Here Comes a Fighter

Have you entered my Mohegan Sun BrewFest giveaway yet? Don’t forget – you could win two passes to this weekend’s beer bonanza! Giveaway closes tomorrow (Wednesday 10/3) at 12PM EST.

Geez, so far fall has been extremely busy in terms of my full-time job!By the time I got home last night from my post-work gym session all I wanted to do was sit on the couch with my mom and watch the season premiere of Grey’s on the DVR with dinner. And wine. So that’s what I did – no blog post.

My setup at Art With a Twist in New Haven, CT!

But now I’m ready to blog about this past Saturday. As I mentioned in Sunday’s brief giveaway post, I have a lot to say! The day started out in typical Caitlin fashion – spin class and #plankaday, a few hours of much-needed study time at Daybreak. Then I hit the road for New Haven to have a date with Maria of Pappa Don’t Preach! We’ve never been able to do a good one-on-one hangout before, but we are two peas in a pod and I’m so grateful to have met her through blogging. She drove all the way from Stamford to meet me at Art With a Twist for a BYOB painting class! We used a Groupon :-) of course.

Maria listening to our instructor, the fabulous Bella Zadore.

Maria did a great job sharing more photos of Art With a Twist’s lovely location, and info about the business itself, in her recap! We decided to go sweet on the booze and shared Riesling and champagne. Thanks Maria for introducing me to Asti! It was delicious.

Everyone painted the same illustration, but then everyone’s came out looking different. My water turned out a bit sickly looking, and Maria pointed out that I was just trying to paint the Long Island Sound. Truth.

Pondering the sounds of the Sound…champagne in hand.

I also must’ve still had BlogHer on the brain because my palm trees looked like Lorax mustaches.

Lorax #1

Lorax #2. He’s unimpressed. Source

I was doing a little too much hating on my painting, so Bella sprinkled me with confetti as “punishment”. Okay okay, I complained on purpose so that I could get showered in confetti. Who doesn’t love that?!

There’s a 30% chance it’s already raining.

I had a great time chatting with Maria about our gym sessions that morning (of course) and also taught her how to take silly photos. She deemed me a silly photo queen. I am honored!

Help me take silly photos, Caitlin!

Don’t mind if I do!

How amazing are the “men/women” signs for the bathrooms?! Bella is so creative! She decorated everything in Art With a Twist herself.

Blogger in action.

Despite the fact that my painting did not look like Bella’s, I’m gonna refrain from saying that it wasn’t as good as Bella’s. After all, she wasn’t painting the Long Island Sound!

It’s beauuuuutiful!

Stealing this from Maria’s post…BYO-Blend!

You are what you…paint?

After class we hit up 116 Crown for a pre-dinner cocktail. Because when you’ve been drinking since 2:30PM, why stop?

I ordered the Negroni!

Unfortunately before I could even get to the point of ordering, I had to wait outside with Maria for 15 minutes because we arrived at 4:45PM and they weren’t open yet. It’s fine, another opportunity to practice her silly photo taking!

Let me at the cocktails!

Why am I not drinking a cocktail right now?!

Once we were seated and with drinks in hand, our kind bartender (and very patient I might add, we had SO many drink ingredient questions) took some awesome above-view photos of us :-D

I love the modern “pod” seating!

It was my second time at 116 Crown in September (and ever). I’ll definitely be back! It’d take me eons to work through that drink menu.

Falafel, hummus, cucumber yogurt sauce, pita.

By the time we got to the ultimate dinner destination, Red Lentil, I was staaarving! I’ve been pumped to try the place because it offers unique vegan/vegetarian dishes and had gotten a rave review from Heather. Maria and I started with the appetizer special, the above falafel platter. Be still my heart! It was excellent. I also had the beet-sweet potato-apple latkes. The picture looks totally ugly but they tasted the opposite of ugly.

They may or may not have been equated to “bad weed” in an Instagram comment.

After dinner, I hit the road…but I didn’t head back home like I thought I’d be doing when I woke up that morning. Instead, I responded to a spontaneous text I received during the paint class, inviting me to the Full Moon Onyx Moonshine Party at Taqueria Tavern in West Hartford.

Onyx is an awesome local CT company. I love local, I love booze, and I love unique marketing. Onyx Moonshine has all three of those on its side! You may remember that I worked with them at the Farm to Shaker Bartender Challenge as a cocktail competition judge!

The party included many delicious Onyx drink specials (I had a cinnamon infused Onyx on the rocks that was to die for) and a super-spicy wing eating contest. The photo above includes the two Onyx founders Pete and Adam, and between them is the winner of the wing-eating contest, Judson!

Judson and his winnings!

Judson is a champ. He decided to enter the contest THAT day! He also happens to be the boyfriend of my friend JenniferThey’re an adorable couple.

Jennifer and I!

I took a bite of one of the wings (DUMB) and my mouth was on fire for almost an hour afterward! I don’t know how these champs did it! JD of Ripe Bar Juice (also from the Cocktail Competition at the Coventry Farmer’s Market) ordered me up a Kahlua drink made with Onyx, and it certainly coated my mouth with some cooling dairy and helped stop the burn.

JD is fearing the wing!

I’m realizing right now that this post is really long and I am only just now getting to the part of it that I have been wanting to write for the last couple of days. This was a long day. I was drinking from 2:30PM to about 10:30PM. I definitely did some chip nomming at the Mexican restaurant. That Kahlua drink most definitely had whole milk in it. I didn’t get home until 11:30PM. The day may have started out Caitlin-style, but it didn’t end that way.

And as fate would have it, the beautiful Becki has started an October challenge that I decided today to join, because it fits with what I want to say today and what I want to DO for myself for the rest of the month and beyond. You can read the details here, but it entails 10 minutes a day of meditating on why you are AMAZING.

I woke up in the middle of the night on Saturday after having gone to that party in a panic. I was about to go get my mother out of bed and pour out my heart. I felt worthless. I felt guilty. I felt like I didn’t deserve to have the fun Saturday I’d just had.

But instead of going to get my mom, I took a deep breath. I lay in my bed in corpse pose and tried a calming tactic that has worked for me before. I breathed in and out, and after each breath I said out loud something from my #AmazingMe list. In, out. “I worked out yesterday.” In, out. “I had a wonderful time.” In, out. “I did something I knew would put me out of my comfort zone.” In, out, until I fell back asleep.

After all, only #AmazingMe could have made this painting!

I woke up on Sunday morning still feeling, to put it bluntly, like a piece of shit. I was proud of myself for having worked through my mid-night anxiety on my own, but was still being bombarded by the most hateful, mean thoughts. I went to the gym – yes, partially because I felt like I wanted to get in a workout to “make up” for the previous night. But also because I wanted to be powerful, feel strong, and do something that I enjoyed. I even putzed around the house for a bit before hitting the gym instead of dashing there like I usually do on weekend mornings, because I just wanted to wait it out and go to the Sunday morning spin class, which always leaves me feeling refreshed and has the BEST music. I did a lot of singing-and-spinning that morning.

I took a little social media vacation. I went on Instagram for a second, and realized the last thing I wanted to see was peoples’ food and workouts. Sometimes I’m okay with that stuff, but sometimes it triggers me like crazy. I tweeted that I was going to spend the day doing nothing except what makes me feel good. Then I stayed away from Twitter for most of the day.

After the gym, I took a long, slow, hot shower. I had a date to study with Jenny at J. Rene Coffee Roasters in West Hartford, and was still going because seeing Jenny and drinking coffee in a unique cafe does NOTHING but make me feel good, but I decided to take it slow. I decided not to be go-go-go to the next appointment on my “agenda”. I closed my eyes and sang in the shower, because that felt great. And while I was getting ready to go, Avril Lavigne “With You” came on my playlist and I suddenly got the urge to just dance around my room like a half ballerina, half hip-hop queen. I felt like it’d make me feel good. So, that’s what I did.

Even right now as I write this I am overwhelmed with pride over how much self love I practiced this past Sunday. Almost every activity I did, every action I took, I stopped and asked myself, “Is this what I want to do?” If it wasn’t, I didn’t do it. I still felt the hateful thoughts coming at me from every direction. But I was on a mission to medicate and heal their damage with something other than restricting, than over-exercising. I didn’t want to lose another battle.

At the end of Sunday evening as I lay in bed listening to an inspiring NPR interview recommended to me by Jenny, coloring with my Sharpies, inhaling my Pumpkin Buttercream Yankee Candle, I felt at peace. Again, I still had mean thoughts popping up in my head. I still felt a bit miserable. But getting past this is going to come in increments, and any little peace I can give myself means the world to me and makes me feel proud.

An evening of serenity.

What this all comes down to (I felt a bit word vomit-y as I wrote this but I just kinda let it flow), is the following: Yes, I was beating myself up all Sunday for having a spontaneous Saturday night. BUT I did not curl up in a ball and hide. I did not obsess over how I’d “make up” for what I had “done wrong”. I did not try to punish myself by letting my mind just sit back and take the negative thoughts. Instead I tried to HEAL myself from their damage by practicing self love and doing things that soothed me and taking it easy. I took it easy on myself, and as a result, felt like a fighter. I still feel like one! I didn’t feel that way a couple weekends ago in Tennessee, but this time I feel like I have come out successful in this battle. You lose some, you win some. And hopefully this is the start of continuing to win some!

Have you ever been to a unique BYOB activity or partaken in a crazy food contest?

What do you think about Becki’s Leaf Your Negativity Behind challenge? Who’s with me?!

Tell me a way you recently practiced self love!

59 Responses to "Here Comes a Fighter"

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  1. Alex @ therunwithin

    October 2, 2012 at 1:06 PM

    You go Cait! this is a beautiful post and I am so happy that you found that happy place despite all the anxiety. You should be so proud of all that you did do rather than what you didn’t do. Right there is an amazing accomplishment!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 2, 2012 at 1:07 PM

      Thank you Alex! I was honestly waiting for your comment on this because I know you know what it’s like and I just love hearing “props” from you because you really understand what a big deal this fight is. Thanks for always being there for me. <3

      Reply
  2. Claire @ Live & Love to Eat

    October 2, 2012 at 1:13 PM

    I’ve heard these events are great for mindfulness – definitely helpful for anxiety and stress in general! :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 10:56 AM

      For sure Claire! Hard to be stressed when I’m having fun and being creative.

      Reply
  3. Pappa Don't Preach

    October 2, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    I second Alex, you should be proud of yourself and the strength you’ve displayed in the way you handled your emotions the next day. I had an amazing day with you and your amazing self! Kick those negative thoughts to the curb and accept the spontaneity you displayed on Saturday. Life is all about taking chances. You’ll never know what could happen next if you follow the same routine. Sounds good, right? I’ve been taking my own advice lately and am loving it! Cannot wait to spend more #amazingme moments with you this month! xo

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      It’s so much easier to be spontaneous when I’m with a supportive friend like you! I love the “never know what could happen next” outlook. Can’t wait to see you this Saturday!

      Reply
  4. Sam @ Better With Sprinkles

    October 2, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    This is amazing Cait! I’m so proud of you for overcoming your anxiety. Clearly, you had an amazing day and you deserved every minute of it! I know how bad the anxiety can get after a day like that, so you definitely get kudos for taking a step back and doing what you needed to do to overcome it.

    Every step in this battle is meaningful, and you just took one more towards recovery. <3

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      Thank you Sam for always reading and being there!

      Reply
  5. 4loveofcarrots

    October 2, 2012 at 1:40 PM

    first of all your day sounds awesome and you should be proud of yourself for making the impromptu last stop, it sounds like it topped of your day! We can be so hard on ourselves sometimes and it takes a lot of courage to counteract our negative thoughts. Good for your for counteracting them and taking Sunday not to reflect on how you “messed up” on Saturday but doing things that make you happy!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:04 AM

      It was the perfect day-topper! Thanks Kaitlin :) are you going to BrewFest?

      Reply
      • 4loveofcarrots

        October 3, 2012 at 11:45 AM

        no :(. I am going to Canada for a girls weekend with my mom, aunts and cousin’s to celebrate my aunt’s 60th birthday! Have fun, hopefully something will pop up soon so we can meet!

        Reply
  6. Linz

    October 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

    I’ve always wanted to go to one of those painting classes! I need to find a place in St. Louis that does them!! And kudos to you for working through your mid-night anxiety. I try and take time for myself, usually outdoors, or yoga when I’m feeling like that. SOmetimes it’s hard to remind ourselves how wonderful we are, but it seems like you’ve got everything in perspective now. You rock! :) xoxo

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:18 AM

      I bet you can find one, if they have them in CT!

      Reply
  7. Kat

    October 2, 2012 at 2:08 PM

    I love painting! both with a twist and on my own! Especially with wine..no reason ;)

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      I mean if the wine is there…I won’t turn it down!

      Reply
  8. Avery

    October 2, 2012 at 3:13 PM

    Hey! I started reading your blog a couple of weeks back, and just wanted to pop in and say that should give yourself a lot of credit for taking part in something you weren’t completely comfortable with, and seeing it through anyway. Freaking out about it afterwards doesn’t change the fact that you did it. You have to feel fear in order to get past it (and it’s totally okay for it to be a process!) Props to you for being honest about it. Also, how about that Grey’s Anatomy? Pretty intense :o

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:19 AM

      Aww thanks Avery! Your words mean a lot to me and I’m happy that you enjoy my blog. OMG Grey’s. Just when I think they can’t get me again…they do.

      Reply
  9. fortheloveofkale

    October 2, 2012 at 4:03 PM

    Hahahaha LOL’D at the Lorax palm tree. I DIE. Hahahaha. I’m so proud of my girl for practicing lots of self love. You’re making steps towards the REAL YOU without ED! That rules. Your honesty is beautiful. Keep on keepin’ on, beauty. <3

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Hahaha what can I say I relate my paintings to Dr. Seuss.

      Reply
  10. GOtheXtraMile

    October 2, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Cait, you are stronger than you give yourself credit for! Taking time on Sunday to do whatever YOU wanted to do was the perfect way to handle that situation. Actually, you should do that every day because you deserve it. So proud of you for pulling through and feeling at peace with yourself by the end of the day. Lovelovelove you!!! <33333

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:20 AM

      Daw. Thank you Britt. Keep being your amazing self! Loooooove ya mucho.

      Reply
  11. Wendy @ Connecticut Bloggers

    October 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM

    You too are freaking hilarious. I love you guys and glad you are Connecticut Bloggers

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 2, 2012 at 4:13 PM

      Thank you for connecting us via Connecticut! :P

      Reply
  12. sloanepitman

    October 2, 2012 at 4:21 PM

    YAYYYY!!!!! I’ve been so looking forward to this post and you DELIVERED! First of all, you’re hilarious. I lol’d multiple times. Second, you are SUCH a fighter! You have no idea how proud I am of you for your Saturday and Sunday. I hate how sometimes it can be almost easy to get caught up in the fun, but as soon as you’re alone your mind totally freaks out and punishes the shit out of you. Those times can be wayyy harder than making it through a tough/challenging situation in the moment for sure. I’m so glad you were able to take care of you on Sunday even though you were still feeling badly. So many times in my recovery I’ve given up on trying to do the right thing because it doesn’t instantly make me feel better. But you’re so right–you have to keep fighting each battle, because truly overcoming this disease is a long war. I love you so so so so much and am incredibly proud of you! GAH so inspiring!!
    xoxoxoxooxo

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      I am happy you think I’m funny hahaha because sometimes I feel like I’m laughing alone! I was waiting for your comment just like you were waiting for this post :P don’t we wish we could get that “quick fix”? Sometimes restricting or working out too much gives us the quickest fix but it’s not the long-term path to happiness! So we have to “suffer” in the short term but we will love life in the long-term! Love you!

      Reply
  13. alyssa

    October 2, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    keep on fighting! imagine how wonderful life will be once you get to the place where EVERY day is as fun as your saturday night was and you have ZERO guilt! i promise, it’s possible. #LivingProof #EDWarrior

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:21 AM

      Ahhh Alyssa it certainly WILL be wonderful. Not would, will!

      Reply
      • alyssa

        October 3, 2012 at 2:18 PM

        That is the spirit!!!!!

        Reply
  14. greensandcoffeebeans

    October 2, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    You’re so strong! Don’t let those hateful thoughts get you down, you’re an amazing person and so much stronger than those nasty thoughts!

    That BYOB painting class sounds so fun! I need to find one near me!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      Thanks girl! Yes you better get on that. Or you could make one at home :D

      Reply
  15. Sarah

    October 2, 2012 at 6:16 PM

    The pictures & captions in your posts crack.me.uuuuup!

    Caitlin, I share so many of your anxieties & struggles- why must understanding that we DO deserve happiness in this, our only life, be so difficult! Ultimately , it sounds like you had a really good weekend, & this post was really inspiring to me:).
    Xxx

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      It shouldn’t be difficult! Being happy doesn’t mean we are being “bad”. I’m glad you like my captions :P just trying to be silly. Actually I don’t have to try too hard. I’m so glad to hear I inspired you. <3

      Reply
  16. Austin

    October 2, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    This is so good! I’m so glad you had fun and practiced such good self love!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:23 AM

      Thanks Austin!!!

      Reply
  17. cleanfoodcreativefitness

    October 2, 2012 at 9:23 PM

    Good for you!!! You are such a strong person and I am so proud of the way you conquered your anxiety this weekend! I know it is not an easy thing to do by any means and think you took the utmost strength to challenge your fears! You are an inspiration!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Thank you Danielle! To hear you’re proud of me is awesome because you are so strong!

      Reply
  18. IHeartVegetables

    October 2, 2012 at 9:53 PM

    I’m proud of you for managing your anxiety on your own that night (and isn’t everything 10x worse at night?!)

    Sometimes I have to take a step back from social media too. It can be overwhelming!!

    You’re an amazing person, Cait :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      The middle of the night will NEVER stop being scary!!!

      Reply
  19. Allison

    October 2, 2012 at 10:33 PM

    You are such an inspiration! Thank you for sharing your recovery journey. Reading your words is majorly encouraging!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:24 AM

      Thank you Allison for reading! Sharing our experiences will help all of us win this!

      Reply
  20. Sara @ Running in Pink

    October 3, 2012 at 9:39 AM

    Good for you for shutting all those negative thoughts out. I used to really struggle with food guilt in college – If I enjoyed ice cream with a good friend I felt bad for indulging, I started writing down everything I ate and then I would look at the list and feel awful for letting myself do that. It took a lot of ups and downs but I’d say I finally have a better relationship with food and fun than I did in the past. Keep on fighting you’ll get there!

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 3, 2012 at 11:25 AM

      It helps to hear from someone who’s come out smiling on the other side – thanks Sara!

      Reply
  21. Eva @ committed2nutrition

    October 3, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    You two are such pretty girls :) looks like a fabulous day! I commend you for working through those thoughts. You did it all on your own. Just reflect back at what a great day you both had. it’s not easy, I know, but the MORE you do things like this, the easier it will get. Promise :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Thanks Eva! Yes it gets tiring to do it over and over but I know it’s worth it in the end!

      Reply
  22. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish

    October 3, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    Oh Caitlin, how I love you! I love that you poured your heart out here; I love that you triumphed over those negative thoughts–not once, but multiple times!; I love you and your silly picture-taking; I love your love for good food and drink; I love that you’re sharing this amazing October challenge with us (I’m totally in!). What I don’t love is that you live so far from me! Imagine all the fun foodie and non-foodie adventures we’d have. I’m determined to meet up with you again at some point–maybe a trip to RI to see Heather? Or NYC? Let’s plan!

    It really sounds like you had an incredible weekend. Between the fun painting class (I’ve always wanted to do one!), and fantastic restaurant experience to the soul-searching and self-affirming realizations, I don’t think it could have been better. Love you! <3 xoxo

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 4, 2012 at 10:13 AM

      Sara, you make me so happy because you are such a GENUINE girl and I love reading your excited comments that are brimming with love and support! I would love to meet up with you again. I feel like you and I are so similar in our foodie tastes!

      Reply
  23. Ali

    October 3, 2012 at 7:56 PM

    Amazing post, as always. But I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: you read my mind so much with your writing, and it’s so comforting to know that I am not alone in my thoughts.

    The next time I’m back east (I’m from New York), I’d love to tell you this in person, girl! :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 4, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      I’m so glad to hear that it helps to know you’re not alone, Ali. I know it helps me a lot, so thank you for commenting and telling me that you have the same thoughts sometimes. They are mean but together we can kick their butts!

      Reply
  24. Becki @Fight4Wellness

    October 4, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    As I was feeling sorry for myself last night about my knee and putting a ton of negativity on myself (and self-blame, guilt, etc.) I thought about you. Knowing that you’re doing this challenge with me means the world. I changed my focus and started thinking about all the ways I’m blessed. So happy to #leafnegativitybehind.

    <3

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 4, 2012 at 10:41 AM

      And I thought of YOU all day yesterday as I was having a particularly self-hating day. I did your challenge before bed and it helped me sleep in peace :)

      Reply
      • Becki

        October 4, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        I’m so glad! There’s nothing like going to bed with a peaceful/restful mind.

        Reply
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  26. Lisa

    October 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

    What a fun weekend! Sounds like a total blast!
    I’m glad you are really attempting to remove that negativity from your life and realize what an amazing person you truly are! Because you really are an amazing person! Kind, beautiful, sweet, smart, fun, and there are many more positive things about you! I love how honest you are being in these posts because it will truly help you move forward with success in fighting the negativity and the ED. You deserve that extra glass of wine, those fun nights, because you are worthy and you deserve happiness and enjoyment from life, like everyone else! It takes lots of practice to become comfortable with these things and you are doing awesome! You are taking steps to get better and you should be so proud! Love you! xo

    Reply
    • Caitlin

      October 4, 2012 at 1:10 PM

      Love you too Lisa! I need to reply to your email! I will, but please know that I think of you daily! <3

      Reply
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