You Are Enough.

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week. As a woman and as someone who has experienced disordered eating, I wanted to write a post on this topic.

Yesterday’s situation:

I woke up and ate overnight oats for breakfast at 7:30am.

I sat in class for 75 minutes.

I came back home and contemplated going on a run or doing yoga, but I instead took a 45-minute nap instead.

I ate a super early lunch at 10:30am of avocado toast with two extra large eggs + veggies with hummus + a clementine.

I sat in class for another 75 minutes.

I ate another clementine before gross anatomy lab, which involved sitting and some standing.

I ate a granola bar + three cheese sandwich crackers after lab because I was hungry (apparently formaldehyde makes people hungry? weird).

I studied, went to a meeting, and went to Mass, all of which involved sitting.

I ate [white] pasta with meatballs, lots of parmesan cheese + salad for dinner at the Catholic Center. I also went back for a piece of garlic bread and another meatball.

I studied some more and sat some more for retreat reunion.

I came home and finished the last of the PB&J ice cream I bought for Rachel’s birthday. And for one last hurrah before Lent, I ate some yogurt with pb and banana.

I sat some more to write this blog post.


Yesterday involved lots of sitting, little movement, and lots of food (much of which was processed and not “real”). But yesterday involved so much joy as well. First of all, that nap was much needed. Additionally, I had wonderful conversations with people I love. God made Himself present to us in the Mass. I had energy to focus and learn in class. I was satisfied.

Five years ago, or maybe even four, I would have been on the verge of tears if this day happened as it did. Actually, I would not have let it happen. No way in hell would I have eaten before a specific time, eaten white carbs, or eaten ice cream AND yogurt before going to sleep, especially if I didn’t work out to the point of exhaustion that day.

599366_450803211609508_1204856869_n

2013, the year I started this blog

No amount of exercise was enough.

No amount of calorie cutting was enough.

No number on the scale was enough.

No space between my thighs was enough.

No reassurance from a friend or family member was enough.

No truth about God’s Love for me was enough.

Nothing about me or the world around me was enough.

When food, exercise, and exterior features became the center of my life, every concept of my self-worth crumbled. The things we eat, the ways we move, and how we look all change every single day. It takes a great deal of energy just to keep those things constant, and even then, constancy is impossible. That is why it was so taxing for me to reach the point of “enough” fitness/thinness/muscularity/strength; once I reached a satisfactory point, I either wanted more, or I declined and became dissatisfied again.

IMG_0948

My worth rested in fleeting and terribly exhausting things of the world. This disordered way of thinking caused me to close myself from the world, to look at what I didn’t have, and to chase endlessly after those things.

The truth that I knew but did not internalize until I started recovery is that there is no measure of our worth except that we are unique human beings who have been loved into creation by God. This makes each of us infinitely valuable and deeply, infinitely loved.

img_4886

You are enough.

This a truth, and this is a truth that will set you free. Free to love, to serve, and to thrive.

However, although this is a truth that your loved ones and I can tell you over and over again, you may not believe it, no matter how much you want to believe it. An eating disorder attacks a person’s physiology and soul relentlessly, and it is not an issue that can be solved after reading one blog post. Eating disorders are a serious health issue that are prevalent in our society, and the healing process is a long and treacherous battle. But recovery is possible and it is worth it.

unnamed-16

I Thirst for You. Yes, that is the only way to even begin to describe My love for you. I THIRST FOR YOU. I thirst to love you and to be loved by you – that is how precious you are to Me. I THIRST FOR YOU. Come to Me, and I will fill your heart and heal your wounds. I will make you a new creation, and give you peace, even in all your trials I THIRST FOR YOU. You must never doubt My mercy, My acceptance of you, My desire to forgive, My longing to bless you and live My life in you. I THIRST FOR YOU. If you feel unimportant in the eyes of the world, that matters not at all. For Me, there is no one any more important in the entire world than you. I THIRST FOR YOU. Open to Me, come to Me, thirst for Me, give me your life – and I will prove to you how important you are to My Heart.

-St. Teresa of Calcutta, I Thirst For You Meditation (written as if God is speaking to you)

If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, please:

  1. Find professional help. Eating disorders are not to be taken lightly, and proper health care is necessary in order to fully recover.
  2. Find support. Having trustworthy people who you can talk to in person is essential. There is also an incredible community of bloggers who I know are more than willing to lend support and resources.
  3. Keep persevering every day, every hour, every minute. Every decision you make around food/fitness is an opportunity to triumph over that eating disorder. This does not mean that every decision will be a triumph, but just keep adding drops of water into that large bucket, and one day it will overflow.

On that note, today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the start of Lent. As always, if you observe Lent and have an eating disorder, please talk to a priest/religious sister and your doctor about what you can do besides fast from food.

Whereas restriction in eating disorders is often done out of self-loathing, fasting is (or at least should be) done out of love for God and certainty in God’s Love for us.

Never hesitate to contact me with questions, concerns, or prayer requests.

I love you.

 

 

Advertisements

Five Minute Friday #5: Do Not Fear Your Weakness

My eyes are fluttering shut as I type this.

It’s been a long and blessed week, that’s for sure. There were a bunch of highs and lows worth noting.

High: The crazy warm weather.

IMG_0480

Low: Three exams.

High: Truly incredible people surrounding me.

Low: A lot of my friends have been hurting recently, which hurts my heart.

High: Lots of cake.

IMG_0478 IMG_0482

High: Also a lot of veggies and some quality moves & grooves.

IMG_0476

Low: Some body image issues…

…Which leads me to this week’s Five Minute Friday vlog(s). As I mentioned on Monday, this week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, so in honor of that, I made this first vlog about not fearing your eating disorder, because it does not have to reign your life.

link to video!

But then I had exercise physiology lab at night, where we completed body fat composition tests, and I decided to follow up with a second five minute vlog. Consider it version “5.5”, if you will.

link to video!

I’ve shared my story on the blog before. If you are interested in reading about that, feel free to check out these posts:

I Used to Have Hips

My Eating Disorder: Looking Back and Moving Forward

99.9% Recovery

Reflecting on My Exercise…Again

The Truth Is…

Lastly, here are a couple of helpful resources for those struggling with an eating disorder. I cannot stress enough the importance of seeking professional help for something as serious as an eating disorder. If you have a friend who is struggling, please consider it a duty to {compassionately, gently, and reasonably} get him or her to a professional.

National Eating Disorders Awareness Help Center

HELPLINE: 1 (800) 931-2237

If-youre-doing-your-best-you

[source]

 Have a great weekend, friends ♥︎

So tell me:

A high and low of your week.

Have you ever taken a body fat composition test?

What are you doing this weekend? Going out with my girl friends tonight, studying, and sleeping.

Never Alone

Me right now:

images.washingtonpost.com

[source]

The week just started and I already feel smoked and kicked in the derrière.

I cannot complain, though. First of all, I am blessed to be in school and to have wonderful opportunities ahead of me this week. Secondly, this weekend I went on the Catholic Center retreat in Kennebunkport, Maine, and the time away from school to spend a lot of quality time with God has refreshed my soul and filled my heart.

12743535_1033677896697379_325712070490665800_n

The theme of the retreat was “Never Alone,” referring to the importance of friendships in this journey of life and faith. The speaker for the weekend, Fr. Tom, spoke about friendship in such a unique way. What he said was so simple and logical, yet so profound.

IMG_0313

Fr. Tom said two things that have been buzzing in my head all weekend long:

  1. It is improbable that we have the friends we have and that we are living the faith. There are so many improbable events that have happened to bring us to where we are now.
  2. There is such a thing as being “talented” at friendship.

IMG_0327 IMG_0331

How true and beautiful those points are. It is no work of my own that has brought me into such a faithful family, to such a privileged life, and to such a loving community (both online and offline). Every good, bad, big, and little thing that has happened in my life shaped me into who I am today and continues to shape me into who God wills me to be.

12742525_1033678090030693_8221490677502009025_n

For instance, it sends chills down my spine to reflect on how the events of my life led me to start this little ol’ blog. My participation in performance sports ➔ my weight gain ➔ my obsessive and stubborn personality ➔ my discovery of healthy living blogs ➔ my eating disorder ➔ my loving family ➔ my recovery ➔ my renewed outlook on healthy living blogs ➔ the start of this blog ➔ the love and support I receive from the blogging community ➔ the friendships fostered here…

IMG_0378

It sucks that anyone has to have an eating disorder. It sucks that there is suffering and hurt. But the goodness that can be drawn from disorder and suffering can be more fruitful and expansive than anyone could ever hope or imagine. And this is largely because God gave us other people to live with. People can suck, don’t get me wrong, but people can be our companions on this journey that is life.

IMG_0440

Fr. Tom said that friendship is goal-oriented. If you have a shared destination, you have a shared journey. Furthermore, the depth and beauty of the goal impacts the depth and beauty of the friendship.

IMG_0308

happy 20th birthday, Rachel!!!

For me personally, eternal life with God is the ultimate goal, and sharing this goal with my friends transcends our conversations and interactions in order to match it.

IMG_0408

Recovery from an eating disorder is another profound goal that I can {fortunately and unfortunately} share with so many people, thanks to the blogging community. That goal has great depth and beauty, so our interactions with one another match that. I am constantly in awe of how close I have become to people from around the world through the internet, all because we know about hurt, and we know that we want something better.

IMG_0405

Two last things that stood out to me from Fr. Tom’s talks:

  1. The root of all religion is the desire to thank something or someone for life’s blessings.
  2. Each of us has a “sacred mission” and obligation to reach out to a specific person of God’s choosing. We won’t be able reach everyone, but we were definitely meant to reach someone.

IMG_0443

It’s impossible to count all the people who have made an improbable impact (whether it was positive or negative) on my life that has led me to where I am today. But I thank God for giving each one a sacred mission to reach out to me.

IMG_0391

This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness week, and I think this weekend’s retreat theme is so pertinent to the occasion. There is comfort in trusting that everything happens for a reason. Everyone’s journey is different, but I can say from my own experience that I could not have recovered to this point had I not found this community of bloggers/readers who shared the same goal. I also could not have recovered had it not been for such improbable factors in my life, and for all these things, I thank God.

This year’s NEDA Week theme is: “Three Minutes Can Save a Life.” If there is a way that you can compassionately and gently spread the word about getting screened for an eating disorder to your friends or community, please do. It may just be that improbable factor that leads someone to recovery.

general-full_0

[source]

Thank you to all who made this retreat weekend wonderful. Thank you to all of you who have shown me love at any point in my life. Thank you to the Lord of all.

So tell me:

What are some improbable events that have led you to where you are today?

What did you do this weekend?

Thoughts? 

Five Minute Friday #4: Virtual Breakfast Date

This week was full of surprises!

Little surprises, good and not-so-fab alike, but they made for a great week overall.

For example, Wednesday was World Cabbage Day, and Timehop decided to tell me about it.

IMG_0267

“It’s finally here”

Also, the temperature totally went from [sub-] zero to a hundred REAL QUICK. Okay not a hundred, but like, 45 degrees, which is quite the jump.

IMG_0294

stalking campus tours

Rachel and I ran into each other on Wednesday morning, realizing that we matched almost exactly— tour sweaters, jeans, brown boots. Surprised, but not actually.

IMG_0280

One of the best surprises of the week was seeing one of my best friends, Emma, (who moved away a few weeks ago) walk through the door. Rachel and I screamed louder than people should at 10 AM.

IMG_0289

Modern dance class on Wednesday was especially fun (we danced to a “Fever” cover by Beyonce, so that in and of itself was amazing).

National Eating Disorders Awareness week is next week(!), and I was so glad to see these flyers up in the dorms.

IMG_0298

Another quasi-surprise that arose was the realization that I have three exams next week. Turn up.

Anyway, I talk more about this week’s happenings (including things like singing in the rain and thoughts about motherhood) in my Five Minute Friday vlog!

link to the video here!

So tell me:

Did you know it was World Cabbage Day on Wednesday?

Did you have any good and/or bad surprises this week?

Any plans for the weekend?