Celebrating three years of freedom

Happy 3rd Hello Life anniversary fighters!

Three years ago today I gave up my scale for good. I didn’t know how I was going to do it, and at the time, I didn’t even know why I truly wanted recovery. I just knew one thing: that I didn’t want to let this scale, this Godlike object, to control my entire world anymore.

Seven days after I gave it up, I found myself wanting it back.

I missed it. I missed its certainty; I missed its validity; I missed its complete magical ability to tell me if today was going to be a good or bad day and if I was a good or bad person just by stepping on it. I missed the certainty ; that black and white; that flies out the door the minute we choose recovery and balance. That’s the day-day 7- that I started this blog.

I knew if I made a commitment to the world, even if no one else read it other than my family, that I would have to keep it, or otherwise fail in the eyes of the many people reading. And truly, even had I gone back to my scale, now I see that it would not have been a failure; it would have been another bump in the road.

But because of the incredible, beautiful and overwhelming support I received on this blog from people all over the world, I didn’t go back to my scale. We, as a community of fighters, made it through that year together. And  on Jan 21, 2014, I smashed my scale for all of us.

It’s been three years now since I have ever stood on my scale and I still have not ever gone back to it or to any other one.

The only time I ever stand on one is when  I have to at the doctor’s office, and even then, while Ed is still screaming at me even now, I do a blind weigh where I close my eyes, stand backwards AND have the nurse turn off the scale before I open my eyes again. I even have the nurses black out my weight on my after visit summaries so I can’t see them. Sometimes, they offer to not even type it in until I leave.

There have been times, on my hard days, where I can feel my eyes wanting to glaze over to the computer so I can try to see which numbers the nurse’s hands press.

But I never do it.

Even when Ed tells me, “Shira, it’s been three years. You’re ready to see the number now. You are strong enough to see it.” That’s when I have to fight the hardest.

He is wrong. Ed is always wrong. It takes strength to choose recovery. It takes strength to not stand on that scale; not the other way around. And in all reality, Ed is also so wrong . I’m  not ready to see that number on a scale right now. It doesn’t mean that is my reality forever-but that is my reality for right now.

I haven’t seen what I weighed for three years and I am still not ready to see it and still don’t want to see it.

It doesn’t mean I don’t think I wouldn’t love myself anymore if I did see it, because I know that even though it would deeply trigger me, I would.

It doesn’t mean that using a scale isn’t the right path for other people.

It just means that for me, I still have not found a reason to ever see that number again.

Maybe one day if I found a valid, scientific, proof verified reason, it would be different. But for now, there is nothing that scale can tell me.

It can’t tell me how I am doing in my job. It can’t tell me how I am as  a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend, or mentor. It can’t tell me how healthy I am. nope. It can’t do any of that.

But my recovery, on the other hand, it can do that.

Choosing to live in recovery can tell me how I am doing at work because it allows me to open myself to the advise and also criticisms of others and not break myself apart over it.

Recovery allows me to feel good about myself for being a good sister, daughter, girlfriend or friend not because I weighed a certain amount while baking someone cookies who I cared about, but because I get true joy out of making others happy.

But even with all of that said, there are always times, especially this past year when I’ve gotten to be the biggest I ever have been since I started recovery, that I wonder about the scale. There are still times I cry over it and my body. And that’s ok with me.

I sometimes still ask myself, “What do I weight right now? Is it the same as I was in college? Or that one time I went to prom? Or is it the amount I was when I bought my old favorite jeans?”

Sometimes I feel so tempted to know the number that I have to literally sit and ask myself, “Shira, what will come of this if you do this?” And I will walk myself through the whole imaginary scenario in my head until the conclusion wraps up which is a possible relapse. And then I move back on with my life.

Three years without knowing what I weight and in recovery doesn’t mean I don’t ever think about it and it doesn’t mean it always easy. That’s why I started this blog: to show my true and raw journey to recovery.

It does mean, though, how much strength, hope and compassion we as human beings are made up of.

Who would have thought that three years ago, a blog, this blog in fact- could connect so many beautiful souls around the world? Who would have thought it would lead to support groups world wide and to a nonprofit one day?

I never would have thought that.

And somehow, the universe had this grand plan in mind for me and all  I have to do is continue to follow it.

No scale or number or size of jeans in the world could ever bring me the kind of joy and true and deep appreciation that I have for my life and for being able to help others that my recovery journey has given me.

No number in the world could fill me with the kind of deep rooted and connected gratefulness I have for my life now.

I am so grateful for all of you who have supported me these past three years. I don’t have the words to say thank you one million times over, but if I could, I would.

Why I have been blessed to have so much support from my family, friends and strangers who I never even met is a question I can’t answer. But in the mean time, I am going to continue walking this path that has been so gently and graciously put in front of me.

Our journey in helping each other find true self love beyond a number and a beyond any eating disorder is only just beginning fighters. Your support and love can truly change someone else’s world, and for whatever it’s worth, it has forever changed mine.

Hello life.

 

 

 

 

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The first fight of 2016

Hello beautiful fighters,

It’s the second day of 2016. Only the second day. And  here I am, already being thrown into my fight recovery fight of 2016.

I was getting my nails done today by the same person who has done them for almost two years now. I was getting ready to leave when out of no where she said, “I remember when you used to be small like me, but now your bigger.”

There it was. My biggest recovery fear just came to life.

The “now your bigger” comment.

I could feel my eyes getting watery and the tears starting to come so I paid and rushed out of there to my car as fast as I could.

I sat there in my car in the parking lot for at least 20 minutes just crying trying to understand what was going on.

I knew that I was not crying over the “now your bigger” comment because I already know that.

I’ve come to terms with that, and for the most part, 7 out of 10 days, I am ok with that.

I know I am bigger.

I know it from my clothes. Since I don’t weigh myself anymore (Jan.21 will mark three years of no scale).

And I know it because I fell in love this year. And in the middle of my falling in love we went to eat and drink and have fun and in the midst of my happiness, my clothes just got tighter. It’s just what beautifully happened.  And usually I am ok with that.

But just because I know that I am bigger now than ever before, doesn’t make it easier to accept.

At the end of the day, while I am the strongest fighter I know, my gloves are not retired.

I have not yet stepped out of the ring with Ed and I don’t think I ever will. He and his negative comments continue to challenge me to fights pretty much on a daily basis.

Every time we enter that fight, I slip my gloves back on and I go. I go into defense mode. Some days my gloves are tired, some days they slip off my hands and on some days I just let them hang down by my waist waiting for an open shot.

I can’t be the hero every single time because I am human and I am allowed to have weak moments-and that’s one of the greatest gifts my recovery has taught me.

But most days, like today, my gloves are high up, guarding my face, guarding my soul and  guarding my self esteem. With every punch my gloves throw , they challenge those negative thoughts with thoughts of healthy, strong, happy and alive.

Usually, I can either win the round or at least call it a tie.

I am used to that fight.

The fight used to be learning to nourish myself again. It used to be learning how to walk in the unknown and learning how to re-learn who I was without my scale and without Ed.

Now the fight has shifted to protecting the person my recovery has allowed me to become from the negative self talk and negative thoughts that Ed still whispers to me on a daily basis.

I will do anything to protect that person. I will never allow myself to lose her.

But fighting in my head is one thing; I am equipped for that.

But when you hear your most criticized comments that you say to yourself or that Ed says to you in your head day in and day out said out loud by another person-nothing prepares you for that kind of fight.

How do you react? What do you say? What do you say when your biggest insecurity and fear was just said out loud to you by someone else other than you?

That was where I was at this morning.

I sat in my car crying because I truly didn’t know how to react or how to feel. I posted right away in my online support group with other fighters and texted my best friend.

“Immediate self care-reach out to safety,” is what I thought to do.

Through their words of wisdom, support and love, I began to feel ok.

I realized that I am not going to die from this sadness, although I swear with everything I had that my heart felt like that in that moment-but I am not going to die and I am ok.

I realized that while I am shocked and sad and crying over this loud insecurity of mine that was just so blasted in my face, that in a way, its humbling.

Sometimes I think the universe has a way of reminding us where we came from; it has a way of reminding us how to feel the fears of others, how to feel the pain and heaviness of others that we are guiding so we are truly in sync with their fight, with their pain and with their journey.

 

And maybe that’s why today happened the way it did.

Lately I have been mentoring a special fighter in recovery and she will often tell me that no matter how much support she has, she  still feels alone.

“But you have me, I am right here,”I tell her.

Today, I understood what she meant.

It didn’t matter if I had all the support in the universe, in that moment after the nail salon, I felt so alone; alone in my thoughts of chaos , sadness and questions.

“Why did this person say that? And why do I even care? Why am I letting this bother me so far into my recovery? Do I really look that big?”…the list could go on and on.

Nothing can make you feel not alone with those kinds of thoughts, even though I knew everyone in my group and everyone reading this right now has thought those same thoughts too.

In that moment, it is you against every insecurity you have. Just the two of you.

It’s not a Ronda Roussey kind of fight where it’s over in 13 seconds. It’s one you might be going at for a little while longer.

It’s been a little more than two hours since the comment was said to me in the nail salon and I think my round for today has finally ended.

It was a long one.

It was a hard one.

It was a mentally challenging one.

It was one that required a lot of out reach to my safe sources.

It was one that I couldn’t just take a drive and go shopping and take  break and forgot it happened.

But it’s over now.

I stood face to face in the ring with that comment and I gave it everything  I have.

While I felt alone inside the ring, I felt my team of love and support in my corner behind me and I knew if I fell back they would push me right back in.

Now the round has ended and I feel like the ref is raising my right hand in victory.

It’s isn’t a victory because I am leaving the round feeling so great about myself and because I am no longer sad about the “now you are bigger” comment. Because I am . And that’s the real truth-eve though I know the person who said it meant nothing mean by it.

But it’s a victory because I am ok.

It’s a victory because I made it through and my day is not ruined because of it.

I faced it. I felt it. I worked through it. And now, I am moving on to my next round of 2016- and that right there is the kind of strength that recovery gives us.

The kind of strength that lets us love ourselves so much-a self love that we fight so hard for- that we will do whatever it takes to keep that self love protected.

Hello life.