Day 31: Celebrating One Month In

Good morning everyone,

Today I am celebrating one entire month that I have not weighed myself and have not looked at any number on a scale.

Essentially, this day marks one month of me being in recovery.  I have always felt that the day I gave up my scale, is the day my recovery began.

Looking back on the past month, I am blown away and yet shocked at all the huge changes that I have made to my life.  While many of these changes have been painful and have tested every ounce of strength in me physically and emotionally, they are also the changes that will lead me to live a life free from this eating disorder.  They are the changes that will bring me true sense of self, true freedom and true happiness.

When I started this blog one month ago, I was the most scared I had ever been in my entire life.  Not only was I beginning to realize how hard the process of recovery would be, but I took my biggest kept secret (my eating disorder) and I publicized it on this blog for the world to read.

Exposing myself, my secret, and my struggles on a public blog was definitely terrifying and it felt uncomfortable at first-and sometimes it still does, but at the same time, it has become the biggest blessing for me.

This blog has brought me support, love and encouragement from family, friends and strangers alike.It is with this new support system that I have found myself to be able to be strong even during my weakest moments.

The fact that I promised myself and everyone reading this blog that I will go one whole year without a scale, does help with keeping me accountable. Every time I feel like I need that number on  a scale to validate myself, I remember the immense amount of support I get from the people reading my blog, and before I know it, the urge to weigh myself has passed.

One month ago, I never would have imagined myself to have made the decisions that I’ve made. I never would have thought that I would take my eating disorder blinders off so soon and that I would be forced to open my eyes so damn wide.

But, that did happen. I did take off my blinders and I did open my eyes, and while doing so, I became a fighter.  I have begun to fight my eating disorder, and I  have begun to fight with my own perception of what I see in the mirror versus what I really look like in reality.

But most importantly, I have begun to fight for my future-a future that I know, that whatever I lost from this eating disorder or from my recent heart ache, God will restore me double-and when he does, I will not only be a fighter, I will be the world champion of the title that my eating disorder tried so hard to keep: the title of my life.

When I gave E (my therapist) my scale one month ago, she asked me if there was anything I would like to say to it, and the very first thing that came to my mind were the words “hello life,”–and from that, this blog was created.

Thank you to everyone who is coming on this journey with me and reading my blog day in and day out. Thank you for letting me take you into my mind and spirit as I fight this battle against my eating disorder, and thank you for being my strength and support on a daily and even hourly basis.

Hello to another 11 months of me documenting my adventure and journey of one year without a scale and hello to the beautiful things that it will bring me.

I am so proud to wake up today, on this one month milestone of my recovery, and say to you all and especially to myself, “hello life.”

To continue following the Hello Life Journey of one year without a scale, you may purchase the book here:

Hello Life, E-Book, Volume 1 (The First Six Months): Volume 1 E-Book

Hello Life, E-Book, Volume 2 (The Last Six Months):Volume 2 E-Book

Hello Life, Paperback, Volume 1 (The First Six Months): Volume 1 Paperback

Hello Life, Paperback, Volume 2 (The Last Six Months): Volume 2 Paperback

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Day 30: One Foot In Front Of The Other

Hi everyone,

I would like to start this post by saying thank you to all of you who have supported me and encouraged me though out my journey so far. Thank you for reaching out and giving me your beautiful words of strength and wisdom.

I don’t think today’s post will be very long because I am feeling practically every emotion that is physically possible to feel. From sadness to hurt to fear, I am feeling it all.

The hardest part and also scariest part about feeling these emotions is how I am going to deal with them. I only know how to deal with emotions in one way and that way is through my eating disorder .

For me to actually have to sit and face these emotions right in the face and actually feel them-feel how they affect my heart, body and spirit, is something that I am not sure I am ready to handle.

I know that one day soon I will be in a place of recovery where I can do that, but it is not today. On that note, I know that this is also an extremely important and vulnerable part of recovery . If I deal with these feelings of pain by reverting to my eating disorder , then I will never recover.

I made the painful decision this week to leave the life I had known for three years for the sake of my happiness and my recovery and I will not let Ed take that away from me.

He has already told me multiple times in the past few days that skipping a meal here or there will calm my sadness and ease my grief , and sometimes I even listened to him- but here I am, even after skipping breakfast this morning, and I still feel the same pain and hurt I felt when I woke up.

I am forcing myself to write about this and remind myself that eating again and getting my body strong is what gave me the strength to make the decision that I made this week. It is feeding my body that also allowed me to become connected to my family again and embrace their support instead of turn it away like I have in the past .

For today, all I can do is put one foot on front of the other. After the huge leap I took this week, simply putting one foot in front of the other seems like an o.k goal for the moment . And if i keep on this path to recovery and stick to the meal plan and continue to be true to myself, I know that when the time comes for me to take another leap, I will be ready .

No matter how drained, exhausted or hurt I may feel, I am doing this. I am doing recovery .

I am taking leaps and I am putting one foot in front of the other as I am walking down this road of recovery.

One foot at a time, one meal at a time and one leap at a time, I am becoming the strongest person I’ve ever met, and to that I can sincerely say, “hello life.”

Day 29: Saying Goodbye

Hello everyone,

Today is a very sad yet crucial and life changing day for me.

Today I said goodbye to my best friend, love and boyfriend of three years.

I said goodbye to a family, whose become my family.

Even though I am writing from a place of heart break and deep sadness right now, I am also writing from a place of immense inner strength.

I have already been told to not write anymore “lies” on my blog, but that statement doesn’t bother me at all. This blog is not about other people’s truths and lies, it’s about my truth. And I will continue to stay true to myself .

By choosing to say goodbye to my relationship and my boyfriend, I have chosen to move forward with my recovery.

I remember the moment yesterday when I realized that I had two choices: either to be in this unhealthy relationship that is comfortable for me , or I can have recovery . If i stayed in this relationship, I knew I would deal with the pain and hurt it brought me by going back to my eating disorder.

Today I chose recovery.

Today I chose to let go of the life that I had planned in order to be able to embrace the beautiful and free life that is waiting for me.

Where at one time I could never have had the strength to leave my relationship and believe I deserved better, because he was all I had- I feel that I have the support I need now to do that for myself.

I feel like a part of me has died, and really, it has. My life for the past 3 years has died . And with that comes the slow death of Ed (my eating disorder).

Like I said yesterday, now that I’m not seeing life from Ed’s eyes, only seeing numbers on a scale and calorie counts, I am able to see things much more clearly . I can now see my future being filled with love , respect and kindness: staring with being kind to myself.

So as I am sitting writing this post in front of the house that I have shared with my ex boyfriend and his family, I can’t help but feel a deep sense of grief.

I never imagined that getting healthy and getting strong would result in such sadness and pain.

But I am strong and I will push forward for the life of freedom, respect and kindness that I deserve -both with my relationship with Ed and with others.

As I am getting ready to drive away from the house that I know will never be home again , I say goodbye to a beautiful three years yet I also say goodbye to yelling , goodbye to disrespect and goodbye to the painful feelings that often times led me to my eating disorder.

Hello to the strength inside of me that I never knew I had, and “hello life.”

Day 28: Eyes Wide Open

Hello everyone,

Last night, I decided to take a much needed break from my boyfriend of three years, one of the most terrifying and heart breaking decisions I have ever had to make.

When I began recovery, I remember telling E that I was scared for what recovery would mean for my relationships. I didn’t exactly know why it scared me, but I knew that it was the one part of recovery that  I was fearful of.

When I was locked into my eating disorder, all I cared about was how much I weighed and how much food I could restrict.  For the past year and a half, being so immersed in Ed let me close my eyes to the things I did not want to really look at.

When I was in my eating disorder, I didn’t care that my boyfriend would come home late at night after drinking, I didn’t care if he disrespected me or put me down–all I cared about was my beautiful and glorious number on the scale. Whenever he did make me feel bad, all I had to do was go back to the arms of Ed and he would comfort me.

Last night, after a long and draining argument, I sat in my bed and I knew I had only two options.  I could either do what I have done many times in the past 2 years, which is I could stay in our house, go back to restricting and let Ed be my solution and then pretend to get past this fight, or I could get up, stand up for myself and for once, face my problem, instead of letting Ed make it all better.

When I chose to actually be honest with myself, and with my boyfriend, I knew I had just made a huge statement to Ed.  This time, he will not be my answer.  This time, not eating will not be enough to be a solution. This time, I could not go on another night being fake with my own emotions. Where at one time, I was able to cover up my true feelings of hurt and disrespect by restricting, and then tricking myself into believing that everything in my relationship was fine, I cannot do that anymore.

I am sure that my boyfriend will not be happy that I am writing about us so publicly on my blog, but from the first day, this blog has been nothing but honest, and I cannot stop now. To be truthful, I have never been so honest in my entire life than I was last night.

Now that I am not fully in my eating disorder, my eyes are open. They are wide open and they see things that unfortunately I do not want to see–but for the first time, I am able to see things from my eyes, not from Ed’s eyes.

And while my boyfriend has tried his very best to be supportive of my recovery, I see now that just because he is trying to be supportive, does not mean he can be mean to me or condescending to me in other areas of our relationship.

Before I left the house last night, my boyfriend told me that “I am losing him because of my mouth,” meaning I am losing him because of the honest words I was saying.

This statement stood out to me and I thought about it all night.  The same mouth that once restricted food and let that restriction be a solution to the feelings he made me feel-the same mouth that shut up for so long–is now the same mouth that has begun to eat again and be healthy again-the same mouth that finally decided to open up and speak up for myself.  If speaking up for myself, and honoring my true feelings, instead of honoring Ed’s “true feelings and solutions,” means losing the love of my life, then I will have to find  a way to accept that.

To my boyfriend who is reading this blog today-I am sorry if you feel exposed that I am writing about this here for the world to see, but this is the truth of what I am going through.  This is part of my recovery.  Being able to see your actions clearly (friends, drinking, yelling, disrespect) and being able to see that no amount of weight loss will ever change that–that has all come from my recovery.  I am not sure what this break will mean for us, how long it will be, or what it will result in, but I do know that whatever it brings, it will bring truth, and we are both worthy of the truth.

Through the heart break and sadness that I am feeling right now, I can find truth in saying hello to my eyes being as open as they have ever been, hello to being true to myself, and “hello life.”

Day 27: Changing My Mentality

Hi everyone,

When I was fully under Ed’s wrath, I had a very specific way of thinking when it came to the way I would eat.  Monday through Thursday, I would restrict, and then on Friday I would let myself eat because I would see my family for dinner.  On Saturday I would restrict again, (to make up for Friday), and then on Sunday I would restrict all day and then pretty much eat anything and everything I wanted for dinner.

Sunday nights were the night my boyfriend and I used to go eat dinner at his parents house, and his mom would make incredible food and always had delicious desserts.  I looked forward to this dinner all week–I even started calling Sunday’s my “fat Sunday’s.”  After every single fat Sunday, I would wake up sore.

Now, even though I am not restricting my calories during the week, I still have that same mentality about the weekends–that when the weekend comes, I can just eat what I want because I know during the week I will starve it all away.  Even though that is not the case anymore, my mind still thinks this way and it is hindering me from making the progress that I would like to make.

For example, yesterday, I pretty much did not even think about the meal plan and just ate whatever I wanted all day long.  At first  I enjoyed it-I enjoyed challenging Ed. And then, I got mad at myself.  And then I got mad that I am mad at myself for enjoying what I love to eat–I got pulled back into that cycle of anger.

This morning, whether it was because I ate too much or if it is because of something that I ate, I woke up with my body feeling sore again.  Whenever my body feels sore, it feels like a  punishment.  I feel like it is my body’s way of punishing me for eating too much.  The fact that I am sore on a Sunday is different for me, since I am used to only being sore on Monday mornings, after my “fat Sundays.”

I feel so weird and even ashamed writing how me, someone who is in recovery for anorexia, a disease where you don’t eat, has my biggest downfalls not when it comes to restricting, but when it comes to actually eating too much.  My downfalls in recovery have been when I eat sweets.  It is not a downfall necessarily because I eat too much of them, it is my downfall because I can’t just let myself enjoy them.  Even when I was at my lowest weight, I still found a way to incorporate sweets into my diet-but then, they were the only thing I ate all day, or I would take laxatives afterwards, so it wasn’t a big deal.

To have to be able to find a way to enjoy my sweets now, without purging, or without restricting afterwards is very hard for me and it is a balance that I am trying to find.

I so badly want to get out of that mentality of starving and then eating whatever I want and thinking I can fix it later, because I can’t now.  I’m not expecting my weekends to be just like my week days, because I do want to go out on the weekends and enjoy myself, I just don’t know the balance yet of how to do that without getting pulled back into the cycle of anger.

Could I go now and look up the calories in every single thing that I ate yesterday?  Yes.  Could I go and body check and try on every small sized pair of jeans in my closet? Yes.  But I will not do that because truthfully, what is the point?  So I get mad at myself all over again and then continue to not treat my body kindly today, either by binging or by restricting? While Ed is telling me that is  a great way to spend my day, the healthy part of me is smarter and more caring about myself than that.

So today is Sunday, and I am going to be kind to myself and I am going to honor myself.  I am not going to have a fat Sunday, and I am not going to beat myself up for not sticking to the meal plan, which in reality, the nutritionist would probably be happy that I ate more than what was on the meal plan anyways.  And even if she would not be happy, I still would not beat myself up over it.

It’s a new day, and while I know that changing my eating disordered mentality will take time, I feel that by viewing today as a normal day back on the meal plan and not as fat Sunday, I am taking a step in the right direction. I will get past this soreness, I will get past this bloated feeling, and I will one day find balance when it comes to food.  And if that takes one month, or even one year, so be it.

Hello to being kind to myself, hello to no more fat Sunday’s, and “hello life.”

Day 26: The Bigger Picture

Good morning everyone,

As I laid in my bed this morning and reflected on this past weeks journey, I challenged myself to look beyond the hard days and beyond the painful moments–and I asked myself to go through each day and pull out a positive moment from each one.

As I was literally going through each day of this week and finding one good thing about each one, I realized that these beautiful moments-these positive moments of each day–this is what recovery is.  I was able to really take  a step back and see the bigger picture of what recovery will bring me, and it is beautiful.

For right now, recovery might mean following my meal plan and not weighing myself for one year, but that does not mean that it will always look like that.

On Monday, I walked into my nutritionists office and got my meal plan, despite the fact that I didn’t want to–that confidence and that courage–that is the bigger picture of recovery.

On Tuesday, I went on an hour long hike with my cousin without feeling like I needed to faint, and we connected and bonded together, and it had nothing to do with food–that is the bigger picture of recovery.

On Wednesday, I was able to share Valentine’s Day chocolates with a student who I tutor–that is the bigger picture of recovery.

On Thursday, I was able to go  out to dinner with my boyfriend for Valentine’s Day–that is the bigger picture of recovery.

On Friday, I was able to go eat Shabbat dinner with my family–that is the bigger picture of recovery.

This bigger picture of recovery is beautiful and it is truly inspiring me to keep fighting this journey that I am fighting.

To me, the bigger picture of recovery will one day mean more than eating properly or being at a certain weight–its going to mean connecting with others, loving myself, laughing with my family and friends–it will mean freedom.

Last night, all of my brothers and sisters wore their yellow bands on their wrist that say “hello life” on them in support of me,and it was one of the most beautiful display of support I have ever seen.

To sum everything up about what I mean when I say I can see the bigger picture of recovery today, I will tell you all a moment last night that defines exactly what I am talking about.

Last night, my dad, who at one point in our lives did not speak for 7 years, hugged me and told me he was proud of me. That moment–that is what I am talking about when I say I can see the bigger picture–the bigger picture is not just food, its love, its hugging, its relationships growing.

This picture of my brothers and sisters wearing their wrist bands for me, is what I am going to look at this morning when I get up, smile and proudly say to myself, “hello life.”

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Day 25: Beat Up By Ed

Hi everyone,

This morning I sit here writing to you feeling completely beat up by Ed.

After having a beautiful Valentine’s day dinner with my boyfriend last night, we stopped to get frozen yogurt.  Getting frozen yogurt was already something Ed was not happy about, but I was able to enjoy myself because it was allowed on the meal plan.  But after we got home, not only did I have a piece of poppy seed pastry, and four hard candies, I had three Sees Candy chocolates.  Three entire chocolates.  Let me repeat that so you all can understand how horrible I feel: THREE ENTIRE FAT FILLED CHOCOLATES.

All of this happened in the span of about five minutes.  Normally, if this would have been a binge, I would have eaten the chocolates standing up and try to not feel what I am doing. But last night, I was mindful. I sat down and ate each chocolate piece by piece and the pastry bite by bite.  I did not binge, and I did lose control.  However, this did not step Ed from beating me up over it and for making me feel like I did binge.  All last night I listened to Ed telling me that I have ruined my body, that I have instantly gained a ton of weight and that I am a failure for letting myself fall off track.

And all of last night, I just listened to him. Even up until right now, I feel he is right. I do not physically or emotionally have the energy to stand up to Ed this second.  And I said I would be honest on this blog, so even though I am ashamed to say this, I do think he is right. I am even mad at myself for eating lunch yesterday, because I feel if I skipped it, it would have cancelled out the calories from the sweets.

The sad part is that those chocolates tasted amazing.  They were so delicious.  And I could not even enjoy them.  The fact that Ed is keeping me from enjoying something that I love; something as small as chocolate, just makes me sad.  It is the small things in life, like a piece of chocolate or a beautiful flower, that make up moments of happiness, and I feel that Ed is taking those away from me right now.

I have been going around in circles all night and all morning just wishing that I did not have to follow this meal plan today and that I can just not eat so I can fix all that I ate last night. I will not do that because I am bigger than Ed, I am stronger than Ed and I know these feelings will pass.

But right now, I feel smaller than Ed and I feel mad at myself that I disobeyed him.  Maybe tomorrow I will be proud of myself for challenging Ed last night and eating what I wanted, but for this second, that is not my reality.

All I can do in this moment, is close my eyes and ask God to give me the inner strength to be kind to myself today and the wisdom to know that I will bounce back from this beating from Ed and that all of this fighting is worth it.

No matter what, I will not start my day without reminding myself of the reason I am in this fight in the first place, and that reason is: “hello life.”