Ahhh, numbers. I love them and hate them at the same time. Being a runner, I am surrounded by numbers. They can be very useful and and wonderful and frustrating all at the same time. Miles run, pace, elevation, etc etc etc. Running is surrounded by numbers. Lately, I have been getting too caught up in the numbers.
Todays post is all about how mentally messed up I am :) See, I have this thing with numbers. Sort of an obsession. Ok, not sort of. I have OCD and anxiety. No really. I know people joke about being OCD about stuff, but I really am. My anxiety and OCD sort of manifests itself in numbers. This is something I know and keep an eye out for and can usually control it. Lately, however, I haven't been controlling it so well. It started when I started a new training plan and added speedwork. All of the sudden I was getting caught up in numbers again. And it was so much fun! At least I was convincing myself it was fun. It turns out that it wasn't. I was not enjoying my runs and I was really miserable. I hadn't really made the number connection yet though.
I have not weighed myself since February. Knowing my issues with numbers I finally gave up on the scales since it was better for my mental health. I sort of monitored my weight by how my clothes fit. This worked perfectly. For some reason though, I weighed myself a couple of weeks ago. This started me on a nasty downward spiral. I was back to obsessively counting calories in and out. I set an amount of calories that I will allow myself to consume and won't go over that. Trust me when I say it is not enough. Most days I will end up burning almost as much as I consume. I was also counting repetitions while doing strength training and making sure I did more each time. See, once I know how many reps I've done or miles I've run or whatever, I can't let myself do less the next time. If I do less I hate myself and try to make myself feel better by eating less and doing more. Like I said, downward spiral. Eventually I get to where I can't do anything because my body is exhausted and isn't nourished. At some point, I just break down mentally and physically.
That is what happened to me last week. I realized I had a problem (thankfully it doesn't take me as long as it used to). I reached out for help and luckily I have some really wonderful friends (and the best husband in the world) that were willing to help. One of my friends is so great she has hidden my scales from me and knows not to give them back no matter how much I beg until I know I'm in a place where I can have them. Who knows when that might be. My biggest source of support (besides Rick) on this continuously comes from the wonderful ladies on car-seat.org. It's not just about car seats!! Several members sent me private messages, texted me, whatever they could to make sure I knew I had support. It's nice to be able to send someone a text saying "this sucks. I'm hungry and can't eat. If I eat I will puke" and not be judged. Well, they might think I'm crazy, but they don't tell me I am. They just support me no matter how many times I go through this. And for the record, I would probably have support from my family if I actually admitted to them what what going on. Please don't think my family and friends outside of those online aren't supportive because they are. I just need to be more honest with them.
Right now I am doing much better! This week I decided to run just to run. I didn't run on the trail and didn't worry about my speed. I did do 6x400's on Wednesday, but didn't worry about my speed. Oddly, my pace was fantastic. Faster than normal! I so enjoyed running this week. I didn't do any strength training, just ran. I have 10 mile run for tomorrow, then next week I will slowly get back to strength training and trail running.
This post may not be here long. We'll see how long my courage lasts. Writing this out makes me feel better and stronger. Admitting to what I'm going through helps me to take care of it. And some of you reading won't understand this. That's ok. Unless you've been there it is hard to understand. It doesn't make sense that I don't just eat when I should or when I need to. It doesn't make sense that I wouldn't just quit counting things. Trust me, I don't understand it either. I just know this is something I battle over and over again and probably always will. I can only be thankful that I am learning to recognize the signs before I'm too deeply involved with this stupid disorder and take steps to correct it.
Next post will be back to normal, promise!!