World Bipolar Day + A Small Piece of My Story

Hello there! It’s WORLD BIPOLAR DAY (March 30th), and I’m writing a special post to commemorate it.

I’ve struggled with bipolar disorder for most of my life (despite being misdiagnosed with clinical depression around the age of 11), and it’s an important part of who I am. Now, being bipolar does *not* define me as a person. I am not a diagnosis. I do, however, live with my diagnosis and the issues that it brings daily. I’m somewhere in between being Bipolar I and Bipolar II, according to my psychiatrist. I’ve been psychotic. I’ve had periods of wild mania. I’ve been severely depressed for months at a time. I’ve had mixed episodes. I’ve been suicidal and have indulged in self-harm (especially during my teenage years).

Here’s a great overview of what it means to have the bipolar disorder diagnosis.

What exactly does being bipolar mean to me specifically? Well, it mainly means MOOD SWINGS – I’m talking daily ones which are rapid. I can go from happy-go-lucky and fine to severely depressed or manic in mere seconds, and it’s a booger of a disease to deal with, especially when nothing specific causes my depressions or mania, and they *simply happen.* It’s hard to explain how this makes a person like me feel … I often feel helpless and hopeless when those mood swings occur, and it’s frustrating because nothing in particular causes them except for my damn brain.

Everyone has mood swings from time to time, y’all. But bipolar mood swings are like a switch in your brain rapidly switches from HAPPY to DEPRESSED or from NORMAL to MANIC, usually all within the course of one day.

I began experiencing wild mood swings when I was about 10 years old. I was misdiagnosed by the well-meaning but highly ignorant family doctor and put on Celexa, which obviously didn’t help with the bipolar disorder. I went through middle school and high school on various cocktails of anti-depressants, no mood stabilizers in sight, and my moods raged terribly.

Finally, around age 20, I went to a different psychiatrist who properly diagnosed me as being bipolar, and we started experimenting with mood stabilizers. Let me tell ya, experimenting with meds and going through psychiatrists is hell on wheels. But sadly, it must be done to find the proper combination which works for the specific person. I’ve been on most psych meds that you can name, and I’ve been committed to the local “nuthouse” three times in my young life. It’s a constant struggle to remain stable ….

But my current and favorite doctor, Dr. Jenkins, who I began seeing in 2008, finally has me on a FANTASTIC combination of meds which keep me as stable as I could hope to be – Latuda (mood stabilizer and my SAVIOR med), Rexulti (anti-depressant), Trintellix (anti-depressant), Trazadone (sleep drug and anti-depressant), Gabapentin (anxiety drug), Xanax (anxiety drug), and Buspar (anxiety drug). Anxiety and bipolar disorder often go hand-in-hand, and I’m a prime example of that.

I’m a bit of an oddity by being bipolar and having struggled with an ED too – usually individuals with eating disorders are diagnosed as struggling with depression, not bipolar disorder (clearly there are exceptions, such as Marya Hornbacher; duh, I’m one of them too!). But bipolar disorder and ED’s play their sick game together well, sadly, and that’s something I’ve had to deal with in my young life too.

And that’s my spiel on being bipolar today. Again, it’s a DAILY struggle to stay stable, and it’s my full-time job in this life to try my best and remain as stable as I can. This is only a teeny part of my story and experiences … it’s hard to put it all into words, but I tried my best today. 🙂

~ Mandy

A Letter to Myself + A Lazy Day in the Life + WIAW

Howdy, howdy! How are you doing today?

Today I’m sharing a letter with myself on NOT overtaking my pills and running out … I did that this weekend, and I have been UTTERLY MISERABLE, which is why I’ve been MIA on here.

Dear Self,

You overtook your Xanax this weekend and were left high and dry for THREE DAYS. This is NOT good. It’s a miserable experience for EVERYONE involved, not just for you. You have seizures (yep, I had a seizure two days ago while cooking Luke breakfast, and I ended up banging my head on the concrete floor, not to mention the soreness that comes with seizures), your eyes get out of whack, you can’t sleep, you barely eat, you barely shower, you wander around the apartment humming like a damn zombie, you have hot and cold flashes, you feel like SHIT, you can’t drive, you can’t do anything FUN like work out because you’re going through HELLISH WITHDRAWAL. You *don’t need to overtake* those meds. It’s ridiculous, and I won’t tolerate that issue again. I’m not very thrilled with myself, as you might imagine. It’s an impulse control issue, and it’s OKAY to not feel perfect ALL OF THE TIME. Throwing more pills into your system just screws you up. Luke can’t sleep when this happens, you can’t sleep when this happens, it’s JUST MISERABLE. DON’T DO IT AGAIN. It’s IMPORTANT. It’s just like drinking alcohol – you DON’T HAVE TO DO IT, and it’s not worth it.

Please take this to heart, Self,

~Mandy

Now onto the bones of the post – my Day in the Life on Wednesday, 3/21! Today was a lazy day as I didn’t feel up to working out, but that’s okay! It’s also What I Ate Wednesday, so here ya go!

9:00 a.m. – At 9 on the dot, I wake up with a start! I can’t believe I’ve slept so long, but I did (since 8:30 last night) – my body needs the sleep to recover, I tell myself. Luke has forgotten to set his alarm for school and is running late. I make coffee for us very quickly and get Luke out the door. I then take my first Xanax of the day and my Buspar.

9:30 a.m. – I check my email and start this blog post (I had written the letter to myself yesterday). I also make some breakfast – two eggs over easy with Luke’s Dad’s homemade enchilada sauce and chilies, and a piece of whole wheat toast with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter and jam. Coffee to drink.

I also *finally* order two more Happiness Runs Tanks from Free People since I basically live in mine well as a Skinny Charm Headband in Star/Ivory as my “fun thing for the month.” I CANNOT WAIT for my Abs2bfitness Pants to arrive too … they have yet to ship, but they mentioned on the website that they’re backed up. I’m hoping they come sometime in April.

10:30 a.m. – I take my shower and put on my makeup, do my hair.

11:00 a.m. – I run to Walmart for some expensive supplies (hello kitty litter and Tide) and upon return, Luke is back and in bed reading. I take my second Xanax around 11:30. My run to Walmart was relatively warm – I only needed a light jacket, and I’m super stoked that it’s FINALLY springtime!

12:00 p.m. – I start to think about lunch and set some Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and carrot with EVOO, balsamic vinegar, S+P, and garlic powder in the oven to roast.

After the veg is done, I place them on a bed of lettuce and top with hot chicken breast and two slices of bacon with jalapeno ranch and BBQ sauce. This meal was delicious! The bacon and the BBQ really made it yummy.

1 – 2:00 p.m. – I’m not sure what happened, but I ended back in bed and half- asleep! I guess my body is trying to recover from my rough-ass few days without Xanax. I’m so glad I’m back on it for sure!

Luke was up by the time I woke up and was cuddling with Caprica on the couch.

2:15 p.m. – I want a snack, so I make a banana with Nutzo PB, chia seeds, oats, and honey.

I also make a mug of hot tea and tried to just chill out a bit. My stomach soon became unhappy, so I took some Tums. At this point, working out looks like it’s not going to happen today … I am just too tired. Calliope was looking at me judgmentally while I thought about this:

Little shit looks like she’s telling me to get off my ass and hit the gym. Sorry, kitty, it’s prolly not gonna happen today, as poopy as that is. I snatch her up and demand that Luke snap a pic!

3:00 p.m. – I also make poor Luke snap a pic of me to ensure that I’m, in fact, not getting fat. I do this from time to time, and I sure ain’t fat! I’m lookin’ BANGING (despite the angle this picture was taken from – Luke was sitting on the couch and I was standing above him, so my head looks teeny). I weigh about 130-132 lbs at this point. 😉 I don’t check everyday. My goal is to be a muscular 140 – 145 lbs, with lots of hard work and time.

Also, I’m IN LOVE with my new nose ring – it’s the right gauge, finally, and it’s not flimsy and stays put. PERFECTION. I also take my third Xanax around 3:00 (I take one right when I wake up, one around 10 – 11, one around 2-3, and then one around 6-7). It seems like I take a lot of Xanax, and I do, but the dosage works for me. It’s when I overtake them that we have a MAJOR problem!

3:45 p.m. – Luke and I run to Pak-a-Sak and grab drinks … I get a diet Sprite with fresh limes and lemons. Luke observed as we were going up the stairs that my calves are now no longer skinnier than my damn knees, so huzzah! Do I still have issues with my body image? OF COURSE I DO. I worry that I’m fat far too often, and I often need extra encouragement from my husband to tell me that I’m absolutely not fat and am simply looking HEALTHIER.

4:00 p.m. – I vacuum and clean up the apartment after Luke knocked down copious amounts of cat hair and dust from the walls in our bathroom earlier. 😦 YUCK! I cleaned the fridge last night too, which was a big improvement. We also take some deer that was soaking in milk for about a week out and assess it – it smells like sour milk, so we toss it, and I thaw a new batch in the sink. Then I paint my nails. 🙂

I also have a snack of celery and cherry tomatoes with salt, hummus, and a bit of jalapeno ranch, easy peasy. I was craving cucumbers, but we’re fresh out, so I need to grab more at the store.

5:00 p.m. – I clean the cabinets. Huzzah! Our little apartment is slowly but surely getting cleaner. Luke plays Destiny 2, and I make him some cinnamon sugar toast to snack on.

6:00 p.m. – I make a Boar’s Head ham and American cheese sandwich for dinner with avocado, tomatoes, and pickles with honey mustard. Tasty! I love ham and cheese sandwiches. 🙂

I also make some hot Moroccan Mint Tea and chillax by reading Facebook and Twitter.

Around 6:30, I feel that nasty yet familiar twinge of depression setting in. Perhaps I’m worried about my weight and how much I ate today? I’m not sure. I might just be low. Regardless, bipolar depression sucks. It happens to me throughout the day – mania is much rarer for me but more pronounced than depression – and depression really isn’t a fun mood. I wanted to cry, to pout, to curl up in a ball and die.

7:00 p.m. – I’m watching Expedition Unknown and drinking my tea after taking my last Xanax of the day. I’m still in a low mood, although Luke does his best of assure me that I’m looking better than I have in my entire life, poor man. He does his best to reassure me, but it’s hard to push past negative thoughts. He even gets the scale out and lets me weigh myself – 133 lbs (after eating and drinking all day and wearing clothes).

7:40 p.m. – I make a mug sugar cookie (no pic) and try to enjoy it. Sometimes I wonder that I deprive myself of all of life’s food-y pleasures, such as sweets, and I just need something sweet every now and then.

8:00 p.m. – I take a hot bath and try to relax and dispel the depression. Some days are just better than others, and I think my decision to not work out today hit me hard tonight.

8:30 p.m. – I make yet another mug cookie (peanut butter this time) and try to shut off those negative thoughts. Afterwards, I brush my teeth and take my cocktail of meds which keep me stable-ish and help me sleep.

9:30 p.m. – It’s lights out for me! I go to sleep feeling satisfied and a bit better.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading a bit about my day … it was a PAIN IN THE ASS to write, but I did have fun regardless.

Til soon,

~ Mandy

 

 

A Few Thoughts During NEDA Week

Hello, hello! How are you doing today? It’s NEDA week, so I needed to do a post!

In case you are new here, my name is Mandy, and I’ve struggled with eating disorders (anorexia and bulimia) for nearly 18 years since I was 15 years old. I’m now 33 and and consider myself in recovery at this point in time (I relapsed about 6 months ago, so I do consider myself at risk to some extent) … here’s my story …

Eating disorders don’t discriminate, y’all. They don’t care how great your life is, what race you are, your age, sex, weight, height, etc. They are horrible mental illnesses that take away every aspect of your life and can eventually take your life too. I struggled for nearly 18 years with bulimia and anorexia, but I finally decided to fight back after my last relapse. I utterly exhausted and slowly dying from the daily and constant struggle, the vomiting, the abstaining, the worry over the stupid number of calories in a tic tac. Below is me at my lowest weight.

I was a miserable mess with my ED, as you can see in the above pic. That facial expression pretty much exemplifies the eating disorder – it’s a SAD, lonely life to live, a deadly one.

Truth be told, however, I was ultimately inspired to end my ED behaviors by my husband Luke and his two friends, Marc and Sam, who are all really into weightlifting. They truly inundated me with ideas of being fit and healthy and strong, not sickly and bony, and have encouraged me to be the same way.

Sam works at Total Nutrition and helped me with a nutritional plan and a few supplements to aid muscle weight, which is amazing. And lifting with Luke is a joy because I’ve seen so much progress in him (and Luke is HOT AF when he lifts, ha!) – Luke started out at about 150 lbs and is now up to 175 with a goal of about 185-200 lbs. He says he sees a ton of progress in me too, although I can barely see it. I guess that’s part of it – he can’t see as much progress in himself, and I can’t see that much progress in myself, but we see it in each other and encourage each other to keep going!

My goal is to be around 145 lbs and very muscular, maybe even 150 lbs (because I’m 5’10”) … to think I started out at 110 lbs is scary now. I was SO SICK then, hot damn! I started following several Instagram accounts of female lifters, and they’re an inspiration too, especially Sarah Bowmar … I want to be like her, y’all. She hunts wild game too and seems to be a genuinely honest person who shares a ton of my views on life.

All in all, I’m still new to this whole “living without an ED” thing, y’all. I just started working out again with vigor about two months ago. I’m not going to become othorexic either, that’s a major goal here too as I have obsessive tendencies. I just want to be fit, healthy, and STRONG. I want to look like a girl who could kick some ass and not be a teeny, tiny, sickly little shrimp anymore.

When we are hungry, our bodies want nutrients, not calories! It’s taken me YEARS to learn this little fact and to accept that it’s perfectly okay to have a full belly. Heck, I ate a shit ton of fried deer and gravy last night because I was HUNGRY, and it was so wonderful to feel satisfied with protein in my tummy.

I am simply a girl who got *tired* of living with ED behaviors after 18 long years and who was very inspired by my husband and his friends to weight lift and get strong. I’ve gained about 20 lbs from my low weight of 110 lbs, and I’m doing GREAT without that damn scale in my life.

I’m at a healthy weight now, my muscles are starting to actually show, and I’m looking very good (which is a new perspective for me – I used to think that bone thin looked good). I’m slowly rewiring my brain to think that strong and muscular is the new sexy, not skinny and bony. Plus, my worth is not determined by a value of my gravitational pull on a scale, period. My self worth is wrapped up in my attitude, my positive behaviors, my health, my fitness, my desire to be an honest, good, happy person, not a number on a scale.

I’ve been lifting each day and feeling *amazing* when I do – I’ve gone to a higher weight on my triceps and the preacher curls, which feels insanely good. Slowly but surely, I’m getting stronger. I’m doing several hundred sit ups each day too, hooray! Sit ups are therapy for me – they’re easy until they become too hard, and then I stop and take a break. I do them in rounds of about 30 – 40 at a time and then rest my muscles.

In Other News

The kitties are gaga over the new scratching post that we got them last night (the old one was torn up and filthy, so we finally grabbed a new one at Petsmart along with some other kitty and snake essentials).

Just look at those big ol’ eyes on Persephone! So sweet.

Scratch, scratch, sniff, sniff, goes Caprica.

Calliope just glares at the camera – “leave me to my scratching, woman”!

Random, but I also ordered two pairs of pants from abs2bfitness.com … I ordered a pair of Army Green capris and a pair of Side Strings Shorts in a gray color. I’ll do a review of them once they come, but remember to use the code “bowmar” at checkout for 15% off! 🙂 I’m SUPER excited to get them.

Alrighty, onto my eats and workout for the day!

Breakfast

I started off with an opal apple and Tajin Seasoning this morning around 7:30. I needed something in my tummy, and this hit the spot! Coffee throughout the morning too.

I had to get out and run a few errands (picking up meds, visiting my mom) this morning, so my mind wasn’t really on food, thank goodness. My apple lasted me until 10:30, when I had a Brown Cow yogurt with some peanut butter protein granola. I just *love* Brown Cow yogurt, you guys. It’s so creamy and yummy!

After my second breakfast, I did laundry, the dishes, cleaned up the surfaces in the apartment, cleaned out the snake cage and gave him more substrate, and did my daily duty of cleaning out the cat box and cat area. I was busy! 🙂

Drogo was out exploring today after I changed his bedding – he’s getting so big and fat (we fed him later in the day too, so he was a happy boy)!

Lunch

I got rather creative today with lunch – I had some leftover lemon pepper chicken, so I shredded a small portion, and then I boiled an egg, cooked three pieces of bacon (because bacon makes everything better), and roasted some broccoli, carrots, and yellow squash (baked with EVOO, S+P). I made a nice salad, using a bed of romaine and leftover chopped greens as a base, and then added some cherry tomatoes, the baked veg and the proteins, and topped them all with a creamy red pepper dressing.

This was an AWESOME salad, y’all. I thoroughly enjoyed the variety in it, and I savored it slowly. I do believe I’ll be making this again. 😉 This was a bigger lunch for me, but I ate it all!

Workout

Okay, gym confession – today it was overcast and cool, and Luke and I were both iffy about working out. However, we needed to do chest day, so we decided to go for it! It was *exhausting.* But we DID it! Here are some crappy pics of me looking angry during our workout (the lighting at Verdure is terrible). Today I resolved to try more time on the stair-master machine to try to improve my butt and calves … we shall see if that comes to pass!

Snack

After hitting the gym, I had to make a trip to Walmart and United for food. This was terribly tiring, especially after our workout, so I needed a snack around 4:30, soon after coming home. I had a mint chip brownie Larabar, a kiwi (I eat them with the skin on after a good washing), and a Holy Kombucha raspberry pomegranate tea, which tasted absolutely amazing-balls.

After my snack, I snapped a pic of my dapper hubby, who had a speech tonight over the pro’s and con’s of vaccinations (we’re pro-vac, in case you might wonder. Duh, the man wants to be a physician’s assistant, so it’s natural). He’s trying to grow his normally shaved hair out, and tomorrow we’re going to Cathy, my hairstylist, to see what she recommends he do with it as it grows. He cleans up nicely, doesn’t he?! 😉

Dinner

I tried a new recipe via Pinterest – One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta (made, in my case, with ground venison). I admittedly was drawn to this dish because it’s a) cheap, b) we had most of the ingredients already, and c) it’s easy AF. Plus it can be made with ground venison (I always soak ours in milk for a day beforehand), which we have PLENTY of … seriously, we’re overflowing with deer. I served mine on a bed of leftover chopped salad greens with some cherry tomatoes and a drizzle of jalapeno ranch dressing.

The verdict? IT WAS GOOD! I had reservations about it because it was so simple, but this tasted very delicious. Definitely a keeper recipe!

Mental Health

I had a great day despite feeling tired overall plus a somewhat stressful misunderstanding at the pharmacy when I picked up my Xanax (I just made a quick call to my nurse, and she helped me out, as always). Mood was stable, anxiety wasn’t too bad. I’m SO GRATEFUL for my good meds, y’all. Meds are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of in this world – if they help you, TAKE THEM. For me, they represent self-care and self-preservation, two things which are essential. Counseling is also nothing to be ashamed of – I’m currently taking a break with Brenda because things have been going so well, but I surely will text her the second I need her help again.

I hope this post will help someone else struggling out there. If you’re struggling, keep fighting the good fight. YOU CAN RECOVER. If you’re fully recovered, GOOD FOR YOU and keep on truckin’!

Have a great night, y’all!

~ Mandy 🙂

 

Jumpsuits + Mania

Howdy there! How are you doing today? I tried doing sit ups this morning, and man oh man, I was too sore to do them, so it was a rest day for my abs. I did several hundred sit ups yesterday, after all, so they needed to chill out today. I had quite the interesting and crazy day, so let’s begin with breakfast!

Breakfast

I had my usual three egg scramble around 8 this morning along with three slices of turkey bacon and two turkey sausages. Coffee with stevia and cashew milk to drink. This is my go-to breakfast at this point, y’all.

I had a banana with almond butter around 10 too. I get hungrier in the mornings now that I’m working out daily.

Lunch

I roasted some carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and eggplant with EVOO and S+P, and I ate them on a small bed of spinach with some roasted red pepper sauce and a Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger. A pretty straightforward lunch – veggies + a type of protein (we’re low on protein right now, so I reached for a veggie burger today).

In the early afternoon, I had MAJOR ANXIETY. I’m not sure if I was semi-manic plus had anxiety or not, but it certainly felt that way. I was zippy but too out-of-sorts to do anything productive. Soon enough, I calmed down after a few extra Gapabentin, and I was able to feel more like myself (until later, as you’ll soon see).

Luke was napping, and Calliope made herself very comfortable next to his leg! So stinkin’ cute!

Snack

Around 3, I had a mango with Tajin Seasoning and some Orange Cinnamon Tea from Seattle.

I was also needing some carbs, so I had some pretzels and hummus. 🙂 Yummy. Those tasted so DELIGHTFUL. I’m trying to watch my bread-y carb intake, but I needed some pretzels this afternoon.

Mental Health and Eating Disorder Discussion

Soon after my snack, I became MANIC AF, y’all. I CLEANED and CLEANED and CLEANED. Seriously, I got under the couch, table, bed, in the crevices, EVERYWHERE – just imagine cat hair flying around like crazy and me chasing it around with the vacuum.

AHHHH, mania can be FUN. But make no mistake, it’s a hellish type of fun, I assure you … you’re literally OUT OF CONTROL of your mind and are zippy, zippy, zippy … you feel like you can do ANYTHING, no limits … this has gotten me into trouble before though, so I try to keep my activities to deep cleaning and working out. (I also try not to drive while manic, so thankfully the gym is within walking distance of the apartment).

As I was taking out the trash in a most manic fashion (sans shoes and wearing only socks, a crop top, and joggers in 46 degree weather), the mailman came with my coveted package from Free People – I had ordered the Olympus Longline jumpsuit, and it finally came! I ordered an XS, and it fits PERFECTLY! Here’s a pic of me, sans makeup and looking crazy AF, in my new duds. HUZZAH!

I told ya I was getting more muscular around my middle, and it really shows in this pic – I’m coming to terms with it, and I’m realizing how *strong* my body was meant to be, not skinny and frail. I’m getting STRONGER, HEALTHIER, HAPPIER, and if you struggle with an eating disorder, YOU CAN TOO. I’ve struggled for nearly 18 years, and at 33 years old, I’m taking back my life and my sanity. It’s totally doable … and I’m just here to share my story and encourage others to do the same.

I’m REALLY looking forward to having bigger biceps and triceps, and I’m on my way! I just want to be bigger all around, muscular and looking like I could kick some ass and not be a shrimp. Truth be told, I felt so BEAUTIFUL in these pictures, even though my hair and makeup weren’t done at all. I felt powerful, ready to take on the world (but that’s also part of the mania).

Remember when I used to look like this about half a year ago?

I am no longer that girl, and I *never want to be that girl again.* I am a strong woman who is working on getting her gains and health back! Since that picture, I’d say I’ve put on about 20-23 lbs … I don’t weigh everyday anymore, so I’m not certain of my current weight, but I’d say it’s between around the high 120’s and the low 130’s.

Workout

(As a side note, the water in our apartment wasn’t turning on after I was done with the majority of my cleaning, so I ran down to the office … they said a pipe burst and that they were working on it, poop!)

Since the water was out and I couldn’t clean more without it, I decided to put my mania to good use and went to the gym – I did the elliptical for 30 minutes at breakneck speed and felt MUCH better. If you struggle with mania, I *highly* suggest the gym. It’s so therapeutic and gets out the zippy energy. I left the gym feeling amazing.

Dinner

After my workout, I wasn’t feeling too hungry at all, but I had a tangelo with Tajin.

I was feeling more snacky than hungry around 6:30, so I had some Boar’s Head turkey with cheddar cheese and red pepper dressing. Protein, delicious protein! 😉 Tea to drink.

For dessert around 7:15, I had a Brown Cow raspberry yogurt with fresh raspberries and honey. All I can say is DELICIOUS. I am a huge fan of Brown Cow’s consistency and taste.

And that, my friends, concludes my crazy day. Again, I hope I’m helping others out there with eating disordered behaviors by posting my meals every now and then, and I hope I’m helping people with bipolar disorder and/or panic disorder too. My little blog is a rather fun hobby, but I’m hoping that I’m ultimately helping others by posting on here. 🙂

Until next time,

~ Mandy

My Struggles with Seasonal Affective Disorder

Howdy, y’all! Long time, no post. I have a perfectly valid explanation for my absence – I’m struggling with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). It’s an issue that always plagues me from about January to March, and it really *stinks.*

So what happens to me during SAD? Well, lately I’ve physically felt run down. I’ve been going to bed much earlier than usual and sleeping in later. Sometimes I lay down during the day and just rest for about an hour too. Mentally, I haven’t been necessarily depressed, but my mind feels a bit cloudier than usual. Basically I feel like I was hit by a bus and am recovering.

What does this mean for my eating disordered behaviors and desire to gain muscle? Honestly, I’m not seeing a negative change in my eating but rather a positive one! I’m not living off fruits and veggies, as is typical for me (don’t get me wrong, I still eat a ton of those, but my portions are smaller, and I try to add much more protein now).

I’m currently taking Epigrow and Laxobolic for my muscle building, and my workouts are shorter – I go to the gym on most days with my hubs, and so far, so good. Yes, it’s a struggle sometimes to get out of bed and hit the gym, but I’ve been doing it, which is amazing-balls.

Today was leg day, and man oh man, my legs are tired! My abs are also sore from all of the sit ups I’ve been doing. 😉

I’ve decided that I’d like to continue blogging – I may document my eats for fun tomorrow, just to see if I still enjoy doing it. I’m eating much more often, so I’ll probably have more pictures to share than usual.

Hope to see you tomorrow,

~ Mandy

A Fashion Show + A Touch of Mania

Howdy, howdy! How are you doing today? My belly button is still very tender from being pierced, but my nose is doing well (other than when I forget I have a new piercing and made a swipe at it!). I’m lovin’ my new piercings, y’all!

Breakfast

I made a big ol’ cup of banana pumpkin oats this morning at 7 a.m. – 1/3 C of Quaker Oats with a banana, milk, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and pumpkin stirred in at the end. Topped with protein granola, honey, and a spoonful of PB. Talk about yummy! I just love my pumpkin banana oats, y’all. SO GOOD. Coffee with stevia and cashew milk to drink.

Snack

By 9:30, I needed a snack since I ate breakfast so early, so I settled on salted celery with hummus and Sesame Ginger dressing.

Lunch

Lunch was roasted broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and red bell pepper with fiesta ranch and hummus.

I wanted something with protein and minerals, so I ate some leftover deer liver too.

I received some sale goodies from Free People and Anthropologie today, so I’ll share a pic of what I’m wearing today ~

I’m wearing the Free People We The People Fancy That Tee with the Anthropologie Chenille Cardigan in Black here … this damn cardigan is SO COMFORTABLE that it’s crazy! No wonder it sold out so quickly!

Here I’m wearing the Williamsburg Faux Suede Baseball Hat in Camel with the Antuanette Velvet Bolero

.. and here I’m wearing the versatile Cloud 9 Lace Maxi Top. I can wear this all year long with shorts or long pants. Suuuuuper cute!

I’m sending back two items which didn’t quite make the cut for me – the Gemma Printed Tunic (I cannot lift my arms up in this oddly-made garment, and it’s too short to be a tunic, IMO), and the Printed What a Babe Top (it was okay, but I have two other tops similar to this one which I like better because of longer torso length, so I’ll just get my money back on it).

I also ordered Free People’s Polka Tank in black and the Chambray Butterflies Midi Dress, so I’ll review those once they come. I’m also *considering* a new pair of All Birds Loungers in gray or black, but I’m unsure right now since I’ve ordered so much stuff …. think I’ll wait on those for a while as they’re always a good price, and All Birds never has sales.

Snack

I had my usual kombucha as a snack at 4 …

… and I had my usual apple with Tajin Seasoning around 5.

Dinner

I wasn’t particularly hungry for dinner, but I knew I needed to eat something, so I made a big mixed green salad with some dried cranberries, pecans, tomatoes, cucumbers, and red bell pepper topped with a (badly) fried egg and Pace Salsa. Sesame Ginger Dressing rounded it all out with a little S+P.

Mental Health

This morning, I was HYPER, y’all. Manic AF. I woke up at 5:45 a.m., I ran to the store by 7, I cleaned the house, I made food, I took a shower, all before 8 a.m. … mania is fun for me yet miserable. It’s a contradiction to describe. I get a shit ton done on my high, but I’m anxious, chatty, “zippy,” and jumpy. I finally calmed down around 10, thank goodness! I felt fine after that if not a little tired (I think my Xanax kicked in or something else).

Ok, so now I’m depressed as I’m typing this. I don’t know what happened, but I’m struggling with body image tonight. The struggle is real sometimes, y’all. I feel like this blog is stupid and that it does no good.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day,

~ Mandy

Pancakes + Piercings

Hey there! How are you doing today? I’ve been a little scattered today in the brain, but that’s okay – I’m dealing with it as it comes.

The kitt lits were busy stacking themselves on our TV stand today …

… and Drogo, satisfied from his small rat, was peeking out from underneath his water dish (he can barely squeeze himself under there now, he’s getting so fat).

Breakfast

This is obviously a reenactment of my breakfast – I ate before I remembered to snap a pic, but here ya go! I had a Maple Hill yogurt with strawberries and honey. Coffee with stevia and cashew milk to drink.

Lunch

Today I branched out for lunch and helped my husband make his mother’s lovely whole wheat banana pancakes. I had three pancakes with a bit of butter and pure maple syrup.

Here’s the recipe:

Katie’s Pancakes

Put into blender:

  • 1 C grain (we used whole wheat)
  • 1 1/3 C orange juice or water (we used OJ)

Blend until thoroughly ground.

While blender is still mixing, add:

  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Some honey or sweetener (we used honey)
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 1 banana

After it is blended, while the blender is still mixing, add 1 heaping tbsp of baking powder. Turn the blender off immediately after baking powder gets sucked in and twirled. Wait and watch the batter rise to the top of the blender.

Pour into greased pan or griddle – flip when there are bubbles on top (we sprayed Pam on the cast iron skillet each time we added a new pancake, FYI). Enjoy!

I also had a small amount of roasted carrots and broccoli and a taste of celery with hummus and Fiesta ranch dressing to add some veg to my diet. Carb-y things like pancakes don’t keep me full but veg does.

After lunch and after running an errand with Luke, I decided to do something special – I went and got my naval pierced at our awesome local American Vengeance Tattoo! I also added on a nose piercing to boot! I wanted a nice change for myself, and while I’ve had my nose pierced before, I plan on keeping this hole from closing. 🙂 I’m in a chapter of my life, and this new year seemed like a great time to do a little something-something for myself since I don’t want another tattoo right now. Tonight my belly button is tender, but my nose is fine. It’s funny – the nose piercing hurt much more than the belly button, which I wasn’t expecting at all.

Snack

I had a ‘bucha …

… and a medium Ambrosia apple with Tajin Seasoning.

Dinner

I enjoyed a simple mixed super green salad with cucumbers, tomatoes, S+P,  Sesame Ginger Dressing, and some hot rotisserie chicken breast and a scoop of leftover liver, onions, bacon, and mushrooms for din-din. Easy peasy and so tasty! I added a bit of BBQ to the chicken after taking this pic, but no biggie.

Mental Health

I had a mini-anxiety attack this morning – my eyes crossed, but I was able to keep it together … I’m glad I’m back on Xanax because I think it truly does help me.

I called my nurse and requested that I take 1 mg extended release pill 4 times a day instead of 2 mg twice a day, and she okayed this request after talking to the nurse practitioner. My pharmacy prescribed it to me a little differently this go-around because I needed extra for my trip to Seattle, and I needed it immediately, and that’s the dosage they had available. I like this dosage better than 2 mg twice a day as I think it keeps me more stable.

I also called my dear mom and chatted with her for a bit; she helps keep my mind together when I talk to her – I don’t want to wake my sleeping husband when I have these attacks, and my mom and my sister are both very available to me, which is amazing. I’m so grateful for them.

Other than that, I was pretty stable today, so I count that as a win. 😉

Hope you’ve had a fabulous day – and please remember that ED recovery and mental stability *is* possible, but it takes time and experimentation to tailor a system which is right for you and no one else!

~ Mandy