The Best Detox

Summer is just around the corner ladies and gentleman and you know what that means! It is time for some good ol’ Spring-cleaning AND spring cleansing! Ah yes, the time where many people start going on detox diets to help shed that winter weight gain to get ready for their ~bikini~ body.  In the past I used to engage in a really great spring detox that really only helped me get ready for my own deathbed.  This spring, however, I have the BEST detoxifying cleanse to help prepare EVERYONE for summer and the rest of their life!

This year I am participating in a negativity detox that will help me to flush out all the toxins in my life. Let me just put my disclaimer in right now. I am not a certified detoxer. I am just a twenty-something writing my own foolproof way to live a healthier and happier life.

Stop and just think for a moment about the things in your life that bring you the most happiness and jot them down somewhere. Try to jot down 3 things. 

For me the things that bring me the most happiness are working with kids, spending quality time with the meaningful relationships in my life, and writing. 

Now think about the things in your life that stop you from being able to engage in the activities that bring you the most happiness.  Maybe it is that ‘great’ friend of yours who is always putting you down. Maybe it is your job or your area of study. Whatever it is that prevents you from living a fulfilling life, jot them down elsewhere.  (Side note, think about how ‘great’ the friendship really is if every time you are together he/she only tries to put you down.)  

There are a lot of things in my life that are filled with toxins. I have too many relationships in my life that are extremely manipulative; relationships where I constantly question my worth and relationships that make me feel like I need to change who I am in order to be valued. I have people like this creeping in every domain of my life. I work with people like this, I spend time with people like this, and I consider myself ‘friends’ with people like this. Sometimes, I even am like this. When I let my eating disorder in, I am the most manipulative and nastiest person. Not everyone sees this side. When I become like this, I only tear down myself. 

My eating disorder is by far the biggest parasite in my life. She is a parasite that feeds on destroying my happiness. She is a parasite that gets off by watching me spiral out of control.  

Addressing the toxins in your life is the first place to start with this detox. This detox takes time. Like all detoxes, one needs to fully commit. If you want to see the results, you must stick with it. You are working to flush out the poisons. There may be times where you think you’re making a mistake or that this is too hard. That is when you need to dig deep and really find your strength. Do you want to live a venomous life that inhibits you from reaching your full potential? 

This is the only cleanse we all need. Our bodies are not designed to thrive on raw vegetables and juice cleanses. We need to work to cleanse our mind and our life of the toxins in order to be able to fully appreciate what we have.

So this year, and every year, I am going to be detoxing the negativity away. I am going to pay close attention to the things that are in my control.  We can all be in control of our life and we can all decide if we want to make it a life that emphasizes on love, or hate. I know what kind of life I prefer. Do you?  

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Im baaack

Hey. It’s been awhile and I am sorry for my absence. Things got a little crazy for me. So this post is just an update I guess of the past weeks from my last post. I have some really good ideas to write about later.

Eating wise I am doing great, yet I have been struggling to gain weight and I am currently approaching my lowest weight from back when I was 15. Its frustrating because even with two ensure plus a day; I cannot seem to gain weight. My pulse and blood pressure are out of whack and I just wish I had some answers.

This is the ugly side of an eating disorder. The side that does not get mentioned much because we strive to be strong- weakness is unacceptable; we must have zero flaws in the eyes of Ana.

I hurt my body for so long and she needs time to heal. Time that I do not necessarily have. My mood is great- I have never been so happy and content with how my life is looking. I can taste that I have a very bright and exciting future approaching in the next few months. Between having amazing placements for student teaching and just the love and support of my friends, I do not want to do anything to jeopardize my happiness.

I have so much control over Ana right now. My body just needs to replenish.

I sometimes hear people say that they are going to not eat for a couple days or talk about an extreme diet they want to try to lose weight.

When people say they wish they had control over food like I do, it makes me shudder.

I do not have control over food. Food has control over me. Not eating is not self-restraint. It is my mind screaming at me that if I eat even one chip from the bowl in front of me that I am a failure.

Anorexia is not glamorous.

Anorexia is my nightmare and I just want to WAKE UP ALREADY–HELP ME WAKEUP.

Even when I have control over her, she still finds ways to barge into my life.

I am sick of waking up shaking because I do not have enough body fat to keep me warm. I hate when my ears ring and I start to see dots. I am sick of needing to take breaks while walking up stairs. I am sick of being constantly dehydrated even after drinking what feels like an ocean. I am sick of the exhaustion followed by the hyperactivity. I am embarrassed by my body right now. I am covered in bruises because of deficiencies. I may not look sick and I do not want validation if you think I do.I just need to keep doing everything I am doing and hope that I will start to gain weight. Leggings are not supposed to be baggy. My bones are not supposed to stick out as much as they do.

I am still capable of being the successful person I am. Someone once asked me if I was concerned about this blog with the fact that future employers may find it. I put thought into it, but at the same time, spreading awareness on eating disorder is SO important to me. I will continue to advocate and bring as much light as I can.

Just because I have anorexia it does not make me any lesser of a person.

It does not make me incapable of doing the things I love.

Please just take time to understand before jumping to conclusions.

This post is a weird one for me, but it’s the only way I can reach people to understand that I am not engaging in behaviors. I am stronger than ever mentally, it is just physically where I need to find the missing piece leading to these symptoms.

Until next time..

Drunkorexia

Alright I am going to tell you guys all about a type of eating disorder many people probably have never even heard of. It is scary, because while you many have never heard of this condition before, I guarantee either yourself or some of your closest friends have engaged in some of the behaviors of drunkorexia.

Drunkorexia is when someone plans to not eat much when they know they will be drinking so that they can get drunk faster and not have to worry about alcohol related weight gain. Someone will deprive there body so that one drink is all they need to feel drunk. The goal is always to consume less and less because calories are the monster.

Too much alcohol is already not good for you at all, but pair that with malnutrition and we have an even bigger issue on our hands. Drunkorexia is SO common on every college campus YET WE DO NOT EVER HEAR ABOUT THIS!

Sufferers think it’s the calories that will kill them when instead it is themselves and their own behaviors that kill.

I suffer hardcore with this condition. And let me tell you about one of my worst nights ever because of it…

So it was my freshman year at Xavier University. I never drank much before  because I couldn’t fathom putting in these excess calories if my body did not actually need them.

It was a few weeks into school and my friends and I were feeling pretty bored so we decided to drink. There were three of us total and a lot of vodka was consumed that night. I know for a fact that that exact day I walked/ran about 6 miles and hardly ate a thing or drank any water.

We were drinking, having fun, and being stupid. The night was going great until I blacked out and woke up in the mental ward of a hospital. All the patients had cots we slept on and the only privacy was a little curtain. The person next to me suffered with schizophrenia. Every now and then he would scream or call out to people who weren’t there. I was scared; I was 7 hours away from home and had no idea what was going to happen.

I got so lucky that night that nothing worse happened to me. I got so lucky. I danced with death that night. I wish I learned my lesson after that first time.

I have a weird relationship with alcohol to this day. I like to go out and drink, but I hate not being in control. However, I still will purposely deprive my body to compensate for the alcohol. I never know what a night of drinking will look like for me. Some people call me lame for not always wanting to go out with them, but I have a bigger issue I need to take care of first.

This is important…to my friends just now starting college, or my friends who may see these behaviors in their friends. Help inform them. Help them. Help them realize something is not okay. I am lucky that my foolish behaviors didn’t get me in any worse trouble in the past.

I cannot stress enough how much more this topic needs to be addressed.

Here are some of the biggest symptoms:

  • Cutting back on food and increasing exercise to either speed or enhance the high from drinking
  • Engaging in bulimic-type behaviors: vomiting after eating, taking laxatives or using diuretics
  • Boosting exercise or eating less to offset calories from drinking: this could include drinking low-calorie beers or cocktails, skipping a meal or avoiding food all day, or exercising intensely

(http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/college-game-plan/drunkorexia-prevalent-among-college-students-study-finds-n614871)

With the school year starting it is so so so important that we get a step ahead of the game.

If you have more questions or want to know more about my personal struggles let me know and I will do whatever I can to help.

I Think (insert relation) Has An Eating Disorder

I cannot speak for everyone on this because this is strictly just my opinion. I am NOT an expert so please do not assume what I am saying will work for everyone. Also if you enjoy this post please share this with others. You never know who it could help. 

We never know for certain what someone else is going through. This is a challenging part of life. When someone we care about is hurting we want to do anything to take the pain away. We say things like, “I know how you feel.” But do we really? How can we feel the pain for someone else when we have no idea what their inner demons are like.

It is no different when it comes to eating disorders. People need to understand that EDs are not a phase. It is not a diet or a lifestyle choice. Eating disorders are a serious disease.

Eating disorders affects more people than most of us are aware. Your neighbor, friend, child, the person you sit next to every morning on the train could all be suffering and not even be aware of it. Those fighting with an ED do not know how disordered their relationship with food truly is- and that is what makes this so dangerous.

Only a trained professional should diagnose someone with an ED, but that does not mean you cannot intervene and help this person get the attention he or she needs.

Before you intervene, it is important to ask yourself why. Why do you think this person may have an eating disorder? If your response is “because they just LOOK anorexic” maybe reevaluate and think about more behaviors/symptoms. SKINNY DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL EATING DISORDER.

Maybe you notice at meals they push their food around the plate or always try to avoid eating in public. Maybe they go to the bathroom immediately after meals or you see them working out constantly. Overeating or eating in secret. Obsession with numbers, wearing baggy clothes, becoming less social. Always cold and tired and losing motivation to do things that used to bring so much joy. These are the things to look for- not just the size of the body.

If you notice these behaviors it is important to take action. I try to think back to when I first got help. I had teachers in high school invite me to eat lunch with them. My friends would try to get me to go out with them. No one forced me to eat- it was just encouraged. Sometimes the best way to help someone is to get them to realize on their own that a problem exists. Granted it is much easier said than done, but I was the one who eventually realized that I needed to seek treatment the first time I really began to struggle. Having coaches limit my playing time in games and close friends casually asking me if everything was alright began to help me realize something was wrong.

Sometimes it is okay to be assertive. Sometimes the person suffering may need this more intense wake up call. During relapses I certainly received some lectures that at the time made me so angry. But now I look back and I am so thankful it happened. They may be “mad” at you during that time, but it doesn’t last; soon they will be immensely thankful. I put mad in quotations because it is not your friend that is mad- it is the eating disorder. You acknowledge she exists and she is not ready to lose control.

Eating disorders are a touchy subject, but there is not nearly enough awareness on them. Early intervention can save so many lives. So if you think someone may be struggling try and get them to talk to a professional. Do whatever it takes to get them to be aware that they are sick. It is so important. It is life altering.

He or she may be upset with you at the time, but I would rather have a friend be angry with me for acknowledging they had a problem than dead because the eating disorder won.

Body Shaming Goes Both Ways

This is controversial so I will probably get some hate for this one, but this is something we do not talk about enough.

The other day I went to a party with my best friend. A comment I heard someone say about me, really stuck with me and I cannot seem to move on from it. It was something that I heard adults saying about my body.

We were going to a twenty-first birthday party and when we got there, they were grilling out. I ate dinner before I got there so when I was asked if I wanted anything I politely declined.

They told me to let them know if I got hungry later and if I wanted a burger. I let them know that I am a vegetarian and allergic to gluten. They just looked back at me and said “wow that must be a horrible diet to live on.”

I hear that a lot so that part did not bother me. What bothered me was what I heard when they thought I could not hear them. I heard them talking about my body.

The wife turned to her husband and said something along the lines that he should try being a gluten free vegetarian as well so he could lose a couple of pounds. The husband chuckled and responded with the remark, “well, I certainly do not want to whither away and be as skinny her. I could break her in half”

Normally when I hear comments about me looking skinny I feel good. It fuels Ana. But this time it made me feel sick. I am genuinely trying my hardest to gain and maintain my weight. The past couple of days I have been feeling pretty comfortable with the way I look, but when people point out that I look too skinny it really bothers me.

This is normally when a lot of people roll their eyes at me and say something like. “Oh boohoo, someone called you skinny. Such a horrible thing for someone to say.” But they do not get it. I do not go up to people and say, “Wow! I should eat like you so I can be fat!”

Society is so aware to NEVER call people fat, but we throw around the term skinny all the time.

I need to give my mom a quick shout out here: so Hey mom I know you are reading this and you’re probably so confused because I always try to get you to validate whether or not I look over or under weight. By feeling this way toward the remark I overheard, I know it is a way that I am recovering.

I do not want this validation. I do not want people telling me that I am a “skinny mini” anymore. Because I am more that. In reference to my post “I am more than just a body” being defined by looks is not how I want to be remembered.

I know I am not alone in this. I have friends that share with me how frustrated they get when they hear from people “wow teach me your ways so I can look like you!” or the common “what’s your diet? How can you eat that and NOT gain weight” Some people are just born with faster metabolisms.

Body shaming goes both ways. Body shaming affects all body types. So while some may think it is a compliment to point out how skinny someone is, sometimes its better to say nothing at all.

Fat is NOT a feeling

These past couple of days I havent been too good. The main reasons are because well I am “feeling” fat. I keep thinking about the food I indulged in and the drinks I drank- how disgusting. Why is it so hard for me to enjoy food. Why cant I eat chipotle and not feel guilty for days after. I am so sick of this feeling that every bite of food I eat will make me gain 5 pounds.

I used to think that I would rather be dead than fat. How awful is that? There is so much negative connotations around being fat that the idea made me sick. But honestly, why is it such a big deal if someone is fat or skinny? Shouldnt we be striving to be healthy? Shouldnt we be working on loving the person inside our skin?

We are so used to hearing that fat is bad and being too skinny is bad. Nothing ever seems good enough. One day they say “love your curves” or the next day its all about the flat stomach. Some people are just not born to have curves or flat stomachs and thats okay! So can we stop making these things we try to obtain? I know for a fact that I will never have normal posture because my legs are extremely hyper extended. There is literally no way to fix this, so instead of feeling ashamed of the weird bend in my legs im going to embrace it. The media is constantly putting people down for the way they look, but why? This is just making people critique their own body and others. Nothing will ever be perfect. Perfect is unattainable. I like to make my life look perfect, but its just a facade. Thats all perfection will ever be.

So right now here I am hungry and afraid to eat. I have made too much progress to obsess over eating chipotle. Yes, this past week I indulged more than I normally do, but who cares. Moderation is key. I need to enjoy life not hate on it. If my friends want to get froyo, I am getting froyo. If my friends want to grab a drink, I will grab a drink. My anorexia already took away so much from me, and I am sick and tired of it. She does not get to take anything else from me.

I am a firm believer in practicing what you preach. I will not be a hypocrite. I  will try to enjoy food. It wont be easy, but I need to make the effort. I am not feeling fat, I am feeling upset. FAT IS NOT A FEELING. It is sayings like that that make people ashamed of how they look. So lets refrain from saying, “omg i feel so fat now” because all we are doing is making people even more self conscious. Fat is not a word to describe feelings, nor is skinny.

So bye, I am going to go get froyo with my bff now.

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

All eyes on me

There comes that inevitable time where one just happens to find themselves in a public room where eating disorders are being discussed.

It’s a joyous feeling, truly.. (she says sarcastically) as information is being shared with the class about anorexia, bulimia, binge, orthorexia.Especially when you are in a classroom where almost everyone knows that you left not too long ago to get intensive care for your anorexia.

This probably seems contradictory because here I am sharing so much to the public world. But, this is different. Here I share my story. This is my safe place. Not everyone is educated enough on EDs to discuss them.

The person leading the presentation did an amazing job. I respect her very much and her presentation was very admirable and appropriate. However, being in the setting was rather uncomfortable. I could feel people staring at me, like yes hi hello, I am well aware that I have an eating disorder, thanks. I could feel people judging and thinking about the things I have done to myself. Things that I do not want people to know. It is too hard for people to fathom how one can hate their body so much. It just made me feel uncomfortable…and sad.

It was sad because it was so relatable. All the information she said brought me to a specific time in my life where I did a similar activity. It was awful, I was instantly taken away into the world of past hate. I never realized how bad I was until I listened to someone talk about EDs. It was a wake up call.

The part that got hard was when the presentation was over and she asked for questions/comments. My body is wanting to run for the door, but my mind is telling me I am strong enough to handle this. I was wrong.

People started talking. Sharing sizes, numbers, stories, rituals. THIS STUFF IS TRIGGERING OKAY. All I could think about was the negative. All I wanted to do was cry. I felt trapped. I didn’t understand why they were doing this. The presentation literally just talked about what NOT to say around people with an ED. Granted, not everyone is aware, and my mind is probably imagining it much worse than it actually was, but I felt like I was  s u f f o c a t i n g.

My professor is well aware of my anorexia. Yet, she was the one who would not drop the conversation. Sharing stories of people she knew. Mentioning habits and looks. I could not handle it. I tried to tune out. This ten minute presentation felt hours long. My body started shutting down. When I get too overwhelmed I disassociate. I felt the symptoms coming on…body twitching, mind spacing off. I was scared.

This presentation was also done right after I finished eating my lunch. Ana was getting fueled by the voices of my peers. Ana was getting feisty in my mind and she was NOT happy with me.

The demons can get triggered so easily. No matter how great my day may be going, any instant can bring up Ana. So please, I cannot stress this enough. Do not share sizes, numbers, diets, rituals, habits, pictures, anything triggering to someone you suspect may be suffering. Yes I know we cannot tell who everyone in the world is with an eating disorder, but please… just be cautious of this. It messes with people. It is retrograding. It is painful.

My friend doing the presentation played this great video made by the sorority Tri Delta. Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKPaxD61lwo 

I recommend checking it out. Its insightful, its a quick watch, and it educates us on “fat talk.”

Please, if you have read this far, just watch the video. This is a serious issue. Yes, right now I am still incredibly triggered, but I wont let this stop my day. I get to tutor a wonderful girl soon, I get to hang out with friends later,  I have therapy tonight, and tomorrow is my birthday. I am focusing on the GOOD. Please leave me now, Ana.

But, I’m Allergic…

Ohh allergies. A blessing and a curse. Recovering from an eating disorder would be a little bit easier if there was more food I could actually eat. It would still be hard because well food is still hard to eat, but I would at least have choices of things to eat.

I am not allergic to that much… I mean I have celiacs so I cannot have anything with gluten and I have been a vegetarian since I was 9.

A lot of people assume I went vegetarian because of my ED, but thats not the case. I have my own separate reasons for being a vegetarian that I might explain in a later post. Celiacs however is not a choice- I am extremely allergic to gluten. Even touching playdough gives me a rash.

This has it’s complications

My little eating disorder voice in my head (I refer to her as Ana) loves the restrictions. She is never tempted by food because she knows I cant eat it. If someone brings a treat to class, she has the excuse to not eat. It is great! I get to sit back and starve while other people eat. No one can force me eat it like what I am normally used to. “HA! Take that, I win”, Ana says.

But now that I am trying to shut up Ana it is getting harder. I want to be able to eat with friends when someone brings a treat. I am sick of nibbling on lettuce while other people enjoy pizza. It makes me feel like a rabbit, not like a human. I dont feel “normal”.

I want to be able to enjoy food, I truly do. But being allergic just always gives Ana that excuse to restrict. Going out to eat is always a challenge to find something to eat. The worst thing is when Ana starts to play tricks. Ana has learned to tell people that I am allergic to food when I really am not. But who is going to stop and question the girl allergic to so much other stuff?

I can always find a reason to not eat something. It may be true and it may be false.Even back before I was allergic, I would tell people I was allergic to certain food (Like I couldnt eat pretzels because of the salt…such an absurd excuse) Ana is manipulative, but Liv is not. I know what is right. I know that there are many gluten free options I can eat.

I wish I didnt have celiacs so then I would be forced to get over my fear foods. I would be able to have a more normalized recovery. I wasnt always allergic to gluten, so I have tried recovery while eating gluten. It was easier, because of the options. So now I just have another hurdle to overcome… I guess it is a good thing I tried hurdles in eighth grade track!!!

Following a vegetarian, gluten free diet is hard, but not impossible. I just need to find my niche. If anyone can recommend recipes or ideas to help that would be greatly appreciated ❤

keep fighting,

Liv