Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bon Voyage!

I leave for France tomorrow! I am so excited I can not wait! I have a few days in Paris and then off to the South of France. I will take lots of pics. I also get to meet up with a high school friend in Paris. Even better she is being gracious enough to pick me up from my mom's apartment. I have a very rough working knowledge of Paris. I certainly would not trust myself to meet someone. It would probably end in tears. My goals are to relax, detach from New York, enjoy my mom's company, keep my food journal, take photos, write, swim, sleep, bike, and most importantly stay present and just enjoy. 

When I get back I have an appointment with a new therapist who does a mix of art and talk therapy. I am pretty intrigued. I feel sort of relieved to be able to go away knowing I am coming back to working towards solutions. It made me feel better about the fact that my jeans were so tight this morning they were on the verge of unwearable. This is after I spilt a pair of jeans on Monday morning post washing and drying which is what I blamed the split on. Not my finest moment but a really good accountability check. 

I do not want to restrict or deprive myself while in France, but I also in no way want to take a food vacation. I am struggling to check in and remain present and I want to work on this while away from some of my day to day stresses. I hope this will let me reconnect with eating mindfully. While France is known for wine, cheese, pastry and chocolate, it also has fantastic produce, organic markets, and very much centers around eating whole foods seasonally and locally. There is a lot of balance so it's a good place to be going I think. Provided I can stay away from the patisserie. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

I should also mention

It's like being a mermaid in a wrap. 
The amazing wrap my mom got me for my bday. I barely buy scarves or wraps because my mom is seriously the undefeated queen/champion of both picking and wearing them. Until she started gifting me scarves I really did not get the point besides warmth. Now my absolute favorites are mom gifts. They are soft, and beautiful and I get to channel her effortless scarf ease. Anyway here is a picture of it. It's sea foam colored, dries van noten which I could NEVER afford but regularly lust after, ANNNNDDDD has sequins. Life does not get better. She suggested I take it on the plan to France Thursday but planes are dirty places and it deserves a much more fabu maiden voyage.

Weekend Round Up

Birthday-palooza has come and gone and what a fantastic time it was. Thursday night after being taken out to lunch by my mom and crying my way through it, I went out with my co-workers and friends and had a truly great time. I guess I should talk for a second about the crying before I get to the fun stuff. 

I have no idea what it's really about. I have some guesses. What it boils down to in my guessing is you can only outrun yourself and past for so long. I think I have resolved things just to encounter a new phase of them. Despite my wanting a relationship I am completely, totally, and utterly terrified of one. I also finally acknowledged I fundamentally do not believe someone will ever truly accept me. I know intellectually that is not true, but my personal history has not shown that. More then anything I want to let go of the past, and learn how to move into the present without the ghosts interrupting and discounting what I am trying to learn and move forward with the knowledge of. I am toying with the idea of returning to therapy because I think some of the work I need to do is not really within my grasp to do alone. I have avoided it for months but a lot of what I am struggling with has so much less to do with food, and weight and so much more to do with letting go. I feel until I can let go, and move on I can not move forward and I do not know how to do that. I do know staying in this place will take me down further because I will start to feel worse and worse so better to get some help and direction then stumble along wanting anything and everything to be THE solution. It so rarely is. 

I am burnt out for realz. I am burnt out on my life, my work, and everything that comes with it. I think I need a vacation real bad. I also think that being burnt out makes it hard for me to get to the bottom of what is actually wrong with me. I do not feel unhappy per se. I just feel stuck. I feel incredibly stuck and apathetic. Not so good. I do not want to feel that way and feel like for the past few months I have put it down to this or that and while I think these things are a factor they are not the whole shebang. My mind obviously impacts my relationship with food and there has been some fall out. I am not really moving forward. I am sort of always teetering between healthy and what can I get away with. This is not mindful. It's trying to eat emotionally with less of a weight gain impact. I need to acknowledge this to address it and I have not been. The alcohol is not helping matters either. It's not particularly healthy and I have a hard time finding balance with it. I am constantly afraid of gaining weight and I know it's not because of irrational fears but because of my behavior and that makes me feel worse. 

All of that being said, great timing for a birthday! I actually needed the boost. We went out Thursday night and my co-workers are also great friends of mine so it was a delightful time. I mean we spend a ridiculous amount of time together so it transcends the usual work boundaries. We had a lot of fun and were at the Ace Hotel which I highly recommend if you're in NYC, because besides being a great place to hang you can also order food from Breslin which is a toughie to get in to. We had Breslin burgers which were one of the nomiest burgers I've had in a while. Then we went downtown where I was treated a few dances with a smokin' hot rugby player. I got to see people I had not seen in a while, hang with people I feel lucky to work with and go out with. Overall a great time. Friday I was hurting but not dying. I crawled into work at 10:45 am not too shabby considering my head did not touch the pillow until after 3am. The not so fun part about Friday our AC was not really working and it was the hottest day on record since I don't remember but a very long time. I had dinner with my mom and brother and told my brother he would be able to spot me in the back as the hung over sweaty girl. That's me, always keeping it classy. 

Saturday I went out with friends and it was good again to see some I had not seen in a while. Many friends had to beg off for a variety of reasons and I was so much less bothered by it then I would have thought. I think having had the epic Thursday birthday night I just did not care so much. I had a great birthday but at this point I was a little birthday'ed out. My friend Katie though did was she is great at and made the night special. She surprised me with a thoughtful gift of a Tocca candle which I love and cake! I was also touched by those who came because the place I choice was a little off the beaten path, sorry Brooklyners. As for the cake it was not just any cake, but a giant cupcake cake! This brought my bday gluttony to....a bacon cheeseburger, a lot of vodka sodas, cheescake brownies, a pork cutlet fried sandwich, peach pie, a brownie cupcake from Crumbs and now cupcake cake from Crumbs. I would bleed buttercream I think at this point. I feel grosser just listing it, this is the downside to accountability. I was given the remaining cake to take home and at 3am made the decision after a few forkfuls of icing it had to go. I walked out into my hallway in my nightgown at 3:30am in the morning to throw it out. I did not care if I was being noisy or found braless in a nightgown outside my apartment by my neighbors. It had to go. What's worse eating a ton in the middle of the night or another slice each day for a few days? I had to cut the calorie damage. 

The party is literally over and maybe the cobwebs are clearing from my mind a little. I need to cut the mindless eating, and the emotional from feeling out of control. I can not control my life, but I can control my food and my choices. I also it would appear can throw cake out in the middle of the night in a nightgown. Who knew? 

Amazing giant cupcake cake! 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Reminder in Expectations

Today is my birthday. This time last year I was partying it up in Fire Island and having an epic adventure. I knew this year there was no point in trying to match it and there was no need.This year I'm at work, it's 9000 degrees outside and I've been a little blue lately. I woke up this morning to 8 text messages, 37 Facebook BD wishes, voicemails, and emails. Amazing, and the wishes keep rolling in. I knew this year I did not want to do much but to do nothing would have been a mistake. I am having lunch with my mom today and this is super cool because I never get to be with my family on my birthday. Tonight co-workers, friends and I are going out, and Saturday night a drop in with friends. One of my newer friends is driving 2 hours to make it to our post work soiree. Again, amazing. Having little expectations and just going with it is making this a lovely day. I got flowers that look like my dog, one of my co-workers made me a poster of a photo of his that gives me the giggles, and there was a cupcake on my desk when I came in. Somehow I had a normal breakfast and not the cupcake. I might just be maturing after all.

Custom poster. Lovesit. 

Dumplin' as represented in the flower arts. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Sort of a Weird Compliment

My blog's stats are some of the more pleasurable stats in my life. They generally are pretty cool and entertaining. Learning what countries read it, what links link back to it, and so on. Everyone once and a while a sort of odd url will pop up that I do not have an obvious connection to. This happened to me recently.

I had noticed childhood obesity news had been linking back to me. At first I did not see what it was and then today a new link popped up. They referenced my blog amongst others in their guide to social networking and obesity which is a multipart series. Seems cool right? Well it's sort of weird because it's written like a review of my blog and I guess putting it out there I have to be prepared for that. The article also starts with, " All over the Web, people are sharing thoughts and emotions  about their unhealthful and unnatural relationship with food, and especially their realization that food addiction is real. Unfortunately, many of these confessions are long on what the afflicted are “trying” and short on any revelations about what actually works." I do not really agree with that statement at all, I also find the trying in quotes a little suspect. I think generally the blogs out there are big on the trying because THERE IS NO ONE ANSWER. That's the big secret. There is no magical pill, diet, revelation, any of it. There is help, resources, techniques to try, and behavior modifications which have to happen but there is no answer. What actually works is doing it for yourself, and having the strength to keep pushing to define what that is. For some it's calorie cycling, interval work out routines, or weight watchers. For others, it's a nutritionist, intuitive eating, and reprogramming your brain. There is no one answer and what works for everyone is different. I found it sort of odd someone trying to be a resource did not think about that or approach it from a a variety of blogs give you a variety of options to try or think about. I read a lot of blogs for that reason. Not everything works or is right for me but I learn and I am challenged by it.

As for how they found my own blog I am also a little puzzled by their take on my own blog. This sort of threw me off, " It’s kind of difficult to pick up on what FFA is actually doing without sifting through dozens of blog entries, but we do pick up hints here and there. She works out regularly at a gym with a trainer." I think what I intentionally set out for my blog to be is part of what puzzles them. I never set out to list what I ate, my stats, weight, work outs, measurements all of that. I do not do that for a very conscious reason. It's not the point it's part of it. The point is the weight is the symptom not the problem and I wanted to be freed of being obsessed with it. I wanted to reclaim who I am and my body and that does not really pertain to listing what I'm doing. I offer a place to share what I have learned, and commiserate with others going through something similar, but it's for all of us to find what works for us long term. I was sort of saddened by what was taken away. I felt like so much of what I have accomplished and discussed was totally missed and in my opinion it's what has connected me with more people and maybe been able to help or serve as more of a resource. I think my blog serves a purpose because it's true to life and supports my mission statement of resolving never to diet. Life is not a diet, it's good days, bad days, and learning to manage. There are no easy answers, solutions, or quick fixes, but should you find one make sure to link back to it. Your stats would go nutso.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bikini Challenge Results

I knew when I entered Josie's challenge over at the end result would not be a bikini...for many reasons. I am better at not putting ridiculously extreme short terms goals on myself and this was a 4 month challenge with a great message. It was about feeling more confident in a bathing suit and overall transformation, not pounds lost. I learned a lot more during this challenge then I had counted on. What did I learn? See below...

1. Challenges will not motivate you when you are struggling with motivation. You have to do it for you and continue to do it for you. Bummer I really thought a challenge would help me escape that when I was really bored with weight loss.

2. It was cool to actually sign up and do something publicly and be held accountable for it. I tend to stay in the challenge closet.

3. Life does not care you have results to report on July 1st. I had bad weeks, illness, stress, and a whole lot more thrown at me. I would get upset and then remember that's what life is. Some weeks are good, some are great, and others are a suckfest.

4. I really do like exercise. I do not need a challenge to do cardio, which is cool. I do however need the push with strength training. I like strength training but hate doing it alone. It was helpful to remind myself I do want to transform my body and strength training is what will do that. Cardio will help you lose fat but strength training will change your shape.

5. Losing weight or transforming your shape is not magic. It takes planning, hard work and dedication. I was not awesome at planning, and my dedication wavered. I took it for granted I could just kick up what I was doing a little and reap these magical rewards. Not so much. Seeing what I did accomplish in four months was cool but sobering. I do not think my results are all that great for a 4 month period and I am accountable for that.

As for the results. I did not lose as much or transform as much as I wanted to but I also did not do enough work to have miraculous results. I kept it as I have this whole time slow and steady. When I stray from that I go real crazy real quick. I get hung up on seeking perfection, seeing imperfections, unhealthy expectations, and extremes. I am achieving my results far slower then I would like, but I am doing it in a far healthier mindset then quicker would be for me. It's tough to stay focused on that and know what I want and what I need are not the same things. I need to do what keeps me balanced despite wanting to be somewhere else. I also did not know this challenge would coincide with me really dipping in weight loss and exercise steam. I am definitely in a slump and have to really spend some time examining that. Slow and steady is great, but half hearted is not and where is that line for me? Not sure just yet. Overall I lost 11 inches my body, and I gained muscle in my arms. My triceps are finally firming up which is so exciting. I did not take traditional before and after pictures because 1. it's harder then you would think, and 2. it makes me a little squirmy like I will meltdown at what I see. I did however take a full body photo of myself which I do not think I have done in a decade.

Before in Feb 2011

After July 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

All Riled Up and Nowhere to Put It

About a year ago my old trainer broke up with me. Our relationship had become really weird. She is one of those people who talks a lot about boundaries while crossing all of them. I had to report in to her after seeing Marisa, she continued to give me nutritional counseling despite me telling her I did not want it, and the world overall was very black and white to her. I am way more a shades of grey kind of lady.  The way she handled the break up was weird. Emailing me while I was on vacation, the day after my birthday after texting me was I getting email. So I get her email, find it really odd, and then find out we will not be discussing it Monday because she had taken me off her schedule. This was upsetting but I am of the mindset I do not want to work with anyone who does not want to work with me so I was going to move on. I did not mention anything to the gym or say anything negative about her. I just moved on despite how bizarre the whole thing was.

I am friendly with many of the lovely ladies who work at my gym. One of them yesterday happened to show me a note on my account. My old trainer said she had discontinued working with me because I had been verbally abusive. To say I was shocked would be a huge understatement. I felt violated by this ball faced lie. I never as much raised my voice or spoke to her in anger. She was the one who screamed at me like a child when I forgot my folder one morning and I very calmly said to her whatever this is I am over it. The more confidence I gained the more she treated me strangely. She had wanted to be my exercise ambassador but I think she resented I needed that less and less. Continually when I would say I want to try this or that she had something negative to say about it. In the end she did me a favor with the break up. I did not want to work with her anymore but was not sure what to do about the situation. I hate however that she said something completely untrue about me and the situation. I reviewed last night and I honestly can not even think of how my actions could be misinterpreted. What I thought about though overall with her behavior is she is someone determined not to be abused, discusses this a lot, I mean a lot more then the average person finds cause to in their day to day life. She is someone who also speaks a lot about being a victim and how they will not be one. I am now very suspicious of people like this and who speak on these terms because lately what I have experienced is they have unresolved pain that causes them to defend themselves so much they victimize others. I feel sorry for her in the long run. In order to be safe she is so closed down and shut off I think she misses a lot of wonderful things in life because what I find wonderful is not black and white but last night I was white fury angry. I for a moment contemplated getting a letter written by a lawyer to cease and desist with the storytelling but then I just circled back to she is not worth it. 

It felt good to just feel mad and not do anything negative to myself to dispel it. I just rode the wave. I can do nothing about it really. In her mind maybe when I did tell her to stop yelling at me I was abusive. I do not know. I do know often we disagree with people because we define things differently. I am glad I do not work with her anymore. I hate that she said something blatantly not true about me but I am moving forward with someone I look forward to working with and that is what is important. 

Because I do have a petty side, below is the original break up email:

 Hi Anna,

I have evaluated our work together and the amazing results you have achieved.  My desire is to see you achieve continued results and I believe it is a good time to make a switch and change routines, pace and style in order for you to move on to the next level.  Often to grow and succeed, change is required.

We have made significant changes and in the process, your body has adapted to my programming, hence your successful results, but I feel the extent of what I could do has come to a conclusion. My recommendation is that you need "New" eyes and a different approach in order to prompt continued results.  Since we have a great team at Clay, you should exercise your options in confidently choosing a new guide for your continued success.

I have a few suggestions for trainers that I will mention only if you wish me to, and our manager Terry Fister may also assist you with that.
For me, as a professional, it has been interesting, challenging and rewarding. Keep up the good work!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Giveaway Winner!!!

And we have a winner! Brynn! Email me your info and I will get that giftcard winging it's way to you.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sometimes You Are Just Lost

I have been mulling over some things lately and came to the realization overall I am just a little lost. So many things I have tethered myself to in the past just do not apply. I think in some ways I still wanted weight loss to be that moment when the chapter ended and the real story began. It's not, nor ever will be, or ever really was. I never really lived my life in expectation of when "I lost the weight". I also keep finding out that what I struggle with is not always weight related. This is both exciting and a bummer. It would be a lot easier to figure it out if it came back to the problem I am most familiar with. If only everything could always be pinned on one thing.

I started thinking about stuff going into this past weekend. I had not really made any 4th of July plans because work tends to crash in. I realized Friday night I had a long weekend ahead of me and not one thing to really do, besides a facial on Sunday. This would usually be a good thing but I felt a little uneasy and saddened by it. Granted I have been going out a lot and probably could use a little down time but I did not want it. I wanted to do something. It also reinforced me being alone. Many of my friends I would have liked to spend time with are coupled up. I do not begrudge anyone their relationships, and generally like being single. What I am starting to realize though is a few things. One, even when I was single before I was never really alone. You see that's the thing about an eating disorder you always have a built in best friend. It's not a healthy one or beneficial one, but it's a constant. Two, I am not looking to get married any time soon, but I am growing tired of being alone. I feel my aloneness more profoundly these days because I do not have any distractions. When the eating disorder got removed I had the the new friend of recovery. For a while I was so fulfilled by healing and recovering I did not even miss it and had a new distraction in it's place. I isolated happily because my brain was so full constantly of mulling over all these new things I was learning, processing, feeling, the list goes on. Now I am faced with managing these things but not preoccupied by it and it certainly does not take up the space it once did.

I have a lot more space in my life. For myself, my health, my loved ones, hobbies, you name it I got space for it within reason, I mean I do have a job and need some sleep occasionally. Am I tired of being alone or am I for the first time really experiencing being alone? I am independent by nature for sure. I have never "needed" a buddy at all times with me, a boyfriend and maybe to my detriment. Finding myself turning 31 soon and the people around me getting engaged, married, having babies and so on it's just sort of odd to feel like everyone is moving forward and you still have your training wheels on. The thing is I know how to be alone. It's easy for me. I know how to disconnect, to not expect my needs to be met, or cared for, I know a lot of negatives to being alone and some positives. It's familiar to me just like defaulting to my problems being weight related. I do not know how to really be with someone. Marriage still totally freaks me out, but a boyfriend would be nice. I say this, but when I look at my actions it tells me something else. A part of me thinks I am not ready because I am not totally confident in my body. I still have a hard time being confident knowing I have work still to be done and truly believing someone could accept me now when I can't. I think I still put a not available vibe out there. I think this comes from a lack of confidence and a fear of leaving behind my alone behaviors. It's not just that though...I have never been in a healthy relationship. I think I understand in theory what one is. I have relationship role models and truly from an intellectual standpoint "get it". When this comes to practicing it I have a really spotty track record. In some ways I think my relationship hesitance is less about the lack of body confidence and more of seeing it as some test of whether or not I have truly rehabbed my self esteem. I really think what you expect in a relationship is somewhat a barometer of your self esteem. I think I am nervous about this. Will I make the same mistakes? Will I have the confidence to ask more for myself and not ask so little of someone else? In my last relationship I learned something pretty invaluable, manipulation has nothing to do with intelligence but it will cause your self esteem to take a beating. I have recovered from that but I think I had not really understood what the lasting repercussions of it would be. I do not really trust myself to pick a good egg and right or wrong I see being in a relationship as some sort of of indication of my progress.

For this weekend I reached out to a bestie and asked what she was up to and then crashed her family vacation. Her family is essentially my second family. My first years in New York I spent more holidays and time with her family then my own because of geography. I needed that. I needed to get out of the city, have some down time and minimal time isolating in my head. Being alone is not just about a boyfriend but how you deal with your problems. I do not have to deal alone. I can deal with a last minute beach vacation with people who are so comforting in their familiarity. In some ways it was like nothing had changed since I was 18 and first met this family and it was sort of surreal and delightful.

Moving forward I have no idea. I saw Marisa today, we talked as we do and she said, " You sound a little lost, but you have to take some of the pressure off yourself to figure it out, but keep asking the questions. The answer may not be someone, or something. It can be a feeling or a moment." I get that and I am open to it. I am not shocked by this feeling of being lost. Many things I have defined and tethered my identity to are no longer what they once were. I used to define myself through my weight and career. I no longer define myself through my weight, and my career is a part of me but not me. It's also in a transitional state but more on that another time. These are pretty key things to lose or have shift and I guess I just did not see the fallout coming. I have been goal oriented and driven since I was a wee lass and it is weird for the first time to not have any big goal driving me. Maybe I need new ones, or maybe I don't. I am not sure at this point. A few things I do know: I am SO HAPPY that my friend Katie got engaged yesterday. What a way to cap off a weekend and celebrate the 4th. I could not be happier and more excited for her. I am really looking forward to my vacation in 23 days. Yep, I have started a countdown calendar. I also know that whenever I have been lost before whether it was in life or in a city I have figured it out and gotten back on course. I know that to be true and know and trust I have it within me to muddle my way through and be okay. That is one good thing about being clearer about who you are. I may not know where I am going, but I know who I am and what is in my best interests. Maybe I need to really trust that and know from within I can make better, healthy decisions for myself and they do not have always have to be made alone.