Sunday, 27 October 2013


Things I have learned since starting this journey of recovery back in March of 2011.

(1) - When I thought I had control, I didn't. In regards to food I do not have control, nor will ever have the strength or power. 
(2) - Without being present in my program of recovery, I am simply setting myself up for difficult days, challenging thoughts and poor, unhealthy choices.
(3) - Channelling the little girl within me brings me comfort, hope and happiness, because there was much comfort, simplicity and love for life in my very young years.
(4) - My grandparents on both sides of my family were and continue to be a source of love & light in my most difficult times.
(5) - My recovery is about keeping *my* side of the street clean.  Not my Partner's, my parents, my family or friends.  Not my neighbours, or co-workers.  Simply, me.
(6) - I have a need for personal space, 'me' time and solitude - Time I can collect my thoughts and make sense of the day's events and sort through it all.
(7) - I have boundaries.  I have big, self-protective & amazing boundaries.  I value my life, my thoughts the core of my being.  I need my boundaries respected.
(8) - I have feelings, and I have internalized them for a lifetime.  After forty years, I have a lot of inner turmoil, and can only rake through it one step at a time.
(9) - I, am. not. supergirl.  No matter what i say, no matter what I believe I can do, no matter what I try to do - I can't change the world, or anyone in it - only me - one step at a time.

My biggest lesson of all, which I learned today...
I have a consistent need for attention and have sought it in unhealthy ways and from unhealthy people.  I sought much needed nurturing and care, and have continually set myself up when I didn't receive that attention.  Today, I learned that I seek unhealthy attention from others and also fail to give myself necessary attention.  If I can't take care of myself then I lack ability to take care of others in a healthy fashion - and so for today I begin taking care of me.  Today I start giving myself attention and will not rely on others to do so for me.  I am not a victim, in fact I am a strong, capable, loving and caring human being with importance and worth in this world along with you all.  Giving myself the attention I need takes care of my being, my little girl, the growth and lessons I've learned over the years which has helped me to flourish into the amazing adult woman I am today. 

Today I am proud to be me.
Oh, and GO Packers! :)

Friday, 12 July 2013

Wow, progression!!!

I am beaming and bursting with hope for the first time in my entire life with regards to food issues and recovery.

First let me start by saying I am a RECOVERING compulsive overeater, binger, sugar addict and bulimic.
As most know I have a long history of food issues which started in childhood and has progressed in many, many ways over the years. I was excited to blog tonight to share the events of these last thirteen days of abstinence for me.  (almost fourteen)

Back in April of 2011 I embarked on a self-journey losing 114 lbs by August of 2012.  It is when I first came to terms with my addiction/eating disorder and started to work on my recovery.
In September of 2012, I started my first year of nursing school and lost my grip on everything I worked for in that last year. Between September up until today I have gained back 40 of the 114 lbs and blamed everything on starting school, lack of time, all the things wrong in life and excuses. My relapse was the fault of anything else except of course, ME.  I couldn't and wouldn't admit I was in relapse and once again using my drug of choice: FOOD.  

It has taken me thirteen days of abstinence to even come to the conclusions I have today, and feel some hope.  My character defects, behaviours and obsessing had put me back into isolation and must admit it felt harder coming out of tis relapse than it did to initially admit I had a problem back in 2011.  When isolating, it is from people, my emotions, my spirituality, my hobbies & love of life.  I pull away from everyone and everything and live within the most lonely, negative and miserable place to be within.  I self-bully, self-abuse and live within my anxieties & fears.

So, today I really wanted to blog about these last thirteen days of abstinence, as a reminder for myself and a sharing of what I have been through for not only my friends and family but for those who follow that are living within their disease .  Everyone, of course, is different.  My disease and triggers are not perfectly matched with anyone else's, nor is my recovery.  We do, however, have behaviours, plans and tools in common and the desire to stop compulsively overeating.  

Here is a breakdown of my 13 days of abstinence:

1/ Abstinence List - I was able to break it down and make it as accurate by being honest for the first time.  It has always been a struggle to admit what I really needed to abstain from.  I cut corners, made excuses and allowed myself the things I knew were a problem deep down by abstaining from other things which made it okay.

2/ Plan of Eating - I fully worked out my plan of eating, rules and my eating history with complete honesty.  Putting it altogether in point form and acknowledging my past relationship with food and how it progressed over the years has been eye opening.  Eating patterns, the foods I overate and the reasons for doing so will help me to eventually build a new set of healthy eating habits.   This plan of eating is the beginning of my freedom from compulsive overeating and will help separate the eating from my emotions and helps me to not have to make random, quick food decisions throughout the day.  

3/ Daily Tools - It has been a challenge to keep myself moving forward with incorporating the necessary tools into my day.  It started with daily meetings, sometimes TWO.  Attending the meetings gave me the strength to participate in the TRG loops (support groups and programs) some and reconnect.  I let go of the unnecessary loops so I could focus on the ones I needed right now. My first day of abstinence was June 29th, and very timely two new programs began on July first that require daily participation.  A Newcomer Orientation workshop as well as a program that guides me through working the twelve steps.  I have participated in both of these daily as well as a couple of very supportive loops, making frequent communication through the day for support. 

4/ Asking for help - This has been a struggle since day one for me.  I felt I had control, and made my recovery all about my weight loss, how many calories I was taking in, how much exercise I was doing and weighing myself often to report the weight loss.   It is NOT what food addiction and recovery can be about to be successful.  Any released lbs from working the program is a definite asset, however, my obsession with it was keeping me in control and unable to admit the powerlessness nor give me the ability to hand this over and ask for help.  Today, I can proudly say for the very first time in my life, that I am reaching out via the loops, OA meetings, my sponsor, my literature and support system I have in place.  

5/ Exercise - It is still important to get my daily exercise in, however, I will not be obsessing how many times I do the Gym in the run of a week, how long I need to walk to burn x amount of calories or anything of the sort.  I will get outside and get walking because it is healthy for not only my body, but my mind.  I will work on getting back into running because I have a pure love of how it makes me feel and how accomplishing it is and I will do weights, and challenges and anything that inspires me to move not for the numbers but because it feels good and i'm wanting good health.  I will not twist exercise into an unhealthy act - it is for the good of my health and the positive mind that comes along with it to take the best care of me.  I want to walk up  the stairs without feeling out of breath again, I want to not feel pains in my legs and feet and I want to feel more confident and work on the body image issues.

6/ Spirituality/Higher Power - This is a big one for me.  I spent the majority of my life not following any spirituality due to isolating and anger issues that stemmed from childhood.  The religion I grew up with was certainly not for me.  Upon joining OA, the word God was frequently used and caused me much discomfort.  I highly respect all people and their religion choices, the discomfort was not the word God or anyone's religious paths, but my past, family history and upbringing.  Buddhism became the spiritual path that fit me, because it is and has been my way of life.  For me, today, it is peace, serenity and nonviolence.  Buddha is within me and so kindness and humankind is my power greater than myself. Practicing a truthful life and awakening to the reality of the world, seeing things as they really are liberates me from suffering and confusion.  In explaining that, however, I can now see why working my program with spirituality was a problem for me.  In my disease I am not being honest, I am not always good to humankind.  I can be judgmental, selfish and filled with shame for the being I am when I am in the food.  Suddenly, I was not feeling worthy of my spiritual path nor my way of life.  Everything came to a crashing halt and I was no longer worthy of even my own kindness, nor anyone else's.  Until today, I did not share anything about my spiritual path - not with friends, family and not even my life partner KC (who also happens to be Buddhist).  It needed to be my chosen path, my walk and embracing what it means for me.  We have different  views, different passions in life and different spiritual awakenings and paths to follow.  Also, one more thing that came to light today for me.  When referring to my Higher Power and handing this disease over, when referring to the word God within the program - for me i turn these things over to nature.  My love of nature is something powerful and strong and much like Buddhism brings me inner peace and keeps me on the forward path.  Buddha is my guide in life, how I live and face the world, and of course within.. and nature is my release and setting it all free to the Universe.

7/ Step Work - I started working Step One this week with the principle of honesty and practicing it in all our affairs. Many eye opening moments, especially my endless list of character defects, behaviours in my disease and how it affects the people around me.  When I am being selfish I think these things only affect me and no one else cares, nor does it hurt anyone.  Au contraire.  I am ALSO facing the people who are not healthy for my well-being and know that I have to face those situations as well as my emotions and past in upcoming steps.  My plan is that each new thing I come to terms with, and each step I will blog about to share.  Not easy stuff to put out there, however I am passionate about the fact that when I started I felt alone and didn't know what to expect or who to turn to.  If this blog/facebook page can help ANYone (and it has helped many who follow and many who do so by messaging me privately) than I feel good about this as a service.  As a first year nursing student I am also passionate about my knowledge in addictions/eating disorders to help others in the future also. 

8/ Triggers - (food mentioned in this paragraph, if it's a trigger for you skip to #9 please) Wow, today is the very first day I have actually been able to nab my triggers.  I guess I've always *known* but it's amazing what honesty will bring to the surface for you when stuffing it all down usually.  One thing that does *not* trigger me is people mentioning food.  I have to be respectful in loops and meetings, however, because often the mention of foods are a trigger for others.  People mentioning or seeing it in print, does not bother me.  Nor does commercial ads or seeing pictures on facebook mostly.  In my food plan, I have developed a way of dealing with those types of cravings.  I work at a recipe to make something similar with safe, healthy portioned foods so that I am not feeling deprived.  One of my fave foods was pizza, for instance.. I now make one using pita bread and the healthy ingredients (vegetables and chicken) with some feta cheese sprinkled on top. Toast that in the oven and I find it tastier than eating the real deal.  So what DOES trigger me? Emotions for situations in my day can trigger me, visually seeing the food, smells definitely can be triggering for me, boredom can be a trigger for me because I am used to filling my time with food, eating food in front of the television or computer is a trigger for me because I eat mindlessly and endlessly and often my binges were here at this computer desk..Also, taking on other people's issues can be a trigger for me.  There is a healthy way and then an unhealthy way which usually depends on the person I am helping.  Some people tend to be very negative, soul-sucking and live on excuses, and those are the types who can trigger me.  I am sure I have many more triggers out there to identify, but for today I feel very happy that these ones came to light. 

Lastly - While relapsing was difficult, I believe I needed to hit absolute rock bottom to even appreciate what Overeaters Anonymous, my tools and the support system I have offers me.  It has helped me to open my eyes and see this disease for what it is worth, AND, to accept my powerlessness finally here with you all *today*.  My commitment to helping myself and reaching out proves that I now accept the necessity of all of these things combined for my health and well-being.  I don't want to be a statistic to this disease by losing my life.

A lot of big steps forward for me this week.
Celebrating 14 days of abstinence, that's two full successful weeks, once my head hits the pillow tonight! 
And I am so grateful for every single one of you, on and off this page, who share your challenges, fears and successes and who inspire me to do the same.
Gaining my life and health back one small step at a time. 

Much love, sylvie

Saturday, 29 June 2013


Expressing gratitude does a world of good for me, deep down I know this. I feel emotionless when I relapse. Food replaces all of the hard feelings - sadness, anger, frustration...As I begin day one, I start feeling overwhelmed with things I feel inside. I want to stuff everything back down again. I am scared of the things I feel inside and have a hard time understanding how to even deal with the things I have going on. At times I try to express myself and am riddled with guilt because I feel I am annoying people or using their valuable time. So gratitude helps me begin to feel valuable myself. To appreciate the things around me but to also appreciate that I deserve (finally) to work on these steps and to heal and forgive and make peace with myself. I am miserable and SO ready to finally make peace with myself more than anyone else in my life, because I feel that is what holds me back from making peace with anyone else, my lack of worth. If I took the time to practice gratitude daily as I am about to do below, I will hopefully open up to facing the world daily with a enormous gratitude in my mind, heart and soul and participate fully in my own recovery.

5 Things I am Grateful for Today: 

1. OA resources, the loops, the meetings, the literature, the sponsors and the willingness to openly share the positives, the struggles and everything in between.
It isn't easy to share details about such personal things and it helps me so much to listen as well as share my own.

2. I am grateful for no limits. There are no limits to how many times we can get up and try again. There are no limits to the ways we can help ourselves. There are no limits to healthier choices, ears who will listen, self-acceptance and new paths to follow in life. There are only limits to these things when we allow them.

3. I am grateful I am not inviting my self-bully into my day today. In my relapse starting back in September of last year, I have continually allowed my self-bully to humiliate me and knock my self-esteem further into the ground. While I know it will take time I am grateful to know that positive mindset is possible again and for today I will not bully myself. I need to believe I am worth more than that again.

4. I am grateful for knowledge. I am a compulsive eater/binger, food/sugar addict and bulimic. I have a lifetime of abusing my body with food, purging and self-bullying. I am grateful for the understanding of my disease so that I have opportunity to help myself especially after I have relapsed. I know the dangers of what I have been doing to myself and feel worthy enough to save myself. I want to save myself from further abuse and potentially death. That means I feel some self-worth - and for that I am very grateful today.

5. Lastly, I am grateful for the ability to step out of my protective shell today. While isolating is extremely hard, sad and a miserable place to be, it is also what feels safest and easiest. I push people away and live in a solo world of shame and sadness that I can't quite describe right now. For today, I am extremely grateful for the courage to step out of that comfort zone and ask for help. I may not be reaching to anyone specifically, and certainly don't feel ready for that - however, I am ready for helping myself and taking small steps toward my recovery.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Old tapes and a confession.

I have a lot of old tapes from my past which still can impact me to this day (if I let them).
I think this needs to be the first step to my moving forward again in this journey, and is something that has helped me stay stuck over the years.
I think back to my childhood, teenage years, early adulthood and there are so many instances of things I continue to dwell on and cause anger within.
Some are simple and some are not so simple.. All are hurtful.

Some things that impact me to this day from my childhood.
Turning on a television in the daytime, sitting on the sofa or taking a nap all meant I was lazy.
To this day, as a 40 year old woman, as I balance full-time school and work hours, there are days I feel like I am exhausted and crashing.
An hour nap could really refresh me, probably, and get me back into my studies.  Instead, I lay on the sofa or bed and get angry at myself for being so lazy.
Old tapes, they're a terrible thing to hang on to and believe in.

Restricted food, as a teenager led me to sneaking food and hiding it.  Hard times called for desperate measures, it's understood.
What isn't understood today, as I think back to this, is how things were said and how the words made me feel.  I became a nervous wreck about food and portions.
I couldn't wait to get out on my own so I could eat what I wanted, when I wanted with no one to tell me any different.  Meal times were frustrating and made me angry.
I get that it's a part of my disease, but many behaviours developed over the years due to an unhealthy stance on food, portioning and how things were handled.
My unhealthy food thoughts have grown much more since then, by my own accord.

I do not blame anyone in my past, present or future.  I know this is my disease, let that be known.
But what starts a 10-11 year old girl on binging and purging? I turned to abusing food and my body at a very young age. For almost 30 years of my life I have abused this body, inside and out.

And now, some confessions:
I have paid a hefty price for the binging and purging for so many years.
I will *not* look at these embarrassing, but as the reasons to be grateful for how far I have come today.
And this is a beginning process of self-forgiveness.

(1) I have a disease of food addiction which I struggle with daily and will for the rest of my life.
(2) I have lost almost all of my teeth due to the acid from my stomache when I've purged for so many years. They literally rotted and broke, and now I wear dentures. (full on top, partial on bottom)
(3) My hair has thinned a lot due to some deficiencies caused by doing this to myself. I have bald patches (which has improved a bit this last year) but will likely never get full like it once was. I often get embarrassed over this and have to do my hair a certain way all of the time.  I also have no bangs at all and they will never grow back.
(4) Distorted thinking, depression and anxiety.  It prevents me from doing so much and everyday is a battle within myself to move forward and try new things.
(5) Esophageal problems, stomache problems and possibly acid reflux all due to the purging for so many years as well.
(6) My skin.  It looks old and unkept, rough, tired and dried out.  I drink a lot of water, and pamper my skin lots. Nothing works anymore.
(7) My lack of concentration, obsessive compulsive disorder, control issues.. Not caused BY but very much related.
(8) Self-esteem, confidence and self-worth issues I may very well carry with me for a lifetime.  While I can't be rid of them, I do try and learn to handle them differently.
(9)  Muscle aches.  While I am unsure if this is an actual symptom, it's something I have heard was. My muscles ache far more than the activity I put them through.
(10) My inability to feel hunger, or when I am full.  Sometimes I feel like I might, but I don't know if I will ever feel these things again permanently.

I'm sure I could list many more.
The point of this post wasn't to out all of the things I feel guilty and ashamed about due to my 30 years of food issues.
The point of this post is to say the old tapes keep me stuck, many of which are my OWN old tapes, such as the confessions I've listed here today.
They are things I feel ashamed and embarrassed about, and that continue to hold me back.

Today, is about forgiveness and moving forward.
Breaking these old tapes in half and tossing them out of my head altogether.
Probably not as easy as that, however I believe this was the first step.

Feeling a little naked right now, and scared putting this out there. 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Food Plan & Abstinence: Truth.

Tuesday was a difficult food day.
Actually, let's be honest.  Food has been difficult since September of 2012.

I have come to terms with a few things since diving back into my recovery work.  
1 - I need to be more specific with my abstinence list and food plan.
2 - I have relapsed in terms of portion sizes and not acknowledging some problem foods and overdoing it with them.
3 - Sugar is a no-no, however carbs are a definite problem of mine.

It's been extremely important for me that I follow the Canada Food Guide as a means of eating healthy.  Along with that, using my tools and working daily in recovery.  If I am not actively working on my program daily, then I am setting myself up for hard days.  Being honest with myself today, regardless of how much I work on my program, I feel as though I am pushing myself down further and further rather than climbing up and stepping forward.

My hard truth: 
When I eat carbs, I crave them more.  My mind starts misbehaving.  My behaviours surface and I find myself pocketing crackers or sneaking slices of bread or spooning extra portions of pasta.  In the morning I usually start with a bowl of cereal as my first meal of the day carb.  I fill that small bowl to the very top with that cereal and call it one cup.  Is it truly? No. It wouldn't be quite 2 cups, but it's definitely more.  I eat my egg and a piece of fruit, and it's a perfectly balanced breakfast for me.  However, after consuming that breakfast I then find myself not even an hour later shuffling through cupboards or thinking of toasting bread.  Then, at morning snack I make a perfectly balanced snack of protein and fruit, but am sneaking carbs by again grabbing a handful of crackers or something because I can't stand "just" having fruit and protein.  Then, by lunch time, I am ready to eat but I am so overwhelmed by wanting to toast up 4-6 slices of bread with jam (NOT because I am hungry for all of that mind you), i just crave the carbs in abnormal amounts.

How does that make me feel? 
When I consume a normal helping of carbs, it triggers something in my mind to want more.  Not from hunger, but what feels like sheer greed.  I am substituting the carbs for the craving of sugar and foods I am abstinent from, and so carbs has become a really big problem for me.  I have gained over 30 lbs back since September because of my inability to control myself and inability to be honest with myself.  So now I am laying it all out, making myself accountable and reworking this food plan and abstinence list because I have to, and because I need this.  When I have consumed an abnormal amount of carbs, it leaves me feeling lethargic, sluggish, non-energetic and I can't even begin to express what my mental state goes through.  I get so hard on myself and my self-bully comes alive JUST as it does with overdosing on sugar. So in being honest with myself, all of these things tell me I need to back off of the carbs.

What is important to do? (in my case)
1 - I need to maintain a calorie count of 1200-1400 calories a day.
2 - With eliminating carbs, I am going to allow increased protein.
3 - I usually eat balanced with a carb/protein/fruit & vegetable for each meal, and a snack of protein & fruit/vegetable.
4 - Vegetables (not fruit) are considered a free food for me (unless it's a vegetable high in carbs)
5 - I will allow vegetables high in carbs, but in lower amounts. (no filling the plate half full with them)
6 - High carb vegetables (carrots, beets, peas, winter squashes(such as acorn and butternut), water chestnuts, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, plantains)
7 - There are three types of carbs that I do not crave more of, or crave other carbs from, as of yet anyway. Steel cut oatmeal, brown basmati rice & quinoa.
8 - If I feel it absolutely necessary to consume carbs, they are safe foods for me.

So yesterday was my first day, no carbs. I fared really well.  The cravings are still there and I have some food anger to work through, however, NOT putting the carbs in my mouth has given me my first truly successful day.  I used my tools, I have exercised and I am feeling far more positive mindwise than I have been since September of last year.

Honesty isn't easy.  But I feel like I am on the right path, after all;
Step One: We admitted we were powerless over food — that our lives had become unmanageable.

Friday, 1 March 2013


I have a long history with that word. I choose to call it history because the word victim is a part of my life that I no longer am identifying with. This blog today is a step in closing the chapter of my life I have been needing to close for .. well, a lifetime. There are so many aspects of the word victim that I am choosing to address today, and I am not aiming this at any people in particular because it is not about pointing fingers or placing blame. This is about my own self-worth, my uphill climb and finding that magical place within that I can base my every moment of every day appreciating the amazing blessings I have around me without bogging myself down with the unnecessary bullshit. (pardon my language). This blog is about my embracing the past and then rounding it all up into a big messy bundle and throwing it far behind me where I am no longer dwelling but instead taking big, fantabulus steps towards the rest of my amazing life. Why? Because I am choosing to make it that.

I am sure there are thousands of ways that people can identify with the word victim. These are the ways I have dealt with the word victim through my forty years, and this is the beginning of my own movement of putting an end to it all and claiming my life and true, inner happiness back. As many of you know, I have been on a journey since April 2011, although my journey truly started a day in 2008 after a self-esteem course which would lead me to making some small, positive decisions to better my own life. I believe that nothing happens without a lot of hard work and self-discipline, and many, many tears. My journey is far from over, in fact in my eyes it is only just the beginning. I am learning so much about myself; my quirks, my personality, things I want to try, my goals, beliefs and much, much more. But one thing I am learning more about myself today is that I have boundaries, I have expectations and standards of people around me and I have a lot more self-worth since back in 2008. It's been a slow uphill climb of accomplishments and small steps that have led me to blossom into this girl who not only shows her feelings and chooses her battles, but as the girl who is putting herself out there and taking her own life back.

So today, the word victim has been running through my head as something that has felt consistent through my lifetime. So there are some things I need to address, to no one specific (the people that have had a part in any of what I am about to say know their part and it's their own things to deal with, just as my own are to me). These things are coming to life today merely for my own parting ceremony; a celebration of letting go and shedding another piece of me that's been holding me back for so long. Closing unnecessary chapters in my life helps me grow and to revive the pieces within me I have buried within. These things have held me back, isolate me and eventually broke me down to the point i no longer believed in my own self.

Everyone deserves the right to believe in themselves.
Everyone deserves the chance to shine.

So here it goes, all or nothing - but these are my truths.

1/ Bullying - This one is first because I have dealt with bullying in Junior High School up until recently in many different forms. Many people deal with bullying, and it has to end.. Whether it is school mate, co-worker, family member, peer pressure from friends, a random stranger in passing - it is hard to see passed the ridicule, the hurt and the inner sadness or anger to take it for what it really is. I, personally, have spent a lifetime trying to fight for the attention of people who didn't have my well-being at heart. Self-esteem gets damaged and we should all be celebrating our unique, diverse and amazing selves because we all have purpose.. I am taking a stand today, to not only for myself but everyone who deals with bullying on any level. Be the shoulder that someone needs, be the friend when no one else is, and appreciate the unique traits in the people around you as well as your own.. Know that you count, you are worthy and you have purpose. This is one area of my life that I am putting behind me - and distancing many people in my life for my own well-being. The bullying, the negativity and abusive behaviors stop here because I am strong enough to say I won't allow people to have that power in my life, nor will I spend any time in my future dwelling.. From here on, it's about healing, moving forward and helping others.

2/ Self-Victimization - It's easy to get so lost within yourself that you can't even see a situation for what it really may be. I have spent a lot of my life playing victim for many reasons; the need for attention in the wrong places and from the wrong people, sometimes it was a way to get people to feel sorry for me, depression and isolating and finding reasons to stay in that empty, lonely, dark place within or simply because it's really all I ever knew. I am not proud of ever playing victim through life, and may have even hurt people in the past because of it. But today is about shaking it off, and stepping into the strong, positive and courageous being I am today and embracing the knowledge that I am no longer the girl I was. I am freeing myself and no longer bound to that negative spot within, the one I am ready to bury and not set myself up to go there anymore.. I am ready to work through the necessary means of leaving what weighs me down behind me. Today is about steps forward through self-discovery and much forgiveness.

3/ The last one, which I separated from number one due to it being a category all on it's own. Self-bullying. I am my own worst enemy. Nobody can be harder on me than I truly am with my own self. I don't give myself any breaks and I am so quick to knock myself down. Building my self-esteem will be something I am working on for the rest of my life, much like my recovery and my weight loss. Everyday I will seek ways to remind myself that I am someone worth celebrating, the same way I celebrate each of you everyday. Love for self hasn't been an easy road through addiction, eating disorders, bullying and life's paths I chose. I look back and I could easily pick myself apart for the wrong choices I made, the people I know I disappointed and the horrible things I've done to my body. There are many factors which helped break down my self-esteem, many of those factors being of my own doing, even. Today, I am choosing to be transparent - to allow you all to see the real me shine and mostly to allow myself to see that, to not hide and be invisible any longer. To reach for dreams, achieve my goals and to simply believe in myself, feel my worth and not bully someone I am learning to love. If I am passionate about putting a stop to bullying, then why do I deserve to bully myself.

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” - Buddha

So as I sign off this blog, I am feeling really good about these steps forward.
Steps to leaving it all behind, forgiveness, distancing where necessary. Self-love, self-esteem and self-worth; up-steps and consistently surrounding myself with positive things and positive people.. Pursuing my passions in putting myself out there to help make changes; to stop bullying and to raise awareness and to pay it all forward, every day.

Friday, 4 January 2013

Living in the Present -

"There may be life in the future, and there was certainly life in the past, but my footing is in the present. Today is where the past has it's meaning, and where the future is shaped.  Looking far forward, mapping out my life in the future, I waste the power of the present.  And lingering in the past, twisting it's circumstances and falsifying it's memory is an injustice to both past and present. I am thankful that my past has brought me to this present, where I am learning to use all my energy and spirit to live."
For Today, Overeater's Anonymous  - January 4th Meditation - Page 4.

This was so important for me to read today, and something that I must continue keep fresh in mind.  I need to learn to live in the present moment.  To not obsess the past that I cannot change and not worry about the future I have no control over. I spend an abnormal amount of time trying to control things in my life that I simply do not have any control over.  And then I get ridiculously hard on myself, of course.  I need to set realistic expectations of my day and learn acceptance, patience and self-respect.

What does reliving the past do for me, other than keep me stuck in a negative, sad mindset? Nothing.
What does trying to control the future do for me other than waste valuable and precious time? Nothing.

In fact, it prevents me from living each day.  I become unaware of my surroundings and I miss out on the wonderful people who surround me, and the countless ways I could be celebrating life each day. It's a means of isolating myself from the reality of today and truly makes me miserable within my own skin.  I find myself screaming horrendous things within and self-bullying - which is slowly chipping away the happiness from my soul.

Today is the day I take back my recovery.  I need to actively participate in my own well-being, because no one else can drop happiness off on my doorstep.  The longer I do this to myself, the more I lose my spirit.  I don't want to fall back into the pits of my past life because I am not that girl anymore.  I have grown and flourished into someone who craves a healthier mindset.  Someone who not only feels energetic and eats healthy, but someone who can for the first time love the skin she is in.

So what will I do, then? 
- I will pick up my OA meditation book and read the daily entry each day.
- I will actively read and participate when time allows in the Overeater's Anonymous online forums.
- I will attend an OA meeting every day (Monday nights  are face to face meetings & online meetings every other day)
- I will pick up my literature and read it often.  The big book, my 12x12, and Voices of Recovery book.
- I will actively share with you all the accomplishments, the learnings, the challenges and keep it real.
- I will work in my workbook as often as I possibly can.
- I will work  through all 12 steps, successfully, no matter how hard it is.
- I will keep close contact with my sponsor.
- I will stay true to my abstinent list and always portion, measure food and be mindful of  how I am feeling.
- I will use all of my tools daily, that are present to help me with my recovery.
- I will log off of this blog and take the first step into my recovery by reading chapter one of my 12x12.

Overall, I need to embrace what recovery does for me, when I am present emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.  I am deserving. 

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Words for 2013..

Words aren't always what they seem.  2012 has been a lot of words - accomplishments, goals, opportunities, forgiveness, friendships.
I could go on and on with all of the words, but something different within me today has helped me to recognize that words, are simply words.
While I have had a lot of fabulousness in 2012, nothing  has remained consistent.  It has been a rollercoaster ride of events starting back as far as April of 2011.
I have been very successful with each of those words, especially my accomplishments.

So what will be different about 2013?
My words! 
I have a new word. Deserving.  I fall when I convince myself that I am not deserving.  Simple little things can take my hope away from me, if I let it.  Other people may help me feel hopeless and not deserving, but only if I let them.  Today, I am stepping into my new mindset and zipping it up tight around me.  It will in turn bring me commitment, motivation, consistency, action, moving forward, self-esteem, strength and so much more.  The word deserving will help me push forward, face fears, take chances, embrace new and exciting adventures , and keep me consistently working on my health and recovery.  When I do not feel deserving, I become very hard on myself and allow very mean thoughts, bullying (by others as well as myself) and excuses, denial and disconnecting with the people who matter, my recovery as well as my spiritual guidance.

I am deserving, in fact we are all deserving of wonderful things.  But, self-acceptance, self-worth and self-love aren't always easy to embrace for ourselves as something we deserve.  As I look back through the years and stages of my 39 years, and reflect on the things that held me back, made me do things I am not proud of or that were factors in the difficult things I must work through starting today. I realize that deserving is not a word I have ever used through those years, nor felt within.  Today, I am not only accepting it but I am refocusing my plan with the knowledge that I 'am' very deserving of good health, good people, feeling happy in my skin, positive things that bring me joy and my recovery.

I want to ring in the new year with listing some big things I am very proud of for 2012, & what I will work on in 2013.  I don't believe in making New Year's Resolutions, they never work for me.  But I do believe in making lifestyle commitments which are something to focus on all 365 days of the year.  Tomorrow starts a brand new year, with brand new fresh starts, and so much to achieve.  We have it within us, if we feel it out from within and embrace the passion and make it happen.  Tomorrow is the first blank page of a brand new chapter, and I have so much that I am looking forward to.

So my top 5 accomplishments -
1 - College, I am currently studying to become a nurse, and I am loving every course, exam and clinical experience so far.  For years I have struggled with the idea of wanting to go back to school, but never have I been able to physically take that step and make it happen.  I am now making it happen while balancing work hours, family life, life in general.

2 - Inspiring, I have spent my entire life seeking approval and acceptance from other people, but now today I am not only seeking approval and acceptance from within my own self but I am inspiring others and coming up with ideas to make a difference, pay it forward all in remembering where I came from.  I never forget where I started and why I am here doing what I am today, and if I can make a difference in any one person's life or help them through their own issues which were much like my own, then I know that I am doing what I am meant to do in life.

3 - Isolating, it was difficult to break myself out of that comfortable and familiar mold where I have spent so many years of my life pushing myself away from people and hobbies that I love.  Walking back into my own life has brought me many touching reunions with people who not only care about my well-being and have worried deeply, but also that I love dearly.  There are some people, however, that are not in my corner no matter what they say, and though it is hard to accept this I have built much strength throughout this year that allows me to finally let go and keep these people at a healthy distance for my own self.  I am in self-protection mode and this happens when one discovers and feels their own worth.  I do find myself isolating at times still, however, I am finding ways everyday to break that mold more and more.  I am reclaiming my life back and enjoying every damn minute of it.

4 - Discovering, things about myself that I pushed away over the years.  Things I used to love, things I've wanted to learn, things I enjoy, getting to know other people, appreciation of nature.. The list goes on, truly and this year has been an amazing journey of discovering things I loved to do and things I want to learn in the future.  I have a long life of wonderful things to reclaim and experience, and so looking forward to it all.  The very fact I believe in myself and want to take chances shows the increase in my self-esteem and the inner work I have been doing.

5 - All of the little things that I am proud of that I can't possibly list them all.  Some examples - the ability to wear a sleeveless shirt in public, the ability to walk up a set of stairs without getting winded, running my first official 5k, every single bit of recovery work I have done this passed year, embracing spirituality, learning to love myself inside & out, making amends, finding forgiveness, distancing the negatives in my life, getting off of high blood-pressure medication, losing 114 lbs, fitting into clothes that are *not* a plus size and so, so much more.  The changes in me are countless and surfacing is the girl within who always struggled to show herself to the world, and that girl I no longer am.

Now, I have a list of things that I am determined will be accomplishments for 2013.  I don't like to call them New Year's Resolutions because often people say they are making a resolution and don't follow through (or at least that's how it was for me).  It's a life enhancing journey, one that will continue through 2013 with more things to work on and quite possibly for the rest of my life.  That thought doesn't scare me at all because I know my recovery and healthy lifestyle *is* a lifetime commitment.  Being a better me  will always tie in with those things because for me as I work on my recovery something changes within that makes me want to do better things for myself in all aspects of my life as well as the people I love around me.

Things I plan to work on & accomplish for 2013 -
01 - Graduating from this course & applying for the LPN course.
02 - Completing the recovery steps for Overeater's Anonymous.
03 - Running in at least 3 more events this year.
04 - To go for something I have been wanting to learn (such as kickboxing, belly dancing, a sign language or photography course)
05 - To take back up knitting and sewing, re-familiarize myself with it and get back into the hobbies I once loved.
06 - To go swimming in a lake or ocean, something I haven't done since childhood.
07 - To inspire, volunteer and help make a difference in various areas I am most passionate about.
08 - To work on more self-love, self-acceptance and growing more comfortable with not only the  body I am in, but the body I *was* in prior to losing weight, because I feel I am deserving of that self-acceptance and love after having lived almost my whole life hating my body  & me in general.
09 - To be more outgoing, to be a more present individual in people's lives, let people know when I care, that I worry and that I miss and love them.  To get to know people as I love making friendships and learning another's story.
10 - Work through emotions, share how I feel, use my voice.. In doing so, to also be open minded, judge less and accept differences. Learning to see things from a different spectrum not only opens my mind but brings warmth to my heart.
11 - When I make mistakes, learning to accept that they are learning experiences, they bring change, insight and inner  growth. They shape me into someone stronger and someone who will take chances..Being hard on myself is not an option for 2013 after all of the learning experiences of 2012.
12 - Clean eating.  Meditate often.  Stress less. Be active.
13 - Try dragon fruit, star fruit, ugli fruit, lemongrass, and all of the exotic fruits and vegetables I handle at the grocery store because they look different.  Also, to continue developing a healthy relationship with food, try new recipes, healthy up recipes and enjoy my kitchen experience much more in 2013.

Lastly, thank you to each of you for 2012.  Your support, encouragement and sharing with me have made this year truly a wonderful one for me.  You have all been by my side through some of my happiest moments as well as my downright challenging moments.  I am thankful for people who will share their own experiences with me, because it not only helps me get to know you better, but helps me get to know my own self as well.

Much to come in 2013, be on the lookout!