Tuesday, July 18, 2017

21 facts

I turn 21 today, so here are 21 fun facts (not mental health related) about myself:

  1. I'm Canadian
  2. I live with three cats, but only one of them is mine
  3. My favorite colors are purple and green
  4. I love reading memoirs
  5. I'm on my university's gymnastics team
  6. I took a pole dancing class earlier this summer
  7. I love pretty stationary
  8. I'm almost always wearing patterned leggings
  9. Coffee is my best friend
  10. Tea is fabulous but not as fabulous as coffee
  11. The first time I drank was at my senior prom
  12. I lost my virginity to a girl
  13. I'm bisexual
  14. I've been vegetarian for 9 years
  15. I really really like math
  16. I haven't read the entire Harry Potter series
  17. My bedroom is yellow
  18. My goal is to have a successful mathematical career
  19. I want to end up living in California
  20. I'm moving out West in the new year
  21. I've had blue, purple, pink, black and blonde hair, but I'm back to my natural brown now

Monday, July 17, 2017

Rigid flexibility

I drew up a new meal plan for myself, but this time, I gave myself options! Yes, options! That way, I feel like if I deviate, it's not the end of the world.

I've also decided that I need to go through a period of allowing myself  'forbidden' foods so that they stop being forbidden and become foods I choose not to eat.

Today I let myself have a treat at work. I asked my coworker to bring me a lemon bar, and she brought me a lemon bar with a butter tart. I ate them both. And it was okay. I'd rather not eat baked goods, but I need to remember that having them every so often is okay. It won't kill me. And, it won't make me gain weight. Yes, constantly overeating baked goods would lead to weight gain. But two treats the day before my birthday? I'll be fine.

As well as making a meal plan, I also set up structure for the day. My week is all over the place with regards to schedules but I found a new way to optimize my time. Instead of planning specifically what I'm going to do at every hour every day, I set time ranges where I have to get a certain family of tasks done for the week.

This means that Saturdays and Sundays are chore days, and I can do my chores whenever I want in the morning of those two days. It also means that I don't have chores left to do the rest of the week. Studying for my class is done Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday morning, as well as Saturday afternoon. Instead of stressing out over everything I have to do in a day, I look at my week as a whole, and it's been really helpful.

The perfect smoothie

1cup almond milk
1 scoop Quest salted caramel protein powder
1 banana


Simple, easy and so delicious

Saturday, July 15, 2017

birthday cake

Nothing very exciting has happened since I got back home, hence me not writing.
Work is okay, school is okay, life is okay.

My mood dropped but that is to be expected after having a wonderful vacation. I had to take a couple days off of work this week, and didn't write my midterm (I'm just going to have the marks transferred to my final) because I knew I needed self care time. All I ended up doing was sleeping, which is a depressive behavior for me, but there was no way I could have worked. Although I didn't meet my self care goals I'm still proud of myself for knowing I needed the time off.

My birthday is on Tuesday, so tomorrow I'm heading out to see family for the day. This part of the family gossips a lot and I always hear about the family drama which is kind of fun. My immediate family on that side doesn't hang out with the extended family as much so it's nice to find out what's going on, as we are often left out of the loop.

The down side to seeing family is having food that's not on my new meal plan, and of course birthday cake. How do I eat and not purge birthday cake? I don't want to purge it but I'm already planning on it. Having that plan reduces my anxiety. I hope after I eat the cake I'm able to change my mind, but for now, the only thing that makes me relax about the food situation is planning on purging it.

Friday, July 7, 2017

back home

There's something about coming home from vacation that just really really sucks.

My vacation was AMAZING! My boyfriend and I got a lot closer and it was so much fun. I stayed with him for ten days, and we didn't get tired of each other which is saying a lot for two introverts. We decided that this past week and a half showed that we are ready to move in together in may 2018, when his lease ends.

I really want to go to the school he goes to. Not because he goes there, but because it is one of the top schools in Canada. I just don't think I have the grades. I need to ask my profs for some additional support as well to prepare more for graduate school. I'm nervous, but I'm also excited. I've got this. I need to get this.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

July 2nd...

... and I fucked up.

I went out to lunch with some of my boyfriend's family that I haven't met yet. That was stressful enough. So I looked up the menu online. When I got to the restaurant the menu was different. I finally convinced myself that I could eat a tofu curry and ordered that. About five minutes later the waitress came back and told me they didn't have tofu. Fan-flippin-tastic. I decided then to go safe and order a salad. After taking a few bites of the salad (which had more feta than expected) I found a piece of plastic in my salad. What the hell. I didn't want to make a fuss, and everyone at the table found it funny so  I continued eating my salad even though I wanted to return it so badly.

After this event, we headed back to his place and on the way I picked up a scone, 5 chocolates and diet coke which I inhaled and puked in the bathroom. So much for a binge free July, and there goes 15 dollars.

Fuck me.

Fast food and eating disorder recovery

I did a video regarding eating fast food and eating disorder recovery and how they intertwine. My main opinion on the topic, is that a fully recovered eating disordered person should be able to eat fast food without panic, but choose not to. They are able to go to taco bell or McDonalds with their friends, but spend most days not eating out. The same way everyone should be eating.

I was watching "Supersize me" and seeing the awful effects eating fast food can have on your body. However, I think that purging fast food is more detrimental to your body then keeping fast food down. I think that is an important idea in recovery from purging behaviours. Accepting the fact that a fast food meal won't kill you, but purging might. Therefore, while in recovery, it may be necessary to have fast food more than an 'ideal' number of times, in order to practice being okay with eating and keeping down fast food. Not purging is a skill, and like any skill, you need practice.

With regards to binging behaviours, I know personally, that if I'm going to eat unhealthy food, I am going to binge on it. It's all or nothing in my mind. This isn't a healthy attitude. One should be able to have a 'cheat meal' without consuming 5000 calories. It's more detrimental to eat 20 tacos, then it is to eat 2 or 3. To get over this all or nothing thinking, it makes sense to eat fast food in moderation, in order to practice getting over this all or nothing thinking.

When it comes to restrictive behaviours, I think again that the main problem is the all or nothing thinking. Restricting fast food may not be unhealthy, but how do you draw the line between fast food and restaurant food? And then how do you draw the line between restaurant food and homemade restaurant style food? The idea is that restricting one thing can easily lead to restricting more and more foods when you have a restrictive eating disorder. Therefore, accepting that it is okay to eat fast food is crucial, in order to stop the cycle of restriction.

Now of course I'm not a specialist, these are just my thoughts that I developed through personal experience and having friends go through treatment. My main thought is that you may need to practice eating fast food so that you can choose healthier options without being driven by your eating disorder.

Here is the video:

Family and food

I'm still out west with my boyfriend, and we made a weekend trip to the island to visit my grandmother and her partner. My cousin from overseas was also over so it was great to catch up with him. Yesterday was Canada day so we went out to see fireworks by the water, and watched the celebrations happening in the capitol on TV.

With all the food around yesterday, I really struggled. I purged twice (dinner and then desert), but I didn't binge. Yes, I overate, and yes, it stressed me out, but although it wasn't ideal, it was still within my goals of not binging. I'm sticking to safer foods today so that I don't feel the need to purge.

I weighed myself when I got to my grandmother's house, and the damage wasn't as bad as I had thought. I gained about a couple pounds (she has an analog scale so it's hard to tell), when I thought I had gained 10. This just goes to show how warped our minds can be when it comes to intake and weight.

When I get back home I'm going back to a stricter meal plan to help reduce my purging and feel more comfortable and good about what I'm eating. Although I know that unhealthy food is okay in moderation I also know that I can't keep eating like I'm eating and feel good. There's a big difference in how I feel if I have protein and fruit for breakfast as supposed to a scone, no matter how delicious the scone.

My grandma says she sees a big difference in me since I came and visited a year ago. She said I weighed more (which was super triggering), but also said I was smiling more, and that was the biggest difference she noticed. It made me really happy that my family wasn't as concerned about me, especially my grandmother. I don't want her to worry about me. She's doing quite well, but does have health problems and enough to worry about on her own.

Although day 1 of July wasn't what I was hoping for, overall I need to see it as a success. I managed a holiday with family, a large family dinner, and although I engaged in behaviours, I didn't need to take my ativan, and was able to keep my cool without measuring. I often plan on purging family meals, but this time I didn't. I went to the bathroom after dinner and just realized I could purge so I did. Although it would have been better had I not purged, it was also nice to know I can get through a dinner without needing to purge. It was more of a choice. I don't know if that makes any sense, but to me it was a nice change in thought.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

July goals

We're half way through the year, and it's been one hell of a half-year. From trying to kill myself and being hospitalized for 6 weeks, to completing my thesis, writing four exams and finding a full time summer job, I've worked my butt off.

I've actually achieved a fair number of my goals this year. I'm waiting to hear back about one of my grades, but my only grade that wasn't an A was an elective course, so we can pretend that didn't happen. If anything, I learned that even "easy" courses require studying. I also completed my thesis! That was a big goal for my academic career and I'm really proud to have achieved it.

The hospitalization was what I thought was a huge setback but really it propelled me forward. You need to pull an arrow back before launching it. I needed the medication change. My only regret is not getting myself to the hospital before my attempt, and causing others so much stress. I think I'm okay losing the friendship I lost though; if what she said to me is really what she thought, I don't need that in my life.

I stopped drinking, which I'm proud of. I wasn't having a real problem with my drinking in terms of addiction, but sober Niqi is much more willing to live than drunk Niqi.

My goals for the rest of the year are to:
1. reduce purging
2. exercise more
3. keep to a steady meal plan
4. apply for grad school
5. have money to move out west