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

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 22: First Day On The Meal Plan

Hello everybody,

In yesterdays post I wrote about how I went and got my first meal plan from my nutritionist. Technically, yesterday was my my first day on the plan, and while this plan is not filled with as much food as I anticipated, there are a few things that I am really uncomfortable with.

The first thing on this plan that I do not like is the changes to the food routine I have been living by for so long. When I was fully immersed in my eating disorder and restricting calories on a daily basis, I would eat an 80 calorie high fiber muffin around 2 p.m everyday and account it for both my breakfast and my lunch.

Last week, I decided to have one of those muffins for breakfast and even add another one for my lunch. This was a huge step for me. To me, the fact that I had added in an entire extra muffin was major, and I felt so proud of myself. Now, on this new meal plan, my go- to fiber muffin is still allowed to be my breakfast, but the second one is now considered a snack during my day, not my lunch.

A snack? What was considered my entire lunch a few days ago is now only a snack? This is what scares me the most. I am now expected to not only eat a dinner made up of grains, proteins and fats,but a lunch like that as well.  In my eating disordered world, my muffin was the perfect lunch; and now, that has to change and it’s a change I am not sure I am ready for.

The second thing I do not like about this plan is the fact that it adds fats. I will not totally lie, because I am the tiniest bit excited to be allowed, or actually to even be told, to eat some kind of yummy fats like sour cream or even salad dressing; but at the same time, I am also terrified.

I also do not like that when I keep my food journal this week, I am not allowed to write down the calories. At least last week, I was able to virtually track my calorie intake with numbers. Even though I can still calculate the numbers in my head (which I am going to try my best not to do,because I know I will not be accepting of it) there is something about not seeing it written down on paper in front of me that makes me feel a loss of control.

I will be truthful and tell you that while I did not eat the proper breakfast or lunch on my meal plan yesterday, partially due to the fact that I was busy with appointments all day and partially due to the fact that my teeth were hurting from a dentist appointment, I did eat dinner the right way.

I literally had to double the amount of protein that I usually eat, and yes, I did go and add that sour cream to it. Even though Ed made me feel guilty for eating so much more than he normally lets me, I will admit that it was one of the best tasting meals I have had in a while; purely from adding something as simple as sour cream. I am not sure if I will be able to do this every night, but I am proud of myself that I did it last night.

I will admit that I loved having the excuse of my teeth hurting yesterday to make it acceptable to only eat my one muffin as both my breakfast and lunch, But I know that game is over today, and I am committed to sticking to this meal plan as much as I can.

There is one good thing that I like with this meal plan and that is that frozen yogurt (one of my favorite foods) is counted as a bread serving and that brings me a little bit of joy.

Just the fact that I am able to pull something positive like being able to eat frozen yogurt out of this not so great situation with the meal plan, gives me a glimmer of hope that I can do this.

Even though it is extremely scary to let go of my control over my food, and put my weight and my health in the hands of my nutritionist, I know that it is the only way to fully progress on this road to recovery.

I am going to start today by making the commitment to myself to try to be open minded while following my meal plan, and to simply just breathe.

One meal at a time, one snack at a time, and one bite at a time, I will re-feed my body and myself into becoming healthy again. Is it scary? Yes. Is it physically and emotionally hard? Yes. Is Ed going to fight back harder than ever before? Yes. But is it worth it to be able to live a life of freedom? Yes,yes, yes.

Today I have to say goodbye to counting calories and goodbye to only eating my “safe foods”-and yes, I might not know how to completely handle all of that right now, but I am thankful that it is only day 22 of my 365 day journey, and I know I have time to figure it all out.

Thank you everyone who is in my corner supporting me through everyday and and through every fight. It is your support that gives me the strength to wake up today and say, “hello life.”

Day 19: Talking With Ed

Good morning everyone,

If it didn’t sound crazy enough to you already that I gave my eating disorder a name, (Ed), now I am going to tell you all how I talk with him on a daily basis.

During these past few days, and especially yesterday, I have found myself talking with Ed and having conversations with him all throughout the day.  And before I begin to explain what our conversations look like, I just want to take a moment to share with you how amazing it feels for me to actually be able to distinguish between my voice and Ed’s voice.

There were times when I was so controlled by Ed, that I did not know what my voice even was.  If I thought that eating food would make me fat, I truly thought those were my own thoughts. But now, I can see that Ed was the one telling me those unhealthy thoughts. It was many times still is Ed, not me, who says that I need a number on a scale to determine my self worth.

However, there are plenty of moments throughout my day where I  do confuse Ed’s thoughts with my own thoughts and where I let Ed tell me what to think. But I feel happy for those few moments where I can take a step back and realize that those negative thoughts are Ed speaking, not me.

I can remember a few times yesterday where I had to talk with Ed and literally shut him up.  The first time came after I finished eating breakfast.  When I was done eating, I was craving something sweet, so I had some grapes and a piece of chocolate. Already, Ed was telling me that I had deviated from my “healthy” meal plan and that I should stop eating. But I was not satisfied with one tiny chocolate; I wanted another one. So, I had another one, and even one more after that along with a piece of delicious raisin bread.

Once I felt that I had satisfied my sweet tooth, Ed told me that I had ruined my entire day by eating so much chocolate and sweets and that I should just binge to make it complete.  I remember sitting down and saying out loud, “Ed, you are not going to make me feel bad about enjoying my food and you will not make me binge and you will not make me restrict calories for eating foods I was craving.”

Yes, you might think this whole idea of me talking to my eating disorder is a little bit outside the norm,but it works for me, and that’s what matters.

Later in the evening, I had an argument with someone close to me, and Ed told me that by restricting my food for the rest of the day, that it would solve my feelings of being hurt and disappointed.

I won’t lie to you, for about an hour I was fantasizing about how great that restriction would feel and about how it would just diminish all my problems at that moment.  But as I sat down to dinner, I was able to take a step back and realize that not eating would not change my feelings that were hurt that night and it would not solve my problem.  It actually would make me feel bad about myself for letting Ed win.

So as I sat down to order my food, I  silently told Ed, “Ed, you will not ruin this dinner for me and I know that you will not solve my issues of feeling hurt, so I going to eat and be good to myself.”

And I did.  I ate dinner and I shut Ed the hell up.

Even though it can feel draining and annoying to have to talk to Ed all day, I am happy that we are both speaking with each other now.

Two weeks ago, Ed was the only one talking. He would talk and talk and talk to me all day and all night long.  And I would never talk back, I would just listen and obey.

 Now, I am talking back to Ed. 

Yes, we might argue back and forth and he might make me feel like I am wrong, but in the end, I get the final word.

Today, I want to start my morning by being the first one to initiate conversation with Ed.

I am going to wake him up and tell him that I am proud  of myself that I have gone yet  another morning without weighing myself.

I am going to tell him that he is slowly losing his power over me and that I am in the drivers seat now, not him.

I am going to stand tall and strong and tell him as loudly as I can, that today, I am in charge.

And when I am done telling all of this to Ed, I am going to pick my head up high and tell myself, “hello life.” 

Day 18: A Victorious Thursday

Hello everybody,

I had a major victory yesterday when it came to Ed and I.

If you remember, I wrote a blog post last week about how my Thursday nights, especially my Thursday night dinners with my grandma, were completely dominated by Ed (my eating disorder).

Well, last night I finally broke that restrictive and Ed controlled routine of going to that same restaurant with my grandma and getting that same plain salad with nothing on it.

My cousin, my grandma and I actually went out to a fish house for dinner–it was even a restaurant that I had picked.  We ate bread together and we ate a real meal together.  I was even able to share with them how incredible the taste of bread and butter was.

Right before we left the house to go out to dinner, my grandma turned to me and asked me where we were going to go eat.I can’t even explain in writing, the immense amount of pride that I took in saying the name of a new restaurant–and a restaurant that not only I liked, but that my grandma and my cousin liked too.

Eating at a new restaurant may sound silly to some people, but for me, it was symbolic of telling Ed that he will no longer get in the way of my relationships with those who I love and care about in my life.

Today is also the third Friday in a row that I have not weighed myself, and I feel like I am floating on a cloud.  The irony in this is that although this past week I have eaten more than I have in years, I feel so light.

I feel like I could just pick my feet up off this earth and fly around and around in circles of gratitude and happiness.

There is no number today to tell me that I was wrong for enjoying myself with my family last night.  There is no number today to tell me if I will have a good or bad weekend. There is no number today to determine my value as a human being.

Instead of a number, there is me. There is me waking up feeling grateful for my life, feeling grateful for my support system, and feeling grateful to my own inner strength for getting me through another day of recovery.

Yesterday, I took back my Thursday nights from Ed and made them my own again.

I was so happy last night, that when I got home from dinner, I sat on my bed and I cried.  I was crying tears of happiness and smiling all at the same time. Actually, as I am finishing to write this post, I can already feel my tears of joy coming back.

And as I sit here this morning and reflect on the beautiful Ed-free night I had last night,  I can genuinely say to you all, and to myself, “hello life.”

Day 16: The Cycle Of Anger

Good morning everyone,

This morning I am not really in a better place than I was yesterday when I wrote my second blog post.

I pretty much feel trapped in this constant cycle of anger.  This cycle has been going on for a few days now. It goes like this:

First I get angry for feeling that I am hungry.  If this might sound confusing, let me explain where I am coming from.  For the past year and a half, I never had to feel hungry.  When I was so greatly immersed in Ed, I never felt hungry because Ed never let me.  I became so detached from my body and its needs that I literally forgot what the sensation of hunger felt like.  And for those times when I did feel hungry,  a cup of tea, coffee or tiny amount of food would be substantial enough to subdue it.  Now, that tea, coffee and small amounts of food are not enough to quiet my hunger pangs and that makes me angry.

I hate the fact that I need to feel this hungry feeling because it leads me to eat–another thing that I did not do when I was fully under Ed’s power.  The minute I start eating, I get angry.  I get angry at the sheer fact that I am eating and by eating, I believe I will get bigger and bigger.  I already hate the changes my body has been making in terms of gaining weight, and eating will make it worse.

After I am completely done beating myself up, the healthy part of me gets angry at the Ed controlled part of me for even being mad at myself for something as natural and humane as eating when you are hungry.  I should be proud of myself for eating and giving myself nutrients, but instead I let Ed get the best of me.

Last night, I was so angry at Ed.  I wasn’t angry at him for making me restrict food, because I actually did the complete opposite of that yesterday and even the day before.  For the past two  weeks actually, I have not been restricting calories.  I was mad at Ed for making me feel angry at myself for being healthy-for eating.  I was mad at the hell he puts me through on a daily basis every time I try to push him away.

I cried on my boyfriend’s chest for an hour last night just yelling and screaming at Ed in my head “why are you doing this to me?”

This is the first time that my anger has ever come out in the form of crying, but for whatever reason it did.

I knew that when I made the choice to throw away my scale that it only meant one thing; true recovery.  Even when I started treatment, I still had my scale.  And as long as I had my scale, I knew I could not fully recover, actually I could not recover at all.

I even went as far to tell E (my therapist) that if I ever stepped on a scale again, that I would never come back from it.  I would let Ed take my life,  and in that moment, I decided to give her my scale.

I remember telling E about the dark days that I knew would be ahead of me, but I can honestly now say that I was not prepared.

I was not prepared for this cycle of anger, I was not prepared to walk around all the time feeling huge and hating my body, and I was not prepared for the mental work that it would really take to battle Ed and ultimately end his existence in my life.

And even through my anger, my frustration and my sheer and utter hatred for Ed and what he is putting me through, both mentally and physically, I know that this is only the beginning of recovery, and that one day I will be free.

One day, I will be free from Ed and his cycle of abuse and anger.

Today,however, I am not free from Ed. But I am alive; I am alive and I am moving forward in recovery, and to that I can say, “hello life.”

 

Day 15: Scared of Recovery

Hi everyone,

I normally would not write two blog posts in one day, but today has been a rough day for me, and since I said this blog would be nothing but the truth, I told myself I would write this post.  I don’t exactly want to write it because by writing it, it forces me to face my feelings even more, but I want to be truthful to myself.  I also am hoping that by writing out what I am going through in this moment, that it might be a sense of relief.

On Monday when I went to the nutritionist, she did not give me a meal plan (but to my disliking, she ensured me that the meal plan would definitely be given to me next Monday).

Instead, she told me to keep a food journal this week of everything that I eat.  At first, this didn’t phase me at all. I was actually relieved that I walked out of her office pretty much given a green light to keep on my own “meal plan” for myself-a meal plan that although consists of major calorie increases for me, will not be accepted by her.

I have been keeping this food journal for a few days now and as I am looking over it, I have realized that I really do not eat as many calories as I told the nutritionist I was, yet I am pushing myself every single day to consume these daily meals and it is extremely hard for me.

While I am content with my current calorie intake, I do not think she is going to accept that as adequate calories for my meal plan, and in a way I am thankful for that because I know I need the nutrients, but on the other hand, that scares me to pieces.

This made me think about what is going to happen on Monday when I go back to the nutritionist and she will give me a meal plan that might even be double the calories of what I am already eating.  I already believe that I am at a high enough weight just by what I see in the mirror and I think the few pounds I have gained from increasing my calories is enough, and at the moment, I really do not want to gain more.

I know that this meal plan she will give me will be one designed to help me eat more because while she did not say how much I weighed, she did tell me that my BMI was 18, and that she would like me to be at a healthy BMI of 20–which for a girl my height and age is 99 pounds.

On one hand, I am relieved because I see that she is not wanting to make me fat and obese, but on the other hand,  99 pounds is  a number I cannot accept right now.  I know one day I will be, and that I will have to, but right now I can’t. I can’t accept it right now because although I don’t know what I currently weigh, I know it is not 99 and whatever number I’m at now, it is enough for me to deal with at this moment.

The fact is that I won’t even know when I will reach that weight because as you all know, I am not looking at a scale until at least next January 21 (I actually hope to never look at a number again, but I am trying to avoid making extreme goals for myself, and just sticking to one goal at a time, so for now, that goal is next January 21).

So, here is where my immense fear of recovery sets in. If I already believe I am getting bigger, what will I think when I actually have to start following this meal plan next week?  What will I think when I start gaining more weight, and how am I going to handle it?

Right now, I am pretty much in a state of panic and anxiety.

This fear of what recovery is going to do to my precious “skinny” body is extremely over whelming.

I still am not sure if I should publish this post because it is so raw and truly is exposing my deepest feelings and fears right now—and that is a scary thought for me.  But I am doing this for me-I said I would document every feeling, every emotion and every good day and bad day, so that is what I am doing.

Right now I am scared. I am scared for what recovery is going to do to my body and I am scared about how I am going to mentally deal with it.

But on the positive side, I know that this feeling of fear is simply just that; a feeling.  It is a feeling that will come and go, and although it is dominating me at this current moment, it does not mean that it will do that all day.

And no matter how scared I am of recovery, nothing in this world-not fear and not even my eating disorder, can take away my immense desire to live a life of self acceptance and freedom- a life free from this prison that my eating disorder is forcing me to live in-and to that I can say, “hello life.”