Recovery 101

If there is one thing I definitively know is true about recovery, it is that no program, no diet, no meal plan, nothing can make you recover unless YOU want to. That is why I never came close…no matter what hospital they sent me to, how great the treatment team was, how much they fed me or prevented me from exercising, I was not ready to admit fully, or comply with what it took to stay on the path necessary to free myself from ED.

Looking back on the weekend, although I learned so much valuable information, probably the most important thing I took away was a renewed desire to get healthy. I feel like up until HLS I was doing well…it had been 12 days since I counted calories (ha, I now switched to counting days!) I wasn’t over-exercising, I was listening to my body and nourishing it when it was hungry, but last week was a hard one. I had a frustrating nutrition appointment, was so nervous about meeting 230 new people, had major feelings of inadequacy, many unexpected food challenges occurred, and overall on Thursday I was just feeling less than inspired about putting in the work required to heal.

So Friday begins…The Frito-Lays presentation was first thing, followed by a luncheon at El Vez, hosted by a company I really respect and enjoy being a part of…I am having a bit of an anxiety attack in my mind, thinking; “Oh my gosh, I am going to have to taste everything at the test kitchen, then go directly to a MEXICAN lunch at a restaurant where I don’t even know the menu, and they are probably loading the dishes up with butter and oil and….”

And what? Who cares?! It is one day, one weekend, with people that are awesome, amazing food, and a sense of community that you have not felt in a very long time. Sit back, relax and enjoy the moment! People would kill to have these opportunities and I was essentially ruining them prematurely.

I was still very anxious throughout the morning, but lightened up as Krissie J and I finally met, acted like our goofy-selves, chit-chatted and totally rocked the chef hats!

Once I arrived at El Vez, and started conversing with the rest of the group, honestly, I was so consumed by the present (WOW this was something new) that I was only thinking, “oh my gosh I love these people, this is so much fun!” and “holy shmoly this is the best guacamole ever!” By the time fro-yo rolled around I was just so happy to be included, any negative thought that came my way I tried to squash before it could even really effect me.

Finally I found something I was enjoying that was a real hobby other than exercise! And it had helped me surround myself with people I felt a connection with! It had not had those feelings in so long.

You see eating disorders are so secretive, so deceptive and lonely that you don’t have time for relationships other than you, and ED. It was such a blessing to feel warmth again that I did not want to let irrational anxiety take it away.

It was the same thing at the cocktail party, and the next day at breakfast, the lectures, lunch, breaks in between and finally dinner and just sitting around hanging out. I loved hearing from other women about their health aspirations, journey’s toward balanced living, home lives, everything! I appreciated the feeling of togetherness, and laughter! Something, like I said, that does not happen often when you are in the depth of an addiction.

Just conversing with my fellow bloggers (and readers!!!) made me realize how much I have been missing being isolated and consumed by such darkness. I was actually jealous of the running group that did 14 miles before the summit! What an accomplishment, and how awesome to unite with a common goal even though you may have never met in person! I loved seeing everyone smile and have fun, and how beautiful they all looked in their cocktail dresses and yoga pants! Everyone was strong, athletic, put together…and I felt like an awkward, thin haired, mess.

Being around all the attendees helped renew my spirit; provided another 458738956734986 reasons why I need to stick to it! Push beyond what is comfortable, defy all the stupid rules my mind has made up for me, and reframe the unrealistic lifestyle I have been living for so long!

What a fantastic weekend on so many levels! Of course I will recap more of the events, food and seminars, but tonight I am just happy. Happy, hungry and hopeful 🙂

What is one positive thing about your weekend???

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19 thoughts on “Recovery 101

  1. What a wonderful entry…I can feel your excitement! I pray you are able to sustain it…what steps do you think you need to stay with this mindset? I can’t wait to hear about and share in all the HEALTHY information you took away from there…xoxox

    • PTG Mary! Proud of, thnkful for, and goal for the day. I have to constantly remind myself why I am following a healthy path and admit that I do have a problem. Thats my main issue…i never like to admit there is actually something wrong with me…but lets face it. I told delores last week I look like a praying mantis and it is definitely not cute hahah

      • You have no idea how great it is to hear those words and really feel the sincerity there. I am so proud of you working so hard…I am very thankful that you have survived this horrible illness for so long…and my goal for YOU is to imprint as many positive mantras as you can in your brain cuz I see you as sweet, kind, intelligent, interesting, giving and beautiful inside and out…and I am very happy our paths continue to cross after 20+ years…I love you girl, you know I do…..

  2. what a great post! i am glad you were able to enjoy the conference! 🙂

    One positive thing about my weekend … being able to see two friends get married! love is such a positive thing!

  3. Girl, can I just say i was SO proud of you all weekend. Having been where you are, I know how hard it is to go outside of your comfort zone and be in unpredictable situations. But you did it beautifully and it was SO wonderful to meet you! Please stay in touch:)

  4. I could NOT agree more with the fact you can’t get better until you want to get better. There’s so many times where I was like, “okay, I’ll do whatever.” But I wasn’t happy and ended up going back because it wasn’t ME who made the decision. That’s why I’m trying to blog and find things I enjoy and make things I enjoy eating.

    Positive about this weekend… I finished The Help, got to see the movie with an old friend, and got frozen yogurt at Kiwi!

  5. CJ,

    It was so wonderful to meet you this weekend at HLS, and what a beautiful post! I really enjoyed talking with you this morning during our walk. I think I’m ordering great harvest bread this week! Be well, and good luck with all things back to school. Let me know if you’re ever near Hoboken, I would love to get together.

    PTG: All the way! What a great mantra!

    Lynda

  6. Hi CJ! I was actually at HLS this weekend, too, and wish I could have met you! this post really made me smile. I am happy that you enjoyed the weekend — wasn’t it the best!?

  7. I’m so glad I found your blog through Chef katelyn!! You sound so much like me, I always ruin situations prematurely because I’m so anxious about what others will think of me and my weight. I’m trying to do like you and “Sit back, relax and enjoy the moment”. What you said about how EDs keep you isolated and from doing anything enjoyable is so true. Good for you for fighting against it and having an amazing weekend 🙂

    • Thank you!!! no one should have to go through such lonliness. I am glad you are trying to relax also…in my lifetime, being uptight and nervous about every little thing has totally prevented me from having a good time! hope you had a nice weekend 🙂

  8. This is such a wonderful post. As someone still consumed with anorexia and bulimia, I seriously admire your strength at finding your one way in recovery! You’re so right that recovering from an eating disorder is entirely personal, and it’s great that you are getting there.

    Keep fighting, and keep writing! You’re am inspiration.

    • Thank you hunni. I wish you luck when you decide you want to get better! I hope it is sooner rather than laterals if you need anything please let me know!!!

  9. CJ,

    Admitting is always hard but it is truly the first step to completely becoming whole again! I have been there and I can tell you that you WILL get to where you want to be. You just have to WANT it! And I know you do. There is nothing better than feeling happy, healthy and whole! We should get together sometime and chat, walk, whatever!

  10. CJ, it was SO great to meet you this past weekend at HLS! I loved talking to you on Friday night at the cocktail party (and so hilarious about Cheshire!). Your infectious enthusiasm and beautiful personality made me feel comfortable, happy and so glad to get to know you. I loved that there were so many different women with such diverse backgrounds coming together. I’m excited to follow along with your blog and hopefully we can continue to support one another! 🙂

    • Erin!!! I loved talking with you! I’m sad we didn’t get to spend more time together but there is always next year!!!! Can’t wait to read more of your story! I feel like we had so much in common n I’m always here if you need me 🙂

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