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 9: Taking Back My Body

Hello to all my amazing supporters,

Today, I came to find that I really did not know who or what was looking back at me in the mirror after I got dressed.  I knew it was my body, but it did not feel like that.  I felt like it was a being whom I had never met.

All of our relationships in life, whether it’s with a friend,lover, or acquaintance, usually go something like this: both people meet, they get to know each other, then they start to like each other.  From liking each other, they grow to loving each other, and from that love they grow to trust each other.

Right now, I am in two different relationships.

The first relationship is my relationship with my eating disorder, who I am fighting with every ounce of strength I have to break away from and to ultimately end this vicious cycle of abuse.

The second relationship is my relationship with my body.  Me and my body feel like two completely separate entities; like two separate beings.  For as long as I have been in my eating disorder, my body has not been a part of me-it has been part of my eating disorder.

Today, I am taking back my body from my eating disorder and reclaiming it.

For the past year and a half, I have known my body only through these few things: my number on the scale, by what bones I could see or by what skin was hanging off me. I apologize if this is a graphic image for some readers, but I said I would be truthful on this blog, and this is part of the cold hard truth of what an eating disorder looks like.

It is now time to find a new way to know my body. and to be very honest, I don’t know what that way is yet. If I look at myself for too long, I find a never ending list of imperfections.  If I don’t look at myself at all, I feel I am running from the truth.

So for now, since I can’t tell you anything I like about my body, or truthfully know anything about my body, me and my body are simply in the stages of just meeting each other again, and I am going to have to be OK with that.  I have hope that one day we will like each other again, and eventually love and trust each other.

There is however, one good thing that I can say about my body, and that is that I am extremely grateful that it has gotten me to where I am today.  Despite the fact that I starved it and deprived it of so many essential nutrients for so long, it kept me alive and brought me through until today-and for that, I am deeply grateful and appreciative.

On the same token as me pushing myself out of my comfort zone today and forcing myself to say hello to my new body and try to be as accepting as I can of it, comes me finding a glimpse of inner strength,holding my head high and being able to smile and tell myself, “hello life.”

Day 8: Swept Away By Support

Hi everyone,

I just need to start this entry by saying how speechless I am by all the unconditional love and support I have received from family, friends and even strangers during the past day.  To be honest, exposing my biggest secret (my eating disorder) to pretty much the entire world was scary enough as is. But when I made the choice to commit to myself, and everyone else who will follow this blog, that I will not weigh myself and be scale free for an entire year, it took things to a new level of scary.  But saying that, I know that I can do this now.  Because of your guys’ support and love, I know I can do this, and I will.

At first I thought I will give myself a few goals of where I want to be by next Jan 21, 2014, the official one year date of me being scale free.  But as I sit here and think about it, I find it impossible to do that because that year feels so far away, I don’t even know how to make it to that point.  All I do know is this: I need to make it through today.  So, for that reason, I am not going to set some specific goal for myself of where I want to be a year from now after being scale free, which is a weird feeling since I am always the kind of person to set extremely high goals for myself (sometimes that are unattainable) and do anything I can do reach them. This time around, I am going to make the goal to just get through this year; to get from point A to point B and God willing have the strength to be healthy while doing it.

Also, I feel I should let you guys know that not only did I make the decision to be scale free for an entire year, but I gave my scale to E (my therapist), so it is not even in my house.  Part of me feels like that is a relief and part of me, like right now, feels sad about it.

My scale was like my God-it was my number and it was what I defined myself by for that day. If it was low enough, I would be happy and proud but at the same time I would be ashamed because I knew the unhealthy things I had to do to get to that number. If it was high enough, I would be sad and angry and would punish myself by starving the rest of the day to fix it-but no matter what that number was, weather it was good or bad, it was a fact.

Today, I step into the world of the unknown, and that is scary.

I do not know what I weigh today.  I do not know the “damage” that I have done in the past 8 days of not weighing myself.  I have no number to tell me that I have eaten too much or that I have gone too far.  The only thing I have is myself-and that is the scariest thing of all.

I have never been in a place in my life other than right now, where I have not been able to trust myself.  I don’t trust what I see when I look in the mirror, I don’t trust my body when it tells me that it needs food or water, and I don’t completely yet  trust myself to be healthy.  But I am hoping this gets easier every day.

Right now, I can feel my skinny jeans pushing into the little tummy I now have and it does not feel good, but it is happening and I just have to go with it.  It is times like these, where I truly believe (whether it is true or not, I do not know) that my jeans and shirt are fitting significantly tighter on me and I need to find a way to stop it-but I know I can’t because that would mean letting this eating disorder take my life, and I am not going to let that happen.  I will win this.

So even though in this moment I feel uncomfortable in my own skin, and unsure of  myself, I know that I can truly look forward into my future and I can see that these hard moments are the moments that are going to make up a new life for me-a life full of freedom and a life free of this eating disorder.

I am going to finish this blog entry and take a second to realize, that yes, I feel not so great today about the way my clothes fit and I feel a little antsy and frustrated that I don’t know what I weigh, but I started my day by being Shira, not by being some number on the scale-and to that I can close my eyes and tell myself: hello life.