Cycling around

So, remember that weight loss competition I had to win? Well, I won it. No shocker there really. I dropped 25 pounds and 4 pant sizes in 8 weeks. Then lost 5 more pounds and 1 more pant size after that. I am back into my normal size 4 jeans. It feels good, although, some of my jeans don’t fit as well as I like. Even though I weigh the same as I did before my last 3 kids, my fat to muscle ratio isn’t the same. I’m more mushy. I lost so much muscle tone being on moderate bed rest with the twins. I’ve got work to do. And I need to do it more healthy. I’ve had some set backs with my health and my recovery. At the end of February I was having debilitating back pain. I was still running and working out through it but one day it got so bad I had to stop for a few days. Then my twins got RSV and had to be hospitalized. I lost 5 pounds during that week. It wasn’t intentional. The stress just made it happen. After the twins were getting healthy and were home again I went to a spine specialist and found out that I had a herniated disk in my lower back. I was told I could no longer run or work out until it was healing. Being told that, FREAKED ME OUT! I cut back on my calorie intake to make up for the missed work outs.  I started physical therapy. It was a rough time for me. And I became overcome with anxiety. I had a few moments where I broke the no running rule because I couldn’t handle it. And I also found myself stuck in the restrict, binge, purge, restrict, binge, purge cycle. I’d try so hard to get out of it, but just as I felt like I was getting out I’d fall back in. After 4 weeks I was given the okay to exercise again and I thought it would help. But the habits were still hard to break. I was dealing with heavy emotions at the first part of April due to it being the 2nd anniversary of losing my son. Then with Easter and all the treats that comes with it.  I found myself binging and purging once a day for 4 days straight. By yesterday morning I was feeling pretty awful mentally. Thinking about food and exercise was controling my life. And physically I was dizzy, having stomach pains, feeling weak, and had a constant headache. I knew I needed to stop.  But still, I ended up bingeing. I really didn’t want to purge and tried not to. But I felt so awful and just had to. I told myself I would start fresh in the morning. This morning I have had a protein bar for breakfast. I ate it slowly. Every time I’m trying to pull out of a B&P episode I have to be very careful. The fear that eating will trigger another binge is always there. It makes it very hard to eat. But my protein bars and shakes feel safe. I’m sure they will be the majority of my meals for awhile as I work to find a balance again. So, here I am. Still working at recovery. I have hope for the future. I have to. And I know that at some point, I’ll find a good groove again. THIS IS RECOVERY.

Update

So, it’s been quite a long time. Summer flew by. The 5 older kids went back to school. And life just keeps cruising by. Taking care of 2 babies at once makes my days seem shorter. I swear it seems only an hour has gone by since the older kids left to school and now they are home again. With trying to keep up with the kids and housework and shopping and everything, I feel like if I don’t schedule time to run or workout, it just won’t happen. So I have to make it a priority. I even scheduled a few races to make sure that I had something to work towards. I ran RAGNAR in June. That wasn’t planned but the team needed another runner due to one getting injured. So the day before I found a sitter for the kids and I joined my hubby’s team. It was quite a challenge being only 3 months postpartum from a twin pregnancy. But I’m always up for a challenge. It felt so good to start working to get my body back. I lost so much muscle from that pregnancy due to being restricted. It’s been quite frustrating to get back at it. And having double the amount of hormones in my body made it so incredibly hard to lose weight. I trained for and ran a half marathons in September and even with watching what I was eating, didn’t lose any weight. It wasn’t until November that I finally started to see progress in getting back to where I was before getting pregnant with the twins. And it’s a good thing because I was just aching for something to happen.

I wish that I could say that I was free of ED during these last 7 months since writing last. But then I’d have to lie to you. I had 2 times during the summer where I lost it and binged and purged. It would get so frustrating to try so hard to lose weight and see no results. So, I’d tempt myself and then give in and then eat until I couldn’t anymore and then throw up. The amazing thing is that it did only happen twice. Of course I felt awful for being so weak after. But I was able to acknowledge it and move past it and try to do better.

Through the fall I started to feel the pressure of the upcoming holidays. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas. Treats. Food. More treats and food. I told myself that I needed to prepare. I know that this is always a hard time of year for me. I did fairly good with Halloween. And then mind November I decided to join a weight loss challenge. It helped me stay determined not to binge on Thanksgiving and has helped me through most of this month too. However, at the 4 week weigh in I realized I was winning the challenge but 2nd place was right on my heals. I want to win this challenge so bad. Not just for the money, but to be the one that has lost the most. It is important to me. ED is starting to pull at my mind more and more. I HAVE TO WIN this challenge! I’m toeing the line as far as eating enough. And I’ve now thrown up 4 or 5 times after feeling like I ate too much of a bad food. Pizza. Candy. It is still a struggle for me to eat pizza. Even eating just one piece has flipped that switch making me crazy until I can’t do anything but purge. And getting that sweet tooth has me giving in and then needing to “fix it” after. Ugh! Problems. Issues. I’m not sure if I consider this a relapse or not though. It is what it is. I just need to quit slipping up and then binging and purging won’t be a problem. Monday was the week 6 weigh in. I was still winning in percentage of body weight lost, but 2nd place had pulled ahead by half a pound. Because I started at a lower body weight than her. She has to lose more to beat me in the challenge. But it’s still killing me that she has passed me in weight lost. I’ve lost  18.5 pounds in 6 weeks. That’s 12% of my body weight lost. She’s lost 19 pounds and is at 10% of her body weight lost. I keep telling myself that its okay to take 2nd or 3rd place. Still winning a part of the money. Still losing lots of weight. But for some reason, when I think about it, it still feels like if I don’t win first place, then it is losing. So, my determination to take first is at full throttle. And cannot count on her to give in to the treats and stop working out over the holidays. So that means I have to be better and stronger. And hopefully I don’t have to fix any slip ups. Hopefully I just won’t slip up anymore. 1000 calories a day. Running at least a 5k every day except Sunday. January 2nd is the final weigh in and I plan to be the winner.

I know this is the same trend. Pregnancy. Baby/babies. Need to lose weight. ED wakes up. I really hope that I can toe the line without completely diving off the edge. But I just want to get back into my regular jeans. And winning this challenge is gonna be great too. Yes. Even THIS middle ground IS a part of RECOVERY.

Identical Rainbow Babies

Well guys,  I’ve been pretty busy since my last post! My twins arrived at the end of March after Baby A decided to break his water in the early morning hours and my twins were born later that day at just 34 weeks and 4 days gestation. It was a very intense vaginal delivery in the O.R. We did it in there just in case it turned into a c-section. Baby A was born with ease and when they held him up to me he was just so tiny and had these giant big eyes open and staring out at me. My heart melted! They rushed him away to make sure he was stable. But then the hard part began. Baby B was transverse. After discussing options with the doc during labor, I decided to try to do it vaginally and if needed we’d turn it into a c-section. Our hopes were that Baby B would naturally drop head first once Baby A was born. But if not we would try a breach extraction and if that wasn’t going well then it would turn into a c-section. For this reason, I had to have a very good epidural going just in case. I usually prefer to go unmedicated. But this situation had too many what if’s to not be medicated. Well, once Baby A was out, the ultrasound nurse checked to see where B was. He didn’t fall how we wanted. He was dropping down transverse. Laying sideways. The doc reached up in there to try and grab Baby B and manipulate him on the inside to turn head first while the nurse pushed from the outside. It didn’t work. So, the doc along with his assisting doc both took turns reaching up and finding feet to pull on for a breach extraction. Every time they pulled baby B’s arms would go up and get stuck. My hubby watching this leaned over and said “I bet you are so happy that you aren’t feeling any of this right now.” Time ticked by and I could see on my doc’s face that he was extremely worried. 15 minutes had gone by and my body was starting to close off.  The assisting doc suggested trying one more thing before doing a c-section. They both put their arms up in and one held the arms down while the other pulled on the feet and they had me push as hard as I could. Finally, Baby B was born footling breach 16 mins after his brother. He was limp. Lifeless. The doc didn’t even let my hubby cut the cord on this one and cut it himself without clamping it first because he was in such a hurry to hand the baby off to the neonatal team. I spoke to my baby B. Please just make a sound. Please. It seemed like forever but finally we heard him squeak. I knew at that moment that it would be okay. I looked around at the cramped O.R.  There were nearly 30 people in there. 2 neonatal teams. Ultrasound team. The 2 doctors. My wonderful husband. The C-section team on standby. I was covered in blood from the chest down. Several people and the equipment had blood splattered across their clothes and faces. It looked like a horror film in there. But it most definitely didn’t feel like one. I was so grateful for each of them. All of them were there to do their best at a positive outcome. But there were 2 people there that couldn’t be seen. Only felt. I had prayed almost daily that my Grandmother and my baby boy that I had lost a year before would watch over my twins during the whole pregnancy and the delivery. That they would assist and direct and guide the hands of all who were caring for us during delivery. I know without a doubt that they were there. And they continued to be there with us while my babies spent 18 days in the NICU. I felt their presence. How amazing it is that we can call on angels to assist us! What an amazing experience and what a miracle occurred!

Baby A weighed 4 pounds even and was 17 inches long. Baby B weighed 4 pounds 3 oz and was 17.5 inches long. They both had lots of bleach blonde hair and were perfect in every way. Just really tiny. It’s almost been 2 months since. They are growing and thriving and are such a joy to our family. I’m a very busy mom now taking care of 6 other kids at home while caring for 2 newborns. I don’t get much sleep and it seems there’s just not enough hours in the day to get everything done. But I’m loving it. My double rainbow finally arrived after the storm almost exactly a year later. The Lord sometimes has such crazy plans for us! I’d never have thought I’d be where I am right now!

Times 2

 

The last 2 months have just flown by. So much has happened! I literally cannot believe what is in store for my family. In August I found out I was pregnant again. It wasn’t really planned, although I knew I wanted to eventualy try for more children again. But, I’d kinda left it in the Lord’s hands timing wise because it was too hard to be disappointed if it didn’t happen and part of me didn’t know if I could handle the fear of losing another baby. I decided that the Lord would know when the timing is right. So, that August morning, I just felt like I should do a test. I didn’t know if I was late or not but just felt like I should. The test showed positive almost immediately. We were excited, but decided we would keep it to ourselves for awhile. I was also, nervous and anxious but was trying to be more excited than anything. At 8 weeks I went in for an OB check and the doctor said he’d see about gettting a heartbeat although it would be rare to hear one that early. I told him I understood since the soonest we picked one up with the doppler before was after 10 weeks. But, he got a heartbeat almost immediately! I was so shocked and so relieved to hear it. He then asked if I was sure about my dates. I told him I was quite certain. He told me that he’s never got a heartbeat that early and thought I was a couple weeks farther along than I thought. He wanted to do an ultrasound to confirm due date. 2 days later after drinking tons of water I went in for the ultrasound to measure the baby and confirm due date. I was speechless as I stared at the screen. There were 2 little blobs. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing and tried to explain it away. But then the technician says, “well, the FIRST baby measures at almost 9 weeks.” I put my hands to my face and said, “it’s really twins? there’s two? My husband is gonna die!” I called my husband on my way home in a daze. He asked what was going on. Said he’d been anxious about hearing from me. I told him to sit down. He asked if he really needed to. I then said, “well, there’s a little complication. There’s two babies.” There was a pause and then he says, “What?!” I had to reassure him that I was telling the truth. Then he says “Well, we can’t really afford the kids we already have, what’s 2 more?!” From there it has been a crazy couple months of tons of doctor visits and meeting with specialists and bi-monthly ultrasounds. And looks like we are having identical twin boys! I’m now 18 and 1/2 weeks along and I can’t believe how big my belly is already! At 17 weeks I was measuring like a single baby would at 23 weeks. So far everything looks great with my babies and I haven’t had any signs of losing them. For that I am so grateful! I honestly have such anxiety before each appointment. Fears that one or both of their hearts wont be beating. I feel so lucky to only have 2 weeks max in between each doc visit to ease the anxiety that builds up. There is a risk of twin to twin transfusion that  could take both of my babies lives if not caught soon enough so I must be screened with ultrasound twice each month to watch for it. So far all looks good and I have to remind myself that I must have faith in the Lord and whatever happens is supposed to happen. So I’m trying my best to feel the joy in this journey. My kids are all thrilled about it. My hubby and I look at this pregnancy as a gift from our angel baby and the Lord.  Not trying to take the place of our baby we lost, but helping us heal that pain a bit. I know that my angel baby is watching over us and comforting us. And I can find peace in that. But I still struggle with the range of emotions I experience daily. I am excited about having twins while still mourning the loss of my baby boy. Some days I am just emotionally exhausted.

The Lord works in mysterious ways. Sometimes we need to hold on through the storm and still keep our heads up so that we don’t miss the rainbow that comes after the storm clears. In my case, it is a double rainbow. I am unsure about the future. Can I handle this pregnancy? How big am I gonna get? Can my body get 2 babies here safely? How am I going to handle my post-twin body?  Can I handle taking care of 2 newborns at once? I am uncertain about the future. But I have hope in it. Sometimes a part of recovery involves letting life happen and not trying to control it. Well, I’ve been put in that position again. I have to let life roll on.  I can do this right?  Right?????    THIS IS RECOVERY.

Toxic people

Toxic people. They do exist. I had never known one until I got wrapped up into a friendship with one a couple years ago. It is amazing to look back on and see how it all happened. How this friend went from one I looked forward to hanging out with to one that I loathed to see.

I am generally one that loves people. One that can get along with any kind of personality and be loving and kind and accepting to all. Usually this is a good thing. But this can be a bad thing with one personality type. Toxic people. Who are toxic people? Those that are super needy. Those that use manipulation tactics to draw more time from you. Those that play on your weaknesses and emotional state. Those who become jealous. Those that use flattery. Those that make us feel guilty. The list could go on further but you get my point.

I recently ended a friendship that was very toxic for me. This friendship started due to some common ground and at first was a really good thing. But after several months it became draining. I tried to take a step back and control time spent with her because I felt like there was too much drama that she brought into my life. But she constantly texted, emailed, and demanded time with me. If I made up excuses to not spend time with her she would make sure she got time by showing up unexpectedly at my house or making sure our paths crossed at church activities. She would send me texts full of spiritual flattery. I would try my best to be cordial but not give her as much as she wanted. At this point she would have a breakdown. Sometimes in person or through text or email she’d break and let me have it. Either become angry at me, acting jealous of my other friends, and tell me how awful of a person I have been to her or she would start crying and tell me how she needs me. That I’m the only one who knows her and cares about her. These tactics would make me feel guilty and I would eventually give her what she wanted to calm things down. I would try to set boundaries and lines with her and she would at first regard them. But it never lasted long. The cycle would start over again. I let this happen several times over the past few years. I could never have the heart to just end it. I had hoped that by my distancing myself that she would just get the hint. But instead the distancing made her pursue me even further. It got so bad that I started having awful anxiety. Every text would make me jump. Every time there was a knock at my door I would nearly have a heart attack and pray it wouldn’t be her. I struggled to speak when she was around. I would sweat uncontrollably. There were times where I’d get a text from her in the middle of the night and I’d be so angry that I’d throw my phone across the room after reading it. These texts usually said something about how the spirit had impressed upon her to tell me a certain message.

Anyway, after yet another breakdown last Christmas break I told her I needed my space. That I couldn’t deal with her drama. I was newly pregnant with baby #7 and had enough on my plate as it was without being her hero to fix all her messes for her. I tried to use the approach that we needed to start the friendship over and would let it fall naturally into place. That I would not allow the old friendship that we had earlier. At first she followed those guidelines I had set but then became increasingly needy again. I had to just start ignoring her the best I could.  But she made sure to have contact with me. This is when my anxiety became hightened to extremes. She used our kids to make sure there was contact. The physical symptoms of my anxiety were very disabling and there were times where I thought I might puke being around her. I found myself praying often for a way to fix this problem. Due to church callings, our kids being friends and having friends in common, our paths constantly crossed. Then, I found out that I’d had a late term miscarriage at 20 weeks. I delivered a tiny baby boy who I’d never get to raise in this life and my world changed forever. My sorrow, my grief, the process of working through it all was such a growing experience. I once again tried to patch up my friendship with her thinking I could control it and make it be what I wanted. But this time was different. I didn’t let her manipulation tactics get to me.  Instead, I learned about people like her. I studied her. I prayed for both of us. I talked to her on occassion trying to figure her out. And in the process I learned that things in our friendship were very manipulative, very unhealthy, very toxic, and that the friendship could not exist. I knew I had to end it for good at some point but didn’t know how because she was so determined to have this very close friendship. So, I started to ignore her as much as I could. Then, just as I knew she would, she showed up at my house and let herself in. She wanted to know why I was ignoring her. She thought it was because I was struggling with the loss of my baby. I told her no. I tried explaining things about her that made me uncomfortable. Especially the spiritual stuff. She left acting confused. A few days later on the due date of my baby, she sent me a text that made me so angry that I didn’t care if this friendship ended on good or bad terms anymore. I was pissed. She had tried to use my dead child and my spiritual side to manipulate me. She had crossed a line big time and I was done. I text her back and told her to leave me and my familly alone. Not to contact us at all. She sent a forever long text back telling me how awful I have been and pretty much blamed me for everything. That I had been beating her up. I didn’t respond. I know she wanted me to fight back but I am past that. I will not be sucked into her crazy drama again. It’s been about 2 months now and she has left me and my family alone which is a burden lifted. I feel so free. But, she has tried to find out about me through my friends and has even passed messages through my friends. I ignore it all. If she crosses the line again, I will be going to the police. I have started reading up on people like her. She needs mental help and you can’t control crazy. But I can protect myself and my familly from it. I know she knows about this blog and used to read it. She told me in her last text that she quit reading it. If that’s really true then she will never see this post. But if it’s not, I hope that she will really take time to ponder her actions and go seek help.

To any of you who have had a toxic person in their lives, my sympathies go out to you. And to those who have one currently in your life, here is my advice. GET OUT NOW! YOU CANNOT FIX IT!

The Due Date

Well, it’s been a crazy busy month.  In between back to school shopping, end of summer events and back to school for the kids I was dealing with the fact that I was supposed to have a baby in my arms. August 13th was the day that I was to be induced into labor if I hadn’t had him on my own before then. I watched as others that I knew announced the arrival of their sweet babies and oh how I felt so empty. I was so happy for them and so sad for me. I knew that the 13th would be so hard for me so I went to the temple that morning in honor of his due date and to find some peace and strength. It did help and I’m so glad that I went. I was also shocked and amazed at the love and support of family and friends during that time. I was surrounded by such love and acts of kindness that they were all tender mercies that gave me strength to endure my grief and sorrow well. I was able to lean on that and the Lord.

I know that the Lord is the ultimate healing balm. I know that the Lord has a plan for me and will guide me. I know that the Lord loves me and is there to comfort me.

Amazingly enough I have had very little desire to go back to purging. And have done very well with moderation when it comes to food and exercise. I’ve been training for a half marathon that’s coming up in under 6 weeks and I feel like this has been a very good outlet for me. I run with my husband often now. It’s something we both love and love to do together. Lots of the time we will put the kids on bikes or in strollers and we make it a family event. I hope that it enstills a love for being active in my children.

I know each milestone like this is always gonna be hard. I will always long for and miss my baby boy. And I know that no matter what, the Lord will help me through. I don’t need to rely on my ED as a crutch. I have the Lord.

THIS IS RECOVERY

Even the STRONG can fall

I have been hiding from you all. Not wanting to update my blog because then, I will have to come clean. Tell all. I have had one heck of a crappy last month. And I have been embarassed to share. Ashamed really.

The truth is, the night of my last post, I relapsed. Only hours after I posted such a beautiful post that showed such strength, I relapsed. After 18 months of recovery, I relapsed. After being so strong for so long. I relapsed. I RELAPSED!

There. I said it. There is the ugly truth. After all, relapsing is so ugly.

How did this come about you ask? How does such strength falter? The main reason is that I let myself get weak. I let myself wallow in sorrow and longing and lonliness. I wasn’t praying. Or reading my scriptures or doing much to keep my walls standing strong. And because I let myself get weak, I wasn’t prepared to weather the storm. And yes, it was the perfect storm.

It was the 3 month mileston of losing my baby. At that same time I found out, after being almost a week late, that I was not pregnant. And that same night, my husband was gone and I was alone. It was the perfect storm. I was hurting, sad, disappointed, lonely, longing and just emotional. I didn’t want to feel it anymore. After going to a movie and eating too much candy, I came home and for the first time in 18 months, I purged. And man, it felt good. I had wanted that kind of numbing. That release. It was as if I had let out every trapped thing in me. I had freedom. For a moment anyway. I went to bed that night feeling in control.

But, this led me into a big trap. The next morning I didn’t eat breakfast and drove out to meet my family on the mountain. I ate with them and had to purge again right after. That entire trip, I restricted intake to very little other than drinking my diet drink. If I felt I had to eat, I found a way to purge after. Then after we got home I continued that pattern. If I ate, I purged.

It wasn’t even like I baby stepped back into it. It was immediately like I had never stopped at all. It was so familiar. It was a comfortable old friend. It was crazy. I was already so brave and bold. Taking risks of being caught. Almost as if I didn’t care about being caught. Or like I was so clever that I could talk my way out of it if I was caught. I felt it was worth it. Those moments left me in control and left me numb to everything that I didn’t want to feel.

I did this for 2 weeks straight. I kept it to myself for awhile because I didn’t want anybody to try and talk me out of it. I kept it to myself because I didn’t want to stop. I was losing weight and controlling something and was getting that high from it.

BUT, I knew. In the back of my mind I knew how it was going to end up. I knew where this road was going to take me. I knew that the longer I did it the harder it would be to stop again. I knew about the wear and tear on my body, spirit, and mind that comes from this. And I cared! I cared about these things enough to know that I needed to stop.

I opened up to a few supportive people and then just stopped purging. As quick as it was to fall back into, it was almost just as quick to stop. Don’t get me wrong. I still have desires to purge. I still have to push that thought away. But it wasn’t nearly as hard to stop the behaviors as it was the last time.

To me, it proves that over the last year and a half I have built up much strength and learned much. I have learned to be gentle with myself, to care about my self, to love myself.

I am so very sad that I have lost my streak. 18 months is a long time. But, had I not fallen, would I have realized and learned the depth of my strength? If we never have to pull ourselves up, how does one know that they can do it? It is often through these trials that we learn the most about ourselves. It is often through these trials that we learn how to be gentle with others in their trials.

Even the strong can fall. But I believe that the fall makes us stronger.

THIS IS RECOVERY.