Day 313: 90% A Victor

Hi everyone,

As you know, I am in Las Vegas for the weekend.

Although I’ve been here many times already, and I’ve seen every hotel and every shop, I decided that today I wanted to go walk around and look at them yet again.

Everyone else in my family didn’t want to see the same 100000 shops for the 100000th time again,totally understandable, so it was an adventure I took with myself, and I am so glad I did.

In short, this is what my shopping trip looked like:

-Walked to the hotel that all the amazing shops are at, a perfecto conquincidence that it’s the same hotel that has an entire restaurant devoted to chocolate

-Stopped and bought myself a chocolate truffle from that restaurant

-Ate the amazing truffle in peace.

-Went shopping and only tried on some very cute lose “recovery style” shirts and another pair of jeggings (leggings that look like jeans. You can’t have enough of those in recovery, right?)

And then after I was done shopping and I was half way mid walk back to my hotel,I hit my first Ed dilemma of the day. I had about a half mile left to walk to reach my hotel, but my back hurt and I was tired.

It just so happened that the hotel I was at had a tram that was going back to my hotel. I can’t even begin to write down all the reasons why Ed told me I should continue walking instead of take the tram.

“You know you want to eat some chocolate and get Starbucks later, keep walking,” he said.

“You already had that chocolate truffle Shira, keep walking,” he said.

“You had a big breakfast, keep walking,” he said.

The list could go on and on.

It wasn’t that I wasn’t listening to Ed, because I was, it was hard not to.

But somehow, I ended up plopping myself down inside the tram. I feel like sometimes I am able to just do the right thing even when my mind is telling me not to, like I am on autopilot.

My mind told me to keep going, but my feet took me to the tram. Actually, it’s more like Ed told me to keep going, but I guess I took myself to that tram.

Anyway, a tram ride, a Starbucks frappucino later and some more chocolate later, I sit here feeling like the victor for today, not a victim of Ed.

I wasn’t the victor 100% of the time. For example, trying on clothes was still hard. Ed was still there. New sizes were still hard to accept. The fact that I walked a lot today is still in my mind.

But, I was the victor 90% of the time–and I’m good with that.

Some days I am only the victor 10% of the time; but I remember the days where I was never the victor and only Ed’s victim. And to be in a place where I am the victor now, wether it’s 10%, 50% or 90%, is a place I am grateful to be.

So hello new jeggings, hello to my chocolate from the chocolate restaurant, hello to sitting on that tram, and hello life.

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Day 312: Las Vegas Check List

Happy friday beautiful lifers,

Before I start today’s post, I just need to say how grateful I am to be a part of this journey with you guys. Yesterday, (Thanksgiving) was an extremely challenging day for a lot of us in recovery,and there was so much support/inspirational comments and e-mails following my post, that I am just blown away.

Thank you for not only being a part of my journey by reading my blog, but thank you for sharing about yourself and your journeys with me. Hearing about how my words are helping others and hearing about your daily journey to recovery is beyond the gift of kindness–that’s the gift of support, and it’s one we all deserve to have.

So on to today:

I am officially in Las Vegas, guys. The land of lights, alcohol, shows, Elvis and no clocks or sense of time; aka the land of fun.

I woke up today so sore from the food yesterday, and I will be honest with you and say that today was not an easy start for me.

Ed was not being kind to me at all, no surprise, and I had to actually re-read my own blog post from yesterday to keep me present and in a positive mind set.

But fast forward waking up and flying on the airplane to a few hours later in this amazing city with my family, I knew if I needed to make this experience an enjoyable one I needed to do it right.

So here is my Las Vegas checklist:

1. Pack only leggings. No jeans or anything that can somehow fit remotely tight or in any kind of way trigger Ed to feed me his lies. After all, I am in post-Thanksgiving dinner mode, and also did I mention, Vegas has amazing restaurants, not to mention a restaurant all devoted to chocolate? So, leggings are the only acceptable pants I will be wearing.

So my suitcase had exactly that: 3 pairs of leggings and some long sleeve shirts.

2. Hide the scale from the hotel bathroom.

For whatever reason, hotels here love to give you a scale in your bathroom. The minute my sister and I saw it, she asked, “do you want to hide it?”.

At first I said no, because I know I am not going to step on it anyway. But after passing it a few times, it was just starring at me and it made me uncomfortable, so into the closet the scale went.

Bye bye hotel bathroom scale.

3. Make sure to buy chocolate for my hotel room.

This is self explanatory.

I mean, what happens if I have a chocolate craving late at night or something?

Of course, Ed told me what a non-disiplined and careless person I am for buying  it, but I don’t care. It makes me happy to have my chocolate here, and while I am not so happy it’s almost half way gone, I am on vacation, so I am living a little.

4. Check where the gym in the hotel is.

OK, so this was a little Ed and a little me. I like to work out because it makes me feel strong, but today, I did’t want to.

Ed and I checked where the gym in the hotel was, and when we saw that it was not only in another hotel, but that I would much rather sleep and take a nap, the working out situation didn’t go as planned.

I’m not sure where Ed even went after that. I did a few body checks, and went to sleep. Somewhere along the way between the body checks and telling me to workout, I must have found the kindness to myself, because the only thing I did was take a 2 hour nap.

Sorry, Ed, working out didn’t make the checklist, but taking a nap did.

5. Last thing on my Vegas checklist–remember to be kind to myself, and when I am forgetting how, re-read my post from yesterday and everyone’s comments that came with it.

Leggings-Check
Bathroom scale hidden-check
Chocolate in my possession-check
No workout today and nap instead-check
Self kindness-check–well, check in the making.

Last time I was in Vegas, it was about a year ago, and it was a trip for 3: me, my ex boyfriend, and Ed. Ed dominated my whole trip. I remember he let me have two bites of pizza on that trip. 2 bites that he never let me forget the entire time. I was so trapped.

I think it’s safe to say Ed has experienced Vegas enough.

Let’s make this my trip.

Hello life.

Day 311: Thankful For The Gift of Kindness

Hello everyone,

To everyone living in the U.S., happy Thanksgiving to you and your loved ones. This brings me to today’s post, which is about my first Thanksgiving in recovery.

For those who don’t know, Thanksgiving is a holiday that is completely, 100%, totally centered around food. The whole point is to have a huge dinner with a lot of yummy food with your loved ones.

But it’s also about taking a moment to realize what your thankful for.

During my time in recovery, I honestly feel like I’ve learned how to become thankful for life’s smallest gifts every single day. Sometimes just making it through the morning without checking my stomach out in the mirror is something I am thankful for.

Sometimes having a day of piece and quiet from Ed is something I am thankful for.

But today, because it’s Thanksgiving, it was more of a time for me to be reflective.

Last Thanksgiving, I weighed myself in the morning. I weighed myself in the afternoon at my aunt’s house before dinner, and I weighed myself at home after dinner.

That number was my Thanksgiving.

Who cared about the food, the family and the dessert that I helped make? Ed didn’t care and therefore, I didn’t care either. I cared about my number, my one and only number.

It’s weird to think that I saw that exact same scale today, and yet just walked past it. I had my power back.

This Thanksgiving, my first Thanksgiving in recovery, while I sit here uncomfortably full, I also sit here and smile because recovery and I rocked this Thanksgiving.

We took over this Thanksgiving and we let Ed sit back and watch.

There was no meal plan today, there was eat whatever you want because it’s Thanksgiving plan.

Today, I am thankful that I was able to bake with my aunt and get to experience and enjoy tasting everything along the way.

I am thankful for being able to see the smile on the girls face who I tutor when I surprised her at her house and gave her her birthday present (her birthday was today).

I am thankful for the text messages I got from my family and friends that were so beautiful.

I am thankful that I was able to save the day when our apple pie fell onto the floor right before we put it into the oven, and I decided that the 10 second rule would turn into the 2 minute rule, and I put the whole pie back together with my cousin, and it was the best pie I ever had.

I am thankful for my family.

But mostly, I am thankful for the gift of kindness.

I can truthfully say that I was able to be kind to myself today.

I don’t know if that many people can understand why this is such a big deal,but let me try to explain.

Being kind to yourself means giving yourself permission to be proud of yourself.

It means giving yourself permission to taste the food you worked so hard to make.

It means loving yourself enough that even though your physically uncomfortable from eating, you hug yourself tight and know that deep down, you put yourself first, not Ed.

Being kind to yourself means eating the food at Thanksgiving; it means being part of your family and being present with them.

It means hoping on a plane to Las Vegas tomorrow despite the fact that Ed will try to tell me I don’t deserve it because there is food there and fun there, and things that I don’t deserve because I ate what I wanted today.

Being kind to yourself means even through your physical pain from fullness, you smile and laugh and almost cry out of happiness because hell yes, you didn’t listen to Ed.

Above all, being kind to yourself ultimately means that you are learning to love yourself–even on days where strong forces, like Ed, tell you not to.

Ed never appreciated my soul, and that’s why he’s so hollow, so empty and so void of warmth.

But me–the more I love myself, the more kind I am to myself and the more I value myself, based on internal things, not based on my body or how I look, the more I am able to not only appreciate my soul, but the souls of others.

Kindness is the best gift I can be thankful for this year.

Kindness to myself.

Kindness to others.

Kindness to my body.

Ed doesn’t know how to be kind because he only knows how to be self deprecating. And for a long time, I didn’t know how to be kind to myself either.

But now, I do know how to be kind to myself, and instead of fighting Ed along the way, I am going to teach him how to be kind to me too.

Today’s lesson to Ed for learning how to be kind to me : It’s Thanksgiving, and therefore, I am allowed to be like every other American and eat the yummy food–oh, and also, you don’t get to stop me from having fun in Vegas.

Hello life.

Day 310: …Then So Be It

Hi guys,

I got out of the shower today and got dressed only to find that it was really difficult to put my pants on.

I don’t  know if it was because I just got out of the shower, or because the jeans got out of the dryer, or maybe because they shrunk or maybe because I got bigger, or maybe because my perception is off and they really did fit the same, because there is a good possibility of that–but nonetheless, it was a hard situation to get through.

It’s a situation I never had to experience when I was locked in Ed and the more often it happens, it never stops to have its impact on me.

Sometimes it’s easier and sometimes like today, it’s a little bit more difficult to handle, especially when you do what I did and try to figure out all the reasons why these pants or jeans were so hard to get on.

I was feeling discouraged and not in the greatest place, and then I saw this picture on Pinterest and it made me laugh at Ed.

skinny jeans

 

Assuming that this was posted by someone who does not have an eating disorder, it made me laugh for two reasons: number one, because assuming the person who posted this doesn’t have an eating disorder, it just made me realize that I am not the only one who has a hard time fitting in my my pants. While mine were not skinny jeans, it’s the same idea.

Secondly, this was so exactly me this morning. And so think of myself jumping around like a bunny, (let’s totally not include the twerk because I have no clue how to do that) and I was definitly practically lunging into my pants, I thought it was pretty funny.

I was able to take what could have been a really Ed dominated situation, and change my perspective on it and laugh at it instead.

Whoever posted this picture, has been in the shoes I was at in this morning and I am sure many of you reading this have to0.

So, so what if we have to jump around like a bunny, maybe break some belt loops or lung a few times when we get dressed?

I am not saying to squeeze into our sick clothes, because that is so far from what I believe in, as these pants are new and for my healthier new size–I am saying that if there are times that are difficult, like for me today when  I got dressed, if we could sometimes find laughter as a remedy, I think it helps.

If we need to jump, lunge, dance, or even throw the damn pants away, then so be it.

If we need to laugh, cry, smile or be sad to make it through a hard situation, then so be it.

If we need to spend time looking for inspirational pictures on Pinterest to lift our spirits, then so be it.

If we need to name our eating disorders and talk to them like they’re a person and show them whose in charge, then so be it.

Whatever it is we need to do to become the strongest and most hopeful and healthiest versions of ourselves, then so be it.

So to my dear Ed- if you’re going to try to tell me that it was hard to fit into these new pants because I am wrong for what I ate or any other lies you’re telling me, that’s just fine, then so be it.

I happen to think they just came out of the dryer and it’s as simple as that.

And if I have keep telling myself that line over and over until I really believe it, then so be it.

Hello life.

Day 309: Whatever Enough Means…I Am It

Hello everyone,

I had another story run on the front page of my university newspaper today.

I didn’t workout because I needed a break.

I had one of the top officials at school approach me and want to do an interview with me for a story.

I found out I got an A on that presentation in one of my classes that I did last week that was 50 percent of my grade.

The beautiful woman who I documented her oral history on video was actually proud of the work I did.

And yet, for whatever reason, none of it was enough for me.

I found myself sitting here in bed right before I started writing this post, adding up the calories I ate today in my phone.

Like, really? Really? I had all these great accomplishments today, and that’s what I am sitting here doing? Adding up calories?

Why can’t I sit here and brag about all those little victories that I made happen for myself today? I did try and put my cover story on my Facebook page, but that didn’t help.

All because I ate today, none of my accomplishments seem to matter.

And I didn’t even eat “bad,” I ate totally on my meal plan-maybe some extra sweets but nothing that should logically make me feel guilty. It is days and moments like these where I need to stand back, close my eyes and give myself a reality check.

And if I can’t see the reality check, that’s fine, but at least I need to try.

Reality check: All my accomplishments today had nothing to do with Ed.

And actually, maybe that’s why Ed was so loud today, because he sees me succeeding in my life without him and he’s trying to hold onto me.

I honestly don’t want to be held by him anymore. Let me go, Ed. Some days you are nicer, some days you hold on tight, like today.

To sit here and not let myself feel proud of my accomplishments because of calories, pains my soul. I don’t deserve that, and I know it.

What I know and what I feel are two different things right now, but thats ok. Like  I always say, feelings come and go, but facts stay.

Maybe none of the things I did today feel like enough, but maybe tomorrow they will. Maybe this post will reach someone who is going through the same thing today,and maybe knowing that will be enough.

Maybe just realizing that I’m not in the happiest mood, and that it’s ok, and that it will pass is enough.

Maybe enough isn’t about amounting to anything or achieving some kind of accomplishments, maybe enough can start with just being honest with myself.

If I’m honest with Ed, well, there’s no honesty with Ed–if I let Ed pull me in to his lies, then my honesty with myself is gone and that’s not an option.

So here’s my honest moment with myself and I: we didn’t have the greatest day with how we feel about ourselves today, but we’re ok.

I got through the day being honest with myself instead of honest with Ed, I ate on the meal plan, and I am still able to see that tomorrow is a new day.

I mean, sometimes making it through the day is enough in itself right?

Whatever enough means, I would like to think I am it today.

Hello life.

enough

Day 308: Welcome To Recovery, Ed–The Land of Cocktails and Restaurant Dinners on a Monday

Hello everyone,

A day that started out totally consumed by Ed, is now ending totally not consumed by him, and I will walk you through how this happened.

Now, at the beginning of the day, I was telling E how I had some extra time today because my class was canceled and so was my tutoring, and that instead of enjoying it, I wanted to spend it at the gym.

I was almost in desperate need of being inside the gym, like I was thirsting for it.

I did go to the gym, but only for 20 minutes, and then after I hit that 20 minute mark, my body was just done. And I am still done.

Done enough that I don’t even think I will go tomorrow, even though Thanksgiving is on Thursday.

Ed, my body and I are done and we need a break.

And today we took that break. Instead of living inside the gym today, or living inside my room looking over and over again at the pictures I took of myself in the mirror this morning (which are now deleted), I decided to go to a movie with my grandma.

The movie actually ended up being kind of sad, as there was a lot about death centered around it, but it also made me think of the own death I’ve seen in my life–and I’ve only truly seen and felt one death that touched my life directly, and that was my grandpa (I’ve written about him before).

When you think about losing people you love, stupid pictures of the way your body looked this morning after eating a little extra the past few days is just not as important.

You know what is important to me now?

The fact that I spent time with my grandma today; that quality time together is important.

You know what’s important now?

The amazingness in her and I going to dinner after the movie to one of my favorite restaurants and ordering cocktails.

COCKTAILS WITH MY GRANDMA, GUYS. Let me repeat: Cocktails-with-my-grandma. Is she cool or what?

I mean, how awesome and rare is that? And how incredible is it that it actually happened?

I used to only see my grandma on Thursdays, at one particular restaurant, where I only got exactly one kind of salad–no dressing, no nothing on it. Just plain, boring, and Ed driven.

Here we were, on  a Monday, seeing a movie together and eating at my favorite restaurant with cocktails.

Ed can kiss my cocktail and amazing dinner from The Cheesecake Factory’s behind, because they were far more important than him, and his pictures from this morning, and his deep desire to stay at the gym all day.

Welcome to recovery, Ed–the land of cocktails and restaurant dinners on a Monday—we’re here to stay.

Hello life.

Day 307: Sorry That I’m Not Sorry

Hi guys,

I was helping my aunt cook today for the upcoming holidays this week, one of which will be Hanukkah. I am Jewish, so while I’m not big on religion, Hanukkah is more of cultural and family event that happens every year, and it’s always, always, always surrounded by lots of fried and delicous yet not Ed approved food.

The main food you eat is potato latkas, which are basically fried potatoes, pretty much like hash browns. So that was all my aunt and I made today–over 100 of those potato latkas.

Not only did I try the first one we made, I tried the second one, I tried probably the 20th one, the 30th one all the super crispy fried pieces that broke off in the frying pan while cooking, and a lunch in between, and then later on tried some more.

I later came home and had pizza for dinner with bread (ah..carb overload) and then realized that over the past few days, I pretty much ate an entire loaf of bread to myself.

I would be lying to you if I said there wasn’t a slight mini freak out moment of anxiety after I realized that fact about the loaf of bread-post eating fried potatoes all day and post eating pizza and bread for dinner (not to mention all my chocolate from yesterday).

Ed wanted me to be sorry.

He still does want me to be sorry.

But honestly, can’t I just have a few days where I eat whatever it is I want–chocolate, fried potatoes, an entire loaf of bread? Don’t people deserve that sometimes?

And also, aren’t I entitled to eat the food I worked so hard to cook today?

Even though I might not be happy with the idea of it all and I might be thinking about how much weight I’ve gained from this, especially with Thanksgiving coming up this week,  I am not sorry.

So Ed, I am sorry that I’m not sorry.

You know Ed? It’s the holidays…a time where people eat…and actually enjoy it…and somehow, they all move past it and don’t blow up like a huge balloon like you are trying to make me think I will.

You’re really just not that credible of a source anymore.

Again, sorry that I’m not sorry for what I ate today and these past few days, and sorry in advance for not being sorry about the food I’ll eat this week.

I see that Ed is not going to cut me any slack, so I’m going to have to work extra hard this week to be extra kind to myself.

It won’t be easy and I know I won’t succeed every minute of the day, but I will try.

It’s funny how the holiday season is about giving to others, but we so often forget to give to ourselves.

How amazing would it be if we could all give ourselves and others the gift of kindness this year?

One person who is for sure not on my gift list is Ed–and I’m not sorry for that either.

Hello life.