Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Break Free or Set Free

I will expound on this in a few nights when have time to devote to it, but a truth I have been learning to walk in is that I never have or ever will need to break free of the chains of my disorder. Confused? Well here is the thing. The second I accepted God as my savior, HE shattered the chains. He set me free. Now the shackles are broken. Laying loose at my feet.

So when I act in my disorder..it is almost like a phantom pain. It's me thinking I am still chained. So used to the weight of the chain around me that I don't look down and see the shackles are broken. That all I need to do is walk in my freedom. Step out of the shackles. Leave the chains and bondage behind. The step out of the shackles and farther and farther from their shadow comes from obedience. But I don't have to fight. I mean I have to fight temptation, but no matter the temptation I know the truth..I am already free. God is already victorious. The chains are there, but they aren't connected to me.

So today, let's step out of our shackles and into freedom. Look down my brothers and sisters. It may feel you are still chained because that's been your reality for so long. But look. Open your eyes to what the enemy is hiding. The shackles are broken. Your chains have fallen off. All you have to do is step into freedom and out of the broken shackles at your feet. It won't be easy. It will be scary. But the Lord will be there. Every step of the way. And even if you run back a few times, He will be there. If you slip and fall, He will catch you. So just take the step. Step out of those shackles. You are a prisoner no more. You are free!

Pick up your cloak

I had an amazing meeting with my pastor today. It actually came out of the reflections I had last Wed about God and how I didn’t want to run to God, but desperately knew I needed to. I ended up giving it all up to the Lord on Thurs because I felt I had nothing left and I didn’t know what else to do. Let me say..best decision ever. It’s been amazing these past few days. Scary, challenging, but amazing. I feel joy and peace and hope again even though my situations haven’t changed. It feels good to be back in God’s arms.

So back to the meeting. It was amazing. My pastor spoke a lot of truths into me and helped me to let go of the condemnation I was feeling over my dad’s death. Thinking somehow I did something and God took my dad to punish me. I know this isn’t logical at all and isn’t the nature of God…but it was a lie the enemy was speaking into me. Luckily my pastor helped me relinquish that lie. But he went even further. He spoke an amazing truth into me.

He told me he believed the last few years I had with my dad, the way I saw him impact others lives, the ways I saw him overcome his own struggles…those are my inheritance from my dad. The same way my dad changed people’s lives, that is what I am meant to do. I am meant to continue the work my dad started. As my pastor put it…there is a thick jungle ahead of me, but my dad went through and took a machete to it…he cleared the path for me so I could go on my way.

The aspect of the inheritance of my father comes from a story I totally understand now…but when I first heard it didn’t get at all. It is the story of Elijah and Elisha from 2 Kings Chapter 2. Elisha is Ellijah’s student and everyone knows Elijah’s life is coming to an end. That the Lord is going to come and take up Elijah in a chariot. Elisha thinks if he stays with Elijah then this won’t happen. He refuses to leave Elijah’s side. I felt the same way with my dad. I never thought he would die. I spent my days talking to him. Precious moments together with him. I mean no one expected my dad to die so it wasn’t quite the same, but I was still living life like God couldn’t take my dad. I even had a dream a few weeks before my dad passed of my brother calling and telling me he died. But I woke up thinking “well that will never happen.”

Just like me Elisha came to see that no matter what…when it was Elijah’s time the Lord would take him. There was nothing he could do to stop it.

“11 As they were walking along and talking together, suddenly a chariot of fire and horses of fire appeared and separated the two of them, and Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

I felt the same way  when I found out my dad had passed. I felt like a fire had come down in my life and separated me from the one I loved so dear. I didn’t tear my garment in two as a sign of grief like Elisha, but I did relapse hard which is basically my equivalent. My way to tell the world…look..I’m hurting, I’m grieving, someone help me.
But the thing about this story is that a few days before Elijah is taken up this transpires:

When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”
“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.
10 “You have asked a difficult thing,” Elijah said, “yet if you see me when I am taken from you, it will be yours—otherwise, it will not.”

Of course my father and I didn’t have this conversation because no one saw this coming. But we did talk a lot about my purpose. About how I had the strength to overcome things. I believed I could and was meant to help others because of how I saw my dad helping others. And my dad would speak into me that I could and would help others. That when I was sick and tired of ED I would break free and become who I was meant to be. He told me it would be hard, but he knew it would be possible if I would see the truth.
Now onto the whole inheritance part of this. When Elijah was taken up to heaven…his cloak fell behind.

13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.15 The company of the prophets from Jericho, who were watching, said, “The spirit of Elijah is resting on Elisha.” And they went to meet him and bowed to the ground before him.

My pastor today told me my father left behind a cloak for me. My father spoke truth of freedom into me and he demonstrated the ability of one life to touch and change so many others through his work life coaching, his interactions with every day people, his unconditional love for his life, and his relationship with me. These are all part of my father’s cloak which he has left behind. My father changed so many lives and he left the generational gift of this lifechanging spirit. The spirit to see others set free by the Truth of God and the love of God…it is my father’s cloak and it’s lying at my feet. All I have to do is pick it up.

This invigorated me. I felt that burning, stirring passion I have felt these past few days. The passion to break free from ED. To step out of the shackles God has already broken off me and be free so I can walk into the cells around me and help others break free too. It is such the desire of my heart. It was the desire of my dad’s heart for me. To see people set free was also the mission and desire of my father. To see people walk in their strength and identity. And he left that cloak for me to pick up. By recovering and letting my story be a message to others.

My pastor told me he was sure of this because of the life he saw in me in that office. When I talked about my dad and my passion for social work. He said there was just an energy…something in my smile that just lit up the room. These were all things my dad told me too. I felt him there with us.

So I sit here wondering what cloaks you all have to pick up. I honestly don’t think you have to lose someone to have a cloak at your feet. Sure, for me, the cloak seemed to fall at my feet to pick up where my dad left off changing this world because I lost him. But I bet if you take a look..there is a cloak at your feet too. Maybe it’s a calling you just know you are supposed to go to. Or maybe it’s a dream you have always wanted to pursue. Maybe it’s the truth that you are set free and just have to walk in that freedom….that the victory is already sealed. I don’t know what it is…but I bet you do. All that’s left to do is pick up the cloak.

You may be scared…heck you may be picking it up angry like Elisha. Angry that it’s all you have right now. For me it’s hard because I have my dad’s cloak but I’m still mad I can’t have my dad. But that won’t stop me from picking up the cloak he left behind. Now take your cloak, go to the water, cry out to God…and see the ocean before you part. See your path, your destiny, your truth before you. Pick up your cloak…and be free. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Clean Slate, Fresh Start

Well it’s come. The day of commitment. The day to get back on my meal plan. I woke up ready to do it. Even without stepping on the scale, I just wanted to start fresh. This new motivation all started on Thursday actually after getting horrible news. As assistantship everyone told me I was guaranteed to get I ended up getting passed over for. Suddenly this dream I had held onto of grad school seemed to crumble down in front of me. Honestly, at first I was in a very very dark place.

But then I realized something. This assistantship was at a grad school I really didn’t want to go to. I had settled for this grad school because my dream grad school just seemed too much to afford and I was tired of trying to fight to make it work. So I settled. I let go of my true dream and tried to convince myself this other grad school was what I wanted. I told myself their veterinary social work program was close enough to animal assisted social work. I tried to tell myself how nice it would be to only be a state away from home. How nice it would be to go to a school with a big football team like my school does (even though I hate going to football games and usually leave after half time). I even told myself it was meant to be because their mascot was a dog like my schools. But the reality was it wasn’t my dream.

I realized Thurs night this depression and lack of motivation to recover I have had actually hit the same time I decided to turn my back on the University of Denver and instead set my sights on this other school (not saying their name out of respect). I lost my vision for my future. I lost something to care about. I basically lost myself because I was settling for a dream that wasn’t my own. So when the assistantship at the other university fell through…all the sudden Denver became an option again.

I woke up Friday more motivated than ever. Not for recovery per se, but for life in general. I woke up actually wanting to live (part of the reason I’ve been away for so long is I got in a very, very dark place where honestly…I didn’t care if I died. It’s hard to write in such a dark place). I woke up with hope again. I wrote my contact at Denver and through a bunch of tiny miracles all the sudden I found possible funding and (God-willing) a free place to live. I felt as if I was soaring.

So today I woke up with a new perspective. I spent time thinking and contemplating this morning instead of doing my daily routine of jumping on the scale. I wanted to prepare myself. Honestly because I was expecting scale to shoot up because it was horrible timing with my meals Fri. But I decided to sit in my good mood for a little bit before ED through a wrench in it.

I just felt motivated. I didn’t care when..but I felt ready to commit to plan when the time came (aka when hit the ED weight). I just had this new outlook. I could see myself at Denver. I could see myself free. I could see myself throwing the ball with my Australian Shepherd named either Faith or Hope or Phoenix. I could see myself having picnics with my fellow grad students on the lawn outside the GSSW building. I could see myself cycling, running, hiking. Living active and free. Not thinking about food and calories. Just living. Living and using my story to inspire others.

I also realized if I move to Denver I get a fresh slate. No one will know me as Jess with the eating disorder. Or Jess the underweight girl. Or just as the skeletal girl with the weird food allergies. When I go to Denver I can just be Jess. I can let people get to know the true me. Heck, I can get to know the true me. But it will mean not packing up ED with my belongings when I move out there. And the only way that is possible is to commit to recovery. To commit to the team I am blessed to have till graduation and to give it 150%. Yes…even to gain weight. Because let’s be honest. When you are 5’7.5” and weigh in the 80s…well your brain can’t help but only think about food because its starving.

So I was all motivated and happy and thought “Well I am glad I am motivated. That will come in handy if I get to start my plan tomorrow.” And I marched on to my scale. Stepped on ready for ED to deem it another horrible day and me a horrible person…when suddenly…the number was the start number I set. The number I said I had to get to to start the plan. What? Here I was motivated and I got the green light.

You know…I thought the number would make it easier too. But it wasn’t. As excited as I was I was terrified too. And ED tried to point to all the reasons my weight was down and why I couldn’t start. But thanks to the love and support of friends and family…I listened to my heart, my dream, and my God and I started.

I won’t lie. It’s been a rough day. I am lucky to have amazing friends who text me, facebook messaged me, and sent me inspiration the whole day. Friends who were there the 50,000 times I changed my mind and decided I shouldn’t add back the snack. I also have an amazing nutritionist who promptly responded that I needed to take a full rest day. No yoga, no Jillian Michaels, and no spin class I tried to convince her to let me go to.

My friends and family cheering me one :) 
It’s been rough. It’s been a fight. But I am truly proud to say I came out on top. I took a full rest day. I ate what I wanted for my exchanges instead of eating the exact same meals I have the past two days. I ate a larger bagel with a higher calorie topping. And I added back my snack. And I am actually still hungry which is weird.

It feels amazing. IT feels terrifying. It feels exciting. And it feels scary. It’s so many emotions and feelings, but honestly right now the positive are greater than the fear. It’s just nice to feel hope again.

And honestly my fear isn’t really weight gain or anything like that. I am just scared that I actually have to commit. That I have to hand over weight, calories, exchanges….all of it to my nutritionist and therapist. I am no longer allowed to decide whether my meal plan changes. If I choose to step on a scale, the numbers can’t dictate anything unless they are numbers in my nutritionist office. Kind of defeats the purpose of getting on the scale. I am scared that I won’t be able to do it. That I will fail like the times in the past. And then I am scared I will do it, and what that will look like. What will I focus on when numbers aren’t constantly swirling in my head. What will life be like truly free and happy. It’s all so scary, but honestly exciting. Wish me luck…and be looking for my posts (though this is midterms and doctor appt season galore so give me a bit).

Message me any topics you want to see or anything you all are struggling with or succeeding in J Also I am probably going to be posting more bible verses as they come up and inspire me. They may just be little blurbs instead of full on posts :) 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Scared to run to God

I've been writing letters to my dad...I just don't share them because they are more for me than the blog world. But with this one...my mind is still spinning...and I need some input..so I'm gonna share. This letter made me realize I almost put my dad in the place of God when he was alive. I had him fill the roles only God is supposed to. Now he is gone and I left feeling like now all I have is God...like somehow God is lesser than my dad. I feel horrible for feeling that way. And yet..I feel guilty running to God because I'm scared that means replacing my dad. I'm confused..

Dear Dad—
  It’s crazy how much I missed you today. Life..it just got hectic. ED took a firm hold of me this morning. Very firm. And I had my mind made up (most likely by him) that no one would make me not commit to lapsing further today. That I had to “take control” back of my weight. This time…I know where this stems from too.
  It’s because life seems so out of control right now dad. I still haven’t heard from UTK assistantship. I have lost my passion for Denver. And recovery has become confusing to me. IT has become a mirage I can see, but when I approach, it seems to disappear. I feel scared. Scared because I don’t know what’s ahead. Scared because…well because I have lost myself in these recent lapses.

I may weigh more than I have in past lapses, but I have lost so much more. I feel like  shell of the girl I once was. I have lost hope, lost passions, lost dreams. I am so filled and overcome by fear and stress. I feel the world is spinning, life is moving, and it just won’t stop. It won’t stop and I don’t know where it’s taking me and I don’t like it.

These were the moments I would call you. I would call you freaking out and by the end of even a 5 minute conversation with you I would have peace. Who do I call now dad? I realize my recent lapses and clasping back on the chain of the scale have been my desperate attempt to regain that peace. The peace you brought me. I don’t feel I can replace our phone calls, but I can’t make it through life without the peace they brought. 

Sure I can type these letters, get it all out. But there is a crucial aspect missing: you. The response. The calm that settled the storm. And yet typing this..I hear you responding. I hear you (and others) saying….turn to God. And I know that is why our conversations brought me such peace. You would bring back my hope, my joy, and turn me to God.

When I heard this being spoken to my heart I felt guilty dad…you know what I thought? I thought to myself: but God isn’t enough, I need my daddy. How horrible is that of me? I somehow placed you above God. Honestly, I feel horrible placing you below God because of how much you meant to me. But I know your heart. Your heart for God and for me. You would never want me to place you before God. Because you would know that one day you wouldn’t be there, but for all of my days God would.

But dad…I want you. I want the physical presence of God here on earth and to me that was you. Your smile, your voice, your unconditional love. I don’t know. It’s like if I turn to God for that peace and strength and love…I feel I am letting you go and daddy I don’t want to. I don’t want anything, not even God, to take your place in my life.

But maybe He isn’t. Maybe my relationship with the Lord will enhance my relationship with you in a weird way. God will fill the roles He was always meant to in my life. The roles He filled in your life too. And through watching me and the Lord’s relationship blossom, you will smile down on me. And you are with the Lord..so by getting closer to the Lord..I will get closer to you.

Why am I scared dad? Why am I scared to turn to the Lord? Why am I scared to say..okay..I guess the Lord can bring me peace now. Why do I feel like that means I am giving up…when it doesn’t? Maybe that’s ED. Maybe it’s because I have to admit I am powerless and that I need God. That nothing on this earth can fill the place of God. That not even you could fill the place of God. But dad…I’m scared of a God that big. I am scared to rely on something, someone that isn’t tangible.

But I can’t keep doing this dad. I can’t keep waiting on your phone call. I can’t keep relying on myself to find peace. I can’t keep plowing deeper and deeper into exercise and restriction in a desperate attempt to force my body to low weights so I can feel in control of my start of recovery. All these things take my control away from me. I know…I know what I should do. I should turn to the Lord. I am just so scared daddy.

I miss you. I miss us. I can’t wait till I see you again. Till I can be wrapped in your arms. Till I can fill your peace. Will you help me daddy. Help me turn to the King. Help me put aside my pride, my guilt, my fear. Help me run to the arms of my Abba Father knowing that doesn’t mean I have let go of you. I can’t even pray to God as Father anymore because I feel it is replacing you. And I don’t want to. I’m so confused daddy…but I need God. Without you here, I need God more than ever. So when I run back to God daddy…please, please don’t be hurt. Know I love you still too. I see you smiling...I hear you whispering..."It's okay. I want you to go to God." 



Sunday, February 16, 2014

What are you fighting AGAINST

What are you fighting for? What's your motivation? Remember why you want recovery. People keep saying this and it gets me down because nothing...not even my dad have been enough. 

Why do I have to be fighting towards a specific thing? I tried to fight for my dad, that didn’t work out. I tried to fight for Denver, then that dream ended. I can’t fight for UTK as its not guaranteed. And fighting for me? That’s just not specific enough or honestly motivating enough.

But why do I have to find some certain thing to fight for? Why can’t I just fight because I am sick and tired of being where I am. I am tired of numbers swirling in my mind. OF the scale determining my day. Of people telling me I need treatment. Sure there is some comfort in these things because its how its been for so long…but today…another weight up day…reminded me the misery of ED and relapse…it reminded me I don’t have to fight for something..I can just fight against ED.

That’s what my dad used to always tell me. That when I got tired enough, I would break free. When I saw ED as the enemy…I would realize I am stronger than him and beat this. Maybe that’s been my issue..I keep trying to fight for something. Then ED comes in and convinces me that can happen with him. Instead..I need to see I am fighting against something….ED.

I am fighting against the death grip numbers have on me. I am fighting against people crying when they see me. I am fighting against being scared of fruits and vegetables. I am fighting against not being able to eat with my family because my precise measurements and food scale use makes prep take too long. I am fighting against not being able to eat what I want because of numbers. I am fighting against every day being determined by the scale. That’s what I am fighting against. I don’t need something to fight for.

I don’t need to wait to get some motivation that is bigger than my fear of weight gain. I just need to get sick, tired, and angry enough at ED that weight gain doesn’t matter. Am I at that point? I’m not sure. But tonight…I’mm pretty damn close.

I am just scared even this won’t be enough. I am scared to fail again. I am scared to again let my nutritionist down. I want to eat normal. So desperately I want joy. Church today reminded me I want to have a family and be married. I want life. I want normalcy. And ED is robbing me of that. I am just scared I won’t be able to do it. So scared I am frozen. Because I know I can’t do it if I cling to the scale and try and control my weight gain..but I am so scared to let that last chain go. I am scared for some reason to not hold myself back. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Fight on Mighty Warrior (a poem by me)

Recovery isn’t easy
But who said it would be
When has it ever been simple
For people to fight to be free?

But the answer isn’t relapse
As much as ED says it is
It won’t make things better
It for sure won’t bring bliss

Numbers quickly become your focus
A goal to call relapse an end
You become your own worst enemy
Instead of your own recovery friend

In the misery of relapse
All you want is to be free
You want to run back into the arms
Of your once recovery

Because recovery means freedom
It means choice
Means hope
It brings overwhelming feelings
But also a way to cope

Relapse only brings fear
Brings exhaustion
Brings defeat
But don’t believe EDs lies
That relapse means defeat

The strength is in you to get back
To the recovery that brought you light
To refuse to come back to ED
Though tempt you he might

ED will make it hard
He will make relapse seem like the way
But only because he knows
You are numbering his days

Each step in recovery
You discover more of you
Of truth
Of peace
Of freedom
And then his days are few

So fight on mighty warrior
And if you slip don’t fret
Dust off your knees, pick up your head
And don’t let yourself forget

Recovery won’t be perfect
But it will be worth it in the end
You deserve to be happy
You deserve to be your own best friend

Relapse is not the answer
It will never bring you peace
Peace will only come
When your chains release

So fight on might warrior
Don’t give ED another day
Remember you are strong
And with God there is a Way

A way through the fear
Past the numbers
Past the shame
God is in control
And God…well He’s got game

He is already Victor
The enemy crushed beneath his feet
So know no matter what
ED can’t bring you defeat

Fight on might warrior
Your victory is sealed
Recovery is yours
You will be healed

When there aren't words

I feel I owe you all a post...and I tried desperately to find something inspiring to write...but there just...there aren't words right now. These past two days..I've fallen hard. My intake hasn't dropped, but ED has been screaming for it too. Classes were cancelled because of snow and all I could think was how lazy that would make my day. This led to a snowball effect and basically to me falling bad in overexercising.

And it sucks. People ask me why if I keep posting about and talking about getting into recovery I don't just do it. I don't have my usual excuses. I know with God I am strong enough...so I can't say it's because it's too hard. I really want to get back on my meal plan and escape the grasps of ED...so I can't say it's because I don't want to. I feel miserable...so I can't say it's because I am happy. But I don't want to admit the truth. I don't want to admit that I am staying stuck and honestly getting worse because I want to hit a certain weight before I get back on my plan.

But that's reality. And it sucks. Why did I think this relapse would be different? Why did I think I would have any control in my relapse? Why did I think a "break" would make things better. Sure weight gain sucks...weight gain is scary as hell. But guess what. Relapse sucks too. And those same fears swirl in my head. But with relapse there is no hope. Nothing positive. No moments of pride. Those only come with recovery. With strength. With choosing life.

So I'm sorry I am not around much. I hope I will post again soon. I even have a really good post topic about something I realized...a motivation I will have. Basically about how I am committing to really committing. When I get back on plan, committing to it and not letting relapse be an option. I have a new view that makes the no-relapse option less scary. But...ED has zapped my energy and I just can't put the words together to write.

Guys...defeat sucks. Relapse sucks. ED sucks. Please..please be strong for me. Even I am being strong and still in this torture eating fear foods. ED may have won over in exercise and I can't undo that I did that...but I can take positive actions now and I am. I love you all...and hope I will fight alongside you soon.

Just look at this post. ED has brought darkness. He has stolen my light. And I can't wait to reclaim it again. But right now..I'm still in his grasps and letting a scale..a stupid number...hold me back. You know...I may try and write a poem tonight. I haven't prioritized me and made time to write poetry like I used to. Maybe...maybe I will find some time.

Please send me comments/messages of hope or inspiration. I need them right now. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014


Today my weight was up…a whole lb. It was up despite workout yesterday. That means today should have been a day I was prisoner to ED. I should have only eaten safe things, restricted intake, pushed off meals. But that is not what happened. Because today…I chose to trust the part of me saying it was sore muscles. 

So instead of what I (according to ED) should have done:
  • I ate my cereal without spilling any out.
  • I ate lunch and dinner at appropriate times (something haven’t done in days). I ate early when I was hungry.
  • I ate my freedom food of a yeasty roll for the day and two unplanned freedom foods of broccoli and a fiber tortilla.
  • I ate my snack before my shower even though I was full because I knew I needed to.
  • I did not do my abs or upper body like have been doing every night.
  • I got the right serving of prunes.
  • I added cayenne pepper to my meal
  • I allow myself a drink from Starbucks. Unsweetened green tea.

So no..today I didn’t do what ED says I should have done…and you know what…I’m okay with that. Still scared. Still fearing tomorrow. …but okay. 

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Testing what's right when ED screams wrong

So I made some big strides into getting back in recovery after this horrible stomach attack and ED is yelling at me about it. Telling me it was the “wrong” thing to do. I know it was right because he is being so loud and because I know it’s what my N would say to do (this is why weekends are so hard…she isn’t around to confirm these doubts). Honestly…one of the ways I know if it’s right or wrong is this process (though it’s EDish in its ways). I ask myself:
  • If weight goes down tomorrow will ED say this is the reason or will he be in shock? Whichever behavior shocks ED and gives him no reason to believe I will lose then it’s right one. It means its behavior that challenges ED belief.
  • If my weight goes up tomorrow will ED say “See your weight went up even though you did x”? Or will he blame this (though it won’t be cause) for why it went up? Whichever behavior ED will blame for weight increase is the one to go for. Otherwise it’s a behavior ED is trying to get me to do to control my weight and keep it low.

Using this method I ended up doing these very scary things and ED is not happy:

  •  I threw out the back-up plan in case I was too scared to do my freedom food tomorrow. I knew if I had back-up plan (aka a safe alternative) and my weight was up tomorrow, ED would make me eat the safe thing and not do my freedom food. This would be going against what my N said. So I didn’t leave ED with any options. I only have my freedom food (a veggie burger) as the choice tomorrow. Doesn’t use the above method…but still a method of questioning whether I am choosing recovery or ED.

  •   I got a serving of prunes closer to what my N wants. I knew if I didn’t then ED would say tomorrow that was to blame if my weight goes down and if I were to gain ED would say I could never eat right amount of prunes because I was gaining eating the smaller amount. Also, I knew whenever I got back up to the 23 g my N wants, ED would scream I couldn’t if I ended up gaining eating the smaller amount (which really is just 20 g). So definitely when I get back on meal plan it will mean back on prunes too.

  • I got two pieces of salmon (my fear food for tonight). The filets seemed small, but I didn’t queston it. I smuggled out two so I would have option. When I weighed them back in my room both were less than 3 oz. ED screamed I couldn’t add to them. That they were just less than 3 oz because overcooked or something. But I did the right thing. I took one of the filets and I used to other to make it 3 oz. I am still very, very scared about doing this and fear I overate the salmon. But I used the above method. Here’s how.   

    •  If I don’t add the extra: if weight down tomorrow ED won’t let me start plan back because he will say it is just because I underrate the salmon. If I gain tomorrow he will say I can never eat 3 oz of salmon, because I underrate and gained. Let me just point out how funny it is that in this way tomorrow somehow I “underrate” when right now ED saying not adding would make it the right weight.
    •  If I did add extra:  if weight down tomorrow ED will be in shock. Hopefully he would be speechless (rare for ED). There would be nothing he could say or blame. If I gain tomorrow he would say it’s because I was stupid and overate the salmon. Either way I think this option gives me more victory. ED can’t blame something if weight down or shame me if weight up. This option makes it possible for ED to be proven wrong, or gives me something to blame (though wrongfully so) if weight up. This way brings me more peace. ALSO…this way allows me to go into N and when I ask should I have added I won’t have regret. I know she will say yes…and this way I will know I did what was right.

These may seem small, but they were HUGE accomplishments for me. I still have a lot of things I need to work on. The food scale has crept back in and I am avoiding foods even when I crave them. I need to work on that. But for now…I am proud of what I did. Perhaps tomorrow I will make a side goal of backing off the food scale use. We shall see. Thanks for letting me share. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

He is holding your hand...

Today has been rough. Even after cycling yesterday my weight shot up. Something I didn’t see coming at all. I honestly thought weight was going to be way down as usually is, I was going to be happy, and I was going to be starting back on meal plan. Instead..weight was up, I was up sine 4 AM with horrid stomach pain, and I had no appetite or tummy tolerance for my extra snack. All this added up to me being terrified. What I thought I had known about my weight, the control I thought I had over it, was all an illusion. I was shaking.

I went through the day agonizingly. I still ate my meal plan, but it was just going through the motions. Not tasting anything. Not caring. Just wanting the day to be over. Luckily, before that could happen, I had dance practice for my church.

Before dance we always do a devotional and this devotionals topic: fear. We talked about various things, but something really stuck out to me….God is holding your right hand. No matter what…He is there. No matter how high the waves seem, how scary things feel, He is there. He has your hand and He will see you through.

Right now for me my fears are tied up in food and in weigh-ins. Also in my future after graduation. Here is the amazing thing. God is here. In this fear He is here. He knows exactly what foods I am going to crave and face. He knows exactly how they will nourish my body and He knows they won’t feed into ED’s lies but into His truth. He knows the foods will free me. All the while, He is holding my right hand. He is giving me craving for the foods to fuel me. I just need to listen.

And with weigh-ins (which He will give me the strength to only do weekly) He is there. He knows exactly what the scale will say before I even step on it. And I need not fear it. Because no matter the number…He will be there. He will be there holding my right hand. He will be there giving me the peace to overcome ED shouting if it goes up. And the courage to eat more if it stays the same or goes down. He has control of the scale and will give me the courage and strength to overcome any fear associated with it. I don’t need to fear the number, because God knows it and knows how He will help me cope with it.

And for my future. God knows that too. He knows what UTK is going to say. He knows what path I am going to take after grad school. He knows every single step I will take, every day leading up to and after graduation, every moment that is to come for me. He knows them, and He has them. And every day, every moment, every breath…He will have me too. He will be holding my right hand. And I can’t help but thinking….maybe my daddy will have a hold of my left. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Finding Hope...in a Cupcake

There are two parts to this post. The first I wrote a few days ago…it’s not as hopeful, but is still real emotion. I put it aside and come back today…with the hope. Read whatever parts you want J

Written on Feb 1, 2014
Sorry I haven’t been around the last few days. Honestly things have been rough and I have been trying to self-reflecting. ED was very loud and I knew he would be the one typing any blog post not me. I did stay on meal plan, but that only made him louder. Luckily, I finally had time to journal last night and get my own head screwed back on. I had a lot of realizations and feel I can come back and write now.

I came to realize why I have motivation for one day and then it’s gone the next. It’s because even in fighting for my purpose as I wrote about a week ago, I am fighting for my future…and right now I don’t like the future I see because it’s a whole lot of unknown.

Yes this is me....
Come May I am graduating. Something most people look forward too. Something I was looking forward to too. But now…now I am dreading it. I feel like time is ticking towards graduation and I just want it to stop. Graduating means leaving the safe life I have lived the past 4 years. And I don’t know what is going to happen after. The school I planned on going to, I just can’t afford to take out the loans for. The even better school and job I found I am still waiting to hear back from. And those are the only two schools with the program I want. So if it doesn’t work out with this one…I have to take a year off and just work some fast food job…not what I ever dreamed of my life being.

May and graduating means a lot of loss to me at this point. I lose the comfort of living in a dorm. I lose my job I love. I lose the safety of doing school…something I know I can do and am good at. Those aren’t the greatest loss. The thing I am most scared to lose…is my N. And it's this fear, the realization of losing her....it's gonna be my motivation. 

I then started crying too much to handle, so I put this aside…and I am back…this time a little more hopeful.

You see, my N is part of the school and come May with graduating…school ends. There’s no way to see her anymore. There is no more person to catch me when I lapse over summer. There is no more just make it through summer so can see N again in fall. There will just be me….and my whole life ahead…without her.
It’s silly I know, but I trust her and she is more than a N. In these three years we have been through a lot: the loss of my grandparents, almost getting kicked out of school, getting kicked out of health center, having organs fail, losing my dad. Through it all she has been there. Supporting me, believing in me, helping me. And to lose her (though she does want to stay in touch)…it’s like losing a whole support.

And it makes me mad for all the time I wasted. May is fast approaching and I’m scared even if I work as hard as I can I won’t be ready to eat without her and I will just lapse and end up back where I am. This must be what everyone was talking about. People never regret starting recovery too early…they always regret starting too late.

All this made me write my N an apology letter. Tell her how sorry I was for taking advantage of her and how scared I am to lose her come May. Today we finally had session….and talked about it. She told me there was no reason to give up. Even if I am not where I want to be in May..it doesn’t mean I should lapse. I shouldn’t sit around trapped by the could of, would ofs, should ofs. I should just start where I am and see what I can do with the time we have.

So I am going to try. The first challenge was today. I walked into my appt expecting a typical appt and there were two cupcakes in front of my nutritionist. Cupcakes with spoons and water…I knew what was coming. FOOD CHALLENGE. My N said I just had to do one bite because they had coconut on the top and she knew I hated coconut. Part of me thought…one bite…I can do that. One bite to start this journey again. ED though felt otherwise and just screamed calories, calories, calories. Especially when want wt down tomorrow so will add back snack. ED said it would be better for me not to eat the bite because wouldn’t want to hurt chances of recovery tomorrow. But I am done with tomorrow..I only had today.

So I did it. I took the bite. It was really bland and I hated it. That’s when N told me it was kind of a test. She wanted to see if I meant what I said in letter. By taking the bite I proved I did. She said she wouldn’t have been mad if I didn’t. It just would have shown I wasn’t ready and that way okay. That was my choice. But she was so happy I took the bite…and so was I.

Now I hated it was bland and thus didn’t seem worth it, but there was a story to that too. My N didn’t like it but needed a student opinion. Enter me….student…student with very bland taste…so if it was bland to me…it was really bland.

Still, blandness, fear and all…I am so proud I took the bite. I am scared to start on this committed journey to my N, but I am beginning to see May as maybe a relief too. I can gain this weight, do these challenges, give it my all and if come May I am miserable…if come May I want to go back to ED…I will have that choice. There will be no one to stop me. It will just be me.

Having this option scares me…but also comforts me. I can give recovery a try…risk all the fear…and just see what happens. Live the life I want. Trust my N like I’ve always wanted to. And I’m not locked in.

So for today I did live. I took the bite…the first step. And it led to me choosing the lunch I wanted to. The lunch ED didn’t want but I wanted. I am scared. I am still thinking of the scale (which yes I am going to take a break from once I get back on full meal plan). But I am happy today I am choosing life. Not heart beating, breathing life. But experiencing, smiling, loving life.

My N was right about a lot today, but one thing that really sticks with me is it’s not too late. Sure…I’ve worked with her three years. Sure, I’ve struggled. But it’s not too late. It’s not too late to start. It never is…not until life is over. Every day, every moment, is an opportunity to start.

Also…you never know till you try. I am scared I will hate my body when I gain. I am scared I will gain rapidly. I am scared I will never repair my metabolism. I am scared I will relapse because recovery will be too hard on my own come May. But I will never know these things. Never have the chance to see gains can occur slowly, my metabolism can repair, and the recovery I dream of can be possible unless I try.