Counting

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I know I've mentioned my OCD before, but everyone always assumes it's like Monk, and I have to wipe every surface 37 times or something similar. While I do have some of these ritualistic tendencies, mine is a little different. I'm obsessed with numbers. This usually doesn't interrupt my somewhat-normal life, but there are times when it becomes down-right dangerous. Which is where it's heading right now.

Some background- I was annorexic in high school (see picture below). And took laxatives as well. I got disgustingly thin (for someone with my build), and have since destroyed most of the pictures from that time. The one below is one of the only remaining pictures, and it had only survived because I wasn't at my worst in that picture- I lost almost another 20 pounds after that was taken. And still thought I was fat.

Why do I bring this up? Not because I am starving myself (yet), but I feel it could easily go that way. For people like myself, who have suffered from eating disorders and are obsessed with numbers, it's a slippery slope. In the 5 plus years I have lived in Virginia, I have gone up about 3 dress sizes. I stopped thinking about calories and had no idea how many I was consuming. And now I am not comfortable with my body. Trouble.

I have mentioned my love of Chipotle before, and had no idea how many calories are in just one item. I love the Steak Soft Tacos, but yesterday, when I was craving them, I actually looked at the calorie content- almost 1200 calories! The tortilla shells alone (small flour) have over 100 calories each. So if just the shells have that many calories, how many calories are in other things? This led to me counting the calories in everything I eat. Which basically led to yours truly spending an hour on the elliptical and not eating dinner last night. Now, thinking about how the food in our employee cafeteria is prepared, and how many possible calories I'm consuming at lunch, is making me opt for a plate of lettuce with vinegar as dressing.

So you can see how dangerous this is for someone like me. The question is how do I still eat healthy without becoming so completely obsessed with what I'm eating that I end up skipping meals? I don't think anyone who doesn't suffer from OCD can really understand- the common answer is "well, don't go over-board," or "everything in moderation," which are things that I would love to be able top do, but when you have OCD, that "helpful" advise is pretty much worthless. And I certainly don't want to end up like this again:

4 comments:

Anonymous,  10/26/2006 11:35:00 AM  

While I definitely can't understand the OCD part, I can sort of empathize with the eating disorder part. My step-sister has struggled with both anorexia and bulimia since she was a child.

Watching her struggle made me have a great deal of respect for those who are able to overcome this life-encompassing disease.

Avin 10/26/2006 01:47:00 PM  

I am not sure what to say. I havent had the number thing since I was in my teens, but I do get why you are nervous. Its hard to control the impulse. We will talk later, maybe we can figure something out.

Sex & Moxie 10/26/2006 02:12:00 PM  

Thank you for sharing that story with us. I know that there are some great resource groups on MeetUp.com that are specifically for people who suffer from OCD. I've gotten great info about different topics from those groups.

Good Luck!

The Chapatikid 10/27/2006 02:08:00 AM  

Don't go back. You've come this far! It's not the calories that count, anyway. It's the fat. And if you have high calories, but low fat and high fibre, it's okay. And fat's good too, in moderation. The thing is, everything's good for you, in moderation. The most important thing is to be happy with who you are NOW. If you're not comfortable with your body, then do something about it. If you're not comfortable with yourself, that's a totally different ballgame. If you really want to lose weight, be safe. Join Weightwatchers -- it's the best program you can go on as long as (and I qualify this) you have a healthy self-esteem and a realistic idea of your body image. Their key is don't starve, eat everything, but watch what you eat, note it down, and work out. Not bad advice, as long as you literally follow it. For GOD'S sake, though, DO NOT GO BACK.

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