effortlessly perfect

{December 29, 2011}   Divorcing ED

{December 28, 2011}   Let yourself shine


…how to what?  Now there is a question.  How do you save yourself and others  from this disease?  How did I?  I did because someone cared enough for me.  Cared enough to tell me the truth.  And I keep having people tell me the truth.  The truth is my body type doesn’t reflect upon me.  How my children, my dogs, cats, my parents, my sisters see the little girl inside of me come out is what matters. “It’s belief that gets us there” just played on the television in a movie called “Dragonfly”.  How appropriate.  I love when an appropriate saying comes up just when you are not sure what you are going to write about.  I am feeling so much pain for those of you out there fighting the love of comfort of food that obviously has taken over a loss of love.  Food is love.  When you realize…

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{December 28, 2011}   the cookie from hell

As someone who has restricted for a significant part of the last year, you may think that “the cookie from hell” title has something to do with eating a cookie. However, it doesn’t. Actually, that would seem logical and a little less weird that the story I’m about to share. I have gotten used to not being ok with eating… especially sugary, sinful cookies. But I have to admit what happened on Christmas Eve with my family surprised even me.

My family has a tradition on Christmas Eve. We go to the candlelight service at our church and then come home to decorate sugar cookies.  And while our family has done this for the past 10 or 12 years, each year the group that joins us for the decorating is a little different. Sometimes it includes girlfriends or boyfriends, spouses, grandparents, neighbors or friends… just whoever happens to be with us on Christmas Eve. Regardless of the people involved, it is one of my favorite parts of the Christmas season… relaxing, casual, and fun.

This year, we got back from church and started getting out everything out to decorate cookies… icing, plates, sprinkles, knives, etc.  We had some friends staying with us this year, so I was looking forward to getting to decorate with some new people and having them be a part of our family tradition. Once all of the icing was out and people started decorating, I immediately felt a shift. I watched one of my friends grab a star cookie and delight in decorating it with colorful pink icing, purple sprinkles, outlining it with a thin white line. It wasn’t perfect, but it was creative, unique and she loved it.  One of our other friends was meticulously icing a christmas tree cookie, adding delicate texture to the green frosting and placing individual brown sprinkles to make the trunk.  

I had taken a star cookie and placed it on the plate in front of me, but became captivated by watching the decorating that was taking place around the table. Instead of diving in and adding delicious decorations to the cookie in front of me, I found myself paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t think. And I sure as hell couldn’t decorate the cookie.

I know it might sound nuts… and honestly that’s exactly how it felt. But I was absolutely terrified of decorating the cookie in front of me, knowing that it wouldn’t be as creative, perfect, pretty, or unique as the other ones that would end up on the plate.  I seriously sat there and stared at the cookie. Unable to do anything with it.  My friends and family asked why I wasn’t decorating anything and I simply replied that I was having fun watching them.  And while that wasn’t a lie, I definitely didn’t disclose the fears, feelings and emotions that were spinning in my head.

Part of me believes my issues had to do with the perfect textured tree that the friend next to me was creating.  I knew that nothing I could create would compete with his creation, so why I should I even try. Not that it’s a competition, but my ego didn’t need me to suck at this too.

Another part of me felt paralyzed by the perception that my cookie and creation would be judged and evaluated.  And while everyone at the table was commenting on, laughing at, and having fun with everyone’s cookie masterpieces, I knew that no one actually cared what they looked like or who’s was the best. It definitely made me realize how much I wrap my identity and self-worth into what I “produce.”  I am nothing more than what I create, produce or provide to others.

I’m sure there were other things that played into my reaction that evening, that I could analyze and rationalize if I really wanted to.  One of the things that struck me in the moment was how intense my reaction was and how determined I was to NOT decorate a cookie. It was something I felt I had no control over. No matter how weird I looked sitting there just watching. No matter how many questions I received from friends and family. No matter how much I wanted to be normal and just decorate the damn cookie. I couldn’t. It wasn’t going to happen.

I felt incredibly screwed up at that moment. And I still feel that way now, as I look back on it.  I mean, who can’t decorate a cookie. Throw some icing on it. Sprinkle it with sugary glitter crap. And be done. No big deal. Get over yourself and your fucked up feelings and just decorate the damn cookie.

So, yes, that was just a small snippet of my christmas this year. Hope your’s was better than mine. 🙂

Fairly soon after I started going to therapy for my eating disorder I realized that I hadn’t ever really taken the time to figure myself out…. what I liked, what I didn’t like, what I wanted in life, and who I really was.  I had been molded from a very young age into this perfect little girl and had adopted the characteristics and goals that those around me expected/wanted me to have.  I never really realized it until I started talking to my therapist and a couple girls in group therapy about myself.  I couldn’t tell them my favorite color, food, book, music… and I couldn’t tell them what I wanted in life or what I hated. I had never taken the time to figure it out or truly listen to what I wanted in life.

So, as I sit here this morning, exhausted from a crazy night and way too many ED thoughts swirling in my head, it is my hope to take a few minutes out and simply write about a few of my favorite things…

– gerber daisies… i love them and instantly smile when i see them. they are so bright and colorful, and just make me think happy thoughts.

– a down comforter… there is something about sinking into a bed with fluffy pillows and nestling into a down comforter that is like heaven to me. it’s like sleeping in a cloud, so safe and peaceful.

– strawberries… i have loved them ever since i was little. bright, sweet, and fun to eat. i had a strawberry shortcake doll when i was little that you could squeeze and she’d blow strawberry kisses. makes me smile.

– the smell of coconut… it’s always so tropical smelling and instantly makes me think of beaches, the ocean, and a calm relaxing life. sleeping in a hammock in the soft breeze or playing in the clear, blue ocean.

– water… i am fascinated by it. lakes, rivers, the ocean, pools… it really doesn’t matter what type of water it is. i love watching it, being in it, going out on it. i’ve always wanted to live near water… either on a house by the beach, a cabin on a lake, or someplace with a pool in the backyard. it’s like the world melts away when you are in the water.

– laughing… this is a new one for me. i honestly don’t remember laughing that much when i was growing up. i was so focused on staying “in control” or acting as i should, that truly letting go and laughing seemed a little crazy. i know, it sounds crazy, but it’s true. just last night i was out with some friends and seriously laughed until i had tears streaming down my face. one of those laughs when your abs hurt and you can’t catch your breath.  it was wonderful. it made me feel so alive.  that may sound dramatic, but when you have spent so long not letting yourself be truly happy, sometimes the little stuff helps bring your light flickering back on.

– having my nails painted… not necessarily the act of having them painted, although i never mind a good manicure or pedicure, but i love, love, love having bright polish on my toes and a french manicure on  my fingernails. it seems sexy or feminine or confident, all of which i’ve been hesitant to be in the past, so i love it now. it also used to seem wasteful and selfish to me, so now i save it as one of my guilty pleasures. 🙂

– movies that make me think… i could honestly do without 97% of the movies out there, but there are a few that i just love. i watch them and feel inspired. like i can do anything. live my life however i want and love every minute of it. they just fill me with life. to name just a few of my favorites… Life is Beautiful, Milk, Slumdog Millionaire, The Social Network, and Eat Pray Love. If you haven’t seen them yet, you should!

So, that’s probably enough of my favorites for now. I’m hoping to add to this list as I continue to figure things out. Feel free to share your favorites or just simple things that make you happy. I’m sure all of us could use a little moment of happiness in our crazy lives. 🙂

{December 19, 2011}   Even When You’re Too Afraid.

{December 18, 2011}   random, but good

{December 18, 2011}   Sunday Snippets

If you read one blog post today, READ THIS ONE! These are the positive words we all need to hear!

{December 18, 2011}   The disease called “Perfection”

et cetera