Saturday, February 4, 2017

"I think you're getting worse."

Silly boy, no.
This isn't worse.
This is what it looks like when you take away my ability to binge and purge.
It's not that b/p is a "good" coping mechanism, by any means, but it's a very effective one.

Lovely, caring boy, no, I'm not getting worse.
This is what it looks like to get better.


If you look at my behaviors, things are Better: I've been lifting weights and taking dance class or being in rehearsals five or six days a week since the end of December. I've been eating 1600, 1800, 2000 calories a day, only binging twice a week, maybe, only purging twice in all of 2017 so far, my weight is down consistently to the 133s and 134s and holding steady. I can bench press 85 pounds for four reps. I can deadlift 140 pounds for four reps. Neither of these are particularly impressive, but for only a month's progress, I'll take it.

I WANT that. This is one of the days where I want a strong, healthy body. I want to go rock climbing again, to scale a wall like an action hero, to get my bench press up to body weight, to figure out how to afford a gym and learn to squat properly with a bar. I want to compete in powerlifting, make more dance pieces, perform more, have abs that are functional, not just aesthetic.

I had a job interview yesterday and, if I get it, I'll become (at 24!) the managing director for a dance company that's only three years younger than I am, that has a 100k+ annual budget, that's developing an outreach program and growing its audience annually and maybe starting a school. I'm also currently the managing director for a small theatre company, and I could continue doing that, as well. I'd have power and money--I could juggle managing both (no, really, both are part-time) with performing and making and being a badass. I could save money and take my lovely boy on a vacation and dye my hair regularly and be happy.

Today I want this.
Today I do.
Yesterday, Thursday, Wednesday... I just wanted to be dead.

That roller coaster is taking its toll. A little on me (but frankly I'm used to it), a lot on the boy. So I think I'm coming back here, at least for a bit, because oh fuck do I need a place to spew these thoughts.

So far today I've taken a 90-minute dance class and done about an hour of work for the theatre company. I have another couple hours to do (marketing! video editing!) and am hitting the gym for a running-and-weightlifting session this evening (or afternoon). I bought a pint of vegan ice cream and am going to have some atop a chocolate brownie larabar this evening because food has become scary lately and FUCK THAT.  I'm going to reread Intuitive Eating because things in my brain are loud and ugh.

I feel less lost than I did, but I haven't quite found my way yet. I suppose no one has, really.

Love, always,
--The Dancer

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

So I officially Have An Eating Disorder.

Things got not-so-great this fall, and I finally sought treatment. I got a diagnosis, officially, and started one-on-one therapy. Things felt... possible. I was optimistic and hardcore white-knuckling through Not Binging and Not Purging and have only purged twice in 2017! and then it all fell back down again--I didn't want to recover. I didn't want to spend my entire life white-knuckling through behavior avoidance. I was still spending ALL OF MY TIME thinking about food/my body/hating myself/binging/purging/not wanting to live. I started daydreaming about self-harming again. I still haven't been able to walk over a bridge without having my SO on the phone to keep away the "you could jump" thoughts. The restrictive desires have been STRONG these past couple of days. I started rereading ana regzig then stopped, started rereading Wasted then stopped, started looking up all of your blogs then stopped. Because those are things I did When I Was In It. And now I'm Recovering. See? If you stop the behavior, if you white knuckle through it and berate yourself for even thinking those thoughts, it gets better, right?


Yeah... no.

I had my fifth session today, and broke down crying in my therapist's office. All the things, all the tears and the self hatred and the wanting to rip my skin away and cut my fat off came pouring out. We talked through the emotional outburst, I got a packet about "grounding" techniques, and a schedule of the two Intensive Outpatient Programs they offer. Because apparently I am now Sick Enough to qualify.

I don't know where to turn. It's about 5pm here and I've had 420 calories today (if that... I don't think the three bites of sweet potato, carrot slice, and boy choy I had in a sauce for lunch were actually 100, but better safe than sorry). I binged yesterday, hard, but that finished at 5:30pm and I don't think 420 calories in 24 hours is supposed to be enough, but food is hard. Scary.

I don't think I can afford IOP, either. I'm 24 and still on my parents' insurance, at least until that gets repealed (thanks, Trump), but the copays alone... ffs. I need to ask, I guess. And I need to ask when it would start, how long it runs, all of that. And I need to figure out if I want to do daytime (would need a new dayjob, couldn't take advanced dance classes in the mornings like I have been, but I'd still be able to rehearse and perform) or evening (could keep my current job&continue taking dance classes, but wouldn't be able to take on any new performance projects), or none of the above and just... keep doing this.

It was also recommended that I get an appointment with a psych and talk about anti-depressants. So.

Lots to think about.


Life has changed a lot since I last wrote in June. I don't know if I'll keep this blog a regular occurrence or no--if I do, I'll chat about those other changes soon. If I don't--well, for anyone who finds this in the future, know that the girl who wrote for years about controlling her body and beating into submission is finally open to trying another route.

(Oh, and looking back at those make me laugh, a little. 133.4 yesterday mid-day before the binge, 134.2 this morning. Apparently at one point I did a 4-day liquid fast to get down to this weight. So.

I don't know who's still around, but love to anyone who's reading this.

--The Dancer

Monday, June 20, 2016

10 down, 21 to go.

137.4 this morning! My waist is 29.25 inches.  I can count on one hand the number of days my waist has been under 29. Usually, even with the baby four-pack (currently at little baby dents, so the 4-pack is on its way!), I'm just 29 even. You can see my ribs at 29, and the jiggle only exists in my lower belly. I just don't have a tiny waist. I'd like to see what it takes to get to 28".
But 137.4,  which is down 3 pounds from 10 days ago--to stay on track, I only needed to lose 2 pounds. So I'm 1 ahead. Yay!
Part of that, of course, was shark week, which started Tuesday and finally retreated on Saturday. Ugh.  But 137.4 with 21 days left to lose before artist lake retreat--1.5 pounds/week is 4.5 down is 132.9.  We'll see.

I wasn't as perfect last week as i had hoped--a lot of healthy food (salad! veggies! chia!) but a couple of b/p sessions, as well. And not as much exercise until the end of the week--did SOMETHING to my ankle, so took a few days off.  But I took two dance classes Wednesday, two Thursday, and one plus rehearsal Saturday and I felt really good through all of them.

This week is an intensive/audition with a local company, plus evening rehearsals for my August show are beginning. So today:
breakfast (oats, raisins, cherries, pb/coffee with soy milk)
work 8:30-9:45
snack (kiwi)
dance 10-12/12:30ish
lunch (an apricot plus tofu peanut "curry" with loads of veg--bell pepper, kale, spinach, and broccoli.  Curry is in quotation marks because the sauce is pb, water, and spices.  But it's delicious!)
dance 12:30/1ish-3
work 3:15-5:45, including snack (banana, chocolate soy milk with protein powder)
rehearsal 6-9
home, shower, dinner (HUGE salad with kale, spinach, celery, edamame, carrot, green beans, and mango).
Altogether that's 1499 cal with 76 grams of protein. Depending on how I'm feeling I might add someone homemade hummus to the salad, or have a kale and banana juice with it.

I'm going to be late if I don't end this here, but know that I'm thinking of all of you.

Stay strong, lovelies.
--The Dancer

Friday, June 10, 2016

31 Days of Perfection

So I b/p'd last night (and then ate more afterwards), but that was four full days without, which is a recent record. I also haven't done ANYTHING active since Saturday. Ugh.
I'm at 140.4 right now, which feels REALLY high, but I've spent the majority of the past year between 141 and 147, so... big picture.

Smaller picture:
in 10 days I'll start a week-long intensive/audition process for a local company.
In preparation: class+rehearsal tomorrow (Sat), rehearsal+gym Sunday, gym Monday, classx3 (modern, ballet, modern) Tuesday, class (contact improv) Wednesday, classx2 (modern, different modern) Thursday, gym Friday, class+rehearsal Saturday, rest up on Sunday to kick ass for a week straight.

Other smaller picture:
In 31 days I'll be leaving to spend a week in a dance residency with the company I've been working with. 8 days of (paid!) lakeside choreographing with some super talented people, and it's silly but I know I'm going to be in a swimsuit with some very attractive humans nearby and I just want to look good.  These dancers are also much farther along in their careers than I am, and I want to impress (I'm 23 and the next-youngest in the group are 30, which, by the way, is only "over the hill" in Classical Ballet. These people are seriously AMAZING).

So 31 days of doing everything right. Lots of water, lots of vegetables, lean protein, berries, whole grains, exercise (which I've been thoroughly ignoring, which is dumb).
If 140.4 is my "real" weight, and I lose 1.5 pounds a week over the next 31 days, I'll be down to 133.8.  That's only .2 pounds per day, which is a 745 caloric deficit every day.

Let's say it's 750 to be safe.
My BMR is 1456. On a "lightly active" day, I'll burn 2000 calories. That's just walking to/from the office, to/from the bf's place, etc.  On days I take a single dance class or go to the gym, that bumps up to about 2300. On days I take multiple dance classes or rehearse for a long stretch of time, that could be as high as 2600.
So whatever it is, I'll do 750 calories under that. If I'm not doing anything but going to the office and coming home, I'll eat 1250. If I'm dancing a little, 1500. If I'm dancing a lot, 1800. The low numbers there soothe my ED brain and the high numbers sound good to my "but health!" brain.

Today so far I've had black coffee (about 6 calories) plus tofu scramble (tofu, scallion, mushroom, tomato, and spinach). I've made a yummy green juice with plenty of water for a snack (spinach, blackberries, and raspberries) and bulk-cooked some couscous with beans and veggies at the beginning of the week that I'll have for lunch with some raspberries. All of that comes to 530 calories and 37 grams of protein, which gives me 700 calories for this evening. I might not hit 1250 today, but I ate so much yesterday that I'm okay with today being lighter.

It's an easy day, too. It's 8:30 am right now and I've been up for about an hour and a half. I don't have to be at work until 11, so I'm going to spend the extra time making up a batch of seitan (quick, on-the-go protein!) and tidying the apartment a bit.
Doing that kind of thing in the morning makes me feel... luxurious. Self-care/life-maintenance stuff so often gets pushed off in favor of being busy, so having time to really dedicate to it feels like a treat.

And, well:

Happy Friday, loves.
--The Dancer

Saturday, June 4, 2016


But this week has been a lot of b/p, so I don't even think it counts.
I still go through cycles with this: it'll be a Big Problem for 1, 2, sometimes even 3 weeks, and then not an issue for a month or more. I don't want to be doing this--it's gross and a total waste of money.
So I'm going to say that I'm not allowed to do it for a whole week. Anything I want to binge on I'll put on a list and next Saturday, if I still want to, I can go and do it then.
In the meantime: tofu scrambles and couscous and fruit and salads and hummus (yes, Sammy, hummus. Infinite hummus. I swear I could eat nothing but.)

This morning: tofu scramble with lots of veggies and an everything bagel with hummus. 570 cal, 28 grams protein. I'm headed to the office in about 20 minutes to prep for the school's Open House. I'll be on my feet from about 9-3:30, talking to college-aged dancers looking for a place to train for the summer, to adult dancers looking to learn, and to parents of children who want to be part of our youth program, selling class packages and enrollments and hopefully making A Metric Fuckton of money.

Then I'll just pop upstairs and go to rehearsal until 5. (I work in a big arts building. There are a ton of tenants, including the dance company I work for, but also a few empty studios that the center itself rents out to independent artists and the like for rehearsals).

THEN I'll come back downstairs and finish off some work at the school, probably. If I'm still standing.

I'll pack a few kiwis and stop at the store on the way to work to pick up a couple Larabars and a green juice. That's my favorite way to get through these open houses (four per year!) because you don't have much time either to sit or to eat a proper meal. So big breakfast and lots of small, easily digestible snacks.

Thank you for the comments on my hair! It was just my natural color before--a light, golden-y brown.  The pink stays until the end of July, then I have another show.

Rehearsal tomorrow morning then audition tomorrow afternoon. I might try to hit the gym after work today in preparation. If I'm being good for a week, then I should be REALLY good. If I did that, even with two kiwis, two larabars, and a green juice, I could have a protein shake afterwards and still be under 1400 cal for the day.

That sounds lovely.
--The Dancer

Sunday, May 29, 2016


I knew 136.8 was too good to be true. I've been 137-138, mostly.
138 was actually the number on the scale that first started this journey. It was the highest weight I had ever seen at the time and it horrified me. Since then, I've weighed in anywhere from 127 (for a single blessed day) to 150 (for a horrifying, b/p-filled week).
Even now, four years later, I view 138 as a marker. Above it is "doing worse," below it is "making progress." So as long as I keep going down, I'll be making progress. I don't have an "end goal" in mind this time, at least not numbers-wise. Visible abs. Protruding hip-bones. I think that will happen in the mid 120s. 12 pounds to go? Yesterday it was 10.8. Boo.

But I deserve the 1.2-pound gain from yesterday. Yes, I danced an hour and a half and ran 2.3 miles and lifted, but I also had, in addition to the chia and salad listed yesterday, a ton of broccoli and carrots, half a tub of hummus (it is forever my weakness), a protein shake (strawberries/spinach/protein powder) post-workout aaaaaand the remainder of a mostly-full pint of ice cream. I could have done (and done happily!) with all of it except the ice cream. But now it's gone, so okay.

This morning was a tofu scramble with mushroom, tomato, scallion, spinach, and nutritional yeast plus a quarter cup of soy milk in my coffee (271 cal/33 g protein). Headed off in a bit to rehearsal... not sure how long it goes today, but afterwards will be the same salad as yesterday, probably with some fruit on the side (with fruit, about 400 cal/23 g protein). I'll make a list of everything I need to do soon (grant review, more grant writing, video editing, cleaning), hit the gym, shower, and get started on the list.

I'll have a a veg-focus dinner (probably steamed broccoli and hummus: 240 cal/12 g protein), then head over the bf's when his show ends around 9:30. I'm betting we'll eat a bit there, and I'm positive we'll drink (he likes mixing fancy cocktails, and who am I to say no when a beautiful man hands me top-shelf alcohol with fresh-squeezed lemons and homemade simple syrup? Have I mentioned he's amazing in the kitchen?), but if I stick to the plan I'll have danced and worked out and be clocking in at just under 1000 cal/65 grams of protein, so I'll have some room to play. These days the goal is about 1400-1600 calories, depending on the amount of dance I'm doing at the time. W definitely doesn't know about this blog, and I don't want him to find out, so I probably won't update until Tuesday evening... nor will I be able to get a morning weight until Wednesday. Eek. But that's three days of good behavior in the future, so I'm going to say... 136s. Low 136s.

Also... I dyed my hair this week. The Instagram filter makes my skin look much nicer than it is, but here you go:

Happy Sunday, my darlings. 
--The Dancer

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Hello Again

It seems that I always come back here when things are changing.
"Here" to this blog, not "here" to an eating disorder. With the ED, I'm both not returning and admitting that I never left.

I was 136.8 this morning, which I'm okay enough with. I'd be happier five pounds lower, but when isn't that true? I've been in the 140s for most of my time post-college (...which is almost two years now, holy hell), but in the (high) 130s the past three weeks or so. I like this better.
Today was breakfast: strawberry chia pudding with pb (291 cal/9 g protein), then an hour and a half dance class,  a quick grocery store run, then lunch: salad with tomato, bell pepper, tofu, avocado, and nutritional yeast (363 cal/22 g protein). I'm digesting and drinking water, then gym and dinner, maybe seeing the boyfriend after his show.

Oh, yes, there's a boyfriend.
I wrote about him back in September, how I had a crush on W, the lighting designer from a show I had done. How he had a show coming up that I was going to drag H to and, I dunno, at least remind him that I existed.
Well, I didn't do quite that. I missed the show, but I sent him a FB message afterwards apologizing for it, asking how it went, any excuse to start and keep up a conversation. And it worked! We exchanged messages (long messages--paragraphs about the state of the arts community in our area and the purpose of an education, about the merits of the classical canon and the merits of various sci-fi franchises) before deciding, yeah, we clearly had a lot we could talk about, why don't we meet up for a drink? And the drink turned into three straight hours of chatting and light touches, turned into him offering to drive me home (we were close enough that I had walked), turned into a goodnight kiss turned into going on seven months together.
He's wonderful and sweet and funny and he knows about my issues in an abstract sense but doesn't make a big deal out of them and I'm just so relaxed around him. We binge-watch Netflix and cook together and go see theatre and dance and discuss current events and philosophy and sociology while snuggled in bed in the mornings. He's amazing. It's amazing. I'm happy with him.

Besides the boyfriend, I got another promotion at the dance company I work for. For a while I was working full time, but we found out yesterday that our summer hours are seriously reduced, so I have to figure out how to live on about half of what I was planning on. Eek.
Otherwise, I had a gallery installation (result of the fellowship) in March-April and a show in May. I start rehearsals for another show next week--that one goes up in August. A couple more pretty big auditions over the next couple of weeks, as well.

Things are... okay. The work thing is scary--really, really scary, and I've been panicking all week about it, but I've realized that I need to just seize this opportunity to take as much class as possible, get to the gym as much as possible, and spend time making art. So that's what I'm going to do. Food and gym and class all in line and everything else will fall into place.

How have you all been, lovelies?
--The Dancer