Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas @ NEDIC

I'm blessed to say that my work has been published by NEDIC once again! This is a piece I wrote about Christmas and how the holidays are truly enjoyable, yet the focus around food and weight can be difficult for those with ED. It is one of my favourite pieces because it really expresses how frustrating this season can become for people who struggle with these issues, yet it also provides hope and tips on how to deal with this stress.

Please take a look and it! And I am wishing everyone a very Happy New Year!

http://www.nedic.ca/blog/

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

I just got back from a wonderful vacation at Antigua with my family. First, I want to say Merry Christmas to everyone! May this time of year give you peace, joy, and hope.

Next, I want to say thank you to all my readers and followers. You all are so great! This blog would not be possible without you!

A little bit about my trip....

It was fun! For the first time in my history of vacations, I didn't have to worry about the food. I had planned my meals earlier and so I just used the clock to know when I had to eat. My family was so supportive and we enjoyed our time. It was VERY relieving to not have any anxiety around mealtimes or open buffets. This made us all relaxed. For once, I did not feel dread before we all ate, and I didn't need to think of ways to avoid eating. It felt as though a big burden was taken off my chest.

We had a great time swimming, touring the grounds, reading, playing board games, watching TV, etc. it was a much-needed break. I was exhausted after exams and couldn't wait to relax!

By the way, exam marks are in! I did well, thank God. I guess I should expect that...I do tend to study a bit too hard!

All in all, I had a very Merry Christmas and am looking forward to a happy new year! I'm also interested in hearing how your holidays are doing! Let me know!

P.S. during my vacation, I had some time to reflect. The first thing that came to my mind is how truly lucky and blessed I am to have this blog and all of you who support me and show me love. I actually started to tear as I read all the comments wishing me a Merry Christmas. You all have no idea how thankful I am for each and every one of you! I pray that God grants you success and happiness always!

Monday, 17 December 2012

Weight on Report Cards?

Recently, there has been talk in Australia that a child's weight should be listen on their report card. Read about it here: http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2012/12/07/3649748.htm

By now, you should all know what I think about this. But, I'm going to say it anyway.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE?! The argument of these people is that putting the weight on report cards will make parents aware if their child is obese or overweight. It is thought that this will stop or help to reduce obesity.

And I can see why they think this: parents will get to know their child's weight because they will see it three times a year on the kid's report card. But I also think that the harm that this will do is greater than the benefits. First, how humiliating is it if teachers have to weight each kid in order to report it? That is not the school's job. It is a medical issue and can be dealt with in the context of a doctor's visit.

And what about the comparing that will occur? Kids already compare grades - with this, they will start to compare their weights. And this can cause bullying. Or trigger eating disorders. Low self-esteem. Shame. Embarrassment. Isolation.

Weight is not a school issue. Sure, the school can make healthy food choices available for kids. And they can promote healthy eating and physical activity. But it is NOT their job to put the weight on a child's report card. This makes it seem as though the child is being 'marked' or 'graded' for their weight. The risk is too big. This should not happen.

Obesity is a problem. I am not denying that. But I think it should be dealt with at the doctor's office. Not by putting weights on a report card. Not by promoting the talk of weight and comparisons among children. And just like obesity is an issue, so are eating disorders. So is low self-esteem. So is bullying.

To make a long story short, I don't agree with this. AT ALL. I think people need to think about the pros and cons before they go about deciding or suggesting that policies take place. It's not hard - it is called DECISION MAKING. And wise decision making. When it comes to sensitive issues like body image, we need to be more careful and aware that these are delicate topics - and thus, they must be thought about rationally.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Okay, we have a problem!

I don't know if you have ever seen the show 'The Biggest Loser'. If you have, you know that this show is about overweight people who compete to see who can lose the most weight. It is basically for adults to get 'healthier' but to 'win' a show at the same time. Sounds harmless, right?

Well, it WAS. Until the show recently (about a week ago) announced that they would now be putting children on the show.

DOES ANYONE ELSE SEE THE PROBLEM HERE?! It is one thing to use people's weight to entertain others....and it is another totally different thing to be putting children on a show where they are forced to lose weight as a competition with others.

You can visit this site for more info, or simply type 'the biggest loser kids' in google to know what I am talking about. http://theclicker.today.com/_news/2012/12/03/15648420-biggest-loser-returns-with-kid-contestants-two-night-season-premiere?lite

What is this telling kids? That they should be forced onto a program that makes you diet, excericse, and restrict food in order to become 'healthy'. The kids invovled in this show will no doubt feel a great deal of pressure to 'win' by dieting and excercising.

NOTE: I am not against people losing weight or excercising to become healthy. Sometimes people need to do this, as occurs when they are SUPERVISED by a doctor and are deemed NECESSARY to lose weight. In that case, they are not doing it as a source of entertainment for others. They are doing it to keep themselves healthy.

But this is different. Even if these kids need to lose weight, they really should not be on a TV show that does so. It sends out the wrong message to kids, who will watch the program and think 'gee, that looks fun. Maybe I should try not eating and just drinking water and see how long I can last...'.

And BOOM. We have set the path out for an eating disorder, or disordered eating. We have created within a child the ideas of losing weight and restricting, even if they do not intend to actually become thinner. To those with ED, this show will just make it worse.

I don't know what else to say. I am shocked that someone actually came up with the idea to put children on this show. What is wrong with the media?! Simple: they want money. If putting kids on a show to lose weight will make more money, it is going to happen. Even if that means it is harming the self-esteem or thoughts of viewers. Money, money, money. That is all that matters to the media.

I sincerely hope that more people speak up about this issue. It is not just important to people who have ED - it is important to everyone around the world. Kids should not be on a show to lose weight. If they need to do so, they should be doing it with a doctor. Not to entertain others on a TV show.

The media, unfortunately, is again not showing realistic or healthy behaviours. It is not surprising to me. But I thought that some people would realize that some things are going too far - like this is. *Sigh*

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Recovery as a Destination?

I've been asked many times if I consider myself recovered.

The short answer is, no. I do not think that I am fully recovered. However, I am IN recovery.

It does not sound like there is big difference between the two. But there is...

Saying that I am recovered is like saying that this is all over. That ED is completely gone, and that I am like a 'normal' person who has never ever had anorexia.

But that is not the case. I still have thoughts that try to sway me over to restrict, to hate myself, or to not eat. I still have moments when my self-esteem is very low and where I wish that I could be as thin as I used to be.

That is why I am IN recovery. To me, recovery is not as desintation. It is more of a lifelong adventure. It is not somwhere that I will arrive and then 'be done with it'. It is something that I need to work on for the rest of my life. I do not starve myself or restrict food, but I still do not feel hungry. I still do not really enjoy eating like others do. In this way, recovery is something that I need to do for my entire lifetime. I need to keep working on it, each day getting stronger and stronger. I'm learning new things about recovery each day. For example, yesterday someone said a rude comment to me regarding my body size. In the older days, this would have caused me to restrict and not eat. As angry and sad as I was, I did not do this. I still ate. I was angry, but I ate. I did not give in to ED.

There are still things I am uncomfortable with. I hate when my clothes feel tighter. I hate looking in the mirror and seeing myself bigger than I used to be. I still have no appetite. I get uncomfortable when people remind me that I am eating a lot.

This is why recovery is a lifelong adventure. There are ups and downs. There are times when I am strong, and times when I feel weak. There are moments when ED is not there, and there are others when his voice creeps back in. Recovery is better seen as a job - I know that this sounds tiresome, but it is true. It is what I do. My wages for recovery are the improvements in my health and life. The hard work I do in recovery is part of my job. But the rewards are worth every struggle, every tear, and every fight.

Each day in recovery makes me aware of how much work recovery is. It takes a lot out of a person to recover from ED. It is truly a full-time job. But it is made so much easier when you have readers that read your blog and comment, show their support, and make you feel loved. It helps when you have a family that is willing to be there for you 24/7. It is humbling to know that you have a God who watches over you every second. It is empowering to see yourself tranforming into a stronger and knowledgable person.

Recovery is definitely not a desintation. It is an adventure. But it is an adventure that I would never give up on. Because each day in recovery helps me realize how much of my life I deserve to get back.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Do YOU like YOU?

Stop what you are doing. NOW. And think about this: right now, there is a person around the world thinking of how they hate themselves.

Have you felt like this before? Have you had the feeling that you are just irritated with who you are? You know...as if you are frustrated with your life. And so you start to think about what is bad about you and what you would change if you could.

I'm like this a lot. Well, I don't think about what I'd change, but I do think about what I don't like about me. I start thinking about how I don't feel as beautiful as others. How I feel worthless and useless and lazy. How I'm tired of people bring rude and mean to me. How frustrated I am because I feel as though I'm not successful or special. Much of this is because of ED - he likes to make me think this way because it makes him feel good. It gives him the chance to get me down, hoping that I will hate myself so much that I'll return to him.

We all feel this way sometimes. It's as if we are just tired of who we are. At the same time, I struggle with listing good things about myself. I feel like saying that I'm good or strong or smart is being inflated and ignorant. Perhaps this is why I feel bad about myself sometimes - I've gotten used to seeing negative things about me, that saying something is good is like I'm being puffed-up.

But it's not. We all need to compliment ourselves. We need to appreciate what is special and good about us. If we don't love ourselves, who will? We can't depend on others to boost out self-esteem because this needs to come from within. Others can only see what's good in you if you have confidence. You need to know that you are talented. You are beautiful and handsome. You are strong and special. You ate unique because you are a child of God. You are wonderful because you are simply YOU!

No, it's not being arrogant or puffed-up. It's called 'being grateful for who I am because I am God's creation. And because I am me'. Arrogance is when you are overly-inflated and think that you are so great and that you can do all things alone. Confidence is when you know that others and God have helped you become who you are, being thankful for that, and learning to be appreciative of what you have and who you are.

So today, stop and take a second to thank God for who you are. Not because you are superior to others, but because you are special the way you are. Because inside of you is a world of gifts and talents that make you unique. Because you are loved by God.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Why isn't it all better?!

I thought that once I recovered from ED, life would be so much easier. I thought that everything would be perfect and happy. That nothing would go wrong.

But I was wrong.

Don't misunderstand me, recovering from ED was the most important thing that I did. It gave me back my personality, my health, and my life. But that does not mean that life is 'peachy-key'. Life is still full of it's wild and crazy rides. I'm busy with school, I'm studying for exams, I'm trying to stay on track with recovery, I'm balancing my social obligations, etc.

But what really gets me is that I still struggle a lot. I'm pretty sensitive to things that happen around me - for example, I want everything to be happy all the time. I try to avoid any argumenets because I just want everything to be okay. It feels like since ED is not here anymore, nothing should go wrong or give me a hard time.

I know that this is impossible. Recovering from ED is great - but that does not mean that life will be prefect from now on. There are still so many problems - but that is life. Recovery does not mean that school will be easier, that people will be nicer, etc. Which is what gets me annoyed. WHY IS EVERYTHING NOT BETTER?!

ED tries to tell me that since problems are still in my life, recovery 'is not all that it is set out to be'. He tries to convince me that recovery is not worth it, since life is still full of challenges.

But I'm stronger now. And I know that this is not the case. Sure, life is not all perfect and happy now. But that does not mean that recovery is not worth it. Life is still hard, but I am stronger. Life is challening, but I am determined. Challenges come and go, but I am more prepared to deal with them. Yes, life is not perfect now. But I AM BETTER NOW. That is the difference between my life now and my life a year ago. I have gone through so much and now see that although life is still hard, so many things are not. I am eating now. I no longer have to lie about my food intake. I am stronger now. I no longer have to worry about restricting. I have my old personality back now. I can laugh when I want to. I can make others laugh. I can be myself and love me for ME.

So, life is definitely not always happy or easy. But no one said that recovery would change my life's circumstances. But recovery DID change ME. It changed the way I am able to respond to the ups and downs of life. It changed the way I am able to look at challenges and accept them. It changed the way I feel about myself. It increased my chances of living a happy life.

Recovery is worth it.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Expectations

What kind of expectations do you have fit yourself? Do you want to become a successful business person, a famous star, a determined scientist, a stern teacher, or a devoted professional? Do you want to make a lot of money and live luxuriously?

We all have expectations for our futures. Some of which we set, others are made by others. Perhaps your parents have set out your life for you. Or maybe you want to be successful so that you'll live comfortably. Either way, there are certain things that you hope to achieve in the future, and these criteria are based on notions of success, money, jobs, etc.

But have you taken the time to think - really think - about these expectations? Are they realistic? Have you set high expectations that are too difficult to achieve? I think sometimes we need to keep in mind what's really important - mainly, that we live to enjoy a happy and successful life.

I used to have many high expectations for myself - and I still do. I want to get As on everything. I want to learn everything there is to learn about nursing. I want to succeed. But now that I've been through so much, I realize that maybe this is asking too much. I've been to death's door and back in the summer...and during then, all I wanted was to get out of the hospital and live. At that time, nothing else mattered. My family tells me that they prayed only for me to live - they wanted nothing else. No school, no money, nothing. They just prayed for my life.

So I see that I'm expecting too much. Maybe I need to learn to lower what I ask if myself. No one is perfect. And pushing myself to achieve so much is tough. But it's something I'm used to it - I've always been an over-achiever. But I think it's time to try to lower what I expect of myself. ED made me expect thinness - and anything less was not acceptable. I was a failure if I didn't lose weight. I was a loser if I wasn't thin. So now in recovery, I feel like a BIG loser - well, that's what ED tells me.

I suppose it's a matter of reframing my life. I'm just blessed to be alive! So today I'm thanking God to be alive, in recovery, and at school. I'm thankful for living at home with my wonderful family. I'm thankful to be doing well in school.

So perhaps I'm NOT the thinnest anymore. Perhaps I'm not still losing weight. But that doesn't mean that I haven't been successful. I'm changing my expectations and making them more realistic. For now, I'm hoping to pass this year, continue in recovery, and cherish every single moment. It'll take time to adjust to these nice ideas, but it has to happen. Because sometimes, we put too much pressure on ourselves and expect too much. It's time to appreciate our lives and realize that we are blessed to be where we are today.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Publsihed again: Attitudes

I am pleased and blessed to say that once again, I have been published at NEDIC. This is a piece about how we need to learn to chnage our attitudes, as we all know that it is highly unlikely that we will be able to change the entire world. Great change begins when we realize that we can make a big differnece by simply changing ourselves. Sometimes, the best place is to start with yourself. And once you do, you will see that you are stronger and more aware of all the incorrect messages in society.

So, take a look!

http://www.nedic.ca/blog/

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Money

I have a real money problem.

No, it's not that I need money. It's that I don't feel worthy of spending money on myself.

My parents are great - they want to buy everything I could possibly need and want. And they do. But for some reason, I feel like I don't deserve buying things.

I feel as though I have done nothing worth of me buying things - anything. Clothes, jewelry, food, make-up, books, etc. It is as if I am rewarding myself for no reason.

ED has a part to play here. He makes me feel so useless and terrible, as if I am not like anyone else who occasionally has the right to buy something special. Deep into ED, I did not wamt to be happy. Well, I NEVER felt happy - because ED made me so miserable. So, I never felt as though I wanted to buy anything for myself. Life was plain and boring and tiresome. I did not want to purchase anything because I was disgusted of myself. It was as though there was no point in buying anything for me becauase I was too ugly, fat, and horrible.

Foolish girl! Why would you spend money on yourself? You do not deserve anything. You should not buy things for yourself because you are unworthy of happiness, luxury, and satisfaction. 

But I'm trying to train myself to start seeing ME as a human who has needs - and that's okay. Actually, that's normal. I wouldn't be able to do this on my own, so for now, I'm depending on my loved one to remind me that I deserve to buy things. That's it is totally fine to want to buy a new shirt, a good book, a cup of tea, or whatever. Because that's what money is for - to buy things. And why should I be the only one who doesn't deserve this luxury? I do! It's just a matter of ignoring the thoughts that tell me otherwise.

Everyone deserves a little luxury. We all have needs and wants, and we all enjoy buying something new or special. It's human. It's normal. It's one thing that I need to learn as I continue on recovery.

Monday, 19 November 2012

What is RECOVERY?

I was thinking today - what would it be like to be fully recovered? To feel as though nothing is wrong...to feel care-free. I wrote a list - but when I read it over now, I realize that these are some goals or hopes that we can all possibly share! Let me know if you agree with any of them - or add your own! Really, this is more of a 'what a good and relaxed' life would look like...so it works for all of us!

-Freedom from ED
-feeling good about who I am
-looking in the mirror and feeling that I like what I see
-walking out the door and feeling confident
-being proud of who I am
-not caring about what people say about how I look
-getting hunger cues back...maybe even feeling hungry sometimes!
-seeing the good in me
-smiling and laughing because life is good
-not worrying over the little things
-spoiling myself by making time for me and taking breaks
-break the cycle of perfectionism
-sleeping properly
-not being worried about spending money on myself
-realizing that I've come so far in life
-looking forward to the future
-learning from m mistakes and knowing that I was a victim
-stop blaming myself for ED
-learn to love myself because I am God's child
-understanding that everything happens for a reason because God is in control
-forgiving myself for not being perfect
-accepting challenges and knowing that 'this too shall pass'
-enjoying the little things in life that I might take for granted (family, friends, my community, etc)
-waking up in the morning and feeling that it is going to be a good day
-going to bed at night and not having anything to think about
-cherishing the quiet moments in life that help me appreciate my blessings
-feeling peaceful inside; as though I am care-free
-knowing that its okay to cry because I am allowed to have those days or moments
-letting myself feel sad or mad because I am human and I have the right to express my emotions
-understanding that I deserve to be loved, regardless of how I look or what size my body is
-having the capacity to love freely and my worry about being hurt
-seeing life as a lifelong adventure and not a journey that ends
-standing firm in my values and beliefs and defending them when necessary
-shrugging over a 'reasonable' mark because I know that I don't have to get 90s all the time
-telling others when I am hurt because they should know that I feel that way
-smiling in the face of adversity because God is with me
-knowing that you can't have a rainbow without getting through the rain
-deciding to live my life to the fullest and enjoying every second of it
-feeling that the burden on my heat had been lifted
-understanding that I'm not a burden on my family
-feeling my importance as a member in my family and among my friends
-accepting compliments from others without wondering if they really mean it or not
-stop trying to read people's minds and thinking that others will only see the worst in me
-living each day as though it were my last: enjoying every second of the day, realizing that I'm blessed and that life is meant to be enjoyable. Feeling free from all my struggles and worries.

'Casting all your cares on Him, for He cares for you' (1 Peter 5:7).

Friday, 16 November 2012

Watching what you say/do

Is there a way to prevent eating disorders? I wish there was a simple answer to this. The truth is, we can't say we can prevent eating disorders because we are not exactly sure of what causes them. But, we CAN take small steps to make them much less likely to occur.

Let's start with the media. I've written about this before, so I won't go onto detail again. We all know this - the media depicts unrealistic images and tries to convince us that we have to look the same way. What can we do? We need to speak up! You don't have to go far to see or hear someone trying to achieve these demands. Let them know how the media fools us!

But what's most important, on my opinion, is to change the way WE think and see ourselves. Are you happy with your body? Do you honor it because of all the wonderful things it does for you? Do you appreciate all the lovely things about yourself? Do you stand on front of the mirror and criticize your appearance, or are you thankful for simply being you? Do you complain about your size and shape, and pick out all the little things you hate about yourself?

When you talk with others, are you talking about how much you weigh or how often you work out? Do you compare what you eat and who is healthier? Do you discuss calories and laugh because you've 'eaten too much'?

These things might seem irrelevant to you, but these are just a few ways in which you can help to stop the negative associations that society has made with food, weight, appearances, bodies, calories. You might not know it, but someone around you may be struggling with an eating disorder, and these conversations will trigger them. Or someone might be struggling with body image issues and this will make them more insecure. So whatcha what you say, how you act, and think about your attitudes about food, weight, and your body.

Because you never know who is hearing what you are saying, what they are going through, and how this will affect them. You may be saving someone's life by simply watching what you say and do.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

The Little Things

Have you ever stopped to take the time to think about those little things in life that we take for granted? I was walking to class today and realized that I don't take enough time in the day to be thankful for everything that I have.
 
The sun's light is magnificent. How lucky are we to have this wonderful source of light?! It wakes us up in the morning and shines on us. It gives the plants the energy that they need to make their food (which serve as our food!). Or what about the moon that gives light at night?
Then there's all these beautiful plants. Some provide us with our own food, and others are simply beautiful to look at. Some flowers are so beautiful that we give then as gifts o others on special occasions or if someone is ill.
Have you thought about the home that you live in? We don't have to look for somewhere to keep us warn or sheltered at night because we have our houses. We have a roof on our heads every night. We have beds to sleep on, and covers to keep us warm. We have food to eat so that we don't become weak. We have water to drink to supply our body with sustenance.
Even if sometimes seems that money is tight, think about how fortunate you are to have what you do. You may not have money to buy everything that you want, but do you have money to feed yourself properly? Can you afford clothes to keep you warm and dressed? Do you have money to buy yourself a coffee when you need that caffeine boost? Do you have a way of getting to work or school - whether it is by bus or car? Can you afford a cell phone or computer - even if it not latest model?
 
Do you go to school or work? Are you healthy and well to study or work? It may not always be fun or easy, but have you thought about those who are too ill to do these things, or cannot find a job? Do you have someone - anyone at all - to talk to if you need a listening ear? Your family, friends, religious community, coworkers, etc?
 
I don't know about you, but I've never thought of half these things to be thankful for. We are so caught up with our daily hassles that we forget how blessed we are to have all we do. It's very humbling to stop and make a list of things of things you have that make you thankful - you start to realize that despite all your struggles, there are many good things in your life.
"Thanks be to God!" (1 Corinthians 15:57).
 
PS: I'm also thankful for this blog and having this place to let out my thoughts, plus all you wonderful readers!

Monday, 12 November 2012

My A-Z Life Tips

I thought it might be a good idea to bring some cheer in my life - as well as yours! So here are a few tips or 'pick-me-up' lines...from A-Z! Enjoy!

A. Always remember that you are not alone
B. Believe in yourself
C. Confidence is vital to success
D. Don't give up
E. Esteem yourself and your abilities
F. Faith will get you through tough times
G. Get help from others when you need it
H. Hope will give you peace
I. Inner beauty is what counts
J. Join others is praising your achievements
K. Knowledge comes from experience
L. Love yourself for who you are!
M. Make time for yourself and what you like to do
N. Never, never, EVER let someone tell you are not worth it
O. Omit the stressors in your life
P. Productivity means you are making the most of your life
Q. Quiet times are perfect moments of reflection
R. Realize how much potential you have
S. Strength is not always physical, but often mental and emotional as well
T. Tough times never last
U. Understand that you can achieve anything you put your mind to
V. Victory over difficult situations will come if you stay strong
W. Wonderful things happen when you pray
X. Xtra blessings come if you believe
Y. Yearn to achieve only your best; the rest if up to God
Z. Zeal will help you accomplish your goals

Friday, 9 November 2012

Self-esteem

I've been in a tough place lately. Recovery-wise, I'm doing great. I'm eating well and am healthy. School is busy, but I'm also doing well. The problem, though, is my mood.

I don't know what's going on. I just find that I have really low self-esteem. I don't know why - I'm healthy, smart, talented, and blessed to have loving family and friends. I have everything I could want and need.  So why do I not feel confident?

I just feel that there's not much to be proud of. Even though I know there is. I'm not sure exactly what's making me feel this way. Maybe it ED, desperately trying to come back...?

You foolish girl! What is there to be proud of? You've gained weight, you are eating - you have failed. You have in, you weak girl. You are eating, you are like everyone else now. There's nothing special about you, you are worthless.

And it really hurts. I feel so down because it is as if I am 'stuck in a rut'. Here I am - doing what I need to do to keep myself happy and healthy. So why am I not feeling confident? It is a mix of things - mainly, feeling that I look ugly, feeling useless, and wondering why I am feeling this way!

I have to talk to someone - usually my mom/dad and sister (love you guys!) to feel better about myself. And sometimes even that doesn't help. But what really helps is knowing that there are people out there who love me. People who will take time to listen to me, even if they don't have a solution. Because sometimes I don't need a solution - all I need is a listening ear and a caring heart. I need someone to hear me out, to let me feel that I have support. To make me feel loved - because I'm human, and when I can't quite find the ability to love myself, it's nice to be able to count on others to pick me back up.

So right now, perhaps I don't have the highest self-esteem. But I'm working on it. Slowly, I'm sure that I'll see the good in me. I'll see how much I have to be proud of. And I'll love ME. Because I know that I deserve to be loved - by others, but more importantly, by myself. Life is tough - that is something that will never change. And ED wants me to return to him, to be his victim again - that is something that will probably never change too.

But what CAN change is my response - I am determined to get stronger, to learn to love myself. Maybe it will not happen today - and it likely will not happen tomorrow. But I can teach myself, step at a time, to accept myself. To see how far I have come and to be pleased with what I see in the mirror, with what I hear when I speak, and with how I feel about ME.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

I crave sleep!

This has been frustrating me for a while now. I just can't seem to get a goo sleep. I'll fall asleep fine, but then I'll wake up three hours later and it becomes so hard to sleep again. I have terrible nightmares.

I'm annoyed because I wake up the next morning and feel so tired. I don't get proper, relaxing nights. Most of the time, my dreams are related to my struggles back when I was sick. Sometimes they are concerned with my family. Other times, I can't even remember what they are about.

It really makes me angry because then I feel so tired in the morning. I've come to dread my bed and nighttime because I have a feeling that I won't sleep well. And I need my sleep! Sleep is important for everyone - it's when our bodies relax and get to regulate our hormones, chemicals, etc. But for anyone recovering from an illness (ED, physical injury, surgery, etc) sleep is especially important because it is when the body has a chance to rest from all the recovery work that it does all day.

So you can understand why this bothers me. All day, I struggle to push myself to eat, ignore ED, do my homework, deal with people, stay calm, etc. That's hard work! So I feel awful when I realize that I've had a terrible sleep...it just adds to the tiredness!

I presently have no solution - but I'm trying everything I can. Relaxing before I sleep. Praying. No lights. Massages. Aroma therapy. Medicine. Deep breathing. Cold drinks. Warm covers. Teddy bears. I'm desperate for a solution!

It could be that ED is angry so he is trying to sneak up in my dreams. The trouble is that the dreams are really scary - and they feel real. I wish they'd just stop - when will I get over all the pain ED has caused? It will take time. I know that. I guess like everything else in recovery, this too shall pass. But I wish it would be easier.

But there's hope. I always have hope. Look how far I've come! I know it'll get better. One day, I won't have dreams or terrible memories how what ED did to me. I'll look back on this and see that I came out a stronger, brighter girl. Soon. Really soon. Because I've got a great family, a powerful God, a faithful heart, and a determined will.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

What is 'junk food'?

Take a look at this article http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/ontario-physicians-call-for-junk-food-tax-1.1006929.

Basically, some health-care providers in Canada believe that we need to start putting an extra 'tax' on 'junk food'. They think that this will discourage people from buying thes foods, so they think that it will stop or decrease obeisity. But I have some problems with this idea.

Obesity is a problem - I am not denying that. But is making a tax specially for 'junk foods' the way to treat obesity? First, what IS a junk food? The workers say that this includes 'desserts' like cakes, pies, cookies, chips, chocolate, candy, muffins, etc.

But is that JUNK? I don't think so. Sure, they are not your typical and natural fruits and vegetables. And yes, they might just contain more calories, sugar, or fat than other foods. But does that make them JUNK? Junk, defined by any dictionary, is simply another word for 'garbage' or 'trash'. So is that saying that these foods are trash?

I have a big problem with this. Desserts, sweets, pastries, etc are GOOD. They taste good. And research has shown that these sweet foods can actually increase the absorption of an amino acid called tryptophan, which helps your body make serotonin. Serotonin is a 'feel good' chemical in our bodies that regulates our mood. So in one way, eating desserts is food because it satisfies our cravings. In another way, it can actually inrease our serotinin levels.

Another problem with what these doctors want is that they have no proof that this will actually reduce obesity. So what if this extra tax makes desserts/sweets more expensive? People just might be willing to spend that extra money on them, considering how much enjoyment we get out of them. So, this idea might not actually reduce obesity - it will just take the money out of our pockets. If you want to eat a chocolate bar, you will pay for it - no matter how pricey it seems. Think of vending machines: their products are more expensive than what you would pay in a store, but if you want something NOW, will you not get it because of the price in the vending machine? Of course you will.

But my biggest problem with this is that it is fueling into the idea that some foods are bad. Think about people with ED: what is this telling them? That they should be restricting because desserts aer JUNK? Or even people without ED - what does this extra 'tax' on these foods tell people? That they are somehow being punished for buying these foods - so they should not because these foods are BAD? Is this not conflicting with the idea that all things are food in moderation, and that you can enjoy everything if you are living a balanced lifestyle? This can have so many bad impacts, especially on children who are confused by the messages around food. One minute we are saying to have everything in moderation and love your body, the next second we are making people pay more to eat desserts/chips, etc and telling them that this is JUNK?!

Maybe I am taking it too far. Maybe this really can help obesity. But I think that there are many other safer and more PRODUCTIVE ways of helping to stop obesity. Like excercising. Eating in moderation. Watching how much you eat. Being mindful of alocohol. The list goes on and on. These ways can be effective, and they encourage people to live healthy LIFESTYLES, not to stop eating one certain type of food because it is 'junk'.

Phew! I just realized I was so mad, I have been smacking my fingers on my keyboard as I was typing!

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hunger cues

I hate how I don't feel hungry most of the time. It makes me frustrated! It's annoying to have to 'know' when to eat by looking at the clock. I've been recovering for a while, but I still depend on the time to eat.

This is probably one of the things I hate about recovery - my hunger cues are all messed up. Do I ever get hungry? I don't know! Maybe I do, but I'm not used to saying that I am...so I don't verbalize it or think about it. It's almost as if saying that I am hungry is wrong - I think this is ED.

You see, ED convinced me that I was never hungry, even when my stomach hurt so much and I felt the pain there. He told me I could not possibly he hungry, because only I was special enough not to need food. He told me that getting hungry was a sign of weakness because that meant that I was not 'strong enough' to last without food.

And part of this is actually a protective mechanism by the body. When normally we don't eat for a while, our bodies have less energy and signal to our brains that we need food. Naturally, this means that you will feel your stomach growling, you might feel tired or dizzy, and you will do the normal thing there is to do - go find food and eat.

But with prolonged starvation - I mean LONG starvation (as was my case), the body loses this adaptive function. It needs to protect itself - what good is it for you to feel hungry and tired if your brain knows that you aren't going to feed it anyways? Not very helpful, is it? So the brain shuts off its hunger centre and you no longer 'feel' hungry. Does your body still need food and energy? Of course! But it'll trick itself into thinking that you aren't hungry because feeling grumpy and hungry when you aren't going to eat anyways would not feel very good.

Hunger cues take a long time to return. The body needs to know that it will continue to get food on a regular basis. I'm not talking a couple of months - studies have shown that it can take anywhere from six months to five years! And it varies from person to person.

So in the end, I'm left with an absolute lack of hunger. I'm dealing with this better than I thought - I don't have to he hungry, I'll just eat when I know that it's time to eat. I think my hunger cues are still not normal because my stomach doesn't rumble, I never get 'excited' to eat, and I'm often surprised that the next meal time has come so soon. It's frustrating, annoying, and kind of weird. But at the same time, it's something that I have to deal with if I'm going to defeat ED. I'm not particularly enjoying this part, but it too shall pass. And even if I never feel hungry for the rest of my life, it's better that I still eat at my times than give in to ED and let him win again.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

STRESS!

I am once again very thrilled and blessed to say that another piece of mine has appeared on NEDIC. Please take a look at it - http://www.nedic.ca/blog/.

Basically, life has been STRESSFUL! I have had so many things to do and I have not really had the 'peace of mind' that I wish I can have. It has been so crazy, dramatic, and eventful. School, family, health, recovery, friends, events - everything! I am so blessed to have this blog to write about it, NEDIC to share my experiences with others, readers who always support me, a family who loves me, and a God who watches over me.

Check it out!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Being 'Human'

Ever had 'one of those days' when you just want to SCREAM? There may not be a reason - you just feel so overwhelmed and all you want to do is take a break...and maybe break something!

Yesterday was like that for me. I was irritated. I was, as I would say, 'ticked off'. I wanted to scream at someone - anyone. I wanted to yell and shout. I wanted to break something. Honestly, if you saw me yesterday, I think you would be afraid!

What was the reason? I honestly cannot pinpoint ONE reason. It seemed as though so many things were going wrong...I was busy, tired, I had a lot of self-esteem issues, and I was just..BLAH!

But then when I talked to my mom about it, I found myself saying, "I don't know what is wrong. I have so many wonderful things in my life to be thankful for. But I just feel...icky".

And that is what annoys me. I KNOW that I have so much to be happy for. I am blessed - I know that. But is it wrong to have one of those days when I just want to moan and compain? Is it okay to be tired, frustrated, and angry?

Of course it is. I just don't let myself do it. Why? Maybe it is because I am afraid. I am scared to admit that 'everything is not perfect' in my life now that I am recvering. It is as if I expect that once ED is out, everything will be beautiful and happy and I will live the best life ever. I wish it was that simple.

Yes, having ED out of my life is a big relief, as well as a blessing. I am blessed and lucky that I have comet this far. But that does not mean that I cannot have a day when I'm tired and frustrated - we all do. I guess now the important thing for me to learn is that it is OKAY to have a day when I'm tired, and it is alright to complain. In fact, it is NORMAL to do so. Keeping it in is what is wrong - that is what I did with ED, and where did it get me? Nowhere.

So I guess what I'm learning is that yes, life is good now that ED is gone. But that does not mean that life will be perfect with no problems and frustrations. It is normal to have times when you want to complain. But keeping it in to yourself means that it will build and accumulate, until one day you just BURST. And when you decide to burst, you will feel that it would have been so much better if you had let it out at the time. Trust me, I have experience.

It is going to take time to get used to letting 'stuff' out like this. It will also take time to learn that it is alright to have bad days when I am frustrated. But most of all, it will take time to realize that I am human, and I am ALLOWED to have these 'icky' feelings. We all do. I hope and pray that one day, whenever I get these feelings, I can look back and realize that this is a good sign. ED is not nagging me anymore to keep my feelings inward, to pretend that all is perfect when it is not. I am learning, as weird as it sounds, to be 'human' again.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Media and Weight

It's been the only thing on the news lately: Lady Gaga has gained weight and has told the media that she once suffered from anorexia and bulimia.

http://www.torontosun.com/2012/09/25/lady-gaga-battled-bulimia-and-anorexia

Lady Gaga, a famous singer, struggling with ED? It is, sadly, not an unfamiliar tale. We have heard, multiple times, that celebrities are more at risk for this. Why? Because of all the pressures on them. They must look thin because they are always being watched, photographed, or talked to. They need to have the 'ideal' body - mainly, that women need to be tall, thin, beautiful, and blemish-free.

Is this possible? Obviously not. But this does not mean that the media will stop telling us that it is. And so it comes as no surprise that many female celebrities are going through ED.

Lady Gaga, in her statement, told the media that she struggled with eating disorders and is now learning to accept her body as it is. She encouraged all girls to do the same - to accept and love their body for its natural shape.

Of course, the only thing the media could do was begin releasing stories like 'LADY GAGA'S WEIGHT GAIN ' or 'GAGA GAINS WEIGHT'. Sad, is it not? Do you notice that none of these titles focus on the sad reality that she actually struggled with ED? All they seem to care about is that she gained weight because she used to have an eating disorder, and now, because she is not engaging into symptoms, she has become larger.

But is she FAT? No. She looks healthy. She does not look emaciated (note: you can still have ED if you are not extremely thin, but I'm just trying to make a point). What is wrong with the way she looks now? It is as if the media is saying that she looked BETTER and THINNER thanks to her ED - and now that she is not listening to ED, she automatically looks 'fat' or has 'gained lots of weight'.

This is terrible. I am shocked by the media and what it tells us. Instead of praising Gaga for not lsitening to ED and instead staying at her natural weight, the media goes crazy because she has gotten larger and no longer fits the 'ideal' look.

And so, we are left with one more example of how disgusting and absoluetly terrible the media is. Personally, I am proud that Gaga has admitted this. First, she has showed the media that she is accepting herself the way God created her. Second, she is saying that many people suffer from ED and are not found out about until something goes wrong. Third, she is breaking the stigma and letting people know that ED is not something to be ashamed of, and that we need to start realizing how sick the media truly is.

It really is time that we stop believing the media and letting it tell us how to look, dress, act, etc. There are so many people out there that have ED, and you may not realize it until they tell you or something happens to them. We need to start getting smarter about what we listen to on TV, the radio, in magazines, etc. The media will only show us what it wants to - we need to be smart viewers and see that the media has unrealistic and unhealthy demands for all of us.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

The Credit That I Deserve

Have you ever stopped to take a break and realize just how busy and hectic life can be? There seems to be so much going on at one time: there's school, homework, work, friends, family, events...the list goes on.

I find myself waking up in the morning and feeling like there is simply too much that I have to do. I have to get up, get dressed, get to school, attend my classes, study for my tests, finish my assignments, stay in touch with my friends, see how my family is doing...WOW! I'm so overwhelmed.

What am I forgetting? Oh, yes. To eat and take care of my health. It is not that I forget this per say...it's more like, 'wow. I'm so busy that I can hardly realize that I need to take time to eat'.

And I never forget to eat, because I make sure that I have my eye on the clock - all the time. This may sound absurd, but it is the way I keep myself safe. It is how I remember to take care of ME while the rest of my life is demanding so much.

Life is so hard to juggle. Everyone struggles, once in a while, to finish all that they have to do. So it becomes so easy to remember that we actually need time for ourselves. To feel that we deserve a little 'free time'. But life makes it so difficult to get this time.

ED makes it especially hard to give myself the credit and time that I deserve. He tells me that I don't need to take time 'off' for myself. He constantly pushes me to work and to not give myself the credit for all my work. He downplays all my efforts at success and makes me feel that I am not doing anything worthy of praise or satisfaction.

So what? You are eating and doing your work? That is nothing. You are doing nothing special. There is nothing to be proud of. You are weak, you gave in and started eating. You silly girl, you have failed at everything. There is nothing worthy of praise in you.

It really hurts, to be honest. It makes me feel as though all my efforts to be successful are meaningless. As though what I am doing - recovering from an illness and continuing with the rest of my life at the same time - is not hard work. But deep down, I know that it is. I feel this every single day as I make myself eat, despite not wanting to. As I feel that I have gotten bigger and that I look different. Everyday has it's own struggles and challenges.

So, what to do? Well, it is enough that I am working so hard at my recovery and the rest of my life. I do not need ED to come in and try to bring me down. He tries to tell me that I am not successful? Well, I have proof that I am. I survived my stay at the hospital, I got back up, and I am eating again. I am defeating him everytime I put a bite of food into my mouth, everytime I ignore his irrational commands, and everytime I decide that he has no place in my life. It is much easier said than done. But it is what has to happen.

Because I have proof that I have done a good job. I have fought my way through ED and I have emerged as a stronger and healthier individual. I have realized that ED does not need to take space in my life. I have seen that I am worthy of happiness and freedom. I deserve to feel successful, just like everyone else. I deserve credit for all my work. And so do you. It does not need to be ED that tells you that you are not successful - it can be a little voice in your head, it can be friends or family, or even people at work. But you must not let them tell you that you are not worthy of credit. Because you are. Each day you open you eyes, do good, be kind, and do the work that you need to, you deserve to know that you are successful. So give yourself the credit that you deserve...you owe it to yourself!

Monday, 15 October 2012

Life is Hard!

Life is hard
The challenge is tough
Study and work
It feels so rough

We become so busy
Caught up with things to do
We feel so trapped
The free hours seem so few

We deal with difficult people
And we are faced with long days
It becomes too much and frustrating
And sometimes, we can't see any of the sun's rays

But just when it feels like it won't get better
When it feels like you've taken it all
A sense of hope fills your heart
And you find strength to rise from the fall

Yes, life is crazy
With its turns and surprises
But you have God,
And His help comes in all sizes!

So when you feel down
As though you cannot persevere
Just remember that there's always hope
Because our God said, 'do not fear' (Isiah 41:10).

Friday, 12 October 2012

The Extremes That People Go To

If you have not seen this already, I suggest you do. WARNING: this is just sad, plain wrong, and terrible.

http://ca.shine.yahoo.com/blogs/beauty/nerina-orton-britain-8217-tiniest-waist-203600464.html

The story, as you can see, is that a woman tried to shrink her waist by wearing a corset for nearly an entire day. Apparently, this did the trick. She shrunk her waist to a tiny size. Interestingly enough, the end of the article mentions that she had anorexia nervosa (AN).

What bothers me about this is not that her waist is so small. It is the fact that she went to such an extreme to do so. She manipulated her body to get a small waist - in such an unhealthy manner. Sad, isn't it? What does this say to people today about their body size? That we have to go to such terrible ways of changing our bodies because we need to look a certain way? And what about the fact that this story made the news? It is REALLY so wonderful that she has done something like this, and that she is famous for letting ED drive her to do this?

I was shocked when I saw this. I mean, is it one thing to have a natural waist that small - but it is certainly another thing to do this to yourself. It makes me wonder - I was so terribly sick this summer, I was dying, and I had every possible organ fail on me. But did I make the news? No. Why? Because the media does not care if someone is sick and dying - they care about someone who is sick and who is doing such extreme things that seems interesting to others.

NOTE: I am not saying that I wanted to make the news. I'm just trying to show that the media really filters what it wants us to see. Clearly, this story of this girl was interesting because of the extreme and horrible things that she did to her body. And yet, she stands very proud about it because she has nearly broke the world record for the smallest waist. Really, is this something to be proud of? That an eating disorder is controlling you and that the world can now see how sick you are?

And what message does this send to all of us, sitting here and reading about this woman's actions? Does it not send out a terrible message to everyone about manipulating our body shapes? How does this compare to what we are trying to tell our loved ones - to love themselves for who they are? This is just disgusting. I am horrified.

I think this is a perfect example of 1) how ED can really take control and make people so awfully sick; and 2) how the media so negatively affects us and promotes unhealthy lifestyles or actions in order to change our bodies to unrealistic ideals.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Counting calories?!

Yesterday I was standing behind two girls in a line-up.I heard her laughing with her friend saying that she "could NOT eat that cookie...it has too many calories!".

Now, normally, this would mean nothing to anyone else. But to me, it kind of hit a soft spot. I have never counted calories...it was simply not part of my eating disorder. But it can be a problem for many other people.

When I heard this girl say this...well, it got me thinking. Why count calories? It seems so mind-boggling. Imagine sitting at your desk and adding up everything that you ate in a day - it kind of seems depressing to me. Unless you are on a calorie-restricted diet, it seems to me that you would not need to count. I mean, how many people actually sit and add up their total calories?! It does not appear to be healthy, in my opinion.

But hearing people say this made me feel uncomfortable. These girls were not fat, not even close! And yet she was saying that she could not eat something because it had too many calories. But then I saw her eating a massive sundae (which, ironically, would technically have more calories)...weird. It did not make sense.

It occured to me, much later, that this girl was simply restating what she heard on TV or in the media - "eat low calorie foods" or "count your calories" or "now, burn more calories". CALORIES CALORIES CALORIES! It is so frustrating! A calorie is simply the amount of energy needed to raise one gram of water by one degree. That is all. Nothing more, nothing less. So why are we all falling victims to this?

ED plays very with calories. In some victims, calorie-counting becomes obsessive.

Count everything you eat. You ate too many calories todasy! Nope! You must eat less tomorrow. You do not need to eat that many calories....eat less...

And he can be quite convincing. The hype over calories is getting to be too much these days. People do not even know what calores are, yet they are counting them. Honestly, eat healthy and all things in moderation. And listen to your body, when it is hungry and when it is full. Do not be obsessed with counting calories. It may not turn into an eating disorder, but it certainly can.

It makes me realize how much the media makes us act or speak differently. The media has such a big impact on all of us, whether we know it or not. Think about it: how has the media affected you today? Have you seen a commercial about lowering calories, losing weight, or soemthing similar? I guarantee that you have. This madness has to stop. It is simply not healthy, and it is not doing us any good. When was the last time you saw a commercial that advocated for healthy eating and all things in moderation, plus being happy with who we are? (*Silence*)

Exactly. Point proven. This needs to change. And maybe we can't change it alone. But we can be the change that we want to see in the world (Ghandi). So take action - love yourself for who you are, and help others see that it is not all about the food/calories/images that the media promotes.

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Becoming Happy

What does it mean to be 'happy'? I know that this sounds like it has a simple answer...but think about. REALLY think about it. What do you feel when you are happy? What makes you KNOW that you are happy?

When I really reflect on it, I think defining happiness is hard! I suppose I can say that when I am happy, I feel safe. I feel free. I feel that although hard times may soon come, right now, I am okay. Life can have good moments, and happiness is one of the best things about life.

Deep into ED, I had lost any sense of feeling emotions - especially good ones. I never felt 'happy' because I was a slave to this hostile monster. ED filled my head night and day with harsh comments, reminders that I was fat and ugly, and the constant orders to inflict starvation upon myself.

Don't eat. You must isolate yourself. Do not watch that movie, even if people call it funny. You do not need to laugh. You do not know HOW to laugh. You silly girl. No one likes you. You are fat and ugly and useless. Stay close to me...I will give you what you want. You don't need anything or anyone else.

And for a long time, I listened to ED. Having this disorder made me different from people - I didn't 'need' to eat because I was somehow special that way. I did not have to laugh because there was simply nothing good in my life to laugh about. I did not feel happy because I was not enjoying life. I was stuck in a never-ending hole of darkness, pain, and struggles.

Even in treatment, I have to admit, I was NOT happy. I was full of anger, hurt, and confusion. It was only when I realized that I had to overcome ED that I felt the need to be happy. If I did not want to get better, I could not beat ED. I had to feel that I was done with him. And thank God, I did. I started to take control of my health. I did not wait for doctors, my parents, or anyone else to tell me to care for myself. I did it. For me. Because I was worth it. And because I wanted to know what it really felt like to be 'happy'.

I cannot say that all my problems are over. Let's face it, everyone has obstacles in life. I have many. But I also have a God who cares for me, a family who loves me, and friends who support me. I can smile when I see a familiar face, I can laugh when I hear a funny joke, and I can confidently say that ED is not winning. I feel as though I have broken the chains that have held me victim for so long. I feel this sense of power and achievement. It feels great.

I suppose this is what feeling 'happy' means. To enjoy life to the fullest, knowing that I have done whatever I can to defeat ED. And knowing that at the end of the day, I refuse to let ED take over again.

"Cheer up, for I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Mood Swings!

 I know what you are thinking: mood swings are only for girls at a certain time of the month. In one way, this is true - menstruation does cause mood fluctuations. On the other hand, we ALL get mood swings - it's human.

There can be many reasons why our moods can bounce around the charts. First, we are leading difficult lives. One moment you are happy because you got a good mark, and the next second you are devastated because you have an upcoming test. One moment you are distressed because you have a problem at work, and the next second your smiling because of a funny joke.

Mood swings are difficult to handle. If your feeling great at first, feeling low the next second is devastating. It feels like the happiness is being swept out of your soul. And if you feel sad one minute and happy the next, it feels as though your problems have disappeared. Strange, isn't it?

But what's important is how we deal with these moments. Sometimes, I just want to scream because of my unstable mood. I'm frustrated how quickly life can change, and how these events impact my mood.

It may sound silly, but I've come to simply accept the mood swings. It's part of life, and I can't change that. But what I CAN change is how I react. I might hate that something turns my mood upside down, but I can attend to my emotions and realize that there are ways to deal with this. So, the next time I suddenly feel down after being happy, I'll remind myself of how joyful I was before. Of course, this might not always work - sometimes we just need to feel certain emotions. But making the effort to lighten your mood can be the difference between a good and a bad day.

I like a saying that empowers me daily: you often can't change the ACT, but you can change how you REACT. In other words, life throws us surprises - what's important is that you control whether or not you let those events take you down.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Insecurity

I think at some point, we all feel a bit insecure. We may question why we are doing what we are, why we are on this earth, or how we will manage with all the obstacles in life. It gets so overwhelming when we have too much to do, but so little time. Sometimes, I question whether or not I'm actually 'up to' my life - can I really do it? Will I survive?!

This insecurity can be really bothersome. No one wants to have doubt that they can accomplish great things. But then there are days when it feels like we are getting nowhere...and this insecure or unsure feeling aches in our hearts, threatening to take away our hope and joy.

When I feel like this, I don't want to do anything. I feel like I CAN'T do anything because I'm unsure if I can actually succeed. Honestly, when I feel this insecurity, I get nothing done because I'm too busy worrying about everything in my life.

What's a person to do?! Feeling insecure is so debilitating - it makes us feel powerless and incapable. And when we feel like that, we cannot and will not do anything.

I've found that the best way to handle this insecurity is to challenge it. Basically, I ask myself: why do I feel this way? What proof do I have that tells me that I'm a failure?

ED loves to tell me that there's A LOT of proof of my failure.

You silly and foolish girl. Don't you remember all the pain you made your family and friends go through? You ruined everyone's lives. You are a selfish and worthless girl. You can't beat me - you are too weak.

But even if you don't have ED, there are days when we all feel 'down' and question where our lives are going. And sometimes, it can truly feel as though it isn't going where you want it to go.

But don't submit to this feeling. We mustn't admit defeat. I learned that I need up stay strong. To show ED - and myself - that I AM successful. That although I may not know exactly what will happen in the future, I DO know that my God has a plan for me. And I know that as long as I do my part, I'll be fine. There's no need to feel insecure or to despair. I have no concrete evidence that I'm destined to fail - actually, all of my experiences show that I have great things ahead of me. And you do, too. No matter what happens in your life today, know that the temporary feeling of insecurity shall pass. Do not let yourself feel this way - pick yourself back up and realize your potential. You are loved. You are worthy of good things. You will be successful.

Grey skies are always followed by sunshine. And sometimes, you need to have the rain before you see the rainbow.

Friday, 28 September 2012

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

I am privileged and blessed to say that one of my blog posts was chosen to be featured on the National Eating Disorder Information Centre of Canada's website (NEDIC). This is amazing - I will be a contributor to this blog on a regular basis (it's updated every 1-2 months, so still come here for my blogs!).Please go to http://www.nedic.ca/blog/ to see it!

NEDIC is an amazing resource for information about eating disorders. They really advocate for people with ED, and they do not favour just one way of treatment. Any way of getting better is good - and NEDIC supports people with ED. I have gained a lot of information from their website.

I can't believe that my writing is being featured online, in an organization that is known worldwide for its influences and advocacy for eating disorders. Having my blog pieces on NEDIC means that I am recognized, worldwide, as a writer. WOW. It is amazing to think that in April, I was dying in the hospital because of ED, thinking that I would not live to see another day. That my life was over. That ED had won. And now, here I am, writing for an organization that fights ED. I am part of this amazing team. I am an advocate. I am a writer. I am an ambassador. I am a survivor.

I feel so blessed to be offered this opportunity - the chance to be an international ambassador in the world of eating disorders. Truly, God is good. And a special thanks all of my wonderful readers who always support me. Keep on reading and commenting - I love you all! I would not have come this far without you - both in my recovery and in my advocacy for ED. God bless you all.

I cannot begin to count my blessings. For once, I feel that words cannot express how happy I am, how blessed I feel, and how wonderful all of you are.

I said it once, and I will say it yet again. My God is so gracious to me. And all of you are wonderful.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Hope

I recently came upon an image that I quite liked. Basically, it said "HOPE. Hold On, Pain Ends".

Wow. Whoever came up with this is a genius. How many times have you felt hopeless? You know...that feelings that nothing is going right, that the world is such a hard place to be in, that your life keeps throwing obstacles at you, and that you just want to SCREAM?!

I think I'm the queen of hopelessness. I've had my share of days that seemed like life was ending. That nothing would ever get better. I remember the days in the hospital when I would ask the doctors when I would be out of there - and they would look at me and stare - we all knew that I did not have a good chance of even getting out alive.

I recall the days in the ICU, when I had the breathing tube and dialysis. I would open my eyes for a few seconds and see darkness all around me - and then I'd feel the soft touch of my mom, dad, or sister next to me. And the next thing I knew, I was out again (the medications they gave me to put me to sleep really worked!).

Those days were painful. I remember thinking that I would never get out of the hospital. That my life, as I knew it, was over. That this was it - I had lived nineteen years of my life, and now it was over. I had no hope...I had lost it as my hospital stay got longer. As my coniditon worsened from being underweight to pneumonia to kidney failure to shortness of breath to breathing tube to blood transfusion...well, I felt that I was going to die. For sure.

But something that my family, friends, and community did for me was amazing. They always came in to visit me and smiled. They told me, 'just pray. God will help you. Be hopeful'.

I admit, at that time, I was praying. But I did not think that God heard me so well. I mean, if He heard me, why on earth was I struggling so much? Why wasn't I getting better?

The truth is, God WAS listening. He listened to me, my family, and my friends. He performed miracles with me that I could not believe. At the time when the entire medical team thought that I would surely die (the days in the ICU with the breathing tube, dialysis, blood transfusions, high blood pressure, heart failure, the NG tube, and multiple IV lines), God heard us. He felt our need and He answered us. He gave us hope. He reminded us that if we just hold on, pain will end.

So, I've learned to have HOPE. Even when everything - to be blunt - 'sucks'. Even when my world is so crazy and I feel sick and tired of living my life. It happens to all of us - but the most imporatnt thing is to have HOPE.

Because pain WILL end. Because "the Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed" (Psalm 34:18).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Weight Loss or ED?

Many people have asked me about how ED took over. They wonder how I let myself slip down to such a low weight without realizing it. Did I realize it? Did I not see that I was dying and losing weight so quickly? When did I realize that it was ED and not just losing weight for a healthy reason?

And they are all great questions...I hope I can answer them to the best of my ability.

Did I realize that I was losing weight? OF COURSE! I started off trying to lose weight because people teased me for being larger than they were. So, I came up with a great solution: decrease food intake = lose weight. And that is what I did. Eat less, lose weight, see number on scale go down, feel good, repeat.

But then days came where I would just stop losing weight - the body does this because it adjusts itself to the amount of food it is getting. Eventually, my metabolism slowed down to keep my body where it was because it didn't want me to lose anymore. So, I had to come up with a solution. Yes, you guessed right - decrease intake even more. And so the cycle continued - each time that I stopped losing weight, I realized that my body was being stubborn, so I simply ate less.

All the while, I knew that I was losing weight. Well, this was the point. But it felt so 'good' to be thin - just like all the people that teased me were. HA! I thought. Now they can't make fun of me because I am small, just like them.

But I was wrong. My 'thinness' spiraled into an illness that nearly took my life. I did not see it at the time, how sick I was. I saw the tiny number on the scale, but this only meant one thing to me - that I was skinny. The fact that I was being unhealthy or dying was clouded by ED's voice in my head.

You are thin! You are losing weight! But you must keep going. You need to eat less to lose more weight. Rememeber when people made fun of you? You do not want that to happen again. So, you need to keep losing. Do not eat. Keep losing weight.

It might sound silly to others, but ED is very smart. He played on my emotions - he knew how hurt I had been when others teased me because of my weight, so he threatened me with 'fatness' and the bullying that would come along with it. He made me believe that I would do ANYTHING  - even starve myself to death - to avoid this.

But the truth is, you can never make people happy. I was big, and people made fun of me. I became thin, and I nearly lost my life.

The weight loss happened really quickly for me. And I did not feel any symptoms of organ failure (ex. that my kidneys had shrunk, that my diaphragm was so weak that it was becoming nonfuctional, that my lungs had nearly collapsed, that my heart was failing...). So, it was easy to say that I was okay - this weight loss was 'clearly doing more good than bad'. Well, at least that is what ED made me want to believe.

What's my point? I guess I'm trying to show how easily ED sneaks into his victims' lives. And I want to send a message to all people who are trying to lose weight: please, only do it if your doctor (and it has to be a smart doctor who really knows what she or he is saying) tells you to. Unless you are at risk for heart attack or some other illness, you really do not need to lose weight. I know that this is hard to absorb in a society where all the rage is focussed on weight loss. But it is the truth. And if you NEED to lose weight because of a medical reason, it should be done in a healthy way with the care of a competent healthcare team. And once you lose the weight that you need to, you should not continue to lose more. I'm not saying that all diets end up turning into an eating disorder, but it puts people at greater risks. And besides, the truth is that diets simply DO NOT WORK. Live a healthy lifestyle, enjoying all things in moderation.

And that includes food, work, play, obstacles, and joys. Life is too short to waste on 'the small stuff'.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Time for ME!

Yesterday was a really busy day. I had classes all day, with no breaks in between. It was hectic. I was studying my notes for a test, listening to a lecture, and practicing my nursing skills. Once I got home, I had to type an assignment, watch tutorial videos, and print my next lectures.

By eight o'clock at night, I was exhausted. I felt so tired, but I had so much work left to do. I took a peek into my family room and saw my parents sitting, watching a movie. And I really wanted to go sit with them...just to breathe and have some fun.

It was so frustrating - should I go have fun? NO! I couldn't go...I had way too much work to do. But I was SO tired...didn't I deserve a little break?

My mom soon came into the room and told me that I had been studying for too long, and that it was time for a break. I had been working all day long - the least I could do now was to have some fun.

My perfectionism started to kick in. I couldn't just stop working now - I had so much left to do! But I was feeling stressed by this point...I really just wanted to relax.

Finally, I made the decision to go watch the movie with my parents. Part of me was angry that I did this - the perfectionist part. It felt like I was abandoning my duties as a student. But the other part of me realized how tired I was. If I kept studying, I probably wouldn't get too much done anyways. Besides, life has to be a balance between work and play.

Honestly, that felt like it was the hardest thing I have ever done. It may sound silly to you, but ripping myself away from studying feels 'wrong'. But I'm starting to realize that I need to 'chill out' sometimes and take time for me. To play, to read, to watch a movie...anything that I want. But the important thing is that I breathe, relax, and feel that I've done everything that I could've.

I've done my part. The rest is up to God. And I can actually take a break and feel that I have truly done my best. I've worked so hard. It's time for ME!!!

Monday, 17 September 2012

That 'feeling'

I was sitting in my class and listening to my lecture. And I looked at the time because I was just so bored and couldn't wait to finish. Lo and behold, it was time to whip out my lunch and eat.

Then ED started blabbing.

You don't feel hungry now. Why would you eat when you are not hungry?! That would make you a pig. And then you'd gain even more weight! Besides, most people around you skip lunch. Don't eat - who will ever know?
AH!!! In one way, he's right - no one would ever know. No one notices whether you've eaten at school or not. So technically, I could just not eat. Skip lunch or my snack. I did it for many years...why shouldn't I do it now?

But I'm different now. I know that when I don't eat, I give in to ED. I give him a chance to come back into my life and ruin it. And I've felt the benefits of eating - my stomach doesn't growl with hunger pains, my legs aren't weak anymore, and my personality is coming back. As much as ED hates it, eating has been the most important thing I've done in my recovery.

So whenever ED tries to tell me that I'm not hungry and shouldn't eat, I just have to say that while I may not be hungry, I have to eat. As much as I hate the phrase 'food is medicine', sometimes it helps to serve as a reminder of why I'm eating when I don't feel like it. And as much as I know that no one will realize that I haven't eaten, I've chosen to recover and it is my duty to keep my body healthy.

ED will try anything to get me to restrict and become his slave once again. Part of recovery is knowing when he is deceiving me and exposing his lies. Because the more I expose hi terrible ways, the more I realize how corruptive he is.

Friday, 14 September 2012

I just feel...'icky'

Today I had a really hectic day. I had no time to go to the bathroom because I had one class after another. It was crazy. I felt so stressed because of all the work that I had to do.

The good news is that I ate all my meals and snacks, even though I was so busy. I kept watch over the time and I made sure that I did not miss anything. So, kudos to me.

The bad news is that I feel really 'icky'. Simply put, I feel disgusted of myself. I feel that I am such a pig, stuffing myself with food as I work on my assignments. I feel so 'fat' as I am walking to class and munching on my chocolate bar - no, not my snack - my dessert after a meal. It makes me feel so 'weird' when the person nexts to me says that they are 'starving' and then pull out a salad to eat. ARE YOU KIDDING?! A salad? I mean, that is great that they want to be healthy and all. But it is ever so hard to see people hardly eating, and then eating so much food. ED hates it.

Look how much you are eating! You pig! No one eats like you! Why are you eating so much when you KNOW that you can survive on less? You are out of control!

And for a long time today, I really felt that way. I felt disgusted of myself for eating so much food. I felt different than everyone else when I would open my lunch bag and pull out food - even though it seemed as though I had just finished eating. It sucked. I felt the urge to restrict and to just do away with my food because I felt so 'fat'.

But then it hit me: this is totally ED talking. He WANTS me to feel 'icky' because I am eating. He WANTS me to feel 'fat' because I am eating so much. He WANTS to convince me  that I am a pig, that I am eating more than everyone else.

You can guess what I do in response: that's right. I shut him up and eat my food. Yes, it is really hard when I don't see others eating. And it is difficult when I just don't feel hungry. But right now, this is what I need to do. One mistake does mean that I have relapsed, but it can give ED a chance to come back into my life. And I don't want to do that.

So for now, I'll eat. Even when that means I feel icky. Because I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it is not really me that feels disgusted. It is ED. And he is MAD. And when ED is mad, I know that I am on the right track.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Are they staring at me?!

Do you ever have that feeling that people are staring at you? Not in the 'oh I'm so great and people can't stop looking at me' way, but more like 'do I have something on my face?' type of thing.

This feeling is really eerie. I become so self-conscience when this happens because it makes me feel that I look weird to others - and this is why they must be staring at me.

The interesting thing is that people might not even be staring at me! They could be lost somewhere in thought and just looking around, they could be bored an daydreaming, or they might be looking at something behind me. But ED tells me that this isn't true - that others are looking at me because I look fat or ugly.

You stupid girl! People are looking at you and wondering how you managed to get so fat in so short of a time! They are realizing how much weight you gained. It is so obvious. How hideous you look to them!
And it goes on and on. It is so painful to hear these words because they make me feel trapped and alone. As if I'm the only person in the world that looks different from last year. As if I have become so fat that everyone can't help but notice. You can see how distressing this becomes.

The way I've learnt to deal with it is to realize that I'm NOT the object of everyone's attention. People won't be staring at me because I look fat - reality is, although I've gained weight, I don't think I particularly look fat. And if people ARE looking at me, I don't think that they think I'm fat. Sure, maybe they realize that I look healthier...but healthy doesn't mean fat.

ED will keep telling me that I look fat and hideous, and that people just can't fathom how terrible I now appear. But I just have to keep telling him that he's a liar. And a dumb one at that. I'm not fat. My rational mind knows that. Yes, I've gained weight. I can't deny that. But to say that I'm now fat is wrong. So, ED, I've ratted you out. I've showed the world how much you lie to your victims. It's time for everyone to see how hideous and terrible YOU are.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Why Eat?

Something that I've noticed during my recovery is that everyone eats. And they enjoy eating, too.

I know - it sounds obvious, right? Well, when I was deep into ED, I didn't realize how important it was that I eat. I mean - I knew that everyone ELSE has to eat, but of course, ED told me that I was that one special person who could survive without food.

Everyone is weak. They need food to do their work. But now you. No, you do not need to eat. Look how strong you are! Look how you are able to function without food! So why would you eat?!

And for the most part, I'm sad to admit that ED was right - I was able to function. I woke up, did my school work, went to school, and got As on everything. I studied, I read, and I passed all of my courses. So, it sure felt that I could function without food.

But what I neglected what the fact that I was not actually functioning. Sure, I was getting great marks in school. But I lost my personality, my smile, and my sense of humour. I lost touch with all of my friends, and even tried to isolate myself from my own family. My left leg was so thin that I began to limp on it as I walked. My face was so bony that I resembled a skeleton. So, ED, was I REALLY able to function without food? Of course not.

Now, as I am eating, I notice that everyone actually eats naturally. When I'm with my friends, I excuse myself as I take out my food - 'sorry,' I say. 'But I need to eat now'.

And the response I get is amazing. My friends look at me and say, 'yeah. sure. Maybe I'll eat too'. And I'm staring at them. WHAT?! You mean people actually eat if they want to? Because they enjoy food? I eat because the clock tells me to! And this person has no problem with it?

Of course, not everyone I stay with eats at the same times as me. But everyone is so natural around food - they could not care less whether I am eating. And when they eat, they take out their food and just eat - there is nothing else to it. Eating is a normal part of their day, just like waking up and studying is. It is just something they do - no strings attached. On the opposite, I eat because I HAVE to - I don't necessarily feel hungry or am craving something. But then again, it will take my hunger cues some time to readjust. My body still is in shock - it is amazed that it is getting nutrition, but it is also scared that another famine is coming.

This revelation - that people 'just eat' - was a big thing for me. It helped me become more comfortable when I had to take out my food to eat in front of others. After all, I'm 'just eating' - like any other human being. It made me see how ED played with my thoughts, trying to convince me that eating was not necessary - that it was an option. Now I see that eating is NOT an option; it is a necessity for life. And EVERYONE does it.

It's just food. And we just eat. It is that simple. So the next time ED tries to tell me that I don't need to eat to function, I'll remind him that I am human - and just like everyone else - I need to eat.

After all, it is a blessing that my God has given me the opportunity to have food available whenever I need it. And my body appreciates the nutrition. To top it off, it is one more step on my way to recovery.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Reaons to Smile

Have you ever thought about the act of smiling? It sounds silly, right? Why would we THINK about smiling - we just 'smile' and that's that. But why do you smile? Is it because you are happy? Or because something is funny?

Smiling is such a great thing. I'm sure you've heard that smiling actually uses less muscles than frowning. There is a lot of research on emotions and facial expressions. One study showed that when we smile, we tighten some facial muscles. This, in turn, reduces some blood flow to a sinus, which means that cooler blood reaches the brain. Apparently, cooling of the blood to the brain provides us with pleasant feelings (I'm NOT telling you to purposely make your blood cold to feel good - it only happens if it is natural!) - see http://www.nytimes.com/1989/07/18/science/a-feel-good-theory-a-smile-affects-mood.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm for details.

Another study found that laughing actually decreases stress hormonse such as cortisol (which is released during stress, causing your body to break down protein in muscles; over prolonged stress, cortisol can cause increased fat deposits, reduced immunity, and cardia wear-and-tear). This study (http://stress.about.com/od/stresshealth/a/laughter.htm) also found that laughing increases endorphins (remember these? I talked about them before - they reduce pain sensations!).

So, without going into any more detail, it is already obvious why we SHOULD smile. But, if that is not enough...well, I thought of some reasons why I should smile. Feel free to comment and add your own!

(By the way, you had better be smiling by the end of this post!)

1. I am alive
2. I have wonderful friends and family
3. I am recovering and got a second chance at life
4. I am able to share my experiences with supportive readers
5. I have a roof over my head, clothes on my body, food on my table, shoes on my feet, and a bed to lay in
6. I am able to go to school
7. I have enough money to buy my needs and wants
8. I am able to love others and get their love in return
9. I have an amazing Church community
10. I have a functioning brain, organs, and body
11. I can read and write. I have a chance at getting an education
12. I live in a free country
13. I have a GOD who loves me and guides me
14. I am me. I am special. I am strong. I am living without ED. I am a survivor. I am a fighter.

SMILE! :)

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Caught Up!

I've just started school, and already I'm flustered with the amout of work that I have. Well, there's nursing for you. I'm flipping pages back and forth, taking notes on a book, listening to a module, trying to learn how to insert an NG tube into a patient...what am I forgetting?

Oh yes, time for myself.

It is so easy to get caught up in the daily hassles of life. Especially for me - someone who loves to study and enjoys it. And it is great that I love learning, because you really need that if you are in nursing. But it becomes a problem when all you can do is think about school, your homework, the patients you need to care for, and what time you need to be at school.

This is something that I have struggled with all my life, but since ED came along, I have realized tbat I tend to get worried about my work more than I should be. I'm not quite sure what the connection is, but I believe that this is ED's way of making me feel the pressures to be 'perfect'. ED tries to make me feel inferior to the world by telling me that I need to have the perfect body, the perfect face, and perfect marks. In summary, ED wants me to be the impossible.

Lose weight. Be skinny. Look! There is fat all over your body. And if you do not study enough, you`ll be a failure at that too! What a pathetic and useless girl!

And so I end up feeling glum, certain that I AM useless and a failure at everything. I can`t be thin. I can`t get perfect grades in school. In short, I am nothing but pathetic, just as ED says. Right?

WRONG! This is all part of his trap. He gets me so caught up in my school work and makes me feel as though I am nothing if I cannot finish all of my work in one day. He makes me feel as though I cannot be àverage`- I have to strive to achieve perfection in everything. And how realistic is this? Simply put, it isn`t!

So, as I am caught up in my school work, I have to remember to take time for ME. To do the things that I like to do - to read interesting novels, to play games, to chat with my family, or to watch TV. ED will tel me that when I do these things, I am being lazy and unproductive. And do you know what I say?

FINE! If enjoying my life - all things in moderation - means that I am being lazy, then that is what I want to be. I want to study and get good marks, but I also want to do the things that make me happy. And yes, ED hates it when I am happy.

All the more reason to laugh and smile.

Friday, 7 September 2012

This Summer

I saw so many of my peers and classmates at school today. It was great to be back at school. Everyone was waving to others, smiling around, and talking about their summer vacations. And then it hit me: I really had nothing to talk about in terms of my summer.

Everyone - or most people - who know me know that I was ill with ED last summer. So imagine the awkward moment when I've asked them about their summer, and they respond with a huge statement of how it was awesome, how they did so much, etc. And then - as if on cue - they ask, 'and what about you?!'

And just as I am about to open my mouth to remind them of what I did this summer, they say, 'oh. right. I'm sorry. But I'm glad you are better!'. And then I smile and say 'thank you', they smile, and the conversation is over.

AWKWARD. I mean, it is really nice of them to be glad that I am better...but I can just see it in their eyes. Or at least, ED doesn.

They must be thinking that you had such a lousy summer. They are staring at you now, realizing how big your body has become since they last saw you. Even as you walk away, they are shocked about how much weight you have gained. You look so different to them - in a bad way.

Truthfully, I honestly DO feel that I did not have such a great summer. I mean, I was in the hospital - mostly the ICU - for most of it. I did not get to go out and meet friends, visit crazy amusement parks, or even tan in the Sun. Instead, I was hooked to IV machines, dialysis, an NG tube, and a breathing tube. I was poked in my arms everyday for bloodwork. I was on so many medications.

This really bothers me. How would you feel if you felt that summer - the break that you get after you've worked so hard in school or work - just 'passed by'? It feels rotten.

But after a while of thinking about it, I realized that although I did not do much 'fun' things this summer, I did the most important thing of all - I saved my life. I fought for my breath, for my organs, and for myself. I got closer to my God as I learned that my life was in His hands. I saw how wonderful my family and friends were as they visited me and helped me with my needs. I felt the love of everyone around me. And most of all, I emerged out of the experience alive, well and healthy.

How's that for a great and effective summer? It was not your typical summer, I'll give you that. But it was probably the most important summer of my life - one that I will truly NEVER forget. A memorable one, at the least.

So the next time ED tries to make me feel terrible about my summer, I'll remember that although I did not get to do everything that I wanted to do during my break, I got a second chance at life. Because God intervened and safed my life, I will have another summer vacation - and then I can do anything that I want to do.

Summer 2012 was definitely a summer that will never be erased from my memory. And for the better. Because that is the summer that I realized how great my God is, how loving my friends and family are, and how strong I can be.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

'But you don't look anorexic!'

Today I went to school - my first day back. I was heading towards the office for my program, where I was to speak with my academic advisor. When I arrived there, I saw one of my friends who knows about my anorexia. She was standing with one of her freinds who I did not know. After she asked me how I was doing, I continued on my way. As I left, I overheard her friend saying, 'BUT SHE DOESN'T LOOK ANOEXIC!'.

Ouch. Like, really really REALLY ouch.

This threw me off. I did what I needed to do, and then I got home. The entire time, the person's words echoed in my head: she doesn't look anorexic...

What did this person mean? That I didn't look 'thin enough' or 'sick enough' to have anorexia? That I looked fat and could possibly have had an eating disorder? That to have this illness, I have to look emaciated and deathly?

ED, of course, took this to heart. And he made me think about it over and over again.

They said you don't look like you have anorexia. That means you look fat. See how much weight you have gained?! You look hideously fat!

This really bothered me. ED began to put thoughts in my head

...If you still starved yourself and stopped eating like a pig, you would look thin and then people would not say you are fat.

In reality, this person did not actually say that I was fat. They just said that I did not look anorexic. But to ED, the two meant the same thing. If I could not look thin enough to haev anorexia, that must have meant that I looked fat. And this scared me so much.

The more and more I thought about this, the more I got hurt. I had to stop my running thoughts, take a deep breath, and think rationally.

Okay, so maybe this person said that I do not look anorexic. But that does not mean that I look fat. This is a good thing - I do not look sick anymore. I look normal. This means I have triumped over ED. And ED is just too angry that I am no longer an image of his dirty work. So he is trying to pull me back through his deceptive words. But I must not give in. I must stay strong.

This does not mean that what this person said was right. I truly believe that people need to stop labelling 'anorexics' as people who look like they are only stick-and-bones. Nonetheless, it is disrespectful and hurtful to say that someone who was ill with an eating disorder does not look as though they might have once been sick. That is plain wrong.

Now. DEEP BREATHS. I don't look anorexic. Fine, I can learn to live with that. I'd rather look this way than look as though I'm dying. No, ED, I DON'T look fat. I look perfectly healthy. So there.