Day twenty four: advice

What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?

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Five year old me:

Keep playing. Never stop learning. It’s okay to be shy, but don’t let it stop you from making new friends and trying new activities

Sixteen year old me:

Stop comparing yourself to others. You are not “fat” – don’t be so hard on yourself. Research and visit as many colleges as you can – start soon. Don’t worry so much about what other people think

Twenty-one year old me:

(See above and add…) Don’t settle – on a job, boy, etc. Stand up for yourself and be firm in your beliefs. DON’T GIVE UP. Trust in God’s plan and everything will work out.

Right now me:

Trust the process and enjoy the “now.”

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Onwards & Upwards…

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Day twenty three: in a year

Let’s jump forward a year. What would you like to have achieved in the past year?

Piggybacking off of my previous post, below are areas of my life outlined in the seven dimensions of wellness that I want to have achieved (or be close to achieving) in a year:

Social – Reconnect with friends that I’ve grown apart from, hangout with people I’ve met through my young adults group outside of our normal meet up times, and host more gatherings (my social anxiety has got my heart rate up just typing this)!

Emotional – Not take out my emotions/bad days on other people, more yoga/meditation, write and communicate my feelings with others, and see a counselor as needed.

Spiritual – Deepen my prayer life, attend church weekly, and stay active with my new women’s group.

Environmental – Stop getting plastic bags from the store (I am pretty good about bringing in my cloth bags, but could do better), start an herb garden, and refurbish older items around the house or from thrift stores vs/ buying brand new.

Occupational –  I want to continue to grow into my new position at work and take on more responsibilities.

Intellectual – Read more books, become more fluent in Spanish, and complete a crossword puzzle without cheating…

Physical – I want to  have more self-confidence with my changing body as I continue gaining a healthy amount of weight. Build more muscle mass and cardiac endurance

 

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Onwards & Upwards…

Day twenty two: areas of life

 

It’s a little bit weird that this 25 day challenge is coming to an end. But I guess it makes sense that I am being asked tougher questions!

What area of your life, right now, makes you feel the best? Which area makes you feel the worst? Why?

Best:

After being jobless, and for the most part directionless, for the past five months I feel like I am finally on track career-wise. I started my new job two weeks ago.  I’m still transitioning to the new routine and adjusting to having to focus at certain times. So far everything is going great and I have no complaints. I’m looking forward to the next few months and seeing what life has in store for me!

Worst:

Body image. I’m struggling with my old clothes fitting tighter, stop my eating when I’m full, and not comparing myself to others. I have “better” days than others, but adjusting to a new schedule does make me anxious. All I seem to do is eat and work out and think about eating and working out…

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Onwards & Upwards…

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!

I am not

I am not her

I am not her

I am not the girl you used to know

I have worked SO hard to leave her behind

to leave you behind

I don’t want to go back

But I feel like I am falling back

Fighting with all of my strength not to go back

Just leave me alone

Let me grow my own way

I want to be different

I want to be me

Stop trying to turn me into her

My mind

My mind can not yoga

My body can not yoga

My knees and lungs could not run

Just breathe through it

*one, two, three four*

Damn, she started talking again

Telling me what to do without “telling me what to do”

I can’t concentrate

I can’t focus

I take a break

I try to take a break

My mind and body do not know how to take a break

This makes it all worse

Do I have un-diagnosed adult ADD?

Apparently it’s a thing

I used to thrive

Under deadlines

Under rules

Under pressure

Now I freeze

I flee

I become frustrated.

My therapist would tell me that I am being to hard on myself and need to practice self-compassion. Sure, then I really wouldn’t get anything done, I’d just sitting idly in front of the TV all day. I know I need to “take care of myself*” so I will have a strong foundation moving forward.

What is supposed to help doesn’t help – yoga, exercise, eating right, cutting back on alcohol and caffeine, art, meditation, crossword puzzles, books. Trying to figure out what works for me is taking up more of the minimum level of energy I have. I want to go off the grid, but then I become board. My life feels like such an oxymoron at times…

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*a phrase that I loathe

 

 

 

 

 

 

(un)happy holidays

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This can be a tough time of year for many people. I’m one of those people that struggles to be “happy” over the holidays. Many reasons contribute to it being a challenging season. In particular, it marks the time of year I entered treatment, resistant to change.

Sometimes it feels like my journey began yesterday and others it seems like was longer than the *7* years when I stepped through that door.
To put it lightly, life after leaving what had ironically become my “safe place” was not easy. I was not “cured.” I encountered obstacles I had never dreamt of. But I’m still here. Still fighting – obviously with a multitude of support from professionals, my family, my friends, and even strangers.

This holiday season I am looking forward to curling up to “It’s a Wonderful Life” with more mindfulness of how quickly life can change and the gratitude for my “Clarence(s).”