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Me remembering late last night that I was supposed to make a challenge thread:

200w.webp

 

And then I went to bed! Probably best for all concerned.

 

So, why am I here and what is this challenge all about? I'm not going to bury the lede. My focus this challenge is on working on eating disorder recovery, regular walking, and self care. I was officially diagnosed at the beginning of April, but it was something I had known on some level for quite a while and something I would have seen coming if I had been paying the right kind of attention for the last fifteen years.

 

I'm not a newcomer to NF. I've been on and off the forums for about two years now and I've done a bunch of challenges. For those of you who remember me (though there don't seem to be many left that I recognize!) my diagnosis might come as a surprise. I was good at hiding it, and indeed I kept telling myself that I didn't really have a problem because nobody seemed to think I was doing anything dangerous.

 

My whole life I thought I knew what I needed to do to be a better, fitter, healthier, more productive person. It was the same stuff I'd been trying to improve since I was a kid - eat better, exercise more, procrastinate less, etc. I thought I knew what I needed to do, and I thought I knew the right way to go about it. Willpower and discipline, self control, and accountability. I viewed all of it as a contest between my inner self, who was weak and lazy and lacked judgement, and my external and logical self, who knew better and was there to act as a drill sergeant, enforce the right decisions, and control the inner self who could not be trusted. I achieved what I thought of at the time as considerable successes - weight loss, fitness improvements, etc. But there were even more setbacks and devolution. And the more upset with my situation I was, the more I doubled down on self-judgement, and the worse things seemed to get. So I planned to try again, to do it better, to be better. I was sure that my strategy was solid and it was my execution, my character, that was flawed. 

 

I'm now seeing a specialist as part of my recovery and am also doing therapy every week. I'm starting to see and understand how so many of the behaviours and attitudes that I thought would bring me success (if I could only measure up) were actually exacerbating and worsening my problems. I'm optimistic, for the first time in a very very long time, that maybe one day I will no longer be at war with my own body and mind. I'm starting to believe that maybe there really are different and better ways to think about things. I don't know how long it will take. Years, probably. But even now I'm noticing some small changes, some small improvements. And I'm starting to see the true nature and extent of the problems for the first time in a lot of cases. And that too feels like progress. 

 

So this challenge isn't about forcing myself to do something I don't want to do, or a way to sustain motivation. It's meant as a chronicle - a place to record what happens and learn from it. I'll talk about what I do and don't do, and why, but not in a pass/fail way. Indeed, part of the challenge here is to break out of the old patterns for how I judged the things I did or didn't do instead of trying to truly understand my reasons and feelings.

 

Here are the things I'm working on as part of recovery stuff:

  • Do my best to eat meals and snacks at the frequency my specialist has asked me to. Try not to skip meals (more important than not skipping snacks)
  • Notice whenever I'm feeling the urge to control/limit/punish myself and try to stop it in the moment or, if not, to at least notice it
  • Write pertinent feelings and thoughts in my journal when it feels helpful
  • Go to sessions each week as scheduled
  • Take a walk once a day if I feel like I want to
  • Do a mindfulness meditation exercise if I feel like I want to, aiming for at least once a day if possible

 

So there you have it. I realize this is kind of a downer compared to most challenges and I won't be surprised or offended if this ends up being a pretty quiet thread. Thanks for letting me be here, even as my situation and goals evolve, and for letting me feel like part of the community. NF has been a really good influence on my life the past two years (indeed, I think some of the conversations I had here and the realizations I came to as a result of my NF challenges are part of why I'm finally seeking treatment) and I am hoping to still contribute to the community in a positive way.

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Hi Severine

 

Welcome back. I keep trying to come up with something to say here other than I am happy to see you. I will follow along and cheer where I can. I am curious to see how things evol. You are ALWAYS welcome here and I know you will have a positive impact on everything here.

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Current Challenge ---> Bean Si Vs Chaos No energy for a title

You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream - C.S. Lewis

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5 hours ago, Bean Sidhe said:

Hi Severine

 

Welcome back. I keep trying to come up with something to say here other than I am happy to see you. I will follow along and cheer where I can. I am curious to see how things evol. You are ALWAYS welcome here and I know you will have a positive impact on everything here.

 

3 hours ago, Sylvaa said:

I am so happy to see you back on the forums! <3

 

While I'm sad that you'd been away for not-so-great reasons, happy to know you are getting the help you need! I'm going to be following you this challenge because of course it's what I do. 

 

I'm so glad you're both still here!  :)  Hope things are good for both of you. Will pop into your threads once I'm home tonight.

 

Bean, no need to worry about what to say. I'm the same old weirdo as before, and while I want to be forthcoming here about what I'm dealing with, I definitely don't need or expect any special type of support. In fact I think it's vastly preferable for my support to come from professionals, and I've got a care team in place for that. It's just great to have friends to talk and joke around with, people who are on board with the general concepts of self care and self improvement in all its forms. My hope is that we can continue to wish each other good luck for the various stuff we're working on, and not have things get all weird just because I'm working on a different thing now.

 

It is perhaps worth noting that I have only told a very small group of people in my offline life about this. Just D and L, and Flea (who I see sometimes here in Boston, and who is a good friend and reminded me that the challenge was starting and I had said that I wanted to post a thread) and one other friend. So honestly, even just having a place where I can talk about is great. Nobody should ever feel like they need to respond in any particular way, or at all.

 

And now I leave you with this gif of a dog who is better at yoga than anyone I know:

giphy.gif

 

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Today I did:

  • Ate all three meals!
  • Ate an afternoon snack
  • Went for a walk (about 35 minutes with L)
  • Did a decent job of paying attention to self-critical thoughts 
  • Post on NF about stuff (yay)

Today I did not:

  • Eat my morning or evening snack. I felt like I wasn't hungry or was worried I had eaten too much at meals, or some combination of the two. I realize that part of the problem is I think of eating as such a binary choice - eat until you feel too full or don't eat. I could have just had, like, a few almonds and half an apple for a snack. Didn't need to be anything big. Need to keep reminding myself. Also need to keep in mind that my ability to sense and interpret hunger signals is completely borked right now. Need to work on trusting the schedule.
  • Stop and do a mindfulness mini-meditation this afternoon when I was very stressed about some work stuff. It would have helped me calm down, and I knew that in the moment, but in the moment it felt way too impossible to stop working for even a minute. I knew it was irrational but the feeling of urgency was too strong so I decided to just accept that was how it felt and note it to think about later and I just finished the task.
  • Manage to stop self-critical judgy thoughts. But I noticed them and was not as much in agreement with them as I used to be.

Overall it was an okay day. I had some really negative thoughts about the food I ate but I tried to just let them occur and pass without getting all tangled up with them. 

 

In life stuff, I'm doing a course (remote, all online) for personal interest/possible future career things and the "office hours" via BlackBoard chat were today. That was amusing because only me and one other student showed up, and neither of us even had any questions but we both still logged in because we're giant keeners who didn't want to miss a class thing. I gave the professor some brief feedback about how the fact that he posts PDF versions of the textbook chapters and all the lecture notes is super helpful and then I (gracefully?) made my digital exit.

 

Work is going well. New semester starts on Monday at the community centre where I teach Monday and Wednesday, so I'm prepping for that. The weekend classes I teach have three more weeks to go in this semester and then there's a little break before the next one. It'll be nice to have my weekends back for a little while over the summer.

 

We're planning on hopefully going on a trip to Italy (Rome, Pompei/Herculaneum, Florence, Venice) and Switzerland (Zurich) so we've been having fun researching possibilities for that. Of course as a result Italy has decided this is a great time to get all politically unresty. STOP IT PLEASE I WANT TO COME LOOK AT YOUR STATUES.

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On 5/29/2018 at 10:45 PM, Severine said:

I realize this is kind of a downer compared to most challenges

 

Not at all. I enjoy seeing other nerds grow and overcome struggles whatever they may be. Victories, no matter how small, are never a disappointment as far as I'm concerned. I'm glad you're still active. Let me know if I can help in any way.

 

raw

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Who am I? -- My NF Character

Current Challenge: WolfDreamer, The Mad Poet, Becomes Superhuman

Past Challenges: 

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Winter is ComingWolfen Strengthens His Heart, Body, Mind, and Spirit, Wolfen Becomes One of the PeopleWolfen Strengthens His ChakrasWolfen Welcomes Summer and Gets Primal, Soulcon and Spartan, Wolfen Develops Mental ToughnessWolfen Joins the Wander SocietySoulcon, Spartan, School, and Stranger ThingsWolfen Becomes a Warrior EliteWolfen Goes Here and There and Back AgainWolfen Becomes a Soulcon Warrior EliteWolfen Returns to His RootsWolfen Wanders in Soul, Spirit, and BodyWolfen Owns the DayWolfen Searches for His Wild Heart, Wolfen Runs for His LifeWolfen Hits the TrailsWolfen Becomes an Explorer and Joins the ResistanceWolfen Goes Back to the SourceWolfen Begins the Hero's JourneyWolfDreamer Returns to the People,  WolfDreamer Pushes BackWolfDreamer PrioritizesBurpees, Books, and BrainworkBurpees, Books, Brainwork, and BodyworkWolfDreamer Masters the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Continues to Master the Four ElementsWolfDreamer Returns to SpartaWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Continues His Middle Earth AdventureWolfDreamer and the FallWolfDreamer Forges His Own PathWolfDreamer Has HopeWolfDreamer Returns to Middle EarthWolfDreamer Reads Harder, Breathes Harder, and Journals MoreWolfDreamer Embraces His Wild PoetThe Mad Poet Becomes Supernatural

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Rising like a burning sun into the day..." -- Gungor, "Hurricane"

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I am here for whatever you need Severine. In good or bad. I just had that "Oh, watch me say something dumb" moment that I am so great at.

Either way, I got your back. Oh, and I totally would of been in the "office hours" chat in your class. All my online classes and its mostly discussion boards and email as needed. It could be interesting, if I can be free at the same time as other students. at least the instructor knows which ones are making sure to put in the effort. Good luck with the class and with the start of the semester.

Oh, and I found the rest of your dogs Yoga class (and they are all better than me.

vk1Lg.gif

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Current Challenge ---> Bean Si Vs Chaos No energy for a title

You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream - C.S. Lewis

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We're planning on hopefully going on a trip to Italy (Rome, Pompei/Herculaneum, Florence, Venice) and Switzerland (Zurich) so we've been having fun researching possibilities for that. Of course as a result Italy has decided this is a great time to get all politically unresty. STOP IT PLEASE I WANT TO COME LOOK AT YOUR STATUES.


Welcome back! I will ignore all the difficult stuff now and concentrate on this. Yayyy! When are you thinking of going?
Don't worry about political drama, it always there for a reason or the other! But there won't be issues for you! It's true that now parliament and ministers are the most racist ever, but you won't be affected as an american. It doesn't make it right (shrug)
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Hey folks! It's been a bit since I posted. I've been journalling, and working on my recovery plan, and actually doing somewhat decently in that I haven't totally imploded and I've surprised myself with moments of insight and unaccustomed calmness.

 

I didn't feel like making a thread update until now. Have been working on being okay with that, instead of beating myself up about it and making NF, which is supposed to be something that helps me, feel like an obligation. Historically that's what I've done - turned it into another way to evaluate myself, another arena in which to fall short and feel terrible. It's been an interesting exercise, trying to imagine a frame of mind where I can do something, or not do something, and treat it as a decision I made instead of a test that I passed or failed. A very new way of looking at the world for me, but it's something that my ED specialist has been really pushing vis-a-vis food, and I'm finding it useful in other areas of my life as well.

 

Things I feel I've been doing well at, or at least making progress on:

  • I've been eating meals with greater regularity, and more on schedule that before. I'm still not doing great with snacks and I am skipping some meals, especially when there's something unexpected that happens during the day that throws off my schedule, but it's an improvement.
  • I'm feeling less shame and stress associated with food than before. I'm also finding that I have fewer urges to binge or restrict. This is huge progress.
  • I think I'm doing well at noticing feelings around food and body image. Not often does that translate into a changed behavior or the thoughts going away, but I'm more aware of them than before
  • In general life stuff, I feel like my mood has been better and I'm feeling more productive and motivated, getting things done
  • I've attended all my scheduled treatment sessions except one that I had to skip to drive D's grandmother to an emergency medical appointment and obviously that's okay

 

Things I would like to put more energy into because I think they'll help me:

  • I want to make time for mindfulness/meditation. I haven't been doing this at all and I think I'm missing out
  • I'd like to take more walks and get outside more. I think the mood lift will be really helpful and I also think the physical and energy benefits are worth the time and effort. A lot of this is about learning to take care of myself, not in an obligation way but in a how-you-treat-people-you-care-about way, but I'm still working on getting to a mindset where I don't associate exercise with feelings of obligation, guilt, morality, self-worth, etc. Need to think about this more and work on dismantling old assumptions and ideas

Overall I've started to realize how strongly the idea of judgment, of virtue/vice and success/failure, is woven into my perception of everything in the world and especially the lens through which I examine my own life and character. Part of me thinks this is a good thing, and part of me thinks it's a big reason for how I became so tangled up in unhealthy ways of looking at food and other basic elements of life. It's not an easy answer one way or the other. Obviously I want to have standards and strive to be the best I can, but I want to do it in a way that doesn't warp into a never-ending loop of self-excoriating criticism and failure and shame. I'm still working out the idea of how to be someone who expects a lot from herself, who strives to be the best they can, but without becoming an unforgiving judge who accepts nothing short of perfection.

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On 6/12/2018 at 9:28 PM, Severine said:

Hey folks! It's been a bit since I posted. I've been journalling, and working on my recovery plan, and actually doing somewhat decently in that I haven't totally imploded and I've surprised myself with moments of insight and unaccustomed calmness.

 

Hi, glad to see you

 

On 6/12/2018 at 9:28 PM, Severine said:

I didn't feel like making a thread update until now. Have been working on being okay with that, instead of beating myself up about it and making NF, which is supposed to be something that helps me, feel like an obligation. Historically that's what I've done - turned it into another way to evaluate myself, another arena in which to fall short and feel terrible. It's been an interesting exercise, trying to imagine a frame of mind where I can do something, or not do something, and treat it as a decision I made instead of a test that I passed or failed. A very new way of looking at the world for me, but it's something that my ED specialist has been really pushing vis-a-vis food, and I'm finding it useful in other areas of my life as well.

 

I totally get the "this is suppose to be a fun place, not another thing to add to my to do list" as far as NF.  I will admit you are not the only one who goes "Look at all these people who are rocking things out and here I am not" mental thing. I am glad that you found a new way to look at it, and I am so happy for you. The fact that your applying to what your learning in different ways is even better.

 

On 6/12/2018 at 9:28 PM, Severine said:

Things I feel I've been doing well at, or at least making progress on:

  • I've been eating meals with greater regularity, and more on schedule that before. I'm still not doing great with snacks and I am skipping some meals, especially when there's something unexpected that happens during the day that throws off my schedule, but it's an improvement.
  • I'm feeling less shame and stress associated with food than before. I'm also finding that I have fewer urges to binge or restrict. This is huge progress.
  • I think I'm doing well at noticing feelings around food and body image. Not often does that translate into a changed behavior or the thoughts going away, but I'm more aware of them than before
  • In general life stuff, I feel like my mood has been better and I'm feeling more productive and motivated, getting things done
  • I've attended all my scheduled treatment sessions except one that I had to skip to drive D's grandmother to an emergency medical appointment and obviously that's okay

 

Things I would like to put more energy into because I think they'll help me:

  • I want to make time for mindfulness/meditation. I haven't been doing this at all and I think I'm missing out
  • I'd like to take more walks and get outside more. I think the mood lift will be really helpful and I also think the physical and energy benefits are worth the time and effort. A lot of this is about learning to take care of myself, not in an obligation way but in a how-you-treat-people-you-care-about way, but I'm still working on getting to a mindset where I don't associate exercise with feelings of obligation, guilt, morality, self-worth, etc. Need to think about this more and work on dismantling old assumptions and ideas

Overall I've started to realize how strongly the idea of judgment, of virtue/vice and success/failure, is woven into my perception of everything in the world and especially the lens through which I examine my own life and character. Part of me thinks this is a good thing, and part of me thinks it's a big reason for how I became so tangled up in unhealthy ways of looking at food and other basic elements of life. It's not an easy answer one way or the other. Obviously I want to have standards and strive to be the best I can, but I want to do it in a way that doesn't warp into a never-ending loop of self-excoriating criticism and failure and shame. I'm still working out the idea of how to be someone who expects a lot from herself, who strives to be the best they can, but without becoming an unforgiving judge who accepts nothing short of perfection.

Okay, so I just want to say that this is really interesting to me. I don't mean to push, but I think its great that you are really trying to find out how to do this in a much healthier way and that is a huge thing and it shows your really thinking about everything. I think your doing great, but we are here when you have the time for us.

oh and because your doing so well.

 

giphy.gif

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Current Challenge ---> Bean Si Vs Chaos No energy for a title

You are never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream - C.S. Lewis

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Hi @Severine!

 

I think it's great that you're seeing a specialist and getting help. :) (I've not been officially diagnosed, but I definitely deal with disordered eating. (Long story short, I haven't been able to see a specialist and my therapist doesn't feel comfortable giving an official diagnosis because he doesn't have a solid understanding of eating disorders beyond the textbook basics.))

 

On 6/12/2018 at 10:28 PM, Severine said:

A very new way of looking at the world for me, but it's something that my ED specialist has been really pushing vis-a-vis food, and I'm finding it useful in other areas of my life as well.

It is a useful way of looking at things. There's some interesting literature on the subject, but one fairly common thing to find is that an ED often reflects (in part) an overarching trait that is an underlying cause of issues in other areas of the person's life. (Like, many people with EDs tend to be perfectionists who gravitate towards an extreme all or nothing approach.) So, dealing with one issue will have an effect on the related issues.

 

On 6/12/2018 at 10:28 PM, Severine said:

I'm still working out the idea of how to be someone who expects a lot from herself, who strives to be the best they can, but without becoming an unforgiving judge who accepts nothing short of perfection.

You can do it! ^_^

 

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Current Challenge: Zeroh, stick to the routine!

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Hi Severine!! Welcome back! It's good to see your face. I'm sorry to hear about what you're dealing with, but glad to see how you're handling it so far. 

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