Sunday, July 25, 2010

To any and all that are interested--I have moved over to wordpress. New blog. New direction. Hopefully a new and more God-oriented focus. Same name. See ya there.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Other People can be Triggered too...

Evening girls (and a guy apparently). I'm taking a much needed break from some particularly EEE-VILL homework to clear my head. I really wish I could just dump my head upside down like a wastebasket and empty out all of the clutter and trash and nonsense and start over again. Sometimes I get so bogged down with all of my thoughts. Crazy-ness.

Anyways, I wanted to share something that happened to me earlier in the week. It was really enlightening and opened my eyes.

So one day during work I was eating lunch with one of my coworkers, S. We were talking about random things like we usually do and then suddenly the conversation turned towards food. My coworker is always telling me about how she loves to experiment in the kitchen and prepare her own meals. She's even made pot pies WITH THE CRUST from scratch!! ENVY!!! Well, somehow the topic shifted to my other coworker, A. Now, I don't really like to insult people so I'll just say that my other coworker is of a bigger build than I am and she doesn't exactly eat the healthiest meals. The convo went something like this:

S: Have you ever seen how MUCH A eats!
Me: I know she practically eats nothing except candy and soda for lunch.
S: (confused look) No, dude she brings like 2 or 3 different lunches. Sometimes she even shares one with me if I forget mine.
Me: Really? She never eats that much when I work with her.
S: think that's because she's kind of....intimidated by you.
Me: You mean because I'm skinny?
S: Well, yeah. I mean she doesn't really want to eat that much around you because you're so skinny.
Me: Really??
S: Yeah, I mean I struggled with it too when I started working with you. At first I didn't want to eat because I felt bad, but then I was just like "SCREW IT!" I'll eat what I want. And I got over it.
Me: Oh. Yea. Um. Well I get that way too around whenever I eat around other skinny girls, I'll judge what I eat. (I really wish I had been more sensitive with the word skinny. I didn't mean at all to imply or draw attention to the fact that my coworkers aren' a smaller build).
S: (laughs).

Wow. I can't even tell you how shocked I was. It really makes me sad to hear that my appearance alone can TRIGGER my coworker to want to eat less and want to be thinner. I had no idea that I was having this affect on her. I so desperately want to tell S and A the truth, but I just can't bring myself to.

Girls, this is a huge example of just how triggering our appearances and eating disorders can be to others. We (and I) really need to watch how we dress and what we eat around others because you never know who might be watching.

On a side note--I'm still feeling major confused about the whole eating disorder thing. I swear there are some days when I feel like it never even existed or like I don't even have a problem with it anymore. I would REALLY appreciate some feedback, experiences, comfort, and prayers if you have any. Thanks.

Mmmkay. Well I'd best be gettin myself off to bed. I've racked up WAAAY too much sleep debt this week and I have a therapy sesh tomorrow.

Love and hugs!

Saturday, July 18, 2009


Hey guys I'm back again. So after taking a much needed hiatus I finally got some things figured out. For a while I was feeling really confused about my eating disorder and kept going back and forth about whether I still had one or not. Some days I knew I still had my eating disorder, and other days I felt like I didn't. It was very confusing and really messed with my head for a while. I think part of it was due to reading blogs and reading about how people talk about their eating disorders. I think that because I started thinking about my eating disorder as a separate being (i.e. ED says), it just confused me and made feel like I was still trying to have one. I've never thought about my eating disorder as a separate being before. I've always just kind of meshed it with my own behaviors and considered it apart of me. So when I started thinking differently I just got confused. I mean really, c'mon, if you know that someone is telling you lies and is controlling you, wouldn't it make sense to just RUN AWAY as fast as you can, instead of obeying them? So, that's why I was feeling so confused.
Anyways. A BUNCH of stuff has been going on lately. Here's a little recap.

  • Finally found a good therapist. I've been seeing this gal for about 2 months now and I really like her. She is easy to talk to, friendly, and totally understands where I'm coming from. Best of all, I really like how I can tell her anything (no matter how weird or abnormal it seems) and she won't freak out. In fact, a lot of the stuff that I've told her she says she's heard it all before. So great. I really like her.
  • My brother shipped out for bootcamp in the Navy. It was really sad seeing him go and knowing that he is not going to be back home for....well...pretty much forever. My brother and I were always really close and are only 18 months apart. He's a really great guy and has been like a best friend to me. I can pretty much talk to him about anything. I really miss him. And he's gotten pretty handsome too, so ladies....if you're lookin...;).
  • I am a highway-driving babe!! Oh yea, all of these therapist appointments have really pushed me to start driving longer distances more often and overcome my fear of the dreaded 3 lane road...dundundun!!!! Before I was so terrified of the highway but now I LOVE IT!! I love the freedom of the open road, the wind in my hair, the thrilling high speeds, and just the ability to navigate my way, get there, and get back home. So fun!
  • Changed career paths. This was actually kind of sudden. For a while I thought that I wanted to be a psychologist, but after taking a PSYCH 102 class this summer I realized that psychology--not the way to go. If you don't already know, I want to work with girls who have eating disorders and help them overcome their fears and learn to accept and love themselves. Psychology is mostly about research and conducting experiments and figuring out how our brain works. BLEGH!!! Well, I don't want to diagnose the problem, I want to help fix it!! So, I talked to my therapist about it and she told me that I should instead major in social work. So now that's gonna be my major!! I'm so glad I another piece of my career life figured out!!! Woohoo!!! Plus I won't have to be in school for another 7 years!! Bonus!!!

Well, that's about all I have to say for now. I'll just leave you with some pics of things that I drooled over whilst shopping. I so wish I could afford this stuff. I need more

I NEEEEEEEEED it. Tar-jay you are my love...

Have a good night girls!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

It's Called RECOVERY

I'll be completely honest: I've been avoiding blogging. On purpose. You see, lately whenever I have been reading blogs and stuff I've been feeling really triggered. But this is a different kind of trigger. Instead of being triggered to cut back on meals and over exercise and whatnot I've been feeling like I should be anorexic again. And being triggered into going backwards as opposed to being triggered into wanting to be anorexic again are two entirely different things.

You still with me? It's a little confusing I know. Anyways. Well I know that this is wrong--that it's wrong to want to be anorexic and it's wrong to try to be anorexic so I've been avoiding blogging just to give my thoughts some space and work things out. I don't want to go backwards. I have made great gains in my recovery along the way. But what is really confusing me right now is not really remembering what it was like to live as an anorexic. Oh don't get me wrong, I remember EVERYTHING. But now it just seems as if that world and that person that I once was and the person I have become now--a little bit more confident, a little bit more powerful, and a little bit more at ease with food--are two completely separate things. You see, I don't really act or think as much like an anorexic as I used to and I think because my mindset has changed, I am becoming scared and therefore wanting to return back to anorexia. Again, I don't want to return to the starving, deprived, hollow shell of a being that I once was who was scared to death to eat a stupid piece of bread and who obsessively counted every last calorie that went into my mouth, but to anorexia. The disorder itself. Why? I think it's because anorexia has my identity for so long that I am scared to leave it all behind.

This is a very dangerous trigger. I can't allow myself to be consume by this disease. Scratch that. I WON'T!
But this is hard for me because of how differently I think now. Lately I have been wondering if perhaps I'm going crazy because I feel as if I have forgotten what it was like to be anorexic. But, I don't think I'm having trouble remembering what my anorexic days were like. Rather, I'm having trouble remembering what my mindset was back then because I no longer have that old mindset.

This is very scary. To not be afraid of food? Preposterous!

Those of you who have been following my blog for a while are probably in a world of confusion right now. You're probably thinking, "What in tarnation is this girl saying??!! She's been writing about how terrified she is of processed foods, and nighttime snacks and sugar for the past 3 months! How dare she even imply that she is recovered!"

Well, hold on right there okay? To give you a brief background I have been battling my eating disorder for about 5 years, and have been through 3 real relapses. I started my blogging in the midst of my 4th nonreal relapse. I say nonreal because I wasn't really going backward out of the controlling power of my eating disorder, but rather I wanted to go backward. Why? Because I was getting better, forgetting my old ways, and losing my eating disorder.

Which brings me to the present. I'm getting better. I'm getting A LOT better. Food is not a huge issue for me anymore.

I can add little insignificant things to my meals without fretting (mostly) over the extra calories energy.
I plan my meals according to what I want.
I consciously choose NOT to restrict meals whenever my mood is down.
I can eat past the hour and I can eat a FULL meal!
I eat a nighttime snack (small but's something!)
If I mess up one day, I wake up the next morning and just start over and do what I need to do.
I'm no longer afraid of sodium in foods!
BUT the biggest gain in recovery [pun intended:)] that I realized I have made this year is this: I don't use my food scale anymore!!
That's right! This girl right here used to be obsessed with measuring out her food. Tofu, Chicken, Avocado, Tuna, Fish. I measured it all, meticulously and painstakingly, sometimes even redoing it 2 or 3 times just to make sure I wasn't getting too much. But all that has stopped. I'm so proud of myself I just want to explode (into confetti, and pretty ribbons, and glitter and perfume and pinkness of course). Somewhere, somehow along the way I learned how to eyeball my food and I've just been slicing and dicing without worrying if it's a uniform size or not (okay sometimes I still worry, but for the most part I can just go with it).
Ya. This alone is HUGE for me.

You what else has improved? My body image.

This alone is quite bizarre. Remember when I said that I am starting to see the real me more often? Well one day the disordered mirror just shattered, revealing the ugly truth. I can see me almost EVERY DAY now. It's seriously like the wool has been torn from my eyes. I can see how thin I am, I can see the smallness of my wrists and the smallness of my legs, and especially the smallness of my arms. And it scares me. It scares me so much that some days I want to hide my body because I know that my appearance could be very triggering to other girls. I look at pictures of myself when I was 3 pounds away from my maintainance weight (which I never reached) and pictures of me now (almost half that weight), and I am completely disgusted. My face looks gaunt and drawn, my eyes are sunken in, and the tendons surrounding my jaw when I smile are not attractive in the least. And I wonder why I don't have a boyfriend? Anorexia is not that pretty.

Sometimes when I walk past a store window and I see my reflection I recoil in shock. The image I see is always of a very tall thin girl, with very thin legs. Always. I can't believe that I allowed myself to be this thin again or even that I wanted to be this thin again (sorry if it's triggering). It's terrifying.

I wish I had the answer but to be completely honest, I don't know how or why this happened. Suddenly I am able to see myself clearly, without distortion. It's very liberating though and very helpful in terms of gaining weight. Remember before when I said that I felt like my body had changed and I was afraid of gaining excess weight? Well, I don't really know if the body I saw then was really there or not, but all I know is that ever since I got back on my meal planning, my body changed back to the way it was before. So I think that because I was intentionally starving myself, like a yo-yo diet my body just decided to store excess weight to keep it from completely shutting down. But once I started nourishing myself again properly, my body changed back. And now? I'm not that afraid anymore of gaining excess weight. I can see the true image.

But what is scaring me the most is how my mindset has changed. I started noticing it a bit last year at the Easter Buffet and in bits and spurts since then. Lately, whenever I have been sitting down with my family to eat dinner or when I have been around certain foods, I've been err...craving "unsafe" foods. Instead of thinking, "Ewww...that's so disgusting and loaded with crap and it's going to make me fat!" I've been thinking more along the lines of "Man that looks good! I want some of that!" These thoughts have been scaring the CRAP out of me. This is not who I am! This is not who I have made myself to be or who I have become along the way!! Why am I thinking like this? I must be going crazy!!

And I seriously have been thinking that I am really and truly just losing it. How can someone's mindset just completely change? Why would I want to eat foods previously deemed evil?? To even think about processed foods is immoral!
I think the answer is this: I am not supposed to be that person. As I am slowly hacking away at every chain that the eating disorder has wrapped me in, I am returning to my old ways, to the girl I was before my eating disorder. Before anorexia I wasn't afraid of having a little bit extra. I wasn't afraid of eating pizza, cookies, ice cream, or cake. I wasn't afraid of food. And I think slowly, bit by bit, as scary as this seems, I am returning to THAT GIRL.

And now that the fear is slowly beginning to melt away I know I need to take the next step. I need to really push myself and eat outside of my comfort. Right now I am just holding myself where I have been, not daring to branch out. Mostly I am scared of binging and not being able to stop, insensitive comments from others (see previous post), and losing control of my weight. I know that this is what God is challenging me to do right now. I am just scared of doing it.

I am so incredibly thankful

So why the sudden change? Am I just going mad and completely forgetting everything? Why aren't I feeling afraid of food? Why can I see myself clearly now?

I think all of these burning questions can be summed up in one final answer.

It's called RECOVERY.
I just have to say that I am so incredibly thankful and in awe that God is working in me (despite me and is really opening my eyes. Thank You Father God. You are beyond amazing. I love You so much.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Struggles and Strides

Hi girls!! I thought it was high time I do a post again I am!!

First of all I just wanted to thank those of you who actually stuck it out and read my Easter recap post. I know it was a lot to read. I have a really bad habit about doing that...always have. Seriously like ever since I can remember I would always right like 8 pages for an assignment (not even exaggerating) when we were only supposed to do 5. But ever since my eating disorder destroyed my brain I haven't really been able to write as much...until recently. I guess that means I'm getting better (!)

what to talk to talk about....

These past couple of days have been kind of a struggle for me eating wise. I knew exactly when it started happening too. It was last week and I was finishing up my evening snack. It was really delicious too and I enjoyed it. But after I ate it I started feeling guilty that I was eating too much at night and that I shouldn't be doing that. I also felt like my mom was judging what I ate, and felt like she was thinking that I ate a lot.

I don't know if this is just me but it really bothers me. I hate it when people watch what I eat. I always feel guilty when others see me eat because I either still feel like it's wrong or I do not want people assuming that my eating disorder is gone. Craziness...

I feel like my mom especially is always judging what I eat and only cares about the eating. I always feel like her eyes are on me, watching me. And she does!! She always looks at what I have out for breakfast or what I'm eating for lunch or when I get an evening snack. And if I don't eat what she thinks I should eat or when I should be eating she gets all nervous and and points it out later. It really BUGS ME!! I always feel so nervous eating around her because I'm sure she is judging me. So whenever I get myself a snack that may look big to her (like 2 pieces of toast with PB as opposed to a bowl of cereal) I feel like she first judges the amount that I'm eating and then gets all smug and satisfied when it looks like I'm eating a lot.

I know that she means well and she just wants me to gain weight and be healthy again and enjoy life and live and laugh and love again. And I love that she wants that for me and I am so glad that she cares about me that deeply. AND I desperately, dearly love her with all my heart.

My family is kind of the same way too. Let's say that I eat a pudding or something or something with honey or something sweet-ish looking, like French Toast. Well immediately everybody chimes in with "I didn't know you liked that" or "Raina's got a sweet tooth," and it just makes me feel guilty and angry. So most of the time I feel like I CAN'T eat sweet things without everyone judging me and saying these things.

But why? Why is this so DARN important?


I think it's because I don't WANT to look NORMAL in their eyes. I guess I just WANT to stay DIFFERENT AND I DON'T WANT TO LET GO OF MY EATING DISORDER YET.


Hell if I know.

Other times I think I'm still holding on to my eating disorder (in some regards) because I just want to spite them. Stupid me...

BUT this is not at ALL how my eating disorder started!! This anxiety over people seeing me eat just kind of developed after treatment because of some issues. Issues being anger, unforgiveness, and emotional baggage.

So anyways....long rant over...there's a lot more history behind it too. For instance my dad has diabetes so I feel like it's bad to like sugary things, and I feel like my family always equates sweet things with...err....weight gain on my part.

The other part of my struggle this week has been because of a change in my schedule and I get really uncomfortable when I have to cram in my meals in a short amount of time. Plus I have been restricting my sleep, A BAAAAAADDD habit I developed after treatment, which always makes everything seem a million times worse. So that has definitely set me back. But I have been feeling better lately--SLEEP HELPS--and am getting back up to where I need to be. And the best part?

Sose how abouts I do a posties now about my eats, eh? I haven't done that in a while. And, to make it even more fun, how about I write some of it in Italiano!!


Yesterday's Eats

Il Colazzione
Oatbran cooked in Plain soymilk with a dash of cinnamon and 1/2c of pumpkin. I also had an apple to nosh on to my hearts content on tha side.

La Merenda uno
2 Shredded Biscuits with a whole sliced bananannananana and some almonds in almond milk. After snack I went to the GYM (insert manly grunt here...that's how I read it) to get my workout on. I always eat a banana now before I work out because I feel like it gives me so much energy. It's a NECESSITY!!

Il Pranzo
My favorite baked tofu sandwich on bread with some hummus and tomato paste. Seriously delish!! I also added some spices to the tofu like paprika and tummeric, and when it was all put together on the sandwich it tasted kind of like I remember a burger with ketchup and mustard tasting. Yumm.....And then I had some veggies (love), a kiwi, and some wheat germ mixed into a Rachel's black cherry currant yogurt. I am so proud for challenging myself with eating a kiwi!! instead of an apple. I used to always feel like I needed to eat a hard, crunchy fruit or else I wouldn't feel full enough, but this is not SO!!

Also, yesterday was the first day I started getting back on my meal plan again. I was actually feeling pretty confident so I just went for it. Yea me!!

La Merenda due
TLC Trail Mix Bar (my new favorite kind!) and an almond milk

La Cena
Il pesce con la polenta e le verdure e la frutta.
Fish with polenta and vegetable and fruit.
I also mixed in hummus with the polenta to make it creamy and added some sunflower seeds. Polenta is my new FAVORITO AMOR! The hummus made it really good and reminded me greatly of mashed potatoes.

La Meranda tre
Frozen yogurt with frozen strawberries. This actually made me feel quite sick but I sucked it up and ate it anyway.

Today's Eats
Oatbran cooked in soymilk with cinnamon. When it was done I added a tablespoon of PB, and had a rice cake and an apple to go with it.

La Merenda
Hummus and Avocado Sandwich and some sliced peppers and a kiwi. I was supposed to also have a Fage with 1/4c of oats and some Fig jelly mixed in, but when I tasted the yogurt it was lukewarm and I was too worried about EVIL BACTERIA so I nixed it. BUT I knew I needed me some protein so I dashed on over to the store and bought a Honey Oikos. SO GOOD AND SO CREAMY AND COLD!! I will do a review later.

Almond milk, applesauce, and an Apple Larabar.


Randomosity. Veggie Burger with 3 oz of Tofu, and about 1/3c of Chickpeas. I also have some much loved veggies and an apple.

Snack for tonight
Probably my fav!! Cocoa powder mixed into a Lemon Cascade Yogurt, with some dried figs on the side. I'm SYKED to try the figs because they are Black Mission and I have only tried another kind before.

I just might challenge my stupid self tonight by eating some type of grain and satiety in FRONT OF MY MOTHER!!


Have a good night girls!

Love and hugs!

NOTE: Part of the reason why I posted today was because I needed to distract myself from wanting to exercise. Also, I did NOT restrict my morning snack today. I just don't have time to eat it b/t class so I usually make up for it with a bigger nighttime snack.
Edited to add: Tonight's snack was a Strawberry Yogurt--we were out of lemon :(--with some millet puffs, wheat germ, and 12 almonds. I also snacked on some lettuce and 2 delicioso figs. I eat veggies like a fiend, and I do not care to "count" them :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Recap


you have been warned...

It's raiiiiiining it's poooooouuuuurrrrring, the olllllld man is snooooorrrrring.

Yes, that's right. It's absolutely raining BUCKETS over here where I live. I haven't seen this much rain in a loooong kinda reminds me of Forks from Twilight. Too bad there's no Robert Pattison in these parts though:)

So I hope that everyone had a wonderful Easter!! I just love celebrating this holiday with my family, having fun dying easter eggs, and waking up to an easter basket full of goodies. Before my eating disorder, my family would always celebrate by going to church and then heading out to a fancy shmancy breakfast buffet. I used to love the buffet!! It meant that I had a whole plethora of tasty, yummy and delicous food to choose from and I could fill my plate to my heart's content. I remember indulging in some of my favorite foods--fresh shrimp, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, FRUIT GALORE!! And of course I would always save a little room for a slice or of cheesecake. What I love most about these memories is not the delicious foods that I would hungrily devour, but rather how comfortable and at ease I felt around food. Never once was I afraid to go back for maybe a second piece of pie when I was a kid. No way!! I allowed myself to eat what I wanted and enjoyed what I ate and didn't spend the entire day fretting about every last calorie that I put into my mouth. What's more I actually LOOKED FORWARD to special outtings like this--they only came once a year!

Unfortunately....sorry to be a debressing Debby....but my Easter was a far cry from the carefree, happy days of my childhood.

Actually, to be quite honest, it was pretty horrible.

From the moment I swung my feet out of bed I serioulsy felt like someone was out to get me. I had been having mixed feelings about this day all week. Some days I was excited about Easter because it meant that I would have a chance to challenge myself at the buffet, while others I was just plain nervous about the whole event. Easter morning I was still feeling a little anxious but I was determined to approach it with a positive mindset. To be honest I wasn't all that worried about the food sitch but was more worried about getting in enough exercise. Stupid eating disorder....

After getting ready I was still a little bit anxious so I said a little prayer asking God to give me strength, and trust for today and most importantly to keep my eyes on Him because this day should not be about me! Then I headed downstairs, happy and confident and fixed myself a delicious bowl of i cereali.

Oatbran+PB+Strawberry Yogurt=love in my book. So yummy....

Although this may look like a normal breakfast I was actually extremely proud of myself. You see, in the past when I've known about holiday outtings I would start restricting right away with breakfast because I knew that my routine would be interrupted and I didn't want to eat too much. But on Easter morning I was feeling good and WANTED to treat my body right. This is a HUGE step in recovery for me.

Well, dum de dum dum, everything was going great and I was eating a super yummy brekkie and doing some crosswords and havin' a good ole time. I finished eating and got up to put my dishes in the sink when--KERBLAM!!

Life happened.

Before I knew what was happening my beloved breakfast bowl slipped from my clumsy fingers into the sink, instantly chipping the bowl's lip. I was beyond devasted. It wasn't even fair!! The bowl had barely even been dropped more than a few centimeters but had still somehow managed to hit the sink at such an acute angle that it chipped. It was my absolute favorite bowl ever, deep enough to hold a decent amount of cereal and painted with cheery pink and red Valentine hearts. There was no way to replace it. Immediately tears sprang to my eyes....and my day went
from there.

Before church I decided to go on a walk to relax, destress, and err.... exercise. The walk was pleasant and I found myself able to get over the incident from this morning. I like walks. Walks are fun. So once again I was bouncing along and feeling good and even started to perk up a little. BUT THEN... Suddenly as I neared the corner to my house, I spotted some ominous looking black clouds looming in the sky. Cue possible thunderstorms, and sinister rainfall. This could not be good.

Church was amazing. They did an extremely inspirtational skit called carboard testimonies. Basically a group of people would come forward one by one and hold up a sign to the crowd. On the sign would be a description of a trial that had destroyed their lives. Then they would flip it over to reveal how God had helped them through that trial and how their lives have been changed.

I couldn't help but think about my own story during this. God has really blessed my life in incredible ways and has conquered numerous battles for me. He helped me to reconcile with my past and is teaching me daily how to walk and trust in Him. I may not always I say that I am striving

I would not be here today if not for His love.

He saved me from death, literally.

My carboard testimony would read something like this:

Consumed and controlled by anorexia--Learning to trust God with all of my life
What would your cardboard testimony say?


After church we drove downtown to meet my relatives. The drive is about forty-five minutes to an hour long. By this time all feelings of happiness had pretty much dissipated and the eating disordered thoughts started to kick in again. (TRIGGER WARNING) Ever since I developed an obsessive addiction to exercise (gee thanks ed) I absolutely HATE sitting for long periods of time! I always feel so lazy and immobile and idle and I feel the urge to start moving around. So this was a very tough trip for me. For a while I contented my anxiety by fidgeting around but then eventually just decided to sleep to relax my mind. I swear though I was even fidgeting sub-consciously in my sleep I was so uneasy. Eventually I drifted off though. When we got down there my parents started talking about perusing the mall until it was time to meet up for lunch. I felt a little better knowing that I would get to walk around for a little bit. But then my dad suggested that we go see his family. That made me even more worried because I knew that I would just be sitting more. Sigh.....

We ended up spending our Easter holiday with my family at the Country Buffet. Like I said before, I wasn't all that worried about the food. Actually, last Easter I had made great strides and conquered my fear of buffet eating by branching out and eating more than just the standard plate of salad and various fruits. Last year I challenged myself by adding in about a 1/2c of peas and 1/4c of chickpeas and a spoonful of sunflower seeds so I could get in a little bit of grains, protein, and satieties. I was actually pretty dern proud of myself for being able to do that.

So this year I did about the same thing except I just had some peas because I was feeling super anxious about sitting all day. I also had some about some fruit. I love fruit!! For the most part the eating went okay. My dad actually told me later that he was really proud of me because I looked and acted comfortable with the eating even though I wasn't even eating a substantial meal.

What was hard was that my relatives kept looking at me and making comments about my eating behavior. They know that I have an eating disorder but they really just don't get it. One of my aunts even started grilling me about how my recovery was doing asking me all sorts of weird questions. She really wants me to go traveling with her and my grandma but says I can't until I've got the eating thing sorted out. She said that I'll have to be okay with eating out most of the time and I can't bring anything like a scale because it'll be too heavy. I almost had to surpress a laugh with that comment because it was so bizarre. I mean it really showed me how ignorant and uneducated she is about eating disorders. A scale....haha....that's funny. Unless she was talking about a food scale which I used religiously last year. Now though I am proud to say that I barely even pull it out except to measure out my tuna fish. PROGRESS!!!!

Anyways...the meal left me feeling more defeated and like a failure than anything because I didn't try to push myself outside of my comfort zone. By the time we arrived back home at 4:00 I just wanted to cry. It was still raining outside and I was STARVING and anxious and twitchy and felt horrible because I couldn't exercise. I knew I would go out of my mind if I stayed at home just sitting around so I took the car and walked for about an hour up and down the aisles at the grocery store. UMMMM....CAN YOU SAY MAJOR EATING DISORDERLY BEHAVIOR!!

Yea...unfortunately when I got back home I wasn't feeling any better so I decided to restrict and not eat anything.

My mom saw what was going on and came in to talk to me. We talked about my anxiety and my fears and my sadness at just an overall crappy day. I actually broke down and cried while I was talking to her because I was so worried about gaining weight and upset that I hadn't gotten PROPER exercise. The moment I started crying I began to feel better. It just felt so good to let everything out after keeping it in for the whole day. This is another huge accomplishment I have made in recovery: TALKING ABOUT MY EMOTIONS. After I cried she helped me come downstairs and prepare a modest dinner. I hate to admit it, but God gave her an incredible (albeit annoying to ED) gift at getting me to eat dinner when I have planned on restricting.

Dinner was a cooked tofu sandwich on bread with a bit of hummus and tomato paste. My FAV combo!! I also had an apple (love) with a side of veggies and a yogurt. And you know what? It felt good to eat and it helped me to calm down even more. Does anyone else ever find that when you honor your hunger signals and eat a decent meal, your feelings of anxiety slowly fade away? I do. I think that partly our crummy moods are connected to brain chemistry and blood sugar levels dipping when we starve ourselves.

Almost done girls I swear!!

Afterwards I was both emotionally and physically drained so I relaxed in front of the fireplace and watched TV with my family. Well everything was going good and fine and dandy until about 10:00. That's when the anxiety started creeping up again. I began worrying about the dinner I had eaten. I was convinced that for the little amount of exercise I had gotten would cause me to gain weight. Sitting all night after eating dinner didn't help my anxiety any more. Suddenly the stress of the day just overwhelmed me and I broke down crying hysterically in my room. It was not a pretty sight and it was probably one of the worst melt downs I have ever had over eating disorder related issues.

Eventually my parents heard me (crying like a baby I'm sure) and my dad came in to talk to me. It was kind of a personal conversation and he did his best. I still don't think that he fully understands the extent of my eating disorder and what it entails but I love him for trying to work with stubborn ole' me. Basically he tried telling me that fat was not a bad thing (disagree) and that I will not get fat, but he told me that I would grow at least a little bit bigger because I'm supposed to. And he told me that this is not a bad thing. Like I said, he tried. Well, by the time we were finished talking I was completely drained and went straight to bed. It was a LONG day.

Ironically the only good thing that happened on Easter was the Easter service itself. If I had just focused on the amazing message and testimonies of that day I could have handled the day a lot better. But instead I was just so focused on ME that the only thing I could think about was exercise and food.
I just want to clarify something on here real quick before I wrap up. I know that sometimes I may make a lot of references to God. That is because God has been a huge part of my recovery process and I want to continue having Him be a part of my recovery. But that is not to say that I do not have my faults. Oh contraire. I want you girls to know that in no way am I implying that I have a perfect relationship with God. In fact, nothing could be farther from the truth. Most days I am so consumed by my stupid eating disorder that I completely put God out of the picture. It's awful. I feel really shameful for doing this and I feel unworthy of His love because I still fall. On Easter I felt incredibly guilty for my selfish behavior. I should have been focusing on church, and I should have been focusing on praising and worshipping Him for His good works and His glory and His amazing power in my life. But I wasn't. But I am going to keep trying. I so desire to have that intense, personal relationship with Him and I love Him so much. And I post topics about God because of that love and my amazement in Him. But I am not a perfect Christian.


Are you ready? This is pretty huge!!

When I woke up the next morning, I recalled the previous night and my worries about gaining weight. And I looked down at myself and stood in front of the mirror and even body checked but I found that I did NOT gain weight. In fact, I didn't even feel like I had gained weight, even though just a few hours ago I had been convinced that the sandwich I had eaten would make me gain.

Here was my revelation:
When we give in to our anxiety and obey our desires to restrict, we give the eating disorder power. Essentially by not eating we are confirming that we have prevented ourselves from gaining weight. The more we keep doing it, the more those beliefs are ingrained into our minds. And we never find out what's on the other side.
BUT when we defy your eating disorder and go against its wishes suddenly we are able to see the truth. It's like realizing that your best friend has been lying to you all of this time. Imagine the kind of power this could give us. If we know that our eating disorder is lying, and I mean really KNOW, then we can slowly begin to defeat those thoughts. It also helps us to overcome our fears when we realize that those fears are irrational and unfounded.

When I woke up that morning and realized that I had not gained weight, I felt incredible relief but also felt extremely silly. Here I had believed this whole time that one little sandwich was going to make me gain weight. But when I realized that it actually hadn't, it was as if the wool had been lifted from my eyes.

So? Go against your eating disorder. Deliberately do the opposite of what it tells you, and you will see the truth.
But you can't begin to see the truth if you don't at least try:)

Have a good night girls!!

Love and hugs!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

I am MORE than Just a Pretty Face

Hurray for spontaneous posting!!!

I am feeling a million times better than I have all week and I just feel like grinning from ear to ear! Thank you again gals for always welcoming me back. My schedule/eating disorder/ker-razy life is just so sporatic it's a wonder I ever get anything done. But I am feeling really good right now, craziness aside.

Yesterday, on the other hand, was one of THOSE days. My body image, my self esteem, my happiness was at such a low point that I felt like bursting into a million tears. I am going through kind of an awkward phase right now beauty-wise (I know, I sound so vain right) because of the horrible SQUARE-HAIR ordeal that happened to me earlier in the year. Basically I went to this new stylist because my old one just up and quit and received a VERY botched, short don't. It's grown out considerably now but the layers are still off and I have to grow out my bangs to get everything evened up again. This is extremely unnerving for me because I often feel worthless, ugly, and depressed when I don't look as good as I want to. On top of that I have also had to wear my glasses all this week until I can reorder my contacts, which just further adds to my low-esteem. So, all of these factors combined with the fact that I have to gain weight have made me really depressed.

But you know what?

I have realized just how UNHEALTHY this is. If I constantly base my self worth off of how I look or how I feel about my body each and every single day I am never EVER going to learn how to love and accept myself. Even if everybody tells me differently I will ALWAYS find some little flaw that I am unsatisfied with. I am my greatest critic. But I can't keep doing this!! Recovery is supposed to be about learning how to love myself for who God created me to be and to be content with what He has given me NO MATTER WHAT. Too often I find myself frowning in disgust at my image in the mirror and automatically thinking, "If I JUST had thinner thighs then I could be happy, or If my hair would JUST lie straight for once then I would feel good about myself, or If ONLY....(fill in the blanks)." The more and more I continue this type of negative the self talk the more I stay stuck, firmly held in the grasp of my eating disorder.

I think, in some twisted a way, that God is desperately trying to teach me this year how to be content. My hair used to be my pride and joy. It was once very shiny and healthy and luscious and I always sported the hippest, cutest trends. I had these great Euro-chic, eyebrow skimming bangs that I LOVED. They made me feel so confident and ATTRACTIVE, but guess what? Their purpose was to cover up a perceived flaw--my forehead and eyebrows--which I'm not so fond of. But then I got greedy and impatient and wanted to change up my style and before long, even though I HEARD that nagging voice telling me NOT TO CUT MY HAIR AGAIN, I ended up with a total nightmare-weed on my head! And I'm still living with the repercussions of my decision!!! So now I have to accept the consequences, live with my decision, and sit and w a i t.
And while I've been waiting I've had to put up with a lot of anxiety over my looks. There have been many days where I know my hair has not looked that great and I can't do anything about it (my hair is still too short to pull back into a ponytail) but just sit and live with it. It's has not been easy for me. In a way I have pretty much had to let go of my vanity entirely and learn to live my life knowing that I don't look as pretty. I have had to learn how to not base my self worth off of my looks. This is probably one of the HARDEST lessons I have ever had to learn and I am a bit embarrassed to say that I am STILL struggling.

And so, cleverly disguised as a simple, but horrendously bad haircut, I have discovered the next step in recovery for me. And that is to love ME, the whole package, every IOTA, all flaws included. This means that I can't always be striving after perfection. This means that I need to learn how to stop comparing myself to others. This means that I need to stop the constant body bashing. This means that I need to stop changing myself everytime I find something like I don't like. This means that I need to learn how to be happy even if I am not super skinny. The weight gain aspect of recovery has always been my greatest stressor because I worry that I will not be skinny when I reach goal weight.

Then I find myself thinking, well maybe I will still be skinny and then everything will okay and I won't have to worry. Let me propose something scary for a moment.....bare with me this could be triggering....what if I'm not skinny? What if I don't have the body that I WANT to have.

Why does my happiness have to be based on my weight all the time. Answer: It doesn't and it shouldn't. ONE of these days, so HELP ME GOD, I have got to learn how to love myself no MATTER what I look like.

My biggest challenge in this regard is going to be learning how to accept my HEALTHY goal weight. This is a weight that I have NEVER been satisfied with and I am terrified of reaching. Even though I know that I am not fat at this weight I still feel like I am. The last time I was near this weight was two years ago after being discharged from the hospital. I was only 2 POUNDS away from the final resting point (hehe, sounds like a cemetary) but I started freaking out and restricted all over again. But this time I can't. I need to learn how to accept and love that weight.

God has made me to be more than just a pretty face or a thin figure.
I need to find that person.

*NOTE* I really want to apologize to anyone if I triggered you towards the end here. Admittedly this is a very hard possibility for me to grasp because I am so body-conscious. But the bottom line is, THIN DOES NOT EQUAL BEAUTY OR WORTHINESS. You are all so much more than your faces or your bodies and that truth shines through in each and every one of your blog lives. I really pray that you can learn to embrace your true selves and love yourselves NO MATTER WHAT.

And don't think for a moment that this is easy for me. There are days when I just want to turn on my heel and run full speed in the WRONG direction. But I have made a commitment to stick to recovery and I am going to continue doing what is right for me. NO MATTER WHAT. And honestly, I don't think that God is going to punish me or anything with a body I am going to hate. I think that He is going to bless me and honor my faithfulness and obedience and give me the body that I NEED and that is GOOD and HEALTHY for me. And maybe it won't look like I want it to look but I think that by the time I get there I will have learned how to accept it.

I'm just posting little revelations that come to me, sometimes more for my good than anything else.

I was also not implying IN ANY WAY that anybody is going to get fat!! Please DO NOT THINK THAT!! I think we all know (deep down) the truth about that one. The main thing is, I know what my goal weight looks like and even though it is not fat, I still think I am. What I meant was, I know that God is going to teach me how to accept my HEALTHY GOAL weight, because I have never done that before.