Tag Archives: mental health

My Thoughts on “To The Bone”

Disclaimer: I know from firsthand experience that even reading about books or movies that deal with eating disorders can be triggering. If you feel there is even a possibility that reading about “To the Bone” could trigger you, please skip this post!

I’m definitely not the first blogger to write about To the Bone (check out Clare’s post – I really enjoyed it), but I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on this new film from Netflix. It’s definitely been controversial and as someone who had a long struggle with anorexia, I’d like to put my two cents in. I’m also going to try to write about this post in a spoiler-free manner, so that those who haven’t seen the movie or don’t plan to can still read.

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New Normal

As I started to write this post, and fill in the title, it sounded familiar to me. So I entered “new normal” into the search term field on my own blog, and this post came up…from November of 2013. Back then I was still living in Connecticut, on the hunt for a new job but with 90+ Cellars and Boston nowhere in sight. Reading the post now is funny. In it I feel guilty for some pretty silly things, and reassure myself by basking in habits that I now no longer have. It’s really kind of sad to read, but I know it was all part of the recovery process.


I had Columbus Day off yesterday, so Jeff and I went over to Night Shift Brewery, which encourages bringing your own food. So we brought Wendy’s. I went to a half hour bootcamp that morning, but didn’t think twice about the fact that I “only” worked out for half an hour and was eating fast food. I ordered what I wanted. I stopped when I was full (which happened to be when all my food was gone). There was no mental agonizing over that fact. There was no carb counting. There was just me enjoying a gorgeous fall day off with my boyfriend. Though critical thoughts about my body and eating/workout habits are still present, they are so much easier now to push out of my head, and move past. This is my current new normal.

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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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More Work, Less…What?

It feels good to be back with a “real” post! Since this past Monday evening when I had a mini-breakdown while on the phone with my mom, I have been wanting to address a topic that has been weighing on my mind since the start of November. For those who do not know, I work in the wine industry, for a Boston-based wine negociant called 90+ Cellars. Starting 11/1 (and even before that), the holiday season is really in full swing. I have been planning for Thanksgiving since September but now it’s REALLY here and things at work have been really busy. Still loving the job, no worries, but I’m working more than full-time in the office (plus events in the evenings and weekends). I also have been finding myself staying late and doing work-related tasks over the weekends. This results in spending more time at work.

Weekend work-life.

Time is a finite resource. More time at work means less time spent on other stuff. Like what? Well, I like to go out with my friends some weeknights and on weekends. There are some non-work-related events that still peak my interest. I run errands, I do chores. I’m (trying) to keep up with pleasure reading. And oh yeah, that other little thing that I certainly spend much of my finite time thinking about…the gym.

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Meh In My Monday

I know Monday is when I’m supposed to come in with a Marvelous In My Monday post and recap my marvelous weekend, negative thoughts and anxieties in all. I know I’m supposed to use MIMM posts as a way to remind myself of the marvelous in my life that I’m lucky to have – and then that’s supposed to cheer me up. But I really don’t feel like going that route today because I’m just feeling so meh. I have a lot of crap weighing on my mind, and it’s not all ED/recovery related. Instead of focusing on the marvelous to distract myself, I really just want to talk about it all and get it off my chest. So that’s what I’m going to do.

But I guess I’ll get the food/fitness stuff out of the way. My week last week was the most meh workout week I’ve had in a long time. I had work-related events going on a couple of evenings, plus Marathon Monday and plans Friday night, so the only day I was able to do an after-work gym session (which means my beloved group fitness) was Tuesday. That was great but the other days of the week were morning workouts, no classes, and by the end of the week I was just so over it. I have a hard time motivating myself without classes and getting wrapped up in anxiety about not working “hard enough” without a class only makes me feel less motivated to push myself.

Thursday I went out with coworkers after work and had an awesome time but woke up at 3AM with 1.5 hour long insomnia. When my alarm went off for the gym – another solo session – I debated for a bit and decided to say screw it. Rest day for me. Well I never went back to sleep despite the fact that I felt EXHAUSTED, which only made me feel lazy for skipping the gym. Thankfully my mood improved a bit after I skipped out on Friday afternoon wine tasting at work and also walked two miles to meet Annie for dinner (all the while phone chatting with Kaitlin).

Classy picstitch courtesy of Annie!

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Thinking Out Loud: Recovery Update

Not only has it been a couple of week since I joined Amanda‘s Thinking Out Loud Thursday link-up, but it’s also been awhile since I addressed how I’m doing (since moving to Boston) with my ongoing ED recovery journey. (If you’re new to my blog, you can read about my past and progress on my About Me.) I thought I’d go for a combo and update everyone in a random-thoughts format. But the bottom line is: It’s going pretty well!

1. I’ve found a therapist…for now at least. The person I’m seeing (we’ve had about 4 bi-weekly sessions at this point) is not nearly as helpful (so far) as my therapist in CT, but at the same time I haven’t felt as much of a “need” to see a therapist since I’m just so busy and also quite happy here, so I guess I’d call her good enough. I honestly didn’t have the energy to keep looking for someone…this person is a five minute walk from my office, so I can just pop out and see her over a lunch break and then come back. I just haven’t been getting a ton out of the appointments, except the chance to talk at someone and get feedback. Yet perhaps at this point that’s all I really need. I’m still thinking on this one.

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Checking Myself to Wreck Myself

Without the scale, I have latched on to a couple of bad habits to “keep track” of changes in my body. One is psycho-analyzing how my pants fit. The other is body checking.

I’ve been wanting to write a post addressing body checking ever since Sam discussed the topic (almost a year ago!) on her amazing blog (a must-read for anyone interested in eating disorders and recovery). The truth is, though I have gotten better about it, I still body check. My stomach is the area of my body I am most self conscious about, and it is hard to resist the urge to lift up my shirt and look in the mirror during the day just to see what it looks like. I often examine my body from many different angles in the morning when I am getting dressed, and/or in the evening before/after I shower. This sounds like an extremely vain practice and it’s a bit embarrassing to admit, but I do it.

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Keep Your Comments To Yourself

Thanks for your supportive comments on yesterday’s post! I’m glad you guys enjoyed my pictures and thanks for helping me see the positive.

“Want a brownie? You sure could use a few!”

“Damn girl, where do you put it all?!”

“How do you eat that and stay so slim?!”

“Have a bite of my burger! It’s not like you don’t need it.”

I hear these comments fairly often. People feel the need to make them in a variety of situations. Maybe it’s when I’m waiting in line at a café for my coffee, and someone else in line notices me checking out the pastry case. Maybe it’s when I go out to eat with friends and order a salad while someone in my party orders something heavier. Maybe it’s from a waiter when I clean my plate.


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Belated Birthday and Vacation Reflections

I don’t have much time at all to expand beyond yesterday’s simple WIAW recap of my Florida vacation eats/drinks. Work’s so busy that I shouldn’t even be taking a lunch break to write this! But I am because I also finally managed to get more FL pics uploaded to share and use in this post about what you CAN’T tell from simply looking at my photos.

My co-workers know me well and got me a rhinestone birthday card and wine!

Right around my birthday (perhaps even on that day, 3/22) I felt much more pressure than usual from my ego. It’s almost like warning bells started going off in my head as soon as occasions – my birthday, a wedding, a vacation – came around that my mind saw as excuses I could use to “slack off” on eating healthily and exercising regularly.

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One-Year Belated Blogiversary!

The giveaway for a free visit to Blo West Hartford ends TODAY in a couple of hours (12PM EST). Be sure to enter AND hit up the last Pink Thursday at Cuvee tonight!

Yesterday I mentioned that I’d missed my one-year blogiversary! Don’t be embarrassed if you didn’t notice my mention of it yesterday…I wouldn’t be surprised, since you were probably too busy drooling over my recipe for a pesto salmon broccoli pizza. WHICH by the way, was posted to the Gorton’s Seafood Blog! What a nice blogiversary present!

I’ll drink to that!

So I guess this will be a belated blogiversary celebration. And I wouldn’t be surprised if my brain subconsciously forgot about my blogiversary on purpose, JUST so I could use the word “belated” in this post’s title and incorporate alliteration.

My girl Meg looooooves alliteration!

My first post on September 21, 2012 asked the question “Why am I here?” (and eww, I hate how Am and Here aren’t capitalized, what was I doing?!). Some things haven’t changed since then! My life still “moves at a million miles a minute”. This photo was featured in the post, and was taken in May 2011:

Greek lamb burger at BGR in DC.

I still raise my eyebrows most time I pose with food, and I’m still a ham. 

Hamming it up with vegan pizza (wait that doesn’t make sense…) earlier this month.

But a lot has changed since September 21, 2011! Maybe listing my top ten favorite posts I’ve done will help you – and me – see how:

  1. I’m Amazing Because…: This is a given. The post brought me so much inspiration through the way it inspired others. I have never felt so loved as I did whenever I read (and still read) feedback. I still keep my list in my purse and I want to start a full #AmazingMe project someday – but it’ll likely have to wait until after I finish my MBA.
  2. Summer with a Side of Guilt: I think this is the first time I really truly opened up here about feeling anxiety and guilt over enjoying life through eating and drinking. I was nervous to do so, but the encouragement I got from this community made me see that it was totally worth it, and encouraged me to keep opening up in the future.
  3. Why I Didn’t Go To Church Today: I wrote this post on Easter Sunday from La Petite France. The bakery’s atmosphere had me feeling cozy and a trip to Bikram that morning had gotten me in a pensive mood. I really enjoyed using this blog as a place to “sort out” my own feelings about religion and also loved the thoughtful comments the post got.
  4. Fitness Magazine Meet and Tweet: Writing this post was just so much fun and memories of meeting some of my favorite bloggers for the first time still make me feel warm and fuzzy 😛 as do the compliments I got on my recap!
  5. Three Generations Dine at Max Fish: I just had such a good time this night with my family. A memorable meal with great company!
  6. Teachings of BlogHer ’12: I loved sharing with you guys the marketing/blogging techniques I nerded out over at this conference, and also what I learned about myself!
  7. Too Blessed to Be Stressed: Talk about fate! A chance encounter that was meant to be shared on this blog…and it gave me one of my new favorite mantras.
  8. Cafes do Brasil Week in NYC: It didn’t seem like as big of a deal to me back then, but I went into the city by myself for the day and just spent it all in a state of pure bliss. I had my first “blogger event” and felt like my blog and what I had to offer truly had value. I also got to try some fantastic food and taste lots of COFFEE!
  9. Pure Food and Wine: One of the most memorable meals of my life, shared with one of the best gifts blogging has brought me!
  10. A Day at Reebok World HQ!: Another unforgettable experience that made me feel like I’d really “made it” as a blogger! And more meeting and hanging out with so many ladies I’d admired for so long.

Myself and tons of amazing bloggers – still can’t believe I’ve been able to hang out with them several times over!

How am I different? I’ve learned to open up and be more OK with appearing vulnerable – with not being perfect. If doing so will get me support I need to make me happier in the long run, it’s the right thing to do. I’ve picked up countless sources of inspiration and tricks for combating mean mental thoughts, and I’ve filed them away – files that are pulled every day. I’ve found that I’m not alone, and that it’s possible to come out on top, but that it won’t be easy. I’ve realized where my true passions lie, and that whatever they are, I will find a way to live them out. I’ve gotten better at putting myself first…#sorrynotsorry. I can recognize when I’m comparing myself to others, and check myself before I let it go too far – most of the time. When it does go too far, I recognize it and come back instead of declaring failure.

I can do anything!

I’ve built relationships with new friends, with restaurants, with brands, with like-minded people interested in the same things as me (I guess that’s a bit redundant). I’ve explored new places, and experienced old places in new ways!

Are you really surprised to see Heather in this post?

I’m #AmazingMe, one year (and six days…) later!

What’s the more important lesson blogging has taught you?

Think back to where you were a year ago today…any surprises now?

Where do you hope to be a year from today?