Friday, January 30, 2015

Eating disorder movies

I find that all eating disorder movies make me mad.
The basic plot of all of them is you have a white girl (very rarely a boy), who is either under a lot of stress and pressure, or has had major changes in her life. They then fall into the trap of an eating disorder. Very often, this happens with a friend. Although I know have many friends with eating disorders, none of them encourage me to get worse or to purge, and I didn't meet any of them until after suffering in silence for four years. This, I find, is problem number 1. 'Starving in Suburbia' gets it slightly better as the protagonist got more distant from her old friends and closer to her online friends. However, in my experience, people who suffer from eating disorders are very isolated and turn to 'pro-ana' sites after. (Read my explanation of the pro-ana community here). Having eating disorders don't put you in a special club. They're awful, isolating, and aren't fun to have.
Then of course, all the movies end in one of two ways, and they usually end in both. Either the patient makes full recovery/ is in recovery and doing well, or they die. I know that at the end of the day, these are the two options. However, they don't happen within a few months. Many people will suffer from an eating disorder for a very long time, and die earlier than they would have otherwise due to heart, liver or kidney failure. Or patients relapse (more than once or twice) and spend and average of 7 years in recovery. 7 years. This means that the eating disorder is part of their lives for more than the 6 months shown in the movie.
My last problem with these movies is the weight change and stereotypes. It doesn't happen that quickly. Some bulimics lose weight, some gain. Some anorexics lose weight quickly, others more slowly. Anorexia b/p subtype is an eating disorder. So is night eating, orthorexia, purging disorder, binge eating disorder, atypical anorexia and atypical bulimia to name a few.

Honestly if I had to pick my favorite eating disorder movie it would be 'Black Swan'. It's a story about a women's downfall in the ballet world, and she seems to have eating disorder symptoms. Her downfall much more accurately describes (in my opinion) the downfall of someone with an ED. Marya Hornbacher's book 'Wasted' also gives a very honest portrayal of an eating disorder. Yes it's longer than a movie. Because the story of an eating disorder is longer than a movie. She talks about times she was doing better, times she was doing worse, her complicated relationship with her family and her drive to be successful. They all play a component in an eating disorder.

Of course, everyone's experience with an eating disorder is different. However I have yet to find a movie that accurately represents anything similar to what I'm going through.

-Niqi
xoxo

Saturday, January 17, 2015

What you don't see

You don't see the dark circles under my eyes before I cake foundation on my face.
You don't see the tears I cry in the bathroom when I feel unsatisfactory.
You don't see the pep talk I have to give myself before I walk out the door everyday.
You don't see the fine hair that's grown all over my body before I shave it off.
You don't see the scars on my thigh that I refuse to reveal.
You don't see the clumps of hair that fall out every time I brush my hair.
You don't see the calluses on the knuckles of my hands because my shiny nailpolish draws away the focus.
You don't see how tired I get from walking up a flight of stairs because I've gotten used to pushing myself to the point of exhaustion.
You don't see the mess inside my head I hide by making my room extra tidy.
You don't see the mean words at myself when I get a question wrong.
You don't see that it's all an act.
I'm nothing to aspire to.
I'm nothing.

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Harm reduction

Obviously, the best way to not hurt yourself while suffering with an eating disorder is to choose recovery. However, not all of us are ready to commit to such a long and hard process. Even if you are in recovery, you will slip up every so often.
Just because I am not ready to recover does not mean that I should continue killing myself. Of course binging, purging and restricting will damage your body over time, but there are ways of making these physical symptoms less severe.

Restricting harm reduction:
- make sure to take vitamins daily with food
- talk to a doctor or nutritionist to see which supplements you should be taking
- allow yourself to eat when working out - aiming for negative nets is especially bad
- feeling faint, light headed, and bad headaches is your body telling you it needs food. Eat something, even if it is small. Fruit is good in these situations.
- avoid taking appetite suppressants
- drink lots of water and electrolyte beverages
- make sure you are consuming enough calories relative to your caffeine consumption
- avoid energy drinks

b/p harm reduction:
- don't overexercise if injured
- avoid the chronic use of laxatives, take the minimum you feel comfortable taking
- avoid caffeine on bad b/p days
- avoid flushing
- chew on something basic after purging
- replenish your electrolytes after all types of purging
- stop purging if you see blood - especially if it is very dark in color
- get your heart checked regularly
- go to the ER if you're experiencing any type of chest pain or severe stomach pain
- talk to your doctor if you can't control your purging
- avoid food that comes up in clumps - the choking risk is high

Stay safe,

-Niqi
xoxo

Sunday, January 11, 2015

I need you to know

I need you to know that every time you plan to drink
I fall asleep scared that you'll cut too deep
And every morning when I wake up the first
Thing I do is check to see if you're okay
I need you to know that I would miss you and I
Would forever wonder if I could have stopped you
And I know that you think that I'll get over it because
I think the same way when I want to swallow my bottle of pills
I know you think that if you leave,
The sun will still rise and the stars will still shine because I
Think the same way when I'm staring down from a bridge but
I need you to know that things would be different and
I know I'm being selfish right now but I need you to stay
Because I don't know what I would do without you and
No it's not your responsibility to take care of me but please
I'm begging you, stay. Please, just stay
I know it's not fair that my depression makes me sleep for
Countless hours every day, while you lie awake tormented with
Your thoughts and I'm not available to talk to you and I know
It's not fair that when you do fall asleep it isn't that great because
The meds make your dreams turn to nightmares and you awaken
With a disturbed sense of reality and I know
That it just gets worse when you clear your mind because your
Life is more of a nightmare than your dreams ever could be
And I know that it's tempting to find a piece of rope and just be
Nothing, because I have the same feeling when I wake up in
The morning but please
I need you to know that you need to stay, because I'm not
Strong enough to stay without you, and I know
That I'm being a burden but it's only because
I have this little shred of hope, this tiny little voice
That tells me that maybe things will get better, and maybe
My therapist is right, and I just need to fight and
I need you to know that I want to fight with you
So we can both see the light
When we get through this tunnel so
Please
Stay.

This piece is extremely raw, and if you think it's about you, it is.

-Niqi
xoxo

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Let's talk about poop

There are two reasons I want to talk to you guys about my poop.
Firstly, having abused laxatives for 5 years this month, it's time to think about my poor colon and my bowel movements.
Secondly, it's #nolaxjan so what better time then now?

There is a medical stool chart you can look up. It basically goes from rabbit pellet poops to your worst post laxing nightmare, on a scale of 1-7. 3, 4 and 5 are ideal.

Taking lax for so long means that my poops are rabbit pellet like. I'm honestly just thankful I still have control over my bowel movements. Now being a week into no lax jan (and having avoided laxatives for a good portion of december), I am happy to announce that I have moved to type 2 poops on the stool chart.

It is possible. Lax dependence isn't your future. You've got this.

-Niqi
xoxo

Friday, January 2, 2015

Accepting

I'm trying very hard to accept the fact that I just binged. .. Well I had about 1260cals. Does that count as a binge? It's clinically on the fence I suppose.
It was what some would call "lunch". I don't understand how a veggie burger, onion rings and pies from Harveys is a lunch and not a feast, but I guess that is my disorder speaking.
I really want to lose weight and get down to my goal weight. But I also want to stop the every day torture that this eating disorder is causing me.
I want to accept. I accept that I have this disorder, but I also need to learn to accept that sometimes I will binge. This doesn't mean I need to fast. One step at a time. I can go back to meal plan tomorrow and continue with my every day life.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
It will be okay. 1260 isn't even a pound of fat. I have a workout planned for tonight. If I still need to purge after I get off the bus I am on, I will allow myself to do so.. but maybe the feeling will pass. I'm still stuck on this bus for 2.5 more hours.

-Niqi
xoxo

Thursday, January 1, 2015

#nolaxjan

So I have a wonderful friend I met through twitter: @thinner4me (check out her blog: http://thinnerbetter.wordpress.com/ or her youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCeNqUNiJyWGeY28SEPJoxPw)
We decided that we need to take control and take care of ourselves this year. One of the ways we want to do that is stop abusing laxatives. Chronic laxative abusive can lead to dependency, pancreatic damage, liver damage, IBS, dehydration, electrolyte imbalance (which can cause your heart to stop) and can even increase the risk of colon cancer.
Although there are many days I still wish to die, this isn't the way I want to go. It will be years of my body slowly deteriorating and me having to wear a diaper.

Here are the rules - you are welcome to join. Leave me comments letting me know how you're doing, or tweet using the hashtag :)
1. No use of laxatives
2. Natural foods that can cause a laxative effect are okay (fruits and veggies, pickle juice etc is fine, but not sorbitol in gummies)
3. Sorbitol in gum is fine as long as it is less then a pack of gum a day
IMPORTANT: If you don't have a bm, go talk to your doctor. Consider taking fibre supplements, but this is only allowed AFTER talking to a medical professional. The goal is to get our colons back to functioning normally without pills.

Good luck and Happy New Years once again,

-Niqi
xoxo

Resolutions

A lot of these are some changes I've been slowly making in my life, but here is a long list of 'resolutions' or just things I would like to keep, or start, working on in 2015:

Health/Well-being:

  • Use CBT journal in order to reduce
    • Self harm
    • Binge, purge, fast cycle
    • Overdoses
    • Hospital visits
  • Regular sleep schedule (11:30pm-7am)
  • Journal regularly
  • Don't let caffeine intake get out of control
  • Take care of hair, nails, skin and teeth
  • Take all vitamins every day (regardless of calories)

School: 
  • A- average for the term, and ideally pull my total GPA up to an A-
  • Keep up with weekly problem sets
  • Learn to program in Matlab and Python
  • Talk to profs
  • Get a good summer job
  • Run the best Math and Stats society
  • Catch up with courses with summer school

ED:
  • Food journal
  • Get a consistent food schedule (up calories rather than get into b/p/fast cycle if necessary)
  • Exercise daily
  • Run my blog and twitter account more regularly
  • Get down to my goal weight

Life:
  • Get my drivers licence
  • Read more and watch less netflix
  • Pay off debt to my parents
  • Be more social and go out on weekends
  • Stop being a wimp at gymnastics
  • At least 10 minutes of mindfulness every day. For ex:
    • Yoga
    • Listening to music
    • Lighting candles
    • Stretching
This may seem like a long list but a lot of them I have already started, and are just things I would like to continue doing or do more regularly. 
My motto for this year is: "Success is the best revenge"


Happy New Years everyone!

-Niqi
xoxo