August 10, 2015


Usually, in the blog world, silence is not a good thing. For me, silence almost always means that things have started to take a turn for the worst, I have fallen off track, and I don't want to face all of you with news of another failure.

This is not one of those occasions.

A couple of weeks ago, and after a week of binge eating and feeling completely out of control, I finally met with a therapist. Just as I had anticipated, I started crying within the first 5 to 10 seconds. And I pretty much didn't stop until the hour or so was up.

Sometimes, I don't realize how much I'm carrying until I let go. I told her about my childhood, about developing my issues with binge eating, about losing the weight, about some things in California that I've kept a secret from nearly everyone, about my pregnancy, about my marriage and its collapse. And even though mountains were not moved in the hour, it felt like significant progress just to get these things off of my heart.

We came up with a game plan for me to help get out of my binge eating cycle. My first task is to make sure I drink a gallon of water a day. The first couple of days I struggled with it, but then got into a routine - like everything, work in one area feeds into another. Making sure that I go to the gym helps with getting the water down, and getting the water down helps with keeping my eating under control.

My second task was to step back from the Internet a little bit. Between blogs, MyFitnessPal, Instagram, groups on Facebook … I am constantly surrounded by information about weight loss, exercise, etc. And while most of the time it helps and encourages me, sometimes even seemingly positive things can be triggering. So I have been recording my food and water in a notebook on my counter-top, and making sure to keep track of the numbers that matter the most: streaks of success with no binge eating, meeting my gallon of water goal, and days in the gym.

I had a significant loss last week, and am feeling positive, but at the same time, cautious. This happens to me a lot. I do really well for a couple of weeks, then fall back into bad habits. I am hopeful that the addition of weekly therapy will help with this, mostly with being accountable to someone in real life. It's easy enough to get quiet and hide on here when my eating is off-plan, but I have a standing meeting with the therapist every Friday afternoon, and that motivates me to make the best choices possible whenever I can.

I'm still not perfect, nor do I ever expect to be. I saw the therapist for the first time a few weeks ago and that night, I binged. But I recognized what was happening and wrote down goals for the next day, and didn't punish myself for it. The next day, when the urge to overeat struck again, I reflected on my goals: the day before, I had not met my water goal, so I told myself that if I wanted to overeat, I could, but I had to meet my water goal first. And of course, after I finish the water, the feeling had disappeared and I went to bed that night smiling, proud of the success of one good day.

I got back in the gym the Monday after our first meeting, and restarted the second week of Couch to 5K. Today I started the third week, which entails a five-minute warm-up, and then two sets of 90 seconds running, 90 seconds walking, 3 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, and finally a five minute cool-down. And after finishing the second 3 minute run, I nearly started crying.

I once ran a half marathon in 2 hours and 20 minutes. I once started training for a full marathon. But then I regained a significant amount of weight, and between the weight gain and a lot of the issues driving it, I never thought I would run again. I loved it, but I had accepted that it wasn't part of my life anymore.

And now it's back, and it feels remarkable. I have a long way to go before I get to where I end up, but it feels good to be on the path that will lead me to those goals.

Something I am looking forward to working on with the therapist is my relationships. We talked a little bit the first day about my relationships with my parents, with my husband, and with the friends in my life - just an introduction, really, but enough to let her know that this is something that needs to be addressed. The biggest relationship in my life right now is the one I have with my husband, and after I told her a few things about our history, she asked me, point blank, if I really thought the relationship was over.

And I don't know.

I know that I loved him once, and that I was very hurt by him. I know that the past few years have not been easy for either of us, but I wanted to be with him and wanted to work through it, and I am not quite sure he felt the same way. And I know that we both promised each other often that we would be better about communicating, that we would see therapists separately and/or together, but neither of us ever made good on our promises.

As much as I was ready for him to leave, I still get angry that he left for somewhere so far. First, because of our son - the sweetest little boy who grabs his shoes and walks to the door and asks if we can go visit Daddy every single day. But also, because it is hard to try and talk through your issues when you can't sit down and have an actual conversation.

He's coming to visit in about two and a half weeks, and at the recommendation of my therapist, he will be staying at my apartment, in my guest bedroom. Initially my response was to ask him to stay elsewhere, to preserve the atmosphere I've created in what is now just my and my son's home, but my therapist said that having him in the same apartment will be much more conducive to conversation. I hope she is right. We lived in this apartment together and barely talked to each other, though, so I am hoping that the time apart will have helped to open the door to more communication.

I don't know what he wants, or what I want, beyond starting to talk about some of our issues. He could show up and be exactly the same, interacting together with Noah and going our own ways once he falls asleep. Or, things could be different. I guess this is something that I will just have to experience and take as it comes.


Jill Walker said...

Although I totally get the distance-from-online thing, what a relief to see you actually post again! Really happy that you're in therapy finally...I know that's been a goal for quite a while, and it's important that you feel comfortable. Seems like you do, and that for the moment at least, all is right with your world. That's so important, as is removing any doubt that what you're doing in terms of your relationship is the right thing...for all of you. I applaud your commitment to seeing it through and discovering what, if anything, there is to discover. Having been there, though, I would caution you not to let your loneliness color your reasoning where that relationship is concerned. So often, it I'm doubly glad you found a good therapist to help you navigate through all that. Congrats on your loss...and on staying true to your course! I'm so proud of you!! :)

Une femme libre said...

I am very surprised by your therapist idea that your ex should stay in your apartment. It is confusing and much more confusing for your young son. He will think that his daddy is coming back. To préserve the atmosphere that you created for you and your son is a very good point to have your father's son stay somewhere else. Listen to yourself. You are a wise person. (sorry for the bad English, I am French Canadian).

Spoonful of Me said...

I don't think your ex staying at your house is a good idea either. At least not this soon.

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I agree with the previous comment. While I understand the need to be able to converse, I am surprised your therapist would recommend him staying with you, possibly breaking the boundaries you have worked so hard to create. You know the situation best, though, so you need to do what you will get the most benefit from, but not be harmful to you nor Noah. I hope you have a lovely visit and Noah enjoys Daddy time. My niece's dad is in SC while she is here in NY. Even after 10 years it's still very hard for her to say goodbye. At 14 she is still bitter for him leaving. No matter what my sister tells her about her dad's life and him being the best possible father this way, it still feels like he left *her*, not moving to the authentic life he needed to live away from everyone who knew him.

Scooter Hussy said...

I'm so happy you're doing well - I was worried when I didn't see any updates for a few weeks! Wishing you continued success with your therapy and health goals.

Christina @ Love Yourself Healthy said...

Thank you for updating us all! I'm glad you are doing well, and found a good therapist to help you work through things. I hope the visit with your husband goes well.

PJ Geek said...

I've stepped away from blogging and actually reading blogs because it really activated my eating disorder. I'm now in treatment. I miss blogging and reading blogs. I sort of started a new non diet / weight blog, but already I find that it isn't really good for me. I haven't read blogs in a while at all, but looked at a few. I think seeing your therapist is a good idea and that will help you.