I’m faster and stronger than you, ED

It’s been a year since I found myself in the depths of a raging eating disorder. It almost pains me to glance through my old TimeHop updates and read ridiculous tweets about how I was only going to be eating greek yogurt for the day and how I needed to burn 1,000+ calories only to binge on sushi later on in the evening. diet-398613_640

This week marks National Eating Disorders Awareness Week and I felt compelled to write a blog about the struggles that I faced and the struggles that I continue to face.

In February of 2014, I was forcing myself to eat low caloric meals in order to gain some sort of “privilege” that it is to be skinny. I would only allow myself to eat 900-1000 calories a day to get to that goal faster than I had hoped. It didn’t help that one day I would be restricting and the following day I would binge. It was an endless cycle of restricting and bingeing. Thus, I wouldn’t lose weight.

In March of 2014, I finally somehow admitted to myself that I had a problem. That something wasn’t quite right in my brain. That my obsession with food and my obsession with working out were not working harmoniously, but damaging me. Damaging me both physically and mentally.

My therapist had diagnosed me with EDNOS, which is basically like a great mix of all the eating disorders thrown together in one giant clusterfuck. It was time that I take ahold of my eating disorder and not let the eating disorder control me.

I started to read as many books as I possibly could on recovery (although, some of them were “too real” for me to read and I had to put them down). I reached out to my friends who were open about their struggles with eating and exercising. I tried to find my inner strength that told me that I was worth it. I was worth the healthy food I put into my body. I was worth the moderate exercise that I put my body through. The food and exercise were not punishments, but they were nourishment.

I have made immense progress since I last wrote my “manifesto” (of sorts), but I still find myself struggling. There are days where I binge and I feel insanely guilty and I’m filled to the brim with anxiety to the point where I have to take a Klonopin. There are days where I feel somewhat proud that I didn’t eat. Most recently, I didn’t eat for almost a full 48 hours and I felt exhilarated, as fucked up as that is. And there are days where I’m just a normal human being and I workout and eat good meals. The latter happens more frequently than the formers.

Today, I still feel in control, yet out of control. But I’m not giving up. I am fully aware that this demon will be on my heels for the rest of my life, but he won’t catch me. I’m faster and I’m stronger than my disorder. I’m more intelligent than my disorder. I value myself and my sanity more than my disorder.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, please seek help. You aren’t alone. Don’t let the demon win.

5 Questions to Ask When You’ve Lost Motivation

Stop! The plateau. The roadblock. The stop sign. We hit them all when we going through our weight loss journey. We begin to think, “Is it really worth it?” We start to second guess ourselves and slip back into our old ways.

In December of 2014, I finally hit 100 pounds lost (why I didn’t write a blog update on that is beyond me). Since the beginning of the year, I haven’t been the best when it comes to my food and exercise. I wouldn’t say “complacent,” but, eh, maybe I’ve been complacent.

Whenever I begin to somehow fall into my old patterns, I try to reevaluate. Here are some questions that I ask myself in order to get back on the horse:

  1. What are your “bad” patterns?
    • When you begin to identify what might be your “bad” patterns, you can easily identify them and notice when you are slippin’ back. Maybe a “bad” pattern for you can be eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every other week (guilty). Or maybe you binge on your favorite cookies occasionally (guilty).
    • Recognize the “bad” pattern, but do not punish yourself for the pattern. Acknowledge it and learn from it.
  2. What are your “good” patterns?
    • Just as you realize the “bad” patterns, you can also identify your “good” patterns. Do you find that you stop eating when you are full instead of shoveling more food in your mouth? What if you try to eat way more veggies at night instead of carbohydrates or meat?
    • Run with those “good” patterns! Run and never look back! Focus more on those habits than the “bad” ones.
  3. What are some weekly goals you have?
    • I find that the best way for me to keep track is having small, attainable goals that I can accomplish either that day or that week. Do you want to workout 3 times this week? Good! Set that goal and achieve it! You’re going out to eat on Saturday night, so why not make that your cheat meal for the week/day? You’ll be tempted to stick to your meal plan when you know you have a cheat meal coming up.
  4. Where do you want to be?
    • I also think that loose long-term goals are pretty important. For 2015, I told myself that I wanted to lose another 20 pounds (or whatever it was). That is a long-term goal that is definitely in sight, but it’s not too rigid, either. Do you want to be down 2 more pants sizes in 6 months? You got this on lock. How about squatting your weight when you’re at the gym? Totally feasible!
  5. How has your life improved since you’ve made these changes?
    • Most importantly, I think about how far I’ve come. I think about what I’ve accomplished in these 2 years and how my life has changed for the better. I love the feeling of moving and using my body as a machine. I love lifting heavy things. I love how toned my legs are. I never felt these things when I was almost 300 pounds.
    • If you haven’t made these changes yet, think about how great your life will be. You will breathe easier. You will move faster. Your health will improve drastically. You will find a new you that was trapped inside and was begging to come out.

And a reminder: It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been off the saddle. It could be days, weeks, months, or years. It is never too late to get back on the horse and ride off into the sunset.

Remembering Your Past to Push Towards the Future

snickers-461902_640I’m not very proud of my past when it comes to eating. I used to hide food, sneak food, and binge on food when no one was looking. I was ashamed that people would look at me, this almost 300 pound girl, and judge me for eating what I wanted to eat. As I always said, being overweight is the worst kept secret a person can hide. You wear it on your sleeve. It’s not like a drug or alcohol addiction where you can still look presentable in person. A food addiction is written all over your body.

I was going through my room today and I stumbled upon an old, black, dusty purse. I had all intentions on throwing it out because, well, it looked like it had gone through Hurricane Sandy and back. But, like we all do, I opened it up just to see if I could somehow score a $20. That’s not what I found.

I found a blatant reminder of my past. Riddled inside were countless empty wrappers of junk food, candy, and paper towels that I can only assume held cookies at some point. I looked at the bag, I sighed, and the only thing I could say was, “Oh, Erin.”

To be reminded of your old self is sometimes terrifying, yet somewhat cathartic. You look at yourself now and say, “Wow. I can’t believe I was ever that person.” It fuels your fire to keep moving forward, but most importantly: it reminds you of how far you’ve come.

Stay the course.

Weight Loss is NOT an Invitation for Harassment

I’m 95 pounds lighter than I was almost 2 years ago. I am 105 pounds lighter than I was almost 3 years ago. Back when I was 287 pounds, it was nice that men hit on me. It was occasional. It was rare. It was still nice.

Not to much today.

I joined MyFitnessPal as a way to log what I was eating, log my weight, log my inches, track my calories and to, above all, create a community of support with people who want to do the same thing as I want to do: lose weight. I have gained endless friends through MyFitnessPal and it is beyond encouraging to talk to them about our victories as well as our struggles. It makes me feel like we are all in this boat together.

Today, I wrote on MyFitnessPal explaining that I’m feeling a bit of anxiety when it comes to going to the gym and working out. I then received this message:

2014-10-16 12.24.40 pm

I love how he explained in the first sentence that this surely was not a flirt, but then explained that it was still a small 2% flirt. This is a 46-year-old man hitting on a 25-year-old young woman on a fucking weight loss website. The rest of the message was just him explaining that he lived close to me and that we should work out together. Does he really think that I would want to work out with a much older man that is hitting on me inappropriately?

I responded and thanked him for his encouragement and completely dodged the question about us working out together.

He then sent me another message with lines like,

i won’t really hit on you much at all :) i’m way more harmless than i talk

and

fuck EVERYONE at the gym! you’re there for you! ignore everyone. if someone does hit on you, complain to management. if you’re in a good gym they’ll warn the fucker. don’t let strangers chase you out of a health sanctuary :)

I was pissed, to say the very least. I slammed right back with this message:

2014-10-16 12.23.37 pm

Me being a woman on the Internet does not give you the authority to harass me. Me being a woman on the street does not give you the authority to harass me. Me being a woman in general does not give you the authority to harass me.

*Drops the mic*

To Quarter Life Crisis or Not To Quarter Life Crisis

I’ve been touting for a few days now that my “Quarter Life Crisis” was imminent. When that big 2-5 hits it’s like a nice punch to the gut. “What have I done with my life?” “Why am I still living with my parents?” “Why am I not in a committed relationship?” and “Why do I feel like such a fuckup?”

Well, I’m 25 now. I don’t know if that makes me feel old or makes my parents feel older.

The truth of the matter is that we’re all in the same boat. We’re all just kind of floating on an inner tube in the middle of the ocean and either hoping someone saves us or we magically find a way to save ourselves. We feel a little helpless and beyond lost. But then the sun comes up the following day and you have another chance to experience something new, be saved, or save yourself.

I am officially choosing to not have my Quarter Life Crisis. If anything, I’ll just be joking about having one while simultaneously joking that I’m saving up for my hip replacement (which, duh, I am).

My goals for 25 are:

  1. Make quality friends that will cherish me and I will cherish them. This is not to diminish the friends that I already have in my life, but I feel like many kids that are out of college have a really difficult time to find friends. It’s hard to put yourself out there and just… ask someone to be your friend. It’s like your taken back to kindergarten. Please circle YES or NO if you want to be my friend.
  2. Develop new, creative passions. I’ve always been the kind of gal to dive into a new project, be really into it, and then let it fade a few months later. Typewriters, guitar, water painting, crocheting, knitting, etc. It just keeps going. Fitness is the only one that has really stuck with me, maybe because I see it’s potential beyond just making me happy. But I haven’t been passionate about anything other than fitness in forever. Time to change.
  3. Lose another 20 pounds. You know, I’d be content with just 15, too. My body is basically a sloth when it comes to losing weight. Being down 95 pounds is a lot, but I’d feel even sweeter with 100+. But I’d also like to not take such an emphasis on that number. I want to feel good, look good, and be content with my body.
  4. Never settle. A lot of 24 was spent with me trying maneuver around other people and making them happy. Although there is absolutely nothing wrong with making other people  happy, I have to stop and think about what makes me happy. That means never settling until I find that pure happiness.
  5. Start living. If I died tomorrow, I don’t know if I’d say that I felt fulfilled. I’d say that I experienced things and I had a grand time, but I don’t know if I really lived. I see other people on Facebook who have done endless things and I think to myself, “Shit. I wish I could do that.” I’m really just a scared girl who doesn’t want to step outside of her comfort zone. No more.

What I’m trying to really get at is that you’re awesome, no matter how much of a fuckup you think you are. That your age is just a number and it shouldn’t represent who YOU are as an individual. You shouldn’t feel pressured by others to be something or someone by a certain age. It doesn’t discount who you are and what makes you beautiful and an inspiration to other people.

So, happy birthday.

"You wanna party?" "Fuck yeah I wanna party!"

“You wanna party?” “Fuck yeah I wanna party!”

Let Your Victories Be YOUR Victories

fist-424500_640

Do you ever feel like someone is trying to “one-up” you? Someone is trying to steal that sunshine away from you? Someone is attempting to put you down while somehow lifting themselves up? We’ve all been there and we’ve all been surrounded by those people. Is this negative energy? Is this some form of toxicity we allow into our lives?

These past few days I’ve been grappling with the idea that I’m not going “hard enough,” or I’m not “fast enough,” or I’m not “strong enough,” or maybe me losing 90 pounds isn’t enough

If any of you have read my “I Was the Weight Loss Success Story” post, you’ll understand that I have been surrounded by people who wanted to take what was my glory and make it their own. They pushed me to fit their own agenda instead of focusing on me, the person, instead.

I’m here to to tell you that your victories are your victories alone. Own those victories. I don’t care if you lost a half a pound, 10 pounds, 40 pounds, 100 pounds, or even 150 pounds. Those are your victories to hold and to cherish. You did the work. You put yourself out on the line. You, and only you, can wear that triumphant medal around your neck.

And because of those victories, you don’t have to prove shit to anyone. The only person you have to prove shit to is yourself. Feel confident that you did it. Someone might come along and try to push you down and make you feel insignificant. What do I say to them: Piss off.

Keep fighting the good fight, my friends!

When Does Body Positivity Shift Into Glorifying Obesity?

I was overweight my entire life. I was thrown on diets, saw doctors and nutritionists at the tender age of 9. It was like I was told that there was something inherently wrong with me and something needed to be fixed. That is a feeling that no child should need to face.

My parents would tell me that I needed to watch what I ate, but that would only cause the adverse reaction. I would binge. I would sneak food. I would gorge myself. I claimed that I didn’t care what anyone else thought of me, but the truth was something completely different. 

The entire world tells you that you shouldn’t be fat, so I then tried to find ways to justify me being fat. I distinctly remember being in college and telling my dad that “being overweight is healthy!” I found guys that were only interested in dating a BBW and I submerged myself in that culture. I demanded that the rest of society change their standards and to accept my unhealthy lifestyle.

I will be the first person to tell you that I love the idea of being body positive. I am a strong believer in loving your body at any shape or size. I think it is really important to get a firm grip on loving yourself, let’s make no mistake about this. But when does body positivity shift into glorifying obesity? It is such a fine, delicate line. Since when did being body positive shift into being fat positive?

To me, loving your body is nourishing your body. Loving your body is providing it exercise. Loving your body is feeding it nutritious, healthy meals. Loving your body is making sure you aren’t damaging it. And I would argue that this entire body acceptance movement has shifted towards, “I am going to continue my lifestyle and claim that it’s just me loving myself. FU, society! Fat and proud!”

But let’s take the physical portion out of this equation. You can be fat, skinny, muscular, lanky, short, tall, morbidly obese, or as thin as a twig. It doesn’t change the fact that you need to be healthy. And to be healthy is doing all of those things that I listed before.

So, what is the solution here? Simply enough: Cut the bullshit. As my friend Jay from A Workout Routine says, “The solution isn’t to glorify it. The solution is to make the diet/exercise changes needed to fix it.”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,180 other followers