Progress part 2

I posted a while ago about the progress I’ve made with my eating disorder.

With ordering food the way I want, and the things I do less and less these days.

It’s been a while since I’ve read that post, and all though yes, I’ve made progress… In the last year, that progress has allowed me to stay complacent in my addiction issues… Lord Voldemort (See previous post), muwahahaha, has taken over and allowed me to use these progress ideas as staying intact with its evil side.

I’ve been getting better about getting out of the spiral thinking. It has taken a lot for me to call a friend, or go for a walk, write, read, make lists, make some tea, take a bath…or engage in a different activity in order to get out of it.Sometimes the dwelling takes over and I just have to wallow in it sometimes and that’s okay too. (More on the dwelling later and the importance of grieving).

I’ve been getting really good at being more honest about my food stuff with my friends, family and strangers (less likely with strangers). This has helped normalize what has been going on for me, but also has allowed my family and friends accept me for the whole person I am. I want to say that sharing my story has been much harder with strangers, but as you can see that’s not true (since I’m sharing with you).

The biggest lie I’ve been telling myself though has been… “I don’t binge like I use to”. I binge with more awareness these days, awareness of the why I do it, and when I do it and the whole time I’m doing it. I don’t zone out and I choose different foods to snack with or binge with (Mostly because I don’t keep certain foods in my house). In the end, I still do it and that is indicative of the ED (eating disorder).

The more I share also with my friends, family and strangers, the more complacent I have become with it. Somewhere and some how I have accepted it, and have made it okay to eat foods that are alluring that suck me into my ED.

So here I am with my progress… Not quite where I was, not quite where I want to be, and more growth to come… After all, it’s a journey, not a destination.

Isolation is it’s favorite form.

I’ve always felt like I was two people. The one who is an addict and the one who is fighting to be herself. As my eating disorder shifts again, I am reflecting on it’s direction and the nasty part of myself that I really hate to admit is there. The addict inside lours me into so many things, and sometimes when I eat things it doesn’t feel like I have a choice.

I recently met with my counselor who talked about the addictive self and how sometimes it reacts and lours you in to things with out you even realizing it’s happening. It’s an entity that takes over and strikes when you least expect.

It’s also that piece that lives inside your brain that allows us to get caught up in a spiral of negative thinking. The one that goes in circles of how bad of a person you are. The one that calls you fat. The one who says, step on the scale and see how fat you are today. The one that says, you are too fat to do anything else so go ahead, sit on that couch AGAIN today (actually, it really says, go ahead sit on that couch again today because no one likes you, or everyone is too busy to hang out with you). Or the one that allows you to make excuses for your behavior, again. Excuses like… Oh you don’t want to go to the gym with me, I guess I won’t go. It’s an enabler for unhealthy behavior. **I chose unhealthy behavior instead of bad behavior because I no longer want to stigmatize myself as bad.

It likes making sure you are alone, so it can fully take over your body. No matter how many boundaries you set up for yourself, no matter how prepared you are the sneaky addicted bastard steps in and says “I know how I can get her to come back to me”. You know how Voldemort takes over people in Harry Potter and makes people act like his puppet? Gets them to do anything he wants, and makes you his puppet!?

That’s it. The addiction, says “drink, go ahead, drink with your friends, you will have fun, it’s the only way to connect with anyone, it’s the only way to not be awkward, its the only way to fit in…” What he’s really thinking is… “If she drinks, she will eat, and in a few days that girl will be all mine again”.

LORD VOLDEMORT also says things like… “It’s CHRISTMAS!!!! Everyone else are eating cookies, go ahead, treat yourself, you’ve been so good this season” What he’s really thinking…. “Later… I will have her with a whole box of Christmas snacks on the couch, where we can be alone together.”

You are probably thinking, what the fuck? This is the best way recently I can really describe it. It builds you up, allures you in with it’s goodness, and then it isolates you, beats you down and abuses you. You get so numb that you just sit there on the couch watching TV, or crying because you don’t think you can stop. Voldemort, at that time is winning.

Unfortunately it’s been isolating me lately, and after my last counseling apt my counselor spelled out all the ways that I had made excuses and was isolating myself in the last few months in about 5 sentences. She called me out, and all I could say was “That FUCKER”, relating to the addict self.

She is helping me get “Clean” again. Cutting out all the shit that allures me in and well of course I will continue to write and see her. I will no-longer be dancing for Lord Voldemort.

**In the future I will be writing about authentic relationships, and the impact while being sucked under lord Voldemort.



They are not just words.

You know that saying “Sticks and stones may brake your bones, but words could never hurt me?” Does that ring a bell from your elementary and middle school days?

Well, as I’m sure you have learned by now that words… will pretty much be remembered forever. In this blog post I will not use names, but will say all of the things that I can remember that has stuck with me since I can remember. I’m sharing mostly to vent, but also to let you know, you are not alone in how it affects our mind and body in the process.

First the words, then the process…


“Hah”, after walking in with make up too white for my face and a new haircut.

“What smells?” “Probably Rachael”

“You need mental and physical help for your weight”

After my friend donated her old Aberocrombie and Fitch jeans, I try them on and they didn’t fit “Maybe take this as motivation”.

“You would be so pretty if you lost weight”

“Do you stuff?”

Two of these statements were stated to me by friends, two were by the same person and one by a parent. None of it was said to hurt my feelings specifically (well maybe the first two were), and they probably didn’t know I heard them say things.. Either way, it has been apart of my journey and identity to this day… Okay.. It has been apart of my identity until about 5 years ago.

As we go around in life we pick up identities that we may or not intentionally create for ourselves. One for me was fat. Not just the identity that you were fat, but that being fat was bad. Being fat was gross, unhealthy and something that no one wanted to be.

The funny part was, I wasn’t that fat. No one talked about me being different at the time, I just got this idea that I was because I was so much taller and bigger than everyone else. I was 5’10 in the 7th grade and probably a size 12-14ish. I was probably the right size for my size, and the poor naive girl that I was didn’t even know what stuffing meant.

But because I had all of these people telling me that fat, not even fat, but being big was bad, I hated myself. I isolated myself, ate out of loneliness and well, eventually I became fat and became that person they hated and I hated myself even more.

I never threw up, or starved myself, it never really appealed to me. I did though remember thinking about food a lot in high school. I remember eating soy beans and thinking that they would be a good snack to help loose weight. That’s when I found out that I was allergic to soy, beans. They made my tummy hurt so bad, which was incentive to eat more, because then I wouldn’t want to eat at all.

The past 5 years I’ve spent undoing this damage. Undoing this “I hate myself” mentality. People like me and i’m starting to embrace that, and have started to like myself as well. It has taken a lot of time, and a lot of patience with myself to get to a healthier place, but it is possible.




Something Positive.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but a month or so ago it became suddenly important that I had to be apart of my own growing food process.

After watching that documentary series on netflix by Michael Polland, I realized that something I had been missing was the slowing down of all the things. (Which is hard to do when you are ADD.) But none the less I knew I needed to slow down the cooking tasks, so much so they would become mindful and not so much of a chore…

One amazing way to see process in your food is to have a garden, nurture it and see it grow. My boyfriend built me a garden bed for my 31st birthday and his grandma and my mother gifted me garden supplies and starts.

I planted them and have had such joy in watering them every day and watching them grow. It has brought me so much happiness.

A part of this hobby that has been important, has been the time that I get in caring for it. It forces me to get out of the house, walk around my yard, soak up the vitamin C, and care for something else for a change. It’s pretty amazing actually.

Watering my plants has become one of my favorite things to do as of lately. I come home, sometimes will have a cold beverage in my hand, sun glasses on and walk around my yard with the spray hose just soaking my plants while I soak up the sun!

Afterwords I sometimes sit on my back porch with a book and my cold beverage relaxing and soaking up the goodness of all that I have in my life in this moment. My garden, all though small, is my sanctuary and I never ever ever thought I would ever say that.


I cannot remember the first time I picked my skin, but I remember in middle school getting zits and popping them. I think this is where my picking nature started.

I remember I would wear makeup to cover up the zits that would form on my face. Makeup covered all of my flaws and made me look like someone else. Which I covered more in my last post.

I have this thing on my upper arms where I get little red bumps. I was and am really self conscious of them. I started picking at my arms I think to deflaw them, which only made it worse and then from there I developed it further with picking at my chest, stomach and now legs. It’s a super nasty habit. I don’t get why I still do it, and I go through trends where I do it more often than not. 

It is linked, I think to more the self hatred, self harm side of me and body perfection. I get it though, it’s so not logical to pick your body to gain body perfection. I mean… I now have scars all over my body from it.

Scars that I’ve accepted, scars that I’ve grown to love and accept as a part of me and my days of hurting my body. They are battle wounds in a way. I have and am surviving addiction of food and self loathing. Those scars are apart of this journey.

Triggers come when you least expect.

When pregnant girls say they are like a giant whale. My mind goes to “shut the fuck up”. It’s hurtful. It’s like you are saying you are fat, and like me. I feel like I’m a giant fat whale, and have been for most of my life. It’s heartbreaking to hear and it’s hard to see when people are at a healthy weight say that about themselves… being pregnant is temporary. Being fat can be temporary too. But when you struggle with it for life, it starts to seem like a forever thing.

After hearing my friend talk about her beautiful pregnant self like that, in a jokey way… I got super self conscious and went home and ate some brownies (after being full from dinner) that we had hidden in our microwave from the night before. I felt so shitty about myself I did it anyway. I mean if I am a whale already, I might as well not only eat like one but maintain the look.

My anxiety about my body swarmed my mind. I know people have started to notice the weight coming back on. I know I have had to buy new pants. It’s hard to be so consumed about how I look all the fucking time and how people perceive me…. and how I perceive myself. Still fucking un worthy of anything. Shitty.

This thinking, is very weighing both physically with the weight and also mentally. I feel it in my face, I feel it in my sholdures, my tummy where the skin is expanding from the stress eating and my legs. Food as a coping mechanism is shit and it’s been the hardest thing to break myself from. I can’t just quit eating food.

Abusive asshole.

The person I’ve become hasn’t been someone I’ve wanted to be.

After talking with my counselor nearly two weeks ago, I uncovered this idea about how I’ve been in this abusive relationship with food, for 20 goddamn years! She encouraged me to look at abusive relationships, and break it down into categories. She sent me home with a sheet of paper that had different categories on it and what makes up an abusive relationships?

I have been wanting to explore these anyway so it was a perfect opportunity to do so. These categories are Psychological, Emotional, Physical, and the Illusion of being something different. After a few bubble baths, tears, and intense writing later I came up with a lot more than I even imagined I would.

I will first write what I discovered and conclude with the bigger picture of what came out of this exercise.

Psychologically my relationship with food has been abusive because….

  • My weight feels like i’m different from others, and not in a good way.
  • I will compare myself to others.
  • It brings out jealousy of what others have, because what others have is always better than what I have.
  • I constantly second guess myself.
  • Isolate myself from others.
  • Compares my body to others, not just weight, the whole picture.

Emotionally my relationship with food has been abusive because…

  • It makes me think negative things about myself: That I’m fat, ugly, heavy, boar.
  • The negative reel runs through my brain without permission.
  • Trained to want what others have.
  • Trained to think no one will like me unless I’m something else.
  • To feel sad or depressed, anxious.
  • Need to feel and be perfect.
  • Afraid to make mistakes.

Physically my relationship with food has been abusive because…

  • It stretches my skin.
  • Makes me feel bloated.
  • I pick my skin…
  • I have scars over my body from picking my skin.
  • History of internal damage.
  • Heartburn.
  • Stomach hurts.
  • Gas.
  • Clothes don’t fit.
  • Grind my teeth consciously and unconsciously.
  • Face hurts.
  • Shoulders hurt from tensing up.
  • Keeps me fat to disappear.
  • Punishes myself.

Illusion of what food has brought:

  • It’s great.
  • Brings light and friendship.
  • Feels safe.
  • Fills anxiety.
  • Comfortable
  • I know what to expect from it.
  • Makes me feel safe when I don’t know what else to do.
  • Becomes inviting and warm.
  • Familiar.
  • Happy.
  • Feeling of relief when eating it.

After crying in a bath of my own tears, I realized that not only are these things connected to food, but they were developed into a part of me. Into a personality trait I hadn’t expected to uncover. I have developed this twisted persona inside that was full of jealousy and judgement. I wanted to be or have what others have and if I couldn’t control it, I would react in a negative way. Coping through controlling things around me, mostly coping through food addiction. I realized this piece through re-visiting all of the past years negative interactions with my friends.

I had several friends this past year who had shared with me positive things that were happening in their lives. My reactions were less than ideal, and pretty bitchy. I pretty much almost ruined a friendship after reacting the way I did when a friend told me she was getting married. I’m actually fairly embarrassed of my behavior and after reflecting on these incidences I realized how judgmental and jealous I had acted. I wanted whatever they had. Weather it was they were getting married, or they bought a new car. I wanted the romance, I wanted the money, and I thought that it would make me happy, because it had made them happy.

The person I had become has been selfish, unhappy and overly judgmental.

I have become everything I never wanted to be. A selfish asshole, blaming others and things and really myself and body for my unhappiness.

I never thought I would or could ever be like him. I never thought that I could do that or that he would have that much of an impact on me. It wasn’t my fault. I was just a child. A child who absorbed everything. A child that didn’t have control over her surroundings, a child that didn’t have control and found a way to cope and gain some control in a world where she had none. As an adult I’ve continued this.

With that said, it’s hard to accept this dysfunctional self I created. I spent a week, laying in unhappiness, and watching tv. Letting my body melt into the couch. I came to a point of “welp, this is who I am, and have to accept it.” Using this, “lashing out at my friends” has been a coping mechanism in addition food which has been a form of punishment. Food in this case has become a pawn and used as an excuse to not improve and move forward. It is used in a way to cope, and to fulfill and ease pain, joy and used to bond with people or to hide from bonding with people.
So friends, hang in there with me. I am happy for you, just show it in really dysfunctional ways. More to come. 


The reason I started this blog was to articulate that the process is the most important piece of getting on top. It is the hardest piece of it all because we are so focused on the outcomes and the weight loss and when we do that it just becomes this vicious cycle. I have been reflecting as we should in the process space, and asking myself the same questions over and over, and dwelling on the non-success part in understanding why I’m not moving forward and being successful.

I will get to the questions in a bit that I had been asking, but first I want to address the dwell. That dwelling piece is so easy to get caught in and in the past I would of not have been successful in my weight loss process because of it (one of many reasons for the past non-successes). The dwelling piece happens when I want something so badly that I dwell in it and wish for it to just happen. Usually what happens is that I end up feeling depressed and sad because this “just happen” piece doesn’t happen, and I dwell in that, for a long time. So in result, as a coping to this depression I choose food, or rather had chosen food as something to help me feel better at the time.

When you are dwelling it’s really hard to find the right questions to ask yourself, and really see the clarity in the answers to them. Actually the deeper you get in it the easier it is to move forward in your process. At this time it’s more intentional and has direction. My most consistent questions have been why am I continuing to play this game and why can’t I move forward?

After reading “It was me all along” by Andie Mitchell, and really identifying with what she had gone through, and following her to her cook book something really sparked in me. A new question was starting to form and it came out so judgmental and out of character for myself it really was connected to that “I wish it would just happen” and dwelling mentality. The question stated “Why do people who have weight loss success get obsessed with either exercise or food? Truth be told I also added, and why can’t I do it, it looks so easy? There is A LOT of jealousy in there, a lot of “I wish” and “I want” and “why can’t I”.

Going back to Andie Mitchell’s blog, to memoir, to cookbook success and introducing a documentary series I am currently watching called Cooked by Michael Pollan I really started to reformulate this question. In Cooked, Michael Pollan uses the elements air, water, fire and land as metaphors and ways to dive deeper into the history and present day use of food. The one that caught my attention and made me crrrryyy my eyes out in a section was about the element water. A woman was using a pot to add vegetables and herbs to water, followed by a big piece of meat. She talked about garlic in which she was adding it to the pot, and how YES chopping it is a mindless task but when you are cooking, and creating something it is important to turn it into a mindful task. You chop the garlic so much that you fall in love with what you are doing. She clearly had a deep understanding of the process of creating something you are passionate about. I lost it.

I’ve studied mindfulness before, and recently I’ve really tasted things, like really tasted them. In a different way I talked about mindfulness with my counselor. I don’t want to get too off topic, but I genuinely love food and the way that it tastes. Through talking to my counselor, I realized just because I loved food so much, It doesn’t mean though I need to have seconds or thirds just because I like the way that it tastes. My exploring mind tasked myself to talk about food, and explore them. When I’m eating it, talk about it, and ask myself some questions about it: What did I like about it? What does it taste like? How does it feel in my mouth? Mindfulness just took a whole other level that I wasn’t expecting.

I also started asking my boyfriend about his own eating habits. Asking, how can he leave stuff on his plate? What makes him decide its okay to leave bites on his plate? The answer doesn’t matter really, its more the understanding of differences. Also, when I ask, I am helping myself in creating it easier to talk about my food habits in which creates more of a norm to help find a deeper understanding of my own history of food.

Going back to the Cooked show, and loosing it… I just want you to know that I was crying out of happiness. I was laughing and crying at the same time. It made me think about the importance of process and adding another multi-dimensional level to my understanding of it. This helped me develop my question stronger than anticipated. The original question was “Why do people who have weight loss success get obsessed with either exercise or food?” and instead of wondering why, I asked the question “What was the process they had to go through to get there?”

As someone who admires Andie and her journey, she doesn’t share much of the process piece in her book, though does include some bits and pieces of it. One being she saw a nutritionist and a counselor being a big part of her journey. Because of her book and sharing this, I realized I couldn’t do it alone anymore, and because of the Cooked show I realized more of how the process piece was so important. People’s journey’s and processes are different, it’s never going to be the same, and there are some similar things that they do to get there. Plugging in Brene Brown again, her newest book Rising Strong talks a lot about process, and the fundamentals that goes into it and the importance of it all.

So in a new light I have a new direction and connection to myself and my journey. I don’t hate cooking, I love it. I also get caught up in time, and energy that goes into cooking. I want to get to the point where it doesn’t feel mindless, or a chore. I want it to feel intentional, comfortable and mindful. Watching cooked, and noticing how it made me feel was really inspiring. I felt connected in a way that was new to me, almost spiritual. I am not sure how to achieve that quite yet directly but I definitely want to explore the idea of it and practice new ways of cooking.

The Power of Vulnerability

If you haven’t read anything about vulnerability, by Brene’ Brown, you really should. She has a Ted Talk about vulnerability… actually let me just do you a favor.

Watching her years ago, and then followed by reading her book Daring Greatly, followed up by gobbling more of what she has to offer… I really learned a lot. I learned more than I was even really ready for. She taught me the importance of bringing up the hard things, because if you didn’t that they would continue to stew and bubble over. She also taught me to embrace some of my most vulnerable moments of my life. I encourage you to watch that video if you haven’t, because then you will really understand what I mean.

I held on to this and started to really make incredible strides. I am most vulnerable when talking about my body, or my food, food addiction, eating disorders and WHY. Bouncing off of my previous blog post I needed to practice talking about these things.

I had worked out, and been through several weight loss and gains. People had seen my vulnerability in that retrospect. They’ve seen me struggle. But they didn’t really know internally what was going on. People might assume “it’s so easy to lose weight, just eat sensible meals, good nutrition and work out.”.  Yes thank you, thank you for stating the obvious. Most people, all people know this. We know that is a way to lose weight.

With that said, they don’t see the inner struggle that happens. The years and years of built up habits and patterns, ridicule, positive and negative reinforcement. We have to heal our inner selves sometimes in-order to move forward, sometimes it takes longer to heal than we realize. People also might make the assumption that you are not already doing something or trying to work on these things, or that you don’t eat right.

Regardless, talking about my weight, talking about the food struggle, and my body, and all of the things about why has been one of the most vulnerable places for me to talk about. Not many people do talk about food, or weight or whatever and when they do it can be so shaming. When I do talk about it, most people cannot relate because they do not understand the cycle.

Talking about the struggle has been hard, reaching out for help was harder. One of the hardest and easiest things I had to do was normalize the conversation. I had to make it something that I was comfortable talking about. How do you do this??? PRACTICE! I always knew I struggled with food addiction/binge eating/emotional eating. On my own I went to a few OEA (over eaters anonyms) meetings when I was in my early 20’s. Once in a while I went to online ones, or reached out to people on line. I also went to a few in my mid 20’s, and saw a counselor for a while (for other things). I reached out to a friend, who I knew went to OEA and I didn’t get a response. I went to another OEA meeting by myself. Which took so much courage, and I cried when I got there because I was late, and I couldn’t get into the meeting because I didn’t know which door it was, and then after words no one reached out to me. I felt so alone, and so vulnerable for showing up. I never went to another meeting again.

And… then I reached out to my mom. I was so nervous. I was scared because I never told her of my true struggle with food before. I was 28, just about 29. Right before I started at the weight loss clinic. She was surprised and helped me find Solutions weight loss clinic.

I started really talking about it at 29. I didn’t go to another OEA meeting, because my experience wasn’t that great. But I did join some Facebook groups that were about food addiction that were really helpful apart of my journey. I was able to connect with others, talk about our experiences and move forward while losing weight at the clinic. I talked to the ladies at the weight loss clinic and partook in their weekly self reflection tools. I lost a lot of weight really fast, and I’m not saying I was successful or had failed. I just know that as a long term solution, the weight loss clinic wasn’t going to help my emotional side.

What I’ve really wanted to share with you has been my newest vulnerable topic. I have talked a lot about inclusion out loud with people, and the importance of it. I have talked about judgment, assumptions and the negative repercussions of them.  I preach it so much because of how deeply rooted my own need for self inclusion and acceptance is. I started to realize the other day how much grief and anxiety I was carrying because of my own self image and what people (may or may not) talk about.

I worry so much about gossip, and what people say, or don’t say even to me. I worry about how I interact with the world, if I offend anyone, or make them uncomfortable. I worry if people don’t like me, or if I’m not doing something right. At therapy this past week I realized how deeply I carry this, and I realized that no matter where I go, or how much I overcome my past, that my childhood may always play a part in my life, and the grief is more present than I’ve realized.

Not to bring on a pity party or anything but imagine a child from birth, always walking on eggshells because of someone else, always trying to please so that someone isn’t yelling. This piece is a whole other blog post, may even be a whole other topic even, but none the less it’s real. I grew up in this space. A developing child living in these anxieties, now in the world functioning under anxiety and this idea that people are judging her for something she may or may not be doing. This is me right now. I don’t live like this every day, or all the time even, but it sometimes prevents me from making new friends, or partaking in activities. It sucks how the past can play such a huge role in your present and future. It’s so sneaky too.

Talking about this is hard. When I first started talking about my struggles, I felt easily judged. I felt scared, and fearful of what people would say, or not say about me. Though the more I uncover about myself in this process, and share with you, the less likely you will make assumptions about me. If I’m being authentic and sharing these vulnerabilities, it leaves less room for you to make the assumptions.

I also think it’s important to turn my experience into an opportunity. An opportunity for me to grow from myself and others, an opportunity to educate others and challenge peoples assumptions. Maybe it’s also an opportunity to challenge myself and my own assumptions about food and my capabilities in this world.

Before I sign off for the day, I wanted you to know that I re-watched Brene’s Ted talk and realized why I started this self journey in the first place. When I overcome my fears, I will be living my true authentic self. I will be doing and living in a space I love every day because I will have overcome some of the hardest things I’ve ever had to overcome and put in the work to get there.

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path” Brene’ Brown

“When we work from a place “I believe I’m enough”, we stop screaming and start listening; we are kinder and gentler to the people around us and ourselves.” –Brene’ Brown.