Saturday, December 27, 2008


I'm scared.

I want someone to tell me what's wrong and how to fix it.
I want them to step me through it.

I feel so alone. I have hope to figure it out, of what might fix it, but still so lost.

And what if it doesn't work?
How long can I continue on like this?
What could my future become?

I don't even know what's right to do in my physical state--what's going on physically, what will cause more damage.

And I must find out how to fix it...before it's too late.


I have to admit, I have never reacted this quickly and strongly when “trying something different” [aka going off] previous elimination plans.
It started with me quickly realizing what I’d took for granted during those two weeks of eliminating problem foods, most strictly gluten, soy, and lactose. No, I wasn’t normal, I wasn’t healed, I still had issues—but I sure improved a heck of a lot in two weeks and really was relatively stable! I realized that as things quickly took a turn for the worse.
I thought maybe it was just coincidence. After all, I was starting on a plan with consistent and increased intake [plus no activity], with no extremes (limited fruit and fiber, barely any veggies, almost no soy and lactose still—mostly just more gluten and still overall “easy on the gut” foods)…this would all pay off: my digestion would calm down, I’d gain weight, I’d heal. Right?
If only it were so simple…

Only one day of eating gluten and a teeny bit of soy and things immediately took a turn back for the worse. Two nights later I was again at a low point and the following day was nonstop and escalating problems. Yesterday at work was pretty tricky. Mentally I’m reassuring myself it has to be coincidence, but it’s déjà vu. Things are back where they used to be and I’m struggling to function, even with “better” eating [by the all overall intake and “good foods to eat on the job to get easy calories” theory].
And it’s a blessing from Heaven that I didn’t have work today. Back to my unfunctionable low. Gut spasming in ways that terrified me. My insides tearing apart. From uncomfortable messy-stuck to gut spasming in ways that terrify me and feel like my body might literally be quitting. I already had to cancel my plans to go out just now. More importantly—my health, my future. Yes, I’m underweight and need to gain—but “treating” that alone isn’t going to make everything better if my gut won’t work.
Eating more, eating consistently, may be good things—but not the solution for whatever’s going on with my messed up system. L
I think I went back to that mindset when someone asked me if I had an eating disorder. To look at me is to think I’m just starving, and if I have digestion problems it’s because of that.
I want it to be that simple so bad.
But why can’t I count instead on what I’ve learned for years now?! If that was my fix than the meal plans I was so brutal about enacting back in college would have long since lead me to a strong athletic body. My digestion would be much improved, not at a low point I could have hardly imagined.
And to those who don’t understand, I want them to get in my body. To realize it’s not about not liking the discomfort, it’s about wrecking havoc on my life and my ability to take care of my physical needs and gain weight. They say eat 3,4, 5000 calories—whatever it takes—but they don’t realize this doesn’t do me any good if my system can’t take the nourishment I provide.
I know this can’t continue—not because it’s uncomfortable, but because it’s not curing me from the root cause.

Yes, I need to continue the meal plan process—counting and all that, until I reach a healthy point with my physical state and activity. BUT that alone isn’t my cure. If anything, it’s been incredible discouraging since I force myself to eat saying it will “fix these problems” and instead they get worse—and fast. My nutrition therapy is going to have to work in the process of building my diet [yes, like I knew deep down and even started]…I can build that and be patient and persevere as my body heals, stabilizes, and finally is capable of using the steady nourishment I give it with my meal plans to build it to peak health and athletics.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Hopes

It’s been 2 days and I’m up 4.5 pounds!

Even if it’s part fluctuation, surely SOME of it has to be real, right? That’s an awful big gain. I’ve never gained that much in a month, much less two days!

Oh my, I’m so many emotions I don’t even know:
-excited: can I really do this? Every Christmas I’m tired of being the messed up one. Every new Years I vow to “get buff.” I’m the most extreme ever this year [living like a sick one, not just an athlete trying to gain]…and I’m also the sickest I’ve ever been with my digestion and physical state…but could this be the time things really turn around?
-hopeful but worried: I still want to get better, not just gain weight. Even if I look better and get healthier stats, this is no way to live with all my “issues.”
I’m hanging on to a hope that part of the healing will come with just plain gaining weight, even if that process makes things temporarily worse in terms of digesting.
I have noticed that since I went off my eliminations things have gone progressively and quickly downhill. And I was actually stabilizing pretty well. I’m wondering if I continued the same core eliminations [not too severe, but at least gluten, soy, dairy pretty strict] but also keep my gameplan with the meal plan and activity, if they can all work together so I can heal, gain [and heal more!] and get the life and body I need.

Side note—I’m also OVER my first 2 activity standards = pilates/easy toning alternated with the ½ hour cardio IF I’m still here in two days [I’m making myself weight in TWICE at the standard because my weight has bounced around a lot in the past].

Christmas has resurrected my running dreams. I got a great book with not just training philosophies/plans, but how to adapt it to your body’s response. This is just the kind of thing I need after years of peaks and crashes with chronic injury: this year, instead of heading into the new year with the perfect training plan, I’m heading into it with the tools to build my body and my training to what will make me the best runner I can be and discover a new world of athletics I have yet to experience!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

My Christmas Wish

So many hopes, so many dreams, and it all starts with one thing…
I need my body to work.

Please, my dear Lord, my saving grace…grant me a body.
This physical thing, so vital for life.
Please, let me digest, put my system at rest.
That I might easily provide the nourishment my body so desperately needs.

My heart screams to run, there’s an athlete inside.
But my emaciated figure looks anything but.
My bones so, so fragile, my blood counts are low
Keep on like this, and my very life is at risk.
The athlete I am, in the chains of an invalid.

Everything in me longs for the key to these chains.
The horrid truth is, I wish I were starving.
Wish I could think “well if I’d just eat” everything would be fixed.
I wish I’d been practicing the actions of starving.
Living off of vegetables, restricting my intake.
Then, at least, my fix would be simple.

My emaciated figure, fragile bones, organs fighting to hold on.
It all screams that eating should be my cure all.
Just eat, eat, eat.
Malnourished I am, food is my medicine.
The logical part of me clings to that hope.
Time after time rigid meal plans I create.
Calories, calories-up, up, up, up!
Plus pack in the nutrition, cram it down.
Dedicating my life to the process, so hard.
With a system rebelling and worsening every bite.

Only to find, as much as I want a simple fix…
This is not the answer, something is wrong.
3000, 3500, 4000 calories or more.
Cut out the activity, yet instead of rebuilding, weight loss results.
And digestion goes haywire, function down the drain.
A life in the bathroom or trying to cope.
More painful, more damaging as each day passes.
Anything but improving with “consistent big eating.”
My body screams “starving” no matter what goes in.

If only, if only, my system could work.
I could eat what I need, and it would do what it should.
It would go to my heart, to my bones, to my blood.
Repairing the state of things, then building the body.
The body I need for life, the body my dreams require.

I’m tough, I know this, I do what I set my mind to.
This is the core of it all, of my future, my dreams.
I have shown myself willing to do what it takes,
Through the pain, through the failures, I keep forcing it on…
sacrificing things I love most for my dreams long term
Making food a priority, interests and passions aside.
Until I establish the fundamental health so vital.

And I’m left with the hopeless message haunting me…
It doesn’t work, it’s not right.
I want it to work, want it to be so simple.
Oh body oh body why won’t you take what I give you?

Please, I need answers. I need to know what to do.
Deeper than the obvious, I’ve been there tried that.
My action plans I’m so stubborn about—how can they work if my body refuses?

Dear God I beg you, you are my only hope.
Show me what to do, show me how to heal.
Tis’ my Christmas wish, the one only you can give.
A body that works, and the insight as to how I can work with it.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Wakeup Call and Beginning a Viscious Quest

I had an appointment with a physician yesterday and went from being concerned and frustrated with my health to terrified. I now feel like and invalid, a disaster waiting to happen. I am determined to go to the most extreme measures to make the turnaround I need, including completely cutting out activity and establishing a rigid meal plan to get things headed in the right direction. Only once I get the fundamentals-my health-in order can I even begin to build the athlete I have roaring from within.

So back at my followup with GI: the Dr. wasn’t much help [again] but she certainly did scare me. She said she is honestly afraid for my life. My iron is still alarmingly low, my white blood cell counts are low, and there is a very concerning absorption issue. Furthermore my bones are heading down the drain as I continue on without a period! She said my organs and heart are at risk as well.
Then I went to work and had my boss talk to me and ask me if I had an eating disorder. I just answered with what I know—which is that I don’t know, but if I do then I want to get better because I want my health back so bad. Whatever’s going on I need to get it taken care of, but I feel like I’m helpless. I have people telling me I’m underweight, anemic, and losing my bones, but don’t know how to fix it. I hate being sick. I hate not running. I miss my team, my running, and I’m scared I’ll never get it back. Everything within me wants to be a top level runner, and yet I sit around like an invalid—not because I can’t move, but because I’m terrified that if I do, I’ll be sacrificing my athletic dreams. But it has to work. I have to have an action plan and stick to it. I have to make a turnaround and progress. No one is telling me what to do about all this, so I’m trying to do it on my own. I’m determined and tenacious, and I can apply that same spirit here as I have to my passions, since it is my passions and future life that depends on getting these fundamentals in place!

I weighed myself this morning and am the lowest I’ve been this year. Almost down to my low point a couple years back—only now I’m also starting to seeing more physical side effects to my prolonged low weight and malnutrition [which continues to escalate as the digestion problems get worse].
My doctors haven’t told me to stop training altogether, but I did. I feel okay but I don’t want to find out the hard way that I’m not.

I’m trying to make my training plan right now a nutritional therapy plan, the only thing I can think of to fix me. After all, it's eating that is associated with so many problems--it's what hurts me, but it's lack of getting the nutrition that leaves me with this increasing doom on my body. Hopefully by changing my eating I can change the damage.

I set weight quotas where I can start some Pilates and toning, easy cardio, and eventually a more restricted running plan when I reach my first target weight range.

I made a daily calorie goal of 3000, because that’s about what I was averaging with 2 hour practices every day. I’m hoping without the physical training this intake will make me gain weight and hopefully heal me too.

I’m also making a strict meal plan with amounts I have to eat during the day. In the past I prefer to just eat as I go and make sure I meet my calorie goal before bed. But right now I think I need to make sure I’m getting a steady intake rather than starving when my stomach is acting out then binging to make up for it. I know that just messes me up more. As I make progress I can flex more with eating as I want with a calorie backbone, and eventually eating freely as I enjoy doing--when I know how to eat to meet my needs!

I’m playing around with what I can eat. Trying to limit fiber, yet not eliminate it or my gut REALLY doesn’t work. If I don’t see improvement with a steady meal plan structure I might have to truly do a strict diet buildup. But I’m going to give this a chance first, since my diet has been so all over the place in terms of what and when and how much I eat these past months with all the stomach chas. Right now I have criteria to keep my intake steady and everything [besides known problem foods of course] in moderation; definitely no diet crap even though our house is filled with it and it’s yummy.

Up next is more steps forward. Increasing intake as necessary, and possibly messing around more with what I can and cannot eat. I’ve got to do this. I’ve got to get my body healthy and working. I’m so desperate, so frustrated, and yet so determined.