Sunday, December 29, 2013

2014 Thoughts, Plans, and Life Changes

Please see my 2013 recap post to see how I've done this year!

Now it's time for me to let you guys in on the many life changes coming my way in 2014, as well as describe more about my overall plans in regard to food, exercise, EDNOS recovery, and weight loss.

First of all, the life changing events!!!

For the first time in a very long while, the life altering events are positive.  :-)

I'm about to begin my final semester at The University of Memphis.  That's right, the first change is that I'm going to have a college degree finally.  I even am going to make that "before 30" cut off date that I strived for when I went back to school at the beginning of 2011.  YAY!!!

On May 10, 2014, I will have a bachelor's degree in political science.

After that?  Originally, many of you may remember that I planned to immediately go to law school.  That has changed.  I have decided to take some time off from school.  I am not 100% sure that law school is the right decision for me right now, so I figured that the best way to decide would to be to work as a paralegal for awhile.  So that is my plan, to secure a paralegal job in New York City.

The next big step after graduation is securing a job post-graduation.  The job hunt will begin in February, when I begin sending out my resumes.  Hopefully I will be able to secure a job before we move to the city, but if not I can work at a paralegal temp agency for awhile.  But I'm pretty confident that a good job is out there for me.  :-)

So next, Stacey and I are going to be moving to NYC, something that we've been planning to do for years.  Some time between graduation and our lease ending (end of July) we will be New Yorkers.  I'm very excited about that.

And those are just a few of the many changes coming to my life in 2014.  It has the potential to be a very good year.  A very stressful year full of changes, but very good.

Weight/Diet/Exercise plans for 2014?  I do plan to lose the grief weight.  I'm in the process of figuring out the "how" without going back to dieting or reverting back to any EDNOS behaviors.  The fact remains that I really want to get back to a healthier size for me.  And another factoid is that I'm currently not engaging in many healthy behaviors.

A post about my health quest (the "official" title of whatever I end up doing to lose the weight and get healthy) will be coming soon.  :-)

For now, I just want to say thanks to all of you who have been reading the blog for awhile, supporting me through this often difficult time.  And also say a quick "hello" to anyone here for the first time!  HI!!!
You are all appreciated and loved by me.  Thanks for being here.  If anyone needs to talk to me, please feel free to message me on my Facebook page or to email me at  I will answer you (so long as you aren't trying to sell me something).

Thursday, December 19, 2013

2013 Recap/Review...

What is there to say about my 2013?  I'm sure that many good things happened.  I'm sure that many bad things happened, too.  I'm mostly numb with depression at the moment, so it's tough to write about my life.  But I will try...  I will share some positive things and accomplishments that happened in 2013.

1) I had that internship.  From January through May, I lived in Nashville, working at the capital with state legislators.  It was a great experience in some ways.  One way is that I learned that I never want another roommate that is not Stacey, ever again.  My roommates were a special kind of Hell on Earth for me.  And my immediate superior at my internship was pretty evil, too.

However, the people who actually count loved me, including some good contacts for my future, such as a couple of House representatives and the House counsel, one of whom told me that I will always have a job there if I want it.  I don't want it, but I'm grateful for the offer!  And I'm thankful for this experience that will look amazing on my resume when I start sending it out in a couple of months.

2) I trained for and completed a half marathon.  Yep.  This happened.  All in 2013.  It seems surreal to think about it now, in retrospect.  I'm not sure at the moment where my future in running will lie, but I'm happy to have accomplished this  goal.

3) I stayed in school.  After my internship, which counted as school credit, I took two Spanish courses over summer "break" and then busted my hump to do well this fall semester.  I improved my GPA a bit from the crappy semester of fall 2012 (going back to school right after Mom died was simultaneously a big mistake and the greatest accomplishment of my life so far).  My GPA is still nowhere near as awesome as it was before Mom's death, but then again life has changed so much that it's hard to care too much about that.  And now I am five months away from graduating!

My plans for post-graduation have changed so much this year.  I will blog about that soon...

4) I studied my ass off and took the LSAT.  I did terribly.  But I tried my best, and I freaking did it.

5) I became a hospice volunteer.  It has really helped me to rediscover the giving part of myself that has been pretty foggy since Mom's death.

6) I went to my 10  year high school reunion. Holy crap, that was fun!  But I will never EVER drive from Memphis to Omaha again.

7) I turned 29 years old.  Though I didn't want to celebrate my birthday, Stacey got me a delicious cake.  And I ate it!

8) My weight problems took a back seat.  I lost weight, then gained weight, then decided to focus on EDNOS recovery rather than weight loss, and renamed my blog and Facebook page, then gained more weight, then finally decided that I want to lose weight again.

I'm ready to get rid of the grief weight and get back to where I'm comfortable, which is around 165 (technically 11 pounds overweight) and a size 14 to 16.  Right now I've gotten heavier than ever (I was 23 pounds heavier than my original start weight - I've lost 5 pounds in the last week by just watching what I eat a bit).

Here's my new "before" pictures:

I'm not beating myself up over this weight gain.  I'm 75 pounds heavier than I was before Mom died.
It's emotional weight.  I'm not mad at myself.  I'm compassionate with myself.  I love myself.  I love my body, even at this size.  I'm not going to use self-hate or body-hate as motivators to lose it, because I don't have those things anymore.

Instead I'm going to use my desire to be healthy, and use my love for myself to motivate me to get comfortable with my body again.  I'm not comfortable this big.  It has gotten in the way of a few aspects of my life, and I'm ready to be done with that.

I'm still focused on anti-dieting and EDNOS recovery, so this may be a slower process than the times that I strictly dieted, and I'm okay with that.  I'll post more about my weight loss plans (how I'm planning to lose it and keep it off) soon.  For now, just know that I'm not doing anything crazy.  Just focusing on eating healthier.

Anyway, 2013 was my first full motherless year.  It will forever be remembered that way for me.  I've been extremely depressed for the bulk of the year, and almost all of the year has been filled with self doubt, stress, fear, and sadness.

I'm very proud of myself for the things that I managed to accomplish during this trying time.  I am not giving up on myself.  I'm keeping on.  2013 was not the best year ever, but it could have been much worse.

2014 is going to be crazy!  Stay tuned for that post soon...

Sunday, November 24, 2013


I've been in a bit of a rut these days, as far as eating and exercise go.

My rut has been about two specific life situations.

The first is the TERRIBLE cold with flu-like symptoms that I got at the end of October.  I was so miserable physically for three weeks that I didn't even kind of exercise.  And it's been hard to get back into a routine, even though I've been nearly 100% for about a week now.

The second is school stress.  So many projects, assignments, exams, and papers all happening at once. This happens the last month of the semester every time, so it's no surprise.  But it is still stressful every time!

Stress has actually made me less hungry for once, which is an exciting change of events.  Not in a disordered eating way, just in the fact that I feel more normal now.  Apparently, "normal" eaters get less hungry during times of stress.  They literally forget to eat.  And that has happened to me a couple of times this week.

The only problem with my forgetting lunch is that by the time my growling stomach reminds me that it's 5 pm and I haven't eaten since 9, I overeat to compensate.  I become a crazed grazer, where nothing satisfies me until I'm super stuffed.

Something that I made this week.  It's inspiring me so much these days!
P.S. Any Buffy fans in the house?  ;-)
It's not a good thing.

And my choices have not been the healthiest.  All I crave at that starving point in my stressful day is pizza and chips, followed by chocolate.  It's kind of crazy...

Anyway...  I'm sick of this rut.

There are still three weeks left until the final final is final, and I refuse to continue down this path.

How am I going to get out of this rut?

As far as eating goes:

  • I need to remember to eat lunch.
  • I need to have some healthy after school snacks on hand, like cut-up fruits and veggies, and Wasa crackers with salsa and hummus.   Yogurt and cottage cheese also need to make a reappearance in my fridge.  
  • Pizza and chips can stick around too, because I'm an ex-dieter, but I think that if I remember to eat lunch, I will be less likely to crave only those things.  (Of course, if I'm wrong about that, then I will probably still be satisfied with less than an ENTIRE pizza and an ENTIRE bag of chips if I am not starving!)

Exercise...  I think that the only cure for getting out of this particular rut is to just do it.  My body loves movement, my heart craves cardio workouts, and my head always benefits from the stress-reducing endorphins.  I just need to remember this.  I also need to remember that it's okay to go for a run even if I  only have thirty minutes, or if I know that I won't be able to run again for several days.  No more "all or nothing" exercise routines!

The only good thing about this rut is that my body is finally CRAVING healthy food and exercise.  So I'm going to cook a healthy dinner tonight, and I finally went back to the gym yesterday for a treadmill 5K.

I'm officially one of those awesome people who brag
about their running on their car!  :-)
Have you ever been in a rut?  
How did YOU get out of it?

Thursday, November 21, 2013

a picture of my Grandma

This is a picture of my dad's parents, known by me, my brother, and my cousin Shannon as "Grandpa and Grandma New".

This is several years ago, when they got married.  I forget the exact year...  But my dad was born in 1960 and he was their second child, and all three of their kids were some time after this picture was taken, so I'm thinking 1953 or so.

Anyway, I have been told by pretty much everyone who sees pictures of Grandma that I look just like her.

And I agree for the most part.  Except for her thick nearly black hair and her ability to tan (probably because she was 1/8 Cherokee, and my Native American-ness just can't compare to hers), I look a lot like her.

My point is, I'm happy to look like Grandma New.  She is a beautiful woman.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Good bye, labels!

In my quest for complete EDNOS recovery, I decided that it was important to figure out exactly how much of my vegan, then vegetarian, then pescatarian eating was truly because that is how I want to eat, and how much of that is my wanting a label to define my eating besides "out of control".

There are many wonderful reasons to eat vegan, vegetarian, and pescatarian.  Seriously.  I've studied all three eating styles a lot, and they are all amazing in their own special ways.

I am stepping away from those labels.  I need to find out whether I ate those ways because it was truly right for me, or if I ate those ways to maintain a certain amount of control over my eating.  Did I go vegan to lose weight?  Did I stay vegetarian and then switch to pescatarian to stay "special"?  Do I really and truly want to eat like that?

These are the questions that I am working on answering.  For now, I have no label when it comes to my eating.  Unless you count "recovering from EDNOS" and "ex-dieter" as labels.

So what does this mean for my diet?

It means that I am experimenting with cooking and eating meat again.  For now, I'm still eating mostly vegetarian.  I still believe that a mostly plant-based diet is the healthiest way to eat for me, and conducive to giving me the ultimate fuel for my runs and other workouts.  Plus, I just really love to cook vegan meals!

And when I cook meat, I usually choose fish.  But I cooked and ate chicken for the first time in several years a couple of days ago.  Just to see if it felt right or wrong.  It was organic, free-range chicken from Whole Foods.  I plan to buy any meat that I cook from local farms and Whole Foods, just so that I'm not supporting factory farming, something that I am still very much against (that much I know for sure).

I have realized that all or nothing thinking can apply to this aspect of eating, too.  Just because I'm not vegetarian anymore doesn't mean that I have to eat meat every day or even every week.  It just means that I no longer avoid it at all costs.

So when will I be eating meat?  When I cook it myself, or when a loved one cooks it for me.  I will not be ordering it when out to eat, because I don't see the point in that.  I have learned to eat vegetarian or pescatarian while out to eat.

Mostly, I will still be cooking beans, tofu, vegetables, and fish.  But I will occasionally now cook chicken.  I'm not comfortable eating mammals, and I doubt that will change. And that's okay.

And no, I'm not going to grasp at the newly acceptable "flexitarian" label.  I am label-free for now.

(Be-tee-dubs, I am not saying that labels are wrong for everyone.  I understand all the different needs to label oneself and one's eating style.  I just don't think that they are healthy for ME at this point in my recovery.)  

Do you have a label for your eating style?  
Why or why not?  

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

looking inward

First, a brief report on The Color Run:  I had a terrible cold, but decided to race anyway!  It was Stacey's first official 5K, and he rocked it, finishing in 30 minutes.  The race course was only 2.83 miles, and I finished in 39.  I ran a lot of it, and really enjoyed myself.  The color didn't feel good in my sick lungs, though, so I stayed away from it as much as possible.  My team was called "Mopey Zoo Lion" and this was our second run together.  We all decorate our own T-Shirts with mopey lions, and here is the back of Stacey's:

Now on to today's topic, which is looking inward.

Knowing my body as well as I know it these days, I have noticed that I have gotten a little bit bigger lately.  My size 18's are a little snug, and my stomach is a bit pouchier than it was last month.  In several of the professional racing pictures of me, I noticed that my hips and thighs have gotten quite large again.

My hips don't lie!

I'm not freaking out and hopping back on the diet bandwagon.  Instead I am looking inward to figure out why I have been turning to food for reasons other than hunger so much lately.

Some of it is emotional eating.

Sadness: The "holidays" are here again, which is a sad reminder of how different life is without Mom.
Stress: This semester is stressful as I try to improve my GPA and study to retake the LSAT and prepare my law school applications.  My life is in transition right now, as I am so close to the next step in my life, which will include planning a wedding (not officially engaged, but Stacey and I have discussed getting married before law school) and planning a move, along with planning for law school (hopefully!).

So I know the triggers for my emotional eating, and I'm glad that I've come to know my body so well that I have caught this emotional eating before it got too out of hand.

So what am I going to do, now that I've noticed this unwelcome change in my body?

I'm going to stay away from the scale and the diet books.

I'm going to take care of myself as I recover from a terrible cold.

I'm going to browse the Intuitive Eating community forums.

I'm going to work on eating more vegetables and fruits to give my body the natural medicine it needs to get well.

I'm not going to weigh myself, google the best way to lose weight quickly, sign up for Weight Watchers for the 10,000th time, make a hardcore cardio exercise plan and force myself to stick to it NO MATTER WHAT, or feel badly about myself in any way.

I love myself, and that includes my body.  I even love myself and my body when I am heavier than I'd like to be.  How revolutionary!

I will get back to a more comfortable (for me) size as soon as I am supposed to.  There is no rush.  I will be an intuitive eater who does not eat her emotions one day.

Today I have learned that I have made progress towards that goal, by simply being in tune with my body more than I used to be.  As I said in an earlier post, I am no longer avoiding mirrors or posing for full body pictures.  I am no longer scared of my body, nor do I  hate it.  This is progress.  So I'm proud.

I'm not blogging about this to admit to a failure, and to hang my head in shame at having gained weight, to give a report on how I'm going to fix it.  No siree.  That is not what this blog is about anymore.  It's about getting healthy and happy.

I am blogging about this to share an interesting part of this recovery journey with you all.

10/30/2013 - feeling encouraged!
(and rocking my half marathon tee!)

Friday, October 25, 2013

4 Bridges Half Marathon recap (subtitle: I DID IT!!!!)

Okay, so as those of you who check in on my Facebook page already know, I actually completed the half marathon that I have been planning to do since January!  What a relief.  There were some moments near the race day that I seriously thought to myself "Who am I kidding?", but I persevered.

And yes, I walked some.  Okay, I walked more than I would have liked.  But I freakin' did it.

I am a half marathoner!!!  
Hear me roar!!!

This is going to be a long recap of the entire race experience, so go grab a beverage and make yourself comfortable.

First of all, the day before the race my cheerleaders and I had to travel from Memphis to Chattanooga, because I had the crazy idea that my first half should be somewhere pretty.  Chattanooga is really pretty!  So much scenery, including mountains!

I brought my cheerleaders, Stacey and his daughter LaPrecious with me.  After we checked into our hotel, we went to the race site (Coolidge Park, Chattanooga TN) to pick up my packet.

I was super excited to see my name on my bib!  What a cool surprise.  It made this race seem so much more official than the 5Ks that I've done.

After we picked up my packet, which included a really cool race shirt, we walked around the park and found where the start line would be.  We also did some general site seeing.  Chattanooga is gorgeous!

I was concerned about the weather for the race.  The forecast said that it was going to stay between 40 and 60 degrees, which to me seems pretty cold.  I had an awesome race outfit, but was debating switching from my long sleeved running shirt to the Tshirt provided in my packet.

laid out the night before!
The night before the race I could barely sleep, I was so nervous.  I had done a 13.1 miler a week prior on my own which didn't go so well.  I was desperately hoping that the excitement of race day would help me run more than I did on my own attempt.

the course

The race started at 7 a.m., so I decided to eat my breakfast at 5:30 to give myself time to digest before the run.

I chose to have a plain bagel and peanut butter for my breakfast, as recommended for me from some marathoners as being the "perfect" race day breakfast.  Something about the carbs, protein, and fat combination, along with it being pretty easy on the stomach.

This was pure fuel eating for me, as I was not hungry at all at 5:30 a.m.  It was the first time in my life that I had actually eaten just for fuel and it was interesting to say the least!  I didn't like eating when not hungry, but I understood the need to fuel before a race.

I chose to go with the long-sleeve running shirt instead of the T-shirt, because it was FREEZING.  Here I am before the race, trying to get jazzed.

I tried to find a pacer that would work for me.  I was aiming to finish the half in three hours.  I couldn't find anyone before the race started, so I just stood in the middle of the crowd.

When the race started, I set my Garmin as I crossed the start line.  I was going to wait  a little while until I started my audio book, because I wanted to just enjoy the crowd for a bit.  And it was exciting!  All of the running energy surrounding me made me feel like a strong warrior!

A little after the 1 mile marker, I looked at my Garmin, and was upset to find that it had stopped working.  I tried to reset it, and it still didn't work.  It had charged all night long, so it was definitely malfunctioning.  I was sad about it, but I kept on, hoping that the mile markers would actually be shown every mile (they mostly were).

There were aid stations about every mile, which was nice.  Some had only water, some had powerade and powergels, and every one starting at mile 8 also had snack options.

Around  mile 3, I found a pacer for a 6 hour full marathon.  (The half marathon and the full marathon were running at the same time).  I did some quick math and figured that if I stuck by this guy I would maybe hit my 3 hour goal.  I told the guy my goal, and he pointed to the guy next to him and said that he was going to do the half in 3.  I decided to stick with that guy for the rest of the race.

I stuck with him until mile 7 or so, and then I lost him at a hill.  It was a very hilly course!

4 Bridges Half Marathon Elevation Profile!!!  Yikes.
At that point, I was feeling pretty worn out, but excited that the race was more than halfway done.  I looked at my watch and saw that I was halfway done and it was 8:40, so I was almost on schedule for a three hour half.

I happily accepted some apple slices at the mile 8 aid station, along with a bit of water.  I walked that mile 8 the entire way, and totally lost sight of my pacer guy.  At mile 9, I was rejuvenated with Powerade and ran all the way to 10, then ran/walked the rest of the race.

There was a giant germ-infested bowl of Reese's pieces at the next aid station, and I grossly grabbed a few.  The sugar rush really helped me get through the final 5K!

At mile 11, my lower back suddenly ached terribly, and I had to stop and stretch a bit.  It was a sharp pain, but I stretched and then kept on going, and it went away.

At mile 12 I felt like I was about the die, but was so thrilled that it was almost over.  I saw that it was ten minutes past 3 hours at that point, and I was a little let down to have not met my goal, but still excited to be almost done.

The final mile I switched from my audio book ("Not  Young, Still Restless" by Jeanne Cooper - AMAZING memoir!) to my Jock Jams Pandora station.  I wanted to be PUMPED at the finish line!

Finally, the finish line was so close!  The race had the one feature that I always love to see at races: The last stretch was past a corner!  This made it possible for all racers to run the last stretch and to look like maybe they had been running the entire time.  I love it.  :-)

The final tenth mile stretch was exhilarating.  The crowd was great!

And when I crossed the line, I saw that my time was 3:23.  (Later, the official results actually said that my finish time was 3:18).

Someone placed a medal around my neck, someone else handed me an official water bottle filled with ice cold water, and someone else handed me a bag of snacks.

I took out my headphones and searched for my team.

Finally, they found me.

I was so proud of myself.  I was a half marathoner!  I had accomplished this, for real.  I felt the spirit of Mom with me the entire time.

I only realized after I had accomplished this that this was the very first thing that I had done completely without Mom.  Mom had never known me as a runner, though she knew that I dreamed of being one. This was all accomplished in a world without Mom in it.  It was the first goal that I had made, seen through, and accomplished without Mom.  It was a very healing experience.  Mom would be so proud of me.

I placed first in the division of
women born on October 7, 1984
with blonde hair and green eyes!
Anyway, after the race my legs felt like noodles.   Stacey and Precious took me to Chillis for a post-race chow down.

Sitting never felt as good as it did after the half marathon.

Injuries:  blister on my right heel, blister on my left pinkie toe, and sores all around the bottom of my sports bra.  Also, my left heel hurt so badly whenever I put pressure on it that I suspect that I may have plantar fasciitis. No knee pain thanks to the braces, and no chafing thanks to this guy:

cheaper version of Body Glide
($5 at Wal Mart)
I'm thrilled that this race is behind me.  I am planning to do more training soon, but I had to take some time off because I came back from Chattanooga with a very bad cold with flu-like symptoms.

There is a 5K tomorrow that both Stacey and I are doing, even though neither of us are 100%.  Still looking forward to it, though.  The Color Run should be a blast, and hopefully really easy compared to a half marathon.  ;-)

I'll share more about my upcoming training plans on a future blog post.  I hope that you enjoyed reading all about  my first half marathon!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some possibly helpful epiphanies...

The last few weeks I have had several little epiphanies about my EDNOS/Diet Addiction Recovery Plan.

I thought that I would share some of those first, and then end this post with a vent about how scared and excited I am for this weekend's half marathon.

Okay, so here are some of the epiphanies, in no special order:

1) In my dieting days, I always thought "Exercise more to eat more!" and I'm realizing exactly how backwards I had it.  That approach motivated me to exercise using food as a reward.  For me, that did not help me gain a healthy relationship with either food or exercise.

the ole' "twinkie on a plunger" trick...

 I realized recently that I've stopped thinking that way since stopping tracking those things.

Now I exercise because I want to, not to earn food rewards.  Also, when training for a race, sometimes the opposite of that rule is true, and I need to "Eat more to exercise more!"  That isn't the new rule, because if I made that a rule then this would be too diet-y, but it definitely has been a pattern, and helpful.  For example, if I try to run 10 miles at 2 in the afternoon when my relatively small breakfast was at 9 in the morning, for example, I'm going to crash and burn around mile 3.

It improves my exercise greatly when I eat more.  Of course, it improves even more when I eat more healthy foods, but my performance is improved with ANY food, even if that food is a leftover slice of pizza and a poptart.  The point here is that I'm finally understanding that age old adage about how food is fuel.

Any fuel will work, of course premium is best, but energy is energy.

2) I was hanging out with my 11 year old cousin, and he lied about having already ate dinner so that he could continue playing video games with his friends.

I'm not condoning the lie, but just to imagine a life where food was so unimportant that I would rather play with my friends than eat dinner was liberating.  I used to see eating that way, too.  Sure I had favorite foods, and enjoyed eating sometimes, but eating was not my top priority when I was a kid.  It didn't even make the top ten list.

Sometimes I need to remember to listen to my inner child.  This is especially true for me when it comes to recovery, because that was the only time in my life when I didn't have a messed up relationship with food.  My inner child can remind me that there are so many things in my life that are more important than food.

(Of course, obviously food and eating are very important things, but I'm sick of focusing on them so much!)

Hmmm...  okay, I guess that is only two.  I know that there is a third, but I can't remember it for the life of me.  So, I will go on to the second part of this post.

I'm so freaking excited and terrified about the half marathon that is happening in three days!!!!!!!

I became a runner in January.  I had noble intentions to be able to run most of this half marathon.  At this point, however...  I'm running a mile at a time.  I take a walk break every mile.  I'm cool with this for my first half.

My new running mantra:  Finishing is winning.

I'm super excited for the beginning of the race.  I imagine that the crowd will be exciting, and Chattanooga looks really pretty in pictures.  My first time there, and I chose to go running on  their bridges.  :-)

Please send me strength on Sunday morning!  I can't believe that the half is finally here.

the medal that I'm going to get!!!
So I'm excited but scared.  I know that I can do this, but I also know that it won't be easy.  I'm mostly looking forward to it being over!  That finish line is going to look GOOD.

I have a new audio book that I plan to listen to during the race.  I love listening to music while I run, but lately I've found that when I'm going a long distance, I'd rather listen to podcasts or audio books.

I need new shoes, but I have been warned to not get anything new right before a race, so I will keep these guys around for a bit longer.  It's amazing how quickly shoes lose their support when you run a lot...

Anyway, my next post will be after the race, so I will be a new woman.  Seriously, I do expect to be a new person after this race is over.  What an accomplishment!  I am proud of myself for signing up.  I can't imagine how proud I will be when I finish.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Camp for Good Grief 5K

First of all, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!  YAY for being born 29 years ago!  Now to the actual point of this entry:

Yesterday I ran another 5K!  It was a very special race, too.  The folks at Camp Good Grief are the same folks who run the Center for Good Grief, which is where I go for grief counseling.  It's a wonderful organization, and I fully intend to be a donor to them some day.  The work that they do is important.

Anyway, this was a great run for me!  The course itself was very hilly, so I took quite a few walk breaks, but I still managed to beat my last official 5K time according to my Garmin.  Yes, that's right, I have a Garmin now, thanks to my wonderful boyfriend and my birthday.  :-)


I'm hopeful that this new gadget will inspire me to run outdoors more the next couple of weeks...

The run was special for many reasons.  Everyone running had lost someone special to them.  I was literally surrounded by people who understand what I'm going through.  It was magical.  It was wonderful to see  how not alone I am, and also it was such strong symbolism for what all of us who lose someone have to do every day:  Keep going.

Each bib had a spot for you to write the name of who you are running in memory of.


Like I said, a very special race.

Plus, Stacey took this extremely flattering shot of me, pre-race.


And, Stacey even decided to (illegally!) run the 5K himself.  Here he is, about to cross the finish line, sans bib.

I'm so proud of him!  It was his first 5K.  His first official one will be in a couple of weeks at The Color Run!!!  Now he knows that he can do it.  :-)

I placed #245

So the good news is that I ran a 5K, and I actually did run the majority of it.  The bad news is that I cannot imagine doing a 20.5K (a.k.a "half marathon") in just a couple of weeks...

I think that I will have to do a couple of short runs this week, one half marathon attempt next weekend, a couple of short runs next week, and....  Then again, I don't want to overtrain.

Anyway, Stacey is about to take me out to brunch for my birthday, so I have to go!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Three Steps towards recovery...

Remember the first two steps of my EDNOS/diet addiction recovery plan?  They were No More Guilt and Total Body Acceptance.  (Please check out the links for the posts regarding these two steps, if you missed them!)

I'm happy to say that I'm doing fantastic with both of these things now.  They are actually just my new normal at this point.  I (almost) never feel guilty about food or exercise decisions, and I (almost) always love and appreciate my body exactly as it is.  I say "almost" because I'm not perfect yet, but seriously it's rare when I feel food/exercise guilt or have negative self-talk about my body.

What progress that is for me!  When I wrote those posts, I was still engaging in both of those behaviors all of the time.  Practically every time I made a food or exercise decision, I would regret it, and beat myself up over it.  Every time I looked in the mirror at my body, I cringed, and dreamed of a day when my body would be smaller and therefore better.

I'm  super happy to say that this is no longer the case.

It really did just take practice to master these two steps.  

For "No More Guilt", just a constant reminder whenever I started to feel guilty about food or exercise to step back and remember that those decisions are MORALLY NEUTRAL and that they should elicit NO GUILT and to in fact feel guilt about those things is DISORDERED THINKING

 Eventually, I believed those things, and now I don't assign moral values to food or exercise.  Food is food, exercise is exercise, and no amounts or types of either define me as a person.  Really, they don't!  I'm so much happier without that constant guilt hanging over my head.

Some random self-love at Walmart!

For "Total Body Acceptance" I just started to love my body more.  In order to do that, I spent more time with it.  I did things like take baths without bubbles, walk around the house naked sometimes, pamper my body by always keeping it clean and moisturized, and being in more full body pictures.  I stopped avoiding mirrors and cameras.  I really learned my body.  After spending years avoiding body acceptance, this has been extremely enlightening.  

I also bought plenty of new clothes to fit my body.  Cute stuff from my new favorite clothing store: Torrid.  (sidenote: If you are a plus size woman who does not like her body and has refused to believe in the possiblity of cute plus size clothes, please do yourself a favor and check our your local Torrid!  I hope that you have one.  I adore mine.)  Cute clothes that fit my body really helped me in this step.

Just stopping avoiding the reality of my body's appearance and feel has made me love it.  Seriously, I used to be disgusted with my body when it was this size.  Disgusted.  Like, I would cry when I thought about it, and get angry when I saw pictures of it.  It was really messed up, how much hate I had towards my plus-size body.  Really.  Messed. Up.

I accept my body now.  And it feels great!

Now, all that being said...  Even though I'm no longer guilty or body-hating, I still recognize the need to change my eating habits and to lose some excess weight.  But these needs do not need to be met with guilt or body-hate.  Really, they don't!  Those two things have NEVER helped me to eat healthier, exercise more, or lose weight for the long term.  So I gave them up, and I won't be getting them back.  

The third step in my recovery is Intuitive Eating.  And I already told you guys a couple of weeks ago that I'm working on it again, so step 3 is on its way.  This third step will be broken down into several tiny steps.  So let's say that my EDNOS/Diet Addiction Recovery Plan is an outline, it would look like this:

I) No More Guilt.
II) Total Body Acceptance.
III) Intuitive Eating
        a) Eat only when hungry
        b) Stop eating when satisfied
               i) Stop eating when full
I'm at IIIai right now.  It's always been very difficult for me to stop eating when satisfied, so for now I'm going to do baby steps and stop eating when full.  To me, these are two different things. Once I'm "full", I know that I've gone past "satisfied" a bit.  But it's an easier sensation to recognize.  So I will start there. 

My next entry will be about the half marathon training!  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Let's try this again!

By "this", I mean intuitive eating.  I'm ready to give it another go.

The difference this time is that I am not going to be strict about it, and also that I am officially using it as a technique to get beyond my EDNOS.

I have always known that the day would come when I would need to go back to intuitive eating.

Since I have gone back and forth so many times, and shared pretty much every experience with my eating behaviors right here on this blog, I'm not too embarassed to let you all in on my return to IE.

I have tried and failed at Intuitive Eating several times.  Why have I failed?  Hmmm.  For many reasons, but I'm going to talk about the biggest reason for now.

I was looking at IE as another diet plan.  The "Eat When I'm Hungry, Stop Eating When I'm Satisfied Diet".  When I got sick of doing those things, or when I wasn't losing weight (or even when I was gaining it!), I would either give up on the IE "Diet" completely and lose myself in the world of binge eating again, or I would go back to tracking regularly so that I could eat until stuffed so long as I tracked it, and could still lose weight if I stayed under a specific calories or Points number.

Intuitive Eating should not be looked at in this way.  It is not a diet.  It is not a "lifestyle change" (which is really another word for diet in my opinion).  It is just listening to my body.  Giving it what it wants: no more, no less.  It is asking myself these questions before I eat:  "Am I hungry?" and "Is this what I want?" and giving myself  unconditional permission to eat when the answer to those two questions is "Yes!".  And of course, asking myself those same questions every few bites in order to figure out when to stop eating.

But even that ONE rule is enough to send me spiraling into a diet mentality sometimes.  

Like "Fuck you, Intuitive Eating.  No, I'm not hungry, and no this is not what I really want, but it's here and I want it, so I'm going to fucking eat it.  Stupid IE, making me only eat when I'm hungry and only eat what I really want, and then WTF making me have to stop every few bites and ask myself those same questions again?! Ridiculous."

Because I know this about myself and my past attempts at Intuitive Eating, I'm going to be gentle with myself regarding this rule.  I am going to think of it as a  healthy guideline, not a do-or-die absolute must RULE.

And I'm going to assume that if I practice this skill for long enough, eventually I won't have to be all "Okay, Self.  Are you still hungry?  No?  Okay then, pack it up until you're hungry again."  Eventually it will come naturally.  And that's when I will have fully recovered from my weirdo dieting behaviors once and for all.  But this will be a process.

There will be times when I binge.  There will be days when I wake up after a night of binge eating when I decide to track on My Fitness Pal for the week, the day, or even just for breakfast.  There will be times when my pants feel tight, and times when my pants feel loose.  As long as I can accept these things, then I truly believe that I will be okay with continuing on the path of becoming an intuitive eater who is recovered from EDNOS.

It may take years.  I can accept that.  I'm done with quick fixes.  All of the quick fixes that I have tried have exactly one thing in common with each other:  They didn't work long term.

Meanwhile, I still have many other way more important things going on.  One of which I have to get back to right now!  Time for class.  :-)

I hope that my random midday rambling about Intuitive Eating made sense to you guys.

Have you ever tried intuitive eating?  Why or why not?  
Did you like it?  
Are you still an intuitive eater?  
Please let me know in the comments, or on my FB page. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some thoughts...

Since losing my mom almost 15 months ago, I have gained 59 pounds.

A lot of it is what I call "grief weight", because I gained 40 pounds in about 2 months immediately following the sudden death, with a combination of overeating and sitting around crying... and trying to connect with Mom somehow by eating all of her favorite junk foods.

But the rest of it?  I have basically been yo-yo dieting this entire time.  Going from one idea to another, trying to get this weight off.  Even since I've committed to leaving dieting behind, I have still been obsessed with losing this weight, or trying to at least not get any bigger.

I have dieted for the last time.  Mom wouldn't want me to diet anymore.  She also wouldn't want me to obsess over my size, my eating, or my exercise.  And neither do I.

It's time to leave dieting behind FOR REAL and to give myself a chance to live life without the obsession.

That being said, I'm not comfortable at this size.  I would rather be the size that I was before Mom died, which would mean that I need to lose 59 pounds or so.  But this cannot be a focus in my life right now.  There are more important things.

I'm pretty sure that I'm going to give intuitive eating another go, but this time without the obsession.  No more focusing on it to the point where it becomes the non-diet Diet.  No more focusing on it at all, actually.  It's time to focus on the things that really matter.





and my new blonder hair!!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

EDNOS recovery while losing weight update...

Yes, I am still working on writing my very own diet addiction recovery plan.  And yes, I am still trying to lose weight.  And yes, I am still a recovering EDNOS-er.

And I recognize the fact that these three things don't always mesh.  Really, when one is struggling to recover from an eating disorder, the last thing that one needs to be focusing on is weight loss. 

But I am not a newbie to recovery.  This is not my first rodeo.  And every time that I have recovered from my disordered eating in the past, I have not fully recovered from the addiction.  I have been recovering from this since I was 19, and now I'm almost 29. 

And yet I still don't have a grip on my addiction.  My relationship with food and my relationship with my body are two parts of my life that I still struggle with daily.  I am working on this constantly.

I'm working on becoming a "normal" eater, whatever that is.  I have had many ideas of what that meant in the past.  Right now, I just want to focus on getting rid of my disordered eating thoughts.

Every time I eat or drink something right now, I ask myself "Is this something that I would eat or drink if I never had an eating disorder?" And likewise, before every workout, I ask "Is this how I would exercise is I never had an eating disorder?"

And because I will never truly know the answers to those questions, I just guess.

Here are some new recovery goals of mine:

1) Eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day.  Make these meals substantial.  Make them exactly what I want to eat at that moment.  Actually MAKE them sometimes.  No judgments about the quality or quantity of these foods, just be sure to eat them and enjoy them.

2) Before every food, drink, or exercise decision, ask myself if I am making the decision that a non-ED person would make.  If the answer is "yes", go for it.  If the answer is "no" think about it further.  If I'm not sure, the answer is probably "no".

3) Challenge myself to take risks.  Eat foods that scare me sometimes.  Drink a real Coke or a real pumpkin spice latte every once in awhile.  No judgment.  Just enjoy it.

4) Get off the treadmill if I start focusing on the calories instead of the distance.  It is so much more satisfying to accomplish distance goals than it is to burn calories!  The half marathon is coming up fast...

5) Track only when or if I feel like it.  It is not a requirement.

So as you can see, I'm still focusing on my EDNOS recovery.  I'm sick of being in this rut, with thoughts about food, exercise, and body hate taking up so much space in my brain.  My brain space needs to focus on more important things, like school...

How am I going to lose the weight while recovering?  I fully believe that I can lose weight by just being more aware and enjoying my foods fully.  I believe that if I eat what I really want at meals, I will snack less.  I also believe that focusing on non-weight loss goals in the gym will help me to lose weight as a side effect.  And I believe that it's okay to lose the weight slowly this time around.

Meanwhile, I'm still loving my body.  I love it for what it can do.  I love it for the way it looks (yes, even though I want to lose weight, it is not all about appearance!).  I love my body for how it feels.  I love it for everything it has brought me.  Mostly, I love it because  my mother gave it to me.

Thanks for my pear-ness, Mom.  :-)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Half Marathon Training...

I started this half marathon training program (above) on July 28th, because my half marathon is October 20th.  It's a 12 week program, and there are several runs that I'm supposed to do every week.

However, you know me.  I modify things to suit my needs.  That's just something that I have figured out is best for me in situations of diet and exercise especially in order to not get too structured.  Too much structure with food and exercise = a no-no for someone recovering from EDNOS.

So here's how I've modified this plan to better suit me.  First of all, I was giving myself such a hard time for not increasing my running distance.

I started training for a half marathon in  January, and gave myself weekly goals to increase my running distance a little bit every week.  They were very realistic goals, and I was super excited about it.  When I hit my goal, I was exuberant.  When I didn't hit that goal, I felt like a failure.

I had started to be too strict about my running.  If I couldn't hit that day's goal, I would feel badly about the workout and would be more likely to skip the gym the rest of the week.  (It's possible that I still have some leftover all-or-nothing thinking).

Anyway, when I started this half marathon training at the end of July, I decided that I would do so with some modifications.

1) I don't worry about the day of the week.  At the beginning of the week, I write down all the distances, and I make sure to hit those goals every week.

This week's goals
(on my awesome Buffy calendar)
2) ...unless I don't, and then I'm totally cool with that as long as I did at least two of the shorter runs and definitely hit the long run.  Sometimes it's just not realistic to run 4 or 5 days a week.  I figure that the long run is the most important one to be sure to hit, and the two to four shorter runs that I do that week help me to stay in running shape between the long runs.

3) I am taking walking breaks.  I realized that I'm really great at running a mile.  And I realized that it's okay to take short walking breaks between each mile.  I don't think that running 5 miles straight is any more impressive than walking a quarter mile to warm up, running a mile, speed walking a quarter mile, running another mile, speed walking another quarter mile, running another mile, speed walking another quarter mile, running really fast for 3/4 mile, and cooling down for a quarter mile.  Seriously, both are 5 miles.  And those walking "breaks" help me get through the long distances.

So those are my modifications.  I'm still doing the training program, but it's not quite as written.

And I love my walking breaks.  Why not run a mile, walk a quarter mile, if that's what gets me to run?  It's how I enjoy my running the most, and those running miles add up, eventually to a half marathon.  :-)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

How I'm going to lose the weight (again!)

my new "before" shots

As promised, here is the "how" portion of my new weight loss quest.

I thought that I would start with telling you how I'm not going to lose the weight: I'm not going to do anything revolutionary, fad-ish, or difficult.  I'm not going to have strict calendar goals.  I'm not going to  hate how I look as I lose the weight, or fantasize about how I will look once I've lost it.

And I'm not going to do anything to lose this weight that I'm not comfortable doing.  Also, I'm not going to be strict about anything.  What works one day may not feel comfortable the next day.

Anyway, enough of what I'm not going to do.  Here's what I am going to do to lose the weight this time around.

First of all, as stated earlier, this is a flexible plan.  I'm not going to say "Here's what I'm going to do!" and force myself to stick to it for any specific time period.  Instead, I'm going to go one day at a time.

Crap, I started with the "I'm not" statements again.

Okay, let me start over.

For now, this is my "plan":

  • I'm going to track calories at least 4 days a week on My Fitness Pal.  
  • I'm going to try really hard to listen to my hunger signals every day, but especially on the days that I choose to not track my calories.
  • I am going to weigh in once a week again.  
  • I'm going to take monthly progress pictures. 
  • I'm going to follow a half marathon training program.
That's it.  No specific foods to eat or stay away from, though I am considering starting to take a daily vitamin again just to try to keep myself healthy on the days that I don't eat a lot of nutrition.

Also, I don't have a scale right now, so I don't know my start weight, but for now I'm going to assume that (hope that!) I haven't gained any weight since my doctor appointment in June, at which point I tipped the scales at 218.

I do have a couple of specific weight loss goals in mind.  One is that I would love to get back down to 165 pounds or so, which is when I looked like this:

Atlantic City vacay!
May 2012

Still 11 pounds overweight by BMI standards and still a plus size by the fashion industry standards (size 14), but I was comfortable at this size and was able to maintain it pretty easily.  

My second goal is to get there by my 30th birthday.  So yes, a calendar goal.  But it's not a crazy unrealistic one.  My 30th birthday is October 7, 2014.  So that is 14 months to lose about 50 pounds.

And wouldn't it be cool to be done with weight loss by my thirties?

Anyway, I actually love the way that my body looks right now, too.

on my way to the pool

But, my thighs rub against each other and I get bad chafing whenever I run in shorts.  And my knees and ankles are having issues from my running too, which may get better with less weight bearing down on them.

So, whether or not I get back to weighing 165, I will be thrilled once I get small enough to enjoy running a little more.  I don't like my body betraying me, making it hard to do something that I love so much.  So my short term goal is to lose as many thigh inches by my half marathon as possible.  I believe that this is possible with calorie counting and half marathon training.

I will try to do a regular post about how my weight loss quest is going.  Yes, that's what I'm calling it this time, because I think that "quest" sounds so much more fun than "journey".

Otherwise, I will continue to also blog about health, EDNOS recovery, and other happenings in my life such as grief, school, moving to NYC (!!!), etc.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Weight Loss and HAES... an oxymoron?

Lately I have been feeling inspired to lose weight again.  

Even though this is now a health at every size / EDNOS recovery blog, I am going to go ahead with what my gut is telling me to do, and that is to work to lose some weight.

Seriously, I'm feeling inspired to lose weight again.  

This is not because I feel like I should lose weight to fit into society's ideal.  This is not because I believe that I can't be healthy at my current size.  It's not because I don't look great right now, at this size.  And this is not because I "feel fat".

It is because I felt better physically when I was smaller.  I have become a runner this year, and I honestly believe that running will be easier at 165 pounds (goal weight) than it is at 218 pounds (what I weighed 3 weeks ago at a doctor's appointment - I think I'm about the same size now).  I want to run longer distances faster.  I'm training for a half marathon right now, and it is so much fun, and I am super proud of myself.

There are a few things that make this time different than my previous weight loss experiences.

One is that I'm still working on recovery for my EDNOS.  I'm not going to do anything to lose this weight that will suck me back into disordered eating.  I'm going to practice affirmations, self love, and healthy habits.

Another thing is that I don't hate my body at all right now.  Nope, I actually love it.  I think that it looks pretty good most of the time, and I have been wearing short shorts and tiny tank tops all summer long, despite weighing so much more than I did last summer.  A couple of years ago, I would have NEVER worn summer clothes while weighing this much;  I would have been more worried with looking fat than with feeling comfortable.  How sad for me.

I won't love my body any more at 165 pounds than I do at 218 pounds.

Finally, and most importantly, I have no unrealistic dreams about weight loss solving all of my problems.  Leah at 165 won't suddenly be happy, successful, fun, or awesome.  If I am not those things at 218, I won't be those things at 165.  The keys to happiness and success won't be found with losing weight.  Happiness comes from within, and success (for me) comes from hard work in school.  Success will be when I graduate next May.  Happiness will be when Stacey and I get married and move to New York.  Success will be getting a job that utilizes my degree and fulfills me.

And this should go without saying, but I'm already fun and awesome.  ;-)

me at 165,
my goal weight
May 2012

I feel great about this decision to lose weight again.  It feels like a powerful decision, one that has been made at exactly the right time.

I will continue to blog about body acceptance, HAES, and EDNOS recovery while also blogging about my personal weight loss progress.  Does that make this blog oxymoronic?  I don't think so.

Anyway... I will blog again soon about the "how" but I thought that I would start with the "why".

I hope that you all are having spectacular days.

Me, I'm learning to live with the pain of losing Mom.  Every day it's gets a little bit easier to live with the pain, which I suppose is the best that I can hope for right now.

me now - 218 pounds

Have you ever struggled with the line between HAES and losing weight?  
Where do you draw the line?