Our Stretchy Pants/Self-Love Thanksgiving Policy

Happy holidays to all our beautiful fighters,

Before I start this special Thanksgiving post, I want to just say thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone’s support, love and encouragement towards each other and me over the past 22 months that this journey has started.

Every single day I am so filled with gratitude and appreciation for the beautiful souls this blog has brought together.

To see our Hello Life community connect with each other, support each other and love each other through this blog, social media or personal relationships, even without meeting each other, truly shows how many wonderful people our world has when we open ourselves to it.

With that being said, I wanted to take some time to write a special Thanksgiving post for all of us fighters around the world.

The holiday season is one of the most triggering times for those of us in recovery, fighting for recovery, or who are in the depths of our eating disorders.

We are surrounded by food, family and people and the pressure to try to enjoy meals while being present and not captivated by Ed. It can be one of the hardest things we face all year.

I am writing this post today for a few reasons.

First, is to remind us, and me, that we are human–meaning, that as we go into this holiday season and into Thanksgiving this week (for those living in the U.S.), there might be times we are not present.

There might be moments or minutes we let Ed come in and take over.

It doesn’t mean we are failures. It doesn’t mean we are weak. It doesn’t mean we can’t do recovery and the holidays at the same time.

It means that we are practicing being human. When you are living with an eating disorder, there is no such things as human. There is only perfection.

Learning how to be human again and be OK with it takes time and effort.

We are practicing how to be present.

It is my wish for all of us, including myself, to let go of our expectations of how “normal” we want to be during these holiday weeks and just let ourselves glide our way through, meal by meal, moment by moment.

For me, the holiday times are still difficult.

Being in Washington away from family has made it easy for me to adjust to my regular routines and regular food patterns. I will be flying home to L.A. for Thanksgiving and my patterns will have to break.

Even with almost two years of recovery on my side, it doesn’t make breaking patterns easier. Even with the comfort of my family, it doesn’t make Ed completely silent.

I sat here for days telling myself over and over that I will just go home and forget all my worries, forget Ed and just enjoy my Thanksgiving like a “normal” person.

I told myself I would eat extra healthy during the beginning of the week so when Thursday came for Thanksgiving I wouldn’t feel as bad.

But the more I kept telling myself that, the less authentic I felt.

Who was that talking ? Was it me or was it Ed? It took me some time to sit and figure it out, but I’ve realized that was Ed talking. Not Shira.

Because Shira would say why should I convince myself of anything? Why should I plan rigid rules all week instead of just be in the moment?

That’s not the way I started my recovery and it’s not the way I live my daily recover either.

I’ve always had the mentality that I will let myself feel discomfort, live in the gray areas and ride out the good and bad.

I spent the first 7 months of recovery learning the beauty of living in the gray areas and not setting specific rules and being so black and white.

To set rules as to how “normal” I want my Thanksgiving to be or how healthy I will eat before it would be going back to that black and white mentality and it’s not something I want to go back to.

Instead, I’ve decided that I am going to spend today, tomorrow, and Thursday with only mentality: go with the flow.

If I overeat, so be it. If I don’t, so be it. If I eat dessert three times, so be it. If I don’t, so be it.

I am not saying it will be easy and I am not saying Ed won’t be there.

But I am saying, that no matter what and no matter how many moments I may creep away from the present moment to consult with Ed during these holiday times-I will find my way back to the present.

I will appreciate the moments, minutes and hours I spend in the moment.

I will love myself for letting myself enjoy ┬áthose moments and I will forgive myself for the times I don’t.

This Thanksgiving, that is what I am most thankful for: the ability to forgive myself.

Learning how to forgive myself is something that I’ve worked on for a long time, and it’s not in any way where I want to be yet-but I am far better at it now than I ever was.

Learning how to forgive myself-wether it be for mistakes at work, slips in recovery, listening to Ed–whatever it is-has helped me love myself in a way that I never have been able to before. It’s helped me love others in a way I haven’t been able to before.

Secondly,and not to be cliche, but I am thankful for the undescribale amount of support and love from my family, friends, and Hello Life fighters. I can say, without question, without the support of our fighters, my recovery would not be anywhere near where it is today.

From the bottom of my heart–to all our fighters, especially those in our support group, thank you for your warmth, love, kindness, understanding and friendship–it’s what makes Hello Life, Hello Life and its what keeps me strong in my recovery.

This Thanksgiving, Hello Life is adopting a stretchy pants/leggings/sweats policy the day of Thanksgiving and the day after (since we all know Thanksgiving never ends until all left overs are gone).

This is to help lessen the impact of triggering clothes and to allow ourselves the right to feel comfortable on this special day with our loved ones.

It’s also to practice self-love.

I ask you to join the many of us who have already committed to the policy. And if not, I ask you to join us in showing yourself at least one act of self-love this week.

If it’s not wearing comfy clothes, maybe it’s telling yourself something you love about yourself. If it’s not that, maybe it’s letting yourself spend time with someone you love.

Whatever act of self-love you choose, know that you’re deserving of it, as we all are.

It takes bravery and courage to walk the path to self-love every single day–not many of us can truly do it authentically and whole heartedly.

That bravery and courage nearly doubles during the holiday time when Ed and other forces can be so overwhelming-yet here we are fighters, continuing to walk with that same bravery and courage.

To all of us who continue to rise to that level of bravery and courage and to all of us who will rocking our stretchy pants, hello life.


Day 337: Christmas Eve With Ed: Recovery Edition

Happy Christmas Eve everyone,

Thank you to everyone for sending me your emails if you want to be part of the email fighter support group. I am going to give it a few more days for people to send me their emails if they would like, since I know everyone is busy with the holidays, and then I will send out the first group email message.

Today and tomorrow are some, if not the absolute hardest days of the entire year for people in recovery for an eating disorder, or actually in recovery for any kind of addiction.

When we spend time with relatives or close friends and family, it is easy for old memories or feelings to come up and trigger our Ed’s or our addictions.

I know that for us in recovery for eating disorders, these two days (Christmas Eve and Christmas) are especially difficult because they are two days that are totally surrounded by food.

As weird as it may seem, while I am Jewish, I actually do celebrate Christmas and it is my very favorite holiday.

My uncle is not Jewish and celebrates and practices Christmas every year, so just like any other family celebrating Christmas, so do we on behalf of my uncle.

I am not sure what Christmas Eve dinner or Christmas dinner looks like for others around the world, but for us, it’s basically like Thanksgiving all over again.

Wether you are celebrating with a dinner tonight, or a breakfast or dinner tomorrow, we are all going to be surrounded by food today.

If you’ve been reading my recent posts lately, you know that I haven’t been in the best place with Ed. Realizing that my big Christmas Eve dinner falls today was not an easy thing to take in.

My first instinct was to not go and stay home and eat what felt safe to me.

But I knew that would not only be selfish and disrespectful to my family member who celebrates this holiday, but it also would be taking away my joy from a holiday that I love so much.

Here is the thing with today: I would like to say that this is my Christmas and that this is my holiday and Ed can’t ruin it at all and he will be no where in sight.

But that is just not true.

It is indeed my holiday,and Ed will not ruin it for me, but to say that he won’t be anywhere in sight is not true and I don’t think it’s fair to expect it to be.

For a long time, I thought that if I had Ed next to me, it meant I was failing.

But I see now how wrong I was.

The fact that yes, many times I do have Ed with me, yet I am still succeeding in my recovery, speaks volumes.

That is strength and bravery.

I don’t expect Ed to not be with me at my Christmas Eve dinner tonight.

I know he will be there. He will be sitting right next to me on my chair.

And you know, I think that’s OK for the moment.

Ed was with me for so many years, to say that he would just disappear during my very first holiday season in recovery would be the perfectionist, black and white person in me speaking, and I have let that part of me go.

The biggest lesson I continue to learn is that none of us have to be perfect in our recovery.

Today, my recovery means being present and going to that Christmas Eve dinner, even when Ed is telling me not to.

And if he comes with me, so be it.

And if I need to wear my stretchy pants and loose shirt, so be it.

The fact is, I am there. Period.

I am there.

And to my dear friends and fighters, please know, that wherever you are, we are all going and fighting through these hard holiday gatherings together.

At least for me, knowing that I am not alone, during a time where I feel like it’s difficult for others around me to understand the anxiety around food, is a big source of support.

When you will be at your dinner table tonight celebrating Christmas Eve, I will be at mine doing the same thing.

When you will be around the delicious holiday treats tomorrow morning, so will I.

And so will our Ed’s too.

But that’s ok.

Last year, only Ed was present during this time of year for me; Shira was not.

I was physically there but my mind wasn’t.

Now I am here.

I might be here with my Ed next to me–my little, annoying Ed who doesn’t hold much power anymore. But nonetheless, I am here.

If we have our Ed’s with us at our tables tonight and tomorrow, let’s forgive ourselves for it.

If we eat what our Ed’s tell us not to, oh hell yes, let’s forgive ourselves for it, because it’s Christmas and we deserve it.

And if we feel our Ed’s are taking over us, lets forgive ourselves for it, because regardless of what our eating disorders want us to think, we are not perfect.

We are learning.

And for me and for many reading this, it’s our first Christmas in recovery.

Let’s love ourselves and give ourselves some slack.

Wishing everyone and their Ed’s (if they will be present) a very happy, safe and delicious Christmas Eve.

Hello Life.