Sunday, June 03, 2007

Using the Force!

219.5lbs or 99.5 kgs.

I'd dreamed and planned of how I would feel upon seeing that number appear on my home scale. Never in my wildest imaginings did I think I'd feel like this.

You see, this morning, as I was laying in bed, there was a brief flirtation with the dark side. What prompted me to get on the scales was curiosity about what the dark side would say, if one of its promises was proved to be correct. And oh was that promise proven correct. I weighed in at 219.5lbs. The number I've been dreaming of, literally, for years now.

How did this “magic” occurrence happen? And why aren't I jumping for joy? Well, lemme backtrack a few days to explain.

Wednesday night, I thought I'd managed to give myself food poisoning. Less than half an hour after finishing dinner, I had to make myself puke, as the food was not sitting right in my belly. Then came the shakes; a drop in temperature down to 96.2F (35.6C); nausea; frequent urination; then hot and cold chills all night and an inability to sleep very well.

All day Thursday I felt weak and woozy and kind of disassociated. Plus crying bouts and tingles in the arms and all sorts of weirdness going on. I didn't let that stop me from going to join up at a volunteer work program. In fact, in a weird way it was a catalyst for it, since many of the crying jags were about how lonely I was feeling upon realising that if I wanted to make friends here, I actually had to go out and get me some. My story had been rejected for the anthology, so I wasn't feeling confident enough about applying for a paying job, so volunteer work seemed a good place to start to build my confidence.

I managed to work there for a few hours and then had to come home as the weakness and weirdness was winning. I think I managed a banana before falling into bed for several hours. Was up again for a few more restless hours, and ate a half a teeny bowl of pasta, before feeling weary enough to go back to bed.

It was then, that the weirdness really kicked in. I started having the same deep tissue shakes that I'd had the night before. Tired, but completely restless. Nauseated. Frequent trips to the bathroom. When I settled back into bed again after one of those trips and the shaking only got worse, I realised what I was feeling could not possibly be food poisoning. It had to be something else.

With a sneaking suspicion, I got online and looked up two simple words. Panic Attack. And they led me down a path I was pissed off to have to travel. But, relieved that I now had an idea about what was happening to me.

Acute Stress Disorder. I had nearly all the symptoms.

That's right. I was finally reacting to the events of last Saturday. ASD is similar to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it's just shorter in duration... and if it keeps going for more than four weeks, it becomes PTSD.

So, after forcing myself to go into do some more volunteer work on Friday, I hied myself off to the doctors. Yep. Stressed. Blood pressure of 139/85...something I've never had before. But complete normal, considering my body had been living in fight or flight mode for nearly a week. Urine and blood samples were clear. Definitely stress. So, she gave me some sleeping pills in case I need them, and gave me a number for the shrinks that our insurance will cover.

A lot of this was exacerbated, dear readers, by the fact that until Wednesday night we didn't have a phone, and that even now I only have limited internet access, due to not using my normal computer. No chat programs, no instant contact with anyone. I was LONELY as well as STRESSED! Not a good combination.

The good thing to come of it is that I've realised I have to make an effort to build my own life here, four years after I've moved here, but better late than never. I am also in fact ready to ask for help with some of the issues I still have and that are too big for me to handle on my own.

Now, back to the 219.5lbs.

In times past, when I've had great deals of stress, I've eaten as much of that stress away as I possibly could. This time, I was stuck feeling everything. And my mind and body were doing the best they could under the circumstances. I ended up with ASD, but that does get better in time. I do have complete faith that I'm strong enough to work through this, now that I know what it is. Look how far I've progressed and what I've already overcome in my mental battles with the LSED! :)

I firmly believe it was the LSED combining up with my Inner Diet Diva to encourage me to get on the scales today. Look at how easy it was to lose those pounds, just don't eat much. And here was the kicker. You've shrunken your stomach, just think how easy it will be to continue to eat small, but nutritiously, and keep those pounds melting away!

Shit on a shingle! Is this how anorexics feel in the beginning? Are they beguiled by the sweet seduction of a similar promise? As I lay there, luxuriating in the suspense of not knowing what I weighed, I began to flirt with the dark side. I imagined what it would be like to give in to that voice. Kowing that with these smaller portions, plus the ability to exercise every day, the pounds would disappear faster than Luke's hand in the cloud city, left me feeling a little breathless.

Out of morbid curiosity, I did get on the scales then. And felt nothing but Not-Surprise. Of course I was down to 219.5lbs and 48% body fat. I'd eaten not much besides a couple of peanut butter sandwiches, some pasta, and a protein bar, along with milk and a couple of bananas.. in three days! Oh and a six inch subway Spicy italian sandwich for dinner last night.

It was then that I realised, as I climbed back into bed for a snuggle with Alaskaboy, that the breathlessness wasn't from excitement, but from hunger. I've eaten so little over the last few days that my hunger cues are kinda screwed up. My stomach, at the moment, doesn't rumble. It's nearly constantly empty, so it's given up that idea that smoke signals will work anymore. (No fuel, no fire, no smoke FOR the signals.) Instead, it's the rest of my body that says, “Hey, we'd like a bit to snack on, please.” Weakness, nausea, lightheaded, shakiness. Plus the desire for small, but nutrition-dense meals.

Breakfast this morning was a fried egg, 2 slices turkey bacon, one slice toast, and a small glass of apple juice.

Alaskaboy was laughing at me after I'd finished eating. He put the back of his hand to his forehead and said, “This is you before eating.” He repeated the process, “And this is after.” And once more, “And this is you, in between meals.” Then we laughed about me being a drama queen. It felt really good to be able to laugh at myself in that way, even though my body was literally aswoon with delight at the real meal I'd crammed into my face.

It was in that moment that I realised that my trip to the dark side was nothing more than a mere flirtation. (Suck it, Darth Vader!) I lack that essential mental flip to be switched to allow anorexia to really take hold. The weak woozy feeling did not make me feel stronger, because of the amount of mental control I'd been exerting over my appetite. (That's what ASD as well as anorexia are, mental disorders, not physical.) Weaker; was how I in fact felt.

I don't feel skinnier. I feel pleased that I didn't overeat my way through the crisis.
I'm happy that my appetite is starting to come back. I'm continuing to eat intuitively.
I won't force feed myself to get back to “normal”, I'll only go as quickly as I'm able to handle.
I am taking a multivitamin to ensure I am getting adequate nutrition.
I'm listening to my body. Learning to deal with the anxiety.
Letting my body learn that I trust it, even when it goes haywire like this.
Trusting myself that my appetite, exercise, and normal life will resume.

This week, if nothing else, has taught me that I no longer have anything to fear from the scales. I am completely divorced from them emotionally.

And that's one huge step back into Jedi territory!

2 Nibbles:

Wanna_B_slim said...

Well done for coming thru that with such a positive outlook...
and congrats on getting into the 90's... (kg's)

Kada said...

Thanks, Nannette.

At first, I was disheartened, because I assumed that the 90's would disappear faster than they came. But, if I keep eating sensibly and exercising when and how I want, then there's no reason that I have to go back up into the hundreds.

I was looking at the anxiety as a negative, rather than a positive. Now I know it's a huge step forward in my personal growth. I get the feeling the scales are reflecting that.

And, even if they do go back up a bit, so what? They'll come back down again, when I'm ready. That's another thing I've learned this week. Everything in its own time, because I'm not in a race, I'm on a journey.