The Power Of Prayer For Many Things

I really suck at sleeping through the night.

My mind has difficulty completely shutting down so I tend to wake up frequently and very rarely feel rested. 

I think a lot of people have this problem and regardless of how much I read before I go to bed, how long my electronics are aways from me, how exhausted I might feel; it really doesn’t matter because a good night’s sleep is a very rare occurance.

Last night was particularly irritating because I couldn’t fall assleep either, which is not typically a problem for me, but I seriously tossed and turned for an hour thinking about who knows what, trying not to crawl out of my own skin.

Then I remembered the one useful tip I ever took from yoga.

(I personally don’t care for yoga and feel very much like Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love when she was distracted by building her own yoga room, the entire duration of her meditation…ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I have trouble staying quiet.)

Anyway, this yoga teacher I met during one of my stays in treatment, told me to use this mantra, which sounded like a soothing lullaby, and gently press the tip of my thumb to each one of my fingers as I sung it in my hear or out loud in bed.

Apparently the combination of these two things was supposed to be calming, and one night out of desperation I tried it.

“Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…Sa, ta, na, ma…”

I methodically touched my fingers to one another and continued the verse for a few mintues.

That was all I remember because I fell assleep shortly after!

So that is definitely one trick I have been using to aid with my sleep issues recently, but the method I prefer most often is prayer.

I apologize to God almost daily because I typically fall asleep during my nighttime ritual, but speaking with my higher power is something I have done since I was a little girl.

When I started, sitting next to my Mimi after she read me a bedtime story, I had a standard prayer I said every night; “Now I lay me down to sleep…”

But now I tend to talk to the Lord as a friend, and I find it so calming it puts me to sleep.  (FYI, I found out God doesn’t really care when you pray, so sometimes I finish up in the morning, while taking a walk, driving, whenever…)

Perhaps it is because my mind is on happier things…not necessarily worrying about all the aspects of life I normally do in a day, but it is really comforting to confide in someone who I don’t feel is judging me in a negative way, and who accepts my faults as they are.

The reason I bring this up today is to serve as a reminder for me, that on nights when I wake at 3 am and cannot sleep, I do have skills that are positive and might do the trick to cure my insomnia. <—Last night I just spent an hour being annoyed and staring at my ceiling.

But also, and probably more importantly, to combat the New Year’s resolutions I am so sick of hearing about on TV.

Even my beloved Today Show harps on losing weight and exercising more as the best options for NY promises, and of course those are great, but there are other things people can adopt to improve upon, as well, and I feel like we, as a society, lose sight of them this time of year.

I won’t do the cliche New Year’s Resolution post and then recap it at the end of the month, and forget about it the other 11 months of the year, because I am hoping my aspirations stick for the rest of my life.

So instead of a resolution, I prefer to think of these as daily goals, for now, and then hopefully just good habits:

1. Continue improving my relationship with God, since it definitely fell by the way side in the depths of being sick.

2. Be a better family member, friend, and person.

3. Have more patience with people, my animals, and myself.

4. Volunteer more and appreciate the things I was blessed with, rather than being so mopey about things no one really cares about but me (um, poor body image should not be a reason to stay in my house all day and be sad…no, I should be thankful I still have mobility and use of a lot of my organs…)

I want to feel good about myself as a whole person, and a lot of why I was abusing my exterior was because I was not happy with my interior; where true beauty should lie.

I am not going to be one of those people who tells you appearance is not important, because let’s face it, in today’s world, it really doesn’t hurt to be attractive, but that means nothing if you are boring, mean, and miserable.

New Year, new me?

Not quite, but hopefully a better me 🙂

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The Many Hats of Me

Good Morning,

I realize I have, again, continued to be MIA for longer than I anticipated but I have good reason.

I was finally honest with myself and realized the bloggining community…at least the blogging community I was trying to fit in with…was hurting me more than it was helping.

Even those who write about recovery and seem so positive and uplifting, generally still have a lot of issues that need to be worked out, and were detrimental to my progress in the sense that I continued to compare myself with their photos, struggles, etc.

The people I know who are doing the best in recovery, and happiest in life in-general, are not those writing about it every day, isolated wherever their lap tops are located, but those out in the world actually LIVING.

I do not intend for the above paragraphs to be offensive in any way, just a personal observation and reason for my absense.

All that being said, why is it that I am now writing at 8:30 in the morning on a wednesday? 

Because I felt like it and I love writing.

I have written about 60 posts in the last two months that are either sitting in my documents folder or have been deleted because they didn’t fit into my old blogging “genre.”

I don’t have a genre, nor do I want to, but I do want to continue writing, whether it be publicly somewhere like this, or tucked away for only my eyes to see.

The past few months have brought about many changes in my life, and after a lot of reflection and some seriously difficult therapy, I can finally admit that the person I was most of my adult life was nothing like who I wanted to be. 

I think I, like many college and young twenty-something-year olds, I tried to wear a variety of different hats, because I had no freakin’ idea about my place in the world.

I felt lost in the shuffle because no longer did I have organized athletics, grades, part-time jobs, to fill my time and make me feel accomplished and it was now my responsibility to find a group of friends, a career and routine that worked for me as an adult, and obviously I did not handle it well.

I entered an occupation that was honestly perfect on paper, but was not meant for my talents and/or personal preferences.

I had about zero friends because all the people I spent time with in college moved out of my lame hometown. <—obviously I should have followed their lead 😉

OR I was the complete odd ball because who gets married at 21 and doesn’t want to have kids?!

Anyway, once I started getting in an isolated, depressed funk, it spiraled downward and I was not the capable of digging myself out of the hole.

I relied on my treadmill, cookbooks, and a calorie counter for entertainment and to determine my self-worth and it completely snowballed into poor health, even worse self-esteem and lonliness.

Fortunately I had Ryan by my side every step of the way and he reminded me of all I have to live for, but every day is a struggle.  (Um, or every week is a struggle if you count this one…)

I want to continue to write because I truly do enjoy it and I think my situation is pretty relatable to a lot of people; eating disordered or not, but I am going to reiterate something I have said in the past and that is that I don’t always want to write about food, exercise, etc. because there is a ton more to me than those things.

Personally I prefer Disney World to a pasta recipe, and I would rather dance my butt off to some Mark Knight than be on a treadmill, so when I do write, it could be tips on how to maximize your travel experience while minimizing the cost, or just posting an awesome podcast that is improving my mood.

It could be the fish taco recipe that Ryan raved was the best thing I ever made or it could be an incline work out that I didn’t think was totally lame and boring and that made me feel strong and empowered.

It could be about the killer deal I just snagged at H&M on glitter tights because obviously every woman should have a little sparkle in their wardrobe, or maybe even a devotional I read that really hit home that day.

Who knows, but regardless, I appreciate all the love and support you have given me through this process, variety of topics, and long periods of absence.  Without you, my husband and some very special friends, I don’t even want to think about where my life would be now.

So cheers, because today is a new day and a fresh start…and it’s only two days until the weekend 🙂

Lieing Jerk!

I have a confession to make, and many of you probably know this already but I don’t go to my nutritionist anymore.

I still see my therapist weekly, but I didn’t think it was super helpful to drive 30 minutes after work, fork over the co-pay and listen to things I pretty much already know.

“Eat more, stop counting calories, increase your fats, gain weight.”

Simple, and yet so difficult to do.

I also love my dietician.

In fact I think she is a an awesome lady and I enjoy talking with her, but I decides between my knowledge base, and feeling like I was constantly disappointing her by not utilizing the information both she and I know is essential for recovery, I was just wasting both our time.

Anyway, that being said, I haven’t known my weight or progress for a very long time.

I got weighed at the doctor’s office a few weeks ago when I visited for a physical, but I always weigh blind in those situations because my practitioner is not an ED specialist and doesn’t really know how to support me if I have a break down about the number in the office.

Best to avoid those triggering scenarios whenever possible.

Ryan used to weigh me, but months ago we came to the agreement that this was not the best idea either.

He is my husband not my nurse, and whatever digits appeared on the scale, always made one of us upset.

Again, best to avoid that if possible.

Wednesday morning, however, he busted out the hidden scale.

“Why are we doing this?” I asked, because I personally did not want to start my day feeling judged by a piece of equipment on my bathroom floor.

“I want to know where you are and I want you to know where you are before I leave for Colorado.”

On a side note Ryan is leaving next week to visit his brother. He tends to panic a bit before he goes because I am notorious for doing poorly when he is absent for any length of time and I typically deny this or claim I am doing fine…the scale is his proof and gauge for my progress. Sad, but necessary.

He also wanted to disprove my fears that I am gaining at this exponential and uncontrollable rate, and that I in fact DO need a higher meal plan to ever get to our goals.

I stood backwards and stepped on.

To be honest, I really did not want to know because I anticipated some ridiculously high number.

He did not tell me what the exact interger was, but he did compare it with the reading from a few months ago when we went through this same process.

He was right.

I (ED) was wrong.

I should really learn never to trust that pesky negative voice that plays constantly in my head because my body has not changed near as much as I imagined.

I feel better, because my diet is more varied and I am consuming more, but it still isn’t enough.

I kind of took this as good news because I again like food.

I am HUNGRY.

I am tired and don’t push myself in my walks to go to a majorly high incline or walk faster, which is something I did do before even though I wasn’t technically supposed to.

I am trying to respond to my cravings and needs and the number today confirmed I can do that without ballooning to a million pounds.

It was as if Ryan (and the scale) gave me permission to eat.

Not that I, or anyone, should need someone else to tell them it is ok to have nourishment. It is a basic necessity that everyone, just like the description implies, NEEDS, but I have had trouble “justifying” that idea for myself.

“My body can’t have that many calories, it will just become even more of a whale.”

“I am the exception to the rest of the world and carbohydrates will go right to my thighs and they will expand instantaneously.”

“I MUST exercise everyday or I am a big fat loser.”

Do any of these things sound familiar to you?

I am really sad if they do because I know how torturous they are.

What is my point?

ED beliefs are bogus.

This is nothing new, and there are plenty of people out there who don’t think in the stupidly distorted way my brain likes to work, but I am trying to reiterate this to myself on a daily, secondly, basis so I don’t act out in ways that seem to be more natural than me taking care of me.

I hate this disease more than anything, but anyone who has gone through it, or is currently in the turmoil, will tell you, it is a constant battle…regardless of how sick and tired I am of being sick and tired.

ED, you are a liar and I don’t want to listen anymore.

Winner, Winner, PB Crave Dinner

Just popping in to let you know who the lucky, EXTREMELY, lucky winner of the PB Crave Variety pack is….

I know the suspense is killing you…

Because it seriously is delicious, but do remember if you did not win it is sold at the Fresh Market….

It is absolutely worth buying…

But I am happy to say, RENATA, all you need to do is have your very own selection is e-mail me with your information so I can send you your prize!!!

Thank you everyone for participating 🙂

11 Things

You know, I have done so many heavy posts lately that I figured when my friend Lauren decided to tag me in this survey, it might be a nice time to do something a little more fun!

I am sure if you are a blog-reader you have seen this floating around the community, but the idea is I will tell you 11 completely random things about myself, and then answer the set of questions Lauren provided.

So here goes…

1. I absolutely detest scary movies and haven’t actually watched one since I was in middle school (Stir of Echoes!) at a sleepover.

I got so frightened I had to call my mom and go home. I didn’t sleep in my own bedroom for weeks and was totally embarrassed!

2. I took Karate when I was little and a few years ago tried my hand at Krav Maga.

Unfortunately when I got sick I had to give up the hobby due to Ryan feeling it was overly strenuous (fyi, it is pretty bad ass) but I would love to do it again someday. There is nothing more empowering than feeling like you can protect yourself and throw a mean punch.

Maybe he made me quit because he was scared I could beat him up….

3. I absolutely love the Disney High School Musical Movies. I even went to see the original off-Broadway and know the dance steps to “We’re All in This Together.” I swear in another life I was a Disney World Dancer.

4. I really don’t like Halloween. My mom never let us buy costumes growing up so I always had weird make-shift outfits that were hideously embarrassing. I think I am a bit bitter…

5. The only time I ever got grounded when I was younger was in high school when I snuck out. We have am alarm system that changes color when it is turned on or off so I don’t really know how I thought I could get away with it, but I tried anyway. FAIL.

6. I went through a phase where I would only wear things if they had gems, sequins or were sparkly…

7. I don’t know how to parallel park and have only ever done it once; during my actual driver’s test. Come to think of it, I am not a very good driver in general so I think I only passed because the man felt bad for me.

8. I sometimes sleep with my UGG boots on because my feet are constantly cold.

9. The Today Show is the only morning show I will ever watch. The others just don’t compare in my opinion. Plus, who doesn’t love Matt Lauer?! 🙂

10. When I was little I used to write plays. My friends and I would practice for weeks and put on performances for anyone who would watch…pretty much only our parents and some neighbors, but I have really good memories of this time.

11. I only chew EXTRA Spearmint Gum. I was once told it was the best “kissing gum” and I haven’t bought a different kind since.

Ok, now onto the Lauren-inspired questions!

  1. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?

This is such a difficult question because there are a million different places that I find fascinating and beautiful; some I have seen and others that are on my bucket list, BUT after visiting the South of France a few years ago I would have to say the small village called Eze might just top my list. (My blog banner was taken from the peak of the town!)

It is a short drive from more major cities/countries like Nice, Cannes and Monaco, but oh my gosh this tiny little medieval village sits on a cliff, with absolutely no cars, picturesque petite homes, a five star hotel and gardens on top of a fortress. It was one of the most breathtaking destinations I have ever seen and I definitely would love to go back.

Living there wouldn’t be half bad either!

  1. Beer or Wine?

Oh goodness, well considering I don’t really drink this is a tough one for me to answer, but I do enjoy tours of vineyards and there was a point in my life where I did enjoy a nice glass of vino. For that reason, I am going to say wine.

  1. What is your favorite quote?

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” -Walt Disney

I don’t think it’s a secret that I am obsessed with Disney World and pretty much all things that have to do with the mouse (and princesses!!!) so it may not come as a surprise that I love Walt’s quote.

I also think it is a fantastic motto to live by because it discourages people from saying, “I can’t.” Maybe I need to start applying old Walt’s wisdom to my own life…

  1. One thing you always have in your purse?

There are many things I keep in my purse, the obvious being wallet, cell phone, etc. but I never leave home without a camelback water bottle, my Kindle, and blue medicated Blistex. Chapped lips are one of my least favorite feelings in the world.

  1. The best concert you’ve ever been to?

USHER!

I love Dave Matthews’s concerts as well, but let me tell you, watching Usher dance is mesmerizing. He is just SO good at being an entertainer, and the movement did not stop from start to finish. Totally amazing concert and I seriously hope another comes this way soon.

  1. What would be your last meal?

This is another hard question to answer considering the fact that I am a crazy person when it comes to food (ok, let’s be honest, I am nuts about much more than food!) but eating disorder thoughts aside it is a toss up between an amazing breakfast of peanut butter stuffed french toast with fresh fruit, or Alaskan King Crab legs with a baked yam and some garlic spinach followed by soft serve ice cream with toppings, or maybe even a really good pizza that I had in Italy once…

Like I said, hard question for me to answer with a starving brain, because too many things sound good!

  1. What is one word that makes you cringe?

Penis. I know this sounds weird but I hate that word. I especially hated hearing it from my teachers in health class…

  1. If you could live one day as the opposite sex, what is the first thing you would do?

Enjoy the minimal primping process! I think that is why I admire Caitlin’s bravery for taking on The Naked Face Project.

I am totally guilty of putting on makeup nearly everyday, shaving my legs, doing my hair, etc.

I am not really good at the whole beautification routine, but I still do it to feel somewhat better about myself, and the shortest amount of time it ever takes me to be ready to go to work is half an hour.

Ryan can be ready for a nice dinner in 5 minutes.

  1. Do you believe in soul mates?

Yes, I absolutely do, BUT I believe you can have more than one.

  1. Gossip Girl or Glee?

Thankfully they are on different nights. I DVR them both!

  1. What would be your ideal job?

If I could do anything in the world it would be work in the travel industry. I would either be a guest services representative at Disney World or work on a cruise ship as a cruise director. I will totally do one of these things someday…

Remember, “if you can dream it, you can do it!”

Since many of my bl-iends have already participated, I am not tagging anyone specific, but I would love to hear from anyone out there who wants to offer up some random information about yourselves! I always love learning about readers!

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

I did tell you yesterday that I would be a smidge more specific in regards to what my husband and I discussed Saturday that was so difficult for me to process, so I guess I will try to explain.

I don’t really understand why I had such a hard time grasping where he was coming from, since I have heard this all before and I should have expected it to be coming sooner or later, but he suggested I get my act together before he gets home from Colorado or we need to explore options beyond recovery at home.

At first I was in shock.

Hello, I am not at my lowest weight so why are we even considering a program as an option?!

But, in his defense I am not too far off from that point and he knows how quickly I have fallen off the deep end…aka, three weeks of him not being home to ensure that I am doing “ok” could potentially mean me dipping lower than last years hospital admission weight, and more importantly, me completely going into “Ed’s” wide open arms.

The problem is I don’t see any of this.

My dietician equated my lack of acknowledgement to the situation as me being a blind person; unable to see what is right before my eyes, and essentially she is right.

I look in the mirror and see a completely average sized person, who functions every day as an adult female; albeit a robotic one, but still I go to work, perform my obligations in other areas of life and even have thrown in some fun lately. All off these things make me have a hard time believing I would need any exterior help beyond a meal plan, my outpatient recovery team and the support I have from my bl-iends and loved ones.

Another thing, and I have found this pretty common in the eating disorder world, is I am never sick enough.

Every time you relapse, unless caught relatively early, there seems to be a new low, more or different habits that become engrained, and you kind of reach an elevated level of disordered that is worse or harder to combat than the last time.

I took the idea of a structured program off that table for a variety of reasons; mainly because I am working and that is important to me right now, that I have cheated every single program I have ever entered making it, in my mind, a waste of time, and it is EXPENSIVE.

I have told you all before that I firmly believe recovery is most possible when someone commits to it. It doesn’t matter where a person is, a hospital or at home, recovery, long-lasting recovery, cannot be achieved without a person surrendering and embracing that the journey is going to be uncomfortable and pretty much horrific, but eventually it will get better.

I admit, I have never ever been to that point. In partial hospitalization, residential and as an actual floor patient, I was only there because I had to be.

I didn’t BELIEVE I needed to gain weight or change my ways.

I didn’t really care to do any real work or feel the pain that comes with opening up emotionally and challenging every, single, rule I have lived by for as long as I can remember.

Thinking about it now, it is a shame because I might be a lot better off if I had just complied, listened and accepted what I needed to do, because I think it is SO difficult to keep taking a few steps forward, but then running many steps back.

I know I need to get healthy.

Cognitively, I know this.

But what changes have I REALLY made?

Not too many…

Walking rather than running, eating at a few restaurants, maybe some challenge foods here and there, being a bit more assertive, but at my core I still don’t believe I am really worth it and that is sad.

A friend recently asked, “what can I do right now, today, or in this moment to make progress?”

I didn’t have an answer. And I still don’t, but I sure have a lot of thinking to do these next few weeks.

Or maybe rather than thinking, I need to be DOING.

Actions do speak louder than words, I just seem to have a bit of a problem with that lately.

Who Am I, Peter Pan?!

Since I have been trying to be a bit more open lately, I figured I should probably tell you my weekly nutrition appointments have been getting neglected, meaning I haven’t really been going.

When I fell off the wagon a few weeks ago I basically felt there was no point in paying to see someone who was just going to confirm what I already knew; I was not doing well, I needed to increase my meal plan by doing x, y and z.

I knew all that. I knew I needed more fats, and increase in calories, etc. but I didn’t care to do it.

We have already established that programs are not typically helpful until you are ready to actually surrender and relinquish control, but really, at what point do you get there?

HOW does one get to that state?

I did decide to go to my appointment yesterday, and I sat there with tears in my eyes because I feel so helpless.

I am exhausted; mentally, physically, emotionally…I am just TIRED.

I don’t want to think about any of this anymore in either regard; “did I have enough to maintain my recovery plan?” or on the other side “how can I strip this meal to be the lowest possible calories?”

Both parts of me are incredibly over it.

So I came home and felt like I had a tornado in my brain; swirling thoughts in all different directions that just would not let up.

I am in danger of losing everything I love in my life and I just cannot seem to bring myself back to a positive, healthy based mind-set.

I explained all this to Ryan last and he came up with a pretty good idea.

I am having trouble with my “big girl pants.”

I have dabbled with the idea that I am just so afraid of growing up and failing that I am in a way preserving myself as a child; needing to be taken care of, and ultimately physically not maturing (hello no boobs or curves.)

Well, lets look at some other areas of my life….

I work in the very same high school from which I graduated.

I live with my sister and had a mental breakdown when she wanted to move out.

I hated the home Ryan and I bought together and now we live in my childhood residence, since my mom has re-located to New Jersey.

I am sure there are other examples but these are pretty blatant, and make a lot of sense.

My family always comments that I was an adult from the time I was born because it was just me among my older family members. There were no other kids so I sat and listened to my aunts, uncles, mom, and her friends, all have conversations and engage in adult activities.

I had friends growing up but I often preferred hanging out with my mom and her circle than going out and doing things with my peers.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed my childhood and LOVED high school, and perhaps that is why I want to stay there.

I am trying to re-live, or at least stay emerged within old, positive memories, with less responsibilities and when failure meant a C on a test.

I feel so inept at being a woman; like I don’t know how to do it properly, and so as I continue to “fail” in the adult society, why not revert to being a child?

Maybe there is absolutely no validity at all to this theory but it does sort of make sense.

I am just wondering what it will take for me to move on?

It really is time to put my big girl pants on….one leg (or day) at a time…