Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter, and my AEIOU's


I'm not sure if you knew it... but I'm actually pretty gangsta'!!! OK, I'm not at all... but I'm half black, so that sorta counts, right?!?!? ( please do not judge me based on this random racially insensitive post).

Today is Easter Sunday and that means A LOT of things. 1) Christ has risen 2) The Easter bunny is now extremely tired and 3) There is chocolate, candy and food everywhere!!! However, I am happy to report that I made it through the holiday with my abstinence from binging and purging with 21 days strong. Now, I know I make it look easy, but there have been a lot of struggles along my path. I am learning to take it one day at a time and use the tools of OA to remain abstinent. 

I recently got a Temporary sponsor to help me start working the steps and get a plan of eating. She is only temporary because I am not sure that she has exactly what I need to get me permanent recovery (like the fact that she doesn't have a history of bulimia and she only has 9 months of abstinence), but I really like her outlook on life and think that she will be an excellent temp :). The first few things that she has me doing is reading the Dr.'s Opinion from the big book (which is slow and painful), creating a Red Light/Yellow Light and Green Light food list (more to come on that later), and check in with her EVERY day with my AEIOU's

A- Was I abstinent

E- Did I get any exercise?

I- What did I do for myself today?

O- What did I do for Others today?

U- What did I uncover today?

I really like this idea, and am going to start updating my blog with my daily AEIOU's even when I don't have time to blog about everything else. So, here are today's :)

A- I was abstinent from bingeing and purging today!!! I did this by going to 2 meetings :)
E- I took a 40 minute walk with my grandma in the evening. The sunset was beautiful, but the time with my grandma was even more special :)
I- For myself... I did a lot of praying on patience and comfort. I was also gentle with myself when faced with having to make last minute food decisions!!!
O- I bought a sunshine balloon for my friend, Sarah, who was celebrating her 90th day of abstinence today!!! She has been an inspiration and wonder for me through this journey and I am so grateful  for her. I also spoke with some fellows for over an hour after each meeting I went to, and reached out to my friend who is not in program... but is suffering from the same affliction. 
U- I uncovered that I really miss my best friend, food. While reading in a Big Book study I saw a quote that perfectly spoke to my current situation:

"Eating released me from the suffocating fear, the feelings of inadequacy, and the nagging voices at the back of my head that told me I would never measure up. All of those things melted away when I ate. The food was my friend, my companion, a portable vacation. Whenever life was too intense, food would take the edge off or obliterate the problem altogether"- pg. 310 of The Big Book (with nouns changed to fit my affliction). 

Over the last few days I have been irritable, cranky, and a complete bitch to Tyler, and for the life of me could not figure out why. I would apologize after realizing what I had done, but I still could not figure out why I was being so hard on him... until I read this quote. I miss my best friend! I am mourning the loss of a relationship that I have had with food for over 10 years. Imagine if you had to just say "ADIOS" to your amigo and replace them with other people. Even if those people are wonderful, great and a positive influence... they are not going to completely replace you old best friend. I can't always count on the fact that I am going to have a WONDERFUL meeting or that i wont crave food or want to binge... but I was ALWAYS able to count on my late night binges and purges and that I would feel calm and nurtured.

I miss that. 

As toxic of a relationship that me and food have... I truly miss it, and I am acting out to others so that they can feel the hurt that I feel. Just acknowledging it makes me feels tons better.... and I am ready to do more work on it in the future. 

For now, that is it. I will talk to you soon :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Balance and the "Gray Area"

This week I have had a lot of situations come up where the topic of finding or having balance in my life came up. First, was with one of the fellows from the program, then again with Dr. Marson in therapy, then one of the Literature study topics during a meeting, and again from a speaker at a meeting. I think my higher power is trying to tell me that I need to get a grip on this thing called BALANCE!!!

Love Means Balance

 True to my Cancerian nature, I tend to be somewhat of an extremest. I am either "All In" or "All Out" when it comes to practically everything in my life. There is very little room for the "Grey Area" of things. I'm either happy or sad, Love people or hate them, Extremely interested or Tuned Out. Call it the "Black and white" thinking, a dichotomy or a binary way of thinking... whichever suits you, but it is how my brain  works. The problem is, that NO BODY fits in to any of these boxes perfectly. It is better to think of them as a spectrum This is a very dangerous, and unrealistic way to live your life, and I DO NOT recommend it.

This type of thinking has had some major effects on the way I view myself and the manifestation of my eating disorder. I am either completely healthy or treating my body like garbage, I am either Fat or Skinny, Beautiful or Ugly, Completely satisfied or Completely dissatisfied, if I eat ONE (insert horrible trigger food here) then I have to eat ALL of them. My negative self images has me think of this in a horrible way:

"I certainly am NOT skinny, so I MUST be fat." 
"I most definitely am NOT Beautiful, so I MUST be ugly."
"There is NO WAY that I am a good person, so I MUST be a bad person"

These are the horrible negative self talk thoughts that run through my head almost all the time. Now, I completely understand that none of them are true, but my disease is really good at convincing me that they are. So, to try to fight these thoughts, I restrict food, over indulge in exercise and try to eat "perfectly". Yet, the catch to this one is.... NO ONE IS PERFECT. Sometimes I eat things that aren't 100% healthy, Sometimes I go over calories or under calories, sometimes I don't get my workout schedule in perfectly, sometimes I'm hungrier on one day than I am on another, and I beat the CRAP out of my self from straying from my "perfect plan". As you can imagine, this is a recipe for disaster!

When the topic of  Balance was brought up in my therapy session with Dr. Marson, I simply looked at her and said, "I don't know WHAT balance is. I don't know what it looks like, feels like or how to really conceptualize it. I know there IS  'grey area', but I do not spend much time there. I know that balance is something that I WANT, but I have no idea how to get it."

She reassured me that it was something we were going to work on, and that using the concept of food as  way to achieve it was something tangible and doable. I am trusting her with this... but I figured I needed to do some more thinking about it on my own.

The topic came up again in the next two OA meetings that I attended, but one of the speakers gave me a quote that really struck a cord with me and where I am currently at. She was speaking specifically about her food plan, one of the tools of OA, but I think it is pertinent to anything thing that is seen as All or nothing. She said:

"If it is too rigid it will break, if it is too loose it will fall apart."- Darcy, OA speaker

 It makes so much sense that it almost seems ridiculous! Whenever I try to strive too hard to be Perfect, or do all of the right things, I am going to set myself up to snap when something goes wrong (and inevitably... IT WILL), but if I just let my defenses down... I am setting myself up for chaos whether it be in the form of emotions, a binge or some sort of behavioral issue.

After having all of this exposure to the discussion of balance  I thought... "OK" this is something I need to start "meditating" on. I decided by trying to define balance.

Looking up the definition of Balance on  left several definitions, primarily about returning to a state of equilibrium. The one that I found the most useful/ poignant was

3.Mental steadiness or emotional stability; habit of calm behavior,judgment,etc.
Some of the synonyms that I really enjoyed were Harmony, Symmetry, and Align. 

But, just looking up definitions is not enough to fully appreciate the definition of a word... it's about the internal and personal definition that I can apply to it to make it make sense. I have been trying something new with my running, and that has been contemplating/meditating on a thought, passage or piece of literature during my run to give it more substance. I did this with the concept of balance and this is what I came up.

Well, I didn't come up with the picture, but the idea that balance is compromising between what I NEED and what I WANT, or in the words of the coach... "The IS and the what OUGHT to be." Everything in my head is the way I feel that life OUGHT to be. I OUGHT to be able to eat sensibly and stop eating when I am full, I OUGHT to be happy with my body, I OUGHT to be skinnier, I OUGHT to be able to eat food and not feel guilty, I OUGHT to be a lot of things. The reality is that I AM a compulsive over eater, I AM at a healthy weight for my body, I AM a normal human being who has to adjust to real life.

In order to find balance, harmony and alignment, I am going to have to start adjusting my view of what OUGHT to be and make it more realistic (or more IS). This is going to require that I start being a lot kinder to myself, and more understanding of when I can not do things the way I want. It means that I am going to have to start recognizing and calling out when I am starting to lean to far over to the extreme. Most importantly, and most frightening, is that I am going to have to learn to just SIT with the discomfort that I feel in the grey area in order to become more acclimated and use to it instead of fighting it by turning to food.

Another aspect of discovering balance is recognizing that this is not JUST a physical recovery that I am in, but it is a complex mixture of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual recovery... with each piece playing a very special part. I am going to start looking at these concepts in isolation and hopefully I can figure them all out one day. Also, I am going to keep myself open to suggestions from my therapist and see what she suggests I do to help myself.

The Weeks Recap

Happy Good Friday!!!

This is my "Spring Break" week... but to be honest, I do not feel like I got much of a break. I have been so busy getting to meetings, going to appointments, running, having interviews and being there for people in my life that there really wasn't much time for relaxation. Please, do not take this as me complaining... at this point in my life, I am happy to have so many commitments and exciting things to be a part of. I just wish that I could have slept past 6am at least ONCE this week!

Well, Today was that day... and it felt GREAT to sleep in until 8:15!!! Before we get to today... lets have a short recap of my week

Monday: I had to go to internship for supervision and a meeting about our Wednesday trip. Too bad my supervisor didn't show up, the rest of my team ran late and it was super unnecessary for me to be there. I did get to go for a run by myself, a short walk with mom, and a hike with Tyler all before going to a meeting. I had some trouble getting there, because the location had moved. Instead of freaking out and heading home to binge, I initiated some contrary action and called a fellow and got to the meeting. Stayed after to have tea with that fellow until 10pm and really enjoyed myself

Tuesday: I was talked in to going to a 7:30am meeting, that I REALLY enjoyed. I even SHARED :). Then I went to UCLA for my first therapy appointment with Dr. Gia Marson. I really liked her, and got a lot out of the hour I spent with her. I'm looking forward to meeting her again over the next few weeks. Then I went on a hike with Marlene at Runyon Canyon. This is when my trouble this week stared. I kept getting this disgusting nauseous feeling that would not go away... except when I ate! My disease was trying to trick me... but I would not let it get the best of me. I went to bed very early to try to have it pass.

Wednesday:I woke up, went for a shitty run (because I was still feeling nauseous and exhausted) and then went to internship for our kids beach trip. I also decided to stop taking the CLA (a stupid vitamin that is suppose to help eliminate fat from the body). I'm pretty sure that it is what was making me nauseous... and to be honest... I DON'T NEED IT!!! Plus, I feel like it is making me not keep program. In my mind I thought of it as "This would be like an alcoholic still drinking beer instead of just hard liquor". Since, I have seen a VAST improvement with my tummy troubles. I went to a 6pm meeting and even shared again :). Since I was still in pukey agony I went to bed early to prep for my interview at San Fernando Valley DMH

Thursday: Oh man, was this a day. I woke up for another 7:30 meeting, and met a wonderful woman who just celebrated 6 years of abstinence. She gave me such great hope and some sound suggestions that made my heart melt. Then I went for a good run at Balboa park... my favorite running spot. Then I had to get ready for my 2nd year placement interview. I was trying to stay focused on my excitement rather than my nerves... and I was doing pretty well, until I found out that I was interviewing with a panel of field instructors. This kinda threw me off, and I don't feel like it went the way I really wanted it to, but hopefully they saw something in me that they liked and feel like I would be a good intern for them (because I WOULD!!!). After that I helped Tyler take care of his brakes (which took forever) and then went to a SECOND meeting. I asked someone to temporarily sponsor me, and she gave me the homework of reading Chapter one from the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions. This step is all about admitting that we are powerless over food and that our lives had become unmanageable. IT sounds so much simpler that it really is... but I will to that more in another post.

Today is Friday, and I could not be happier :) I slept in until 8:15, went for a solid run, and am now doing some service at the suicide prevention center. After my shift we are going out to dinner at one of the Family's favorite Deli's. I have already decided that I am going to order the build your own salad with a side of vegetables in order to keep myself from picking foods that may trigger me to binge. I am also excited, because I have the next 3 days off and ALL TO MYSELF to do with what I please :). I may actually get to have a spring break after all :)

I am a little nervous about the fact that Easter is coming up and I am going to be around my family, which means a lot of unsafe food territory. I still have to try and plan out my meals for the day in order to keep myself in program. I am planning to go to an early meeting and then do my long run before heading out to be with family, so I think I will be OK... but I know my disease can be cunning and baffling so I can not afford to let my self slip :/.

I have also been thinking a lot about the fact that I am still hiding my recovery from the majority of my family. Part of the program is to look at our character defects and work with our Higher Power to relieve ourselves of them. One of my defects is my dishonest and manipulation of other people in my life, particularly my family and loved ones. So, it is hard for me to keep this wonderful thing from my family because I feel as though it is enabling my defects. I'm not sure when, or how, I will tell my family. I have toyed around with talking to my mother about it AFTER I have hit the 30 day mark, but that is coming up pretty soon (I am on day 19 of my abstinence... WHOO HOO!!!), so I'm not sure that I am ready to do that just yet. I am going to pray about it, and maybe do some writing on it over the next couple days and see what solutions come to me.

I just had a wonderful thing happen to me while at the call center. I was talking to one of the other volunteers about racing (she is also a runner and doing the Hollywood Half Marathon next weekend) and we were talking about strength training and cross training as part of our programs and I mentioned how I need to do more upper body and core work to help improve my running and overall health in order "To get sub 1:47". How I wrote it is exactly how I said it, and she assumed that I meant my weight (not race PR). She quickly told me that there was no reason for me to EVER want to be that low. She said that she thought I looked small for my size, and healthy at the same time and that I was perfect just the way I am. (OK... not her exact words, but something along those lines ;) ).

This is just one of those moments where I wish that I saw myself through the same eyes that other people saw me. When I stepped on the scale today, I weighed in at 148.2... and I feel like I weight 160. I wish that I could say that I felt like I was the perfect size... but I don't. However, I am currently in a place to accept that I am what I am, and there is nothing better that I can be. For today, 148.2 is a WONDERFUL size, and I am grateful that I can wake up almost everyday and run a few miles. I appreciate all that my body allows me to do, and hope that it continues to let me do it.

This post was suppose to be about Balance... but it turned in to so much more than that... I am going to write up a separate post about that topic.

Take Care!!!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Desire and Willingness

Good Morning, and Happy Tuesday!

I am currently at school killing some time before I go in for my therapy intake. I'm so nervous... my stomach is in knots, and I cant stop having to go to the bathroom :/. I know that everything is going to be OK, but the last time I saw a therapist it did not go so well. I am meeting with an Eating Disorder Specialist (and I believe the head of the department)... so I have higher hopes for my therapy this time around. But, with my recovery, I am always cautious not to get TOO excited.

The last time I spoke with you things were going OK. Since then I have entered what I would like to call my Bulimia Detox... and it SUCKS!!! I am going from extreme physical obsessions (this includes excess salivation, wanting of random foods, hunger pains that will not end even though I JUST ate, etc.) to intense mental obsession. Let's face it, for the last 8 years there hasn't been too many moments in my life where I wasn't thinking about What I was eating, what I WASN'T eating, when I was going to eat, when I last ate, how full/hungry I am or wasn't and what was sitting in my pantry and most of my weekend consisted of much of the same. But starting yesterday I began getting this horribly ill feeling in my stomach that has left me nausea and "without" an appetite (I use without VERY loosely). The problem is, that even when I don't want to eat I still think about eating. It is making me cranky, irritable, and exhausted and I am ready for it to STOP.

I know that the physical symptoms I am experiencing are just a manifestations of my disease... because the only time the nausea and upset stomach go away or my appetite returns is when I am eating. I have come to identify this as my brain trying to set myself up for a relapse... But I am not going to give up that easily. There is a saying in the Big Book that says the only requirement for membership to OA is a DESIRE to stop compulsively overeating. I completely agree with this statement, and I am so grateful that I have it. However, I have ALWAYS wanted to stop overeating/binging... and that got me to 8 years of pain in suffering. I want to add on to that statement and say, "The only requirement for success is the WILLINGNESS to go to any lengths to get it."

I can honestly say that I have worked harder in the last 15 days then I have in a very long time... and I want more than anything to get my 30, 60, and 90 day chips!!! So, I am going to keep doing whatever it takes to get there :) This means going to meetings I do not want to go to, doing all of my appointments, sharing during 3 minute pitches, and reaching out to people ESPECIALLY when I am nervous. This is my chance to save my life, and for the first time I feel as though I have a great chance at doing that.

I have more I want to talk about, but I am going to save it until after my therapy session. Wish me Luck!!!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Strength in Abstaining

Good Afternoon, and HAPPY FRIDAY!!!

I realize that I came off as very abysmal and upset with my most recent posts this week, and I am happy to report that I am feeling MUCH better today. I'm not perfect, but I feel a renewed sense of self. Someone at the meeting I went to last night said that,

"Our Abstinence Makes Us Stronger"

And today, I can HONESTLY believe that.

Last night, after publishing my blog, I managed to drift right off to sleep (as if you couldn't tell by my nonsensical rant that I was EXHAUSTED). While I was asleep I had the most horrible dream that I had binged on Chicken and Waffles. I woke up in the middle of the dream feeling as though I had ACTUALLY eaten a plate of food... to the point that I could taste the maple syrup in my mouth!!! Please, tell me that I am crazy!!!

The worst part about it wasn't that the food, but it was the way I looked in my dreams. Normally when I see myself in my dreams, I actually look much better than I see myself in real life. Like a Tyra Banks look alike :)

But last night this was not the case. In my dreams I had calves the size of mountains! they were lumpy, bumpy and ginormous, and they overflowed into my buthigh (the space that makes up my butt and my thigh). It was hideous, and I woke up feeling TERRIBLE. The funny thing about this that in real life, my calves are my favorite part about myself. Whenever anyone asks me to name something I like about myself or my body, it is almost always my calves (or my boobs... but usually my calves). I was baffled by this entire dream and the events of the last few days and wasn't sure what to think of it.

While I was at the gym and running on the treadmill, it came to me. This is my disease trying to weaken me. It is taking the little bit of self-esteem that I have and trying to use it against me... The sneaky bastard. This ties in well with a lot of the readings and messages that I have been receiving this week about my disease and my level of vulnerability. If I open myself up to be vulnerable to my disease... it will over power me. Well I am proud to say that, Today, it did not win. I am going to understand that this was just a dream, and that I am better than what my disease wants me to be. And I am going to fight it to the death. 

After going back to sleep for a little bit, and waking up feeling more refreshed, I was able to open myself up to a wonderful day. I went to go have an EKG done at school, and was given a clean bill of health. I also found out that my blood panels came back and everything was normal, except for a Vitamin D deficiency... which can be normal for vegetarians. I will have to begin taking a supplement (along with calcium). Other than that, I am GOOD TO GO :)

After that, I took a nice little trip to the gym, had a good 5 mile run on the treadmill, did some time on the rowing machine and grabbed myself a DELICIOUS latte on the way in to my shift at the Suicide Prevention Center.

I wont be able to make it to a meeting for the next two days, but I feel certain that I can handle any issue that comes my way.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Cunning and Baffling side

 The last few days have been extremely difficult. Finals were today, so there has been a high amount of stress, I've been very busy and unable to make it to as many meetings or even life commitments as I can. Up until the last few days (Tuesday to be exact) I was flying through program. Going to meetings, talking to my higher power, feeling more energetic, and being able to be accountable to the people around me that care the most about me.... and then it hit me...

"I became acutely aware of how cunning, baffling and powerful my disease is."

Like a ton of bricks all of the frustrating, intoxicating, obsessive qualities of my addiction came strolling back. It began with a want to binge. My mother had told me she had ordered me some trigger food... and I panicked as I was driving on my way home. I had just sent an outreach text to one of the women I met in program and thankfully she answered me back immediately. My only plan was to not be home! So I quickly devised a plan to go to my aunt's house and my own dinner instead. This worked to help keep me binge/purge free for the night... but Since Wednesday Morning I have had an uncontrollable obsession for food. Not so much that I want to eat "bingey" foods... but to the point that I simply cannot stop thinking about what I am going to eat, what I am not going to eat, how much this is affecting me... its unmanageable and nothing will relieve me from it.

I cannot engage in any activity without thinking about food. Even during sex, I cannot be completely present, because I am thinking about food. It is such a horrible affliction to have this addiction... because at times, it feels as though it will have no end :(

I have tried to outreach, I have tried to pray, I have tried everything and yet it will not go away. Am I just hungry... probably not. No one should ever be this hungry all the time. I even started to see myself plan my binge as I was driving home. This is when I know my addiction is taking over.

Thankfully, one of the women I met at a meeting on Sunday called me just to welcome me into the program and offered me some sound advice. "Just talk to your higher power, and ask him to give the ability to sit through these uncomfortable feelings." Where I am at in my recovery (a whole woppin 10 days).... I think this is all that I can ask.

In other news, I've been running, but going slowly, so I decided to take a rest day today. I registered for a few more races... and am planning some other fun events for the month of April. I am starting to get very tired, so I am going to put myself to bed. Hopefully, I will have more to say about this issue tomorrow.

God, Grant me the Serenity, to accept the things I cannot change. The courage, to change the things I can. And the Wisdom, to know the difference. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hooley's Half Marathon


This is going to be quick, and painful. I'm pretty frustrated right now. I ran my race this weekend... The Hooley's Half Marathon.. and honestly it's the WORST race I've run since I began running races. It started 18 minutes late, the first 4 miles were on a steady uphill incline (that was unexpected), the middle miles were through a very rough part of town, it was all on streets that were blocked off but there was an extreme amount of traffic (I almost got hit by a car in mile 13), and my finish time was 1:50:05... the WORST time I've had since I started racing.

At first, I tried to justify everything and make myself feel better by saying "the first miles were uphill, and you didn't know about it! That is a GREAT time to finish with uphills." But no matter how hard I try, I am still just disappointed in my performance.

I know I could have done better... I HAVE done better... and I'm upset that I didn't show up for this race.

It also doesn't help that EVERY other blog I read has people posting about running races, and getting PRs and it just makes me envious and jealous. Why couldn't it have been me who got that PR?!?! What did I do wrong?!

I keep thinking that it's because I didn't binge/purge before this race... which I've done for almost 90% of my races.... but I know that this is not true. I just wasn't as prepared for this race and it was stupid!!!

Other than that, OA is going well. I'm still going to meetings, reaching out and getting numbers as often as I can.

I'm suppose to be working on my final exams but I'm so distracted!

I'll write more later

Saturday, March 16, 2013


Oh what a Happy Saturday it is!!!

I can honestly say that I am working on day six of my abstinence, and I could not be happier. This week has been life changing in so many ways, that I do not even know where to begin. I have met some wonderful people, been to some exciting meetings, and opened up to people in ways that I haven't been able to in years. For the first time in years, I feel ALIVE and AWAKE to what is going on around me.

I have nothing to hide anymore, I can feel comfortable in my own skin, and I can feel proud of who I am... not ashamed and embarrassed. I may not be working the program perfectly (because I don't know everything about it yet), but I am working it the only way I know how and to the best of my ability. I have been to six meetings, and hoping to go to many more. I'm meeting as many people as possible, reaching to others when I need the help and writing when I get the chance. In fact, the previous post I gave "The Fork in the road" is a writing I did on Thursday.

The two things that have been getting me through is the Serenity Prayer and the Just for Today Meditation. Although the meditation is long, I try to focus on just one section of it a day and use it when I need it most. On Wednesday I had the portion

Just for Today I will be Happy. "Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be"- Abraham Lincoln. 

This was really speaking to me on that day... and most days to be honest. I have been so miserable with myself that I have had to fake my happiness. When I thought about this some more, I came up with my Internal Working Model (how I view myself, other and the world... yeah, I just brought in school material... say WHAT?!?!). 

My body is not satisfactory or attractive so I am unattractive and worthless. I don't deserve to be happy

Is that not the saddest thing you have ever heard?!?!? That is, honestly, how I have viewed myself for the past 8+ years!!! But the reality is that I am BEAUTIFUL, and I am worth it and I deserve all the happiness in the world!!! It is amazing what we can convince ourselves of when we are caught in this disease.

Any-whoo... So things are going good, but I am EXTREMELY nervous. I am getting ready to head up to San Diego for a "Girls weekend" with some old girl scout friends and to run a Half Marathon tomorrow. I'm nervous, because I cant have completely control over my food and that is usually a huge binge/purge trigger for me. But I know that I have the tools to keep myself sober. I have numbers I can call/text and I know that I have my HP to talk to as much as I need to. I can always go back to writing as well.

I'm EXCITED because this will be the first time that I have EVER run a race without binging the night before. I'm curious to see how this pans out, and am somewhat hoping for a 1:47:30 PR. However, I am going to listen to my body (and my HP) and do with this race what I have to. 

I have to finish getting ready now, but I will let you know how it goes.

Take Care

The Fork in the Road

At a meeting I went to on 3-13-13 the speaker suggested that we make a short list of the things we want in a Higher Power. Since I am not "religious" and I am still not certain who or what my HP is.. I figured this was a pretty important tool to remember.

While I was on my run this evening I figured out the first characteristic. Instead of going to the gym like I always do, I listened to what my heart wanted and went to Balboa park to run outside instead. It was humid and windy, but I was determined to get in one more good run before my Half Marathon on Sunday. About a mile in... I got a painful side cramp. I listened to my body and slowed my pace, even though my brain wanted me to push harder to stay under an 8:30min/mile avg. I took a couple deep breaths and asked my HP to relieve me of my burden. With a few more breaths my pain had lifted and I charged full speed ahead.

Prior to going out I had planned to run between 4 & 5 miles. But then I reached The Fork In The Road: Go one way and I would hit about 4.5 miles (my goal) or go the other way and be certain to hit 5+ miles (beyond my goal). Feeling confident in myself and my abilities, I did what I always do and choose the path that would give me more than I had planned. Before I knew it, I was in over my head!

The wind picked up, the shade disappeared and I began to feel completely dehydrate. I was hot, but I had no sweat coming from my body. I was parched, but was unable to create any saliva in my mouth. I was in agonizing pain. I had been here before many time, both in my runs and in my disease. I began my task with a plan in mind and had been led astray by the desire to achieve something far beyond my means. I would have a couple days sober and I would convince myself that I was strong enough to handle taking just one cookie, or having just "a couple chips and guacamole", and before I knew it... I had a thirst that could not be quenched. My weakness was not my binge itself, but it was the belief that I had power over food. Normally, I would give up and completely succumb to my wrong doing. I would overload myself with food from guilt of making a wrong decision. This time, I decided to try something different


I began with the Serenity Prayer (mostly because it is the only one I know), and I repeated it as many times as I could. It was at this time that I had realized that my HP had a running plan for me, and I had tried to take it in to my own hands. I humbly admitted my wrong doing and continued to pray, but the pain would not ease up.

I asked my HP, "What is it that you want me to SEE?!?!" And at that moment "Just for Today" came to my mind. I began to repeat it Over and Over...
"Just for Today- I will live for today. I can survive anything for one day that I can not accomplish for eternity."

I looked at my watch and saw I had about 10 minutes left until I was done. I then said:

"Just for today, I can do anything for 10 minutes that I could not accomplish for an entire day".

This was when I came to identify my HP's first characteristic... Someone who would not make me suffer unnecessarily. My Hp wants me to succeed... but if I don't compromise my plans with his plan he will she me my wrongs. At that moment the lyrics of a song "Heavens got a plan for you" came onto my ipod. I knew then that my Hp was not trying to burden me with anything that I could not handle. 

I would love to say that ALL my suffering was released, but it was not. However, I felt the courage and strength to carry on until the end of the run. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Just For Today

Today felt like such a long day, in one of the best ways possible.

I SLEPT horribly last night. I woke up to use the bathroom at about 3:30am... and could not go back to sleep to save my life! I tossed and turned until about 4 when I reopened my lap top and started reading for school. I think I finally fell asleep around 4:30... but tossed and turned from there until 6am when my alarm went off. I think the best moments of sleep I got was between 6 and 6:15am when I fell back asleep.

I went to class feeling lighter (not physically, but spiritually). Even with my lack of sleep I felt ready to take on the whatever the day had to offer me. When I got to class, I began looking at some of the OA material. And I found myself falling upon this piece of literature...

Just for Today... I will try to live through this day only, and not tackle my whole life problem at once.

It sounds so simple, yet it is the most DIFFICULT thing I feel I have ever had to do in my whole life. When I felt myself beginning to slip in to grandiose thoughts of staying abstinent forever, going to 30 meetings in 30 days, or even becoming a speaker at one of the meetings... I reminded my self that for Today... I am the student, and my only job is to get to a meeting tonight.

I have also sought solace in the Serenity Prayer... but this is one that I had already utilized. It just never gets old.

I utilized the phone numbers that I was given at last nights meeting and sent a text message during the luncheon presentation filled with cookies and muffins. I reminded myself that EVERYONE was touching them... which means that they are covered in germs... forcing myself to not want to eat them. My new confidant reminded me that it was NOT MY FOOD... and that they probably tasted gross anyways. I'm not so sold on the latter part of that statement; hence why I had to get creative with the germ ;)

I went to the gym in the afternoon, ran a cool 4.6 miles, did some rowing, and it felt effortless. My addict mind wanted me to go longer, but I stuck to my plan for the day and appreciated the workout that I completed.

I ate what I was suppose to eat. I stopped when I was full and allowed myself to properly fuel my body as needed. I didn't even get too upset when I dropped my dinner container and lost parts of my vegetarian sausage. I just told myself that I wasn't meant to have that portion, and said "At Thy Will".

I went to a MEETING. This was a very different meeting than last nights, and I had to look at it from a very different frame of mind. There were much fewer participants (maybe about 7 of us), none of them were overly friendly, and many of them seemed stuck in their own mental space. However, I stayed, and opened myself up to the possibilities my Higher Power was laying before me. This was a Literature Study/ Speaker meeting, which means that we read from the Higher Power literature for 10 minutes, and then a speaker spoke for 10 minutes, and then we all got an opportunity to share for 3 minutes. 

The literature reading gave me hope for myself. I'm not a truly religious person, but I have always believed in a Power greater than myself, that nothing happens coincidentally, and that we are not the sole person in command of our destiny. In many ways, I fit right into the OA world... at least on the spiritual letter. However, I feel that giving myself over to my Higher Power is something that I may struggle with. However, one of the readings reminded me that I am like a seed... that will one day blossom in to a flower (vastly paraphrasing) and now is the time to nurture myself with love, compassion, faith and hope for the day that I can become the blossom. I am not truly a patient person, and that it what I took away from that portion.

I have to be honest... This groups "shares" got me a little worried. They were all dwelling on their depression, and the fact that they were going through hard times (battling other addictions, going w/o work, feelings of hopelessness) and I began to wonder if this, too, would eventually be my fate?!?! Just listening to all of them started to make me feel depressed! Just before I vowed NEVER to come back to this meeting I tried to see what my Higher Power was trying to have me see.

What I would up seeing, was eye opening. Right now, I am in the honeymoon phase of my sobriety. I am motivated, I am optimistic, and I am nervous/excited... which is pushing some how giving me the drive to at least SHOW UP! But, there are going to be times when things are not so exciting, and fresh, and welcoming as I feel they are right now. I have been here before... I have gotten angry, upset, depressed, even difficult to be around, because I was not able to binge and purge.. and I eventually gave in to my addiction. But this time around, I have to remember that I just have to SHOW UP and I will find what I am looking for more readily than I will in a box of cookies, cinnamon rolls or cereal. 

I shared briefly at the was a mess! I had so many wonderful things I wanted to say... and all I could keep doing was saying THANK YOU!!! I'm sure I will get better with time. 

I am planning on going to another meeting tomorrow evening. Something about knowing that I have a commitment to see people that want to help me and expect that I will be wanting their help motivates me to stay away from compulsively over eating. So, I am going to stick to this gut feeling, and ROLL with it :)

Now, I need to start working on my take home final, otherwise I'm going to fail graduate school and REALLY have something to binge about!

Take Care.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Springing Forward

Happy Monday!!!

 Today has been an extraordinary day for me in so many ways... and now I get to share some of them with you :)

First, I SLEPT in!!! Stuff is going DOWN at my internship right now, so we were given some time off until the dust settles. Being that yesterday was Daylights savings time... I took advantage of the leisure time and slept until almost 9am.

Next, I RAN!!! I casually got out of bed, and made my way outside for quick 5 miler. We are getting some prime Spring weather right now, so the temperature was sunny, but not warm. I lathered up with some sunscreen and got to steppin'. My runs have been pretty consistent lately, and I've really gotten down an 8:20 average. I love that... and am hoping to keep it there for awhile.

Then I ATE! I won't bore you with my food diary (since I eat the same thing almost everyday), but know that it was delicious, and I enjoyed it while spending some good quality time with my mama watching bad day time Television and pretending to work on my finals.

Then I got a MASSAGE!!! I have been in desperate need of one for quite some time. I had to cancel my last appointment with DC (the best sport masseur in the world), so this was way over due. DC is my favorite, because he always gives me a little extra ;) GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTERS!!! By "EXTRAS" I mean that he gave me a great 6 minute tutorial on how to foam roll!!! It felt delicious, and made my hour long massage in my HOME even more delicious.

Then I did some WORK!!! OK... I KINDA did some work. I met with my supervisor for an hour and a half and then made my way to coffee bean to try and do some work on my take home final. I also enjoyed a No sugar added Chai Tea Latte... my absolute favorite drink in the world

Finally (and arguably most importantly), I went to my FIRST OA MEETING. For those of you who don't know, this is Overeater's Anonymous. They are a fellowship of individuals who suffer from compulsive over eating and a dedicated to providing a solution for others who still suffer.

The first time I ever went to OA was about 7(ish) years ago. I was really young, really scared and extremely intimidated. I didn't even stay for the entire meeting, and ran out thinking that I was destined to suffer through this alone. This might be why I have been fighting going to another meeting since :( However, my constant battle between sobriety, relapse and addiction has shown me that I CAN NOT do this on my own, and that I need to open myself to the help that is waiting for me.

I actually attempted to go to a meeting last night, but arrived at 6pm nervous, scared and anxious to an empty parking lot and an even more empty meeting room. In the moment, I felt defeated, and I was ready to give up on OA before I even gave it a chance. After I took a deep breath, and re thought about things, I realized that there was a mailbox with flyers in it. I took a flyer, and quickly ran back to my car, tears welling in my eyes because I had NO idea what to do next. On the flyer was a list of names and numbers for 24 hour "Hot line" member and an email list. I choose the meetings representatives email and quickly (before I changed my mind) sent an email BEGGING for assistance. She responded with an email almost immediately with the link to the current roster. I decided that I would give OA one more chance and attempt to attend another meeting.

Tonight was such a success... that I cant even believe that it happened. An experience that was night and day to my very first time trying to get help. I was immediately greeted by welcoming faces, warm greetings and nothing but love and support. Ironically, it was in the same room that I use to go to Girl Scouts in... so it sort of felt "comfortable". It was a speakers meeting, which mean one person speaks for 20 minutes, before everyone else gets a chance to "pitch" for about 3 minutes. Her story really spoke to me... well all of there stories has SOMETHING to offer me, and for once I felt that there was hope for me, and that I could live without feeling like food was going to control me for the rest of my life.

I took my "Newcomer's" Chip (not, chips and salsa), and proudly proclaimed that my name was Christina, and I was a compulsive Over-eater. I had tears welling in my eyes for most of the hour, and I felt so silly. I had been fighting this for so long and to finally feel a release of pain and suffering, even for just one moment... I was just truly grateful!

I am going to try and  go to another meeting tomorrow night. I need to embrace the program as much as possible right now, and I want to keep the motivation going. Stay tuned and see how I try to change my life for once and for all.