NEDAwareness Week 2015: I Had No Idea

Tomorrow is the last day of National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, and I didn’t want the week to end without acknowledging it on this blog. Especially since I have been having SUCH a hard time lately accepting myself as I am now – my body, my lifestyle, my values. I’m so thankful to be a part of a community of friends who encourage and support me every day. I’m so happy to have family members who have never stopped encouraging me to recover, even when I’m a jerk to them when I’m having a bad day (sorry, Mom). And I’m glad that organizations like the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) exist to bring awareness to these awful diseases, which so often get brushed off, go undiagnosed, and are underestimated.

I had no idea…that fats were essential to live. That is, until my skin was constantly itchy and my hair became brittle.

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I had no idea…that doing less than 200 minutes of all-out cardio per week was OK. That is until a doctor told me I had to stop doing not only that, but ALL exercise – even yoga.

I had no idea…that it was OK to eat carbs after 7PM, or at all. Until an RD informed that even when completely at rest, the body needs them to LIVE.

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I had no idea…that normal people don’t spend all day, every day, thinking about food. Still working on this one.

I had no idea…how eating disorders worked. I remember learning about anorexia in middle and high school and being so confused. How could anyone think that starving themselves was the right thing to do? How could anyone actually be afraid to eat? But the thing about eating disorders is that it’s not about the food. It’s about control, and finding a new way to gain more, to get a high. And it sneaks up on you. It makes you think you’re in control, and by the time you realize you’re not, it’s already taken hold.

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I encourage you to get help if you think you may be suffering from an eating disorder. If you know someone who you suspect needs help, NEDA offers a Parents, Family, and Friends Network. And please, if you are passionate about this cause, consider joining or donating to me and my Boston NEDA Walk team. I’m already almost halfway to my personal $500 fundraising goal! Thank you SO much to all who have donated so far, and I hope more will consider joining Becki and I on Sunday 4/26 as we walk to support the National Eating Disorders Organization.

What were your first impressions of eating disorders when you first learned about them?

Do you know someone who has ever been affected by an eating disorder?

Weekend Trades

I haven’t been up for doing much writing lately, so I’ve been fairly absent recently – my bad. But if I’ve learned anything, it’s that forcing myself to write is a whole lot more frustrating than letting this blog go post-less for a week or so. Good has been happening lately, but a whole lot of bad on the emotional front as well. Sounds like a prime time for Trade Em Up Tuesday.

Seems I'm not alone!

Seems I’m not alone!

I would not trade…trying out a tasty new-to-me restaurant. Friday night I selected Marliave for a girls night with Jeannie and Allie. The menu looked super promising and I’m always down for starting my weekend with a good meal out. Despite some iffy service, we all really enjoyed our food and drinks! French restaurants do damn good French fries.

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Very Thoughtful Thursday

I’m coming off of a rough few weeks as some of you may know, and also a very productive therapy session, so I have some reflections that I want to share on this Thinking Out Loud Thursday.

Link up with Amanda today no matter how deep your thoughts!

I seem to re-learn this lesson time and time again, but I think having strict rules has been backfiring on me. I decided after I got back from Florida that I was going to cut down on drinking by not having any wine on nights I stayed in – even on nights I wanted to. I also decided to really focus on keeping my eats at home “cleaner”. Well, this has not worked very well, because now on nights I am out I have found myself really overdoing it. And that’s been resulting in mental consequences far greater than any I’d be having if I was enjoying a glass of wine or two at home when I wanted to. Perfect example – Monday night I was snowed in and really wanted a glass of red. I couldn’t stop thinking about it! But I texted some friends, made plans to go out to eat the next night, and told myself THEN I could have a drink.

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I Would Trade WINTER.

I’m blogging two days in a row thanks to working from home. I refuse to thank the thing responsible for me working from home…snow. Winter. Freezing temps. Huge messes. That’s because I would rather work EXTRA than have winter stick around and keep acting the way it has. So I’ll start Trade Em Up Tuesday with that - I would absolutely trade winter.

I would not trade…this incredible tempeh and black bean casserole I had for dinner last night. There was not a lot leftover, despite my plans for it to last me 2-3 dinners this week. I’m so glad I chose to use corn tortillas instead of flour. So much more satisfying!

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Marvelous Visitors!

This past Saturday, two very special visitors touched down in Boston to stay the night – my good friend Rachel and her husband Steve! She got her wedding dress on Newbury Street, so thankfully for me, each fitting involves a visit to moi. (Rachel and Steve got married in a family-only church ceremony on New Year’s Day, but are having a big ceremony/party in Mexico in June, hence why Rachel the wife still needs a dress fitting.) And once the fitting was done (of course Steve didn’t accompany us to that portion), I had plenty of marvelous activities planned for the three of us.

Link up with Katie if you’re sharing a marvelous post today too!

Marvelous is…retail therapy. Before reuniting with Steve, we took advantage of girl time and headed to the Pru for some shopping, which I actually haven’t done since moving here. LOFT was having a great sale so I got a couple of tops for just $36, and a very helpful Sephora associate helped me pick out my first bronzer and eyebrow pencil. I’m really growing up!

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Thinking Out Loud: Blizzard of 2015

Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments on Monday’s post! It was really something I had to get out of my mind and onto virtual “paper”. I’m still struggling with those voices today, and that will be part of this post. But I’m also mixing it up, so it calls for my first Thinking Out Loud Thursday in awhile. Always a great excuse to ramble.

Link up with Amanda if you too are rambling, I mean thinking out loud, today!

1. After last week’s satisfying post-sickness gym trips, I am disappointed to say this week has not been as great. First I woke up Saturday extremely unmotivated, so I just did some yoga. The big old blizzard cancelled my favorite Monday 6pm spin class, which I was REALLY looking forward to. I did go to the gym to do the stairs and some legs/abs, but it just didn’t feel as satisfying. Then the blizzard kept the gym closed altogether on Tuesday…and there’s something about a snow day that makes working out at home seem particularly unappealing. So, I just did this She Rocks Fitness workout to tell myself I did something.

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The Kind Voice

I’m coming off of a mentally tough weekend and felt compelled to write about and reflect on something that often comes up during my therapy sessions. Each therapist I’ve ever had asks me if I picture the voice in my head, the eating disorder voice, in any certain way. Is it a male, or female voice? Do I even picture a person attached to the voice? Does it have a name? I don’t picture a person attached to the voice, nor do I know if it’s male or female. And I’ve never been able to get behind the whole “Call it ED!” thing. Giving the voice the name of a human is helpful for some when talking back, but not to me.

I would honestly just describe the voice as mean, harsh, and strict. It’s controlling and a perfectionist. I find that when I talk back to it, I try to employ another voice that is just the opposite – the kind voice. Lately I’ve realized it’s helpful for me to re-frame shoulds and can’ts as suggestions or ponderings, in that nicer voice. See, I have feared in the past fighting the eating disorder’s voice, because my all-or-nothing mindset told me that would be mean giving up caring about what I put into my body, if I work out, whether or not I gain a bunch of weight. My therapist has been trying to get me to practice encouraging myself to keep caring about myself and treating myself well, but in a nicer way. Some examples…


Eating Disorder Voice: You absolutely should not have another drink. You keep complaining about your body, well this is why you don’t like it. Alcohol just piles on the fat. You’re just going to keep gaining weight if you keep on this way.

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Five Things FriYAY

Man oh MAN I’m so glad it’s Friday. The week felt ridiculously long, probably because I didn’t have Monday off for MLK Day, and I was well aware that many people did (due to the silence that descended over GChat). But now F-day, the day known today as FriYAY, is here. Let’s get to the fun part of it!

Link up with Clare and share your five on Friday!

1. It’s time to announce the winner of my Balance Bar giveawayYou guys seemed so into it and I appreciate all the entries. The randomly selected winner is Jess W…I will be contacting you to get you your prize!

2. Has anyone else fallen in LOVE with the new Fox show Empire? I can’t be the only one, especially since ratings have been climbing with each episode, which is nearly unheard of. I’m digging all of the actors, and the music isn’t bad either. I’m especially liking this song!

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Balance Bar Giveaway!

I received samples of Balance Bars for the purpose of reviewing them and posting this giveaway. All opinions are my own – this is not a sponsored post.

One of my favorite evening snacks (and it’s rare that I don’t have one) is a crumbled up bar stirred into my favorite sugar-free chemical-laden Jello pudding. I’m always up for trying new varieties! So I was very excited to be sent such an array of Balance Bars for review – and giveaway! – purposes.

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Rest Up, Party Up

I’ve spoken previously about experiencing guilt over not putting the gym first when my schedule gets packed. This past weekend was yet another example of how much I have changed in terms of my priorities. Except this time my schedule was not packed – it was my nose. OK wait, that’s gross, but let me explain.

Firstly, a spontaneous Thursday night dinner at a spot I really enjoy, The Merchant, turned into a Thursday night out at Highball Lounge. Not a huge deal – I took the T home (I only took one Uber this entire weekend and it was just $8 – hooray!) and did not overdo it on food or drink.

Highball is a super cool spot. I would go back in a second, and once again order sparkling rose with a garnish of RUBBER DUCKY.

However I woke up on Friday morning with a stuffy nose and by the time noon hit, it was a full-on cold. I had already decided it was a rest day, since I hadn’t taken a 100% rest day since Christmas (oops…). So missing the gym on Friday wasn’t such a big deal to me. I still went out for a low key dinner and then had a couple of glasses of wine after at one of my favorite bars, Oak Long Bar + Kitchen in the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel. Jen was kind enough to join me and it was a great quiet Friday. And also involved lots of bread, which I crave when I have a cold. And in the moment, quenching my craving to make myself feel better was more important to me than counting carbs.

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