Saturday Musings – Recovery Isn’t Easy, Medications Make You Stronger, A Workout, and Filet Mignon

Howdy there and Happy Saturday! My day has been fabulous, and I hope yours has too!

I want to talk more about recovery today. Recovery is *hard,* y’all. It’s definitely not linear, but I truly feel that I’ve gotten through the harder parts of it and am coasting into an easier transition with loving my body at a higher weight, eating a healthy variety of foods, and exercising. I found this image online, and it speaks the simple truth: Obviously I relapsed earlier this fall when I hit 110 lbs, so yes, recovery isn’t linear to me at all, and it *still* isn’t. I’m doing my best not to regress or stagnate in any areas, although I admit that I struggle when I step on the scale and see a number that’s higher than I’m used to seeing for so many years. I do wake up and immediately wonder what my weight is today … my routine is to get out of bed, go to the bathroom, put in my contacts, take off my clothes, and then weigh myself. I’d like to change this routine and simply weigh myself a few times a week, not everyday, but right now, it’s what I’ve been doing.

Honestly though, I’m feeling less anxiety over seeing the number on the scale and am slowly just letting it be. If I weigh a few pounds over my “happy weight,” then I’m okay with that, and that’s exactly what happened today – I weighed 2 lbs over my current average weight, and I didn’t let it sabotage the rest of my day. I simply thought “okay, well that’s what my body wants to weigh today, so be it!” and went along with my life. I didn’t punish myself for my weight, I didn’t freak out … I just made myself some oatmeal with pumpkin, banana, and PB and enjoyed breakfast without a thought of restricting or purging, and then I went about my morning without much thought of that silly ol’ number.

This little piece (also found on the Internet) spoke to me today too …

This all is SO TRUE. I am growing stronger because I know my weaknesses and am learning to combat them in a constructive way, I am much wiser from my mistakes in the past (which is just that – the past), and I can laugh because I have known great sadness in my life. My ED was a cause of much of my issues for 18 years (not to mention alcoholism, bipolar disorder, etc.), and now I’m moving past them and can truly enjoy just being the *Mandy* I know I am inside! And she’s a joyful, grateful, humbled person, a person that I’m learning to love. Indeed, you don’t need to be perfect – I’m trying to be inspiring with how I deal with my imperfections, as I’ve struggled for so stinkin’ long and am just now truly learning how to channel my old destructive habits into positive ones:

And I know this image (found on the ‘Net) is hard to read, but it screamed out to me “POST ME ON THE BLOG,” so I’m going to:

If you can’t read it, it says “Taking medication does not, and will not ever, make you weak.” A THOUSAND TIMES YES. I’m on a gigantic medication cocktail due to my bipolar disorder, panic disorder, and PTSD, and medication does not make me weak, In fact, it makes me stronger as it keeps me as STABLE as it possibly can. Some days are better than others in the mood and anxiety department, yes, but I can sit here and type in truth that my meds are lifesavers for me, and I’m very grateful for my psychiatrist and counselor. If it were back in the 1930’s, I’m sure I would have already wound up in a mental institution, and we all know the horror stories about those, so I’m very blessed to have my meds and my doctors.

Alrighty, that’s my “eating disorder and mental health awareness” spiel for the day, but I want to share a few bites and pieces from my Saturday with you all, since it was a very good day. 🙂

Luke and I had an *amazing* and *hard* workout this afternoon – we did chest and arms, and man oh man, did I ever get quite the pump going!

I started laughing when Luke took my pictures today – I’m not sure what was so funny, but something tickled my funny bone, and there you have it!

After our workout, we ran to United (thank goodness we didn’t try Walmart, Luke said it looked PACKED) for some artichokes, and I spotted me something very interesting that I just *had* to try ~ a bin of GINORMOUS Pazazz apples. I’ve never heard of this variety, and Luke told me to buy one just for the novelty … we’ll see how it tastes!

After the store, we relaxed and started dinner … while we were boiling some artichokes, Luke was playing on the Xbox, and Caprica immediately took the opportunity for snuggles with Daddy. So precious! The kitty looks thrilled, but Luke looks pissed because his Destiny team being shitty, and they lost their round, ha!

My Dad gave us two Filet Mignon steaks for Christmas and we decided to cook them up tonight along with some fresh Farmer’s Market corn (and artichokes, of course!). We like our steak rare, so that’s exactly how we cooked them, yum!

My cocktail for the night was kombucha while Luke had Bourbon.

Talk about a DELIGHTFUL meal. Luke said it was one of the best steaks he’s ever cooked, and I have to agree with him – it had the perfect crust on the outside and was juicy, red, and tender on the inside!

I had a piece of toffee as dessert, so huzzah for a GREAT meal! Hubs did most of the cooking on this one, and I truly appreciate it! 🙂

Anyway, here’s to a good night and a great day! I hope posting my thoughts about ED’s and mental illness helps someone somewhere out. You are loved, you are valued, and you are meant to be strong! Keep the faith, my friends! 🙂

~ Mandy

 

 

Coming to Terms with My Weight and ED Recovery as a Process

Howdy readers! I’m not posting my meals today – what I eat tends to be boring and repetitive, and I often forget to photograph my meals, so I’m sticking to writing my thoughts and experiences with my progression in eating disorder recovery. I’m not sure if photographing my meals is even worth my time, to be honest, as it can feel a little obsessive, and I don’t want to be obsessive regarding food. It’s a fun thing to do from time to time, yes, but not daily as I originally planned.

Onto my spiel for the day ~

Remember these pictures that I took only a few months ago where I look completely MISERABLE because I was?

Yep, that was me at 110 lbs. Not a good look, not a good place to be in my life.

HOWEVER.

It’s taken a TON of time, patience, complaining, and tears, but I think I’m *finally* coming to terms with my weight gain, y’all. I’m currently at 124.6 lbs and figure that 125-ish lbs (and topping around 130 lbs at night) is about right for my body. I fought this for a long, long time – I wanted to be around 110 to 120 lbs, but that’s just not realistic for my height and body (I’m 5’10”). I’m HEALTHY now, not overly skinny and gaunt. Amazingly, I’m *feeling* healthy too, and it’s a wonderful feeling to have after YEARS of struggling with an ED.

Yes, I still have my moments – I think “will this make me fat?” or “should I throw that up?” or “that number on the scale is too high, damn it all to hell” …. but these thoughts are slowly but surely dissipating. It’s a PROCESS, not an immediate overnight solution, after all, and I’ve had to learn this as well – I always thought recovery meant immediately becoming 100% better in every way, but now I don’t look at it as such – I look at it as a winding journey, one with highs and lows.

As a plus, everyone says I no longer look sick, particularly Luke and my Mom, who know me very well and see me often. I even when to my psychiatrist, and the receptionist, Brenda, commented on how good I’m looking … it’s amazing who notices these things! My face has filled out and is not so drawn anymore, my shoulder blades don’t stick out, my ribs don’t stick out, I have a bit of a tummy when I have food in my system, and my abs are showing. I’m very happy about these developments (yes, even my tummy … it means I have good food in my system and am NOURISHING myself, not depriving).

One silly thing that really troubled me on my journey towards total recovery was my wardrobe – I have built a lovely one for the past few years, and I was *terrified* that I’d outgrow all of my clothing. This sounds so vain, but seriously it was a fear of mine. But guess what? I have *not* outgrown my wardrobe and still wear the same size, and that’s been a THRILL to discover this little fact. I’m just looking HEALTHY in my clothes, not sickly.

I do still tend to err on the side of fruits and veggies when it comes to breakfast and lunch, but I’m trying to give myself more and more leeway, especially at night – for instance, lately I’ve made deer spaghetti and deer stir fry, and I’ve been noshing on them instead of plain vegetables, like I used to do (I used to live off plain vegetables, and it’s not recommended). I’m also trying to incorporate more protein in my diet, such as eggs, as well as things like peanut butter (I love it on bananas in the morning), Siggi’s yogurt, deer sausage, and cheese … you know, things that I completely avoided when heavily disordered. I still adore pumpkin banana oatmeal, but it’s so filling that I usually eat it as a brunch which tides me over into afternoon.

Do I think of myself as eating disordered still? That’s a resounding YES – my eating has improved, but there’s always room for more improvement. I’m not throwing up. I’m at a stage where I often think about my body and my weight, but I’m not so negative about my body image now, and my body dysmorphia seems to be improving as I don’t look in the mirror *all of the time* and see a giant person staring back. My one “problem area” with dysmorphia is my stomach when it’s full of food or liquid … that’s where I’m working on suppressing those negative thoughts still, but I’ve come a LONG WAY. But yes, I *am* still eating disordered … and that’s OKAY! I’m going to keep improving and keep improving. IT JUST TAKES TIME, y’all. Time truly does heal.

Today though, I’m happy to post a picture of myself at 125 lbs, and I have a smile on my face, a song in my heart, and a belly full of food and tea!

Again, time, patience, and tears are HEALING as long as you truly have it in your mind and heart to recover. As a woman who has suffered from terrible anorexia and bulimia for nearly 18 years, I’m here to say that recovery is 100% possible, and it’s an utter delight to be on the journey.

I’m so BLESSED to be where I am today – I never would have thought that I’d be on my way to a full recovery, yet here I am! And guess what? I’m *not* going to worry about what I eat when I go to Seattle over Christmas. I’m going to indulge if I want (in moderation and only until my tummy is full, no overeating if I can help it, but if it happens, it happens), and I’m going to have a FABULOUS time.

I’m sending everyone a GIANT XOXO today, especially to all of my fellow ED sufferers and recover-ees.

~ Mandy

Working on Myself, for Myself, by Myself

Howdy, howdy! Happy Hump Day! How are you doing?

My digestive tract was *not* happy this morning – my lower belly was full of sharp pains and aches, and I was using the bathroom all night long! I wonder if the rich deer liver upset my tummy, but I ate it the night before last and was fine, so I’m not sure. I didn’t even really feel like coffee this morning, which means I *do not* feel well. I laid in bed for a while with my sleeping husband, and I tried to meditate away the pain. Meditation does help me when I’m hurting. Finally I got up and started moving around with this little mantra in my head:

I am indeed working hard on myself! I’m still around 122 lbs (I was 122.6 lbs this morning), and I’m working on building muscle mass and eating in a healthy way, non-eating disordered way. I’m working, working, working on myself, and it’s AMAZING to feel and see a difference in my whole persona.

Breakfast

I made pumpkin banana oatmeal for breakfast at 8:45 this morning in an attempt to soothe my intestines – 1/2 C of Quaker Oats, 1 C of cashew milk, chia seeds, hemp seeds, salt, vanilla, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a banana with pumpkin stirred in at the end. I topped it with some honey, white chocolate and cranberry granola, and a spoonful of good ol’ runny organic PB.

I ended up eating ALL of my oatmeal – I was concerned about my tummy, so I ate very slowly, but turns out that I needed all the nourishment I could get this morning. Somehow the oatmeal did soothe my gut, so I’m happy I ate it – it was delicious and healing.

After breakfast, I ran to Walmart to buy some things to make deer backstrap stir fry. I bought bok choy, broccoli, carrots, onion, mushrooms, baby corn, kale, brown rice, and a few other goodies for it!

I started with the veggies …

… and then I sauteed the marinated deer! I added stir fry sauce at the end after I mixed the deer and veg together in my giant skillet, and I made rice in the rice cooker simultaneously. Talk about an easy, healthy, and delicious meal. I sure hope Luke likes it tonight! 😉

Lunch

I dug into one of my current obsessions to start lunch – OPAL APPLES! Y’all. Opal apples taste SO MUCH BETTER than honeycrisp … heck, they even rival my other favorite, envy apples. Honeycrisp apples don’t have much of a taste to me for some reason, but opal apples taste so clean, crisp, and have a delightful and juicy note of sweetness to them.

I felt pretty today for my psychiatrist appointment at 1:20, so I had Luke snap a pic of me with Persephone. Yes, I’m wearing my new Dolman from Anthropologie and JUST ADORE IT … more on that below, ha!

I snapped an impromptu fashion pic in the bathroom to show off my new clothing – I look a bit silly taking a picture in a mirror, but hey, I’m just being real here. I LOVE me some fashion, especially Free People and Anthropologie. I can’t believe I scored two Dolmans from Anthro during their 30% off sale – they were originally $78, and I scored them for just under $28 each. Perfect for wearing alone as a dress or with some pants! I was also wearing my James Avery Texas charm today. Nothing too fancy, but I felt pretty, which is important 🙂

Right before I left for my psychiatrist appointment, I had a Gingerade Kombucha to try and soothe my intestines further … they were starting to feel a little better at this point of the day, and a kombucha hit the spot for lunch!

I had nothing but good things to say at my appointment today – I’m not losing weight, I’m eating well, I’m not throwing up at all, and the Xanax is keeping my panic attacks at bay almost fully … my Rexulti and Latuda are also keeping my moods very stable, so I’m thankful! Dr. Jenkins was thrilled with my progress. I also received two compliments on my Dolman, and Brenda the receptionist remarked on how well I’m looking, so I must be doing something right. 😉

Upon arriving home, I found Luke playing the Xbox with a very smug Calliope sitting on top of it!

I made some cookies (simple Nestle walnut chocolate chip ones from Walmart that I picked up for $2.50) and planned on eating one or two, but my intestinal situation had flared back up, and I just didn’t want any at the time. Yuck, this intestinal shit sucks. 😦

Snack

Still feeling icky in my intestinal tract, I wanted fruit as a snack today around 3:00 as it would be light and easy on my system. I added a sprinkling of sugar to some red raspberries and black grapes (my last ones, boo) and enjoyed them with a giant mug of hot chai tea.

I also had a Chobani Flip yogurt in Peanut Butter Dream, thinking that the yogurt might help my poor system out! Plus I didn’t have much of a lunch – hello, apple and kombucha – so I needed a little more fortification for the afternoon. Man, that yogurt hit the spot! (I also took my afternoon Xanax around 3:30.)

Around 4:15, I had a handful of trail mix too!

Dinner

I started dinner off early with some raw carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower with S+P in some hummus and with some light Fiesta ranch.

And then I ended with some deer stir fry and rice. It was good but VERY filling. I think I ate too much of it as my stomach was a bit cramp-y afterwards – a smaller bowl would have sufficed, but what was done was done. (My picture is a bit dark and out of focus here, but that’s what went into my stomach!)

Alrighty, that’s all I’ve got for today! Here’s hoping you had a great one!

~ Mandy

Being a Badass

Y’all. I have AWESOME news. My eating disordered behaviors are fully AT BAY, and I LOVE IT. I’m eating well-balanced meals which are hearty and delicious. My weight is STABLE. I’m exercising again. My moods are STABLE. My life is becoming stabler and stabler without the constant struggle of an eating disorder on top of a mood/panic disorder. My Xanax has truly been a godsend to me as it’s time release, and I can’t throw it up in order for it to work … HUGE incentive to try and move past all ED behaviors as I need my Xanax to keep panic attacks fully at bay. And it’s ALL WORKING together!

I’m feelin’ pretty damn BADASS, y’all. I’m actually looking forward to Christmas in Seattle without worrying about what I’m going to eat, if I’m allowed to eat, etc. etc. and I’m honestly just enjoying life to the fullest right now!

I bought a new E-Book by Sarah Bowmar today called Wild Game Wild Gains and am planning on trying some of her venison recipes as I need some inspiration when it comes to fixing my deer – I often get stuck in the chili rut and need to branch out as we have a TON of venison headed our way in a few weeks.

I didn’t log my breakfast or lunch today – for the record, I had oatmeal for breakfast, and some roasted veggies with hummus and an apple for lunch – but I did start logging my eats after that, so here ya go!

Snack

Around 3:30, I had a cup of delicious fresh red raspberries – let it snow sugar (but not too, too much)!

I also had a Synergy Trilogy kombucha around 4:30 … I just love me some kombucha, y’all!

At 5:00, I had some Boar’s Head sweet ham, a slice of Pepperjack cheese, and some honey mustard for dipping. Easy peasy, yummy protein!

Dinner

To start dinner off, I had a cup of some leftover Asian salad that we had last night, and I added some extra Sesame Ginger Sauce to it. This was a lovely little hunger-killer for me.

About an hour after my teeny salad, I had some leftover fresh deer liver (sauteed with onions, mushrooms, and bacon) and some roasted broccoli and cauliflower with Fiesta Ranch. Y’all. Something about liver tastes absolutely divine to my tongue. I was nice and full after this meal, yum-o!

I’m just doing so well, and I hate to jinx myself by saying so, but I truly am thriving. It’s truly a thrill to thrive.

In kitty news, the cats all LOVE IT when Luke plays his Xbox – Caprica sits in his arms, Persephone lays on the couch and gets tummy-rub-rubs, and Calliope loves sleeping on the warm box!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for today! Hope you’re healthy and happy today!

~ Mandy

Deer Hunt 2017

Howdy! We went deer hunting last weekend, and my husband shot two nice bucks. Here are some pics from the trip:

I hope to be back on here posting my meals again – I got out of the habit, and now I’m looking forward to blogging again!

Hope to see you tomorrow or later today,

~ Mandy

Black Friday + An Arm Day

Howdy there! Are you enjoying Black Friday? I couldn’t resist and purchased three things on sale with 30% off from Anthropologie ~

Two Terry Dolman Dresses in XS

The Talah Eyelash Cardigan in XS I hope my purchases work out – I’m always on the lookout for cute clothes on sale, and the Dolman Dresses seem comfortable and cozy, and the Talah Eyelash Cardigan is totally my style.

Onto my EATS for the day:

Breakfast

I started my day off with a large Envy apple (I added some cinnamon) …

… and a few hours later, I had a coconut Siggi’s with fresh fruit and honey.

Lunch

Lunch was some steamed veggies – broccoli, carrots, and red bell pepper – seasoned with some Lawry’s Seasoning, and I drizzled them with some Fiesta Ranch and added a dab of hummus.

Workout

We worked out arms today for about 45 minutes. 🙂 I’m looking forward to going more now that I’m feeling better. No makeup or hair done today either, but here are a few pics (one of me looking annoyed, but truly, I’m just lifting as hard as I can!) ~

Snack (s)

I had a half of a jalapeno cheddar bagel with honey mustard, Boar’s Head ham, and Boar’s Head Vermont cheddar as my snack today at 3:30.

Around 5, I had some Munchy Medley from United.

Dinner

I had some bacon ranch tuna with saltines, easy peasy.

I also had a banana with crunchy PB.

And my final meal of the day was a bowl of Progresso Light Baked Potato Soup with crackers. Green mint tea to drink.

Eating disorder be damned, I tell you, I was HUNGRY today, so I ATE.

I still need to gain some weight, and I’m working on that – I’d prefer it to be muscle weight, not fat, but if I gain a little fat, that’s okay too. Luke said today that I’m not looking nearly as bony as I was, so that’s a plus. 🙂

Hope you had a happy Black Friday!

~ Mandy

 

 

 

Turkey Day + Gratitude

Happy Thanksgiving, y’all! How are you doing today? I hope you’re having a happy Turkey Day! 🙂

Today I’m grateful for many things, but here’s a small list ….

  • My dear husband Luke, who works so hard for us and who is going back to school so we can have a better life. He’s my rock, my love, my twin flame. I’d be lost without this man, I tell you what!
  • My Mom and my sister, Jenny, who support me unconditionally during the rough times and who love me during the good times!
  • Our kitties – Calliope, Persephone, and Caprica – and Drogo the Ball Python … they love me relentlessly and always want cuddles (even the slithery kind!).
  • Our little apartment – it definitely feels like home, and I’m so grateful for that fact as I’ve lived places that don’t feel like home, and it’s miserable.
  • My in-laws … they’re such supportive people who are always there for us.
  • My health. I haven’t treated my body correctly for years, and now I’m happily on my way to being healthier and happier in my eating and with my workouts.
  • My sobriety. It’s so wonderful to be sober, y’all, and I wouldn’t trade the feeling for the world – truth.
  • My doctors and my medications that keep me stable and as happy as possible (it’s a challenge at times, but hey, life is all about challenges).
  • And last but surely not least … I’m thankful for God and His many blessings.

I am one lucky girl and have so much to be thankful for that it’s ridiculous.

Alrighty, onto my eats for the day ~

Breakfast

I had my usual fresh fruit cup with some sugar around 7:45 as a start to breakfast – the pic is a little blurry, so I do apologize! It’s that early morning haze a moi.

And because I was in a fruity mood, I soon had a small Envy apple with organic crunchy PB. Yum-O, this really filled me up! PB and fruit is LIFE. Coffee to drink, naturally. 😉

Snack

Around 10:30, I was feeling snacky, so I had some baby carrots with salt with hummus and light Fiesta Ranch. I just ADORE carrots, y’all – so sweet and crunchy, especially with a little salt. Probably my favorite vegetable, with broccoli as a close second.

Lunch

I ate some steamed carrots, broccoli, and red bell pepper with added S+P and a drizzle of Fiesta ranch at 12, and the veg truly filled me up for a while. Gosh, I just love vegetables, roasted, steamed, raw …

Snack

For my snack today around 2:30, I had half of a United-homemade jalapeno cheddar bagel with Boar’s Head ham, Boar’s Head Vermont cheddar, honey mustard, and a few organic greens. This was a rather large snack for me, but I needed something besides fruit and veg in my system. 😉

I also had a Chobani Flip yogurt in Salted Caramel Crunch at 4 …

… and around 5, I was craving something sweet, and that pecan pie was calling my name, so I had a slice with whipped cream. YUM!

Dinner

More fruit for dinner …

… and then some deer lasagna!

I admit, I’m still exhausted from my panic attack last Saturday and Sunday … I was dog-tired all day today! I’m looking forward to bed for sure … here’s to a Happy and low key Thanksgiving for us! I ate a bit more than usual today, but hey, that’s okay.

Hope you’ve had a good one! 🙂

~  Mandy