Saturday, December 13, 2008

Avon Walk for Breast Cancer

Last year I did the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer and it was such an amazing experience that I've decided to do it again this year. I registered last week and already received the material in the mail to get started. I'm working on my personal web page through Avon so that I can start fundraising. Soon I'll have to start training (I remember that - not so much fun, but worth it in the end).

This year the event is June 6-7 2009 I will be walking with my best friend Regina along with thousands of others who truly believe that we can make a difference in the lives of women everywhere. Please take a moment to consider donating to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I know that times are tough, money is tight. . . but even just a small donation adds up and makes a difference.

Home for the Holidays

I was home for Thanksgiving and it's always such a blessing to see my family. I wish I wasn't out of state and that I could go home more often.
It is where I am most happy!

My brother Chris and his kids - Nick, Griffin and Paige
My brother Bill
My dear sweet momMy "poppy" (dad) on his 60th birthday which we all got to celebrate togetherMy very best friend in the whole wide world, Robyn
I love you all and am very lucky to have you in my life!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Finding my way

I'm trying to get back into writing and am having a hard time doing it. I think I need a break from work to get back my life, thoughts and happiness again. I need to find my way and not pressure myself to write or it will become a chore and I don't want that. My posts have been to help and/or inspire and when you don't feel all that helpful for inspired - I don't know what to write. There have been a few posts about when I struggle, but mostly I try to be uplifting or I try at least. Even if I feel down I'd post, but to feel nothing - it's strange.

I have a half day of work tomorrow and am getting to gether with a friend and am off the week of Thanksgiving - hopefully I'll find some inspiration.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Dear Stranger

It sure has been a crazy past few months. Work has been more than I can handle and I've withdrawn completely inside myself. I can't help it when things spiral out of control, I go with it. I can only manage so many things at a time and lately I have fallen through the cracks, well I'm back...I think! In life out of control days are 100 percent guaranteed. So it makes sense to plan for them, make use of them and learn from them. Otherwise you'll end up wasting those days and therefore wasting a part of your life. When that mood surrounds me, the temptation is to take the easy way out, to curl up in a ball and wait for the dark times to pass (not always the best approach). I found that I missed taking the time to blog/journal! It's a way of documenting what I really care about, a mental breathing space to think about what is going on and place to bring things into perspective. Sitting here tonight, in this moment, reminds me of how important it is to check in with myself. This is a record of what I have experienced and a wonderful way of helping myself get out of the shadows and back into the sun.
It's certainly worth the effort.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Needing Something

Needing something yet not knowing what it is
Searching for something yet in all the wrong places
Lonely for someone yet who is it
Hoping for change yet how do I achieve it
Hungry for sustenance yet avoiding it
Full of it all yet can't get enough
Praying for direction yet always lost
LOST inside myself, trapped within my own walls

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sisters on the "web"

I'm a volunteer "big sister" for the organization Big Brothers Big Sisters. My little sister Maddy and I have been together for over three years and loving every minute of it (maddy and me post). Not too long ago I received an email asking for my participation in the filming of a web recruitment video. After a filmed selection process "we" were chosen to be apart of this amazing experience. Of course, we were both very nervous, but accepted the challenge. The film is finally is on the web and is so cool, please check out our debut.

Being a "big sister" is an awesome experience. It's a chance to give your time and love to someone who desperately needs extra support and encouragement in their lives.
What you may not realize going into this is what you get in return:
to be a kid again, lots of fun and play
2) laughs
3) love
4) smiles
extended family

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Practice wellness

Speak quietly to yourself and promise there will be better days.
Whisper gently to yourself and provide assurance that you really are extending your best effort.
Console your bruised and tender spirit with reminders of many other successes.
Offer comfort in practical and tangible ways - as if you were encouraging your dearest friend.
Recognize that on certain days the greatest grace is that the day is over and you get to close your eyes.
Tomorrow comes more brightly...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Even in recovery, we still struggle

This blog has been an invitation.
A reflection.
A mirror.

An intimate portrait of some of my process that have allowed me to separate life as it happens to me and life as I choose it.
They are such very different things.

Recovery, I realize is a process of growth and trans
formation. It doesn't mean you instantaneously heal overnight, it takes time and patience. There are good days, great even, then there days of struggle. We all have them! It's just when you have an eating disorder, you may/or may not have the tendency to fall into past patterns of self-destruction.I hate falling into these cycles, but then again I'm only human and we all make mistakes. Along with my eating disorder, I self-injured as a way to distract myself from the pain I felt on the inside. I always described it as a pain I could explain. When so much distress was on the inside, it transformed it into something visible that I could identify with outwardly. Most days, I was numbed by the pain on the inside - a walking zombie. By self-injuring I could FEEL something and it somehow made sense of what I felt inside. In recovery I know it's a place I shouldn't go, but on occasion it's an old crutch for me - a comfort oddly enough. I feel isolated when I do this because I don't want others to see what I've done, but then if they do maybe they'll comfort me - or maybe they'll be mad at me.
Either way I'm screwed.

This past Tuesday I had a really bad day. I blogged about it (see previous post) to reach out, but still did what I did. I'm sharing this to show you that we all have bumps in the road of recovery, but it is how we deal with and move forward that counts. I am a survivor and WILL bounce back, like I do now days. However, if I didn't have these days, I wouldn't see how resilient I am and how far I've come. Years and years and years of this behavior was my past, now it rarely surfaces (thank God).

Recovery is a process and if charted you'd see how far I have come. I am no longer the frail, scared, child-like, isolated, eating disordered person I was. I am strong and easily recover from these moments making myself even stronger than before. So see, it isn't about doing the bad, it's about realizing it and not doing it again. AND if you do, don't be to hard on yourself - tomorrow is another day. I'm proof of that!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Six Details About ME

I've been tagged!

Georgia from jorjah-b, a wonderful friend of mine and to many others, has tagged me!
I have to list six details about myself.

Here are the rules:

1. link to the person who tagged me (above)
2. list the rules (below)
3. tag six fellow bloggers (??????)
4. leave a comment so they know they've been tagged (??????)

Here are six details about me:

1. I am recovering from an eating disorder and it's a battle worth fighting everyday.

2. As I start to matter, so has the passion to help others who are struggling. I'm working on becoming an advocate and coordinator for the cause. It's a slow process, but worth it to me. This is why I started to blog in the first place hoping to help OR helpings of hope (get it).

3. LOVE my family and friends. My family lives in Minnesota along with my best friend and I miss them terribly. I'm blessed for truly wonderful friends who love and support me daily AND are a big part of my life.

4. REALLY LOVE "pickles" always have - always will. As a little girl, I'd be caught in the fridge eating the whole jar. As a teenager I found they went well with Frito's and popcorn and consumed mass amounts of these odd combinations. As an adult I still love them, the odd pairings have ceased - but I eat them when I can and as many as I can.

5. I have always been oddly flexible! As a child I found it amusing to wrap my leg around my head and watch heads turn. At almost 37 - I'm still very flexible, but tend to keep the odd bits of show to a minimum.

6. I LOVE to read. I'm a complete book worm and if I could save a whole weekend to just veg and read I would. It's extremely relaxing to me, yet I have a hard time putting it down to actually sleep. I go to work tired many mornings cause I read way past my bed time.

I would love to tag six fellow bloggers, however I don't have any fellow bloggers to tag.
I have a friend that I'm going to have do this as well, but her blog is private:
Cori :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

"Struggling" support needed!

I had a really bad day today and don't want to get to specific, other than I just wanted to reach out a bit.

The stress at work is beyond what I can handle. I then tend to take it out on myself by using my eating disorder issues as a vise. The wild and unthinkable thoughts racing through my head are uncontrollable - even after I got home. I've stayed in isolation trying to regroup myself and just can't muster the courage to pull myself out of it. I have to - just have to get myself out of my stinking thinking cause it's bogging me down physically and mentally. I don't think things will get much better because if my workload right now (managing 9200 pages) and the fact that I don't get help or support at work doesn't help the matter.

Please pray for me!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Come to the edge

“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We're afraid.”
“Come to the edge.”
“We can't. We will fall!”
“Come to the edge.”
And they came.
And he pushed them.
And they flew.

Guillaume Apollinaire, 1880-1918
French Poet, Philosopher

You are your own healer

I think that healing is calling out to us everyday. Healing opportunities surround us and sometimes we choose not to heal. Sometimes it hurts too much to peel back the layers and feel what's under there. Yet what we're not healing is hurting us somehow - whether through absence, stagnation, avoidance or bad dreams. Healing can also feel lonely. Especially if we continually feel that we are the "only ones." I believe that the more I share my life, the more I can heal and in return help others heal. Healing can be nearly invisible, agonizingly slow, astonishingly rapid, easy, very difficult and woven into the hurts so we can't tell what's been healed right away. I feel so terribly alone in my pain, yet I know that I am not alone.

I am grateful every single day for my current inactive (somewhat) eating disorder and am filled with compassion for anyone who is experiencing it. I am deeply saddened to see beautiful women live in prisons of fear, fat and food.

I feel my calling is to seek out people and listen to what they're saying - to help in some way. I hope that you share and circulate your own healing stories. We need them! Let's take all our masks off and see the soft, teary, wistful faces that lie underneath.

Ask yourself these questions:
Am I making my most alive choices?
Am I signing up for change?
Am I intimately engaged in my own life?
Am I creatively fulfilled?
Am I surrounded by a healing support system?

Any healing you do affects us all!

Letter to self

Dear Sandy,
You are feeling so overwhelmed right now. You are feeling completely out of control. The only thing that I want to tell you is: YOU DO HAVE A CHOICE. You do not have to turn to Ed. Yes, I know that in the past, Ed has been your escape from the feelings. And for the moment, Ed seems to work. But in the long run, YOU WILL REGRET GOING TO ED. He makes you depressed and miserable. He makes promises that he never keeps. Sometimes I am on the verge of relapse, I have thoughts of Ed and wish for him to take care of me again. But, I say NO and YOU CAN TO RIGHT NOW.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The fear of succeeding

The fear of succeeding is actually scarier than failing AND sometimes it feels like writing is the only thing that saves me.
Sharing my truths opens doors for healing and intimacy with others.
Still, we at times withhold the truth, fearing loss or conflict or judgment.
We dance with deception and half-truths and hope we can evade "having to tell the truth." If we live in truth, we will be closer to our actual experience and therefore open to more joy. If we let ourselves be truly seen then we can be truly loved.
The truth hurts and heals. Hurts when we fear and resist it, heals when we allow it to speak and change how we see. Our emotional lives are messy and filled with half-expressed feelings, unexpressed needs and withheld truths. Checking in is a simple way to navigate through feelings with others. So many times, I'm lost in my head with fears and I am not emotionally present. Learning to check in with myself is another step towards emotional wholeness.
This is why I share my truths and to open doors to healing.

Learn to fight your inner critic as fiercely as you would an attacker.

Monday, September 29, 2008

I guess I didn't acknowledge "you"

During my eating disorder many friends have come and gone, specifically GONE. They either couldn't tolerate my isolation, the fact that I belittled myself and oozed self-hatred or that I was just plain killing myself. Well, with recovery has come the need to reconnect with a few of the friends lost during that time. The long-standing friendships prior to Ed. I've spent alot of time and energy this year tracking them down and making an attempt to rekindle the friendship we once had. A few have been happy that I'm well and we've been in contact while recently one had responded in this way:

Hi Sandy,
I'm glad for you that you're taking the steps you need to make your life better-I have been doing the same thing and as you know, it is very difficult. It's difficult for everyone...
After some long thinking, I fear that rekindling the relationship we once had would not be healthy to bring into my life again.Having listened to you over the phone, I still don't hear or feel that you have acknowledged how your illness/addiction/disorder affects other people, who are/were in your life. It is/has been very painful, very difficult for me & I simply do not have the energy to deal with it.

I need to focus on myself for the first time instead of others and take care of me-

I wish you the peace, joy & happiness in all that you do...


So, needless to say I am a little hurt by the response and upset by the lack of feeling towards what I was going through. I know many people felt helpless seeing me torture myself day in and day out and fearful that I was literally killing myself. But, no one has ever said "I don't think you have acknowledge how it affected me." I thought constantly about those I was hurting, but there was nothing I could do about it. Believe me if I could have stopped vomiting, abusing laxative and causing self-injury I would have - dah. Unfortunately, the disorder had control and there was no stopping the daily self-inflicted pain caused - even for you - but mostly for me.

I am going to say I'm sorry here, but to me instead.
I am sorry that I hurt you so badly for so many years.
I'm sorry that you had to endure more pain inflicted by me that most people go through in a lifetime.
I'm sorry you went hungry for weeks at a time without food.
I'm sorry I made you eliminate everything you ate as a consequence of my controlling behavior.
I'm sorry that you were burned and cut because of my self-hatred towards you.
Scars are present for the years of torture I've put you through and I'm truly sorry.

Please forgive me -
love your inner child

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I think I'll use my wings today!

You've got wings, and God has given you a clear open sky.
Wings are not only those feathered things that sprout from
armpits. Wings are ideas nurtured with love. They are the
fears you face, and dismantle. They are are the kind things you do
for yourself, and for others when no one is watching. They are
the positive things you say to you, about you.
Wings are not flying apparatuses that are reserved for
heavenly beings. They are attached to those who surrender
secret hurts to forgiveness. They are nurtured by tears cried
in the silence of the night. They are groomed by a broken
heart. They are expanded by adversities met with faith. Your
wings are strengthened by the uncomfortable, unpleasant
experiences you are willing to face each day. But, before you can
fly, or even think about soaring, you have to believe that you
have earned your wings.

Faith in the Valley - Iyanla Vanzant

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tyranny of Size

I feel horrified by the expansion of my flesh, ashamed that it matters to me so much and pissed that I don't feel comfortable in my own body. Most days I'm OK with the weight I've gained because with it has come clarity and peace of mind. Today, not so much! But, I know that I'm smarter than Ed and all the games he plays. Daily, I live under siege from the inner critic, the judge and the "pusher". Now, I plan on studying these selves of my personality and giving them new jobs.

I think the problem is, this morning I weighed myself before work. I try not to do this anymore as it usually upsets me. I tend to base my self-worth on the number and it messes everything up. Tomorrow I'll put my best foot forward and step away from the scale. NEVER use a scale! If your clothes keep fitting, you weigh the same.

Somehow we connect our various sizes to our self-worth. We have mental images of ideal sizes - even if it's not in our heritage to be that way. We compliment weight loss, monitor our appetites and shrink ourselves to fit some kind of standard. I wish we could all the the size we actually are. One size does not fit all - because there are as many sizes as there are women. Let's look closer at the size of our hearts, the width of our souls and the lengths of our spirits.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Choosing Succulence

Being "positive" is a choice. I am flooded with the same doubts, terrors, insecurities, rages, worries and critical inner voices as everyone else -- maybe more! Sometimes I go overboard describing my faults or flaws, to the extent that I see people cringe and wonder, "why am I listening to/reading this person if she is so riddled with stuff?" We are all riddled with stuff. Being positive does not mean being accepting of the negative, or ignorant of the issues or anything else. It means seeing the grace in as much as you can see. I resist my dark places and try to hide them from other people, but mostly myself. Sometimes I just skip from one addictive behavior to another -- whatever is loudest and will most quickly fill the emptiness. I will list some of my faults and weaknesses in the hopes that it might inspire you to do the same. Letting it be seen takes away its power. I'm codependent, a eating disorder survivor (almost), obsessively compulsively driven, overly sensitive and highly sensitive, subject to paranoid thinking and I live largely in a state of denial. I'm also very gifted, a good friend, occasionally wise, curious, outspoken, opinionated, quite brave, very flexible, powerful, a believer and creative. I am often seduced by struggle. It's as though it's painful to feel "too good". I'm used to the effort and sometimes confused by the joy. Working with the hard parts and not against them will create movement. I choose to remain positive, unlike past years of negativity. It is a constant struggle to remain positive and happy, but I will continue this journey as it is better than the alternative.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A day at the beach, Ed free

Today I spent the day at the beach with my roomate. Not for sunning myself, but to just enjoy the day. We took off our shoes and walked in the sand, let the waves wash upon our feet, collected pretty rocks and I played in the sand. I had a blast, I felt like a kid, playing and drawing in the sand -- not a care in the world.

Here are a few of my drawings. Very appropriate don't you think?

"Ed Busters"

My sentiments exactly!

Maybe not Ed free, but definitely working on it

Greg, helping me fight Ed every step of the way

Ready for adventures without Ed, I'd rather be on my own

Scary thought, but better than any day with him

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Things I Love

My journey is full of fear, pain, love, shame, wonder, luck, daring and marvelous imperfections. I invite you to travel along with me as I share my stumblings, astonishment's and discoveries. It isn't easy for any of us to transcend the past or pain we might have suffered. Yet, there are gifts in those pains and we can choose to let light into the dark places. After many years of self-healing, therapy and investigating my interior, I bring you this collection of stories, memories and simple truths.

Today is full of reflection: a look at the things that I love and that bring me joy on a day to day basis.

I love butterflies, they symbolize hope to me, new life

I love the word "hope" it's what I cling to as I recover

My favorite journal, it went with me on my journey today

A painting done by a friend, several years ago, to let me know who she saw me to be

A button I received at an eating disorder workshop, I have it with me almost always

Sunshine, what more needs to be said

My shadow, sometimes it's not so scary

Me, yes me! I'm starting to love myself, yeah!



I'm sharing my journey so that you can be a part of my exploration. I am continuing to self-heal the wounds and holes left over from earlier life. I cry more, feel deeper and have more tools to navigate through tough times.

Sunset Drive

This beauty is last night's sunset from my back yard.
Normally, I miss these sights...but Greg called me outside to witness it's beauty and I had my camera in hand.

Falling for Fall

Fall has never been a favorite of mine because I know what comes next.

I DO love the heat and everything summer has to offer. It lifts my mood and cheers me instantly.

I DO hate cold, damp weather it creeps into my soul and does nasty things to my mood.

This year I'm going to love fall for its beauty. Everyone gushes about how pretty fall is and usually I roll my eyes and think; "oh how I hate winter". I'm going to repeat to myself fall is not winter--enjoy the beauty.

Here are some pictures I took this morning on a beautiful walk alone. I enjoyed every moment with my camera and I hope you do too!

Me, enjoying this beautiful morning of solitude

A friendly bench where I read and wrote in my journal

A dragon fly resting for a moment so I could capture his beauty

Amazingly beautiful fall leaves

"Bee"coming peaceful with myself on this journey

Pretty purple flower OR weed, whichever -- it's still pretty to me

Captivating white flowers

Well, that was my morning's journey!

Recovery has brought me peace of mind, a tranquility within myself that now makes these alone moments special.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Inspirational Sandwhich

This blog contains food for your soul.

It is meant to be nibbled and tasted in no particular order.

It is a chance for my soul to speak, a mood captured in time, something that is visible.

To invite my fears in, then tell them to sit down and shut up!

I am in the midst of learning to face my fears. It seems that fears are based on these things: illusion and future thinking, with a side-order of "what if." Yes, fears must be respected and learned about, but they must not paralyze us or lure us into a half-life of being afraid all the time. Once you face a fear, it looses all of its stuffing and will sit quietly in the back seat and do as it's told. I feel that fears drive us away from our true selves. I used to live in denial of my fears and tried to cover them up with a "happy face." I now see that my greatest growth is happening with an acceptance of my fears, of giving them a voice and learning new ways to deal with them. Thank heavens for therapy, self healing and God helping me to unravel my fears because its a process that I'm afraid to do alone!

I like to take the impossible and make them possible. I believe that we need to go where we want to be and the resources will follow us.

Impossible means I'm possible!

I love to journal and blog because it helps me to discover and uncover myself, to encourage my bravery, sort out my difficulties, to invent new ways of being and seeing. I believe that we can use our pain to transform and give new form to the deepest, most damaged parts of ourselves.

All of my friends inspire me and I believe that inspiration can illuminate tiny parts of ourselves and help them to grow.

Feeling Blue

I love to blog and like the way it is turning out, but haven't felt like I'm helping anyone yet. Hopefully someday. It kinda gets me down that I'm not reaching anyone, but in the meantime it helps me and makes me feel good to blog and that's what counts I guess. RIGHT?!?

We all struggle with this issue in some form or another, some worse than others I suppose. We just need to reach out and do the impossible and together we can make a difference. So, thanks for believing in me.

On blue days I normally shut down, but even this small entry has helped, I think!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Music - Godsmack (cont.)

This is to continue yesterdays blog entry about "Godsmack".


OK, I feel better now that my picture has posted correctly (I took the picture and it looks way cool)!

Monday, September 15, 2008


Anyone who knows me knows my love for music (specifically Godsmack). Now, I know that I don't look like the typical rocker, headbanger chick...but I am. I became a fan about 9 years ago (or so) and have loved them ever since. During my eating disorder, in the really dark days, the music seemed to soothe my anger and it was a way for me to release all the pent up emotions that I felt about everything going on in my life. Now, I also like the calmer songs (if you can call them that). The words to every song just hit me and somehow I become at peace. I felt then and still do that "they get me - Sully Erna (the singer) must be writing all his songs about or for me (and I'll believe this if I want to:)

Sully has also written a book called "The Paths We Choose". It is about his upbringing, struggles in life and how Godsmack came to be. It was awesome! I tried to get it signed in June when I went to their last concert with my brother at the House of Blues in Chicago, but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be.

Lyrics to I Am...(this song reminds me of my dark days with Ed (eating disorder)

I am your spoken truth
I am the lies in you
I'm gonna make you shine in everything you do
I am your lighted way
And I'm your darkest day
I'm here to help you see you can rely on me

Just consider me your friend
I am until the end
Can I guarantee you life?
I don't think I can

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

I am your peace of mind
Confusing all your time
I'm running through your veins, I am your pain
I thought by now you'd know
I'll never let you go
It's time you recognize I am the devil's eyes

Just consider me your friend
I am until the end
Can I guarantee you life?
I don't think I can

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

Take me by my hand
And let me show you what I am
I'm taking control again
Now I know I can
Take you back to where it all began
'Cause I am

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

This isn't the life for me
This isn't the way I want to be
And let me tell you
Death will come when I'm good and ready

I have more to blog about them and pictures to upload...but for some reason it won't let me so for now goodnight!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

It's not about the number

A good thing to remember - IT'S NOT ABOUT THE NUMBER. With an eating disorder everything is about the numbers. How we feel that day, what mood we are in and how we feel about the day we are about to's all about and based on the numbers. As I recover this is still something I struggle with, but I saw this picture and thought it was very appropriate. I don't judge or change my feelings about my pets or loved ones because of how much they weigh (nor should I about myself). I have two adorably LARGE cats and love them regardless of their weight (and they are two very large cats). If anything I love them more because they are snugglier.

Below are my two furballs..who love me regardless of
my weight!
Above is Blacky, he is so fluffy and weighs in at 28lbs. He has to get into everything, or at least tries.And this is Pepper, she is always watchful of everything around her including her weight at 16lbs.


"sing of your singularity and bask in the shine of all that you are and all that you may become." -mar

The aspirations listed here are important to me as I seek greater ways of loving myself and providing my whole being with the best possible care.

Sanctuary. I need a place to dwell, a sanctuary to rest, imagine, create, restore and envision.

Nourishment. I will feed my body with food that will fuel it well and stimulate my spirit, thought, and body's performance to higher levels of service.

Growth. I will continue to celebrate my increasing ability to demonstrate love for myself and others. I will reach for extraordinary creative expression and work and play to create work that inspires and motivates myself and others.

Friendship. I will tend the spirits of friends who compose my small circle of friendships.

Security. I will broaden the stability of my financial base and will continue movement to stable growth.

Learning. I will continue to be a student and a teacher. I will continue to sing my song and be blessed with the music of others. I will inhale and exhale mindfully: I will be grateful for that breath and will work to make certain that I may assist in protecting the breath of others. I will learn to rest and practice being silly. At least a little silly.

In all ways I will endeavor to be better, smarter, and more true at the end of any day than I was at the beginning.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you are willing to follow, too.
- Sam Rayburn

As I embark on this journey of bringing about the awareness of eating disorders, I want to express my heartfelt desire in making a true difference. To both the general public and to those who suffer from the disease itself. This self-depreciating disease affects so many people and destroys all of those who come into its path. Something has got to be done to stop or at least hinder its control on those that we love. I feel that awareness is the key to its destruction. I am here to embrace those who suffer from this disease and to encourage the countless others who suffer from the wrath encompassing those that they love. Through awareness I hope to lessen its impact on our lives and to take back what it has taken from us. To embrace the self-esteem, self-confidence and dignity we once had. As my dreams and ideas build into a reality I hope to achieve so much and to make a difference in my community. Join the crusade in helping us help each other and together we can build a better tomorrow.

I am working very hard to become an awareness coordinator in my area for eating disorders. I am awaiting for the 2009 packet information to become available so that I can officially speak for the cause and start making a difference.

Wish me luck and that my success will shine as a light of hope and inspire numbers that cannot be totaled.


Forgiveness doesn't rest in the hands of anyone else. And it's not dependent upon anyone else. I'm not even sure forgiveness has anything to do with anyone else. It's not a matter of whether someone deserves it, or if they will even know about it. Forgiveness has to do with the burden I carry around. The load I'm hefting on the back of my heart. Forgiveness enables me to set the weight down. To not haul all the "how could you?" kinds of questions around. I held a huge grudge in my heart and had a lot of resentment towards others during my eating disorder. I was mad at the world, but mostly myself. I was unhappy and my world was falling apart as I sat there and could do nothing about it. I hated life and pretty much everyone in it. I let few people in as I didn't want to get hurt any more than I was already hurting. Now, as I head in the right direction (recovery) and my mind is clear, the grudges and resentments are fading. It wasn't anyone's fault or my own for the way my life was going. It was just life, it had to run its course and now I am free. I hold no bitterness as I am in control of my life and it feels good.

Monday, September 8, 2008


Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.
- Will Rogers

I have never been a priority in my life. So, to make all the changes towards recovery was really hard for me. It was easier for me to do what was right if it mattered to someone else. "Well if so and so wants me to eat this meal then I guess it is OK." This is how I was surviving...with the mentality that I do not matter enough to do it for me. When I used to visit family in MN my motto was "I'll fix it later." I'd do what was normal with them, but as God as my witness I'd have to fix it when I got back home.
This is my biggest struggle to date, making me a priority. I'm working on it, but find it to be the hardest thing to tackle in recovery. I remind myself in these moments "just because I can do it does not means I should do it" and that helps.

Make yourself a priority, whether you're in recovery or not.

Things do not change; we change

Things do not change; we change.
- Henry David Thoreau

There is so much to say about change. I have made many changes in my life recently, all for the better. It's the flip side of the coin from "control". I always felt during my eating disorder that I was in control. That it was the one thing in my life I could control when everything else was out of control. Through recovery I have learned that it really controlled me. I was manipulated and tortured daily by Ed. Embracing change willfully means we develop our ability to adapt to new situations, new environments, both expected and unexpected. Change will come to our lives. Friends will come and go. Jobs will be lost. Loved ones will die. How we adapt, how we deal with those changes determines how well we live our lives. In the beginning of my recovery I thought that it would be impossible to change my behavior. That Ed's hold was too strong and that I would lose the battle because I was not strong enough. I felt this way for the first couple of years. Then as it became the norm to fight back and stand up for myself the changes became easier. At first my meal plans were pure torture, I wasn't hungry and it really was not appealing. Then with time, as I fought my inner demons, eating the meals became easier. I knew it was what I had to do to survive. Now, I feel hunger and eat (as hard as it is sometimes). I now know that eating it is what will keep me Ed free. Granted I do have my daily struggles, but I accept the challenge and move towards change.

The meaning of change is to make or become different, transform. This is what must be done!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Relentless Commitment

I did not reinvent my life all by myself -- the support and commitment of my closest friends made it a cooperative effort. The transition came with uncertainty and pain, but the results speak of the boldness of my commitment. Notes from "Live Boldly".

Each day can present itself with challenges, but it is how we face them and move through them that counts.

This weekend is a particularly hard one for me, Labor Day that is. It is the weekend that I both got married and divorced, of course with a couple years in between. Since then it has been a rough weekend, memories flood back to me and it can be quite unmanagable (even after eight years). So, I lean on my support team and muddle through the feelings.

Because of my "relentless commitment" I've made it through another Labor Day weekend.


What if I am willing to put aside my anxiety and concerns and conduct myself as if I were not challenged, and the days not difficult? What if I behave in such a way as to lead myself to a more joyful place...and every time a reminder of lack, or absence of resource, presents itself...I am willing to see it as opportunity rather than obstacle? What if I call it a challenge, rather than crisis? What if, at the end of a situation, I ask, "What will I learn from this to make me better?" Perhaps I can change the way I look at things today. Just today.

When I know the most significant elements in my days are laughter, learning and applying my finest efforts to each endeavor -- then, because of these things, each morning is a pleasure and every day passed is a success.

THINK FIRST IN YOUR SITUATION...This thing may challenge me, but it does not define me.
Notes from "Live Boldly".

In the past my eating disorder defined me, it was all I knew and all I wanted to be. These days as recovery from my eating takes a priority I realize that many things define me.
.The love I have for family and friends
.My love for volunteering
.My passion to make a difference to someone with an eating disorder
.My organizational and communication skills in the workplace
there may be more to add to this list someday, but I haven't figured them all out yet...
and now thankfully I have plenty of time

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


The next chapter in "Live Boldly" was on vision. Vision is defined as such "to expect a greater standard, a better result; to step up, peer over the shoulders of what is ordinary and get a good sighting on what is possible. to act with vision is to dare to believe a greater thing will unfold before you as you clear your sight." Often with an eating disorder your vision is NOT CLEAR, it's cloudy. You see things in your head differently than they really are. For instance you look in the mirror and see fat and ugly and immediate hatred for yourself ensues! Deep down you believe this to be true because it's what Ed (your eating disorder) tells you, but if others were to give you there opinion this couldn't be further from the truth. Now, when I look in the mirror and hear Ed's voice, I look again and assess myself with my eyes not his. I combat the voices and think to myself; you look good for 36, you have great hair, your clothes fit (so you know you didn't gain 20 lbs. over night) and basically tell him to F-off. Here are a could pictures to show you how my vision has improved. The first one is of me in 2003 (much skinner - to the right) and the other from a couple weeks ago (much healthier - to the left). In the past when I'd compare pictures like this I would get upset and think how could I let myself get this big. Now, my vision (with the help of my supporters) is much clearer. I know that I'm not big, I may not always be happy, but it's a matter of opinion and mine is not always correct.


Again from the book, "Live Boldly" I came to the chapter of perspective. It says "things are either stumbling blocks or stepping stones. Unexpected events can set you back or set you up. It's all a matter of --perspective. How true! In the life of my eating disorder everything was always about me, poor me. My life was so horrible and I could think of nothing else. As I've regained my clarity, I realize things in life aren't so bad. Yeah, there not always great or fair -- but it could be worse. Others have it much tougher that I do and they survive. So as I journey through recovery, I try to keep things in perspective (remembering it's not always about me or done to me). That's what helps me to build myself up and reach the next stepping stone NOT to stumble backwards with life's set-backs.


I am reading a new book called "Live Boldly" cultivate the qualities that can change your life.
I am excited because it gives me thoughts to ponder and assignments to conquer.
In the first chapter it asks me "If you had a motto, what would it be?"
I really wanted it to be something that describes me and also something that I could grow into.
I have this necklace that reads: "RECOVERY to overcome adversity stand in the face of challenge and succeed".
Not that recovery defines me...but in life I would like to overcome any adversity that may come my way, stand in the face of all challenges and to definitely succeed.
Overall it encompasses what I strive for in life; success in adverse times.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Dismal Days of the Past

To this point I've shared many positive things regarding my recovery. But, to show you my mentality in my sick days, I will share a few poems. This is to prove to you that dark days last only for a short while, however long they may seem -- AND THEY DO SEEM LONG! My vice along with the eating disorder was self-injury. It was a pain I could explain when everything else in my life seemed out of control.

The poems were written to represent my self-injury (past) and no longer represents who I am (today). I struggled for many, many years, but have overcome huge obstacles and am here to be a positive role model the best way I can. I most likely will not share more of these because they no longer reflect who I am today. But, feel they represent how far I've come in recovery.

I try to burn him out of my skin
It's red and it's blistered, but still he stays in
He gloats with self-righteousness when I pick at the scar
"Now everyone can see how ugly you are".

I'm at his mercy; I am his little lamb
I want him to leave, but he is who I am
He has diligently carved a large, gaping hole
He's reached his hand in and thrown out my soul

I am beaten and battered, weakened and tired
He's destroyed everything to which I've once aspired
He feeds on my misery and drinks up my tears
He takes all my strength and leaves me with fears

I hate how he stole all I have left
Although, he would call it a petty theft
I want to destroy him, it's what I have to do
But, he warns, "you'll destroy you too"


As you sit there getting hot
My mind wrestles with every thought
I look in the mirror and see no tears
I've locked away all of my fears
Hiding from the truths that come to light
Help me to disappear far from sight
I hide in the shadows full of self-hate
I really do feel this is my fate
The hotter you get
I have no regrets
Scars to show my pain is real
No one understands just how I feel
I hear myself screaming, but nothing is coming out
Please help me to figure it all out

Shard of glass
a half an inch thick
you tell me my truth
you make me sick.
I look into you
with tears in my eyes
who I have grown
to hate and despise.
She gazes back at me
with a vindictive glare
"I hate you" she says
so I no longer stare.
She lives in a world
parallel to mine
I can no longer watch her
Slip away with time.
She coexists inside of me
where my soul used to be
she's taken me over
I can't set her free.
I light candles to hide her
she's blurred in the flame
I cover her with makeup
but, I can still see the shame.
I turn out the light
thinking she's gone
but, she screams and she cries
so I know I am wrong.
She has destroyed me
and taken me away
she brought me to this place
I am destined to stay.

After a While

After a while you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul.
You learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats with your head up and your eyes open,
with the grace of an adult, not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build all your roads on today because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns if you get too much.
So plant your own garden and redecorate your soul, instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn you really can endure...
That you really are strong.
And you really do have worth.


Here are some tips to think about as you start the recovery process:

1) Acknowledge that your behavior is unhealthy and that you need to make changes. Change is YOUR choice.

2) Don't wait for others to "fix" you. Take responsibility for your own recovery.

3) Learn to listen to your "self". Recognize and honor your needs and wants. Spend some quiet time so you can hear your "self".

4) Focus on your feelings before, during and after you binge, purge or restrict. Whatever you are feeling is valid. Find alternative ways to resolve these feelings. Don't stuff them -- express them.

5) Stop comparing yourself to others. You are a unique and valuable person just as you are. Value your individuality.

6) Set small goals that you can accomplish easily, and congratulate yourself for every success.

7) Focus on the present and positive aspects of your life. Let go of the past and the future.

8) Become aware of your negative self-talk (i.e. I can't do that because I'm fat. I always make mistakes). Challenge and dispute that talk (i.e. I am successful at... The size of my body does not determine my worth). Replace the negative statements with positive statements and encouragement (i.e. I have value. It's OK to make mistakes. I learn from my mistakes).

9) Take time to nurture yourself in ways other than with food, such as a walk, a hot bath, a special present.

10) Talk to someone rather that turning to food for support. Keep talking until you find someone who is willing to unconditionally accept your body, your feelings, your needs; to accept your "true self".

11) Start trying to appreciate different achievements in yourself and others. Work towards the point where weight and appearance are no longer something by which you rate your success. Think about your accomplishments, positive personal qualities, and valued relationships.

12) Identify goals and activities you have been putting off until you're thin, make a list and start doing them now. Appreciate who you are now and start living your life today.

13) Explore your possible ambivalence about giving up these behaviors and your feelings of living without these old coping techniques. Take the risk to try new behaviors, without being certain of the outcome.

14) Recognize your personal rights. You have the right to say no. You have the right to express your feelings or your opinion. You have the right to ask to have your needs met.

15) Keep a journal of your experiences, feelings, thoughts and insights. This is a safe place to be honest with yourself--the journal is for your eyes only, no one else will be reading it or judging it. The journal can also help you identify your "triggers" so you may prepare yourself to choose alternate strategies.

16) Develop a creative outlet. Take up painting, drawing, writing. No one will judge it, and it is a great outlet for expressing feelings.

17) Don't let the scale run your life. Remember the numbers on a scale are not a value judgement on your self-worth. Give the scale away.

18) Dispute the concept of a cultural ideal of beauty as being unrealistic. people come in all shapes and sizes. The concept if an ideal body is a form of prejudice, similar to racism.

19) Seek professional help for guidance in your recovery. Help can be found from counselors, support groups, family doctors, nutritionists, experienced in helping people recovering from eating disorders.

20) Relax. Be kind to yourself. Trust yourself. You can make changes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Awakening

This is a story that I've had for a very long time. When I first came upon it, I thought it was worth holding on to and I filed it away with all my other "stuff". As I travel further along the path of recovery, I dig into my archives and read again the stories that once moved me. Now, is when I finally get the full meaning of this story. As the "awakening" process unfolds and I fight to reclaim my life it speaks volumes about the person I want to become. Hopefully you get something from this as well!

The Awakening

A time comes in your life when you finally get it. When in the midst of all your fears and insanity you stop dead in your tracks and somewhere the voice inside your head cries out - ENOUGH! Enough fighting and crying or struggling to hold on. And, like a child quieting down after a blind tantrum, your sobs begin to subside, you shudder once or twice, you blink back your tears and through a mantle of wet lashes you begin to look at the world through new eyes. This is your awakening.

You realize that it's time to stop hoping and waiting for something to change or for happiness, safety and security to come galloping over the next horizon. You come to terms with the fact that he is not Prince Charming and you are not Cinderella and that in the real world there aren't always fairytale endings (or beginnings for that matter) and that any guarantee of "happily ever after" must begin with you and in the process a sense of serenity is born of acceptance.

You awaken to the fact that you are not perfect and that not everyone will always love, appreciate or approve of who or what you are...and that's OK. (They are entitled to their own views and opinions.) And you learn the importance of loving and championing yourself and in the process a sense of new found confidence is born of self-approval.

You stop bitching and blaming other people for the things they did to you (or didn't do for you) and you learn that the only thing you can really count on is the unexpected. You learn that people don't always say what they mean or mean what they say and that not everyone will always be there for you and that it's not always about you. So, you learn to stand on your own and to take care of yourself and in the process a sense of safety and security is born of self-reliance.

You stop judging and pointing fingers and you begin to accept people as they are to overlook their shortcomings and human frailties and in the process a sense of peace and contentment is born of forgiveness. You realize that much of the way you view yourself, and the world around you, is a result of all the messages and opinions that have been ingrained into your psyche. And you begin to sift through all the crap you've been fed about how you should behave, how you should look and how much you should weigh, what you should wear and where you should shop and what you should drive, how and where you should live and what you should do for a living, who you should date and with who you should marry and what you should expect of a marriage, the importance of having and raising children or what you owe your parents.

You learn to open up to new worlds and different points of view. And you begin reassessing and redefining who you are and what you really stand for. You learn the difference between wanting and needing and you begin to discard the doctrines and values you've outgrown, or should never have bought into to begin with and in the process you learn to go with your instincts. You learn that it is truly in giving that we receive. And that there is power and glory in creating and contributing and you stop maneuvering through life merely as a "consumer" looking for your next fix. You learn that principles such as honesty and integrity are not the outdated ideals of a by gone era but the mortar that holds together the foundation upon which you must build a life. You learn that you don't know everything, it's not your job to save the world and that you can't teach a pig to sing.

You learn to distinguish between guilt and responsibility and the importance of setting boundaries and learning to say NO. You learn that the only cross to bear is the one you choose to carry and that martyrs get burned at the stake. The you learn about love. Romantic love and familial love. How to love, how much to give in love, when to stop giving and when to to walk away. You learn not to project your needs or feelings onto a relationship. You learn that you will not be more beautiful, more intelligent, more lovable or important because of the man on your arm or the child that bears your name. You learn to look at relationships as they really are and not as your would have them to be. You stop trying to control people, situations and outcomes. You learn that just as people grow and change so it is with love and you learn that you don't have the right to demand love on your terms just to make you happy.

And, you learn that alone does not mean lonely. And you look in the mirror and come to terms with the fact that you will never be a size 5 or a perfect 10 and you stop trying to compete with the image inside your head and agonizing over how you "stack-up."

You also stop working so hard at putting your feelings aside, smoothing things over and ignoring your needs. You learn that feelings of entitlement are perfectly OK and that it is your right to want things and to ask for the things you want and that sometimes it is necessary to make demands.

You come to the realization that you deserve to be treated with love, kindness, sensitivity and respect and you won't settle for less. And, you allow only the hands of a lover who cherishes you to glorify you with his touch and in the process you internalize the meaning of self-respect.

And you learn that your body really is your temple. And you begining to care for it and treat it with respect. You begin eating a balanced diet, drinking more water and taking more time to exercise. You learn that fatigue diminishes the spirit and can create doubt and fear. So you take more time to rest. And, just as food fuels the body, laughter fuels our souls. So you take more time to laugh and to play.

You learn, that for the most part, in life you get what you believe you deserve and that much of life truly is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You learn that anything worth achieving is worth working for and that wishing for something to happen is different than working toward making it happen. More importantly, you learn that in order to achieve success you need direction, discipline and perseverance. You also learn that no one can do it alone and that it's OK to risk asking for help.

You learn that the only thing you must truly fear is the great robber baron of all time. FEAR itself. You learn to step right into and through your fears because you know that whatever happens you can handle it and to give in to fear is to give away the right to live life on your terms. And you learn to fight for your life and not to squander it living under a cloud of impending doom. You learn that life isn't always fair, you don't always get what you think you deserve and that sometimes bad things happen to unsuspecting, good people. On these occasions you learn not to personalize things. You learn that God isn't punishing you or failing to answer your prayers. It's just life happening.

And you learn to deal with evil in its most primal state - the ego. You learn that negative feelings such as anger, envy and resentment must be understood and redirected or they will suffocate the life out of you and poison the universe that surrounds you. You learn to admit when you are wrong and to build bridges instead of walls.

You learn to be thankful and to take comfort in many of the simple things we take for granted, things that millions of people upon the earth can only dream about; a full refrigerator, clean running water, a soft-warm bed, a long hot shower.

Slowly, you begin to take responsibility for yourself and you make yourself a promise to never betray yourself and to never ever settle for less than your heart's desire. And you hang a wind chime outside your window so you can listen to the wind. And you make it a point to keep smiling, to keep trusting, and to stay open to every wonderful possibility. Finally, with courage in your heart and with God by your side you take a stand, you take a deep breath and you begin to design the life you want to live as best you can.