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.

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 🙂

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.

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 😉

Who Knew Traveling Could Be So Much Fun?!

As I told you in my last entry, the blogging committment I held myself to on a daily basis was becoming detrimental to my progress in recovery.

And as much as that has made me feel like a “quitter,” and somewhat guilty; as often as I have really missed connecting with others, the break has been nice.

Why?

Because I have actually been LIVING!

I  used to write about living; share my pictures of our travels, music I enjoyed, my family, and a miniscule list of other interests, but after returning home from our annual trip to Walt Disney World, and EPCOT‘s Food and Wine Festival, I realized my version of living the last few years has been completely lame.

Cognitively I knew this to some extent, but I have recently come to understand that a vacation is not truly a vacation without ice cream every day.

…If that is what you want, of course.

What I mean in a more literal sense, is that life, and actually living, is about choice.

We are faced with thousands of choices every day, and for the majority of my existence my choices were dictated by a tyrannical asshole residing between my ears. <—and most of the time my headphones 😉

CJ didn’t really have much input, and actually lost touch with her true desires (yes, I am referring to myself in the third person here…) because ED took all the control.

I couldn’t remember what it was like to “normally” order off a menu because I was the annoying girl at the table telling the wait staff that I wanted a dry piece of fish with steamed vegetables…and then reminding/reiterating  that I meant everything had to be completely separate from anything that may contain oil or butter.

And a day without the gym was completely unheard of; even when we were on vacation and I knew we would be hiking, biking, dancing, whatever, later in the day.

This past trip to Orlando was different.

It felt completely unnatural to make choices based on what my body TRULY felt and WANTED, because it was the first time I can remember ever doing so…

…2 p.m. butter pecan tasted mighty delicious in that 80 degree weather…

…Sleeping until 6:30 so I had just enough time for breakfast, a pony-tail and brushing my teeth in order to make it to Toy Story Midway Mania pre-984548764 hour line…

These things were completely foreign to our typical Disney schedule, but they gave a wonderful sense of freedom, and were actually quite awesome.

Now, don’t get me wrong.

Every day was an internal, and sometimes external, struggle.

There were moments when I wanted to crawl out of my skin or rip at my stomach and pray that the bulge I was currently feeling could be removed, but I also had many moments of bliss, wonder and the magic I remember in times when I wasn’t so distorted and sick; when memories being made with my loved ones, were way more important than the calories I consumed at breakfast.

As hard as pushing myself and stepping outside of my comfort zone our week away (and weeks prior at home) have been, the glimpses of hope have been worth it.

I am hoping to keep this in mind as reality sets in now that the happiest place on earth is a good 16 hour car ride away, because I am nowhere near past the difficulties.

Coming home from our adventure also made clear that there are other aspects in my life that need to change.

Location is an example of this.

We have no concrete plan as of right now, but Ryan and I agree a move might be exactly what we need to start over, and for me to make another major leap into COMPLETE wellness.

I am physically a little better…well enough to make a drastic decision, I guess you could say, and there seems to be no better time than the present to seriously think about what we want out of lives as individuals and a family.

Neither Ryan or I have ever lived away from our hometown for any extended period of time, and although last year when my mom said she was selling her house I was terrified to leave everything I knew, that was more because the eating disorder voice told me all change was bad.

I wasn’t ready then…for anything…for recovery…for a body bigger than an 8 year old…for a bedroom other than the one I grew up in…or to believe that God was the only savior I needed in my life; rather than the “comfort” my rituals and ED behaviors were temporarily providing.

Moving would put me out of my element, but it would also present an opportunity for growth and improvement.

Like I said, there are no firm plans, but there are ideas, and open-hearts/minds in the Weaber household, which is more than I can say was the case in the past.

For now, in the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holidays, which I am not really used to spending outside the confines of a hospital, I am going to continue working on counting my blessings rather than calories, because what the last few weeks have proven is that life is way better with friends, family, music, and fellowship.

None of which seem to care how many miles I ran in the morning, or the circumference around my waist.

Happy Thanksgiving week.  Be back sooner, rather than later 🙂

Oh My Goodness…NEW POST!

This feels weird.

Sitting down at my computer writing a post, since it has been over a week.

I love blogging.  I have told you that a million times before, but I am learning that sometimes in life it is best to take a step back from the things we enjoy and evaluate our reasoning for what purpose they actually serve.

I don’t think I articulated that as well as I intended, but perhaps an example might provide a clearer picture.

I used to love running.

I started running because it gave Ryan and I something to do together and we competed but in a way that was good for our relationship.  We pushed each other and wanted to improve but not in a destructive sense.

It then became an obsession.

I needed to be faster, go longer, do more in order to have the same positive feelings.

I started to exclude my husband and did races on my own.

I had to do it every day or I felt like a complete loser and a failure if my times were not better than the day before.

Ultimately, it was more of an addiction than a joy.

Anyway, blogging is not like running if you think of it in terms of my physical health, but my point is similar.

One does not die from being at a desk and typing away…even if a person would do that for hours at a time, but for me personally, blogging started to become more of a detriment than an asset to my recovery, because if I didn’t do it on a regular basis I felt like I was the worst journal-er in the universe.  I felt like no one cared and once again I was a big, fat, loser.  Since negative self-talk is NOT my friend, I needed to take some time and figure out what I wanted to do.

I don’t want to give up writing, and I certainly don’t want to eliminate connecting with others; since I have made a ton of friends through this medium and absolutely love helping others by sharing my experiences, but right now I am going to set some boundaries to protect myself, and my own journey because there were aspects of Healthy, Happy, Whole that need to change in order to maintain why I actually started doing this.

So first, just like in many treatment centers, I don’t want to talk numbers.

I LOVE when readers e-mail me, and I truly appreciate the reach out, but a caloric plan that works for me, most likely will not work for you.

Everyone has different needs, various activity levels, dietary requirements and I am certainly not in the position to give advice on any of those things.  I am not a professional, nor have I succeeded at the whole weight-restoration process before.  (I am working on it now though!!!)

As I have done in the past I suggest if you do need more information on meal planning and specifics, please see someone who is licensed and qualified.  They will be able to asses you physically and give you a better idea of what your daily goals should be.

I KNOW…trusting a stranger that is telling you to break all your rules is super scary and you read all these forums that tell you about a Buddha belly and how people gain weight so fast, but I can assure you everyone’s situation is going to be different.  I know plenty of people who never got an inflated tummy…who could barely gain a pound a week…

Your body will respond to treatment and nourishment however it NEEDS to in order to survive.

I am trying to remember this, as well, so please don’t think I am being mean or harsh by stating I cannot discuss my numbers.  I am just trying to be mindful of what will help me, and what I think might help you in the long run, too.

Second, there is a TON more to me than my eating disorder.

If I could tell you the amount of interests I have outside of food and exercise you might be stunned!

Stunned because all I ever talked about on here WAS diet food and physical activity; maybe a bit about travel and my family, but not much else.

Well let me tell you what.

I also like to be-dazzle things.

Yes, I made this sweet cup! I wish you could see the bottom!!!

I like to plan parties.

I like to see my friends on a regular basis.

Watch TV.  (HOMELAND?! I can’t believe I did not watch you sooner!!!)

Read.

Pray.

Practice my faith.

Be outside.

Color.

I mean, really, the list goes on.

I am hoping you all aren’t too bored if I start discussing more of my daily ventures, but they are a huge part of me, so I am done keeping them hidden and I want to explore MORE.

Time to look at recovery as an adventure, not a chore.

I hope you all have been well.  I really have missed my bl-iends, and I am ready to be back!  Maybe not as regularly, but definitely every now and then to give you some tid-bits and tips that are helping me, maybe to share in some of my struggles when I need support, and to show you that life is something to celebrate.

Le Dolce Vita, my friends.

Life is sweet.