I’m in a relationship with myself

And, as Beyoncé says, it’s the most important one, any other relationship is a bonus.

I am choosing to enjoy, nurture and love myself. I’m willing to be my own best friend. I’m willing to build trust in myself by not breaking the promises I make to myself, by standing my ground and by acting out of love.

I went on a roadtrip this weekend and woke up each morning being grateful for the trip, for the food, for the weather and I started showering affirming how wonderful my entire being is. I wanna develop radical self-love, I wanna show the world how to treat me, and only by loving and RESPECTING myself will I be able to receive that. I’m practicing celebrating every good thing that shows up.

I’m also acknowledging 7 things I’m proud of each day, after forgiving myself for other 7 things. Self-compassion must become a habit.

I’m sharing these pictures because before my friend took them, I was tearing myself apart thinking how these pants don’t look good on me, and how I was not comfortable. After I saw the pictures, I surprisingly liked them but still managed to criticise my hips and whatnot.

Radical self love in the making:

 

The going to the beach post

I remember how I would fantasize about going on a trip to the beach with my younger cousins donning a bikini to show off my enviable physique. In my head I thought being fit and hot would make my cousins like and accept me. I would not picture anything else but them being amazed by my looks. Well, that trip just happened and even though I don’t look like I did on my mind, I do feel like it. You see, it was a wise person who told me that true self confidence starts from the inside out, not the other way around. And boy was she right.

I made smart, loving decisions on this trip. I decided not to let my insecurities keep me from enjoying myself. Yes, I have cellulite but that didn’t impede me from walking on the beach without a beach wrap. I chose to clumsily paddle-board instead of witnessing how others did it from afar. These decisions were so liberating for me, so groundbreaking! I remember going to the beach and hiding myself under the water, or not going in the water at all dreading the walk from the sand to where the sea covered my imperfect body. I embrace those imperfections now, I love them. How cool it would have been for me to realise this sooner! I would have not avoided trips and experiences like I did before recovery.

In this trip I realised how much more important it is to be a free, fun, loving person than having a “hot” body ever will be. I was visualizing the wrong picture before. I didn’t visualize the laughter, the talks, the fun games, the cool places, the dancing, the singing, the bonding, the L I V I N G.

I finally understand how much time is wasted focusing on stupid insecurities rather than on living in the moment.

Today I am grateful for recovery because I am getting to know and accept the real me and she is pretty damn awesome 😉

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Not ok

Even though I’m swimming almost daily, even though I write on my Gratitude Journal every night, even though I am happily employed I find myself in the same place where I’ve been before. Food is my barometer, to see if I am ok or not. My desire to lose weight hasn’t disappeared and I think it never will. I admire fit people and fantasize over wearing clothes and walking about 30 pounds lighter.  The habit to eat compulsively hasn’t died yet, and sometimes I don’t know if I want it to.

Now that I got that out of my system, I can go back to telling myself:

You can and you will unlearn the habit of eating compulsively and turning to food when stressed, sad or anxious. You are powerful beyond belief. You are your own master, not food or anything else. I love you and always will. Let’s go to sleep, tomorrow is a new day.

The power of self-compassion will never cease to amaze and heal me.

 

Love is the way

I thought I was ready, that is why I called her in the first place. My old nutritionist, that is. And she is a good nutritionist! Her “diet” isn’t strict, everything is allowed in the right amount, in moderate portions. I’m talking flour, sugar, chocolate, everything is allowed. I love her system, I do. But then, while I was eating that last piece of chocolate chip cookie in the morning (even though I was beyond full), I remembered that going to a nutritionist isn’t the solution. Self love is, breeding healthy habits is, listening to my body is, loving my body the way it is today is the answer.

Today I saw an friend of a friend at the mall. He didn’t see me. 2 years ago he lost a LOT of weight, like people didn’t even recognise him afterwards. He lost the weight with the help of a nutritionist and he felt and looked great. I was in awe with his story, I got motivated and decided to try (yet another time) to go to a nutritionist. Months later, I was bingeing and barfing again. Today I saw that man I am talking about and he has gained the weight back again. I don’t think me seeing him was a coincidence. 

The point of this post/story? 

Going back to a nutritionist will help me lose weight quickly but not definitely. Eating consciously and healthily every single day will contribute to build healthy habits for my entire life. 

So, once again, LOVE is ALWAYS the way. 

Getting myself back

I decided to read my previous posts all the way back to when I started this blog and, opposite to what I used to read in my old non-virtual journals, I felt EXTREMELY good about myself. I don’t give Erika enough credit for what she does, I forget to be kind to her. Focusing on my negatives comes so easy to me that I tend to overlook my greatness.

Also, today as I was cooking myself some delicious paleo pancakes, I had this epiphany: I focus so much on comparing myself to others and diminishing EVERYTHING about me, that I just stay paralysed and feel sad/do nothing.

I am following TOO MANY beautiful blogs! So many that I barely have time to keep up with reading them and invest time on my (also beautiful) space in the www. I also follow way too many instagram accounts concerning fitness, positivity, inspiring quotes, etc. that I end up looking down on my own progress, work, blog, etc. I end up developing an obsession with everything and set unreachable standards for myself in order to feel badly. I’m a perfectionist so I judge myself too harshly. So, that must stop, I must get out of my way and DO stuff.

My self confidence will be rebuilt by keeping my word, reaching goals and accumulating small successes each and every day. My friend Lisa told me that what I need is “loving discipline” and I think that’s true.

““You will never change your life until you change something you do daily”-M. Murdock

Goals for tomorrow:

  • Wake up at the FIRST alarm sound without pressing the snooze button 
  • Enjoy food, take time to eat
  • Spending only 1 hour on Facebook (this’ll be a tough one)
  • Refrain myself from criticising myself or others
  • Set dates for long-term goals
  • Be kind

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    My body keeps an accurate journal regardless of what I write down

February 4th

A binge, another goddamn binge happened just now.

But, I wasn’t feeling lousy, I wasn’t feeling badly, I just arrived at the kitchen, opened up the refrigerator door and did what I apparently do best: look for food and eat it as if someone was competing with me. When I feel like eating less than healthy snacks my mind tends to say this: “Erika, today you had a very healthy lunch, you ate one small portion of pasta, steamed vegetables and chicken, you did great! Now, you can eat whatever you feel like”. Every single afternoon, I feel like snacking on chocolate… but I feel guilty about it. GUILT is the key word that continues to keep me from recovering. I didn’t find chocolate so I grabbed the peanut butter and ate it with an apple. Eventually, cookies and bananas were involved somewhere along the binge. Instead of dwelling on that nasty, useless feeling, I chose to prepare my meals and snacks for tomorrow, I chose STRUCTURE this time, just what I need in about every area of my life.

Structured eating consists on eating small meals every 3 hours throughout the day. That way I don’t get extremely hungry and stop finding excuses to be wondering around the kitchen. I got that tip from this lovely lady who recovered from Bulimia and created a site dedicated to the ones willing to follow the self-love path.

So, more structure, less guilt for me. And kindness, always and forever, kindness.

Honesty and kindness

DESCRIBE CURRENT ERIKA.

Dreamer.

Believer.

Positive Thinker.

Unemployed.

Sedentary.

Consuming up to 4548 calories per day.

Taking her relationship with food one meal at a time.

Sleeps in late.

Stays in her pijamas too much time.

Has plans but doesn’t do them.

Has ideas but doesn’t put them into practice.

Journals but not as much as she would like.

Reads but not as much as she would like.

Spends way too much time on Facebook.

Takes things lightly and leaves them to chance.

Hasn’t manifested as much as she would like.

Doesn’t meditate or quiet her mind.

Doesn’t do yoga.

Stays stuck.

Scared shitless.

Stuck in comfort zone.

Wasting 70% of her time.

Being inspired every day but not doing anything to inspire herself.

Happier than before (much happier).

Aware of how great she can be, but not so sure how to get there.

Still stuck in many nasty habits.

Procrastinates.

Believes in herself more each every day.

Thinks has a lot of time left to figure herself out.

Thinks time is still running and hasn’t achieved much.

Still compares herself to others.

Still judges.

Is TERRIFIED by the mere thought of wearing a bikini.

But accepts her body more than any time before.

Is learning to listen to her intuition.

Hasn’t traveled much.

DESCRIBE ERIKA A YEAR FROM TODAY. 

Achiever.

Believer.

Positive Thinker.

Happily employed.

Active pole dancer, runner and yoga student. 

Doesn’t have to count her calories. She eats calmly and enjoyably. 

Takes the time to do things and is in control of the outcomes of her life. 

Believes in herself.

Keeps her word. 

Knows how to set boundaries. 

Respects herself. 

Doesn’t care about other people’s opinion. 

Taking her relationship with food one day at a time. 

Sleeps in early.

Stays in her pijamas only on occasional lazy Sundays. 

Has plans and follows them.

Has ideas and puts them into practice. 

Journals every night. 

Is an avid reader. 

Barely opens her Facebook.

Manifests her ideas and thoughts. 

Meditates and practices quieting the mind. 

Does yoga. 

Is constantly moving. 

Still feels fear but it doesn’t paralyse her. 

Doesn’t allow herself to fall in her comfort zone. 

Is efficient 80% of the time.

Is inspired every day but most importantly, she inspires herself. 

Happier than before (much more happier). 

Is aware of how great she can be, and knows now how to get there.

Has developed positive habits. 

Is disciplined. 

Believes in herself more each every day.

Thinks has a lot of time left to figure herself out. 

Thinks time is running and keeps achieving much. 

Compares herself to others occasionally. 

Judges less each time. 

Is in her ideal weight. 

Accepts and loves her body more than any time before. 

Wears a bikini confidently. 

Loves and respects herself. 

Practices kindness toward herself every single day. 

Listens to her intuition. 

Yes, beautiful. This is a start. I’m on the right path. Finally. Screen Shot 2012-12-13 at 12.12.40 AM

Weekend beauties

Even though I suffered when it was time to go down to the pool because it meant my friends and other people would get to see me in a bikini, this weekend had some excellent moments that need to be savoured and remembered. Maybe if I choose to concentrate on the brightness and beauty of moments and things, I will be able to change my life permanently.

I traveled to Acapulco to a friend’s wedding and got to be a bridesmaid along with 4 other friends. I rented an apartment with 3 of my closest friends and we had a blast: everything flowed harmoniously, we laughed hysterically all weekend long, we played lots of games, drank wine, swam, ate only when hungry and enjoyed our time together. I tend to not take many pictures because maybe I’ll look fat in them but end up regretting that choice later. It’s amazing how much my overweight paralyses and stops me from doing things. What I am sure of, is that I have to learn something from this obsession with food, I need to listen to what this problem is trying to tell me. Encouraged and guided by my coach Lisa, I have been doing some journaling and it has helped me ENORMOUSLY. She explained me that I have 2 voices in my head: A (Adversary) and B (Beautiful). The B voice talks from a place of love, always, always and accepts and loves Erika no matter what. The A voice is loud, demanding and negative. I have been listening to that voice for the longest time so now I write a dialogue between the 2 voices in order to help my B voice become stronger and able to quiet the negative voice down. I went through my journals today and decided to remind myself of all the beautiful thoughts and arguments that have come from my B voice. So here it comes.

Dear Erika:

Remember to always be kind to yourself and love every bit of you. You are more than aware that you are the result of your thinking. All of those thoughts and words you’ve been telling yourself for years have taken you to where you are right now, so be patient and remember that only conscious and constant work will help you change your words, actions and behaviour, and it’ll take time. Your fear of being judged, rejected and questioned has led you to eat and ease the pain, you have built a shield. What you are right now is a result of self-induced abuse but you know better now and won’t let that happen anymore. You have finally decided to change but you’re still learning so don’t judge yourself, just love and respect yourself during the process. Your weight is here to show you that you are much more than a body; looks don’t transcend, your mind, heart and soul do, so nurture them. Concentrate on what is inside you, not outside. Think of what causes you to eat your words and your desires. Stop feeding what keeps you shielded and protected, it doesn’t allow you to change, it doesn’t want you to change but you do. Acknowledge, embrace and love the entirety of you, stop judging you. Enjoy your healthy body by taking care of it, exercising it, nurturing it, respecting and being grateful for it. Surround yourself with positive activities and positive people. Read, write on your journal and blog, live in the present, prioritise, let yourself grow and stop avoiding it. Don’t give into fear, always choose to face it and go in the opposite direction it tries taking you. Food isn’t alive, you are, food doesn’t have a voice, you do, food isn’t the boss of you, you are the boss of you, food is fuel for your body, let it be that. Remember comparison is the thief of joy, so stop comparing yourself to others. Remember to ALWAYS love yourself first. 

A bumpy (but oh so worthy) ride towards recovery

I have been so very absent from the blogosphere. I think I get self conscious even over here, go figure. But I miss writing in this little journal of mine and since so many amazing things have come from blogging, I have decided to keep writing.

Since I started my blog, I have been making changes concerning my mind and life in general. I can assure to you that when you change your mind, your whole world changes. Now, I used to read and hear about it, and assumed it was something easy and quick. Well, I hate to break it to you but it is neither easy nor quick at all. Nonetheless, the process is beautiful and the results are totally worth the work and time.

I used to be one of those, amongst many, who believed wholeheartedly that if I could dream and visualize whatever, it would appear in my life magically. I visualised myself having an amazing body while having dessert every time I ate with my friends, or while binge drinking on weekends. In every area of my life I used to do the same thing and guess what? nothing happened: there isn’t a magic dust or a shortcut, there is hard work and physical energy involved  in order to make things happen. Of course visualisation works, of course positive thinking works but what really gets things moving is ACTION. It sounds pretty obvious but I am only starting to really put the action part into action… if that makes any sense.

I am going to list a few things that have worked significantly for me during this recovery:

  • Creating my blog
  • Reading inspiring, smart, funny, positive thus, enjoyable blogs.
  • Having involved readers who give me feedback and otherwordly support
  • Making a list (before going to bed) of things I was grateful for each day
  • Not comparing myself to ANYONE (easier said than done, still working on this one)
  • Making promises each week and keeping them
  • Making promises each day when I wake up (not eating chocolate, sleeping early, etc) and keeping them
  • AB Journaling (I’ll write more about this journaling technique I learned from Lisa in another post)
  • Watching Marie tv
  • Reading Eric’s blog. He used to read countless blogs and would mention them in his. Thanks to him I discovered the best blogs (and people behind them)
  • Trying to use Facebook an Twitter the least possible (unsuccessful 98% of the time, still working on it)
  • Not criticising people (I am successful in this only 10% of the time… hey, it’s a decent start!)
  • Finding a blissful activity and doing it as constantly as possible: Pole Dancing (“dancing” being the key word)
  • Defending myself and not being afraid/embarrassed by my choices or opinions
  • Doing things out of my comfort zone (one of the hardest things to do, still working on it)
  • Working on falling in love with myself every single day by thinking and speaking love
  • Feeding my positive voice, not the negative one (my negative voice is hungry and demanding, still working on it)
  • Giving love instead of asking (or looking) for it.

And I’m only halfway there.

“What you put out into the world comes back to you”

Hope you’re still reading haha.

Love, Erika

Diary of an emotional eater.

A woman who happens to be mother of one of my best friends and former high school teacher tells me how amazing my brother used to be as a student and how opposite I turned out to be. Stupid woman. Stupid me who listens to her and feels badly over it for hours. Next step: arriving home to binge.

I binge on nutella, strawberries and veggie pie. I toss into the mix 5 or 6 salty cookies.

I go to bed and dream about the box of Alfajores my sister has hidden in her drawer.

Breakfast:

1 philadelphia cheese spread bagel, 5 nutella-covered strawberries, a small piece of veggie cake.

Lunch:

I went to eat with the partners to a place where they sell Thai, Japanese and Indian food to celebrate a birthday. We shared: Crispy shrimp croquettes, shrimp noodles, vietnamese rolls, steamed rice with green curry, teriyaki chicken, teriyaki pork, steamed rice with salmon and veggies, green tea cake, banana rolls, crepes, lychee ice cream and green tea.

We ate a lot so I felt extremely guilty and obsessed over the fact that I was going to come back home to an empty kitchen and a very saddened Erika. I kept telling myself how lonely I am, how sad my life is and how much I wanted to eat everything I could find. I got home and my sister was in her room with one of her hot, blonde and skinny friends getting ready to go out. I wanted to be alone, I wasn’t counting on them being there. I always thought I would be an example to follow to my sister, that she and her friends would look up to me and aspire to be like me when they grew up. In reality, I feel like hiding when her friends are around, I feel like the overweight, single, mediocre big sister whose life isn’t half as  fabulous as it should be.

After-lunch binge:

Nutella-covered strawberries, countless dark chocolate sprinkles, 3 salty cookies.

How I feel right now: Like a total and complete failure. I don’t know if I’ll ever be thin again in my life. The worst part is, I love food way too freaking much.

Paying homage to myself

I’m finally on track, feeling blissful and willing to change.

By focusing on my blessings, I have found myself in a happier and more blissful place. I’ve been doing the 30-day Gratitude Challenge Nicole proposes on her lovely blog, and I am fascinated with it!

It’s amazing how many blessings I have, and every day that passes by, I find myself with more blessings than the day before. The mere fact of having air in my lungs makes me incredibly fortunate.

 

Regarding my body and mind, I am doing better. I am feeding love to my body by exercising, reducing my alcohol intake and talking kindly to it whenever I look in the mirror. I’m in the process of training my mind in order for it to stop associating any apparent problem, stressful situation or anxiety to food. It is not being easy but I enjoy challenges. I am determined to change, so discomfort will constantly be present in order to help me grow.

 

I am choosing to love and respect myself.

This is a process

Everything in life is a process, i tend to forget that. I want things to change immediately and to obtain results right away.

On Friday I ate dessert and felt guilty, so I decided to have a very healthy dinner.

On Saturday I had 2 binges: one in the morning, another one at night, after a party I went to.

On Sunday I had a very big, fat binge in the morning while being alone and feeling guilty for the previous binge I had had.

Are you sensing a pattern here?

I wrote what I ate right away and I also wrote my emotions linked to the binges. Both binges led to similar conclusions, but instead of feeling like I had realized something important, I felt incredibly guilty, disappointed and down overall. I decided to take action so I emailed a dear blogger friend who previously suffered from the same ED but is now fully recovered. She said just the right things to me, and gave me powerful insight.

She suggested that I should see the binges as mere setbacks, and that I shouldn’t beat myself up as hardly as I usually do. She also mentioned that when she used to binge and feel guilty about it, that guilt would usually trigger another one. The same exact thing happens to me. Amongst other things she also asked me to analyze which void I am constantly trying to fill with food… I know I have many voids but I can’t point at only one exactly. Another eye-opening thing she said to me, was that by focusing now on losing weight (those 26 pounds) is a way of not accepting myself the way I am right now, of rejecting my current weight, image, etc.

Hating or rejecting my body has been a constant in my life and even though I love it now more than I did a few years ago, I am not fully happy with it yet. In order to lose weight, recover from an ED, etc, I must start with mad love over my body (my entire self, for that matter).

Today I told my mom about the binges, how they happen and why they happen. I mentioned also that I am starting to worry about this binges being EXTREMELY similar to the ones I used to have when I started with bulimia. I realized that because I keep my food journal from 7 years ago, when I was at my lowest personally, physically and emotionally. My mom then came up with the idea of burning that little diary to flames. She said it would be a ritual symbolizing my decision to leave the painful past behind, and moving on. She suggested instead, for me to start a journal with positive quotes, phrases, affirmations and everything positive going on in my life. It will work as a daily reminder of how amazing my life really is, how amazing I am (and can be), and also a way to reprogram my now twisted mind.

I’m starting now, so beware because there’ll be nothing stopping me right now. I know there’ll be setbacks and bad days, but as I previously stated: “Fall 7 times, stand up 8”.

I’ll leave you with a lovely quote, dear readers. It’s from a great site. I hope you enjoy it, and hopefully you’ll subscribe to The Daily Love . It will really start turning your perspective on life around.

Coming clean

Today I came clean to my mom about it all. She had lived with the idea that I stopped binging and barfing 6 years ago, that the problem only lasted a few months and that it all had stopped there. Well, I told her the truth today and she cried, but my reaction to her tears wasn’t the same one I had 7 years ago when I first told her I had bulimia.

Back then, I thought Bulimia was an ugly disease that I could manage to overcome with the help of therapy and will power in a matter of months. Little did I know that it would become my shelter for 7 years and that the only one who could help me overcome it was myself.

I decided to tell her not to obtain compassion or to blame her for my problems, but to let her know that I am ready to leave the disease (and everything that comes along with it) behind. I am stronger now than I was 7 years ago, I am kinder to myself and I am breeding self love day by day. But I still have days where I feel down and unwilling to do anything that nurtures me, like today. That is why this silence about my 7-year old disease was feeling like a heavier burden each passing hour, day, week, month…

By telling my mom about it, I feel like a weight fell off my shoulders. She is the most important person in the world to me, and knows me better than myself, and I can tell that she suffers by seeing me suffering and depressed. Whatever she does and has done is only for us, her love is the most unconditional one I have received. I came clean because I felt like it was an important step of recovery. Maybe  I wasn’t sure before doing it, but right after I told her we had a long talk and now I feel really really good.

Love, Erika