6 Things I Learned from my Bobbie

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My Bobbie is actually my grandmother.  She is my mom’s mom.  My mom, being the oldest of 3, was the first to get married and start a family.  So, I had the honor of being the first grandchild to Bobbie and Bill Ellis.  Well, as you can imagine, they were ecstatic to see me! 😉 However, Bobbie was not so ready to be tagged as “grandma”.  So, she decided that they would simply be called by their first names.  Believe me, this was very confusing to many of my friends as I was growing up.  Not only was it strange to them that I called my grandparents by their first names, but the fact that my grandmother’s name was “Bobbie”, tended to throw everyone for a loop as well.

I have a ton of great memories with my Bobbie and Bill.  Luckily they were both still young and full of energy and willing to take me on for extended periods of time in the summer.  As I got older, they would let me bring a friend with me on my visits.  It is funny how I can barely remember what I did last week, but I can vividly remember ice cream sundaes and swimming at their house.  They lived in Bryan/College Station.  My grandfather was a professor there at Texas A&M.  It was always cool and exciting to be in a college town and explore campus, especially as I got older.

My Bobbie called me last week.  She is in an assisted living facility in Louisiana.  We had a nice conversation, and believe me, she is still very much with it.  She has always had an excellent memory, even after undergoing brain surgery to remove a tumor when I was in younger.  As we were hanging up she said, “I love you all, and I want you to keep loving me”.  I have had her on my mind since that call.  I was thinking about all of the things I have learned from her over the years.  There are definitely too many to condense into one list, but, I know for sure these have to be the top 6.

  1.  Family is extremely important, and should be made a priority-despite distance.  Bobbie insisted that we make it happen when we could.  If that meant she and my grandfather having to be more flexible, or vice versa.  It was important that we carve out time to spend together consistently.  This meant not only being around each other, but making it quality time.  Sit down and “visit”.  Really talk and catch up.  Enjoy our time together.
  2. Friends and socializing are extremely important, and should also be made a priority.  My grandparents had more friends in more states (and overseas, for that matter), than anyone I have ever known!  They loved to go out with friends, and truly enjoyed meeting new people.  To this day, Bobbie can go somewhere and instantly make a new friend, LOL.
  3. Marriage is hard work; but it is worth the effort to find and keep your soulmate to grow old together with.  Loving companionship is vital to your health.  Bobbie and Bill truly loved each other.  They amazed me as to how they were able to keep that spark and freshness after so many years of marriage.  Through tough health issues, the loss of a child, raising children, and caring for aging parents, they held it together.  They supported each other.  They did not give up.  It would have been easy to quit.  They were part of the old school way of thinking that the grass may look greener on the other side, but, it really isn’t.  Bobbie lost Bill several years ago, and she still talks to him.  I love her for that, and for the example she and Bill set for myself and the generations to follow.  🙂
  4. Try to find the good in everyone.  I have always admired Bobbie for finding something nice to say about others, even when they may not be at their shiniest moment in life.  She has a forgiving heart, and tries to look straight through to a person’s soul.
  5. Be an open-minded person.  There are always two sides to every story, and you never know what battles others may be facing in their lives.  I am amazed at how open-minded my grandmother is.  She grew up in a very different time.  Yet, she seems to be the last person to pass judgement on those that have a different lifestyle or make choices that go against the grain.  She is definitely one of the most fair people I know.  You can pretty much tell her anything, and expect that she will listen without shock or jumping to conclusions before taking it all in.
  6. Take pride in your appearance.  Let me begin here by saying that I am not really your typical “dressy up” kind of girl.  In fact, most days you will find me in my “active wear”, LOL.  However, I do take pride in my appearance.  Let me assure you that if there are days that I am not feeling well, I make it a point to be homebound (or at least try).  Bobbie always stressed the importance of trying to look your best and take care of yourself. You never know who you will run into when you head out the door…that, my friends, is the TRUTH!

The Fine Line

Sooo freaking nervous heading out for the first 5 mile leg.
Sooo freaking nervous heading out for the first 5 mile leg.

I was never much of an athlete growing up.  In fact, I can remember in the 2nd grade overhearing my mom talking to another mom about enrolling me in dance.  They were going on about how it would be such a great way to “slim me down” and “get me active”.  I took dance and baton for 5 years until I reached that awkward stage.  In 7th grade, I decided to do the drill team thing, which I ended up enjoying throughout high school.  Needless to say, I just never could get the hang of sports.  Honestly, I think that part of it may have been insecurity and a feeling of total uneasiness with my body.  I don’t blame my mom for anything at all, in fact, I am glad that I did take dance all of those years!  What I do know is that somewhere around 2nd grade I started to feel different about myself and my body.  I felt too tall, too big, not skinny, not pretty, etc.  Why?  I am not completely sure?  There is a lot of talk about ED’s and the role that environment plays vs genetics.  Speaking from the perspective of someone that has an ED, I truly believe it is a combination of both.  There has to be some genetic factor that led me down this path.  No doubt, it was perpetuated by environmental factors.

So, what is my point?  Well, I shared an early memory from elementary school regarding my feelings toward my body, and my non-athletic abilities.  Fast forward to high school.  I remember the summer after my freshmen year.  I had decided that I was going to make it a summer of renewal, lol.  I had seen a girl down the street, who was much older than me, running early in the morning down the dirt road by our house.  She was a larger girl, and I thought…dang, if she can run, why can’t I??  So, I set my alarm and set out to run.  Well, as you can expect, it didn’t go quite as I imagined it would.  I made it about 3 minutes and thought I was going to die!  I tried a few more times that week, and eventually decided that I was just not meant to be a runner.

Things changed when I got to college.  I gained a ton of weight my freshmen year, and by the time I was heading into my junior year, I decided that I needed to figure something out.  I took some classes at our Rec center, and started gaining some confidence.  The more I stuck with it, the better I felt, and the better I wanted to do.  I went from a taking a step class every few days to taking a cycle class every morning followed by a step class and kickboxing. Now, this is a tricky line that you have to be VERY careful with when you have an ED or any addictive type of personality.  It is very easy to swing from the far left to the right without even realizing what you are doing.  In fact, that is exactly what I did.  As I look back to elementary, junior high, and even high school, I see my ED.  It was there.  It exhibited itself in the form of yo-yo dieting, constant self-criticism, and a need for total perfection.  There were other unhealthy behaviors as well, in an effort to get thin/better.  I was never comfortable or satisfied with my body then.  However, I have to say that my ED officially stepped up and took center stage my junior year in college (perhaps the summer before).  I went from trying to get healthy via a better diet and exercise, to over the top extreme.  I had no idea what I was doing.

Well into my senior year, I was stuck in a vicious cycle.  Unfortunately, this craziness lasted for about 15 years.  Every comment from someone about how great I looked, fueled the fire.  Every failure or bump in the road, fueled the fire.  There was never a good time to get out.  It became my identity, and I remember thinking that there was no way I could give it up.  I was so scared to even imagine what would happen if I had to stop.

Why is this important for me to share?  Over the weekend I ran in the Ragnar race that I have been training for for several months.  I have never been so nervous in my life!!!!  As I mentioned previously, running has always been a challenge for me.  I have definitely gotten much better over the years, but this race was going to push me to run 16 miles!  Anyway, I survived it.  It was a huge challenge, and the last leg was cancelled due to extreme weather, but I did what I never thought I would be able to do.  I really think this race made me dig deep like I have never had to before.  It was a major sense of accomplishment.  When it was all over, and I was back home, it occurred to me that I was back at that fine line.  I have been training hard.  Granted, I have eaten well!  But, as I have ran everyday this week since the race, it has been in the back of my mind.  I felt as if I needed to revisit the path that has brought me to where I am today.  I needed a strong reminder of that fine line that I jumped over so easily without even realizing it in college.  I do intend to keep up my running, because I actually do enjoy it as a bonus to my walks.  However, I do not intend to go over that line into out-of-control ever again.  It will be a constant struggle forever, but I will not stop fighting.

A Week Without Facebook, and Other Scary Stories

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photo credit: Infographic – Social Media Marketing for Car Dealers via photopin (license)

 

Yes, I did it!  I gave up Facebook for an entire week, LOL!  Why?  Well, it all started out with a conversation I was having with my best friend.  It seems like Facebook has been a hot topic among us lately.  “Did you see _ on Facebook?  I am really tired of hearing about _ on Facebook.  Okay, seriously, if I see one more post about _, I am going to scream!”  That is kind of how the chat goes.  So, on a Sunday afternoon we were having some wine and the normal FB discussion.  This time I said, ya know, I wonder how much happier I would be without looking at FB?  Maybe if I didn’t open it once for a full week?  I wonder if it would make any difference? That is what I did.  This is what I discovered at the end of the week…

  1.  I had significantly less anxiety over the course of the week.  Why?  I am not really sure, but I think it may have to do with not seeing a million Crossfit challenges and smoothie cleanses?  Or, maybe it was not seeing a ton of before and after photos captioned with pant sizes?  Or, maybe it was not seeing all of the superhuman/supermom posts throughout the week with nothing but rainbows and butterflies (when I am running around trying to slap some food on the table while perusing through dirty laundry looking for gray gym shorts for athletics and sitting on hold with the toll authority to “discuss” the incorrect toll violation they just sent me.) 🙂
  2. This next discovery is somewhat of a spin off of #1 (I think?).  It seemed that I felt less pressure on myself, and I put less pressure on my kids.  Unfortunately, this tells me that despite every effort to be a person that doesn’t conform or try and “keep up with the Joneses”, I must be that person. 🙁  So, this is a good thing.  Now, I realize that I have gotten a little out of control with my competitive and perfectionistic nature, and I need to bring it back down to good.  I read something that I needed to be reminded of…”Beware of trying to impress others by acting as if your big steps were small ones”. (quoted from Jesus Calling daily devotional)
  3. I wasted a lot less time.  Yep.  It is true.  I apparently waste a lot of valuable time on FB.  Imagine that!  I was really productive last week, seriously! Laundry, work, cleaning…
  4. I had a gut feeling that FB (and most other social media sites that I follow) provide many triggers for me.  I definitely confirmed that theory.  This is no one’s fault, and just part of the real world.  I was half joking on #1 when I mentioned the before and after photos with pant sizes in the captions.  Let’s be honest, there is really nothing wrong with anyone posting their success photos.  Many people use FB as a marketing tool for their business, and I totally get that.  I am sure that for a lot of folks, those pictures are inspiring!  However, they are the opposite for me.  Very triggering.  My FB feed seems to be inundated with motivational words to inspire weight loss and working out and losing multiple pant sizes.  Recovery has taught me that there are just some things I have to keep at an arms length.  I know this.  Why have I allowed my feed to become full of these things?  Just like with anyone in recovery, it will always be a ongoing battle.  I am really glad that this experiment made me re-evaluate some unhealthy behaviors on my part.
  5. Perception is not reality.

What am I going to do with my new found discovery?  Well, I am not going to abandon FB…that would be crazy!  😉 I am going to exert some self-control, however, and put it in check.  Instead of checking it 10,000 times per day, I am taking a few scheduled breaks to catch up.  I love having all of the friends that I have, and I really do not want to unfriend anyone.  My plan is to hide the triggering posts and see if I can get around it that way.

Yes, the title of this post is “A Week Without Facebook and Other Scary Stories”.  My other scary stories are really not that scary.  They go something like this…#whyis5thgrademathsohardformom #whokeepschangingmathrules #doesanyonememorizemultiplicationtablesanymore #pleasegobacktoteachingoldschoolmathforthesanityofmom  🙂

Please God, Let School Start Soon!

This was our entertainment while waiting for Pat at Sportsclips
This was our entertainment while waiting for Pat at Sport Clips

So, it is only Wednesday, and it feels like Friday.  The first day of school can not get here fast enough!!  Apparently several other parents had the same plan to knock out haircuts on Monday.  While sitting for over an hour at Sport Clips, I found this screen shot on Pinterest.  I am not sure why it cracked me up as much as it did…maybe it was delirium?  Actually, I think it reminded me of something my oldest would do.  In fact, I immediately sent it to her.  Hopefully, you read the very top of the shot which explains what is going on in the text, lol.  We made it through the wait, and Pat was finally called back for his cut.  I had been preparing myself mentally for what I was about to have to say.  We walked back, and I told the girl, “This might sound a little odd, but he doesn’t want his normal cut.  He is wanting to keep it long on top, and he wants it to be more like Miley Cyrus.”  She looked at me a little strange, and then said, “Hmmmm, okay, let me see if I can find a picture.”  I immediately pulled out my phone and showed her the pictures I had already found of the haircut.  After some discussion about cowlicks, it was party time.  I sat back down and waited.  About 20 minutes later, the lady next to me asked if I cared if she took her son over to look at Pat’s hair.  What?  No, I didn’t care…but, why?  You mean someone else wants Miley Cyrus hair??  I walked over with them, and Pat was just about finished.  I have to say, it really looked good!  Not at all what I was expecting.  The stylist showed him how to use the gel to style it, and we were done.  Last year was a battle to get him to get up before school and “fix” his hair.  So, before I agreed to take him in for this new cut, we agreed that he would need to get up every morning and style it himself.  So far, he has kept up his end of the deal.  Yes, I know we are only 2 days into it.  🙂

Pat's Sweet Miley Cyrus Haircut
Pat’s Sweet Miley Cyrus Haircut

Checked that off the list, then we headed to the mall for some back to school clothes shopping.  Let me clarify, I really do not like the mall.  It is useful for some things, but when it comes to kids and the mall, I REALLY don’t want any part of that.  The last trip I made was with Mia, and I swear we were in Charlotte Russe for at least 2 hours.  When we finally left, I had techno music stuck in my head and felt like I needed about 3 glasses of wine to clear my mind of all the teen talk.  🙁  So, why were we going there??  Well, here is the reason…Pat HAD to go to Zumiez because he HAD to get some skateboarding T-shirts, and Mia HAD to go to Charlotte Russe because she HAD to get some high-waisted jeans.  I gave them each their allotted amount and sent them on their various ways to shop, and I took the youngest with me to try on clothes at a few stores.  We survived, it was fairly painless.  I was definitely ready to get home at the end of the day.

It is so funny how ready I usually am in May for the kids to be out for the summer break.  I think it must be like childbirth, some type of amnesia sets in over the course of the school year.  Somehow I forget how crazy we all make each other in the summer.  I have a picture in my mind of all of us swimming and going to the movies and spending time outdoors.  Then, about 3 weeks into summer vacation, reality hits.  Everyone is fighting and grumpy.  There is no food in the house, even though I just went to the store the day before, lol. It is too hot to swim, there is “nothing” to do.  I can’t get any work done, at all.  The house is a total wreck.  All the clothes are dirty (or at least on the floor).  Then I start counting down the days until back to school.  And, here we are…almost there!!!  YESSSSSSSSSSS!!! 😉

 

11 Things to be Grateful for in Recovery

Thankful
photo credit: be thankful via photopin (license)

 

When I started on the path to recovery, I did not have a very thankful attitude.  In fact, I wanted to throw myself a pity party everyday and sit at the head of the table.  What was there to be grateful for?  As I look back over the course of the last year and a half, I can clearly see so many things I have to be thankful for.  I am not really sure when it all clicked.  Somewhere along the way,  I crossed over a bridge from the side of sickness to the side of recovering/recovery.  That is when I could finally see how far I had come.  Here are the 11 things that I discovered I am truly grateful for in recovery:

1.  I am not completely depleted and wiped out everyday, I actually have “normal people” energy.

2.  I have gained SO much more time each day.  Time that was wasted on my sickness before, I now have to use for greatness!

3.  Instead of pushing my daughters closer to the illness as they get older, I am a positive role model.  We have an open line of communication about eating disorders and body image, and they know my past and current struggles.

4.  Margaritas!!!!!! 😉

5.  There are so many other people that are just like me, the struggle is REAL.  I had a hard time believing this, even when I was in treatment with other girls “claiming” to have the same issues.  I still felt different from them.  Recovery has taught me differently.  Our stories are all different, but our underlying struggles are so much the same.

6.  I CAN function without a scale and without knowing the number that it reads everyday (or twice a day).

7.  People are extremely understanding.  I was so terrified to let the words come out of my mouth the first time I told anyone about my eating disorder.  I really thought folks would be thoroughly disgusted and appalled.  I am so thankful that I have learned the exact opposite is true.  If only I had known that years ago…

8.  I had no clue how many resources and outlets were out there…I find more and more everyday.  Blogs, Websites, Instagram and Tumblr accounts…I am inspired and motivated by so many others that share everyday.

9.  I am seriously grateful for the extra money that I have now!  Yep, the money that I wasted everyday on food and other things to satisfy my eating disorder.

10.  More time with my friends and family.  Instead of sending calls to voicemail, or avoiding social situations to spend quality time with my eating disorder, I actually pursue opportunities to “just talk” or “hang out”.  Yes, even when I am having a difficult body image day, I am more likely to push through it and show up.  So many lost moments over the years…but, I am finding new ones! 🙂

11.  There is no such thing as perfect.

 

 

Gratitude
photo credit: Gratitude changes the way we look at the world via photopin (license)

One bite at a time…

Persistence
photo credit: Confucius It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop via photopin (license)

So, this is a picture of me running as I prepare for my group race in October!  I am completely serious!  I do love this picture, and this reminder, because I really do not like running very much.  I love to walk, and I walk really fast.  I have been reminding myself lately that when I first started speed walking, I was not in the best shape.  I had to build up my stamina and work towards bigger goals.  Really, this applies to pretty much everything.  I have come to the realization that this concept is probably one of my biggest challenges.  I tend to think that I need to plow through everything, and if I don’t or can’t…well, then, it must be an impossibility.  What a messed up way of thinking??  In reality, most of the stress in my life is probably self prescribed! In regards to running, and getting ready for the race, I have an awesome app that reminds me each day what I need to do.  It even reminds me that we are taking “baby steps”.  I woke up this morning, and it popped up first thing that by the end of the day, I need to run 1.35 miles.  So, in my mind, it is clear cut.  I know what the goal is today, and I am not freaking out about what I have to do in October.  I decided that this is what I have to do with all my long-term goals.  I love lists.  In fact, I have about 5 notebooks sitting here right at this very moment full of lists!  They can be a bit overwhelming.  I will not be getting rid of my notebooks, they definitely have a purpose.  Instead, I am going to use my planner the way it is supposed to be used, LOL.  How perfect that we are at the very beginning of August?!  My monthly goals are written at the start of the month, and I make my baby step plan each week.  I actually used to do this, and am not quite sure why I ever stopped?  The final, most important (I think) piece to my plan is reflection.  At the END of each week, before I make my plan for the upcoming week, I look back at what I have accomplished.  Everyone’s planner is different.  Mine actually has blank pages for notes.  I like to write down my accomplishments, and make notes about what changes I can implement for improvement.  In the back I keep a running list of Rockstar moments I have had throughout the year.
I am super excited to get back into my routine of taking one bite at a time.  I can’t think of a better time to start than today 😉

This video is unbelievably inspiring, it proves no excuse is good enough…

Celebrities, Eating Disorders, and a Big High-Five!

My favorite breakfast-eggs, mexican cheese, toasted tortillas, mustard :)
My favorite breakfast-eggs, mexican cheese, toasted tortillas, mustard 🙂

So, this has to be one of my all time top favorite things to eat for breakfast.  Simple, but so good!  I thought I would share a quick trick that I recently learned about making speedy eggs.  I really hate the smell of eggs in the morning, and I hate cleaning up the mess, LOL.  I think that this shortcut is genius!  Crack 2 eggs into a microwave-safe ramekin, add salt/pepper, stir with fork.  Microwave for about 40 seconds, stir and microwave another 40 seconds. Eggs are done!  Seriously!?  They are fluffy and yummy with hardly any stink or cleanup.

In regards to celebrities, eating disorders, and big high-fives – I have been really inspired lately by several celebs and their honesty about body image struggles/ED.  I think that so much emphasis is placed on the negative in our world, it is refreshing to hear stories with a positive message for a change.  A few nights ago I watched “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” for the first time.  Have you ever seen this amazing show???  Wow!  This guy is super impressive.  He has a different celeb on each episode and takes them on some type of crazy journey where they are asked to push their limits.  Through the course of the adventure, Bear talks with the celebrity and finds out all sorts of intimate details about who they really are.  The episode I watched had Kate Winslet as the celeb guest.  Let me just say, she seems like a very “real”, down-to-earth, kind of gal.  She was funny, determined, and candid.  Kate revealed that she struggled with body image and bullying growing up.  She recalled feeling as if she was never quite right – chubby, big feet, messy hair, etc.  “When I grew up, I never heard positive reinforcement about body image from any female in my life.  I only heard negatives”  Kate told Bear.  Apparently, Kate has been determined to break that negative cycle by providing constant positive body image reinforcement to her own daughter.  She said she and her daughter stand in front of the mirror and talk about how they are so lucky to have curves and good bums!  High five to you Kate Winslet!  That made my heart smile.  She also inspired me to keep moving forward and continually feed my girls positive words.

Demi Lovato is another inspiration to me.  She speaks very openly and honestly about her addiction and ED recovery.  In support of communicating properly about mental illness and eating disorders, she was quoted as saying, “There’s a wide misconception that anorexia and/or bulimia is a choice…It’s the ignorance and lack of education on mental illnesses that continues to [p]ut mental health care on the back burner.”  She goes on to say, “Eating disorders do not discriminate…neither does any other mental illness.  These are deadly diseases that are taking lives daily.  So please, let’s be cautious of the words we use when discussing ED’s and other mental illnesses.”  High five to you Demi Lovato!!  Her book “Staying Strong” is powerful and well-said.  I had not looked through it in quite some time.  My oldest daughter raided my bookshelf a week or so before she left for church camp, and found it.  When she came back from camp, I discovered it in her suitcase.  Honestly, I have to say that made me proud.  She could have picked a lot of other things to read, but she chose something insightful.  This week, I have been flipping through the book again.  High five, again, Demi!!  I think I may start giving it out as a regular gift. 😉 Such an inspiration.

My take away from all of this – you don’t have to be a famous celebrity to make a difference or have a voice.  In fact, there are tons of “regular” folks that inspire and support me daily.  I think it is the sheer honesty that I am really impressed with.  I can only imagine being in the public eye makes it even more difficult to be so open about such a sensitive part of your life.  I love this quote.  Simple, but so very true…

“Our secrets make us sick” – Unknown

 

 

Good Food, Good Friends, Fun Times!

My DELISH burrito bowl at Freebirds!!!  Yummmmm!!!
My DELISH burrito bowl at Freebirds!!! Yummmmm!!!

Okay, so, I have to admit that last week was not really the best week ever.  It is getting to the point of total crazy around here.  I was down a kid (due to the sweet blessings of church camp), but the other two were constantly at battle.  When Friday finally arrived, we all needed to get out of the prison walls of this house!  The oldest arrived home from church camp and settled in nicely…it is amazing what a week without social media and a new perspective make.  Saturday morning we all formulated our game plan for the day.  First stop was Freebirds for some lunch, then on to The Main Event for some family fun, LOL. I have to admit, it was a really great day!  The food was incredible, and NO ONE argued at all!!!!  The Main Event is not usually my favorite place to visit.  I am not a huge fan of the chaos or the swiping of that dang card.  We stayed for about 2 hours, and everyone left with a smile on their face.  That is a win in my book!!

The teens getting along with everyone...AMAZING!! LOL!!
The teens getting along with everyone…AMAZING!! LOL!!
Ans and I in the photo booth at The Main Event :)
Ans and I in the photo booth at The Main Event 🙂

 

On the way home, I received a Facebook invite from some good friends to their “First Annual Slip and Slide Kick Ball Bash”.  Never done this before!  So, we headed out there for the evening.  SO MUCH FUN!!  I am not sure who enjoyed it more, the kids or the adults!  I really love the great friends that we have.  It seems like every time we all get together I meet someone new that I thoroughly enjoy.  I really do believe that you can learn so much from everyone you meet.  Honestly, I don’t know if I am just surrounding myself with different types of people, or if I am progressing more and more in my recovery and able to be way more “real”.  I find it so interesting the conversations that I have with my friends now.  Nobody really cares about how perfect they look or how “right” they are parenting.  It is just honest and real.  Do we talk about insecurities and swimsuits and food…yes…but, it is not the FOCUS.  I love that!!!  Nobody cares!  🙂

 

 

Here is a pic of almost all of the kickball field.  Kiddie pools were the bases.  So funny!
Here is a pic of almost all of the kickball field. Kiddie pools were the bases. So funny!

Soooo, Sunday morning arrived, and the oldest was excited to go to church and take her two best friends.  I dropped them off and came home to change for a walk/run.  Side note – just signed up for a team race in October called Ragnar that I am very nervous about…I really do not like to run, LOL.  More on that later!  We ended the weekend with an afternoon of swimming and GREAT food at another friend’s house.  Feeling very blessed on this Monday after a long, crazy weekend!  😉

Avocado Salad I made to take to swim on Sunday.  Delish!!!
Avocado Salad I made to take to swim on Sunday. Delish!!!

Plans for the Future

trinandmia2
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. This was the verse that I clung to all throughout my eating disorder treatment (and thereafter!). I think that one reason it yelled out at me was because at that particular time in my life everything felt so completely uncertain. I had worked a steady job for many years and managed to keep up the facade that I had it all together. Things had been slowly unraveling for several months, but the month preceding treatment my life spiraled at a frantic pace. There I was alone, with no job, facing a harsh reality that I was going to have to give up my favorite secret to the world. A secret that I had kept just for me since I was a teenager. It was my true companion, always there when nothing else was. I was terrified to think that I would have to learn to live without my dark friend. Anyone that has struggled or knows someone that has an eating disorder probably knows that a lack of control is fuel for the fire. It only made me want to cling to my sickness even more. The first week of treatment, I realized that I needed something outside of myself to focus on to pull me to the other side. A girl in group was reading a devotional one morning, and she shared that day’s passage with all of us. It spoke to me so profoundly. I could not get past how perfect that verse was for me and how I was feeling. If I could not be in control of everything around me and inside me, at least I could feel at ease knowing that God was in total control of EVERYTHING. He had a plan, and He was not going to let harm come my way. I just had to trust Him. So, when my dietician asked me to add pasta to my weekly plan, I had to simply breathe and say, “Okay, I can do this. I may not trust you. I may not trust myself or my body or that damn pasta, but, I will trust that God has a plan for me, and he will get me through this. I am not going to sugar-coat anything. I battle everyday. Some days are really easy, and some days are complete losses. However, I still keep trying and moving forward with my hope for the future. I love this picture of my daughter and her best friend. It makes my heart smile every time I look at it. I am so proud of both of them. They are confident, smart, independent girls. In fact, they are at church camp together this week. My hope for both of them is that they trust that God has a plan for them, and always remember that the kind of friendship they have is real friendship. I pray they never have to miss out on real life being consumed with a secret dark companion.