I’m looking to link a bunch of Recovery Blogs on my “Links” page. I’m all for the ED Recovery community connecting and supporting each other. So, if you want your link on my page, you should meet only a few requirements:
1. Have a pro-recovery blog (no pro-ana or mia sites, please)
2. On this blog entry, submit your blog URL. I will post it!
3. Comment on another blog that’s linked on my “Links” page.
So, my awesome feminist friend Maggie from college posted a link on her FB page recently. It is from The Militant Baker, a fab blog about body love, feminism, and cats (I’m a fan already). In it, she acknowledges the nuances of the human body and shatters misconceptions about them. My fave part? “Everyone has rolls when they bend over. Everyone.” Without further adieu, here is…
Welcome to Recovery Tip Tuesday, a weekly update about a skill that’s worked for me in ED recovery.*
Spirituality. Why is everyone so afraid of it? Maybe because we’ve seen those religious extremists who’ve taken it way too far. Or maybe it’s because the word “God” (Dun-dun-DAH) is involved in it. Or maybe it’s because self-help groups which claim spirituality as its base struck us as cult-like. Either way, I personally find it unfortunate that some shy away from this, because your spirituality or God could be a can of tomato soup.
What do I mean? Well, let me give you an example. Right after treatment, I worked a job in Harvard Square at an upscale boutique. I took the T home daily, and got off at Davis Square. I had been feeling pretty lonely, and fairly lost, because of my recent necessity to quit my regular job to attend treatment. One day, I had gotten off the T, and all of a sudden, time seemed to slow down. I noticed everyone around me, walking, running home, all doing and participating in the same thing. All humans, just trying to achieve the same simple goals, of making enough money to survive or thrive and to be able to enjoy life with their loved ones.
And I, suddenly, felt connected. Because I was doing the same thing: I was part of a whole.
And that’s spirituality to me. That feeling of connectedness that hits you unexpectedly, rendering you ever so present, aware, mindful, and humble.
And connectedness kills eating disorders. EDs thrive in isolation.
That day was groundbreaking to me, because it reminded me I would never be alone, even if I was alone. Who knows why it happened – maybe it was some higher power, or maybe, because I was finally feeding my body, my mind was able to be totally and beautifully present.
And I now attempt to utilize it daily. I’m not perfect, but I try. When I try to make the right choices about food, I remind myself I’m not alone. That if others who went before me could trust that eating full meals everyday worked and didn’t make me fat, so could I. I remind myself that if I need to stop a behavior, I can call someone or pray. Yes, that scary word, pray. (To me, prayer is as simple as a dialectical skill, a pause between a feeling and an action, so it’s not that scary anymore.)
What is your form of spirituality, if you have one? Is it connecting to nature? Is it healthy exercise? What other recovery strategies have worked for you?
* What worked for me may not work for you! So proceed at your own risk.
Welcome to Media Mondays, my weekly post on something ridiculous and stupid I spotted this week that involved the objectification of women’s bodies. Please feel free to pass along stories you hear at any point; I will profile them on my blog.
This is Kelsey. Kelsey dances for the Oklahoma Thunder.
Kelsey was the subject of a literal poll taken by a literal news station (CBS Houston) regarding whether or not readers thought she was too fat to cheer.
Since this story broke and it met a crapload of criticism, CBS Houston removed the post. Who in their right mind approved this? Someone from the 1950’s via a timewarp?
You know, the first thing I thought of was really inappropriate, but it’s what I thought and here it is:
It’s not like we’re posting pictures of white men and asking, “Do you think his dick is big enough to give him enough macho arrogance he has to embody to maintain his corporate asshole job?”
(So sue me. It’s what I thought.)
I’m thinking society has fallen pretty low to have to post pictures of women’s bodies for ratings, probably KNOWING that it would cause a firestorm, probably KNOWING that blogs like mine would cover it. They’re probably not that stupid.
(Or are they…?)
Argh. And then there’s the “this is nobody’s business but her own” duh viewpoint.
Hey all, Blissful Body Image Friday is back with a vengeance, after last week’s hiatus (which was due to a crazy man running around Watertown.) So…I found some kickass sites today (click the links peeps), and some kickass pics and quotes, so “feast” your eyes on these…love to all of you. Especially those who were so supportive on my last post about the bombings. You help this lady feel put together. Xoxo!
1. So true – it’s crazy how much money we waste on what society wants us to look like. Check out these comparisons (so blurry yet so good):
So, I thought I’d start a tradition over here at Another Piece of Cake. Every Friday I will be posting Blissful Body pics and quotes to help us celebrate our bodies that much more. (With a little humor added it. I can be funny. Sometimes.) Without further adieu..
Loved this first one because I used to let my weight dictate EVERYTHING in my life…what I did, who I saw…“Don’t try to lose weight. Take delight in gaining fitness.” -Alan Cohen
Saw this one on my friend Devin’s feed this morning. She’s a healthy, dynamic lady and I’m glad she shared this:
“You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. But you won’t discover this until you are willing to stop banging your head against the wall of shaming and caging and fearing yourself.”
– Geneen Roth
This is a call to arms. A call to be gentle, to be forgiving, to be generous with yourself. The next time you look into the mirror, try to let go of the story line that says you’re too fat or too sallow, too ashy or too old, your eyes are too small or your nose too big; just look into the mirror and see your face. When the criticism drops away, what you will see then is just you, without judgment, and that is the first step toward transforming your experience of the world.”
– Oprah Winfrey
Loved this one from rationalhub because I believed the opposite for a very long time…
“Eating is not a crime. It’s not a moral issue. It’s normal. It’s enjoyable. It just is.”
I was asked that question 35 times the week before Easter. It was as if my child was going to a debutante ball. I tried to shrug off vague annoyance and proceeded to judge myself for having that vaguely uneasy feeling. But after judging myself as a “think-too-much Mom”, (Yes, I have been told that, even though I was under the impression it is 2013) I snapped upright and paid full attention to that feeling. I was annoyed, because –
Girls are supposed to be pretty and feminine and all decked out for everyone else’s enjoyment. Raiiight??
Perhaps boys’ mothers got asked as much; I don’t know because I haven’t had the chance to ask my mama friends yet. But I have an inkling that the pressure is on the girls, yet again, to step up to the plate and look pretty. The fashion industry snaps us up at birth by making girls’ clothing more fun. I’ve heard a million times from mama friends in hushed tones, “I love putting him in this suit, but it’s much more fun to look in the girls section. You have so much more.”
Can I please put my daughter in ripped jeans and a wife beater next year? Please?
OK, I’ll calm the feminist rebel in me for a second. Do I love dressing my daughter up? Of course. Is the baby girls’ clothing department aesthetically pleasing? Hell yes. But does your happiness and satisfaction lay in my daughter’s appearance? No it doesn’t. And my daughter and I also don’t want your projections of what a little girl should act or be like.
And even though I try to shield myself from the judgment, I then feel like I have to wipe off every frickin crumb off my daughter’s face and straighten out every hair from her ponytail. Aaaaand, the funny thing is, I don’t, because a kid’s job is be messy and ruin her clothes and fall sometimes.
And the bonnet! The f^%&ing Easter bonnet. I had a million frickin comments from people because she wasn’t wearing one. OK. If they only knew putting (and keeping) a hat on my kid is like trying to write with a gummy worm. Or something. And I’m not going to put my kid in something she hates just for appearances.
I’m not saying change tradition and stop parading kids around in their Sunday best once a year. I’m just saying, be aware. Body image and gender stereotyping stuff starts YOUNG. And it’s not me “thinking too much.”
Any of you who know me understand that I can’t stand celebrities like the Kardashians. I don’t touch reality TV with a 10 foot pole, and basically think it’s the breakdown of American society. So I paid little attention when she became pregnant. I paid a little more attention when I found out they are naming the baby “North”, (read: full name is North West. Want to commit heinous crimes.) and I paid a LOT more attention when photos like this surfaced:
…And of course, critique ensued. “She’s bingeing on cake, pasta and cereal!” “She looks fat!” BLAH BLAH BLAH.
Whoop de ding. Another female on this planet is pregnant, and she’s gaining weight. NO. WAY.
The joke’s on you, you dumbass media. You’re busy being all sick and gossipy, and Kim probably doesn’t give two sh*$s because she has every maternity designer and personal trainer at her fingertips. And we don’t give two sh%$s because we’ve gotten pregnant too.
Just lay off. Pregnancy is not a story anymore. A million women have gained weight and pushed babies out. Go find something more interesting to report on. I hear there’s a small situation in North Korea going on right now.
I’ll never forget the way I felt when I saw the “Yes” on the pregnancy test screen. First there was disbelief, then panic, then later, after crying in a dazed state to my best friend and mother, joy. I had anticipated this for a long time; I had ALWAYS wanted to be a mother. But I anticipated this with dread and happiness simultaneously. Happiness, because I knew I would (minus the learning curve) be a great mother, and dread, because I didn’t know how I’d react to the weight gain, being in eating disorder recovery.
I seemed to worry less about my weight during the pregnancy. I think (and most doctors would shudder at this) I looked on it as the one time I could eat whatever I want and it wouldn’t matter. It was such an escape from my ED, in a sense. Society was cool with me getting bigger. I DID have to stop myself from calculating possible weight gain in my head, however (“If I’ve gained a pound a week then I’ll be X amount of pounds by nine months…AHHH!”) I was proud of myself though; I faced the numbers on the scale every couple of weeks and for the most part, left them at the OBGYN office. I didn’t hold back on eating.
But I worried incessantly about how quick my body would bounce back after. How long would it take to lose X amount of weight? Was I screwing myself by now by not curtailing what I ate? As soon as I gave birth, I looked down at my confused, tired stomach and wondered if it would ever change from it’s current war-torn state.
And I proceeded to have the strangest experience. The weight dropped off like NOTHING. I know, I know, you can call me a bitch if you want, but it was like a giant F%#$ you to my eating disorder. I had been obsessing about how I would lose weight, and my body ended up taking care of for me. This began my admiration for the power of the human body.
I marveled at how I simply produced milk for my daughter. I was astounded by the healing powers of my body when I, six weeks later, was able to run a mile after, well….let’s just say: there were some blood loss issues. And I was impressed again, when my body truly resumed its pre-pregnancy form post-breastfeeding. I have a trainer acquaintance who swears up and down that weight loss or gain is all hormone-related; I’m beginning to believe this. Hormones, in my opinion, are NUTS! (I’m sure my significant other, John, would attest to that. Notice that I’m not talking about the emotional piece of my pregnancy. That’s another book for another time. Ahem.)
Bottom line…I feel sexier now that I had a child. Even if I don’t look stereotypically sexier. Before you think I’m a total Pollyanna, you should know it’s not 80% of the day, when I’m in a shirt that’s been thrown-up on (holy acid reflux, my Fiona had) or my hair looks like Mom hair or when I’m wearing flannels next to John. It’s moments when I’m walking down the street to my job, and I realize, “I gave birth, goddamnit! And I’m still here!” Seriously, does anyone else take pride in that? I sure as hell do.
I think the other piece of it the lack of appreciation I had for my body pre-pregnancy. I just didn’t know what I had. This amazing, regenerating, life-giving machine that was capable of so much strength. But because I believed that it was just to be looked at…I hid it.
I don’t have perfect body image. No way. I have this little dimpled section of skin above my belly button that is a leftover physical mark of pregnancy. Do I wish it was there? Of course not. But I’m pretty damn amazed that I was able to push a baby out. I’m…proud of myself. I’m proud of my body. And after 14 years of criticizing my body, I’m pleasantly surprised at that.
I know this isn’t everyone’s experience. I’ve talked to friends who struggle with body image after giving birth. (I’m convinced whether you gain or lose weight during or after pregnancy is one big genetic, hormonal crapshoot.) I just wish for all of them that they can feel empowered after what they did. Cause I “still got it”, and so do you.