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Focusing on a New Chapter in My Life

Hey guys! Hope you’re all doing well. I have some news.

So since I started this blog last summer I’ve had moments where I loved it, and moments where I avoided it for weeks at a time. I’ve considered closing it before, but it’s also been an amazing source of support.  You guys are all so great, and I’ve really enjoyed writing to you all. But I think it’s time that I close down the blog.

As much as the blog is constructive, I feel like it also has somewhat stinted my growth. Every time I write here, I’m still writing about depression, emotional eating, and binging (or being so proud of not binging). I want to take the focus of my life off the bad and onto the good. I want to spend more time living life and less time thinking about the life I’ve previously lived.

Thank you so much for spending time with me in the past year and for all of your support, especially during this winter. You’re all great, beautiful people who are 100% deserving of the living the best life ever. Right now, I’m (hopefully) taking my first big leap towards that better life.

Have a great day..week..month..year.. 😉

Michelle

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Life Ain’t No Box of Chocolates

…it’s a roller coaster ride. I feel so up and down lately.

Three great days, followed by three miserable days, and repeat. It’s so emotionally taxing. Lately I’ve lost so much motivation. For example, my room is trashed right now, but I have no energy to do anything about it. I just add to the piles because I don’t know what else to do. I compete with clutter just to sleep on my bed at night.

I had my first exam this semester today and it was such a struggle to study for it. I finally dedicated time to it, but it was certainly a battle of will to make myself do it. I constantly feel exhausted and overwhelmed. I also feel alone a lot, and sad. I try to reach out to people when I’m feeling down, but I often get discouraged when people start responding that they’re busy. I end up sitting in my apartment miserable and feeling empty.

And then I pass the time by eating. Not gonna lie, today I ate at least 15 snack baggies of graham cookies.. there goes portion controlling. Ugh. So disappointing. Obviously they weren’t eaten out of hunger, cookies aren’t terribly satiating, but 15?! Come on, you’d get full after 5. Right?? No, they were eaten for some other reason. Entertainment? Possibly. A little sugar spike so I can get a happiness spike? Certainly played a part. A distraction from thinking about how sad I am?? DING DING definitely the number one reason.

It’s fascinating, I understand all of this SO freakin well. I totally get it. Does that make it easy to stop? Nah. Easier? Maybe, but it’s definitely not easy. I still have a really hard time, but I’m trying to come to terms with that.

I have to imagine that a lot of this has to do with my dad passing away. That’s the thing I don’t understand. I don’t understand this whole mourning thing. I don’t understand this underlying loss feeling, I don’t understand these delayed emotions, I don’t understand what a loss like this is like.

I can’t be mad at myself for having a tough winter. Anyone would have a tough winter under these circumstances, and a lot of people would eat in response to such an intense loss. In fact, did you know that more people eat in response to loss than don’t eat? For so long it was assumed that people wasted away over misery. Some do, but the vast majority actually gain weight during the grieving process. I’m eating because I’m missing something in my life, and I’m not alone in doing that.

I’m trying a few things that will hopefully help.

  • Taking a long weekend at home. I got permission to miss one class tomorrow and my Friday class, so at around 9:30am tomorrow I will be in the car headed home, estimated time of arrival: 11:30am. I’m really looking forward to seeing my mom and escaping the college scene for a few days.
  • Just got two books about emotional eating & mindful eating in the mail from Amazon today. Looking forward to reading them and seeing if anything strikes me.
  • I’m actively pursuing off campus therapy. I have my first initial meeting next Monday. The lady sounded nice on the phone, and it was one of the top people the on campus counseling center suggested for me. The office is located ~20min off campus. Normally that would be nerve-wracking for me, I hate driving to new places, but, lucky me, the building happens to be down the road from the hospital I interviewed at. I should have no problem finding it, what a relief. I hope it goes well, I’ve had bad experiences trying to get off campus help. Cross your fingers for me!
  • Considering reaching out for help from friends. This one makes me feel very nervous. I really don’t like being vulnerable, at all, and I really don’t enjoy asking for help. But if my main problem is feeling isolated when I’m alone in my apartment, then obviously I need others to be around me. I was thinking about talking to some of my closer friends and just saying Hey, I’m having a hard time. A really hard time. When I’m alone for too long, I end up doing self-destructive things. I need help, I need company. Sometimes, when you’re sitting around doing homework, or just sitting around doing nothing, send me a message and see if I’m doing the same. Then we could do it together. It would mean a lot to me. Just writing that out on the blog felt so uncomfortable to me. I really have no idea if I’ll follow through on asking for help. I’m also always afraid of saying “Hey hang out with me?” because I’m afraid the response will be no. :-/ What do you all think?

So the moral of today’s blog post:

It’s OK to have a hard time. It’s OK that getting back to “normal eating” takes a really loooooong time and has a lot of bumps along the way. However, it’s not OK to not do anything about it. Once you realize you have some sort of problem (any kind of problem, food-related or not) you should try to fix it, because you don’t want to waste any more time on a problem than you have to. So, it’s alright by me that I struggle, as long as I’m doing my best to put up a good fight.

I got my boxing gloves on. Emotional eating better be ready for a fight.

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Cheeseburger in Paradise

Hey everyone!

So NEDAweek is over and it was a HUGE success. Now that the week is past us, I have to focus on school work, with my first exam of spring semester on Wednesday. I’m trying to not freak out about it, because I really have not put any time into it yet. Guess I just won’t be sleeping much Monday or Tuesday. :-/

My eating was totally thrown of course this week. The executive board for NEDAC went out to dinner Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (two meals with speakers, one celebration dinner). Although it left me feeling overstuffed and a little guilty, all the food was charged to the club, which was awesome! lol I also went out to dinner last night with a guy friend, got the most insanely delicious vegetable lasagna with big broccoli florets in it.

The highlight though of my week of eating out was today. After partying far too hard last night (one of my more epic weekends at college), I ended up staying in bed until 3pm. I never EVER do that. It was kind of fun being a college bum for once. Finally at 3:30pm my stomach was growling. I wasn’t hung over (SO surprising), but I had that post-drinking gross stomach feeling. The cure? GREASE! As my friend and I were discussing the best “day after” meal choices, one in particular stuck out: cheeseburger and fries. The last time I had a beef cheeseburger was probably junior year of high school.

I was pretty damn excited for that burger. It’s so rare that you crave something so specifically, so I knew I had to listen to my body and go all out. No veggie burger, no subbing a side salad, it had to be meat, cheese, bread, and fries… with lots of ketchup.

We went to a diner, because diners have the best food. When my huge plate of fatty deliciousness was placed in front of me, I dug in and didn’t leave a crumb behind. I was pretty full afterwards, but totally satisfied.

It’s almost midnight now, and the only other thing I’ve had was a no sugar added skim chai latte. This was not because I didn’t allow myself to eat anything else today because of my burger. If I felt genuinely hungry I would have eaten something. In the past, I would have been convinced that I had to eat something by 8 or 9, 4-5 hours after my last meal. I would have eaten out of habit, not true hunger.

But, I’m trying to listen to my body more, honor it’s cravings, and acknowledge what’s true hunger and what is emotion or routine. So even though my only food today was a big greasy cheeseburger, fries, and a chai latte, I did an excellent job of listening to my body, and that’s really important to me.

I do not advocate eating one meal in a day. But I do advocate listening to cravings and listening for hunger.

Goodnight,

Michelle

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Blog Booty Call

It’s midnight and I’m in the mood for a quickie… a quickie update that is. 😉

SO many things going on that I have had zero time to even think about blogging. The only reason I’m blogging right now is to procrastinate going to bed because tomorrow is going to be the longest day in history. More on that later.

Since we last talked:

  • I GOT A NEW JOB!!!!! I got the job at a local children’s hospital in the dietary department!! I don’t start for a few weeks because of background check and orientation, but the rest will be appreciated.
  • I worked my last two shifts at the pub this past weekend. They were actually really fun and made me sad that I was going to miss out on the experience of meeting new people every time I go into work. The coworkers are not good enough though for me to stay. I did get my last phone number on Saturday, ending my reign as the phone number queen at the restaurant. ;-P (unofficial title, but seriously it happened once every 2-3 shifts)
  • National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is THIS week!!! I’m on the committee at my school, and so far the week is a success. Tomorrow’s event is the one I had the most involvement with as far as planning, psychologist Sarah Blake and a presentation of the documentary THIN. On Thursday we’re having America’s Next Top Model cycle 10 plus-sized winner Whitney Thompson speaking on campus. I’ve literally has no free time since last Friday because this week is so demanding, but so rewarding.

Here’s some pictures of my BIG NEDA week project, our informational display set up in the most popular student building on campus. Made this entire thing myself, and I’m so proud of it.

How to Talk to a Loved One -- Facts/Statistics -- ED Warning Signs

The health effects of an ED

Messages of Self-Love

Sexy, Beautiful, Curvy Celebrities

Photoshopping Before & Afters

Every time I see someone stop and read it, I feel like a proud mama. 😛

OK that’s all the updating I can think of for now. Tomorrow’s going to be craaaaaazy:

  • 8am: wake up, eat breakfast, HW
  • 10:10am-11am: class
  • 11am-1pm: Lunch/ study for lab quiz
  • 1:25-4pm: Lab
  • 4:30pm: Meet Sarah Blake at student center
  • 4:45pm: Dinner with Sarah Blake and executive board
  • 6:15pm: event set up
  • 6:30pm: Sarah Blake
  • 7:30pm: THIN documentary
  • 10pm: Homework

I’m tired just thinking about it, or maybe thats cuz it’s 12:32 am and I’ve been awake since 7am.

Bye!

Michelle

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Mental Health Vacation

Please excuse my absence recently. I’ve had a tough week. Friday was one month since my dad passed away, and the heavy weight of his death didn’t hit me until about a week ago. Since then, I’ve had a very tough week. I went to therapy on campus Friday, which was a great choice, and I went home this weekend. I was supposed to work a total of 24 hours this weekend, 12-8pm Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (lunch and dinner all three days), but I just couldn’t. I went in on Friday morning and explained my family situation and told them that seeing my mom and taking care of myself was my number one priority. They understood and didn’t get in the way of me leaving.

I’ve come to realize that quitting the job may have been the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. I need to be extremely careful to take care of myself this semester. After such a tough winter, this spring could go one of two ways. I could either heal & grow or I could fall hard & fast into past behaviors of isolation, depression, and binging. I have a pretty stressful semester, the last thing I need is to come off of a stressful school week and jump right into a stressful work environment. I’ve juggled work and school for two years now, I think that I deserve a few months break at this very vulnerable time. Focusing on myself and my school work is all I feel like doing right now, so I’m going to honor that.

I’ll be back with more posts in the future. Right now, I’m just working through some personal stuff.

Michelle

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Tuesdays Make Me Tired

Happy first day of classes!! (Or third week of classes if you’re a normal school!)

Today started early at 7am. Of course I didn’t sleep well last night in anticipation of classes (you’d think I would get over that after high school… nope.) I wanted to give myself plenty of time to work my way across campus with the ice/snow covering all roads and sidewalks. Lo and behold, I fell. 😦 Stupid black ice.

Microbiology was nothing short of overwhelming and scary at 8am. The teacher seems nice, but made it clear that nothing about this class will be easy. At 9:15am I walked back to the apartment, ate my yogurt bowl breakfast, then turned right around and headed out again. My Women and Comedy class sounds like it’s going to be really fun. The teacher was very sweet, and I’m looking forward to starting some of the material.

From 12:30pm-1pm I sat in the back of the classroom for NTDT250, the class that I’m the undergraduate TA for. I handed out the syllabus around the class and waved when the professor introduced me. Once they started on notes, I ducked out.

It took me a while to get back to my apartment because I kept running into people I hadn’t seen in a long time. By the time I got back to my apartment at around 2(?? that’s a rough guess, I was not paying attention to time) my stomach was ready to eat itself! I distracted myself away from the hunger by jumping head first into the refrigerator and pulling out the ingredients for my lunch. I had 2/3 c brown rice with grilled all-natural growth hormone free chicken breast with sauteed pepper, onion, and mushroom.

It needed a sauce or something, but it tasted good, just a little plain.

After I finished that bowl of food, my sweet tooth was seductively singing to me “feed me sugaaaar”. My response: “Alright , but fruit first!”

So I inhaled this orange:

When I was finished with the orange, I then turned to chocolate. I depended on the orange to fill up more space in my stomach so that my sugar treat didn’t turn into sugar binge. I decided to open up my bag of dark chocolate dipped nut clusters from Trader Joe’s. Nuts+seeds+toffee+dark chocolate= BANGIN’!!!! The chunks are literally nibble-sized, very small, and three of them is 190 kcal. I decided to stick with just two of them. I could have eaten ten probably, but I restrained myself.

I’m trying to motivate myself to get to the gym for the 4:30pm yoga class. I have to go out again tonight for activities night for the table that my club has set up, so it’s not like I’ll skip yoga and stay in the apartment. But the thought of getting up and walking again so soon just sounds unbearable. I’m going to try to make it though, because I know that if I get there, some relaxing yoga will feel like heaven to my muscles. Maybe a mug of hot cocoa will make my walk more tolerable.

Expected snowfall for my area between tonight and tomorrow: 15″

Crazy! 6-10 inches by tomorrow morning. Guess Wednesday classes will also be canceled!

I’ll check in with you all later.

Bye Bye Bye, (cue N*SYNC music)

Michelle

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What a Productive Pair

The rest of my Monday was splendid! Let’s chat about it…

I met up with my friend Elyse today for coffee. Elyse is one of my very best friends (and future roomie for next year). She was in Hawaii all winter for study abroad so I haven’t seen her since mid-December. It killed her that she was 5,000 miles away when my dad died. She’d supported me so much Fall semester, so when it came to the end, she wanted nothing less than to be there next to me.

She brought me my belated Christmas present, which I promptly opened and LOVED.

Happiness Tiki

How cute is that?! It’s a Tiki figurine. Elyse is always concerned with whether or not I’m happy, because she knows about my past with depression. What a great friend. On the underside of the figurine there was an explanation:

I love my little Tiki man. 🙂

At 4pm my lovely friend Emily picked me up to go over to the children’s hospital. On the way there I gave her the inside scoop on my new found unemployment. It’s such a juicy story! 😉

I loved the hospital. I’d never been to a children’s hospital before. It was so cool! Their way of transporting young patients is pulling them around in wagons. How cute?! And there’s a huge playground out front. The inside was really nice, and I loved the look of the cafeteria and kitchen. I met some of Emily’s coworkers who were all really friendly, and her boss Jessica was very cool. She’s young, only 24 I think, and Emily says she’s great to work for. She walked us over to the office where they keep applications, and I filled it out on the spot and handed it right to the boss. She said she’d be in touch. I hope I get this job!! It’s so competitive getting jobs at hospitals. If there’s any chance of me getting one, I feel like this is the chance. What could be better than meeting with the boss herself while your standing beside one of her best employees? I’ve got my fingers crossed!!

After we were finished at the hospital we went down the road to Trader Joe’s. It was Emily’s first time. She loved it! Here’s the loot:

Top Row: creamy almond butter w/ sea salt; Cashew Macademia Delight trek mix; organic trek mix, chocolate dipped nut clusters

Bottom Row: raw almonds, raw whole cashews, shelled dry roasted unsalted pistachios, macademia nut pieces


Two cans of white chicken meat, two cans of Vegetable Lentil soup, and a packet of taco seasoning (no MSG!)


Up top: mini milk chocolate peanut butter cups; Bottom: yogurt covered raisins


Clockwise from top left: Berry Medley frozen berries, Chile Lime chicken burgers, BBQ pulled chicken breast, veggie meatballs

What a good trip and a productive day! Emily and I were pretty darn pleased with ourselves for being an awesome duo. I’m seriously excited for the food I picked up at Trader Joe’s. However, when I got back to the apartment it was already 8pm and I was completely exhausted. I decided to hold off on tearing into my new goodies. They were too special to waste on a last minute dinner. Instead I heated up one cup of store-bought roasted red pepper soup to which I added 1/2 c cooked brown rice. Along side I munched on some triscuits with a laughing cow wedge. No picture, because the food looked boring. Tasted great though!

Almost time to go to bed. This week is going to be crazy. Let’s take a glimpse at my schedule:

  • Tuesday: Microbiology 8am-9:15am; Women Studies 11-12:15pm; introducing myself to NTDT250 as their TA 12:30-12:45pm; yoga class 4:30-5:30; activity’s night 6:15pm-8pm
  • Wednesday: Micronutrients: 10:10-11am; Meeting: 12pm-?; tentative meeting: 4pm-?
  • Thursday: Microbiology 8am-9:15am; Women Studies 11-12:15pm; spin class (the first class taught by one of my best friends!) 4:15-5:15pm
  • Friday: Appointment @ counseling center: 8am; Micronutrients: 10:10-11am; Work: 12pm-8pm
  • Saturday: Work: 12pm-8pm
  • Sunday: Work: 12pm-8pm; collapse

WOW.

On a brief (adorable) side note, my mom sent me an e-mail today asking me for “a cute picture of the two of us” that I’d taken in the kitchen recently. The second I read that I knew exactly the photo she was talking about:

When I asked her what she wanted the picture for, she said that she just wanted to see it because it makes her smile. How cute is my MOM?!? Haha, I adore this lady, and her feisty blonde spikey hair. She’s fierce. 😉

Alright, time to jot down some things in my planner for tomorrow, organize my life a bit, and then get some shuteye since my alarm will be going off at 7am. Wish me luck with my first day of class!!

Later mamasitas,

Michelle

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