An encouraging Tarot Card for everyone in their journey to thin.
FOUR OF CHALICES
"My power today lies in attitude. I am not alone. I offer kindness, support and inclusion without judgment. I reject temptations or 'hairs of the dog' that do not sustain or respect my need for space, encouragement or my heart's desire -- but I don't cut my nose to spite my face. I am empowered by compassion and my gift is passive resistance."
So there you have it people. Everyone choose to reject and resist the temptations you will come across today, as I know they are short term wants and not your "heart's desire." What do we want? We want to be thin! Equally important, practice self-soothing, and compassion today as we often beat ourselves up for not meeting our ridiculously high expectations.
Repeat this to yourself. Namaste, girls!
Thursday, April 30, 2009
An encouraging Tarot Card for everyone in their journey to thin.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Hi girls! For those of you fasting/restricting with me, keep me posted on how you're doing... it's so helpful for me to know that I just *can't* eat until at least Friday because I've made it public and I've gotten other people on the bandwagon! hah.
This Friday I have to present the findings of my thesis. I'm pretty unexcited. I just want to get it over with. But today I realized I have nothing nice to wear that won't make me look like a baggy rag-muffin (the last pair of slacks I purchased were like USsize 12! They haven't fit in forever but I just haven't replaced them as I'm lazy and hate shopping... it's SO anxiety producing. Nothing ever fits right).
So I venture out with my bottle of water to go buy a new pair of slacks and some cute things to wear so I'll at least feel good about myself even though I know I'll probably fail at reaching GW2 by then...
SIDE NOTE: At the end of the second day of fasting, I had lost 2.7 pounds. Today I hopped on the scale, and I've only lost .2!!! WHAT THE HELL. I'm seriously praying it's because it's nighttime and I've drank like 100oz of water and am just retaining from being on my stupid period. I better be down like serious poundage tomorrow. I have to reach 115 by the end of tomorrow night. AUGH.
... Anyway. So I'm in the store looking at all the hideous polyester pants that I know would make a twig look fat, and I settle on a nice cotton blend that's got a little stretch. Grab the smallest size they have, as I'm optimistic, and they're stretch so they're forgiving. Size 2. They're too big!!! Aww joy. So I step out in my wearable but slightly too big slacks and ask a sales girl if they have a size 0 (trying not to look too excited about those prospects). She gets all fucking huffy at me!
Ok whore-face shopgirl, I'm sorry that you're clearly wearing, hmm, erm a size 18+ but I am not going to let you make me feel bad today. She waddles back and informs me that they don't have one (I didn't see a single 0 in the store, so there's either a skinny bitch stealing them all, or they just don't order as many of them as they do the huge sizes). Sigh, whatever, I'll buy the 2 and know that I'm secretly a ZERO (which is totally arbitrary because I'm a size 0/2/4 depending on the brand/designer).
Tra la la. I skip away with my purchase.
Coming Attractions: I'm currently working on a post tentatively titled "Everyone in The Western World has an Eating Disorder" and I'd love input. I don't know a single person that eats healthy. We're so extreme.
p.s. for all my UK ladies! So, my friend told me that if I say "pants" ya'll will think I'm talking about skivvies and so I must always refer to them as "trousers." True or false? Set the record straight here!
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
So we are water fasting! Or you are restricting. Either way, you're changing your habits these next few days to see some results for...
Loving it and I'm glad that several of you are interested in joining me. Anyone else just holler!!
I'm normally not one to post "tips and tricks" kinds of things (other than really superfluous natured ones) on my blog for several reasons: 1) I enjoy writing more about my experiences and more importantly about my observations in my surrounding world 2) You can't teach this shit! 3) Sometimes a Jimminy Cricket voice gets preachy in my head telling me that people are reading this who may not be safe or will just make me feel guilty.
But, all those things aside, I think today #2 wins out and I'll be talking about what makes a successful water fast (read: for me).
*Probably the most important aspect is your mindset going into it. This is completely organic. I fail more fasts than I succeed at and it's all because I didn't have the right motivating "walk-to-the-end-of-the-earth-and-stare-hell-in-the-face-to-laugh" kind of kickass mood that's almost scary. The more you fast, the more you'll be able to recognize these moods and when they strike so you can take advantage of them.
*The first two days will be the hardest. But you won't be super exhausted. Yet. So if you have any say in when you start the fast, try and start when you know you'll be super busy. Like so busy food is going to be something you were going to have to plan for (classes, work, meetings, etc). You can still go to the gym these days if you want. I usually stop after the 2nd day and just try to remain active because it doesn't seem to make much of a difference except make me exhausted.
*If you don't like water. Cheat. Sometimes I drink water with Crystal Light, and I just don't use as much as I normally would. This might help as well if a craving hits. I'm not afraid of the artificial sweeteners because, well, I'm doing worse things to my body right now.
*KEEP A BOTTLE WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES. Always. I keep a glass 20oz Sobe bottle (because I'm cheap and I can just throw it away when it gets gross and buy a new drink!). This should and will be your best friend. The first thing and last thing you should do every day is take a sip of water. While I fast, I drink my water differently. Little sips all the time. Every time I walk past a restaurant, smell food, get a craving... even if I am not thirsty, I take a sip. It helps. Trust me. Try and drink at least 80-100oz a day.
*I'm all about the self-hate punishment kind of talk... but this doesn't help right now. Focus on the pleasures that come with the fast, not what you are giving up by fasting. Feeling empty, knowing that you're shrinking, that weird euphoric/high feeling that ebbs and flows. If you do start getting bad cravings, the ana quotes help me as silly as some of them are. My favorites to resist breaking a fast:
"Don't give up what you want the most, for what you want at the moment."
"Craving is only a feeling."
"If I eat something, I eat everything, so I eat nothing."
*When I first started fasting, I found [Anaregzig] to be THE best motivation. She doesn't post anymore... but she's a mix of caustic, but boldly honest that makes me want to do better. Read some of her backlogged posts if you need some artificial boosting to fast.
*Start out small and work your way up, but give yourself a date you're stopping. I think we're extra hard on ourselves when we don't meet a goal so it's better to be realistic when you're fasting so you can continue to have successful ones in the future.
*It's normal to feel weak, tired, and maybe a little nauseated. You shouldn't be vomiting or feel extremely sick. Listen to your body and stop your fast instead of prolonging a bad one. Medications won't sit well with an empty empty stomach anyway. But keep some antacids handy and take your vitamins if you want (you can break them up so they won't make you feel sick).
*Try and enjoy it.
*Breaking the fast. There's a lot of conflicting info out there. Personally, I don't go long enough that it's a big problem (in terms of nausea) but I break my fasts with something not acidic, preferably vegetables. Eat slowly. This is a time to break bad eating habits. I move up to fruits, and later fruits and veggies that are acidic. I wait as long as possible before incorporating protein and grains. This is a great time for bullion cube soup!
I'd love to hear things that make for a successful fast for all my readers, both those of you doing FF with me and everyone else as well! If it were up to me, I'd make a secret website: thisiswhyyourefasting.com because I'm so sick of all the stupid fasting information online (I don't even want to get into how dumb the colon cleansing sites are). But, I feel I can talk about this because you've gotta have a pretty strong resolve to successfully fast in the first place... and I like to think I know my followers :)
Monday, April 27, 2009
First off, Hello and thank you to my new followers and readers!
My weekend of avoiding the scale failed miserably. I need it to keep myself on track. Scare tactic. Today, I shot all the way back to 120 (was 116.0 on Thursday) and this is absolutely not acceptable.
Unfortunately, BF convinced me to go grocery shopping yesterday and I bought a bunch of produce. But I think they'll keep until the weekend because I AM GOING TO LOSE 5 POUNDS IN 5 DAYS.
Water fasting. Not a morsel of food will touch my lips until Friday afternoon when I have to eat for my stupid scholarship luncheon (and then I'll be eating salad). My thesis is due this Friday at noon and I've got a bunch of other shit I have to do concurrently. So I don't even need to be worrying about food. Fuck it. I'm tired of making excuses and allowing myself food, and then breaking down and eating more.
I am in the right mindset for a good water fast and me & the scale are BFF again.
Anyone who wants to join me, or wants support in whatever they are doing right now feel free to email me or leave a comment. We all need to stick together :)
I'm calling it: Famished 'til Friday.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
|Billy Joel - She's Always a Woman|
|Found at skreemr.com|
When I was sixteen, I was sitting in my then boyfriend's sun bleached old white toyota driving figure 8s in the school parking lot after some function and this song started playing. We both decided it was my song (how flattering of him... I should have realized then that he would turn out to be gay!). I give this song probably a little too much slack for being kind of sexist and dated. But I have a soft spot for Billy Joel.
I don't talk a lot about being mentally ill, but I see a lot that resonates in this song. I also see a lot of my ED in here. Find your own meanings. If you like it, make it your own.
She can kill with a smile
She can wound with her eyes
She can ruin your faith with her casual lies
And she only reveals what she wants you to see
She hides like a child,
But she's always a woman to me
She can lead you to love
She can take you or leave you
She can ask for the truth
But she'll never believe
And she'll take what you give her, as long as it's free
Yeah, she steals like a thief
But she's always a woman to me
Oh--she takes care of herself
She can wait if she wants
She's ahead of her time
Oh--and she never gives out
And she never gives in
She just changes her mind
And she'll promise you more
Than the Garden of Eden
Then she'll carelessly cut you
And laugh while you're bleedin'
But she'll bring out the best
And the worst you can be
Blame it all on yourself
Cause she's always a woman to me
She is frequently kind
And she's suddenly cruel
She can do as she pleases
She's nobody's fool
And she can't be convicted
She's earned her degree
And the most she will do
Is throw shadows at you
But she's always a woman to me
Friday, April 24, 2009
I love/hate watching people eat. Walking across campus at uni, or downtown, I'll see people sitting at tables or eating a sandwich (probably the most unflattering thing to eat in public) while trying to get to class... do they realize how disgusting they look? It's horrid. *When* I allow myself food, I like to think of it as a highly choreographed art-form.
Daintily hold fork and knife.
Cut. Cut. Cut.
Skewer (never, ever stab) teeny-tiny morsel onto utensil.
Allow into mouth and chew ever so slowly.
Set down utensils delicately, perfectly. Ready for the next bite.
Sip water, seductively, feeling superior. In control.
I'm sitting in class right now. We're discussing scurvy and our presenters thought it would be clever to bring in orange cupcakes (I have gotten so good at swiftly passing along plates of food without even blinking). The girl next to me is smacking her gums and licking her fingers SOO loudly.
Bitch, you are gross. EW, she just wiped her fingers all over her pants. This is why food and people eating in public is something I love/hate.
It reminds me that I never never want to look like that.
Today, I continue to drink my tea out and about, knowing that if people are judging me, it's because they are jealous that my size 4 skinny jeans are too big. Suck it.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I am so sick in the head sometimes.
In the 19th Century, pulmonary tuberculosis became a fashionable disease of beautiful young women and poets (obviously, the later absolutely could not be anything less than underweight, as one must suffer for one's art then and now. I can't take fat artists seriously). The afflicted lost incredible amounts of weight, looked frail and delicate, and right before dying, TB was thought to bless them with the "Hope of the Consumptive" with bursts of energy, beauty, and creativity. It was the disease that every good Christian longed to die from, a wish that was granted to many as 1 in 4 people in England and America would become sick (if a member of the household became sick, it was a death sentence for the entire family).
Despite the terrible symptoms and afflictions associated with pulmonary tuberculosis, Victorians generated an idealized mythology of the disease and these doll-like girls became the "consumptive sublime."
(it's also a disease frequently associated with vampirism but that's totally off-subject)
I was reading about "Villette," a book by Charlotte Bronte that I'd like to add to my summer reading list, and I started thinking about her untimely death from tuberculosis. Suddenly my thoughts started drifting to how sickly thin and lovely her death would have been (full romanticism on my part). This wasn't the first time I started thinking about TB. Last week I was sitting in our uni health clinic and there was a poster listing tuberculosis symptoms. I started thinking, "Well, if I had to pick an infectious disease, that'd be it."
Um, go google "Pott's Disease" and you'll see why you do not want to be messing around with the TB monster, my friends.
I don't know if it's the drive for thinness at any cost, or the fascination with anything and everything NOT in this century, or my morbid curiosity to die in a terrible fashion, or perhaps the romance of La bohème.
When all is said and done, don't try and contract TB. It's not worth it. I should do some Public Service Announcements. If you must contract a disease, mononucleosis is the way to go... people will make fun of you, ask you who you've been kissing, and perhaps if you're like me, you'll be left with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. But the pounds will melt off. In any case, don't mess with diseases or fire. They'll burn you.
P.S. TB is not funny, as 1/3 of the world is currently infected. The Victorians, however, are incredibly funny.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
I feel like crying because I know I'm not thinking rationally.
So last night everyone was at the Beer Garden, and we all came to the mutual conclusion that it was way too warm outside to order any hot food. That left salads (HOORAY!). I then made the comment, "Does anyone else lose their appetite in the heat? I think I'll just order small green salad..." One of my dumb friends then pipes up about how its important to eat *more* when it's hot (something I don't think I've ever heard) and orders a Taco Salad FOR me. I manage to blurt out that I at least want it with dressing on the side and without chicken.
I was really proud at how amazingly I was able to avoid every single piece of tortilla chip, cheese cube, sunflower seed, and black bean. And the avocado sat in the corner untouched. So I literally just ate a giant plate of lettuce, cabbage, and cucumber/carrot. I allowed myself some corn. Drank tons of water. Then one of my friends ate what I didn't eat (I swear she just lives off other people's left overs). So no one had time to scrutinize what I didn't eat. We went for frozen yogurt but I told everyone I didn't have any cash so I didn't get anything. Mwahaha.
It was supposed to be a 400 cal day yesterday and I figured I couldn't have had more than 100 calories of salad and that was the only thing I ate, plus I walked for an hour, and did an hour of pilates. So I was feeling really good.
This morning I gained .4lbs! I know I know it's probably just retained water weight because I drank so much yesterday and it's so hot... but I am so upset. It bothers me that I can't even be rational about this.
I bought bananas (which I normally don't eat), grapefruit, strawberries, cherry tomatoes, blood oranges, and one avocado (I don't know what I'll do with it, I'm afraid of it) at the uni produce stand... so I'll live off those (3 servings a day max and that's it) until I run out and then I'll buy more maybe. I was supposed to be doing 2-4-6-8 but now I can't even bear to think about that.
OH, PS. Just to clear things up. I am NOT 113. That is so embarrassing. That is GW2. I so wish I was right now. No no. I am fluctuating between 115-116. Sad day.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Today I got [Skinny Lady via Random Anorexics'] approval. I'm in love with that website. If you haven't discovered it on your own, or seen it on my sidebar links, go read every single entry they have and then do it again. She called me a "skinny bitch." I ate it up. But the story behind it warrants telling.
I've been feeling manic since my psych bumped up my meds. Well actually my moods have been cycling pretty rapidly. Crying, angry, happy, more anger (lots of anger), doubt and despair, you get the picture.
Finally, I got to manic. So, yesterday I decided that instead of using this superpower of energy and inflated-self-esteem for good (aka writing my thesis), I was going to use it to promote my blog. ALL DAY. Spent a good amount of time trying to figure out how to get better search engine results. Then I thought I would promote myself by researching and joining a new webring (check!). Later, I spent a vast amount of time searching various forums deciding which one I would devote my energy to. I would later stay up until 6AM between the webring, twitter, blogger, and the forum. Terrible stupid idea. My thesis is looming! So I find a suitable forum that I was happy with, made a little signature with a link to my blog... decided this would surely send millions and millions of new lovely wonderful readers (something that is only important to me in competitive, type-A mode).
In my haze of having no sleep, I didn't even think to check for diction and syntax on these posts I was reading (you'll understand what I mean in a second). I was just happily typing away, offering advice, ranting away, and feeling positive. Then it hits me. I HAVE JUST GIVEN REALLY REALLY TOP NOTCH BUT REALLY REALLY EVIL ADVICE TO A CHILD. I wouldn't have known this except I checked her other posts and she talked about her age in another thread. Now I'm angry at the forum (Oh it's mandatory to list your stupid location in the corner of every post but I can't even know an age range of who I talking with?!). Felt terrible and realized why I never frequented these sites or gave "tips, tricks, and advice" in the first place. But, I just can't stress about it anymore.
So after that I am still manic and super stressed. Decided to turn my living room into a gym. Move the dining room table up against the wall and push all the chairs into it and put some decorative shit on top of it so it's cute but unusable (I don't eat and BF just eats at his desk or on the bed to annoy the fuck out of me... but I pick and choose my battles). Clear a huge area for my yoga mat and the Wii Fit and my second scale and my free weights.
This morning I wake up happy and ready to exercise. I'm only 2 pounds away from GW2 (113) so I've decided that I now need to focus on toning myself and melting off excess fat on my tummy, inner thighs and working on sexy arms.
Pilates!! Great idea, yes? I rocked pilates and yoga. Wrong wrong wrong. OK, this is not my ED talking, but my stomach (albeit flat-ish) and thighs are definitely flabby. But it was so painful to lie in neutral position at times and I couldn't even make myself do the back rolls because I swear my tailbone/sacrum was going to rip open my skin and tear apart my mat. Then I attempted to do some 'superman' sets (correctly) and I was teetering on my hips and it was killing me. I think I'll have to stack my spare mat on top of the first one and maybe put a towel on top of that for more cushioning. How pathetic.
My fucking ass and hips are bruised. I don't have any padding there! I'm flabby but I can't tone myself if I'm going to walk out of every work out session looking like a punching bag. UGH it's a paradox. Damn my uneven weight loss. I qualify as a 'skinny bitch' according to Skinny Lady because my hips hurt like one, hah!
At least I feel that amazing sore ab feeling. It's similar to the feeling of hunger but you aren't hungry at all, because you just had a damn good fucking workout that kills your appetite. So you're like "Fuck you food, my abs are engaged and I'm strengthening my core." I'm on top of the world (clearly still manic).
Sending you ladies all my affection! Wish me luck tonight, I have to go to a beer garden and break one of my cardinal rules: no eating after 7..... UGH. But these people haven't seen me in forever and they'll know something is up. There is literally nothing safe. Will have to order something, cut it up, and move it around the plate.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
I hate it when people try to justify not liking skinny people:
"I don't know. I like women with meat on them. Guys who like stick thin chicks must secretly like pre-pubescent girls."
Why does this make me angrier than everything else? It's strange. Let's put aside the fact that muscle and fat are constantly being referred to as MEAT, as if women are heifers and you want to choose the one that's been fattened up a bit so she's not stringy. Ugh.
I don't want to look like a pre-pubescent girl and I know my boyfriend is not a pervert (though I know he prefers me to weigh more, but fuck if I'm doing this for him). I can't help it that when you lose weight you lose it everywhere, but that's what a the wonders of a wonderbra are for, and those tight jeans always boost a tight little booty.
Maybe those guys are just trying to justify why they are with their fatass girlfriends with their nasty cellulite, stretchmarks, and that "I-will-forever-make-swishing-noises-when-I-walk-because-my-thighs-rub-together-like-sticks-trying-to-light-a-campfire."
Last night I was at a chain Mexican restaurant because 2 of my dear friends wanted Margaritas and chips (I haven't had a sip of alcohol in at least 3 months, I was sure I'd get drunk just by looking at it). So because I hadn't been social in awhile and I love these people to death I agreed to go and order a margarita and then pretend to sip on it and just say that I didn't drink like any of it because it didn't sit well with me, which it definitely wouldn't have if I had drank it.
THERE WERE SO MANY FAT PEOPLE. 2 women took up a 6 person booth by themselves. So we had to continue to wait because these giant people couldn't fit in normal people seats. Of course, I start ranting about airplanes and BBW (big beautiful women) and pushy fatasses and "thick" girls (LOL [Sophia] is well informed, ask her about this movement). I think my medication is making me extra angry, but I'm glad I got to vent it out. If obese women and their stupid men wouldn't attack skinny's maybe they wouldn't get attacked back. The end.
And now for something completely different...
This is why I will not be ordering take-outs again: BF wanted Indian. I'm not going to binge on curry and naan so that was fine with me. Tiny nibbles of bread. Spoon full of curry. That would be it for me. Sounded like a plan.
We had to order a $20.00 minimum to get it delivered AND there was a delivery fee. FUCK THAT. So we decided that if there was a minimum + a delivery fee we shouldn't have to tip as well. We are poor and in uni. So BF goes to get the food. The weird delivery guy starts yelling "No Tip?" as he goes to close the door. BF doesn't even have any cash because he paid with his card. He's like "Sorry" and tries to close the door. Delivery guy FORCES the door open and is like "NO TIP NO TIP!" Fucking douche. BF runs away with food.
I, of course, being hopped up with anger/indignation from my meds, call the Indian restaurant and pretend that I was the person who answered the door and that this guy intimidated and scared me and that I would have tipped him if he wasn't scary about it and if I hadn't been confused about the delivery fee. I am SUCH A LIAR. She's like "OK, I'll talk to him." And I'm like "Tell him I would have tipped him but I was confused!!!"
BF tells me I'm an idiot because this guy knows where we live AND has my cell number. We both wonder if this was grounds for him getting fired (anyone see that ridiculous Seinfeld episode with George and the Busboy?). Delivery guys are easy to replace. Not even 30 minutes later I GET A CALL ON MY CELL FROM THE DELIVERY GUY!!!! AAAH. I answer, hear muffled noises, and then he hangs up. Crazy.
Clearly this is a sign from a higher power that I should not be eating outside food or venturing outdoors as this crazy guy could be waiting for me at any moment.
You all shouldn't get take out either. He might be reading my blog and target us all *wink*
Friday, April 17, 2009
Was blessed this morning with a loss of 2.4 pounds.
Just fucked that up. Royally.
Been doing well for the past few days severely restricting and cutting out unsafe food and vowing not to eat after 7PM. Baby steps. Baby steps.
Today after scary lecture I go and visit the ladies in the office I used to work at. It's been a while since I've seen them. They coddle me, and immediately start talking about my weight (I can count on these ladies to be frank!). "Girl! What are you eating? You have lost your butt!" Thank God. Anyway, they are concerned but still think I look good (I don't know how they thought I ever looked good, but that's a digression).
So that perked me up as most people have either not noticed or been polite.
I call the boyfriend to say I'm coming home since it's the weekend and I just want to relax. He informs me that he's not home, but with his friends. Immediately, my legs want to do a 180 and head to the donut shop and pick up some sweets to comfort me in my huge disappointment. I stifle it. Go home, veg, eat some minestrone soup (90 cals)... supposed to be my one and only consumed item of the day.
Boyfriend comes home at like 10PM and I am grumpy and having ridiculous emotional cravings. He wants pizza because he's a jerk and hasn't eaten. I am strong at first, then decide that I'll be ok with only 1 piece as 300 cals won't kill me. We get a 12" pizza. I use a fork and knife so I have to eat slow.
I reach for a second piece. BF grabs my hand (and it hurts) and starts yelling at me about taking a big piece and how I said I wasn't going to eat any other pieces. He gets mean when he's hungry. In any event, this of course makes me feel like the HUGEST FATTEST PIGGEST BINGE-WHORE ALIVE and I immediately start crying and screaming and yelling maybe and slam my laptop closed and run away and lock myself in the bathroom.
BTW, bathroom is not safe. I realize this soon afterward as I remember I may or may not have a knife stashed somewhere. Look for it, can't find it. Hear boyfriend leave the apartment. My stupid head wonders if he is going to the corner store to get us some snacks (COW!). I go over to the pizza box to see if he ate any. No. Good. I then grab my knife and hole up in the bathroom again until he comes back. No major damage but I have to start from day one again after being more than a year of harm-free.
He comes back (no food) and is mad at me for some reason (WTF!??!) and says he has been studying somewhere. Leaves again. I immediately go get the pizza and eat my remaining 3 slices out of anger. I've never binged out of anger. He comes back as I'm guiltily finishing off the last slice.
I am officially the most pathetic person ever. It's ok though, I found where he hid my laxies and I took 3 and two colace and I'm praying to whoever it is you pray to in this sort of situation that I didn't gain.
Oh, ironically, my "Tarot of the Day" card was the Four of Chalice advising me to resist temptation. Oops.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I'm sitting here in class and I can just feel the tears starting to well up in my eyes.
God I hate my emotions. I don't even know why I am going to start crying. This is the first time I've been to this class in a week and a half. I just want to get out of here. And this is my favorite professor.
Sometimes, I get in these moods where I feel like I'm in this space with everyone but I'm the only one there. I'm depressed and anxious at the same time. And no one sees me. I think I could start bawling and no one would notice.
I really want to start cutting. I won't. won't won't won't. But the itch is so present. It hasn't hit me in so long. Trying to rationalize it out. I'll feel amazing. Wonderful. Powerful. Then I'll feel incredible guilt. Hate myself every time I see the cut. The scar. For months. Worse than the worst binge. Ugh, I really want to.
Holding onto my wrists. They're the only part of me that I think are actually tiny. I don't think they can get smaller. Kat wants us to make a list of our reasons to lose the weight. Brilliant.
Inside, I know there's only one real reason, one driving force. I want to hurt myself... I want to tell myself who is boss. And I want everyone to see how damaged I am. Frail, broken.
Short term, the weight loss makes me feel a little positive about myself, what I see in the mirror. Long term, I know I'm just self-destructing.
Seriously, I just want to save this as a draft and then delete it after a reasonable number of days. But I promised honesty to myself and to my readers. Even the things that are completely and totally fucked up. And I edited this for content. Can't even manage to write the scary shit in my head... don't even be worried. I'll be bouncing off the walls in a few hours, I'm sure.
Trying to restrict to make up for the damage I caused binging. I'm hoping to be down 6 pounds by next Thursday. Ambitious, but if I play my cards right, it can be done.
Just ate 1/2 cup of Irish Oatmeal (150c)... I haven't had oatmeal in as long as I can remember, but as part of my restricting plan, I'm trying to go for things that will stick with me and keep me full. We'll see if it curbs cravings. I also need to get better at drinking water. 3 weeks ago, I was a star! Kept my little bottle everywhere with me. I've been neglecting it.
So I have 42 pages on my thesis and I still have to write one chapter and the conclusion... so I think I can definitely hit, if not overtake, my goal of 60 pages + appendix. V. glad.
Yesterday I saw my psychiatrist. Unfortunately last week I started freaking out and decided I needed a second opinion because my current psych thinks I'm just depressed and medicates me thusly (though I shouldn't complain, he does have it written on the chart to never give me anything with weight gain effects, and once prescribed Topamax basically so I could drop some Zoloft weight...). Second psychiatrist was an idiot and didn't understand why I would want to go around my first psychiatrist's back. HELLO! I have anxiety! I'm not confrontational!! You should understand this being in the Psychology field!! Idiot.
SO now my psych knows I skirted around him, so I tried to play it off: "OH, you were on vacation so they scheduled me with this other doctor and I just asked him about getting a second opinion because none of the anti-depressants have EVER worked but I decided that was a stupid idea since I only have a few months of school and basically I'm dumb and really anxious. Is it hot in here????"
At least this was a wake up call for him so he finally listened to me as I spilled my guts out about how in the past year even though I stopped cutting, I've started meeting up with strangers to do drugs (which is SO not me), binge drinking, OH and losing 20 pounds in a month+ ??? I played the last one off like I didn't know what was going on because I'm not ready to confront this demon.
Psych decides to order some psychological evaluations to see what's really going on and starts throwing around the possibility of me being bipolar AGAIN but says something to the extent of "Oh, I still don't think you have a personality disorder, even though you fit most (Uh read ALL) the criteria... I think MOST college students do. Just a transitional phase of life."
Thanks dumbass for managing to downplay my personal turmoil and insult the college population that you're supposed to be caring for in one swoop.
Bleh, just writing about it leaves a foul taste in my mouth. I was supposed to hang out with one of my dearest friends tonight, but he mentioned something about us making sushi... which I just can't allow, so I'm going to have to call and cancel. Sad. But I need to see lower numbers, stat!
Thanks for all the amazing comments, girls! I love my readers and blogging is probably what keeps me grounded :)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I have been so stressed. Debilitating so. There's just so many things I can't deal with right now. Finishing this damn paper. Picking a grad school. FINISHING my undergrad degree. Setting up elections so I can hand over my position as president to some poor sap who doesn't know what he or she is getting into. Setting up loans for next year. Cleaning my apartment so the landlord can start showing it.
I start thinking about all the little things I can't even bring myself to do right now. Laundry. Going to class. Washing my face. Taking my meds.
Putting all these anxieties and listing my responsibilities... I sound like such a whiny little, self-important, bitch taking all her opportunities for granted. There's real people in the world who have real problems and all I can think about is how I can't get out of bed.
Yesterday evening, I was coming home from therapy, and the crazy homeless guy with no front teeth and cataracts or something was setting up his plastic milk crate and sweeping the sidewalk (that's his thing, he keeps my block clean). He looks at me and I say "Hi" and he says "Guess what? It's my 58th birthday today!" "Oh my gosh, happy birthday!!" "Thanks. I'm so happy to be alive! I don't know how other people feel but I'm glad to be here."
Fuck. Homeless guy 1. Me 0. I would have bought him some dinner or maybe even booze (hell, I'm slowly killing myself with my ED, why should I judge him if that's what he wants) but I had left my wallet at home so I wouldn't buy any shitty food when I was out. I rationalized that it was ok since the other week I gave him a bagel after I walked into a donut shop and felt compelled to buy something (yay social anxiety!) after they didn't have my binge-food, crumb donuts.
So since last night I have been on a downward spiral of binging and crying and napping. I want to say that I couldn't bring myself to count the calories, but I just do it without thinking now. It's ingrained. I know, or can guess, with a good deal of accuracy the horrible number I am ingesting.
The only thing that is going to make me quit all these binges is going back to being a strict Vegan. Then I won't be able to eat so I feel some kind of emotion other than numbness, I'll feel such incredible guilt that I made a promise to these animals, and I failed. There's really no binge food that's Vegan... and I'm not going to Whole Foods anymore to buy the luxuries. Fruits, veggies, and a teeny bit of soy to get me through my days. I think if I can get back on track, I'll feel less out of control about everything else in my life.
I'm glad you girls are doing better than me. You all are sincerely my motivation!
Monday, April 13, 2009
I did like my old one, but I was starting to feel... I dunno. It was creeping me out.
So, although I hate changing things because it makes me antsy, I've decided on a new picture that I've deemed suitable. And it's actually of me! Well, as much of me as I feel comfortable showing without worrying about someone seeing it :) It's also a super old picture of me. Whipped out my photoshop brushes and camouflaged it.
So that's that. Hope there's no confusion :)
Also the thesis is still not going. Wrote 2 paragraphs and then got stuck and distracted. Watched a TON of ana videos on youtube (I have so many comments, but I don't feel like rambling about them right now)... also the weight has remained stagnant since last night the Easter candy got brought out early, oops suggested by me. So I ate a fair share of that, but I haven't gained so I'm ok with it.
Fasted all day today. Tomorrow I am venturing out to re-stock my fridge with veggies. I am craving cucumbers!
Ok lovelies, going back into hiding to work on the stupid paper and wishing you all the best. I'm probably still going to compulsively check ya'lls blogs but I'm trying not to be on AS much :) LOADS O' LOVE!
Saturday, April 11, 2009
So the Sat-Sat challenge is over. I'm down 4 pounds since last Saturday. Would be proud of myself but I recall at least 2 binge sessions during the week that make me convinced I could be much further along if I were stronger.
But I'm definitely in a better mindset now. Though my weight loss, I'm fearing, is starting to plateau. Yesterday I ate a pear and nothing else and the scales barely budged. So today because my boyfriend wanted to celebrate Easter (he's working tomorrow morning) and because I have technically reached 118, I allowed myself to eat a full breakfast (760 calories). I know I know, it's huge calorie wise, but for the first time in weeks, I ate a meal (aka above 200 cals), and didn't break down and binge afterward for feeling defeated. I have regained full control. This is all I will eat today and possibly until tomorrow's dinner.
Hoping this freaks my metabolism and helps me lose weight again to get to 113 and beyond. 3.4 pounds to 115.
I said I would post my measurements once I hit 118, so here they are in inches (so ashamed):
thigh: (at widest part) 20.5 (5in above knee) 16
Bleh. I'm only doing this because I basically rip my soul to pieces with you all daily, plus I've just told the world what an oinker I am. UGH.
I have to take a short break from blogger. My thesis is looming and I have 30+ more pages to write this week. I'm going to try and make them fun pages. But I'll try and check blogs once a day... but if I'm not obsessed about commenting like I usually am, you know why :) All my love and support!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Hello Readers. Thank you for your concerns, especially the lovely comments from Belle Svelte, Lulu, Dancing in the Shadows and Jenna (and anyone else I might have missed!). So sorry to have worried you. I'm feeling better today. I think I was having panic attacks, too much caffeine, lack of food (not a bad thing), a bad conversation with another psychiatrist, and I decided to step my meds up so I would be more alert and kill my appetite... bad idea. The only good thing that came out of yesterday was I realized that my new gummy vitamins come in 2 gummies per serving (thanks Hana for inspiring me to get them... I haven't craved candy for days!).
Here's the post I had originally planned for you all yesterday. It's still relavent today as I'm ridiculously flighty and scattered!
I need to start writing things down. Can't keep track of time. Last week seems so long ago, and let's not even talk about how long the month of March seems to have stretched out.
Having a hard time remembering things. To whom did I talk? When was the last time I saw certain people... makes me even more motivated to stay locked up in my apartment.
I'm a shut in. For sure. But I like it here. Drank black coffee with 1/4 almond milk. I hate coffee but my body needs it, somewhere inside whispered to me. Falling apart. A little bit. Can't let anyone see me. Not when I still look so normal, so fat.
Need my moleskin.
It's raining here. I love the rain. It's like the world is telling me I can start over. Fresh this time. The clean smell and the gentle breeze is calming, especially when I'm feeling so frazzled. I need something to ground me.
I need something to shake me up, get me out the door. Integrate my cycling moods and quiet the screaming voice in my head, "You are piggish! Look at your ugly sguiggly thighs... you will never be worth anything. Everyone stares at you."
Sigh. Sometimes I feel so sane and together.... other times, I am fractured.
Must find my planner. If I can't rely on myself to count the days, something must for me.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Why do I only believe in you when I want to die, or when I think someone is breaking into the house?
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Sometimes, I get these total Eeyore Moods. Not like depressed. Like worthless invisible moods.
My school is huge but my department is pretty small. Even so, I'm a very vocal individual and have made my presence known. So, a lot of professors, staff, grad/undergrad students know who I am: "Oh, it's Savory she's so bright and quirky!" I'm a perfectionist (preaching to the choir, I know most, if not all of you are), so even when I'm in my deepest depression, self-destructive, rapid cycling moods, and skipping classes, spending days in bed.... somehow no one notices. The important stuff--midterms, major papers, projects, group assignments--all get done or I make excuses so they get done.
But if I were someone else, I swear I would have figured me out by now. Noticed something was off. Revealed to the world who I really was so they would stop praising me for being an excellent student and tell me to get out of my damn bed and wash more than one load of laundry every month. Everyone would finally see that what they think is my top work is really just me meeting the bare minimum to get by (though, I've often pondered, if I wasn't sick/a-fucking-lazy-ass, and I was like everyone else going to the library until 3AM every day, working all the time, what would my work look like?????). They would know that what they thought was a good scholar, a friend, and a nice person was all an act because they can't deal with who I really am.
They don't see me. Maybe they just don't want to. I'm worthless and invisible.
Don't worry about me, No one ever does.
fun facts (disclaimer- no offense intended). The 100-acre-woods are full of crazies! I've compiled this list based on what I thought I made up but some psychologists beat me to publishing (Shea et al 2000). I disagree with some of their findings, so here are mine. Feel free to voice your opinion:
Winnie the Pooh-- Binge Eating Disorder
Rabbit-- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Piglet-- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Tigger-- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
Eeyore-- Major Depressive Disorder
Owl-- Narcissistic Personality
Christopher Robin-- Schizophrenia, he thinks his dolls are really communicating with him!
The article really warrants a read, if not just to peak at the picture of Pooh with his hand in a honey pot labeled "Prozac." Let me know if you're having a hard time getting a hold of the PDF and I'll email you one. I may just be slap happy :)
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
A big welcome and thanks to my new followers/readers!
Here's my plan for the rest of the week.
So I calculated the daily calories necessary to maintain my weight as it is now (1560ish, assuming my BMR is 1388) then divided that number by seven--as in days of the week--and came up with ~222.
This is the number of calories I cannot exceed daily. I have no real rationalization for why I'm doing this or why I think this will work... it's an experiment! For all I know, this will be as effective as only eating things with pink wrappers. Or something equally absurd.
I'm still going to try and vary my calories between 0 and 222 so that my metabolism won't get used to any specific caloric intake. After I restrict extremely, I'll go back to restricting between zero and eight-hundred (I don't know why I'm spelling out numbers sometimes and listing them other times, Straaange!).
Girls in the competition, I can't promise I won't weigh myself.... just not at the point that I can successfully break myself from the daily scale affair. I'll try my darndest though. I'm apparently back on the Topamax and Wellbutrin just for funzies. I apparently can't keep routines or break them.
I'll post my meal plans for the next few days, as if they're *published* well then, damn, I have to stick to them ;) You can skip this part. I'm just going to pretend that everyone in the world has read this and will be EXTREMELY disappointed if I don't religiously stick to these meals:
-little apple (50)
-vegetable broth (20)+carrot (21)
**today I had no appetite so I didn't eat anything! weird**
-4 celery sticks (21)+buffalo wing sauce
-1 carrot (21)
-5 tender bits (100)
-oatmeal (170)+almond milk (10)
-vegetable broth (20)+carrot (21)
-4 celery (24)
-3 tender bits (60)
-Indian curry (150)
-1/2 whole wheat tortilla (65)
-little apple (50)
-1 tender bit (20)
All the popcorn listings are optional, as a may or may not eat them... but they're bulky, low cal (air popped!), and I can season them if I want. I can also choose to fast for a day instead of sticking to one of the meal plans.
Keep up the fierce competition for those girls who are in it to win it :)
Friday, April 3, 2009
Still fasting. Day 3. Hate food. Weighed myself (keeps me motivated... I know bad idea). Down another 1.5lbs since yesterday. Almost out of the dreaded 120s!
I woke up and I don't know if I invented this or if I read it somewhere, then dreamed it, and then remembered it and thought I invented it. So if I didn't invent it, I'm sorry I'm not crediting whoever did :)
Get a piece of string, or twine, or cord, or chain... preferably something lovely that you'd like with you at all times. Measure it to your IDEAL (i.e. an attainable ideal, not a corseted ideal or something like that) waist measurement. Or bust or hip or thigh or whatever measurement is most important to you.
If you're using string or something of that sort make sure you burn the edges so it won't fray and ruin itself. Teeny tiny dabs of hot glue work just fine as well. After you've cut your string to its ideal length and properly secured the edges, fasten it with a knot that you can easily undo now and then (here's a list of Sailor's Knots that might be suitable)... if you want to get really fancy, you can add a jewelery clasp to the end. Just make sure to account for the extra length this adds and do some math :)
You can embellish your new string with beads or medallions or whatever suits you. I prefer to keep mine bare as not to mess up the measurement. But again, figure out the math and you'll be fine :)
Loop the string as many times as needed until it makes a comfortable bracelet around your wrist. Wear this to remember your goals. You can use it to measure how close you are, and as a physical reminder when you feel like slipping or losing control.
This might also be a good alternative for girls or guys who don't want to be obvious about wearing an ana bracelet or don't necessarily agree with the message it sends, but would like a physical emphasis on what they are trying to achieve. It's especially difficult because the ana bracelet has received so much media attention. So when you can't keep your thinspo book with you, know you still have something with you to keep you on track (and will literally track your progress!).
I am SO sick of food. Get away from me. Ugh.
Go now and look at [Sophia Ruins] blog. Now now, hurry! If that doesn't make you want to put down the cake, and even the celery sticks and start a water fast, I don't know what will.
Water fasting. Cleansing the temple that is my body.
Got back from my therapy appointment, yesterday. I haven't seen a psychologist since last August aside from my semi-regular appointments with my shrink, so I forgot all the little nuances. Like the fact that she wanted to blame everything on my childhood.
In their defense, if I told you everything that's happened to me (and I forgot to tell her some important details) in 30 minutes, you'd think that was the root of all my problems too. I don't know why they expect you to hash out all those details in such a short time without it looking like everyone's a fucked up mess, and a sociopath... since I've told it so many times I can be rather deadpan about the whole thing now. lol
I never do well in therapy... somehow, I always end up in my head talking to myself hoping that I haven't just rolled my eyes at said therapist. She's totally decided that my binging is a symptom of some larger problem and that it will resolve itself once we tackle the anxiety. Fuck that. Fix my binging bitch!
Sigh. She kind of likes to infantile me. Using words like "Big Savory needs to comfort Little Savory." (She believes in the "inner child") Worse. She said that I need to conquer my anxieties or... wait for it... Idea monsters. Ok ok ok. I can deal with the fact that she's literate and knows her stuff, but stop calling everything by stupid names.
So now I have to tell my Idea Monsters to go away every time they pop into my head. I think this includes urges to binge? If it doesn't, I'm going to pretend it does. I'm giving her one more chance on Monday when we're supposed to do the hypnosis business, and if there's not a miracle, then, I'll just have to die a bloated pig who can't stop binging apparently.
But because I can't trust her to help me, it's water fasting all the way! This time I'm in the mindset. I've got my handy empty Sobe Lean bottle ready to fill and re-fill. I'm sick of food, and I'm sick of fat.
Already down 3 pounds since yesterday (most of it weight that's FINALLY come off from the sad binges of previous days, so I'm at equilibrium again). So ready to hold my head high and refuse food.
Ok. I need to get a few things off my chest. Hopefully no one feels I am being cruel in the process, I'm just tired of my own shit and excuses.
But, in order for myself to be better, I need to come to terms with something. [Button], thank you for following me, I welcome you as a reader :) However, I want you to know that your presence is extremely triggering for me. That said, it's my own fucking fault I chose to binge on burritos and chocolate because I couldn't process my own emotions after reading your blog. I'll get over it.
There's a girl at my school who's writing her thesis on pro-ana online communities. I've had to avoid her like the plague. Literally. When it came time for her to present her findings, I had to excuse myself because I didn't want to out myself (I had a post dedicated to this, it was so much more eloquent but alas).
There's a lot of things I avoid. The Food Network. Donut shops. Restaurants. My friends.
That being said, I'm tired of emotional eating. And I'm tired of being stuck in the low 120s. I'm tired of being a fat cow pig whore to food. If you haven't gone and read [Jenna's new post]... uh do it now, and bask in the glory that is the sunshine of her words.
Jenna and her inspiring, motivating self is my Mantra. All you girls really are.
If I feel myself falter from my well planned meals for the week (today --> 73 cals. I can do it, no prob!), I will silently chant ya'll names and remember how strong everyone is.
Do I want to be the only weakling in a pack of vicious kickass girls? Uh. I don't take orders from food.
Anyone else want matching leather jackets right about now? In XS?
Thursday, April 2, 2009
God I'm such a failure at life.
I can't go into details here... it's not safe, but I seriously need to see that fucking therapist soon. She's got to fix me.
Though I've come to the conclusion that all therapy is quack.
Put myself back on Wellbutrin and Topamax to try and kill cravings. I'm not hoping for anything else. Though after last night's shitty horrible migraine, being on Topamax might be a necessity again.
So, I'm going to try out a new strategy. What if I allow myself one "cheat day" ? Whenever I hear about other people doing this, I roll my eyes and think about how weak they are. But girls, wait for my rationalization before you think the same thing about me.
If I tell myself that every, say, Friday, I can eat whatever the fuck I want... Doesn't have to be Vegan, or healthy, or Vegetarian (though I don't think I can ever eat meat again), or any calorie limit... perhaps it will quell any binges I might have during the week because I'll know that nothing is forbidden, I just need to have the willpower to wait.
Then when Friday rolls around I'll be so ecstatic with the pounds I've lost I won't even want to touch all that shitty terrible food. And if I do, we all know I can't even reach 2,000 calories even if I try.
IDK, I'm so fed up with my fat self and I'm SO over the 120s. Hah.
So new plan going into action starting now. But this Friday doesn't count because I've already binged this week. So, next Friday!
Thanks for reading lovelies. You and your blogs keep me moderately sane :)
I hate uni. Way way way too stressful. I'm President of an on-campus group, and my co-President is like 45 years old, a returning student. Because of this, she acts like she's got all her shit together, and has a harder life than me because she has to "juggle school" with taking care of her teenage kids and lives in the suburbs. Boo Hoo. She wouldn't survive one day in my broke, crazy, starving body. She vacillates between acting like my best friend and acting like my mother. I hate both... but the later more. Anyway, I check my email daily for my junk mail (Travelocity, HGTV newsletters, United Airlines offers, etc), my real mail (blogger comments, updates on graduation, random emails from people pretending to care about me), and then I know that I'm going to get some kind of mail from her or someone that will force me to interact with her.
To top it off, I just want to sleep all day again and skip my classes (which I can't do at this point because both professors would notice my absence), and just waste away somewhere.
I'm crawling out of my skin.
Binged last night. I don't know what triggered it. Have you ever gone online and read any of the articles about how to stop binging? They're all CRAP. It's all the same things like: "Find your triggers... Don't eat emotionally... Give yourself permission to eat what you want... Wait ___ minutes before eating... Process your emotions."
Bullshit. All of it. That's not going to help. I know most of my triggers and it still doesn't matter. And I can wait 15 minutes or 5 hours and I'll still want to binge. Oh, and if I "permit" myself to eat what I want, I'll just go get 4 more and eat those too.
Anyway, it started off as a little binge. 200 calories maybe. Then added a little more and a little more. Once I hit exactly 1,000 calories for my daily total, I said "Screw it" and decided to try and get to 2,000 (a feat I haven't done in I don't even know when). Everything I ate was "healthy" and "Vegan" but I have NEVER been so sick in my life at 1,925cals.
It was fucking horrible, and I'm like "How do people eat this much in one day!?"
No gain today, thank God. I hate myself for doing it, but at least it strengthened my resolve to stick to my meal plans I've set out... plus all the amazing Vegan cookies are gone, so that's one temptation gone.
Hope you girls are doing better than I am. Set a new goal on the Wii Fit to be at 115 by the end of this month. If I can stop being a fatass pig about everything it should be easy to do. 9 pounds to lose.
Can she do it? Tune in next time.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
Wow, one day of not reading/composing blogs makes me feel totally isolated and out of the loop!
So I'm back at Uni and I've had a productive day. Written 12 pages of my thesis in about the past 3 hours so I'm super excited to keep this motivation train choo-chooing along. Also lost .9 pounds since yesterday, which was awesome since I had to ask the BF to hide the Vegan cookies I bought at Whole Foods after I ate like 6 (ugh, 240 cals!). Today I've had an apple (80) with some cinnamon and nutmeg and my plans for tonight are a veggie corn dog (150) with 1/2 teaspoon of vegan garlic aioli and mustard.
Total - 260cal. Getting back on track.
So, word of caution. I'm going to sound like a crazy paranoid person. But I'm not.
Don't Trust Anyone.
You'll think there's that one person who understands and won't judge you even though you are flawed and have this fucked up body image, and relationship with everything on your plate. It starts out just telling them little things that aren't major but you can't tell anyone else. You start to get comfortable.
Unless you're talking to a fellow ED, don't talk to them about it. Just don't.
They start out as supportive, understanding, and non-judgemental. But that gets old fast. They get tired of you fasting, and not eating, and counting calories, and pinching pieces of fat on your body. They get tired of you and your ED.
This was sparked by a confrontation with my BF. I live with him at uni so it's hard to hide a lot of these things from him, and because he's seen me through 2 hospitalizations, 3 therapists, and numerous break-ups with my Psych (I think I'm going to break up with him again!)... I thought I could tell him little things, never things that would worry anyone, but you know "Oh, I'm fasting. It's supposed to help you detox and help sluggish digestive systems" or "No, today's a low cal day, we can have that for dinner tomorrow."
Bam. Two days ago he unloads on me about how he doesn't want either of us to talk about food, how he should be able to eat wherever he wants (since I asked him not to eat in the bedroom, esp. when I'm fasting), that I need to stop obsessing about everything, and that if I can't deal with all of these things, I can just go somewhere else.
So of course I freak out, think that I can't go back to my apartment, and that the one person I thought wasn't judging me has been holding this grudge.
To sum up: Dear Readers, don't think you can trust anyone with your secret. It will only end in pain in the long run, and you feeling even more vulnerable. We've kind of worked things out to an extent, but my lips are sealed. And now I'll have to leave out food so he thinks I've eaten, and start lying to him like I have to lie to everyone else. I started wearing a dragonfly necklace (mostly coincidental as I found it in my room and thought it would match) and he gives me these searching looks and "tut tuts"... damn him majoring in psychology.
A word of caution. Don't trust anyone.