Eat your heart out, Al!

I'm joining the ranks of my good friend Al here and coining my own theory that will change the world and win me tons of money.

Actually, in the grand scheme of things, it will probably make no difference to anyone at all.

I'm talking about Carrie's Theory of Relativity. I'm not talking about E=mc2 here. I'm talking about how our brains take thing as relative, rather than in absolutes. For instance today, the Weather Bitch (here in Michigan, there is no weatherman or's a raging hormonal menopausal me) decided it would be good to have 40F temps and 40mph winds. Real nice there. This is especially egregious because yesterday it was 70. I remember a day in February where it finally tip-toed above 35 after a month of sub-freezing temperatures. I had the windows down, the music up. It was practically balmy! It is not lost on me that this is April and that was February. It's still sick, twisted, and wrong.

Which lead me to think: could there be a real reason I think I'm fat? Not just some sort of AN-delusion (though that is, I'm sure, also the case), but some weird sort of cerebral artifact? Because, compared to where I was just a few months ago, I'm 1-2 dress sizes larger. I don't know pounds, exactly, though I certainly can give you a good guess. I am larger. That's truth. Compared to my weight over the past year and a half, I weigh much more now than I did then.

I do realize that when I was deathly underweight I didn't think I was thin. But now, my body has the experience of being that underweight. It's a guide, a comparison. And I think maybe (again, just pulling stuff out of my ass) that part of the predisposition to AN, or maybe just one of the factors that perpetuates the illness, is the comparisons to a smaller body weight.

This is true in many dieters, of course. "I wish I could be as thin as I was in my 20s..." But for me, it's a very visceral experience. I can almost remember being that weight. I don't need clothes to remind me, or pictures, or weights and numbers and BMI. I just can compare to where I am today.

I'm still trying to push my way through the calorie counting relapse. Part of me is all down on myself because I had done so well for a while. But then I had basically gone almost three months without counting calories. That's the longest I have gone since the eating disorder started. That's good. The slip seems especially devastating because I had been doing so well. Before, if I would manage a day or so and then fall back into old habits, well, it sucked, but I didn't feel particularly awful. Now, having been free of it and then going back, really really sucks.

You can take this the wrong way. Such as "I only purged X times today. I purged X+1 yesterday!" Progress? Perhaps. But you're still purging X times every day! Or the woman at work, who was eating her "diet frozen dinner"- an oxymoron if ever there was one. She said "It's pretty good for only X calories." I stared at her for a minute. My snack was higher in calories, and that was a small-ish snack for me. I don't know. Maybe for her it was a good thing. I don't know. For me, anyways, it would be a ridiculously small dinner.

Everything is relative. As therapist Thom Rutledge says, "Sanity is relative. Insanity is MY relatives."

I think he's been to a few of my family reunions...

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mary said...

Well, have you made tons of money yet?
And those relatives of your's, are we related?

Jeanne said...

Everything is relative.

And I can relate to how you feel about a calorie-counting relapse. I'm in the midst of one of those (although I had only been able to stop counting for about a month.) Does that make me a failure?
I hope not.

mary said...

I'm sure you both feel exhausted from all the hard work. Let someone else carry you for a while. Rest yourselves. This is a time to be especially kind and forgiving while you continue to heal. Failures? Never. I'm sure you'll both have some interesting stories to tell when this is over but just for today do not worry.
Carrie you know what tools you need to draw on.
Jeanne, a month is a great achievement. You know you can begin again.
Sure as wild mother nature blew in a mini snow squall today she's going to blow in our real spring soon. Your situations will change for the better too.


I don't think slips make us failures, they make us human. We both did well. We can both start over. We both WILL start over. Jeanne, my email is in my profile, if you ever want to talk, just send me a note.

Mary, you're a gem. That's all I have to say.

Jeanne said...

You're right, Carrie, we will pick ourselves up and carry on. (no pun intended. ;-)

Life (and thus, good health) is worth it!

Mary, I concur. Your words are comforting and encouraging. 8-)

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I'm a science writer, a jewelry design artist, a bookworm, a complete geek, and mom to a wonderful kitty. I am also recovering from a decade-plus battle with anorexia nervosa. I believe that complete recovery is possible, and that the first step along that path is full nutrition.

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nour·ish: (v); to sustain with food or nutriment; supply with what is necessary for life, health, and growth; to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up, or promote


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