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.

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Day 309: Whatever Enough Means…I Am It

Hello everyone,

I had another story run on the front page of my university newspaper today.

I didn’t workout because I needed a break.

I had one of the top officials at school approach me and want to do an interview with me for a story.

I found out I got an A on that presentation in one of my classes that I did last week that was 50 percent of my grade.

The beautiful woman who I documented her oral history on video was actually proud of the work I did.

And yet, for whatever reason, none of it was enough for me.

I found myself sitting here in bed right before I started writing this post, adding up the calories I ate today in my phone.

Like, really? Really? I had all these great accomplishments today, and that’s what I am sitting here doing? Adding up calories?

Why can’t I sit here and brag about all those little victories that I made happen for myself today? I did try and put my cover story on my Facebook page, but that didn’t help.

All because I ate today, none of my accomplishments seem to matter.

And I didn’t even eat “bad,” I ate totally on my meal plan-maybe some extra sweets but nothing that should logically make me feel guilty. It is days and moments like these where I need to stand back, close my eyes and give myself a reality check.

And if I can’t see the reality check, that’s fine, but at least I need to try.

Reality check: All my accomplishments today had nothing to do with Ed.

And actually, maybe that’s why Ed was so loud today, because he sees me succeeding in my life without him and he’s trying to hold onto me.

I honestly don’t want to be held by him anymore. Let me go, Ed. Some days you are nicer, some days you hold on tight, like today.

To sit here and not let myself feel proud of my accomplishments because of calories, pains my soul. I don’t deserve that, and I know it.

What I know and what I feel are two different things right now, but thats ok. Like  I always say, feelings come and go, but facts stay.

Maybe none of the things I did today feel like enough, but maybe tomorrow they will. Maybe this post will reach someone who is going through the same thing today,and maybe knowing that will be enough.

Maybe just realizing that I’m not in the happiest mood, and that it’s ok, and that it will pass is enough.

Maybe enough isn’t about amounting to anything or achieving some kind of accomplishments, maybe enough can start with just being honest with myself.

If I’m honest with Ed, well, there’s no honesty with Ed–if I let Ed pull me in to his lies, then my honesty with myself is gone and that’s not an option.

So here’s my honest moment with myself and I: we didn’t have the greatest day with how we feel about ourselves today, but we’re ok.

I got through the day being honest with myself instead of honest with Ed, I ate on the meal plan, and I am still able to see that tomorrow is a new day.

I mean, sometimes making it through the day is enough in itself right?

Whatever enough means, I would like to think I am it today.

Hello life.

enough

Day 308: Welcome To Recovery, Ed–The Land of Cocktails and Restaurant Dinners on a Monday

Hello everyone,

A day that started out totally consumed by Ed, is now ending totally not consumed by him, and I will walk you through how this happened.

Now, at the beginning of the day, I was telling E how I had some extra time today because my class was canceled and so was my tutoring, and that instead of enjoying it, I wanted to spend it at the gym.

I was almost in desperate need of being inside the gym, like I was thirsting for it.

I did go to the gym, but only for 20 minutes, and then after I hit that 20 minute mark, my body was just done. And I am still done.

Done enough that I don’t even think I will go tomorrow, even though Thanksgiving is on Thursday.

Ed, my body and I are done and we need a break.

And today we took that break. Instead of living inside the gym today, or living inside my room looking over and over again at the pictures I took of myself in the mirror this morning (which are now deleted), I decided to go to a movie with my grandma.

The movie actually ended up being kind of sad, as there was a lot about death centered around it, but it also made me think of the own death I’ve seen in my life–and I’ve only truly seen and felt one death that touched my life directly, and that was my grandpa (I’ve written about him before).

When you think about losing people you love, stupid pictures of the way your body looked this morning after eating a little extra the past few days is just not as important.

You know what is important to me now?

The fact that I spent time with my grandma today; that quality time together is important.

You know what’s important now?

The amazingness in her and I going to dinner after the movie to one of my favorite restaurants and ordering cocktails.

COCKTAILS WITH MY GRANDMA, GUYS. Let me repeat: Cocktails-with-my-grandma. Is she cool or what?

I mean, how awesome and rare is that? And how incredible is it that it actually happened?

I used to only see my grandma on Thursdays, at one particular restaurant, where I only got exactly one kind of salad–no dressing, no nothing on it. Just plain, boring, and Ed driven.

Here we were, on  a Monday, seeing a movie together and eating at my favorite restaurant with cocktails.

Ed can kiss my cocktail and amazing dinner from The Cheesecake Factory’s behind, because they were far more important than him, and his pictures from this morning, and his deep desire to stay at the gym all day.

Welcome to recovery, Ed–the land of cocktails and restaurant dinners on a Monday—we’re here to stay.

Hello life.

Day 307: Sorry That I’m Not Sorry

Hi guys,

I was helping my aunt cook today for the upcoming holidays this week, one of which will be Hanukkah. I am Jewish, so while I’m not big on religion, Hanukkah is more of cultural and family event that happens every year, and it’s always, always, always surrounded by lots of fried and delicous yet not Ed approved food.

The main food you eat is potato latkas, which are basically fried potatoes, pretty much like hash browns. So that was all my aunt and I made today–over 100 of those potato latkas.

Not only did I try the first one we made, I tried the second one, I tried probably the 20th one, the 30th one all the super crispy fried pieces that broke off in the frying pan while cooking, and a lunch in between, and then later on tried some more.

I later came home and had pizza for dinner with bread (ah..carb overload) and then realized that over the past few days, I pretty much ate an entire loaf of bread to myself.

I would be lying to you if I said there wasn’t a slight mini freak out moment of anxiety after I realized that fact about the loaf of bread-post eating fried potatoes all day and post eating pizza and bread for dinner (not to mention all my chocolate from yesterday).

Ed wanted me to be sorry.

He still does want me to be sorry.

But honestly, can’t I just have a few days where I eat whatever it is I want–chocolate, fried potatoes, an entire loaf of bread? Don’t people deserve that sometimes?

And also, aren’t I entitled to eat the food I worked so hard to cook today?

Even though I might not be happy with the idea of it all and I might be thinking about how much weight I’ve gained from this, especially with Thanksgiving coming up this week,  I am not sorry.

So Ed, I am sorry that I’m not sorry.

You know Ed? It’s the holidays…a time where people eat…and actually enjoy it…and somehow, they all move past it and don’t blow up like a huge balloon like you are trying to make me think I will.

You’re really just not that credible of a source anymore.

Again, sorry that I’m not sorry for what I ate today and these past few days, and sorry in advance for not being sorry about the food I’ll eat this week.

I see that Ed is not going to cut me any slack, so I’m going to have to work extra hard this week to be extra kind to myself.

It won’t be easy and I know I won’t succeed every minute of the day, but I will try.

It’s funny how the holiday season is about giving to others, but we so often forget to give to ourselves.

How amazing would it be if we could all give ourselves and others the gift of kindness this year?

One person who is for sure not on my gift list is Ed–and I’m not sorry for that either.

Hello life.

Day 299: I Cried Today…But Not Because of Ed.

Hi everyone,

Before I begin today’s post, I just want to say a quick note that you might have received an e-mail from my blog today where I re-blogged someone else’s posts about a young woman who is trying to raise money to help her fight cancer. I just want to make it clear that I don’t personally know her or even the blogger who wrote the post, and therefore cannot verify that her donation site is 100% legitimate. I just wanted to help spread support for someone in need. I am in no way promoting or endorsing her or anything of that sort,  I just thought I would help spread the word.

So moving on into today:

Low key, I think I cried almost two times today.

Well, one a half times.

One times I really did cry, the second time it was just me hyperventilating with that knot in my throat, but I didn’t cry again. So let’s just say I cried one a half times today (so far).

Here’s the recovery niche of that statement: I didn’t cry over my body, or Ed, or what food I ate today, or the food I ate yesterday, or what I looked like in the mirror.

I cried because I honestly have so much homework to do and so many things to fix on my new articles that I am writing and absolutely not enough brain power or time to do it all at once.

Sometimes, when I get overwhelmed, Ed comes to comfort me.

But today, he didn’t. He didn’t because I didn’t let him-and I didn’t let him because having him come in the picture will only make me cry more tomorrow.

Not to sound totally crazy here, but having a day where I am stressed out, or a day where I even cried over something totally not related to my body or to calories or to food, is kind of refreshing.

Those readers who are struggling with eating disorders might understand this a little bit better.

When I was locked in my eating disorder, everything revolved around it. Everything from food, to weight, to what I wore that day, to how I felt that day.

My emotions were once (and sometimes still  are) regulated by Ed and what he told me to feel that day.

If I weighed a “good enough” number, he would tell me I could be happy. If I weighed a “bad number,” he would tell me to be stressed, angry and sad.

And that was pretty much the entire range of emotions I ever felt when I was in my lowest point with Ed.

I never cried though. And if I did cry, I cried alone at night, by myself in bed, when my heart would beat really slow and I would get scared about what I was doing to my body.

So the fact that I cried today not because of anything Ed related, but because I was stressed out about something absolutely not related to him is actually a great thing.

I’m moving on to new stressors, that are not about my eating disorder.

No stress is ever fun, and I am in no way happy that I cried, because obviously, I am slightly having a mini freak out about how I will handle all this work in such little time, but, I am able to see what this means.

This means life after Ed.

Also, I just want to say thank you to everyone who e-mailed me and told me they received their hello life bracelets today. I haven’t had a chance to respond because if you can tell by this post, I’ve been stressing out today, but I promise to respond soon and I really appreciate you taking the time to let me know you received them.

I guess it’s not really low key that I cried anymore because hundreds of people now know, but I don’t care.

Your the same people who’ve known that I’ve cried because of Ed, so why not tell you when I cry because of other things not about him?

It’s kind of refreshing to read right?

For what it’s worth, it’s refreshing to feel.

Hello life.

Day 297: It’s Just A Day-Not My Life

Hi everyone,

What a day.

Let me start off by saying that remember how yesterday I said I felt huge, yet I was able to kind of push it aside and not let it bother me as much?

OK, well today, it’s bothering me a lot more. A lot, a lot, a lot more.

I had a job interview today, which meant I needed to go find my nice work clothes, clothes that I haven’t worn in  a very long time. But ironically, I actually used to wear these clothes when I was not in my eating disorder so I thought that they couldn’t be triggering.

But, they were.

Naturally, I had to try every single thing on; every skirt, every pant, every shirt, just everything. And when the pants that I tried on that used to fit snug on me when I was X amount of weight, now fit me the same way, it made me wonder if I weigh the same now as when I last wore them (not a number I like).

I don’t need to describe this whirl wind of events  that occurred after that because I am sure by now, you all know what happened.

I stood in the mirror and tried to think of what I weigh now and what I weighed last time I wore them and how big I look.

What can I say? I thought about it for quite a while and then I had to go get ready and leave so I just left the thought where it was .

I am still not sure what I think about it, but I don’t like it.

Moving on to my job interview which took place an hour after my mini guess the weight game with myself and Ed.

I was grilled in this interview. Four people interviewed me asking me questions as ifI wasn’t qualified for the job that they had called me in to do the interview for.

No small enough weight in the world could have saved me from that hard interview today . I left there wondering if I wasn’t up to par with  what they wanted in a candidate for this job.

Combine not feeling up to par with people’s expectations of you with feeling huge and trying to estimate my weight a few hours earlier, it’s safe to say that today hasn’t been the most fabulous of days.

However, it’s just a day-not my life.

On to tomorrow.

On to the next interview (ok, well wishful thinking, but let’s hope there will be other interviews).

On to another day where even if I spend all day trying to guess my weight, I’ll never know it.

On to another day of hard earned recovery.

For anyone else not having the greatest of days today, on to tomorrow we go.

Hello life. 

Day 295: Being A Recovery Olympian

Hi everyone,

I normally go to the gym if I am going to workout, but today I decided to go running outside on a hiking path that I really like.

As I was  running, I was reminded of how I felt when I ran cross country in high school.

I had initially joined the cross country team for Ed, because he told me to find some kind of exercise. But once I started it, it wasn’t about Ed anymore.

It became about my team. It became about beating my best time. It became about learning how to listen to my body, how to fuel it, and how to make it run as efficiently as it could.

When I was running today, I could literally hear my old coach telling me from the sidelines, “You’re tall, you’re strong, you’re beautiful.”

I was honestly not thinking about calories or numbers or miles today.

I was stuck back in the 11th grade, with my other cross country girls, just trying to enjoy the feeling of running.

And just for the record, I wasn’t even one of the fast runners on the team who won us any titles.

I was the one who came in second or third to last, and truly pushed myself for even that. But I was known for my perseverance, a quality that I think has gotten me through  a lot of rough days in recovery.

So there I was today, running, imagining that I look like some kind of olympic super star, while we all know we never look like that while huffing and puffing as we run hard, but it was nice to imagine.

And then, out of no where, I tripped and fell over a rock and landed right on my face.

The olympian moment was over and now I was back in real life. My real life where yes, sometimes I start to feel like I’m flying  and then I fall. But isn’t that everyone’s life?

Anyway, as I limped my way back to my car with my two scrapped and now severely bruised knees and two fake nails broken in half (most painful part), I realized something.

And no, I am not about to use the metaphor, “when you fall, pick yourself back up,” although that did cross my mind too.

I realized, that for the first time in a long time, that when I was done exercising, (obviously I was very done after my fall),  I wasn’t even mad that my run was cut short because I fell.

I wasn’t mad that I couldn’t spend more time burning calories.

I wasn’t mad that my one hour of running turned into 30 minutes.

I was mad that my nails broke and that my phone fell in the dirt and that my knees hurt.

Don’t get me wrong, those aren’t fabulous things and in no way am I happy about it, but I am actually really happy with myself that I was mad at that, instead of being mad that my exercising got cut short.

That is recovery.

To care more about myself and my body (from my knees to my nails), is recovery. That is self-care 101 and it’s something that Ed knows nothing about.

However, it is something that I know about now.

And now that I write this, I honestly still think I was like a mini olympian today.

I finished my own race. While it might had been flat on my face, it was my way-and it was without Ed judging me for it.

Who knew I would ever be more upset over some broken nails and cut up knees than about not being able to run and burn more calories?

That sounds like a recovery olympian to me.

Hello life.