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Time Flies!

What every other parent says is true….It goes by so fast! It is hard to believe that in 2 weeks our baby girl will be 9 months old! We are absolutely in love with her and love our little family and the time we have with her. Brian and I thought it would be nice to start a blog for family (or friends!) who want a more regular update on what’s happening. We will try to post photos and videos here so you can watch our little girl grow!

 

What every other parent says is true….It goes by so fast! It is hard to believe that in 2 weeks our baby girl will be 9 months old! We are absolutely in love with her and love our little family and the time we have with her. Brian and I thought it would be nice to start a blog for family (or friends!) who want a more regular update on what’s happening. We will try to post photos and videos here so you can watch our little girl grow!

 

 

It’s only hair.

Okay, so hair is SUCH a big deal, isn’t it? I mean, at least it always was for me growing up and feeling like I had uncontrollably thick frizz-bomb hair. I could never do the “cool” things with it. No sunflower bangs, no side ponies, no wing sides. I mean, my mom, bless her heart, was a HUGE fan of perms. Every couple of months we’d get the big bag of curlers out and that trusty box of Ogilvie permanent. This of course was problematic for me due to my hair already being naturally curly (didn’t know at the time) and majorly thick. Top that with having a short short hair cut, and it was a recipe for disaster. My most memorable bad hair cut was in the sixth grade. This was when I was beyond obsessed with New Kids on the Block. I went so far as to ask my stylist if she could make my hair the female version of Jordan Knight. Rat tail and all. I mean, WHAT? I feel that in order for you to truly appreciate this OMG moment, you need to see the photo:

Praise God, sometime in the summer going into 10th grade Iwas too lazy to fix my hair and let it air dry naturally. It was then that I found out I had naturally curly hair – and it was pretty to boot! I felt like…finally! I have something going for me! Over the years I wore my hair long and curly, too afraid to do anything different to it.  I had the mentality that even though I was overweight, I still had great hair. I started to hide behind it. Eventually, as I become more involved in running, and working out (which was actually diet after diet, exercise addiction, and binging) the weight started to come off and as I was nearing a tremendous life goal of losing 100 pounds, I thought that perhaps it was time to stop hiding behind my hair.

During the summer of 2009 I went home to Minnesota to visit. I decided it was time to take the plunge and asked my cousin who is a stylist, to cut it for me. Before I could even change my mind to “just a 1/4 of an inch off” she chopped. And right then and there I could no longer hide behind my long hair. My hair was short! For the first time in a long time! And I LIKED it!

Over the years I tried to keep it the same style and then in late 2010, my binge eating was at an all time high. I had a hard time controlling my dieting and exercise. I was burnt out. I started to slowly gain weight. As I put on the weight I started to let my hair grow a bit longer. As I got engaged, I decided that I would grow it out for the wedding. All the while I was still putting on weight as I was in therapy trying to overcome this eating disorder of mine. After the wedding (this past August) I was at the point of being 6 months binge free, but still really struggling with my body image. It had been difficult for me to work through the pain of the eating disorder, and at the same time, give up my addiction to working out – resulting in basically all of 2011 being a time free of consistent exercise. (More on that later…)

As we rung in 2012, I was becoming more and more tired of my hair. Feeling like I had no style to it whatsoever, feeling like I was continually just hiding behind it. I hated that it felt that I couldn’t cut it because I still had a lot of weight to lose, and that it certainly wouldn’t look good short because my face was so round and blah blah blah. How dare I hold myself back from feeling good about myself until I lost weight. I am so tired of doing that to myself!

So last night, as I sat down in the chair at the salon, I gave the stylist complete and utter creative freedom. This was SCARY to me! But also extremely liberating! The result? Lots of inches gone, bangs (!) for the first time in 13 years…and a lightness that I feel from not hiding any more!

Before and After

Thanks, endorphins.

Okay, so yesterday went from really biting to being…okay. I managed to get to spin class and boy…it was tough! I really needed that though. And even though the heat is still being pumped into the room, I didn’t really even totally feel like I needed to pass out! I mean, really LA Fitness, it’s been a month now – it doesn’t seem that tough to fix??

I also had to calm down and relax a bit and remind myself that although it felt like I ate a whole bunch of food, in reality I had a bowl of cereal, 2 servings of pop chips and what amounted to probably a half serving of m&m’s….it wasn’t the end of the world.  And I mean, it was more food than normal, and it was definitely emotional eating…but my body really had a hard time with it because I am really just not used to eating that many carbs and sugary things. But…ohhh they taste so good sometimes. :)

So really, I am thankful for the opportunity to get to the gym, get all hot, sweaty and red-faced, and be reminded of how good it really feels to get my blood pumping!

Dumpster Diving

Today…BITES. I am really struggling with the urge to binge and lay around all day. Yesterday I bought some M&M’s and ate half of them and threw them away. I know this totally set me off on the wrong track. Then Brian and I had a great tasting (but carb-filled) date night. We had dinner at Vino and had incredible artichoke dip and panini’s. Nothing wrong specifically with any of those foods but I did NOT eat based on the plate model! No fruits or veggies to speak of! Usually, I try to plan ahead and fill up on veggie’s beforehand. This did not happen last night…thanks to being uber full and in a daze from the M&M’s.

Basically I was at that point of going into a sugar/carb coma and had a hard time being healthy. And of course it has carried into today. I have been tired all day. I do NOT want to go to spin class like I had planned. I even went home on lunch, laid on the couch and promptly ate 2 servings of Pop Chips and a large bowl of cereal. Now, the realistic me knows this is only fueling my sugar/carb coma – but the emotional, food-induced chemical imbalanced part of me doesn’t care. So what did I do when I got back to work? Ya’ll…I literally dug through my garbage can at work and picked out M&M’s from the trash!!! I mean…this just grosses me out when I think about it, but also says a lot about how strong ED is in me right now. Doing whatever I can to numb the anxiousness I may be feeling right now. I just want to lay in bed after work and pig out on dinner.

My sweet love asked me how my day is going and I told him I was struggling with wanting to binge and not hit the gym as planned. He replied with: “That goal you want to reach is slowly blurring, isn’t it?”  And he is so right. I have been being consistent with hitting the gym, eating mostly well-planned meals and I am starting to feel tired of it…just because I have had a couple of rough days. It’s SO important that I don’t give in to this! I know this will be hard but I need to remember that I am worth the uncomfortableness.

Today I had my appointment with my nutritionist. As soon as I walked in she she asks, “so how are you?” And immediately my eyes started to well up with tears. She of course knew I had a rough few days and I took her back through my last 2 weeks and the frustration I felt over how tough things had been. How it had gone from, “I am doing really well! I am on fire!” to “Why is this so hard? Will it always be like this? I want to emotionally eat so bad!” As I expressed my emotions the tears just started flowing and her eyes started welling up as well.

Recovering from an eating disorder is so difficult and I am so thankful she has been in my life for the last year and a half to help me CONQUER this disorder and to recognize a life outside of it. With that said there are these times when it is just really tough. When we allow ourselves to sit with the uncomfortable emotions and anxiety rather than numb ourselves out with food like what was so typical in the past. We realize it is okay to cry and feel sad and frustrated. The joy in this moment is that we are doing something new and different and leaps and bounds better than what we did in the past. This is the encouragement through the pain.

The last few days have been hard. Hard in the way that days recovering from an eating disorder sometimes (regularly?) are.  About a week ago I was feeling so on fire, so proud of the fact that I had been diligently following the plate model for all of my meals and gotten to the gym (happily, mind you) three days a week. I was feeling just so great and positive about the whole thing and then suddenly things just kind of changed. Maybe it was the handful (and I mean handFULL) of chocolate chips that I snuck in secret from a hiding place and then shamefully told Brian about. I was upset and disappointed with myself. Why on earth did I do that? Why did I seek them out and betray Brian’s trust? Not that eating chocolate chips is bad in and of itself, but for me it is when it is coupled with shame, secrecy and guilt. That action caused my next day to be filled with that sadness one feels after emotional eating.  I simply wanted to continue to eat whatever the heck I want, throw the plate model out, and just continue to emotionally eat. It was so difficult but I managed to stay above the line. Even upon getting home all I wanted to do was lay in bed and wallow, and so I did. Until I got to thinking about what really would help bump me out of the funk would be to go to spin class – if even for a half hour. So I did. And you know what? It worked. For a while.

The weekend was a struggle too, and yet somehow I managed to eat healthy meals whether I wanted to or not, and get my planned exercise in. I still had this feeling of sadness hovering over me. I wondered if it would always be this hard. To choose the right thing. And at the same time I felt frustrated because it will be this hard for a while, until these new skills become like second nature. I felt sad about my weight, and just feeling so uncomfortable in this body that I have right now. I didn’t think I would be back here, but I am – and how do I deal? Monday came and I still had these feelings hanging around. I ended up reaching out to my nutritionist basically asking: “WILL IT ALWAYS BE THIS HARD?!”

And here we are today. I was feeling mildly better, the sadness mostly dissipated, and knowing that I just have to dig in my heels for a while and continue to give it a go. That was until lunch time rolled around and my coworker announced she would be ordering pizza. This is a rarity in my office and of course immediately I was filled with dread. Pizza?! FREE pizza?! After all these days of difficulty and finally feeling that I was coming back out of the hole and now I was being met with this. I decided to leave and run some errands on lunch. For my entire lunch hour my thoughts were running from anxious to gluttonous. Thinking, how on earth will I limit myself with just one slice of pizza and a stinkin’ salad?? And then thinking, well it’s okay, I’ll just have a few pieces and it’ll be my treat for a week and no big deal. And this mentality scares me, because this is one of the reasons I got here in the first place. Seeing these opportunities as a time to overeat and indulge when there was really no need to.

I got back to the office and there sitting on the counter were the lovely pizzas. I took a deep breathe and knew what I had to do. I knew that honoring my hunger and myself was most important in this moment. I got out my spinach and made myself a salad and grabbed one piece of pizza out of the box. I sat at my desk jealous as I watched my coworker devour two slices. Once I finished my salad and piece of pizza I was satisfied. I didn’t need more food, but all I could think was: but there is still pizza back there! It is free! It tastes so good! No big deal! And honestly it was a struggle for me to sit at my desk and remind myself that I am satisfied and I don’t need to eat anymore, regardless of anything else!

I got to thinking about my future and thinking that this is just one more tiny little step in recovery. In being able to have just one slice of pizza and stop there. I think this is the first time in my life I have ever eaten just one slice. Around this same time I got a follow-up email from my therapist and she said the most beautiful thing to me in response to my frustrations of all of the uncomfortableness that comes with recovery: You are worth all of that discomfort.

I had tears in my eyes as I read that because I had never thought about that before. She is right. I am worth the sad days, the moments of sitting in pain through the urge to emotionally eat, the days where this seems to be the hardest thing I’ll ever have to deal with, the imperfect relationship my mind has with food, and my body is worth the uncomfortableness so I one day will be able to carry a baby, have a healthy family and continue to lead a blessed life.

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