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.

Monday, August 10, 2009

I don't know.

I don't know what is wrong. I feel so out of it. A few days ago, I was happy. I loved myself. I was happy with the girl I saw in the mirror.
And now its disappeared. Maybe its the stress of going back to school, going back to work, having to go for an ultrasound (I apparently have a lump on my thyroid that may be cancer. Fucking perfect, right?) and all while simultaneously managing my own recovery and trying to be the perfect recovering anorexic. Maybe its all too much to bear. But I feel like I am falling apart. I'm eating perfectly fine - no restricting. But every meal the past few days has been a struggle. I have no appetite and every time I see my reflection, I want to cry. I just hate my body so much right now and I don't know why. Actually, I do know why. It has nothing to do with anything. Its purely the stress I am putting myself under.

Logically, I know its the sheer volume of emotion that I am feeling that causes me to perceive my body as having gotten vastly larger than it really is. I know this as a fact - whenever I feel big emotions that I cannot seem to express, its like my mind shifts the weight of those emotions into the way I see my physical form. I literally see the emotional baggage I carry in a physical manifestation. I know it is not really there. But I can't seem to make it disappear, because I keep throwing myself into the fire.

Its frustrating me and I just want to cry.

Dan wants me to go swimming with him today. I do not even want him to see me, period. Let alone in a bathing suit. This self-consciousness is becoming life-inhibiting. I know I should say fuck it and just go. But I know I feel so incredibly uncomfortable that I'll just be bitchy and wanting to crawl out of my own skin the entire time.

I want to feel good again. I miss being happy. And this depression is sucking the life out of me. I need to let go of something. I don't know what. But some of these crosses need to be shed. I need to be able to stop worrying about things and just breathe. To be honest, I think that my weight has become one of the biggest stressors for me. I know how easily I lose weight and while I am eating what I want, I still find myself keeping a running tally in my head to make sure I've eaten enough. And its making me fucking crazy. I don't want to care anymore. I am so close to being free of the calorie obsession. I think I need to just say "screw this" entirely. In fact, I know I need to. I do not want to care anymore. I know what my body needs. I know what I want. I don't need to double check to make sure I ate enough, cuz you know what? If I didn't eat enough one day, chances are that I'll be hungrier the next day anyways so it will balance out.

I am so sick of ED. I am done. I don't care anymore. This is not the life I want to live and this is not the way I want to feel about myself for days on end. Anorexia in all of its obsessive nature will not become me anymore. I am saying goodbye to this illness in its entirety for the first and last time.

"These ties that bind me, I will change. Ignite this spark into flame for I will not be measured by days. I will decide my own fate." - Haste "Calendar Year"

Friday, August 7, 2009

Big Day #2

So today is my big date with the bone doctor.
I will update with news on that and such when I get home. For the time being, lets hope that she doesn't suggest anything entirely obtrusive to my life and that I am able to stay the whole appointment without having a "Fuck that!" come out of my mouth. Because I'm in a really stubborn and pissed off mind frame at the moment (boy problems? you bet. It is NOT funny to consistently ask about breaking up and then go on to pretend to do it as one drops me off home. And chasing after me as I walk up to my door without saying a word and hugging me and kissing me telling me it was a joke does NOT make it better.)

Sigh.

On the bright side, I might be getting my old job back. And I've decided I want a new tattoo.

Update: So! The doctor says that my bones are already rebuilding from the osteoporosis, and that within the next year or two, I should be well out of the osteoporotic state! Yay. No medications required, just continued nourishment and weight-training should do the job. I am VERY happy to hear this. She also said as long as I don't pull too too many outrageous stunts, I can continue my everyday life as is.

To celebrate, I took myself to the mall and bought some pretty things. In preparation for bad news, I had a super-good breakfast just because, you know, having a good breakfast makes bad news easier to bear. In this case though, I guess the lovely breakfast has become more like a reminder to myself that eating well can and will make things better for me.

Muesli, banana, dried figs, almonds, walnuts and PB. <3 this!

Thank you all so much for your support and all. D made me feel guilty for being upset with him and I was beginning to feel like I had over-reacted. But knowing that you all also agree that it was totally not cool to be consistently asking and joking about that particular topic makes me feel a lot better. :sigh: Sometimes I feel like I am not made for relationships. Its really frustrating because I always feel so awkward and like everything I do is wrong, like I'm constantly making mistakes. I know in time, the insecurity will disappear. I just wish it would happen sooner. Though if there's one thing I have learned, its that all things worth while take time.

Speaking of time, as of today I have been in recovery for fourteen months. Holy crap. That is a LONG time. I remember thinking I'd be done gaining weight within a few weeks. Ha! What crazy things ED causes us to perceive as real and true.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Blergh.

You know, its funny how one small incident can show you just how far you've come, but still how far you've got to go.
Yesterday, the boy and I went for a hike up Sleeping Giant and we had planned on picnicking.
Sounds lovely, yes?
I thought so too.
So, we did our hiking up, and back down. It was almost 2:30PM before I got around to eating my lunch.
I went 5 hours without food, expending a great deal of energy. I didn't even feel a twinge of hunger.
This frightened me so, so much. I knew I should have felt hungry. Most likely, I was too busy pushing myself physically to even notice. It caused me a bit of panic, realizing that I still don't have that ability to always known when I'm hungry or should eat. And it frightened me to know I should eat, despite not feeling the least bit of hunger. But I know myself, and I know what I need to do to stay on track. So I ate anyways. My massive wrap and a dark chocolate bar (because I didn't think fruit &PB would travel well) were consumed in entirety.
Now here come's the day's kicker.
D didn't eat. At all. Said he ate before we left (at 11AM mind you!)
So I sat there, eating. And he basically watched me. And then said "For someone who isn't hungry, you sure can eat a lot."
!!!!
Usually, anorexia would have had me die right there, on the spot, with shame and embarrassment. However, Victoria stayed in control. Calmly, but ever-so-deftly said "Just because I can go days without eating or ever feeling hungry doens't mean its something I should do. I know what I need to eat to stay healthy and whether I feel like it or not, I've got to eat. For me, its a responsibility. You might not understand, but then again,I really don't need you too."

I'm not sure what kind of look I must have had on my face, but by the time I finished the sentence, D was apologizing and realized what he said was massively inappropriate. I suppose a big thing is that he's never actually seen me eat a meal that I knew had enough calories. I usually bulk up other meals when I know I'll be eating out with him, due to my own self-consciousness. :sigh: Its funny because he tells me ALL the time that I "shouldn't feel self-conscious and thinks its pretty awesome that you're a girl who can eat." And yet, he sees me eat what is enough for me, and almost seems shocked. Meh. What can ya do? I admit to still feeling slightly put off by it, especially in conjunction with him sitting there not eating a bite. But, it is what it is. I will keep doing what I need to do for me.


Shredded wheat, granola, vanilla soy milk, coocnut flakes, almonds, banana, dried cherries,creamy and WCW PB (yum!)

Oh what strenuous things I do to take care of me ^.^
No shame, no shame. And no guilt either.
I believe somewhere inside, I am figuring out that this is how to live. Enjoy what you can and do what you must to better yourself, and if anyone has anything to say about it - tough noogies.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Wow.

Wow. I cannot thank you guys enough for all the positive responses and encouragement from my last post. I've been trying to comment everyone back as quickly as possible but I'm afraid I may have missed some people. if I did miss you, I apologize and please know every word has been greatly appreciated and consistently brings a smile to my face <3

Today something funny happened. I was at the gym and forgot to bring a towel. But given the heat and humidity, there was NO way I was getting into my toastly little car without showered first. So, yours truly took it upon herself to use the handy-dandy hair dryers they keep at the gym to dry herself off.
Obviously, this meant having to look at my body. In the mirror. For a solid 10-15 minutes.
A long time ago, anorexia would have picked my body apart, looking over every part, scrutinizing it and finding flaws with every inch of skin.
Today, I looked in the mirror and I had some sudden realizations.
I am not fat. I have lovely muscle tone and I am getting stronger every day (woo! I can leg press 140lbs now!)
The biggest thought though, the most important one that entered my mind was that I love my body just as it is. I didn't look in the mirror and see imaginary chub on my midsection, I didn't pinch skin off my ribcage and think to myself that I needed to lose 5lbs. None of the old anorexic thoughts were there. Just a great appreciation for what I have accomplished. I remember the way I used to look and feel - when I was so weak that carrying in groceries caused my arms to ache and I fell asleep at eight o'clock every night because I couldn't bear to be awake any longer. I don't focus on those things so much anymore - I don't need to constantly remind myself of how bad I was to be able to feel good about who I am right now.
I was watching The Incredibles the other afternoon (yeah, I watch the Disney channel on rainy Sundays, so sue me) and something one of the characters said struck me.

"Never look back darling, it distracts from the now."


Who knew such wisdom could come from a children's movie? Actually, I think those Disney flicks are filled with much deeper messages and construct than people realize (did you know Aladdin was based off Othello? True story) But in all seriousness, I heard that quote and wrote it down on a scrap of paper almost immediately so I could share it with y'all. I think some times a lot of us, myself included, let our past selves dictate what we do now. I cannot tell you how many people I know who are afraid of SOMETHING because in the back of their minds, it reminds them of something from the past. I'm not saying that's bad - I do that too. I still have an irrational fear of potatoes and I cannot even figure out why (though I think having to eat a plate of semi-frozen mashed 'tatties and getting entirely sick when I was in IP has something to do with it) But! We are in recovery. We are different people now than we were months or years ago when we were entranced with our eating disorders. We are in different places in our lives. We have new goals, dreams, aspirations. We have new things to look forward to and new lives to live for. The fears and memories left over from our pasts so often distract us from who we are becoming and what we are now capable of. Its saddening to think that we may never realize our full potentials because we keep letting our former attitudes control what we do now. I never ate peanut butter or dessert or french toast when I was into my ED the past few years. Never. But I will admit - when I was in high school, I'd allow myself to have either peanut butter or dessert once a week. I couldn't tell you how much exactly I had, and it probably wasn't as much as I thought - but I always felt like I'd just binged on something bad. And for a long time, I was afraid of having things like french toast or peanut butter because I had that connatation in my head. Over time though, I have let go. I no longer think to myself "I can't eat that because I'll eat too much." I know what my body needs or wants, and I take what I think looks like a satisfying amount. I never on my life though I would be able to do that. But I can now, because without even thinking about it, I have stopped recounting every past event in my eating disordered history and I've stopped thinking about "food rules" for the most part. The past is the past for a reason - because we are supposed to move foward and make changes to better ourselves and enrich our lives. If we keep holding onto our former selves, we never truly grow out of the shell.

So today, I challenge myself and all of you: Let go of just one thing from your past today - be it an eating disordered thing, or a mistake you made or even just a consistent fear you've had. Just something that you think distracts you from living in the moment right now.

With that, I leave you with this morning's muesli:

Oats soaked over night in 1/4 cup milk and Fage 2%, banana, almonds, coconut flakes,PB and orange marmalade. Pina colada style - living's good right?