Tag Archives: recovery

An Easy Therapist Check-In (or Virtual Appointments Make Things Easier)

Yesterday I had a check-in with my new therapist. This check-in was mainly to see how I was doing with the new medication dosage. I explained how I had been taking the increases slowly and that I am still adjusting to the new dosage, and she seemed to be pretty happy with the plan. It’s hard to tell what the correct dosage will be, so it will be a lot of trial and error. This is a different process than what I was doing with my old therapist, but I do like this new plan. I feel like it is more collaborative and that we are more of a team than a doctor telling me what to do.

This appointment was so much easier than what I’m used to because it was a phone call appointment. Yesterday morning, we had a time that my therapist was going to call me and we were going to talk over how things went. Of course, if I felt like I needed to meet in person I could have done that. But my therapist suggested a phone appointment for a check-in because it is easier to schedule and wouldn’t take up as much of my time. It was nice not having to drive to and from the appointments and being able to get it done early in the morning before I started work. I felt much more relaxed while talking because it didn’t feel as formal.

I don’t know why my old therapist never suggested phone appointments. I know that with him, he was much more into seeing if there was any more talk therapy that I wanted to do. Even though we came to the conclusion that I don’t really have issues to work through, I just have some sucky circumstances that I need to not rule my life. But those circumstances aren’t things I need to figure out, we know what they are and what they are doing to my mind. But he still liked to talk things through much more than this new therapist. This new therapist understands that in a way I only go in for appointments because I’m on a medication that requires it. She understands that talk therapy might be something I want in the future, but right now it’s not the priority in getting me into recovery. It’s a very different mindset, but I’m glad I had my old therapist in the beginning and this new therapist now.

In my phone call, I did discuss my issues with my workouts. It is frustrating to not be able to do cardio the way I want to, but I also need to give myself a decent amount of time to adjust to things. We did discuss brining my medication back down to a lower dosage (either what I started on or the middle dosage I was doing), but we both agreed that I haven’t had enough time yet on this new dosage to see if it will allow my workouts to get back to normal. I do like how I am feeling on this new dose and I feel like the medication is working much better, so I want to give it as much of a chance as possible. And I do have options if I need them and those won’t be going away so I can take my time.

My next medication refill will be in about 2 months. I will need to call or email my therapist to request the refill due to the restrictions on the medication. And at that point I think I will know what dosage I want to be on. And my therapist seems to agree that the timeline sounds good to her too. Of course, if in 2 weeks I feel like I need to step down to a lower dose, I can call in and she can write me a new prescription. But my plan is to try to take the next 2 months to see how I feel in all aspects of my life. If my eating disorder is significantly better but I can’t run, that might be a sacrifice I want to make. While my workouts are important, my recovery is more important and the priority in my life.

For my first phone appointment, I think it went really well and it reinforced the idea in my head that this is the therapist that I need now. She is much more scientific about things and that is really what works for me right now. My next appointment with my therapist (not counting in 2 months when I get my medication refill) will be in 6 months. I’m on the same appointment timeline as I was in the past, which is nice since I wasn’t sure it would be that way with a new doctor. But the next appointment is going to be unique because it’s going to be my first time ever doing a video chat appointment with a doctor! I’m actually pretty excited to have that option too because again it will save me the time of driving back and forth!

I know that not everyone likes technology, but I love that I have options to do virtual appointments with my therapist! It really helps to make appointments fit into my schedule better and I think that it will give me more options for when I can make appointments in the future. All of these things are good things and make me really hopeful that I’m on the right path toward recovery!

Reflecting Back On 2017 (Kind Of Reaching My Goals)

I can’t believe this is my last blog post of 2017! It seems like it wasn’t that long ago that I was writing my goals for the year. This year definitely wasn’t what I expected it to be, but that was mostly for the best. But because of things not being the way I thought they would, some of my goals didn’t end up happening the way I thought. For some goals I totally surpassed what I expected and for others they didn’t happen. But even with the non-successes (I don’t consider them failures), I learned a lot.

My first goal I had for 2017 was 181 workouts. When I set that goal, I expected to be out for a little while when I had surgery so I thought it might be a bit of a stretch. I tried to make up for the time I thought I would be missing by doing more weeks of 4 workouts a week. That ended up being my new normal which was pretty exciting. And then I didn’t have surgery so I didn’t have to take the time away that I thought I would. But that didn’t slow me down and as long as the last few days this month go as planned I will be ending the year with 196 workouts!

I was pretty shocked when I looked at my total and saw how far over my goal I had gone. I knew I was going to be doing more than I thought, but I didn’t think I’d be 15 workouts ahead of my goal. That’s pretty amazing and even if every workout wasn’t the best one, consistency is so important and I think I’ve proved to myself that I have that.

My next goal I had for the year was to get through my liver surgery as easily as possible. I’ve got a history of having an easy time with surgeries, but this was going to be the first time I would have to stay overnight at the hospital and it was a much more extreme surgery than any I’ve had before. Well, as you all probably know from all of my posts about it, I didn’t have surgery. So technically there was no way for me to accomplish this goal. But I reframed it in my mind to be more about getting through this entire situation about my liver with less stress. And I think I did accomplish that. I think that I will always be a little nervous before going in for an MRI because I don’t want the tumors to grow, but beyond that time I really don’t think about my tumors that much at all. I do think about them once a day when I do visualization, but after that I try to not focus on it.

Next was to work on my recovery and hopefully reduce my binge episodes. I’m torn on how I did on this goal. I think that I have made some big strides in my recovery and there was some time where my binges were the most infrequent they have ever been, but that didn’t last. I don’t know what I need to do to keep that momentum, but my awareness is higher than ever and I consider that a win. I think this past year I’ve also become more aware of how long this recovery journey may take and that even if it doesn’t feel like I’m taking steps forward I am. I wish that some of my progress was more obvious and the results could be seen, but I think I’ll just have to wait a bit on that. But it’s a good thing that there isn’t a deadline to be recovered.

Next was a money related goal. I wanted to reduce my debt to be at a number that I had in my head. That reduction would have been about 25% of the debt I have and would have been amazing. I didn’t quite make it to that number, but I did get my debt down about 19% which is better than I have done before. This is also after getting a major reduction in my hours at one of my jobs. I went from 12-15 hours a week to 4 which cut my income down a lot. So to be able to reduce my debt that much and re-budget my life with the reduced money coming in is a big step. I wish I could have done more, but I also know that the circumstances weren’t easy and to reduce the debt at all took a lot of work.

I also set a goal to have a new PR in my 5K race. That worked out pretty well for me since I had a new PR at the one 5K I did this year. I had that PR on the course with the hills which usually slows me down. But because I had my running intervals longer that made up for any decrease in speed I had on my hills. To PR is awesome and I’m so happy that I was able to do that. But I was sad that I only had 1 race this year and that I didn’t have another chance to try to improve on that PR. Next year will be weird because neither of the 5Ks I usually do will be happening, but at least I know that I hit my 2017 goal for my races!

And my final goal for this year was to have more fun. I think I totally succeeded in this! I had so many Disney and Universal adventures with friends. I went to a lot of fun parties and just tried to have a lot of fun with the random things of life. And even though dating can be crazy and stressful at times, I’ve been having fun with that too. It does help that I’ve been turning all the bad stories into stories for my book so whenever I have a bad date I think about how funny it will be when someone else reads it. I haven’t gotten serious about anyone yet, but to have fun with dating is something that hasn’t really been in my past before and I’m glad that’s kind of my experience now.

Overall, I think I had more wins than non-successes with my goals. I might not have achieved everything I wanted, but that’s not really what goals are about. If they were all easy to reach then I didn’t set them high enough. I need to be striving for things and not reaching my goals does motivate me to do better. Look at my workouts as an example. I missed my goal in 2016 but far surpassed it in 2017. Missing that goal last year motivated me to do even better this year.

My next few posts will all be about what I’ve got in mind for 2018. I’ve got some big goals again that I’m thinking about and I’m excited to share them next week. But for now, I guess that’s a wrap on posts for 2017! It was a great year for me and I’m so grateful for you all following me on my journey! Have an awesome NYE (and please don’t drink and drive!) and hopefully we all have an incredible start to 2018!

Rethinking Being A Warrior (or Refocusing On My Word For The Year)

I’ve talked about how my word for the year this year is “Warrior“. It’s a strong and powerful word and I’m very glad that I chose it this year. It meant a lot to me to have it as my word at the beginning of the year when I was preparing to have a major surgery. When the surgery was cancelled, I didn’t immediately think about how the word warrior was going to change in my mindset. But recently someone asked me about my warrior bracelet and why I had it.

I explained how it was my word for the year and how I was planning on being a warrior through my surgery, but that was cancelled. They asked me if it was still my word for the year and I told them yes. But later I was thinking about how I want to be a warrior for the rest of this year since I’m not focused on recovering from surgery.

I guess I never really thought about how I should readjust my thoughts for being a warrior. It wasn’t all about my liver, but honestly a majority was about it. And that’s not really something I’m focused on anymore.

I’m still being a warrior for my liver. I’ve got my next scan in the fall and I want my tumors to be even smaller! That’s the best thing I could ask for and I’m doing everything I can (which really isn’t much) to try to make that happen. I’m working on my visualization every day, I’m not drinking since that puts stress on your liver, and I’m now taking some supplements that help with liver health. I know I can’t really fight for my liver to get better, but I think that I’m doing the best that I can to be as close to fighting for my liver now.

And I’m still a warrior in my workouts. I’m trying to run more, but I’ve been having some setbacks lately. I’m lifting heavier weights when I can and I’m trying to not let my mind tell me that my body can’t do something. It’s tough not to be frustrated when I don’t make the progress I think I should be making, but maybe being kind to myself is also being a warrior for myself in a way. But I’m still hoping that this year will be a good year for me making progress in my workouts.

I guess you can also say that I’m being a warrior in online dating. Part of me being a warrior with dating is catching cheaters and calling them out on it (and telling their wives/girlfriends so at least they can find out). That’s not something I would have done before this year. I’ve been the other woman before and I didn’t tell his girlfriend that he was dating me too. I didn’t feel like it was my place to do that and I kind of regret it. But I’m also being a warrior by putting myself out there and trying online dating again when I’ve been burned in the past. It’s not easy doing it, but I do want to find someone and this is one of the few ways I know I can do that.

But all this reflection has made me think about where I’m lacking in trying to be a warrior. As much progress as I’ve made with my eating disorder, I haven’t been fighting as hard as I should have toward recovery. I’ve made some great steps and I know that they are helping me build good habits that I need to make recovery a possibility for me. But I also know where I’ve been slacking and ignoring some warning signs that I need to work harder. I don’t need to get into specifics, but just know that I know I’ve been doing things that aren’t helping me and I haven’t cared enough to try to change those. It isn’t something that I can just turn on or off, but hopefully awareness and admitting that I haven’t been doing great will help get me a bit more on track.

And the other thing that has been less than warrior like is related to something that is a warrior thing. Because I’ve been going full force into online dating, I’ve been prioritizing others over myself. If I’m chatting with a guy and he wants to meet up for a drink or coffee, I’ll rearrange my schedule to make myself available because I’m scared that if I can’t meet him then that he will move on and I will miss my chance. That has happened to me before, but I shouldn’t be in fear of that. If a guy can’t wait a little longer to meet me because I have a busy schedule, then I shouldn’t want to meet him. But I’m still in fear that whoever I meet will be the last person who will like me and I need to get over that.

Every time that I’ve been scared that I will never find someone who wants to go out with me, I meet another guy and that cycle happens again. I don’t get dates as often as I probably would like, but going out with someone every other week or so isn’t that bad. It’s significantly better than what I was doing before I put myself out there. And I need to be more focused on fitting someone into my life instead of rearranging my life to fit someone else.

I don’t know how to phrase it properly, but in essence I need to be a warrior for myself first and foremost. That’s the most important thing. I can be a warrior for myself in fitness and health but I also need to be a warrior for my emotional wellbeing and my life. I don’t have to let someone else’s schedule dictate mine or wait for a text or phone call to find out what the plans will be that night. I don’t want to be the girl sitting at home waiting for the guy to let her know what’s going on. I need to put my life and what I want to do first and hope that I can find someone who will either join me or will fit in. Or at least someone who makes plans with me in advance so I can schedule around it.

It’s going to be tough for me not to prioritize others, but I know that doing that will make me happier. And if I’m happier and doing more of what I want to do instead of waiting for others to make plans with me, that will make me a better person and hopefully someone more fun for a guy to date.

I usually don’t focus this much on if I want to alter how I think of my word of the year in the middle of the year, but I think it was necessary this year. It’s not that the word of the year took a backseat after my surgery cancelled, but I didn’t take the energy I was focusing on getting through the surgery and put it toward other things once that wasn’t needed anymore. Hopefully now I can make the second half of this year even more powerful and more warrior like.

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A Goal Setting Experience (or Mindfulness Seems To Be A Theme)

I’ve been pretty good about setting goals for myself. I set goals each year that I want to be able to accomplish in a year. I also set weekly and monthly goals in my Volt Planner. While goal setting is relatively new to me, I feel like I’ve gone in head first and really have embraced it. I like to have things to try to achieve and while it is frustrating when I don’t make a goal I’m learning how to be ok with that.

So when the podcast I work for was going to do a goal setting workshop, I was so excited to be able to participate! I ended up hosting the event at my house because it is a pretty central location and my living room is a good space to hold events like this. It ended up being a pretty small group, but I think that allowed everyone to get more out of this workshop than they would have if we had more people.

The workshop was based around the idea of the 4 Tendencies that Gretchen Rubin created. There was a quiz to take to help us figure out what type of person we are. Of the 4 Tendencies, I was a pretty even mix of 3 of them (Upholder, Questioner, and Obliger). I don’t know what I was expecting, but I knew that I wasn’t going to be the other type (Rebel). But to be a mix of the other ones was interesting.

I know that some of the reasons I’m a mix is because of my OCD and panic/anxiety disorder along with me wanting to be a perfectionist. But I totally want to look more into these things so I can learn more about each type and see if there is a way I can maximize knowing this to help me do better with my habits and goals for the future. I haven’t really thought about how I could adjust my goal setting process to benefit me so this was really educational for me.

After learning about what type of person we were, the next step was to work on our goals. I’ve already got so many goals for the year and I really didn’t want to cover something that I already am working on. We were advised to try to only set goals for parts of our lives that we need to work on. If we have a goal but are making good progress, we shouldn’t be writing it down since that goal is working.

So for me, the first thing I wanted to do was to write what is working in my life so I can remove my focus from that. The main things that are working for me right now are my day jobs and my exercise. I do have goals for both of those things right now, but I’m doing really great with them so I didn’t need to brainstorm more about it. And once I had that written down I worked on focusing on what I wanted to do.

I got it narrowed down to 3 aspects of my life that I know I want to set goals in. I want to have new goals in my personal relationships, financial life, and my recovery effort. I wrote down several things within each aspect that I know I want to accomplish in the long-term. Most of them are pretty basic, but again it’s always good to write stuff down. I don’t have a lot of variety in what I want to set goals to do, but those few things that I’m focused on aren’t necessarily the easiest.

For personal relationships, that’s about dating and friendships. I want to be more active on both sides. I need to set more plans and not have my relationships just be virtual (FB with my friends and online dating with dating). I want to be ok with being bossy or forceful with trying to make plans. I’ve been ok with being wishy-washy and not trying to get something scheduled. But I don’t want to be ok with that anymore. That’s how I can go months without seeing a friend or spend weeks messaging back and forth with a guy online. I want to be more aware of the relationships that I’m focusing on and not getting as distracted.

For finances, I want to stay aware as well. I’m doing pretty great with that so far but I want to make sure that it continues for a long time. Mindless spending is easy to do (especially with online shopping) and I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to use shopping as a distraction for something else. And hopefully by doing that I will reduce my spending, get my debt more in control, and be in a better place financially.

And for my recovery, it’s a very similar thing. I want to work on being more aware. I want to use what I’ve learned recently in therapy and really work hard and seriously on taking those steps. I don’t want to make excuses for myself and to take responsibility for whatever I chose to do. I don’t want to let my eating disorder rule me. I want to be making choices, even if those choices are bad ones.

After writing down these ideas and 90 day and 6 month goals for each one, I totally noticed a theme. Everything is about being mindful and aware. I don’t know why this has become such an important thing to me now, but clearly it’s something I need to focus on. I don’t feel like I’ve been on auto-pilot, but maybe I have and I just didn’t realize it. Maybe I needed to combination of my appointment with my therapist and this goal setting workshop in the same week to come to this realization.

Whatever brought this realization to me, I’m glad that it’s more obvious than ever on what I want to focus on and what I think I really need to do. Saying that I’ll be more mindful is easy to say but hard to do. But I think that having some action steps and ideas is going to help me get closer to accomplishing this mindfulness now and hopefully things will snowball from there in the right direction.

Another Therapy Check In (or Someone Sees Progress)

I only see my therapist every six months now, and my visit with him was this week. So much has happened in six months and I was trying to think about what I wanted to talk about with him before I went in for my appointment. I know that my time there is limited and I wanted to maximize my time. I knew that not everything was relevant to talk about, but I still took some mental notes on what I wanted to make sure we go over.

A lot of my appointments with my therapist are pretty basic check ins. He wants to make sure that I’m still making progress and doing ok on my medication. But there isn’t a lot for me to work through in therapy anymore. Coming to the realization that I just have bad luck genetically with getting an eating disorder has helped me a lot. I know that I didn’t do anything (or have something happen to me) that caused this and I just have to work on getting through it and figuring out good recovery tools for myself. Sometimes knowing that is tough, but it does make my therapy appointments easier.

The first update we discussed in my appointment was me not having the liver surgery. Even though my therapist has access to all my medical records, I knew he wouldn’t have reviewed everything that has happened lately. He was very excited about me not needing surgery and was asking what might have caused the tumors to shrink. There is really no medical explanation for it, but he agrees that my tumor visualization might have been a big part of it. Our minds are really powerful and can do miracles. He agrees that I should keep that up and see what happens when I have my next MRI in a few months.

We also talked about how I was struggling a bit with the idea of preparing for surgery for so long and then that just stopping. I told him how the unknowns unnerve me a bit and that I was finding it tough to reconnect to myself. I still struggle with a bit of disconnection with my body and I don’t know if that will ever be resolved because even if the tumors go away they could come back another time. My therapist understood why this is so tough for me, but he was encouraging me to work really hard to get through it.

He was talking about how we cannot set expectations for life and then fall apart when they don’t happen. Things can change and we have to be ok with going with the flow. And when something doesn’t go our way, we have to let go of the idea of what we thought would be and start thinking about what is. Obviously, those things are easier said than done, but I do need to work a lot on that idea. And to have him tell me that it’s ok that I struggle with this idea made me feel better because sometimes I wonder if it’s just me who seems so rigid in these ideas.

Even though there are things that I’m struggling with, the main things that my therapist was saying to me were all positive things. He said that he can really sense a change in me and sees that I’m so much happier. He can see that I’m figuring things out and I am making progress. I don’t always see the progress, but I know it’s easier for someone on the outside to see it. He knows that even if my eating disorder isn’t getting better right now, I’m building the skills and gaining the tools I’ll need to be in recovery. So eventually it will all connect and come together and I’ll be better equipped to be in recovery.

We also started to talk about the future and when I will be going off of Vyvanse. I cannot be on this medication my entire life (nor do I want to be on it forever). I am not in a place to be off of it just yet, and in fact we actually made a small increase to my dosage. But we went over how this is just a temporary tool and how I need to be preparing myself to eventually not have the crutch of the medication to help me through the day. It’s a bit scary to think about going off of it because when I don’t take it for a random day off, I notice that things aren’t as great. But to start working through an end plan is something that I know I need to do.

The biggest takeaway I had from this appointment was that I am making progress and improving even if I can’t see it yet. Getting to see myself through someone else’s eyes (and someone who has a critical viewpoint) is pretty powerful and really helped me feel more settled in what has been happening. My therapist wants me to focus on being more in the moment and accepting things as they come. If I am going to have a binge episode, he wants me to do it because I chose to do so and not because my eating disorder is putting me on auto-pilot. I’m getting much closer to that point so it’s good to know that that’s actually progress.

I won’t have my next appointment until December (6 months from now) unless something crazy happens and I feel like I need to be seen sooner. But I’m feeling much better about where things are now after this appointment. Some of the doubts I’ve been having have been reassured as good things and I’ve been given homework to try to work on over these next 6 months. Hopefully when I go back to see him again, he will continue to see progress and be happy with the steps I’ve made toward recovery.

Trusting It Will Be Ok (or Dealing With Stress In A Healthy Way)

Even though a lot of recent events should have added a ton of extra stress in my life, I’ve been doing ok. I’m not letting any of my health issues get me down since I know that having a bad attitude won’t change anything for me. Money issues are still toward the front of my mind, but I’m also trying to not stress about those. I have had some things get better for me financially recently, but I think understanding my financial status by budgeting has been really great at keeping the stress down. But in the past week, things just have taken a crazy turn for me.

First, my weight loss is going a bit haywire. I know I should be losing weight, but it’s not showing up on the scale. In fact, the scale has been going up a lot recently. I don’t know what’s happening or why things aren’t going my way, but I’m trying to figure out what I can do to control the situation. This is stressing me out because I’m worried about trying different things when other things have worked for me in the past. But I also know that I need to get this under control and going the right way again sooner rather than later. But I also know that stressing about it is not going to help (and telling myself to relax just stressed me out more).

I’ve been stressing a lot about time management lately too. I don’t know why my days seem to be going so quickly and that I don’t have time to do everything, but that’s how I feel. I have a huge list of things to get done every day and I’m not making a huge dent on them each day. I’ve been tracking my time and there isn’t a ton of wasted time each day. Maybe I’m just taking on too much, but I feel like it shouldn’t be too tough to get all the things done each day that I set out to do. I know that going on Disney adventures doesn’t help, but those were on days where it seemed like my week was going to be super calm. But as the week goes on, things start piling up. I’m just trying to keep up with my to-do lists and hoping that something clicks soon.

And the thing that is causing me the most stress, especially in the last week, is the film festival that I run. The festival is happening this weekend, and everything was perfectly in place until last week. We discovered that our contact at the venue was no longer working with that venue and there was no record of our festival being scheduled to be there. Fortunately, the owner of that venue has another venue that we are going to use. But it is causing a lot of unknowns with the festival. I’ve never run it at any other location than our old one so I’m worried that things won’t be ok. I went to the venue for a site walk through earlier this week and that helped. But until Sunday is done, I think this will be causing me a ton of stress.

I hate that things are causing me so much stress, but it is also a good thing for me. In the past, I haven’t always had the best coping skills. Having a binge episode was a common way for me to deal. And when I found out about the venue for the film festival not having us scheduled, the first thought into my head was what I wanted to go eat for dinner that night. Even though I had planned out my meals for the week, I wanted to go get something that wasn’t a part of my plan for dinner. I wanted to eat something that would distract me from worrying about things. But I didn’t do that. I drove home and while I didn’t eat exactly how I had planned to do so that day, I didn’t do anything too extreme. I had to deal with my feelings the way a healthy person does and it wasn’t easy. But I did it and I got through it.

I hate feeling so stressed out about so many things, but this is just how my life is right now. I’m trying to trust that things will turn out ok, and in most cases I can see how things can get better. But until they do get better, it isn’t easy for me. All I can do is trying to get through these issues and know that when it is done I will have better coping skills to get through things in the future.

Time For Some Planning (or Trying A Challenge Again This Month)

It’s a new month and time for a new challenge in my Ink+Volt Planner! First, I want to reflect a bit on my January challenge. I set my challenge to be to work on tumor visualization every day. I set an alarm to remember to do this each morning and most of the time I would be able to do this before the alarm went off. Many mornings, I put my tumor visualization in my morning pages for “The Artist’s Way”. And if I didn’t write about it in the morning, I spent some time sitting quietly and thinking about my tumors getting smaller.

I won’t know if this worked until I have my next MRI in March, but I’m going to keep doing this until my surgery and then after surgery I will be doing liver visualization to work on getting my liver to regenerate quickly. I know that in the past, the power of positive thinking has worked really well for me so I’m looking forward to seeing how well it will work for me this time.

I’ll admit that my January challenge wasn’t too challenging for me. It was something I wanted to do, but I didn’t have to work too hard to do it. So since I did something easier last month, I’m doing something that has challenged me multiple times this month. My February challenge is to work on meal planning again.

I’ve attempted meal planning more times than I can count. I’ve tried doing it with bulk cooking, delivery diet meals, meal replacements, and just trying to cook more at home. They have all had moments of success, but none of them have really lasted that long. So this time, I’m attempting another method to see if this time it will be one that sticks. I believe that eventually, a method will be the one that I connect with and I can’t find that out until I try different ones.

I’m doing a pretty basic meal plan set up. I don’t have a specific diet or plan I’m trying to follow. I’m just trying to plan my meals so I don’t have to think too hard about what I’m going to eat that day and to be better and only getting what I need at the grocery store. I found a pretty basic meal plan printable and I started using that this week.

Originally, I typed in what I was planning to eat but because things keep changing I’ve been crossing things out a lot. I’m thinking about printing a blank template, getting it laminated, and using a dry erase pen or post-its to plan so it is easier to switch things around. There is also a grocery list printable that matches this, but I’m used to writing grocery lists on envelopes (if I’m using coupons) or on scratch paper so I don’t feel the need to use a fancy grocery list.

My ultimate goal would be where I could plan things out on Sunday and do my grocery shopping for the week and be done with it. If I don’t have to go to the grocery store to find something for dinner, maybe I won’t be tempted by all the things I shouldn’t be eating. If I plan things out, I can know exactly how many of each thing I need and then I can make better grocery lists. This could potentially save me money too, but that’s not the focus right now.

My main goal with meal planning is to be successful with following the plan for at least 2 meals a day. Breakfast should be pretty easy, but I do struggle with lunch and dinner a bit. But by having a plan, I can look forward to what I will be eating that day and hopefully it will take my mind off of thinking about what I should go to the store and buy after I’m done with work. I’m also hoping that it will help me with eating a better lunch on days that I’m working out. Sometimes, I don’t make the best food choices on workout days and my workouts do suffer because of that.

I’m not expecting a miracle. I know that there will be a lot of challenges with this and that there is potential that I will not be as successful as I like to be with my monthly challenges. But I have to try because I know that I need to make a change in my life to get into recovery and to lose weight. And if nothing else, this will force me to be more aware and a more conscious participant in my food choices and help to limit the lack of mindfulness that I do struggle with.

This won’t be an easy challenge for me to do, but it’s an important one for me. I’m going to do my best to plan and to figure out the best way for me to do the planning, and hopefully in a month I’ll be able to share with you all that this worked really well for me!

Keeping My Emotions In Check (or You Are Not Your Brain)

2017 is only 2 weeks in, but my emotions have been pretty up and down for me so far. I’ve had some really good things happen to me (like having fun with my friends at Disneyland) and some really not so great things (like my car dying). I’ve almost felt like I have been in a bit of a haze the past few weeks. Everything has been a bit overwhelming and while I am so grateful for all the good things that have come off all this, it’s not fun to feel this way.

It also doesn’t help that the weather has been very gloomy lately. I don’t love the rain because it causes me extra pain, and I feel like I don’t want to leave the house if I don’t have to. I can take painkillers (they don’t bother my liver), but I’m trying to limit them because I’ve realized that I’ve been depending on them too much in the past. So I’m limiting what I’ve been doing after work and I’m sometimes a bit isolated.

While I was technically diagnosed with depression in the past, I don’t believe that it was an accurate diagnosis. I think it had more to do with being upset with my eating disorder being out of control mixed with the mild OCD that I know I have. But when things are so up and down, it’s tough sometimes not to feel depressed a bit. And of course the state of politics lately isn’t helping my mood (especially when I’m now worried I’ll lose my health insurance if pre-existing conditions can get you rejected from health insurance again).

But I’m working hard on not allowing myself to be too down right now. I know all the situations I’m in are temporary and it is totally normal to feel overwhelmed when there are big changes happening in your life. I’m feeling more and more ok about what happened with my car (although I wish that getting a new car was something I had been looking forward to do instead of something I had to do). I’m trying to think about the good that the rain is doing for the drought that we have been experiencing and not that it is causing me pain. And I’m trying to keep telling myself that it is ok to feel down as long as I don’t stay that way forever.

The timing of this has been interesting because I’ve been reading a new book as part of my recovery themed reading lately. Right now, I’m reading a book called “You Are Not Your Brain” and it is all about changing how you think. It talks about taking how your brain works and making it work to your advantage to getting rid of bad habits, recovering from an addiction, or feeling overwhelmed.

I’m still in the beginning of this book, but it’s been a really good read for me so far. I’ve been seeing how the overwhelming feeling I’ve been dealing with can be worked into something more positive. I don’t have to let my brain control my life and that is something that I know many of us struggle with. The emotions in my brain aren’t always rational and I need to work on separating the rational feelings from the irrational emotions I get from time to time.

I know that being emotional isn’t a bad thing, but I really want to be able to keep my emotions in check more often. I know that it is not the end of the world that my car died, but it is still upsetting me when I should be more excited and grateful that I was able to get a new car (that is significantly better than my old car was). I know that feeling alone and isolated is either in my head or my fault. I have many friends that I could call or text to not be alone, but I’m choosing not to. I am loved, even when I feel like I’m not.

I know that my journey in my eating disorder recovery will be a long one, but I’m glad that I added reading books related to recovery as a part of the journey. I’ve read some books that I haven’t connected with, but then there are the others that I feel it is fate that I am reading them at that time. Self-help and recovery do go hand in hand and I think that all of this work that I’m putting into recovery is making me a better person.

While I don’t want to become an unemotional robot, I’m glad that I’ve been able to practice regulating my emotions right now when it is such an emotional time. Right now is some of the more significant ups and downs, so hopefully with this work that I’m putting in I can manage things even better when they are minor mood swings. And by managing my emotions more, I know that I will be able to manage my eating disorder more. It is all work in progress, but the progress is definitely going the right way.

My 2017 Word (or I Am A Warrior)

As I have the past few years, I’m declaring a word for the year. I feel like my words have been going along the same theme. In 2015 it was bold. In 2016 it was strong. And for 2017, my word is going to be warrior.

I actually had this word in mind for the last month, but I wasn’t sure I wanted to use it. It almost felt too much for me and too out there. But then I realized that those reasons are exactly why this should be my word for the year. I shouldn’t be scared of what word feels right to me for the year and so I’m going for it even though I’m a bit intimidated to declare it my word for the year.

The main way I want to be a warrior is for my health. Some of the eating disorder resources I follow call people in recovery “recovery warriors”. I love that term and the feeling it gives me to think that I can be inspired by warriors. Eating disorders are a battle and being a warrior is the best way to win a battle. I want to be a warrior for my eating disorder. I want to win this battle. I know that the battle will very likely take more than 2017 to win, but I need to be a warrior this year to set myself up for a win in the future.

I also want to be a warrior for my liver. I’m not scared about my surgery this spring. In fact, I’m excited to have it so I can get through it and prove to myself that I can get through the recovery of having part of a liver removed and then the pain associated with my liver growing back (I have read that this is painful). I want to be a warrior with my recovery from surgery and to prove to myself and the doctors that I can recover better than expected. I did that with my hip, and I don’t see why I can’t do that with my liver as well. I totally want to get this shirt for my surgery recovery, but I laugh because I do see myself as a fighter. I am a warrior for my liver and I can’t wait to use this year to prove that this is true.

I love the word as well when it comes to my fitness. I love that my Orangetheory workouts feel more like I’m training for something and not that I’m just trying to get a workout done. I like the idea of preparing for something and that is a warrior mindset. My workouts are preparing me for surgery, my next race, and to live a healthier life. So being a warrior when I’m working out is perfect.

And I want to be a warrior for my life. I feel like being a warrior for my life goes along with being bold. I want to be a bit forceful in making sure I’m doing what I want to do. I want to push to have more fun and go on more adventures. And I want to make sure that I don’t let myself be walked over by others and that I stand up for myself. All of those things feel like warrior traits. My life should be as amazing as I can make it and I need to be the person responsible for making that happen. I can’t just stand by and let others dictate my life. I need to take control and that is something that I have been slacking on in the past. But I’m not going to let that happen again if I can help it.

I’m excited for my year of being a warrior. I know I already have some battles that I need to fight in 2017, but I’m ready to do that. I am in the mindset that I need to be ready for anything and that is going to help me get through what I need to do this year. And hopefully I still have a more positive year than negative, but being a warrior for myself should help to do that. And even with the negative things, I can make sure that I am doing everything that I can to try to turn them positive. Sitting by and being a victim isn’t working for me, so I need to step up and do something different. And I have a feeling that 2017 will be the perfect year for me to do that.

My 2017 Goals (or I Know This Year Will Be Amazing!)

It’s the beginning of 2017 and I’m ready to make this year so amazing! I have a lot of things happening this year and while they are not all great things I know that I can do incredible things even with the struggles I know the year will bring. As always, I don’t set resolutions because I don’t feel like those have a long-term feeling. I like to set goals for what I can get done in the year and I’m ready to share my 2017 goals with you all.

My first goal is a fitness related one. I didn’t quite make my fitness goal for 2016, but I’m still trying to do better than that goal. This year, I want to do 181 workouts at Orangetheory. This is going to be a huge challenge for me. First, I only did 177 workouts last year so this is 4 more than what I did before. But also, with my liver surgery, I may need to take several weeks off of working out. Because of that, I will have to do more 4 workout weeks before surgery and after I recover. But I’d love to make 4 workout weeks more of the norm so setting a goal of 181 workouts is a great way to push myself to do that.

My next goal is to get through my liver surgery as easily as possible. I know that this will be hard to do since I have no clue how my body will react to surgery and recovery. But I am a big believer in the power of positive thought and that’s what I’ll be doing. When I had my hip surgery, I was in the gym the next day on the recumbent bike working out because I was told that moving would be good for me. So my plan is to think that I will be able to get through surgery with few problems. I will have to spend some time at the hospital after surgery, but with positive thinking I’m hoping the time will be as limited as it can be. I know this will be a painful process, but I still want to focus on the positives and hoping that the pain will be manageable and that I will have a fast recovery.

The next goal is to continue on my journey through recovery and to reduce my binge episodes even more. I know that setting a goal to eliminate binges is setting myself up for failure, but to even reduce the average to be one fewer a week would be awesome! I want to continue to reading my recovery books to be inspired and get my brain in a place where recovery is possible. This isn’t an easy goal, but I’m excited to see what progress I can make this year.

Next are money related goals. I have a number that I want to get my debt below this year. I’m not sharing that publicly because that won’t mean much to everyone else, but it will be a reduction of about 25% of the debt I currently have. I would love it to be lower, but because I am not making a ton of money right now I know that I must have slightly realistic goals. And along with that, I would not only like to pay down my debt but I would also like to have some savings as well. I don’t want to have to use my credit card for unexpected expenses like car problems or wanting to buy things like my Disneyland pass. If I had savings, I could use that for those expenses while still being able to pay down debt.

I also have a goal of hopefully setting a PR again in my 5K race time. I have 2 races planned for this year so hopefully I can PR at one or both of them! I plan on increasing how long my running intervals are so that should hopefully help to make getting a PR easier for me. I’m not as focused on increasing my speed right now, but maybe that will be something I work on toward the end of the year for future PRs.

And my last goal (which I seem to set each year) is to have more fun. I’m even trying to make my liver surgery fun by telling my friends that they will have to come and visit me in the hospital so I can have a good time there. I plan on continuing my adventures to Disneyland and Universal Studios and hopefully having more fun random outings. There is so much stuff in LA that I haven’t done yet even though I’ve lived here for almost 16 years and I want to have more fun in the city I call home.

So that’s it for my goals for 2017. I think I’ve set some really good ones and I’m excited to do my best to accomplish them all! And I hope that at the end of December, I look back at this post and am proud of what I got done. But for now, I’m just happy to start working on all of these and checking things off throughout the year!