Tag Archives: Health

Restarting My Health Journey for the Millionth Time

I hate writing these posts. I hate putting it out there. I’ve done it too many times. I’ve started and stopped my health and fitness journey more times than I can count. I lose the weight, then I gain it back and then some. It’s discouraging. It’s scary. And I hate it.

And yet, instead of changing things all those others times I stopped and started, here I am starting again. I’m not going to say it’s the last time, because that sets me up for failure. But this time, I have to work as hard as possible. I can’t let myself feel defeat. I have to push. If I don’t see results right away, I need to be patient and work harder.

I need to know that it was a long process to put this weight on, and it’s going to be a long process to take it off. It’s not going to happen overnight. But I can do this.

Why this post on a Monday morning? Because I’m starting my health journey for the millionth time this morning. I’m refocusing myself. I’m reminding myself that I have to do this. I can’t keep living at the weight I’m at. It’s not healthy. It’s not about appearance anymore. It’s about my health. And that needs to change.

In less than a year, I will be getting married. Yes, we will finally set a date. In two months, I start trying on wedding dresses. While I know, in two months, I won’t be anywhere close to my goal, I hope to be down at least 10 pounds. I know dresses can be taken in, and that’s my plan.

I know a year is plenty of time to lost the amount of weight I need to lose (around 65 lbs). But I’m just going to focus on doing the best I can do.

So here we go. Starting over again. But this time, I feel like the switch finally turned on and I’m ready to do this.

100 Days of Active, Round 2

If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, then you’ll remember my failed attempt at 100 Days of Active last year. Last year, the idea was to be active everyday in the days leading up to my birthday.

Well, it didn’t happen. I tried. But not hard enough.

So, I’m bringing it back. For no other reason than to give me a good goal, and something to keep me moving.

100 days of active

I’ll be tracking it on here. But I’m not going to be doing it daily. I’ll check in once a week with my weekly activities, and weigh in.

Now you’re probably thinking “Is it 100 straight days?” and the answer is yes. The last time I tried this, I gave myself leeway to skip doing anything active on certain days. Which led to failure. Yes, my goal is something active everyday for 100 days.

30 minutes of activity every day for the next 100 days. Now, it doesn’t mean a hard workout every day. It could be something as simple as a lunchtime walk. But the idea is get me in the mindset of making time for exercise in a busy schedule.

This will run just about 14 weeks. I think it’s like 2 days over. So I’m planning out the first 8 weeks. Weigh in’s will be on Thursday, and the posts will be on Thursdays.

I like having a schedule. Otherwise, I can’t handle life.

The first 50-ish days of 100 Days of Active

Week 1: March 5 – March 11 (Yes. It starts tomorrow!)

Week 2: March 12 – March 18

Week 3: March 19 – March 25

Week 4: March 26 – April 1 – We leave for Las Vegas on March 30th. Essentially my 100 Days of Active for the days we are there, will be walking all over the strip. Seriously.

Week 5: April 2 – April 8 – We are back on April 4th from Las Vegas.

Week 6: April 9 – April 15

Week 7: April 16 – April 22

Week 8: April 23 – April 29

So for the first week or two, I anticipate being very cranky. More because I plan on trying to force myself out of bed in the morning to try to get a walk in on the treadmill when I can. And I really like sleep.

I hope you follow along. This will be a hard, but really good, challenge for me. I need it. I need to force myself to get active and doing something like this will remind me that it’s not about having time, it’s about making time.

I’ll be posting images throughout the challenge on instagram (follow me!) and will be using the hashtag #100daysofactive.

Wish me luck. Here we go!

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I Can. I Will. I Am Going to Lose the Weight.

I’m frustrated. I’m upset. And I’m angry at myself.

I know. It sounds harsh. But I think it’s time to be a bit harsh on myself.

I’m really struggling to lose weight. What started as a 30 pound journey in 2009, has gradually grown into a 40, than a 50 and now a nearly 60 pound weight loss. Which completely blows my mind.

I’m mad because I can’t believe I allowed myself to get to this place.

I’m angry because I didn’t see it happening. I was in denial. I didn’t believe I was gaining that much, even as that scale creeped up.

I’m frustrated because I’m having a hard time seeing the needle move.

I know it’s not all about the number. But when you have nearly 60 lbs to lose, let’s be real, it is all about the number.

With our trip to Vegas looming in just over 70 days, with wedding planning and all that goes with it (including shopping for that perfect dress), it’s time to stop being lazy and start facing my weight. I’ve been trying to do that for weeks, but have been nonchalant about it. If I eat poorly, I shrug it off and say I’ll do better tomorrow. No more. It’s time to be strict with myself again. Not restrictive. Just strict.

i can i will correct

Here is my plan.

  •  Weigh myself weekly. I hate the scale. If I could get away with not owning a scale I would. But right now, I need to see that number to validate the hard work. I also will be watching the BF percentage closely.
  • Low-carb/low-sugar/high protein. I know low carb works for me. I also know I feel a lot better without all of the breads in my life. We’ve wondered for a long time if I have a gluten intolerance, and that could be attributing to a lot of my issues. At least going low-carb will help significantly.
  • Less dairy. I love dairy. Dairy does not love me. I love cream cheese, regular cheese, pretty much any cheese. I’ve already learned I can’t eat yogurt anymore, and since yogurt makes my belly angry, cheese will too. If I’m going to have it, it’s either a little bit of cream cheese in the morning, or feta cheese on my salad. I already drink almond milk in cereal and coffee, so that will be an easy adjustment.
  • Drink black coffee. I’ve been testing the waters with drinking black coffee in the morning. And I like it. Even though I drink almond milk in my coffee, drinking it black in the morning will make it a bit more pure and save on the calories.
  • Drink more tea.
  • Less alcohol. I don’t drink much as it is (only on the weekends), but I plan on cutting back how much on the weekends as well as what I’m drinking. I LOVE beer. Especially a good craft beer. But if I’m trying to stay low-carb, then beer is not a good option. I’ll probably stick to ciders or wine, when I do indulge.
  • Nutritional shakes for breakfast. Last winter, I did a Shakeology challenge with a friend. I loved the shakes for breakfast and found I felt so much better throughout the day. I’m getting samples of Vega’s nutritional shakes to try (I like that they are all-natural, gluten-free, etc.). If I like those, I’ll buy a tub or two and make those my breakfast in the morning. A good healthy start to the day.
  • Take my vitamins and supplements daily. I have a Vitamin D deficiency and I’ve been pretty horrible about taking my supplements. It’s time to get back on track with my daily dose, along with the rest of my vitamins to keep myself healthy.
  • Exercise 5-6 times per week. This will be the hardest for me. Getting to the gym is my biggest challenge. But I will make it. And I will work out at least once a day, 5-6 times a week.
  • Stay optimistic. It took me years to put this weight on, I know it’s not going to come off overnight. I need to stay focused, and optimistic. I have a habit of giving up if I don’t see results right away. I have to remind myself that a loss is a loss. Whether it’s 4 pounds or a 1/2 lb. It’s still a loss.

The good news. I started back on this journey right around the new year (I know, so cliche), and have been very conscious of what I’ve been eating. The bad news. I haven’t gotten into my exercise groove yet, and I’m still splurging a bit too much.

Back at it. Here we go.

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#MicroblogMonday #3 – Regaining My Health

Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.


Here we are. The first week of January, 2015. Which marks the busiest month of the entire year at the gym. Most of those new faces are ones of those who have made resolutions to finally get healthy. Many will start to watch their resolutions go by the wayside by February.

I’m did not make a resolution to get healthy this year. I never stick to my resolutions. Ever.

This year, it’s my goal. And this time, it’s not all about vanity. It’s about my health.

microblogmondayhealth

At 28 years old, I weigh more than I have in my entire life. I’ve never been over the 200 lb mark. I am now. And I hate to even admit that out loud. But I need to make sure I stick to my goal.

YOU WEIGH OVER 200 POUNDS. YOU DON’T HAVE A SMALL AMOUNT OF WEIGHT TO LOSE.

(Sorry, needed to put that out there. Just as a friendly reminder.)

What started as a goal to lose 30 pounds over 6 years ago (just to lose that college weight), is now a 60 pound journey. Yes, I’m horrified. Yes, I’m scared. And yes, I’m ashamed for getting to this point.

But this isn’t all about looks. Yes, of course I want to lose weight for Vegas in the spring, and our wedding in 2016, not too mention dress shopping this summer, but this is about regaining my health. Hypothyroidism, diabetes, heart disease, just to name a few, run in my family. All diseases that can be helped by exercise. Even my anxiety dissipates when I eat better and exercise more.

So yes, I’ll be back at the gym. I’ll be eating better. I’ll be focusing on getting my health back. But this is not a new year’s resolution. This is the long-term goal.

We only have one body and one life. I’m ready to regain mine and become the best version of me that I can.

New Signature

 

Weekly Workouts and Weigh-In! {8/11/14 – 8/17/14}

Here is the first Weekly Workouts and Weigh-In post. Not the best week, but it’s okay. This coming week will be better!

Monday, 8/11/14 – 40 minutes Elliptical workout – 3.37 miles: This was the first day back at the gym in quite some time, and my first day working out in over a month. I didn’t want to overdo it on my foot on my first day back, so I kept the resistance low and focused more on time. I was happy to see that I could still go for 40 minutes at a pretty good clip and not want to die. So, the cardio that I built up running hasn’t disappeared entirely!

 Tuesday, 8/12/14: 35 minute Elliptical Workout – 2.88 miles: I definitely was not feeling the gym. The second day is always the hardest for me, and this day was no exception. But I forced myself out of bed and to the gym. Not a super intense workout, but I felt good because at least it was something for the day. I had every intention of starting to incorporate weights this day, but by the time I was done with elliptical, I just wanted coffee.

 Wednesday, 8/13/14: Planned rest day.

Thursday, 8/14/14: 2.5 mile lunchtime walk – I had every intention to get up and go to the gym, but I was exhausted. For no reason. But I walked 2.5 miles at lunch to make up for it!

Friday, 8/15/14: I had my gym clothes ready to go, but after a night of not much sleep again, I decided to stay and bed and sleep. I have photo shoots all weekend long, so I knew I’d be getting some exercise with those with the amount of walking, squatting, etc. I would be doing.

Saturday, 8/16/14: Photo shoots in the evening

Sunday. 8/17/14: Absolutely nothing

Overall, I didn’t exercise nearly as much as I had originally planned. But, I was happy with the few days I did. This coming week will definitely be more exercise overall. I’m making it happen!

Weekly Weight-In

Starting Weight {8/11/14} – 199.0/BF: 44.0%

Week 1 Weigh In {8/15/14} – 196.0/BF:44.2%

Change so far (even though I know it’s only 4 days… next week will be a full week!) – 3 lbs.

I know most of this is water weight, just from changing up my diet, but 3 lbs is still a loss and that makes me happy!

 

Commit to You

Hi everyone! My name is Amalia, and I blog over at Live Travel Eat and Run. I’m so excited to be here today and to guest post for Eryn!

I want to discuss commitment with you. I have a commitment issue, but not in the traditional sense. I have no problem committing to others and following through when it comes to that.

I have commitment issues when it comes to taking care of myself. From yo-yo dieting, random exercise programs left unfinished, I’m the queen of excuses. I’m the queen of finding other things to do and to breaking plans with myself (unless they involve a nap or a night in with some movies and popcorn).

So here is how I am slowly overcoming that, and a strategy that I recommend for you.

Every day, when I wake up, I make three commitments to myself. They can be big or small but they should be reasonable. On a bad day those commitments can include having a nice hot shower or writing down three things I’m grateful for.

But no matter what happens, I get those three things done. Slowly but surely I am breaking my pattern of making excuses and not making time to ensure that I am choosing healthy living.

So far this strategy is working for me, and hopefully if you struggle with commitment to a healthy lifestyle, it will also help you.

So I challenge you to up your commitment – pick three things to do each day, and stick with it.

Follow Amalia at:

Blog: http://livetraveleatandrun.com

Twitter: @ama_liab

Instagram: @amaelibir

I Am Stronger Than My Anxiety

I’ve been wanting to write something about my own struggle with anxiety. I’ve seen many bloggers out there telling their stories (check out Lindsay Weighs In and Kaila at Healthy Helper for their stories) and I wanted to find a way to do the same. I couldn’t decide if I wanted to do a series of posts, a short post, or something a little more in-depth. So what you see below is what I decided on it. A one-time post about my 10-year journey. A journey that is not over, but has made me a much stronger person. While therapeutic, it was still very hard for me to write. It’s very personal, and I don’t get super personal on this blog. Be prepared; this is a long post, and potentially hard to read for some. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

It’s not the whole story, but rather the more important parts of the story. It’s my anxiety story and I finally feel strong enough to share it.


All it took was one look at the screenshot of a scam viral video and I was in a tailspin. There was no rhyme or reason to it; it just happened. And the worst part, it was an image that I had seen circulating on the web just days before. It wasn’t new to me. In fact, the first time I had seen it, I could have cared less about it.

But that’s the different between a high-anxiety day and a low-anxiety day. On a high-anxiety day, it doesn’t take much to send me swirling towards a panic attack.


The only way I can describe my own battle when I’m in the depths of anxiety is like falling into dark underground cave. As my anxiety starts to build, it’s like falling into the cave, but landing on a ledge so close to the top you can still see the world above. But you’re already starting to struggle to figure out how you’re going to get out.

As the anxiety builds, and the panic starts to set in, it’s like that little ledge letting go and you start to fall deeper in to the cave. Each time you struggle to climb to try to get out, you slip and fall a little deeper. It’s the same way with my anxiety. Just as I feel a little reprieve coming on, something sets me back, and I’m right back in it. Only worse.

Let’s back up to the beginning.

My anxiety didn’t rear its ugly head until I was a freshman in college. Looking back, I definitely started to suffer from some of the symptoms of anxiety as I was growing up and, more than likely, had already begun to suffer from chronic anxiety in my pre-teen years. Even though I wasn’t properly diagnosed until college. When I hit middle school, I was suddenly nervous all the time. Nervous to raise my hand in class, nervous that the teacher would call on me, nervous to get up and ask to use the restroom, nervous I would be late for class, and so on. Just plain old nervous.

In high school, I stuck to my daily routines and lived by the clock. If I had to be somewhere for 3 PM, I needed to be there by 2:45 PM for fear of being late. If someone told me they would be at my house by 6 PM, and hadn’t shown up by 5:59 PM, my nerves would go haywire. Cutting it close to any set time fed my nervousness.

I know, you’re probably thinking ‘You just don’t like to be late to anything.’ It’s true, however; I’ve been this way since I could tell time on a clock. Being late to anything is a trigger for my anxiety. It’s much better these days, but back then, it could send me spiraling.

Once I left for college, my mental issues quickly sprang to the surface. I was now in a world where I had to find an entirely new group of friends instead of living in my happy bubble of high school friends that I had known my entire life. I was completely out of my comfort zone and not quite sure what to do. I stayed in my dorm room, went to class, ate dinner and did homework. It was similar to my routine at home, minus the horses, so I stuck to it. Only it didn’t work.

Most students thrive when they go off to college. I did the complete opposite; I fell apart.

I was sobbing all the time. I was miserable. I hated being away from the comfort of my home. I hated being away from my family. I hated being away from my barn. I hated it all and began to think that going to college 2 hours away was a mistake.

But after about 2-2 ½ weeks, the homesickness began to subside. My parents came to visit. I went home for a weekend here and there. And realized I could do it. But once the homesickness went away, it was still clear to me that something more was going on.

Even after I met people and started to really have a life away at school, things still weren’t perfect. But I hid it under the surface. I smiled on the outside, but was unraveling on the inside. I didn’t tell a soul how I was really feeling, even though I appeared as happy as could be.

That was until I came back from Christmas break.

After being home for a month, and going back, I knew it would be a little easier this time. I had established myself in a group of friends. We had talked all break and couldn’t wait to get back to one another. I was ready to conquer my second semester of college.

Instead, I was met with debilitating depression and anxiety. I knew something was wrong.

I couldn’t snap out of it. All I wanted to do was sleep. I didn’t want to go to my classes. I found myself taking every opportunity I could get to drink with my friends. I wanted to escape how miserable I felt.

In the end, after a massive blowout with my roommate at the time, followed by a typical night of college fun (except it wasn’t so fun for me), my depression and anxiety finally showed that they were here to stay.

The next morning, I called my parents, sobbing. I was hungover, but told them I was sick. Like so sick that they needed to come take me home. I just wanted them to come get me; help me escape how awful I was feeling.

I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t stop crying. They drove the two hours out to see me; to take me out for lunch thinking I just needed to get out (seriously, best parents ever. Love you!) I was just homesick again.

I stopped crying long enough to get in the car and get to the restaurant. Instead of eating, I broke down sobbing in my mother’s lap in the middle of the restaurant. I was nearly 19-years-old and losing it in a busy local restaurant on a Saturday afternoon.

I wasn’t just sick. I wasn’t just hungover. I was having a nervous breakdown. I needed help. And I needed it immediately. We all knew it.

We paid the bill, and back to campus we went, where I packed up whatever clothes I needed, any school supplies so I could keep up with my schoolwork and anything else I needed. (These were the days before iPads and laptops… think desktop and iPod mini).

I said my goodbyes to friends, explained what was going on, and off we drove back to the eastern part of the state.

While driving home, phone calls were made and appointments were set up for therapy and medication. I was on my way to getting better.

I spent a week at home. I like to call it my ‘healing week’. My professors were incredibly supportive and understanding. If I didn’t keep up with the schoolwork, they promised to let me make it up when I came back. I just focused on feeling better, and feeling more like me.

I read. I went to the barn. I wrote in my journal. I saw the few friends that were still lingering in my hometown. I spent time with my family.

I just tried to remember that I was on my way to better.

And when I went back to school, things DID get better. My roommate apologized, and became incredibly supportive when she discovered what was going on. My friends rallied around me, both at home and at school. And I began to see that I could get through this. And I did.

Fast forward through the years:

I’ve been on and off medication three different times. The first time I went off was while I was still in college, around sophomore year. That only lasted about a year.

I ended up back on a new medication during my junior year of college. I ended up spending another week at home to get myself ‘better’ again. Thankfully, I hadn’t suffered a breakdown like the first time. I just knew something was not right, and wanted to fix it before it got worse.

The second time I came off it was in 2009. I did it cold turkey. I just stopped taking it. I was in a great relationship (with my now fiancé), I finally started to find my way, career wise, and I was just happy. I felt like I would be fine without it.

In 2010, I realized that my anxiety was getting worse again. Nothing had changed in my life, but I found myself falling back into that hole. I tried natural remedies (turns out I’m allergic to St. John’s Wort). I tried therapy, which didn’t help. It turned out I needed to be on medication. So back on it I went, for another 3 years, until this past May.

After learning the medication I had been on, on and off for since my junior year of college, had a side effect of weight gain and knowing that I had been having a really hard time taking the weight off, I thought back to the various times I had gone on it and saw a possible correlation between gaining weight and being on the medication. I made the decision, with the help of my doctor, to switch to a new medication. Unfortunately, this one didn’t help (in fact, I felt worse), so I decided it was time to go without again. I wanted to see how I would do.

I mean, I’m happy. I’m in love. I have a great job and a great life. I have the best support system there possibly could be. I would be totally fine without it.

6 weeks later, I’m back on it.

Turns out, I’m not totally fine without it.

But what have I learned? I am STRONGER than my anxiety. Yes I need to be on medication, but I will not let anxiety control my life. I won’t let it. It certainly tried during my six-week hiatus without medication, but I refused to let it win.

If I’m not on a low dose, my anxiety essentially takes over. And it doesn’t feel like I have control over my own thoughts. Unless you suffer from anxiety, or something similar, it’s pretty hard to explain or describe. Even with the medication, I still have to fight it. It’s just enough to quiet it. It’s still there, waiting to come out (and believe me it does), but it’s not constant like when I’m not on medication. And when I say constant, I mean from the moment I wake up until I fall asleep at night.

If you know me, you know that I’m really good at hiding when I’m suffering with a horrible bout of anxiety, or dealing with it at all … unless I say something. Only those closest to me know when I’m having a hard time. I’m much better about talking about it now-a-days compared to 10 years ago.

If you don’t know me, you would never even know that I suffer from it (you do now!). It’s not visible on the outside. It’s an internal battle.

But it’s a battle that I fight day in and day out. And I am the strong one in the fight. No matter how hard it works to bring me down and break me, I am always able to stand up and fight back.

I am STRONGER than my anxiety.

 

Have you struggled with mental illness? How have you overcome it? I’d love to hear from you!

 

It’s Smoothie Time!

Happy Thursday!

I know, I’ve done a sort of disappearing act in the last couple of weeks, but quite honestly, I haven’t had the time or motivation to post much. After the ‘Growing Up Alex‘ series was completed, I wasn’t quite sure how I could back to my own posting. I was so honored to have her story on here that I didn’t want to cover it up by my own silly posts.

So I took a breather, except for the Boston Strong post last week.

But I’m back, and trying to brainstorm some new posts for y’all. Telling Alex’s story has inspired me to tell me own story as well, except mine has to do with anxiety and depression. That will be coming.

As for today – see below for my latest obsession.

We bought a NutriBullet over the weekend and I’m obsessed. I love making new concoctions and healthy smoothies. I’m definitely jumpstarting my mornings with these delicious drinks and I know I’m giving my body plenty of good vitamins and nutrients it needs. This morning I created one that I’m lovingly calling ‘Everything But the Kitchen Sink’ because I literally threw like 8 different things into it.

  • 2 handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 8 baby carrots
  • 8 cherry tomatos
  • 2 broccoli florets
  • 3 slices of pineapple
  • 4 raspberries
  • 4 slices of cucumber
  • 1 tsp of xanthum gum (for thickening)
  • Water

I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious this was. And super filling.

My favorite one that I’ve made so far was a Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie.

  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1 banana
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of Teddie Peanut Butter
  • 8 oz of almond milk
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • ice (to make it nice and cold!)

photoIn other news, I’ve decided to stop tracking everything I’m eating and just focus on eating clean and good portions. I feel like I’m starting to focus to heavily on calorie intake and calorie burn, and instead just want to focus on being healthy. I know what makes me feel good when I eat and I know what makes me feel crappy, so we’re going to stick with that for now.

Anyways, I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday!

 

 

Growing Up Alex: Final Words

I can’t believe this is the final post in the “Growing Up Alex” series. I’m not going to say much, as I want this final post to be all about her, but I just want to thank everyone who has read, commented, liked, shared and been a part of this series. I am honored that this blog was able to be the venue for Alex to tell her story and oh-so-proud of her doing so. She’s an amazing, remarkable, beautiful, incredible, strong and inspiring person and I am lucky to be able to call her my friend.

So thank you Alex for telling your story and continuing to inspire us all. We are so proud of you. XO

On to the final post.

My Advice

THROW AWAY THE SCALE.

That is essential. Have your nutritionist or doctor weigh you blindly if you relapse. The number on the scale does you no good if you are trying to recover from an eating disorder. As an alternative, listen to how your body feels (do you have energy or are you lethargic? Are  you dizzy or do you feel clearheaded? Are you motivated or do you just want to hide away?).

A huge thing for me is just  allowing my clothes to let me know how I am doing. Yes, they may feel tighter if you have just taken them out of the wash…but they will stretch back to normal as the day progresses. I knew I was relapsing last year when my clothes that once fit were hanging off of me. This was a sign for me to take action. In the 2 times that I have made it in to recovery, my clothing never got to tight.

Your body, shockingly, will not magically gain weight just because you are not stepping on a scale every day. Do not let the numbers control you. Cut counting calories as best you can. This is very difficult to do but it does get easier over time and with practice. Base your daily intake on exchanges/food groups, not calories. Do not label ANY foods as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Food is fuel, and your body doesn’t know the difference [it just may know that some foods contain more nutrients when compared to others] between a muffin or multigrain toast. It just knows ‘energy’. Just keep things in moderation and be sure to have all of the food groups.

Eat breakfast! Yum!!! Do not read fitness magazines as they will tell you that you need to be consuming less than you actually do and, chances are, they will make you feel like you are lazy if you are not working out 2 hours a day, doing all of the latest exercise fads. The best alternative to these magazines is to find a nutritionist you feel comfortable with. They will reality check your distorted beliefs, they will help you structure a healthy meal plan and workout regimen, and if you need to be weighed, they are the best person to do it. Surround yourself with empathic, supportive people.

Repeat after me: Do the best you can with what you have. Progress, not perfection. You can start over at any time. Know in your mind what signs of relapse are for you and tell someone you trust [family member, friend, therapist, doctor, nutritionist, coworker) if you notice any of these signs. Do not be afraid to ask for help. You are not a failure if you relapse and you DO deserve help in regaining your recovery. If you feel faint, dizzy, hungry, etc…eat a snack. It isn’t weak of you to need food, perhaps you exerted more energy than you realized during the day. Some days we eat more than we do on other days and that is okay. Our bodies are very good at balancing out.

I had a lot of support over the years in my recovery and I want to thank these people who have supported me endlessly and have helped to me to recover.

First, my therapist and Dietician in NY who convinced me to finally pursue treatment: Hilary Brodski and Judi Zwang.

My amazing therapist from Montecatini who taught me how to challenge my distorted beliefs and not to worry about other people’s ‘stuff’, Nancy Staycer.

The best therapist I have ever had, who was there for me at the beginning of my recovery: Seanna.

One of the most amazing RD’s I have ever worked with and whom I would recommend to anyone, Shelley Woolsey.

My case manager at CEDC, even though she probably got sick of me after the 3rd time, Whitney Moore.

Some of the kick ass RC’s from California and CEDC. The amazingly strong women I met along the way, whom I will not name, so as to protect your privacy, but you know who you are…my first ever roommate whom loves cats just as much as I, the ‘condo clique’ and ‘Mitzi’, my bestfriend/soul sista, the kickass woman who knows how awesome our ‘mutual friend’ is, she who hails from No’Ho, the girls who shared an odd love of Matty in the Morning with me, the girls who participated in.

And I couldn’t ask for more supportive friends or family: My maid of honor Erin who was beyond supportive throughout this whole experience. Yili, who had only known me for a few months when I learned I was going to treatment and basically took me under her friendship wing full force. All of my amazing and wonderful friends who wrote and visited and haven’t run away (yet, ha!).

The supportive head of my graduate program, Dr Shtayermann.

Mom, Dad, Wendy and Randy for being my mom’s backbone, G&G, my aunts and uncle, the cousins [I left out an important part of my life because it is not my story to tell, but my youngest cousin passed away in 2007 and I think of him daily. I brought his picture to my room in residential], the recovery warriors of the blogosphere (haha!) and my wonderful fiance Steve and his dear son.

Oh, and my cats. They were, and are, the best therapy.

And Demi Lovato, whose music I embarrassingly loved before she came out and told her story. She was in treatment at the same time I was and while many think it may be PR for her, I think it  is wonderful that she is giving a voice to the evils and dangers of this disorder and that she is acting as a healthy and positive role model for young women. It doesn’t hurt that I still embarrassingly love her music.

Stay Strong 😉Photo on 2014-01-09 at 01.34 #2

 

Growing Up Alex: Being in Recovery

I don’t know how I did it, finding my way in to recovery, but suddenly something just clicked. I can’t pinpoint what it was or how I did it. I just realized how GOOD and capable I felt when I ate normally. It felt so good to be able to go out for a meal with my friends. I no longer isolated myself from them. I wasn’t scared of food anymore. I had energy! I didn’t sleep all day or stay up all night. I didn’t label foods as ‘safe’ or ‘unsafe’. I was able to work without much stress or exhaustion. It was the weirdest thing. It was as if I’d had some epiphany and it felt amazing and magical and I just wanted to share it with the whole world. I did have a bit of a relapse in 2013 due to some personal situations that occurred but I’ve already shared so much that I’m mainly not sharing these situations out of respect for saving space, ha!

Photo 148Do not give up hope! The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 have put me back in a place of recovery. Do I still count calories? Yes, but not nearly as much as I used to, and I try my very best not to do so. Do I still feel guilty after eating? Sometimes. It depends on what it is and how my mood is that day. Do I still exercise? Yes, but very moderately and never on a machine that tells me numbers. Do I still step on a scale? NEVER. It is useless. I listen to how my body feels and how my clothes fit. If you are struggling with recovery, please throw out your scale. If you HAVE to get weighed, do a blind weight with your doctor. Do I still use skills I learned from treatment (kind of like when students ask, will I actually use this math in the real world?) you wonder? Yes! I’m working very hard on using only positive coping skills. When I am upset, I still lose my appetite. When I am angry or hurt I don’t feel like I deserve food. However, I talk myself through the situation and find other ways to deal with whatever it is I am feeling. And I make myself eat a well balanced meal, no matter what. If I am really, really struggling with my appetite I drink supplements.

Why is Recovery Worth it for me?

I feel like I am finally living my adult life. For the first time since I graduated college in 2008 I have an ‘adult’ job. This is a job that is actually related to my degree. Yes! A job in which I utilize the things I learned in my 4 years at Adelphi University! I am employed at a company–that I shall not name for anonymity purposes–in which I work with mostly late adolescents as they transition in to adulthood. They have an array of diagnoses: Downs Syndrome, Developmental Disorders, ADHD, Aspergers, Traumatic Brain Injury… I also, on occasion work with adults with similar diagnoses as they navigate and prosper in their daily lives. I LOVE MY JOB AND THE PEOPLE I WORK WITH.1902079_10203393859676905_104767707_n

As for falling in love…well, it just happens, I suppose. I never thought I’d trust again or find love after what happened with my ex. I have met someone wonderful, however. It’s lovely when it happens and it makes continuing on in recovery much more important to me. Yes, I am doing it for myself, but it doesn’t hurt to want to be the best person you can be for someone you love. I have found an incredibly supportive partner in my fiancé, Steve. He lets me cry when I am overwhelmed by food and doesn’t judge me or tell me I am being dramatic, he hugs me until I calm down, he tells me when my thinking is skewed but uses empathy in doing so, and he even removes the nutrition information from food so that I won’t accidentally count calories and begin to feel guilt if I eat something!

 Growing Up Alex: Final Words will be posted on Thursday 4/10/2014. Make sure to follow the blog to receive an e-mail for when it’s posted or follow it on Bloglovin‘!