Thursday, August 28, 2014

WIAW: Way back when

So I decided since Mon was my 22nd b-day and sine grad school budget been keeping me from buying fear foods worth sharing for the time being….I would do a flashback post! Basically WIAW: Kid edition.
Thanks Jenn for hosting

What I Ate Way back Wed
First off, a classic that kids now will never taste: Dunkaroos! Who remembers these things! Awesome! Was favorite part of camp because only place would get them.

I also used to love soccer practice for this trifecta of yum: Fruit by the foot, Fruit Roll up, Gushers! Tried these recently and hated them...but back then they were awesome. 

And loved basketball banquets because at Cici’s

And the volleyball at DQ!

And after school for those cookies...u know...the baseball ones that were all vanillaey and good. Can't even find a pic of them. I actually get a craving for these quite frequently. But these were close second

I used to sneak over to neighbor’s house and steal: Dino eggs oatmeal. Always loved oatmeal. Who knows...maybe I will be feeling nostalgic and grab a box one day. 

Then there were the lovely good times of babysitter nights! Included all these yums!


Oh and long before my PB obsession….was my PBJ obsession. Now I hate jelly with PB but back then it was the only way to go!

And my HUGE obsession was chicken fingers. Seriously…no matter where we went out to eat I would order chicken fingers. Mexican restaurant I grew up in…yep chicken fingers. Fancy steakhouse…where the chicken fingers. Italian….forget the noodles I want chicken fingers.

And these were only acceptable dipping sauces.
Honey Mustard

Before he died my dad adapted a recipe for me...but the secrets of it are locked in his mind. It involved oats and honey. 

Only time would forgo the chicken finger was Chinese…then it was Chicken and Brocolli but the real star: Dumplings!!! And the rice was obsessed! I definitely want to try these again.....I just don't know when. 

Of course parents did cook. My favorite of my dad’s: homemade pancakes! Everyone else got normal ones...but he would always make mine a face pancake. 

And two of my mom: Hamburger helper and spaghetti pie. Used to love these things....can't think of eating them now. I honestly don't know why I liked the taste lol. 

Obviously this wasn’t all I ate…it was just the things I loved. Now while I’m happy I eat noticeably healthier now…it’s obsessively slow and I wish I could have had just a little freedom
For now I can just keep on the right path, deal with my new stomach diagnosis, and find my own bite at a time 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I'm alive....just living life!

Hey everyone--
Sorry I went MIA, but I am going to update. In fact, tomorrow is my 22nd b-day and I plan on doing a year in review little post if you all are interested. May be doing some themed posts this week if I have time.

I have just been super busy honestly...just living life. Working, going to classes, moving. It's been an adventure and there is so much to say....maybe that is how I will spend tomorrow b-day night. Writing up some updates and post. For now here is a quick one.

BEST WEEKEND EVER! Celebrated 6 months in recovery on Fri with a cupcake, then Sat my mom showed up at my work all the way from Atlanta (4 hours away) to suprise me with cake for my co-workers and balloons. Just for my b-day. For me. This is why she had been so distant and hadn't mentioned my b-day...she couldn't keep a secret! It was the most amazing, selfless thing and still has a smile planted on my face!

Today celebrated 3 years as a Christian with her, got a 99 on my first grad paper, and got GREAT tips as cashier at Mellow Mushroom!

And tomorrow is my 22nd b-day. No plans..but bought myself a b-day button to wear like used to pretend to dread when was younger. Dont know what it will bring, know it may be hard without my dad, but also know he will sprinkle me with blessings. This year has been crazy, I've grown a lot, and I've been through a lot, but in the end I feel so blessed for everything the Lord has provided. That even through the hard times...I sit here today blessed and beaming.

School: I love it! I feel this really is the program for me. Yes, I'm scared I'm going to fail as always...but I just feel at home in this program. I love learning about helping people and can't wait to have my eyes opened!

Work: Is amazing! Love the people at my assistantship. My schedule is working itself out. AND I LOVE MELLOW MUSHROOM! honestly, it's my stress relief. It's nice to look forward to going to work every day.

Recovery: So much to update on here. It's been ups and downs, but been in recovery every day. Couldn't be without the help of amazing friends and family. Learned a lot, and have had to cut down on spin and learn to let food and exercise fit into my life, not make my life about food and exercise. It's been scary, but I am so happy for all the challenges.

Love you all, more updates soon!
Please write below or shoot me e-mail if you are still reading. Also, would love to be pen pals with people if interested!

Friday, August 8, 2014

New Look on New Life...And Blog Shift

So sorry I have been gone and never got to posting the play-by-play for victory day, but I will and it was a great victory Praise God! Anyway…reason I have been away is I moved to TN to start the new chapter of the rest of my life here at grad school. It’s a fresh start. Yes, people know about my disorder since I shared it in my application since it’s the reason I want to enter this field, but it’s still a new place to discover and share the new me in true recovery and I am excited. Along with this new life, I want a new outlook. I want to quite living in regrets of the past, or worries of the future, and live in the joys of today. Even on my worst days I want to find three things to praise God for.

This all came yesterday on my first day and it being move-in day. It started off okay, but then I got here and started to move. I started to miss home. While still in the car I thought I had forgot some pics of me and my dad and suddenly my mind raced to me not being able to succeed in grad school (yes I jumped from not having photos to failing). I got through that rough patch with prayer that brought clarity over the fact it was just photos I could get when my mom visited.  I opened the apartment I will be sharing with 4 people and was shocked by how small it looked. Suddenly my mind jumped to how my roomates were going to hate me. I was going to be in everyone’s way. I was going to hate school. And I needed to go home. Then came the hours and hours of unpacking and the stress of realizing I needed to go out and get groceries still. I then discovered the nearest grocery store was 15 mins away and I ended up having to spend more money than I had. This all left me with not being able to eat dinner till 11:30 pm and still having two snacks and ending the night convinced I was going to fail grad school, have roomates who hated me, bomb my interview with Mellow mushroom, be fired from my assistantship, go into debt, bankrupt my family, and never accomplish my dream. Even though NOTHING in my day pointed to that.

You see I have done this my whole life. Jumped from one tiny thing to huge failures. I somehow jumped to failing grad school, when I haven’t even gotten the syllabus for the first class. My apartment seemed small till I unpacked and got situated, but still that had nothing to do with my roomates. There was no part of my day that involved mellow mushroom yet I was convinced I would never get the job. My move was preparing me for my assistantship, so being fired was the farthest thing from being true right then. At least there was some reasoning to the financial worries, but spending an extra 100 dollars to get my room ready isn’t unheard of and I am getting paid tomorrow, so going broke and then somehow bankrupting my family again isn’t very logical. Of course since I was already hopping down the bunny trail of failure…never accomplishing my dream was my next big, unrelated, unrealistic fear. I let these moments take over my mind and ended up going to sleep convinced I would be packing up and going back home soon. Now let me tell you what happened.

I woke up with the sun streaming in through my minds and smiled as I looked around my room. It felt like mine and I actually liked it. I got ready and felt nice in my new clothes. I went to my mellow mushroom interview and got hired on the spot (I start tomorrow). I also found out they have a parking lot so I don’t have to walk at night.  I went to my assistantship and found out it is far more laid back than I thought and I can even wear flip flops. Also discovered it is right across from where I am living. It was amazing day there too and I got paired up with a second year student who showed me the ropes and made me feel so ready for classes and that they wouldn’t be so hard. She also recognized my recovery tattoo and we got to talk about my recovery and she didn’t judge me at all. I then went and got more groceries I needed and didn’t feel bad about it (even found a lot on sale).  I came back home and still had to eat late, but this time it made me feel strangely grown up. That I was so busy with work and such that I had to come home and immediately eat because it had been such a busy day I hadn’t gotten to it. And I was cooking in my own kitchen in my own apartment. I began falling in love with grad school, with my apartment, with everything. Oh…and those roomies who were supposed to hate me…they sent me a message just to see that I moved in okay…even some of my family hasn’t asked that yet. Suddenly I felt hopeful and happy about the move. Why? Because I was choosing to focus on the positives of the moment. Were there bad parts to my day. Sure there were. But I didn’t dwell on them…and it was a better day. And it is much easier to eat when you feel better about your day and yourself.

So I want this to be my new approach. To not live in regrets of taking too long to pack or forgetting this or missing this or whatever. To not focus on the fears of the future or let myself go into tailspins that have no basis in reality. I want to just experience, enjoy, and find beauty in the present moment. Even if it sucks right then…to find some part to be happy for. I want to shift my focus. And that may mean a shift here too. I may still blog about my struggles, but with a focus on the solution and how I will end the struggle. Or I may not blog till after I get out of the struggle so I can share my victory. I am entering a strengths-based field and I am ready to start living a strengths-based life. To focus on the good in my day and the people around me and find the freedom that brings. Whose with me!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Still have time to change! God moment!

Today was big day. Wasn’t supposed to be…well maybe it was…but wasn’t planned to be. Today was a day I got frustrated with my slow progress and with ED behaviors still doing and decided to take plunge straight into normal (well semi-normal seeing as still on meal plan and all that) eating. It wasn’t easy, it’s DEFINITELY not because of a safe weigh-in, and I am not proud to admit it took countless texts, a God moment, and till 4 pm to even decide to do it. But I’m doing it. Changing the following behaviors I am not proud to admit was still doing.

B-fast: not tear EM below, right prunes, no spil oats
Lunch: starches >210 cals for 3, No leave behind, big amt fruit, no spill seeds
Dinner: no leave behind or tear burnt part morning munch
Snacks: large amt fruit (usually do small slices off), banana as come not torn to certain grams

I am terrified and my mind is spinning about what this will mean calorically, but today I just got to point I was done. I weighed in and it wasn’t the number I expected and ED took over and it scared me. I got frustrated how I still let a number on a machine take my joy. How it automatically can make me want to throw everything in. I was just done with this being my life. Then I drew from starch box and got tortilla and potatoes for my lunch options, but that went against calorie rule ED has had me living by when comes to lunch starches. Again I got frustrated. Here I was doing these things I didn’t want to do. Living by rules I didn’t want to live by. Yes..I’ve been making progress…but I just wanted to be better already. Started to think about these other behaviors I am doing and realized I am not at all in place I wanted to be as I head to TN. Life had gotten so busy and making progress in recovery and behaviors had lost it’s priority. Now here I am moving on Wed and I am not where I wanted to be.

That’s when I realized I could spend all day wallowing in how I “wasted” this summer. I could ignore all the progress I made and just be mad I came up short. Or I could stop wallowing in my past and take advantage of right now. I could get out of my own way and decide right now this was not how things were going to be. I could take the leap, make up for my procrastination, and change all the behaviors I wanted to. I still had a chance to go to TN in the place I wanted to be. But I was terrified. My mind was screaming how this was too much change (calorie-wise of course), how my body and mind couldn’t handle it….and I frankly didn’t know what to do. Do I just keep making small progress…or jump all in. And there, at the crossroads, without me even asking, God showed up.

My phone went off and I figured it was one of my typical supports, but it wasn’t. It was my nutritionist from UGA. She NEVER texts me. She is there when I text her (which I rarely do now that we don’t work together), but she never initiates the contact. Until today of all days. This moment of all moments. She reached out to me and just simply asked how I was feeling. Tears came to my eyes as I felt this was a total God thing. That she would reach out to me right then. I then came to find out that she had been at church when she felt inspired by God to reach out to me. I began to cry. I began to feel like God Himself was answering me without me even asking. He cared so much about me and knew the exact person He needed to use to comfort me in that moment. I hadn’t asked for His help and yet He provided in the most perfect way. He had shown up even without me asking..He cared that much about me. So did my nutritionist. She was obedient to Him and reached out to me even though I am no longer her client. And I am sure my dad in heaven had something to do with it too. I just felt overwhelmed with love and felt like I was getting approval to make the changes from God Himself. The God who knows how this all will turn out. 

And I was able to talk with my nutritionist and she made me further realize I could make this giant leap. It was all about choosing where I wanted to go in life. Every choice we make moves us in some direction. Either one of progress or relapse. It was up to me to determine which way I would go. And I wanted it to be forward. Yes…the small steps have been great and honestly I think they got me to where I am today. God has been helping me make tiny steps up the diving board, but now I am at the end and it is time to take the plunge.

So I am doing it! Correcting all these behaviors. Maybe I could have done them sooner and could have changed them slowly, but I didn’t. I have made tons of progress this summer and that is something to be proud of, but I am not where I wanted to be. And I am tired of standing in my own way. I am tired of living in regrets. There isn’t progress in the past, in regrets, in looking at where you aren’t. Progress comes from claiming the moment, realizing what you can do to make this moment one you remember not regret, and to say this is not how this will end, this is where what I wanted will begin again. I am choosing what direction I will move in today and today it is is is towards the life I want. 

I will document my thoughts after each meal. I am terrified, I don’t know if/how I will make it through. But I am going to try. Bite by bite, meal by meal, moment by moment…I will be where I wanted to be when I went to TN. I still have three days…it’s not over yet…and this is not how things will end! I may not have pushed as hard as I could all summer, my recovery has been far from perfect, but that doesn't mean that right here, right now...I can't change that and continue making progress. Change isn't even the right word, because I am so proud of what I did this summer. It just means that just because I am moving in three days doesn't mean I can't make big changes these final be where I wanted to be. Wish me luck, send me prayers...and keep fighting for your future. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

True Strength: Lesson from Spin Class

INNER STRENGTHGod gave me TONS of breakthroughs today, but not much time to write so gonna break them up. For today’s the focus is inner strength and what that means.

I’ve noticed that I have all this strength and willpower in spin class to push past the point when my muscles are screaming. I just hear the instructor telling me I can do it, and I feel the support of those around me pushing through, and I push. And when the time is up for the interval…I feel proud and happy. And it gives me the energy to push again. Then, before I know it, the class or the drill is over and I have pushed more than I ever thought possible.

Today in spin as I laid it all out in the class, putting all my anger, stress, and aggression from the day into class, I tapped into this strength again. I just took all of my emotion and pushed. And it was the best class I have ever had. I walked away feeling strong and capable and amazing.

I started to realize I call this kind of push strong and showing of willpower, but when it comes to pushing myself in recovery, I lose that characteristic. I just feel scared and weak. But this same strength, to push through the pain in spin class, it’s the same strength I can use to kick ED in the ass. I can take all my motivation and frustration with ED, and gear it towards pushing. No, not past physical pain (though sometimes with my tummy that is the case), but through the emotional turmoil.

I can push past all the things ED is screaming and do what is right. Just like when my body is screaming that I need to stop and I push through and my body realizes it is stronger than it thinks…the same goes for recovery. ED will be screaming I can’t or shouldn’t eat this or that, or I have to do this behavior or that behavior….but I can push through. I can use my strength, the strength of God, the strength of those around me cheering me on and fighting their own fights and push. Just like in spin I can push past what is screaming, and realize just how strong I am.

In spin, I push through each interval…focusing just on that moment, that interval..that’s all I have to get through and before I know it class is over. If I were to focus on the whole class I would get overwhelmed and not push myself as much (trust me I have done this). But when I take it drill by drill, interval by interval, moment by moment…and cherish each moment…I am able to push and enjoy class and before I know it it’s done. The same thing goes for recovery. I need to take it meal by meal, bite by bite. All I have to do is the right thing in that moment, all I have to do is get through that one freedom food….I need to be in the moment, just realizing the strength I need for the moment and the fact that I have it. I don’t need the strength to get through all of recovery or all of my meals in that moment, I just need the strength to get through what is right in front of me. And when the next meal or challenge comes, I will have the strength I need to get through it. But I need to just be in the moment, in the challenge, realize my strength, and before I know it, I will be free.

The last thing about this inner strength I see in spin that I now see is in and crucial to my recovery….is that both are ones to be proud of. I let ED all too often beat me up about my progress in recovery…either guilting me for doing it or making it seem insignificant in comparison to where I need to go. But whenever I push in spin…I am always proud. I never say it wasn’t a good enough push or am mad at myself for pushing through the pain…no…I just feel strong and capable and proud. I tell myself I have such strong willpower because I push through the screaming of my muscles, but if I push through ED I let him characterize that as loss of willpower….but he is wrong. It is a million times harder to push through the battle and screaming in my mind than it is to push through in spin.

I mean think of it this way. Tons of people in gyms all over the world push through their muscle limits every day. It doesn’t make me that unique. But recovery….pushing through a mental battle like an eating disorder….that is something only the strongest warriors are able to accomplish. Something only relying on the strength of God can make possible. And tapping into that strength, fighting the never-ending screaming in your mind….that takes true power, true strength, true courage. It’s something not very many people ever have to face and those who do face it know just how hard it is. So pushing through, kicking ED in the ass…it’s something to be proud of.

I know a lot of us with ED struggle with overexercise or exercise addiction. Well use your exercise love that has gotten so twisted to gear your recovery. Take that strength you once used in exercise (or still use if you are approved like me) and use it to kick ED’s ass and feel proud as you do it. Don’t let ED tell you you can’t, because you have shown you can push through. You have shown you are strong when you pushed your body in the gym, and so you can push yourself in recovery too. Tap into that inner strength, it’s inside you waiting to be unleashed…and kick some ED ass. And when ED tries to make you think it’s weakness that is allowing you to do the recovery things, tell him he is wrong. That it takes true strength, true courage, true willpower to fight against your mind and to recover. It is something to be proud of and is a battle God only gives to His strongest warriors. You can do this. The power is inside you. It is the Holy Spirit power.

It’s the power you use to push through a workout when it seems everything is screaming to stop. It’s the power in those moments to hear the voice saying I can do it, tapping into that, and realizing your strength. That’s the power you have to do the recovery thing when ED is screaming you can’t. It’s the power to hear the inner you screaming yes you can. Take it moment by moment, decision by decision, bite by bite. Tap into your strength and before you know it…you will be on the other side. Face your freedom foods, eat your portions, take your rest the life you want no matter what ED says. We can do this. With God’s strength….the strength He put inside each of us through His Spirit…we can do this. We are capable of more than we can imagine if we just give ourselves a chance.