Thursday, 31 March 2016


Three days.

That’s how many days of regular exercise and reasonably decent eating it took for me to feel better. That’s how long it usually takes, and yet at the bottom of a binge I forget that. It seems like everything will always be gray and hopeless, and then somehow, somewhere, I get the willingness to get up and try again.

It seemed dicey this time on Day 2, as it often does. Yesterday I did the first exercise class double I have done in maybe a year (more of which, shortly) and then the friend I met for SoulCycle (which I do rarely) suggested a drink after. Friend chose the Trump Plaza (cue comments about its namesake) because it was quiet and around the corner, and what do you know? They gave us – for free – a beet and goat cheese salad and some kind of salmon carpaccio.

Reader, this is usually a disaster for me. I hate pick-at-it kind of dinners (I call them pick-y dinners), and it was kinda early for dinner, and I hate thinking, too early in the evening, that my next meal isn’t until breakfast, and I knew I was going to be up late, anxious about a looming deadline which had suddenly been foisted on me about 20 minutes before I left for SoulCycle. On the way home I thought about what else I could eat. And then got home and got so busy that I didn’t. (Until 2 am, when my stomach was growling and I had some almond butter.)

The exercise definitely is helping. It’s been several months, between travel and injury, since I’ve been able to do any regular exercise besides Pilates. Which is good, of course, but is just not the same, in my book, as getting your heart rate up and sweating. Monday I ran. Yesterday I was on the battle ropes and the kettlebells and the SoulCycle. Today was another (short) run. It’s frustrating how out of shape I am, but it’s also an inspiration. I can get back there. I will get back there.

As for the eating disorder treatment: It’s still ticking along as something I may really do, though it’s looking, for a couple of logistical reasons, more like July than May. Which is terrifying. When you think someone is going to take something from you – like bingeing – it becomes worse. I feel like this has been happening to me the past couple of weeks, as I’ve tried to decide what to do about this, but knowing it’s a very real possibility that I will. Of course I have to wonder what would happen if I commit to this thing and then I get until July without a binge. I think it’s unlikely, but even if I did – I’ve gone 100 days without bingeing before and it has always come back. My hope is that whatever this is will do a better job of pulling this thing out by the roots.

Friday, 25 March 2016

Desperate Times, Desperate Measures

Hello, it’s me.

(No points for filling in Adele lyrics here.)

I’m thinking about doing something drastic. Except when I’m traveling (which has been quite a bit) I tend to stick to paleo during the week and then binge on the weekends. Add to that the fact that I haven’t been able to exercise at my usual levels – a persistent problem with my tendon, an exodus of instructors from my favorite spin studio, blah blah blah – and I just feel… terrible. I’m heavier than I’ve been in years, and don’t want to get on the scale to check if I’m heavier than I’ve ever been. (I don’t think so, given the size I’m wearing, but there is the vanity sizing.)

In some ways I’m better than I have been in years, in that I can eat at odd times and go to restaurants and generally seem, well, normal-ish (except when my mind disappears down the rabbit hole of plotting out a binge). In other ways I am so much worse, bingeing on things I never cared a fig about years ago, not exercising much (see above), and watching hours of television, something I’ve never done. (The weekend after Christmas I watched so much TV that when someone spoke to me on Monday morning, I practically forgot I was supposed to reply – like I was expecting the action to keep unfolding in front of me without my participating.)

I don’t think you’d know it to look at me – I turn in my work on time, go out, and all that – but this thing with food is getting in the way of the quality of my life. I’m not happy this way.

Anyway, the drastic: A 14-week outpatient program in London that treats binge eating like an addiction. It would be terrifyingly expensive, but I’m (almost) at the point where I think it’s a small price to pay for not repeating this cycle of behavior for the rest of my life. (Terrifyingly expensive and made only more so by the fact that given how demanding the program is, I’ll be unlikely to be able to work at my current level of output…)

Why not just do this in the US? So far I haven’t found anything similar. Plus in some ways I think the English approach to eating disorders – less bullsh*t – suits me better.

I was at my sister’s this week – work took me down south – and told her I was thinking of doing it. She was surprisingly supportive, which made me wonder just how bad for me things must look to her. I was too afraid to ask.