless, it was not a very good idea, as it was a place I ran A LOT during my E.D. my sophomore year of high school, and brought many, many memories back. Memories of almost passing out due to malnourishment and dehydration (I was also restricting myself of fluids during that time, because it would affect the weight on the scale), of severe muscle cramps, and most of all, of being able to run far, and to run far fast. My body might not have wanted it, but my lungs were pretty well-conditioned at that point, and I’d developed a ridiculous ability to override every cue my body was sending me in an effort to make me stop, when my head told me that we were not done. If I told myself we were going to go until the calorie counter said 1,500 calories had been burned, there was nothing in this world that was going to stop me until that number appeared. So anyway, I began my run on the trail, and now I realize that this was completely naive of me, but I was expecting to be good. I mean, I didn’t think it’d be easy, but I thought I would be able to do thirty minutes no problem. Not quite sure what I was thinking, especially since my body has a history of needing quite a bit of preparation work needed before being able to run successfully. And much to my disappointment, I was not good, and it was not easy. I started out at about a seven minute pace, and was dead by the end of mile one. I turned around at ten minutes. My run was twenty minutes. And it SUCKED. What a failure. I’m able to realize now, in this moment, how irrational that sounds, given that I haven’t exercised AT ALL in three months, but it doesn’t eliminate the feeling of loathing that I’m still experiencing as a result of it. The rest of my day was pretty similar to that run-nothing dramatically terrible happened, but it didn’t leave me feeling particularly good, either. My body image was absolute trash all throughout the day, and it didn’t help that before my run, I’d told myself I would be burning “X” number of calories by running for thirty minutes, and of course by only running for 20, I only hit two-thirds of that number, so even though I’d gone out and run, I was STILL fat and lazy! Whaddaya know? I can’t win! Along with only burning two-thirds of what I “Should’ve”, I now didn’t deserve to eat for the day, either. I was able to fight that thought, and did still adhere to my meal plan throughout the day, but the voice in my head telling me otherwise was incessant. I met up with a friend who goes to college nearby for coffee, which was definitely the highlight of my day, but was also challenging. As nice as it is to hear about my friends’ lives (and I do truly mean it’s nice-it does distract me more than anything else), it’s also just another reminder of everything I’m missing out on. I feel so unproductive, so un-purposeful, and so unsure of everything (or anything) I want in life.

-Bridge

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