Anxiety… Party of One.

Oh, hello anxiety, my old friend.

It’s always amazing to me the shift that can occur within a 12 hour span (or SHORTER). When I got home from yoga last night, I was on Cloud Mother Effing Nine. Nothing could harsh my mellow, you might say. I wouldn’t say that, but you could, if you were a raging hippy. Yoga was amazing, it was a beautiful day, my buddy was making an amazing dinner, our area rugs finally arrived, the evening was perfection. We went to bed early, I drank a big ol’ bottle of kombucha, and was out like a light, despite the heat.

Unfortunately, that’s where it all went wrong. In the 8 hours that followed, all hell broke loose. I woke up to discover that some sort of bug (please don’t be a spider… please don’t be a spider) had feasted on my ass. I’m talking WELTS and many of them. Ok, so I’m gonna have an itchy bum today. No big deal. I had some extra time to kill this morning, so I went to meditate. It was mostly wonderful but a little itchy. No problem, I’m gonna shower and put on a cute dress then make myself a smoothie. Shower, check. Dress, check. Smoothie….. Not so much. I have been on this health kick this week and I have been feeling AWESOME an energized. I figured a green smoothie could only add to that. Unforunately, a wiley spoon made it’s way into the blender and smashed it to pieces. This not only made a mess, ruined my smoothie (and my blender), and scared the living shit out of me, but it got the dogs super worked up too, right before we were leaving. And then… the construction started. Right out front. Making our road a one-lane road. This is unexpected construction that I can only hope will be short-lived for my sake and the puppies’ sake, but it’s anyone’s guess. I did my best to calm the dogs (reggae music and treats – works for me, I figured it might work for them) and clean up the mess, then unfortunately we had to rush out the door to drop Jamie’s car off at the shop. We, of course, got in an argument on the way because WHY WOULDNT WE with all the stress going on. I proceeded to drop him off at work and somehow make it in on time, only to be massively unfocused. So I’ve decided that today, instead of pushing through and just “muscling it out”, I’m going to take a half day. I’m not letting a stressful workday ruin my weekend. I’m going to go home and take care of my puppies, take care of myself, work out, and get into the weekend with a calm mind and a clean home.

And hopefully happy puppies 🙂

Anxiety… Party of One.

Gratitude

This site has always been something I’ve come back to, no matter what my mental state. I’ve used it when I was arguably orthorexic, when I was bulimic, when I was depressed, and when I was borderline manic.

I’d love to say that at any point I had this “a-ha” moment and I was fixed. But it turns out, there’s nothing to fix. Life throws curveballs and sometimes you need to work through some deep, dark shit. I read my previous few posts and realized that that’s exactly what I was doing at the time. Talking myself through those dark times. I feel sad for that version of me. I remember that pain all too well. But I also feel a sense of pride. I said in one of my posts that I felt like I was a quitter, that I had quit on everything since my divorce, including quitting on myself. I don’t feel that way anymore. I see a girl who was trying EVERYTHING to feel better, even when it was misguided.

So back to being “fixed” – I’m not. And I don’t really want to be. Today I still binge and eat in hiding. I still drink too much to forget stressful days or to celebrate or out of boredom. There are still days when I don’t live my “best life”. But I’m not depressed, I don’t purge, I have FAR less self-hate. Do I look in the mirror or at pictures and like what I see? NO. Do I wake up at 2am and have regrets about what I ate/drank? OFTEN. But I can take that for what it’s worth now (most of the time), and it’s not fucking worth much.

I have much more love, light, and happiness in my life right now. I am DEFINITELY not the healthiest I’ve ever been physically. Although even that is arguable. I’m not pushing myself to any extremes and I’m eating whatever I want. I still choose to eat vegetables most of the time but I also eat chips and popcorn and candy. And so fucking what? Maybe I will go back to non-processed foods 90% of the time because it’s how I feel the best. Genuinely the best. Not just how I think I’m supposed to eat, but it makes my energy better and my mood better and my sleep better and just makes life better. Plus I don’t really have to miss out on anything. But also, maybe I don’t. And that’s ok, too.

Luckily I continue to exercise. It’s something I enjoy and it’s not really a chore, so that’s never been much of an issue.

I’ll keep working on self-love and banishing negative self-talk, but DAMN I’ve come further than I give myself credit for. Here’s hoping I keep checking in with reality.

Today, I’m grateful for: Our new home, my job, podcasts, yoga, and my dogs. I’m always grateful for Jamie. That guy is the bees knees. I’m also grateful for our families and the fact that we were able to have a wonderful Mother’s Day yesterday with both families present, and it wasn’t remotely awkward.

I’m looking forward to: new hobbies. I REALLY want to get back into yoga but I also REALLY want to get into gardening and being outside at the house. I think our land has a lot of potential and I want to see it through. I also want to start reading again and playing board games with J-money. And writing (hence, this situation).

Today I think I could have done better with: productivity at work. I always feel better at the end of the day when I’ve earned my keep.

That’s all – maybe check-ins will become more frequent. Maybe not. Maybe I’ll start the food blogging thing with a new CSA. Maybe not. Here’s to the unknown!

Gratitude

Meh.

So there are days that are very clearly labeled as “good” (like most of last week, honestly) and days that are very clearly labeled as “bad” (like most of the week before). Then, there are days like today. Where I *know* that I’m still in my binge/purge cycle. I *know* that it wasn’t as bad as last time. And I also *know* that that I still have so much more work to do, but I *don’t know* what work to do.

I started out ok this weekend. Ate more than usual on Friday, but ate healthfully. Didn’t drink as much as I could have. Got up on Saturday and did my yoga (which wasn’t easy and I was proud to do it). Ate healthfully on Saturday all day… until after supper. When I ate SO MUCH popcorn and SO MANY twizzlers. I didn’t even drink that much beer (maybe 3 all day?) so even though I want to blame it on family and I want to blame it on booze, this one was all on me. I just ate and ate. Until it hurt a bit. And then I finally stopped, so I feel like it *could have* been worse, but it also could have been a hell of a lot better. Sunday was similar. I was feeling bad about myself and that’s typically how the cycle continues. HOWEVER, on the bright side, I ate salads where I could and tried to nurture myself. At the end of the day, I really wanted soft serve ice cream and I indulged, which would have been fine if it wasn’t for the other indulgences, and I ended up purging. It wasn’t the first time and won’t be the last.

Anyway – my goal continues to be to not label foods as good or bad. Everything is available to me. I have continued to meditate. In my meditation yesterday evening, I was asked what was good about today (time with Jamie, going out and getting things accomplished), what could have been better (I was not physically active enough) and what was NOT good (my shame with eating and my sadness I felt with laying around). I think instead of trying to train myself to be ok with being “lazy”, I think I need to recognize that I am at my best when I am active and productive and surrounded by friends and family. I am at my worst when I am lazy and lethargic, when I am eating out of shame and self-hate, and when I am talking to myself negatively. I need to be able to recognize the feeling to want to binge and to separate myself from that. I am still learning. Back to counseling tomorrow and I will take care of myself as much as possible today. Started the day with yogurt and fruit, salad for lunch, turmeric sweet potato bowl this evening. Playing volleyball with friends after work and maybe running/lifting if there’s time. Overall, I’m set up to have a nice day and I would love to go to bed feeling happy and full of life.

Meh.

Remember your why

I started this blog post as a draft a few days ago, and life has gotten away from me a bit so I haven’t been journaling. In truth, I feel like I tend to only journal when I’m at “rock bottom” or when things are particularly bad, but I never really blog when I feel good (or even neutral). Today I’d say I’m relatively neutral. I actually feel particularly anxious, but I’ve been taking care of myself. I’ve been meditating daily, working out daily (taking today off with the exception of a 3 mile walk), and I haven’t had any food “issues” this week, or the desire to really binge or drink. I still feel exhausted and stressed and like I’m not 100%, but it feels more normal today and less out of control. Of course some of the Friday anxiety I get is feeling like I won’t be able to make it through the weekend unscathed, particularly when I am going camping (read: eating and drinking) with family. But one thing I’m hoping to keep in mind is this:

“Remember your why.

When you make any improvement to your lifestyle, write down your whys. Are you doing this so that you have the energy to get out of bed in the morning and start your day?

Do you want to eat a raw diet (I don’t – but this author was into raw diets in particular) so you can play with your children, see your grandkids get married one day, stay active for your entire life, prevent illness and disease, and look in the mirror and love what you see?

Whatever your reasons for beginning a raw food diet (again – not my thing), write them down and look at them every day, or better yet, multiple times a day. You’ll constantly be reminded of why you’re doing what you’re doing and why you don’t want to fall back into old habits.”

So really, the point in keeping this message close to my heart is that I need to remember *why* it is important to take care of my physical and mental self. My relationships have been better this week. I have loved myself even slightly more. I have an easier time getting up in the morning. I haven’t had the 2am wake-up where I feel like I don’t want to live anymore. None of it. So while I don’t believe I’ll be “perfect” this weekend, I need to keep in mind that perfection is not the goal. My goal (or my “why”) is to LIVE. To be present in this life. To not wait until I lose X number of pounds or until I can run another marathon or until I start lifting or until I start going to yoga #everydamnday to be happy. To not feel like I can’t see my friends because I’m concerned of what they’ll think of my weight. If they’re my friends, they won’t give a shit. And let’s be real, most of them probably won’t notice.

In counseling I had a bit of a break through that it’s ok to feel appropriate responsibility for certain things (i.e. the divorce) but that guilt is unproductive. I also learned that I often deem myself as “defective” because I can’t control my eating. When in the end – I’m doing beautiful things for myself to improve my stress tolerance. Between yoga, counseling, meditating, potentially accupuncutre, and a variety of other self-care strategies, I am hopeful that I will no longer turn to food as my drug of choice and that I will continue to love myself more each day with the support of my amazing family.

That’s all for today. Maybe I’ll check-in on progress during my camping trip this weekend. Unfortunately, I keep focusing on the food, but really what I am excited about is to see how my niece’s first camping trip goes, to chat with my sister, bond with my brother-in-law, and snuggle the crap out of my hottie boyfriend.

 

Remember your why

The Monday Cycle

So we are back again. It’s Monday. I overindulged. And if it was *just* that I drank too much or had too many chips, it probably wouldn’t be quite so bad. But – it’s not just that. There were moments this weekend when I snuck upstairs to steal cookies and chocolates. Or when I found myself hiding in the pantry eating pistachios. If I was socially eating chips and drinking wine with my friends and family, that is far less defeating. And of course this is how it turned out. Despite my feelings of hope on Friday. Although I think that my feelings of despair going into the weekend (on the drive to Sunapee on Friday night) really allowed me to set myself up for failure. It’s a cycle. I’m depressed so I eat and then I’m depressed BECAUSE I ate. And then I drink more to numb. Then I eat more because I’m drunk. It is truly a sad existence.

Now I’m back at the Monday cycle. My pants are tight, my heart is heavy, and I feel like I’ve shrunk far beneath my true potential. But just because the Monday cycle is a cliché and everyone makes promises to themselves on Monday, doesn’t mean that it won’t work for me one of these days.

There were some positives to this weekend. Despite feeling enormous (and my clothes not fitting properly) this weekend, I still didn’t let it keep me inside. I hiked, I went tubing, I paddleboarded, I visited, I laughed. I’m going to go ahead and call that progress, despite there also being many moments of wanting to purge. Jamie and I had another good talk last night and he is the most amazing support system. We meditated before bed, we used essential oils, I started dry-brushing again, and we had sex (not necessarily in that order of importance). I am still tending to my needs, just not all of them. I feel like I’m being gentle with myself when I allow myself to eat things that don’t fuel me and drink too much alcohol, but that’s not nurturing. I learned from a friend this weekend that you can still socialize and laugh and have an amazing time and NOT drink. I’m still not at the point where quitting is an option, but drinking doesn’t need to be a given, either.

Here’s to another week. Maybe I can get through a full 7 days this time. I’d *really* like to have a full, healthy, happy two weeks before my vacation begins so I can feel strong and empowered. I want to wake up in the morning ready for the day, not sad and overwhelmed.

I was reading an article this morning, and they talked about 18 promises to make to yourself. I’ve starred the ones that ring true that I would like to focus on this week:

1. I will stop comparing myself to others and underestimating my own abilities. **
2. I will not live in complacence. I will tolerate feelings of awkwardness and step outside my comfort zone regularly. **
3. I will not get caught up in the could haves and should haves – Instead I will embrace each moment for what it is.
4. I will invest in the things that inspire and move me. **
5. I will be self-reflective, and open to changing my thoughts and behaviours when necessary. **
6. I will never allow setbacks to stop me from achieving my goals. I will get back up and never give up. **
7. I will not lose sight of all the reasons I have to be grateful. **
8. I will love myself unconditionally. I will stop basing my self-worth on the opinions of others.
9. I will set higher goals. If it doesn’t scare me, it’s not big enough.
10. I will face my fears of failure and rejection.
11. I will not become bitter or resentful. I will embrace forgiveness and let go of the past.
12. I will focus on my strengths rather than dwell on my weaknesses. **
13. I will not let anxiety steal my peace of mind. **
14. I will accept whatever comes my way and use it as an opportunity to grow.
15. I will fill my mind with positive affirmations: “I am strong, capable, worthy, lovable” **
16. I will embrace failure as a stepping stone to greater success. I will appreciate the lessons and wisdom it adds to my life. **
17. I will consider my opinions valuable and worthy of being considered by others.
18. I will take responsibility for my own happiness. I will not blame anyone for my feelings or the setbacks in my life.  **

As you can see, many of these resonate. I’d like to read these back to myself every morning this week and continue to move toward my goals. My goals NOT being weight loss, but instead, being happy in my skin and feeling proud of my decisions.

The Monday Cycle

Rock bottom

There are a number of times in my life that I’ve heard that someone hit “rock bottom” and that’s how they know they needed to change. What exactly is rock bottom? And do you REALLY know when you’ve hit it? At the hotel two nights ago, I thought that was it. And it might have been. I sincerely hope it never gets worse than that, but I know many people with eating disorders don’t consider it rock bottom unless they wind up in a hospital bed. That *can’t* be my rock bottom. Sobbing on a bathroom floor, alone, in a hotel room…. That’s enough right??

Right. I got home yesterday and I felt weak, and tired, and in pain. I haven’t worked out at all this week and the purge cycle really has taken all of the life out of me. That’s an important note. I feel like I have no life left. I woke up this morning and it was one of the first days that I felt like I couldn’t will myself out of bed. That is new. That is upsetting. All I could think about is how my thighs touched more than they normally did. And how my arms felt squishy. And my stomach is soft and lumpy. And how EVERYONE must notice. And how I didn’t want to go to camp with my boyfriend and his family this weekend because that is ALL they would see (narcissistic, I know). I cried. And cried.

And finally I got out of bed. Not because I wanted to, but because I couldn’t face myself if I missed work because of this “illness”. I don’t think I can say “illness” without putting it in quotes yet because it still feels so self-inflicted, even though it does NOT feel like something I’m choosing.

I’m going to camp. I don’t want to. I likely will not be able to get into a bathing suit, even though everything I’m reading says to “love your body where it’s at”. It sounds so easy – but it’s not. I will go. And I will try to laugh and smile and not focus on my weight and not focus on food and not focus on alcohol. It sounds so easy – but it’s not.

On the bright side – I took care of myself yesterday (and so far today). Maybe not with exercise, but my body feels like it needed rest. I’ve fed myself nourishing foods. I’ve eaten when I was hungry (and not overeaten when I was not hungry). I’m still toying with the idea of doing a Whole 30, and I guess technically, this would be day 2, and I should be able to get through 2 days. I don’t know if I’ll drink or not this weekend. I would like to feel rested and renewed on Sunday, not regret. Time will tell. No more grandiose statements saying “I’M DONE!” because clearly… it sounds so easy – but it’s not.

I intended for this post to be more positive because I’ve been extremely productive at work today and I feel like I’m not in as dark of a place as I was when I first woke up this morning. What I’d like to work more on is taking care of my other needs. I bought more essential oils. I’m going to start dry brushing again. I got new shampoo and makeup. I’d like to make myself feel good in many other ways including improved sleep, better skin, etc. Maybe that will make me hate many other parts of myself less? It’s worth a shot.

The non-physical things I am proud of today: getting respect regionally and locally for things I’m working on, setting up two fundraisers (one for Cystic Fibrosis, one for animals), hoping to use my voice to help others… once I’ve made it out from “Rock Bottom”. Time will tell.

Update: in the car on the way there feeling super depressed and fat. I know this shouldn’t matter this much to be ruining my mentality 

 

Rock bottom

Your “daily” post

Daily means at least once every five or six months, right? Apparently that’s what I think it means. I’ve never been one to give up on anything. But over the last two years,seemingly since my divorce, I have given up on quite literally everything, including myself. This is not a trend I would like to continue, this is not a trend I am proud of, but this is also not something I am willing to make a sweeping statement about because i’ve done that too many times and it’s disingenuous.

 So here goes nothing, and cheers to doing the best that I can with what I have right now. 

I’m going to start by being real. I had one of the worst binge/purge sessions of my life tonight. I had the night alone in a hotel and I thought it was going to beautiful and peaceful with an easy workout, healthful food, and binging on Netflix. Instead it was filled with tears and multiple pints of ice cream. This is not life. This is not living. I want to live my best life. Screw it – I want to LIVE life. Without fear of food without fear of my body without fear of what others think. 

I’m making any change I can think of. I’m ordering self help books, I’m trying acupuncture, I’m getting into OA groups, I’m back in counseling, and I’m enlisting the support of my friends and family. I already enlisted the help of my partner, who is amazing and will do anything to help. I now have to decide if I’m enlisting the help of my family. And if I’m quitting drinking or not (temporarily or not). I have too much to offer to keep myself small. I want to beat this and I want to help others. I want to wake up with energy and not regret. I want to be proud of myself (and I mean my inner self, not my shell). This needs to be priority now.  

I get scared because I have had these feelings and thoughts before and nothing has come of it. I need to be committed to myself and my health. Commitment. Dedication. I deserve to live well and I deserve to be well. I am worthy. 

Your “daily” post