Tuesday, July 10, 2012

the subthreshold

I had a mild setback with my workouts.

Last Thursday, we did a lot of upper body stuff: pushups, burpees, bag work, & mitt work. I guess I was a little too hardcore because I was ACHING the next day; everything from the chest up hurt.
A few days later, the pain on my right subsided, but my left felt worse. Upon closer inspection, I noticed a bulge on my ribs under my left armpit; it was painful to the touch. I was so swollen that it was actually messing with the nerves in my arm/hand.

After much freaking out and Googling, I determined it was only a strain (and not a tear).* I had to accept I wouldn't be able to box for a couple weeks.

On top of this workout-reducing injury, I have gained about 4 pounds in the past 2-3 weeks. The rational part of my brain understands this is most likely muscle weight, especially since I've been better about eating protein after my boxing class. The irrational, anxious, eating disordered part of my brain screams, "OMG, IT'S FAT! IT'S FAT! FAT FAT FAT. OMG, YOU'RE GAINING WEIGHT. YOU ARE FAT." Then: "Where is the fat going? Can I see it? Is it here?" *pinch* "Here?!" *pinch pinch* "If I can't work out, it's going to get worse! I HAVE TO WORK OUT. I can't lose what I've gotten out of this so far! I HAVE TO WORK OUT."

I wish that part of me would disappear already. I want to think rationally. I want to do what makes sense.
(I have done some CRAZY things before, but I'll talk about some of those in another post.)

"As a general guideline, it appears that one third of patients fully recover [from an eating disorder], one third retain subthreshold symptoms, and one third maintain a chronic eating disorder." - Cleveland Clinic

I am definitely in the "subthreshold" category. It never goes away.
Maybe I can quiet it, or at least recognize it, but it will always be there, whispering snide remarks, promising mitigation of my anxieties, tempting me to be its only friend...

Even now, when I am HEALTHY – sculpted, thin, eating well – it whispers.
Even when my boyfriend tells me I'm beautiful and he loves my curves, it whispers.
Even in the moments when I think I can appreciate my own body, it whispers.

I have realized therapy for me will be a lifelong process. Not continuously, but continually.
I was talking with my therapist about this, and I named several times I already know will warrant me going back: when I find out I'm pregnant one day (and throughout the pregnancy as my body changes), during significant changes in my children's lives, through moves or job changes, etc.
(My therapist applauded my self-awareness, at least!)

And I say "going back" because my workplace is switching insurance companies and my therapist will no longer be covered come August 1. :( I've decided once that date hits, I'll take a break from therapy to see how I handle things...

Some good news: after my trainers worked with injured me during just one class, my muscle feels better! At the earliest, I'll be boxing again next Monday, but I don't want to push it.

*Y'all, I seriously forgot what a strained muscle felt like. I haven't had one since high school...possibly middle school. Then, I worked out every day and usually didn't get sore/strained. With boxing, I only work out twice a week and I still get sore after EVERY class.


  1. Oh the whispers... Kristin I can so relate to you there and others I am sure. I mean on a whole I feel like I have made some major personal strides and feel like I can confidently say I am happy with who I am and how far I have come. It just seems like right when I feel like I am really making some headway and have finally overcome my inner battle. There come the whispers again and sometimes I swear I can almost feel a sharp tug at my heart. As if the deepest and ugliest part of me saying "ha, I've still got you". It is so hard sometimes not to give into that and sulk for days, of course spurring on a generally depressive woe is me type of demeanor. I am learning that in these moments and sometimes days it is helpful to get my mind off of me, to put my inward disgust on the back burner and focus on the outside. Things such as being a diligent worker, caring daughter and sister, serving my husband, and loving on my friends and then I forget about the yuck and am able to embrace life as someone able to face it. A far too distant idea when I’m listening to the whispers.