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 Magic Within

I realize this is a completely unconventional, random post, but yesterday as I was sitting in journaling group, we had to respond to a poem that was read to us, and for some reason this is what came up for me.

It is not a poem, or really anything with structure, but I wanted to share.

The Magic Within

There once was a girl who felt so small.

Compared to her peers she looked like a tiny fairy you would imagine from a story book.

She glittered and sparkled but could not speak loud enough, or have a big enough presence to feel like she mattered.

…Until one day, she got lucky…

It was dreary and gray and her wings were shining bright enough that a passerby noticed the vibrant yellows and gold lighting up the surroundings.

“Hello, little one. How are you? Why do you look so sad? Your wings are so beautiful and alive; they make the room so warm; it is glowing!”

“But how did you even see me? I am too small! I wish I could be big like you! I wish I could experience life as someone who others actually see or want to know!”

“Coincidently, I can help you. I’m in the field of magic, you know.”

“Do you pull rabbits out of a hat?”

“No! I am actually a potion master.”

“Like a witch?”

“No, but I can give you the things you most desire…”

“To be normal? To be important?”

“YES! Yes!! You will be free from the body and state you despise. Just drink this and it will all be better.”

So the small girl poured the elixir down, down, down her delicate throat and waiter for her miracle to occur.

And then it happened…

“Is this what it is really like?! Is this how others feel about themselves? Can things be this wonderful?!”

The tiny one experienced her first day of happiness, inner peace and confidence. She thanked the magician for his kindness; for the gift he had shared with her when she felt so undeserving of something so special.

“There is no need to thank me, little princess. The potion was just water. I merely made you believe you were big and worthy of recognition and happiness. Your wings glitter and you are beautiful…but you always have been. I didn’t change a thing about you, or enhance your unique qualities. It was always within you. You just needed my help you see…”

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Like I said, there was no real purpose to today’s post, but there are times I know I need someone to help me recognize the positive qualities God has instilled within me.

Often it is sticking to my core values, and celebrating my individuality that provides the most fulfillment; but finding the courage to do so can be difficult.

Every day I feel like I am improving in those respects.

Happy Thursday, my friends.

One more until the weekend 🙂

When Life Hands You Lemons…

I recently found out one of my friends, who coincidently I knew from a treatment facility, was re-admitted to the hospital.

I am extremely sad for her because the last time we were together, a few months ago for lunch and a little goody swap, she seemed like she was in such a fabulous place.

She had found strength through her faith, was working a job she enjoyed, and her smile glowed which not only gave me immense hope, but also pride, because I knew her at a time when her mind was completely dark and distorted.

I was sad to hear of her whereabouts, but also completely understanding because I know how difficult this journey can be, and sometimes the strongest thing we can do is ask for help.

I am not telling you to this invade her privacy or put down her situation, because obviously I have been in her shoes one too many times before, but more because it serves as a good reminder; fighting ED is a constant battle.

Actually, I should rephrase that….

Fighting ED is a series of battles, because there are so many twists, turns and new opponents that may come up, even if you feel like you are finally getting a rest.

It is the same way in life…you think you are finally bringing things all together and then a wrench gets thrown into the equation that can knock you off your feet and either make you turn down a negative road, or become a better person.

I would LOVE to think what I have gone through in the past few years, with countless attempts at recovery, I have grown as an individual and am working on becoming the person God intends me to be, but the point is I have to remain in that realm of thinking; that even though my adult years have not yet gone as planned, I will ultimately end up just where I was meant to, to eventually win the war.

This may seem a bit confusing or vague for a Sunday evening, after a beautiful few days of weather, but just remember that no matter what comes your way, YOU have the power to change it and turn lemons into lemonade.

Hold onto that hope and I am sure your week (and hopefully even longer 🙂 ) will be fabulous!

Enjoy what is left of this gorgeous evening! ❤

Fat Is Not A Feeling

“Fat is not a feeling.”

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard that in the past four years.

Counselors, therapists, techs, dieticians, even Ryan, have adopted the phrase to throw back at me when I am whining about my recovery, because I often use the “f” work to describe what is on my mind.

But in my warped and contorted way of thinking, the statement is true.

Any time I attempt “real” recovery, my body feels large and very uncomfortable, which to me equates to fat. What all these professionals and my loved ones are alluding to, is there is something behind the body image that can cause, or aid in the persistence of what I construe as a physical “problem.”

They are right in a sense, because many times, the negativity that I associate with being larger than I wish stems from an outside influence or situation that stirs up the ED monster in my brain to put me down.

I screw up at work…I am a fat loser that can’t do anything right.

I am not immediately accepted by a group of people, or I feel rejected….its because I am fat.

Someone is looking at me and I get seriously paranoid…WHOA I MUST LOOK SO FAT!

Why does it always turn back to a weight issue?!

After receiving a comment from a friend, and doing a bit of self-exploration, I realized maybe feeling obese, even though it is a pretty freakin’ miserable thought, is better than facing real emotions.

I am not very experienced when it comes to discussing or sorting through the raw stuff that comes up inside, because any time I have gotten close to doing the mental/emotional component of becoming more whole. I get about halfway there and shut down.

If you asked me what I was feeling on any particular day, I would probably tell you “good, fine,” anything along those lines, because that is what I have convinced myself.

I really don’t have highs and lows, until it comes to my weight, which is not normal, nor is it how I want to be.

Sure, I think a lot of people deal with feeling one way or another about their physiques; has good days and bad when they look in the mirror. I think that is pretty typical, but I don’t think those are the only emotions they can comprehend and communicate.

Unfortunately for me, I sometimes think that is pretty much it.

Sadness and anger comes when I feel disgusting, bloated and HUGE….and the excessive weight gain perception, if I really had to think about it, is generally a follow-up to someone hurting my feelings.

Content or feeling “ok” I recognize as days when ED isn’t totally screaming at me from morning until night, not because I am relaxed, did something nice for myself, etc.

And happiness. Yes I think I feel joy, and appreciate all the wonderful things God has given me (I have an amazing family and life overall, I will never deny that) but isn’t your heart supposed to be able to identify honest to goodness bliss?

I feel kind of pathetic saying I don’t know if I can?!

Maybe there is absolutely no validity in this, and I am sure I am confusing the heck out of all of you, but what I have noticed is that I don’t really talk about many serious things other than physical health related issues.

My family, which is a bit different and absolutely worthy of more posts considering they are a major, MAJOR, part of my existence, don’t get much mention because I don’t like airing my dirty laundry, nor do I like delving into the past as much as I would have to to properly explain.

Maybe there are things I would like to avoid thinking about? Perhaps due to pain or hurt that I felt before and would rather not relive?

Like I said, I am not one hundred percent sure where my head, or my heart currently is, other than focused on the water weight that is still taking over my body, and the impending x amount of pounds I have to gain, but I think effective communication of my emotions is going to be essential to getting well.

I do smile. I do sometimes cry. I laugh and get mad, and curse up a storm when I am annoyed, but most days I feel so flat, and that doesn’t seem like any way to live.

Simply existing is not my goal.

I want to have a good belly-laugh where I am rolling on the floor, or a cry where I just can’t stop because it feels so good to let it all out.

Is that weird?

I hope not, because life without a genuine smile and an open heart seems kind of lame.