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:

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“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. 

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NEDA

 

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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

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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.)

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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

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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’

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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.

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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’”

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

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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”

A Reminder: Your Eating Disorder Is Boring

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Coming out of a minor eating disorder relapse these last couple months, and I went to dinner with a girl who follows my blog this past week: “What made you go?” She asked. “To rehab? Did you have that moment?”

I sipped my wine: looked down at 2 tacos in front of me. Sometimes, I wanna have a big, juicy response for that question. Sometimes, I don’t know what to say.

I kinda chuckled. “I dunno if I have an answer really,” I said. “I didn’t have that moment – that big climatic scene in a movie. I didn’t have it, and sometimes I feel like I should make one up to feel relevant.”

Truth is, though: I’m not the girl Lily Collins is playing in some hyped up Netflix movie about anorexia. I’m not your dying girl on a feeding tube in a hospital.

I’m not the girl that people shook their head at in the street, and I wasn’t the girl who had a movie scene moment with an indie one-hit wonder theme.

I was just a girl with an eating disorder – and I was simply boring.

“I guess it’s that,” I said. “I was bored. I wanted a different story. Got tired of the one I was writing.”

I wasn’t dying, but what is being alive glass-eyed? Tripping over your feet? Unaffected unless it directly relates back to calories burned or food lost. Food doesn’t give you love.

Saw fields and mountains and beaches for years n’ all I thought was how long I could run them – till every calorie of food was gone.

Look at pictures and remember events in my life by what I ate, threw up, or didn’t eat. “Ah yes, that picture. I had just hidden grape leaves in my back packet. Smushed them later in the car when I sat down. Smelled rank.”

“I guess I just eventually got bored enough to ask myself ‘what else is there?’ I ended up saying. “And that was enough for me. Eating disorders are boring. People grow tired of you. You get tired of yourself; sit in the same 8-10 revolving thoughts all day. I was just … I was tired of feeling nothing.”

I wanted something else to live for. I wanted to cry again; like big ole’ tears. And laugh the most genuine of my 7 laughs (still have them). I wanted to have shit days and joyful ones – and love affairs that wouldn’t last, and anger. I wanted to go on dates and road trips n’ eat camp food because it’s there. Party till 2am or sit in a lazy river. I wanted to run around at a hot springs or laugh at a meal with girlfriends. I wanted to gossip. Dance. Try some blues moves. Read a novel. Fuck up.

I just wanted to be a person who no longer found the word ‘boring’ an acceptable meaning for a life.

A lady who lives out of a suitcase – than motionless in a box, eyes wide open – feeling nothing.

‘Cause honestly, what woulda’ been the point otherwise? I reminded myself that then: biting down into my tacos – what else is the bloody point?

5 Things You Need to Know About Eating Disorders & Your Heart

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Originally seen on SheKnows.com

5 Truths You Need to Know About Eating Disorders and Your Heart

Here’s the truth about eating disorders: we are often uneducated as to their risks.

Sure, we “know” they are detrimental, but when I struggled for 8 years I had no real awareness as to what type of bodily harm I inflected on my organs.

I noticed the physical effects: thinning hair, sallow eyes, and stress fractures from running. I observed the light-headedness and fainting spells, but I never took time to explore what that meant internally, especially for my heart.

Now in recovery from my eating disorder, I spent time speaking with cardiologists and medical professionals around the country to learn more about the harmful effects that eating disorders can have on your organs – specifically, your heart.

Here’s what they had to share: Continue reading “5 Things You Need to Know About Eating Disorders & Your Heart”

Add A Pinch of Salt: Must We? Cooking With An Eating Disorder

Happy 2017 y’all! My fingers have finally found their way to the keyboard again and I couldn’t be more relieved. (Always have this mass blind anxiety that after each blog post I’ll suddenly run out of subjects and dive into a deep writers block and lose my voice and never write again and and… well, you get the picture.)

Anyway, I’d say my resolution is to write more consistently – but hey, I think resolutions are bullshit – and I don’t like writing unless I have a subject to delve into.

SO, with that being said, lez’ talk about cooking and eating disorders ’cause LORD – I gots some venting to do.

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Pancakes from my roomie

Picture this:

The other night my roommate walks into our apartment right? And there I am leaned over on the kitchen counter – squinting at a laptop screen.

She halts in the doorway. “Are you cooking?”

I look up from said laptop, brow furrowed –  a dripping colander of black beans, a pan full of burnt rice, and reading some eye-rollingly beautiful blonde bloggers “easy, earth shattering sweet potato and grains bowl” recipe.

“I dunno what the hell I’m doing,” I say – turning back to the sink and pushing sweaty hair off my forehead.

SUCK IT BLOG LADY, I think. I hope all your cabbage rots and fumigates your 10,000$ oven.

“Well, this is interesting,” my roommate grins.

I make a face. “I’m on a budget.”

“Lemme know if you need anything,” she says – walking back towards her room (likely with deliberate stride).

“IS A CLOVE THE WHOLE GARLIC?” I yell.

“Jesus, NO. That’s the bulb.”

I sigh. Look over at my dog.

“Wanna give me your gruel?”

He did not.

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Hello, Juno – you greedy bastard

The truth about cooking with an ED?

It’s a minefield.

Continue reading “Add A Pinch of Salt: Must We? Cooking With An Eating Disorder”

Sugar N’ Spice N’ Everything Nice? Naw: Holidays With An Eating Disorder

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Christmas Eve – and… donuts? 🍩🎄❄️️ ((or otherwise known as a time of general food anxiety, fear of weight gain, and constant body checking))

Such a balancing beam between the holidays we are born into believing in – and the reality that takes place when you have an eating disorder.

Went on a run this morning with my partner. Ran straight past a Dunkin Donuts. “Let’s get donuts for my family,” he said. “I got the dog; you go in and pick it out.”

I. Fucking. Cringed.

Continue reading “Sugar N’ Spice N’ Everything Nice? Naw: Holidays With An Eating Disorder”