Hello Life: A Pregnancy Without A Scale

Hello  fighters!

Today marks five years since we’ve been on this journey together, (well really six years, if you count the time leading up to the smashing of the scale), and five years that I have never looked back.

Instead of writing my yearly post, today’s post is actually going to kind of re-launch the blog in a way. Of course, nothing will ever replace our journey of a year without a scale. There is just no way anything ever could come close.

But for the first time since I started this blog, it has finally come time to begin a new chapter.

So, for the next 6 months, and ongoing until it’s time for another new chapter, this journey has now transformed into:

Hello Life: A Pregnancy Without a Scale!

I got married in July, and prayed for a baby for whenever the universe would tell us it was the right time. And I am so excited to say that I am almost 12 weeks pregnant with my first little human soul.

I always told myself that when I got pregnant, I would bring back my blog. And I am so grateful that the time has come for me to do that.

There are so many reasons why I want to do this blog.

First, I know first hand that there are so many of us in recovery from eating disorders that have experienced a pregnancy for the first time and are wondering what the journey will be like.  And while no one persons journey is ever the same, I think we Bring hope with each other’s experiences.

For me at least, and for so many others, this is the first time in my entire recovery that I will be gaining weight and really not having much control over it (other than of course trying to eat as balanced as possible). For those of us in recovery, that is a big deal.

Second, I looked for other blogs talking about this, and I couldn’t really find one.

I’ve found blogs on eating healthy during pregnancy—so so so so , so, many of those. I found blogs on experiencing pregnancy and I found blogs on everything else pregnancy.

But never a pregnancy in recovery from an eating disorder and a pregnancy without a scale.

So, if you are looking for a blog about eating healthy during your pregnancy, this might not be the blog for you. That doesn’t mean I won’t talk about food on my blog, but I don’t think it’s going to be like that.

To be honest, I don’t know what this blog will be like.

I am just going to roll with it.

I know that I will need the support. I already do. I waited this long to blog because I was waiting until the 12 week mark.

But I imagine, just like my Year without a scale blog, it was never just about recovery; it was about life.

And that’s what this is going to be about: life-both mine and this little human soul’s growing inside of me.

Usually my posts are shorter, but this one might be longer just because it has been so long-so I am sorry about that! Next one will be shorter, I promise.

So what is different about this blog this time: I am not going to blog every day like I did with the year without a scale. I think I am going to blog once a week  (I think on Wednesdays) or just whenever I feel the urge so that could mean more than that, but well see.

What is the same as the other blog: It is going to be real and raw. No sugarcoating. No leaving things out.

So, where am I at?

I think I am in the best place in my recovery that I have ever been-and I think that was true even before I got pregnant.

That doesn’t mean there are not and were not hard days, because there are. But for me, it just means that I learned how to find balance between my thoughts, my food, and my actions.

I remember right when I started recovery I had to go to a doctor to do a full work up on me.

He did an EKG, and a few other tests, and I remember him asking me, “So, do you want to ever have kids?”

“Of course,” I told him. (I have wanted to be a mom since I was 5 years old. I was always the mom when I played house with my brother and sister and bossed everyone around. It was my calling).

“You will not have kids if you continue like this. Your body can’t do it,” he said.

At the time, I thought he was just trying to scare me. But his words stuck in my mind-not really at that time, but in later years through my recovery.

I think back to the days where I was so deep in my eating disorder that I would lay in bed at night with my heart beating so fast because it was so irregular asking God to please let me wake up the next day, and that if he did, I would do better.

But the next day was just the same.

Not because I wanted it to be the same, because I was trapped in this world that I myself didn’t know how to get of.

I haven’t even had my baby yet, and I feel so protective over him or her.

The other day a car was tailgating me and I swear I could have pulled over and yelled at them, “Listen buddy, I have a baby In here!!!”. I was so mad!

I’ve realized now, more than ever, how much my eating disorder didn’t just affect me, but my family and my parents. To think of how many nights they spent worrying about something that they had no control over to fix nor caused, can keep me up for hours.

It’s weird to me, for some reason, that all these thoughts came to me lately. But I am glad they did.

It is those thoughts that keep me grounded and that keep me reminded of why I choose recovery every single day.

It is those thoughts that remind me of how sweet my freedom from my eating disorder is.

Sometimes, I need that reminder.

So fast forward to today:

I am almost three months preggo (Wednesday is 12 weeks) and finally starting to show. Although, this is also what I looked like before I got pregnant after I ate a big meal, so sometimes I am not sure if its the baby or if its still a food baby or a mix of both, but I will take it!

Instead of trying to fit into my jeans, I bought this amazing little black stretchy thing that goes in between your belt loops and stretches out so you don’t need to even close your button! It makes your jeans into leggings pretty much.

Why do you have to be pregnant to find such a miracle product? Why can’t we use this on Thanksgiving or big dinners? I see that thing as one of the best forms of self care and will totally use it even after I have the baby.

I have been to the doctor twice now. The first time was just an intake, and I explained the importance of me never seeing the number of the scale.

I know from my friends, how much doctors can tend to emphasize weight when you are pregnant, and how much weight is healthy to gain. I totally understand that.

It can be kind of overwhelming to navigate a situation that is so numbers focused, and then tell the nurse that that navigation style doesn’t work for you.

I asked her if she could please put it on the top of my chart . She said she did.

When I went into the doctor the second time, my husband was with me.

I didn’t even think about it until later, because I was so happy we just saw our baby’s heartbeat and little face- but a few days later I was thought, “Wait, did Brock see my weight?!”

When I asked him he kind of just looked at me with a blank face and said, “Yeah…I was right there…” (I turn around and close my eyes just in case. I also throw out visit summaries where they write it down, AND even look away from the computer because I know they need to enter it).

I can’t explain why, but for some reason, I felt like he knew this huge part of myself, almost like this huge big secret, that I hadn’t known in six years.

No one has known. Not me. Not my family. No one. And if there is anyone in this world I trust to see it, it’s him.

But it was the first time, my “number” had been exposed to someone I cared about.

I didn’t care if a doctor saw it. But for some reason,  I cared he saw it.

Not because I think he would think anything about it because the funny part is, he told me he forgot what It said. And I truly believe him.

I think I care just because for so many years, that number was me. It was my name. It was my worth. It was my face. And now, it finally, just almost lost even more of its value.

Because to him, it held no value. Nothing. Zero.

For me, it still means a lot. And that is the truth. It might not be the five year recovery truth I hoped for-but it is.

But to him, it meant nothing. And I love that. I cherish that. That empowered me more than I thought it would.

I could feel myself asking him things and almost wanting him to give me some kind of answer like, “don’t worry babe-it was a good number.”

Ha! Right? Five years later and there I was trying to get some kind of twisted ED validation! I felt crazy. And yet, I couldn’t stop myself.

Thankfully, he saw where it was going and said, “this is going no where good so let’s stop talking about it.” And I was so glad he did.

That right there, is enough proof for me, that while I am strong in my recovery, I am not ready to see a number on a scale.

I’m not sure how I feel about that.

I kind of wish I Was ready, almost like at this point in five years later, I should be ready for that.

But, I’m not. And I hope I can give myself love and kudos for realizing that and honoring that than the other way around.

Because like I said, this baby isn’t even here yet and I am already super protective. So if a scale is going to even maybe possibly the tiniest bit have some kind of negative effect on my baby- it ain’t happening.

So, I have to admit. Before I got pregnant, I always thought I would be one of those people who ate really healthy during my pregnancy.

I probably thought that because I generally am a healthy eater because I believe in the power of nutrition and what it does for my body.

But, these first few months have been hard on my body.

Most times , nothing sounds good to eat. And the few things that do sound good aren’t exactly on the healthy list.

More days than not, I am actually really ok with that part.

There have been some nights that I tell myself, “ok, that’s it Shira, no more. You can’t eat like that this whole time you’ll become huge.”

For example, last night we went to Chipotle.

I haven’t had Chipotle in years.

I always get some kind of burrito bowl. But pretty plain. Rice, beans, meat, veggies, salsa.

But last night, for I think the first time in forever, I got the burrito bowl , but I added sour cream AND guacamole AND cheese. I know that my fellow fighters will understand my capitols AND’s because that is what it felt like in my mind.

It just sounded so so so so good. And right now, when things sound so bad, when something sounds good, I have given myself permission to just fully enjoy and enjoy every last bite.

But I left there thinking, “Ok Shira, stop. Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean you can eat like this. Seriously, you need to stop.”

I go back and forth with myself over that.

Part of me is thinking, why did I have to wait until I was pregnant to get a spoon of sour cream, guacamole and a sprinkle of cheese? I feel like that should have been something I allowed myself to have anyway. Not like every day. But if you somewhere once every few years, why not enjoy  it all the way.

The other part of me is still thinking, “ah…that was kind of a lot. Don’t do that all the time.”

And that is the truth.

I wish I could say I had no thoughts but happy recovery thoughts the whole time, but that is just not true and the reason I love this blog and our journeys is because they are true.

On that note, did it stop my night? Nope.

Did it stop me from eating today? Nope.

Is it going stop me from eating ravioli tonight? Nope.

And to me, that is the victory right there.

So apparently my baby likes sour cream, guac and cheese. It’s not the end of my world.

Every day that this precious little soul develops healthy, I feel like it’s one more point for recovery and one less point for the Ed world.

Because at the end of the day, that is what matters.

Not the burrito bowl. Not the number that Brock say on the scale at the doctors. Not the weight gain.

But what matters is that little tiny human life, with a heartbeat and a little tiny soul that is healthy and growing inside of me.

What matters is life, period.

My life, our little soul’s life and last but not least, I cannot forget the stretchy band thing for your jeans because honestly that is as important as life itself.

So, here we come next 6 months of pregnancy and next honestly forever after that, because like I’ve always said, this is a forever journey.

I have no idea what this pregnancy will be like, and have no idea what it will be like without a scale.

But I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to find out, because this is something I have wanted for so long.

Here we go…again, fighters.

Hello Life.

baby pic

Advertisements

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. 

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.