Lessons Learned from Treatment (besides the obvious)

Did I also mention I turned 21 in treatment? yep, it was before my last day, they threw me a little party in the dining room.

You may remember my post about lessons learned in culinary school. So I thought I’d share with you some unconventional lessons I got out of my eating disorder treatment. Yes, of course I learned the obvious “take care of your body” hoopla, but you’ll be surprised about the other things I picked up. Note, I went to a very in conventional treatment center. It was NOT for adolescents, it was in a big house with six clients living together, having meals together with therapists or dietitians, and it was NOT a hospital. We had a schedule for the week that included workouts in the morning, and we went to restaurants with our dietitian once a week. I was there for three and a half months and the did a similar out-patient program for six months. Anyhow, without further ado, the lessons:

1) How to Pole Dance: one of the other clients had bought a portable dance pole. And one of the therapists was a teacher for pole dancing classes (very popular in LA these days). So for one of our group activities, we did pole dancing lessons. It was actually a lot of fun. Many girls lose their feminine when they are in the midst of their disorder, I think the pole dancing was somewhat liberating and showed us we can be and feel sexy. I needed that, cause before I was always in a chefs uniform which is anything but sexy. And when you are in treatment, sexy doesn’t really come to mind. I wasnt very good at it mind you! It takes a hell of a lot of upper body strength and my arms were very puny and lacked muscle at the time. Hmmmm maybe I should get a pole now that I can somewhat see a bicep growing…..

2)”Eco Friendly” detergents don’t get out stains out: This place was trying to be all “green” and shit, so everything was “green” and “earth friendly”. Now I’m all for helping the environment, but the “green” cleaning products didn’t make a dent in my dirty laundry. Sometimes, I just like the harsh chemicals if it gets the job done. I know, I’m an awful, awful, earth hating person. Hey, I’d drive a prius if it wasn’t so damn expensive!

3) The CVS in Malibu, CA, is a “rehab” magnet: Almost every other house in Malibu is a rehab (yep, mine included). And its funny, when we went to our weekly CVS outing to get grooming supplies or what not, we’d spot other rehab groups with their “counselors”. We didn’t communicate with them, but I always wondered where they were from, what their problems were, and if they too had to ask permission to buy gum.

4) How to do a Workout Circuit: Its funny, but before treatment I spent many hours at the gym or a machine of some sort, but I rarely picked up a weight. A strength training circuit was part of our program (granted you were physically healthy enough to do it). I loved our trainer. My roommate (who was with me in treatment) and I miss her. We always say how we wish she could kick our asses more these days when it comes to weights. Anyhow, I discovered an appreciation for strength training which I still have to this day.

5) How to “Hold it In”: Yep, I mean pee. Sorry to be tmi, but we couldn’t go to the bathroom after a meal or snack unless we had a staff member go beside the door while we counted. Culinary school made me a very good multi-tasking, but I would get “performance anxiety” about counting or singing while “doing the deeds”. Anyhow, I could never do both, so I always tried to wait the hour, and then go. I found this new ability useful for long plane flights when I’m stuck in the middle seat. Who would have thought I’d be good at this after treatment?

6) Ensure sucks: enough said.

7) Buy Taco seasoning and Cinnamon from Different Companies: The chef confused the two on “taco” night. Cinnamon is good on many things, but not tacos. Both are brown so I can understand the confusion, hence get different looking bottles.

8) Tea and Ice cream Pretty Much Rock: I’d often get ice cream for a pm snack, and tea was always available at meals and snacks. I discovered how lovely it is to eat a sweet, creamy bowl of ice cream and sipping on a nice, hot, vanilla chai tea.

9) How to Play Basketball: I was very unathletic in high school (I took “Israeli Dance” as my PE credit….yea…..) so when we went to play basketball, I kinda wanted to sit out. But they encouraged me to try. I failed miserably. I think I got one shot out of, oh maybe 1000? But it was fun to learn and it was so gratifying making that one shot.

10) Eating Disorder Bitches Be CRAZY!: no matter how weird you may thing you are about food or anything really, there will always be someone crazier, weirder, and more extreme.

Sorry guys, I had yoga school so no time to whip up something creative, but I have loads to talk to you about tomorrow about what we learned this week. For a sneak preview, check out this link.

And one last thing, am I the only one slight disturbed by this commercial?


20 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from Treatment (besides the obvious)

  1. Looks like you learned many more useful skills than I did πŸ˜‰ … but I do vehemently agree with #6. It would probably taste better if you added cocoa powder to motor oil. Not that I’ve ever done that, you understand.

    AND it was nice, for once, not to be the craziest person within twenty miles…

    ❀ ❀

  2. I love that you talk about the CVS in Malibu. I have been there and for some reason it totally stuck out in my mind. I have no idea why!

    Ensure does suck. I am with you on that one!

  3. I was given Boost, which I actually liked. Love that you learned how to pole dance in there. That would be fun! And you are right, eating disorder bitches be crazy. There are always people with weirder habits than you. It kind of makes you feel somewhat “normal.”

    • Part of it was covered by my insurance. I went to monte nido in malibu CA. It really depends on your insurance company. MY roommate was lucky and they paid for 90% of it, but I know people who had bad insurance companies that paid little to nothing.

  4. I’ve had a bad experience in the past with hospitals. Let’s say my experience was “unconventional” also…but in a bad way….as in traumatizing-bad. Opposite of yours and horrible.
    Its so odd to hear/read about experiences like yours. I find it hard to bring any humor to my past situation…only bad things I try to shake out of my head 😦

  5. I like Ensure!!! Granted, I don’t drink it on a regular basis anymore, but the vanilla was like a dessert for me when not shoved down my throat five times a day in addition to meals.

  6. hahahaha how to pole dance!! that’s friggn awesome. i love these random things you learned that have nothing to do with what you were supposedddddd to learn! i like these kind of posts! post more. haha πŸ™‚

  7. I think I had so much to say before I watched the commercial…..yes just a tad disturbing….so I guess I’ll just stick with the pole dancing, please post that instead……lol..
    I hope everything is working out well for you………..I feed 560 girls and when one will tell me she is on a diet for a dance, I tell her she is beautiful just the way she is and if the boy doesn’t like her the way she is that he didn’t deserve to have her…….
    Thanks so much for stopping by my blog so I could find yours….I look forward to seeing some of your culinary creations soon!
    All the best

  8. lmho the taco seasion/cinnamon reminds me of a really ditzy moment I had a while ago. I poured chili powder in my oatmeal instead of cinnamon. It wasnt good.

    The pole dancing thing surprised me at first but it really makes sense! It would definitely make you feel womanly agan πŸ™‚

  9. I have definitely made seasoning switches like that before! (Cumin instead of nutmeg once found its way into my pancakes… yikes)

  10. Haha, thanks for sharing these! It definitely reminds me of my experience in IP as well… except I was in VA. Among other things, I learned: karaoke, all sorts of card games and “Speed Scrabble,” that there is always some more “out there” than you, and (as you said) Ensure freakin’ sucks (but is still better than a tube down your throat). I also found out that I like mandarin oranges, salmon, and cottage cheese. And that I can climb a rock wall. And that you can find soul-mates (of the friend-sort) in the unlikeliest of places! IP was miserable in some ways, but I wouldn’t trade my experience there for anything.

  11. Eden, thank ou for sharing all the things you learned during treatment. It seems like an amazing place to go get help. I have been wanting to try pole dancing. I think I would actually be really good at it!! But there are no classes like that around here. I also love the tea and ice cream part. I love both, too, and would probably have partaken in that snack with you!

  12. haha you really did learn a lot! Yeah, eco-friendly detergents/cleaners are a great idea but unfortunately they kinda suck (most of them). Dare I say, I like my harsh chemicals which are damaging to the environment…but then again I’m vegan…so it all balances out in the end.

    And that was prob the weirdest commercial I’ve ever seen haha

  13. Just wanted to tell you that this was a fantastic post! Definitely one for your book! I laugh whenever I see all the ‘new and improved’ ENSURES- low carb, NEW WITH PROBIOTICS. I actually think they taste alright- great to be used in rice/quinoa/oatmeal pudding! Just boil the rice/grain in it! I tried that with Cream of Wheat for someone one time, and it turned out really creamy and smooth!

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