“If You Give It An Inch, It’ll Take A Mile”

One thing a lot of people know about me is my addiction to Starbucks. Over the holiday season, I accumulated a lot of gift cards to this delicious franchise, which I have been utilizing just about every weekend. I normally go and order my normal safe drink- a grande iced skinny vanilla latte (light ice). However, because today is the kick off for NEDA week, I asked my recovery friends to give me a challenge.

Right now I am currently sitting here fighting back the urge to cry/hide/throw up as I stare at my tall caramel Frappuccino in front of me. When I ordered it, I did not think that there would be a mountain of whipped cream and caramel drizzle on top.

IMG_4190.JPGNone of the people around me probably are aware that I am currently freaking out of a four-dollar drink. All the people chatting and working around me have no idea that I feel like the walls are closing in on me and that the thoughts in my head are telling me that with each sip I take I am gaining pound after pound.

This is a snippet of what it is like to live with an eating disorder. Most people do not think twice about what they order (other than the fact that they spent a ridiculous amount of money on a tasty drink LOL). However, for me, this drink is one of the most challenging things I will do all day.

A simple blend of coffee, milk, and caramel is causing me far too much anxiety. I wish I could sit here and just drink and enjoy like all the other people around me. I noticed that as I sit here typing and slowly drinking I am slipping into comparing myself to other people. I saw a very slender woman walk in and I was instantly filled with self-hatred because I was thinking how I lost all self-control by drinking my calories. Ana demands that I must always be the skinniest person in the room. I cannot do that by drinking these calories she yells!
However, THAT IS NOT NORMAL/HEALTHY THINKING! But, the thing is, I am not the only one who thinks like this. So many people suffer with an eating disorder and are filled with these thoughts. I am being controlled right now by whipped cream. I am letting the idea of consuming whipped cream cause me to spiral out of control.

My good friend Hailey was the one who told me to challenge myself with this drink. When I first saw my order, the panic set in so I texted her. I was texting her how I couldn’t drink this and that I needed to get rid of the whipped cream. I wanted to just scrape all of the caramel whipped cream goodness out of my cup and into the trash. I was in a full out panic. Hailey responds to me with this simple sentence: “If you give it an inch, it’ll take a mile.” 

I wanted to challenge myself today because it is the kick off to NEDA week 2017. I wanted to challenge myself because I deserve to be able to enjoy a drink without freaking out. I wanted to challenge myself today because I want to gain my life back. I am so sick of living in fear over food and calories.

This frappuccino will not end me. It will not make me gain ten pounds nor will it make me a failure. The only thing that will fail me will be if I give my eating disorder that inch of control. If I give ED that bit of power, I am inviting the behaviors back in. I am welcoming ED to come waltz in and torment me. So, all I have to say to ED is, not today b*tch. Not today, not ever again. I am in charge of my life now. I am the master of my fate.

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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.

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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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!

You wont ruin me

Yay! Today is a day i have been waiting for for a LONG time..

MY 21st BIRTHDAY!

One of my very dear friends told me that she hopes no one ruins my day. I thought psh, no one can ruin my day… I am feeling so happy and loved by my friends and family! But then I thought of someone who might try and stop me. Ana.

So Ana.

Today I am going to enjoy the chocolate covered strawberries my mom sent me. I am going to drink my free starbucks, enjoy my birthday dinner with friends, and you cannot stop me. Today, I am stronger than you. Everyday I am getting stronger. Today I am going to enjoy my day, my food, and the indulgences. Yeah, I’ll be nervous, but I am not letting you ruin me.

XOXO

Liv

Fear Foods

Fear foods are real. And one of the hardest things to work on during treatment.I remember at Linden Oaks where I was inpatient we had a fear food session where we ate either cupcakes or cookies. It was hard, it was awful, but it helped us realize food is good. Our body needs it and deserves the extra sugar every now and then in moderation.

Most food is a fear food for me, but some I can tolerate. If you ask me what my favorite thing to eat is, i honestly do not know. I just dont ever seem to enjoy food. Like I have my safe foods and the fear foods. Safe foods are lettuce, apples, tomatoes, rice cakes, and fruit snacks. Some of my biggest fear foods are cake, chips, soda- but the biggest of all is BREAD.I have not eaten bread in years, but today that is going to change. Today I am challenging myself to a slice of UDI’s gluten free bread. ( I have celiacs)

So here is the emotional trauma i went through during this process:

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Here i am holding the bread in my hand. Looking at it and analyzing every part of it. (Pro tip: DO not look at labels of fear foods that just makes it even harder.)

I felt the stomach grumble and knew I needed to feed it. I am still in the weight restoration process so I challenged myself by adding peanut butter. My anxiety level was at a 7. It brought me back 3 years ago to when I had to eat lunch in my high school teachers classroom. I had PBJ everyday and I tried anything to avoid the bread. Imagine that, a life in high school where you cant gossip with friends at lunch because you need to have meals monitored- it sucked.

So now we have the first bite. I contemplated multiple times. “Do i do it?” “Should my heart be beating this fast?”13081844_10207860052933588_1990536609_n.jpg

i took a deep breath and went for it. My face says it all.

The more i ate it, the more i enjoyed. Hurrah! I conquered a fear and i did it. I ate the bread. A simple task to some, but a HUGE improvement for me. So take that Ana, I am going to go make another slice of peanut butter bread and we are going to enjoy it.

Feed your body. Challenge yourself with the things that scare you. I ate the bread and I am still alive. I ate the bread and I am still happy. Sure i was anxious, but i am one more step closer to defeating my ED.