This Is It

Hello there,

I realize this is rather random since it has been quite a few months since I have actually posted anything, but I was reminded of my blogging days when I received an email that my domain name was about to expire.

Obviously I am not going to renew it, since this isn’t something I do regularly anymore, but it gave me the itch to write a post, perhaps more for me, than for anyone out there who may come across this.  But maybe it can also serve the purpose of what I intended this forum for all along; to help and inspire someone else.

Most of my writing had been dedicated to the countless attempts I made at recovering from an eating disorder.  I fooled myself more than once that everything in my life was fine and that it was ridiculous that I needed to gain weight in order to feel better, or that I needed to completely stop exercising to overcome my addictive nature.

I will say that what I have found for my personal journey, is that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I emphasize the part “my personal journey,” because there may be some people out there who can enter a hospital or outpatient facility, go through the program, get discharged and can move on with their lives, symptom free, or to the point where they are under control and the individual can be happy and self-sufficient.

I proved that I was NOT one of those people.  In fact, I remember a few doctors and therapists who predicted my entire life would be consumed by ED behaviors, and that I would either die extremely young, or completely alone because all my loved ones would eventually abandon me since I was not capable of being the CJ they once knew.

Anyway, this post, as I said, is for me in the sense that it provides closure to a chapter in my life I hope is lost forever; the chapter that prevented me from liking myself even in the least bit, and in turn prevented me from opening my heart and mind to anything, or I am very sad to say, almost anyone, other than ED.

It is also a writing for others because this has been a relatively long, windy road, and I want to provide some hope to others who may not receive it from their support system or health care professionals.  Even if someone has told you that recovery does not seem feasible, or that it will be too hard because you’ve behaved using these unhealthy habits for so long that they are more normal than not, there really CAN be life after the misery.  It’s not a perfect life, but at least your LIVING.

Let me backtrack and maybe make this more coherent…

To try to summarize this year, and where I last left you, Ryan and I made the decision that my full time job as the finance manager of our alma mater (high school) was doing more harm than good for my state of mind and body.

I came home freakin’ miserable every day.  I was so bored and I believed being an adult was the shittiest thing in the world.  Granted there are aspects of adult life that do suck…hello, bill paying, there are components that are damn near amazing.

More on that later…

So I left my job, entered a partial hospitalization and got kicked out for not meeting the standards of the program.

I insisted that I could continue recovery at home, gain the weight necessary to put me out of the medical danger zone and we could go on with our lives as we had before I dropped nearly 40 pounds and became a crungry, emotional, beotch.

This was a lie I told my family and myself, because I dug deeper into depression and self-hatred as pretty much every job I applied for turned me down, despite excellent reviews in my interviews and post-meeting feedback.

One negative occupational response had me particularly upset because I thought it was the perfect fit; a fundraising coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sisters that was located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, so not only would it prompt Ryan and I to relocate, which we wanted to do, but also had a great salary, and was in a field I thought I could really excel and would enjoy.

When I got the rejection phone call I hung up, cried, planned my meals of lettuce, deli turkey and vinegar for the next few days (gross) and the workout routines I could sneak in while no one was home.

As my weight dipped again during our weekly scale session Ryan started to panic since his annual Colorado trip to visit his brother grew near.  I was notorious for dropping a few pounds anytime he left for more than a day, and he suggested I come along to take my mind off the lack of job/dwindling bank account, my sister who was having a baby in just a few months (another major stress to me since we all lived together), and the life I felt continued to fall apart.

Here is where I interject another aspect of this story and the whole job search…

I have mentioned in past posts about my love of music and two venues I attended every week in Philadelphia; Rumor and Soundgarden.  I also worked part time for these places doing promotional work and selling tickets, as well as volunteered anytime they needed prep and clean up helpers.  It had always been in the back of my mind that I would love a career in the hospitality industry, especially one that had to do with the DJs and beats I lived for, in a place with people that welcomed Ryan and I as family, so on more than one occasion I asked the owners (who were friends of ours…I promise I wasn’t some creepy, stalking stranger) if they had any positions opened, even if it was for coat check or bottle running.  I would either get ignored or the conversation would go another way and initially I accepted that perhaps it just wasn’t the right time.   I eventually submitted my resume to management, which I don’t even know if they ever read, but was never responded to and despite the positive relationship we had, I felt too self-conscious to follow up.

After months of spending every friday, and almost every Saturday, both working and enjoying time split between the two establishments, my hopes faded and I told Ryan a job for me at either place, was never going to happen.

Immediately I blamed it on how ugly I was, because if you look around in the night life industry most of the females on staff do tend to be gorgeous, with impeccable fashion sense and a tolerance for discomfort (high heels for six hours, are you joking?!) that I can no longer endure because I have ruined my bones and joints from malnourishment and over-use.

And then I would have a mental beat down of myself because it had to be BOTH, that I was ugly and of course not good enough, to be an employee in such an awesome career field.  God destined me to be bored to tears in an office my entire life, with two audits a year and scoldings because I wore knee high boots with leggings and a sweater.  I honestly believed that to be true, which prompted me to slack off in the “let’s get healthy” efforts, even more.

Two days before Ryan left for Colorado I told him we needed to have a serious talk and that when he got back we needed to formulate a concrete plan.

Perhaps we should pre-maturely move to another area…maybe as far as Colorado or Orlando, to start over because I felt completely stifled and stuck.  I did not know how to change, nor did I have enough desire if I always felt this lost and hopeless, and as much as I love our hometown, the place we both grew up has minimal room for growth and advancement in the job market, or as a person.

I then told him about all my secret negative self-talk concerning Rumor and Soundgarden, how I felt very welcome and comfortable as a patron, but that my inquisitions about employment made me feel as if it was only because we were customers and not the actual friends I always believed we were to be.  Once again, ED made me feel completely insecure and second guess my validity as a human-being.

Anyway, to make an incredibly long story short(er), my dad, who was also worried about my state of mind, decided to send me to Colorado with Ryan, my in-laws, brother in-law and his fantastic girlfriend for a few days.

There I got some fresh air, enjoyed the unconditional love the Weaber family has always shown to me, and put a lot of thought into my relationship with God, nature, and my belief that things do happen for a reason.  I don’t label myself a specific religion all too often, or openly, but I do have a strong faith and have always thought the universe has a plan; that although as individuals we can make choices, there is a path that we will somewhat follow.

The day before my flight back to Pennsylvania I got a phone call from one of the managers at Soundgarden.  He asked if I could possibly stay in Philadelphia for the week and help put on one of the biggest shows they were having to date.

*If you are a trance fan you will understand the magnitude of Above and Beyond coming to my great city.

I spoke with a dear friend who allowed me to stay at her apartment downtown, and as soon as I arrived back in Lebanon I packed my bag and got on the turnpike.

When the show ended, and was a huge success, I was baffled as to why no one spoke with me about perhaps a schedule for the next week, or me becoming a more permanent fixture within the company, because at this point I was helping with show set-up, tear down, running the twitter account and trying to lend a hand wherever one was needed; and not because I felt obligated, but because I legitimately loved what I was doing and being part of a team.

A few weeks later another big show rolled around and they again asked for my help, to which I happily agreed and spent the week soaking up every single thing I could learn in the office. I was fascinated by the fast-paced environment and how NOT BORING even 14 hours days could be.

By the end of that weekend of shows (there were three since it happened to be a holiday) Ryan finally said something privately to one of the managers, asking if this was leading to something bigger or if they just needed temporary help to get through the next few months of big name artists.

My husband knows me too well and I was yearning so badly to ask myself, but at that time the pesky disease was still corrupting my brain and preventing me from having the strength I needed to get my needs met verbally.

That Sunday I got a phone call to meet the owner at the venue to discuss my new roll with their social media and hospitality services. I kept my composure but wanted to cry as I sat at the end of the couch in our green room, and my new bosses listed my responsibilities.

I felt like a person again, but at the time was still in a physical shape that needed to change.  Weight needed to be gained and I still needed to get my labs drawn and have medical check-ins…not to mention my mind was still very negative and overpowered by a monster.

But as the weeks went on and we shopped for an apartment, I became a full-time employee and Ryan and I went from being in love, but no longer vibrant and alive TOGETHER, to excited about the future again, things started to naturally progress.

Calorie counting is not accurate or typically feasible, because my schedule went from a very rigid 7 am-3pm job, to a noon to sometimes 7 am show day, which typically means either a quick meal thrown together in my kitchen and millions of snacks to keep my fueled through a busy day, or delivery to the office from the cutest little organic market up the street.  Measuring and complete control over intake…ain’t nobody got time for that in this business, and perhaps thats been one of the best things for my recovery.

Exercise has also drastically changed, because it is now on a moderate level and usually consists of walking around this beautiful and historic city, carrying groceries and work supplies, way less than 2 hour gym sessions and 5 pounds weights between the one TV show I have time to watch a week.

My stress level can at moments be through the roof, which I won’t lie sometimes makes me want to revert immediately back to old and destructive habits, for the split-second of comfort they would provide, but again, breaking my stride of productivity,, regardless of how stressful the situation may be, just isn’t in the cards.

They were not lying when they said “the show must go on,” and being a complete music lover, who considered herself to be very blessed to work with fantastic talent, would never ever want to make Markus, Armin or Tritonal wait a split second.

I will be completely honest, however,  in disclosing that my work is no where close to finished.  I have gained an amount of weight that makes my husband proud, naturally here, by following my ginormous appetite, eating things out of the box, participating in restaurant outings and not making a 7 mile run the main focus of my day, BUT I do still have days and moments where I have melt downs.

Just recently Ryan had to take me on an immediate pant shopping spree, because I threw an all-out temper tantrum when my old black bottoms I used to love, could no longer button.

If I am at home, or alone at my desk, having guilt about the delicious panini I just enjoyed and start to tally up my intake for the day, sometimes I want to just take a sleeping pill and fast forward to when I can “start over” and not be such a “glutton.”  Three hours later, when I am starving again, my body tries to tell me everything is fine and I actually needed two slices of bread (can you imagine?!)

And there have been a few instances where I am looking in the mirror, seeing the changes that have become more obvious, and I either want to break the glass with my fist, or rip the skin off my body because I feel so uncomfortable, ugly and fat.

These struggles have not COMPLETELY subsided, but my self-worth has increased incredibly, and there are a lot of days where I am proud of what I accomplished/am accomplishing, and excited about what I learned, not only in my career field, but also how it is making me grow as a person.

I love going to brunch with a friend, or having a “beats, beads and brownie/snack on hummus all day” day with all my ladies, in the few moments I have off.  I would so much rather dance than spend more than half hour on a treadmill.  I like to smile and actually mean it.  And I am much more accepting of the fact that I was not blessed with the body of a super model, I may not always eat cleanly, or follow those dumb nutritional guidelines of that wretched phone app I considered the dictator of my diet, but I am confident that I have a good heart and pure intentions; that I try to be a good family member and friend, and that I can forgive even myself in the appropriate situation.

And right now, I count my blessings every day that I did go through the last five years, because it brought me to where I am today; not perfect, or happy one hundred percent of the time, but appreciative of the unique gifts and opportunities that have come my way…especially now that I was willing to take care of myself.

Good things come to those who wait, and I am living proof.

Thank you for reading, not only this ridiculously long post, but the others, as well.  The support has been a great help to me through this process, and I hope you know you are not alone.

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Ice Cream Is The Answer

I have this friend, who is pretty awesome, and she and I have a saying.

Ok, well, two sayings.

“Music is the answer.”

Or, “Pizza is the answer.”

I don’t really think anyone can argue with those two statements, and I especially believe them to be true since music has pretty much been my savior during my recovery and there are many days when nothing satisfies me more than the crunchy italian specialty, BUT, yesterday I added something else to my list of “answers;” ice cream.

I have professed my love for make your own fro-yo, and of course my infatuation with Arctic Zero…and even expressed the joy that came from trying Butter Pecan ice cream for the first time when we were in Walt Disney World, but if I am being honest, despite the desires I have had for ice cream the last few weeks, they have pretty much gone ignored.

I mean, I didn’t run out to the store when my body said, “a cold novelty would taste really good right now…ice cream would feel fantastic on this pain in the ass sore throat I have had for weeks…”

I ignored all those signals my stomach was sending my brain because I was no longer on vacation and no longer deserved such an “indulgent treat.”

Well yesterday, my mom won a free room at The Borgata and treated me to a night at the Atlantic City hotel and Casino, and an outing to see Adrian Lux at Mur Mur.

Borgata 041

But before we slept in the amazingly comfortable bed, or danced the night away with one of my favorite DJ’s, I had ice cream.

Which, no pun intended, caused me to have a major melt down.

Post dinner, as we were in the room relaxing and getting ready I freaked out about the two scoops of Ben and Jerry’s I decided to have for dessert. (One of Frozen Greek Banana Peanut Butter and another of the Greek Blueberry Graham, both, eating disorder thoughts aside, are freakin’ delicious.)

Anyway, all I could think about was how weighted down I felt, how bloated and fat I felt in my clothes; how I was embarrassed because of my “gluttonous” choice after I had already had enough for dinner.

Thankfully I have a wonderful husband who reminded me that two months ago seeing a world-famous DJ and dancing for a few hours was completely out of the question due to my low body weight and concern from the doctors.

…Who reminded me that I do not need to exercise hours on end to “deserve” any sort of nutrition, even ice cream that I claimed had no benefit to my body whatsoever (FYI your body can use ANY kind of nutrient in moderation so there is no such thing as a “bad” food).

After my tantrum subsided I put some deep thought into the ridiculous statements I made to my husband, and the tears I shed to my mom, I came to the realization I am obviously not challenging myself enough.

Ice cream is still a challenge for me.

Even pizza I can only justify on nights we go out, or days I am allowed to exercise.

Like I said, food/nutrition is not only needed on days of excessive movement or caloric burn and that mind-set is just going to keep me stuck.

This means I need to a. try more fear foods, b. try them more often c. reframe the thoughts that come after.

This is by no means going to be easy, but I thought I would link up with a friend who is pretty new to the blog world but has a really great thing going…

Freedom From Fear Fridays.

My new friend Jessica is doing a really cool thing by encouraging others to join her in her quest to abolish the stigmas we have around certain foods.  Of course everyone’s recovery is different, and for some people fat may be a major fear while carbs are for someone else…

The point is, challenge YOUR fears…not just in the realm of food, but for life in general because it truly is the only way to conquer them.

Cliche I know, but absolutely true.

I am already brainstorming for this Friday.

Happy Tuesday my friends.  Make it an awesome week!!

You’re So Vain

Do you have an eating disorder because you want to be skinny?

No.

Honestly, that might be one of the biggest misconceptions about eating disorders and I would like to debunk that myth right now.

If I go back to the very beginning of my sickness; the root, when I was a little girl, I did ask my mom how to effectively go on a diet, but at 7 I was worried about what my family thought, not if society deemed me as having a nice body.  (Um, what is a nice body for a 7-year-old anyway?!)

When my grandfather told me I needed to cut out the ice cream cones because I was getting fat, I did so because I wanted his approval, I wanted him to love me, and thought if I continued enjoying my mixed cones with sprinkles I would no longer be acceptable to the people I looked up to the most.

When I realllllly started to lose weight and get sick in my senior year of college, things started spiraling downward as I trained for races, and my wedding grew near.  Sure, I wanted to look good in my dress, but my behaviors were not driven by a desire to be a skeleton.  They were more about feeling in control as so many changes within my life occurred, or punishment for my beliefs that I was unworthy as a person, and failing miserably as an adult.

Anorexia is not a disease of vanity, and it hurts me to think there are still people out there who believe that it is.  Although I cannot give you concrete proof this statement, I can tell you when I looked in the mirror at the time when my weight was the lowest, I still saw the same girl from college that I perceived as overweight and gluttonous.

Because of that, I either a. avoided the mirror or b. just considered myself the most disgusting/lazy person in the world and tried not to draw attention to myself.

Now, I still have horrific body image, even though I don’t look like I am knocking on death’s door.  Sadly, I am not alone.  Most people in recovery, despite the fact that they look 84576746 times better than when they were frail and undernourished (you do not have to be underweight to be undernourished, BTW) will tell you they feel like a beached whale 90%+ of the time, BUT I can see things a little more clearly, and I am trying to use this to my advantage.

Vanity was not the cause or the driving force behind why I used ED behaviors, but it is now becoming my motivation to get rid of them.

Let me explain.

I spend a lot of time at clubs on the weekends.

Women at these venues are freakin’ hot.

Some of my best friends are beautifully built, wear the coolest clothes, and although have their insecurities in certain areas (who doesn’t), exude confidence I think is super sexy.

Anyway, I love fashion.  I always have, but you would never be able to tell because the body of a child is not fitting into the awesome sequined dresses I frequently admire.

Many of my friends have gorgeous flowing hair that makes them look so feminine and can be styled in ways I could only dream of.

Mine breaks off at the end and has one option other than the boring, flat, variety I normally have going on.

And all of them wear shoes that belong on the runway, which I would have proudly worn as well, if you would have seen me pre-osteopenia; when I did not have back problems or constant pain.

Me Too Flats I love you, but I miss my favorite Patent Black Leather Wedge heels.

I am not saying you NEED to have the latest styles, tiny outfits and full locks to feel good about yourself, but if we are being honest, what female, or person in general, doesn’t want to feel physically attractive sometimes?

Of course it is the inside content, and our hearts that are more important, but like I said, if I am being completely open, I would like to feel pretty again.

Pretty to me is not always about body size…because as I have explained my perception of that is definitely skewed, or non-existent, but I would love to put on a dress and have it fit me in just the right places where I am excited to show my husband.

So my motivation for today; especially after I am feeling HORRIBLE about myself for chosing a very challenging breakfast, is that I want to feel strong, sexy, and maybe have shiny, rather than course and brittle hair.

Yes, the things I have written in this post are completely vain, and I do still believe confidence and a smile are the best accessories, but it is hard to look genuinely happy when you are cru-ngry and dead tired because you ran seven miles 6 days in a row.

On that note, time to take a little nap and start the weekend off right!

Happy Thursday!

Pho With Friends!

Yesterday, I saw my outpatient nutritionist for this first time since April.

(Insert annoyed/angry/scolding remarks here)

I was working with someone else while I was in program but that doesn’t give me an excuse for why I had not returned to my regular dietician once I was let go.

Anyway, all that aside she sat back in her chair and looked at me in astonishment after our encounter.

“Where is the girl I used to know?  This is either too good to be true or you are completely bull-s*itting me.”

I can assure you none of what I told her was malarkey, but she caught me at a good time.

ED apparently wasn’t feeling horrible about the decisions I made that day and I have a really fun weekend at Soundgarden Hall coming up, so my mind was more focused on seeing my friends and some seriously amazing trance acts, that the ED thoughts were relatively quiet.

Anyway, we got to talking about changes that have occurred in my life that could have potentially flipped the switch to me actually wanting to get better for ME, rather than only seeing her because my family basically forced it.

Off the top of my head I could think of a couple of things that have pretty much opened up my world; pho, music, dance and God. <—In no particular order, of course.

You might laugh at the first three, but let me explain…

There is one common denominator in those things that my very insightful nutritionist pointed out; FRIENDS…PEOPLE…being social and interactive with other human-beings.

Holy shmoly, you mean isolating alone with my treadmill is not fun?!

I can tell you for a fact, NO it is not fun, regardless of how much my distorted mind told me it was.

Anyway, she asked me about my experiences with Pho, since that is a very new food to me…

“It’s delicious…I eat it probably twice a week…it is the perfect food before going out…my friends and I really like to go together…you know, four number 70’s all around….”

Let’s analyze my statement…

I like Pho because it tastes good.  It makes my body feel great and is awesome fuel before going to do an activity I love for the pure enjoyment of the beat, who I am with, and the passion of the DJ’s, not the caloric burn.  I ALWAYS go with friends.  We typically all order the same thing.  No menu alterations, no weird-ass requests to not cook things in butter or oil, or to leave the noodles out…

That is a pretty good list of WHY Pho is quite possibly my new favorite food, but as my wonderful clinician pointed out, the key element to my words, was that it included my FRIENDS…people I trust and genuinely care about…people I do not feel judged by at all…

She made a suggestion:

Let’s make food fun!

Let’s make food fun by eating with my new-found friends, perhaps before one of our many epic evenings out.  What a perfect scenario to challenge the last few things on my fear food list!

Obviously the point here is not about Pho, or any other specific food item, but more about the minute changes that can be made to make this process SOMEWHAT easier.

Friends, music, dance and prayer make it more tolerable for me.

I would love to explore these other elements in future posts, but for now, remember life is better when not spent completely alone.

Isolation is like a breeding ground for eating disorders, and so perhaps when I am struggling the most; when I really do not want to be around another person AT ALL, is when I need to reach out the most.

It sounds like my nutritionist is more like a therapist…and actually, kind of like a friend 🙂 which I would not have any other way.

Happy Tuesday, everyone!! It is snowing here in the northeast so definitely a perfect day for Pho 😉

The Truth

I got an e-mail the other night with a question that made me think I am not necessarily giving the WHOLE picture of what my process is like at this current moment.

She asked how I am dealing with the weight gain because that is an aspect of her recovery that is proving to be a major challenge.

Honestly, the increased body size SUCKS.

Like it, f*cking sucks.

I use the F-word here because I don’t know if I can accurately convey to you how much I HATE the FEELINGS I have about my tummy pooch and an increased number on the scale.

And if I am going to completely confess where I am today, in this moment, I am not handling the poundage well.

My two past posts have been pretty positive, and that is because I was feeling great when I wrote them.

I am not feeling completely horrible or hopeless today, but last night I would be omitting a major truth if I did not tell you I actually pounded my fist on the floor in frustration because I felt like a lazy-ass for sitting around watching Christmas movies all day, and basically sleeping most of Saturday.

As Ryan looked at me with annoyance, because my progress is not nearly as fast as it should be, I kept telling him, “If only I could gain the weight healthily!!! I just want to have muscle and stop eating junk, and have nice arms, and look nice in clothing, and not have these rolls on my stomach, and….”

The list went on and he tried and tried to reframe but my mind was made up; I was a fat load and all I would ever want to eat was cookies.

Looking back I can be a little more rational and say I do like cookies, and I do have a cookie, or another sweet item (at least) once a day.

I like to end my meal with something delicious and dessert-y, probably because in 20 years of my life, I never did so.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, and this does not mean my diet is only junk food.  In fact I made a pretty healthy, balanced and delicious Chicken Tortilla Soup last night for dinner, inspired by my favorite celebrity chef, Rocco Dispirito, but at the time I was having my little temper tantrum, cookies were all I could remember, and fat was all I could feel.

On a happier note these moments of irrationality are getting less and less frequent, but I still have way more pounds than I would like to admit to go and that means there are going to be some rough days.

Can I do it?

Yes.

Will I do it?

Yes, but kicking and screaming because my brain is still pretty warped by the ED mind-set.

I don’t really have an answer to the question of how to effectively deal with the weight-gain because I still struggle with that problem myself.  Talking to someone about it helps; someone you trust who will help remind you of all you are working for, but I can’t guarantee you will see the light at that very moment, just pray it will pass and keep doing the RIGHT, HEALTHY things, you know in your heart YOU NEED to get back on track.

I know it will be worth it, because the best things in life don’t come for free, but that does not make this process any easier and I totally get that, but for those of you out there in the same boat as me, or who are dealing with something else that is equally as challenging, remember you are not alone and support is literally, your best friend.

Happy Monday, loves.

Thankful For Thanksgiving At Home

In the past five holiday seasons, I have been home for two.

I am notorious for relapsing in the fall, which has typically led to my concerned family admitting, or strongly suggesting I go into, some sort of inpatient program.

It felt awesome this morning to wake up without a gown, cold tile floor, and boring breakfast brought to me on a tray.

But I will admit, since I am still very much in the recovery process, I am extra sensitive to the ridiculous and relentless discussions news programs, tv shows, and advertisements have around weight gain/loss, quick fixes, etc. this time of year.

“The average person eats X amount of calories on Thanksgiving Day…”

“Most Americans gain X weight in November and December…”

“Exercise declines significantly during the holiday season causing unnecessary, unwanted pounds…”

Trust me, I have enough guilt about what I put into my mouth, and the minimal physical activity of my currently lifestyle, without the Today Show telling me the numeric value I consume on a daily basis is gluttonous and too high, or that I am being lazy for simply taking walks.

I understand my situation is a bit different, and that there are people who enjoy the holiday season a little more than their waistline would like, BUT, last night I read something a friend wrote, that I found truly inspiring…

As stated by the very wise, and wonderful Healthy Diva…

“On Thanksgiving…quit worrying about how many calories you might consume, working out just so you can eat unhealthy, or worrying about having too much to eat. Be grateful you even have food, a home, and a place to eat. Be thankful for your loved ones and family on this day. My thoughts and prayers go out to those who are not as fortunate on this holiday and I wish I could make your thanksgiving better ♥”

My Thanksgiving is a bit non-traditional since Ryan is a nurse and works most holidays, and my parents both travel so they are very rarely in the state, but my sister and I still managed to spend a really nice day baking while enjoying the Macy’s Day Parade, taking a walk outside, eating a single ladies version of a Turkey lunch, and watching one of my favorites, “Christmas With The Kranks.”

Getting to do these things helped me realize how much I truly missed being home these past few years, and how thankful I am to have a family and friends who love me, support me and have been there through sickness and health.

So Happy Thanksgiving my friends, and tonight, when I go to enjoy the left-overs and most likely a nice scoop of ice cream with my husband when he gets home, I am going to try my best to count my blessings rather than calories, and thank God for the life I have.

Questioning My Motives

If I am going to be totally honest about my absence from blogging, it also has to do with the fact that despite my preaching on how you should not compare yourself to others, I am completely incapable of doing that.

In the past, all my favorite blogs have been about “healthy” food, diets and exercise. Many posted work outs my body could no longer handle in its previous frail state without risking major injury or a freakin’ heart attack, and many of the portions displayed were quite triggering because my stomach demanded way more than a container of Chobani and a handful of cereal for a meal.

I am still wrestling with this problem because my body is getting bigger, I am getting comfortable with a wider range of foods and a significantly higher caloric intake, but I am not working out nearly as hard as I used to.

Long gone are the days of 8 mile runs on the treadmill and heavy weights sessions with a trainer. And especially this weekend, when I was in Philadelphia during the marathon, all I could think about was starting to train again.

But a day later I started to self-reflect about the motivation behind my desire.

Was it truly because I loved running and couldn’t wait to join the ranks of my friends who get up at 4:00 a.m. to get in their planned out distance?

Typically, two nights out of my week I am only getting home around that time, after an awesome night with my friends listening to great music, which in my opinion is way more fun than being alone on my treadmill.

There is a huge part of me who does miss the short jaunts of 2-3 miles, outside jogging around South Hills with no real goals in mind other than getting some fresh air, feeling my lungs open, and exhilarating my legs, but if I am being truthful, the internal competition that would come with training for a long-distance race seems like it would set me back.

I DO have a genuine want to race alongside Ryan again, cross the finish line together, or have him cheering me on at the end, but because it was FUN, typically for causes we supported, and part of our travel repertoire. (Yes, Disney World 5K’s, you are my favorite 😉 )

It didn’t require me to stick to any sort of schedule, or have time/distance requirements that I, or another training regiment, set for myself. It was purely for the love of one another, a charity, and a hobby that made us both feel good.

There is a fine line between running for pleasure, and it becoming an obsession, for me. Not everyone has an addictive personality and many can absolutely handle rest days without guilt, shrug it off if they don’t necessarily meet every one of their expectations, but I am not yet there.

I have confidence one day I will be able to introduce running back into my life, but for now I am happy I am being honest with myself, only partaking in exercise I truly enjoy, for reasons other than that the activities are EXERCISE, and am trying to accept that strength does not JUST come in the form of muscle.

I am getting stronger every day…even if 5 pound dumb bells in front of the TV is all I can handle right now 😉