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?