Find Your Way

Monday, February 20, 2017

Fasting to Freedom Day 0

I have become a monster. From anorexia to binge eating. It started as one bite of two months later I am overweight, out of shape, and absolutely disgusting.

The one bite of food has led to nonstop eating and I am over it. I am over food. I am over the temporary excitement of eating my once forbidden foods.

Anorexia brought me permanent joy. I was constantly happy and content. I felt strong and in control of life. I had life. I went around people. I was the thin one in the room.

Now I am lazy. I am the fat one in the room. I am the person who people stare at in the stores buying food. I am ashamed.

So I have prayed and I have decided it's time to get back to me. To get away from food. And to fast. For weight loss, for spiritual guidance, and for control of my life. Honestly...I would love to live the rest of my life anorexic. Here are my goals:

1. Cure the swelling in my legs
2. Lose 40 lbs to get back not all the way to my anorexic weight, but to the 80s.
3. Reset my body

Here is how I intend to do it

10-day water fast MINIMUM (I want to try for 20 to 30 days but I have to see how my body does)
5-day juice/fruit fast (less than 100 calories a day)
Repeat for 60 days

I will stop early if I reach 82 lbs. I am excited for this new journey and will be blogging about it every day. I had my last binge tonight and can't wait for freedom.

After my fast I am adopting a vegan lifestyle. I will be living on mostly fruits and vegetables as I did in my anorexic days. I watched fat, sick, and nearly dead and realized I need to adopt the fruitarian lifestyle. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Choosing the path less traveled

Image result for tough choicesTonight was faced with another recovery dilemma. I had promise self would increase intake this morning, but the day dragged on, I didn’t get the news I wanted, I got stressed, didn’t get in my steps, etc, etc, etc and ED had taken over. I had no appetite, no hunger, and the guilt of eating grew. I was gonna just call it a night. Call it a mess up day. And go to bed. But the thought of doing that killed me inside. The thought of letting ED win on a day that was laid out perfectly for me to win (ie non-scary weigh in, needing to fuel for waitressing job, healthy options planned) tore me apart. Then doing a xmas bible study with family I realized I have to fight so we can have a merry xmas. So I don’t have to spend another xmas in the hospital.

So tonight. I went all in. When ED tried to convince me to only do a slight increase I said F you and went with the larger increase. Sure its 25 vs 50 calories increase but anyone with ANA can tell you that’s a lot. And it gets me back to the amount was eating when came home from hospital.

I thought I would feel guilty but honestly I feel proud. Doing the lower increase still felt like ED because it was still cheating myself. So tonight, just for tonight, I chose the scarier option. I chose the road less travelled. I chose to eat and eat an increased amount even without hunger, without appetite, and without approval. I did it because I knew I had to. Because I knew it was recovery. And because I want something different.

Yes eating more despite the fear and reasons not to scares me. Sure it’s the path less traveled. But the saying goes…I took the path less traveled and that made all the difference. Here’s to hoping this difference is a good one. Love you all. Keep Fighting.
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Sunday, November 27, 2016

Motivation in the strangest places

It’s strange what causes you to be Image result for life beyond anorexiamotivated. Today…it was getting hired again as a waitress. I know, it sounds stupid but I LOVE being a waitress. It’s like my favorite job. You get to interact with so many people and can really make their day. Family meals are so important and I feel so blessed to be a part of so many. But I also realize right now I look sick….and people will think things. I also know I can’t be the best waitress I can be and give them the best experience they deserve without fueling my body…and yes, maybe even gaining a little weight.

I also realized that ED has robbed me a lot of being capable. People don’t want to hire me because of the skeleton anorexia has left behind. Because I look sick and incapable. Inside I know I am beyond capable, but people don’t even want to hire me for hourly jobs. Jobs I used to easily book. And it’s not because of me, it’s because of this disease. I am still the capable Jess, but this skeleton left behind doesn’t make me seem very capable.

And my dream, to be a teacher or work in schools….it’s impossible looking like a skeleton too. And though I know I say and ED convinces me I’m fat or look big….I know deep down someone at my weight and height can’t look that way. I weigh as little as a 6 year old….and that’s not okay. It’s not okay for an adult to weigh what a child weighs and still refuse to eat.

So today my weight was up….but I am keeping my intake up too. I am keeping my steps down. I am choosing to fuel my body, my future, my dreams. I am choosing to do the adult thing and eat. I am choosing to believe eating is okay and I am choosing to recover. Because I am more than a scale. My life is more than numbers. And I deserve to be better.

One bite at a time. One breath at a time. One prayer at a time.
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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nov 26: Lessons in Recovery

Nov 26th, 2016

Image result for recovery is messyHey readers and sorry for not posting for a while. Going to try and get back to this, honestly though I was in a struggle and didn’t want to trigger everyone. It started with GI issues, then a nutritionist telling me to only eat 1000 calories and egg whites, then stress of the holidays…it all just caused a spiral. But ever since that last post, I have been (for the most part) doing better. Slipped a little over the holidays but I am back on track now.

That’s the thing about recovery. It’s not about perfection. It’s about learning. Sometimes you learn from slips, sometimes from triumphs, but as long as you are learning, that’s what’s important. And I am learning. I am learning to trust others, learning to trust myself, learning it’s okay to like food. Day by day learning. Sometimes learning is coming through growing pains, but its happening and for that I am greatful.

Image result for feel your fearSo today I am taking the advice of others and choosing to do what is TERRIFYING and increase my intake back to where it was when I first came home. I am eating scary things…but things I want and accepting that’s okay. I am refusing to cut little calories here and there and going to try not to skimp on portions. I am going to do this. When I can’t do it for me, for my family who has stuck by me. For the nurses who saved my life (and who I wrote letter to). For my dad and honoring his memory as the anniversary of his death just passed. And to celebrate the good news about employment I just got (because its normal to celebrate with food).

Today I am learning just because its scary doesn’t mean its something to be scared of. It’s just misfiring of neurons in my brain. But by facing my fear and giving a new way of living a chance, I can change my brain and make it so food becomes okay, but it only comes through action. Just because its scary doesn’t mean its wrong and, as I’m learning in recovery, sometimes it means its necessary. The fear is almost an indicator you should do it.

So if you have a triumph over a fear and want to join me comment below or give me a shoutout. Would love to know people are reading : )
What fears are you facing? What lessons is life teaching you? What lessons are you refusing to learn? Fear is just the place for faith. Lessons are just steps along the way of life. You got this. I got this. God's got us. And we will overcome.
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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

It's Alright to not be ALL RIGHT: Step one

WOW! Had an amazing step one meeting tonight! It was all about how we are powerless over eating and how our lives had become unmanageable. I learned a lot from that.

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First off, and biggest, I realized I had convinced myself my life was manageable, but having to measure everything, not eating out, missing out on things to get in 10,000 steps, not being able to eat full portions of foods, eating in middle of night…it’s not manageable. I said I was fine because was in Master’s school, but I was falling asleep in class because had been up late eating. I thought was successful because of success in jobs, then customers started to comment on how sick I looked and thought I was dying. I thought my roomates were the issue, but my eating was the issue. And then eventually I lost it all, my apartment, my schooling, my job, my health. I caused my family heartache and arguments. My life was not manageable….it hasn’t been for years. I was just in denial. But now admitting it is unmanageable…I am free to change.

Which brings me to big wake up call number two: I DON’T KNOW BEST. I know, shocker. When it comes to eating though, my thoughts are screwy. I look at others and want to eat as freely as them, but then when I ask their advice/opinion I decide they are wrong and my ED thoughts are right. And that’s not surrender and isn’t recovery. If I want their way of life and a new way of thinking, I need to start to accept they might have it right and I may have it wrong. The people I trust to ask advice from I need to listen to. Because when it comes to eating….I don’t know it all…I don’t know anything. And releasing that fa├žade that I have it all together even after years in treatment, it’s honestly freeing. To surrender to the advice, experience, and expertise of others….it’s so freeing. I don’t have to pretend to be right. I am not right when it comes to eating, and that’s alright.

And the best way I can respect and honor those whose advice I ask for and who so lovingly give their time to respond to my same questions and need for reassurance is to actually listen. To accept I may be thinking wrong and they may be right. I mean this honestly always turns out to be true. Case and point, yesterday weight was up so I wanted to restrict…after just one day of weight being up but I finally surrendered to others and wasn’t stubborn. I listened to others who told me the less I eat the more my body will hold on…so I kept my intake. Like the better part of me said to do and today…well they were all proved right…the magic weight gain vanished. But only by surrendering to the will of others and letting go of my heldfast beliefs could I experience this freedom.

Image result for admitting i don't know bestSo I am surrendering. I am admitting my life has become unmanageable and that I don’t know what’s right when it comes to eating. Organic chemistry? I got that! Writing? Check. Waitressing? Count me in. But eating? I just don’t get it and it’s okay. I have a disease. But just like others have to listen to doctors for a cure, so to do I. I am sick, and I need to listen to others who are healthy to help me find the path out. So yes. I am a 24-year old who doesn’t know how to eat and I’m not ashamed. I am surrendered to my Higher Power, to the others who have walked the path to recovery, and to the experts into whose care I have been placed. I will recover, but only when I accept I am not right and that’s alright.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Nasty Fall to Wake Up Call--Nov 2

Image result for wake up call memeWow! God sent me a wake up call tonight. I have been struggling. No, not with getting intake, but with the want to do it. I have been doing the next right thing and eating anyway, but the will….well that hasn’t exactly been there. Till tonight. I got the wake up call I needed.

I was on one of my daily walks around the neighborhood (except today it was a nightly one) and felt perfectly fine. Was just thinking to myself and trying to encourage myself to stay with my increased intake even though the scales are doing some scary things as of late (okay it may not seem scary to normies…but going up a lb overnight freaks me out). But I decided ED had enough stealing from me. He has stolen countless chances to be with my family and almost stole my life. We had a family emergency this week and almost lost a family member and all I could think was if she had died, she would have never seen me recovered and that would have broken my heart. So today I was eating for her.

Anyway (sorry I get off track easily), so I was walking and feeling fine. I mean I haven’t been exercising just going on walks, which I figured there was no harm in especially with me fueling myself. I was almost home when all of a sudden, the world went topsy turvy and my body suddenly collapsed. I fell into the street and completely scraped up my knee and hand. Cars stopped and asked if I was okay and my body shook underneath me as I tried to stand back up and shrug it off like I wasn’t a skeleton of a person collapsing in the street. Luckily I got to my feet, but my gashed knee and hand were pouring out blood. I threw off the emberassment and the pain and hurried home.

As I stood in the shower, trying to wash off the blood and stinge of emberassment, my body shook in pain and became filled with chills and cold. It’s freaking 70 degrees out and again I was shivering. Standing in the warm shower just to get warm. All the sudden my mind flashed to the days of old when I was restricting and overexercising. They felt JUST LIKE THIS. Even though I am nourishing myself and relaxing, my body felt the same.

At first I was frustrated with my body. I was frustrated because it was showing what everyone else had been saying, that I was still sick. Sure I was feeding myself and not giving into EDs pleas to workout, but I am still drastically underweight  and drastically undernourished. Even after 10 months in the hospitals, my body is still injured from the torment of ED. It was then my frustration turned to sadness, remorse, and a cry for forgiveness from my body.

Image result for sick enough is dead eating disorderYou see, this is the reality of ED. The reality of the most DEADLY psychiatric illness there is (even more deadly than suicide….which is attempted death!) The reality is I, myself, had done years of abuse to my body. 18 years of abuse, 10 of those restricting and overexercising. Every day with anorexia I tore my body apart. I deprived it of food….the very thing it needs to survive. Food isn’t something for us to control because our lives are out of control, it is something we NEED. Something our bodies can’t run without. And the reality is when we decide not to give it what it NEEDS because of the scale, or the mirror, or just because we are too deep in ED to claw our way back out….we injure ourselves. I have injured myself. I have done years and years of abuse to my poor body and gotten it to the frail point it is now. I mean I weigh half what the freaking average American woman weighs. HALF. And as much as I want to think it’s okay because it has become my normal, it’s not. Eating enough to maintain a frail frame is not recovery. It’s just the same old abuse of this illness. That’s what tonight woke me up to. That at this weight….my body is still compromised. After years of abuse, I am only chipping away at the malnourishment it has to recover from. Reality is, no matter what the scale says, I not only need to keep this intake, but most likely need to increase it, just to undo what I have done to my body.

Seriously…I hope this wakes up whoever is reading this too. This illness, even when you are battling it is DEADLY. I am nourishing my body. I am giving it what it needs and more than I have given myself in a long time, and still it can collapse on me. Give out. And feel so close to death. I have countless friends whose lives have been lost fighting this illness. Because after years of abuse, they started fighting too late. I just hope and pray that is not the case for me. But I can’t dwell in that hopelessness and fear. All I can do is fight.

At my own hands, my body has gotten to this state. I have continued the torture of my past abusers and bullies by restricting my intake and depriving my body of the very substance it needs to survive. But the good news, the hope for us all---is that the same hands that have destroyed our bodies, our lives, everything…those same hands can raise up and fight this illness, restore our bodies, and reclaim our lives. With the help of our Higher Power (mine I choose to call God), the strength of prayer, and the support of loved ones, we can reclaim our bodies and lives. What do we have to do? Eat. Not just eat, but trust others to tell us how much to eat. Nourish our bodies with what our bodies crave. No matter if it is the scariest, most banned food. No matter if we haven’t had it in years. Our body deserves it. After all the years of abuse we have done, it is the least we can do.

Literally I am so awakened today and I hope this resolve stays. I just feel so bad that in an attempt to control my life, I controlled something my body NEEDS and I knew I was doing it. I was a freaking science major. I know the reality. I know my body needs food, and yet I deprived myself of it. Day after day, month after month, year after year I slowly but surely killed my body. Broke down the muscles, the organs, the functionality, everything. And now I sit paying the price….left to nothing but bones and a fraction of the energy my XC running, indoor cycling, weight lifting body once had. But I will get that back. I will reclaim my life. And I will not be a statistic.

I hope being this raw, this vulnerable, tImage result for because of you i didn't give up quoteshis honest helps someone out there. If you are in the beginning of an ED and think it isn’t that bad yet…be happy it isn’t and get out now. I said the same things to myself. I told myself I would never be this bad or that bad…whatever. But the reality is, it will get that bad. Days will turn to weeks, weeks to months, and months to years and if you do nothing you will stay in the dungeon that is ED…and things will get bad. It won’t even be about a number anymore, or a picture in a magazine (which it was never about for me)…it will just be about a true, deep fear of food…of the very substance needed for life. There is no replacement for food. You HAVE to have it, but you will become so paralyzingly terrified of it, that you won’t be able to give it to yourself. Even when you go to treatment, eating normal amounts of food will be crippling to you. Even hooked up to heart monitors, even undergoing life-saving surgery, even having seizures and going into a coma won’t be enough to take the fear away. Yes…it will get that bad. I was once one of those people who wasn’t “sick enough”. Things weren’t that bad. And I so wish I could go back to those days and stop myself right then and there. Not let it get to where it is now, because trust me…sick enough is not something you want. Months in hospital, osteoporosis, feeding tubes, losing intestines, having your heart, lungs, and kidneys fail is not something to be desired. And again…IT WILL GET THIS BAD. It will get to the point that even when you are fighting your body could fail. And….if you let it…no not even let it because ED becomes so big you don’t have control…so more…if you choose to not stop it…ED will take your life. I was once the person not sick enough…I was once the person who had only had ANA a few months, or a year, or a few years….and now I am the person who has lost my life 3 times to ED. Please, I am begging and pleading you….stop NOW….you don’t have to be sick enough. And trust me, even at this point, actually ESPECIALLY at this point ED will be so loud you still won’t feel sick enough.

And for those of you who are where I am, you can choose to fight too. I do each and every day. Some days ED is quiet, but others like today he is screaming. It is in those moments you have to remember and face the reality of your situation.You are dying and just one day, just one crumb, just one snack/one meal/one tiny portion can and will end your life. The reality is even fighting you can die, but at least fighting you stand a chance to live. And living matters more, family matters more, holidays at home matter more, dreams matter more, marriage, kids, graduation….it all matters more than ED, than fear, than scales (especially because you most likely know you are too underweight right now), than food. Choose life, choose freedom, and choose to say this is not how the story will end. Choose to use the hands, mind, and heart that once destroyed your body and life to reclaim both. If you are a Christian as I am, lay ED down at the cross and pick up the redemption of Christ. You can do this. You can save yourself. Rely on others, rely on professionals, rely on that still small voice inside of you pleading you to eat and release yourself from these chains. Trust me, if I can do it, if this girl who everyone had given up hope could recover can do it…so can you. You can do this. I can do this. WE can do this. One meal, one breath, one bite at a time WE WILL OVERCOME. I can’t wait to see you on the other side.

And so tonight…I do the next right thing. I release myself to eat what the doctors want me to. And as I sit down to face my black bean burger, bun, spinach, and HUGE baked potato….and later my birthday ice cream dessert…I will celebrate. I will celebrate the cookouts and birthdays to come. I will celebrate that God didn’t leave me laying in the street tonight. I will celebrate that I have gotten another chance to fight ED. Another day on this earth. And I will celebrate, and hope, and pray that my struggle today and the triumph it brought inspires someone else to fight. Please…if this has inspired you…let me know. It would mean a lot. And if you need ANYTHING…please reach out.

I love you all and pray you keep fighting. Remember you are never alone. Out there, somewhere, is another brave soldier choosing to do the next right thing and take the next right bite. Fight on warriors, fight on.
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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Support Me

Hi everyone and thanks for reading. I would love to be pen pals, craft pals, any kinds of pals. If you would like to as well feel free to contact me. As well, finances are tight for me so if you could kindly share the following links to help financially I would greatly appreciate it.

If there is any way I can help you as well fell free to contact me :)

Love you all! Keep fighting.