I gave up. I quit.

I realized I had stopped trying.  And I was letting it happen again- I have been letting my eating disorder define me.

After a long 3 days of training Friday, Saturday, Sunday and finally getting some serious bike mileage in, it all caught up to me- the stress, the lack of recovery, and the volume of training.

I can’t remember the exact moment, but at some point last week, either when I was working out or doing something at work, a thought came into my head and something and the response I had to myself was “it’s ok, I have an eating disorder.”

Now at the time , I didn’t think twice about it, but at home later that night, I realized- I had quit.  I was giving in again; I was letting myself be defined by my eating disorder… and more importantly I did NOT want to let it go.  I was enjoying, or at least defaulting, to the fact that it was ok for me to do certain things or act in certain manners because having an eating disorder made it ok.  I wanted that recognition, I wanted to be known that way.  It’s like I was proud of it.

Oh, I’m going to work out really hard today but then take tomorrow off because I’m sore and eat way less?  That’s ok, I have an eating disorder.

I’m going to put my socks on sitting on a certain side of my bed or else I’ll get fat or I won’t push myself to work out tomorrow? That’s ok, I have an eating disorder.

I’m going to not eat right after a hard workout so that I can “save” those calories for my real meal when I get home? That’s ok, I have an eating disorder.

NO!  It’s not ok.  It’s not normal for me to act like I have these inane “privileges” because I can use my eating disorder as a scapegoat.  This isn’t to say that I haven’t been challenging myself to new foods, etc. but it’s the fact that I wanted to be known by my eating disorder.

So as I was giving into all these rituals and obsessive compulsions that I believed were ok, I realized that I have to fight them.  I’ve written about this many times in the past, but I didn’t realize I was falling back in to it.  Being in a new city, new job, new lifestyle brings a lot of stress and I didn’t realize it.

When we are stressed, we revert back to ways that are comfortable for us.  People find different to handle (or not to handle) this stress and it’s not always good.  I guess this is how I cope.

So what am I doing about it?  For starters, I’m ignoring as many compulsions as I can.  I no longer have to chop my vegetables a certain amount of time.  I don’t have to believe I WON’T believe that wearing a certain shirt will make fat or not exercise. I REFUSE to believe my compulsions will have any effect on the greater part of my life.

Time to get back in the game.

Get up

How do you deal when you realize you are giving up?  Any help you can offer me?

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16 thoughts on “I gave up. I quit.

  1. I’m sorry to hear you have hit an obstacle in your recovery. I don’t know if it is bad for me to say this, but I have to admit that when I watched your recent recipe video, I felt you looked very unhealthy. I wish you strength, so that you can fuel yourself properly and be mentally stable, and race California International Marathon with me in December!!

  2. a few things I know:

    : you are very dedicated athlete–in order to keep making such awesome progress– love your body, feed it & it will love you back! “cars don’t run without fuel”–you can punch me for that later 🙂

    : you are right-moving to a new city/state IS stressful, whether you realize it or now. Most athletes I’ve met seem to live around schedules …and when you move it gets all sorts of jumbled up! give it time! things will fall into place over time…whether you get everything done in one day or one month.

    : you have awesome recipes-ENJOY them!

    : we all have inner demons that we have to battle some times. don’t let them win!

    ps: YOU CAN DO IT!

  3. God Bless you. I was just having this same issue the other night, and was thinking the exact same thing. IT’S OK TO QUIT. I don’t need to log a certain amount of miles on a treadmill each week, and I don’t need to save my “saturated fat calories” for fast food on the weekends, or my sugar calories for post work-out. Why? Because nobody (including God and me) freaking cares, and because by doing so again and again, I’m training myself like Pavlov’s dog and reducing myself to being an addict.

    You’re quiting the eating disorder, not quiting who you are or what you can do. You’re quiting addiction. No, society isn’t going to give you a medal or clap for you, but think of how strong you are for proving to yourself that you don’t need those things you think you do. Use it as motivation. Say to yourself; “self, I’m going to go bum status for a week, put on some fat, and lose this addiction. and then, I’m going to prove that voice inside my head wrong and show that I can still come back and run or bike, and I can do it faster and better.”

    Break the cycle man. I’m the last guy in the world who should be telling you to do this (being a hypocrite and struggling with the same thing) but you really can do this.

  4. Glad to see you’re holding yourself accountable, but be easy – it’s much more likely you’re doing such rituals and restrictions for comfort, rather than recognition.

    That said, it’s important that you push your boundaries – your own exposure response. Realize doing so will make you anxious, but the anxiety will pass and it will only get easier.

  5. You got it man, just live in the workouts and let the stress from the rest of the world disappear as you do them. Things are always get better when you’re enjoying what you do. Keep finding the positive and you’ll be good to go in no time!

  6. Thanks for being so open and honest chuck! Holding on to what is comfortable is completely normal, whether wrong or right. I don’t think you are trying to get recognition for your eating disorder. It’s awesome that you are aware of what you are doing and ready to turn it around…hopefully this will help you get back on the right path to recovery! You know I’m always here if you want to chat!

    This is random but what is that picture from of you jumping over the car? That is you, right!?

    Katie : )

    want to chat!

  7. Chuck-I love that you realized this before it got any more worse. You seriously are forever inspiring me with your workouts, eating and everything in general (and always have been the best life advice). As too why you get my daily rambles.

    I think it is partly just getting in the right mindset again. You have recognized that there is a problem and you are ready to fight back. i know you can get through it and achieve some awesomesauce times and races!

    If you ever need anything, you know I’m here for you. 🙂

  8. A beautifully honest post, Chuck. And I think that it’s a reminder to us all to think about what we’re allowing to just happen because of “x” excuse in our lives. I 100% respect and admire your openness on the blog and I’m amazed that you’re allowing us to follow your life. The comfort zone is just so…comfortable! Rock on and keeping fighting the urge to give in!

  9. This is a great post. Sure, it might seem like a set back, but consider something positive about this. You recognized the fault in your mindset, and that alone has be be some progress. You aren’t blindly acting out your disorder without realizing it for what it is. Plain and simple, you aren’t quitting. 🙂

    Love reading your blog – acomplishments, honesty, and all.

  10. I lost a huge part of my eating disorder (HAPPILY!) by writing it out through my blog- evolving my eating patters, “diets”, exercises, and such to be in a place that was healthy. I definitely struggled for a long time and my performance and body told the truth of the matter.

    When I feel like I’m going back, feeling completely crappy (which definitely happens!!) I talk to someone. Anyone. I have seen a great counselor a few times and I cannot tell you what a difference it’s made for me… just a thought. Sounds like your game plan you have set up is a great one though.

    If you need anything, ever, you know where to find me. 😉

    (and what about this recipe throwdown of ours?!?!)

  11. Just keep trying to find new ways to cope with things that make you feel upset and stressed out and do your best to not revert to old coping mechanisms. Your brain already knows that if you feel stressed, restricting will make you feel better for a short time, so that’s why that’s your first instinct and you do those things. It takes time and it takes hard work, but the fact that you realize what you’re doing and that you’re willing to admit your faults shows that you care and that you’re capable of making changes for the better.

    I know EXACTLY what you mean by feeling you have certain “privileges” because of your eating disorder. Oh, I can be cold, or extremely exhausted, I have an ED, it’s OK for me to be that way. I feel that if I were to lose my ED that I would lose the excuse for those things, but I’m a HUMAN like anyone else, I don’t need an ED to have an “excuse” to be tired and there are plenty of better things we can be doing without anxiety around food. Keep up the good work, and like everyone else said: way to be honest. It takes a lot of courage to admit your own faults.

  12. Chuck, this is EXACTLY what I needed to hear right now. I feel I have slipped into the same trap, justifying things by thinking, “I have done so well, it is okay not to challenge myself today” But it IS important! ED will take a mile if given an inch. Admitting it is very very hard, and I have SO much respect for you for doing that 🙂

    As far as advice, I would say keep doing what you’re doing. Recognizing the stress and dealing with it in a healthy way, by telling us and others, is great 🙂

    I hope this weekend is great Chuck 🙂

    Scott

  13. Dude keep up the good fight. Regression is a natural part of any process. The important thing is now you can blast forward, and I’m sure you will. I’ve been feeling the same way, and it’s all just because of stress I realise now.

    So sure your routines have been messed up so you are holding onto what is familiar, but screw that right? Routine is boring and spontaneity is what life is made from. My advice is recognise it but don’t over analyse it. This stuff happens but it’s nothing to stress over so long as you acknowledge why you are doing it, something you are very good at.

    Keep it up man you’ve been having an awesome year so far and judging by the number of comments you’ve got plenty of great people backing you all over the world.

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