When You Miss Anorexia: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before A Relapse

Last Sunday, I gave the keynote speech at the Denver NEDA walk.

It was meaningful, full of women and men I got to meet in person versus online.

I felt a lot of connection and intimacy – and an environment where people understand each other.

I also felt lonely.

Continue reading “When You Miss Anorexia: 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before A Relapse”

Advertisements

VIDEO: NEDA Denver Walk Keynote Speech – Woo!

A quick, simple post to thank so many, including  The Eating Disorder Foundation for asking me to give the keynote speech for yesterday’s Denver National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) walk.

As I stood up there, cold as hell, nervous, adrenaline-infused (as I always am before any public speaking), I had a momentary wave of peace.

There are times that what I do feels like a hashtag blessing. And there are times that I am truly conscious of that blessing. This was one of them – leading a crowd of people , and helping to hold a banner of awareness for a sickness many suffer from in some shape or form.

Stood next to a group of young ladies after the walk. We chatted for a bit; I pet their puppy:

bLOGGGGGG

“Your blog helped us,” one of them said. “You make people feel like they can talk about this stuff and it’s not a big deal. Thank you.”

I teared up (my tears likely freezing into icicles cause IT WAS FRIGID): my words may make a momentary impact, sure, but choosing life outside of an ED is a powerful, intimate decision. And having a support group of friends who are doing it with you – how rad. These ladies inspired me.

Cheers to days like this.

How lucky I’ve been to take my experience – and magnify it to the point that it is no longer a shame for me to speak to, and about. How lucky I’ve been to find purpose and meaning in my life at 28-years old.

Thank you to all of you who have ever read a word I’ve posted. 

NEDAWALK

NEDA

 

Reminder – Your “Back Fat” Is Not What’s Bothering You (Also, NEDA Denver Walk Speech: Please Critique!)

 

Posted the following message on Instagram, but felt like sharing here:

Had one of those nights last night where I had to sit at my kitchen table, moments before heading to the hot tub, and remind myself that damnit, it’s not your “back fat” you’re worried about – it’s the Denver NEDA walk speech you’re giving on Sunday.

It’s not your lack of working out this week – it’s the expectation that you would, and didn’t.

It’s not that you ate Qdoba for lunch and – OH CHRIST – the calories from a salad bowl (😱) – it’s that my ex read my blog post the other day about relationships, and was hurt. And now I’ve sat here the past 72  hours trying to reconcile the pain I’ve caused him for my misguided – at times – interpretations online. I’m dealing with guilt and a facepalm to my own face.

Continue reading “Reminder – Your “Back Fat” Is Not What’s Bothering You (Also, NEDA Denver Walk Speech: Please Critique!)”

A Reminder: Relationships Will Not Cure Your Eating Disorder

hiking2.jpg

Sitting at a brewery in Evergreen, Colorado.

I’ve got my dog with me after an unexpectedly lost 10-mile hike – and we’re recovering here: me with a beer, and Juno with a questionable water bowl that has other dog hair floating in it. (Sucks to be a dog sometimes.)

writing.JPG

Anyway, I write pretty frequently about love in recovery. Mostly, because I suck at it, so I write to make sense of what I do that always ends in heartache.

That being said, let’s cut to the chase: it’s been a rough weekend.

Between Hurricane Irma potentially wiping out my grandparents home in Sanibel Island, and my aunt and uncles home in Naples – there’s stress in my family.

Selfishly, my childhood summers are wrapped up in Sanibel. I spent a month or two there every single year from 9 months – 24 years, and the reality of that whole island being destroyed – as I write this – is hard to grasp.

The people who have been there forever – their homes. The ice cream shop “Pinocchios,” the Bubble Room restaurant, our bike paths, the lighthouse and the cafe near it with the same waitresses for the past 20 years.

I was never more content than in Florida as a teen – it became an expected concept – to have it. I brought my best friends there, my boyfriend.

The possibility of not having it reminds me how fleeting things can be: how you can have this sense of security and it can be taken from you in an instant. The whole construct of security, which humans crave, reshaped in a storm.

Don’t get me wrong: others have it way worse. I know that. I’m thinking of them. But, that’s not my reality at this moment. And my emotions are still valid.

I’m not attached to the things of this island – I’m attached to memories. In truth, I could give up all my stuff, my whole apartment today if we all became nudists and moved into log cabins – with just a twinge of resentment before utter release.

I don’t carry “things” with me, except memories. I don’t move with much. I just start over.

Maybe that’s in part due to my eating disorder – eating disorders have a way of disassociating you, and so I don’t know that I ever really formed an attachment to things because I was always self-absorbed and preoccupied with being sick.

But, I carry memories because they are associated with people. And I carry people around with me everywhere I go – too many to count.

Which leads me to this post.

Continue reading “A Reminder: Relationships Will Not Cure Your Eating Disorder”

“BUT… You Can’t Eat Chipotle For Breakfast?”: The Truth About Food Rituals

Me Today.jpg

I’m uncomfortable today, as I write.

It is 11:07am on a Wednesday morning – Afternoon? Brunch? Can’t we millennials just coin the 11-1:00pm timeframe as “brunch hours?” It seems much more distinguishable.

Afternoon always sounds late. The 1-4:00pm day-drag hours.

Anyway, it’s 11:09 now – And my white jeans are currently feeling snug around my waist, increases near my bellybutton from hours of wear, and I am sitting in my office swivel chair on a lunch break, pounding furiously on a keyboard.

It’s distracting – these jeans. My legs are Indian style in an attempt to combat the tightness – I am breathing more shallow to provide less stomach movement, and I’m preoccupied, right now, by whether or not what I ate for breakfast will make me gain weight – as though weight can now magically be defined by one meal.

Fucking Chipotle.

Isn’t it interesting – and morbidly fascinating – what we carry around of our eating disorders.

Last night, I hung out with a person I’m dating and my best friend from college. They happen to be roommates. Hungry, as thin men always seem to be (sorry for the stereotype but seriously. It’s like all thin dudes could eat a person and shit it out by the end of the day – never gaining an ounce.)

Anyway, we went to Chipotle. I ordered a burrito bowl. Light on the sour cream. In retrospect, what does that even mean – ‘light on the sour’? Isn’t it really just a justification for getting sour cream at all? I wonder at times. I think I just like saying the words “light on the ____,” so it symbolizes to the bored-looking high school burrito-maker that “I care about my weight. I know I’ve been gaining lately – you can probably tell – but, I’m in control of it.”

I ate half my bowl, the three of us nestled around a wrought-iron black table. Snorting through giggles, sneaking bites of the others. Listening to my best friend moan about being single again. In one sentence – excited for the prospective women. In the next – moping over how his ex is Satan’s love-child.

The guy I’m seeing squeezes my thigh under the table – giving knowing smirks to one another as my best friend announces he’s going to “take up dancing lessons” in the wake of this break up. In another declaration, “fly to Brazil and make love to beautiful foreign women.”

Sex was born in Brazil, he announces.

Continue reading ““BUT… You Can’t Eat Chipotle For Breakfast?”: The Truth About Food Rituals”

“It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 8.51.55 PM.png

Had one of those moments today – sitting at my desk around noon.

My personal email dinged as I haplessly knocked buttons on my keyboard trying to make a press release for work sound remotely articulate.

I sighed, tabbed over to my gmail account.

A Paperless Post invitation appeared at the top of my Inbox.

I clicked on it – going through the whole masquerade of electronically opening the letter.

Like, cmon Paperless Post, it’s 2017. Envelopes are dying. You can’t trick us millennials with your virtual envelope rip. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

An invitation appeared to a friends house in a couple weeks.

Immediately intrigue followed by immediate dread as I opened the invitation and saw the two glowing little shitty words:

POT LUCK!

Pot. Luck.

I groaned –  audibly – bashing my forehead onto the keyboard.

…. Okay, dramatic. I didn’t do that.

But God I hate pot lucks, which leads me to this post.

Screen Shot 2017-08-01 at 8.40.07 PM.png

5 situations that I just ‘can’t even’ with my eating disorder. Let’s see if you agree: Continue reading ““It’s Buffet Style”: 5 Eating Disorder Situations That You ‘Can’t Even’”

Calorie Counting: Does It Ever Go Away?

… I don’t know. And maybe, that’s okay.

Hear me out:

Calorie counting. If you struggle with it, you relate to Lily Collins in Netflix’s “To The Bone” scene when her sister refers to her calorie counting as ‘calories aspergers’, and if you don’t – I can only beg that you never attempt to. ((Also, I originally entitled this post Calorie Asperger’s in light of this scene – but it is insensitive to co-opt the two, so I changed it.))

Screen Shot 2017-07-30 at 10.24.32 PM.png
To The Bone

Coming off a weekend in Texas. Ate a lot – drank some wine. Went to my 10-year high school reunion and visited family. Feeling uncomfortably full as I write this – sipping a vanilla latte; ordered it and forgot to ask for nonfat milk, which made me laugh a little because I immediately thought to myself “Wonder how many calories that adds on?”

Some things never change.

You know that scene in Good Will Hunting? The 1997 movie about Matt Damon as this poverty-stricken Boston math genius. Beautifully written (RIP Robin Williams). But, there’s that scene where Matt Damon is told he has this ‘ability’ to solve math equations faster than anyone ever. He’s the best in the world – has a unique brain that rattles off numbers.

There’s a parallelism that resonates here with calorie counting for me, which leads me to this post.

 

Screen Shot 2017-07-24 at 7.37.37 PM.png

Continue reading “Calorie Counting: Does It Ever Go Away?”

Is Netflix’s ‘To The Bone’ Triggering? Spoiler Alert: Yes, But Life Is Triggering

BlogPostJuly

Been seeing this Netflix movie ‘To The Bone’ anorexia debate flood my social media feed + inbox the past couple weeks, so I watched it yesterday and thought I’d type up a few thoughts.

I liked it.

As unpopular of an opinion as this might be for some, it’s easy to shit on eating disorder movies because there’s so many reasons why they occur. Not all can be covered in 2 hours. What I will say, though, is that I felt. And I appreciated the following attempts:

  • They cast a lead male with an eating disorder in treatment. This would not have been done 10 years ago. Thank you.
  •  Predominately showcased Caucasian females, yes, but they cast at least two minorities (one who identifies with LGBT) as leads with an ED. Thank you.
  • While I would’ve preferred better dialogue on ‘drunkorexia’ or exercise addiction outside of sit ups, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they cast a pregnant girl dealing with pregorexia, a binge eater, and showcased ‘chewing and spitting’. Thank you.
  • Miscarriage scene. Horrifying. It happens. Thank you.
  • They included reference to social media pro-anorexia sites. More people need to understand that they exist in masses, and their kids could be on them. Thank you.
  • ”Calorie Aspergers” may not be PC, but if you have a type of anorexia, you know what they’re talking about. Thank you.
  • They inserted a frustrated sister. Cliche, sure. But, many of us have heard the same from members of our family or friends. Thank you.
  • The movie depicts insurance issues. And the recidivism rate of eating disorders + treatment. Thank you.
  • They showed a group of family members fighting over what to do. Scared. Selfish. Tired of her. Feeling like they did this to their child. Tis’ life. It’s not true. But yes, it’s relatable. Thank you.
  • They exposed manipulations with food. The diet cokes. The smoking. Laxatives. The bags under beds, the sit ups, the arm ring, the cutting off of bread from the fried chicken. Sure, there’s plenty more they could’ve done, but it’s a movie and there isn’t time. Thank you.
  • The stubbornness of these disorders. The habits we create and repeat time and time again. The locked circle. Thank you.

Continue reading “Is Netflix’s ‘To The Bone’ Triggering? Spoiler Alert: Yes, But Life Is Triggering”

6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse

Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.02.37 PM.png

Haven’t written in awhile.

Mostly because —  I’ve lost weight — And I don’t know how (nor want) to talk about that.

How do you talk about the reality that’s occurring – and less about the past you can reflect on? (Writing about the past is so much simpler.)

What does it mean when you’re generally “okay” and yet — not being okay?

How do you write for the people you know that read this — put yourself out on the gurney —  and still make it human?

It’s hard to maintain a sense of transparency about your life – while also worrying about what other people will think.

So, I write in this way. In numerical values like this headline — because it seems easier to own.

6 “real” signs of a relapse.

I’m in one – but I’ll dig out of it.

And, I think, while I’m in it — it’s worth shedding light on the little manipulations we use in order to get away with it. Continue reading “6 {Real} Signs Of An Eating Disorder Relapse”

The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

Beforephoto.jpg

This sentence helped take away 8 years and 40lbs of my life – and I’m reposting it here today because in light of NEDA week, I think it’s a reminder to anybody searching for resources on the internet.

“I can’t even tell that you have one.”

Such a simple few words. We say it all the time.

Continue reading “The One Sentence You Should Never Say To Someone With An Eating Disorder”