That’s exactly what my life has been recently…
Why? It’s because I am in the process of trying to rediscover my identity – sans ED. Some days the feeling of freedom is overwhelming, and some days – well lets just say I say a silent prayer when they are over.
It’s quite different when you are in recovery/doing the whole weight gain thing – to enjoy food, cooking, experimenting, indulging and all that. When you “overdo it” you can generally get over it (at least I would) be rationalizing that “you need it”. But what happens when you no longer need it? What happens when an indulgence is just that – an indulgence? What happens when your body is constantly changing and you no longer need it to? I’ll tell you what – you feel totally lost.
The comments are hard to deal with as well – as they range between “You look gorgeous” to “Wow you’ve gained weight”. Couple that with your own body image issues and you have yourself one crazy roller coaster ride. Some days I feel like a sexy beast and some days – like yesterday – I basically cry when I look at myself in the mirror.
At the same time – I am making big plans and goals for the future. There are so many things I want to be, so many things I want to do. But I’m still struggling to figure out who I am exactly – and what I want. Most of all – how do I get there?
Ah life – is beautifully complex when you decide to live it. There was a point it was simple – because I wasn’t going to live past 25. Now it’s getting more and more complicated, but more and more exiting as well.
I have some goals- exiciting news to share with you all tomorrow, if anyone’s still around ‘)
Wow, I was looking back at my last posts and have realized that my blog has become a bumbling blob of negativity – so not cool. No but really. I was tempted to delete the last few posts and even though it’s still a tempting option, I realize this blog is meant to sort of document my journey – and my journey has its ups and downs.
But I’m ready to switch the down back into an up again – so here goes.
I already started feeling better last night- after a upbeat Zumba class coupled with some awesome “So you think you can Dance” action – I felt much more ready to look at things from a more constructive, outside perspective. So lets get down to the facts – shall we.
Switching to a “paleofied” (because I have never full on paleo) has helped me in a lot of ways – health wise. I realized my body is not a fan of grains – not sure why, not sure if it’s forever – but for now – it’s a fact. Possibly because for all my years of being a vegetarian they were practically the only thing I ate besides vegetables and fruit, I lost the balance somewhere and my body decided I had overdone it,
Also fruit – I love it, I eat it, but it does crazy things to my blood sugar levels. Let’s face it – I have a messed up metabolism from all the crazy things I have put my body though – no surprise there. And I do need to play around it a bit, because when I “let it all go”, bad things happen.
Fact – my body doesn’t trust me yet. Although I am at a healthy weight, have more energy than every and feel much better then I have in a long time – it will still take a while to restore the balance with my body that I need. I believe it’s possible, and at some point in time food will just be food to me. But till then – I will work with what I’ve got that be thankful things are as good as they are.
Anyhow – back to the paleo diet – I believe it works if you do it right – problem was I wasn’t doing it right. I like food – I like eating 5-6 times a day. It does get inconvenient sometimes, especially when I’m really busy – which is when paleo really appealed to me. But intermedient fasting , eating one huge meal a day etc – not me so much. My meals had become boring and monottonous – and I believe the reason for my binging was because was missing some vitamin or mineral somewhere along the line. Thinge were getting out of balance, I was becoming afraid of certain foods – too much sugar etc, and substituting them for unhealthy yet “safe” food – for instance – diet coke.
So now it’s time for a change, time to get back to the basics of healthy eating. Grains still won’t be a regular part of my diet – because I just feel better without them. But I want to experiment with adding some more beans and legumes to my diet. Yes maybe they’re the “devil” but I miss hummus in my life.
I am tired of trying to fit into a mold of good and healthy. I love to lift so I will do that, but I love to run so I will do that to. I love to dance so I will do Zumba (chronic cardio my ass). I love to eat so I will eat. I love to read so I will read and I love to cook so I will cook again. And every time I fall I will get up to fight ten times stronger. Because I love to live 🙂
And here are some things that have been making my life amazing recently
Perks of being a teacher – end of the year chocolates
I know I said I wasn’t going to do this – but I will appologize for this post. It is all over the place, but then again – I am all over the place. But I need an outlet , I need support so here goes nothing.
Exam season is over – but I’m still reeling.
You know, no matter how many times you binge, it doesn’t get any easier dealing with it :(. The minute I passed the last exam, I came home and binge. The trend continued every day since then :(. I don’t know why, I don’t understand. My body image is at an all time low, I feel disguisting when I work out. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with me – everything was going so well. I had my diet figured out, my life figured out. Heck I was on a major possitivity streak not long ago. And now – I’m typing this while trying to figure out if I need to eat breakfast or not 😦
It’s hard because the moment I think I’m “fixed” I still realize I’ very much broken. I thought paleo was the answer for all my troubles and woas, and though it did help somewhat short term, things got out of balance somewhere. I am really fighting to stay on track (whatever that means), but bloody hell is it hard. Being perpetually hungry is hard, not knowing when to stop eating is hard, always somehow thinking about food is hard.
But toay will end, tomorrow will be a better day. Prehalps what I need is to be kind to myself for a bit – to show some “self-love”. I’ve been pushing so hard recently – that I have forgotten what it’s like to stop and just breath, just be, just enjoy the little things. So small steps, one day at a time I will restore balance back into my life.
Thank you for listening – I just needed to get that out there. Now, onto breakfast 😉
Thank you all who stopped by to comment on my last post. I know this blog has been ghost town of late – but those of you who “know” me still bothered to stop by an read it despite it all, which makes me feel very loved :). Really sometimes I feel like my strongest support group as far as recovery is concerned is right here – in cyber space. And because of that I am really, really thankfull to have you all in my life.
Really looking back on the progress I have made in the past few months is incredible. Really, I’m not sure what changed or where, but it feels awesome. I think at some point I just made the choice to break out of my shell and embrace life – with all of it’s ups and downs , worries and problems. Still don’t regret it, doubt I ever will.
But…. I am stil SO far from being perfect. As much as I feel I am doing well, there are still several things I struggle with, actually more then several. I’m going to share them with you all, not to put myself down, but just to help you realize that it’s not like you wake up one morning an are “better”. It’s a long process to learn to love and accept yourself as you are and deal with all the little day to day things that come up. But every day is a learning experience if we make it so.
So…. what am I currently working on:
– Eating mindfully. I think at some point I decided that eating was to complicated to overthing, so 80% of the time I end up just shoveling what is around into my mouth and getting on with it. Of course as unproblematic as it may seem – it leaves me feeling unstatisfied (mentally anyways) by the end, and always just a little guilty kinf of like “where did all that go?” I know food is fuel, but it’s also enjoyment and I need to find that balance in treating it as both.
– Listening to my hunger/fullness cues. This one sort of relates to the previous one, but I often have a hard time feeling “full”. I realize that often I am physically full, but overall mentally unsatisfied. This generally comes from denying myself food for so long, I realize that. But I still aspire to get to a point where I can sit down to a plate of food and satisfy myself – both mentally and physically, without overdoing it or on the flip side – restricting because it’s just “too much food”
– Numbing my emotions with food. When I was eating around 1000 cal a day, if I was feeling depressed, tired, annoyed, stressed – it was usually down to malnutrition and eating helped me feel a bit better. Now I am no longer malnourished, but it’s still ingrained in me that food is the solution to my promlems. Stress hits – and I look frantically for something to much on, tired – same story etc. Not that it’s oh so horrible that I deal with my emotions with food – but I’d much rather blow off steam by talking about a problems rather then digging into a chocolate bar and being left with a feeling of emptiness and stomach ache afterwards.
So yeah, that’s about the long and the short of it. I still have days that I overeat, days I deal with my emotions through food, days where my attitude towards it is “disordered”. The diference is now I treat each of these experiences as a lesson and I fight to move forward and learn along the way. And because of that these days are slowly becoming fewer and further between.
And since we’re on the possitive note of enjoying food – here are some of my delcious indulgences of late:
What bad habit are currently working on breaking?
Today I steped on the scale for the first time in months.
– Beep – the number flashed back at me. For a few moments I was afraid to look down. But it was now or never.
** kgs the scale read, putting my BMI at the magic 18,5. This was my hospital release weight, the weight I fought tooth and nail not to stay at after my release.
I waited for the familiar wave of self loathing to hit me, the typhoon that never failed to wash away my happiness. I waited for those thought to come rushing through my head – of how many X calories I needed to maintain this weight, or better yet – lose just a “little” bit.On the flipside – I waited for the feeling of accomplishmet – that I had “arrived”, that I was recovered.
Instead, I felt nothing – it felt like I had just typed in 1+1 on a calculator and was looking at the number 2 that had just appeared. I felt no emotional attachment whatsoever to the number staring back at me, and then I realized.
Recovery is NOT a number, t’s not an amount of food you eat, or what you “can” eat, or how much you weigh. It’s hard to really describe what recover is- possibly it’s something different for each person
Honestly, I don’t know if I’m recovered yet. All I know is that I a reout of my accomplishments and acheivments. And what are those you might ask? I am no longer the skinny girl – or the girl who eats the least or the healthiest. I am the girl who sings on the way home, who more often then not feels sexy in her skin, who is dealing with 9 upcoming exams, teaching a pre-school grop, organizing kids parties/events and giving private english lessons (before just the thought of two exams was enough to give me a panic attack). I may not be recovered, or maybe I am, but I sure as heck am proud of my accomplishments.
A pessimist told me – “you may be sober, but you’ll always be an addict”. I would phrase that differently. You mat be sober, but you’ll always be a fighter. You will never be the same again – you will forever wear the badge of your struggle, of the hell it took to get here. You may still fight a little every day – but it gets easier as you get stronger. And that is what I am most proud of myself, that I am stronger today then I was yeasterday and that I am getting stronger every day.
I know my last post was pretty vague, but I’ve been having such a great time enjoying life that I really didn’t feel like writing till now. So the clear things up a little – I am currently visiting some friends in another country. I know – it’s a weird time – considering I have work and school and all that. But it so happens that I hit a series of national holidays, and school was out for a bit as well as work so I figured – now or never :). Before I would have been way to obsessed about my “perfect schedule” and having everything so “under control” to make a trip like this. But this is then and that is now.
So here’s a photo recap of what I’ve been doing a lot of lately:
Food (so much good food that I never take pictures of because it always seems inappropriate)
Gardening – lots of it. Fun in the sun!
This has been my redundant breakfast for the past several days – homemade full fat yoghurt (from raw unpasturized milk), homemade granola, tahini and AMAING carmelized squash. I could eat this for the rest of my life and die a happy woman 🙂
Love reading through all my friends various cookbooks (what can I say – I’m a foodie at heart)
But we’ve had a few wine filled evenings as well, so it all balances out in the end 😉
So that’s all from me for now. I am living, loving and enjoying life. Now I’m off for a glass of fresh milk and maybe going to look at finishing that assigment…. or not 😉
Quiestion of the day : what’s your favorite thing to do on vacation?
Yeah, I know I dissapeared off the radar again.
Well for one Easter break ended, and I’ve been a bit more busy. But to be honest – it’s more then that.
I’ve got the body image blues.
It was triggered by my post- easter food baby/bloat that still hasn’t gone down. I know I might have gained a little bit of weight, but I’m pretty sure most of it is water/bloating. That being said it doesn’t make my clothes fit better, or me feel better about myself AT ALL. So yes – it’s safe to say I’m struggling a bit here.
However it did bring to light some things I’ve learned about body image through my recovery journey.
1. The grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side. When I was underweight I would look at pictures of when I was at a healthy weight and think – “wow, you actually looked pretty good there”. Then once I get there, I always feel that pull to try to change or fix some part of my body or (and this pesky thought is the worst of them all) “lose a little weight”.
What helps: Reminding myself I was never happy at that low weight either – and now my body is healthier,I have more energy and everyone around me thinks I look better too (even f I can’t see it in myself)
2. Good body image isn’t something you wake up with – it’s something that is built up over time. Every day I look in the mirror and I have a choice – to see the bad and focus on it, or to see the good and focus on that. It’s not like one day you wake up in the morning and feel awesome for the rest of your life – it’s a day by day process.
When all is said and done I’d rather be the top girl then the bottom one any day. Just need to keep repeating that to myself
3. Body image has A LOT to do with your mood. I’m not sure if this is true for everyone or just for people who have an ED history, but speaking from personal experience – when I’m in a bad mood- frustrated, stressed etc. things get a whole lot worse.
What helps : remembering that fat isn’t a feeling and reasoning with myself (i.e if I wasn’t “chubby” yeasterday there is no way that I gained loads of weight from one day to the next. Thus it must all be in my head)
4. The way you treat yourself = the way you see yourself. Even if you don’t love your body – fake it till you make it. Paper yourself- paint your nails, dress nice, style your hair, put on some amazing scented lotion and let yourself feel like a princess. These things are especially hard to do when you feel like your lower then dirt – but like I said – fake it till you make it.
5. Body image issues are all in YOUR head. Meaning that no one else sees the things you do. Today my mom, my sister and I were all talking in my room. One thing led to another and my mom started going on about how she needed to lose weight for the spring. My sister and I started laughing and telling her there was no reason for that – which was great – till my sister started telling me that she also felt she had a flabby stomach (she is as slim as can be). Made me realize that noone else sees what I see when I look at myself, so I might as well just try to get over it
So… what’s my plan with this recent slump:
– get a haircut next week, try to keep dressing nice and feeling good
– work out a few times next week as a stress reliever
– eat clean/with a few healthy treats thrown in there
– focus on the other areas of my life that are important now – work, school etc. and get my thoughts onto the more important things in life.
I am gonna beat this bitch, come hell or high water!
Can I hear a hip-hip hooray for Easter break!
Today was the first day of easter break, and I spent 4 hours working on a group project and then studied for an hour and then had an awesome run. Running and I go through phases , I love it or hate it, but today it was definitely a love thing, I felt like I could have run for hours, of course tredmill with no TV meant only 40 minutes for me, but it still felt good. Then I got home and veged out, did a bit of failed baking :P, and now I’m writing this post before pouring myself a glass of something and finishing my project.
I thought I would talk about something that I’ve been thinking about recently. Recently someone I’ve been emailing back and forth asked me for a link to my blog for healthy eating ideas. This led me to thinking how much my blog has changed – I haven’t posted any food pictures in forever, I don’t really blog about how/what I eat anymore. And here’s the reason:
I don’t really eat all that healthy.
My relationship with food has changed to the point that healthy eating is no longer the focus of my life. I try to eat healthy mind you, but food has become a means to an end rather then the end itself. Take today for example – I was working on a project at a library and I had been there since right after breakfast. I ate the orange I brought along as a snack, and then 30 minutes later I was hungry again, but no where nearly done my project. So then came my dilema – should I make the long walk home, cook lunch, eat lunch, clean up and then go back (hopefully before the library closed) and try to finish my project or should I eat the wafle I had in my bag and use it to hold me over till I finsh and then go home and eat a proper lunch.
Before this would have been an obviouse choice – the perfect diet/eating schedule was definitely more important then the time I would waste walking back and forth just so I eat the right thing at the right time. But today food was fuel so I ate my “unhealthy” snack and ate a proper lunch when I got home. But the sugar rush I got fueled my studying plus a pretty awesome run, so I don’t think I made a bad descision. Now, I’m not saying this was something I’d like to do often – I need to learn to pack enough healthy snacks to last me, but this example just showed me how my relationship with food has changed.
Right now I am SO busy, that I often have to make due with what I have. The past few days I have been seriously ODing on cottage cheese and truffles (all your fault Andrea ;)) – because it just seems to be the only portable thing I can eat at work. And yes, it’s not the most balanced and I’m looking forward to eating some decent cooked meals now that it’s almost Easter. But in the end life> perfect diet- and I think that’s exactly how it should be.
That isn’t to say I haven’t been eating some yummy food from time to time:
Protein pancake with quark and a banana
And lots of cottage cheese 🙂
So yeah that’s me now – not as healthy but a whole lot more chilled out all around. I think after Easter I might do a minor “diet cleanup” and try to focus on eating more veggies – but right now there’s easter and lots of chocolate on the horrizon. I have a feeling I’ll have quite a few more sugar fueled runs in my future 😉
Oooh, and in honor of my 3 month aneversary at a healthy weight I got this done – and I absolutely love it. It’s a daily reminder of how far I’ve come and how much I accoplished – and it feels awesome.
Yes people – I no longer have a perfectly flat stomach and protruding hipbones. And that is ok because I am a woman, and curves are shexy 😉
How has your eating mentality changed over time?
Do you have any tatoos?
– is the ability to do what you love and do it well, without your body not being able to keep up with your mind
– is the ability to focus and put your whole heart into something
– is the ability to feel again
– is the abilty to look at your body, squishy parts and all and think “hey I am a woman and this is beautiful”
– is the ability to respect and treat yourself well
– is not second guessing everything you do, and knowing that you don’t have to be perfect to be loved
I now realize I spent 5 years of my life in a caged box. There were times I thought it kept me safe, times I didn’t remember what the world outside was like. So I hid, i stayed inside, I fought those who tried to force me outs. I honestly had forgotten things could be any other way. But now as I step outside and breath the fresh air I thank God every day that I can live again. I am finally free!