Sunday, 9 December 2012

Commitment, with a twist.

I have to admit, putting everything out here for you all to read, helps keep me accountable, and accountability pisses me off.
In my addiction, I have isolated myself for many years, protecting my behaviors and coddling them to keep me safe.. Safe from judgements, opinions and bullying.
Convincing myself that no one understands, and that I am and will forever be alone in my thoughts.  To this day, it feels easier to give in, even after working my ass off since April of 2011 to get myself where I am today.  That inner struggle that I deal with every single day.  To be honest, I'm not sure which struggle is worse - the addiction or the eating disorder.  For me, they're separate.  I need to deal with them separately to get my head around getting healthy and understanding the food issues I have been dealing with since a very young age.  It developed in stages, starting with bulimia as a young child and became a long path of food issues for a number of reasons.  Stuffing emotions and my inability to deal with them, fears, being bullied, self-abuse, low self-esteem, a way of dealing with hurtful people in my life, depression - some of the things I turned to food for.

Today, I sit here thinking about this journey I have been on, and the amazing accomplishments that come with it.  When I started school in September, I fell off the wagon in terms of my motivation and still am not back on track.  I could sit here and list all of the reasons why I feel I have fallen off, and truth be told, they would only be the excuses I keep trying to convince myself of as well.  So, what do I need to do to get myself back on that path of positive self ? The girl who strived to be her healthiest and take the best care of her? Motivate myself, of course.  Organization is something that works for me, developing a program, rules, a routine.

New Years is on it's way and people tend to make resolutions -- I'll admit, I'm not a "resolutioner" in the least, but I am fond of following through with something I am passionate about. And today, I am really passionate about being good to myself.  As a human being, I have so much to offer people in terms of helping them come to terms with eating disorders, food addiction, low self-esteem or their weight loss journey.  I 'want' to help others, in fact, because for all of my life, I was that isolated girl, scared to death and consistently self-abusing.  As a mother, I want to show my children that while their mother was in an incredibly difficult mindset for many years, that I can be strong and help myself and be present for them more than I ever have been.. I want to be an example for them and for them to be proud of me as I am of them.  As a friend, I want to be someone my friends can turn to in need, and not ever isolate myself from the beauty of their friendships.  As a nursing student, I think in terms of the career that I am about to begin and want to live by example of the things I will be encouraging of my patients.

So, here is my list - the twist being that these are *not* New Years resolutions, but a commitment to be all of the things for everyone I just mentioned, and then mostly to myself.  That I am worthy, strong and ready.  And I am not waiting until January 1st - this starts right now, this very moment as I am typing these words..This list will list my tools, what is expected of me daily.. It will list the things I want to accomplish and work for.  It will list some things I can do to work on my fears and behaviors, steps forward.. All of these are steps forward and ways to ensure I am taking the very best care of me, not only for myself but those I love.

Thank you all, for being with me on days I need accountability.. For walking this journey with me, sharing with me (even when done privately) and helping me feel my worth as I walk this very fragile path.  Putting this all out here for you all isn't always easy, but always very needed.  You are all a very big part of my recovery, my journey & my life, and are appreciated.

My list:

1/ My eating plan - It was developed to keep me abstinent from my binge foods, and avoid the foods that make me crave the no-no foods more.  I am passionate, also, about being aware of the foods that I am putting in my body.  Avoiding processed foods, high-fat foods and eating a balanced organic diet of healthy foods.  No fad diets and always measuring/portioning via the serving sizes on the Food Guide.  The measuring and portioning of course helps keep me to healthy sized servings, but also ensures I don't overeat my portions which cause me to obsess, display behaviors and want to purge (or sometimes binge more).

2/ Logged Information - I will once again start logging my meals.  Doing this is not for the sake of obsessing the calorie intake, but ensures I am getting the minimum calorie intake so I am not feeling deprived or hungry at the end of the day.  I will eat my meals and snacks every day, ensuring I carry the snacks with me if I will be out so I do not come home feeling hungry and overwhelmed.  I will also pre-plan my meals and snacks the night before, as well as have them prepared, so that I stick to the food plan as I should be.  I will be aware of the few *healthy* carbs I am allowed and veer away from the rest, and I will work a healthy dairy plan in as well.  I will also find new recipes, healthy them up and re-establish my *healthy* relationship with food, my love for cooking & trying new foods and dishes that are safe for me.

3/ I will keep my food scale, measuring cups and measuring spoons in plain view on my kitchen counter, and use them faithfully to measure out each snack and meal.  I will also keep a paper on my refrigerator to jot down the measurements and food as I am preparing them, so that when I sit down to record them I will not have to struggle with remembering them exactly.  I will log onto SparkPeople as soon as I finish this blog and set everything up properly so I can log on daily and track everything, using their resources.. (Phenomenal site by the way, and free to use!)

4/ Water, water, & more water.  I will faithfully drink my water.  I don't even have to explain the benefits of water, and how healthy it is.

5/ Recovery - Reading my literature, attending meetings, consistent contact with my sponsor & working on my program faithfully.  I procrastinate the fourth step every single time, and bail because it's the hard stuff.  Dealing with my emotions is not something I am comfortable with, but I know this is necessary.. I need to take small steps and make this happen, and I need to free myself from holding myself back.  Dealing with the hurt of my past is something I must do.  I will start making the effort, and I will reach out. I can't do this alone.

6/ I love the people in my life very much, but there are some people who simply are *not* healthy for me to interact with in terms of negativity.. I can love people from afar, I can distance those who do not have my best intentions at heart and I can recognize that this 'is' okay for me to do.  It's necessary, even.  I am worthy of good relationships, encouragement and support and will always put that foot forward myself for those in my life.  Learning to draw a line and not take on people's issues is something I continue to work on today.. Having a healthier approach and self-protection is something important to me, and I love that I am willing to protect myself from the things and people who aren't good for me.  I won't enable, nor will I react.  I simply let go and move forward, I won't take their negativity on and will continue to pray that life treats them kind and for their health, we all deserve that.

7/ Spirituality - It's a very personal journey for me, something I don't share much yet and that's because it's something I need to explore on my own.. Embracing Buddhism as my spiritual path has been the most emotional journey for me this passed year, and the infectious love and peace I feel is something so special.  And now it's time to walk this recovery with Buddha, everything I need is all within, and I am ready.  Meditations, my literature, my time with nature, my acceptance, my inner growth...It's so delicate and beautiful, all of it.

8/ Acceptance - that with all of this comes many more things.. I have been working on my financial path, a new career, an engagement with future wedding plans *smiles* ... Re-establishing myself in a world I hid from for so long.  Acceptance that with recovery comes many more things, and it feels overwhelming and at times hard to swallow.. My fears set in and the best thing I can do for myself is put myself out there and push harder, despite how scared I feel.  Taking chances, pushing boundaries, stepping out of that comfort zone and dealing with my fears are definitely things i will work on more this year.

9/ Hobbies - I have so many hobbies that I've missed for so long.. When I isolated myself for years, I also isolated from the things I loved doing.. My passion for reading is strong, and I have been revisiting the second hand book stores, rebuilding my collection.. Love that smell of old books, I could get lost in there for days.  Also, my time with nature this summer has been a wonderful thing.. Splashing around in the water, hiking trails and discovering beautiful places... There are so many things I want to get back to - cooking, baking, sewing, knitting, gardening.. My grandmother taught me to knit as a young girl, I loved it.. There are many things I *want* to do also... On my list, boxing, martial arts, sign language, photography, kayaking, whale watching and so, so much more.  So lots to work on, I've a very long list of to-do's which I may share here one day soon.

10/ Paying it forward - Random acts of kindness - Volunteering - It makes me feel good, smile from deep within.  I've been that person who needed help, was struggling and couldn't find my way.  It feels important to me, to pay that forward.  It also feels important to share this journey and put myself out there for the sake of helping others. I want to  make a difference in this world, and I want to get my story out there.. I want to get myself back on track, and I want to inspire and be inspired.. This is a lifetime journey for me, and I am grateful for the tools, the support and love as well as the ability to always find ways to work on self.

11/ Self-acceptance - This one I struggle with, a lot.  But I will lay it down bluntly.  No self-abuse.  No self-bullying.  Learning to love the skin I am in, embracing my body.. My scars, my age lines and my loose skin all tell a story..Working always on my self-esteem, trying not to be so hard on myself and most of all self-love...I am worthy, I am good and I am loveable.

12/ Exercise. (left the best for last) - I need to push my boundaries.. I have a gym membership.  I love hiking, I love outdoor adventures.. I have home equipment for days the weather is bad or the days are super busy.. I must work on my stomache and arms especially, toning is very necessary for the loose skin on my arms..I am very self-conscious about it.. I have vitamins and lotion, and a great workout plan with weights and toning exercises that I need to be consistent with. I will also change up my exercise routine often, so not to get bored of it.  Also, running is my passion.. I want to work my way back to running again.

I feel really good about posting this.
This acts as a contract for me - my set rules..
And of course, the accountability by posting this.
Now I am heading to SparkPeople and I am ready to re-spark this self-journey in *all* ways - & be happier & healthier in my own skin.
While I am *not* setting a New Years Resolution - i *am* committing to ME and making the best of my days.. Embracing friendships, taking my life back & loving it all in the process & living a long life full of love & happiness with KC, (who has been the ultimate in support, love & encouragement) as well as friends & family.

Love to you all!
Much peace,
~ sylvie

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

no more excuses ~

Life's challenges, curve balls and such.
Hard stuff that I am overcoming right now, and thought what better time than to get a blog up to share.
The last couple of months have been a very bumpy ride for me.  Nursing school is amazing, but time consuming and at times overwhelming.
But I am truly loving the experience and know this is indeed the path I am meant to be on.  Every day I am challenged to come out of my shell some more.
This has been a gigantic step into the unknown for me, which those of you who understand the mind of an addict -- taking that step was something so much more.
As I learn I find I am stepping into the nursing role inch by inch, and one of those roles is, of course,  my health.

I am not a person who likes to toot my own horn.  In fact, those of you who know me really well, know that I will do the complete opposite, because I do not give myself credit for things.  In other words, I am hard on myself and quite often my own worst enemy.  This journey is about changing those negative bits within me and turning them into positives.  While losing 114 lbs was most certainly one of my most amazing accomplishments so far in life, there are many more which deserve recognition.  I will not be listing them all for you (I see you all wiping your brows saying 'phewwwww') heh.. I do want to acknowledge my positives on this journey so far by saying I am proud of myself.  I am proud of the fact that at 39 years of age I am taking my life back one moment at a time.  There are an incredible amount of things I have lost out on during the years by living in isolation from my friends, family and things I loved doing.  The small inner celebrations within feel magnified when I do something so simple as stepping outside my front door.  How many years did I have myself locked up in my house, ignoring the knocks, phone calls and people who worried about me.  So looking at me today, here I am not only walking out my front door and feeling that fresh air on my skin, but attending nursing school, making friendships, employed and embracing the people I love.

So today, I am thinking of these last two months and how often I lied to myself, made excuses or dug myself a little deeper into that negative space I have fought so hard to stay out of since April of 2011. It amazes me how hard I have to work on building myself up, and how easily I can assist myself in tearing myself back down again.  I am done blaming everyone else and everything else.  No more being the victim.  Today I am recognizing that I do the things I do because "I" allow them to happen.  I make the choices of foods that go in my mouth, I make the choice to not be active, and I make the choice to welcome my character defects rather than do the work to think with a  healthier mindset. Today, is about accountability.  Putting my words out here for you all to see - because in 'my' mind, when you all know - I have to acknowledge my own feelings and do something about it.  So now, here comes the hard part.

Today, I am not healthy.  This is 'not' about the numbers (the weight).. This is about how I am feeling, what I am doing, the behaviors and the changes in me just in these last two months.  I have been lethargic, moody and negative.  My energy level has changed dramatically.  A girl who was once running up the stairs is now out of breath.  Pains in my legs and feet when I am working long hours again.  I feel myself having isolating days where I use my homework for an excuse to stay in and away from people.  I set myself up around food by buying things I can't have once again.. "for the children".. I say.  Let's be real, they're things I love also and that make me crazy.  I have breakdowns where I go through my cupboards and fridge in tears, angry at the world and firing food into my garbage can as hard as I can.  That gives me every excuse to be hard on myself for having allowed things in the house.  I lost my healthy relationship with food, where I could walk into  my kitchen and get creative with foods, making colorful, delicious dishes and feel so proud of myself for my ability to do that again after years of isolating myself from everything except my binge foods.  My portions got bigger, I stopped measuring, stopped attending meetings, stopped exercising and stopped all of my tools which aided me in not only a healthier lifestyle, but my recovery.  Each day I have been down spiraling a little more.  This is only a small fraction of what has been happening with me the last couple of months.

Something ignited within - and I realized that this simply is not the end.  I am not accepting relapse.  I will not allow myself to get back to that ugly place within I once lived.  I was so miserable, so angry - and I didn't allow myself any joy in my life.  So this week is about stepping back out, and putting myself back out there for you all to see.  If any of you could even begin to understand how angry it makes me to do this to myself.  I know that making myself accountable to you all, is what I hang on to until I can do this of my own free will.  I want to thank each of you who messaged me, wondering if I was okay.. Those who messaged me to get me to a meeting.. And those who have been supportive, loving and understanding.  Like any addiction, I needed to step out on my own and get to that place where I knew I had to start climbing back up or I would sink.  It's a hard place to be, and sadly it's so much easier to give into that feeling and let myself sink.

But, like I prove every single day of my life - I'm strong, I'm capable and I'm worthy.
So sinking is not an option for me - I know the tools, I know I can & this is my first step back out there with you all.
I am no longer that fragile, delicate being.. She's still in there, but she's protected with thicker skin, deeper scars and a passion to go far.
I no longer feel I had a horrible past.  I am actually thankful for life's lessons to the soulful being that I am today.
I really like this girl within, and I'm protecting her - by not engaging, by not playing the victim and by loving myself enough to let go of the negatives.

I believe the true journey is just beginning for me.

Love & Peace,
- sylvie

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Gratitude ~

Today is a day of gratitude..
Everyday, is a day of gratitude for me, but then I have these days which it's extremely important to show gratitude upon more gratitude.
A big part of my recovery (for me) is practicing daily gratitude.. It started with a girl back in April of 2011 who didn't practice appreciation in any way.
I was in a very, very miserable place, honestly.  And so embarking on this journey it has been one of recovery, weight loss, healthy lifestyle and self-esteem, of course.. But more importantly, and one I rarely mention, one of inner peace and happiness..True, deep & lovely happiness..

When in isolation, I spent countless years pushing away everyone and everything I loved.. I was full of anger, hurt, resentment and found it hard to even appreciate the small things around me, including my food.  That sounds surprising to most of you, I'm sure.. Food was my main focus for most of my life, but in an obviously very unhealthy way. And so there was no appreciation for food whatsoever.. The self-abuse and obsession with food left me feeling lethargic, miserable and very unhappy with myself.  I spent my days and nights chasing for that very first "high" I got when I first tasted certain foods.  I was never going to find that high again.. Today, I really  believe and admit I am still holding myself in isolation, however, everyday I am working through ways of pulling myself out.  I am bringing people back into my life, slowly.  I am once again allowing myself to do the things I once loved doing.  I am seeking new things to try and love.. I am making much progress.

Days like today, bring me much inner peace.. When I can stop the chaos around me even for a moment and take a good hard look at everything that surrounds me, and find a true, deep appreciation for everything and everyone in my life.  Even the people who do *not* have my best intentions at heart, have a place in my life and a reason.  On a day like today I can find appreciation for the lessons and growth I have within me, because of them.  I don't think any person ever sets out to be miserable to someone intentionally, without their being a reason of past hurt or learned behavior from their own lives.  When I can see this suffering within them, I can appreciate their being and put out good intentions towards their hurt in hopes they find peace, and I can realize within that yes what they say or what they do hurt me, but their  hurt must be greater than mine.. It helps me find forgiveness and make decisions on how to handle certain people and situations, so that I can move forward and not dwell on their behaviors or choices.

This has been a very powerful journey for me, thus far.. Gratitude is something I did not practice enough of in my life, and is something I never feel I can overload on today.  The more I find appreciation for everything around me, the more I find appreciation in people in my life, the more I find peace with reasons, explanations and life in general.  On a journey, such as this, I am putting my very tender self out there for all to see and am taking steps and bringing people and things back into my life which I have been pushing away a very long time.. It invokes a lot of emotion within, something I don't openly share, most days because of the guilt and shame I feel.. But on days of gratitude, the emotions willingly pour out of me for all to see and I can find the positivity in that as well.

It's such a deep and inner magic, within.  To live a life of feeling so damn miserable and having the capability now to stop and appreciate, and to have a very genuine love of life.  To not spend my days finding ways to make myself miserable anymore, but instead to spend my days seeking positivity and working through my inner turmoil which has been a very long time in the making, step by step.  As I take each step in working through my fears, resentments & selfish behaviors that I've spent a lifetime building, I find one very small wonderful part of me within that I grab ahold of and put all of my focus on.  So in this passed year, I have started piecing together small parts of me that I have recovered, which ultimately has brought me the accomplishments I am forever grateful for, thus far.

How can one not feel so grateful for such an amazing find?
My life, is something I am celebrating every single day.. The air I breathe, the joy I feel within, my accomplishments, the love and support of the people in my life, the ability and desire to work a program of recovery that is challenging and a lot of hard work every single day, the beauty in nature that surrounds me, the breeze on my skin, and the list goes on...I can find joy and appreciation in the things that usually aren't even noticed.  And what is amazing, about these days of gratitude, is that as time goes on I have more and more of these days when they used to be so few and far between.

Practice gratitude in your days, even for the simplest of things.. Take moments everyday to appreciate the things and people deserving.
Over time, it grows.. Over time, it doesn't have to be on command, it just starts to happen.. And then you start to find gratitude in most everything, even the things which were once most challenging to you.. Peace and joy, not something I will ever take for granted again.. And I will continue this path of self growth.. practicing gratitude as often as possible, making peace with things and people around me and working through my own issues, releasing them  to the universe and finding acceptance in the things I simply cannot change.

It's an amazing journey, if you let it be.

Thursday, 5 July 2012

Masking ...Tumbles... Refocusing.

Noun 1. masking - the act of concealing the existence of something by obstructing the view of it;

Masking, I am so guilty of masking things. EVERYthing.
I mask my emotions, my inner struggles, hardships in life, my feelings..
I mask things I am trying to deny, or not be honest with myself or others about, something difficult to acknowledge or that I am not accepting..
For example, for this passed year, I have been masking my own recovery and journey..
I have lost 103 lbs, I have gained much more self-esteem than I once had & have been working a recovery program.  Those are all wonderful things.  Things I am proud of, even. I truly believe, though, that things happen as they should.  The masking, the denial, the hard things I am facing here today - I am working on acceptance, admitting I am powerless and that I am not perfect.  And I am seeing that I need help, further help, and to stop masking the things I do and working through them, step by step.  I needed the journey I've been on, to embark on an even more difficult journey I am starting today.  If I didn't have that self-esteem, I might not be ready.  If I didn't have that weight loss, I might not believe that I could.  If I didn't work my recovery being only physically abstinent, I wouldn't have broke my abstinence and started believing that I needed this program, needed Overeater's Anonymous and needed a Sponsor, meetings and my daily tools every single day.  

Fact is, I cannot do this alone.

I'll start by saying, I got myself into OA in April of 2011.  It's been a year of many lessons, self-growth and changes within.  I remained abstinent from my binge foods for over a year, until last week.  Physically abstinent, that is.. Not emotionally, spiritually or mentally abstinent.

All of this passed year, I had it in my head that I was 100% able to do all of this on my own.. None of the things the program had to offer was necessary for me.. I have many daily tools I should be using to help myself , but I didn't think I really needed those.. Over time I stopped using them, one by one.. Turns out, I was physically abstinent - a.k.a controlling my food intake and proving to the world I could do it all on my own.. But, inner chaos (that's what I call it) told me every single day  that I was not moving forward, not healing, not understanding, not accepting and certainly not growing within.. I was merely the shell, not bingeing and losing weight.  But every single day, I was fighting my monsters and stuffing it all in, ignoring the signs, ignoring the cravings and telling myself I would *not* get back into the foods...

As time went on, I continually found ways to set myself up.. Though I found strength in various ways to stay away from the food (for awhile), my behaviors were high, my obsessing, my self-abuse and being hard on myself emotionally & mentally.. I didn't care, because no one could see that stuff, except me.. People still seen the strong, capable girl who had it all under control if I could only stay away from the food... Sadly, over time, I started to overeat different kinds of foods that were not on my binge/abstinence list.. Flour products, not necessarily white flour either... Crackers (something salty to replace a previous binge food of mine), toasting bread, making numerous sandwiches, pasta, rice.. It's so easy to overeat these things and they were filling a void for the things I was missing.. I would acknowledge to my partner that yes, indeed I knew I was overeating these things but thought it wasn't nearly as big of a problem as the actual binges and compulsive overeating I was doing in the past.  I procrastinated seeking the help I needed once again, stuffing those thoughts deep within and continuing to do what I was doing, despite what it was doing to me on the inside.. Again, no one could see 'that'.. I masked it, by smiling and going to the Gym and talking the talk of weight loss and control..When all along, I was slowly losing pieces of myself, and crumbling...

As time went on, the bigger the portions.. The weight loss was stopping, my positive attitude and "feel good" self was changing.  I was slipping, and had no control anymore to stop myself.. My cravings were in full swing, the sugar and binge foods were calling my name loudly, and I knew within I was losing my battle.. I didn't acknowledge this loudly, until today.. I realize today, that I never really did accept that I was completely powerless over food.. I said I knew it, but I wasn't spiritually, emotionally or mentally invested in those thoughts... Saying something and then believing something are two totally different things.. I am not a normal eater.. I can't put down foods or stop when I am full.. I can't even acknowledge when I am full.. I can't distinguish between  being thirsty, being hungry or being emotional or stressed.. Everything results in food and wanting to fill my stomache more and more and more, searching for that high that sugar or foods once gave me and never really finding that.. I am always so guilty and hard on myself.. The next morning especially, if I could even explain the feeling the next morning.. It would be like an alcoholic waking up from a drinking binge, the hangover.. the guilt.. Remembering the previous night and feeling completely guilty for one's actions.. The embarrassment.. The shame.. My behaviors, wanting to hide food.. Stuffing crackers in my pockets so no one can see and slipping them into my mouth when no one is looking.. Hiding packages so no one will suspect I have eaten something, sneaking back for seconds or thirds with my meals.. Sadly, if others don't SEE me do these things, then in my head I can convince myself that I don't have to acknowledge it either.  THIS is the very reason why putting my journey out here for all to read helps keep me accountable.. I can't deny things, hide things or stuff things deep within.. If someone has laid there eyes on my blog, video or facebook page, they will know of that struggle, THIS struggle, that I am dealing with every single day.. Then, I hold myself accountable to find ways to help myself.. Accountability - no more masking.

I probably will mask still.  But I am working hard on sharing this because I really do recognize that I need to change this about myself. I need to show my feelings and my emotions.. I need to start digging out the years and years of hurt, anger, upset and start rifling through those one piece at a time.. I need to make peace with each and everything, and move forward leaving it all behind me.. I need to make amends, I need to find forgiveness for others and for myself.. I need to work this program emotionally, mentally and spiritually.. I need to take one small baby step forward, each and everyday.. I need to accept that I am not perfect, that I cannot control things and learn to let go.. I need to not dwell and I need to not continue to set myself up.. I am scared, I have so many fears, I am trembling even as I type this, because I know I should not hold back anymore.. And posting this and opening myself up completely to everyone is such a big scary step for me.  It's like putting myself fully out there for the first time in my life, and letting people take sticks and poke at me if they want to.

Now, for my confession, and the reason for this blog:
This week, I broke my physical abstinence and everything came reeling back at me full force ahead and then some..As I look back I realize that my few attempts at working the steps, always had me stopping after the first or second step, and just recently at the third step... Step four has been scary to me, because it's as far as I could go with my physical abstinence and not doing the inner work required.. My fear took over and I had to stop and not go any further, again convincing myself that it wasn't what I needed anyway and that I was doing just fine on my own... I stopped using all of my daily tools, made many excuses and tried living everyday just as everyone else did, focusing far too much on my weight loss and not on the actual inner problem and disease I should have been facing all along..

Very humbling, to say the least.. To think back to this passed year and see all of the wrong choices I have made.. Also, to have the support and love from a partner, friends and family who never give up on me, even when I feel like giving up myself.  Very emotional, to know that I have been setting myself up all along, and finding myself back at square one and even worse than square one, in fact..  I have never felt everything like I do here today.. That inner chaos is there, fully taking me over and has me being so hard on myself..
Today, here I am committing to my recovery.. Whether it be participating in email recovery loops, reading literature, working with my sponsor & attending meetings.  Being honest with myself and working on self-acceptance of what I am dealing with here and taking the necessary steps to help myself.  And finding the strength in all places necessary, with daily tools, focus, opening myself up and sharing and asking for help and not being ashamed to do so.

Powerful stuff.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

fear of success & turning that around ~

The fear of success..

This is a hard one for me, I learned this in counselling this week, that it's one of my greatest fears.. Most ( I would think ) would fear of NOT succeeding at something.. In fact, I thought I feared that myself, but no... I fear success.. This passed week, I have really thought hard about this.. I have sought areas of my life this might apply to, and realized it applies to almost every part of my life over the course of my 39 years, especially today.  It's even harder to believe that in all of the work I have done this passed year on myself, and all of the great things I have achieved, that I am not further in helping myself get over that fear..

I fear success in so many things --
1. Every project I start, goes unfinished or not moving much further ahead, constantly feeling stuck, unable & creating doubt in myself.
2. I don't push myself harder when I am acheiving something, I hold myself back .. For example, weight loss, exercise, my recovery.
3. When I am close to moving forward in something, I find ways of setting myself up and backpedaling..

Right now, today, I am looking at my progress and thinking I really have achieved some tremendous things since April of 2011.. I have pushed myself to do some things which are clearly stepping out of my comfort zone, and I know I need to find ways to move past this fear so I am no longer holding myself back.

- I have applied for college to start my nursing journey - and am accepted & registered.
- I have started and am leading a Weight Loss Support Group for employees at my work, me included.
- I have sought help in my recovery, and admitted I can not do this alone..I now have a Sponsor, Counsellor & Dietician & have committed to meetings.
- I am learning to let go, open to change, working on forgiveness and working the 12 Step Program.

These are all very positive things for me, yet today I recognize ways I have been trying to hold myself back in each and every one of those. And in doing so, proving to myself that yes, I fear success.
Today I have decided to haul out my 12x12, my workbook & questions my Sponsor provided to me to also help me work through the Steps.  I am admitting today that despite everything I do, I have ways of disconnecting myself from the literature, the meetings or the work and not truly 'getting' the lesson needed.. In other words, I still do not fully admit that my life is unmanageable. 

I try to manage every single detail of my life.  If things aren't going my way, I break down.. To me, breaking down is when my obsessing comes out full force.. Then I become highly agitated, frustrated and start shaking, crying, my heart beats a mile a minute.. Anger surfaces, I am blaming people around me, I am blaming myself, I am hard on myself and there are NO solutions in sight.  I will dwell, and I am not being honest with myself hardly ever.. I am self-centered in this mindframe, sick of everything and unable to see anything as it is.. Just as "i" want to see it.  It then gives me every reason to want to abuse myself, procrastinate things to the point i don't achieve anything I've wanted to do, which in turn makes me feel worthless, useless and consumed with guilt.  When that anger surfaces it is because I can't "fix" all of these problems anymore.. In my mind, my only fix for these things is to eat the foods i want, as much of it as I want, and to the point I feel numb .. It's that momentary "feel good" to all the pain I feel, the fears I have, the hardships I've endured, the triggers in my life and the unhappiness I feel..Food is ALWAYS my answer, even today.

A few weeks ago, I found out that while I have been abstinent for over a year now from my binge foods, I have only been physically abstinent, not emotionally abstinent.. I am filled with chaos within, even moreso than ever now.. I went so long feeling free from the obsession of food, 103 lbs lost and a great set of daily tools to use and keep myself on the right path.  I thought I had it in the bag, and here I am throwing things aside and food dominating my thoughts once again. I have been so close, SO close to losing myself back to where I started.  I can do mountains of work and push myself ahead step by step for over a year, and I can lose all of that with simply one bite of food. 

So, I know I have the ability to push myself forward and passed my comfort zones.. What my issue NOW is, is to feel worthy of success.. To not fear it anymore, not fear the unknown.. I have lived 39 years in comfort zones, without knowing where to turn, not believing in myself and not feeling like I was deserving in the least.. I have continually set myself up, backpedaled, or held myself back completely.  I have told myself repetitively that I can't do this, because that's what others have told me or made me feel, and over time I started believing that too.  With a repeat pattern of saying "no, I can't.." it's extremely scary to step out of that and feel like maybe I can.. So today, I am blogging this to put some things out there about what I will believe, starting right now.. And what goals I will work on, starting right now.. So that I have the chance for once in my life, NOT to set myself up or hold myself back, but spread my wings and fly - because I am a butterfly, worthy of life and for that chance to fly with peace and a smile in my heart.

- I most certainly CAN, just like anybody else out there.  No one can tell me differently.  If I can't, it's because I wasn't meant to, not because I am a failure.
- I owe this to myself, KC & the children, to be the best me I can be.  Mostly, to myself though, because it is "I" who has the doubts in my achieving all of the possibilities out there..
- I am no one's doormat, I am deserving & worthy and will work on no longer dwelling.
- This is where I pick myself up, put myself back out there, commit to my priorities - and accept that recovery doesn't land on my doorstep, it's hard work, every single day.
- This is a lifetime commitment, there will be good day, and there will  be challenging days. (I don't like saying bad days, because challenging days become good days, when lessons are learned and growth happens because of it)
- When I am not true to using ALL of my tools each day, I set myself up to lose my path to recovery.. And the fight becomes harder each time.
- I need to be completely honest with myself, embrace the being I am, every single imperfection and not be hard on myself about those imperfections, but instead work at understanding them ..

The goals I am flying toward:
- Starting school, graduating & the employment possibilities that come afterwards.
- Continuing with my Sponsor, recovery, counsellor & dietician without procrastination & make my recovery a priority in my life.
- Working my emotional, spiritual and physical recovery altogether, starting from this day forward. Not one at a time, but all hand in hand.
- Working through the 12 steps and completing them
- Working through self forgiveness, letting go of the rest of the negative people and things in my life, and striving forward, positively ready for a life with more peace, happiness & self -acceptance..
- Continued weight loss, (103 lbs so far) - not sure of my goal other than feeling happy with what I see and feel.  No set number.
- Continuing to train to run, run some 5k, 8k & 10k's, with goals of a half marathon and full marathon in Orlando, Florida in January of 2015
- Allowing myself 'me' time, to take up hobbies again, seek new hobbies, and find the quality of life again.
- To get myself financially right again - consolidate and get that behind me, budget and work for a healthy future.
- Starting a Youtube channel, to go with my  blog and facebook page and using them all to my full advantage, each day without procrastinating.

I think these are great goals.. Things I never thought I could achieve, and things I am WANT to achieve and am putting myself out there everyday to try and make these happen.. What is missing, is the belief and what is residing is the fear... This is an honest confessional on things I feel within.  These are honest things I want to be able to do, and would feel so proud of myself for.. I have such a long list of things to try in life, and such a long list of things to bring back into my life..

Today, marks the day I start the hard work, honestly.. And today marks the day this all becomes my priority..
Much love to you all - Thank you for your continued support on my journey..

Saturday, 2 June 2012

alot to say about my anger..


It's such an ugly part of this disease, and I've a lot of anger of many forms that I am working through and still need to work through.
It's a complicated journey, one of many layers.  And I have to peel everything apart, layer by layer and dig down deep and bare all of my feelings..
The brutal honesty with myself, can be so difficult.. For my entire life, I've been one to stuff my feelings within and not share them with anyone.
I developed some major trust issues in my young childhood, and from there started my bulimia. 

Throughout my life, I have carefully added layers of issues, one upon the other, until I am where I am here today.  Within, I am full of what I like to call 'chaos'.
I struggle with obsessing, overeating, behaviours, low self-esteem, self-abuse, a lot of fears, isolation, and the list goes on.  Food has numbed me for a very long time.
Whether the bulimia, the compulsive overeating or the binging & purging, I have depended on food in some way, for my entire life. In this passed year, I have been working
on changing the comforts within my disease, and it's putting me in a very raw, tender & sensitive place.  Not to mention, I have chosen to do this very publicly, and that has
helped me seal the understanding of why most people choose to work through their addiction using anonymity.  It's too late for me to do that now, and so I hold my chin high
each day and I push through the motions the best way I know how.  In saying all of this, this blog is about working on releasing the anger within.  It won't happen quickly, but
this is where I start to pick up the pieces and put them together to form a stronger 'self'..

I have 2 months of unmotivation, and am just getting myself back on track.  Reason for my lack of motivation? Pure mental exhaustion.  Working a recovery is hard work.. Physically,
I have many tools I use in the run of a day, that I start from the moment I wake up to the time I go to bed at night.. Between daily meetings, daily journal, daily blogging (not this blog, but
a personal one), working on a program with my sponsor, working through the steps in my workbook and 12x12, daily literature, meditation (countless times per day), counting calories, logging food, pre-planning &
preparing my meals the night before, daily exercise of at least 30 minutes, and more.. I try to work all of that in with my work hours, maintaining my home and spending time with my family.
Then add in appointments through all of that, with my counsellor, my dietician, credit counselling to get my financial problems (caused by years and years of binging), weight loss support group, countless doctor's appointments and hospital tests, and again, the list goes on.. All of that alone would exhaust a person, but now mix in the mental part of this disease.. The things I mentioned above about 'the chaos'..
Every single day, I have this inner battle going on, fighting off urges, continuously obsessing foods, dealing with new 'hard' situations everyday...

None of this is for sympathy.  Because sympathy is the last thing I want or need with this disease.. I'm extremely hard on myself in so many ways, but I know to be healthy, I have to get myself in a healthier mindset and to do that, I need to put it all out there.. So, here I am at a fork in my journey with recovery - where I come to three different paths and a choice to make..
a/ I continue to stuff everything inside, and live with the fact I don't move much farther than I have right now.
b/ I say I am dealing with things, do so partially and stuff in the rest, allowing me to move a bit farther on this journey.
c/ Give it my 110% knowing full well this will be the hardest fight of my life.

My decision, of course, is 'C'.. I've come this damn far,  I don't have it in me to backpedal now..
But, in making this decision and knowing where this journey is now leading me, my anger, sadness, fears, and many other emotions are surfacing..
And so today feels like the ultimate day to take that first step, write this blog & put it out there in the universe.  Please forgive me, for where this is about to go.

- To the people in my life who are not supportive of my journey, weight loss, recovery or bettering my life in any way...I'm done.
Regardless of how 'in the disease' I was, I have always tried my hardest to be completely supportive of anyone in my path and what the need.
I have put everyone first, before my own needs & over the years have come to believe I don't even matter anymore.
I have swallowed insults, judgements and even looked the other way when people certainly did not have my well-being at heart.
Whether they were family, friends, co-workers, classmates, heck even strangers I encounter on the street.. You need to know, I matter too.
I am helping myself, getting healthy, working a recovery program despite the conflict within me, and building myself to a more positive & happier self, day by day.
Nothing will ever help me understand why someone would want to knock me down from doing good things for myself.. No one will ever help me see good reason for that.
Everyone deserves the chance to improve their life, & everyone has worth in this world we live in.  From this day forward, I will not be bullied, triggered or be knocked down from something i've accomplished for ME.
Someone told me at the beginning of this journey, that I needed to love myself before I could spill over that love , and love others.  After one year of working my recovery, I have come to realize that this is SO true.
I have put myself in a much happier, healthier mindset and finally, I have some love for myself.. Enough love to know when someone isn't capable of returning that love.  I can no longer seek attention from people that I've spent a lifetime trying to get.. I can no longer put my own needs aside, because doing so makes me feel like I no longer matter in this world.. I am achieving amazing things, I am following my dreams and putting myself out there, in a world I have isolated myself for so, so long.. Let me have my chance, let me have my life back.. And if you can't be supportive of the things I feel are needed, for me.. Then please understand that if I am distancing you, it's for a reason.. I wouldn't distance someone for just any reason.  Some people, distance will work for, some people I need to be away from altogether - and then there are my dear friends and family that I can hold close and know they support and love me for me, and know that I am doing good things for myself, finally.. Those people are in my safe circle...And I know I am well protected, loved and well on my way to achieving great things in life.. Someone suggested last Monday at an OA meeting, that it's called detachment with love. 

- Food, I am angry about food.. I see people putting anything they want in their mouths, and inside I want that SO much.. My house is my safe zone, most days.. Free from anything that tempts me..But I can't control the foods I see and am surrounded by.. I can walk the street and smell bakery smells and restaurant smells.  I can go to a friend's house and see a cake sitting on the counter.. I can be at work in the staff lounge watching a co-worker eat a delicious smelling greasy pizza slice, or I can be serving a resident a tray with cheesecake or some yummy sugary dessert I long for.. Heck, walking through a grocery store, is aisles full of temptation for me, watching television with commercial ads of temptations, or even listening to someone's conversation almost always has a mention of food of some sort... It's difficult, and it angers me.. Nothing anyone else does, it's all within me.. My behaviours surface and I want to stuff my pockets full of foods I can't have, or grab a plate of something and go hide and stuff my face so fast I can barely chew it before I'm swallowing.. I find myself pacing, sweating, obsessing in my mind, becoming self abusive, crying, or setting myself up in some way to have a much worse day than I should have been having, all because I felt I needed to do that to myself, for whatever reason.. It helps keep me stuck, and it helps me have a reason to be angry within and chew at all of this chaos I continue to hold close to me.. Damn food.. It isn't something I can just quit, like other addictions.. Food surrounds me, food is a necessity and food pisses me off.. Why can't I eat portions, normal portions, at a normal pace ? Why can't I eat the delicious foods I long to eat so much like anyone else ? Why have I done this to myself ? I am an emotional eater, I am a boredom eater, I am an addictive eater, I am a binge eater........I am a compulsive eater.  I'm sick of the way I feel like I am always depriving people in my life when they feel they cant eat something because it might bother me.. I know they do this for my well being, but I am overwhelmed with guilt.. I am also guilty because of they way I overwhelm myself with tasks and then get all obsessive about everything.. Then, I don't follow through with anything because it was too much.. I do these things to myself, and it makes me crazy.. I get obsessive compulsive about housework, and doing things a certain way, and I now become addicted to recovery, and 'that' isn't healthy either..

- I push myself hard, exercisewise.. Sometimes too hard.. Often, I don't do the self-care necessary for hard, vigorous workouts.. Often I don't stretch and take the necessary precautions.. I know better, but I try to fit so many things into my day, I forget about the important things, or push them aside knowingly is more like it.. Today, I sit here with a pulled muscle in my bum, from working out way too hard 2 days in a row, and have amounted to no exercise whatsoever today and quite possibly tomorrow.. So, what do I do?  I sit here, bored in the same spot all day because I can barely move, I am uncomfortable and I go into deep thought.. Thinking gets me in trouble sometimes, because of all of the things within from my childhood, teen years, early adulthood up to today, that I haven't dealt with at all through life.. It starts surfacing and I can't do anything that I usually do to put this stuff at the back of my mind and stuff it all back in.  I'm left here sitting in my thoughts, sniffling, trembling lip and playing pity party for one.. Then, I get angry at myself for having done that.. SO, I decide enough is enough, it's time to dig out the recovery books, questions, workbook and the laptop, and get as comfortable as I can and start working through this...

- I have a lot of guilt from my past.. Between isolating myself from loved ones, and things I loved doing.. From not being as much of a proactive parent as I should have been.. For running myself down financially with my binging and using bill money to do so... For not caring about my health, so much so that I was literally killing myself with food, high blood pressure, pushing diabetes, high cholestrol, you name it.. I didn't care about my appearance, self-care, dressing up, looking presentable.. I didn't care about my weight, I weighed in at 315 when I started this journey.. I would lie, hide my addiction, display my behaviours, steal, had a horrible attitude towards people and did so many unexplainable things I can't even really explain right now due to embarrassment, guilt and not knowing "how" to deal with these things just yet.  I have lived life, thinking I was a horrible person.. And I know that as I work the steps, I have to go back and make amends with these people, and for the people that trigger me still, I at least have to make amends with myself.. I need to forgive myself, even if others can't forgive me.. I need to be honest, put it all out there for them - and then I need to release these things behind me so I can move forward.. As I work towards these steps, I get more and more nervous, scared and feeling lost and lonely.. Not lonely because I have no one in my life for support, but living with this disease feels like the most lonely place within sometimes.. I feel like I can't explain my thoughts, my behaviours or the way I feel.. I feel like I am constantly being watched, judged and misunderstood.. I feel like I also know that this loneliness is brought on by myself, and is because I find reasons to stay stuck in the disease still.. It's probably a matter of my 'stinkin' thinkin' and so here it is.. Everything out on the table.  My angers, and what I need to work through for the next while.

- I lastly, need to apologize.. I feel as though I am SO distant from my friends and family who DO love and support me these days.. I hope this blog has brought some understanding as to why I am not always available in the run of a day.. I know, I used to be more available for phonecalls, and emails and forums and the such..  I just feel like a marshmallow by the end of the day, and sometimes once I complete my daily things, deal with my high emotions, complete my work shift and spend time with KC & the children, exercise, and the basics (shower, housework, meals, laundry... ) it doesn't leave me a lot of time for anything else.. My days are full, and that's necessary for my well-being right now.. I am strong and willing, and have built my esteem high enough to know I am worth this fight everyday.. I have to put my priorities first, and those are my priorities in a nutshell.. I do my best to find that extra time.

SO for those of you who have known me a lifetime and see some major changes in me, thank you for sticking by my side.. Thank you for understanding that I've been sick for years, and please know that one day, I will probably approach you with a heart to heart explanation of why I did the things I did, why I put myself in such a predicament, and why I may have pushed you away or am distancing you today.. Please, don't automatically fear I am distancing you.. If you are wondering, please ask me and I will squash any worries you have.. There are certain people in my life, who could probably look back over the years and "know" within that they are being distanced for good reason.. For the majority of the people in my life, it's a matter of my lack of time..And needing to get myself where I need to be, just to have some ease in my days.. This will be a lifetime commitment for me, I will never heal, but I can develop a plan that will help me find some peace within, some ease in my days and build a better relationship with appropriate foods..

And, I am very proud of myself and how far I have come.. I continue to dream big, and chase those dreams.. I have some big news in the weeks to come, of things I am doing for myself that are HUGE steps in my 39 years.. And I have a long list of things I plan to achieve over the next while - because now I know I can.. Fabulous words to say, and proof that this journey is exactly where I need to be.. And I am always as available as I can be, when you need me.. Please approach me and know I will get back to you as soon as I can.. I love helping people, and I am so passionate about this stuff and inspiring others one day.. I've lived many years, scared to take that step and ask for help.. Whether about weight loss,  self-esteem, recovery, life improvements of any kind - come find me..

Love to you all - <3

Monday, 30 April 2012


On April 28, 2011, i wrote the words "i'm sick of how i feel, today it changes" ..

For the last couple of months, i have felt so terribly unmotivated where exercise & my recovery are concerned.  i stuck with my healthy eating, and exercised here and there, but certainly haven't been pushing myself the way i normally do.  i even had a few weeks where i felt so exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open.  i had started working in my workbook a couple of months ago, through Step One and got most of the way through it, and then felt i couldn't continue on and finish the last 5 questions of that step.. i put my book aside and didn't touch it at all..

One week ago, that 2011 calendar presented itself to me, and i seen the words written in.. "i'm sick of how i feel, today it changes."
All through that day, i picked up the calendar and looked at that square, and started thinking back to the day i wrote that ..  It was a highly emotional and hard day for me, i had been in a healthy weight loss challenge at work, yet i was binge eating all of that day and purged twice .. once at work and once at home that night.. i felt miserable, sluggish, unmotivated and full of anger at myself, my eating disorder and the food all over my house.. i went through my cupboards that night, and threw away junkfood that i swore i could be strong enough *not* to eat.. i dishsoaped everything before tossing it in the trash  to ensure i wasn't touching it, and then i sat in my  bedroom and cried for a good hour, telling myself off ... i would stand in the mirror and lift my shirt and stare at my badly bruised belly and then start pinching at it, repetitively and hard.. This was a common behavior of mine when i was mad at my body and my weakness.. If i couldn't control my eating (and i never could) i would abuse it it numerous ways.. That night, it was pinching and tugging at the belly i was unhappy with and calling myself names...

i am not big on wearing makeup, very occasionally do i.. But, i used my makeup for different reasons - to mark my  body.  Often, i would take my clothes off and draw all over my body, circle areas i hated, draw arrows to places that made me crazy, writing bad names across my skin to call  myself down, and i would stand in the mirror and cry... Often, i left these markings on my body beneath my clothes when i went to work that day, or errands to run.. It gave me a sense of satisfaction that i was acknowledging (even in public) that i had a disgusting body and i hated it .  At night, when i would shower i would rinse the markings off in tears, because it hurt to have to remove it all.. That night, that i wrote that on the calendar, i had fallen asleep with many words drawn out on my skin - and the word "disgusting" written across my bedroom mirror.

These are all part of the behaviors i carry with me everyday.. A year ago, i made the decision to finally seek help for a disease i have lived with for most of my life.. It started with bulimia as a young child and started to become something more through my teenage years.. As an adult today, i am a compulsive overeater, food & sugar addict and bulimic.. i think back to the way this all progressed, the reasons and the challenges i struggled through and it makes me that much more proud today to say that i have achieved all of these changes in this passed year.. A girl who not only struggled with addiction and an eating disorder, but a girl who struggled with a low self-esteem and depression.  Still very overwhelmed with guilt, i have a lot of things to work through.

Finding this calendar, felt very timely for me.  i believe i was meant to see it, in desperation not to have me fall back to old ways.. A relapse is certainly not something i need because i  have fought my way through this year to come as far as i have.. i could feel certain behaviors of mine surfacing again, (i  had many and plan on doing a blog entry in the near future about those behaviors)..This was the motivation i needed to get myself back in the game.  i feel very blessed to have found that calendar when i did and really grasp how far i have come, acknowledge that, pat myself on the back and recognize my strength and ability that i 'can' and will do this.. This is a fight for my life, my  health and my inner joy... In the workbook, the 5 questions i was procrastinating were in admitting that i have an incurable disease and that i can't handle life through self-will alone.. That my current methods of managing my life have not been successful and admitting that i needed to find a new approach on life.  i had to make an honest admission to myself of the reality of my condition and only that could save me from my destructive eating.

So, seeing the words in that calendar helped me climb over that bump in the road that had been blocking me from going any further.  i have been sitting stuck, unable to help myself because i needed to admit those things to myself.. Being honest with oneself, i've learned, is the hardest thing i've had to do in life.  i  have lived in denial for a very, very long time.. So i am at the point in my recovery now, where i admit i am a compulsive overeater who has no control on her life.. i, in fact, do things to set myself up and create a more chaotic environment, which is something that sets me up and keeps me stuck.  i dwell a lot on the past and live within my guilt, and have made not only my life miserable but those around me.  i have accepted the reality that this *is* an incurable disease and i am ready to change and move forward and that i cannot do this on my own.  This weekend i have done some really hard work, i am prioritizing my recovery (for the first time) and seriously using the tools and taking the steps needed..

i am flawed, i'm not perfect and i will have hard, challenging days..  i have a year of amazing things to hold on to, changes within and improvements on my life.  i am worth the hard work and i will keep at this and accept that this is a lifetime commitment, i will always have that inner struggle.. This weekend, i finished Step One and then went on to finish Step Two of my Twelve-Step Workbook of Overeaters Anonymous.  i am back in contact with my Sponsor, and remotivated to push myself further in all aspects of my healthy living again.. i feel i am finally back on track.. It's the little things that present themselves, grab your motivation where you can - we are all worth the time, effort and attention!

Thank You Buddha for having my back!

Monday, 5 March 2012


Something happened last week which I felt was *very* blogworthy, because it felt like a turning point on my journey.. It's a little bit silly sounding, but very much a high point in the work I have done this year.  The beginning of this journey really started four years ago, when I took a Self Esteem course which truly handed me my life back.. It didn't happen for me at once upon completing the course, however, I have found myself taking small steps towards taking my life back..This passed year has been a whirlwind of realizations and changes for me, all for the positive.  I admit, it gets very overwhelming at times.

One thing that I have struggled with for the majority of my life, since childhood, is body image and negative feelings towards how I look.. I am very hard on myself and it's far too easy to put myself down.. It's not something I can work on easily, however, it's something that has gotten better with time and as I take steps to better my life in various ways.. So when I have a moment that I am 'not' being hard on myself, (which seems like often lately!!) I celebrate it BIG because I know it's such a 'win' for me..  There are many things about my body I am not happy with still, but I realize today they are imperfections, and we all have them..  It no longer affects my life the way I have let it affect my life for all of these years, and I work daily on ways to feel better about myself.

Weight loss has been a big part of the success in that, however, after 91 lbs of weight loss (so far) I still find it hard to see & feel that weight lost.. When I look in the mirror, I feel like i am still looking at the 315 lb girl in that reflection.  I'm not sure when I will lose that, or if I even will.  So, it's important for me to celebrate the successes in all forms and this is one of those successes that made me smile big when I realized what I was doing..

My son has a full length mirror in his bedroom and I was in the laundry room grabbing some things to change into from the dryer, and so I stopped in his room and decided I would change there, since he wasn't in there..  I was bent down and pulling my pajama pants on and I just happened to turn around and catch sight of my bare behind in the mirror behind me.  At first, I was shocked because it was the first time I was truly seeing a size difference with me..I left the pants down at my ankles and I stood up straight, looking back over my shoulder and found myself admiring it.. I thought to myself, still some to lose but wow, look at that bottom of mine, I really 'am' losing... Rather than pull them up at that time, I would turn some and look again, bend over a bit and look again, turn to my side and look again... I was, for once in my life, thoroughly enjoying the reflection in the mirror and lapping up the compliments I was paying to myself.. Truly, I was loving what I was seeing for that moment... Finally, realized I must look a little ridiculous staring at my own  bottom in various positions and so I pulled up my pj bottoms with one last look and a huge smile on my face...

I came immediately to tell KC what I had just done, because anyone that knows me, knows that self admiration is something I just do not do, and this clearly was such a 'win' for me on this self-journey and I needed to share that with someone who would help me celebrate how big this felt to me.. Just as soon as I shared, I immediately decided to go to a different mirror and check it out again and make sure I would still see the same reflection.. Did I just turn around and look at it with pants on? Heck no - I tore those pants down as fast as I could and turned around and once again, admiring my bottom with a big cheesy smile on my face.  And the biggest part of how wonderful this is, is the words within, that self-judging thing I do, and that inner bully that resides, had nothing bad to say.. Such positive thoughts, compliments and truly just enjoying the moment.  Looking at myself in the mirror overall, I still see that girl prior to the weight loss.  So, to finally be able to see and feel a difference, and mostly that positive thinking and complimenting myself and really enjoying the moment - I knew this was something I needed to share & record to read back on.. Which is truly what having this blog is about for me, not only to share my story and possibly inspire others, but also to be able to look back on the things that really meant the most to me, big or small.. Celebrations or challenges..

Love yourself.  Be kind to yourself.  Be aware, look within & pay attention to yourself.  You are worthy.
I can honestly say each of those things about myself now and I still have a long way to go..
Keep building, take small steps when you are ready to and never stop believing in yourself.. It doesn't happen overnight , it takes a lot of self-work and honesty.

We are SO worth it.. Stay positive!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Acknowledging accomplishments ~

Abstinence day #: 6 !!

91 lbs is a lot of weight lost, and I've more to go.
When I started this journey, I weighed 315 lbs and now I weigh in at 223.
That is something worth celebrating, for sure..
I was going to hold off on pictures, but I think I will get some pictures for comparison in the next couple of days..

As I travel this journey, my self-esteem grows and I feel tremendous, seriously.. I know everything comes in steps and I have to work my ass off to achieve it.  That's fine because no matter how hard the work is, if it feels rewarding in the end then I am a happy girl & know it was very worth it..  What I struggle with though is looking in that mirror and seeing the girl that weighs 223..  I can focus on certain areas and know that I am changing, lots.. And I can accept compliments and love that other people see these changes in me, however, when do I get to look in the mirror and not see that 315 lb girl.. Is this something I will carry around with me for a lifetime? Working on this, daily.. I have hope & fight daily for ways to feel & see my beauty!

So each day, I do a few things which help me celebrate my accomplishments without guilt.. And to do that it has to be things that keep me level headed and feeling good..For instance, I practice gratitude daily - SO important to never lose sight of gratitude, whether on a journey or not, because life is so precious and beautiful and should be appreciated on a daily basis.  Paying it forward, is also very important to me, whether lending advice or picking someone up & dusting them off, or simply practicing a random act of kindness.. It all, in turn, brings a sense of positivity and my mindset and awareness changes, and it helps me feel better about me, the people that surround me and life in general.. And lastly, acknowledging my accomplishments.. When I have a list of accomplishments, it helps me to really see what I have achieved in this journey and reminds me to pat myself on the back, and that I am deserving of feeling this good because I have worked hard for it..

Today, I have decided to share my accomplishments (big & small) , as a means to motivate, or maybe even help someone celebrate their own successes with weight loss.. I know listing these accomplishments makes me feel so damn good and there are SO many things that people might not even realize I struggled with at 315 lbs, so no matter how small these accomplishments may seem to you, each and every one of them are huge wins for me..

So here are my accomplishments, in no particular order that I can think of up to date.. 

- weight loss, 91 lbs so far..
- being able to slow down & take my time to eat
- starting to now recognize when I am full, which is something I really struggle with as a binger.. 
- eating in a calm, quiet setting - mealtimes were always so chaotic and felt impossible to me..
- I am now able to run up the stairs from bottom to top, no holding onto rails to pull myself up anymore..
- I can cross my legs!!!! (and LOVE that I can) - I continually squeal about this one.. 
- I can now do pushups & situps, & increasing them as time goes on, what a great feeling..
- I can put my feet up on my chair underneath me or knees up in front of me on the chair..
- I have lost inches from my hips, thighs & arms since starting this journey - I need to remeasure for my updated measurements..
- my increased energy level, is through the roof.. i often offer to do the footwork because i 'can' when at one time i made excuses and sought ways out of getting up & moving ...
- an immense boost in self-esteem, self-confidence and self-love.. <3
- my self-bully (my inner critic) rarely shows herself, when at one time i couldn't shut her up...
- I am able to do things to take care of my well-being without being told to, but merely because I want to, and feel deserving of that.
- I always look out for my best interests now.
- I always seek new things that will help me on my journey..
- I follow through with things now, such as a Newcomer Orientation in December for Overeater's Anonymous, i attended & completed the course..
- I attended a family get together in December, first one in years & years, because I was isolating myself and pushed everyone away.
- welcoming friends & family back into my life, old friendships, & gaining new friendships.. Lots of time to make up for.. 
- I get out with friends, make plans and am the one to initiate making those plans often - & i keep them and getting my life back, finally..
- I not only make appointments now, but I keep them rather than make excuses and not show up.
- I now defend myself  (I know, this one surprises me too!)
- I can now compliment myself (& do so daily) - & accept compliments from others without finding a way to put myself down..
- pampering myself & taking care of myself, appreciating my beauty and loving the girl I am & feeling deserving of that.. 
- I got on a plane and travelled to Oregon in October - when most of my life, I wouldn't even leave my house to go anywhere..
- I approach people and say hello with a smile, rather than put my head down and hope they won't see me.. \
- I am now a pro-active parent, and have that feels amazing, because being a good mother is so important to me, & I've a lot of guilt to work through in terms of that..
- I haven't touched Diet Pepsi, potato chips or my binge foods since April of 2011, amazing!!
- I have just recently started counting my days of abstinence, though I've been abstinent a long while, I didn't feel deserving of that acknowledgement, until now!
- I can jog, not just walk, when at one time I had difficulty even walking.. 
- I started a running program yesterday, and am training for my first Marathon in August with some girls at the gym!
- I can now keep up with everyday chores, be organized & work on a less chaotic environment each and everyday..
- I can wear shirts with no sleeves, because of that self-confidence - even if I feel self conscious about my arms still.
- I can look at myself, naked and appreciate the skin I am in and the beautiful girl looking back at me & feel confidence naked, again. 
- finding my own motivation now daily, without struggle, & not having to depend on other's for motivation each & everytime..
- I can now look in the mirror, head to toe, when at one time I would only look and focus on one area that needed to be focused on .. 
- SMILING - all the time, when i greet people, when I talk, I love getting back that part of myself, I've missed her.
- opening up spiritually, finally,  meditation & finding a Spirituality that is for me.. 
- allowing myself peace of mind daily (taking "me" time) whether reading, meditation, doing something for myself , just because..
- finding forgiveness for others and being open-minded for change.. 
- accepting and owning up to my own wrong-doings, making amends and continuous, honest self-work..
- having a more positive mind & thought process - enjoying that the glass is not only half full, but brimming!
- being more mindful of all the beauty that surrounds me daily, with nature, people i love, & all of the good in this world.. 
- appreciating things, no matter how big or small .. 
- finally starting to get a handle on my finances now that i am not bingeing anymore, that feels amazing to say, let alone feel.
- more control over food when surrounded by the no-no foods (my binge foods).. 
- being able to share about my compulsive overeating & eating disorder so freely, publicly.. 
- no more isolating myself... 
- no more hiding to eat, & no more hiding foods to keep for myself..
- I attend daily meetings, for compulsive overeating with Overeater's Anonymous, both online and f2f (face to face) when possible..without fight!
- I am successfully distancing negative people from my life..
- paying it forward, inspiring & helping others & giving myself the recognition when I do.. 
- I push myself daily, no matter how hard and challenging it all seems, because I am determined & deserving.
- I challenge myself to try new things, almost daily now.. 
- no more swollen ankles !! & no more pain in my legs !!
- got myself off of high blood pressure medication & have a healthy blood pressure now, wow!
- no more breathing heavy when i walk normal now.. 
- difference in the way my clothes fit, wearing a size 20 (when I was a size 26, and size 20 is now loose on me!)
- I have fit into an extra large shirt for the first time in years.. 
- no more pinching at my tummy & bruising it, no more self-abusive behaviors, period.
- I very rarely set myself up anymore, when I would continuously set myself up and then enjoy watching myself downspiral.
- I have a Sponsor, that I work with daily..
- I have been trying new things (bellydancing, Zumba, pilates, running, getting out and doing fun things at home!)
- finished my Jillian workout DVD for the first time from beginning to end (Jan 26)
- letting go of my Diet Mentality 
- not obsessing the numbers as much (weight, calories  burned, etc when i would over obsess those and calculate all day everyday)
- no more bingeing, no more purging - while the thoughts are still there - i work daily to overcome that.. one step at a time.. 
- accepting I am deserving of being loved, loving relationships & am able to be present, honest & love with all my heart...
- no more manipulating or making excuses.. 

I continually add to my list and keep the paper nearby, so I can reflect on it and be proud of myself.. It also helps motivate me to keep going, I've so many more things I want to conquer, and I know I can do it.. If I could offer any advice to anyone wanting to lose weight, it would be this.. Seek every bit of positivity in your day and hang on to that, believe in yourself and it all happens in steps, baby steps even... It won't all happen overnight, so take it one step at a time, and celebrate your success, every single day..

Here are some things I do daily & had to change in order to make this happen.. 

- be honest with yourself, always .. 
- drink water, water, water.. Can't even stress that enough.. It's all I drink..
- I gave up the Sodapop, potato chips, chocolate, etc.. I, personally, can't eat in moderation (that's me being honest with myself).. 
- Eat lots of fresh foods.. I don't eat processed foods anymore - because I super watch my sodium intake as well.  Clean eating!
- I make healthy choices when eating out - look for menus online and familiarize yourself with the menus..
- Pre-plan !! I pre-plan my meals, my exercise routine & what time I am attending a meeting the day before, helps keep me accountable.. 
- At least 30 mins of exercise a day, works for me.. I aim for more, but on busy days (long work shifts) I fit in at least 30.. 
- Challenge yourself - try new things .. & learn something new everyday..
- Pay it forward - practice random acts of kindness.. 
- Do things for yourself - take 'you' time.. meditate, read, pamper yourself..
- Compliment yourself - practice gratitude & list your the positivity! 
- Healthy up your favorite recipes - no feeling deprived that way!
- distance negative people and negative situations - it does a world of good!
- learn to do things for yourself (like going to the gym or going for a walk).. don't depend on others..
- set small goals, big goals overwhelm me, so i aim for 10 lbs at a time or set exercise goals, etc..

Just remember, you are worth it, if it's what you want & need.. I am a firm believer in beauty comes in all shapes & sizes.. My healthy journey was for my  health & well-being , and because I wasn't happy in the body I was in, that was dangerous to my well-being.. My depression, the isolation, the disease and what bingeing and purging was doing to my health, my high blood pressure and my complete disconnect with the world... So I needed this for my own peace of mind - I see more & more each day, that I was beautiful even at 315 lbs and that I can look back now and realize it wasn't about my size, but about my disease and own inner happiness.. Making the changes I am making (for my health) is helping me lose weight.. I am working hard, daily, to ensure I don't get caught up in the weight loss and numbers, because this journey is about being healthy, finding happiness, building self-esteem and of course working on my Recovery.. The weight loss is an added plus to my journey, and one that I accept with gratitude.. I have no set goals, and am very much just enjoying the experience and the journey itself..

In recovery,
- sylvie

Saturday, 18 February 2012

~ History

Days of Abstinence: 1

First i'll say, it feels a little surreal counting my days of abstinence now.. It's something I have procrastinated for quite some time, mostly because I had an abstinence list the size of a book, and had figured everything from portion sizes and ways of preparation were counted in there as well..For instance, shake a little salt on my food, that would ruin my abstinence day..If I ate an extra spoonful or two of something, it was ruined too... Now, KC and I worked together to cut down my abstinence list, because I tried for a week panicking every time by myself.. It was a safety net for me to stay away from all foods that weren't healthy for me, but I've brought it down to my binge foods only... And now, I feel like I can count days of abstinence without setting myself up (which is exactly what I was doing)..Gave me a means of being hard on myself, which I love, of course.. So no more getting overwhelmed continually failing.  I think I got this now!

Thought I would share the history of my Compulsive Overeating, though these aren't ALL of the facts, they are some that led me up until today and give insight of a young girl through to today, and the challenges of my disease.. I do not blame the people in my life, I am merely listing what felt like challenges to me.. Much of the challenges I left out, because I'm struggling with my need for privacy, but I am sharing what I feel is okay to share.  I started the 12 Step Workbook today, and this was part of Question One..

- I began COE behaviours as a child, stealing food & hiding it, hiding to eat food even at home, feelings of envy over food children ate at school, going to friend's homes and taking food and hiding someplace to eat it so they didn't know.. my fave hiding places at home were behind the stove in the kitchen & in the doghouse early mornings with my dog.. I was very manipulative about food already at an early age, and that would only get worse over time.

- I was an emotional eater even as a child, food comforted my anger, sadness & frustration with all my different babysitters, my parent's breakup, my father having a new family & my being moved away from my father & friends when i was 11 years old.

- My 1st job at 16 yrs old in the fast food industry - sneaking food when people weren't looking, paying for food but serving myself extra size portions, spending my pays on junkfood binges even back then, making excuses constantly and eventually, losing my job....

- strict rules re: food in both parent's homes.. As to how much food could be eaten & making food last.  As a teen, i would gather food when no one was home and hide it in my room, so when people were home I could easily hide in my room and binge foods I shouldn't be.

- Stealing change from my mother's change jar each day to bring to school, equalling anywhere between 10-20 dollars, and buying all junkfood and restaurant foods, stuffing it all in a bag and finding someplace by myself to eat it all, with no one around until I got caught stealing.  Also stole 20 dollars when I was 9 from my babysitter, which I spent on a Michael Jackson book and junkfoods which I ate all at once..And an Uncle would give us 10-20 dollars when we would visit to go to the store, again all junkfoods and I would eat it, in a sitting..

- At family gatherings for holidays or parties - I would graze constantly around food and goodies and would sneak pocketfuls of food and hide to eat it in peace, feeding my anger, sad & frustrations ... I would hide usually in a washroom, or sneak off quietly into a dark bedroom and shut the door, just long enough to stuff everything in quickly..

- Purging as a child & as a teenager.. starving myself during school days because I didn't have the privacy to purge what I would eat, becoming obsessed with my weight and body image .

- Living on my own with a friend as a teenager, still in high school, didn't work and relied on my father's help for income to eat.  I would then overeat and leave us short for most of the time, and would resort to bingeing things like ketchup, pickles or pantry items to compensate for foods I usually binged on.  I would sneak in her room and steal her chocolate and candy to eat when she wasn't home. I would also deny having done so.

- Pregnant age of 20, super binged through my pregnancy, gaining 80 lbs. Binged & purged through to age of 22, my doctor confronted me on purging and it scared me that she could tell and knew.  I stopped purging, (but still doing so occasionally), but did continue to binge.. Purging was my control, without purging I feel like I've lost control and everything felt (and still feels) chaotic to me.  I began behaviours such as pinching at my stomache and bruising it all around, since I couldn't purge.. My last time doing that was in 2011.

- Age 23, second child, 69 lbs gain during pregnancy.. Eating 2-3 meals as one meal, continual junkfood binges, which carried through after birth..i left my ex husband and moved back to Saint John with nothing except the children, myself & our personal belongings starting from the ground up.. The bingeing increased through the years..Financial difficulties, bad relationships, and obsessive behaviours emerged more & i began isolating, pushing people out of my life..Fad diets, desperate attempts to quick weight loss.. Everything revolved around food and I started disconnecting from the outside world, hating my body.. spending bill money on binges I couldn't afford and what would leave to a downspiral path of destruction in every aspect of my life, affecting the lives of much more than myself.

- In 2008, I began purging again, being in complete isolation led me to believe it was okay & that I was getting my control back. Took a self esteem course, and thought I was taking steps to a better me when all along I was just circling in that same vicious circle... I was miserable in my weight, but the food was still my comfort.. The very last day of bingeing in  December 2010, my calorie intake was 12,487 calories.. I have that number written down in my book as a reminder and as a motivator that I was killing myself and I needed to change.

- In 2011, has been an up and down battle of conflicted feelings and confusion, overeating, behaviours and purging.

Today is February 18, 2012. This week I have an amended abstinence list, a Plan of Eating and am ready to start counting days of abstinence, today being day one.

Dose of Reality & an Intro..

While I have started my journey some time ago, and decided I wanted to get myself back on track,  I have pulled myself along for months & months, finding ways to push myself a bit further everyday and to put myself in a healthier place.  Successfully, I have lost 91 lbs to date, but that comes with many challenges, many hard days & many ups and downs.. I thought I knew full well I have no control over food.. When I am honest with myself, I procrastinated actually finding a sponsor and working the steps, because I think there are a lot of things I don't admit to myself just yet and that I am dishonest with myself about. Not fully accepting the fact that I am indeed powerless over food (Step One) is one of those things..Another is that i have truly believe i was working on curing myself of this disease, and a reality i have had to come to terms with today is that it's not a curable disease.. And it's where I need to begin, and why today, I feel like I am taking some major steps backwards.. But that is okay, because today is the day I begin my steps with my Sponsor and I know I will be taking a deep, hard look within for many days to come and so this is where my complete  honesty with myself begins.

To quote some lines within chapter one of the 12 Steps & 12 Traditions of Overeaters Anonymous:
"As long as we refuse to recognize that we have this debilitating and ultimately fatal disease, we are not motivated to get the daily treatment for it which brings about our recovery.  Denial of the truth leads to destruction.  Only an honest admission to ourselves of the reality of our condition can save us from our destructive eating.."

This is admitting a lack of control not only with food, but with my life in general.. What a hard realization this has been for me today.. I lack control in so many aspects of my addiction/eating disorder affects every part of me, as well as all of the people in my life in some way or another - no wonder I've felt so stuck in this.   It's hard to work things through this head of mine.. It is so hard to find ways to make peace with food, the thought of letting go overwhelms me, because now I am faced with all the different aspects of my life my disease affects & all of the people in my life it affects.. How does one come to terms with that?  Food has been my source of peace & calm for so many, many years now... How do I let go of my peace & calm and allow what feels like chaos back into my life again to work through them?.. The stuff I have stuffed down inside for so very long.. Chaos brings me anxiety, fears & makes me look at a very hard place within, where I have much anger & sadness from the past.. Over time, however, I have worked on ways to be a stronger me and am in a much more positive mindset to be able to take this on.. One year ago, it wouldn't have been possible to go where I need to go.  I have been procrastinating some things in fear of "going there", but today that changes.  I have my literature in hand, and will open it the moment I post this blog.  I have a support system around me that is incredible, and I can and will do this.. For my well-being, my health, my loved ones & mostly, for me.

I have decided to keep a blog to share  my challenges here from day one, because not only can someone benefit from knowing my daily struggles, obsessive behaviors & working through my issues & how I did this, but I can benefit from being able to look back and reflect, to see my progress or my stumbles and see the work I have done each and everyday.. I may have embarked on what could be the most difficult fight of my life & I owe it to myself to have a place where I can keep myself accountable by putting it all out there.. It's not easy having anyone read my struggles, in fact I am completely embarrassed and guilt-ridden confessing for all  to see.. But I am a firm believer that holding myself accountable and putting it here for all to see helps build me strength, and that knowledge is power.  I learn so much daily about my addiction/eating disorder and about myself & it brings me growth, much needed growth.. So I know that  today is day one of my REAL struggle in this, that this passed year I have been growing and working hard at getting myself to a place where I could really take on this fight... I crave change so much and I am ready to take this on.. Every emotion, every hard realization & every angering issue that arises from within... with complete honesty & every bit of strength I can find within me.  I will work on the guilt, the self-forgiveness, making amends... Whatever this journey requires of me, I am stumbles, lies to myself, trying to stuff things inside rather than deal with the feelings , because by habit for years and years, it's the safe thing to do.. But I will find new ways to challenge myself and do my very best to give this the fight of my life.. I want to feel deserving.. That is the one word I seek in all of this, the one thing I struggle daily to feel... "Deserving"..

My name is sylvie, compulsive overeater, food addict, sugar addict, bulimic... & I 'am' powerless over food. i will be working also on self esteem, balancing my life, amending relationships and self forgiveness. *breathes*
  Let the journey begin!