Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Truth about Holidays

I hope you all will enjoy some Thanksgiving time and food with your family. A week ago today I was sitting in my dorm room thinking about actually eating my dad's stuffing. He made it so healthy but still hadn't eaten it since I was 13 because of my obsession with weight loss and eating healthy. I did binge on it after day of starving between then and now (I am now 21) but it was in secret and out of shame. 

That same night, a few hours after I was picturing the smile on his face as I kicked anorexia's ass and ate his stuffing, he suddenly died. He was perfectly healthy 60 year old man and had just finished tennis. We were and still are all shocked. So gues what...I can't eat his stuffing this year. Can't eat it ever again. I would give anything, risk gaining any amount of weight, throw weight loss in the trash forever just to have one more Thanksgiving with him. Just to have the chance to eat his stuffing, see his smile, feel his warmth. SO how should you "tackle" thanksgiving? By experiencing it. 

Just eat what you want to eat. Just do it. It's one day. One meal. Will it make you gain a ton? I don't know. But what I do it doesn't matter. IF this is your last thanksgiving or one of your loved ones last won't matter how much you gained. It will be about the memories you either let yourself create or kept yourself from because numbers swirled in your head. So this Thanksgiving, Christmas, or whatever holiday you celebrate, cherish it. Let yourself enjoy the time, the family, and yes..even the food. Just do it...I wish I would have. Wish I would have taken this advice all the times I heard it, but it's too late. 

It's one day, one holiday. The weight, the calories, the numbers..they just don't matter. What matters is cherishing this holiday...because there is no guarantee it will come again. No guarantee everyone at the table will make it back next year. So fuck the food, just enjoy the experience. Just live, breathe, and have a happy holiday. 

Monday, November 25, 2013

RIP Papa Bear

Sorry I have been away...but I most likely will continue to be away for a bit. My father, my motivation, my support tragically and suddenly passed away Wed night. I found out at midnight on Thursday. I am still in shock and still processing. But I am posting what I read at his funeral. I just need a break right now. Also, deep in a relapse since Thursday. So this is all I have energy for.

Love you and miss you Papa Bear: Jan 15, 1953- Nov 20,2013

Who was my Papa Bear? Who was the man who put me on his shoulders so I could see the just how high my dreams could reach? Who was the man who wrapped his arms around me so I could know I was loved and that everything would be alright? Who was the man who held me up when the world tried to knock me down? He was my everything, is my everything. He was the reason I clung onto to fight. He was the reason I knew everything would be okay. He was my peace when the world started shaking beneath my feet. Plain and simple..he was my dad. My Papa Bear.

My dad was my joy. When I had the hardest, longest day. When I was crumpled in tears on the ground, I knew who to call. The simple “Hey Jess” was enough to bring a smile back to my face. I knew no matter how broken I felt…in the next few moments I would be okay. My dad would say the right thing, crack the right joke, just be the man who he was…and my brokenness would be healed.  And I know he will continue to be my joy. When I have a long day, when I am crumpled on tears on the ground…I won’t have to call. I will just have to look up to heaven…and I know he will be gazing down saying “Hey Jess.”

My dad was my motivation. He shifted from his career in product managing to life coaching right when I made the decision to switch from veterinary medicine to social work. I saw him accomplish his dream and get certified. No matter what people said. No matter if other people didn’t understand. He knew his passion and he followed it. He didn’t care if it meant less pay, he didn’t care if it meant not being the man in the fancy suit. He knew it was his passion and he knew it would change lives…so he did it.

And he knew the same about me. He knew my passion and love for social work. He didn’t care what people said about my shift. He didn’t care what the world told me about taking such a low paying job. He just knew it was my passion and he supported me all the way. He invested in me, in my dreams and passions. He flew me to Denver to explore my dream graduate school. He chased away my fears and doubts telling me to just worry about today. He would always tell me just because of who I was he knew I would achieve my dreams. And as I pursue my dreams, I know he will be there. He will be chasing away my fears and filling me with the motivation to fight for what I want.

My dad was my reason to fight. He was the rock I leaned on when I wanted to give up. He never told me I couldn’t win my fight with my eating disorder. Whether it was the first, second, or the 10th time I went to treatment, he was there cheering me on. He was there telling me I could do this. Reminding me why I should fight. Supporting me in the successes and the defeats. Encouraging me, supporting me, reminding me of the person I was…the person I was meant to be…the person God made me to be. He had this way of looking into my eyes, past the disorder, seeing my soul…and in every moment I was with him…making me feel like I was more than enough. That my soul was precious, that I was beautiful, that I was his baby girl. That I was something worth fighting for. That my life mattered…that I should fight. In some of my last conversations with him he told me to start and end each day with these simple words: “I choose life.” And I will..I won’t give up. I won’t stop fighting. And every victory I know he will be there cheering me on. And in every struggle I know he will be there guiding me to make the right choice. To confidently stand and say I choose life.

My dad was my support. He carried me on his feet across the dance floor of life. No matter the song that played in the background. No matter if it was fear, pain, regret, joy, frustration, stress…no matter what soundtrack life was playing, my dad took my hands, put his feet under mine, and carried me across the dance floor. Whether it was through the right words, right advice, or just the feel of his beard against my face as he held me in a warm embrace….he carried me. He taught me to dance through life. And now he is leaving me to dance on the floor myself, while his spirit carries me. He wrote in one of his last e-mails to me  “Once upon a time as a child you flew on your Daddy’s feet as you floated around the gym turned dance floor – it carried us to a different place. Now is the time for you to fly on your own feet, to listen for and dance to the music of the life you are waiting to, longing to, live. I love you with all my heart and soul, and I believe in you,Papa Bear”

I love you too Papa Bear. And I may not believe in me now. I may not see how I am going to put one foot in front of the other. How I am going to fight without you here. But you believed in me. No…you believe in me…and so…I will believe in myself. I will choose life. I will cherish every moment. And I will fight. Because I know you are here. In every sunset, every sunrise, every victory, every struggle, every choice I make…you will be there. You will be there cheering me on, carrying me, and dancing with me through life.
Be at peace my father, give Pop Bill and Grandma Ruth a hug for me, cook the best Thanksgiving meal heaven has ever tasted, show everyone the hidden treasures of heaven. The waterfalls they never explored, the heights they’ve never climbed to. Show those angels that you don’t need wings to be good at tennis. Show everyone that piece of heaven that was in you. And know I will be here fighting, living, and knowing you are with me. I love you Papa Bear.
Your brown-eyed girl,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WIAW #2: Let Freedom Week Ring!!!

So I am re-capping my first ever freedom week. Where I just let myself eat what I wanted. Remember how N predicted I wouldn't gain a lb. She was wrong. I gained exactly a lb. Old me would have flipped out, thrown in towel, and lapsed. But due to two recent events in my life as I don't want to share since may be triggering....I have realized I have reached a rock bottom and it's time to gain. I agreed to a lb per week, so gaining only 1 lb this week, not the 5 ED said is good and shows I can eat freedom foods. Plus, by continuing to eat freely maybe my body will one day be able to allow me to eat these and not gain (yes this will mean meal plan increase). But I gained exactly a lb, exactly as I have promised to do. So it's good. Freedom foods and meal plan will continue! Let freedom ring and wring out ED!!
Enough about weight...onto the food!!!! Thanks Jenn for this opportunity.
Peas and Crayons

Day 1: Wed Nov 13
It was a great start. I had sweet potato at lunch (sorry forgot pic) and then had dinner I have always wanted in having yeast roll AND soup. 

Day 2:Thurs Nov 14
This day was rough. I woke up feeling really puffy, depressed, and huge. But I pushed through and stuck with my planned foods. For lunch that meant sandwich, jalepeno rice, AND cauliflower. It was huge deal for me to do this, but it was awesome and the rice super spicy!

For dinner it was appleasauce, pumpkin as veg, and appropriate serving of potatoes. coping tool when you feel you can't make it through ZooPals plates. helps. This was amazing but I HATE the taste of pumpkin. Lesson learned. 

Day 3: Fri Nov 15
This was hard because was first Friday in a long time I didn't weigh. I desperately wanted to, but I held out. Went on a run definitely much more fun that weighing. That night I also enjoyed a basketball game
 For lunch I enjoyed cous cous for 1st time ever. Also faced regular skim milk and herb tomato! I don't like cous cous because to me just taste like overcooked grits, but at least I tried it!

Then the dinner was best yet! I faced salmon, grits, and a vitabrownie with PB2. It was awesome and I felt so free!

Day 4: Sat Nov 16
This was another hard day as I started to feel my body changing. Still...I went on run and tried to enjoy myself. Then faced the foods I planned. Starting with lunch had a roll called sweet roll never allowed myself. It wasn't good, but made up for it with the mushroom and onions I used to love

 Then for dinner I had the best concoction yet: sweet potato inside corn tortilla with PB2. IT WAS AWESOME! I still find it sad I am scared of a diet food like PB2 or scared of sweet potatoes, but this week is a step in helping that.

Day 5: Sun Nov 17
This was hardest day yet and timing was horrid. It was all because I knew had to weigh-in the next day. But again...I stuck with plan.

First off...I tried pumpkin on my bagel. Who knew so much pumpkin came in a can and I didn't want to waste it. Even added fiber grape jelly in hopes that would help. Nope..I just don't like pumpkin. So I tossed the rest and moved on. 

Then for dinner I had extra amount of flounder, faced brocolli cuts, potatoes,and those yeast rolls I love so much. Btw, rainforest frog is the best zoopal yet. Really helped me.

Day 6: Monday Nov 18th (Numbers here may trigger...skip this day if need)
Oh yes..the lovely weigh-in day when 89.2 greeted me...I had been hoping I would lose this week or maintain somehow but this .6 lb gain shattered that and inspired this post. It also led me to do something I have never done. I went and tried on clothes just to see what size I am. ED has never let me do this...let me just say I now know why. I found out I am size 0. My stores don't make 00 and even size 0 was too big. I am 5'7.5" and should not be a size 0. But fact I am...fact even size 0 is too big made me feel like I finally had a bottom I had reached and was freed to continue on in recovery. I mean I have gained 3 lbs...imagine how loose they would have been at beginning. But to be size 0...I can't get lower than that. So it defeated any purpose of relapse. It's weird..always seemed I could lose more, get to lower BMI, or get to lower % IBW..but I can't get lower than size I don't just marked end. But onto freedom foods.

It was dessert night and I faced not only zuchinni but also banana pudding! It's my all time favorite dessert and I have been avoiding it for past two years! But no more! It was amazing!
It also helped because I had a very scary doc appt and was almost hospitalized and had to get tons of blood drawn. All is fine...I just have deathly low pulse and blood pressure, but labs came back fine. 

Day 7: Tues Nov 19
This day was biggest mix of emotions. I was so scared b/c weight had shot up that morning, but I wasn't supposed to weigh anyway. So I moved on with day but there were tears, smiles, anger, and everything in between.
 At lunch I faced sweet potato and brocolli spears and really enjoyed it. It was a great meal. 

At dinner which I ate at 6 pm which is huge deal in itself I faced salmon and potatoes and mustard. There was more but I forgot to snap pic before...sorry about that. 

And today...I was 89.6 and up a lb. I am almost to 90 and it scares me to death especially since this means will probably hit that when I have no team to support me over Thanksgiving break. It's going to be hard and I am going to need a lot of support, but me and N made a plan. This plan includes keeping my meal plan and freedom foods. When I embarked on this freedom week said I would only keep those and only continue to eat freely if didn't gain lb...but this week has changed me and now...I am going to do it even though I gained a lb. That...that is true freedom. Accepting gain, trusting, and choosing freedom.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Having to choose...

I told myself last night anywhere from 88.2 to 89 lbs would be okay for today. I mean..I wasn’t really expecting to lose weight if we are honest. I could feel in the fit of my pants that wasn’t going to happen…but I was honestly hoping to just maintain. I wanted to either lose/maintain which would mean N was right and I should/could eat whatever I wanted or I wanted it to shoot up so I knew clearly I needed to throw in the towel and couldn’t eat. So what happened? The scale read 89.2 lbs.

What was I to do with this number? What was I to do with a number that wasn’t in my range of okay but wasn’t shooting up a ton. It is only up .6 from Wed. But that still means I “risk” gaining more than a lb come Wed. And it puts me another step closer to 90….which scares me still. So now…there is no clear cut and it’s up to me to make a choice. The scale isn’t dictating what I should do…I can’t blame the scale or my body if I lapse or if I am obedient…it’s up to me. This sucks worse than had it shot up…because I don’t trust me. I trust me even less than my nutritionist.

But I also realized I don’t want to lapse. As I worked through therapy and tears streamed down my cheeks I realized the reason I am pissed with this weigh-in is because I am so scared. I’m scared that I actually want recovery. I am scared that part of me is accepting this gain because I don’t want to get behind in graduation. I am scared because I actually want this but so much of me feels so wrong for fighting for it and letting weight gain happen. But there is honestly no part of me that wants to throw in the towel…not over .2 lbs. The joy, happiness, and freedom I experienced these past 5 days…I want that to be my life…and relapse won’t bring that. Just like relapsing week 1 when I gained 1.6 lbs wouldn’t have brought the freedom I felt the next week only gaining .2. I would have lost the opportunity for growth and freedom I have felt these past almost three weeks as I faced desserts, Halloween, and this freedom week. So I don’t want to throw in the towel now.

I was also brought back to the picture I have of me at the 115 lbs me and my N are shooting for. The reason I have said that weight is okay is because of that picture. Not necessarily how I look…because I know even then I felt huge. But because it is the last picture I have when I was truly happy. Sure, I was restricting. Not heavily though. I wasn’t as deep in my ED as I am now. And for those two hours I spent bowling with my stepmom and my dad…I was truly happy. I was able to turn ED off and be at peace. I was able to smile and mean it. I was able to bowl because it was fun, not to burn calories. I was able to just live, breathe, smile, and feel free. It was amazing. That was winter break two years ago. That is what I want to have again. That is what weight gain and freedom can bring.

So I sit here with a choice to make…recovery or relapse. I have a dessert and a few more freedom foods planned for next two days before my N session and the weekly weigh-in. My mind tells me as long as I do my meal plan I am choosing recovery, but I don’t need the “extras” of dessert and freedom foods. But my heart knows that’s not right. Choosing to not do those is choosing ED and is just another form of restriction. So I have to choose. Do I do the meal plan, freedom foods and all, or do I not? I’m honestly apathetic…I’m not excited to do them, but I just don’t want to throw in the towel. Not yet. I don’t want to give up on my dream of being able to eat whatever I want and maintain and be happy. I mean I am on a weight gain meal plan so I am going to gain weight. Yes…it scares me that I am now closer to 115 lbs. IT scares me that I am slowly losing my “buffer” of being on weight gain and thus being able to “risk” gaining weight. But it scares me more to choose to lapse.

Choosing to lapse…it just doesn’t make sense anymore. I find no joy, no control, no freedom, no release from my ED anymore. It only serves one purpose now…it just makes me lose weight. It’s just another diet. But I can’t lose weight forever. If I chose to lapse…I don’t even know what the point would be. IT wouldn’t be to just lose the weight I gained this week, because then I would be scared to add back the calories. And I, of course, would have to go lower then I went the last time because that’s just how ED operates. But honestly…I don’t think there would be an ending point if I chose to lapse again. Well..not an ending point I would choose.

If I chose to lapse again I would keep losing till I either died or till I was forced inpatient. And going inpatient…I would just have to gain the weight, but I would miss graduation, miss my friends, and be stuck, sad and miserable, in an inpatient setting yet again…knowing had I just accepted this weight gain I could be doing it outpatient. Knowing I had the strength from God to do it outpatient, but let ED dictate my life instead. And I don’t want that. And death…well sure…if I die I don’t have to gain weight…but I would also be DEAD. And I clearly don’t want that. I don’t want to die. That’s the end to everything. The end to weight gain yes, but also dreams, joy, friendship, family…heart beating, air breathing life. That’s not an option.

So I guess there is only one choice for me. It’s not the easy choice, but it’s the only one I want. I choose recovery. I choose the joy, freedom, and life it brings. With this choice I accept the tears, pain, and fear…I accept the weight gain I don’t want but know I need…I accept the responsibility that will come with being mature and not having an eating disorder…I accept the responsibility that comes with having to maintain and no longer being driven to gain or lose weight…I accept the discomfort I feel in my body. I accept these things because though they suck, relapse sucks more. Death sucks more. Losing the chance to graduate, having to give over my control by going inpatient when I know and have shown I can do this outpatient, losing my job, losing my scholarships, losing myself all to ED…that sucks more. So today…today I choose life…today I choose to fight. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I'm truly this desperate...

Seriously..this is how desperate I am to want a sign about Mon. This is how distrusting I am. I can’t just have faith…blind faith. I need knowledge. So I search for a sign about my weight come Mon in anything. I was okay and understanding of it when it was based off how my clothes fit or body looked. I mean even though seem tighter/bigger I have been sticking to plan..but this…what just happened…is not okay.

2013-11-16 aubrn ricardo louis
I was watching UGA v Auburn and saw we were actually ahead. So I prayed for our team’s safety in that final minute…I didn’t pray for victory..just God’s will. Right then…an unbelievable play happens…we miss a fumble and the ball falls right into Auburn player’s hand and he runs for a touchdown that leads to their victory. There was less than a minute left in the game. All the sudden I felt it was my fault. Because I sent up that prayer…that’s why they lost. And then I thought it was a sign about Mon. A sign that I can’t trust and that everyone out to get me. A sign that come Mon weight is going to be shot up. What the heck is wrong with me?

Why am I saying a football play has anything to do with my weight. How am I  making a lucky catch have to do with my ability to trust my nutritionist. And even bigger…why am I letting football tell me anything about the character, nature, and relationship with God. I honestly want to know what is wrong with me and how I can fix it.

I know this is just because I am not weighing every day. And honestly…sometimes…I feel my clothes are looser and that I really haven’t gained. Actually was feeling that before the football play. I think that scares me most. Because I am scared I will be let down come Mon. If I hope too much for the good and actually trust the good…only bad can happen. It’s like I feel I always need to set low expectations..that way I won’t let myself down. I always need to plan for worst case scenario because I don’t deserve or won’t get the good things in life.

However if I look back to all the times I have trusted God and my N and been obedient…everything has worked out fine…including my weigh-ins. Why can’t I just trust that. Why do I have to get so desperate I let football dictate whether I can trust God or my N. I get I was addicted to scale to tell me how plan affecting body…and now without scale I am turning to football…I just don’t get it..and it sucks. I just want to trust, believe, and leave Mon to Mon. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Push through recovery "hangover"

Well it’s freedom week day 3…and it’s been rough. Day 1 was awesome. I was sky high and feeling so free…but then came what I dreadfully like to call…the “hangover effect.” This happens the day after tons of freedom foods, especially if I don’t get to weigh. Basically I just feel overwhelming scared, defeated, and huge. 

 Day 2 I felt puffy, fat, no appetite. I didn’t want to eat anything, let alone the fear foods I had planned. In fact, when I looked at my pre-planned meals I was sure I had gone crazy. Luckily, I have good, supportive friends…and they pushed me through. So I stuck to plan, did fears, and felt like crap the whole time. I prayed through it, cried through it, sadly talked negatively to myself through it, and definitely cursed my N a few times in my head. Important thing though is I did it. It wasn’t pretty….but I did it. AND I didn’t weigh.

And today is Day 3. I woke up still feeling huge and fat. But I didn’t weigh. It’s first Fri in a long time I didn’t weigh. I then had a really awesome poop which anyone with a disorder knows can be a freeing experience haha. Anyway…I started actually feeling a little lighter…thanks to hunger and appetite I woke up with. Sure, I still felt huge and ED kept saying I’ve already gained so much but I chose to say “No. I trust my N. I have no evidence not too. Even in times past you have said my pants are tighter or face puffier like you are saying now..and then I have ended up losing and you have been wrong. But my N is usually right. So I choose to trust her which means I won’t even gain a lb this week so I’m not huge or fat.”

I chose to focus on my run today and how awesome that was going to be. I chose to focus on all the work I got done. I chose to focus on the awesome time I was going to have with my friend at basketball game tonight. And it was an awesome day again. I faced more freedom foods than even planned and I enjoyed them again…well I actually didn’t like the taste of two of them…but the freedom felt great. And I was happy again. I felt free.

So I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. If I will be happy like today, or pissed and depressed like day 2. But what this has shown me is no matter what I am pushing through. Because I pushed through the crappy day 2, and today I feel fantastic! In fact…part of me is excited, not scared for Mon. Actually trusting it will be okay. Of course, that part also wants to weigh tom, but I refuse. One because if it was bad, I would have no team support. And two because it wouldn’t reflect freedom foods for next few days. And three because Mon isn’t that far away. Prayers and good thoughts more than welcomed. Hope you all are fighting too J