Another week, a new week

Another week has passed being home, without a job. Although I had laid out specific, but what I felt “doable” goals and routine for last week, I still felt unsuccessful. I kept beating myself up for slip ups or not accomplishing what I wanted to. “Why oh why, despite my best efforts, can I not get myself together?!”

Self-Care

I become frustrated as I spend time and energy applying for jobs and then 1) never hearing back 2) getting a rejection email. It makes me feel like I’m not qualified to do anything. Although I keep telling myself that the right job will come, I am still discouraged. I have had a few interviews over the past week (both in-person and over the phone) that, if nothing else, are good for “practice.”But which each interview and job search I feel more overwhelmed and made me question what I really wanted to do.

But then I thought of what my previous counselor had told me before and what she’s tell me if I were sitting in front of her again:

Show yourself some self-compassion.

This is always a very hard concept for me to grasp. I always felt like I never do enough – exercise, avoiding trigger foods, organizing my home/life. Last week was also busy with social and family engagements so my eating/sleep schedule has been off. I end up eat more (unhealthily and later) and go to bed long after midnight. I can definitely tell the difference in how I feel both physically and mentally after getting rest. So, my lack of sleep is probably contributes to lackluster feelings. It’s crazy how it can throw the next day off before it even begins, making me less motivated to get off the couch and have a productive day.

Self

I think instead of focusing on rigid goals, what will be more therapeutic and helpful for me right now will be to do a 25-day personal growth exercise that I found on Pinterest. I’ll be able to know myself more and practice the “self-compassion” that my therapist is always preaching. I will start posting regularly on this journey tomorrow.

In the meantime, here are some ways that I have already been practicing self-care/compassion:

  • Stopped watching a TV show/movie and or reading something if it doesn’t bring me joy and/or stresses me out
  • Set out time to read before bed
  • Sorted through my old clothes and purse to donate
  • Stopped running when my ankle/knee hurts
  • Dumped out a Diet Coke that didn’t taste good (that’s what happens when you go without drinking one for awhile – you just taste the yucky chemicals!)
  • Started crocheting again

What are ways in which you practice self-care/compassion?

Onwards & Upwards…

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Bouncing Back

 

I wanted to follow up on my post from yesterday. Although, no, it wasn’t a “full on, hardcore” binge in my book doesn’t mean that it didn’t impact me. I left the previous post with a few questions and wanted to circle back to show how I handled the rest of the day.

Since my current living situation consists of me bouncing back and forth between two houses, I don’t keep a lot of food on hand because I have been throwing a lot of uneaten food out – and I hate wasting good food. My “binge” began after I ate lunch. I had a healthy lunch full of veggies and protein, but I was still hungry.

*Side note* I was annoyed with myself for still being hungry because I intentionally ate a slightly larger breakfast. I had run a mile before taking my mom to get our nails done (early Mother’s Day present), but I still didn’t feel like my very slow mile warranted a big recovery meal…

I went to get fill up on gas since I was taking my parents to the airport in the afternoon. Still “emotionally” and slightly physically hungry, I swung by the store on my way to pick up ONE of my favorite protein bars. Being financially cautious, I bought two at once, afraid that the sale price wouldn’t be honored if I only bought one (it was a 2/$4 deal). I told myself  that I could save one for later in the afternoon after my workout when I knew I’d be hungry. But just like my “failed” day(s), before I hurriedly ate both before the time I made it back home.

That’s when the loathing, guilt, and shame set in. I knew eating both would make me feel bad, but I ate them any ways.

 

When and how much I’m going to work out?

I wanted to immediately head to the gym after my airport, but I swung by my boyfriend’s house and passed out for almost two hours in his guest bedroom while he worked from home.

What will they have to eat at the meeting? – I already overdid it while I was on the retreat with them last weekend. I don’t want that to happen again.

I showed up (late) to the meeting and wasn’t craving/hungry when I got there. I had had a small snack on the way home. We had a break halfway through where I caved and had some “healthier: salty snacks, but it still irked me that I wasn’t able to measure/count what I was eating and therefore know the calorie content.

I didn’t go out with the group afterwards. I went back to my boyfriends where I thought we were going to work out, but he was exhausted after being up since 3 am to catch a flight. I went home where I had another balanced snack and tea and tried and failed to go to bed earlier.

Healing

Good Things:

  • I didn’t go to the gym specifically to “work off” my day of (in my eyes) unhealthy eating
  • I didn’t beat myself up when I didn’t go to the gym
  • I reached out to a friend earlier in the day to share my feelings

My main takeaway from all of this:

Always have enough healthy foods stocked, prepped, and with me

There is still A LOT more work to be done, but my day could have ended worse…

Onwards & Upwards

 

Whoops, I binged again…

Another “binge.” Another bout of eating extra and extra when I’m not even physically hungry. Another failure of my plans to prevent this kind of episode.

I know that I NEED the food. Especially since I’ve been exercising more, but I would feel physically and mentally better if I was able to STOP and spread my intake out.

Now I’m mad at myself because I knew beforehand that I’d be stressing about what I did and trying to “plan” out what I’m going to eat/do for the rest of the day to “stay on track” with my goals.

img_7052

Today is a busier than usual day. I took my mom out for a mani/pedi for an early Mother’s Day I was supposed to go to a new church group tonight. Instead of focusing on crossing things off my lengthly to do list my energy is being sucked by thoughts of:

When and how much I’m going to work out?

What will they have to eat at the meeting? – I already overdid it while I was on the retreat with them last weekend. I don’t want that to happen again.

I’m really disappointed in myself.  I wanted today to be different. I wanted to defeat the urges. I kept my trigger foods out of the house. I physically had to drive to the store and purchase them.

Now I am ashamed of myself and want to stay home tonight. Not see my boyfriend. Not see my new friends. I don’t feel like I deserve it. I will just binge again and end up hating myself more…

I’m so exhausted of this cycle and my failed attempts to break it.

Triple Digits

The past month marks the first time in SEVEN YEARS that I’ve hit (and kept on) triple digits. I can’t believe that I’m typing those words. I’m 27 and just now weigh over 100 pounds?! The past year and a half has been particularly difficult. Sometimes I coped well and got stronger, but there were MANY times in which I felt like I was failing…

Initially when I posted this accomplishment on Facebook I was overwhelmed by the positive feedback, “likes” and “loves” left by friends and people I haven’t communicated with in years (or ever, really). The encouraging comments left me in tears – I actually was proud of myself for once.

Unfortunately, it didn’t take long for my own criticism enter my brain. Despite re-reading comments and encouragement from my beyond-wonderful boyfriend, I have been struggling to shake the feelings of disgust I have with myself. How can I go from feeling so “free” and proud of myself for all I’ve overcome to literally loathing myself?!

“My pants are all too tight, nothing fits right anymore”

“Your thighs look HUGE in those picture from this weekend – I need to increase my time in the gym”

“You’re weak. Why can’t you stop eating and say just say ‘no'”

“You used to be so self-disciplined and in control. What happened?!”

This goes to show how scary and debilitating this disease is. No, it’s not just “about food.” For me, it’s always been about control. When I feel out of control in certain areas of my life (typically my career) the eating disorder behaviors and thoughts are stronger.

It’s good that I can recognize this pattern, though it does not necessarily make it any easier to treat myself with kindness. My therapists reiterates the need for me to practice self-compassion. It’s hard to engage in those kinds of exercises – I don’t even know where to begin. The thought seems so foreign; I’ve been my biggest enemy my whole life.

Maybe that’s what scares me. My eating disorder has been my “identity” for so long that It’s hard to picture who I am without it – who I want to be. I know I need to be more open-minded and put myself out there. It’s overwhelming to know where to start, but the important thing is to actually start AND give myself credit for putting in the effort.

I few things that I have tried to shift my focus to lately:

  • Cooking healthier meals from scratch
  • Blogging
  • Reading
  • Running
  • Weight lifting

I know that I still have a long way to go. Right now it’s important that I don’t backtrack and keep moving forward by focusing on what I want my life to look like in the future:

  • A runner ( half-marathon)
  • An artist
  • A healthy lifestyle blogger/figure
  • A mother

One day at a time – onwards and upwards, my friends!

The Journey of Jobbing

I feel like this post has been a long time coming. I’ve gone back and forth on how I want to “craft it,” fit everything I want to say, trying to make sure it’s “perfect.” I realized that this post will never be “perfect” or “complete” because my story is always evolving. So bear with me and here we go!

I’ve been struggling to find a new job for over a year now. I had never been completely satisfied (is anyone ever completely satisfied) with my most recent job. When I came across it on Craigslist almost three years ago I was hesitant to apply. Why? I had recently been laid off from a catering admin position that I really didn’t enjoy. One of the reasons being its emphasis on food made it challenging in the process of recovering from an eating disorder. However, reading the job description, I saw that I could meet the experience required (unlike many other jobs I had applied to) and it was at a cool location. Plus, after applying to 50+ jobs and not hearing anything back from 90% of them I honestly didn’t think I would receive a response. So at 11 pm I submitted my resume, closed my laptop, and went the bed.

Of course the job I didn’t necessarily want was the one who called me the next afternoon. I was getting desperate, unemployed for almost four months with no clear path, so I went ahead and took the job. The first few months were new and exciting. I loved being more involved in the overall event process and my colleagues. It wasn’t too long until I became “bored.” Some days were busier than others and I felt productive, but it did not take me long to realize that this was not the industry (hospitality) that I wanted to be in forever. I told myself that I would stick with it for a few years, build my resume and then find something else.

attract

Unfortunately the feelings of being stuck and unhappy came long before the two-year mark I had given myself. I could complete most of my tasks within an hour or two and be left staring at the clock wishing time would speed up. Then I would be so mentally drained that doing anything seemingly productive felt impossible. I am going to stop right here and say that yes, these are very “first world problems.” When I would feel this way I would often tell myself that I should be lucky to have a job when most people don’t – and I was thankful, I knew it could be much worse. But is it really so wrong to want a job where you feel fulfilled and can contribute to society. I would try incorporating little things into my day to make it more meaningful – listening to podcasts helped my commute, offering assistance to colleagues when I completed my work, treating those around me and client with respect and patience. Still I felt like something was missing.

I revamped my resume and started scoping out jobs just to see what was out there. I have had numerous hits and misses during my search – mainly misses. I would become excited as prospective employers would bring me in for a second interview only to learn weeks later that they found “more qualified” for the position. And that is if I was lucky. I have lost count on the number of jobs I applied to and heard nothing back from. Trying to turn a negative into a positive, I told myself that they job(s) I didn’t get was probably a good thing – saving me from something that would end up like my old position or worse.

Budget concerns were brought up over the summer. I knew that my searches needed to become more serious as my position at the company was in jeopardy. I begin browsing job boards with more intensity. The pressure I put on myself caused me to feel discouraged when I found little to nothing that spiked my interest. If something was interesting, I wasn’t near or was qualified for the role. I began to felt like I there wasn’t anything out there that was a good fit for me. Needless to say, my overall life satisfaction/happiness rapidly decreased.

life

I started drinking more, way more when I felt discouraged and lost. My train of thinking was that as I can get “prolific” after a few drinks, a light bulb would go off in my head and suddenly I would know what to do (yeah, like that would really happen). As most people know, drinking doesn’t solve much of anything; it has only lead me to more physical (upset stomach, headache, weight gain) and mental problems (memory loss, lack of critical thinking, feelings of self loathing) and drunk texts – whoops!

I officially got the words I had been waiting for “your position is being eliminated” before Christmas. Even though I had been expecting it and had a few interviews already set up it still stung. My co-workers were honestly the main reason why I held on for so long. As we were together more than we were with our actual families, they became my work-family. Hell, they were the first people (besides my parents) that I was calling off my wedding (more on that later) than my best friends and the groom! The last weeks were full of bittersweet moments – this is my last team meeting, this is the last time I’m going to have to make my long commute, etc. While I knew that I didn’t have much room for growth at that job, nor did I have the desire to stay in that field much longer it was still tough leaving. I am grateful that I held out and was able to leave on good terms. I think it will help in the long run (look better on my resume) and my colleagues tell me to put them down as references.

So long story short (P.S. bless you if you’ve made it this far) my layoff has been a “blessing in disguise.” It’s already the second week of my third layoff. I’m still struggling to find a routine or some form of structure for my days – a balance of productivity and rest. I knew that I didn’t want to jump straight into a new job, but take time to regroup and really focus on my next move. Ideally I wanted to take a whole week off from applying to jobs, but me being the type of person who can’t do “nothing” so that idea lasted all of 3 hours. I finally heard back from two interviews in which I didn’t get the job, which is disappointing, but better than waiting in limbo.

I think for the upcoming week I am really going to make an effort to take a few days off from the search and pray not that I will find a job/opportunity, but it will find me. Yeah, it sounds cheesy, but I feel like I’ve tried many different approaches only to end up more stressed and now it is time to let go, to be BRAVE. It is exciting to think that anything is possible and something could cross my path that I haven’t even thought of ! I will keep you updated on the process and my progress. *Deep breaths*

Onwards and upwards, my friends!

dreams

First Words

eg

It’s my first “wordy Wednesday” of 2017.

I can have a hard time expressing my thoughts and feelings verbally and have found that writing helps. This entry will be very casual as my mental energy is low so this list will have to do (plus, I like lists). Without further ado, below are words that come to mind when I reflect on the past week:

  • confused
  • frustrated
  • annoyed
  • out of control
  • gluttony
  • sadness
  • anger
  • cheated
  • unheard
  • bossed around

Obviously not the *best* week, but just writing these down makes me feel a bit better.

Stuck

It never really goes away
The emptiness
The void
Try as you may to fill it, to complete yourself. To feel whole again
Again. As if you ever felt whole in the first place
Not really
No
Always there
Always kind of there
Taking up space
Trying to pass the time
Waiting
Waiting for what?
To feel competent? Loved? Empowered? Needed?
They say if you wait for the right moment, you’ll be waiting for the rest of your life
I’m guess I’m waiting to be unstuck
To feel like I can become unstuck
For someone to pull me out of the mud I’ve become hardened in
I know I need to pull myself out
I just can’t muster the strength
Physical strength
Emotional strength

Wordy Wednesday

Ambivalence
Noun – am·biv·a·lence
1. simultaneous and contradictoryattitudes or feelings (as attraction and repulsion) toward an object, person,or action
2. a: continualfluctuation (as between one thing and its opposite)
b: uncertainty as to which approach tofollow

Discernment
Noun – dis·cern·ment
he ability to see and understand people,things, or stituations clearly and intelligently

Intention
Noun – in·ten·tion
the thing that you plan to do or achieve :an aim or purpose

Pretentious
Adjective – pre·ten·tious
having or showing the unpleasant qualityof people who want to be regarded as more impressive, successful, or importantthan they really are

Tenacious
adjective- te·na·cious
not easily stopped orpulled apart : firm or strong
continuing for a long time
continuing for a long time
1. a: not easily pulled apart
b: tending to adhere or cling especially to another substance
2. a:persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired
b: retentive

All definitions were found at http://www.merriam-webster.com/