On to more important things.
You did it! You made it through another year! I guess we all did. I am very happy to report that my holiday season was seven bazillion times better than last Christmas. I did end up doing quite a few of the things on my list of how to "survive" the holidays (mentioned in my previous post), but I am happy to report that my holidays were not simply"survived". They were very much enjoyed. Yea, like everyone else, I had my moments. Going through times like the holiday season (or any time where you are surrounded by friends, family, and food) is less than a walk in the park for many people, especially those with or recovering from eating disorders. Those moments are important, because getting through them shows me just how badass of a mother fucker I really am, and how insignificant ED is in my life nowadays.
December 19th -- Out with my Brother
I went to a pub. I met all of his friends from his culinary arts program. I stayed the night at my brother's place (and didn't have to bring a cooler full of "Heather friendly" food and snacks)! Matty invited me out to celebrate a belated birthday celebration and Christmas party with his friends. I played DD that night, but I hardly mind. It comes with the territory of being the sober one all the time. We saw a band that night too, and they were FANTASTIC. I was able to focus on their music, their sound. I even danced! My brother had so much fun, and it was so nice to see him happy.
The best part of the night was meeting with and reconnecting with an old friend.We went to high school together and he was home on a break from his job out West.
December 22nd -- Dinner at Pat's
Every year my family has a huge get together at my Aunt's place. It's the only time of year where we all can really get together in one place and catch up. Now. In previous years, this family party involved a gigantic pot luck dinner with insane amounts of food and dessert, plenty of alcohol, and lots of people. I was SO ready this year, and I was excited to show everyone what I could do! To my disappointment, the Mama informed me that everyone was just pitching in for pizza this year, in order to make clean up easier. I am lactose intolerant and don't like pizza, so I had to bring my own meal anyway. BUT I did get to enjoy the time with my family, share dessert with my brother and eat brownies with my lovely, beautiful little cousin (who is a true body warrior, and she isn't even ten years old yet)! Harv dresses up like Santa Claus for all of the kids, and they go wild.
This dinner really made me realize that I can enjoy my family, spend time with them, be present and aware, and allow the holiday spirit to become a part of my life too. I even took some time to do a bit of a photo shoot with some of the little ones. All in all, a very successful and enjoyable experience.
|She is a huge inspiration to me|
|a true glamor shot|
|They wanted a silly picture too|
This is it. The day before the big day. I will admit, I was pretty well about to shit a brick because of the excitement and anxiety I was experiencing. I hadn't stopped over the past few days. Between the gym, going out, family get togethers and dancing (yes, DANCING. I went through with my decision and am finally back in the studio. It is a healthy and happy place for me once again. Never assume you'll stop doing what you love) I was pretty wiped. However, it was time to pull put the big guns. I started Christmas eve with a fantastic workout with my very own Lady Bro. We may or may not have gotten silly in the studio and took a few shameless flexing selfies, but hey, tis the season! The rest of the day was spend with my brother. We gathered together gifts for "Santa" to put under the tree. I even did a bit of last minute wrapping for Harv!
In the evening we always go to church. Now, I am by no means the churchy type, and I'm pretty sure that I may burst into flame if I spend too much time in a sanctuary of any kind, but I go for the Mama. Besides, the story is nice, I like the carols, I see many familiar faces, and I get a chance to force Harv to sing "Silent Night". Before the ceremony we have a family meal. This year Harv made peppered steak. I ate my first steak in over two years. I ate steak, and I loved steak, and I loved my family, and I loved Christmas. But most of all I think I loved steak. Anyway, church went well, and afterward I shared some chocolate with my brother, put gifts under the tree and spent the rest of the evening watching movies with a certain someone I had been seeing an awful lot of over the holidays. A successful day, and far better than last year. Somehow hiding away in my room, starving to death, wishing I was dead just doesn't compare.
|Holiday Silliness. "Flexmas Eve", we called it|
So, we arrive at the big day. It was helpful to know that I wasn't the only person in the world who had the nasty remnants of an eating disorder to deal with on a day like today. Seeing as Christmas is celebrated by a lot of people last I checked, I will guarantee you that there were many people going through exactly what I was on this day.
Flashback to Christmas 2012 for just a sec, shall we? Hiding away, avoiding Christmas meals, sulking, crying, wishing ED hadn't come into my life, wishing I was dead. I was so alone that day, and my family suffered because of this as well. It is with great pleasure that this year I am reporting a Christmas that was not simply "survived", but enjoyed. I was excited, present, aware. I felt pretty, happy, relaxed. Sure, I had a few moments of guilt, regret, or fear. They were dismissed, pushed away, and dealt with as best as they could be. Opening gifts with my family was wonderful. I got to see the looks on their faces while they opened presents (and was actually able to enjoy them)! I was able to receive food gifts, and enjoy a Christmas dinner at my Aunt's and Uncle's. I was at a crowded table, sitting with a heaping plate of food, and I was OK. Of course, I had my anxieties before embarking on this endeavor, but Matty sure was a big help when it came to being supportive. My little brother rode shot gun for me the entire day. He encouraged me, held my hand when I needed it, told me he was proud. What was better was that when the dinner and the desserts were cleared and we went home, we had a movie night together. This consisted of digging into our stash of Christmas candy and watching Despicable Me 2.
ED was with me all throughout this day. He stood closely by, watching, waiting for times to jump in and make quips about my intake, how much I was "enjoying" myself, letting me know that I was going overboard, getting "too carried away", that "I would regret this when I was finished". I've come to accept that ED is always going to be with me in some capacity. That's OK. The fact of the matter is that I can recognize ED and I can work against him. By not letting restrictive and compensatory behavior trickle into my life, I win. ED loses. End of story.
December 27th -- I haven't been entirely honest with you
So as I go through describing all of these wonderful things that have been happening over the holidays, I neglected to mention that every evening of my holidays were spent with some wonderful guy. I guess you could say we "re" met. Anyway, point is that on the 27th, we went on a real date. My first real date in quite some time. We went to see a movie and went out for dinner immediately afterward. Being my first time going out in awhile, I was pretty nervous. On top of that there was the whole restaurant thing. ED would have loved to chime in about all of the indulgences I participated in over the holidays, by doing this I am setting myself up for disaster, why would anyone be interested in me anyway, blabbity blah. I was almost surprised at how normal I felt the whole time. Dinner was fantastic, delicious, and extremely enjoyable. Not an ounce of stress, anxiety, or worry. Now, this to me is a miracle. I'm not going to question it, so I'll just live with the happy.
Now, I'm pretty sure that this is going to go places. I'm happy to report that. I'm happy that I can allow myself to be involved with someone, can allow myself to be vulnerable and emotional. As most of you know, my last relationship ended because of ED. No, it wasn't fair to be dumped because of the Anorexia, it wasn't fair to be constantly asked "how long is this going to take? Why won't you just listen?", but hey, this isn't an easy thing to understand. I don't understand it myself, so how could I expect him to? Yup, it hurt, it was a dick move, and I'll never forgive him for it, but hey, that's life, and life goes on. The difference here is that this guy sees past that. He knows my past, we had the ED talk, and yet for some strange reason he still wants to be with me. Weird, right? Well, not really. I guess some are more laid back, some are more in tune with others, and some things are just meant to happen.
So. That was a lot. Moving on.
New year's was quiet. Jess and I had a pretty legit PJ party that included snacks and watching season 4 of The Walking Dead. I also hosted another family dinner with the Mama. I was put on dessert duty (and I out did myself, let me tell you what). Since the new year started I have been looking for and applying for work in my field, keeping a positive attitude as best I can, and am working toward really accepting myself and loving myself in any way I can. My New Year's resolution is to eat chocolate every day in some way, shape, or form. So far, it's been going smashingly. When most people's mentalities shift from self-indulgence to self-loathing and self-"improvement" between Christmas and New Years, I'll be eating chocolate. Haters gonna hate.
I've been having a difficult time adjusting to my body lately. entering my third month without the scale has been a tough one. My body is changing, I am still gaining weight, and dealing with the changes scares me. I know it's a good thing. I want a shape again. I want womanly curves, I want an arse, and I would love to have boobs again. The only problem with this is that the body changes make ED really loud. Pair these outward changes with the fact that I have been really living lately, and you get one hell of a tantrum from ED in my head. What I've come up with is that the fucker is simply tugging the rope, reminding me that he's still there. So I've been tempted to weigh in, I've been body checking, I've cried, and I've wanted to skip meals or restrict. Good news is that none of those things have happened. I know my voice, and I know ED's voice. I eat my meals, I do my workouts, but I don't participate in any restrictions, any compensatory behavior, and I live my life the way it needs to be lived.I have the most amazing web of support, so I utilize that. Yea, the feelings suck. But they happen. You've just got to work it out, live and let be, and push through it.
I have some other (extremely exciting things) to talk about, but I'll save that for another day. I've forced you all to read a novel of a post. For that I apologize, but it was just so extremely kick ass to tell you all about my progress and my holiday season. The road might be tough and bitchy now, but it'll even out, it'll get better. Keep fighting, Happy New Year, and keep being awesome.