Week 18: A Pregnancy Without A Scale

Happy Friday fighters!

It feels good to be back writing this blog! I took a break on week 17 because I was sick with a bad cold virus and honestly couldn’t do much more than just lay around on the couch. So this blog might be a little longer than usual to catch you up up but I am going to try to be concise.

So let’s jump in!

On my last blog post, I wrote about how I had my first hard body image day in pregnancy. After that post, I got so many personal emails, messages, comments and other feedback from all of you, and it really helped shift my perspective.

The majority of what people were saying was to try to give myself the freedom to enjoy these changes, or at try to embrace them, and enjoy this beautiful miracle.

When I was having that hard day, I remember thinking to myself, “Ugh, I could reach out to someone or to the girls in my support group..but there is no way anyone is going to say anything that could make me feel better.”

But after reading all the feedback from you guys, I learned I was wrong.

Your support really did, not only make me feel better, but it helped shift my entire perception.

I have learned from that experience to not hesitate again to reach out for help when I need it most, and I thank you guys for teaching me that.

Since then, I honestly have really been working on shifting my perspective and it really has been amazing. I haven’t had one bad body image day that I can think of.

Lately, I have been so focused on being grateful for a healthy pregnancy, an amazing supportive family, network of friends and my amazing husband, and that has been it.

Even in other areas of my life, which those of you who know me well know I tend to be a pretty anxious person. But lately I have really tried to teach myself that right now, and probably for forever on, my number one priority is my baby, my health and the health of my husband and family. The rest is all small things in the big picture.

At times, I still grapple with that analogy and things can still feel pretty big, but they feel a lot smaller than before and that’s a big improvement for me.

Things like body, work, stress, future plans, people drama—just daily life-they just seem smaller and less significant in my world. And I like it that way.

I have more space now for the more important things. (Well for the most part, I still let some other things slip in too although I am working on not letting that happen as often).

So, talking of more important things, last week amongst some of our closest family and friends we found out we are having a baby boy!

It was the most unbelievable day and most unbelievable feeling in the world. Close to what I felt the day I got married.

Both my husband and I were really close to two of our grandfathers who have passed away.

My grandpa was named Robert and his grandpa was named James.

So we decided a few months ago, if we have a boy, he will be named Robert James, nicknamed R.J., in their honor.

This whole week I have been in awe of the fact that we get this once in a lifetime privilege to let their legacies and their honor live on through the next generation through our first son.

It’s such a beautiful thought to me. There is no space in my brain for Ed during those kinds of thoughts.

Really, I think the only time I thought about food was actually yesterday and today.

I was craving Nutella yesterday really really bad. Really bad! And we always have some in our home now (which is a huge recovery victory, since before, I could never keep such a “tempting” food in my home because my Ed voice would say I would eat it all and never forgive myself).

So after the gym and after dinner, I sat down with my Nutella and my spoon and I just enjoyed the life out of that thing. Every single bite was honestly amazing.

And this isn’t the first time I have done that. I am pretty good about letting my body have what it wants, even prior to pregnancy.

But this time it was a little different. It was less guilty. It was more free.

Also, side note, I even convinced my hubby to try it straight out of the jar, which he had never done before and I am pretty  sure it changed his life forever because he liked it so much he finished the jar 🙂

Today, I felt the same way at lunch with my husband.

I got a grilled chicken salad, but for the first time in a long time, I let myself get cheese on it. That is something I wouldn’t have done before because I usually pick and choose my fun calories and I would rather have a chocolate bar later.

But today, I let myself have it. And again, for whatever reason, pregnancy has allowed me to do that in a more free way than ever before. And it was amazing.

I told my husband Brock today at lunch, “I am not sure why I feel more free during pregnancy to allow myself to enjoy things, but I think I am just going to embrace it.”

I know after I have R.J. things will probably go back to the way they were-in terms of not getting extras all the time on salads , and maybe not eating half the Nutella at one time-and that is totally ok with me because it has balance.

Even now, I find myself having pretty good balance. It just has more freedom attached to it.

I eat what I want, and I stop when I am full.

But, I also am just kind of ready to embrace the freedom my pregnancy has given me so far.

It has actually been really fun and exciting. I think I will miss it once it is gone. So I am going to really try to enjoy it now.

And my bump is my favorite part because it is this constant reminder that my body, this body that I worked so so so hard, for so long to get strong again, is growing this precious life, and for some reason, I am just so proud of that.

Until next week fighters…Hello life.


2015: Lets do it fighters

Happy 2015 lifers,

It all started last Sunday when I wanted Thai food and I had no one to go with me.

I didn’t want to get take out and have it cold when I got home.

I saw a Thai food restaurant and was thinking that I should just go inside by myself, sit down at a table and take myself out to dinner.

Um…just take myself out to dinner? alone?

It’s something I have not done before.

I’ve cooked for myself before, but I’ve never gone and sat down into a restaurant alone and ate.

Never, ever. A lot in part because I know Ed would take a seat right next to me and learning how to entertain him as a dinner guest is something that needs to be planned and well prepared.

Taking yourself out to eat alone at a restaurant is the most mindful act possible. It’s being mindful that you are taking yourself out to eat, and being OK with that and it’s the act of being mindful of what you are eating and how it tastes.

There’s no one there to talk with you as your eating to be a distraction and theres’ no TV in front of your face either.

It’s pure mindfulness.

And for someone in recovery for an eating disorder, it’s a lot to take on because that mindfulness will battle Ed in our mind the moment we even drive in the car to the restaurant.

So I decided last Sunday that I wasn’t ready that night to go do it, but I knew that I wanted to make sure I would do it soon, so I made it my new year resolution.

I wanted to give myself the time to prepare to take on this challenge.

Even if it means letting Ed come along with me, I actually would rather do that and show him I can do it in front of his face.

Sure, he will tell me that everyone there is looking at me wondering why I am ordering all this food for just me. Yup, he will definitely say that. He already did say it and I didn’t even go yet.

And he will tell me it was enough to just take a few bits and leave.

But that’s ok with me because I’m stronger than him now.

I don’t want to do this challenge only as an act of eating; but as an act of self-love.

I so deserve to be able to take myself out to eat, even in the face of Ed.

I deserve to do able to sit in peace or discomfort, whichever it brings me, and walk myself through it and eat what my body is craving.

So that settles it.

For 2015, I am going to take myself out to eat a restaruant, alone.

I am going to think about the kind of food I want that night and pick a place carefully.

I want to put as much thought into it as I would if I was taking my boyfriend out on a fancy date because instead, I will be my own date and that deserves major planning.

I was talking to the fighters in the support group about this and a few of them also wanted to take on the challenge. So another fighter in New York and I have decided to do the challenge together  on the same day.

This way, while we will each be taking ourselves out to eat alone, we will really not be alone because we will be doing this together.

We will be going through the feelings of anxiety together and the discomfort together, and most importantly, we will be feeling victorious together once we are done.

If there is anyone else reading this who would like to join us, we have chosen Sunday, Jan.11 as our day.

I don’t think we will put a time on it because what if I want dinner and our other fighter wants breakfast? I like the idea of leaving that open so we have the freedom to customize it how we want to.

Anyone else who wants to join, just please contact me through the contact me tab and let me know and I will make sure we all have the support we need as we take this on together.

As far as the rest of 2015 goes, I only know this: I will continue to live life loving others without judgement and I will continue to remind myself that that love is deserved for myself too.

I also hope this is the year Hello Life can become a nonprofit and start reaching others so other fighters can have the support and love they need.

20 days after 2013 I started this blog and gave up my scale.

Never in all my dreams would I have thought it would have led me to almost two years of being scale free and in recovery from my eating disorder. Never would I have thought that it would bring so many beautiful souls into my life.

This Jan. 21 will mark two years without a scale and in recovery. I cannot wait to celebrate with you all and I cannot wait to tell you how my dining experience alone will go.

I know that everyone reading this blog has felt the same pain, anger, darkness and imprisonment from Ed this last year that I did.

But I also know, that so many of us have also felt our power and our freedom come back into our lives by kicking Ed’s ass and learning to love and be kind to ourselves.  Here is only a few of the amazing things our fighters did in 2014:

To our 15-year-old fighter in New York who just left inpatient treatment and is on his way back to school and freedom, hello life.

To our fighter in Canada who ripped up her sick clothes, hello life.

To our fighter in London who literally saved her own life by sticking to her recovery and using all the support around her and who is blossoming in every way, hello life.

To our fighter in Kansas who continues to love others even though her heart has been hurting this year, who put real cheese on her veggies and who might possibly give up her own scale this year, hello life.

To our fighter in New Jersey who continues to love her family and has been scale free for 9 months, hello life.

To our fighter in Pennsylvania who has has continued to live with an open heart and push for recovery while being a mother and a wife day in and day out, hello life.

To our fighter in the United Kingdom who celebrated her 21st birthday this year, hello life.

To our fighter in France who ate a lemon pie, her favorite dessert, on her own, hello life.

To our fighter in Oregon who just had a healthy baby girl,hello life.

To our fighter in Canada who just made an entire vegan meal tonight and who continues to love herself, care for herself and live in the world of recovery even though life has not been the easiest on you lately, hello life.

To the 600 people wearing Hello Life bracelets around the world, hello life.

To our 13-year-old fighter in Tennessee who enjoyed ice cream with her friend this summer, hello life.

To the many fighters who have told me this blog saved their lives…little did you know your support and love has saved mine.

May we continue to fight together for our right to love ourselves and live in freedom not just in 2015, but for as long as it takes.

Hello life.

Day 86: OK Body, You Win.

Good morning everyone,

Yesterday was a great day, but one that ended up having a few recovery bumps along the way.

For whatever reason yesterday, starting all the way from mid-morning, I felt hungrier than usual. I ate a bigger lunch than I normally do, more snacks than I normally do, and a bigger dinner than I normally do.

I remember sitting in class yesterday at around 2:30 feeling hungry, even though I just ate an hour before, and literally being so angry at the fact that I was hungry. I wasn’t mad at myself, I was just upset with the entire situation of feeling this uncalled for hunger.

I couldn’t understand why I was feeling this way, even though I knew I ate.

But, I listened to my body and I ate anyway. And I ate again later on when I got home late, even though that was not my plan.

My plan was to eat dinner at school (which I did), and then that would be it.

But, my body didn’t really like my plan, and it was hungry even when I got home.

Now that I am nourishing it again, my body definitely lets me know what it needs and when-this is both good and bad.

I like the fact that I can let myself feel hunger again, because it is  a sensation that I suppressed for so long, it is nice to know it is still there-yet at the same time, it is scary.

I have already realized that in recovery, I need to get out of my black and white thinking, I’ve already realized that restricting food can no longer be a method of control that  I use to try to sort out my life when things get chaotic, and after yesterday, I realized that I cannot fight with my own body.

I can fight with Ed all day long. We can argue, we can go back and forth about what I should eat or not, and 9 times out of 10 now, I win. But with my body , there is no arguing, I simply need to let it win.

I know that if I continue to try to force my body to be on “my plan,” and try to tell it when to be hungry and when not to be hungry, it will be a huge road block to my recovery.

My nutritionist once told me to treat myself as I would treat a 6 year old, and it really stood out to me.

Would I ever let a 6 year old not eat because it wasn’t the right time, even though they were really hungry? no way.

For whatever reason, it is much easier for me to be kinder to a stranger or to a 6 year old than it is for me to be kind to myself, but it’s something that I look forward to improving on.

So body-here you go, you were the last strategic tool Ed was using to hold me in his world, and now, I am going to try to let you win.

You win. You will eat when you are hungry, and I won’t fight you on it.

I guess my main point is that I need to trust my body that it won’t steer me in the wrong direction or make me “fat,” ,and just like trusting any other part of recovery-that is scary, but I will do my best.

Essentially, letting my body win over my strong willed plans for it, is me giving up another part of control over it, and in a way, its a relief.

One less thing I need to try to control-and I hope that the relief that comes with that might one day outweigh the fear  of it.

I am ready to let go of this body control, and just break free from it.

Hello to letting go of yet another part of Ed, and hello life.


Day 73: Getting Back To Being A Fighter

Hi everyone,

I did not have the greatest start to my day today.

As I was getting dressed, I was looking through my jeans and deciding which ones to wear, when all of the sudden, this urge to just go and try on every single pair took over me.

This urge to try on all my clothes has been happening much more frequently lately and I think it’s because it truly is my last resort on how to measure my body without a scale.

I don’t know why these urges happen out of no where, I don’t know why they happen when they do, and I don’t know why I always give into them.

Just how I would stand on my scale five, six or even seven times in a row in the middle of the night, I now try on my clothes at random times of the day; it is pure impulse.

It is Ed trying to suck me back into his world, and in those moments where I try on those clothes, I am surrendering to him.

At least this morning, I had a nutritionist appointment  I had to get to, so I didn’t have time to try on more than two pairs.

I wish I could say I am not mad at myself for putting myself through that this morning, because of course, the pants never fit me like I want them to and it truly is self cruelty.

But, I am mad at myself for it.

I’ve had such a great few days where I’ve been kind to myself, compassionate and understanding of my wants and need and now, the minute Ed tried to knock me out, I felt like for that one second, I put my hands down and let him strike me right in the face.

But that second is now over and that moment has now passed. I am back home now and have studying to do for a midterm tomorrow.

I can go back and finish trying on the rest of my clothes, or I can find the fighter within me, resist the urge and chose to study and be productive.

I’ve had a nice few “free” days of overwhelming Ed thoughts and behaviors.

But now, I can feel him coming back to fight for my soul and my loyalty again-and it all started this morning with trying on those jeans.

I can sit on the sidelines and watch Ed defeat me, watch him distract me from my studying with his taunting voice about how tight my jeans are and about how the nutritionist was wrong this morning when she said my weight is not going up-

Or, I can choose to put my gloves on, get back in the ring, and destroy Ed’s tiny, punitive and destructive self.

If Ed wants to fight, he will have to chose another day, because today, I am choosing to be productive instead of wallow in his prison of lies and self destruction.

No more trying on jeans today. No more surrendering to Ed today.

The fighter in me is back, and we’re ready to win.

Hello to winning the battle of my freedom, and hello life.



Day 67: Date Night

Good afternoon everyone,

Today is a very different kind of friday for me.

Usually on Friday’s, I always have Shabbat dinner with my family.

When  I was living completely immersed in my eating disorder, Friday’s were determined by one thing: my weight that morning.

If that number was good enough that day for Ed, he would let me go to dinner. If it wasn’t, he sometimes made me stay home, so I could not be tempted to eat around others and be able to restrict all I wanted.

Today is the first Friday since I’ve not had my scale that I do not have a Shabbat dinner with my family because they are going away for the weekend.

When I realized that I didn’t have dinner plans tonight, Ed immediately tried to creep back into my world and tell me what a great opportunity this would be to have a night all alone just for me and him. A night all devoted to restricting just one more time. Just one last night of restricting-especially since it is rare that no one is home and I have no dinner plans.

But instead of listening to him this morning, I actually wanted to listen to myself instead.

I want to take the opportunity I have tonight and turn it into a chance for me to be kind to myself.

I want to take this opportunity and shut Ed down. I want to break the pattern of thinking that on the Friday’s I don’t have dinner with my family, it is a green light to restrict.

Never, before this point in my recovery, do I remember having such a strong desire to be kind to myself and treat myself well.

I did think about what I could do tonight since I’ll be home alone.

I did think about going to the gym. I did think about getting by with a dinner that would not be in my best interest. I did 100% think about it all.

But the thing is, none of those things even sounded appealing to me today.

The first idea that came into my mind this morning, was that I want to take myself on a date.

I want to have a date night at home just for me. I want to be able to enjoy being with myself, and I want to be able to actually cook myself dinner, sit down, and enjoy it.

At first, I only said the idea out loud and then quickly told E that I am not ready for this. But by the end of the session, I decided that I am ready.

Why should I not be ready to be kind to myself and to treat myself to my very own date night?

I am not saying that it will be easy.

I actually know there might be moments or even whole minutes while cooking or eating my meal, that I will feel uncomfortable, fearful, or unworthy.

But I also know, that those moments will be overpowered by the strength and power that I will feel from treating myself well.

It is beautiful to me to be able to look back on 67 days ago and realize that if this exact situation were to happen then, I would be sitting here now in pure and utter bliss fantasizing about how great it will be to not eat tonight.

But now, now I am sitting here, a little afraid, but also excited, ready, and wanting to treat myself well. I actually feel I owe it to myself to treat myself well  tonight.

I already went and got the food I will make. I know exactly how I want to make it. I might even light a few candles.

These concepts of me wanting to treat myself with kindness, of me being OK with being alone with myself, and of me actually turning down the opportunity to skip a meal or restrict, speaks volumes to me about where I am in my recovery today.

I know Ed will try to take a seat right beside me on my date with myself tonight, and I am not going to be unrealistic and try to say he won’t be there, because he most certainly will.

But I am realizing that it is possible to acknowledge his presence, realize he is trying to pull me down, and then move on with my recovery for that moment, and that is what I will try to do tonight.

I am not going to put on some old tight clothes tonight.

I am not going to put on anything fancy and try to be something I’m not.

I am going to wear my most comfortable clothes, leave my hair however it decides to be, and I am just going to let me be me and try to enjoy every second of it.

Yup, I am actually having a date night with myself, crazy or not-it is a big step in my recovery.

And when I am sitting down at the table tonight with the meal that I will have cooked all for me, I will take a moment, close my eyes and whisper to myself, “hello life.”

Day 37: Not Going To Fail

Hello everyone,

Since I have started this journey of one year without a scale and my journey to recovery from my eating disorder, fear has been the number one emotion that I have felt.

I have been fearful of what recovery would do to my body, I have been fearful of what it would do to my relationships, and I have been fearful if I would be able to know who I am without this eating disorder.

Well, I already have had the fear about what recovery would do to my relationships answered for me.  My three year relationship with my ex-boyfriend ended-which I know is a blessing in disguise for many reasons,(one being my recovery), my relationship with my family has immensely strengthened and my relationship with myself has never been as intimate and strong as it is now.

The fears of not knowing who I am without my eating disorder have largely been dis-proven, as the more I write this blog, and the further into recovery I get, the more sense of self I seem to acquire.

And lastly, the fears about the physical changes my body will go through, are definitely still very present every single day. The difference is, that now, I am not afraid to acknowledge this fear. I feel that now since I have acknowledged this fear, that maybe it won’t have as much power over me.

I remember telling E that my biggest fear about starting this journey would be that I would fail; that I would find a scale, stand on it, and epically fail.

I am no longer fearful of that anymore. I know now, that I will not fail at recovery.

Will I cry? Yes, but I will not fail.

Will I have difficult days? Yes, but  I will not fail.

Will I fight with my own perception of what I see in the mirror as my body changes? Yes,but I will not fail.

Will there be days where my eating disorder is loud and where it tries to knock me down? Yes, but I will fight back ten times harder and I will not fail.

Will there be days that I want to take a break from fighting? Yes, there will. But I won’t take a break from fighting for my life, and therefore, I will not fail.

How do I know I will not fail? Because I have my family who will not let me, I have my treatment team who stands behind me, and most importantly, I have made it this far and I will not give up on myself.

Through my fear, through my daily struggles of feeling uncomfortable and full, through my pain and through my negative thoughts-I will rise above and I will not fail.

Last night, I ate dinner with my grandma. It was the first time in four days that I ate the exact dinner on my meal plan like I am supposed to, which in itself was scary for me. After we were done eating, I remember thinking to myself, “I really am doing this. I can’t believe I really am doing this. I am doing recovery.”

Yes, I am doing this, and I am not going to fail at it, and to that I can proudly say, “hello life.”

Day 35: Pushing Through The Darkness

Good morning everybody,

I am feeling very stuck and frustrated as I am writing this post.

Yesterday, I let myself be very vulnerable to my eating disorder. Ed, my eating disorder, got loud yesterday. He got loud, he got mean, and he got dominant again.

I didn’t totally go off my meal plan, but I didn’t completely follow it either, even if I only missed one snack, it is not something I am going to be proud of to tell my nutritionist this later on this morning. And I can’t even sit here and make excuses as for why I didn’t follow it, because I have none. There is no excuse, there is only the true reason, and that is Ed.

Here is where my frustration comes in-all last week- probably one the hardest weeks of my life-the week I left my boyfriend of three years in the name of my recovery, and the week that my will and determination for recovery were truly put to the test-eating on the meal plan did not bother me.

But now, even though I am going through the motions of eating the meal plan, the fear I have of what it will do to my body has greatly intensified.

During my hardest and most difficult times, times where I usually let my eating disorder comfort me, hold me, and smother me-were the times that I was most able to take care of myself best and shut him out.

And now, now that this storm is slowly calming down, now that I am in a safe, loving and warm environment, I have a problem following my meal plan and a problem challenging my eating disorder. Truthfully, I don’t understand what is going on. What is wrong with me? And what is wrong with my eating disorder?

Why is Ed choosing to get loud now-when I don’t need him anymore? He could have been loud last week, when I needed him the most-when I had emotions soaring, pain in my heart, and fear of the future-and maybe he was loud then,but somehow, I knew how to quiet him.

Yesterday, and so far this morning, I can’t seem to quiet his voice and that is extremely frustrating to me. I was in such a place of strength the past week, and I just finally thought that I was starting to become bigger than my eating disorder-that I was slowly crushing him to his death. Today, or at least in this moment, I feel he is crushing me.

This is the dark side of recovery that I hate to look at and that I hate to acknowledge actually has to happen in order for me to truly heal and be free of this eating disorder.

I know, that it is now, more than ever, that I need to stay dedicated and committed to my recovery. I know this because I just left my entire life of three years for it. I left everything I knew-I left the emotions, that even though were painful, were familiar to me for it. I gave up my beloved scale for one entire year for it (it being recovery).

I am fighting my entire life for this recovery-my family, friends and support system are fighting along with me-so why why why am I so stuck in this place of darkness?

Yesterday, I had a Sunday where I didn’t binge-a Sunday that was not Fat Sunday. But on the other hand, it was a Sunday that also had some form of restricting,even if it was only a little bit, I don’t believe that one is necessarily better than the other. It was even hard for me to eat my after dinner snack last night, even though I was hungry-but I will say, that I am proud of myself for listening to my body and eating that snack.

I am thankful that it is early in the morning right now, and that I have the rest of my day to hopefully find strength, inspiration and motivation to put myself back in the ring with Ed.

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week, and to think about the fact that there are other people who are experiencing this frustration, this power struggle, and this darkness with their eating disorders right now, just like me, makes me sad and angry. It hurts me to think someone else is going through the pain that I am going through right now.

If there is anyone reading this today who is also on their path to recovery, I wish I could reach out to you and hold your hand. I wish I could give you my strength and you could give me yours. I wish we could look at each other and tell one another that we will overcome our eating disorders and that we will push through this darkness.

In honor of National Eating Disorder Awareness week, I want to dedicate this post’s “hello life,” to all of those who are fighting for their recovery today, to those who have fought for their recovery in the past, and to those who are going to take the giant leap of faith to fight for their recovery in the future.

To all of us fighters, I say, “hello life.”