Day 287: The Little Boy Who Made Today A Better Day

Hi everyone,

So I said that yesterday that the odds were in my favor that today would be a good day.

While today wasn’t necessarily a good day, it was 100% a better day.

There would have been a point where only a “better day” was not good enough for me, and I would have strived and wished and desired for more.

But I have come to learn to be accepting of things in recovery and in life, just the way they are.

So if better is what I get today, then better it is.

Yes, it would be nice if it was good or great day or one of those days where I am just in love with recovery, but for now, better is what I am going to be accepting of and grateful for.

In all honestly, better is better than having another bad day, right? (Hopefully that made sense).

Today was better for pretty much one reason only and it had nothing to do with how I feel about my body or food, because that is kind of at the same status that it was yesterday.

That reason is that today was better is because I was able to be of service today and to make someone else happy. When I do that, it helps all those terrible things that Ed tells me about myself slightly lessen because it reminds me that my self worth is based on my physical being, but based on my inner soul.

Today, I was able to give the 2nd grade boy I tutor a certificate for completing his reading comprehension workbook that he’s been working on with me for  months.

He was so happy that it was officially signed and dated and he felt so accomplished that he went and he taped it up on his bedroom door and yelled for his mom to come see it.

To know that I was a part of  making that boy’s day that much brighter, reminded me that I am not this undisciplined and worthless person that Ed tells me I am because the way my body looks isn’t what I’m loving right now.

It reminded me, that to this kid at least, I was worth enough that signing this piece of paper made him feel validated and proud of himself.

So if this is what a better day looks like, then actually, I don’t even need good day at the moment.

Imaging him smiling as he taped that certificate on his wall, not caring at all about what I looked like, but only caring about the fact that I, his smart tutor who he respects, acknowledged his hard work and therefore made him so happy, makes this better day pretty damn close to good.

Hello life. 

Advertisements

Day 284: Sorry Ed, I’m Cutting Myself Some Slack

Happy Friday fighters,

After waking up at 7 a.m. to answer a bunch of e-mails and work on my two stories that I submitted to my editor today, I had planned to get up and go running.

…planned is the keyword, because I guess my body didn’t want to do that today because it kept falling back asleep.

Finally, when I did manage to wake up, I just knew that I couldn’t go today. It was the typical daily battle of Ed v. Shira.

If you remember, on Monday, I wrote about how hectic and stressful of a day I had.

I could not see how I would make it to today.

Not only did I make it to today, but I made it with flying colors.

Two completed news stories later, many blog e-mails later and many tutoring and class sessions later, I sit here feeling accomplished.

So in honor of that, when I finished my work today, I literally told Ed:

“Ok Ed, my dear friendemy, I am plopping myself down right here on this bed and I am watching Law and Order until I have to get up and leave for work.”

And that I did.

It was not an easy task to do with Ed reminding me every time I ate something that I didn’t workout today.

But seriously Ed, cut me some slack.

Actually, maybe it isn’t Ed who needs to cut me some slack.

Maybe it’s me who needs to cut me some slack.

So I didn’t workout today. Big deal. I will live on. And unfortunately, so will Ed.

So I ended up eating chocolate peanut butter ice cream last night with my sister after I very seriously told myself I won’t even eat one single piece of Halloween candy.

So what, Ed? So what?

I feel like I need to take a moment and give myself some credit today because up until now, I’ve let Ed tell me to feel terrible about myself today because I didn’t work out and I still ate what I wanted.

But you know what? I worked hard this week. I was productive this week. I enjoyed ice cream last night. And I sat down in bed and watched Law and Order for two straight hours. Good job me. I deserved to do that today.

I mean…don’t we all deserve to cut ourselves a little bit of slack every now and then? Even if Ed says the answer is no, I’m doing it anyway.

Hello life.

Day 281: Raised Spirits

Hello lifers,

I don’t know what it was about today, but after a day like I had yesterday, someone somewhere must have known I needed a little extra support today, and not only was I lucky enough to receive it, I was overflowed with it.

From private e-mails, to comments, to tweet messages and to Facebook messages, and a special phone call from my mom, there was a beautiful person sending me a positive and inspiring message at the end of every media outlet today.

Some gave me words of encouragement.

Others told me how this blog has touched their lives.

One girl even told me this blog has saved her life.

But what no one knew, is that deep down, getting everyone’s support, is what lifted my spirits back up from my hard day yesterday and brought them into the place of hope that they are now.

Because of your love and support, I had a good day in recovery today.

I didn’t have a good day because I worked out (because again, I didn’t workout today yet again).

I didn’t have a good day because I didn’t think about calories in my food (because I most definitley did do that).

And I didn’t have a good day because my newest story for my university newspaper ran on the front cover today.

I had a good day because something so much stronger, bigger, and more fulfilling than Ed could ever make me, surrounded me all day and all night; and that was the support from all of you.

A year ago, I was the girl who would have said that I could handle everything on my own. I was the one who never needed help. I was the one who helped everyone else.

And even though I still tend to feel that I am expected to be this super hero all the time, I am no longer afraid to say that I cannot do this alone.

I cannot do recovery alone, and I don’t want to do it alone.

I am not afraid to admit that it is because of other people that I made it through today with a sound and hopeful mind.

Ed was the one who was afraid of other people, not me.

And now, I get to embrace the love and support I was missing out on for so long when I was letting Ed rule our lives.

This blog is truly no longer only my journey, but the journey of an entire community leaning, encouraging and supporting one another.

Thank you for being the reason I sit here tonight with raised and hopeful spirits.

Hello to the beautiful souls who have made today’s recovery a gift and hello life.

Day 278: It’s Days Like Today That Keep Me Going

Hi everyone,

It is days like today that keep me going. They are the days that remind me why I chose recovery in the first place.

It is days like today where I only did one body check, that keep me going.

It is days like today where I ate birthday cake frozen yogurt in the middle of my day for no reason at all other than the fact that I just wanted it, that keep me going.

It is days like today where I was able to study and get homework done without being so preoccupied by how I look or what I ate, that keep me going.

It is days like today where I didn’t encounter another conversation with myself in the bathroom mirror about why my arms don’t  look good,  that keep me going.

It is days like today where I didn’t go shopping at the mall because I knew I would not be accepting of any new clothing sizes, that I see how I’ve learned to have compassion for myself, that keep me going.

It is days like today that remind me when I gave up my scale to my therapist, why the first words that came to my mind were “hello life,” that keep me going.

It is days like today, where I didn’t have a number to define me, that keep me going.

It is days like today, that I ask you all, what keeps you going in recovery?

It is days like today, where recovery is on my side, that I humbly say, hello life.

Day 270: Happy 23rd Birthday To Me

Happy Friday to everyone,

Today I am celebrating my 23rd birthday–my first birthday in recovery.

The differences from my birthday this year from how my birthday was last year when I was locked in my eating disorder is like I am two different people living two different lives.

A year ago today on my last birthday, I woke up at my boyfriend’s (now ex-boyfriend) house, and the very first thing I wanted to do was go get my scale and weigh myself; actually I don’t think I even wanted to do it-but I remember feeling like I needed to do it.

It was a necessity at the time; like air is to humans to breathe.

The scale was tucked away in my boyfriend’s mom’s closet, something that usually wasn’t an issue because she normally left for work before I woke up. But for some reason, on my birthday last year, she was still home in the morning.

I remember thinking what in the world I was going to do.

Do I go and take the scale from her closet and go weigh myself in the kitchen like I always do, even though she already thinks I am crazy about my weight anyway?

Do I not weigh myself and try to have a day without it?

I couldn’t. I needed to get that scale.

I can remember that feeling I had when I walked with my head down to that closet and pulled out that scale, and set  it down in the middle of the kitchen tile as I stood to weigh myself on it.

“Shira, why are you doing that?” I remember her asking me.

“I just have to,”  I said.

I can remember the humiliation I felt as I stepped on that scale in front of her eyes. I can remember how ashamed I felt, how defeated I felt and how controlled by Ed I felt.

And after all that,  I hated what that number showed that day-I remember exactly what it was.

That day, I let myself have one chocolate for breakfast. It was a huge deal. It wasn’t a Sunday (my binge days), and the fact that I even let myself have that was almost unimaginable.

At my job at the time, I didn’t tell anyone it was my birthday because I didn’t want anyone to bring me cake or cupcakes.

I met my grandma and mom for lunch at a deli, where I knew I could order egg whites; they sucked.

And that night, before my boyfriend took me out to dinner (at which I hardly ate or enjoyed), I made his mom take a picture of us, telling her I wanted it as a memory, when I knew deep down, all I wanted to do was see how my body looked like.

As I started this first birthday in recovery this morning without a scale, without a number and with many different yummy chocolates,  I sat with E over coffee and I almost cried.

I have given every single ounce of my inner strength within me to make it to this birthday in recovery.

I have fought, I have cried,I have been in physical pain, and I have walked through the mental chaos in my head that only those with eating disorders or addictions can truly understand-all for one reason: because I finally know that I am worth fighting for a life of happiness and freedom.

Today, I celebrate that life.

While I have a long way to go in my recovery, it is important that I sit back and acknowledge how far I have come since a year ago today.

I was surrounded with so much love today.

I hugged my sister last night as we blew out a candle on a cupcake together right at 12 a.m.

I had lunch with her today, I am going to have dinner with my family later, and I was able to truly start this day feeling loved by others not because of what I weighed and not because I looked a certain way, but because they love me for who I am as a person.

Even last year, people around me loved me for who I am, but because I was so busy only conditionally loving myself based on what number I attached to myself that day, I couldn’t even enjoy it.

I didn’t need a scale today to tell me my self worth today.

I didn’t need a number.

All I needed to do was reflect back on the chains that were shackling me a year ago, and now see that they lie broken on the floor beside me-and that I am the one that broke them.

That right there, shows my worth.

It shows the fight I have within me. It shows the love I have for myself and it shows that deep down, despite what Ed might say, I know I am worth living a life of true self acceptance and love.

I cry as I write this post right now, because I look back and I know, that I will never have to go through that humiliation of standing on that scale in the middle of the kitchen ever again.

No eating disorder, no Ed, no nothing, can ever bring me back to such a hopeless and dark place, and it is my deepest hope and wish that no one reading this ever does either.

On this 23rd birthday of mine, I celebrate my life.

I am celebrating my hard earned life in recovery.

I also need to say that today wouldn’t be the same without my twin sister. She was brought into this world next to me, and she can truly see into my soul. She has been a huge source of strength during my recovery and I am blessed to share this special birthday with her.

When my sister and I were born, she was twice my size because she ate all my food, (ironic right), and I was really tiny and I had to fight really hard to get to be a healthy baby.

My dad once told me “Shira, you were born a fighter. From the minute you came into this world, you were fighting.”

And on top of that, I am born on the 18th (obviously), which in the Jewish religion, stands for the word “chai,” which literally means life.

The story of my life literally translates to : fighting for life.

But today, I am not fighting.

I am celebrating.

Hello to my first birthday in recovery, and hello hello hello to my beautiful life.

Day 268: My Two Worlds Coming Together

Hi everyone,

A few weeks ago I wrote about how I was working on a big story for my university newspaper, and that I was getting so involved in writing it, that it made my recovery very difficult.

I was having a hard time between letting the writing of that story become a distraction from eating and between making it a motivator for me to eat so I can keep my mind clear and focused.

I made the hard choice to use that experience as a challenge in recovery, and I did use it as a lesson in learning how to still nourish myself and eat on the meal plan, even during times of chaos and busyness , because that is bound to happen often times in life and it’s something I want and need to get comfortable with.

Well, I could not have been more proud that I chose to stay dedicated to eating and keeping my mind clear during writing that story, because today that story ran on the front page of the newspaper and had a 4 page spread as well as getting over 50 Facebook shares in just one day.

It was incredible.

Had I not made the choice to eat during the writing of that story, there is no way it could have been as beautifully written as it turned out to be, so for that, I am grateful for my recovery.

A lot of times I get conflicted because I feel like I am two different people.

One part of me is the part you see me on this blog; a girl in recovery who  I guess has turned into a blogger and blogging about my experience.

The other part of me is this reporter and aspiring journalist-which is so different from my blog because as a journalist, I have no views and no opinion, I just give the facts. The blog on the other hand, is purely my views, feelings and opinions.

They are two separate worlds.

But today, I saw how both of those worlds came together to work in perfect harmony.

The recovery girl in me helped the reporter in me write the greatest story I have ever written.

I was thinking about how crazy it is that I have chosen a profession like journalism, where every great article, is not only great because it exposes the truth, but because it has balance.

Any good journalist will find a perfect balance to a story; the equal amount of pros and equal amount of cons. The story that ran today, was in perfect balance.

But how ironic is it that I chose a profession that deals with balance, the one thing in my personal life, especially with Ed, that I have lacked and strive so hard to achieve?

For every negative comment in today’s story, there was a positive one to off set it, or vice versa.

If only I could apply that to my recovery and to Ed, I think I would win many more battles. Sometimes, all it takes is one comment to change an entire story or view or situation.

What would it be like, if every time Ed said something negative to me, I off set it with a positive comment back? Just like my stories, to keep everything in balance?

Would that one positive comment completely tear Ed down and discredit him? No, not at all, just how one positive comment doesn’t discredit a negative comment  in my articles either.

But, it would add balance. It would add another view to think about.

It would add my own voice to Ed’s voice, and maybe mine just might be the one that stands out.

I am not saying it is easy to offset every negative Ed thought with a positive one because it’s one of the hardest things in the world to do because it’s rewiring the brain of those of us who have eating disorders, but the idea of creating balance within my own life, the way I do for the stories I write is one that is intriguing and exciting to me.

But overall, today was significant of my two worlds of recovery  and journalism coming together to create a small step of success for me.

No number on a scale, no calorie count and no clothing size could ever amount to the same level of success as a 4 page article in a newspaper does, and the fact that I am able to realize and appreciate that is why I am thankful I chose  the journey to recovery 9 months ago.

Hello life.

Day 265: 100 Days Left…I Am No Longer The Person I Used To Be

Hello everyone,

Today is my 265th out of the 365 total blog posts that I will be writing documenting my year without a scale and my journey to recovery, meaning today is the official count down to the last 100 days of this blog.

More than anything, today is a day of reflection for me.

I still remember celebrating my 100 day milestone.

I remember writing that blog post. I remember the cake I ate and I remember the family I ate it with. It was significant of me truly starting this journey, and knowing that if I reached 100 days without my scale and of recovery, that I could go all the way for an entire year.

I don’t know how I am sitting here 165 days later, now entering the last closing phase of this blog, now not celebrating 100 days in, but actually celebrating 100 days left.

I know, from the deepest place within me, that I could not sit here and write today’s post if I had to do this journey by myself. Thank you to all my family, my friends, my readers, my followers, my supporters, and E, for being my strength during these 8 months.

Of course, this does not mean in 100 days that I will take back my scale; it’s actually the opposite of that.

Giving up my scale meant making a decision.

It meant choosing recovery.

It meant choosing that I needed to re-learn who I was without that number. It meant choosing to learn how to completely re-live my life, and re-discover who I was without my eating disorder and without my weight to define me.

Reaching that one year mark in 100 days will be the ultimate prize to myself that no number on a scale could ever give me; it will mean I have stuck to my decision; it will mean that I will have fought my way through this journey-through the tears, through the physical pain, and through the fear,  because I told myself I wouldn’t turn back, and it will mean that I am one step closer to freedom.

Will I be completely free of Ed by the time that 365th day comes in a little over 3 months? I really don’t know.

Had I asked myself that  question 8 months ago, I would have said yes in a heartbeat.

But if there’s one thing that I’ve learned so far in recovery, it’s this: my journey is not about setting black and white goals and expecting myself to reach them; it’s not about saying goodbye to Ed forever.

It’s about growing. It’s about learning. It’s about walking, dancing, turning and gliding through this process of creating a new life for myself; it’s not about reaching some certain specific goal.

When I had my eating disorder, every day was about reaching some number on a scale; my life is not like that anymore.

I am more dedicated to growing and journeying through my fight with Ed, through my struggles, through my pain, and through my insecurities.

Lastly, I am not sure if I will ever be forever done with Ed. I used to think recovery meant totally killing Ed, or crushing Ed, or suffocating Ed.

But the more I grow in recovery, the more I see that again, Ed is not black and white-and I will not hold myself to this expectation of either getting rid of him completely or living with him completely, because that’s how I got so sucked into him in the first place.

“If I can’t get rid of this eating disorder, I guess I’ll give it all I got,” I used to think.

No. Not anymore.

I am learning to navigate my life on my terms, and walk in the path of freedom, not in the path of numbers and restrictions.

But I am also learning that Ed might come and he might go, and it might be like that forever.

He is a part of me. We all have people or characteristics or flaws that are a part of us that are not always good.

But we learn to become stronger than them; we learn to conquer them, and we learn to rise above them–we don’t always have the option of expelling them out of our lives.

So, my point is, looking back on 265 days ago, I am not that black and white person I used to be.

I am not even gray.

I am not a color.

I am not a number.

I actually don’t even know who I am yet, and I am actually excited to continue to find that out.

For today, I am a 22 year old girl, counting down the days to my birthday this Friday (first birthday in recovery), choosing what I will wear, and I am celebrating being a person, just like you or someone else, who made a decision to fight for a better life, and actually stuck with it.

I am celebrating walking the road that is taken by few, yet wanted and desired by so many; the road to finding true self acceptance, happiness, and freedom.

Hello to the last 100 days of this blog and hello life.

100 days to go