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Escape to the Corner

This is my first memoir class assignment.  A personal essay.  I’ll let you read it first and then tell you the comments I got back.

Escape to the Corner

Rollerblading was always something I enjoyed doing on a daily basis. But at some point it slowly turned from being a fun activity to being a necessary evil. When I was 16 I even met my first serious boyfriend in high school rollerblading around the block. Him and his friends thought I was crazy going around and around, talk about boring! Crazy as it may have been, I enjoyed the fresh air and the landscape. Filled with mesquite trees, quail scurrying across the path, saguaro cacti everywhere you looked. Down the street the sounds of children playing on a playground and basketballs being thrown against the backboards, these were things I found calming during my cd player free afternoon rides.

The corner became my happy place, where if I was frustrated with school, boys, family, etc I could skate down to that corner, sit down and relax for a little while. Allowing myself time to think or decompress about whatever was bothering me. Eventually I began going there on a daily basis in between or after laps. Sometimes there were as few as 4 laps (1 mile) and sometimes there were as many as 24 laps (6 miles). Once going religiously became a MUST, I started doing little things like trying to beat a previous timing record, or trying to add an extra lap. Nothing too extreme, or so I thought.

Because I was working 35-40 hours and a full time high school student that meant very little time for skating, but regardless of that, I made it a priority. Sneaking in time wherever I could find it. After a breakup with that boyfriend, I went on a skating mission. I went around the block 12 times in just under 20 mins! That’s 3 miles in 20 mins! I was on a mission, get the hurt out, cure a broken heart with aggression I had never seen before.

Devastation doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings, my ex now lived 3 houses down from my coveted corner. He knew when and where I skated, and would still be outside skateboarding regardless of our breakup. Instantly I knew a new route was necessary. Luckily for me there are tons of walking paths and miles of neighborhood sidewalks to choose from. I couldn’t get away from my corner though… I started skating after working at night, which was wonderful because I knew my ex wouldn’t be out. Sitting in the dark, I could think things through even better than before, but something was missing… The sounds of the neighborhood… The nature views… Everything dark, with only the street lights and lighted windows. Even the sky seemed empty, starless. The quiet was deafening. The empty darkness seemed to be pulling me into depression and the panicky feelings to escape started to surround me. I had to let my corner go.

My next door neighbor began to join me on my evening ventures, still around the neighborhood and even occasionally going to the corner. Which never seemed as depressing at night when someone else was there. Over the next couple months, I slowed down my evening sessions, but that doesn’t mean the skating stopped. I found different places to explore during the day, areas of the neighborhood I didn’t know very well, the walking path that lead to nowhere, down to the gas station. The longer the ride, the better.

Slowly my ankles started to despise my rollerblades. And my knees weren’t a huge fan either due one previous surgery and another not far away, if I wasn’t careful. I began skating less and less. At first I was afraid that my life would start to spiral out of control, that my emotions would begin to get the best of me. When neither of those things began happening I relaxed. I was fine, I didn’t need rollerblading 2 hours a day to keep myself in check. Over the next few months I continued skating, but only a few times a week, when I wasn’t working. After all running around a department store is exhausting enough as it is, no need to add to it!

Things seemed to be going smoothly in my life. I even had a new boyfriend that I met through work. One that didn’t live down the street from my house. One that appreciated me for me. For the first time I was happy with how and where my life was going. Little did I know, that was all about to change.

 

So, after reading it in class we always discussed what we liked or think needed or could be changed this is what I was told
-it was a great story and that it made people want to know more, but that the idea of the personal essay was one  scene, one snapshot, rather than a couple month story.
-Our goal was to keep it under 750 words, this was 753 words.
-They wanted to know less about the boyfriend and more about me, and what was going through my head.
-The descriptions were great, but they wanted more of them.
-They loved that the numbers were everywhere.

During that class we also did a couple of writing prompts, but that will be another post, so stay tuned for that!

If you have any other constructive criticism for me I would greatly appreciate it!  Thanks!

Body For Life

Since we started going to Planet Fitness I needed a new workout regimen.  I hadn’t been to a gym in years so this was a chance to bring back an old workout or start a new one.  I decided to bring back an old one that I used to love.  Body for life.  It is a simple program that is lifting heavy, with a simple cardio plan.

Weights are every other day with cardio in between.  The cardio plan is only 20 mins with an interval type training that can be done on any piece of gym equipment.

2 mins at level 5, 1 min at 6, 1 at 7, 1 at 8, 1 at 9, repeat at 6, 7, 8, 9 until you hit the 18 min mark, then you’re going to go up to level 10, and then the last minute is at level 5.  And you’re done.  My problem with the cardio program is that it isn’t long enough.  I enjoy doing cardio so I usually try to go for 45 mins.  The other problem is that I like to bring my Nook to the gym for cardio days, but I can’t do that with this program because you have to pay attention every minute to change the level.  So when I do this (which is only about once every other week) I tend to double it to do 40 mins and only do it when I don’t feel like reading (usually when I’m upset or frustrated)

The program calls for lifting every other day, and alternating upper body one day with lower body and abs the other.  3 times a week, I found that its just too much for me.  My body hasn’t quite recovered if I’m doing it 3x a week, and with a 45 min lifting workout, I decided to cut it back to twice a week, upper one day and lower the next.  The system works like this.

12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, 6 reps, 12 reps, 12 reps. For each set wait a min inbetween except between the final two sets of 12, and the last set of 12 should be a different exercise for the same muscle group.  Each set you should try to up the weights a little (so keep this in mind when you start the set to begin with)  Working in this order – Chest, Back, Shoulders, Biceps, Triceps on upper body days, and Quads, Hamstrings, Inner/Outer Thigh, Calfs, Abs.

I do enjoy this system, but I am going to switch to something else after a 4 week period.  This is week 2, and the good thing is I’m crazy sore after the lifting days, and find reprieve during the cardio days.  If you are a fan of lifting I definitely recommend this workout, as it allows you to do the lifting you like in a gym using any of the equipment which also allows you to switch it up on a weekly basis.

You can find the information about this program here

I need a hobby!

As I have started discussing my personal issues with not only my body but also my issues with the food and/or drinks that go into it, I feel honesty is a necessity here.

After the previous posts, that many of you have read, Nick and I discussed everything and determined that seeing a therapist would be very beneficial.  The introductory appointment was this week and although I was a big ball of nerves going into it, all went well.  One of the hardest things you can do is admit that you need help.  In all aspects of life it is difficult, we always try to be so strong.  In this case, it was even harder than expected.  Irregardless of that though, it was obvious to me that I couldn’t do this alone, and although Nick is a therapist, burdening him and our marriage with this seemed irresponsible.  (Even though he was more than willing to help) After my appointment, I felt relief, that weight was finally lifted off my shoulders.

I have been diagnosed with an Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified, the most common eating disorder.  I refuse to let it define me, instead I am hopeful that this will help me grow and understand who I am.  My homework for the next two weeks is to review some of the recommended websites (http://www.something-fishy.org and http://www.bulimia.com) and read up on a book or two.  As well as to consider seeing a nutritionist.  I have also decided I need a hobby or two, to help keep my mind off of things.  Not sure what I’ll do yet, but I’m open to ideas!

I fully intend on keeping everyone in the loop and being as open as I comfortably can be.  Thank you for your support, it is appreciated more than you could ever imagine.

Unattainable Numbers

Well, this week has been interesting to say the least.   I had a doctors appointment for a routine physical which overall went well.  I am healthy, all of my blood work came back normal.  (aside from my blood pressure being slightly higher than usual, but not enough to be concerning)  The thing that was a little disconcerting was the doctor telling me I needed to lose weight.  The fact that he told me this wasn’t the problem, the way he told me was my problem.  Right after telling him all of the issues I’ve had recently he decided to tell me that I could get all the way down to 119 lbs.  My first reaction was WTF, I’ve never been 119 lbs in my adult life.  I knew what he meant when he said it but I can’t quite convince myself that’s what he meant.  What he should have said was to be at a healthy bmi you need to be between 119 and 139 (which even that is off, technically for my height low is considered under 105 lbs and high is considered above 141, which is exactly why I can’t convince myself that’s what he meant).  The fact is that’s not what he said.  Quite frankly I think he should have said lets wait on your test results to come back and see if you are healthy (which I am) and then we can figure out weight loss solutions for you.  If he would have said look you need to lose a little weight to be in a healthy range I would have been like yup, I know I do.  Talking about 10 lbs is a lot easier to handle especially if he would have said we would like to see you down 10-12 lbs by the time we see you for your physical next year.   That is a doable quest for someone like me.  A pound a month means being able to focus on me rather than focus on the battle of weight loss.  Instead he told me to lose approx a pound ever week to two weeks.

I guess I understand where he was coming from on a physician level but I think there are hundreds of other ways he could have gone about it without making me want to cry.  Which I did…  After that I pretty much shut down and just started answering questions yes or no.  It is terrible how you can feel after one simple statement is made.  I wish I could erase hearing it from my brain, wipe it clean, but I can’t.  I’ve been told that I can convince myself that he meant different from my instantaneous interpretation, however that is easier said than done.

Its something I need to learn to deal with.  I know my ideal perfect weight is somewhere around the 130-140 range, which is fine, especially if my body fat is in a good range as well.  I just need to focus on that rather than thinking about the oh so unattainable number 119 which he has unfortunately put in my head.  I guess my most disappointing aspect is that rather than discussing my health as a whole the visit became focused on my weight…  The one thing I’m trying to stop worrying so much about.

Setbacks are part of the process and I know that, but that doesn’t make them any easier to handle when they come about.  Not that I am going to ignore what the doctor said, as I will try to lose weight as its necessary for my health, but I am instead going to focus on a pound a month, which means I don’t have to focus all of my energy on it, in turn allowing me to focus on living a healthy overall life not obsessed with my weight.

Rough days…

It hasn’t been easy, and I know it will continue to be a difficult road ahead.  There have been moments of tears with mixed in moments of laughter.  I’ve been cautious and completely overwhelmed.  Dealing with this has been much harder that I could have ever imagined.  Every day I have to convince myself that it won’t be easier to go back to my old ways.  Sometimes once a day, sometimes all day long.  Its brutal.  I suppose it will get easier eventually, but while I’m still in the beginning stages of “recovery” I expect it will continue to feel like a battle against masses.

I joined a gym yesterday, and today will be my first venture there.  Every time I think about using fitness dvds, I cringe.  I brings instant anxiety about falling back into my prior ways.  It also reminds me of how far I came and how far I fell back down.  After a talk with Nick I was apprehensive about joining a gym but I do miss working out in general.  And the weather is just way too fickle to rely on outdoor workouts.  (plus I hate, hate, HATE bugs…)  Luckily for us, our insurance will pay for our gym membership (up to $30) as long as we go a min of 10 times a month.  My membership is 19.99 a month which means I can still do yoga twice a month for free or three times a month only having to pay a total of $3.50!  So its a great deal and definitely urges you to get to the gym and just do it.

I will be going to a therapist soon to help me through all of the ups and downs of this process.  And I can’t help but hope that it really does help more than I currently can imagine.

Unbearable Lightness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This book by Portia de Rossi changed my life.  It helped me to realize how my obsession with food and working out wasn’t normal.  It wasn’t a positive way of living my life.  Hopefully over the next few weeks… months… years I am able to improve my life.  And all thanks to this book.

I recommend this to anyone who wants to read the thoughts and life of an anorexic or bulimic, or if you know anyone who has lived through any type of eating disorder.

There are times I had a hard time getting through the book, I’d have to put my Nook down and walk away because it was too familiar for me.  However for others who have not had that life experience it is fascinating and a can’t put it down book.

Either way, I definitely recommend it!

The final Blog-bye

Over the last few days I’ve been contemplating a lot of things, all of which are deeply personal and thoroughly complicated. This will be my final blog. The things I’m going through right now I feel are too personal to be displayed in detail over the internet. Blogs are great and can be very helpful in many ways, this unfortunately isn’t one of them. I will gladly answer any questions anyone has about my experience or how I’m dealing with it, but privately via email or in person, etc. Maybe someday I will write in detail what has happened and have it published for the world to see, but at this point in the “recovery” process I don’t think I’m ready for the emotional roller coaster or the judgment that comes along with blogging.

This is my final “Wish Me Luck”, and trust me I’ll need it!

Unbearable Lightness and how it helped me understand

This may get a little more personal than most of you are prepared to read. So that is your warning.

Here is the story of my battle with weight-loss, obsession and understanding.

Starting from a very young age I was overly conscious of my body. It was obvious to me that I was more worried about it than most others. I learned quickly how to put up a front showing otherwise, but deep down I felt more insecure than anything. The first time I really remember becoming worried about my body when I was about 8/9 years old and mom and I went shopping for school clothes… I ended up in the girls plus department, and it made me feel dirty, an outcast. It only worsened when I began dance lessons. Although I loved dance class I hated feeling like the larger girl in class. I was a good dancer, able to do most of the things the other girls could do (with the exception of the elite girls). One particular time sticks out in my memory- When I was in an advanced class my ‘assignment’ so to speak was to allow 2 other girls to lift me up and then do a back bend over their arms supporting me. I knew that I could physically do it, but I was so worried that the girls wouldn’t be able to lift me up, that I refused to do it and made the instructor switch my positions with one of the thinner girls because I knew I could help lift no problem. I did this discretely but I’m pretty sure everyone knew my reasoning.

Years later in high school I felt out of place. I started high school weighing in at 162 lbs and at 5’3 was fat. Eventually over the next year I managed to drop down to 136 which is where I remained over the next 3 years. Even through the weight loss I was still feeling like the only over weight one out of all my friends. Or at least that’s all I saw. Even though I’d lost 20 lbs in my mind I was a fat slob. I started using dieting pills at age 16. Xenadrine was my pill of choice, the one before they changed all of their formulas to be ephedra free. I would like to say it helped, but instead it just started the defeatist attitude that would plague me until I moved to home from Disney. From that point on my lunch time pizza and fries turned into regret. I ate it anyway, as everyone at our lunch table ate it, and I didn’t want to be the only weird one eating a salad. I knew this was a bad thing, but I didn’t care, not only did I want to fit in, but quite frankly, I liked sardella’s pizza. The excessive rollerblading around the block began, a way for me to workout without question. Lap after lap after lap. I quickly realized that “fitting in” really wasn’t going to happen and began working as hard as possible to graduate a semester early, hoping I would feel like I fit in once college began.

Unfortunately that wasn’t the case. The pressure to fit in subsided slightly, but the stress of now needing to succeed in college and beginning going to a gym made me feel even more self conscious. While at the gym they took our measurements, height, weight, body fat, and all body measurements, which made me feel vulnerable. I wanted to be told that I was relatively average, and instead of needing to lose that really my best interest was just to maintain where I was. Instead my personal trainer told me to do these workouts, do this much cardio, and eat this type of food and I’d be down to where “I” wanted in no time. Month after month my weigh ins didn’t go the way they should have. All my hard work in the gym wasn’t paying off, I was staying right where I was, in the 136-140 range. No one explained to me that muscle would do that to me, even if they would have, it wouldn’t have mattered. All I could see was the all important number on the scale. What would plague me for the next 9 years. I did different workout programs, whatever I could think of. I did different boot camps and worked out with different trainers. I became sort of a gym rat. All the while though, my weight stuck at the 136-140 range.

Throughout college there were ups and downs, but my weight slowly crept back up to the 150 range. I hated myself for it. I didn’t know how I could let that happen. And so shortly after moving out of my parents house the serious dieting began. It started with just lots of time at the gym. Starting with a half hour here, half hour there, then hour here and hour there, until there were times that I was working out for a full 3-4 hours a day 6 or 7 days a week. On top of that I was eating a strict 1400 calorie diet. Eventually it caught up with me. Being back near the 136 lb mark was fine and good but the mood swings and exhaustion was too much to deal with. So I cut back to a reasonable hour a day 6 days a week. The scale slowly crept back up the 150 lbs over the next year.

At some point a radio dj had done the cookie diet to lose 100+ pounds. And he had managed to keep it off for almost a year! I decided I had to try it. The diet itself was ridiculous, but I stuck to it, religiously. Eating their dry, stale tasting cookies, drinking their chalky tasting shakes and sticking to a strict protein and veggies dinner of under 500 calories. The weight fell off, quickly. Soon the dreaded scale was showing an amazing 132 lbs! Ecstatic doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings. Once here the doctors at the program determined this was a healthy weight for me, sent me away with the so called tools needed to maintain this. I started doing bikram yoga every day for 30 days, felt great too, until I puked my guts out from dehydration and lack of nutrition. I slowly began incorporating more foods into my diet which only brought my weight up slightly, to 135 where it stayed for about 8 months.

Where I started culinary school. Why a girl with food problems decided it would be a good idea to go to culinary school, I have no idea. But nevertheless… Over the course of the next 12 months the scale only went up to 145. And with all of the decadent foods made at Scottsdale Culinary Institute that was an amazing accomplishment! A move across country is never easy, and doing it alone makes it even harder. You want comfort food. You want to be comforted. And luckily (or unluckily) for me, Disney World had every food you could possibly imagine. My comfort food of choice- the triple chocolate brownie (from Hollywood Studios or Downtown Disney), and let me tell you, if I could find someone who had that recipe I would be a happy girl. The TCB and I didn’t meet very often, maybe once every week or once every other week, but there were plenty of other things to help my weight creep back up to 150 lbs. Some of it was emotional eating, as the bf and I were having some major issues with not only the distance but also with him thinking I was choosing work over him, where in my mind he should have been seeing it as the opportunity of a lifetime. All in all looking back now, Disney taught me more than could have been learned at any University. I am grateful now for the opportunity I was given, and wouldn’t have traded it for anything, even the weight I gained while there.

Once I got home I felt as though I was at a loss of control of my life. I was supposed to come home for a week and then move to Colorado, but my one week stay turned into two months as my bf was ‘busy’ with work. My lack of control over the situation gave way to my newest obsession. Tracking every calorie I put into my body and working out 6 days a week. This time using workout dvds, which I love. My mom tried to convince me that eating one egg for breakfast even if it was with an english muffin wasn’t enough. But since I was going to be eating in exactly three hours I told her I was fine. I ate anywhere between 800-1400 calories. Mostly staying around the 1200 calorie mark with a few exceptions. It worked, the scale slowly came back down in the two months of being home it had gone back up to 157 lbs and come back down to 147 by the time of Rachel’s wedding. I was so excited, elated even, that I hit the 10 lb mark before that special event! My treat for myself was a to enjoy my trip to Maine. And I did.

Right after returning home I moved to Colorado, where the real fun began. Life no longer revolved around anything else except what was going into my body and what I was doing to help counteract it. I did a lot of research in this time to find out how you should be eating, how often and how to determine calories in vs calories out. It became an obsession. Everyone around me praised my will power and my ability to stick to my workouts. Honestly it was easy. The bf was off playing at the mountains for 5 days straight and I worked 5 days a week (including his days off) so that left me living in a new town with very few friends and no family with very little money and therefore nothing to do. In turn tracking calories and workouts became my life. I tracked every single calorie that I ate, and to make it a little easier I ate nearly the same things every day. (Cereal with protein powder for breakfast, couple egg whites with a slice of cheese and salsa for snack, open faced chicken sandwich with a side salad for lunch, snack of protein bar or pb&j and chicken breast with bbq sauce for dinner.) It was almost a perfect 38/38/24 ratio. I changed up my chicken sandwich based on what I wanted at work but it was almost always chicken or turkey. I rarely ate things I wasn’t “supposed” to. Except during the binges. My downfall was the peanut butter. I love peanut butter. How could anyone not?!? So creamy, salty and sweet. I would eat it by the spoonful, or sometimes by the fingerful. And when I craved chocolate too, I would sneak upstairs and dip into the mini chocolate chips and throw them in with my peanut butter and just chomp down. Sometimes eating 2 or 3 servings in one sitting! I disgusted myself when this happened. Everyone thought I had such will power, but they were wrong, pitiful. Thats what I was, just pitiful, and pathetic. Sometimes I would contemplate purging after my binge, but I hated throwing up. Even when I had the stomach flu, I cried when I had to do it. So instead I would just promise myself that it wouldn’t happen again, and I would work it off the next day. Do a double workout… through good times and bad my workouts were there for me. They were stress relieving. They were intense. I was proud to call myself a power90 success story and shortly after a p90x success story and shortly after a ChaLEAN Extreme success story. All intense workouts, all completed! My favorite was ChaLEAN Extreme, not only did I love her personality, but there was something about feeling STRONG. And that’s exactly what it made me feel. The guys at work joked around with me, poking my abs and joking about how many MAN push ups I could do. It was nice to feel like people noticed my hard work… Everyone did… Everyone except me. I liked the way I looked, true. But no matter how thin I got or what size I wore. I looked at my abs and they weren’t good enough, my thighs were too big, my arms were too flabby, my breasts had shrunk to nearly nothing. Just before moving to Maine the dreaded scale hit a number I never thought it would 129 lbs, 25% body fat, and my jean size- 4!

Normal people would have been beyond happy with those numbers. But not me. I looked at myself and said that 4 could fit a little looser. That 129 could be 125. Then I moved to Maine. Over the course of the 5 days it took to get there I gained 3 lbs. Mostly water weight, I wasn’t too concerned, until I couldn’t get it to come off. Suddenly I was living with my bf and my best friend and her husband. I didn’t have all the time in the world to track calories and workout. I stayed at the 132 for a few months, but then weight slowly crept back on. Tracking calories was tedious, boring, depressing. I hated doing it. And now that I was cooking dinner for 4 of us I couldn’t stick with my current fail safe food plan. I kept trying to figure out different plans, but over the course of the next year and a half my weight crept back up to 157 lbs! I was devastated. All that hard work, gone. All of that praise, gone. All of those cute clothes, unwearable. I was a failure. I promised myself that this time was different. I would maintain my weight once I got there. The problem with that statement is nothing was ever good enough. Mini goal after mini goal after large goal and more mini goals… My goals kept getting lower and lower. There was never an end in sight. Depressed and now living with my new boyfriend (now husband) I began working out again. TurboFire this time. Kept it up for a while, but got bored. Started tracking calories, but hated it. Decided a new diet plan would solve my problems. Began eating vegan 6 days a week, via the 4 hour body. After 4 weeks, 7 lbs were gone. Starting to feel better about myself I went back to counting calories and back to TurboFire. I got a bodybugg and was shocked to see how many calories I was burning a day. Turns out I was eating too little. This helped a little, another pound gone. Lost motivation again. Got engaged to a wonderful man, who didn’t care that I was 14 lbs more than I was when I met him. Flaws and all he loved me. You would think an engagement would be some killer motivation for losing weight, but when you’ve done it over and over again, its so hard. My goal before the wedding was to just stay the same, and amazingly that is exactly what happened. The few days before the wedding I must have lost another pound or two due to stress cause my dress was a little big but all in all I was proud of myself. I married the love of my life and wasn’t stressed about my weight for the first time in my life that I could remember. Until I saw the pictures the next day. I was shocked. So disappointed that I didn’t try harder. Didn’t do better. Didn’t look better for the day we would remember for the rest of our lives. Disappointment doesn’t even begin to say how I felt about myself. The more I look at the pictures the better I feel about them, hopefully in due time I can look through them and not see my flaws on my perfect day and instead just see the amazingly perfect day where I married the love of my life.

Since that day I have struggled to get back to my weight loss. Plagued with problems, once back into the swing of things I refused to listen to my body. I was sore, no big deal right, everyone is sore after a fresh workout after a few weeks off… Next day, pushed through, again sore but no biggie right. Third day, could barely move, was so sore, more sore than I think I’ve ever been in my life, and what do I decide to do? Work out, you know, to help loosen up the soreness. Unfortunately I refused to listen to the pain my body was in, pretending it was just soreness so that I could continue towards my goals. Since that day I’ve had some severe back pain. Its hit or miss depending on the day. Sometimes it barely hurts at all and others it feels like a stabbing pain going throughout my entire body. Now something that has to be dealt with because my body was screaming out in pain and I refused to listen.

This has forced a probably much needed break from the weight loss arena. Being unable to workout has been hard. Harder than you can imagine. But now I’m realizing this happened for a reason. While taking a break I have been able to read more. A friend recommended Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi. That was a few months back, and I didn’t want to read it. I was afraid of what she had to say. But finally after trying to prolong it, I gave in.

Saying it was hard to read is the understatement of the century. I found myself wanting to cry at times and I found myself reeling through my memories as if they were old movies. I understood where she was coming from at many points throughout the book. I’d felt some of those same emotions. I also felt relief, that it wasn’t just me. No one likes to talk about the binging that goes along with dieting, although we all know that it happens more often than not. And to finally read that someone else was having similar problems made me feel better. I connected with it in a way… Although I wish I couldn’t say that… Up until the last chapter I was hoping for her to find a successful cure, because then maybe there would be hope for me. And then I realized I’ve had hope all along, just the wrong tools. While reading the epilogue I started crying. I was so relieved that she had been able to break the terrible habit of binging that it gave me hope. Although we’ve all been told everything in moderation, no one ever really goes into how that can happen. But Portia did. And I would like to thank her for that. To explain that its not easy, and that eating diet food won’t help and that not eating the things you love because you can only have them certain times won’t help. I stopped listening to my body years and years ago, figuring it obviously didn’t know what it was talking about. Although now I don’t know if I ever really heard it in the first place. While I was dieting I was telling my body that it was hungry every 3 hours regardless of if it was. I was telling my body what it needed instead of listening to it. It never dawned on me that my body is a well oiled machine, and it knows what it wants and what it needs. As stupid as it sounds, but I needed someone who had been in my shoes to tell me its ok to eat those chips or fries if its what my body wants, but that I need to listen to it tell me when its done. I needed someone who has been there tell me that I may gain a little weight in the beginning doing this but eventually if I listened to my body it would even out.

Over my years of dieting I know that I asked a million and a half questions, to experts, to colleagues, to friends, to family. And I always listened to their answers and did what was recommended. But never once did I ask my body what it wanted or needed and listen to it. It seems like such an obvious answer. How should someone else know what is going to be best for my body? They won’t, only listening to my body will be able to tell me that.

Tonight I told Nick that I was going to stop dieting as of today. And I cried. I don’t think I’ve ever said that aloud in my life. Counting calories is not a lifestyle, its hell. Starving or depriving yourself of what you love terrible. And as its been said- I’ll help you diet, but you’ll just gain it back anyway. It will not be easy to unlearn everything that I know about food, nutrition, calories and working out. But it has to be done. It will not be easy to accept my body as it is, flaws and all, although having a loving husband who loves me even with those flaws helps.

If you know anyone who would benefit from reading this, please share it with them. And I urge you to read Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi if you or anyone you know or love has struggled with weight loss ever in their life.

I look forward to seeing where this new sense of self takes me. I look forward to looking at food as food, not a number. I look forward to seeing the best in myself. I look forward to learning new hobbies along the way. And last but not least- I look forward to spending the rest of my life with my loving husband by my side who is there for me through it all.

Know when to back off

Unfortunately my plans have been put on hold. After some intense lower back pain I’ve been forced to put my working out on hold. The only thing I can really do right now is walk around and some mild yoga. Although on Saturday I pushed a little too hard even at yoga and ended up in paralyzing pain. So, something to keep in mind, when you feel like you’ve tweaked something or when you’re so sore you can barely move, take a day or two off… After 2 or 3 days of working out I could barely move, and instead of taking a day off I pushed forward, and in doing so tweaked my back. I went to do some lifting and my body was so sore that I couldn’t safely lift above my head. So- lesson learned.

I started reading Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi and it is a great book so far. Only at chapter 6, but it really explains what goes through your head when you’re constantly concerned with food, as an anorexic, bulimic, obsessive or observant. She did an amazing job telling the story that captivates you and really brings you to understand how the disease can take hold of someone. However it has also shown me that I walk a very fine line between trying to lose weight and obsession with food. It makes me not want to count every calorie, because that is an easy way to become obsessed, and knowing I became obsessed before makes me definitely not want to again. Unfortunately, as I explained to my cousin when she asked why I track every calorie, my response was because I know it works… So now I’m on a mission to find another option. Because even though I know it works doesn’t mean its right, as with Portia’s story of the 1000kilojoule diet (300 calories) She knew it worked after doing it many times in the past, but that definitely doesn’t mean it is right.

As for everything else, it seems to be going well. I feel I’m doing pretty well keeping myself together. Still no bites on the revamped resume, but I’m hopeful that something will catch soon. One other thing- thinking back to working at Disney. I feel I didn’t get the most out of my Disney opportunity. While at the college program I didn’t take any of the classes and did very little of the extra curricular opportunities. Now, some things I can’t do over, seeing as I don’t still work there, however I can still get some stuff out of it. I looked up the curriculum for the classes I didn’t go to and wrote down all of the books that were required and recommended reading. So I am going to read those. It will allow me to get a little more out of my Disney college program experience. I’m kind of excited. There were always a few of those books I wanted to read back then but once I left I couldn’t every find out what they were, well I was going through my old emails from Disney and found the website that told me! I was so excited! As soon as I’m done with Unforgettable Lightness I will start on one of those!

On tap today- rest my back! Ice and Heat in intervals, plus regular motrin 800! And while I’m sitting here relaxing my back, I might as well apply for as many jobs as possible!

Wish me luck!

New month, renewed focus

The last week was a rough one, my expectations were high, and I fell hard when they didn’t go quite as planned. Realistic expectations Is the name of the game this week. I would like to maintain my workout schedule doing at least 5 days this week, doing yoga at least 1 day. Lets stick with that as a start. When it comes to my diet, my goal is to eat a little less sugar. We are going to work with mini goals this week and hope for a slightly better outcome. As for the scale, I would like to see it go in the correct direction, but I am not going to get pissed if it doesn’t.

Nick and I revamped my resume, so hopefully that helps me snag a job.

Going to keep this post short and sweet. Today went well doing everything I was supposed to. And I am determined for tomorrow to be the same!

Wish me luck!

PS- TurboFire Fire60 is an intense workout to do when you haven’t done any TF in months! Holy Cow! But It felt good!

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