4 Things For Right Now

4 Things For Right Now

 

4 steps

“I keep making the same mistake. I’m not sure I will ever be able to change.”
-My sweet client

When I heard this, I knew the feeling she was experiencing. I remember being her exact age waking up from sleeping an entire 24 hours straight. I was too ashamed and overwhelmed by my predicament to face life back then. People seem understand chemical dependency in the form of alcoholism and drug abuse, but they do not understand that anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are chemical dependencies too. In fact, not only are they a self medicating that need to be addressed, dealt with, and recovered from, but unlike drug abuse and alcoholism those of us with eating disorders cannot just hang up our drug and never surround ourselves with it again (hear me, I am by no means minimizing drug and alcohol abuse). We have to eat to live! And to make matters worse, not only do we have to use our drug of choice for survival, people make light of our plight by shoving it in our face as well. Since they have not experienced the complete overpowering urge to binge sometimes immediately followed by purging, or the sheer and utter terror of taking one bite of an “off limits food”, they think nothing of the the phrase “Oh just a little won’t hurt.” or “Oh just this once.” Or even the damage that is caused in pushing someone to eat the food they have made because they find it rude when someone doesn’t eat what they have put forth the effort to make. They do not understand that what they are doing by pushing food on someone with an eating disorder is like offering heroin to an addict or a beer to an alcoholic. I’m sure some of you will read that and think that it can’t possibly be like that. That’s ok. I hope you never have to know what it’s like.

When I heard her statement, I felt the sorrow that she felt. But I felt great joy at the same time! While I know that feeling of inflicting your own utter chaos on yourself. The shame and humiliation of not only having the eating disorder, but the shame and humiliation that is often times feeding the eating disorder. The absolute belief that you will never be able to get a handle on it and live life like a normal person. That you may just be destined to die from it. Unless you have been through it, you have no idea the feeling of the binge urge. It is far beyond will power or “busying yourself” so that you don’t give in. No, the urge will win every time. The key is to get rid of the urge which is coming from a place of great inner pain.

So while I know her great pain, I have great joy in the fact that although she believes in her mind is defeated, she is not! There is in fact another side to the fence!

If you are struggling, it is very important for you to know that there is another side to the fence. There is. Even if you are so far from even seeing the fence! Obviously, it’s a long long road to recovery. But if you are in need of something to help you right now, here are these four steps to get you started while you are finding someone to help you on your road to recovery.

  1. Ask, Seek, Knock (Matthew 7:7) Pray for God to get you through this.
  2. Find out how to eat healthy and keep a healthy diet. A poor diet makes the binge urges stronger and keeps them coming more frequently.
  3. Exercise. Exercise not only works as an antidepressant but it also helps to regulate hunger making it easier to keep a healthy diet.
  4. Wait. Be patient because it’s a long road. Make the effort everyday and do not give up. Keep fighting.

And remember that one day, when you are past it, you will be able to walk with someone through their journey to recovery.

Then what a blessing you will be.

 

 

I am a Masterpiece

I am a Masterpiece

Happy National Eating Disorder Awareness Day!

Ugh, it’s so hard for me to write these posts because I have SO MUCH to say. I can’t just say nothing though, so I am going to do my best to condense my thoughts into these blog posts until the season comes when I have time to write a book. Today I am just going to lay it all out there. I find myself apprehensive to tell my story because I do not want someone who is still struggling to read it and feel discouraged if they are not a Christian. Because the truth is that for 17 years I struggled and fought and tried my damnedest to get better but couldn’t. But there came a time where my mind was changed and it was God that did that.

So there it is, read further if you wish.

I am a Masterpiece

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I struggled with anorexia and then bulimia for 17 years. Some of you may read this blog and wonder how I am able to still have a strong focus on fitness and even set weight loss goals after having my baby when I struggled with eating disorders for so long. It’s because of my mindset. My mind has been changed. I can 100% without a doubt say that my worth does not come from my weight or my body or the way I look. For years, I would get sick of of the bondage, I would set up my healthy plan, I would pray to God, and even proclaim to everyone that I knew that the eating disorder was in the past and I was healed. This would only result in me feeling even worse when I fell back into it again and the fear of never getting better just grew more and more intense.

Looking back, I see the things that God used to change my mind. I wish for all of you that you get to really fail a few good times in life. And I mean really really embarrass yourself. Last week I wrote about my past in a post titled Sunday Thoughts. In that post I listed several of my big mess ups. And I didn’t just do those things half way. I did those things all the way. I cannot convey to you the magnitude of my mess ups. My biggest accomplishment in life is failing. And I hope that all of you get the chance to really eat it too. Sorry, but it’s because once you really make a complete fool out of yourself time and time and time again, you reach a point where it doesn’t bother you anymore. And then the possibilities are endless! If you were not afraid of what people would think of you or say to you, what would you do? Wouldn’t it be so neat to live without abandon?

I love you, but I could care less what you think about my beliefs, the way I raise my kids (proud formula feeder here), what you think about my lifestyle, or what you think about the way I look.

But I do care what God thinks. I fell in love with Proverbs 31 while pregnant with Ryan. I know a lot of women read it and think that it’s impossible but I know that everything is possible when Christ does it through you. I want to serve my family, I want to work hard, I want to help others. I want these things and this is my prayer everyday.

And so because my purpose is to serve the Lord, I do not look at myself and point out all of the flaws. In fact, I don’t even see them. In fact, I look at myself and know it is totally ok to say to myself “Wow. You are really beautiful.” And I unapologetically think that I am really beautiful because I did not make me. God did. And I am a masterpiece.

We all go to museums and look at these spectacular works of art. We marvel at them because every single one is different and unique in it’s own way. We admire the differences, even the ones that over time have been chipped or damaged because they tell a story. They have depth that is sometimes tragic yet fascinating.

You are a masterpiece. You did not make you. Take care of yourself today because you are precious and priceless.

You are really beautiful.

 

 

Go Left!

Go Left!

Good morning!

Happy Wednesday! I hope you woke up to a beautiful day this morning! It’s a rainy one in my neck of the woods but beautiful nonetheless.

Monday I shared a few of the things that helped me out while I was still on the tumultuous eating disorder trail.  Today, I want to share one more thing.

Last week we did The One Change Challenge on here. The ladies and I chose just ONE change that we wanted to make and then focused on making that one change for 7 days straight. The reason I thought of this challenge was because it was ONE change at a time that has made the big differences in my life. One goal, one change, wait, then move onto the next.

We all want to make changes for the better. Where we go wrong is trying to make all the changes for the better at once.

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I think we all have made a list like this in the past. Probably around the new year….

The thing with a list like the one above is that it is overwhelming. Most likely you will get up the next day, eat breakfast, maybe get your workout in, head to work, and do nothing else on the list.

So what does this have to do with eating disorders?

There was ONE change that I practiced that took me from binge eater to someone who overeats sometimes and then stops.

Go Left!

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Welcome to my brain. I know for me, during my eating disorder or even just a bad eating binge, there was a sequence of events that occurred. The sequence would always go a lot like this……

Ate something I thought I shouldn’t or ate too much
Worry about it

Turn on the TV 
Grab some kind of junk and mindlessly eat as much as I could
Eat all the junk because this is a binge

What I didn’t realize was that this was a habit. I had formed this sequence in my brain that when I had anxiety about what I ate, I would turn on the TV, grab the chips or whatever, and mindlessly binge in front of the TV. I had a driving version too but I won’t go into that.

SO the one change that I needed to focus on was “going left” when my mind wanted to go right. The left turn is never the easier one when we are driving, it’s not the easier one when breaking a cycle either. But if you make it your one goal to focus on, you can do it. When I would get the urge to binge eat, I had to do something else, anything else, to break the cycle. So if I ate a little too much and I was worried about it, “going left” would be to leave the house and go to Starbucks instead of sitting down and turning on the TV. Or walking around Target. Sure, you may spend a few dollars but guess what else costs money……… a binge! You do what you need to do in the beginning.

Going left could also be grabbing a lean protein with some healthy fat instead of grabbing junk food. Sure, you don’t want the protein snack at the time but it will give you a satisfied feeling and the urge to binge won’t be so great. It’s better to eat a little more than to eat everything in your pantry. Eating junk would be the next thing in the sequence, go left and choose a heathy food to break the chain of events.

If you struggle with binge eating, picture a road ahead of you that forks, one road to the right and one road to the left. The one in my mind is a dirt road, not sure why but it works. You are heading to the right where your mind is pulling you, but today you will go to the left! Remember just ONE thing when you get the urge to binge, GO LEFT.

This takes practice but you will get it. You can practice by keeping the picture of the fork in your mind and using it to “go left” in all of the decisions that you are tempted to take the easy road.

You wake up in the morning, you are tired and don’t want to exercise……. go left
You know you need to save money but you have the urge to spend…….go left
You want to spend more time with your kids but the daily grind keeps getting in the way…….go left!

This is just something that appeared in my brain one day that has really been a great tool. I hope that it will help some of you out there.

Questions:

Do you ever do things out of pure habit? 

Did you realize that this was occuring?

Have a great day everyone!

A Few Things That Helped in My Journey to Recovery

A Few Things That Helped in My Journey to Recovery

Good afternoon!

*Warning: This blog post is highly caffeinated. I will ramble. I have gotten into the habit of staying up until midnight-1am so I got up REALLY early this morning to try to get myself to bed a little earlier. I apologize in advance for all spelling and punctuation errors. 

Hey Yall!

Since I can’t really focus anymore today on learning new things, what better time to blog about things I already know? I’ve been blogging along for three years now. Dear readers, thank you so much for reading. I love writing, but it sure is nice to know there is someone out there that I am writing to. Today I am writing to you a little more about my eating disorder and recovery. I unexpectedly had a huge response to my post where I chose an Eating Disorder Recovery Anniversary Date and realized that there are a lot of you out there struggling that need to know how I managed to make it through my day back then (which I didn’t always), and how I made it to where I am today. There is so much to tell and it’s about time I started telling. It was such a long tumultuous road to recovery and even when I was doing much better with it all, I was still having really strong binge urges. I couldn’t control them! As hard as I would try, I could never get my appetite under control. I had to figure it out. This took years. Often times, I didn’t know what was the eating disorder and what was just eating too much. But I have learned a ton! Not everything. But a ton! And I am going to share some of this with you today. If you are struggling with bulimia or binge eating, here are some things that helped me to manage the behavior until I FINALLY got to the other side of the fence!

*Note-I am not a doctor of any kind! I struggled with anorexia and then bulimia for 17 years and I am sharing with you things that helped me in my journey and recovery. 

Clean Eating

When I was in therapy for my eating disorders, my therapist really tried to get me to be comfortable with having junk food. The reason that she was trying to get me to include some junk into my diet was so that I could get rid of this “good food/bad food” mentality. Well, I came to be okay with having junk every now and then but I STILL couldn’t control myself with it. If I had an Orea, I ate the pound of Oreos. My therapist told me that it was because I still thought of sweets as “off limits” and so when I did finally have then, I would eat as much as I possibly could because I didn’t know when I would have it again. Well in the 17 years, I had a few years where I just gave up, swung to the other end of the weight spectrum and had junk all the time. So a year or so of consistently including junk food into my diet……..still couldn’t control myself. I figured I was just doomed with food. But then I learned that when you deprive your body of nutrients for a long period of time, it starts to get angry. See, our body/brain is constantly trying to rescue us from ourselves. And it remembers that the junk has lots of calories. Calories that can be used to save you from starvation! If you have ever eaten a donut or a cookie in your life, then developed an eating disorder where you are starving your body, when you do finally take a bite of a cookie or some other kind of junk food there is a hormonal response that happens that jogs your bodies memory that the cookie has lots of calories and in turn tells you to eat it…….ALL. Eat as much as you possibly can. This is the uncontrollable binge that is experienced.

Since I struggled with eating disorders for a very long time, it is well worth it for me to stick to healthy whole foods. I even quit sugar last October and this has been even more helpful.

Exercise

Ah, this blog is probably starting to make more sense. I don’t only do this stuff for the fun of it. It keeps my life in check! Exercise is so much more than burning calories in the moment. Isn’t it crazy how when you exercise you aren’t as hungry even though you actually burned more calories in your day? Exercise regulates your appetite and is also a fantastic antidepressant! Exercise was and is a crucial part of my recovery.

Healthy Fats

I used to keep fat out of my diet at all costs because it was too caloric. Then I tried the low carb/high fat diet and ate TONS of fat. When I ate low fat, I was thin and looked healthy but I felt like I was going to die all the time haha. I was always and anxious, I couldn’t catch my breath, and my teeth and gums were terrible! Then I tried the low carb/high fat diet and threw calorie watching out the window. I experienced such a great turnaround in my health! My previously loose teeth were no longer loose and I was as calm as a cucumber. I learned the reason for this was because our cells are made mostly of fat! We NEED fat to be healthy! Now I don’t eat quite as much fat.. I do watch my calories but I make sure that I include lots of good fats into my diet and I don’t stress if I go over a bit. I know the calories from whole food are different than the calories in junk. You will read otherwise, but in my experience with food and eating (and I have lots) the calories are very different between the two.

Examples of healthy fats are egg yolks, nuts, olive oil, coconut oil, and avocados. My favorites are eggs and cashews. 🙂

Seeking God

I think in most recovery programs it is recommended to depend on a power greater than yourself. It’s because we have gotten ourselves in over our heads and we need something bigger than ourselves to get us out of it. During my 17 year struggle, I learned ways to manage my disorder to where I could go about my daily life. But there did finally come a point where I was completely healed and I know that was God that did that. I am very thankful to Him for changing my mind and my heart.

So just pray to God and then wait. PS- it may be a while.

Practice Making the Right Choice 

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Obviously I am not perfect, but when I make decisions now I think about what will happen afterward. I have an infant, If I do not stay on top of my health, I am EXHAUSTED. So I eat healthy, I workout, and I try (I said try) to get enough sleep so that I can be mentally and physically present for my two little pumpkin heads. Whether you have had an eating disorder or not, this is how we need to think in life. But those of us struggling in an eating disorder are in desperate need of rising above the chaos that has become our daily lives. This is achieved through making one good decision at a time. There is so much power in accomplishment. I always talk about my to-do list on here. I have been making them for years and they are such a great tool for gaining confidence in yourself! That being said, I know that all is in God’s hands but we have to be able to trust ourselves that when we say we are going to do something, we are actually going to do it. Now I make sure to accomplish at least one thing of meaning to me daily even if it is small. Maybe try to think of something you can set out to accomplish tomorrow. You will actually be accomplishing more than just the task!

So those are a few of the things that helped me in being able to get through the day when I was in the struggle, going through recovery, and even now. I will try to do another post with more of my experience and things that helped me soon. For now I hope these can help some of you out there. If you are struggling now and need someone to pray for you just let me know in the comments or you can email me at coachangela7@gmail.com and I promise I will.

Until next time, have a great afternoon!

 

My Eating Disorder Recovery Anniversary!!!

My Eating Disorder Recovery Anniversary!!!

Hey there Peaches!

If you have been reading this blog for a while you know that I struggled with anorexia and then bulimia for 17 years. I am so bad about blogging about it even though I really want to! I am going to though, I promise. I always knew that one day when I was past it I would tell my story so that someone else may not struggle as long. But for me, it’s so much easier to write about my current state instead of my past because my current state is fresh in my mind. And it’s crazy that even though it was a 17 year struggle, it isn’t fresh in my mind! In fact, it doesn’t even feel like it was me at all.

Anyway, I always wanted an anniversary date. I would get so fed up some days and tell myself that I was done. I had finally had enough and tomorrow was going to be my fresh new healthy start, and I would turn from my disordered ways and never look back. I was going to remember that day that I never looked back and celebrate it every year. There were so many of those “new beginnings”. Then some days I felt like I would never have an anniversary because I would never be able to let go.

Well here I am, healed.

I have no idea what day this happened because it didn’t happen how I wanted it to. It wasn’t that I woke up one day, started fresh and clean and never looked back. It was failure after failure and failure after failure (this could go on…), lesson after lesson after lesson, YEARS of praying, and never giving up hope that one day I could not center my world around food and my body. I really don’t know when it ended for good. I just know that it was really bad for 17 years. But it did, in fact, end for good. If you are reading this right now and going through the struggle, know that it is very possible to be 100% better no matter how long it’s been..

I have no clue what my anniversary day is…….. but I still want one!

So I am going to open my calendar and whatever month I open to, I will close my eyes and point to a day. I’m going to do this right now……

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MAY 15!!!

My eating disorder recovery anniversary is May 15, still don’t know the year. But I’m gonna celebrate! 🙂

Question:

Do you have a unique important date that you celebrate each year?

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Truth

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Truth

Hello Hello!

In today’s post, I want to kind of point out the happy medium of the fit life. I have now been attempting the fit life for 21 years. In that time, I have visited all the extremes and found what I believe to be the happy medium of it all. News Flash: this mystical thing called balance is about as real as a unicorn.  So today I want to share some of the good, the bad, and the ugly of these past 21 years. I have to admit, this post was kind of hard for me to write because I am not a confrontational person and the “ugly truth” part is hard to share. But if my experience can help one of you out there, I have to tell it like it is! Please know when reading this post that these are all lessons that I learned first hand because I LIVED them.

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So here is a little game that I made up called “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Truth”.  These are a few of the hard lessons that I have learned over the past 21 years.

The Good: Exercising.
The Bad: Running yourself into the ground, especially if it is to “take care of” too many calories consumed.
The Ugly Truth: Exercise is important. In fact, SO IMPORTANT. It is true that if you don’t use it you will lose it, and it is also true that exercise is our fountain of youth! You do have to to make sure that you are giving your ALL in your workouts to experience any great benefit, but if you are “running off your food” or just constantly over exercising, it’s a stress on the heart just like being a couch potato is.

The Good: Wanting To Look Your Best.
The Bad: Putting all of your worth into your body and appearance.
The Ugly Truth: Got a goal weight? Well if your worth is in your body, do yourself a favor and just get rid of the goal weight. You won’t be happy when you make it there anyway. There will always be something wrong with you that you want to change and you are more than likely going to try to change it through more weight loss. So my advice is to do what you need to do to TRUELY love yourself. Otherwise, just get rid of the notion that you will ever “get there”. Spoiler alert: you won’t.

The Good: A Healthy Lifestyle
The Bad: An Eating Disorder
The Ugly Truth: Some say there is a fine line between the two but there isn’t. There is a big ole bold street between a healthy lifestyle and a horrific eating disorder. The thing is, often times, unless you have made it into the double digit numbers, the only one that really knows that there is a problem is YOU. You know whats going on in your mind and if it is healthy or not. Even if you have been lying to yourself, you know. This can be at any size. No matter what size you are, if you are obsessed with food and your body, if you hate yourself, if you cannot get through the day without thinking these thoughts, if you are ashamed of yourself and do not do certain things because of the shame, seek help now. You will not be sorry. Again, any size.

The Good: Healthy Advice
The Bad: Stupid comments
The Ugly Truth: Some people hate your success.

The Good: More Healthy Advice
The Bad: People that have no clue what they are talking about.
The Ugly Truth: Educate yourself with real science and consider the source ALWAYS.

The Good: A Healthy diet
The Bad: Orthorexia (obsession with having a completely pure and clean diet)
The Ugly Truth: If you are one to try to keep idols out of your life, healthy eating can be an idol just like anything else! Obsessing over what you eat is a sure fire way to zap the joy right out of your life.  No one is perfect and neither is your diet. If you think your way of eating is perfect just Google it a few times, there’s good and bad to everything.

I hope this post found you well. If not, just know you are definitely not alone and a happy medium is VERY possible! Keep trying, keep failing forward, and keep praying for sure.

With love,
Angela

 

 

Life With 2 Kids, Volumetrics, Body After Baby, and My Love For Fall

Life With 2 Kids, Volumetrics, Body After Baby, and My Love For Fall

*Note- I have been trying to finish this post for days now. I apologize in advance for any grammatical errors or things that just don’t make any sense haha. 

Hellooo Peaches!

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Well there has certainly been some changes around here. I finally have a moment to catch you all up on what’s been going on!

Anna Kate

Anna Kate Teal was born at 10:37 pm on September 12, 2016. She is wonderful and beautiful and just perfect in every way. I feel like a big idiot for ever thinking that I couldn’t possibly love another child as much as I love Ryan. I am amazed at how much love my heart can hold. I love her just as much as Ryan and feel so blessed to have two beautiful children. Every morning since Ryan was born I have been in complete awe. I look at him and feel that I have my own personal Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls to view daily right in my own home. Now I have two Grand Canyons. I am amazed at God’s creation and master craftsmanship.

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Life Lately

A WHIRLWIND! Anna will be 2 weeks old tomorrow and time has absolutely flown! We have had tons of visitors to see the baby which I have to say I find wonderful. I was so miserable the past few weeks of my pregnancy I pretty much stayed in my hole and only came out to go grocery shopping. It’s been so nice seeing everyone and catching up and just acting like a human being in general haha! Also, I feel amazing now so I have been buzzing around the house between Anna’s feedings getting all the things done that I was too lazy to do pregnant. Bending over is so easy! No acid reflux or feeling like I am going to bust! So between taking care of my 3 year old and baby, visitors, housework, and trying to sleep my day is full! I am not able to work out yet because it’s only been two weeks but I honestly feel like I am more active now than I ever was in my third trimester even with my workout haha! It feels so good to have energy and be able to move!

Volumetrics

Volumetrics is the diet that I am currently on in my little adventure to try 12 diets in 12 months. I have to say this diet is really easy to stick too! I have been able to stick to it through my stay in the hospital and even with the chaos of newborn life. I don’t even watch calories or anything. I just make sure that every time I eat I choose low calorie things like chicken, eggs, egg whites, apples, veggies, almond milk and V8. I have been consistently losing and haven’t really had to think about my diet much. So I totally recommend Volumetrics for the new mom!

My Body 

Those of you who have children know how GLORIOUS you feel right after having a baby. Sure, you just gave birth, you’re still a little slow, but the lack of acid reflux, lethargy, and baby/fluid weight brings a feeling nothing short of ecstatic. I just want to hug myself everyday haha. I have a new beautiful baby in addition to my already beautiful child, I feel amazing, and IT”S FALL!!! My absolute favorite time of year! The coming of fall totally compounds all of my already awesome things happening in my life! YEEEEEEEE!!!

As far as weight goes, I have lost 24 pounds in 2 weeks which is pretty fantastic. The first 15 was in 3 days. So weird. But I still have 16 pounds to go before I reach my pre-pregnancy weight. That’s ok though! I know it’s strange but every time I have weight to lose there is a part of my that gets super excited. Like I have a lump of clay in front of me just waiting to be molded. It’s actually pretty cool!

I’m going to go ahead and share this because I have yet to see it anywhere on the internet. I KNOW some woman out there has to be experiencing the same thing. I keep seeing all these almost flat bellies on on Instagram just a week or even days post pregnancy. While I am glad for them (and envious), this was definitely NOT the case for me with either of my pregnancies. Here is the SLOW deflation of my bump so far. At 4 days postpartum I still looked a good 6 months pregnant. At Day 11 the bump was a good bit smaller but definitely still a bump. This morning was Day 14 postpartum and it’s a little smaller but I still have a good while to go before I have my pre-pregnancy tummy back. So, if this is your story, just know you are not alone.

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Top left: 38 weeks pregnant. Top right: 4 days postpartum. Bottom left: 11 days postpartum. Bottom right: 14 days postpartum 

 

That’s pretty much what I have been up to in my “maternity leave” from TKP. I am so glad to be back! I have missed hearing from all of you and hope you are well. Please tell me what you have been up to and what’s been going on. How is fit life? Do you love fall as much as I do? How long did it take for your tummy to return to normal after your pregnancy?

Have a great day yall! 

Questions:

What’s been going on? 

How is fit life?

Do you love fall? Not love fall?

How long did it take for your tummy to return to normal after pregnancy?