“If I Eat That, I’ll Have To Work Out”: Exercise With An Eating Disorder

Oh, Exercise. The ultimate double-edged sword of an eating disorder.

 

^BUT MY GOD, HOW CUTE IS THAT?

People ask me every so often “What was the hardest part of rehab?”

Depending on my mood, the answer varies.

“The food, the confinement, the emotion overload, the disparity of sick people… the exercise.”

Ah, the exercise, I always land on – or lack thereof.

3 years ago, I was escorted into rehab (yes, escorted. Two people at each side in the case that I bolted… and ran to the highway? I don’t know where the hell they expected me to go.)

Anyway, I remember looking around the vast expanse of my prison-like surroundings, and spotting what looked like a runner’s path.

Circular, brown dirted and perfectly suited to run on during what I assumed would be many hard days ahead, I was relieved to see this silver lining.

“YOU CAN TAKE MY BODY, BUT YOU CAN NEVER TAKE MY FREEDOM (TO EXERCISE)” – the William Wallace inside of me screamed. (Side note: Braveheart, oddly enough, happened to be a fan favorite to watch while in rehab. We were banned from all trash television, as well as any movie baring nudity of any sort – but yet, somehow, Braveheart slipped the radar.)

Screen Shot 2017-03-31 at 10.09.13 AM

As it goes.

Continue reading ““If I Eat That, I’ll Have To Work Out”: Exercise With An Eating Disorder”

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.

cooking4
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.

cooking9
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”

Independence Day Reminder: It’s Okay To Hate The Buffets

🇺🇸🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🇺🇸

Quick reminder: buffets suck when you have an eating disorder. Buffets will always suck.

Accept that.

And yo – It’s okay to work out on a holiday. It’s okay to not work out either. Had the worst binge of my life on 4th of July 2013, sitting with my relatives and frantically shoving the buffet brownies and coleslaw and baked beans and biscuits in my mouth. I laid on the floor that night, throwing up bile in a toilet, and I thought to myself “I’ll never be okay – I won’t ever be normal.”

I was right then, I’m not “normal.” I am a girl with an eating disorder, and I have to manage it. I have to be proactive.

I worked out yesterday, the day before, and this morning, ran 4 miles- sat down and took a selfie on a treadmill – cause it’s okay to do that too. I know what I’m capable of and I know that I need a run in order to keep my lil Ed head straight on a holiday.

I write a lot about “eating whatever” on vacation or not working out when you don’t feel like it, but the truth is I do love exercise (cardio) … in moderation. I love a good run. I love to bike. I don’t give a shit about weights but I love to clear my head.

Do what ya gotta do to stay present, to stay whatever your version of “normal” is. None of us are normal – were all sittin around with issues and demons. So run if you need it, do yoga if you need it, meditate if you need it, walk if you want it. It’s okay. 

The buffet will never change. But you can change in order to survive it. Self care people, self care. 💛

Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia

UGH, it’s crop top season.

Alright guys, so I’ve been pretty MIA the past month and a half (unless you wanna count my previous red-faced emoji rant about the UK coverage as “blogging”) and I haven’t really been writing because truthfully, I’m like a lizard changing its stripes (is that even the idiom??)

Moving is a huge change- goes without saying – and I haven’t really wanted to write until I felt more settled, or at least more genuine, about what I’m even writing about.

Some days I wake up overlooking those Colorado mountains and think “This is where I was always meant to be,” and other days I wake up with this incessant loneliness, longing, and nostalgia for my life in New York.

The world is a playground and I can barely figure out where the slide is (also, I’m directionally challenged). Yes, I’m meeting people. Yes, I’ve gone on a few dates (post on that to come soon ’cause my GOD my relationship life is always a hot mess) and yes, I’m interviewing quite often for jobs, but it’s been over a month and I haven’t yet found that “comfort” of the familiar, and I find that theres always tis feeling of insecurity when meeting new people.

Sometimes, I think because I was sick for so long that I literally just didn’t learn basic human skills and abilities. I was so obsessed with food and being thin that like I missed the college lectures on how to balance a checkbook, or even the cultural staples of my generation.

I will never really be a girl that has “seen that movie,” “heard that song,” or “read that article.” I can tell you how many calories are in that banana by weight and size, but I have zero idea what Games of Thrones is, or what band sang that song – and that reality comes out when I’m meeting new people and like trying to relate to them in a basic millennial way. Therefore, I feel more insecure than usual.

I know I’m not meant to yet, but it is hard some days to not wake up and go straight to g-chatting my former co-workers as I lay in bed picturing them in their offices. Picturing the sounds of the office, knowing who’s always late to work, who is getting their 8th coffee –

Summer coworkers.jpg
Co-workers! (one of the few times I wore a dress)

I miss my familiar. I miss my work husband walking into my office every morning, happy hours with my female coworkers at the wine bar across the street – knowing which subway line will be delayed – and even the comfort of “the crazies” who roam the subway trains spouting off about religion, and how we’re all going to hell.

I miss my banana waiting for me on my desk, and a granola bar in my office desk for breakfast.

I miss New York – yet I know it’s over. Funny how people do that, yah? How when we lose something, we have this human ability to only remember the good, and negate all the negative.

Anyway, I know in my heart I made the right decision – but you leave pieces of your soul wherever you roam.

Continue reading “Ladies, It’s “Crop Top” Season: Summer Life With Body Dysmorphia”

When Your Eating Disorder Looks Like A Freak Show

UK articles
Feelin’ about 50 shades of WTF.
Haven’t posted in a hot minute because I’ve been struggling a bit in this transition to Denver (love the city, love my life here – but just having some control issues that OF COURSE manifest into weight loss) and I’m working through them with daily OA meetings. (Post to come on OA soon.)
However, I’m coming out of the woodwork because I am all sorts of emoji red face P.O’ed
Everything in that picture above is what I loathe about the portrayal of eating disorders.
Yesterday, I woke up and these article headlines about me ran on the UK Daily Mail, Sun, and Mirror.
YEP GUYS -there I am – the two-headed eating disorder freak show splattered across UK media.
My agenda every day is to represent recovery in a way that relates to ALL yet time and time again the world has a tendency to portray people with eating disorders as though we are some fictitious character straight outta American Horror Story.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m thankful every single day for the opportunity to write about this shiz. It’s kept me connected with the community as well as find an outlet of accountability, but the problem with this kind of portrayal is that it sends the message to people that you have to be “that” sick to really have an eating disorder.
It discourages people from voicing their struggle because they look at horror headlines like that and think to themselves “Oh, well I’m not vomm’ing blood into a toilet – I guess I’m not really that bad.”
The truth is, am I proud of those articles content? Yes. The journalist was respectful and asked real, human questions about my recovery and ED experience. She does not choose headlines, and I have nothing but kind words to say about our interview process.
However, when I read these headlines, I absolutely bloody cringe. Not only because it’s grossly and salaciously manifesting as cheap click bait, but because the headlines heighten my experience with body dysmorphia and eating disorders in a glorified one-of-a-kind manner.
Did I feel and do all those things? Yes. I did have trouble sitting on a subway. I passed people on the SIDEWALK (not street) and had moments that I panicked. “WHAT IF I RUN INTO THEM WITH MY THIGHS.”
I was very sick. I’d never deny that and I’ve got a whole helluva lot of war stories- we all do in recovery, as I’m learning through my resurgence of OA meetings.
Half of recovery is letting those “war stories” go and moving forward.
I just want to reiterate today that I was still a real person back when I was sick. I went to work like anyone else (albeit not fully present), and I functioned as best as i could.  At the end of the day my experience is really no more extreme than anyone else out there struggling with BDD and ED.
PLEASE REMEMBER — You don’t have to have “bloody vomit” and “fear of walking down the street” to quality for an ED or BDD, just as you don’t need to have a salacious bikini pic to qualify as “recovered.”
I hurt myself a lot over the years, and I am still learning what it means to be healthy of mind. However, I want to continue to reiterate that you don’t have to look, act, or be any certain way to suffer from ED.
Ignore those headlines – not everyone’s experience with mental illness has these glorified extremes that they imply.
If you are sick, you know. You know because your life is passing – one day after the other- and you’re missing it, and it’s sad. 💛

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Moving With An Eating Disorder

I officially live in Denver, y’all.

Garden Life

Scratch that. I officially live in a Jungle. Just call me Tarzan, or Jane. Whichever floats your boat.

As I lay here this afternoon, feeling both nostalgic for NYC as well as overwhelmed, terrified, and elated about everything else going on in my new life in Denver:

Blog LH 3.jpg    Blog LH 5.jpg  Blog LH 4  blog LH 1

I’ve realized that I’m now living the exact mantra my therapist quoted at me 100x before I made this move:

“Wherever you go, there you are.”

In 5 years, I’ve lived in 5 places:

Fayetteville, Arkansas (c. 2007- 2011)

Seville, Spain (c. 2011- 2012)

Fort Worth, Texas (c. 2012 -2013)

New York, New York (c. 2013- 2016)

Denver, Colorado (c. 4 DAYS)

I’ve lived in about the most conservative state in the US – to the most liberal. I’ve lived in the state that thinks it IS its own country, and I’ve lived in a country that prides itself on siestas (can you even imagine if NYC were to implement such a thing. LOLZ. Does nodding off on the subway count?)

I’m idealistic to a fault; every place is better than the last. I’ve experienced American “life” at many different angles; in many different perspectives – but hey, GUESS WHAT?

 At the end of the day, none of it “fixed me.” I still have my bloody eating disorder.

Moving – again – does not change that I have to maintain my ED, and that’s a reality I’m coping with today.

It doesn’t streamline recovery, or evaporate the habits you created over the years. I don’t get to walk into a new apartment and say “Hi Ms. Denver, here’s the trash from my eating disorder – could you toss it please? Thx!”

Changing environments doesn’t mute the voice in your head. I will always be in recovery; and no matter what stigma I surround myself with, my environment will not “cure” me.

I have to choose to cure me every day, and right now it’s a struggle to center myself because I’m vulnerable and antsy and out of place and over-stigmatized.

I’ve always had this quirky idealism about moving (lies- okay about everything).

OH MOUNTAINS, I thought before I moved, through rose-tinted goggles. MOUNTAINS AND INCLINES AND BIKE PATHS GALORE. DENVER- I’M IN HEAVEN. DENVER – YOU’LL CURE ME. THIS IS WHAT I’VE ALWAYS NEEDED. DENVER- YOU’RE MY NEXT LOVER. TAKE ME IN.

I’m like a stage 5 clinger to cities. (Insert mental image of me wrapping myself around a New York skyline, planting sloppy kisses on the wall of the Drumpf Tower… )

I’ve shuffled through cities about as quickly as I’ve shuffled through partners – and in the past, I’ve always inevitably felt deflated when one or the other didn’t just “fix me.”

Continue reading “Wherever You Go, There You Are: Moving With An Eating Disorder”

“Are There, Like, Cals In Gum?”: Life As A Calorie Counter

It should qualify as a skill set.

I was revamping my resume the other day (for my big ole move to Denver tomorrow! P.S. HIRE ME PLZ) and as I was modifying my skills I actually had a moment ((while eating Greek Yogurt and a handful of almonds)), that I smirked to myself and considered including:

  • Fluency in Calorie Counting
    • Sharp cache for all sugar, carb, fat, and sodium grams
    • Extensive fieldwork into the calorie counts of all processed and baked goods
    • Well-versed to all sugar in fruit juices, caffeine, and alcohol

Eating disorders are amazing lil boogers. I was completely focused on perfecting the language of my resume and yet as I glanced down at the yogurt, I caught a SMIDGEN of the label and my brain went all “Beautiful Mind” and added the calories of the almonds and yogurt quicker than I could stop myself.

a-beautiful-mind

Not to brag, but I am like the Speedy Gonzalez of calorie counting. My brain doesn’t really retain historical info, or anything actually pertinent or useful- but bloody hell, I can count calories on a plate of food about as quick as Kobayashi can choke down a hot dog.

hot dog

Continue reading ““Are There, Like, Cals In Gum?”: Life As A Calorie Counter”

8 Tips To Cope With Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorder Dayze

…Cause literally Eating Disorders and Body Dysmorphia are a daze – ammirite? You walk around trying to exist; put on your work face; your social face; your public face – and inside you just feel all this guilt and shame for being so self-absorbed.

Now, don’t jump down my throat. You’re not necessarily self-absorbed. But, BDD and EDs do make you seem that way. When you can’t be present in a conversation, when you’re flaky as hell on all social engagements, or when you realize you can’t pass a glass window on a New York street without turning to observe whether or not your ass grew from the block before – it just gets exhausting. And honestly, embarrassing.

I have no joke run right into someone while distracted by my thighs in a window reflection.

“You’re lookin fine, gorgeous,” he said sarcastically as he bristled past me.

I wanted to be like ”I DON’T THINK I’M HOT A-HOLE. I THINK MY THIGHS ARE BIGGER IN THIS REFLECTION THAN THEY WERE IN THE DUANE REEDE REFLECTION- DON’T YOU GET IT?!”

2 years into recovery, you can still catch me doing that it’s true- but in treatment, my team and I developed coping mechanisms for dealing with the bad days. Some are helpful; some might be cornier than others. It just kinda depends on what type of person you are in terms of what will work for you.

Feel free to share your own. As always, I’m just a girl with an ED – no more special or wise than the rest of you. Continue reading “8 Tips To Cope With Body Dysmorphia and Eating Disorder Dayze”

Recovery Truth: Loving and Leaving New York

Leaving NYC

My favorite thing about New York is the people, because I think they’re misunderstood. I don’t think people realize how kind New York people are. – Bill Murray

Came to this city 3 years ago hoping it’d “fix” me. “HELP ME,” I pleaded. “Help me live again. I don’t know how.”

Little did I know back then that while no one can save you; no place can fix you; you CAN use both to help yourself.

Recovery is not easy- no- you stumble all the time. But I have found that with it, you can truly exist- you can simply just live. And that’s been enough for me.

Came here with nothin’- leaving with everything.

Watched the sun come up this morning; chomped on a Girl Scout Caramel Delite cookie – and all I could think about were the people who helped make all this possible.

I am lucky today – thankful today- and forever indebted to the people I met along the way.

Not a goodbye, just a C YA L8R, my forever city. ❤️

#ColoradoBound

first pic in NYC.jpg

Eek That One Time I Had A Cosmopolitan.com Article

Could not be more appreciative of all the support as this article runs. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t a mixed bag of feelings to look down and see your name associated with the word “suicide.” To clarify: it’d be sensationalizing my eating disorder to state that I ever tried to end my life, but there were plenty of times that I looked at myself in the mirror and thought “this will be how I die. I’ll never get past it.”

Glad to be an example of recovery; what it is, what it entails, and all the beautiful ups and downs. Feeling so much gratitude and love as I leave this big apple city.

And of course, thank you to my friend Chase Williams for his sexy cameo. Don’t be surprised if the ladies of Cosmo come knockin’ my friend

Cosmo pic

Continue reading “Eek That One Time I Had A Cosmopolitan.com Article”