First things first, I need to thank everyone for the outpouring of support. Its hard to share unhappy or scary things about ourselves, and I was really happy that my last post was met with such care and compassion.
I wanted to take the time to answer a few questions I received from the post:
- I am seeing a psychologist who specializes in eating disorders on a regular basis. Here’s was the American Psychological Association has to say about ED therapy. My therapist and I are working on being able to accept myself the way I am and to try to be less critical of everything including my food choices. I know mental illness still has a huge stigma but I truly believe that a good therapist is absolutely necessary in order to deal with all the complex emotions surrounding EDs.
- I got my lab tests back and they show a cortisol imbalance (at some points of the day my cortisol numbers are abnormally low and other points in the day they are abnormally high) and an estrogen/progesterone imbalance. Both are these are likely stress related. Interestingly, the greatest stressor in my life is probably my weight, so I recognize that I am in somewhat of a vicious cycle with regard to weight and stress (or as Shaun would say, I could lose weight if I stopped obsessing about it).
- Treatment for hormone inbalances is mostly food and lifestyle related. The difficult thing for me is that treatment involves limiting or eliminating certain types of food (gluten, sugars –which I really don’t eat much of as it is, certain fruits, caffeine –even green tea, which I love) and I don’t do well with food restrictions. What I mean by this is that when I start to eliminate food from my diet, sometimes I can’t stop. When I am stressed and hungry rather than eating whatever is around, my impulse is to not eat, which only makes the situation worse. For a long time I didn’t know what hungry felt like, I just knew that I probably hadn’t eaten enough (or at all) because I would get a massive headache. I also need to explore how sports nutrition products will affect my hormone issues.
- I did not race Eagleman this week (hamstring injury) but I am planning on racing Ironman Mont Tremblant in August and Ironman Florida in November. I will also be at Ironman Lake Placid cheering and volunteering but not racing. As an aside its actually really hard for me to use the word “racing.” Racing, to me, entails being competitive in my age group and I don’t know if I am going to be able to be competitive. Shaun gets mad at me because I often choose my words carefully and say that I am “participating” in an event because I have so many hang ups with the word racing. If you would like to come cheer for me at an race I ALWAYS appreciate the support and I’m never happier than during the run of an Ironman or Half Ironman.
- Because of the hamstring injury I haven’t been training but I have been doing lots of things I enjoy — watching way too much Doctor Who (by now I have every episode since 2005 somewhere between 2 and 8 time), reading Robert A. Caro’s 5 part biography on Lydon B. Johnson (I know Scott is tired of hearing about my vast knowledge of Texas), researching juicers (I finally bought the Breville 510XL — somehow Breville “sponsored” the link about the juicer on my FaceBook page and it would not stop appearing in people’s news feeds) and working on all things Sonic Endurance. Despite all this introverted fun, hopefully my hamstring is healing well and I’ll get back to training this week.
Overall, thought, I’m doing ok. I am always ok, I’m just working to be more ok now than I have been over the past few months.