September Foodie Pen Pal… and a HARD look in the mirror!

I can’t believe that September is over??  Someone once told me that the older you are, the quicker the times goes.  Is this true?  If so, in my middle ages I will blink and a day will be over.  Well September certainly brought some changes in my life.  I decided to pull up my big girl pants and start my life.  I’m still in transition.  I’m not brave enough to move without a full time job.  So for now, I’m applying and trying my hardest to get a job that’s going to be “right” for me.  I don’t want to move into another position to just get there.  I want to be happy doing what I do!  Like I’ve said before, we spend 1/3 of our lives at work, why not do something we love!

I participated in the FoodiePenPal again this month hosted by Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean! Thank you Lindsay for giving us foodies a wonderful opportunity to share fun goodies each month!  My Pal this month was Dawn from Bare It all Fitness .  Dawn is a personal trainer and is an amazing inspiration and motivator!  She sent me a beautiful box filled with goodies from Whole Foods. I love Whole Foods! I don’t live near one, but if I’m driving by, I will stop!  Every trip to Cape Cod includes a stop lately.  Even if just for a salad from the salad bar.  I LOVE their marinated tofu!  And it’s gluten free!

Dawn got me a bunch of goodies!!!

I totally love the Hail Merry brand goodies!!  They were delicious.  The Polenta is great to have because it’s so versatile! And how did Dawn know that I had just finished my gfree soy sauce??  Totally love the basket!  Can’t wait to try the sauces and the shake mix!  Thank you Dawn!!  And a bigger thank you for taking on my allergies! 🙂

I feel so bad when the Pals that I’ve had so far ask me about my restrictions.  I’m always “that girl”.  I can’t eat this, I can’t eat that, can I get that on the side, no butter… lol.  It took me a LONG time to be okay with that lifestyle.  I USED to be that way out of choice when I was in my disordered eating days, but now it’s unfortunately, necessity due to intolerance.  At least now I have a valid excuse to my craziness! J

Thanks again Dawn!!

I unfortunately, am going to have to take the month off of my Foodie Pen Pal for October.  Still being unemployed is putting a strain on the wallet.  Any little bit of extra $$ helps !  But don’t worry, once I get some employment and settled, I’ll be right back on the list!

Duh, doh doh… my hard look in the mirror.  I’ve put this off long enough in the blog world.  I mentioned it real quick above that I was a “disordered eater”.  I had a lot of disorder in the world of eating a few years ago.  I have done a LOT of self-reflection on this, and this is where I believe my story started. Flashback… My mom got sick at a very young age.  My sister and I were 7 years old.  We were allowed to eat fun things in moderation, but we lived a pretty healthy lifestyle.  I was a always a bit more plump due to my fluctuating hormones from my Congenital Hypothyroidism.  I never thought anything of it.  We rode horses, played outside until bedtime, we were always active.  Back then it was “cops and robbers” out on the lawn instead of Super Mario or videogames.  We weren’t sedentary unless we were in school.

However, during this time, I watched my mom through her disease.  She was forced to eat the same things day in and day out due to her stomach issues.  I think I slowly picked up on her habits.  She also exercised almost 6 days a week.  She was like the energizer bunny.  Working 14 hour days, exercising, maintaining a household with 2 twin girls, a dog, and a hubby who was working over 60 hour weeks.  Who doesn’t want to be like their mother?  She was, still is, my hero.  I took after her in the energy department, and when I turned 14 I started to exercise and become fixated on my weight.  That was also the point that she started to go in and out of the hospital at least once every 6 months.  There was a correlation between the two, as in most eating disorders.  I could not control that her health was deteriorating, so I turned to my eating.  I could control how much I worked out and how much I put in my mouth.

**Me Freshman year, i was wearing a size 14 kids**

I never went full blown no eating, but I would definitely make unhealthy choices in how much I would eat.  This went on and off for almost 10 years.  It wasn’t until SHE sat me down at my lowest point in college, and asked me if I ever wanted to have children?  I of course said “yes”.  We had the most profound discussion that day and from that moment on it all just clicked.  I wasn’t scary skinny, I was tiny but not healthy looking.  I took a year or two off and gained some weight.  I started to just not “feel good” with so much excess fat on my body.  That’s when I turned to fitness.

Working out became not only a means to get healthy and lose weight, but it also became an outlet for me.  My mother’s health only got worse after college, and instead of turning to a state of depression or being mad at others for something that I and they had no control over, I turned to my kickboxing videos.  I could punch, kick, and jab it out.  I did!  I still do.  Exercise releases endorphins.  Endorphins that make you feel good, happy.  I do it because I know how I will feel after.  Better.  I will forget, even if for a moment, the stressors in my life.

 Well, fast forward to the present.  My mother has died, and I really turned to TurboFire/Chalean Extreme during those times.  Maybe that’s why I’m so attached to them.  They have become my form of grief recovery?! Well, I started my P90X this week and I really started to miss my Kickboxing workouts. Don’t get me wrong I LOVE my P90X weights.  For example, I was SO happy today that the Chest/Back workout was harder than it was last week.  I could barely make it through the second round of pushups.  I LOVE being challenged.  But I had to take a LONG HARD look in the mirror on Friday because I started to get anxious without my lack cardio.

Here’s the thing about a recovering person with disordered eating, body dysmoprhia, etc.  You NEVER fully recover.  Every single day is a battle.  Those thoughts are always “there” but you choose to ignore them.  I know I’m BIGGER and stronger than my thoughts.  I AM confident in myself.  I no longer battle with food issues.  I learned that I like food MUCH TO MUCH!  However, I can feel my anxieties are starting to bubble up.  I took a LONG look in the mirror and realized my anxiety is NOT just about my change in fitness, but the current state of my life in general.  Lack of a job, money stress, stress of my family, a grandmother with dementia, etc…. When life decides to happen ALL at once, we turn to what we know.  I know “controlling what I can”, ie my fitness.  Hence my automatic scapegoat anxiety towards my new program.  I just realized that it’s not just fitness, it’s me, and I need to tell myself that I am more than what I see in the mirror. I am MORE than what I see.  I am MORE than how I “feel” about myself.

I am MORE.

It’s incredibly difficult to share this with the public, but I have read so many other stories on blogs of other women’s self-admissions.  I always thought “how brave of them to discuss their struggles”, but I would be lying to the people if I did not ‘fess’ up to my pitfalls.  That is how we grow.  No one is perfect.  Everyone has moments when they don’t feel like the look, or like they feel their best.  Everyone has stresses, and their own coping mechanisms.

I just need to remind myself to take a deep breath from time to time, as my sister says, “in through the nose, out through the mouth” and know that it’s all going to be okay!

Have you ever struggled from some form of Disordered eating/body dysmorphia/exercise addiction?

Do you turn to fitness as a coping mechanism for stress/struggles? 

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