Monday, January 31, 2011

Just do it.

Today this slogan has been my motto. Last night after posting I had a terrible stomach ache. This morning for some reason my ED thoughts had a rampage. I felt fat, guilty, miserable and just plain nasty. I DID NOT want to eat breakfast, which is usually the easiest meal of the day for me. I felt anxious before I even got out of bed. I purposely didn't look in the mirror, because I knew how it would make me feel.

As much as I didn't want to, I ate breakfast. I'm not sure if this ever happens to any of you, but for some reason I had no appetite. I was hungry, but nothing about eating seemed appealing. I was depressed, grouchy and feeling blah all morning. But I forced myself to eat. I forced myself to go about my day. I forced myself not to exercise and to keep up that happy face. I didn't feel like it in the least - I just did it.

Surprisingly though, by the afternoon I felt much better. I went out, did some shopping, came back and organized the house, studied a bit and here I am now.
Yes, I could have restricted, I could have exercised, or engaged in some other ED behavior. There's no way to describe how appealing both of those prospects seemed at the time. On the flip side of the coin I didn't want to eat, I didn't want to get up and do my daily duties. But it didn't matter what I wanted and didn't want to do - I just did it.

Some days are just like that. You have to do the right thing despite what you feel like doing. Our lives can't be controlled by our impulses. You have to bite the bullet and just do what's best for you, regardless of how you feel.

So what are you waiting for:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Challenge update and yummy food :)

I'm now seven days into my ten day challenge (the one I decided to go on here) and I have to say I've learned a few things about myself through it.

Honestly, I wasn't sure what I was in for when I started. Treating myself like I would someone else would mean that all the "guilt" trips would have to go. Anything that I would force myself to do because I felt I "had" to would become very clear, very soon.

It's funny but once you develop an ED some habits become so ingrained in your head you think they are a part of you. You know, things you choose to do or not to do, your likes and dislikes - basically everything gets distorted.
An example - my ED convinced me for the longest of time I didn't like cheese or avocados. The truth was I was scarred of the fat content in those foods so I wouldn't let myself indulge. But for the longest of times I was convinced that I didn't like those foods, so I didn't even want to try them. After forcing myself to try them initially and having a few mental struggles I realized that I like avocados and cheese.

Hear that ED, I like cheese and I am not ashamed of that fact anymore!!!

Anyhow, back to my challenge. After a few days I came to the shocking realization that the thing I would "force" myself to do most often would be engage in some form of exercise. I would feel the need to go walking when I didn't actually want to, or do yoga although I was tired. As per my challenge I wouldn't do any of these things, but the thoughts that I should do them were most definitely there. This came as a surprise to me, because I always thought that exercise wasn't a problem for me. (in an upcoming post I'll detail my relation ship with exercise). I always thought it was more of a food thing. Turns out I don't have such a hard time eating, but I feel the need to compensate eating by exercising. Although at times I had to consiously allow myself certain indulgences, I'm doing pretty good on that front.

Speaking of indulgences, today was full of them. Check out what I baked today:

It's a yellow coconut cake. So simple but deliciouse (the recipie for it is here in case you're interested.) It was served with some chocolate pudding for flavor contrast, yummy!!!

And this afternoon I did something I was never able to do pre-ED. I made a pizza dinner for my family. This, my dear blog readers, is no small feat considering I have a family of nine and most of them are growing boys (and I think we all know what their appetite looks like). When I was deep in my ED, even spending that amount of time in the kitchen would cause extreme anxiety, not to mention I wouldn't even try to eat any of it.

Well today I was able to sit around the table and throughly enjoy my meal. I'm actually stuffed right now, but each bite was so worth it. I mean, who could resist something like this:

Coming out of the oven - a mixed pizza (1/4 eggplant mozzarella, 1/4 ham and mushrooms, 1/4 mixed cheeses and olives, 1/4 ham, olives.):

Another one already waiting to be eaten (mushroom, ham, cheese pizza):

I actually really enjoyed this meal. I didn't compare my portion size to others (it was rather hefty), I didn't fill up on veggies or water before hand. I ate what I wanted to, and it was 100% worth it (despite the slight stomach ache I have now).

I also realized that family meals mean so much more then just giving your body fuel. They also mean great company, pleasent conversations, lots of laughs and happy memories. These are all things I would miss out on if I was still entrapped in my old ways. Life is so much richer without them!

Hope you all enjoy the end of your week-end :P!

What did your ED convince you that you like/dislike that you've found isn't true?

Friday, January 28, 2011

Follow up post

Hi everyone!

I might be the weirdest person on the planet, but I'm not looking forward to the weekend. I guess my "work days" aren't exactly packed so the weekend comes around and I'm always left wondering "What's the big deal?" I'm honestly much happier being crazy busy then having the time to sit around and do nothing.

I've decided to do a follow up to my previous post, because I've had a mini-revelation since then.

I was really baffled by the whole snacking issue, because it seemed that I was eating way more then I actually needed. I'd often start off hungry and finish eating stuffed as opposed to comfortably full. Not only that, but my stomach has often been really bloated afterwards (bad balance of foods is my first guess). I knew something was wrong, so I decided to find out what.

I posted a thread on We Bite Back (a recovery forum I am a member of - I highly recommend it to anyone !) about this and someone replied with some interesting links about mindful eating.

I'm not saying here that I binge or overeat - because I don't. But reading through those links did open my eyes to a few important things.

- I tend to eat my snacks very quickly and "on the go". I rarely stop to enjoy what I eat and so it's easy for my body to get confused as to how much it actually needs. Another reason I eat quickly is that snacks are the only meals that still have "anxiety" attached to them as they are "extras" for most people and not really "required".
- I am (or rather was) in a bit of a food rut with my snacks. I would eat the same things each day - mainly because they were readily available and I don't usually feel like taking the time to eat something I really want. So instead of eating what I wanted or craved I'd just "eat whats there". As a result my stomach might be satisfied but my taste buds aren't and I am left feeling "hungry".
- If I make the effort to 1. enjoy my food more, 2. eat what I want, even if it takes a few extra minutes to prepare, I will be more in tune with my body. As a result I am less likely to "overeat" or be left with a bad feeling after snacks.

Since making the effort to do all of the above in the past few days I've really noticed an improvement. I feel GOOD after I eat, I eat just the right amount and have way fewer digestion issues then I did in times past.

Sometimes it takes a little extra effort to treat yourself and your body well, but it always pays off in the end.

What did you do recently to be "kind to yourself"?

In other news I've started a new blog. This one is more healthy eating/living oriented. If you want to , feel free to have a look :

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


So as of today my stomach seems to be on the road to recovery. Eating hummus still caused a bit of pain, but most of my veggies/fruit went down pain free. Yay for introducing a bit more variety into my diet.

There is something I'm struggling a bit with though, especially since regaining my appetite.

I am a self confessed snack-a-holic. I'm one of those people that just can't eat 3 meals a day and get enough nutrients/fuel in those meals to last them through the day. I need 5 mini-meals a day. And although this is considered healthy and normal, I feel bad about it.

Why? I feel like I eat big snacks :( It's baffling for me, because there are times I DON'T FEEL HUNGRY, but when I start to eat I need A LOT to feel satiated. And often that satiated feeling never comes - it's hungry to full. I struggle with this because unlike in times past I don't "plan" my snacks. I have a general idea of what I want to eat, and if that isn't enough I get something more. But maybe it is enough? Maybe I'm boredom eating? It is a possibility, especially since I am in the house a lot of the time with not much to do.

Today I got hit with a lot of thoughts like this regarding my snack. I didn't restrict though - I ate what it took for me to be full. But there was not a little mental struggle involved.

Also a lot of my snacks tend to be the same thing, day after day. I don't know why I've developed ruts like this. It could be because those are staples that are available in our house. The problem is whenever I eat anything other then those foods I feel guilt, like that food should have been reserved for a meal. But I guess for me snacks are mini meals, because I can't eat big enough main meals (I'm assuming). Or maybe this extra hunger is my bodies way of trying to get to it's set point, and once it reaches that point the hunger will fade and I will start eating less.

It's just hard for me to look around me and see everyone eating less then me when I am the "former anorexic" and thus should be eating less then them. Ok that is obviously eating disordered thinking right there. But when I compare my meals to my dads, he seems to eat the same amount - although he's a BIG guy and exercises of a regular basis. What's wrong with this picture?

I'm sorry, I have to ask this question in order to get it off my chest.

Are 2 crackers of this:

with a bit of this:

and half a cup of this

with this

an insanly huge snack. Or are my ED thoughts really getting to me today?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Mini rant and challenge update.

I'm so frustrated at the moment :(. Ever since getting this flue my stomach has been an absolute wreck. For the first 2 days all I could live off of was oatmeal, toast, yogurt and cereal. Then I moved on to cottage cheese, eggs, boiled veggies and rice. I'm so sick and tired of just bland foods. I have a whole bunch of food I want to try, not to mention a lovely ripe avocado sitting in the fridge, but I can't eat any of it because I can't seem to digest it.

Another thing that's missing is my appetite. I still get hungry from time to time, but after I eat my stomach hurts SO BAD. It's horrible!

Take today for example. I was really looking forward to lunch - curried lentils with chapati's and salad. I had a late breakfast, so I skipped my snack. Come lunch I was hungry, but after eating I had such excruciating pain in my stomach. 4 hours later my stomach still hurt, but I thought it might be a fiber overload and so I opted for something light and easy to digest - a bit of cornbread with cottage cheese (it's actually really yummy :D) But that made it WORSE. Of course ED came in telling me that's what I get for snacking and that I should have restricted and "listened to my body". Come dinner time appetite was GONE. But then I saw a fresh loaf of my favorite multi-grain bread on the counter. And it was calling my name. So I made myself 2 small sandwiches with a few carrot sticks. Then I went back for another because it was just SO GOOD. My stomach started hurting AGAIN right afterwards though. This is seriously frustrating!

What is annoying me most right now is the fact that I feel happy to have an excuse for restricting. That sounds really bad, I know, which is why I have to say it. When I feel hungry if I restrict I know I'm giving into my ED. But this is sort of a grey area because since it actually HURTS to eat, I figure it's ok not to . Yes I know this is wrong as well, but it's how my brain reasons it out. Anyhow I'm going to stick to lighter foods and try to get more nutrients in smaller amounts. Meaning I'll try to eat smaller portions but of more nutrient dense foods. Hopefully it'll make a difference in how I feel after meals and help the whole "eating experience" not be as painful.

Now that my ranting is over I'm going to do an update on my challenge for today.
This is pretty much self explanatory, it's pretty much my "inner dialog" in two given times.

(As I'm eating dinner)

"Ouch, this carrot is really making my stomach ache. I probably shouldn't be eating it. But I'm still a bit hungry and I REALLY want that another slice of that bread."
"I never have seconds before eating my veggies though."
"Ok, but if this were someone else, what would you tell them to do?"
"I would say - screw the veggies and eat another sandwich."
"So do that!"

And I did

(A few minutes ago:)

"Darn, my stomach hurts and I still have yoga to do."
"Why do you HAVE to do it?"
"I haven't done yoga in a few days and it's on my to-do list."
"Ok, but if someone else were faced with this dilema - what would you tell them to do?"
"I'd tell them to forget yoga and rest their stomach."
"So do that!"

And I will

On a side note I'm not one for "foodie pics". Mainly because I live with my family and whipping a camera at mealtimes would cause quite a bit of commotion. Also, I like simple, easy to make foods - nothing too note worthy. But since I'm raving about this bread I will post a picture of it, just for fun. When it's fresh it has the most delightfully firm crust and chewy moist inside - YUM!!!

Ain't it pretty. (well aside from the fact it's cut unevenly - which is admittedly totally my fault :P)

Alrighty, I'm off. Hope you all are doing well.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A new 10 day challenge.

Thanks to everyone for their advice on my driving. I don't want to quit, but I tend to second guess myself a lot. Whenever I don't do something well my perfectionist tendencies kick in and tell me to quit while I'm ahead or else I'll end up failing. And apparently for me failing is scarier then the plague. Although this mentality is universally flawed (it took Edison 1000 failures before he invented the light-bulb) it's something I still struggle with. But I am NOT a quitter, so I will stick it out. And whatever happens, happens.

But let's get on to the real topic of this post, and that is my new challenge. If you read this post you'll know that I've felt pretty motivated recently. But motivation without any challenges goes to waste, right? So I decided it's time for me to push myself to take the next step in recovery.

Honestly, I don't feel like writing this. I don't feel like challenging myself. This is not just complacency, but more a sense of feeling that I'm not strong enough to face a challenge at this time in my life. I'm struggling with quite a few un- ED related issues at the moment, not to mention that I'm in an environment that I am finding triggering. But life isn't perfect and there will always be situations that are trying or difficult. So I'm going to bite the bullet and "just do it". And for added accountability I'm posting it here so that I feel compelled to push myself,
even on the days I feel I don't have it in me.

A realization I came to a while back is that I have an easier time caring for others then I do myself. Somehow I feel undeserving of the same things they do, or I just don't think about myself in that way. I have no qualms with spending a few hours cooking an elaborate meal for someone, but taking 30 minutes out of my schedule to make something I really enjoy seems a waste of time. I will do favors for people that require significant time commitments, but when it comes to allowing myself to do something "un-productive" but relaxing - I feel guilty.

This also includes giving people advice. It seems like a lot of advice I give other people I should apply to my own situation, but I just don't think about it. So my challenge for 10 days is to try to think of myself in "3rd person". I will try to see myself as "someone else" and give myself what I would give them. This might sound a little weird, but I think it just might work. Even just the fact that I feel somewhat uneasy about embarking on this challenge means that it's pushing me out of my comfort zone and will be beneficial for me in some way.

I will be updating on here from time to time about the results of this challenge. I'm hoping that I will be able to see some progress - not just in my eating habits, but in the way I view myself.

On other note....

I'm still battling with this flu that just want go away. I thought I had it beat two days ago, but after a bad night of sleep it came back. I'm feeling better today, but still having a really hard time sleeping - both at night and during the day. Hopefully this is a result of my sickness and not a long term thing, because that would really drive me crazy.

Anyhow for the first time in a few days I was able to go for a walk and I decided to take my camera and take some snowy pictures of my lovely town.

As you can see clearly on this picture this is a very populated city.

Actually today it everywhere was absolutely deserted. It was very odd. This is a small town, so there are never THAT many people out, but definitely more then there were today. Most of the snow was still fresh on the ground on the sidewalks. I guess it made for prettier picture though.

The town square:

And I found it funny that the snow made this obviously famous person (although I haven't a clue who they are) Jewish :P

See you all in the new week. Hope it's a good one!

Friday, January 21, 2011

What is realistic?

There is something I've been thinking a lot about recently. It has to do with realistic/unrealistic expectations I have of myself.

I've always been sort of a perfectionist - if I put my mind to something I wanted to do it well. This trait has usually hurt me more then it
has helped me. Mainly because there are times I have refused to try to do something because I knew I couldn't do it well, or because I have pushed myself so hard because I wanted to do something so perfectly that I ended up very stressed and unhappy.

So what I was wondering was this : where is the balance? When is it right to try to do something, even though it may not seem achievable at first, and when is it more prudent to quit instead of pushing yourself to do something you are just not made to do.

For instance some people are natural artists. I have long come to grips with the fact that I am not one of those people. Any picture I have attempted to draw ended up in the trash after 10 minutes and not a little frustration. I would end up feeling so disheartened, because I could never put the pictures in my head on paper. So instead of art being a calming, enjoyable activity, it was the cause of stress and dissapointment. Not a good idea for me.
(Thankfully I came to this realization pretty early in life - around the age of 11-12. So I haven't experienced these feelings in a while.)

Now lets examine a more recent example. I am currently learning how to drive. I am trying my best to be a good student, I really am. I study in my free time, I visualize potential situations, I try to observe how others drive and learn from them. But it just seems I can do no right in the eyes of my instructor. He calls me slow, and tells me I just don't have it in me to learn how to drive. Now a part of me wants to be strong and refuse to quit, yet on the other hand I wonder if prehalps I'm being foolish and naive. Maybe he's right and I'm wrong. I don't dislike him in general, but as soon as we get behind the wheel he seems a completely different person. I'm not sure if this is my fault, or his. And I don't know what to do.

(How I'm feeling inside every time I get behind the wheel )

On the one hand he's not a bad teacher. But on the other he expects A LOT from me. So I go between feeling like a failure that will never learn and wondering whether he is in the wrong. I am a slower learner then what he is used to, but does that mean I'll never learn?

I think the same reasoning could be applied to some challenges we give ourselves in recovery. I believe there is a point you can push yourself "too far too fast". Few people have the internal motivation to push themselves THAT far, but it does happen. And I feel sometimes it's important to realize your limitations and slowly start to work on them, as opposed to trying to do everything at once. That is impossible and usually will make you feel like quiting before you even really get started. You end up failing not because you are a failure, but because you set unrealistic expectations of yourself.

On the flip side sometimes you need a little "kick in the ass" to get you motivated. That's why it's important to have others to help you along this journey. A lot of the times you can't see objectively, you either are scared of pushing yourself harder, or your comfy where you are. Others can help motivate you, show you where your strengths and weaknesses lie, and help you get where you want to go. So an outside perspective is valuable as well.

All in all I think it's a matter of balance and knowing what is realistic for you, and what isn't.

Any thoughts on the matter?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

New motivation.

Today I'm having a blah sort of day. There's a tummy flu going around and I am trying my very best to fight it off. So most of today consisted of lying down, eating very bland food and willing myself not to be sick.

Something productive that I WAS able to accomplish was looking up a list of potential universities I could send applications in to. This process requires a lot of deliberation because it means:

- I need to move out and find an apartment in the city the University is in
- Find a job to support myself
- Commit to spending 3+ years in this new location

Also I am waiting on some paperwork to even find out if I am eligible to apply to some of these faculties. It's exiting yet overwhelming at the same time. I don't think I've ever wanted anything quite as much as I want this. I feel like I have no back up plan in case this doesn't pan out. I look at myself 3 years down the line and I can't imagine having an office job, or working as a waitress, or having any run of the mill type job. Not that I wouldn't be willing to do it short time, mind you, because I would do almost anything in order to support myself short term. But
as far as I life long career path, I just don't see anything else.

Maybe it's stupid and naive to put all my dreams in one basket and say "this is the way I want my life to be". But I feel that after years of searching I've found something I want to do with my life. I feel like I have a purpose, a goal and I would do almost anything to reach that goal.

This also motivates me to pursue recovery with a new vengeance, knowing that I have to be in a good place physically and mentally in order to study. I can't be suffering memory lapses, or have problems concentrating, or constantly be obsessing about food. I don't intend to throw all the rules of healthy living up in the air and just "let myself go" so to speak. But I need to be able to grab a sandwich on the go without worrying about the fat/calorie content. I want to be able to go out with friends for pizza and a drink - regardless if I have exercised that day or not. I want to be free to continue on living my life in the way I want to, without this emotional/mental baggag
e weighing on me all the time.

So as of tomorrow I will challenge myself to step outside my comfort zone in some way. I'm not yet sure how I intend to do this just yet. All I know is this - I want to be healthy, I want a full, ED free life. And I'm going to do whatever it takes to get it.

When we are motivated by goals that have deep meaning, by dreams that need completion, by pure love that needs expressing, then we truly live life.

You measure the size of the ac
complishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goals.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

How I cope with anxiety.

I think anxiety is a topic that most of us are familiar with. I'm pretty sure everyone experiences it to some extent or another. Although I dare say most people don't have to deal with it at nearly the same proportions as we do.

I used my eating habits as a way to cope with my anxiety. Soon my eating disorder no longer was a coping mechanism as much as a source of that anxiety. If I didn't know exactly what time I would eat my next meal, where I would eat it, who would see me eating it, how many calories were in it etc. I would FREAK out. Cue major panic attacks.

At the beginning of my recovery I experienced some pretty severe anxiety. This was due to all the changes happening in my life at the time, the tension at home that was caused by my illness, and my reluctance to change my habits and mindsets. Now that I have moved on and made some serious steps of progress things are much better, but I still experience severe anxiety from time to time.

Today was one of those days. After lunch it seemed everything went wrong. I had to go out to town to take care of some important paperwork and other errands, but it seemed that nothing was working out as planned. I misplaced things, was running late, had to wait on other people. To top it off it was freezing cold outside, one office was closed and it turned out I had forgotten an important document that I was unable to complete the paperwork without. To comfort myself I went shopping only to end up buying something I was unhappy with. I never spend money on myself, and to buy something I don't like made an already bad day even worse. As I was walking home I felt the anxiety building. I got home just in time for snack. I quickly ate something, just so I could have it over with. Then ED thoughts started seeping in. "You weren't actually hungry, you shouldn't have eaten that! You scarfed that down like some starved animal. Why don't you get some control over yourself for once?" It seems that all my negative thoughts get even stronger when I am under stress or pressure or am feeling anxious so this was very difficult for me. Just then my parents started cooking dinner and just the thought of food was making my stress levels rise.

But I've learned that there are actually productive ways for me to cope with anxiety. Depending on what caused it I have different ways of dealing with it. Sometimes I try just blocking everything out and breathing deeply and slowly while listening to some soothing music. This works occasionally, but usually I am not able to keep those irritating voices out of my mind. What has also helped me in the past is doing some yoga. The fact that my body and mind are both engaged help me to feel better. And when all else fails I keep myself busy - usually it involves cleaning and organizing something. Occasionally a friendly conversation helps as well, but I often tend to become snappy and unpleasant at times like these. And since I can't explain why I choose to avoid most people. But doing something active really does work for me. It takes a while for the anxiety to fade, but it always does. In the meantime I try to focus my attention elsewhere. We can't keep the birds from flying over our heads, but we can keep them from building a nest there.

So what I have to show from todays anxiety is a clean room :D. I intend to go into town tomorrow to finish up the paperwork, and hopefully return/exchange the thing I bought. I was able to eat a proper dinner and right now I feel great. I have a sense of satisfaction at knowing I defied my ED once again. I'm planning an evening session of yoga (it helps me sleep) and maybe a good book or movie. Whatever the case I'm sure it'll be enjoyable and I'm looking forward to it.

Do you experience anxiety a lot and do you have any tricks/tips on coping with it?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

An award.

A got an award.... at least I think I did (now that I wrote that I'm actually second guessing myself :P)

Katy awarded me with the Stylish Blogger Award and although I feel undeserving it does give me a topic for a post... so I'm just going to roll with it and push my doubts/insecurities to the side.

So here we go, seven things about me.

1. I absolutely LOVE organizing things. It can be anything, I am an organizational freak. People tell me I would be good in a management position because of it. The only problem is I don't like bossing people around, so I would probably die from overworking because I'd try to do everything myself.

2. I am NOT a cuddly pet person. My idea of an ideal pet would be a snake (yes I LIKE snakes) or a eagle or something (I had a pet falcon at one point). Don't ask me why, but purring, soft, fuzzy animals never did appeal to me.

3. I'd prefer to live in a big city then in a small village/town any day. I like/enjoy nature - but that's what holidays and vacations are for. I like the business and hustle and bustle of daily life in the city - I find it interesting and invigorating as opposed to stressful.

4. I love HOT weather. I cannot stand the cold in any way, shape or form. As a matter of fact I enjoyed the climate in the Philippines the best of any place I lived in. As far as places I visited - Southern France in the middle of summer. My ideal would be to live it a hot country and come to visit my family in Europe for Christmas (because for me a hot, palm tree Christmas just isn't the same as a snowy, white one).

5. I am hyperactive. I CONSTANTLY need to be doing something. I can sit still as long as my mind is engaged in some kind of productive activity. But I go absolutely loco if I can't do anything productive. So I can only take a maximum of 3 days off before I start looking for work (ok, who am I kidding, I already start feeling antsy after a day).

6. I prefer one-on-one conversations to big group settings. My idea of an enjoyable party is being with 2 or 3 close friends and just hanging out and doing something fun. Although once in a while I do enjoy the big, wild club type scene, I prefer the former.

7. I am a shy person. I have a hard time opening up to people and getting to know them. I also tend to feel very insecure in new situations and places. But once you get to know me I am a foolish, crazy, weird and wacky person. On first impression though you would describe me as the "quiet girl in the corner."

I want to pass this award on to these bloggers (which I believe are more then deserving).

Hope you all are enjoying the last few hours of the weekend (well, depending on when you read this and where you are). I have a family game night on the agenda, followed by some yoga and a good book.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dialog in my head.

-"Look at you! You fat pig. You ate such a huge snack! What the hell is wrong with you anyways. Why don't you have any control over yourself and your diet anymore?"

- "I am not fat, I am BLOATED. There is a difference you know. And my snack wasn't so huge. It was a large apple, 2 rice crackers with cottage and cream cheese and some chickpeas. The fact that I chose to eat a few teaspoons of cream cheese plain does not make it a binge."

-" It was full fat remember. You didn't know that when you ate it, did you?"

- "No I didn't and guess what - it's ok. I didn't have much fat in my food today anyways, so this should about balance it out."

- "Look at you though. Your stomach looks distended. You must have eaten waaaay too much. "

- "I didn't okay. And even if I did, so what? One day of eating too much will not hurt me. People do it all the time and live to tell the tale. So I'll be ok."

(A few hours later when after some exercise.)

- "Look at your blubbery stomach. You should have worked out for much longer. You aren't fatigued, which means you didn't do enough."

- "You know, I work out because it's healthy to exercise, not because I want to lose weight."

- "Yeah , Yeah. But you do want to tone and gain muscle, right? For that you need to push yourself to the point of exhaustion."

- "I AM tired and I exercised enough. Any more would be obsessive and not because I want to but because you're telling me to. And in case you haven't noticed, I haven't followed your advice in a while."

- "Well, at least don't eat a proper dinner. You ate a HUGE snack remember. Besides you're not even THAT hungry. No one will care or even know if you ate or not."

- "I WILL know. And food is medicine and I need to eat to live. So hungry or not I will eat something substantial. So you might as well leave now, because I'm obviously not going to follow your advice. As a matter of fact I am going to take it a step further and refuse to examine myself in the mirror or even allow myself the time to analyze what you have to say. So shut up and leave me alone!"

This dialog hasn't finished yet, but I am ignoring the rest of it. My life is more then food and weight and exercise. This dialog in my head, although irritating, is harmless. Today is not the best of days, but tomorrow will be better, I know it. All I have to do is continue to make the right choices each moment of each day.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Good to be home.

So I'm back after what seems like a lifetime away. Seriously it feels like I've been gone for SO LONG. But I'm happy to be back, despite the noise and commotion and all it took to get here, it feels good to be home.

My trip back was one of the most exiting I've had in my life. And I've done a fair amount of travelling. Usually I end up making most trips with someone, and I honestly enjoy it better that way. At least you have someone to talk to, or watch your stuff while you ask for directions, or to vent your frustrations onto.

This time I was travelling alone, but I wasn't too worried. I've done it before, I figured I could do it again. Well after my bus was 30 minutes late I started to change my outlook on the situation. I asked my fellow passengers what was wrong, but no one seemed to know what was going on. So we waited, and waited and waited, braving the rain and unpleasant weather.

(I had a moment to take a picture so you could partake of the situation with me.)

Waiting for the bus to arrive.

How I felt at that point (a mixture of tired, frustrated and annoyed).

After an hour of waiting in the cold we found out our bus was delayed and would be there 4 hours late. It was already 9 PM so this was NOT a pleasant prospect. But to look on the bright side of things at least we were able to wait inside.

(At this point I wanted to take more pictures, but I was far too tired and had too much luggage that I needed to keep an eye on. But imagine a brightly lit terminal with people milling around.)

I realized just how fascinating people are. Observing them can be very interesting and informative. Terminals especially attract a wide variety of people. There was the cute girl next to me engrossed in her book, the ditsy over-dressed girls talking loudly about their makeup in the corner, the couple eating sandwiches behind me. Taking all this in made me realize how rich our lives really are. If we just take a moment too look around us we can find beauty and intrigue in everything. Watching people being greeted by loved ones - families, boyfriends, children - never ceased to bring a smile to my face. I felt so lucky I had a place to go home to, somewhere to call home. There was a place where I was loved and missed. And that thought made any inconvenience seem much more bearable.

The bus arrived and the rest of the trip was pretty uneventful. Well, if you don't call drunk people being rowdy on the seat behind you, or the older woman snoring in the seat in front of you eventful. Or the fact that the bus attendant lost a semi-important document that was inserted in my passport. Because of the traffic I also missed my other bus connection, but thankfully was able to postpone my reservation in time to catch the next one.

I do have a few tips though for those of you who are planning on travelling long distances in the near future. I wish I had adhered to these rules myself, because I believe they would have made things a whole lot more pleasant for me.

- Always be prepared for mishaps. Go by the motto that "Things that you plan don't happen and things happen that you don't plan".

- Don't freak out when things go wrong. When I first realized that my bus was delayed a million thoughts went through my head. "How would I catch my next connection? Would I be stranded somewhere? What if I didn't have enough money to get where I needed?" After a few frantic moments I realized worrying wouldn't get me anywhere. Whatever happened, happened and I was going to just take things as they come. And in the end it all worked out ok.

- Don't carry too much luggage. In my case this was unavoidable as I was bringing back late Christmas presents from my family. But travelling lighter would have saved me a lot of tiredness and stress, not to mention bruises on my legs from the bags banging against them. A good rule of thumb is only take as much as you can COMFORTABLY carry.

- Look on the bright side. This totally saved my sanity on this trip. I decided to entertain myself while waiting instead of bemoaning the fact that I would be late. I enjoyed looking out the window since I wasn't able to sleep all night long (due to the commotion in the bus). And when all else fails laugh when you feel like crying (something I had to do on more then one occasion).

Do you have any travel tales/tips to share?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The ups and downs.

Yesterday was my last official day on this trip. Today I will be heading home and I am NOT looking forward to the 16 + hour bus ride ahead of me. But everything worth something costs something so I am going to suck it up and not complain at all today. And this trip was so worth any inconvenience I might have experienced trying to get here.

Not to toot my own horn here, but I am proud of the way I was able to handle this trip. I'm not going to say it was completely ED thought free; because there have been ups and downs. Yesterday was a perfect example of that, but I'll get to it in a minute. Overall I did well. I faced a lot of fear foods, I stepped out of my comfort zone, I learned to be spur-of-the-moment and spontaneous without over thinking the situation. In the long run I'm coming out of this stronger and more confident then I came in and I am really proud of the progress I made.

I'm going to go on a tangent here, because I think it's really important that we (people with ED's) learn to be proud of any progress that we make. Our often perfectionist mentalities make us feel like we never do enough, that we are not doing well in recovery and blah blah. But that's all a bunch of hooey and hog wash (I love that phrase but never use it :P). Any step in the right direction is something worth celebrating and being proud of. It's much better to motivate yourself with a feeling of accomplishment as opposed to a feeling of guilt or inadequacy. Instead of beating ourselves up and saying "Oh, but I should have done this that and the other." we should be say "Look at all the things I've already accomplished and all I progress I've made. I can do this ! I'm going to push myself just a little harder today because I KNOW I am strong enough."

Ok, that is the end of my tangent, now onto my day yesterday. As I said before, it provided a perfect example about how recovery is full of ups and downs. People that expect it to be one or the other will probably end up having a rude awakening at some point, because not everything in life is black and white. Ok, now onto the events of the day. My friend had given me a whole set of fairly new jeans that didn't fit her. They came in a whole range of sizes so it was up to me which i decided to keep and which I deemed useless. I'm sure any girl can testify that trying on jeans can be a very mentally taxing activity, especially if you have any prior body issues. Well I can honestly say that I handled it very well. I approached it with a very scientific manner of "this fits and this doesn't" as opposed to looking at sizes and whatnot. What also helped was the fact that my friend was in the possession of many of these jeans because the sizes on them were mislabeled, so they couldn't be sold. But I came across a pair that were troublesome for me. They were a child's size and I decided to try to fit in them. I fit them perfectly, actually they were a little small. Of course my ED gloated at that fact that I fit them. But I decided not to keep them, because I know they would be a trigger for me. As much as I like free things (who doesn't) and they WERE nice I knew that I would become obsessed with fitting them which is NOT HEALTHY. I should NOT be able to wear a child's size (even though I am very short) and I intend to do all I can to rectify that situation. As a matter of fact all the jeans I did decide to keep I have to "grow into" which is actually an exiting prospect. As I was trying them on I kept thinking "Wow, these will look way better when I have a bigger butt". So I would call the whole jean fitting a positive experience.

Aforementioned "troublesome jeans"

I was going to meet up with a friend later on, but my bus was a bit early so I stopped in a mall to look around. Took a few goofy pictures in the dressing rooms for fun :P

Rocking the poncho look (the hat was what i was trying on :P)

Just the hat (I WAS bored, ok?)

Then came the down of the way. I had eaten an "early lunch" before I left and was very full for about 2 hours. But after that the hunger set in. I had a snack, but it didn't seem to help much. Then it seemed all my ED behaviors set back in. I kept walking into shops and picking up food items, but not buying them because I couldn't. In frustration I opted for a coffee which made me sick. In addition to that the whole "food dilemma" took so long that I was late for the meeting with my friend. This was a good reminder of how indulging and ED is just plain detrimental - it steals away your time from things that really matter and makes you frustrated and miserable.

Going to see this friend was a unique experience as well. This is the place I was put in IP and most of my friend from here have ED's. Some are recovering, others aren't. This one in particular was back in IP. She is underage so was in a child's ward, which has much stricter guild lines and policies then an adult ward would. I was only allowed to see her in visiting hours and she wasn't really allowed to go outside. This place always gives me a odd feeling, because I spent 3 months in the same ward. Actually we were there together, but now she is back. I remember far too well all the frustrations and mental hardships of being here, so I was happy to be able to be there for her. Talking to her made me realize also how far I'd come in my recovery. Although she is almost weight restored she said the voices and guilt are stronger then ever. I still have a ways to go on the weight front, but it is getting better and those voices and almost non-existent on most days. I am so happy to be finally committed to recovery and travelling on my own road there. I hope that in time my friend will have the inner strength to fight her own battles, because as we all know there is so much more to this illness then just the weight (which is primarily what they focus on in the hospital she's in).

I got home and ate a good dinner and enjoyed an evening with friends. It was a good ending to a good day. There were ups and downs, but I decided to end the day on a high note. I will miss everyone here, but I am looking forward to going home and moving on with my life. Things can only get better from here on out.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The scariest thing.

I don't like to think of myself as a fearful person. I much rather try to emulate the "dare devil" that dives into new thing and isn't afraid of anything or anyone. But the truth is that everyone has fears and things that scare them.

One of my biggest ED-related fears at the moment is binging. It's not actually the physical act of overeating that I am so scared of. It's not even the total loss of control you feel at that moment. I am scared of getting locked in the binge-purge cycle I was in before.

I am not and never was bulimic, but in the past I had a tendency to starve my body to such a degree that it would literally FORCE me to eat things I was not comfortable with. Usually it wasn't even all that much, just enough to make me feel guilty occasionally uncomfortably full. Then I would feel the panic mounting and my way of coping with that panic was purging. Although this would make me feel better in the short term it would start me on a cycle that I had to fight very hard to get out of.

Yesterday I had a "binge scare". All day it seemed like I was insatiably hungry. It might have to do with the fact that my eating schedule is somewhat out of whack because I am in a new place and busy so a lot of the time I end up missing out on a snack or two. Although I tell myself I make it up by eating more when I do finally get around to eating, I have a feeling that it's not entirely true.
Back to my story. I decided just to eat till I was full and try not to think about it too much. After all it's much better to do that then end up eating uncontrollably. But by the evening I was feeling pretty anxious and guilty. I planned on eating a lighter dinner but I was so hungry I ended up eating a larger one then I had anticipated. To top it off I started feeling really full. The panic set it and my mind raced. Before it got too far though I decided to get some control over my mind. These feelings of guilt and anxiety were just that - feelings- and as such they would pass. Purging was not an option. It isn't an option for normal people so it isn't an option for me. I opted for a hot bath and pretty soon the feeling of uncomfortable fullness passed. In hindsight I only ate slightly more then my usual amount, definitely not enough to consider a binge of any sort. It's just amazing how your mind can screw with you so much. I am so happy I didn't give in to my thoughts and just let those feelings pass.

Today I am struggling with some body image issues as well but I will NOT let them affect the way I act. I am writing down my food intake so I can accurately judge my intake, because in the moment my mind tends to distort things. I am stronger then this and I will beat it and have a great day!

Ed you might as well shut the hell up, cuz I ain't listening.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The beauty in nature

Today was one of the first warmer days I've had since the beginning of winter. Right now I am lucky enough to be staying in a place that is located literally 2 minutes away from a forest. Now I am NOT a village girl and although I do enjoy nature I wouldn't trade it for the conveniences of living in a city. Travelling for an hour by bus to get to the nearest supermarket isn't my ideal. However today I felt like a walk in the fresh air so I got on my fuzzy boots, grabbed my camera and went out the door.

I meant to only take a few pictures until I realized that by trying to do so I was setting myself up for failure. Everything I came across seemed picture worth because it was all just so beautiful. Although my less then high-quality camera hardly captures it adequately I was simply blown away by all the beauty that surrounded me.

(I tried to stick to just a few pictures as I know scenery isn't the most exiting thing to photograph with a bad camera.)

It got me thinking about the whole creator-creation thing. I respect all those who have a view point that differs from mine, but I was just never able to accept the fact that this whole world and everything in it was just an accident or a freak of nature. Call it God, call it Energy, a Higher Power whatever you want to I believe that we were carefully designed and put on this earth for a reason. And I wondered why I can't view myself and my body with the same sense of awe and respect I do the rest of nature. For me to compare myself or put myself down is like a oak complaining it's not as skinny as a pine tree. When I put it that was it's extremely absurd and comical, yet I still compare myself to others. I want to learn to come to grips with myself as a unique, beautiful entity. My body is not the same as others and that's ok. I may have a bigger butt, or sturdier legs or not the perfect hourglass figure. So what?! Who decided that tall, slender girls with a perfect breast to hip ratio are the only ones that are beautiful? Beauty is variety, confidence and acceptance of who you are. I don't want to spend the rest of my life trying to fit someone else's description of
"pretty". I am who I am and I will learn to appreciate my uniqueness. I was carefully designed and I need to respect myself for that reason if no other. There is no one else in the world exactly like me and that is an awesome, amazing thought.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years resolutions.

Yes I know I've been somewhat MIA lately. But that's a good sign, believe it or not. The less time I spend in front of my computer the richer my social life is and the more actual productive stuff I get done during the day. This isn't to say that I don't think blogging is productive, I've actually had the mind to do it the past few days. But when it comes between me sitting in front of my computer or spending it with friends that I may or may not see for another year, I think the answer is pretty obvious.

I welcomed 2011 in a calm sort of way. I was feeling under the weather so I didn't drink and opted for a quiet evening talking to friends and watching movies. Who said every New Years Eve had to be a full scale, get-pissed-drunk type of party? Besides I had my share of craziness with a friend just the day before and I felt like I deserved some down time. It was relaxing and enjoyable non-the-less which is all that's important :D.

Ok now it's onto the New years resolutions. This theme might continue through a few posts because I have a feeling as time goes on and I have more time to think about what I really want to accomplish during this coming year, I will want to "add on" to this list. But here are a few things I know without a shadow of a doubt that I want to strive to achieve.

- Step out of my comfort zone more. This can be relating to trying new foods, to participating in new activities, being open to new situations and experiences. I feel I've lived a sheltered, cloistered life for so long (all of it being my own doing) that it's high time to break free.

- Be more social. I tend to lock myself in my little world that I only let a few select people into. I want to reach out more and let others get to know the "real" me. Sure, I do fear rejection and ridicule but I need to learn to be comfortable in my own skin irregardless of what people think of me.

- Become more confident with myself - body image, personality, abilities- the whole nine yards.

- Get into University or start working.

- Go to Venice.

- Pursue my dreams and do things I WANT to do as opposed to what I SHOULD do. I tend to be guided by a sense of duty as opposed to passion. I want to be involved in something I am passionate about, something that makes me exited to wake up in the morning. At the same times I am a realist and if I feel that a certain thing is beyond my grasp I don't even strive to achieve it. But it's time to put an end to that and shoot for the stars :D

I finally bought some batteries for my camera that will (fingers crossed) make it work. So hopefully there will be some more interesting picture posts in the near future. In the meantime I have a question for all of you. Are you a dreamer or more of a realist?