Day 130: A Bittersweet Day

Hi everyone,

What a day today is .

I am getting ready to take my twin sister to the airport in about 30 minutes, where she will leave on a plane to Barcelona to study abroad for 6 weeks.

I knew this day would come for months now, and I was trying not to think about it.

Monique, my sister, has truly been my rock throughout my recovery. On my bad days, she knows what to say.

When she sees me trying on all my clothes, she knows how to get me to stop.

When I start rambling on about how much food I just ate, she puts things in perspective and brings me out of Ed’s world and back into the present moment.

But most importantly, she reminds me all the time that I am perfect the way I am-outside and inside.

She loves me for me, unconditionally, all the time, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Between Monique and I, I have always been the type A go-getter kind of person, and she has been the laid back and easy going person. We balance each other out.

She has spent a lot of time in her life pleasing others and trying to make people happy, and over the past year, I have seen her grown into this amazing strong woman who puts herself first.

This journey that she is about to take is almost like my journey that I am on with my recovery; she is going to start the journey to standing on her own two feet and starting to find herself.

She can’t do this with me there (although I wish she could, because I am protective of her and think I know everything about will make her happy , even though I don’t), but she can’t.

Just how I need to stand on my own two feet and fight Ed, my sister needs to take this journey on her own too.

I am happy for her, but sad for myself, and that is why today is bittersweet.

I have not done recovery without Monique yet.

She was there before I even told anyone I was battling with an eating disorder; for a year, she was the only one who knew-and despite her fear for my health, she kept my secret safe until I was ready to tell my family.

She was the first person I told that I want to get help.

She protected me when others would say triggering comments in the beginning of my recovery; she was my shield, and in the process, I have become her inspiration.

I will never forget the first day I had to follow my first meal plan during recovery.

I didn’t know how I could do it.

Monique came that day-in the middle of the afternoon-and sat down and ate lunch with me.

I am about to cry as I think back on that moment right now.

I am not sure if she knows, but that first lunch, was one of my hardest meals,and after I was able to conquer it, I felt I could do dinner.

If not for Monique, who knows if I would have had the strength to complete my first day on my meal plan?

Here  I am, 130 days into recovery, and there has not been one day that she has not been my number one supporter.

I hope to take this time that she is away, to continue to transform myself into a victor and not a victim of Ed-into a champion, into a survivor, and above all, into a person who loves herself.

I will continue on my journey , and my sister will begin hers.

To my dearest sister-thank you for being my hope, faith, strength, and love during these 130 days-I am forever grateful. I am excited for this new journey for you, and all the new lessons it will teach you.

It won’t be easy to do recovery without my sister, but I know she is with me in spirit.

Part of my recovery is learning to let those who I have taken care of for so long, and often times, put before myself, to venture out on their own-and that is what I am doing with my sister leaving to Spain.

Hello to continuing my journey, hello to my sister beginning hers, and hello life.

Day 129: Exhausted But Still Smiling

Hi everyone,

I’m really exhausted today and don’t have very much to write about, at least so far in my day.

I was supposed to see my Karen (my nutritionist) today, but I moved our appointment to Monday.

For whatever reason, my intution was telling me not to go see her today.

I know that I am coming off from a weekend/week filled with lots of food because of out of town family and going out, and I have had a hard time with that.

Even though I promised myself and Kim (my trainer), that I would not ask Karen if I gained weight this week, something told me that I would lose my willpower and ask her.

I am not sure if she would even answer the question, but the fact that  I could feel my willpower weakening was enough for me not to go today.

Why go there and break my own promise to myself, and then feel upset and mad at myself all day over number one the answer to my question about the weight, and number two, to the fact that I broke my own promise.

For me, there is nothing more disappointing then letting myself down.

It just wasn’t worth it today.

I haven’t seen E yet this week, and I am seeing her tomorrow, and that is why I moved my appointment with Karen to Monday, because by then, I feel that I will be in a better place. And if not, I will go anyway.

I am exhausted from summer school, working, and waking up extra early to fit in my workouts.

I ate foods today that I am not comfortable with (delicious fresh dips and chips from a farmers market), but hey,  I guess this is happening every day lately, so what is one more day?

I am just really tired today-not even of recovery, just physically drained.

I am not sure how I will pull off summer school for the next 6 weeks, on top of keeping all my appointments with E, Karen and Kim, and working, and still trying to have fun, but its a lesson in balance that I will take with stride.

Even though I am tired today, I am going out with a friend later.

I have my outfit already chosen (a process that took about 45 minutes last night after I tried everything on-a whole entire blog entry to write about on its own) and I am getting my hair done.

Everything is in place for me to feel good about myself when I leave the house, and I need that right now.

I also would like to say thank you for the beautiful comments and messages that I have been receiving lately. It is those words that truly keep me going during days like today where I am drained.

Its OK that I am tired today. I am actually happy that I am tired today.

It means I can let myself feel things other than just fear over weight and food. It’s a little bit refreshing actually to feel this way instead of feeling anxious.

I end this post, lending myself my own piece of advice: to smile.

Why should I smile? Because even though I am not the happiest at the moment, I am grateful for my life and all the beauty inside the love and support around me that comes with it.

I’m tired, I’m drained, I feel full…bla bla bla-same stuff ,right?

But the point is, I am still smiling,and to that I can say, “hello life.”

Day 128: Go Me

Hi everybody,

Today was not my easiest day in terms of Ed thoughts about the way I look-but it was however,a very successful day for me and my recovery because I was stronger than Ed today.

There were three times today that I chose to stay true to myself and my recovery and not stay true to Ed.

The first time was when I was sitting in class and it was 10:30 a.m. and I was hungry. I didn’t understand why because it wasn’t time for me to eat, and I was even upset that I was hungry.

I thought about what to do for about 30 minutes, and finally, I decided that if my body was asking for food,I am going to honor that.

Ed told me to get coffee.

But I told myself to get  a snack, and I did.

Go me.

Secondly, I was meeting my friend to go shopping, and she asked if I had eaten lunch. I didn’t eat lunch yet, I only ate that snack at 10:30 am.

Ed so badly wanted me to tell her I ate lunch so we could compensate for our extra snack.

She totally would have trusted me, and I could have gotten out of the whole situation of eating.

But, I didn’t do that. I was honest with her and with myself, and I told her I didn’t eat yet, so we went to eat together.

Go me.

Lastly, when we were shopping, I chose a pair of jeans to try on, in my new healthier size.

I am not so happy about that size, but the point is, I chose it.

I didn’t choose my size from when I was sick and restricting.

However, the sales person seemed to think that I was a smaller size than the one I took (totally feeding Ed).

Even though I told him over and over that the pants he chose would not fit me, he insisted he put it in my dressing room anyway.

The very first thing I did when I got into that dressing room was take the three jeans that he chose that were two sizes too small and gave them to my friend so I would not try them on.

Seriously, go me. Go me, go me, go me.

That was probably one of the biggest acts of self care and recovery I think I have ever done.

I could easily have tried on those jeans and saw that they don’t fit anymore.

They could have triggered me. They could have destroyed me. Or maybe they couldn’t have? Who knows?

It doesn’t matter-the fact is, I know that it would not have been a smart choice.

For whatever reason, I was faced with many  tests today about my recovery, and it was not on a day that I felt good about myself.

The pants I was wearing were significantly tighter than when I wore them 2 weeks ago, and I wasn’t in the greatest place, but I stayed true to my recovery anyway.

I am getting stronger, despite Ed’s voice being stronger lately too.

I’m really proud of myself for taking such good care of myself today.

I even bought a shirt today that says, “strong is beautiful.”

Yup, strong is beautiful.

That shirt doesn’t say that skinny is beautiful, it doesn’t say that Ed is beautiful and it doesn’t say that the number on the scale is beautiful.

Strong is what it says, and that is what I am.

Hello to being strong and hello life.

127: Goodbye To Perfectionism

Good morning everyone,

Last night, I read an article that my aunt had sent me, and the very first line was, “I am a recovering perfectionist.”

Long story short, it was about a woman telling her story about how she grew up always being a perfectionist, and eventually, the fear of not being perfect cost her many opportunities that life gave her.

She didn’t have an eating disorder, but she suffered from what I think many people with eating disorders such as myself, suffer from; and that is the strive for perfection.

Perfection is what keeps Ed alive, at least for me.

Perfection, or the idea that the way I am is not good enough, is what kept Ed and I so closely connected for so many years, and now, it is the one thing that is still keeping me close to him.

Even though I try to strive for progress and not perfection, that perfectionist inside of me is still alive, and lately, she has been resurfacing herself when it comes to my body.

For whatever reason, I still wake up every morning and walk to my mirror, in hopes of seeing this “perfect” body when I do my body check.

I never found this so called perfect body when I was fully immersed in my eating disorder and at my lowest weight, and I sure as hell am not going to find it now, and I know exactly why.

I won’t find it now because I am stuck looking for perfection, and I do not even know what that looks like, so how can I be searching for something that I don’t even know what it looks like?

Secondly, as I am writing this post, I am realizing that I’ll never find perfection because the concept of perfection does not exist in my world anymore.

My idea of perfection is that I am not good enough just the way I am-and that idea, is no longer allowed to exist in my life.

I want to find perfection in being imperfect; (not sure if that made sense, I will try to explain).

What if the closest thing to perfection is finding beauty in not being perfect?

What if perfection means finding happiness in the gray areas between success and failure; in the gray areas between faith and doubt; and in the gray areas between confidence and insecurity?

Let me say this out loud to Ed once and for all: I know I will never have your idea of a perfect body, and for now, my idea of a perfect body as well. I know, I know, I know-it just won’t happen. I get it.

I so get it. It has sunk in.

But I do have hope that my idea of a “perfect” body can change. It can transform itself from being Ed’s image to my image.

An image where imperfect is perfect.

I want the word acceptance to replace perfection.

I am taking a giant leap of faith here by telling myself that I will one day truly accept my body for being what it is, and for not being perfect.

It won’t happen today, but its something that is in the process of happening and I can see it planted in my future.

Today is day 1 of trying to be an acceptionist, (my own made up word for accepting myself-I know, it’s corny, but whatever) and not a perfectionist.

Let’s just give it a try.

Goodbye to striving for perfectionism and hello to striving for being enough just as I am, and hello life.

Day 126: Healthy Distractions

Hello everyone,

I don’t really feel like writing today, so this post is going to be pretty short.

Today has been really hard.

I’ve taken lots of photos in different outfits, and different angles in the mirror, and I just hate what I see.

It’s been a really hard few days in terms of accepting my body of how it looks right now and its been even harder to try to not stop all of it.

But I haven’t.

I distracted myself today from my on going negative thoughts about my body and weight and food.

I actually cooked something that fits perfectly on my meal plan and that I feel good about eating, and I am happy I did that because that shows self care.

And then I spent a few hours just talking with my best friend.

Now I’ve looked down and I see that it’s already 5 pm, and I still ate on my meal plan today,and I made it through these rough hours.

Sometimes the best thing I can do is distract myself from Ed, and his vicious cycle of never ending thoughts about my body or about eating.

I am glad I was able to find healthy distractions today-I cooked and I spent time with my friend. I didn’t over exercise, or cook triggering foods that I could binge on.

I took good care of myself today, and I am proud of myself for doing that.

Today has been hard.

I have a feeling this whole week will be hard.

But I have a week filled with many healthy distractions such as summer school, work, friends and family, and I am thankful for those to distract me from Ed right now.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better, and I’ll be more accepting of my body.

But if not, then I will continue to care for myself and my body until I get to that point.

Hello to self care even on these hard days, hello to finding healthy distractions, and hello life.

Day 125: A Prayer For Myself

Hi everyone,

As you all know, last night was my cousin’s Bat Mitzvah.

I wrote in yesterday’s post how I was dedicated to staying present and enjoying this event with my family and not let Ed ruin it for me.

Well, I’m always honest in my posts, and today’s will be no different, even though, this time, it is very hard for me to admit that from the minute I put my dress on at home, up until the beginning of the party last night , I was not present.

I would like to tell myself over and over that it was my dress that made me look big, or my dress that pulled at certain areas of my body that I don’t like, but I feel I would be lying to myself.

I really just think that now I am able to really see the physical changes to my body and the weight that I’ve gained and it’s hard to see that.

It’s hard to see it because I am not used to it, and I don’t like it, at least not yet.

Anyways, when we got to the temple, my family and I were taking photos.

All I could think about was how much my stomach was showing in every picture.

I didn’t even care about how other people looked or what was going on around me, I was only concerned with what I looked like in those photos.

I was so so tangled and twisted up in a tight ball with Ed during those photos, it gives me chills when I think about it.

I was literally locked inside Ed’s arms. It was so sad and frustrating because I didn’t want to be there, yet at the same time, I couldn’t get away even if I wanted to.

I was sucked into this place of darkness and circles and repetition of just looking at each picture over and over and analyzing each one.

I pretty much was about to give up on having a good night, when the Rabbi  leading the temple service told everyone to say a silent prayer for what they want.

On Friday night, we had a chance to say this prayer too, and I prayed for other people in my life.

I pray to God every night actually, but I never pray for myself;  I pray for others’ health and happiness.

Last night, I knew that I needed to use this prayer for myself.

I closed my eyes and I prayed for the courage to love myself and my body at that moment, and that night, and in my future.

I prayed for the inner strength to leave Ed, and I prayed to be free of him.

It was a short prayer; maybe only about 2 minutes. But it was 2 minutes that I took just to ask for strength for myself. It felt like forever.

But after I was done, I felt a sense of calm and strength come over me. Something inside me was ready to let go of all the obsessive photo taking, and ready to enjoy my night.

It wasn’t that this self hatred of my body was gone; it was that Ed and I were going to put it off until a later date-another time.

After that, I did enjoy the night. It was filled with family and love and it was truly beautiful.

This morning Ed is already awake and he is begging me to go back through all our pictures again. I won’t lie, I already did that a few times, but I am stopping now.

I truly want to learn to love my body. I am yearning for it. I so badly have this strong desire to be happy with myself just the way I am.

So, I was thinking to myself, that just because I said that prayer last night, doesn’t mean I can’t say it again today, especially since I need it.

But this time, when I pray for myself, I also will continue to pray for others who are dealing with their own Ed’s, and I don’t only mean eating disorders .

Everyone has some kind of “ed” in their life.

I don’t think our “ed’s” ever truly go away or leave us alone, but we can however, become stronger than them.

Ed was stronger than me yesterday for a little bit, but afterwards, I shut him down and I took back my power.

I will pray for that strength again today, because I truly need it and I want it.

I deserve it.

We all deserve to be our own most powerful sources of inner strength, so we can each find light in the middle of our darkness.

Here is my prayer:

I pray for the inner strength to love myself today.

I pray for the courage and bravery it takes to leave such a familiar world of self criticism and doubt and the knowledge to know that this world of freedom is so much better.

I pray for others who are battling with darkness in their lives like me, and who are waiting for their light to find them.

I pray for truth and for inspiration, so I can continue on my path to recovery.

I end this prayer with the one saying that reminds me of why I am praying for all this strength to leave Ed in the first place, and that is my life.

Hello life.

Day 124: The Gift Of Being Present

Good morning everyone,

Today is a big day in my family because my cousin, the youngest of our family, is having her Bat Mitzvah.

For Jewish people, a Bat Mitzvah is the first milestone in a person’s life. It’s when they are supposed to step into adulthood.

Having this event this weekend was something that I knew was coming for months, and at one time, it was gave me major anxiety because it was so heavily centered around food and people; the two things that Ed hates for me to be around.

But I told myself yesterday, and I even told my aunt at the dinner table yesterday as well, that I will not let Ed take me away from being present for this huge milestone for my cousin, and this beautiful time for me to be with my family.

I know that it will be hard today, as it already was yesterday when I hated looking at pictures of myself when I got home.

I know it might not be easy to put on my dress and feel amazing in it, and I know it will be hard to not take 1,000 pictures and analyze each one at every different angle.

But the point is, if I do all those things, and stay inside my world with Ed, I won’t be able to enjoy the beauty in the real world today.

When I am in my eating disordered world, it seems like the way I feel and look is all that matters; that it literally is like a huge dark cloud that just pours over the universe.

I can’t see past my body and food.

When I step outside that dark world, and step into reality-into the real world that is waiting for me without Ed-none of that really matters.

What matters is what is next to me in that present moment; the people who are surrounding me, the laughs that are being created, the love that is being emitted-and above all, it’s the relationships that I am a part of that I love so much.

I told my aunt yesterday, that I so badly want to be present for this weekend, and so far,  I have been, and I will continue to do so.

I love being present , especially when I am around my family, because it  feels like the real me is there, and not the me that is engulfed in Ed.

When I am there without Ed-I’m funny, I’m smiling all the time and I’m full of positive light. When Ed comes, I get quiet, distant and emotionally disconnected.

I ate an amazing dinner with my family last night, and tonight I will do the same-while dancing, and loving the people around me, and loving myself for being able to be so present even during a time when Ed does not want me to be.

I love myself today for being able to step outside my world with Ed, and being able to step into life.

I love myself for being able to be present and to put my feelings about myself or how I look aside and remember that today isn’t about me and my body or me and my feelings, it’s about my cousin and our family and I can’t wait to celebrate that with them.

And also the fact that my mom is here helps me too, since for whatever reason, when she is around, Ed goes into hiding. It’s like he knows he is no match for her.

Usually I am a big believer in putting myself first, as my recovery has taught me that I need to be my first priority-but today, recovery is teaching me another lesson.

Recovery is teaching me the gifts of being present.

When I am present, regardless of my own insecurities, I am able to embrace other people’s joys and triumphs, and not let Ed take me away from being a part of that.

I am present right now and I am dedicated to staying so the rest of the day.

Anyway, my day is beginning, and this Bat Mitzvah is starting, and I can’t be more proud to be a part of it.

I can only wish that as my cousin becomes a young woman, she remembers the biggest lesson that my recovery has taught me so far: that she is always, always, enough, just the way she is.

Hello to celebrating this milestone with my family, hello to being present for it ,and hello life.