Fear food *weekend* Friday? 

Well, I have been bad. I’m falling back into behaviors. I noticed myself doing this, but did not want to admit. I have been restricting. I have been challenging myself with scary food, but does it really count if I deprive myself nutrients to allow for it to be okay? 

I almost did not even do a fear food Friday. But then one of my coworkers offered Starbucks so I took the opportunity. I ordered an old favorite (tall triple chocolatey chip Frappuchino, no whip.) but I still hardly ate lunch. I “forgot” to bring my lunch, had my mother drop it off, but still only ate the little snacks I packed. UGH. 

So I still drank the Frappuchino, went out that night and ordered a gin and tonic, and even yesterday I went down to the city and indulged in wine, and creme brûlée. 

So cool Liv, congrats you’re doing experiences but still DEPRIVING yourself. 

I want to get better, I really do. But gosh I cannot seem to mediate this war between enjoying food and eating because I have to. Eating feels more like a chore to me than something I need to do for my well-being. 

Probably not seeing a therapist in awhile has not helped. Nor have I stuck to my treatment plan all that well. I haven’t gone to a med check recently or had blood work followed up. I want to make excuses for myself like I am too busy, but I should not live a life I’m too busy to maintain. I don’t like admitting I need help, but maybe I do. I feel on the brink of a relapse. 

I’m going to unplug for awhile. This blog helps me, but maybe I should go back to keeping my thoughts private until I am more positive. 

I want to finish college and I need to eat for it. I have yet to have one healthy hospital free year. Maybe I should have not finished last semester junior year and stepped down to php. I like to think I’m strong and ready for this, but without my eating disorder, I do not know who I am. 

So this is a debby downer post, but at least it’s honest. I do not want to lie about my recovery or make it fake/perfect to appease others. This is what recovery is. Recovery is not a continuous upward slope of positivity. You get flat tires or lost along the way. So maybe it’s good to stop for a bit to find me again. I cannot advise others if I can’t even take care of myself. 

What NOT to Say

There’s a lot of things people casually say without being aware of how triggering it can be for some people. Now, I cannot speak for everyone suffering with an ED, but I can tell ya that these 5 sayings really trigger me. Words carry a lot of meaning and when talking to someone you know who is in recovery, some things said can easily be interpreted the wrong way. 

So here are my top 5 “do not say ” 

1. “I haven’t eaten ALL day.”

Do you want a trophy? Because lemme tell ya. There is no reward for starvation. Our body NEEDS food. It needs the energy. There really is no excuse to not eat during the day. There is always time for food. Think about it. Carry a granola bar in a bag if you know the day will be busy. You can easily break it apart and eat it throughout the day. Or make a smoothie. Liquid meals count as eating.

2. “You look SO much better now!”

I know people are just trying to make conversation, but when in recovery mode this can cause setbacks. We are eating, but we still deal with the ED thoughts in our head. Healthy still equals fat. Change is scary. I do not like people pointing things out about my body. Yes, I am glad that I am looking healthier, but sometimes it can be hard to take in.

3. “I wish I was anorexic.”

Okay well, this one should be OBVIOUS. This is equivalent to wishing for a death sentence. Seriously why would you wish for this disease. It is not a fad, stage, diet. It is not cool, it is not something you can just become. It is a lifelong disorder. We recover but we are just in remission. I know I will always have weird relationships with food, but I know I will at least be stronger at fighting Ana.

4. “I didn’t eat so I could enjoy this meal.”

This is normally said when going out to meals. If I hear someone say they didn’t eat for the meal then I start to think to myself that I probably should have restricted too. I cannot be the one consuming more calories than other people. I need to be the one in the room with the most strength (Ana thoughts.) so when people say this it sends me on a tangent. If your body is hungry, eat. Who cares if you’re going to Olive Garden later…you cannot restrict just because you’re going out to dinner!

5. “I worked out so I can afford the calories.”

Eating is not something you buy. It’s something you do. If you want a cookie than eat it! We should not feel like we need to earn the right to eat a cookie. Moderation is good. If you want a cookie EAT IT. Enjoy it. Workout because it makes your body feel good. Don’t work out because you feel you need it in order to eat.

Eating disorders are confusing and in my mind I love to twist the meaning of words because well that’s what this disease does to me. It’s similar to talking about any disease. There are things we are aware to not say for others but eating disorders and mental health is not talked about nearly enough. So if you know someone struggling try to avoid stuff like this. Recovery is a tough and long process. 

A poem?????

*inspired by a poem i read awhile ago but I can’t find anymore so I tried to make my own version..

I know this girl named ana

She lives inside my mind

She tells me what to wear and eat

And she isn’t all that kind

 

I became friends with this girl named ana

She says she will keep me thin

Workouts, diets, blacking out

This no longer seems like a win

 

Ana is a monster

When will this pain end?

The only way I can escape

Is probably when im dead.

 

 

Ana ruins everything

I need to get away

She lived with me for far too long

She will do anything to stay

 

A doctor comes to help me

He says that I am ill

“You have an eating disorder

Now here, swallow this pill.”

 

I go to many doctors

They always poke and pry

This is not who I want to be

As I sit alone and cry

 

I feel I cannot escape Ana.

Shes a monster inside my head.

I know she has one thing in mind

To starve me till im dead.

 

I am stronger than this girl named ana

It took me awhile to understand

I need to eat food to live and grow

Life without Ana will be grand

 

I know it wont be easy

And at times ill want to stop

But I will not let her gain control

Im determined to come out on top.

fear food friday

I am probably the worst newly 21 year old ever. I always turn down going out with friends, ordering drinks, and I already have searched for my “safe” drink. On top of all of that, my ED has a really bad way to compensate drinking. 

The rule used to be, if I was going to drink that day then I could NOT eat dinner. If I ate dinner, it would be more calories, PLUS my body would need more drinks to feel the effects of drinking. That’s just too many calories.

I pretty much stopped going out entirely this past year at school because well, I was really not taking care of my body. I can’t starve all day and then drink with friends. That’s not smart! So I’ve been working on this. 

If there is one thing people seem to LOVE to do, it is going out to get margaritas–One of my biggest no nos. there is just so much sugar in a margarita. Plus Mexican food is so good and high in calories…I could never let myself enjoy. After turning down my moms offers many times to get margaritas with her, I finally realized this is something I am afraid to do. So when my sister and cousin asked if I wanted to get margaritas I said YES. I am done missing out on fun. 

So that’s exactly what I did. I had so much fun. I did not look at the skinny margaritas and order one of those, I ordered the one I wanted. I even ordered dinner since I had not eaten much that day and well, I need to eat dinner! Sure they all ordered another one and I just took about over an hour to drink my one, but I did it. I challenged myself and stepped out of my comfort zone. 

I still really just do not like drinking. I only really drink when I am with friends. But either way I did something I was uncomfortable with. Maybe I’ll even do it again.

No

No means no. Why is that such a hard concept to grasp? Let me give you an example of how to respond to “no” 

If you ask someone if they want to move to Antarctica with you, and they say no, you cannot throw them on a plane and force them to live there. Why is no so hard to understand? My dog understands it better than some people.

I never came to terms with some things from my past. Never talked about it, never thought about it… Just always kept it buried down inside. However, with all the news in the media, things have been a bit triggering.

I transferred from the first university I attended. I just tell people it’s because I hated it there- which is true! But there’s more to the story. At this school some guy tried to take advantage of me.

I hate thinking it/saying it/ I don’t even know why I’m going to post it, but maybe talking about it will help me. I was drunk, he was drunk- people probably think it was “deserved” or “asked for.” … I DISTINCTLY remember telling this boy NO multiple times. Yet that did not stop him. 

I don’t remember much. It was not rape, but he definitely did things to me that I was not okay with. Now I am one of the most cautious people and others don’t always get why. Getting drunk with all my friends has never sounded fun. Sure, going out is nice, but I hardly had been eating enough to drink in the first place. Now I hardly let people in, or I let them in too fast. I forgot how to maintain healthy relationships with guys. I’m afraid to be taken advantage of again. I’ll keep someone too far or too close because I’m at a loss where I simply do not know what works anymore. 

Yikes. This is hard to write. Another vulnerable post. I do not like to be portrayed as vulnerable or weak. I may feel that way, but I like to think it isn’t true. 

Maybe sharing this will help me get over whatever it is I’m not letting go of. It’s been locked inside me for awhile, it’s time to get it out of my mind. 

I never really told anyone about what happened that night. I have enough problems, people probably already think that I do these things for attention. Heck,my own therapist told me that I have a problem with being the star of attention and that I will uncounsiously do whatever I think is necessary to get it. I know she’s right. I love attention, but I don’t want attention for being sick. It’s weird. This post is weird. Probably a mistake too, but I don’t know. 

Scars

I try to hide the fact that well my happiness really isn’t always real. I suffer with bipolar 2- manic depression. Some days I am having a high where I am so happy and bouncing off walls. I am invincible, I can do anything. Other days not so much. These days I put on that fake smile and act the best performance of my life. I play the role of happy and enthusiastic Liv. But when no one is watching- when the curtain goes down- that’s when the thoughts consume me. 

Honestly, I think I deserve an Oscar for the acting I have done. But acting is hard. I do not want to feel that I need to be embarrassed for not being happy 24/7. Cause let’s be real…no one is like that. I try too hard to portray the impossible, and maybe this is why it’s been so hard to fight Ana. 

I used to have more low days than high days. Then it started becoming a mix of one hour feeling low and the next high. The only way to control these “mood swings” is with medication. I am medicated now, but that doesn’t make me immune to having a high or low every now and then. 

I have scars. People have seen them, I stopped trying to hide most of them. Yes, there was a point in my life where I would get so upset that hurting myself seemed to be the best way to take away the pain. I would be lying if I said that I still didn’t get these urges today.

Some people think I should be ashamed of my scars. That I should be more careful about letting them show. But to me, my scars are beautiful. It’s a memory of my past. Each scar reminds me of a night I thought I would not get through and then I look at my life today and see how far I have come. So while some people see ugliness within my scars I see beauty. You see weakness? I see strength. 

Living with bipolar 2 is hard. Most of the time when I experience a low, I do not remember anything I said or done. Sometimes I have done some awful things that I cannot repeat. It is terrifying not having control of the demons in my head. It is petrifying not knowing what I could do to my body during a low. The only way I find out is the trace of pain left on my body.

One of my worst most recent lows wound me up inpatient. I remember waking up in an emergency room. I remember riding in an ambulance. And then I remember being at linden oaks. (Apparently I was not chipper about being there according to my Ed survivors I became friends with in there lol.) not having control over my actions sucks. This is not a plea for attention. This is a sick, disgusting disease!
I don’t use my illness as an excuse. It is frustrating for sure, but it is no excuse. Sure my life has not been the ideal life I pictured as a kid, but you know what? Who cares! I love the way I am. I love my scars. I love knowing that I can survive. I love knowing that I fought hard to be here and that my time in this life will be used to make a difference. 

Fear Food Friday

Wow. It has not been long, but my summer is off to a crazy start. Between juggling close to 40 hours of work a week, 3 online summer classes, focusing on recovery, and keeping up with blogging I am finding myself completely exhausted. Don’t get me wrong, I love the busy lifestyle, but man…I could use a day of sleep.

I did not get to post yesterday about my fear food Friday, but I still did it. One of my ED fighter friends suggested that I make my fear food for the week to be Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. So that is exactly what I did. But that is not all. Today I challenged myself AGAIN by ordering something different at a restaurant I go to often. I always get my “safe” order, but today I got a sandwich (and if you read one of my first articles you might remember how I feel about bread…)

So first on Friday came the ice cream. I was getting mad at myself during the day because I was feeling the symptoms of restricting. I kept feeling like I would pass out which is NOT OKAY. My anorexia cannot affect my job performance so I need to be feeding my body for both the kids and myself.

I went to a pool party later that night and I brought my ice cream with me. So not only was I eating a fear food, I was doing it with friends and wearing a bathing suit. Sure I totally felt like my stomach was blowing up as I scooped in the bites, but after awhile, I was having too much fun to care that I ate some peanut butter cup ice cream (although, I did read the nutritional values) Sure it is not something I will buy often, but it is nice to treat myself. Besides, ice cream tastes pretty good on a 90 degree day.

Overall I would say the ice cream was pretty easy.

Next came my egg salad sandwich (on gluten free bread of course.) challenging to order, but by the time it came I wolfed it down. I took off some of the bread though so I only really had one slice (baby steps.) I was super hungry, but that was also my first meal of the day and I worked two hours before I went. Again something I need to work on—acknowledging the fact that if I am going out to eat later than I do not restrict to compensate. I need to eat normally consistently!

I have an urge to workout right now, but I am trying to fight it. Only because I know that it is Ana that wants to workout right now to make up for the calories.

Overall the challenge foods went really well. I am feeling pretty good today as I write this. I have had some ups and downs this past week, but I can honestly say that I am starting to feel more powerful over Ana (as long as the stupid scale is not around.) Although, I think I came up with a prettttttty good idea for me to break up with the scale. Stay tuned.

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Music

Yesterday I was lucky enough to see twentyonepilots. I am so thankful my father got us these tickets because I cannot express how important their music is to me.

Music has been a huge part of my recovery. Whether it came from playing music (yes I used to play the oboe…and flute and piccolo) or just laying down listening to some tunes I instantly am taken to a different place.

I feel calm and well. I feel happy and safe. I feel alive.

It seems silly that a song can have so much power over me, but boy it does- Especially the songs preformed by twentyonepilots. I discovered this band during one of the toughest times of my life; senior year of high school. If it wasn’t for my after school job and their songs, I do not know how I would have made it through the day. See, I do not only suffer from an eating disorder, but I also have Bipolar II, which is a form of manic depression.

I felt very only and fake since I was keeping these secrets about my illnesses from so many people. But listening to TOP made me feel like I belonged somewhere. I really cannot explain how passionate I am about this band. We all have that band we love unconditionally or that one song that takes us to a certain memory. For me, twentyonepilots takes me to times of despair, but also to some of the happiest moments of my life.

So last night, being in the same place as them was outstanding. I do not know what words to say to describe the euphoria I felt.

One of my favorite songs by them is Car Radio in this song there is a lyric that says “you need to try to think” I always interpreted this sentence as a way to stay alive and fight. So when I listen to the song, I replace “think” with “eat” because that’s what I need to do to stay alive. I need to try to eat. It is foolish really, but it helped me get through.

Music is powerful. I encourage you all to find that song that speaks to you. I know it is out there. Music makes me feel whole. And twentyonepilots make me feel alive.

Idk

I wake up haunted
Hands trembling
Body shaking

I wake up shivering 

Wondering when the pain will end

••••••••••••

I find the strength to get out of bed

I stand up and instantly fall back down

I see darkness. I see stars.

Eventually my heart calms down 

I can make it up the stairs

•••••••••••

First comes the pills. 

They’re supposed to make

A girl like me better.

They’re supposed to make me happy

But I don’t think they work that well.

Then comes the struggle of my first meal

Breakfast.

I do not want to eat, but I know I must.

Each meal is a constant struggle.

•••••••••••

I go about my day.

Smiling, laughing, talking with friends.

Can anyone see through my acting?

I go out and always help those who need it

But I’ve begun to realize that

Here I am struggling… But who do I have?

Am I just the girl being taking advantage of?

•••••••••••

I have bipolar 2- manic depression.

 I have highs and I have lows

The highs are victorious like I climbed a cliff

The lows are as if I just fell off the cliff…

I worked so hard to climb. 

I crave nothing more than unconditional love 

But do i deserve it?

In the past I’ve been so rude.

I chased away the best friend I ever had.

I hope he reads this so he knows how much

I miss our friendship.

I know I deserve love and happiness.

But how can I achieve this until I love myself?

••••••••••••

I pretend I have it all

I live a facade

It’s easier to fake my way through the day.

But I’m not as positive as I try to be.

I struggle often

Whether it’s ED related, anxiety, or depression

I struggle.

I fight but sometimes I lose.

••••••••••••••••

Recovery is great

But recovery is hard.

We have set backs.

It’s not just an easy ride to remission.

Recovery takes work.

It takes strength.

I don’t know where I’m at right now

I certainly am feeling lower than normal.

But this community I have joined 

Helps me more than anything.

I have people to relate to.

I just wish I had more people close by in real life.

•••••••••••

My friends and family here are wonderful

It’s just hard explaining why 

When I am having a low I don’t know 

What my trigger is.

I am just sad and want to be alone.

My ED community gets it:

We are fighting together.

This blog and the new insta account I made

Just might have been one of the greatest things I have done.

I finally feel welcomed. I feel understood.

•••••••••••••

I’m still scared.

Petrified actually

But I’m not alone with my online community.

I feel alone here at home and school

I have so many friends I adore

But I always question if I deserve their kindness

 I hope this feeling is temporary because

Once I love myself more

I can find the inner peace that’s been missing all this time.

Fear Food Friday- Reese’s

I decided I needed to challenge myself even more, so from this point on, every Friday I will eat something that scares me.

The first time I did a fear food challenge for my blog was with gluten free bread. And guess what? I eventually ate all the bread and the coolest part?? IM STILL ALIVE! Amazing! I can eat food and not gain 9859034853pounds. I can eat food and it won’t kill me!

I had not challenged myself since then. I had an occasional cup of ice cream, but other than that I stuck to what made me feel safe.

SO flashback to me at CVS Wednesday.

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I turned to my bff and said “hey take my picture I need to blog this.” I was really not nervous here. It was kind of a rash decision to buy the chocolate. The dude was waiting for me to give him my debit card, but something inside me said that this is what I need to do. I need the chocolate. Anxiety level at this moment: 1.5/10.

The candy had been sitting in my fridge for a few days and I honestly hoped my mom would accidentally eat it so I wouldn’t have to. She did not eat it. So my anxiety level is at a 4.

Thursday night I drank with some friends so on Friday I was not wanting to eat this candy. I drank my calories yesterday. I needed to cleanse.

I really wasn’t too excited for this. I spent more time taking pictures of myself with the candy bar than eating it, but hey oh well. I had to make sure that post 6 mile walk/run sweaty Liv looked decent enough.

Reese’s used to be my FAVORITE. I want to enjoy them again. Anxiety level 6/10

So once I finally decided the lighting in my pictures was right I went back to the main point of my mission. I tried to think of excuses to avoid eating it. I looked at the packaging to see if I was allergic to it all of a sudden, but there was no way out. I committed to this.

I will just eat one I reassured myself with my anxiety level reaching a 7. I looked at my dog sitting next to me for support and he looked so excited to eat this piece of peanut butter and chocolate. It helped me realize that food is not my enemy. So I took a bite. And guess what? I ate BOTH of them and IT WAS SO DELICIOUS.

Wow! I am still alive, my clothes still fit, and I REALLY enjoyed eating the candy. Overall happiness experience? 10/10.

Any ideas for next Fridays fear food? Leave a comment and let me know!