Saturday, December 25, 2010

12/25/10

Happy Holidays!


Just wanted to stop in and wish everyone well.
I will be writing soon. So much has happened, I don't quite know where to begin. But know that I think about, and check up on all of you, even if I'm not writing often anymore. I have a lot I'd like to share though, once I'm able to sit down and really get to it.

xo
Tori

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving.

This morning, I slept til 10AM, something I rarely ever do. I went out with friends around 9:30 last night, and didn't come home until 3:30 in the morning. I had a bagel with peanut butter for a quick dinner before going out. We all had drinks and there was much craziness. And I had the most fun that I've been able to have in awhile.
Today, I am going to the boy's for Thanksgiving dinner. I've not eaten turkey and mashed 'tatties on Thanksgiving day in nearly a decade. And I am going to enjoy it, because of who I'm with, and because I can.
Tonight, I am working the over night shift. I have to be into work at 11:30PM and will not leave until at least 11:30 AM tomorrow. I stocked up on energy drinks to keep me going, and am going to either bring or buy brekkie at Starbucks.

I admit, even after all my time in recovery - I have often struggled with eating because I never really got regular hunger cues back and never experienced having a desire for something specific. But lately, those sensations are coming back. Lately, I am proud of myself, of my body and who I am as a person. I am going to graduate college with two degrees - an associates in Fine Arts, and a BS in Public Health and Nutrition Sciences. I may not be done til I'm 26 - but I'm fuckin' doing it. I go to the gym, and I feel excited when I can lift heavier than I did the week before. I go to school, and I am able to feel excited and passionate about the art work I'm creating - even when it's a self portrait (something I feared greatly BTW) .

In short, I am thankful for the life that I am able to live. At times, I wonder what could have been had I not relapsed and dropped out of Pratt in 2006, if I had stayed and somehow managed to turn things around - how different could my life be? But its a moot point to think about, because its not the way things are. No use beating myself up over it. This is where my life is at. And you know what? If I hadn't gone through all of this, I wouldn't be here now. I wouldn't be the person I am, I wouldn't be writing this blog, and I wouldn't have met many of the wonderful people that I now consider my friends (from blogging and life alike). I wouldn't have the appreciation for my life, my body and mind that I have now. So in some awkward way, I am grateful for the life I have led thus far, anorexia and all. Because it has led me here, to a place that I am happy with.

Friday, October 29, 2010

10/29

For those of you who have kept tabs on my formspring, I'm sure you have noticed the sudden onslaught of insults and rude commentary from an anonymous commenter. While the things this person have said to me have not outright hurt me, or in any way had an effect on how I'm doing day to day, their words DO have an impact on me, and how I feel about the blogging community.

When I started this blog, we were a community of strangers that became friends, and supported each other. We comforted AND encouraged one another when we struggled, and we praised and helped each other accept and acknowledge our steps forward. This was not a community that was spiteful or hurtful, and it was not a place that tried to bring down those who were moving on with their lives in a positive way.

Now, I do not know who has been leaving me these comments, and quite frankly, I probably don't want to know. I do not appreciate betrayal of any nature. And in conjunction with my lack of time to post, I am not sure if I can really call myself a part of this community anymore. Not only is blogland different from when I started, I am different too. I see you all eating applesauce and blackbean brownies, kale chips and "blended banana ice cream" and all I want to say is: EAT THE REAL FREAKIN THING. If you want to recover, stop condoning your eating disordered behaviors and habits. Eat real ice cream. Drink real milk, real soda. Stop having diet food products. Eat real yogurt, have a bowl of real pasta with tomato sauce and parmesan instead of some homemade low-calorie bastardization of the real thing. Seriously - and then some of you wonder why you aren't getting better? "OMG I ate a whole head of iceberg lettuce today AND I had a handful of almonds. Why am I still losing weight?" You have no idea how frustrating it is for me, as someone who has been in the same damn place, idling my life away and sitting there, wondering why its not getting better. "Gee, well I ate half my sandwich today and I had about 2/3 of that apple so I'm doing better...." That is exactly what I'd tell myself. But you know what? Those teeny tiny improvements are NOT enough. Not when you are sick with anorexia. You cannot bargain with a devil, you will always lose in the end.
As much as a therapist would hate me for saying this because it encourages black and white thinking, when it comes to recovery, in some senses, it really is all or nothing. You can listen to your ED and make deals with yourself each day - "I'll eat the whole apple, but I have to walk for an extra 15 minutes." or "I'll increase by 100 calories even though I know I need to add at least 500 to start gaining." - OR you can stop and realize that this fuckin' thing is controlling your life, and that yknow what? Its about time you take the power back. Recovery should be done on YOUR terms, because the process is about freeing yourself, and saving your life - not your eating disorder's comfort zone. For years, I remained in this limbo where I could just barely keep my head above water. Sure, I was alive. But I dreaded every day of the life that I lived because it was nothing more than a short list of safe foods, exercise and self loathing, with occasional moments of feeling OK. It wasn't my life still, and it didn't take much for me to go spiraling down. You have to take a chance. One day at a time, one challenge at a time. But you've gotta just do it.
You will never feel ready to do something like this until you're about half way through. Its like jumping into a pool. You can stand at the edge, peering into the water, maybe touch your toes to the surface to see how it feels. But its always cold and startling on that first feel. It doesn't feel comfortable until you've submerged yourself. And once you're in the water, you begin to see its pretty damn fine and you had nothing to worry about.
So as I said, JUST FREAKING DO IT. Be afraid all you want, that's part of defying your ED. But don't let your eating disorder's fears hold you back anymore.

I don't even know why I wrote all of this, because for most you, it won't make a smidgen of difference. But at least I've spoken my piece and now, I bid you farewell.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10/12/10

In the past few weeks, I have been through a lot. With school, with work, with D and other things. More than I can really even talk about to be honest.
To be honest, I am amazed at my ability to get through this past weekend. I kept going. I went to work, and I still did my best to take care of myself despite what transpired between D and I. He was very upset with me for going out with another boy despite us having broken up about two months ago now. After he calmed down, we had a really long talk about where we stand. And he finally came to the conclusion, on his own, that we need time apart and space from each other. After weeks of constant phone calls and texts, this is a huge relief to me. I don't care if I had to let him think this is his idea, just as long as it actually happens. Its what I've spent weeks asking from him but never got. I am so much more at peace now.

I'm tearing up in my drawing class which is pretty cool. That seems to be going well. I've been working a lot and facing the challenge of taking on two studio classes (12 hours) and two academic courses. I'm doing okay in all of them.

My birthday is this Sunday. I have both Saturday and Sunday night off. My friends are insisting we should party Saturday night. If I'm gonna be honest, I haven't really "celebrated" a birthday in years. I'm a bit nervous, it always seems that everything goes awry for me.
At this time of year, I always think back about where I was and how I was doing around my birthday in years prior.
Today, I looked through my old journal from 2008. I cannot believe how far I have come since that time. Like, I'm actually shocked at the difference in my mentality and how I feel about myself and my life. Two years ago, I was a shell of a person. I had no hope, no faith, and I believed nothing to live for. And while I still have my moments where I question, I never stop trying. I've learned that if I just keep going and don't give up, eventually things will come together. While it may be hard in the moment to keep going strong, all you have to do is hold on. I can't tell you how many times this weekend I felt like giving up. I haven't felt that kind of self-loathing and guilt in a long time. But I realized, am I going to let this boy do this to me? Do I want this person to have this kind of control over me, where I end up starving myself, hating myself just the way I used to? Do I want him to have the same power over me as my ED did? FUCK NO. And that is when I decided to have some pasta and chicken made with homemade sauce and grated parmesan cheese. I didn't measure. Just plopped some into the bowl, and sliced up a chicken breast. It was the most freeing and delicious meal I've eaten in some time, as I rarely get the chance eat my father's cooking. I don't know what he does to that sauce, but its like crack. Thick, almost creamy and rich in flavor. He even added in mushrooms and peppers this time. I actually packed some for dinner at work tonight too. Hehe. I don't care what ANYONE says, I'm an Italian and I will always love pasta.

And now, time to go to work. I have work and school til Friday. And maybe do some trouble making thereafter. ^.^

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Changes.

Its been quite the while, huh? I apologize for disappearing without notice. Since school started, life has been quite hectic. If I am to be honest, even before school - life was getting a bit crazy.

I broke up with the boy two weeks ago. I know, I know. Big shocker to pretty much everyone. We had some really great moments, but the rest of the time, I was ridden with anxiety and guilt from feeling like I wasn't good enough for him, feeling that I was the cause of every fight and that I was literally losing my mind and was deserving of all the hurt I felt. After spending some time with friends, I realized that wasn't the case and that I needed to separate from D in order to get myself back together again. We are still talking, and in time, might get back together. I really loved him a lot, and while most people think I'm naive, I know he loves me too and that if he can overcome his own problems we could have a good relationship. But for now, its on hold. And I am already feeling tons happier with the way things are. I feel a lot freer to do as I please and I don't feel afraid anymore. I suppose that doesn't speak well for how things were between us. I really inhibited myself a lot, and I wasn't initially going to give D a second chance. But he really, really wants to make things better, and since I am who I am - I am going to give it to him when we're both ready.

I also started school two weeks ago. I am taking Acrylic Painting from 1-3:45 and Drawing II from 5-7:45 on Mondays/Wednesdays, Algebra II from 11-12:20 on Tuesdays/Thursdays, and Nutrition 101 online.
Thus far, I am excelling in all my courses. And that brings me to my next topic:

I am thinking about changing my major. To become an RD. I know, it sounds rather stereotypical of a recovered AN. But lets look at this realistically: Becoming an RD would enable me to have a steady paycheck, and I would be able to help other people recovering from ED's. I'm really enjoying learning about it, and I've discovered math really isn't so hard (I'm getting A's! WOO!) And after all I've been through, I believe that is something I am meant to do. I want to keep arts as a minor/or dual-major in both. Because I still kind of want to keep the art option open and because apparently I'm a masochist and like having a crap ton of work to do. But hey! I'm already 2 years behind the rest of my class, what's another four, right? ^.^

I'm not sure what did it or when, but in the past few weeks I have felt more and more like myself. I am more confident and comfortable with who I am than I have been in years and I feel awesome. I'm not afraid to talk to the cute guys in the gym that used to make me nervous, and I can wear my crazy expensive "first pay check" jeans with a white t-shirt and feel damn sexy (that's what I'm wearing right now BTW) AND I am having fun. Finally grew a social life outside of D, and have been going to parties or out with friends a few nights a week - I've eaten cookies and drank beers and slept til noon. And all of it feels glorious.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hey hey its a Giveaway!

So, as many of you may or may not know, my beautiful friend Coco over at Hot Coco(a) is doing an awesome give away via CSN stores. One lucky entrant will receive a $40 gift card to one of their 200+ stores across the country. If you haven't heard of CSN - its the kind of place where you can buy anything you want, from clothes and shoes to furniture and other accessories. So, all you have to do in order for a chance to win is go to her blog and comment here
Since Coco is my girl, I think ALL of you who read this should totally hit this up ^.^

Nowww back to a usual Tuesday afternoon folks. I'm getting ready for work after a nice sesh at the gym (I can totally see biceps forming. I'm so excited!)
And a funny story: This guy who came into my work on Saturday night recognized me from the gym. I hadn't really seen him before until then but hey - he knew me so I talked with him. I was doing re-stock so I stopped to help him find and pick out a trash can upon request. Cute huh? Then, today I actually did see him. Apparently we were both running a bit late this morning. Anyways, I waved and such. Went to go to do my 15 minutes of running before leaving. And he appeared on the treadmill next to me. Bwuh? So I spent the whole time talking to him. After I finished, he looks at me and says "Are we done now?" I said yes. Then he goes "Good. I don't usually do this...I just wanted to talk to you."
AWW. lol I've never seen anyone go through that much trouble to talk to me. I'll admit I was suspicious of his motives when I was nearly doubling his pace. But it was really cute. And just another reminder that happy and healthy is totally more attractive than anything else.

I really think I need to make myself a name tag for work that says "Not Interested" instead of "Victoria" though. >.>

Happy Tuesday! And don't forget to enter to win!

Monday, August 9, 2010

8/9/10.

It makes me really happy that today is 8/9/10.

Just had to say that.

Anyways. I have the day off work today, and on Wednesday I'm going to Six Flags with the boy and a few of his friends. Should be a good time, assuming everything goes smoothly.
To be honest, I don't know what's wrong lately. Everyone keeps asking me why I look sad or upset. Even at the gym, my buddy (a 40 yr old man LOL) Omar was asking me what's wrong. I guess I'm the type who wears a heart on their sleeve. I can't hide the fact that I'm stressing and I'm not sure I'm happy anymore. I know what the problem is, but I can't seem to figure out how to fix it. I've got so many emotions to sift through. Me and the boy seem to want different things. He talks about moving in together, having kids, etc. And I don't want any of that, not right now. I don't know if its possible to have a relationship when our wants are so different. I love him very much and I care about him, but I just....I can't wrap my mind around any of that right now and it scares me. I feel like I don't know what to do. I don't know if there's something wrong with me or if I don't love him enough or what, but that's how it feels. I don't really have anyone outside of my mom to talk to about these things - and she doesn't help. She just keeps telling me we need to break up. The thought of letting him go is really frightening though.
*sigh*
Sorry for the ramblings, I'm sure its nothing anyone here wants to hear about.
On a happier note - we got free ice cream at work the other night. They had a bunch of flavors - none of which had ANY nutritional info on them whatsoever. My choice of flavors: Cappuccino and White Russian. Serving size: One styrofoam cup. LOL. It was delicious. And I felt really proud of myself for having some.
I've also halved the amount of running I do in the past few weeks. And yknow what? It hasn't made an inch of difference in terms of my capacity to gain weight - much to my surprise. I know I haven't talked about this recently but because of the above stress in my life - I have been having more anxiety around my weight/body and food (which is why mumzy keeps saying we should part ways). Sooo all of this is really big for me right now. I'm trying to get back to where I was mentally and emotionally. Hopefully with the return of school, I'll start feeling better. But for now, all I can do is try to hold on and sort things out as best I can.

BTW. Any and all advice in terms of relationship problems would be really helpful and greatly appreciated. I can't seem to shake the feeling of not knowing what I want or what I should do, and I don't know what to do with myself. :\

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Songs and things.

I have been struggling lately.
Not in terms of my actual eating disorder, but in terms of how I think and feel so negatively about myself all the time. I think I'm stuck in a place where I don't want to be because I am always so critical and harsh towards myself. I just can't seem to break the cycle at times. The boy has been saying this for several months. For awhile I was getting better, but lately I just feel so stuck. I keep (accidentally!) starting fights between us because I often just turn things into reasons why I suck so much. I know its just that its my comfort zone - to have low self esteem and not think much of myself. But I have to change.

I broke down last night at work. After having an already bad start to the day, I went into work only to get several customers that were being rude and disrespectful to me. Around 8:30, a group of 3 girls came through my line. They spent the entire transaction harassing me and cursing at me. After one of them told me to go fuck myself (for saying, "have a good night "BTW) - I felt like something in me broke. My throat tightened up, my eyes started water. All I could think to myself was, "I cannot live this way anymore. I cannot keep doing this." I tried to keep my composure as I finished checking out the rest of my line. I turned off my light. A girl from the service desk came over to see what was wrong. She yelled at me for not calling her or another member of management. Sorry - I'm not gonna stand there with these awful girls bitching at me while I wait for some higher-up to come diffuse the situation. In my humble opinion - it was far better to just check em out as quickly as possible and be done with it.

I left early. I did not ask for permission. I just simply said, "I stayed for an extra half hour last night. I've been feeling sick since I got here and now I just need to go home."

For the first time in many months, I did something that was purely for myself. And it felt good. I need to do that more often. I wouldn't be surprised if my lack of assertiveness and taking charge for myself lately has been why I am so unhappy. It also occured to me that part of why I hate my job is that I let the way people treat me get to me far too much. So what if someone talks to me like I'm stupid? I know I'm not. I'm probably smarter than the majority of them - so do I really care what they think? Hey. If they need to treat a little ol' cashier at Walmart like crap so they can feel better about themselves - its really them I should be pitying.So, from now on, I am not going to let myself be taken advantage of anymore. I'm not going to let little snide remarks or stupid comments upset me. I don't need to care about what 90% of the people I encounter every day think. And while I've always been one to bend over backwards in order to make other people happy. I cannot be that way anymore if I really want to get better. I've gotta start taking mine.
I will give my all to myself and to living a better life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Insurance.

I have a little story for you girls.
Most of the bloggers I know are under the age 26, and live with parents/they themselves have jobs or other situations that provide them with insurance.
But what happens when that situation changes? What happens, when say your father retires and your mother loses her job? And you only work part-time so you aren't eligible for any sort of insurance plan?
Well then my dears, one is left to their own devices.
As an eating disordered person, even after a full YEAR of being recovered - this is still very difficult to do.
After spending an hour on the phone, recounting past health issues and places you've been due to your eating disorder, you will then be asked to wait 7-10 business days while the process your request.

You wait. You wonder. You think about how stupid you were when you were younger - to never realize how hard life after anorexia would be. Its funny. The past that you tried to escape will never leave you, both in your mind and in the paper trail that is the world we know. You can't just move on. You have to be honest in a situation like this, even though you know everything would be so much easier if you did. So you're honest. About everything. From your current height and weight, to the lowest and all years before.
You sit and you wait and you wonder if you had fibbed, even just a little - would it have made a difference?
You get the envelope. Its thin. You say to your mom "I didn't accepted." She looks at you, and says "But you haven't even opened it yet." "Its thin. With colleges, that means you didn't get in."

Still, you tear the letter open and read the standard font.
DEAR MS VICTORIA--
You have been denied insurance coverage for the following reasons:
You have been diagnosed with minor Osteoporosis and are Taking an OTC Calcium Supplement
You have been diagnosed with Anorexia nervosa and were hospitalized in 3/05(not even the right month BTW), 2/08 and 4/08 (I was DISCHARGED in 4/08)
and you currently see a therapist once monthly.
Your height and weight shows you have a BMI of 17 (17.5 to be correct) and that is mildly underweight.


This is another reason why full recovery is so important, and why it is 100X better to get it done with as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the longer the trail and the more red flags to raise when you go out into the real world, and try to take care of yourself. Even after two years since I began my recovery, I'm still seen as an unstable individual by the standards, even after I did it all by myself. I still tried and failed several times before hand. And in certain circles, that's all that they can see.

What really grates me (and I don't care if I get flak for this) are the followng things:
I am being penalized for preventive measures.
I am being penalized for a fucking vitamin that I pay for myself.
I am being penalized for something beyond my control. The fact that had I been that .5 of a point OVER what was considered healthy, they wouldn't have denied me if I had said that I had spent 2 years dieting to LOSE weight. They'd have commended me on my progress and seen it as a sign of good faith, even if I was still a bit over a healthy weight. But because I'm just that tiny bit under, even with the amount of food I eat each day, and how much progress I've made, I'm considered "not yet recovered" because of one flipping half a point.

I'm going to go eat a muffin and think about how I'm going to fix this.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Well, now don't I feel silly for being so dramatic?
You bet I do.

I'm sort of relieved (albeit also kind of sad) to hear that I'm not the only person who feels kind of alone and isolated at times. Obviously, I'm not so stupid as to think I'm the only one. But seeing it printed in front of me that so many of you guys feel that way too made me think. And I think its partly because of having an ED. And, at least for me, its because I don't often like letting people see me with my guard down. Especially knowing that I've been dubbed a kind of role model - I tend to make myself believe that means I can't have bad days and I can't let anyone know if I'm sad or having a hard time with things. And that's really not true. Part of being a strong person is being able to admit when you need help. My stubborn self still needs to work on accepting that last one.
I also really feel bad about painting the boy in such a negative light. He might not always think before he does things (which, yes, makes him seem like a jerk) but he really does love me and he is always telling me he thinks I'm beautiful. He just doesn't understand ED's. Send me a picture of a half naked girl with tattoos and no words - I'm kind of confused and I find it a bit offputting. He thinks after a year, I should know better than to assume he meant something negative by it. I think after a year, he should know better than to assume I will know what he means by things of that nature (we had a huge argument over his suggestion that I dye my hair.) And then I was told that after a year, he'd hoped I'd have made more progress. I think that comment probably hurt more than anything, because I personally think that is true. And the idea that I'm not moving further along with my life and that I won't ever get any better is something that I've been really fearful of. So him saying that to me kind of sent me over the edge in terms of sadness I can deal with and sadness I cannot deal with. And then yesterday's drama queen post was born.
But, we did patch things up for the most part. And today is a new day, so I will do my best to make the most of it.

I cannot say thank you enough for all the support you loves offer me. I apologize for isolating myself and not really being there as much anymore. I know its a huge reason why I feel alone all the time, and its definitely something I need to start challenging myself with more - not hiding from anyone anymore.

Anyways. Happy Tuesday all.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just one bit.

If I am to be truly honest - it is not entirely the accusations and such that drove me away from my blog. Nor is it the fact that I am a pretty busy girl.

In truth, a large part of it is because I feel so alone. I don't have real friends. I have my guys, but its not the same as female friends. When I sit in my room and cry because of stupid things Dan says or does, I have no one to talk to. Like right now. I'm sitting here crying because he's just shown me pictures of a girl who he thinks is sexy and wouldn't it be great if I looked like that too? And I have not one single person I can talk to. I'm not in the clique of bloggers that call, text, care about each other. I'm on the outside, looking in - even here. And it makes me feel 100 times more alone than I ever thought it could.

And now, I'm going to go back to my hole in the wall and continue to cry because that's how I roll sometimes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday.

It really breaks my heart to be writing this, but I think it might be time for me to go. I love you guys dearly, but I'm not sure I really fit in blog-land anymore. It seems to me that I'm not really all that wanted anymore. When the encouragement and support I attempt to share gets pretty much shot down and ignored, it hurts and I don't even want to bother anymore. I don't mean to sound self-pitying, but its the truth. I'm an honest person, and the reason I am so blunt about things is because sugarcoating it doesn't work. Glossing over anorexia's sneaky holds only permits its presence. You can't just recover in one area - it has to be the whole person, through and through - otherwise you are just placating the illness, be it in terms of what you weigh or what you allow yourself to eat. I'm tired of being attacked for my lack of weight gain in the past year. I'd like to see ANY of you who have shit to say about how I'm still too thin consume the amount of calories I eat every day and then tell me how it feels to have to do it every day, week after week and still see no weight gain. Hell, I'd like to see you go out for a meal with your boyfriend and clear off more food than he does. Go out to IHOP for dinner and polish off a plate of blueberry pancakes and scrambled eggs, or take a road trip to Boston and eat a ham and cheese sandwich and a package of Pop Tarts from 7-11 for dinner. If you want to judge me, put on my shoes first. Then you can sling your mud and tell me how easy it is and how I "must not be trying hard enough".

I'm not sure if I will be posting again or not. But for now, I'm pretty upset and I think I need a hiatus from this world. If anyone actually wants to remain in touch, my email addresss is cloudyskies3443@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two Years

Two years and 12 days ago, I got up on a "chilly" June morning, stripped down and stepped on the scale. And for the first time, I was shocked and horrified by the number that wavered before my eyes. So much so that I had to weigh myself another three times to believe it was real. It was on that morning, probably purely from the shock of it, that I saw myself for what I had really become in just two months after a nine-week inpatient stay.

It was on that morning that I realized I was going to die from anorexia sooner than later. I was given the ultimatum - recover, or be put up in a motel room and wait to die.
It took weeks for me to even eat enough to keep a stable weight and process food properly. The first month of my homebound adventure in recovery - I shifted up and down between a three pound gain/loss. I get lots of questions about how I knew what to do or how I ever allowed myself to recover. And to this day, I have no definitive answers. The only thing I could do was to stop thinking about it so much and just eat. And every week, eat more. I stayed on bed rest at home - read numerous books, completed large 1000+ piece puzzles and indulged in Golden Girls reruns. I sat in the sun and drew the flower garden while drinking milkshakes. But still, I didn't start gaining weight til sometime in July and I had gotten up to and over 2500 calories a day. Then my mom returned to work. Being home alone all day was too much for me to bear and I had started taking walks and skipping my morning snack - cutting my calories down to around 2000. After a week or so, I managed to increase back up enough to prevent weight loss, but I was scared of being alone with myself and my eating disorder every day, and I feared continuing to gain weight, alone. I did what I thought was my best for several weeks. I was only XX pounds when I turned 20 years old in October. By November, I had developed stress fractures in my feet just from taking walks to the park and around the neighborhood. During the Thanksgiving Break, I set myself on bed rest again and healed up. With the support of my mom, we increased my calories every day from the end of November through the beginning of December. I had finally gotten up to 2800 calories a day. By the beginning of March, I was consuming 3600 calories a day and had only just gotten up to XX lbs. It took another 11 weeks for me to gain up to a minimal BMI of 16.5. And from that day in April, it has taken me another year solid to gain 8 pounds.

Has it been a long, treacherous road? Yes. Have I had my setbacks? For sure. But in the past two years I have done things I was told I would never do. I turned 21 and am at a mostly-healthy weight (and still aiming on up!). I have eaten pizza and chocolate because I enjoy it. Just the other night, I had Wendy's for dinner after work, sat around a fire and roasted marshmallows with some new friends. And you know what? I had NO FREAKIN IDEA how many calories were in the chicken sandwich I had. I was not aware of, and still do not know, what a serving size of marshmallows is. And I really don't care. And when I came home at 3AM I ate a granola bar because I was hungry. Today, I went shopping with my mom, tried on a dress and LOVED how it showed off my still-blossoming curves, had lunch at Panera Bread and got coffee ice cream for an afternoon snack.

Ever since I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, I have been told that I would never be free from its clutches. I've always been told that my brand of AN was too severe to be treated, that I was too stubborn and too intelligent for any program to be successful. And you know what? They were right. I was stubborn, intelligent and crafty like no other. How many people do you know that can hide an 8oz cup of milk without being noticed? I hated being in treatment. I hated being treated "special" because I was anorexic - like that somehow was the root cause of all my issues and that all of my problems were the trigger for the AN. How does that even work? I don't know. But I could not recover the way they wanted me to. I just can't stand being told what to do (lolz I know!) and even worse - I hate being told that I CAN'T do something. In my head, every time I was told "The next round of this will kill you" - I took it as a challenge instead of a warning. So every year, the weight went lower and lower. I had to make the realization myself for it to become real. I had to do it all by myself to make recovery real. Not everyone is like me though. Some people truly do flourish in an IP environment and find it very comforting and helpful. I found it to be stifling and pressure filled. I did what I had to do for me, for the first time two years ago. It was hard to actually admit that I needed to do something for myself. For me, admitting a need or want or desire is still the hardest thing. But I AM overcoming it, day by day.
So, I guess what I really just wanted to say is - Never let ANYONE tell you something is impossible, or can't be done, or that you are not capable. As long as you stop trying and start doing - you can achieve anything.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday.

Morning dears.
I have some bad news. My mom lost her job. My father is unemployed as well. So. Now I am the only person in the house with a job. To be honest, even though my dad is going to be getting his retirement soon, I feel scared. I'm not sure what this means for my future. But I'm going to have to bust my ass in school to keep my 4.0 GPA and start looking for scholarships.

On the bright side, I have that lovely boy of mine who helps me take my mind off of all that. Speaking of him, I kind of stole a picture of us from his facebook album. And since we're just so darned cute, I figured I'd share since so many of you ask about the mysterious guy I'm always talking about.


Its not the greatest pictures of me (After-work me is none so photogenic) But isn't he adorable? This is us, at the aquarium on Friday. <3

Today's another day off work (yippee) so I have no idea what to do with myself. But since I have the whole day - I think I may perform a few cooking experiments. If I come up with anything note-worthy, I'll post it up later. Otherwise, I just wanted to let you guys know what was up.

xo

Friday, June 4, 2010

Friday.

Hello lovelies! Its been awhile, yes?

Not much has changed, just my usual work-play dynamics goin on. I've been seeing more of my friends lately which has been great. Hung around with some of my boys the other night, watched movies and had some beers - always good times. The other night was Dan's birthday. I gave him one of my drawings and a few other goods. His mom saw the drawing I gave him and she was floored. I guess he'd not told her I was an art major. It was a good night for the most part, I ate my first slice of birthday cake since I was 16. And it was SO good - like a real treat. And not one peep from my ED either.

In other news...
I am still not at a healthy weight yet. And to be honest - the last time I weighed myself (2ish weeks ago) I had lost a bit. I haven't weighed myself since then, but I've decided I needed to increase my calories up further so I can just get it done and over with. I've been hesitant to go that route because A. I'm a busy girl and I hate having to spend my days worrying about eating XXXX calories, and B. I'm still getting horrible stomach aches mid-day almost every day and I don't know why. I can't let those two things get in the way of my recovery though. I'm doing my best to find ways around it. I've been splitting the majority of my calories between breakfast/mid morning snack and dinner/before bed-snack. And just snacking/having a lighter lunch between the hours of 11AM and 4PM. It seems to be working out OK in terms of calories and it is helping to keep the tummy aches at bay.

I made an awesome discovery the other night too. I don't have pictures, cuz I wasn't sure how it'd turn out. But it was delicious. See, I've been having regular yogurts lately because the Greek stuff is really expensive, and sometimes it upset my stomach (too rich perhaps? Idk?) So here is my solution for getting a high-protein, thick and luscious yogurt:

Take one regular yogurt, any flavor (I used Yoplait Cherry) and 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder. Stir vigorously for about a minute. It will still look like the protein powder hasn't absorbed fully, but leave it that way. Let it sit in the fridge for a few minutes (gives you time to gather your toppings of choice anyways).
After letting it set up - it should be thick, almost mousse-like, and since regular yogurt is more liquidy - the protein powder will melt in on its own. Add toppings (I used granola, walnuts, chocolate chips and peanut butter. What can I say? Girl is craaazay and if I'm gonna make a 500 calorie snack - it better be damn tasty)
Consume and enjoy.
The best part about this snack: Easy way to up the protein and yumminess of a regular yogurt, and when Yoplait yogurts go for fifty cent a piece, and you can buy protein powder for 9$ per pound - you don't have to spend nearly as much money for the same tasty protein filled snack. And its sooo good! I had the above version as a dessert, but for a regular ole' snack, I'd probably use regular plain yogurt and skip the chocolate.

Nowww I'm off to get ready to go to the aquarium with the boy and jet off to work thereafter.
Happy Friday!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Discussions.

This week, I will have finished off my first year of school in nearly 6 years without relapse or removal. This feels like a huge accomplishment, for real. I got exempted from my final exam for Sociology for being an awesome student all semester. So my last day of class is tomorrow, final critiques in Drawing. BTW I presented my final for drawing yesterday actually. And I did some awesome work, if I may say so myself. Here's a sneak peak of two of my five drawings:



In case you can't tell, I did a series of drawing from the hidden playground by my house.


This week, I also have faced up to many of my own imperfections. And I am not punishing myself for them. Me and the boy have had a few arguments. Mainly due to my ED and the remnants of ED's voice that are still in my head. I am very critical of myself and I have a hard time not taking some of his "jokes" offensively. I was wearing sweats the other day, and he told me I looked lazy. I got upset and pretty much curled up into a ball and didn't make eye contact with him for a good half an hour.

One good thing did come from the conversation. I've been really stressed at the prospect of having to buy new jeans. I have ONE pair right now, because my other two were ripped and old and no longer looked "right" when I put them on - if that makes sense? For whatever reason, probably from being worn so much, they no longer fit right and looked frumpy on me. So I gave them to Goodwill. But I had an immense fear that when I eventually got around to buying a new pair of jeans or two - I'd have to go up a size since I have put on a few more pounds in the past 6 months or so. Boy said to me - "That is a GOOD thing. It means you're recovering for real this time. You are 5'8", you shouldn't be wearing size 0, or even one size up from that. Wearing a 2 at your height is still crazy small. Its really not that big of a deal. No girl should wear a size 0 unless she's 15 and 5' tall."
This really struck me. My ED had me convinced for years that 0 was the only size I could wear. I don't know why. It was just an obsession with that number that indicated I didn't take up space. So I am now determined to buy the next size up, and gain until those fit properly.

In other news, I have found out that I LOVE bagels. I've not had one since being inpatient. But I bought a package of whole wheat bagels on a whim - they're 260 calories per bagel, and were $2.50 for a pack of 6 at my work. That's like, 40 cents a bagel! Heck yeah. And they are delish. My favorite combination thus far has been toasting a bagel, spreading it with copious amounts of peanut butter, sprinkling it with cinnamon, then drizzling it in honey. And then popping it back in the microwave for a few seconds of course.
I still can't eat dairy without feeling all bloaty and gassy and uncomfortable for hours, or even into the next day. So I don't really know what's going on there. What I do know is I have a stash of Greek yogurt in the fridge that I keep trying to polish off but whenever I have one, it has serious repercussions. Sigh. It makes me sad. I can have one about once a week without harm, but if I try to eat dairy more often than that, I feel awful. Hopefully I can coax my mother to try one or two....^.^

Today, my mom and I are going SHOPPING because I have my one final for Color Theory til 3PM, when she gets out of work. And since boy made plans with his friends, I'm gonna be rockin the mall with my momma. Should be fun, hopefully. Its rainy and ucky out. And since my hair is cuuuhrazzy now because I still haven't cut it so it's big, fluffy and all over the place, I have it pulled back into a half-pony tail.


Why hello 15 year old me! Aren't you cute? Must be since a customer actually made it a point to come back into the store after checking out last night to give me his number and request I call him sometime. LOL. I am kind of beginning to understand why Dan gets kind of jealous and over protective at times...

Well. I'm off to seize the day. Hope everyone is enjoying their Wednesday!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Stress much?

So. Two of my pieces made the cut for the art show. Apparently they wanted to make it fair by having a general rule of not allowing more than 2 per person. So hey.. Happy happy.

Maybe not.

To be honest, I am struggling with a lot of things lately. I feel like I have so much to do, so many people to please and no time to do it all. I have an awful schedule for work (as I've said before) plus I have demanding art classes, both my final projects are to require 15 hours of work. Plus, I have Dan who, I love him, but he can be a bit needy. I make time to see him 3-4 times a week to keep him happy. PLUS I have my friends that always want to see me too and I feel guilty when I can't make it because I'm too tired to go out at 10PM after work, or because its a night that I promised to Dan. AND then I also have my parents. We won't even go there. I love them too, but they are very critical and demanding of me and always trying to control me and what I do. AND then I also have my own internal pressures to quit smoking, quit watching my calorie intake and stop feeling so damn bad about myself for not being able to make everyone happy all the time. All this stress has had tremendous affects on my body. I can't eat dairy anymore. I get violent stomach pains and have been relying on 500 calorie shakes every day to get my calories in. I lost a bit of weight last week. I can't tell if I've increased my calories up enough to know if I've stopped the loss because guess what? The amount of stress I'm under has been enough to cause my period to come early even though I take BC. And that makes my weight fluctuate up anywhere from 1/2 - 2lbs. So GREAT. Even if my weight was up a pound from last week, I don't know if its a real pound or just due to my period. Best bet is probably to assume I'm just maintaining. Which means I've got 2 lbs to go to get back to a 17.5 BMI. And then however many more thereafter, I don't even know anymore. Also another stress. I have NO FUCKING IDEA what I am supposed to weigh or what a good weight for me is. And I'm really getting to the point where I do not care anymore. I don't want to think about numbers, BMI's or calories. I want my clothes to fit. I want to feel OK with my body most days, and I want to eat without worrying about if its too little or too many calories. But I can't do any of that right now because I'm so freakin afraid that I can't trust myself. Especially after losing despite eating my usual plenty and now maintaining on 300 more calories than I was before.

In short. I need a vacation. Badly. I can never half-ass anything. So all of these things are getting my undivided attention and all of my energy. I haven't been posting much, obviously. And its because I'm literally never home. I don't even watch TV anymore. Or read. Or make jewelry. Or bake. Really, I don't get to do many of the things I used to enjoy because there just aren't enough hours in the day and the occasional spare hours I have are usually spent napping.

I feel like I have nothing left for myself. And this feeling will only lead me to bad places, of that I am sure. I don't know how to slow down though. Maybe my constant activity is a form of escapism. But I think its mostly me, killing myself in attempt to make up for all the time I lost. And I already know - it is this same behavior, same attitude that lead me to my downfall in the past. How I'll fix it? I don't know. The semester ends in about two weeks. I'm not taking any summer courses. Hopefully that will be enough of a break to help me recharge and feel OK again.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Art Show.

Today, I am submitting three of my pieces to the student art show. I'm SOOO nervous. I'll find out on the 28th if what, if any, of my work has been accepted.



Lightening Storm - Acrylic on canvas.


Eleanor - charcoal


A Boy's Face - charcoal

lets all cross our fingers and hope I get at least one of these pieces accepted.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Agenda.

Things to do in the next two weeks:

Tonight: work 3:30 PM til midnight. attempt to work on sociology final paper.
Sunday: work 9AM to 5PM. Hang out with the boy after work.
Monday: Strength training at the gym (I'm building mad muscle!). Work more on paper. Go to class 1-7PM. Best bud's 21st birthday party.
Tuesday: Continue working on paper. Go to class 1-4PM. Work 4:30-10PM.
Wednesday: repeat monday, but sans party and see the boy instead.
Thursday: Repeat Tuesday.
Friday: Go to the gym. Either finish off the sosh paper, or start my final project for drawing. Work 3:30-? Either nine or later.
Saturday: Do whatever it was that I didn't do on friday. Its a day off, so see the boy for sure and we may be gettin tattoos. LOL.
Sunday: work 11-4:30. Do final editing of the sosh paper and figure out what the heck I'm doing for presentation on Wednesday.
Monday: Strength training. Class. Meeting with group to further determine how to accomplish a smooth presentation and get our $$@%# together.
Tuesday: More drawing. Go to class. Work 4:30-10PM.
Wednesday: Strength-training. School. Do the group presentation and hand in my paper. Cross yo fingers for me! Probably see boy that night.
Thursday: School 1-4PM. Party with some of the friends I've made at school. I don't know where it is yet - either the hookah bar or somewhere else but I'm 99% sure I will have to google myself directions to print out .
Friday: Gym again. Further work on my drawing project. Work 4:30-10PM.

Busy much, eh? I also have to wedge in a therapy appointment and a haircut.
Doesn't mean I don't have time eat plenty though ;) And new things too!


I give you! My newest favorite grocery find: Nature's pride Whole Wheat bread. I used to be sworn to Ezekial bread, but the ever increasing price of it was just not for me. Plus, being truthful, I think it was an ED thing - I mainly ate that bread because it had a low sodium count and I was obsessed with that for some time. I have to be honest, and all you Ezekial fans will hate me, but this bread is 100X better. Soft, dense and chewy. Its lovely.
Thus my awesome snack this morning:

Slice o' bread with PB, 5-6 slices of smooshed banana, and cinnamon. Unpictured: rest of the banana and a glass of milk. I invented another version of this that I forgot to take a picture of. But seriously - you all must try a slice (or two...) of bread topped with smashed banana, a few TBS of crushed walnuts and a liberal pinch of cinnamon. Its like instant-banana bread.

And now! I have to go shopping for bras. That's probably an over-share. But I'm kind of excited. So yep. Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, April 9, 2010

So.

I know I promised a lot of new updates and things in my last post, but there is something more important that I need to talk about today.

It has been a SOLID YEAR since I met my first GW. As of this month, I have maintained a weight over 100lbs for an extended period for the first time since I was 14. This the the longest I have been at a reasonably healthy weight for my height in seven years. I've managed to get my weight up a bit since last April, as I've mentioned shooting for numerous times. But I'm going by the overall. I defied my fear of ever weighing more than that 100. I've maintained that weight and then some and I have been happier ever since, living and loving my life more and more.

This is real. I can't quite believe it. But here I am. One year solid being pretty much weight restored.
I used to think something awful would happen if I weighed more, ate more, than my eating disorder told me was okay. Even after I hit that initial goal of mine - I still wasn't free. I couldn't eat more than XXXX calories and couldn't eat this or that. All of those things are gone now. I don't feel shame about my body - I love the way I look about 90% of the time. My body is still changing (read: I am growing boobs! woo!) but I'm okay with that. I'm still changing inside too. I'm learning to accept and give into my wants and needs, and I'm learning to stop trying to control everything in my life. Shit happens. The apple I ate today was bigger than the one I had yesterday. Two years ago - that would have terrified me. Today - I don't really care. I looked through my journal from when I was in IP in 2008. And I cannot believe that person was me. I won't show you the pictures. but lets just say, I keep them on my ipod. And whenever I get stressed about anything and start to question myself - I look at what, who I used to be and realize that as hard as it was, and as hard as it still is at times, nothing could ever have been more worth it than choosing myself, my life, over anorexia.

I never thought I could get this far, and hold onto it for so long. I tried anyways, because in all honestly, I had nothing left to lose. And eventually, I saw it could be real and I could become more than anorexic, that I could live a life outside of it. And I have been living a life that finally has become mine.

Just because something seems improbable doesn't mean that you don't have the means to make it possible.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Hey hey hey! I hope everyone had a great holiday this weekend. This post is just a quickie before I pass out. But I wanted to make sure no one thought I had disappeared, and I wanted let you all in on a few things that have brightened my weekend! Just because.

~ Fun trip to the grocery store. I picked up some goods that I will be posting about later on this week. Woo! Also. I have a story about my trip there today. Long story short: I have not shopped at the grocery store in my home town in almost a year. I started going to the one in the next town over because it's right next to my job and that's convenient. Today, I went to the grocery store, with my mom, in my home town. People who work in that store STILL recognize me, and remember what I looked like 2 years ago. And I got several of the people there telling me how great I looked, how much happier I seemed and how glad they were to see I was really finally going to be okay.

~Spent a day with Dan. I haven't said much about the boy lately, I know. But I really mean it when I say I love that boy. I've never dated anyone this long before. And I still get excited whenever I think about him or get to see him. He doesn't just make me happy though - he argues with me when I'm being irrational and he refuses to ever let my (albeit now occasional) eating disordered or otherwise self-negative thoughts win. And as much as I sometimes wish he'd just let it go, I am really glad that he challenges me so much and even moreso - challenges me to challenge myself.

~ Here's a big one: I'm getting a new-used-car. My current vehicle is as old as I am and very much showing its wear and tear. Like, I have a hole in one of my passenger doors. And a cracked headlight. And the hood of my car has an over bite. It also doesn't have air bags or proper seat belts. So yes. NEW CAR! My parents offered to help me pay for it now, as long as I pay them back eventually. I'm very excited. I'll post up before/after pics once the new whip is in my possession.

Love you guys!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Latest Obsession.

Lately, I have been obsessed with having shakes every morning or afternoon. I'm not sure why. Perhaps because it feels summery, or because it makes it so easy to get an extra couple hundred calories in, or maybe, just maybe its purely because they are totally delish? I don't like to brag, but I make a mean fruit shake. And I just recently started experimenting with something that's been popular here in the blogosphere for awhile: Green Monsters.

Here's three of my favorites thus far:

This one features: 1 c. soymilk, 1/5th tofu, 1c. frozen strawberries, 1/2c. frozen blueberries, some agave, and a TBS of White Chocolate PB.


This one looks pretty similar, I know. But this one is: 1/2 cup coconut milk, 1 container plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 c. each blueberries/strawberries, 1 c. baby spinach and some strawberry syrup. ^.^ I had this with a slice of toast topped with PB as an after-run snack. It was lovely.


This shake is the one I had before work yesterday. It was BOMB. I used 1 cup soymilk, 1 cup blueberries, 1/2 c. strawberries, 1c. spinach, 1TBS cocoa powder, 1/2TBS agave nectar and a tablespoon of creamy peanut butter. Definitely having this shake again. It was probably one of my favorites thus far. It kept me full from 8:30 to noon when I got my first break at work, and it was easy to consume after my oatmeal breakfast. I really want to get some peaches so I can make a peach and honey milkshake with my vanilla ice cream.

And now, I'm back to grind.

Anyone else go in phases with food? I've noticed I do that a lot, and its often kind of season-related too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

happy.



This is truth.
And its exactly how I got myself this far, this long.
Just figured I'd share. I hope it strikes a chord with you guys, like it did for me. I was surprised to find an image that said exactly what I had been telling myself all these months. But here it is.

Let this be the start of a good week. A week where every day is lived as your own, and for building your own way back to the life we all deserve.

Monday, March 15, 2010

OOPS!

So guys, I totally missed my own blog-iversary. In my defence - I worked a nine hour shift on Saturday and therefore was unable to post up properly. So I'm having my own belated-blog-iversary today.

One year (and two days) ago today, I started my blog. Little did I know that this blog would become such a huge part of my recovery. I started my blog as a way to become part of this community that I had seen forming - a community of people, eating disordered or not, that supported and helped each other, inspired each other to try new things and to overcome whatever issues they had. I never expected to have such a following that I have now, or that I would have so many readers who found me, of all people, to be inspiring. To be honest, it is YOU, my friends, who have always inspired me to stay strong and to keep going no matter what was going on with me inside.

Before I started blogging, I felt alone and like I had no one who understood what I was going through. There I was, at home, by myself day in and day out. Blogging gave me an out, a way to communicate with people that I didn't really have before. And it wasn't just people, but people who supported and encouraged me, people who gave me the strength to always believe in myself. You guys have no idea how many times I read, and re-read, comments from you. Whenever I'm doubting myself or not feeling so great, all I have to do is look back through my posts and see what you've written and it instantly lifts my spirits and makes me feel strong again. You've all helped me keep myself in check and you've all inspired me to be strongest person I can be.

I am truly glad and very grateful to be part of this ever-growing community. I feel a bit silly saying this, but I <3 my blog. And I adore and appreciate every single person that reads it.


(Celebratory breakfast: Fage 2%, dried figs, almonds, honey. Also had a muffin with PB and coffee...but yknow the almonds and honey was most important ^.^)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ZOMG.

I am in awe by the the feedback I got on my last post. I am so glad that so many of you found it helpful and inspiring. I truly mean every word I say, and I am as honest and upfront as I can be about everything. I was a *teensy* bit nervous about posting all of that. In my mind, I fear talking about how much I struggled will make people look down on me or think that I'm faking my recovery now. But its all truth. Its my reality and I think about it every day. Knowing that its not seen as a weakness or a shortcoming made me feel tons better. I hope that ya understand now why I can be a bit of a hardass at times. Its the only way to recover - to be as firm with yourself, if not more so, than your ED is.
Speaking of ED. I haven't seen 'em in awhile. On Friday night, I went out to dinner with the boy before going to see Alice in Wonderland. We went to Boston Market for dinner. Boston Market, for those who don't know, is essentially an upper-scale KFC. Its Southern food. I had a roasted turkey breast with buttered mixed vegetables, two roasted garlic potatoes, and a slice of corn bread. WHAT!!!! Okay. I've not mentioned this before, but I spent YEARS fearing potatoes and would not eat them. Period. Samesies on the butter.
I finished my entire plate and it was awesome. Like really. I wish I had a picture so I could show you guys how insane that plate was. But I'll just say that those people did NOT skimp on the portions - my plate was heaped so high it nearly tipped over on one side. It was definitely a good dinner though and I did a victory dance after I finished.

Now for a few pictures of some things I've eaten recently...

Midmorning snack from Saturday: Greek yogurt, honey, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, and Justin's Honey Peanut Butter. I also had an apple on the side. But the star here is obviously the PB. I've never had honey peanut before, ever. And this stuff was freakin delicious! It's so thick and peanutty, with a light sweetness to it. I'm kind of sad I don't have anymore haha. I'll have to go on a mission to find some in my area.


Monday Snack before school: 2 slices toast, one with the last tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Dreams, one with the first tablespoon of my new jar of creamy peanut butter. Both smeared with blueberry preserves.
To be honest, I have come to a conclusion that many of you will be disappointed in. I do not really like DCD very much. I mean, I had the jar in the pantry so I was going to finish it, I paid for it after all. But in this instance, I much preferred my slice with the creamy peanut butter. And as a quick little chocolate fix, I personally prefer Nutella over DCD any day.
Thus last night, when I came home from work I had a slice of toast with Nutella.
I really, really needed it even though I had at least hit mid-way on my usual calorie range for the day. I was legit exhausted and was going to let it go. But I was also SO freaking hungry. And so tired. What to do? The simplest thing I could. Make something easy and go to bed.
My day yesterday was ridic. I wasn't expecting work to be busy, so I went for a run in the morning, followed by doing some strength training before class. Went to my drawing class. Only to find that I had to park not on the 3rd, not the 4th but the 5th floor of the parking garage to even get a spot. Thereafter, I had to walk around the school and find a spot in which I could draw two pieces of art work and the space that held them. Okay. I ate my PBJ as a snack while sketching. I ate my dinner in the car as I went to work. It was crazy busy up until I got my break at 7PM. I ate my snack. I came back. Half an hour later, I was asked to zone the rug and doormat area. This entailed me moving, rearranging and cleaning the entire aisle. Have you ever lifted a large doormat? Those things are not exactly light weight. I moved about 100- 200 lbs worth of carpeting and door mats last night.
Did I mention I was tired when I got home yesterday? Even when my ED flared up a bit and made me feel unsure of my decision to eat again, I said "Fuck it. I've been having to run around so much lately, even more today, I probably need these extra calories and then some." And I enjoyed every freakin' bite.

It taught me something important too. I DO have the ability to eat when I am hungry, to know what my body needs and wants. And that even after all the years spent fearing and loathing my body - I don't anymore. I'm not afraid of the alleged continuos weight gain our ED's conjure up. That's not reality. I've seen time and time again that eating an extra hundred or two hundred calories a few times a week really doesn't make or break you. And for once, I feel strong and healthy. I don't want to lose that. I mean just the fact that I could do all that I did yesterday without collapsing is a HUGE sign that I am taking care of my body properly and that I've been doing well with giving it what it needs. And that makes me happy - the ability to do whatever I want or need to get done. I'm learning to appreciate my body more and more as the days go by. And I'm really lovin it, I have to be honest here.
It still amazes me that so much could change within my mind and spirit in only a year. But I suppose a year is all it takes to make a difference some times.

Just look at that hair! Good grief. There's so much of it! haha. I have no idea what to do with it anymore. But I'm enjoying headbanging and hair-flipping. Its been awhile since I had hair awesome (or long!) enough to do either of those things. That being said, any ideas on fun things to do with my now newer and longer hair would be more than welcome!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

How. Why. When.

So on my formspring, I have gotten a lot of questions about how and why I recovered, how I'm doing now, so on and so forth. Given the number of people who seem to be struggling lately, I feel its appropriate to write about how this all went down for me. From the beginning. I actually had to write an essay on my life for sociology last night. When the teacher announced the assignment, I was scared. I looked up at him and said "Our whole lives, or recent?" He looked back at me and said "I want to know every thing about you."
This assignment scared me because, well, the only thing I've known for the past seven years is anorexia. Its only been the past five or six months, maybe less, that I have begun to discover Victoria again. I'm not gonna post the whole thing, just what spurred me into recovery.
"By the time the winter semester of 2008 started, I was about XX pounds, barely able to function. I was so cold all the time. It was unbearable. I remember kids in my classes, particularly the boys, offering to take me out to dinner, saying, “I’ll buy you anything you want but you have to eat ten of it.” I tried to eat more. I tried to get better. But there I was, in the kitchen, pouring Ensure Plus down the drain and replacing it with regular soymilk and water. I was exercising to the point where it became painful. My eyes were rimmed with pink and purple from the exhaustion. I dropped another five pounds or so before my mom approached me about it. She held paperwork in her hand and said to me “Either you check yourself into treatment, or we will take you to court.” I balked, but eventually went through with. At 5’8” and XX pounds, no treatment center on the East Coast was willing to touch me. No one would even let me travel to a place for help because I was so medically unstable. Six hours and twelve hospitals later, I found a medical hospital in New York that had a program for acute cases of eating disorders. It was a pediatric ward, but they took me in anyways. I was there for three weeks and gained all of three pounds, when the expected gain in that time was usually about 15. They deemed me too sick for the facility to manage, said I was too stubborn, too unlikely to recover. I was very sick. I was 19 and my heart was stopping about three times every night in my sleep. Yet, because I was the oldest girl on the ward, and had the least chance of ever recovering after having my ED for five years, they actually took my heart monitor away. The doctors told me I was getting better. I remember parading around the halls; so happy to think I was going to be okay. My nurse took me aside and told me that wasn’t true, and that their reasoning was actually because I was the oldest, so if I died one night – it was something the doctors figured was going to happen anyways. A few days later, I was shipped off to Cornell. I cried. I begged and pleaded not to be sent there. It is one of the strictest wards I have ever been placed in. When I went there, I was no longer made to eat a 3600-calorie diet in 3 meals a day. Instead, they started me off on 1800 calories of Ensure Plus and juice. I lost weight every day for the first week, before they had finally increased my intake enough to make it stop. The doctor there threatened to have me committed to a state institution for two years if I couldn’t start acting like I could care for myself. Even my eating disorder couldn’t tame my smart mouth. I laughed in her face and told her it was their own fault for my weight loss, asked her what in her right mind made her think taking an inpatient that was consuming 3600 calories a day and barely gaining, and giving them 1800 calories in liquids was a smart idea? I spent the next two weeks on bed rest. I didn’t see the sun or smell fresh air for almost a month. I had to ask permission to pee at unscheduled times. I had to measure my own urine every time I went to the bathroom. I showered in a group shower with plastic curtains and supervision. Every minute of every day was monitored. I ended up with every anorexic’s worst nightmare. A 4600 + calorie meal plan just to gain a pound or so every week. It was the hardest thing I had ever experienced. My cups of Ensure Plus were larger than even those of the boys in the program. The nutritionist told me she had never seen a female inpatient require such calories to make such slow gains. In a sick way, I found this knowledge comforting. It lessened my fear, but it also let the thought of how easy it would be lose all the weight grow in my mind. I was there for about two months. When I got to come home, the first thing I did was take a shower in my own bathroom and lie on my own bed. I could barely remember the color of my own bedroom. My blue walls seemed so bright that day. And god, I was so happy.
Unfortunately, even that didn’t last. Within six weeks, I dropped to my all time low. I remember that morning so well. The image of the numbers flashing on the scale may forever be burned into my memory. I stepped on the scale over and over again because I just couldn’t believe it. I had dropped down to XX pounds in six weeks. I was amazed and horrified. I looked at myself in the mirror and for the first time, I saw myself for what I had become. I was literally a shell of a person. Nothing but bones and skin. For the first time, I saw the imminent death lying behind my eyes – tired, weak and lost. I cried. I begged my mom to help me. My insurance refused any further coverage for my anorexia because I was a chronic case and had long since been determined impossible to help. I was 19 and had been handed a death sentence. It was the hardest thing for me to ever say to myself, after so many years wishing for it, but I knew I did not want to die this way. I wasn’t ready. "

When I started my recovery, I didn't believe I would ever truly recover. I always figured I'd get to whatever weight, and still be unhappy. I never though I could get better. But I tried because I wasn't ready to die, and because I finally saw the pain I was putting my family through. My mother cried herself to sleep every single night. I couldn't even close my eyes because I could hear her sobbing, praying through the walls and her asking God to give her the strength to go on. I would hear her pause before opening my door every morning, and say to herself "Please let her wake up." I hated myself for the suffering I caused and I wanted to make it stop. And the only way to do that was for me, myself, to change. I made a choice to endure my eating disorder's wrath, not for my own sake at first, but for my family's. Doing it for someone else made it easier for for me at first. Eating to make my parents happy gave my mind a more tangible reason to do it, and more selfless. As time went on, and my brain became more nourished and my thinking became more clear - I realized I had to recover for ME too or else it would never work. It took about five or six months for me to say that I wanted to recover not just for my family's peace of mind, but for my own desire to live a life beyond anorexia's hold.

I was just as scared and insecure as many of you say you are right now. And I know, it is SO hard to just effin do it like everyone says. I had myself convinced there was so much more to it than that. And emotionally, there totally is. But in terms of the actions one must take, it really is that simple. You don't wait for there to be a better day. You don't wait for your mind to come around, or for your ED to say its OK. Because that day will never come. Believe me, I never felt like eating at first. Even now, I have days where I'm just not very hungry. But I eat anyways, because if I don't the next day will just be that much harder. Sometimes, you have to jump-start yourself in order to get back to where you want to be. In the world of recovery - this means you will be uncomfortable for a few days. It means there will be anxiety, there will be fear, and there will be more calories than you may feel you are capable of dealing with. But you know what? All of those thoughts are created by your ED. You CAN handle eating an extra 200 or 300 calories a day. Its a glass of milk with a slice of toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter for heavensakes. Will your anorexia rise up in anger? Yes. But those feelings stem from your eating disorder being afraid of losing its power over you. When the ED voice is fighting with you the most over what you are doing - that is how you know for sure it is the absolute right thing to do. You can do anything you tell yourself you can. And that is the hardest part - being OK with using your own voice instead of the anorexic one. But no matter how strong your ED is, there is always a glimmer of your real self, under the shadows. You have to listen to that part, even for just a minute every day. And do what YOU know is what you need to do. After the first time, every time after that gets easier and easier. It is totally possible to outsmart and out-do your eating disorder. That's how I made it through.

If I can recover, anyone can. Its all in the first step. You either make it, for whatever the reason, or you don't. After that, all things can become possible. Its been 20 months now since I started recovery. I've got about 4-6 at a reasonable weight for my height. I took it slow, and there is no shame in that. But even when I was taking it slow - I was never stalled. I had a constant momentum, no matter how fast or slow it was, I was always making sure I stayed on the right track. I still am, and I'm still going. And I believe everyone can find their way too. You just have to fight for it, and never let up. Remember, we may not choose to be eating disordered, but we DO chose whether or not we fight. We are not passive victims, we have the ability to overcome our ails.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Heads up!

Sarah from jeweleryartdesigns.com sent me an email, asking to promote a giveaway on my blog. That means some lucky readers of mine will get hooked up with some free swag from their awesome collection of jewelery.

Anyone interested? I thought you might be.

Simply click here and sign yourselves up!

Great way to start your Tuesday morning, no?

Hope everyone's having a great morning. I'll be posting a "real" bloggie post up tomorrow morning most likely.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

2/27

Wooow. I can't believe the amount of questions I've gotten on formspring. I have to admit, I wasn't expecting so many. But I'm pretty excited about it. I'm glad to answer every question as best I can. I'm also glad that some of my readers have expressed what else they'd like to see on my little ol' blog here.

This past week has been CRAZY with the weather we've had. So much rain, oh man. I really dislike precipitation in all forms at the moment. I'm so glad to finally be seeing the sun today.

On the bright side, I did get to try a few new things this week.

Koka Mocha probar from Maya and Eliza.
I've actually never had a probar before up until Monday. I was expecting it to be more like a larabar for some reason? But it was totally different - kind of like a cross between a larabar and a regular granola bar. This one had hunks of chocolate, almonds and coconut in it! Can't fail there, that's for sure. It was lightly sweet, chewy and dense. I'd definitely have it again should I ever find one.

And this morning, I decided to try out a Justin's PB packet on my second breakfast. I don't have a picture because I'm ridic and my camera had no battery power. But, I used the whole packet on top of a fage with granola. I was expecting it to be like PBCO cinnamon raisin PB, only sans raisins. But once again - I was surprised. The peanut butter was much more thick and "peanutty" in consistency - not all runny and soft like the PBCO stuff. It was really quite good, definitely different, but I actually prefer the thicker and less sweetened taste to it. Its too bad they don't sell it around here - I'd be willing to switch my allegiance of flavored peanut butters for this one.

BTW - not my new thing - but Stef is having her first give away. New veggie cookbooks for someone out there! She's such a sweet heart.

Now, to address something I have a feeling some of you have noticed. I don't post every thing I eat here, obviously. I don't even always write about my "victories" in terms of challenges eating wise. Why? Because honestly - to me, it is JUST food. I ate dinner at McDonald's a week or two ago. I had pizza at work a few nights ago. I went out for drinks last Friday, and had a rum n coke, and a shot. I had my dad's french onion soup with croutons and cheese. Do I take pictures of all these things? No. Because I don't want to feel like I need to prove something. And in reality - there is nothing to prove. I eat what I want. Do I generally eat healthy foods? Yes. I also eat out of convenience, and that does tend to mean I eat a lot of the same things, because they are what happens to be in the fridge all the time. My parents don't keep things like cookies or pancakes or what have you in the house all that much, so I don't really get to eat those things unless I've gone out or I've gotten to put some input into the grocery list. That's what makes them treats though - the fact that we don't have those things in our house all the time. It may mean that to some of you - I only eat "safe" foods. But I personally don't see anything wrong with the fact that I primarily eat healthy food at home. When I go out to eat (usually about 1-2X a week) - you can be damn sure I eat what I want regardless of whether its an omelette with hash browns for lunch or a chocolate chip muffin for a dessert.

At the end of the week, I feel happy and free. And if you ask me, that's more important than meeting some checklist or quota of the number of times I've eaten outside of my staple foods.


Speaking of which, here's today's lunch:


Summer Pasta Salad ( 1 cup pasta, 1TBS each olive oil and Thousand Island, dressing, 1/2 cup broccoli, 2TBS raisins, 1/5 raw tofu,plus some crushed red pepper and romaine)
Pasta salad is my favorite food to eat in the summer - its light and refreshing but still really nutrient dense and good for you. Plus I just love pasta. And since the sun has finally come out, I'm celebrating with summery food.

About half a cup of frozen strawberries alongside 6 squares of G&B maya gold chocolate may have also been eaten as a little dessert....^.^
Yeah, after I had that mini-bar from Maya and Eliza, I kind of fell in love with that stuff.
No shame.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

I'm a follower.

That's right. I'm jumping on the bandwagon (how often does this happen?)
But since I figured this would kind of enable me to be more interactive with all my bloggie friends, I figured what the hell!
I now have a formspring account. Hit me up!

http://www.formspring.me/almondsandhoney

Happy Tuesday all!


The perfect rainy day breakfast: 1/3 cup oat bran cooked in a cup of vanilla soy milk with cinnamon, sliced bananas, coconut flakes almonds, drizzle of honey and PB. Always a cheer-me-up.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hey hey hey.

So! After my little blow out the other day, things have gotten infinitely better. I cannot thank all of you lovies enough. I know I haven't been the best of bloggers lately, and I am really, really grateful that none of you wonderful people have held that against me. I truly appreciate every word and you guys never fail to make me smile when I'm down.

On the upshot, here is proof that my lack of posting isn't for naught:

Hell yeah! I made Dean's List this past semester. I'm kind of stoked. Or maybe a lot. But if I can keep this up, I *might* be able to get a scholarship to a 4-year college and go somewhere other than SCSU. Not that Southern's a bad school, but I'd really like to go somewhere that's more than 2-3 towns north....

I spent 3 hours yesterday tearing up tiny bits of painted paper to make a 18"X24" still life in drawing class. When my teacher was walking around the class, she stopped to look at mine and said "Wow, that's amazing Victoria." And in our last class, she declared my ink drawing to be "by far, the most complex and intricately done sketch in the class." I'm sorry if I sound like I'm bragging. I'm just really excited to finally be getting positive feedback on my work. The first few weeks people barely even spoke to me and I didn't feel very confident being there. But I'm trying to talk more often in class and I'm beginning to feel less inferior. Does anyone else ever feel like they have a hard time socializing? I do in school at times. I think its because of how much school I missed due to the ED. I'm entirely aware of the fact that save a few random kids who got held back or didn't pass enough courses, I'm one of the oldest people in the room in a freshman class. Several kids have said that they thought I was 18-19. I'm 21, turning 22. So I did definitely feel slightly out of place, like it was written on my forehead that I was three years behind in where I "should" be for a college student. But you know what? One of the guys in my drawing class said, "I will graduate when its time for me to graduate. There is no real specific age for that anymore." And you know what? He's right. I had planned my life out when I was 17. I was going to move to NY. Graduate from Pratt in 2010. Go on for my masters, get my teaching degree. Find a job in the city and so forth. Ain't none of that happened. And while I've fallen apart many times through the past four years, I'm doing alright. And that's the part that matters. It doesn't matter where you are, just how you got there, and how you're making the most of it.

I can tell you one thing for sure. I may not have good days always, but at the end of the week, I'm still happier than I've been in at least 5 years. And in speaking of making the most of things, here's how we do it when Tori has hit the bottom of the box of cereal and the last tablespoon of PB and has to go grocery shopping before work today:

Plain yogurt, about 1/3 of a cup oats and some soymilk all soaked together with sliced banana, dried mission figs, walnuts, almonds and PB. Plus a drizzle of honey and a cup of coffee with Vanilla Caramel creamer (love this stuff!). This is definitely a kitchen sink breakfast, but hey! Nothin wrong with that.

Tonight is the boy's friend's birthday. Soooo I'll be gettin my drank on after work. Should be good times. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Some days.

Some days are better than others.
This was not one of those days.

Yes, you heard me. Today was an awful day. I have spent about 6 hours napping, at least. Purely because I needed to escape myself. My anxiety has not been this high in months, maybe even almost a year.
Today made me feel like I was trapped somewhere back in December 2008. It was horrible. I didn't feel appetite all day. I just had to force myself to sit down and eat most of the day, with no real desire for anything. All I wanted was to sleep and smoke my cigarettes on the brief occasions I left my bed (like for school.....BTW I went to class in my sweats and hoodie with ridic bedhead. Apparently I'm adorable that way?)
What to do on days like this?
I don't know. I know my ED was beating up on me for eating as much as I have today despite my skipping a day's run to go out for coffee and shopping with my friend Liza yesterday. And on top of that - my car is currently not in drive-able condition. And then to lose my appetite too? Bleh. Not a fun day. I was stuffed mid-way through my breakfast this morning and haven't felt hungry since then. Only option? Lots of high-cal, low volume foods. I did the best I could do for today. I will do better tomorrow. That's all I can say. My friend in the army actually called me and "ate" every meal - breakfast through my last snack- with me over the phone. He really helped me a lot and I'm so glad that I talked to him.

But on a deeper level - I HATE how anorexia sneaks up like this. I was not at all prepared to be dealing with these feelings today. I took a walk outside, in the snow. Just because I couldn't stand being in the house anymore. I will admit - a part of me is really struggling lately. My body is starting to go through some kind of big changes that I had not expected to occur (read: I am growing boobs. Again. And again. And again. they are getting noticeably bigger on a near monthly basis) And its very hard for me to deal with. I want to be happy about it. Most of the time I am. But then I kind of panic about it too - I pretty much skipped puberty. I got taller when I was about 12. I stretched from 4'11 to 5'6" in about 18 months. And then grew again after going through my first bout of treatment for anorexia. My anorexia started when I was around 12. I never got hips. I never had boobs. I never had curves. I started to develop some curves as I gained weight this past year and a half. And I've seen the weight shift a bit here and there. But this is different. It seems like a ridiculous thing to be freaked out by. But I'd finally begun to really feel OK with the body I had and now its changing again. I suppose most would say its for the better, but I'll have to learn this all over again. I guess I just kind of feel like I have to kind of start this whole self-acceptance thing again. I need to not feel angry or upset by this. I'm doing OK for the most part - mosy days I'm elated to finally look like I'm becoming a woman. There is a sense of self-consciousness though. I think being an anorexic - even a recovering one - makes one more aware of the state of ones body and more attuned to changes. And also, given the general state of mind of an anorexic - we dislike things that are out of our control. As mentioned in my last post - I have realized that I cannot truly control the shape of my body. And for me, its really not healthy to try to do so.
Perhaps, perhaps - this struggle today is a sign that I truly am on the right path.
If I think back on it, literally every time I've had any sort of epiphany or major ED-breakthrough, within the next day or two - I have a meltdown. And then I'm that much stronger thereafter. So perhaps this day, as bad as it felt, was its own blessing. Its shown me that hey - I'm gonna have days where I feel like hell. But it doesn't have to ruin me. Even the worst of days has its merit. And this one's is that it means I truly am going in the right direction by letting go of the rigidity, and learning to trust and accept my body for what it is and what it needs.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Experiment.

Yesterday was any other day. I woke up. Made my new usual breakfast (as seen in my last post - yummy x10). And as I went to go write it down on my note pad - I realized I had finished off the last page on Friday.
I've spent eighteen months documenting every thing I've eaten and adding it up the make sure it was enough.
And yesterday, for the first time it hit me that maybe I don't need to do it anymore. Most of the time, I write it down out of habit, not for checking. I usually know what I need to eat, regardless of its written down or not. So yesterday, I decided to see if I could do it. If I could eat enough without having to write it all down and check it throughout the day to make sure.
After breakfast, I went for a run. I came home and had a yogurt with chopped apple, granola, and PB. Because that sounded like the perfect snack after a run.
For lunch, I had some bulgur wheat with hummus, corn, raisins and tofu. Because I had it in the fridge and y'know bulgur with hummus rocks.
Snack before work? A PBJ and another yogurt with melted strawberries and a drizzle of honey. Perfect snack to fuel me up for a solid 4.5 hours til my break at work.
Dinner at work? Tuna and avocado salad wrap - easily transportable and yummy.
And on my way out of work I was feeling pretty stressed and craving chocolate. I bought a Dove dark chocolate bar off one of the registers, and ate it on my way out to my car.

I ate enough. Without even really thinking too much about it. Yes, I still measured out proper portions for myself. But not one thing was planned or written down. It was just what I wanted to eat, what sounded good. I still can't quite believe I did it. But I think that maybe, just maybe - I am at a point now where I can trust myself, and my body, to know what I need.

On top of this, I also had the thought that maybe it IS time for me to stop meticulously counting calories. Not just because it makes me crazy, but because I need to let go of that idea of control. I'm learning more and more each day that I cannot control everything. And I shouldn't try to take that lack of control out on my body or through my caloric intake. I know I've been in recovery for awhile now, but it finally occurred to me that even the way I plan out my meals and such is still an anorexic behavior. And its something I don't really know if I need to do anymore. So I'm going to try to go without it and see how I do. I think I can do it. And I will.

I had a rough night at work. Turns out one of my fellow cashiers, whom I thought I was friendly with, has been talking smack about me to the other girls in our age group. WHAT! I gave this girl a ride home at freakin 10PM, drove around a town I didn't know very well for a freakin' HOUR because SHE didn't know how to give me proper directions back to the main road. And she has the nerve to say I'm stupid, a bad driver? Psh. That's not even what upset me. She's also been telling everyone that I look sick because I'm too thin and that I look like I have an illness.
Hearing those words made me cringe. I know what sick looked like, and I do not look like that now. I know she spoke out of jealousy and immaturity. And you know what? I really don't care if she wants to call me stupid; I've had 4.0 GPA since I started college in 2007. If she wants to call me a bad driver; fine. I've driven another woman at work home multiple times, even in the snow. And she has frequently said that she felt very safe driving with me and that I was very capable. The sick thing? I've dealt with that since I was in high school. Girls can be petty, especially when someone has something that they want. And you know what? People can say what they want. Let 'em hate. I've been through hell and I fought my way up from the bottom just to even be at the weight I'm at now, to have the life that I have now, and I'm still fighting to keep getting healthier. I know what I've accomplished. And no one's envious and petty commentary is going to take that way from me.

Phew. I really needed to get that out of my system.

Happy Sunday!