Today is the two-year anniversary of Ryan and my wedding, and I am sad to say I put a damper on the occasion by 5:00 this morning.
Last week my nutritionist and I came up with an experiment…an increased meal plan in exchange for increased activity, including moderate jogs. She specified a time and caloric goal, but we never discussed a speed.
More importantly, Ryan and I never discussed the specifics, defining the word jog, or what his expectations were as far as the newly implemented exercise routine. This was a bad idea on my part because our opinions tend to differ when it comes to intensity, and he is already not a big fan of the treadmill from incidences that have occurred in the past. So when he woke up this morning to me “pounding” away he was less than thrilled at the speed, which in my mind was rather slow in comparison to my old abilities.
But here is the problem. My old abilities were when I was either really sick and basically running myself into the ground, or when I was healthy and training with much more strength.
Now that I am nourishing myself, I want/expect to be treated the same way I was in college, when it didn’t matter than I had practice and went to the gym frequently, and meal plan exchanges were not even in my vocabulary, because I was at an appropriate weight, but unfortunately, I am not there yet. As Ryan pointed out, it is great that I’m doing better with food and being comfortable with larger quantities, but that doesn’t mean my physical health is at a point that permits my old version of “normal.”
I understand normal is a relative term, because it obviously differs from person to person. Someone who runs marathons may view normal as a pretty high mileage per week, and fitness as a major part of their lives, whereas a sedentary desk worker who despises the gym, might think taking an extra flight of stairs is over-exertion, but regardless, I am not at the point where I can form a definition for me.
Aside from re-training my brain to look at food and exercise in a healthier way, I need to also re-evaluate what life after recovery, or at least farther along in it, may mean.
Trying to remember a stage in my life where I was well is hard. My years in college are the most recent in memory that I can even somewhat equate to living a whole existence, but my routine then was vastly different from a life in the “real world.” I keep trying to compare then and now, attempting to create a normal based on the old CJ, when that might not be feasible.
I don’t know how to feel about this, because I can remember liking the old me, and our lives at that point!
After Ryan and I discussed and worked out the unfortunate treadmill incident of the morning, I just happened to open my desk and saw some pictures from our honeymoon in Europe, some of which are actually on the perimeter of this blog.
(Just a side note, all the pictures on here are from two and a half years ago, when I was in a way healthier physical and mental state…I probably should have disclosed that a while ago so I didn’t give you some false sense that my life is still filled with mope heads and happy go-lucky explorations of ancient ruins…)
We had a fantastic time on that trip, and I’m really sad that I have prevented similar vacations, or even just more positive times at home, from happening because I was too consumed with being selfish, and alone in my disorder.
I am sad because I haven’t given Ryan a marriage; he had one woman before our nuptials and then a completely different one after. It breaks my heart when I think of what he, and I, have missed due to hospital stays, my insecurities or ridiculously rigid routines, and all the other aspects of being an ED family that make it nearly impossible to actually live.
I wish I could give an apology that would erase, or provide a re-do for the last two years, but unfortunately that can’t happen. And when he left this morning, as we were finishing up a very emotional conversation, he told me my relationship with the treadmill sometimes causes him to feel as if I don’t love him as much as I do my exercise routine. I tried to think of how bad that must feel, but don’t think I can accurately imagine it, because he does nothing but show me support, even if I don’t like to see it that way.
How could I do that to someone I care about so much and who cares about me more than I deserve most days? Not that this justifies my behaviors, but it’s because I’m scared. I am scared of so many things and I don’t know how to fix it. How do I change more than two decades of fear…fear of rejection, abandonment, being called fat, being unaccepted and not being good-enough…how do I change all that?
I have someone to tell me what to eat, even though I already know. I have someone to listen to me vent about my history, but I don’t have anyone who can manually reprogram my brain to make me believe I am ok, worthy of love without being 100 percent productive all the time, being perfect or mistake free in every aspect of life, running 094680946 miles, having the right body, keeping up appearances for the façade of my family to try to hold things all together. How do I fix this mentality?!
I fear that my recovery can’t progress, and I can’t reach happiness for me, Ryan, and the rest of my loved ones, without figuring this all out. I know this wont/can’t happen overnight…heck I don’t think it can happen in a year, but I need to work on these feelings of inadequacy, letting go of past-experiences, and realizing that I am more than a number on the scale or a Garmin watch, like ASAP.
I don’t want to look back next September 19th, and have another year of regrets, or end up talking over breakfast about the pain I have caused in my marriage. I would rather be reflecting on the progress I have made and all the amazing memories created from the process.
I guess it all starts with a belief in myself that I have the ability to change, and sometimes I just don’t feel like I can do it. But the least I can do is try, and if I want it badly enough, and I DO (who wants to live this hell forever), then hopefully I can make it happen. But I have to take it one day at a time, and thank gosh, today, despite a really sad and dissapointing morning, I have the outlook that change is possible…it all starts with me.
Have a good monday everyone!! Thanks for listening and being so supportive