Friday, October 16, 2009

Size Isn't Everything

This has been a short and odd kind of week for me. I am enjoying a four-day weekend because school is out for professional development opportunities. Since my requirements are all finished for the year, this means that I'm on vacation. But just because it's been a short week doesn't mean nothing has happened.

Take Lio, our chihuahua pup, for instance. He's just a small little guy, but in the space of one week he's graduated from puppy school and gotten neutered. A big week for a tiny creature? You betcha! Thankfully, Lio is recovering nicely. He did not let his chihuahua-sized graduation cap inflate his little ego, and yesterday's surgery went off without a hitch. He hasn't even been licking his sutures! Smart man. I've moved his crate upstairs (the basement is rather chilly), padded it with a fleecy blanket, and inundated him with fun toys to occupy him during his recovery. Mostly, though, he just enjoys chilling out in the midst of all the action.

We might have to leave his crate upstairs -- he's so happy with its new location! Lio can produce the most mournful wail when he wants to, and that usually is when he is crated all by his lonesome downstairs. With this new spot, though, he only howled after the hubby and I went to bed. The Best Husband Ever skillfully solved this problem by shutting the bedroom door.

Our big dogs, Jackson and Cody, are being relatively gentle with the newly snipped pup. For the most part. Mostly because they have gotten many opportunities. But Jackson has had other things on his mind. He also recently graduated from puppy school -- the beginner class for him -- and this week he began his intermediate class. He really enjoys the mental challenge of dog school, in addition to the canine schmoozing opportunities it offers. He met a sweet golden retriever puppy the first night who happens to belong to one of the hubby's old college acquaintances. Jackson also had fun getting distracted with one of his old beginner class compatriots. While he's not working hard, though, he and Cody are lounging in the backyard with healthy treats (carrots! good for the teeth and mind without introducing too much rawhide to their systems). Crunch crunch!

Like I said, it's been a big week, even though my week has been short in terms of work to weekend ratios. But enough about the dogs. It's been a rather roller coaster-ish week for me as well. I don't know if I can really cover all of the ups and downs in a single post, but I'll try to give you the bare bones.

Life has been rather . . . weird for me lately. I don't know how else to put it. And it's not just because of last week's depressingly unseasonal first snow. Part of the weirdness was introduced a few weeks back. In the process of training for my first triathlon, I somehow tweaked my left hip. Even after taking time off, scaling my activity back to low-impact exercise, and going easy on my body, my hip refused to stop twinging. I finally consulted my doc, who told me to do only swimming and yoga for my exercise. For a month. If the pain was still present, then I'd get an x-ray and get back to him.

A month. A month of waking up at four o'clock in the morning to drive to a shiver-inducing swim class, teamed up with some odd yoga classes thrown in. Even though my triathlon training has helped me to enjoy swimming more, it's still not my favorite thing. I find it incredibly difficult to motivate myself to exercise if said exercise involves getting nearly naked and wet. It's just not my cuppa. Pair this up with the fact that I'm a recovering anorexic with a history of random bulimic tendencies. Now incorporate the additional facts that I'm in a new and stressful (even as much as I love it!) job and that my relationships with both God and the Best Husband Ever are rocky at best, and you have a [very long] equation for an unhappy, unbalanced me.

I have not been dealing well with the exercise restrictions, with the lack of balance that seems to be swallowing me whole. I've gained weight. I feel terrible physically, mentally, and in terms of self-confidence. My diet and eating have become erratic and lazy, I've stopped attempting to engage the hubby, and (worst of all, maybe) I feel icy tendrils of self-doubt and fear slithering back around my soul. I'm losing touch with who I am, with where my value lies.

This week, and especially yesterday, all this came to a head. I did not sleep a wink on Wednesday night/Thursday morning, but as the morning trickled over the mountains I felt a surge of energy. After dropping Lio off at the vet, I went to the gym. And I ran. Not a lot, and not very intense, but I did it. And it felt great. My hip didn't hurt (although it did later -- darn!), and I remembered what it is I love about running, about moving my body. Those thirty minutes of run-walk intervals on the springy track were glorious. And somehow that time centered me a little. I still feel off and odd, but better. Maybe it wasn't smart to run with a gimpy hip, and maybe it's a sign that my anorexia isn't in remission quite as much as I'd like to believe. But honestly, I really don't care. Running was a sweet balm when everything, everything hurt.

Things are not quite so dire as I might imagine at times. Today is crisp, sunny, and autumn all over -- no more of that early winter, thank you! The hubby and I are in the process of organizing some marital counseling to supplement my ED-recovery counseling. And, speaking of eating disorders, I'm in maintenance mode, which is great! Now my therapist and I are focusing on finding balance, on finding what's right for me in my life, in this body. And that's just what I need. Plus, I have a job I love, I live in a lovely house in an amazing, mountain-ringed city, and I have family and friends that I love and who love me back in spite of all my crazy foibles. I can read. I can walk. I can dance, and hoop! Besides, even if our communication hasn't been as rich as I would like, I'm still loving laughing with the Best Husband Ever over our silly dogs, over The Office, over the oddness of life.

I am reading the daily devotional Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman. Here's an excerpt from today's selection. It was ridiculously timely. I love it when God does that.
It is very easy to fall into the habit of doubting, fretting, and wondering if God has forsaken us and if after all our hopes are to end in failure. Let us refuse to be discouraged. Let us refuse to be unhappy. . . .

The devil has two master tricks. One is to get us discouraged; then for a time at least we can be of no service to others, and so are defeated. The other is to make us doubt, thus breaking the faith link by which we are bound to our Father. Lookout! Do not be tricked either way. . . .

Gladness! I like to cultivate the spirit of gladness! It puts the soul so in tune again, and keeps it in tune, so that Satan is shy of touching it -- the chords of the soul become too warm, or too full of heavenly electricity, for his infernal fingers. . . .

I don't have an easy answer for how I'm going to deal with all this stuff. But that's okay. God is faithful, and healing comes with time. I just have to be patient. No problem, right? Right . . . .


  1. Hello :)I have been reading your blog for several months now, and always 'pop in' to see how you're doing. I felt I should say hello; I'm Victoria and I live in Cambridge, England... *waves* I'm 29 and am a recovered anorexic (probably at the same stage as you). I was so sorry to hear about your recent turmoil and wanted to say that as it happens, I am feeling exactly the same way right now and so your excerpt really helped me too. Thanks for posting that. I too am having trouble with my long-term relationship with my boyfriend (in my case, my history of illness has created a lot of resentment on his part for the years I have 'wasted' in being so ill which has prevented our progressing in life properly as a couple, despite his loving support when I was very ill... problem, is, there's only so much I can apologise for that and work hard at staying well now- which of course is especially hard, when times are difficult) and it was a comfort to know I'm not alone.I also love running and often find it's the only way I can clear my mind sufficiently to carry on! It's a pain though to try and eat extra in order to replace the burnt calories, though... but it's important.I wanted to send love, say 'God bless' to you and your family, and to say I'll keep reading. Take good care. Love, Tori x

  2. Tori, Thank you so much for your words. Like you said, it helps to know that I'm not alone in my struggles. Your comments really brightened my Monday morning. I don't think I can say "thank you" enough! Thanks, also, for your readership, and I hope things continue to improve with your boyfriend and your battle with ED. Beth :)


"I am glad you are here with me."
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King