Friday, 29 April 2011

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" - I love my Black Swan

Something amazing has been happening. In three weeks I've lost 4kg.
I even had a small binge last night on rice cakes and peanut butter only to find that the numbers were still down on the scales this morning.

How I have missed this feeling.

I feel sick. Hunched up as my stomach churns with acidity. I'm not walking, I'm shuffling. Another 10k run in the sun has re-blistered the weeping wounds on my feet. Pain.
I feel so sick... but, if i threw up what the hell would come out? Some chicken breast, coffee, acid...

But I can't stop, because I'm falling, at last, I'm falling, falling, rising back up to my best.
God help me, I couldn't eat even if I wanted to.

I've finally dragged my sorry, fat corpse right out of the mud at the bottom of the river and now I can be rational again. Last year I let myself be consumed by bulimia, by a stupid little boy, by social conventions which choked and smothered me.
Well, here I am, it took me a fucking long time, but here I am, phoenix from the ashes, brighter and bolder, stronger and more determined, braver, harder... crueler.

There's a date in my diary and it's given me that evil glint in my eyes again, the glint of a woman who knows her power and ambition, a glint fed by heartbreak and sadness and the memory of what it feels like to be worthless.
I lift my head, jut out my chin, harden my eyes... because I know, I'm the one in control.
There's a date in my diary - in one week - I'm going back to London for a night out with some of the people I used to know at 'the Club' last year. Alex, I've been reliably informed, will not be there, but other guys I've had on my list will. And that's what I want, a show, a great, spectacular show just like the ones I used to stage.
Of course I won't reach my goal weight in one week but I will still look painfully good, I know I can do it in that time. And what is my motivation? The fact that Alex won't be there, but people who know him will. And I have to look so perfect that they will all be talking about it to him. I know I can do it.

I'm going to be back to my best: the untouchable girl who breezes by with a superior air. I'm going to act and play and feed off men. God, how I used to love it, the taste of power. The perfect, controlled white swan Odette will become the black swan Odile, who dances for show, for lust and desire, parading and prancing across her London stage, spinning, spinning, triumphantly daring you to keep up.

But then, I know it's not always going to be Odile who shows up in the mirror. There's every chance I will see a vile, fat, ugly duckling reflected back at me, the men will scorn me, I will be my own worst enemy, a bulimic monster.  And even if Odile does play her part, I always know that I will have to shed the costume and sink into the oblivion of loneliness and emptiness that waits for me backstage.

We celebrated the Royal Wedding today, and I can't remember when the loneliness last hit me so badly. I imagined the life me and Alex would have had.
Recently, there have been a few nice guys on the horizon, but I can't go through with it, I can't even think of trying to go on a date. Even though initially I might be really attracted to them, I just don't want to get to know them, I don't want to make myself look good for them, I don't want to waste my time on them. I hadn't realised how much the breakup with Alex had affected my ability to let a man in. I can't let a man in, even slightly, because I could not bear to be rejected, even slightly.
I'm too fragile.
On my own I can do this, I can stand strong, I can stay in control and in command of myself. I cannot and will not let a man open the floodgates and let all the food in. I will not let anyone take away this complete control.
There's a wonderful part towards the end of Margaret Atwood's novel The Edible Woman where the main character, Marian, presents her fiance with a cake in the shape of a woman, accusing him of trying to destroy her and asking him to destroy and consume the cake instead. And how did she believe he was trying to 'destroy' her? By controlling her identity, giving her a role, a duty, putting her in a box, labelled by others... I cannot bear the thought of being even slightly controlled. I believe everyone wants to destroy me.

We had a special tea today in celebration of the wedding. I sat down with all my colleagues at a table laden with sandwiches, cakes, scones, jam and cream. I wasn't even slightly panicked or tempted - I felt nothing but nausea and anger at the sight. I sat politely sipping a cup of tea in silence.
That's when I knew I'd won the battle against the threat of a junk food binge, and all that is left now is to keep sailing along as I am. All I can think of is how much I hate food.

I wish I had someone that I could say that out loud to. I feel desperately alone.
Despite the ecstasy of stepping on the scales every morning to see a lower number, I find myself constantly choking back tears throughout the rest of the day.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

"Obsession is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated" - I love my White Swan

Of course, thank you to Anonymous who commented in the last post - I forgot Natalie Portman!
Natalie is one of those actresses who I've adored since the first time I saw her for having such flawless and dainty features - I mean, the woman still looked stunning when she shaved all her hair off for V for Vendetta.
I went to see Black Swan twice at the cinema and am counting down the days for it to be released on DVD here in the UK.
I love that you can see all her ribs in this picture and she has practically no breasts (I would give anything to be totally flat-chested).

Anyway, not only am a big fan of Natalie Portman, the film and its ridiculously sky-high thinspirational quality, I am also a big lover of ballet. This Spring I've been to see Swan Lake and Cinderella and have also booked to see Manon and Anna Karenina in London later this Summer.

I just love ballet...for all the obvious reasons. And yes, I am the only person I know who likes ballet, and yes, I go on my own.

As I mentioned before, I've started classes and once a week you will find my hefty, muscular thighs and thick set arms and neck waving around, out of time, trying to be floaty and elegant. What a picture.
...Ok I'm not that appalling, but I still have the widest hips in my class.
If you've ever seen a professional ballet dancer close up in the flesh you will know what I mean when I talk about incredible muscle tone and carves that jut out like cheekbones whilst also being some of the skinniest people I've ever laid eyes on. I mean, I drool with envy. It's sobering to see bodies like that in front of you, kinda like meeting a famous person whose poster you have on your wall and realising they really EXIST in the living flesh.

My progression with the Dukan Diet is still going ok, although I had a massive wobbly patch last week which saw me eat a series of cakes/bread and throw up continually in a mini-return to the dark days of bulimia. However, I am completely back on track and riding high on the wave of strong control and exercise. To be honest I am absolutely sick to death of chicken, fish, eggs, skimmed milk and low fat yoghurt. But... well... the obsessive in me can't seem to stray, and if I do, my fingers will go straight down my throat anyway, so the Dukan Diet is the lesser of two evils.

I've been pushing myself really hard with the training recently - probably the most dedicated I've been, although I was pretty obsessive in early 2010 - and as a consequence I think I'm definitely back to my personal best level of fitness. This personal best is something I hope to surpass in the next couple of weeks or so as I start to put my foot down on the gas even harder. I have two 10k races scheduled for May - one city and one off-road and I've got a target time which I'm pretty unrelenting about.

Only problem is that my feet - which I totally blistered and bleed to pieces when I went for a long run in new trainers a little while back - are still blistering in the same places even with heavy plastering and zinc oxide tape and although it's not stopping me from going to the gym or out running (nothing short of a apocalypse would stop me) it's really making things a bit miserable. My only hope is that the more I run, the more comfortable the trainers will get.

In the last two weeks as I have maintained my strict Dukan Diet eating and have been exercising almost every day, I've felt utterly in control and completely euphoric. My calculations told me that some days I was burning off nearly as many calories as I was consuming,
and I loved it.
The white swan, Odette, is perfect and pure and elegant. By mirroring the hardwork, strength and control of a ballet dancer, I can look like one too. 
I have become aware that there are two very distinct sides of my ED - obsessive restriction/exercising (I don't call it Anorexia because it's not) and Bulimia. I was totally consumed with Bulimia for the best part of 2010 - the very worst, disgusting kind which made me depressed and want to die - and now I'm back in the obsessive restriction/exercising perfect pure 'white swan' which makes me feel on top of the world and stronger than ever.
*shrugs shoulders*
What can you do?

My therapist of course is not impressed. She thinks it's all about my need for control - something we've never touched on before. And it makes sense I suppose - I can't stand being told what to eat. She asked me, "Do you feel like I'm holding you back?" and I choked up, because I do. Although on the one hand I love her for caring about me, she knew that I also hated her for making me be 'good' and 'obedient' and not letting her see the numbers on the scale fall.
I've started to regain the side of the eating disorder that I fell in love with - the restriction and exercise and falling numbers - and somehow that feels like recovery for me. This side of the ED makes me feel superior, makes me feel like I can achieve what I want to... My aim for going into treatment was always primarily to stop the binges as I knew that was the key to finally getting to the low weight I wanted. I know I will never be fully 'cured' because I don't want to let go of the behaviours that will make me thin, just the behaviours that make me fat.
But there have been other changes too... I don't hate myself so much, I want to eat the right things... and honestly everyone comments on how much I look and sound healthier (I try to convince myself this is not just due to the exercising and sunshine).

The girl who was writing this blog back in the dark times of October/November has gone.
I'm happy. I keep myself busy.

Thanks to the Easter Holidays I've been back in London the last two weeks reminding myself of the dreams I long to come back and fulfill...

Yesterday I went walking through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park - a regular haunt of Alex and mine when we were together. It didn't hurt to back, it was just beautiful and full of sunshine, and though I walked the paths alone, I felt completely at peace - because I was alone.

Today, I rose early and upon hearing that it would be an even sunnier day than yesterday, I hopped onto the train to Hampton Court and bought myself entry to the gardens. I used to love coming to Hampton Court when I was younger and I was hungry for more beautiful scenery to keep myself at peace. After walking 3 miles along the river bank, I stopped in the at little restaurant to find some water. As I passed tables of people sitting down to have their lunch my stomach twisted with revulsion. Trays full of food, plates with potatoes and pasta, bread rolls, cakes and fancies. I thanked God I didn't have to sit down with anyone and look at that or be expected to eat it.
As I inspected all the bottled drinks to find one which used only sweeteners I felt a pang of sadness. I was never going to be one of those people sitting down for lunch without feeling hatred towards the person I was with for making me feel like I had to eat things I didn't want to or without feeling out of control and full of anxiety.
But. The fact is, I'm managing my eating disorder by not putting myself in situations where other people see what I eat. And I'm managing it well. I'm happy this way.
If you were at Hampton Court today, you'd have spotted me in the afternoon, sitting on a bench in the Privy Garden, politely eating a chicken breast with a knife and fork which I had dry baked in the morning and put into a little plastic tub to take with me. I was happy.

I cannot resist sharing some of the happiness that I felt today:

Thursday, 7 April 2011

A Body Full of Beauty

Funny, isn't it, the effect alcohol seems to have on my writing. I suppose that's when I feel and write at my most intense, 100% raw and 100% real - no craft. All night I was conscious of the words and paragraphs forming in my head as I danced, as I stood in front of the mirror, as I kissed, as I drank... all I was thinking was how to write it down and speaking it aloud in my head.

I don't know when I will stop hating Alex or when I will stop remembering how it felt to touch him. I don't know if I could ever let another man back into my life or if I'll ever want to.
History dictates that I always do anyway.

It was a shame that I had to drink on Thursday night, and that the drink inevitably led to eating foods that I had cut out of my diet with my Dukan Diet regime. But I'm back on track again, eating only chicken, fish and seafood and drinking only water and skimmed milk.
The new gym I joined is totally worth the £100 a month that I am paying. However, I'm aware that I think that because I am mad... but it is totally mind-numbingly awesome... even though, really, it's just a bloody gym...

Anyway, point is, I feel fabulous. I've been put on a fat blasting, supreme workout plan, which is quite frankly painfully, achingly body changing. And I love my instructor for giving me kudos on my fitness and attitude and giving me the super-challenging regime I need to lose the fat. Usually I'll get set some pansy 30 mins on a treadmill workout by an instructor who gives every girl the same standard training plan - lame. With this new plan, even when my legs are screaming, I do my intervals on the treadmill with a kind of euphoria I've never felt before because I'm so inspired.

And do I look fabulous? Ha, don't be silly. Not yet, anyway. But I damn well will be. Three months, tops, until I see the number I want on the scale - that's what Dr Dukan and my trainer say separately. So imagine the effect now I'm putting them together.
Also, it's amazing what a bit of good PR does to boost my motivation to lose weight even further. Tell a friend or anyone who doesn't know you that you want to lose weight and they say: "But you're fine!" "Lose weight from where?!", "Don't be silly!". But tell Dr Dukan or a personal trainer that you want to lose enough weight to give you a superwoman BMI and they want to offer you support and planning to make your dreams come true.
"I love working with clients who are so determined and driven," my trainer said, "You're gonna be great fun to work with."
I beamed.

To top it all off, on Monday I went for my first Ballet Class and my already tight legs now feel like steel - absolutely fabulous. I must admit I was a little disheartened at being the curviest girl in the class with hips at least 5 inches bigger than anyone elses (I swear!) but I can at least be comforted by the numbers on the scales going steadily down everyday and knowing that I'll be as sleek and gazelle-like as the rest of them soon.

But don't let me put a gloss on my hard work and let you think it's been a delightful journey. Yes, I've loved working out at a higher level, and yes I've been eating well under 1,000 calories a day, and yes the scales are behaving accordingly... but today, for example, I walked and ran and ate only 180g of smoked salmon and it began to catch up with me. I'd never felt so physically sick in my life from under eating. The only way I could stabilise myself was with a bread roll with peanut butter. It killed to do it because it means totally messing up my Dukan Diet plan, but I didn't have a choice, my stomach was full of acid and making it unbearable for me to cope even though I tried to just sleep it off. It was stupid of me, I went from 7am to 4pm without any food and then wolfed down the smoked salmon and went for a run in the sunshine. When I got back I decided I still didn't need to eat and my body rebelled and I had to eat bread which was even worse! Argh! I can't be stupid about this, I have to be strict but I have to be realistic too.

So, to round off my super body issue, just as I did a post about Who's in my Head Full of Beauty, I would also like to give you a quick guide to Ophelia's Bodies Full of Beauty:

1. Victoria's Secret Models. All of them. Wow.

2. Ciara. I'm thinking 'Love, Sex and Magic' video and I'm thinking 'she must have put her body through serious pain for it to look like that'. My ex was a big fan of Shakira who did a similarly acrobatic pop video, "Have you seen the She Wolf video?!" he says like a little boy with eyes as round as saucepans. Shakira, however, has too big a bum for me, sorry Alex.

3. Nicole Sherzinger. Another athlete.

4. Megan Fox. I've never seen this lady act, and from all accounts am not missing much, but I do know, I'd give anything to look like her.

5. Jessica Alba. She's just painfully perfect.

So I know I've missed out a lot of celebs that have pretty perfect bodies, but these are my handful of women that make me sick with envy. As you can probably tell from this little selection, I have a thing about sleek athleticism, thin but strong and toned thighs, a washboard stomach and abs, mini delts on the arms even...
That's basically what I want my body to do - not just shrink, but look fabulous and healthy and strong as well. Shrinking is the easy part - it's getting the combination that really hurts.
Are there any bodies you think I've overlooked? Let me know and tell me why x x x

Friday, 1 April 2011

Look How I Fell

I think that sometimes, my drunken posts (which have been few) are some of the best. So here is my two pence drunken thoughts for this evening (morning).

I have just completed three days of the Dukan Diet (my three days of the attack phase of pure protein only.)
Day one, admittedly was a struggle. I smelt like protein - fish scent and poultry odour pouring from my very pores. It was hard. But I did it. Day two was easier, but still smelt like a piece of rotton protein. Day three and I'm thinking I could go on like this forever were it apart from the fact that I would kill for an apple.
At lunch, I swished the food around my plate to make it look like I was eating and maintained the most wonderful air of superiority and self control - just like the good old days.

Originially, several years ago, the bulimia spread from this girl who couldn't handle nightclubs and men and mirrors all in one go. I used to do it over and over and over again to myself, the torture, boys and music and reflections. But I have been safe since I've been here - no alcohol, no men, no deviation from the straight and narrow rails.
But this evening, I went out, and drank, and have binged. Two bowls of cereal, peanut butter, 3 kitkats, chocolate spread...
On the dancefloor the rage spread through me. If Alex had been there I'd have grabbed him by the neck and strangled him to death, screaming my anger at him. As it was, I stood in front of the mirror, over and over again, just like all those nights at university, same, never changing... never changing. There was nothing in my makeup bag to change the relfection in the mirror, no matter how many times I went in, no matter how long I stood there.

I pulled a guy, kissed him hungrily, ran my hands through his hair and spread my hands across his chest just like I used to do with Alex, felt his abs and biceps beneath his shirt, hungered for him, hungered so bad. Fed.

I was craving.

Wait, make that 4 bowls of cereal.

Oh God I was so hungry. Am so hungry. He tasted of beer and man, just like I remember boys used to taste. I didn't care a damn except that he tasted good, felt good, satisfied me.
I need to be sick - am going to be sick - when I've finished this. But it will feel wonderful, it will be the best feeling I've had all night,
and then tomorrow I go to Dukan
and the gym
and more and more and more
because I just wanted to be one of those girls, I wanted to put my hand around Alex's throat, I wanted all the boys down on their knees.

You want to know what kind of a person I am? That's the kind of person I am.
I hungered for the days when I played with men in my hand like putty. When I walked like a priceless untouchable through a room full of men, when Hugh and Rowan fought their Public School Boy wars over me, when Alex was just one of so many impressionable little boys that I dangled from my little finger.
Look how I fell.

Bulimia is a purging of the evil. fed by my nights as a girl