1 step forward; 13.1 miles back.

This past weekend, a close friend from college visited. It was awesome to have someone visit with whom I could be completely honest and open. We had some great conversations, and I made some food leaps during her visit.

But for all the progress I may have made, Ana started FREAKING OUT (reminder: Ana is my anorexia). She yelled at me for every fear food I dared let myself have. She called me names. She reminded me that I am getting fat and that my clothes are fitting super tight.

I woke up yesterday morning and decided to go for a run. I planned to try for 7 miles this morning, as 6 has been feeling pretty good lately.

Around mile 4, I thought about how great I felt and wondered if I could do even more than 7. Maybe 10 miles?

At mile 7, I realized I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that I was running. I was thinking about other things and feeling great. No cramping. No need to potty. I thought, “I can run a half marathon today.”

View of Lake Union on my run

Now, a little background. I have always said, “I’m not a runner.” I’m slow. I like to do other things, like kickball and softball, for exercise. I have had my “running spurts” as mentioned previously, but this notion that I could run 13.1 miles on the fly without any planning was ludicrous.

I did it. According to my running app, I ran 13.25 miles in 2 hours and 22 minutes.

Ana was very happy with my performance. Look, she said, you ran off all that food you ate this weekend. Now keep it together.

Here’s the deal with Ana. She seems to have my best interests at heart, at first. She wants me to “be healthy.” She wants me to look beautiful so I have friends. She wants me to feel good about my body.

But Ana is a thief. I just ran a HALF-MARATHON. And I can’t celebrate it. I have to hide it. JJ is going to lose his mind when he finds out (yeah, I haven’t quite told him yet). My dietitian and doctor will probably throw me out of their offices. I’m proud of myself, but telling anyone feels like I’m confessing a sin. I’m proud of myself, but I know people will be mad at me. I’m proud of myself, but know that it was not a recovery behavior. Despite the great accomplishment, Ana won.

Ana steals celebration and joy. She gives secrets and shame. This is the price I pay.

3 thoughts on “1 step forward; 13.1 miles back.

  1. I don’t know Ana, (did I miss something in previous blogs) but you need to cut her out of your life! You need support, positivity, not shame and negativity. And there’s nothing wrong with running a half marathon….once you can comfortably fuel yourself for it. It’s quite an accomplishment. You will get there. You will be happy AND healthy. You are already loved beyond measure.

  2. Hi Love!
    Thank you for your honest confession, and engagement of the mixed feelings and challenges with celebrating milestones.
    I want to encourage you to attend to the motives, rather than the facts. And likely, motives were mixed. Ana was chirping in your ear (abusive, controlling Ana!), and you are stretching and challenging yourself (Go You!). Getting to a place where you can hold both kind and less-kind motives is indicative (psychologically) of integration and increasing health and maturity.

    This, however, needs to be ripped from Ana’s lips, denounced as lies, and actively worked to reframe: “She wants me to look beautiful so I have friends.”
    Friends don’t love you for your looks. Friends (I!) love you for your brilliant mind, your faithful and thoughtful support, your consistent curiosity and inquiry into our thoughts, hearts, and lives. We love you for the years and decades of shared story knowing you has allowed. You do not have to eatn our friendship. Your candor, openness, and culnerability draws us in and sets the hook.

    I pose a pivot. Perhaps you had the strength, stamina, and energy to run that far BECAUSE you ate enough the preceding days.

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