Tag Archives: mental health

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.

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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?

Losing a Battle Isn’t Losing the War

Timing can be scarily appropriate – today my guest post on Grow Soul Beautiful is just the kind of post I needed to re-read so that I could internalize my own words and the message I am trying to send my readers – and myself! Please check it out, writing it was so therapeutic to me and I hope that comes across to you all.

OK. Time to tell you about my weekend in Tennessee. I have a lot to get off my chest. But first of all, I’ll start with the good stuff.

Dinner with my family right after I landed (I took a taxi from the airport to the restaurant) at Chesapeake’s, an amazing Knoxville seafood spot.

Rare ahi tuna, sauteed spinach, ginger soy wasabi sauce.

Speedy treadmill run the next morning – thank goodness for hotel gym TVs to occupy me. Ran the first 5K in 27:51!

Felt great after…

Went to go see my sis’s apartment – big fan of this sign in her kitchen!

Her view rocks. That lamp on the right was mine in college!

I love her living room’s orange & blue color scheme!

I so wish I went to a school that was big into football. What energy!

LOL. Sorry Britt!

I suppose I started having trouble with this weekend away to visit my sister at University of Tennessee in Knoxville after I got back from our family dinner on Friday night. I’d had a few drinks, cleaned my plate, had a couple of rolls, and shared a dessert. I did not feel overly full. Heck, I didn’t even really feel that full. But I kept “adding it all up” in my head, and it seemed pretty ridiculous in my mind that I had consumed those calories after sitting on airplanes all afternoon.

Hang the Gators! Note: These were all taken down the next morning…after we’d lost.

My morning workout made me feel happy and accomplished for about…an hour. Then I started thinking about the day’s tailgating festivities. What food would be there? How much would I drink? How much SHOULD I drink? Would I be able to tell how many calories I was consuming since alcohol doesn’t give me any feelings of full-ness? What if drinking made me more apt to overeat? I quickly became mentally EXHAUSTED, and it wasn’t even noon yet.

Me and my mom with an inflatable Smokey Dawg!

I took a walk with my mom to Calhoun’s for something I was so very excited for…a meetup with my twino (twin + wino), MegWe have been blends since I started my blog almost a year ago and when we first “met”, she was in Denver going to grad school. I really never thought we’d get to hang out in person one day. My happiness and the way we seamlessly started chatting like we’d known each other for YEARS certainly temporarily distracted me from my worries.

My dad ordered me that dress last night…SO PUMPED. Isn’t she beautiful?

I met Meg’s welcoming boyfriend, as well as his parents and friends. I just love being with fellow Vols! Something that I don’t get to do often in CT. Everyone was all smiles and so spirited. Random Tennessee Vols chants were breaking out, I was sampling glazed donut vodka (yes it exists and it’s pretty good!), and taking selfies.

Meg’s boyfriend Whitt had a little brother over at the frat houses that he was anxious to meet up with, so I walked with him and Meg as far as I could until it was time for us to part ways so I could head back to my family. I hope I see Meg at another game next fall – or sooner! It’s still surreal to me that we got to hang out!

Orange solo cups, so necessary!

I felt myself come down from a whiskey buzz and an emotional high with each passing minute at my next tailgate. I snacked, and I hung out with my wonderful relatives and friends that I hadn’t seen (in some cases) for years. I could never really let go and enjoy myself though. I was smiling, but inside I was panicking.

I wore Sperrys in honor of meeting Meg!

I was honestly on the verge of bursting into tears the last half hour before it was time to walk over to Neyland Stadium to get to our seats and watch the football game. I was so excited to meet up with the amazing, strong Sloane, who has been such a huge support system for me since we first met a few months ago. Just like my meetup with Meg, I really never thought I’d get to meet Sloane since she lives in TN.

Sister and I – the girls dress so cute on game day!

It was time to go to the game, and I couldn’t take it any longer. Voices in my mind were scolding me for drinking, questioning how much I’d eaten at the tailgate, asking me if my home workout the day before had been enough, and reminding me of eating dessert at Chesapeake’s. I pulled aside my wonderful mother and finally let myself cry behind my mondo sunglasses. I told her I was going to stay in the room, and I just couldn’t do it. She completely understood – everyone did. Even Sloane. I’m so lucky to have such fantastic family and friends.

My adorable parents – I can credit my existence to UT, which is where they met!

The wallowing I partook in and shitty feelings I experienced for the remainder of the evening are not worth commenting on. I don’t want to relive them. I’m glad I had Heather there to leave me an encouraging voicemail, Sloane there to text me, and my mom there to hang out with me in the room (she decided to sell our pair of tickets for a pretty penny).

The next morning my feelings turned from fear of not being good enough to guilt over what I’d missed out on and letting the thoughts and their power over me win. I’ve been doing pretty well this summer with these weekend trips, during which I am often out of my comfort zone. But this time, the whole trip was just too quick (landing at 8PM on Friday and taking off for home at 8AM on Sunday does not make for relaxation) and badly timed (with the way my night classes have started forcing me to do lighter morning workouts instead of post-work hardcore gym sessions). And so I gave in and cowered, too mentally exhausted to fight and tell myself all the reasons why I don’t deserve to be so mean to myself.

And what happened? Well, I didn’t come away from the trip with any proof that I can use to fight disordered thoughts in the future. I love it when I put myself out of my comfort zone and come out of it with everything being OK. It makes for great ammo to use later on in this battle. Nope, I don’t have any of that now.

And I don’t think I can ever say sorry enough times to Sloane for the fact that my giving into my guilt resulted in us not meeting. We were literally less than a mile from each other, and yet I couldn’t walk that less than a mile to the football stadium to see her? Why? My legs were working and my heart was full of excitement and anticipation. Why did this struggle have to be enough to cripple those legs and why did the voice in my mind have to overpower the heart in my chest? Sloane, I am so very sorry that I didn’t fight harder. I’m so sorry that I couldn’t tell myself that I’m amazing and that I deserve to enjoy myself with a close friend who has been there for me since day one.

I have to put this behind me. I have to remember that to consider myself a failure for how I handled this past weekend would only be continuing to let the part of me that messed this up be the winner. I’m amazing. I’m fighting. I’m living this battle. I may be the underdog right now but I KNOW I will come out on top.

Have you ever dealt with regret as a result of how you handled a situation?

Do weekends out of your routine ever throw you? How do you deal with it?

Anyone else feel me on the Southern football love?