Silver linings

At one of the gyms I work, we often do an exercise at our staff meetings where we go over “The good, the  bad, and the ugly.”

Yesterday was good, bad, tiring, and weird. That’s the best summary I can give.

I’ll start with the good:

  • I got to go on a pretty awesome, sunny bike ride to Port Stanley with my friends. It’s about 95km round trip, so it was nice to have company! 😀
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THREE BIKING BOYFRIENDS! JK. But three biking friends = still good!

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  • We slept in and hit the road later on (as it was not sticky hot for once!). This means I got to eat breakfast first. Simple pleasures.

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  • I felt pretty good during the ride, even if the hills and anticipation of Virginia got me a litttttttttle discouraged. I did a good job of eating and hydrating, methinks! Bonus.

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  • There was a flat tire but there were also plenty of tubes, CO2 cartridges, and skills (none of these on my behalf) so we didn’t get too held up!

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  • I went to Sunfest yesterday afternoon–it was a “cross cultural arts festival” and a big ol’ party all weekend in the park! There was the most delicious lemonade of my life (hello re-hydration and carb refuelling), friends, and sunshine. Win, win, and did I mention win?
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  • My other eats (a bedtime snack of cottage cheese and nut butter and leftovers for dinner) were not so beautiful in photo, but pleased me perfectly!

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  • My mom came down and spent the night. We had a bunch of quality time and of course that meant stupid pictures.
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  • I got to hang out with another friend for a few hours yesterday and got to look at some very cool photos he took–a sneak preview in his words. 🙂 Aren’t I special? Well, you don’t really need a sneak peek to see his work, but still.
Now for the bad…
  • I fell at the end of our ride. My scrapes don’t really phase me — war wounds are cool, right? — but my head hurt a lot yesterday and my helmet showed the damage. Falling off your bike sucks. 90km in I was tired, there were geese, it was bumpy, and that’s all I’ve got in terms of an explanation. All of a sudden I was on the ground. Hmmmm….

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I don’t know how but I managed to scrape my lip. I guess I was smiling or laughing when I went down. Moral of the story is–I’m okay, I could have hurt something serious, and at least I got hurt on a really awesome ride and close to home. 🙂 Oh, and wear a fucking helmet. And yeah, f bomb necessary. My brain would have been donezo if I wasn’t wearing it, and I was going “slow” on a trail, so you KNOW I’m not taking the excuses you’re trying to dummy up in your brain.

So I really like the good bad and ugly exercise and the chance to vent, but I really want to change the ugly for me to the silver lining.

Like I said, I got quality time. ER trips are more fun with friends — my photographer friend broke his finger (not fun) so I took him. I was going to get checked out at my mom’s urging (can you see where this is all making sense now?) but after 4 hours in the waiting room and more to go, I gave up. Bedtime was 2am, but whatever.

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I feel better today, by the way, so I think my head is okay! My mom woke me up a few times and there was nothing wrong – other than being sore, nothing to worry about, I don’t think. I have the advice of countless google searches (;) – kidding!) and some friends who know what they’re talking about. Andddddd I have an excuse to buy a new helmet. One silver lining! Amen. The thought of hurting my brain conjured up these images of the slides from my sports injuries class back in 2nd year. Sit in a dark room with no TV or computer or thinking. Hi, isolation. I realized how much worse that would be than a broken arm or not being able to bike or getting hurt. And then I felt a twinge of “holy shit, stop complaining about your hip, stop complaining about the cellulite on your thighs, stop worrying about whether you’re 130 or 150 or 170lbs and start appreciating the fact that you have a working body and that you can literally do whatever you want with your head”. If that’s not a silver lining, I don’t know what is!

Now that that’s out there, I’m letting it go. Like I said, I’m sore today so I’m going to keep my teaching to just a bootcamp (come on out if you’re in London) and I’m lucky enough to have someone covering my spin class. Too intense, I think, and I’m appreciative that I can take the day off. I’m going to run my errands today — since I leave tomorrow, I need to get things checked off. Any exercise I do is going to be light and I’m good with that. I’ve got tons of biking ahead. 🙂

First on my agenda: breakfast, obviously. Caffeine: check. Next up: as many to dos as possible to fill the day til it’s time to kick butts in the park.

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One last time: wear a helmet. Be grateful. It could always be worse — I got a big ol’ reminder of that!

Have you ever had a fall on your bike? I fell a few summers ago. 1/3 years is not a bad ratio and I’ve not been seriously hurt so I’ll take it!
What did you do this weekend?
When’s the last time you went to emerg?

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Brownies don’t bring bliss

Recall my presentation this afternoon on stevia? It went pretty well. It helps when you bribe people with brownies…

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Lucky for me there were leftovers. I gave the staff I see every day on my way to class the leftover “good” brownies (the ones from the box with sugar) and ended up with a couple of the stevia “brownies” left. In the mix: applesauce, baking soda, baking powder, cocoa, dark chocolate chunks, vanilla and flour. I took the recipe from a site I searched out on google even though it didn’t get the best reviews. Simple. Not really dessert, if you ask me.

More like snack…

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I was hungry before my hair appointment today so I went for it and had one of the goodies. I liked it, even if most of my classmates were not quite as into them. 🙂

In the past, a brownie for a snack never would have happened. Today, it did. And if it had happened in the past, you know what would have happened? Not the “bliss” I’d expect (the emotional soothing) but probably self loathing or a binge. While the brownie didn’t bring me bliss this afternoon (I don’t think even the best brownies in the world could do that), a couple of things did:

  • getting rid of my mullet

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  • a really good smoothie for dins (pumpkin, yogurt, soy milk, flaxseeds, pumpkin pie spice, and spinach, topped with oats)

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  • an evening at Starbucks with an impromptu study partner (a friend from the gym who has a knack for bringing my stress levels down and making me laugh)
  • a mocha (’nuff said)

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  • finishing a project that’s due tomorrow
  • getting my last source for my article that’s due tomorrow (thank god for helpful people and admitting that you’re a student journalist in a bit of a pickle/rush!)
  • TMI warning!!!!! … a visit from Aunt Flo, NO PILLS/RING/ANYTHING required 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
  • not letting myself get stressed right now even though I “should” be

a little extreme, but you’re laughing. and it’s true.

  • tomorrow being Friday!
See what I’m getting at here?

Your take-aways from this post:

a) Focus on the positive.

b) Eat brownies.

c) Liberate yourself. Cut your hair, run in your sports bra, do something that makes you different.

d) Put spinach in your next smoothie.

e) Smile.

🙂


What brought you a little bliss today?
Have you ever baked with stevia?

Dear diary: The best binge of my life

A really great binge.

Is there such a thing?

As liberating as writing a few posts this week that I think really show how far I’ve come in recovery has been, I feel a bit of resistance. And a bit of stress with starting summer school. And that’s played out in chocolate cravings and some night time eating that is fine, but that probably should have raised a bigger red flag for me.

Anyways, it is what it is, and even though yesterday was perfection–my yoga class was fun, I hung out with a friend after, etc., I still fell into some bad territory last night. Or good territory, depending on how you look at this all (if you can follow along, you’ll see!).

Since I don’t have a deceptive bone in my body, I’m going to lay it all out:

  • went to bulk barn
  • ate some chocolate in a relaxed manner
  • got past the point of tired, got past the point of eating for pleasure/hunger, got to the point of “am I bingeing?” and stopped
  • went back to the kitchen, continued eating “I’m definitely bingeing”
  • went back to the kitchen again, tossed the rest of what I was bingeing on (telltale old dieting habit: I’m too out of control to have it around? <– that’s bull!) but ate more in the process
  • went to bed
  • felt sick
  • got up and threw up

Now, here’s what was different. NORMALLY I’d have been a WRECK over this. Does my reaction, which wasn’t to beat myself up, to plan a diet, to continue eating, to cry myself to sleep, to write epic blog posts or journals, mean I don’t care? That I’m giving up on recovery?

Hells no.

I think it means the opposite.

That binge/purge didn’t serve me at all. Not one bit. It was a waste of money, time, and energy. But it was a lesson!

…that I need to be more in touch with things: I should have went to bed. I should have done my laundry so I didn’t see it and feel bad when I walked in the door. I should have organized my notes before going out for the night so I don’t have that lingering feeling of being a slob. I should have sat down and breathed when I got in the door. But I can say should have til I’m blue in the face–it is what it is.

Today, I went back into one of my favourite recovery books — “It’s Not About Food”  and read some of the dog-eared pages:

  • “At the heart of every eating disorder…there is a cry from the deepest part of our souls that must be heard. It is a cry to awaken, to embrace our whole selves, to see past the limitations we have put on ourselves by defining our bodies or our eating habits as good or bad. … It is a call from the part of us the holds our desires and passions to grow, heal and fulfill our dreams.”
  • about trusting your process
  • reading that recovery isn’t linear
  • The authors describe recovery as a mountain with thousands of paths to the top (where things come to a head and you are tossed back and forth between the ED side and the recovered side). They use the mountain as a guideline and I see myself in it. It was helpful to read about the stages I’m not alone:
    • “The fear that you will gain a million pounds comes roaring into your life.”
    • “As you start to put your eating, your food, and your weight in the proper perspective, all the feelings that you had been overeating or underrating over come up and out. These are the feelings your have numbed with food. These are the emotions you have pushed down with obsessional thinking…It is an illusion to think that the food has made them go away.”
    • “Many times you have all your feelings and you are still overeating or starving yourself. To make matters worse, eating the food or controlling the food doesn’t numb you anymore. … Your thoughts are filled with how fat and out of control you are. You think how easy it would be to just go on one last diet, and yet you know that isn’t the answer. … As painful as it can be, this is one of th emost powerful parts of the whole journey. It will teach you about yourself and lead the way to knowing how to live the rest of your life with peace and self-love.”

The authors also offered some valuable reminders: “You will eventually eat like a normal person. You will weigh what you were meant to weigh naturally. You will know and speak your own truth.” Amen to that.

And while I see myself in that struggling place where you have behaviours and emotions and so much going on, I also connected for the first time with a stage later in their process:

  •  “Even though you may still over- or under eat or obsess now and then, it doesn’t happen as often and it shouldn’t worry you because you know that you have the tools to turn things around. You are also more trusting of yourself and this process: you know that this happens snow and then and it’s okay.”
Because today, I feel okay. I feel good. I feel like I’m going to have a great weekend regardless of that fact that this happened. I feel totally different than I ever have after a binge. I didn’t clean out my cupboards, I didn’t meticulously plan my food, I didn’t decide to only have one treat a day this weekend, I didn’t decide to do double workouts every day, I didn’t compulsively clean my apartment, I didn’t do any of the things that I used to do to try to “deal with” last night. I don’t have to.  I don’t feel like crawling into my pyjamas and hiding from the world today. I feel like getting out there and being awesome. I reminded myself: even if I gained weight from that, that weight is part of my recovery. My weight is not the issue–it never has been and it never will be (because I’m not going to forget these lessons any time soon). This all brought the realization that I don’t need to binge and purge again–it does NOTHING for me. And that carries over: I don’t need to worry about my weight — it does NOTHING (positive) for me. My ED is no longer serving me. If that’s not a huge statement, I don’t know what is. It’s like I knew that, but I had to prove it via a binge. It’s definitely worth it because it showed me just how useless my ED behaviours are. Let ED slip back in? Not an option. Let him win this weekend and make me miserable? Not happening–ED is not even a contender in my life anymore–that’s what this binge showed me! 
I kind of have this sentiment to ED: NANANANABOOBOO YOU CAN’T CATCH ME!
Turns out, I don’t need to binge!
That’s all.
If you’ve recovered, how did you know you were done with ED?
Thoughts?

Squashing cravings, making sunshine

After a busy day, I was hungry and while I have plenty of tasty options to cook in my freezer (fish, turkey, etc.), I was craving the squash creation I ate pretty much every other day this winter. So I made it and loved every bite.

I also just knew I was craving chocolate today and that something was going to need to be done about it. I had a few of the peanut m and ms I got for Easter this afternoon and some more after dinner. They might be perfection–nuts, candy, chocolate. I’m set!

I had a legit reason to dig in–it’s better than digging into the cake I made for tomorrow’s Sunday Funday dinner!

I was trying to recreate one I made a couple times when I was in the deep of my cake decorating obsession. Naturally, I’m a bit rusty. But I loved decorating this thing!

One rule I have for my cake decorating…

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You must make a mess.

The bigger the better!

This might be far fetched, but I think decorating cakes is a way for me to get in the zone. I felt the same way painting that mug yesterday. I always assumed my kind of “zone” would be sports or training. But I think it’s actually making something. Time to get down to work on that latch hook maybe? Or to learn how to crochet? It helped that I was just OKAY with having a handful of m&ms instead of feeling bad for sneaking a few here and there while I was decorating (something that I used to beat myself up over when I’d decorate them!).

I can remember too many times when I’d “overeat” and then end up feeling miserable, staying home, and beating myself up! Tonight I am going to keep my plans with friends, probably have a drink or two, and remember that it’s all about balance. I am not bingeing, I’m not eating all junk food all the time, and I don’t have to feel ashamed! Freedom.

What’s your favourite way to get crafty?
What kind of candy do you LOVE?