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 🙂

Music, Friends and Make-Over Motivation…I Hope.

As I told you Thursday, we had some pretty awesome plans for the night and they went even better than I expected.

The night was filled with good friends, fabulous music (Mark Knight you are AMAZING) and was just an overall blast.

When I checked Facebook Saturday I was pretty excited to see some pictures of our group the club promoters took, actually made it to the the organization who sponsored the events page.

Excited until I actually looked through the photos…

I was embarrassed for myself.

Seriously, what happened to me?

I am by no means my lowest weight according to the scale (at least from the last time I checked since the scale miraculously disappeared over a month ago), but my body is not pretty.

Now, I have never been an extremely confident woman when it came to my physical appearance.

Truth be told I have always felt like the ugly duckling within my group of friends because they were all so beautiful, with boys flocking around them, while I was typically just considered the one you went to for female advice, BUT in high school and college I was somewhat comfortable with how I looked and who I was as a person.

Saturday when I glanced through the snap shots I could barely stand to keep my eyes open.

No wonder people look at me so awkwardly.

Where is the muscle I used to have?

Why don’t my clothes fit anything like they feel against my skin?

My hair is brittle and gross, and my skin does not glow no matter how much time I spend in the sun or at the salon.

I am kind of repulsed by myself actually, and although I don’t always see through “accurate” eyes, if this is what others have to view 24/7 then I want no part of it.

Here is the caveat…

I am scared to death of the time in between redistribution and now, because as many of you who have experienced recovery, or seen someone in the process, your body looks kind of weird for a while; Buddha belly and ponch that is my worst nightmare, and that always seems to halt any productivity I do make.

But I also hate what I and others are witnessing now…a pretty weak looking girl.

I do know one’s body is not the most important thing in the world.

I also KNOW how terrible it feels to look at yourself and see UGLY.

And that is how I feel…phyiscally and internally ugly.

Sounds like I need an extreme make-over.

Fortunately I don’t need ABC to do so…

Just strength, courage and persistence.

Easy, right?!

Life Should Be Enough Incentive

I have gotten quite a few questions about why I am no longer attending The Healthy Living Summit. (Insert sad face here) and I can’t even begin to tell you how difficult a decision it was to make.

Like I have told you all before, last year’s conference was seriously one of the most fun, educational and awesome experiences I have ever had.

I made friends, learned a ton about social media, blogging, etc. but I also left with a false perception of myself.

All the women I met were wonderfully inspiring, with huge fitness accomplishments, fabulous recipe creating capabilities, what appeared to be a great sense of balance, and confidence I could only dream of, and I somehow convinced myself that I could start emulating these things, as well.

That sounds great, right?!

I needed a little more self-assurance, and learning a life of moderation was/is my goal, after all, but I also decided running was appropriate again (you know, because if everyone else was doing it, I should be too) and that a very clean diet was way better than following a meal plan.

Ultimately, I fooled myself into thinking I could live that lifestyle, but my body wasn’t healthy enough for those changes.

As you can imagine, when I told Ryan I wanted to go again this year, he was hesitant.

He knows how much I compare myself to others and how I use that to justify my ED behaviors. <- (SO wrong, I know!).

I am just not in the right place to trust myself NOT to be destructive, or personally deceitful toward my own recovery.

I have enough enough trouble convincing myself that there is any problem with the way I live when I am in my own little bubble, so although no one ever deliberately says things to make me feel this way, my brain loves to twist what it sees in just the right manner to make me believe extreme forms of “healthy habits” are perfectly ok FOR me.

You don't have to say it. I know my thought process is pretty irrational.

And speaking of giving things up, Ryan came home the other night with some seriously disturbing concerns…

Remember how I told you I had awesome plans tonight?!

Well Ry, a few of our friends and I are going to DC to see Mark Knight and a club called Lima.

This translates to hours of dancing, SO much fun, and quality time with people I really enjoy being around.

In theory this is pretty much Ryan and my version of the perfect evening, but after work on Tuesday he suggested this be our last event like this for awhile.

WHAT?!

I feel like I just started being social again!!!

Granted it might not always be the best idea for me to move my ass off for a long period of time in order to have a good time, but I thought Ryan was thrilled with our new weekend calendar, so I was still completely taken aback by his statements.

He didn’t say these things to be cruel…what he meant was he wants me to be in a better place physically, and I get that, but some of the comments he made sounded like he was very much embarrassed to be seen with me, and that I was going to be punished if I did not gain weight…fast.

The intention was not to insinuate punishment, but he has told me before it is more disturbing to be in public with me when I look as unattractive (this is my word not his, he used another adjective that is escaping me at the current moment) as I do now.

I was pretty much furious during and after this little chat.

I wanted to scream and yell, “THIS IS BULLS*IT!!!” because for the FIRST time in a long time we are having FUN together and participating in LIFE.

I am sick of sitting on the couch watching tv, going to the movies, or just doing at-home activities, because that’s all we have done for the past few years. That is all we felt “comfortable” doing without one of us freaking out on the other.

I was SO excited that our marriage was once again vibrant and fresh; not so focused around food, exercise and how horrible I felt, and I was devastated that this positivity could all be GONE!

I know this is all my fault, but I am just so frustrated that my brain has been incapable of breaking down the annoying ED barriers and just saying “who cares if you ate half the box of Kashi for breakfast!?! You were hungry!!!”

Will this be my turning point? ED yet again coming in and ruining something I have that is good?! Because I really do have everything (obviously more than glow sticks and loud music) to lose at this point if I cannot get my act together.

How long will people seriously put up with me because I can’t imagine it being much more?

I need to stay strong, focus on constructive recovery behaviors, and find meaning in life outside of being so darn negative.

Maybe this sounds like the same old story on another day, but I am a smart girl; it has to sink in sometime.

I am TRUSTING it will sink in sometime; I just need to fight harder.