Monday, December 28, 2009

Plains, trains and automobiles.

So much to tell, huh?
The lunch out with my family went very well. I ordered what I wanted and enjoyed the company of my family. There was the awkward 5 minutes of everyone gushing about how well I was doing and how they never thought I'd get better and how proud they were. Fortunately that bit of conversation commenced after we had all finished eating. It was a good time, and I am really glad I got to put so many of my family member's minds at ease.

Christmas also went far better than I could have ever expected. I even ate some of stuffing and cranberry sauce. I'll be honest - even though I do eat the occasional chicken and fish now, seeing the turkey being carved really freaked me out for some reason and I just couldn't eat after that. I went for the veggie tenders my mom bought me "just in case". I got a few things that I wanted and needed and I didn't even hate myself for not really deserving any of it. My mom adores the necklace I made her (yay!!! This makes me so happy!) and my brother loved the new wallet and the Star Wars trilogy. I also went to the movies with a friend from work later that night. All in all, Christmas was a very good day.

My father didn't spend the day with us as I had thought he would. He spent the day on the sofa watching TV. This happens every year, but it affected me a lot less. In the past, I would blame myself for his lack of wanting to spend time with the rest of the family. I always told myself it was because I was an irritation, that it was because I was anorexic and therefore intolerable. But I have realized now that its his issue, not mine. He used to say horrible, cruel things to me that my eating disorder would feed on and use for encouragement to stay ill. He used to infuriate me with the things he said - "if I can stop drinking, you can start eating" (um yeah Pops, it took you 20 years to do that) "All you want is your eating disorder, its the only thing you care about." or even worse - "You are going to kill your mother and yourself with this nonsense." It took me a lot of time and a lot of talking with my therapist to realize that the things he said in anger really stemmed from his fear of losing me. But its true - anger is almost always a cover for another emotion. And usually anger is a protective mechanism to prevent the real, more vulnerable feelings from being seen. Once I really accepted that as a fact, it got much easier to deal with my father. Or at least, accept him as he was and not let his issues have a negative impact on what I needed to do for myself.

Once I got over the hurdle of my father, nothing else seems all that hard to cope with. I've fallen on my ass a dozen or more times. Just today, I got stuck in the parking lot at Stop n Shop because my car decided to take a nap. And yes, I do mean nap. It failed to start the three times I tried before calling AAA. The man showed up an hour later, put the keys in the ignition and BAM. My baby was running just fine. How's that for irritating, eh? All in all, I think that for every bit of hell we are forced to endure, we come out that much greater in the end and are that much more appreciative of the lives we lead. I know for me, I was thinking about all the things my ED has cost me over the years. But if I hadn't lost those things, I would never have what I have now. And I love what (and who!) I've got in my life right now. To be honest, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Hello.

I spent over ten hours at work yesterday. I'm such a push-over. I volunteered to stay til 10PM to help clean out the store (both of people and misplaced merchandise.) By the time I finished helping to put away returns, there was an angry mob of customers waiting to be checked out. I, being me, offered to hop back on the register since I was still on the clock.

I didn't clock out til after 11PM. I clocked in at 12:45 that afternoon (I came in a bit early, for the same reason.)

The manager who asked me to stay, Robin, thanked me at least half a dozen times. First for staying til 10 and doing store clean-up, and then again after I said I would stay until the massive lines cleared down. Let this be a lesson to us all: Last minute shopping is a BAD idea.

I'm going out to lunch with my brother, aunts and cousins today. I'm a bit nervous - the last time we did this, I had just come home from Pratt and wasn't very well in my state of mind. The last time the majority of my family saw me, I was an emaciated, scared little girl without much left to live for. Things have changed so much, as have I. All for the better of course, but I am afraid of the amount of attention I may receive. Hopefully the rarities like my brother and cousin Kelly being home will diffuse it a bit. It may not sound like the most "recovered" thing to do, but I already looked at the menu and decided what I would have to take some of the "decision making" nerves away - I already know what I'm having so I won't panic over it in front of everyone. With Dan, I'm perfectly fine deciding on a whim what to eat, but this a bit different and I wanted to make it as stress free as possible. So yours truly will be having pasta and veggies in a balsamic reduction, with "zesty lemon and herb grilled salmon". If I'm feeling really brave, I may even get a drink. ^.^

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Drive.

Lately, I feel haunted by memories of the past. In my sleep, I dream about all the mistakes I've made and in my waking hours, I keep thinking about last Christmas and all the others that I've ruined.
I remember last year, I ran around the house so excited for my family to open their gifts. I made it through breakfast okay. Even the morning snack was fine. But after an argument with my mother before lunch- I told her to take back everything she had gotten me because I didn't deserve anything from anyone. I remember it so vividly - all I wanted to do the rest of the day was curl up in my bed and hide from reality. I was still well under even BMI 14. Our plan was to up me to 2800 calories the day after Christmas to make the day less stressful for me. And then my mom put too many tablespoons of peanut butter on my sandwich - I freaked out. Started crying, screaming and telling her she was trying to sabotage me and hurt me, among other things. She told me the only thing she wanted to sabotage was my ED, and that it was an honest mistake. Swearing was involved and there was more crying. Things were thrown - including me. Eventually things calmed down, but it was not quite the same.

I keep thinking about that day, among others. Where my ED took control of me and turned me into something I wasn't. In my ED, I would be vicious, biting and cruel. And then in the aftermath of an outburst, I would slink into my closet, hide in my laundry basket (I kid you not!) and bawl. I would sit there, silently hating and verbally abusing myself because I was such a monster and I couldn't stand how out of control I became. My ED often used those incidents as fuel for its purpose; to punish me for the terrible person I was. But you see, I am not that person when I'm not entrenched in my ED. It was a self-perpetuating cycle.
The only way to break these cycles of self-abuse, guilt and negativity is to take the control back for yourself. So many times, I've had to set my mind on doing something no matter what the voice in my head said. Now, I don't even have to think twice about it most days. It takes time, but I eventually became more and more comfortable with taking what I needed and wanted for myself. This isn't just limited to food - though that came first obviously. It took me even longer to feel comfortable spending money on myself for things I wanted but didn't need. And from there, I even got to a point where I felt OK with gaining a few more pounds despite not really being pressured to gain anymore. I've struggled a lot, and have been in doubt many times, just as many of us are now. But just remember this song. I listen to it every time I'm down. It doesn't perk me up, per se, but it helps put things back into perspective and it reminds me that all of this has happened for a reason. This song inspires me not to let one bad day ruin the rest, and to keep getting up every morning, so that in the future I am the one making my choices and living the life I want, and not the life driven by the grips of anorexia. I hope it'll do the same for you.



(And to be honest - if looking at Brandon Boyd doesn't make you feel better - I'm not sure we can be friends anymore ;P )

Friday, December 11, 2009

Creativity Strikes Again!

You know, for the longest time, I was really stuck in a rut. I think going back to school AND starting a job AND having a boyfriend (plus many other suitors) was really stressing me out. And the only way I could ensure that my former coping mechanisms wouldn't take hold was to generally eat the same exact things day in and day out, except for the occasions I went out to eat with Dan or bought a frozen dinner at work. It was rather boring, and that is a lot of why you haven't seen many foodie posts from me. I was too busy doing other things to really care much about getting variety in my diet or making up new recipes. Given the exorbitant amount of calories I need to consume in a day, it became easier for me to generally stick with mainly the same few things for breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners. It wasn't very exciting and I was getting to the point where I was sick of it.

However! I believe I am finally adjusting to all of the other newness in my life and now! I am back to making awesome food. In the past few weeks, I have gotten my creativity back and have been enjoying many lovely concoctions. From peach-strawberry milkshakes to pasta with olive oil, capers cheese and sundried tomatoes (yum!). Last night I made the most amazing (but semi-healthy!) chocolate mousse dessert for a snack when I go home from work. Unfortunately, girl was starvin' and didn't even think of taking a picture to share with y'all. However, it was definitely something I'd have again so when I do, I will post that shizzy up.


Today's magic creation:

Yogurt Honey Crunch Smoothie (in a bowl!)

To make: Take one plain Greek yogurt (I used Chobani cuz I'm a starving artist and cannot pass up a 10 for 10 deal) and blend with 1/2 c. milk of choice (I used vanilla soy), 1/5th firm tofu, a good drizzle of honey and blend until smooth. Pour into a bowl, top with cereal of choice (I used Kashi GLC). Nuke in microwave for about half a minute to take the chill off if you live up here in New England. Then add a sliced banana, coconut flakes, cinnamon raisin PB and slivered almonds.

What's really neat is that the blended tofu/yogurt gets really soft and fluffy when you blend and microwave it. It gets to an almost whipped cream consistancy, and just perfectly sweetened by the vanilla soy milk and honey.

I hope everyone has been having a good week. I've been super busy (final projects for sculpture, math exams, workin 32+ hours a week AND making time for boy and friends? zomg!) over my break though, I intend on catching up with every single one of you beautiful ladies (and of course handsome Clay) and being a better friend to you all. I really feel badly, because I don't want anyone to think I haven't been thinkin' bout them or just being neglectful. I don't mean to be, I've just been really busy. If you've ever read anything I've ever written on here or to any one - you know that when I have something to say, I say a lot. (tsk tsk! I'm a big mouth) so because of my inability to write in condensed form, I haven't really felt that I've had enough time to really sit down and give everyone the appropriate attention they truly deserve. I hope you can forgive me.
Now yours truly is going out to IHOP with boy for second breakfast, and then jetting off to work for the rest of the day/night. Good times for sure.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sharing is caring.

Since so many of you complimented my muffins, I figured I'd share my recipe:


MUFFINS
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup oats (I actually used 5-grain hot cereal)
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon and nutmeg)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2-1 cup caned pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1-2 large eggs, lightly beaten (I used 1/2 c. pumpkin and 2 eggs for fluffier muffins, but you can use one cup pumpkin to 1 egg instead if you want them denser.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the dry ingredients and mix well. Then mix together the pumpkin, eggs and milk. Add the dry stuff to the wet, and mix until everything is moistened. Pour into your muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Also, my newest creation - the protein-ed up Chocolate Shake!

*I may have already drank about 1/4 of this before taking the picture* See how the shake is stuck in the straw? That my friends, is achieving milkshake greatness.

~1/2 c. milk of choice
~1/5 firm tofu
~1/2 c. chocolate ice cream (I used Ben and Jerry's but you're welcome to sub for something else)
~1-2 TBS chocolate syrup (You could make this "healthier" by using a cocoa powder/agave mix. But really, I'm about ease and I don't really give a damn. It tastes better with syrup IMO and that's why I use it.)
~1 scoop Dark Chocolate Dreams PB (optional)
~5-6 ice cubes (for extra frothy goodness)

Blend the tofu/milk together first. Then add ice cream/syrup/PB and blend again. Add the ice for one last run through the noise-maker. Pour into a pretty glass, add a straw and enjoy.

Hope everyone's having a good weekend! Mine has been most excellent. My ipod broke mid-run yesterday, so I had to buy a new one. I got an iPod touch for the same price as a regular iPod thanks to my lovely Wal-Mart discount card (made me love my job for the evening, let me tell you!) Spent Friday night with the boy. We went to the diner and got pancakes. Then spent the evening watching movies and stuff. That boy really is teaching me so much more than he could ever really "get". But I'm better off for it. Need to learn to lean back and relax more often.

Well! I'm off to my LAST day of Sunday class. Woot woot!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Sigh.

So much has been happening lately, its overwhelming me. I've been wanting to post, but I have been struggling with the words to express all that has been going on. Not one, but three other guys have asked me out in the past, eh two weeks? I broke one heart yesterday by turning him down and trying to gently explain my situation. Things with the boy have been progressively getting better, and I just could not ever hurt him in that way, by going out with someone else. I admit, I had really considered it. But I don't know, something is there that I know I won't find with anyone else at the moment. So I've been trying to weed out the other guys, but its much harder than one would think. Apparently, some people really just don't care.

Now for my big ol dramatic story. Last night, I came home from work and flopped down on my bed. My mother came into my room, looked at me lying there. I was exhausted. She took my face in her hands and asked if I had weighed myself lately. "No...I haven't been wanting to use that stupid thing. I'm much happier not knowing every week what I weigh." An understanding look crossed her face and she said "I know sweetie, you are doing so well. And I know you haven't been restricting at all. I see how much you eat. And I know you've been sneaking chocolate squares from my stash after the really stressful nights at work. But your face...you look like you've lost a few pounds. I don't know how. But I know."
I weighed myself this morning for my mother's sake. And she was right. This is immensely frustrating for me. I've been eating plenty every day. But I have noticed a few things that had been making me curious. I've been much warmer lately overall, but I will get cold pretty quickly at night. I've been hungrier, so on and so forth. Our current theory is that my body is going through possibly its final phase of adjustment - my metabolism is finally normalizing. And in my case, that apparently means going UP to normal speed. Sigh. Everyone has their burdens, and apparently mine is that I need to consume about 700 more calories than the average girl my age needs to maintain their weight. Live and learn I guess.

Now for an upside, I made the BEST pumpkin muffins and I am currently enjoying one with a hot cocoa as my lunch snacky. And you can bet your butts these fluffy, pillowy muffins were made with oil, eggs, and butter. Much to everyone else in the household's (most pleasant) surprise.

While I love healthy-fied versions of muffins (I make awesome apple cinnamon bran muffins!) These are a treat for this time of year, and yknow what? I have absolutely no reason to making low-cal or low fat ANYTHING. And personally, I think that even when the weight gain phase of recovery is over, it is still best to stay away from the majority of diet foods. It reminds me too much of the ED days when I couldn't allow myself to enjoy anything, and calories were always the bottom line. Food is for nourishment, but sometimes its a mental, emotional and spiritual nourishment as well as a physical one. So! I am embracing this mentality, along with my new found need and desire for real food and getting enjoyment from it.

Also - random tidbit. I haven't cut my hair since August and I currently look like a cross between "poor college frat boy" and Tegan and Sara. Awesome, right? Yes! My hair dresser sent me a coupon with the words "Please don't forget about us! Come back for a hair cut and get 20% off!"
Guess who's getting their hair done for Christmas? I am! My mom offered to pay for it. I think I may add some highlights to the bangs or do something crazy. Since by then, it'll be approaching ear/chin length. Any ideas?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thankful.

My family is not really celebrating Thanksgiving as my brother is not coming home for the weekend as I had hoped. I haven't seen him in about a year. Last time he saw me, I was very, very sick with my ED. He told me stopped several times on his way to and from our home up here in CT (my brother works/lives in Virginia) because he couldn't stop crying at the thought of seeing me. And after seeing the reality of what I still looked like, it broke him. I wish very much that he was coming home this weekend, so I could show him how much better I am. I'm glad that we are able to at least talk online. But still, I know a part of him won't believe that I could really be so much better until he sees it.

I have many bad memories of Thanksgiving, especially over the past years. When I was 18, I tried to kill myself on Thanksgiving day. I have a tattoo (as seen back in May I believe) that was a tribute to this. I remember it very clearly. After my attempt at suicide, I sat in my room crying. My brother was the only one in the family who wanted to take care of me. He sat there in my room, watching me, crying with me for hours. After we talked for a bit, I got up the courage to go into the kitchen and drink two Ensure Plus's to make up for the meal I had not eaten earlier. And it was on that night that I was determined not to let anorexia consume me anymore. Its been three years since, and I had many more struggles to deal with since then. But I will always remember that my brother has never let me give up hope. Even when everything seemed bleak and without light, he never fought with me over the AN or treated me like an invalid like my parents did. He always wanted me to remember that I was human, that I would make mistakes and do things I wish I hadn't done - but that it was OK because as long as I tried to fix it, better days would be possible.

What am I thankful for this holiday?

~My family's patience and strength to carry on with me after all these years.
~Finally being well enough to eat and enjoy a slice of strawberry cheesecake (oh yes, I am)
~Having friends, a job, and school to look forward to every single day.
~ Having "met" all you wonderful and lovely people. Even if it was through not so pleasant means, I consider you guys to be some of the best people I've ever come into contact with.

Most importantly, I am grateful for my life. As silly as it may sound, I spent many years wondering what my life was even worth, questioning my existence and purpose. I used to believe that I suffered like I did because I didn't deserve to live. But now I have come to the conclusion that my eating disorder took the path that it did because the powers that be knew I could survive it, learn from it and eventually be able to help other people. Every single time one of you guys say how I've helped you, even in some small way - it brightens my day and makes me realize that this has all been worthwhile and that there was a reason for it all. I am thankful to have you girls and the comfort you offer me.

<3 Tori

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saturday 11/14

Hey lovelies! Sorry for the lack of postage. With the holiday season and midterms, things have been kinda crazy lately between work and school. I have to get up at 3AM on Black Friday to get to work for 4AM and I'm there til sometime midafternoon. Totally dreading that. Apparently, it going to be the retail version of Fight Club. No cellphones in or within 100 yards of the store - has to remain in my car, in the SEARS parking lot next door, turned off. No speaking to anyone outside of the store about what goes on inside. No contacting anyone while on shift. Crazy right? Sigh. Mostly, I just hate how thrown off my schedule will be. I've already decided to tell myself three things: I will not worry about many cigs I smoke, how much coffee I drink, or how many calories I eat that day. FREE REIGN.

New find I found at the local discount store:

Gingerbread, Pumpkin Spice and Peppermint Mocha latte mixes!

We all know what my first instinct was...

Ginger Bread Latte oats!
1/3 cup oat bran cooked with 1 packet of GingerBread Latte, about 2/3 mashed in 'nana. Then topped with 2TBS cinnamon raisin peanut butter, handful of walnuts and the rest of the sliced banana. Soo good. I can't wait to try making concoctions with the other flavors, though this was really, really yummy.

And here's how I spent my last sculpture class. Ladies and Gents, I give you Clarence the green elephant.

I actually made about five of these and gave a few away. PJ was given to a girl in my art class, and Clarence was given to Dan. I love my sculpture class just a little bit more now, after sitting there looking at a stack of left over mini-notepads and realzing I could turn them into something awesome. Everyone in my class thought I must have seen a pattern online to figure it out. But no - I was legit just folding pages and out of nowhere exclaimed "Hey! I can make elephants!" I admit to having been questioning my choice to be in the art field, and was doubting my ability to create. This kind of restored my faith in myself.

Hope you all are having a great weekend! Despite it all, I know I am.
<3

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sigh.

Blogger is being a pain in the butt and not letting me comment on people's blogs. I'm terribly annoyed - there is so much I feel like I need to say. So, given that I have the entire day today off from school and work (yeeahhh boy!) I'm going to write a post touching on all the topics I feel need to be spoken about.

I have seen so many of us struggling lately. I empathize with all of you greatly. I truly do. This time last year - I though 95 pounds was the perfect goal weight for my height. I'm 5'8". We all know that was absurd. But it was what my eating disorder told me was the upper limit of acceptable.
It was very challenging to get past that weight. But in time, I began to see what I really looked like and realized how much more I truly needed to gain. And by time, I mean over the course of 6 or 7 months. When I was twenty pounds lighter than I am now, I looked in the mirror and saw someone ten times larger than the person that I see looking back at me now. Doesn't that tell you something? It takes time, weight restoration and continued nutrition for the eating disordered thoughts and perceptions to fade. For the time being, you have to recognize that what you see and sometimes think is not based on reality or truth - but rather a conditioned response created by the eating disorder. You can recondition yourself to think and feel differently about your life, your body and yourself as a person. But, like all things, it will not happen overnight. And it sucks to have to deal with it. I'm the first one to admit - recovering is fuckin' hard. It doesn't really get perceivably better until you are nearing the finish line. Even the last five pounds I gained recently were hard. I waffled on my decision to gain more weight for weeks. But after going back to school and work - I saw what REAL people looked like and I was far too thin in comparison. And I can tell you, it still amazes me now how much different my perception and feelings towards my body are these days as compared to ten months ago. But the point is - you do it anyways. Despite how hard it can feel. Because you know what - no matter what you do, your eating disorder is going to make you miserable. You might as well suffer on with its abuses knowing full well that it's screaming so hard because one day, sooner than you think, you will have a life to call your own again. That's how I had to look at it and it helped me a lot to remind myself that one day, all of the hurt and negativity would be gone and that I would be happy. Its hard to believe, I'm sure. But if you knew how miserable I was in my eating disorder, you'd know that for me to be able to say any of these things in truth is incredible. For the longest time, I punished and abused myself because of how negatively I felt towards my own existence. I didn't think I was worthy of the negligible amount of space I took up on the earth, I felt I was a burden and a useless one at that. I believed that the starvation and OC exercising would somehow cleanse me and make it right for me to be alive. I kept waiting for the day where I would wake up, look in the mirror and see someone who I felt was worth living for.

That day never came while I was entrenched in my eating disorder. That day did not come while I was still struggling to come around in my recovery. That day has come now that I am at a healthier weight and have long since overcome my fears and continue to do the things that I want to do for ME every single day. We have to make peace with this fact, or else we never get anywhere.
I can honestly say, I look in the mirror now and while its sometimes hard to believe its really me, I always see someone I think is beautiful.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Such Coincidence.

"You are more attractive than you realize, and someone is going to make it their job to help you understand that today. Be happy and gracious when someone calls you beautiful. You should believe them -- after all, why would they lie? Your self-esteem has been taking a hit lately, mostly because you are listening to the tiny voices of doubt in your head. Stop it -- those voices are full of lies." - Yahoo Astrology.

The amazing amount of truth behind my horoscope this morning is almost unsettling. Lets hope that its real and that it does get better.

As the days draw by, I'm getting more and more fed up with this way of life and I think I am getting closer and closer to finally, truly, breaking free from anorexia. I know I've said it before, and every time I do say that - I seem to make another step forward. I'm getting to a point where I hate the counting and checking and portioning. Its a major stress, as I'm sure we all know. And I'm slowly beginning to see that its not necessary. My body knows when its hungry. It knows when its not. I've had days where I eat a 700-calorie breakfast, feel hungry an hour later and make a PB sandwich. But then I won't be the least bit hungry in the afternoon. I've had days where I eat a 500 calorie breakfast because I'm just not hungry in the morning, but then in the afternoon I'll have a snack baggie of trail mix or a yogurt with granola after lunch or (god forbid!) a few squares of dark chocolate with some dried figs after dinner.
Do you see what I see? I used to have to eat X calories at X time. Not anymore. I still count what I need to eat in a day, but it has progressed to a different, more healthy level. Slowly but surely, flexibility is coming through. I know we often rush ourselves and want to be happy, healthy and normal overnight. But it just doesn't happy that way. Its hard to have the patience to see this all through. Believe me, I've lost my patience with myself many times. But for some reason, I just never give up. I'll talk the talk and say I hate my life and that I'm giving up. But the next day, I wake up and do it all again. Because its the right thing to do, because the real me is becoming more and more present and in power over the ED. And I do not want that to change. I want my life back. No matter how long it takes for this to pass on in entirety - I will be my own free person again some day. I know I'm already so close (actually just ate a fun-sized Milky Way bar after lunch. Heyy!) No amount of negativity or misperception of myself in my mind is going to take this away.

We may be born into circumstance, but we are always free to take control of what we are given and to change it. We do not have to play like passive victims. Its an unfortunate illness, one that is insufferable and cruel. But it can be overcome. It takes time and determination. But all you need is just to face that one first REAL challenge (I don't mean eating a TBS of peanut butter instead of a teaspoon. I mean eating a real frickin' candy bar or having pizza) and allow yourself to feel good about it and to enjoy what you've just accomplished. That's all you need and suddenly - the whole world becomes possible. And you start to realize that nothing is ever as scary as the ED makes you believe. And all the eating disordered rules start to come crumbling down as you see more and more truth and reality in the world. And as the rules bend and break - you find yourself settling into normalcy. Its frightening at first, yes. But it too will become familiar. Each stage of this recovery process will take time, but it always becomes the new familiar place - the new comfort zone. And as that "zone" gets bigger - your life begins to get better.

My newest comfort zone: being able to eat at whatever time I feel hungry and not caring if its 2 hours after breakfast or two hours before bed.
Next place I hope to get to: Being able to eat without wondering about portions/calorie content. And just eating for satiety.

Edit: A random guy followed me up the stairs at school to tell me I had a pretty face. LOL. I love community college.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hey!

Long time, no write lovelies! Sorry for my absence. Things have been SO crazy lately. Mostly in a good way, of course. but yes, very hectic. I've been building a rather gigantic sculpture out of recyclables and paper mache (woo!) and its coming along OK, but it does require a lot of prep and care. Plus, I'm trying to maintain my now barely-passing grade in algebra. Its hard but I believe I am a C- right now and I really don't want that to slip back down again. Most importantly though - I am surviving. Ups, downs, and in between.

I spent almost the whole day with the boy yesterday. We went out for dinner, and went to a show at Toad's Place in New Haven. We saw The Get-Up Kids (<3) and a few other bands. I had my first legal alcohol! I'm so proud of myself too - I had liquid calories! And I didn't even order a diet cola mixer. I had rum and regular Coke. I may or may not have had some of the boy's Long Island Iced Tea. Not a big fan of those I learned. A bit too sweet for my liking. Anyways! it was a really good time. I'm also proud of me for another reason. I usually go to the gum Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Well, I came home around 1AM. I'm working 10 to 6 (which means leaving home at 9:30 and getting home at 6:30). I have decided NOT to go to the gym today, but perhaps Saturday instead. I know it sound ridic, but I have been faithfully going to the gym those three days every week for months. With the exception of when I got a horrible cold - I've been pretty routine about it. But today, I'm doing what's best for ME and not rushing around like a nut when I'm tired. I can say that it feels a bit weird and I feel like I'm missing something. But, I also know I would be entirely miserable all day if I went this morning. So I'm not going. Learning flexibility! Woo.

I will be honest - I am getting slightly paranoid about eating. I'm so frustrated with myself because I've started to maintain my weight on what I've been eating. And now I find myself over-estimating the calories on things quite frequently. Not by a lot, but maybe by 5-10 calories. I never thought much of it until it hit me that 5 to 10 calories overestimated at several meals on multiple things can add up really quickly. I'm making myself nuts over it! I've decided that the best way to fix it is to just stop doing it. Between today and tomorrow, I'm trying to figure out where and what I've been chronically over-estimating and just not do it anymore. Its one thing to say to myself "If the serving of cereal is 1 cup/205 calories, and I'm having 1/2 cup in my yogurt - Its 103 calories, I'll add it in as 105." Its just and easier number to keep track of in my mind. But its entirely different for me to consistently be rounding numbers up to the nearest 10,50, or 100. And I just need to force myself to stop doing that. Because if there is one thing I've learned, its that even as a mostly recovered anorexic - my portions do not err on the side of generous. I can admit that if I have a TBS of peanut butter, its not a heaped scoop. Or if I have a handful of raisins, it is not a packed handful. Yes, these may be things I need to work on. But for the time being, my biggest thing is to learn that I can trust myself to eat enough, without going overboard. I know with my history, that sounds ridiculous to be afraid of. But it is something I have always feared. I KNOW I can trust me, now I just need to put that into practice. And so today - I make a change. No more being nervous that I put too much peanut butter on my bread, no more fearing that the strawberry short cake a friend's mom made has a bit more calories than I intended to eat for a snack (cause you know, its never as much or as big a piece as we think!)

Today, I declare myself free from worry. I Today, I have decided that I will trust myself that much more, and that I will not be afraid of eating more one day than another. Because it all balances out eventually.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thank you Tuesday.

<3 Huge thanks and love to all of you who wished me a happy birthday. I truly did have a great one, every one of your comments brought a huge smile to my face. You all make me feel so special - its amazing and I'm so glad to have this community to be part of. Hugs all around! I think I wrote back to everyone, but if I inadvertently missed you, I'm really sorry and please know it was an accident.


So, I've been given this award by several lovely ladies here in blogland, and I figured it was about time I posted it up.
1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket.
2. Your hair? Messy
3. Your mother? Working.
4. Your father? Building.
5. Your favorite food? Oatmeal.
6. Your dream last night? Unrecalled.
7. Your favorite drink? Latte
8. Your dream/goal? Artist
9. What room are you in? Bedroom
10. Your hobby? Creating.
11. Your fear? Heartache.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Thriving
13. Where were you last night? Boy's.
14. Something you aren’t? Purple.
15. Muffins? Bran.
16. Wish list item? Long-sleeve-tees.
17. Where did you grow up? So.CT.
18. Last thing you did? Text.
19. What are you wearing? Uniform.
20. Your TV? Living room.
21. Your pets? Crusher
22. Your friends? Few.
23. Your life? Chaotic.
24. Your mood? Content.
25. Missing someone? Nah.
26. Vehicle? Corolla.
27. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes.
28. Your favorite store? Art-o-rama
29. Your favorite color? Turquoise
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Sunday (long story short: Angry customer tried to get me fired for no reason)
33. Your best friend? Katie.
34. One place that I go over and over? Seawall.
35.One person who emails me regularly? Katie
36. Favorite place to eat? RolyPoly (don't judge! They are the Panera Bread of wraps)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Twenty One.

So its my birthday today. And honestly, I am MUCH happier and feel 100X better than I thought I would. I went out with the boy last night and had such a great time. We went out to Panera Bread for dinner and then saw "Where the Wild Things Are" - great movie BTW. So! I've never been to Panera before, and I have to say I am really proud of myself. I polished off an entire Mediterranean Veggie sandwich whilst boy ate a half sandwich/soup combo. I also ate not one but two candy bars during the movie, because I knew I needed the calories and hell, I love peppermint patties and 3 musketeer bars. I couldn't decide between the two, so I said 'Eh, its your birthday. Enjoy it. You don't need to eat 100% clean all the time. Its just like having a larabar and trail mix. Except these aren't made with fruit." Haha I know, not *really* but hey. I enjoyed it very much. I also decided to make a Happy Birthday Breakfast this morning:


Cocoa-Coconut Brownie oatbran! Yes, I know. I admit to wondering if I was overdoing the chocolate business, but A. Its my birthday and this is possibly my fave. oat creation. And B. I hardly ever eat candy or anything like that, so once again - "fuck it". I took 1/3 cup oat bran, mixed it wtih 1TBS unsweetened cocoa powder, a pinch of cinnamon and cooked in 1/2 c. milk and a bit more than 1/4 cup water. About half way through, I mashed in a sliced banana, stirred in very well and finished cooking. Then I topped it with a handful of almonds, a scoop of coconut flakes and two tablespoons of White Chocolate wonderful. Soo good.

I really want to say thank you to all the people who left comments on my last post. I had been feeling down, but you guys really helped me remember than just because I have lost the past doesn't mean anything for what's happening right now in the present, or what may come in the future. There's still so much to live for. And if I hadn't struggled and lost the things that I had, I would never be as grateful as I am now.

The best thing I've gained over this year (other than you all of course!) is the strength and confidence in myself that recovering has given me, as well as forgiveness and acceptance. I have always been really hard on myself, as I'm sure many of us are. But recovering has taught me that we all mistakes. There have been days where I've accidently eaten more than I had planned for, and days where I haven't quite met my calorie goals. In the past, I would berate myself and be furious, or let the slip under cause me to continue under-eating more and more. Not anymore. I was 100 calories over/under yesterday? Eh, oh well. It balances out anyways. I don't let those exact numbers rule me anymore. And that has transcended into all areas of my life. I say something a tiny bit too sassy and it upsets someone? Eh, oh well. I realize now that it's not my fault if they take me too seriously. I don't hate myself for being me anymore. I also no longer defeat myself before I even begin. In my mind, I can do whatever I decide I want to do. I know that I am perfectly capable of anything I want to achieve. I cannot express how much different I feel, knowing that I've done what I've done and overcome the things I have. This time last year, if you told me I'd be eating dinner at Panera Bread and eating candy at the movies, I'd have thought you were crazy. And there it is - I did it. I truly believe all things are possible if given time, opportunity and proper dedication.

Something beautiful I want to share:
There is a man who comes to my work every week to buy a gallon of milk. He has been paying me with quarters, dimes, nickels. He's foreign and I usually help him count out the coinage. Last night, he stood in line to come to my register for ten minutes. The other registers were barren but he stayed in my line. No one else offered to check him out - I am the only one who seems to have had the patience to count coin for him. As he got to check out, a huge grin spread on his face. He pulled out a wad of cash, and said to me "I wanted you to know I don't have to pay in coins anymore." as he handed me a $20. He could have used a few singles or a five, but he was so proud of having a bigger bill, he just had to use it. He was the happiest looking man I saw my entire shift and having him be my last customer for the night made me really happy. I feel like that is the best birthday gift I've ever gotten.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Counting down.

My 21st birthday is in just a few days.

I feel so afraid of this. One part of me is so, so proud. Since I was 17, every year I've been told I won't live to see the next birthday. And here I am. To be honest, I didn't expect to make it either. I've been having nightmares about dying. I think sub consciously, a part of me feels like I have some how cheated my own death by surviving so much (hello two heart failures before age 20?) And it frightens me now, to realize just how dissonant I was back then. I didn't even care if I was killing myself and I couldn't begin to conceive the idea that I was slowly and steadily losing more and more of my life.

Then I wake up now and realize what I've done. I'm glad to have grown and gotten better from it. But its still hard to really grasp that its been ten years since the ED started. Seven since I was originally diagnosed. Its just...agh. I don't know how to put into words, but everything seems surreal. Both my life entrenched with anorexia, and my life now. It feels like I've lived as two different people.

I wish I could be happier. I haven't enjoyed or celebrated my birthday in many many years - at least six? But I just can't seem to feel excited. Just lost. I should stop berating myself for all of this. I just wish I could feel the excitement that everyone else seems to feel on this day. But I have to work til 10PM and to be truthful, I don't have a group of friends to go drinkin' and dancing with. I have a few scattered friends here and there. But that's really it. I've been alone for so long. And now, here I am well enough that I should be able to have an awesome party and have a good time. But if I were to attempt such a thing, I would end up alone. So in my mind, this day isn't even worth celebrating. Its just another day. The only difference is that this one comes with an entire slew of reminders that I really don't want right now. At least I am working till 10PM so that will take my mind off of everything, and it makes me feel better about the lack of social outings that I have.

On the bright side, I'm at least planning on having a delicious bowl of chocolate brownie oat bran for brekkie. My first hot cereal of the season too!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Pushing Up.

I am exhausted. I think all together, in the past week I've gotten about 5 hours over time on top of my 25 hour work schedule. That's a lot considering I have class five days a week and also go out with the boys at least three nights a week as well. Its all good stuff truly, I feel happier than I have in ages. But, I am still tired.

I really wanted to thank everyone for the support on my last post. I admit, I had been struggling in finding the strength to keep gaining and get a few more pounds on. It just seemed too difficult with my schedule. So I decided to just amp it up a notch for the next few weeks so I can gain a bit faster. Sure, it's a bit harder for right now, but it means I'll have it done with that much sooner and can get to a more normal life a bit more quickly. Sometimes I kick myself for not pushing right along through up to XXX back in April, because I have so much more to do now. But at the same time, I think taking the time to adjust, and to learn to appreciate my body more has helped prevent me from relapsing. I've not weighed as much as I do now in about seven years. I don't want to sound triggering, but it still amazes me that people consider me to be so thin. Every now and again, I catch a glimpse and I realize that yes - I am still very, very thin and do need to gain weight. But when I'm eating as much as I am - I sometimes actually forget that I'm anorexic (I ate THREE peanut butter sandwiches yesterday. In addition to 3 meals and two other snacks) because many of the people I know now have no idea about my ED. And even those who do tend to forget about it entirely. For instance, dear D wants to see me do battle against one of his friends at the All-You-Can-Eat-Pancakes day at IHOP. o.0 I might actually go for it though. I reminded him that I do kind of have an ED and don't generally eat THAT much in one sitting, I tend to spread it out over the course of a day. D's response - "Well, just don't eat as much earlier that day so you can beat C and show him who's boss." I love that he is slowly making me more normal in terms of eating habits. I'm learning that while part of recovery is preparation (like bringing snacks every where you go) - part of it is also learning to eat like other people do; when they have the time and opportunity to. It doesn't matter if I eat a 600 calorie breakfast and a 900 calorie dinner or vice versa - as long as I eat enough throughout the day to sustain myself.

To prove my point, here's what I ate as a snack at 11PM last night after work:

Oh yes I did. DCD and banana sandwich. Because girl needed an extra little something, and why the hell shouldn't I eat after my 6 hour shift? The only reason I usually don't is because my anorexic mind screams "Its too late for food." Well, too bad. BTW I melted it in the microwave after I took the picture. Best. Idea. Ever.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I Can't Lie.

It looks as if everything is pretty much in my favor these days. I'm making friends at school, even at work. I go out and have fun with friends. I'm doing well in Sculpture and I'm at least passing Algebra enough to get credit for the course. I'm eating well enough. It takes some serious planning on the days I work due to the crazy hours, but I'm doing it.

And I am scared out of my mind. I'm not sure why. I cried myself to sleep last night. I don't know where the tears came from, but I got home from work, curled up with a pillow and just cried. I feel like I can't keep this up forever, and I'm terrified that the day the ball drops will be coming soon. I have such a hard time accepting that this all real. That I am truly at XXX lbs, eating XXXX calories a day, and doing okay. It just doesn't seem possible in my mind at times. It feels like I am stuck in a safety bubble, looking out from within its clear and ever so slightly rainbow tinted encasement. Touching the world through the translucent skin that protects me from damages of the everyday.
I hate planning what I eat. Its frustrating and time consuming. I usually end up eating the same thing for days at a time because I just don't have time to figure out other ways to reach what I need. And it makes me feel like I am still so, so entrenched. Like I'm just balancing myself between recovery and ED. I know in reality, its not true. I've taken myself out for spur of the moment Starbucks lovin', eaten food from the mini-food court in my store. Things I never would have done awhile ago. But still. I feel like I'm stuck. I'm scared of what will come to be when I move out from this protective zone I've managed to build that keeps me safe from reality. I cannot always be calculating to such great ends. Its just not what I want to do with my free time. But what will happen when I get fed up, and decide to just let it go? I don't know. I do know I am reaching that point. I am afraid its a sign that the AN is trying to worm back in. I'm scared that I still can't truly trust myself to eat enough day in and day out. I know at some point, I have got to try to fly. Even if I crash and burn, I know I will not create the wreckage I did last year, and that if I do start to slip, I will have the strength and resolve to pick myself up before things get bad. I KNOW this. So why am I still so depressed? And why do I keep questioning whether or not I truly have the strength and resolve to keep going?

I think a part of it may be that my birthday is in 16 days. I'm turning twenty one.
I know, I know. Traditionally, this is one birthday everyone gets excited for. And a part of me is.
Another part of me is horrified. I'm twenty one and a college freshman. It hits me now just how much time I wasted, how much I lost. Many times over the course of the last year, I literally forgot that I was even 20. I still felt like I was 18, 19. Its because I spent so much time in a world where everything was on pause. I wasn't living my life. I was fighting for it. It never struck me that the rest of the world was moving forward and changing. But I see it now. I know I can't go back and fix it. I can never get back the years I lost to this illness. I try not to let it break me up inside. But when I realize how old I am, and I remember how much different I dreamt of life being at this point in time, its saddening. I wanted things to be so much different. I do not regret my mistakes. I really don't. They've led me to be the person I am now, and they've brought me many good friends. But after seeing it all fall apart so many times, its just hard to really believe that this year can be different. Sometimes I don't even believe I'm really still alive - that's how surreal my life has become. I yearn to trust it, and to have faith that yes, this will be a good year. The year I finally eat cake on my birthday and drink (cheap) liquor with friends. The year when I finally free myself from this constraint.

I obviously still put a tremendous amount of pressure on myself to excel in every thing I do. *sigh* At least I know what I want, and that should offer me some sense of direction. I just wish this would all stop feeling like a dream so I could really believe this state of health and contentment was here to stay, and not something that I was going to lose.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Creativity.

So, its been a hectic week or so for yours truly. Thus far, I've worked 30 hours, spent 20 hours working on a paper sculpture for my art class (and its not even finished!) and I've gone to school four days this week. I've also managed to squeeze in time to still have a social life. Never in my dreams did I think it was all possible for me to do all of this, and still maintain myself in recovery. But I'm doing it, I'm really doing it. The best part of all this is that my biggest achievements and crowning glories are no longer things that are food related. Sure, I can measure PB without the tablespoon measure anymore. I can eat an apple without wondering "Is it bigger than the one I had yesterday?" Hell, I can even go to IHOP for brunch with the boy, despite having eaten my own breakfast at 6:30 that morning (pancakes for lunch? Oh yes I did) without much of a second thought.
The things I am proud of, feel good about right now:
I am actually PASSING algebra so far this semester.
And I am ruling my Sculpture class.

Paper Sculpture - 3/4 of the way done. 300 squares of folded and rolled paper right thurr.

On top of that - I have received the Kreativ blogger award from two lovely, beautiful girls - Julia and Eliza.


So! Seven fun facts about me:

1. My eyes change color very frequently. Sometimes even within a day, I'll go from having a bright green with a ring of a terra cotta brown in the middle, to eyes that are golden brown and red (I kid not.). Or vice versa. People often think that I wear contacts.

2. My favorite thing to do is going to local concerts. I started going to shows in town - local punk, hardcore and ska bands - when I was like 13. I still love going, even though the venue in my town was shut down. It was what I missed most when I was too entrenched in ED to go. Its hard to explain, but music frees me. My favorite shows are ska shows. Skanking is the hyper active, friendlier brother of moshing. And its the most fun you'll ever have if you let yourself go enough to try it out.

3. I moved twice when I was 17. First to Charlottesville, VA to live with my older brother, and then to NYC to attend Pratt in Brooklyn.

4. I read incredibly fast. I actually read "Atlast Shrugged" in about three weeks. Its around 1100-1200 pages. Go me.

5. I had pneumonia when I was 14. I still have scar tissue in my left lung from it. My doctor told me I'd never be able to run again. I now run 3-4 miles two or three days a week. (And now I also eat PLENTY to make up for it)

6. My father and I are born exactly 40 years apart from each other. We were also both the youngest children in our family growing up. My mother and brother are born exactly 30 years apart from each other, and were both the oldest children growin up in their families.

7. Loosely translated - my name in Italian means "Victory for the stars". Sweet little irony there eh?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Rise Against.

I know everyone has their music of choice. But truly I have got to share this album with you guys. This band, and these songs got me through the worst of days. And even now, when I am having a bad day, I pop in one of their albums and I instantly feel stronger and more capable.
My album of choice during my recovery was "The Sufferer and the Witness". Every song on that album empowered me and reminded me that I was human. A person with struggles that could be overcome. My favorite song though, is probably Survive.
"Life for you has been less than kind. Take a number, Stand in line. We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt. But how we survive is what makes us who we are."
Those words always pushed me to keep going, to stop pitying myself and berating myself for what I'd lost all these years. I have come to realize that the past does not matter anymore. Sure, its important because, yeah, I've learned a lot from my mistakes. And they have shaped me into the person I am today. But my past does not dictate my future. It doesn't determine what I'm worth now, or what I deserve to do and take for myself. The amount of stupid things I've done, the times I've tried and failed, the times I've just given up entirely - they have given me the strength to see what I need to do for myself to make things better, and the determination to stick to it.

That being said - I still struggle with myself at times just as much as I did in the beginning of recovery. Just the other day, I had an issue at work with the ED. "Those girls you just checked out were buying weight loss shakes. If they can lose weight, you can too"
Immediately after those girls came through my register, the phrase "Do you really need to eat that extra snack when you get home tonight? Really. Are you even going to be hungry? Nahh. You're fine. A little hunger never killed anyone."
AGH! I don't even know where it came from or why. It really startled me honestly. I suppose I'm still sensitive to the idea of weight loss, but only concerning people who really don't need to lose weight. The minute the ED thought entered my mind, I knew I had to rebel against it and make myself eat what I needed when I got home. And I did. After about a minute or two, the thoughts were gone, and when I got home I happily made a Nutella milkshake. But the fact that they even appeared frightened me.
I've felt many a victory before, but somehow this one felt different. I suppose it was easier for me on some level when I was at the very bottom. I knew I looked ill then. Now I just look very thin. So in my head, its not quite as necessary for me to gain as it was six months ago. But I also know that my body is freakin' weird and I need to meet or exceed the 3K mark every day or else I will start slipping. I fought too hard for too long to let little things like that bring me back.

I had a talk with my therapist for the first time in a while. He said that I had a very real belief that if I can conceive of something, then it can be done. "Conception equals implementation in your mind. You have a mentality now that says if you think you can do something - it will be accomplished." He said that kind of determination and confidence in myself would serve me well. But I'm not quite sure if its bordering on a bad belief, given that I also have black and white tendencies. I can honestly say, I have a hard time understanding why other people don't just do things. Maybe its because the real me is coming back more and more. I'm not sure. But if you talk about doing something, say you want to do it and really mean it - then fucking do it! (pardon my language) There's no reason not to. And the only thing that can ever truly hold you back is yourself. So hey! Live your life with open arms and reach for whatever is within your sights - even if it feels beyond your grasp. Nothing is ever as far away as it seems. At least that's my philosophy. ^.^

I was going to leave you all with a photo of my awesome breakfast of champions, but Blogger is being ridic. And I have to get my butt to class. So! Perhaps later I'll have the pic for it.
Be that as it may, breakfast was a darling mix of oats and Dorset Berries and cherries soaked overnight in vanilla soy and Fage, topped this morning with dried figs, sliced banana, almonds, and 2TBS of creamy peanut butter. And of course the usual cuppa with my new favorite - Hazelnut Biscotti creamer. <3

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Reflections.

Sometimes, my body amazes me. Through taking care of myself, I have come to see that I need far more than I realized to maintain my weight. I had not lost weight over the summer, but since I've increased my calories, to keep up with my schedule, I physically and mentally feel better than I did before. I am more myself - I am happier, more energetic and overall just feel more alive. I suppose this shocks me. I thought that was I was eating was plenty enough to maintain. And while I didn't lose weight on what I was eating - I can see now that it is very possible to eat an extra 200-300 calories a day, maintain the same weight, and FEEL better. I suppose I haven't actually maintained *sigh* I now have to gain an additional 2 pounds since I lost a bit after adding in an extra snack or two. Surprising? You bet. But its nice to feel even better than I did before. Granted I now need to eat an absurd amount of food and will need even more to gain at least another five pounds. But its what I have to do and its what my body apparently needs. So be it. I'll be damned if I won't do my best to enjoy this.

I see so many of us struggling lately, and it breaks my heart. There is so much I want to say to so many people, but I am afraid that I am just being redundant. First and foremost - I want to tell you all who are struggling that things will get better. I know it seems impossible, especially when you've slipped back so many times. I cannot put into words what kind of hell I was living a year ago. I was beyond emaciated. I was constantly sick and cold and could barely digest food. It took me 5 weeks to raise my calories from under 100 a day to 2400. I had to give up the obsessive compulsive exercising. I had to drink about 1400 calories in milkshakes every day because my body rejected most solid food for weeks. I thought I was going to die. The only reason I survived the summer was because my mom is a secretary in a school and had time off. The minute she went back to work, my calories slipped down and I started running every day. Then it became twice a day. I lost three of the four pounds I had managed to gain. I spent two months getting my calories back up to 2500 and ended up needing even more than that to gain. I went back and forth between pushing and failing until sometime in February when I finally had enough. I was sick of myself. I couldn't take the pressure, the fights (oh, were there fights. Slammed into the kitchen floor, punched in the face) I thought about giving up. I remember looking at myself in the mirror and thinking "What are you doing?" I had been playing games for so long, I didn't even realize I was doing it anymore. I had been eating pretty much the same food day in and day out for months and had been whittling my calories down from 2800 as I became more and more depressed. But one morning, I decided not to let the world break me down anymore. I couldn't. I didn't have the strength to fall even further away. On that morning. I raised my calories back up to 2800. And ten days later, I was up to 3600. Sure, I was afraid. I had spent so much time in that little shell. I was used to my own misery - I lived, breathed and basked within it. Anorexia was my crutch. Even as I ate more and more - I could hardly believe what I was doing. It seemed so surreal. The entire duration of my recovery - I was in a trance. None of it seemed real, and I was never sure that it would work. I hoped, but in the back of my mind always lay the question "Will this ever change? What if I just gain the weight and the voice is still there, the fears still present?"

I can tell you now, that with proper nutrition and sustaining what has been determined to be a fairly decent (though not great! I'm still getting there!) weight for my height and frame - so much of it all has disappeared. The food rituals disappeared. The anxiety, the nerves, the guilt - all of it slowly fell away. I strongly believe a part of it was purely conditioning - getting used to being around and consuming food. But the other part was the healing of my mind and body. I am no longer depressed like I used to be. I don't sit and think of all the reasons I should be dead or have died anymore. I don't wish to punish myself and I no longer believe I don't deserve to live. All of these positive things take time. You don't need to believe in it right off the bat - its hard to really truly want recovery and have faith in it when you are still so sick with the eating disorder. But you have to give it a chance. That's all you need. And sometimes, its all you've got.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Amalgum.

Its 9/11. I know everyone is doing posts in honor of it. I hate thinking about that day. My cousin Kelly was in one of the towers as it collapsed. She is fine, she survived, though she had to go through therapy for PTSD. But we are very close, and just thinking about this day reminds me of how terrified and how sick I felt at school that whole day. I also have cousins and uncles in the military. So my feeling on this day is generally "Remember how lucky you are, and hope it stays that way."

So I've had a cold the past few days. Its been making eating very hard for me - I keep drinking so much tea that I feel full without eating anything. The added cough and sneeze miseries aren't helping. I've been sticking to calorically dense foods and that seems to be working out perfectly fine. New favorite thing to snack on: Black and White sandwiches. What is that you ask?
Dark Chocolate and White Chocolate peanut butters on whole wheat bread. <3 I'm sure you all can imagine just how awesome that is.

Also have been enjoying muesli a lot lately. Though, with the quick and sudden change in temperature, I believe some hot oats may in store for breakfast very soon. Also lots of pasta lately too. I'm thinking tofu casserole tonight perhaps since its cold and rainy, and will be for a few days. Just gotta get out the penne, some sauce, blend up some tofu, walnuts and spinach, add some spices and some olive oil and bake away. Will post a picture if I manage to find my camera beneath my mass of books, sketch pads and work clothes.

I am really frustrated to be honest. I apologize if my rant seems triggering. I can NOT find a single pair of khaki pants on the planet that will fit me. I bought TWO pairs of khaki crops in my usual size and I swear, the back pockets are sagging down to my knees! Its so silly looking. I found ONE pair of actual long pants at Target that were two sizes too big out of desperation since its getting cold up in New England. I look ridiculous. People tell me its cute that I'm always pulling up my pants....but I feel like its such an AN thing. It reminds me of back in the day, when nothing fit because I was emaciated. I am not emaciated anymore. I want clothing that fits. My jeans are OK, they fit good. Khakis must run bigger. But its upsetting. And then when I put jeans on after work, I admit to having to reassure myself that they are not too tight - its just that my work pants are too big.

End rant about clothing.

More and more of my guy friends and coworkers are hitting on me. A guy at work bought me dinner a few nights ago. Another one wants to go to the movies. One friend of mine travels from two towns over to come to the store I work at, just to visit me. A friend of mine in Florida wants to date me when he moves back to CT. Another friend who's studying abroad keeps messaging me, telling me how much better everything about France would be if I was there with him.

i want to be flattered. Part of me is. Part of me wants to hide. I know I should be used to the attention. But it feels like so much pressure. I feel like a lot of people around me seem to expect that somehow, I can fix their problems and make things better. But I can't. I don't have that capacity. On top of that is the fact that I cannot reciprocate their feelings. The boy and I are not really in a relationship anymore - we both consider ourselves single. But neither of us seem to really want to let go either.
Conversation from the other night:
D - "One of us is going to have to move on at some point. I think its going to be you."
T - "How do you figure that?"
D - "There are at least 5 guys who want to date you right now. You could be with anyone."
T - "Just because I could be with anyone does not mean that I want to be with them."
T - "Besides, who's to say you won't find someone else soon either?"
D- " Because I haven't met anyone else and I am happy and content with you."
T - "Did it ever occur to you that I might be content too?"

Blah. How's that for confusin, eh? We also have constant arguments over his paranoia that if I'm not with him, I'm out with another guy. (Newsflash Daniel: we aren't technically dating!) It just bugs me. I feel like there is something going on with him that I can't see, and that he won't talk about. Maybe its in my head, I don't know.

I don't know why, but I keep having this urge to move. Like this need to spread my wings so to speak - find out what else there is out there. I love my school - for a community college, its great. But that's all it is - community college. I know I can do better, go somewhere more challenging. I don't want to school myself into debt though. But I desperately want to go back to art school. It aches being stuck in this small town, working retail. I love the people I work with, don't get me wrong. But that is not the life I want to lead. I want so much more. And I will be damned before I let anything keep me down again. I feel so determined to rise above my circumstances. I don't even care what it takes, but next year I will be somewhere better.

Monday, September 7, 2009

What I've learned thus far.

Things I have realized in the past week:

I work hard.
I play hard.
I can do anything I put my mind to (including increasing my calories to hault a minor weight loss, despite how busy I am)
I do not ever have to worry about being alone.

As of today, I will have worked about 12 hours over time between Friday night and 9:30PM this evening. Holy shit, right? Here's my layout for the past three days:
Friday - worked 1PM till 10:30PM
Left work. Went out with Daniel and came home at 7AM Saturday morning.
Saturday - worked 11:30 to 4:30PM. Went out for bit. Got to bed around 11PM.
Sunday - went out with Daniel in the afternoon. Worked 4:30 to 9:30. Went over to Daniel's. Came home and went to bed around midnight.
Monday - working noon till 9:30PM. Probably going out again afterwards.

I think I may be taking on too much. Daniel is rather stressing. We aren't technically dating anymore - but as you can see here, it kinda still looks like we are. He's already been asking me today what time I get off of work so we can hang out. He also keeps badgering me about other guys and if I'm going to be dating anyone else some time soon. To be honest, there are at least three guys interested in me. One of them I work with. one of them moved to France for a year to study abroad. And one of them I know from being IP (he was in the depression/SI group). But really - I'm not sure I want to be dating any of them. And I hate that Daniel seems to think that whenever I'm not with him, I must be with someone else. It makes me sad. He's so hard to read. I swear, he was texting me almost my entire shift, every day. But then he says he wants us to be able to be friends. And then he kisses me at the door (and TBH, more often than just that). So I'm kind of like "WTF". I understand not knowing exactly what you want. But its not cool to not even be able to decide on "friends" or "possibly more than friends.". (sigh)
I also have three classes (so far doing quite well in all of them) I seem to function better when I'm doing more. Its like the bigger the challenge, the more able I am to desire and push for success. I've found that I need to eat even more than I initially figured, but I'm OK with it. Hey - more peanut butter and pasta for me? Like I'd really complain about that haha. I feel like this is my final frontier. Learning to live and eat at the same time, and still getting myself to a healthy weight. I can do it. And I will.

Also: I concocted the best chocolate-strawberry smoothie shake you never had yesterday.
~Chocolate soymilk
~Vanilla greek yogurt
~ Fresh strawberries and ice (or just use frozen strawbs for the same slush-effect)
~Chocolate syrup
~Nutella

Blend. Pour into your favorite glass and add a neon pink straw (that's how I do it up anyways!) and enjoy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

48 hours plus some extra days.

So! I have been a very busy girl. I am SO sorry for not commenting people back, but I have been reading. Just not had the mental energy nor time to keep up to date with commenting.

In the past week, I have:

Been in a car accident. But I'm fine! Just a little tap to the rear kinda thing with a Nissan.
Worked 32+ hours within a four day time span. Apparently, getting out of work at 10PM has become more like 10:30 or 11PM.
Had three classes, and even aced my pretest for Algebra yesterday.
Started an art project based on the Brave Little Toaster (will update with pictures of my sketches and my low/high relief carving)

In the past 36 hours, I have:
Broke up with Daniel
Eaten whatever I damn well wanted because I knew I needed calories and was in no mood to be caring about how much fat or protein I needed (yours truly brought a 3-cup tupperware container filled with my mom's homemade pasta salad, a can of tuna, a chocolate bar and a Larabar to work that night)
Is now dating Daniel again.

Sigh.
Those italic ones sent me through a loop. Big drama about us being too serious and him being afraid of getting hurt, so on and so forth. Being the way I am, I do not see anything as being pressure. My views of love and relationships may be skewed, I don't know. I tend to want to just let things come and go as they may and I like to see where life takes me. I don't force things or push for them to happen. At least not in that sense. So it was hard for me to be able to accept his logic. Just as it was hard for him to understand how I could not be afraid. The break up biz lasted less than 24 hours. We walked and talked Monday night. I don't know why, but since I started school and work, I have become more and more like myself again - I am happy and full of life again. For awhile, despite my feeling better, I was kind of in a rut and felt pretty unhappy with my life because I didn't feel like I was really living it. Now I am. And I am happy, with or without a boyfriend. Anyways, long chat with the boy. And by the end of the night, we agreed that we had jumped into the boyfriend/girlfriend business too fast. And now we are just dating and getting to know each other better. Which truly works perfect for me. I was incredibly nervous about being in a relationship. I like him and all, but I have not had a real relationship in many years, so I am really glad that while he is still definitely going to be around and we'll be seeing each other - we both are still living our lives and not putting any sort of pressure into it.

I keep forgetting to do meal pics, but I'll let you all in on the secret pasta salad recipe:
Whole wheat pasta (my portion was about 1.5 cups)
4-5 chopped sun dried tomatoes
Olives (OK I hate olives so I usually pick them out, but my mom does put them in there)
Sweet peas and broccoli
Handful romaine, shredded
Salad dressing
Spicy tofu (or other protein of choice - I occasionally do tuna instead)
Almonds (these last two are my own add ins)

Now - you mix all the pasta, veggies and nuts together (obviously) BUT for my tofu I like to do the following:
"Glaze" tofu in dressing first (I think Zesty Italian or Thousand Island work best), sizzle on the frying pan with a spray of PAM or bake on the grill wrapped in tin-foil. Roll in red pepper flakes while its still warm and a bit "sticky". Cut into cubes and put on top of salad. Drizzle whole thing with a bit more dressing.


Edit: Woo! This was my 100th post! And what a doozy it was, huh?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

NYC, New Job, New Classes.

Wow. There is so much to talk about, I feel like I don't even know where to start. Well, I'll start with my fabulous day yesterday. I took the train into the city and spent the afternoon with our lovely Jemima. My train arrived like 10 minutes early actually, so I wandered around Grand Central, only semi-freaking out about what to do with myself and worrying about Jemima getting lost, the possibility of missing her in the crowd of people. But, after my second lap around the main concourse, I saw a girl and her mother sitting on a ledge. I walked a bit closer in my pathetically veiled attempt at getting a better look to see if it was her. Well, I took about three steps before she jumped up and ran towards me. (phew!) Spent the day walking around, got lunch and stopped for frozen yogurt from Red Mango. For real, my first time there and I think I just fell in love with that stuff. I had plain with dark chocolate chips and strawberries. It was soo good. Plus they really loaded on the chocolate which made me rather happy haha. I admit, I have chocolate every day, and I like it that way. I'm really proud that I also managed to purchase my self a sweater. OK it was $12 from H&M. Not the big expenditure my mother had instructed. But baby steps folks! Next time. All in all, a wonderful afternoon. Took me a while to find my way back to Grand Central, and I ended up missing my 3:07 train and had to take the 3:25 instead. It was all good though, I stopped in to get myself something to drink and found possibly the greatest muffins ever. Who knew that they sold frosted carrot cake muffins? I sure didn't! I had to contain my excitement about my discovery because I really wanted a muffin to begin with, and finding a carrot cake one made me think "Did God read my mind and decide to just plant these here?". I being my neatnik self chose to eat mine out of a coffee cup with a fork. I looked slightly silly on the train I'm sure, but its a bumpy ride and I made it through without frosting my nose or dribbling crumbs all over my favorite dress.

Fast forward to today: First. Day. Of. School. I haven't been to college in a year and a half. My first attempt- Pratt '06 was a massive fail. I was there for three weeks before my weight had plummeted so low that I was deemed a hazard to myself and to have on campus. Fall of 2007, I tried going to the local community college. I managed to last a semester there, but I was struggling immensely. My weight fell pretty low, but I stuck with school. I started the second semester, lost more weight within 2 weeks and was forced to resign myself from school and go into IP. I came back three months later, audited my former painting class and yes, again, had to bring that to a halt because of yet another relapse.
Do we see my fear? I do. I know I am different now. I make a concerted effort to eat enough each day. But I'm scared that between this and working, I may not be eating enough. Silly, embarrassing question: Did any of you find that when introducing school and work back into your life, you needed to eat even more to keep up with yourself?

The job is going well. At least as well as things can go at Wal-mart. I've experienced just about every bad situation one can run into within my first few days as an employee. Receipt printer ran out of ink, items without price tags, insane customers, etc. And I'm still going strong. Apparently, so far I have already made my place as being one of the favored cashiers. Woo! I have met some truly nice people. Several customers who had complaints about my service managers' way of dealing with them came back to also tell me that when they made their complaints to the Service Desk - they made sure to specify that the cashier Victoria was lovely and one of the friendliest people they'd encountered at the store. So hopefully, despite my knack for also catching lots of technical issues, the fact that people like me and that I'm generally pretty efficient will mean they decide to keep me as an employee (I'm on 90-day probation right now)

Also, an elderly woman came through my line. She spent a legit 10 minutes showing me photos of her grand kids and great-grand babies. She pointed to her grand-daughter in her wedding dress and told me that would be me some day, and that eventually I'd be the crazy lady showing off all these photographs. It was sweet.

An elderly man also came through my line, later that night. I was tired and hungry. Not necessarily crabby, but I wasn't much for smiling at that point. I just wanted to go on my 15 minute break and eat my sandwich. He tried to make me laugh and when I smiled he told me "You have the most beautiful smile. Getting to see it just made my day."

As crazy as the masses can be, you do find some really great people every now and again.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hello hello.

So! A lot has happened in the past few days.
The biggest thing though; I got a job. I am a cashier at Wal-Mart. Again. I'm a bit scared to be honest. I'm nervous about juggling school, work and recovery. Thus far I am doing alright, but I haven't actually started school yet. I shall have to wait and see how it all goes. I'm a bit irritated because I only signed on for something like 20-24 hours a week. I am working 32 hours a week for the next three weeks. Kinda sucks. I'm also a bit upset because on my work schedule, I have myself down for working from 4-10 on Sundays. My hand-written schedule that I received yesterday apparently has me working from 1 to 10. I can do it this week, but on the 30th, I'll be in class till 3PM. So I have the pleasure of needing to talk to personnel about that today. I feel really guilty because I did OK the schedule yesterday. But I was just so elated to be working, and to have three days in a row off every week that I failed to make the connection that I had class. I was literally half way home before it hit me that I'd be in class. I called right away but the personnel women were on their lunch break already. And I called back again later that evening, but I was put on hold and then hung up on. So...I'm hoping that they will not be too terribly annoyed. I mean, I can be there for 3:30PM. So I can still cover most of my shift, its just like two hours that I won't be there. That's still seven more hours of employee coverage that would not have had if I wasn't hired. So...I hope that it doesn't sound as irresponsible and stupid as its sounding to me right now.

Things between me and the boy are good. He's in Hershey Park today. I sort of wish I could have gone along since I sort of miss him, but I had to work. Oh well. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. I feel like he sees too much of me anyways. Literally, we were seeing each other almost every single day. So me working is good - kinda forces us to spend more time apart. Even when I don't see him, he spends half the day text messaging and calling me. Its cute, but sometimes I think its a bit much. I'm not used to that much attention from a guy and I feel like I need at least a bit of breathing space. Besides, if he talks to me all day when we're apart, we have nothing to say when we're together. So. This is good. Hah. I love how it sounds like I'm trying to convince myself of this. I really am not a dependent or clingy person, at all. But I really like him a lot - and it feels different than it has with anyone in a very long time. Its a bit nervous-making. Not a bad nervous, but I haven't had an actual relationship since I was like 16 (isn't that pathetic? For five years I've been "that girl" - the one guys call because they feel lonely) so I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing. D asked me the other day if I actually liked him, or was just happy to have a guy who didn't use me. I told him I was perfectly content alone and that I hadn't really planned on changing my way of life, and that I wouldn't be exclusive with him if I didn't truly want to be. I think I'm getting a knack for this "talking about your feelings with other people" thing.

I feel kind of bad for not posting about food much lately. But I swear up and down that I have not been restricting at all - I just haven't had time to remember to take pictures. Literally, I have been eating on the fly, in a rush or out and about for the past few weeks. I did make a fabulous breakfast this morning and I wish I had a picture. But I'll give y'all the recipe anyways.

Deluxe Peanut Butter and Jam Muesli:

Soak overnight: 1/2 cup rolled oats, 1/4 cup soymilk, handful dried cherries,1/4 cup Fage 2%

In the morning: Put rest of yogurt into a bowl. Top with oat-yogurt mixture, sliced banana, 2TBS each walnuts and almonds, 1TBS creamy PB and 1TBS cherry presesrves.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Reminders.

I have had many ups and downs this past week. Especially given the amount of time I spend outside in the heat - it has made it hard for me to feel hungry enough to eat as much as I need to. Thus, there has been a great deal of PB, chocolate and ice cream in my daily diet these past two weeks or so.
I asked my mom the other day if she thought I was eating too much junk.
She said to me "You eat what? A quarter cup of PB? One single serve bar of dark chocolate and a bowl of all-natural ice cream? Really Victoria. Those are all good, wholesome foods. They may be treats, but they are still good for you. And its not like you sit down eat a whole container of something."
She's right. I was misperceiving what I was eating. Perhaps it was anorexia, trying to make me feel guilty for managing to eat enough calories on a daily basis despite not feeling hungry. Perhaps it was just anxiety over the fact that I eat so much more than everyone around me. I spent the day with D and his friend (also a guy) and I ate more than both of them. That was a bit hard to deal with, but D tried to make me feel better about it. After I got home one night, I had to do serious calorie-cramming. I said to him "Remind me to never not grab something to eat while we're out ever again, even if you aren't eating anything."
D - "Why?"
T-"Because I seriously just consumed the most amount of food I've ever eaten within the shortest span of time. I'm rather in awe of myself at the moment actually."
D-"You know, that's pretty freakin sexy. Is it weird that I think that?"
haha. I really do like that boy.

Anyways. All this "inner turmoil" - feeling guilty about not being hungry, about having an actual resentment to how much I need to eat - has led me to do a lot of thinking and a lot of reading. Scanning through my old journals - I see how far I've come. And I began to realize that I have come through a lot more than I usually allow myself to acknowledge.

This time last year, I was sick. I was on bed rest and not allowed to do much more than read books, sketch and work on puzzles. I would spend hours doing nothing at all. My mother and I made up meal plans one day a week, and she carried them out for me. I was far too afraid to even think about making my own meals. I couldn't trust myself to go through with filling a plate. I was also inexplicably intimidated by the sound of the blender. I couldn't digest much solid food properly for about two months. She made me my tiny meals to have four times a day that were comprised of mainly soft and easily digested foods (yours truly lived off of polenta, PB, bananas, yogurt and oatmeal made with CIB for several weeks), plus the two massive shakes to make up for what I couldn't yet handle eating. I wrote about sitting there at the kitchen table, hands shaking and my entire being being stricken with panic. How it took me half an hour to drink that first shake, and when I was done, I could feel the frozen contents through my abdomen. It frightened me. My lips turned purple with cold. It was June. It hits me now, as I look back through those pages and pictures, just how close I was. I look at me then, and I wonder how I lived. I was so, so afraid and so entrenched in my ED. I wrote about each day that we increased my calories. At one point, I was eating XXXX a day - more than I had eaten in all the days and months of my relapse combined- and surprised that I was still maintaining my obscenely low weight. I was literally in shock. I wrote about the things I ate in great, agonizing detail and every bite and swallow was written with painful words. It startles me now to see how much focus I had placed into my fear of food and how obsessed I had become with being afraid.

I have come to see something important here. The way my eating disorder maintained control over me was by causing me to obsess over my fear. It was not the fear itself that kept me from escaping that dark place. It was the obsession about having fear. Fear is only as powerful as we let it be. It can control you, maim you, beat you senseless. Or you can choose to say "I am afraid but I will go on." It took me a long time after transitioning onto an all-solid foods diet to start gaining weight again. I was perfectly content to be maintaining XX pounds while eating XXXX calories a day. And I had it in my head that I was too afraid to ever allow myself to eat more.
And then the fateful day came. My mother told me that if I didn't start putting on weight again (I had only gained a minimal amount on the soft-foods/shake diet), I would be put up in a hotel room, and she would call every day to see if I was alive. She said on the day I didn't answer the phone, she would know to call the coroner because I had finally died.
This was one week before my 20th birthday. I was given five days to show some sort of weight gain.
We battled back and forth with that same threat for a solid month or so before I was steadily gaining half a pound every two weeks. As my mind finally started to become more stable, I grew impatient with myself and started pushing myself more and more. I realized that I didn't have to let fear guide me forever and that it truly was my choice. I could fight, or I could die. Fear is not the end-all, be-all. Fear is not the deciding factor. It was just a feeling, and an irrational one at that. I faced my fear, shaking in my boots. I can't tell you why I did, other than my not wanting to die at such a young age and not wanting to leave this world before I had ever really gotten to live. But I managed. As sick and desperate as I was, I did it.

Fear is not what should define the way you live or the things you chose to do for yourself. Because in time, the fear fades.

The second, most obvious thing I learned was that just because the ED voice says something, does not make it true or based on reality. And in fact, the more you go against the ED voice, the easier it becomes and the more able you are to recognize it when the ED is speaking, And soon you're able to say to yourself "No, that's not true." or "No, I do need to do this." without so much as a second thought. The rebuttal against the negative thoughts starts to become like second nature.

So for those of us with doubts about the possibility of recovering, please believe me when I say its real. Its possible. It takes some time, and some effort. But eventually, one day, it becomes your life again.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

honesty.



So I've received this award from several lovely, wonderful girls. And I'm just now getting around to making my honesty post. I know, I am so slow. But only because me and computers don't coincide all that well and its taken me several tries to figure out how to get that darned button to copy up.

It would be very hard for me to decide on seven bloggers to give this award to. There are so many people out there who I respect greatly for their absolute honesty, even when it invited other people to be hurtful or judgmental - or when it put them in a position to have to be harsh with someone else in order to get them to see the truth. So, all of you lovely ladies get this award as far as I'm concerned.

Now my 10 honest facts:

1. I would feel utterly naked without my tattoos. They don't define who I am of course, but they are a part of me. And I love them.
2. I have a hard time expressing myself out loud. I prefer written or otherwise non-verbal expression in almost every situation. GIve me pen and paper and I can draw you how I feel. Ask me to say it out loud and you'll get mumbles.
3. I am a stubborn pain in the ass. Once I get my mind set on something, I damn well do it.
4. I have double-jointed fingers.
5. I have three dimples. One on either side of my mouth, and one below my left eye (that one only shows up when I'm laughing)
6. I have 1/2" holes in my ears.
7. I have done modeling, as sad as I am to admit it.
8. I played basketball for five years, up until I got pneumonia. Then I missed a season, and was too afraid of being behind on my skills to go back.
9. My parents are in their 60s and my older brother is 30. I am turning 21 in two months. I was a mid-life baby.
10. When I was 5 years old, my mom drove me to my first day of school. As she unbuckled her seat belt, I said to her "What are you doing? I am walking myself into school. I'm a big girl now. You can sit here and watch me." (that one is my favorite story!)


Enjoy the day!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Apologies.

I apologize to anyone I may have worried yesterday. I suppose I just get frustrated sometimes because I feel like I've come so far and still can't quite seem to be able to trust myself, to feel good about myself. BUt everyone has bad days, eating disordered or not. I know it was just the stress of so many things that caused me to feel like saying "Fuck this." about everything.

Even if I tried, I don't think I could give up keeping track of what I eat. Its a habit far too ingrained in my mind, and I think on some level, for the rest of my life, I will always know how much I am eating. I think the best I can do for right now is to not care if I eat an extra 200 calories one day, or am short by fifty the next. Which I can say, has happened. I've definitely had a few days where I went over on calories (most of my friends are 21 already and everyone always seems to have a bottle of rum or a few bottles of beer lying around) and ED was definitely giving me crap for it. And I really just don't want to think about that anymore. It doesn't matter. Honestly, I took a good look in the mirror and I realized that whatever anorexia keeps trying to make me see, really isn't there. While its almost frightening to have that kind of realization - that I still don't always have the best perception of myself - I know it to be true. I still imagine things. I still transform negative or overwhelming emotions into something they aren't even related to. But as many of you said, at least I am aware of it.

By no means am I relapsing. I am just giving up my rigidity. I am letting go of that fear of taking in more than I need. Because I know in my heart, when you are a recovering anorexic, what we may believe to be too much, isn't always enough. I'm tired of worrying about the silly little things. They are insignificant, and truly, at the end of the week, it makes no difference if I had an extra 200 calories on a Saturday night. Anorexia will not make me feel guilty for being social.

I really want to thank everyone, especially the anonymous posters who gave me a solid reality check. Don't be afraid to say what you feel though - I will never get angry or offended by anything anyone has to say. I know you guys just want to help and don't want to see me lose any of the progress I've made.