I mean, seriously.
Where did my Autumn go?
Just looking back at my last few blog posts, I can see that yes, I have certainly been busy, but I have also taken the time to reflect on just how far I have come since the summer. On the 28th of October, I have officially been off of my meal plans and intuitively eating for two months. It's been an interesting process, and I've gotten pretty damn good at making food choices, going out to eat, eating in front of others, and all around feeling better about foods in general! Eating intuitively has opened many doors for me such as giving me the ability to live my life without needing to worry about eating schedules and meal prep, the ability to try new foods without worrying how they fit into my meal plan, eating my favorite foods again, and learning about what new foods I might enjoy! Eating intuitively has also allowed me to be able to focus more on those around me, on experiences and coming into my own again. Embracing the things I love and being able to share them with others. I still have issues. I deprive myself of "treats" and sometimes I struggle, but I always push through, I don't have too much of a choice in the matter!
One thing that's really given me a spring in my step has been the progress I have made within my own life insofar as doing things that make me happy. I have participated in several choir performances. We are beginning to dive into our Christmas music, which excited me. The songs are gorgeous, and I even have a few descants to sing! I'm getting far more confident with my voice again. I'm even playing my guitar on a regular basis. That, my friends, is fucking awesome. I missed being a rockstar.
I have also been rug hooking. I started a pattern with some angels that I think I'll give as a Christmas gift. Yes, I may be a 22 year old going on 82, but this is an art form that makes me happy, doesn't involve counting stitches, and can be done while I watch TV in the evenings. So there!
I've made a crazy amount of progress in the gym as of late as well! I am seeing the direct results of the hard work I am putting into both reclaiming my life, and fueling my body the right way for such heavy exercise! I like to lift weights, and that involves quite the energy expenditure. I look at it this way -- if you don't eat right, you can't train right. Eat lots, Eat often, fuel those muscles. I have increased the amount I lift three times within the past six weeks. I am developing some major muscles to go along with my woman's body (which is shaping up quite nicely). I like what I'm becoming. ED doesn't, but what does he know. Silly fucker. In the end, I have developed a positive relationship with my body through exercise. Exercising strengthens my body and my mind, I do it because I want to, I take plenty of rest days and if I ever feel the compulsion to exercise I always ask myself whether it would be for me or for dear Eddie. If the answer is the latter, then I am sitting on my ass and taking 'er easy.
So what else has been going on in Heather land besides kicking ass and taking names? Let's see here...
I made a friend
A real live one! I am forever grateful for the friends I have through Twitter and Facebook with whom I keep regular contact, but friends in the flesh are a good time too!
It's more like I reconnected with an acquaintance. Needless to say, this lady and I both share a love for fitness and for life. We are both taking steps toward goals of new-found strength and self confidence in different ways (she's a figure competitor and will be attending her first show in a few short weeks!). She helps me embrace my feminine side (I may or may not have painted my finger nails with her this past Tuesday), shares a love for literature and most importantly loves coffee just as much as I do. She's a great supporter and has been present for some pretty legit steps in my recovery like texting me encouraging words while I was at my conference and being very patient with me during our shopping trip (more about that in a moment).
I went shopping
So, there was this one time where I decided to get rid of all my "sick girl" clothes, clothes that no longer fit me, and clothes that had bad memories attached to them. Little did I know that this would leave me in quite a predicament. I have no clothing whatsoever that is appropriate for the late fall and winter seasons! Jessica (that new friend I was talking to you about) suggested that retail therapy, of course, is the best medicine. Besides, she needed to get a few last minute things for her show, so this was the perfect opportunity to get some shopping done!
What followed was extremely interesting
Three days before our shopping trip I find myself in a slump. I am wanting to revert to ALL kinds of ED behavior. I was weighing myself like a mad woman, was wanting to get out my food scale and portion my food, skip snacks, skip meals. I was calling myself down in the mirror, touching my stomach and accusing it of getting "puffy" and overall noticing that I was reverting back into some very irrational thinking patterns and some not so good behaviors. It took me a little while to figure out, but then it clicked.
ED seriously did not like where my life was going
Over the past month I have gotten out more, I have accomplished major goals, I have enjoyed life, done things that made me happy, have been confident, strong, brave, felt pretty on occasion, faced my fears, was proud of myself. I was excited to go to the mall, purchase clothing that flattered my new figure. I was excited to celebrate myself and to share that time with a new friend and Ser Edward of Douchebagville really didn't like that. He was losing control, so he amped up his game. I had the ability to recognize this, accept it, and fight it. The day we went shopping, I went for a walk to clear my head. I had a big breakfast (pumpkin overnight oats with lots of raisins and pecans, yum!), and I told myself that I would not let ED overwhelm me. I would enjoy the afternoon, I would buy things, I would have fun. I've really got to hand it to Jessica, she was very patient, especially when it came to me buying pants. Someone my height usually doesn't have such a small waist. The waist to leg length ratio on jeans is usually a problem for me. They are never long enough. We tried three or four different stores, and in the end I came out with three lovely pairs of pants (including skinny jeans to wear with my boots that actually make me look and feel GOOD and not like a little boy)! We also took out time browsing through workout gear, the Body Shop, drooling over mix-n-match K-cups for our Keurig brewers and simply enjoying the afternoon, our purchases, and eachother's company! I came home with pants, yoga pants, new leggings, a sweater, a gorgeous scarf, lots of coffee, some tank tops, and some new body wash! I ate lunch at the mall in the middle of the food court (which is a feat in itself) and was perfectly OK with that. After this day, it seemed I found a new strength. I was back in my groove and I wasn't complaining.
Halloween last year was a sad time. I hid in my room, avoiding the Trick-or-Treaters, the candy, the music, the movies. I didn't carve a pumpkin, enjoy any fall meals, or allow myself to even watch my favorite Halloween movie (which may or may not be Ghostbusters. Don't judge me... You're totally judging me). I was honestly terrified that if I handed out treats that I would absorb the calories from the candy bars through their wrappers and this is turn would "get me fat". Now. A lot has changed since then. I am super happy to announce that I had a wonderful Halloween which included wearing black and orange to the gym (my bright orange Nike runners were a big hit), dancing in my living room to the Time Warp, carving pumpkins with my brother a few weeks ago, enjoying a beautifully festive fall meal, eating as much pumpkin as humanly possible and, yes, handing out treats!! I loved seeing all the little ghosts and goblins show up at my door. Halloween has always been my favorite. I didn't have a worry (and I even had a few treats). I watched the Ghostbusters, and I smiled. A lot. Halloween is yet another day I took back for myself. I guess the next big one is Christmas, but we'll see how that goes.
Laurel is coming home again soon! We are going on a proper date (which means we are going out for dinner). I am excited about this. Truly.
I will be working on some volunteer writing projects for an NGO in Ontario. This excites me greatly. I'll take whatever work experience I can get!
I have my days, I have my hours, I have my moments. I am learning more and more everyday to trust the process. This is all going to be OK in the end. I have the strength, I have the support, I have the drive. I've just got to put the pedal to the metal. It's cool. It's totally doable. I'm ready.
Have a good week, and as always, thank you for reading. Share, comment, follow, spread the word! This blog has broken the 10,000 view mark (something I seriously never thought would happen). This is all because of you guys, so thank you. You're awesome. Keep that shit up.