Time to come together to help others

Happy Tuesday dear fighters,

I want to start this post off by saying thank you to all of our fighters around the world to continue to blow me away every day.

To the fighters who are wearing their Hello Life bracelets, to the fighters in our multiple online support groups and to the fighters who are there for each other every single day, even a year and a half after this blog ended, thank you.

I write this post today to ask for your help.

Some of you may know that in the past few months I’ve decided to launch Hello Life’s nonprofit organization in Washington. Our official name is Hello Life Eating Disorder Recovery Services.

After years of mentoring others and seeing how much our approach to recovery through self-love is needed, I decided it was time Hello Life take on its own new journey in helping others around the world.

It’s been an insane and beautiful journey all at the same time.

Nothing has made me more dedicated to my recovery than launching this nonprofit. I write, preach and teach about self-love and recovery every day now, and on days when I still struggle, it’s not an easy task.

And I do still struggle. My last post on this blog wasn’t too long ago and it was still the worst day in recovery I’ve had in at least a year.

But even when I am at my worst times struggling with Ed, I don’t give up on myself.

I don’t stand on a scale (I sometimes still can’t believe it’s been more than two years now) and I don’t restrict–and a lot of that is because of what I learned from my journey through this blog with you all.

I learned that I am never alone.

I learned that I am never alone in my struggle and at the same time,I learned that I am never alone in fighting for my recovery.

I know that when I make the choice to keep fighting for my recovery, there are 700 other fighters on this blog that made that same choice that day. And if they didn’t make that same choice, then they need me to keep my recovery so I can support and love them through their hard times too.

Hello Life is Hello Life because of you.

It’s Hello Life because of the community of fighters we’ve built.

It’s Hello Life because while hundreds of us on here were strangers, we’re now recovery warriors together.

I am where I am in my recovery and I am in the place to launch Hello Life’s nonprofit because of what I learned here through this journey with you all, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

With that, I will say that our nonprofit takes a lot of work, a lot of energy, a lot of recovery and a lot of money.

Our board and myself are all volunteers and are not paid at all, and we do this work because we truly want to help others and save their lives the way this blog has saved the lives of so many. We want to change the way we approach recovery: with self-love instead of numbers, calculations and rigidity.

If you are someone who is wearing a Hello Life bracelet, this nonprofit is part of you.

If you are someone who has journeyed with me on this blog, this nonprofit is part of you.

If you are someone who has said this blog saved your life, this nonprofit is part of you.

This is our vision, our mission and our passion to help one another.

I humbly ask you, fighters, to please look at our fundraising page.

If you are in the place to donate, I am so grateful. If you are not in the place to donate, I am grateful too and appreciate you being a part of this journey.

If you can share our page on your social media, I appreciate that too.

This is to help me help other fighters.

This is to help me reach others and give them the chance to say, “hello life.”

To donate and view our fundraising page please Click here


Goodbye to measuring coffee creamer

Happy Thursday fighters,

I know this post comes at a random time, but I had such a hello life moment this morning, I had to share it with you all.

I was making my coffee this morning when I realized that my one tablespoon measuring spoon I use to measure my exact one table spoon of coffee creamer each morning was gone.

If you guys remember, in my post about taking myself out for breakfast last month, I wrote about how I’ve transitioned coffee creamer back into my life since I started recovery two years ago.

First, I started with sugar free coffee creamer and measured a tiny teaspoon of it. Then I moved to fat free creamer and used a tiny teaspoon to measure. Then I moved to one tablespoon of fat free creamer and for the past six months I worked my way up to using a tablespoon of real kind, full everything, creamer.

On weekends, I used to let myself not measure it out because it was a weekend and I wanted that freedom.

I knew I wanted to eventually stop measuring my coffee creamer, but I didn’t know when or how I would stop.

So this morning, when my measuring spoon was magically gone, I just had this innate feeling this was the time.

In the past few days, I’ve done a huge spring cleaning of my house and I honestly don’t remember touching the one tablespoon measuring spoon, but somehow, I believe it was meant to find its way out of my home. (And if I do ever happen to find it, I will make sure to throw it away.)

I thought to myself, ok Shira, you can just go buy a new one tablespoon measuring spoon tomorrow and just not have coffee today.

Then I thought, or, you can just not measure it today, have it, and then buy a new measuring tool tomorrow.

And then I thought, or, this is a sign that the time has come to ditch measuring your coffee creamer.

So here, I am, about 10 minutes after finishing my coffee with creamer that I did not measure, and I feel so free and victorious that I had to share it with you all.

I don’t feel guilty-I feel a little nervous, yes, but not guilty.

Ed does not win today and forever more, in terms of coffee creamer, he’ll never win again.

I’m not ashamed to say it took me two years to stop measuring my coffee creamer.

And I’m not ashamed it took my measuring spoon miraculously disappearing out of my house to make me stop measuring it.

I’m proud I never gave up my vision that I one day, wanted to break that food rule forever.

And today I did that.

On another note, all 5 of my brothers and sisters are on their way to Washington today from California to see my new home and have a late celebration for celebrating two years without a scale.

It’s kind of crazy how things happen to work together in that way.

My family is coming to celebrate Hello Life with me on the same day that my coffee creamer measuring spoon disappears.

Now, when my little brothers have hot chocolate tomorrow morning and I have coffee, they won’t have to see me measuring anything in front of them.

The thought of that alone almost makes me cry I’m so excited to show them that.

Good bye one tablespoon measuring device thing that I will not repurchase and throw away if you ever do somehow show up again.

Hello life.

Happy Second Birthday Hello Life: Celebrating 2 Years Without A Scale

I still remember the day I gave up my scale two years ago today. It was the most painful day of my life.

I didn’t know how I would make it without waking up each morning and knowing what number I was that day.

How would I know if I was good? How would I know if I was bad? How would I know anything if I didn’t have my number on the scale to tell me.

Today, I know that I am no longer defined by a number.

This is what I was defined by today: (a text message from my 11-year-old brother).

“Happy Hello Life Day!You taught me what never giving up means. You taught me what it means to set a goal and not let anything stop you from getting it. You are the center of my heart,” he wrote.

With that text message, I was reminded of why I started this journey-and that was to save myself from Ed so I can live in freedom and live knowing what it feels like to let someone else love me other than Ed.

I started it because I knew somewhere deep down, I deserved to wake up and not have to run to my scale-that I deserved to start my day not being predicted by what that scale read.

I started it so I could go to my family dinners. I started it so I could eat a piece of my own birthday cake. I started it because I knew I deserved to live.

Today, as I celebrate my own recovery and the strength it took to get me here, I think about the many people who are still fighting for that recovery-for the people who are laying down tonight trying to make tomorrow that day of change. You are not alone. Even if tomorrow is not that day, you are not alone.

When we suffer with an eating disorder, we often suffer in silence.

Through this blog, we have gotten loud. And that noise, has saved my life, and the lives of others.

To everyone who has stood by me these past two years-thank you is not enough. My recovery is not only mine-as I’ve always said, it’s the journey of this whole Hello Life community.

Today is about gratitude-gratitude for all the support I have.

Today is about compassion-compassion for those who are where I was two years ago.

Today is about appreciation-appreciation for those who are in a stronger place in their recovery than I am.

Today is about strength- strength to walk the path of self-love.

Today is about celebration for life-and being ready to continue on this journey.

There’s a hundred things I can list here that I want to say about today: but here’s the most important ones:

I am alive and I am free.

Happy second birthday Hello Life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 32: My all

Happy Friday and happy last day of month of mindfulness lifers,

Wow,  it’s crazy to be writing this final post of a month of a mindfulness today.

It’s weird because it’s almost the same surreal feeling I felt when one year without a scale came to an end, yet this time, it’s only been a month.

But this month has been by far, one of the most emotional, learning filled and challenging months of my entire journey.

When I first started this month of mindfulness, my goal was to spend an entire month being mindful of what I ate and how I exercised and how to stop emotionally overeating.

I really did think that’s what this whole journey was going to be about, that’s why I started it.

If you guys remember, I wrote my first post of a month of mindfulness to stop myself from going back told Ed ways.

I was so desperate to stop the overeating and to stop feeling uncomfortable in my new body, I was to the point that I was clearly considering both options : one, go back to Ed, or two, give it my all one more time.

And so I did. I gave it my all one more time.

But-this is what I learned.

Where at first I thought my all meant perfectly mindful clean eating and working out, and while a part of me still really wishes I could sit here right now and say that I did do that all month and I’m totally feeling comfortable in my body now (because the truth is ,that’s what I thought would happen), that’s not what this journey has been about.

My all has meant learning to be mindful of each day-and all the emotions that go with those days.

My all has meant realizing that a lot of sadness here doesn’t come from my  new body, but from being so alone and from missing my family and friends back home.

My all has meant yes, eating more mindfully, listening to my body and making better choices. But it’s also meant eating out with friends and letting myself enjoy that too.

It’s meant national donut day at work, it’s meant eating pie’s from the woman who makes pies at the local restaurant here, it’s meant cookies on Friday’s at the office and it’s meant enjoying a smoothie my co-worker bought for me on a late Wednesday night from the kindness of her heart.

My all has meant learning how to enjoy those not so perfectly mindful moments, yet acknowledging that me being able to enjoy them, even if I only enjoyed them in retrospect, is actually being mindful in of itself.

My all has meant crying my way through weekends here alone.

It’s meant forcing myself to stay here in Washington to follow my dream as a journalist even if other parts of my soul are suffering, because I know I worked so hard to be here and I know my writing is and will make a differnce. It’s what I’m meant to be doing right now.

My all has meant giving onto others. It’s meant appreciating the phone calls, emails and text messages from the people who care about me.

My all has meant appreciating with deep gratitude the smaller things like voice messages from my family.

My all has meant taking time, even if its only mere seconds each day, to try to be proud of myself and to try to be kind to myself.

My all has meant standing in front of the mirror after the shower and telling myself out loud “i love you. you are beautiful. you love you Shira.”

Mindfulness is simply the act of being aware. Aware of our surroundings, aware of what we feel and aware of who we are, what we are, and if we like it or don’t like it.

I can’t answer all those questions in a month, but I can say that I am brought back a certain kind of awareness to myself that I seem to have lost when I first moved here.

I am aware now that I am more than the emotional overeating I might do right now.

I am more than my body, I am more than my writing as a reporter and I am more than this new career and new home.

I am merely part of an unknown, windy, twisty, yet grand and rewarding journey that is so much bigger than me.

I started this month seeing day to day vision.

I am ending it seeing from my telescope vision.

We are not the products of our day to day ventures or successes . We are not the products of what we look like or even what we feel.

We are, will be and continue to be parts of a journey that we are somehow all connected through as human beings-the journey to self love.

We somehow all connect through this blog too.

Every one of the 600 people wearing a Hello Life bracelet around the world is connected here.

We are connected. We are bigger than ourselves. We are bigger than our individual struggles and we are more than the tears, pains and heartaches of life.

We are dashing.

We are superstars.

We are fighters.

And together, we fight on side by side, telescope by telescope, tear by tear and triumph by triumph into learning how to love ourselves the way we love others.

Thank you everyone for standing by me during this month of and of course before this month, and thank you for your unconditional love, support and strength.

My journey to learning to love myself is not over. With that being said, I will continue giving my all.

Hello life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 31: Living and not existing

Hi everyone,

It’s crazy to think that tomorrow is the last day of our one month journey of a month of mindfulness together.

I plan on writing what this whole month has been like and has taught me but I kind of want to save that for my last post tomorrow.

For today:

I woke up and totally forgot I even had that amazing smoothie yesterday.

Which is a pretty incredible place to be.

At a time even a year ago, I would have woken up today only thinking about that smoothie and how to compensate for it. I would wake up still mad at myself for it.

But I wasn’t even mad at myself for it yesterday. I wasn’t mad about it today. I didn’t even think about it today until I saw the women at work who got it for me.

It symbolized a lot. That symbolized me being able to let go. It meant I was really able to live in the moment yesterday, enjoy the moment and then let it pass.

Being able to let moments, wether they are good or bad, sit with me and then leave me, has been a big part of me being mindful this month.

There have been many moments this month where I’ve cried, many moments where I’ve sat in silence that equates loneliness and many moments that I felt proud of myself and smiled.

There were moments that I fantasized about moving back home to LA. There were moments that I dreamt back on past times there.

There were moments where I imaged I would make it big here in Washington.

But because I had to write every day, I have been forced to be aware of these moments-every single one of them. And I’ve realized, now looking back, that I’ve been able to really let each one go after they’ve passed.

Today symbolized that.

I also wasn’t feeling well at work today. I was stressed (still am very stressed actually), and my body got weak.

It wasn’t a food issue, it was a mental issue. I felt weak the minute the stress hit me.

These are things I’ve learned to be mindful of this month.

On days like today ,I’ve learned I need to tap into my self-care part of my life a little bit extra.

I need some extra rest, some extra love, maybe some extra chocolate and some extra me time, which is exactly what I am going to do tonight.

Smoothie behind me, stress still with me and a big weekend with many social events ahead of me, I can say I kind of feel like I am starting to live life here.

It’s not perfect, and it’s not great, but it’s living rather than existing which is what I was feeling a month ago.

Hello to living and hello life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 30: Amazing

Hi guys,

So it was around 8:30 p.m. at work tonight and there I was so super hungry. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know why. I ate like I normally do.

So by 9 p.m. I already had the two extra snacks I had in my purse and it was really not doing it for me. And I’ve learned over my recovery to trust my body when it’s speaking to me . Today it was saying it needed some extra deliciousness.

So around 9:05, ironically, this amazingly nice lady I work with came and put a smoothie on my desk.

I didn’t ask for it or anything, she just got me one when she went to get herself something.

It was the most pure and caring random act of kindness.

So right away two thoughts went through my head.

One was oh my God, what do I do with this thing? I can’t not eat it because she’ll feel bad, yet what do I do?! It’s totally off my meal plan. It’s from a fast food place. I don’t even know what’s in it.

My second thought was, oh my God, this looks so amazing. So amazing. And I so want this right now. (I actually think this was my first thought,but I don’t remember now). Anyways, so then I took a sip of it.

It was a raspberry smoothie from this fast-food chain here that we only have in Oregon and Washington and this smoothie is seasonal since we are also known in the Pacific Northwest for our amazing berries.

It was the most incredible, delicious, rich, yummy, amazing smoothie I ever had.

It tasted like a milkshake. And for me, a chocolate lover, to talk about a fruity dessert like this, means it was seriously on another level of greatness.

On my third sip I told myself I’d have no more, that it was enough.

And this was also when I went online to check how many calories it had.

Yes, it was a lot.  More of a milkshake type caloric value.

But as that smoothie was sitting there, now all the way out of my hands reach since I moved it there so it wouldn’t tempt me, I just thought, who cares Shira? It’s one smoothie. And, there are number of reasons I told myself I deserve this smoothie.

1. It was my first ever item from this fast-food chain known only here.

2. It was a seasonal thing which we are known for (raspberry smoothie and we are known for our berries) and it won’t be there forever.

3. Someone brought it for me, which is so rare and kind, so why wouldn’t I enjoy it?

4. It really was as delicious as I am saying it was and if something is that damn amazing, enjoy the thing-whatever thing it is.

It was way way out of calorie intake for the day, but really, since when does one smoothie and a few extra snacks ever change my body overnight? It doesn’t. And the healthy person in me knows that.

So, after running those reasons through my head at my desk (which although it maybe took a while for you to read, it only took me about 2 minutes in real life to think it though), I pulled that smoothie back over to me  and enjoyed it.

Every single ounce of it.

It felt so freeing. It even felt freeing to see the calories and not let it stop me.

I am now perfectly full just enough to be comfy, happy and satisfied.

My word of the day is amazing because that’s what this night was-not just the smoothie-but the entire experience.

This took a lot of mental work to get me to this place where I can walk myself through these rational ways of thinking that overpower Ed.

On nights like tonight where I can enjoy the result of my hard work, it really feels amazing. It makes it worth it.

I created this happy-i love smoothies at 9 pm at night because someone gave it to me-place.  I like this place. And I will re-visit it again hopefully sooner than later.

Hello life.

Month of Mindfulness Day 29: Actually Making It

Hi everyone,

Today was busy for me and it was filled with me making a lot of plans for my weekend; plans that are social, and plans that are around food and people.

These people I made plans with don’t know about Ed, or about my blog, or anything other than what they’ve seen with their eyes in Washington (which is not anything too interpersonal or deep). Oddly enough, it takes me a long time to open up in person.

One of my friends even invited me to go out to dinner tonight but I just felt I was not ready for that big change right now.

I am used to going out to dinner on the weekends, but the week days are usually something I do on my own and it’s almost like I got so used to it that now that I have a chance to change it, I’m not ready–I’m not ready to give up the food control portion and I’m not ready to totally be socially emerged in that yet.

These people don’t know all this. The friend who invited me to dinner tonight doesn’t know I didn’t go because I am not ready to eat out tonight. And part of me is kind of enjoying that part of them not knowing.

Part of me feels like I am playing pretend and acting like all these big social/food events don’t bother me at all, yet at the same token, what if its not pretend?

What if I really am excited about these events (which I am), what if I really am excited about the food (which I am?), what if it’s worth letting lose a little bit? (Which I think it is ).

Maybe this is how living in recovery really is? Maybe it’s not always pretend?

I am not even sure yet if I am still playing the part of that “normal” girl I think these people want to see, or if some part of me is actually a little bit more “normalized” or less “Ed controlled” than  I thought.

It didn’t feel good to not go to dinner because of Ed reasons, but that’s ok. No one said I have to take a 10 huge steps every single day.

And no one said I have to even really know if I am playing a roll or if this really is me-all I have to know is that I am excited and enjoying it.

I guess I don’t have a word today-just a regular post where I need to write out my thoughts.

I think when I moved here, and even many times even before that, I really used the tool “fake it till you make it.” It worked for me. It helped me get out of Ed’s world when he so badly wanted me to stay there.

It helped me pretend I was living in a world of freedom even on the days that I wasn’t, and it gave me hope for them to be real. At first I had one real day, and then two, and then more.

Maybe now those real days have just become more frequent? Maybe they’ve really become my new reality?

Maybe this is the part of fake it till you make it where I am actually making it.

Hello life.