So remember that time where I wrote this really emotional blog because I was in a terrible place and then I sort of vanished off the face of the planet for a little while? Yeah I remember that too. Seems like it was only a week or two ago. Maybe because it was only a week or two ago. Eh, who's counting? Fact of the matter is is that I've got some shit to say, and I owe you guys a post and an update. In the end I needed to take some time for myself. I have been in a very dark place, a place I'm very cool with not going back to.
You're probably asking where that place is, and this wouldn't be much of a blog post if I didn't tell you, so I guess I might as well begin.
Referring back to my last post, there was a lot of fun missing from my life. Even though I eat (lots), have a healthy relationship with my exercise, and live a much better life than I did a year ago, I was still very much consumed by some pretty big ED thoughts. I didn't engage in "fun" or "fear"foods. That meant anything I liked a lot, really... The list includes anything sweet, nacho chips, crackers, licorice, movie popcorn, drinks, gravy, meals with my family and anything "Christmas". Seeing this as definitely not okay, I have made it my mission to accept all food as food. No more of this "good" food or "bad" food shit. I talked the talk, but it was high time I walked the walk. I can have a cookie with my afternoon coffee every day, I can go out for dinner without restricting my intake for the rest of the day or over exercising. I can.
It's just to get that shit through my thick skull.
Now I know this doesn't mean doughnuts for breakfast (unless of course I wanted one) and beers for years, but it does mean honoring what my body WANTS, not what ED feels it SHOULD be having. All of this was very difficult to come to terms with. I haven't been weighing myself (26 days strong now) and I have no desire to, but I could see some weight changes, feel my body getting larger. That scared old Eddie. I've spent days body checking, grabbing my "flub", feeling and calling myself fat, lazy, undeserving. I've been tempted to weigh in, restrict my intake, eat "safe" things or eat "less" all because that stupid bastard floating around in there told me I was getting "a little puffy" and should cut back on the almond butter in my oatmeal in case I got a little too "out of control". Needless to say there is nothing ED could say that will cause me to restrict my intake. I eat when I'm hungry. I stop when I'm full. If you told me a year ago that's what I'd be doing now I'd laugh in your face. This time last year I was mechanically eating. Setting alarms to remind myself to eat, dreading meal times, crying through every bite. But I was, and still am, one determined mother fucker. If it meant forcibly clamping my mouth shut with my own hands to force myself to chew and swallow my food in order to recover, then so be it (the aforementioned had been the norm for a while, especially when I was increasing my caloric intake every day).
So where am I going with this? Essentially I am in serious need of amping up my game (which I have accomplished in leaps and bounds this past week). Just like throwing away my meal plans, increasing my caloric intake, trying new foods. Fear was the only thing holding be back. So, it's time to ditch that fear. If that means eating fear foods like brownies or cheesecake or going out for dinner in order to make "special food" into just "food" then that's what's got to happen. If it means forcing days of complete rest on myself and ignoring the ED voices of "you are a fat lazy slob", then bring it on. If it means accepting the weight gain as positive and avoiding the scale then yep, let's go.
This will not be easy. None of this is easy. I'm going to get frustrated. I'm going to be depressed. I am going to hate myself sometimes. In the end I am going to have my cake and eat it too, god damnit! I'll have Christmases with family and friends (and FOOD), birthdays, random celebrations, grabbing dessert and coffee in the middle of the afternoon because I CAN, and accepting myself for who I am and the greatness I will achieve in life. I'll have recovery. I'll have life, I'll have me.
So, with that being said. What have I been up to and what have I accomplished during my hiatus?
Christmas Tree Hunting with my family
We get a real Christmas tree every year. I know artificial trees are a lot easier and don't make a mess on your living room floor, but nothing beats the smell of a real Christmas tree. I was absent during Christmas last year in more ways than one. I dreaded the holidays and everything they were about. This year, I fully intend on enjoying the holidays to the fullest extent (despite what ED tries to throw at me). That means drinks, parties, family and food (the fun food. Like Pina Colodas, Egg Nog, Chocolates and whatever other goodies life has to offer!).
One of our family traditions was always to tag our Christmas tree! Usually the first weekend in November. Essentially you go to a tree farm (yes, they exist), trek into the woods and throw a tag on whatever tree your heart desires! It will wait for you until you come back in December to cut it down (except one year our tree was clearly stolen, which is just not cool). I have not been around to tag our tree for the past couple of years as I have been away at University, so it was refreshing to be able to participate in this family tradition once again! I ended up choosing both our tree and my Aunt's tree (we pick her's up for her every year)!! Talk about making up for lost time! I must admit, they are two beautiful Christmas trees, I'm not just tooting my own horn.
|My "little" brother|
|This one is by far the most attractive photo of us.|
|I am the Barker's Babe of Christmas trees...|
My brother was lucky enough to witness my first "challenge day" since my conference. We went for Lattes a few weeks ago (well, he got Hot Chocolate, but still!). I used to love specialty drinks in cafés but have denied myself them for quite sometime. I no longer have to say "I'll have the Americano please" when really my heart wants a Cappuccino. What I want and what ED thinks I should have are not going to be at war with one another if I can help it, no sir.
I got a Chai Latte at our favorite Café. I decided to start out small instead of going for the gusto by ordering something that might cause too much anxiety. I had my moments, but when the time came I thoroughly enjoyed my drink!! It was so extremely sweet, however. So next time (yes, next time), I'll be asking for only one flavor shot. My brother and I spent some time together, caught up and enjoyed an afternoon treat together. It was wonderful and he was so supportive. Matt is sort of awesome in that way.
|I was scared for maybe 2.3 seconds, till I had a taste of this bad boy.|
A good friend of mine, Kelly, is SUPER pregnant. She's due to pop that thing out real soon, so it was about time for her to have her baby shower! Now, around these parts baby showers mean gifts, playing silly baby games, door prizes and FOOD. More often than not a gigantic spread of homemade sweets brought by various friends and family, sandwiches, and the odd fruit or vegetable tray. Since it has been my mission to take every opportunity I can to "be bad", "disobey" ED and essentially take my life back, it meant I had to eat at the shower. It meant I had to eat the fun food too. So that meant sweets. A lot of people would laugh and say "oh poor you, you need to start eating dessert to better your health", but it's a challenge. I have to allow myself permission to fully participate in these things without giving into the "fat" feelings, restricting my meals and snacks for the rest of the day, or developing an unhealthy relationship with exercise that makes me feel as if I need to "deserve" food. Essentially, putting food on a pedestal has to stop. I was nervous, but I bought a nice gift for the future bundle of joy and put my brave face on!
I had So. Much. Fun.
I sat with old friends who I felt safe with, I was FULLY present, I even won a prize in baby bingo! When it came time for food I only had a moment of panic in which I told myself "you want this, you are working for this, you can do this". So I chose a balanced plate of my favorite fruits and veggies, dip (which is "not allowed"), cheese and crackers ("not allowed") and four of the treats at the table that were most appealing to me (four was not a particular number goal, I just ended up taking four things)! I took smaller pieces of sweets for two reasons
1. I wanted to be able to eat them all and clean my plate
2. Sugar overload. Not so good on the tummy.
My treats included a shortbread cookie, a piece of fudge, a macaroon and (my favorite) A PEANUTBUTER BALL! Every bite was actually phenomenal! I think this was partly because the food was delicious, and partly because I was having what I wanted and ED was a miniscule spec in the universe. I had conversations while I ate, I watched Kelly open her gifts. My focus was on socializing and participating, NOT on the food. And that's the way it should be.
|And I ate every bite guilt free!|
|For the little man|
I went to the opening night of the second "Hunger Games" movie! So, I faced crowds, eating on the fly, and being surrounded by an environment that has caused me a lot of stress in the past. I even brought a movie treat! I had my first Candy Cane in YEARS! Last year, ED didn't even allow one lick of a candy cane (one of my favorite holiday treats). Needless to say, I enjoyed the candy cane very much, but it wasn't the focus of my evening. It actually felt quite normal! I guess they were right when they told me it would get easier each time. Go figure. I was more focused on having a great time being excited over the movie with Carla and then focusing on the movie itself! It was great and I highly recommend everyone go see it!
I took a day where I did fuck all. I ate, watched movies, worked on my rug hooking and didn't put real pants on until I had to leave for choir at six in the evening. Now. This is almost unheard of. Actually, it is unheard of. Fact of the matter is that I took a day to rest my mind and my body and I gave myself permission to do that. any thoughts of "you are fat and lazy for doing this" were quickly shoved away. I have learned the importance of rest. I ate lots of good food this week and took it easy exercising and guess what, ED?! MY PANTS STILL FIT. YOU ARE A LIAR AND YOU SMELL FUNNY.
Babying an injury
You would think a badass like myself would get injured doing something epic. But no. I threw my shoulder out while I was attempting to change my clothes. So, what did that mean? I had no range of motion. I was in pain. I am proud to say I listened to my body, took it easy when I worked out, avoiding that part of my body and not straining it at all. I relaxed a lot, I healed. In just a few days I had full range of motion again and I am nearly better! Now, a few months ago, ED never would have allowed this. I would have had to "train past the pain" or else I would get fat. avoiding further injury by taking care of myself isn't going to hurt me ED, sorry.
So, as you can see, I've made a lot of progress. All of these things mentioned above have happened within the past week. I guess I'm just really determined again. I'm done with this fear and I'm ready to take the bull by the horns again. As I put it yesterday while chatting with a friend: "I think it's time ED and I sign the divorce papers. Along with a restraining order". Now, it isn't to say that he isn't going to try and win me back from time to time. He will try to comfort me, make me feel I need him, tell me lies and send me flowers... But I know I am stronger than that, and my recovery is worth much more than running back into ED's arms.
I have a lot to look forward to. I'm going to a wine and cheese tonight with the Mama (in which I am going to participate. I've gone to events in the past, but tonight will have none of that "Oh no, I just ate. I'll just have a water please" bullshit). I have a cheesecake date next week with Jessica (a very important milestone for both of us), and I have the holidays to prepare for. I'm having it all this year. I may have uncomfortable moments and struggles, but I'll be enjoying that Christmas dinner, those holiday drinks and of course, the lovely yummies. I'll be surrounded by supportive friends and family, and It's going to be great so long as I keep my head in the game and keep fighting.
thanks for dealing with my disappearance. I needed some space, but I'm ready to rock it again.
No matter what ED throws at me