Monday, October 21, 2013


When I first started writing Training on Empty, I was doing it, in part, to tell my story, but more importantly, I did it to give people some hope and inspiration. I wanted to show others that recovery from anorexia and other eating disorders is possible. Somehow sharing the fact that I have moved passed the hell of restricting and no longer even think about sticking my finger down my throat (and haven't for over 15 years) gave me the courage to continue working on any lingering issues, some I didn't even know I had. I also started a blog, and, as I continued to write in it over the years, discovered that recovery is a process. Every year I grow and learn. Recovery, a full recovery, I believe is possible, but it takes staying one step ahead of the illness, recognizing patterns and triggers and finding new coping mechanisms in order to be healthy. Fear is the biggest restriction when it comes to recovery. Mostly, though, it takes radical trust in yourself and a good dose of self respect to get over an eating disorder.

Self respect doesn't mean sham confidence or being cocky. There's beauty in being humble. When I look at some of my idols in running, most are modest, as they understand how much genetics, luck and hard work play roles in success. That's true in any field. The kind of confidence I'm talking about comes from treating both yourself and others well and with kindness. It grows the more you aim to do right in the world and aim to be less selfish. This is tricky, because those of us with eating issues can be both narcissistic and selfless at the same time. We give too much while obsessing internally.

I think I will create a handbook on what I feel are the most important factors in recovery. I have posted most of the material in my blog already. The information is also in Training on Empty, but it will be nice to have a condensed version in a booklet format. Because I have several other projects going on at once, this might take some time, but I'm hoping I can have it completed in a few months.


October is domestic violence awareness month.


At first when the “Don't Be That Guy” and "Make Your Move" campaigns came out, I thought it was something that would promote the idea that blaming the victim isn't a good thing and perpetuates a culture in which women are objectified, abused and thought of as lesser beings. I think this was the idea behind the campaign, but The Violence Stops Here and the Anti-Rape Campaign ads don't exactly remove the blame from the potential victims. In fact, the blame in some of the ads is still pretty obviously resting on the drunk or careless woman's shoulders. No, in these ads, the focus is on some third party stepping in to rescue the victim. Blame aside, I'm not sure how this is supposed to help address the root of the problem. 

My real issue is that the creators of the ads claim they are shaming the potential perpetrator, but nobody is stating outright, "Hey, you fucking asshole, don't do that! It's wrong." Nobody is demanding that HIS behavior be addressed. Instead, let's send the message that we need to get women out of the equation and rush them to safety. They can't be out in public on their own, ESPECIALLY if they want to have a few drinks. God, keep them OUT of the bar or they will get into trouble. My ad campaign would be different. It would be the "Don't be an asshole, you piece of shit" campaign. Now, that would focus on the REAL problem (i.e., Tell the perpetrator he's in the wrong and deal with him directly.)

Ahh, yes, she was asking for it to stop. This guy's buddy apparently wasn't listening to her, so the big hero steps in and all is right in the world. Shit. How about a better ending where the guy wasn't listening to her say stop, so she leaves or, if things get really out of hand, kicks him in the nuts. What is the end result here? The woman always needs this guy around to keep his buddies from attacking her? Ick.

This one isn't as bad, but why does she have to be the one to leave? Why can't the scary dude hanging all over her be the one escorted out of the establishment or at least called out on his icky behavior? I suppose if anyone, male or female, is terribly drunk, friends would want to watch out for this person, but isn't the bigger issue some dude who's getting ready to take advantage of a human being? Why doesn't anyone go up to the the dude and tell him he's being a scumbag by hanging all over a drunk girl?

*** *** *** *** *** *** *** *** ***

In other news, I don't have uterine cancer. That's a relief, because all my symptoms were pointing in a bad direction. My doctor is taking the wait and see approach. If I start spewing as much blood as Quint in Jaws when he is attacked and eaten by the shark, we will take some action. 

My injury is still nagging me, but I'm seeing some progress in my range of motion. Now to address the pain issue.

October also means the new season of American Horror Story. So far, it's good. The slower pace (for now) is a nice change from the intensity of the first few episodes of last season.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Trying to Make the Best of a Bad Situation

I could always go the the pool and, when blood squirts out, stop and scream, "SHARK!" OK, that wasn't actually my idea, but I kind of like it.

Last week, I had another biopsy. My new doctor took out three big chunks of my uterus, and she didn't ask me to take medication to open up my cervix, which was a relief. It turns out that my cervix is tilted. I guess that's a good thing when it comes to trying to avoid kids but not so good when it comes to my monthly (oh how I wish it could be monthly again!) cycle. If all goes well, I will have some answers and possible solutions presented on Thursday.

In other news, I'm frustrated with how slow the progress is with this injury, but my PT, who is really good, is doing everything he can to help me through this. My body, hormonal problems and the nature of the injury are what interfere with my healing.

Finally I got some good news. I was approved to write some cooking articles. I've been dragging my fingers through a few running articles, and I desperately need a change of scenery. It's not fun to write about something you can't do. The cooking articles excite me more at this point. They don't pay as well, but they are way more fun. My first article will be about chocolate, of course.

After listening to a lecture given by a musician who talked about piracy, busking and her music career, I realized that I have a terrible time asking for help or for things in general, as many of us do. One of the points this musician brought up was that when we ask for something like money, it keeps us connected. Rather than a label taking a big cut of what she deserved, she went directly to her fans. When she asked those who could afford it to pay for her music, she could play it forward and give free music to those who couldn't afford it.

I have been trying to offer the same and give my book away for free now and then, but I need to be better about asking those who can afford it to make the purchase. I really suck at asking for things like that. I think there are people who don't realize that a career in the arts is difficult. People see it as a hobby and are often reluctant to pay for a CD, a book or a painting. It's not always obvious the time and money that went into creating these works. But the musician's main point was that she wanted her music to be available to everyone. She felt that if she asked for instead of demanded payment, people would respond. For her it worked.

That said, I'm still of the mindset that I want people to enjoy what I create, so I'm going to give away the book of short stories Kevin Beck and I wrote for free for three days only. All I ask is that you spread the word and play it forward when you can.

The coupon code is: BG66D
And the link is here:

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Mess

The amount of blood I'm losing is absurd. I had a slight break from all of this for a few days, but it didn't last. I'm not sure why I get the pleasure of experiencing such painful things in life, but there are times when I feel like I've had enough.

Like now.

I'm not a fan of the fucking commercial for the Violet Petal Study, but there's something accurate about the image here:

Tomorrow I will finally see a different doctor. Hopefully some treatments will be discussed.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Don't worry. I'm not. I don't really worry about relapses anymore. It took me many years to get to this point, but I know I'm in a safe place. It wasn't always like this, though. My relationship with food and exercise was up and down and all over the place for a long, long time. If I'm honest, I can sometimes lean toward neurotic tendencies in some areas of my life, but I'm good at catching myself before my behavior gets too nutty.

What I have noticed, especially lately, is that when my world is collapsing, I seem to get more focused on food and my body. I feel uncomfortable a lot when things in my life are out of kilter. When I can't change the people in my life or control my environment, my body or my hormones, it's easy to feel more triggered emotionally and more sensitive overall. Being triggered no longer means I have to act on it, though. That's a good place to be. I don't look at any of this as a setback or slipping. I'm aware of how far I have come that I can have an occasional passing thought about unhealthy behaviors or my past and not act on them. I consider that normal. Who hasn't contemplated "To be or not to be"?

Unfortunately, I'm in a setting in which I'm triggered a lot, being around someone who is in the throes of an eating disorder. I have to give myself a pat on the back for sticking to my own path and not letting someone else's struggles affect me to the point of acting on any dangerous habits. That takes some doing. It would be like an alcoholic having to work at a bar with a coworker who likes to talk about how great drinking is.

Last week was tough. I developed a fever Monday night, so I spent much of Tuesday morning in bed. Then I went to a gynecologist, one of the few in town who wasn't booked until the middle of October, and I had to endure a biopsy. The doctor fucked it up and wanted a redo, but I started feeling uncomfortable with the way things were heading. I'm not convinced the biopsy was necessary after the ultrasound already uncovered the problem. Plus, she wanted me to take some medication to open up my too narrow cervix. None of it was sitting well with me, so I cancelled my appointment. No matter whom I see, it looks like I have four choices for treatment: hormone therapy, an IUD, ablation or surgery. I kept hoping there was a secret option hidden behind curtain number five, but doing nothing is the only other possible course of action. I'm getting a second opinion.

I miss running. The good news is that I have been able to do a tiny bit of biking with a little bit less pain. It has been a looooonnnnngg road, and it's not over yet. I still say that my PT is great. I'm just dealing with a lot of frustration. This has been a temperamental injury. At times, even swimming hurt.

This is a very well done post on anorexia:

I'm getting the urge to leave Boulder. This city isn't what it used to be. As beautiful as it is here, I can picture myself somewhere warm with fewer people out for themselves and themselves only. My boss was almost run over by a guy, because he couldn't wait two seconds for her to get a large shipping box out of the back seat of her car. He kept pulling into the parking space next to her car, even though she was basically trapped there, holding the package and trying to shut her door. Another lady called the cops, because she was worried about this asshole running over my boss. It's getting to be more and more like that. Ick. It's fucking depressing how selfish people can be. I suppose I have my bad moments, but I don't think I would ever come close to running over a person, simply because I want to park NOW! I'm glad I wasn't there, because I probably would have made a scene in defense of my boss.

In better news, I get to look forward to trying this:

Oh yes I did!