Goodbye 2016

When reflecting on this past year, I originally thought of all of the negative things that transpired and the roller coaster of emotions that just seemed to constantly shift like the waves of the ocean. 2016 was not the hardest year for me but, it was still a difficult year, one filled with a lot internal struggles and I just couldn’t seem to get out of my own way.

I’ve realized recently that the past few years have fallen into this pattern of: crappy year, great year, crappy year, great year, and so on. For example:

2013 was a very tough year, one where I truly was in my depression and unknown anxiety that carried over into the first half of 2014.

The second half of 2014 was filled with self-discovery and exploration, travel, and new experiences. I went to Italy, picked up photography, and met Chris, my current boyfriend. Although 2014 started out quite rocky, I would say that it ended on a strong note.

2015 was incredible. I did some true healing, found a love for my body that I never thought I would find and rose above my eating disorder indefinitely. I would say that 2015 was the year of outer self-love for me. I also traveled a lot that year as well, I went to the cape for the first time, explored nearby towns and tried different things that brought a lot of happiness and fulfillment.

2016 however, was a different struggle, one that I didn’t come to terms with or even realize until December. Although I had truly worked on how I viewed and loved what was on the outside, I neglected what was happening on the inside. My spiritual mentor Madison Rosenberger, explained to me that our aura’s have levels, and how I started my healing journey was actually backwards. Your body is the last layer so, although I had greatly healed that part of me, I had also neglected the other outer layers such as my internal workings/emotions and overall spiritual awareness. Although I have always been a spiritual being, it wasn’t until the last few months of 2016 that I really started to dig. I found a love for essential oils, meditation, crystals, and yoga (again). Throughout 2016 I struggled with my anxiety that had manifested into something that I never expected. Driving gave (gives) me anxiety, interactions with people at work, leaving the house, being around people in general, and it just did not make sense. Out of nowhere I became an introvert with an outgoing personality because, although social interactions can make me anxious, that doesn’t stop me from talking with people and trying to be their best friend.

That is the problem. When I interact with people I try too hard. I want everyone to like me because I’m afraid of their judgment and rejection. When I say, “rejection” and “judgment” I’m not talking about the fear of what they think of my body but, what is on the inside. I’m afraid of what people think of who I am as a person and how I portray myself. This comes from a lack of love for myself.

This didn’t occur to me because I thought I had already dealt with that problem and I did, to some extent but, not fully. Not on an emotional or spiritual level and it took me all of 2016 to figure that out.

So, with 2017 here I’ve made plans and have taken the necessary steps to make this year my bitch. I started my spiritual mentorship with Madison, I see a therapist every week who is open minded and kind, and I’m slowly learning to be more present and not letting my anxious thoughts take me away on a boat of uncertainty and fear. This year I plan to incorporate more yoga, I’d even like to have a daily or at least every other day home practice, truly meditate with my beloved crystals, and most of all, feel my damn feelings. It is still so frustrating to me because like I said, I thought I had done all of this and on some level I did but, I cannot forget the progress I’ve made and the obstacles I have overcome. This is just another journey that will dig even deeper than just what is on the outside. 2016 might not have been my best year but, there were a lot of wonderful parts to that year as well. I learned a lot and experienced enough to know that 2017 is going to be my best year yet. This is the year where my spiritual awakening is going to take off running and I will not allow fear or anxiety to stand in my way.

Goodbye 2016, thank you for the memories and the lessons. I can’t say I will miss you but, I sure as hell will never forget you.

 

Minor setbacks

Setbacks happen, especially when you are on a journey of self healing and discovery. This past month or so I have been deleting and re-downloading calorie counting apps. Each time my mind goes to “summer body” and “losing the pudge” I feel that I need to restrict in order to be happy with my body but, then after tracking maybe a few things I sort of snap out of it and remind myself that this isn’t the life that makes me happy.

Yesterday I made a mistake. I got on the scale and didn’t like what I saw at all. It surprised me because lately I have upped my fruits, veggies, and exercise and have been feeling great! I don’t know why I got on the scale this morning, something just pulled me toward it. When I saw 153lbs on the scale I just went numb. I felt disgusting, discouraged, and lost. What do I do now? I thought to myself, I don’t want to weigh this “much” and I sure as hell don’t want to weigh this much when I’m in a bathing suit. I hate summer.

That is a lie, I love summer and the weather it brings. I love being able to wear close to nothing and just relax outside under the sun and feel the cool breeze on my skin. Why did I let this stupid number bother me so much? Probably because it’s that time of year where weight loss is advertised everywhere as well as washboard abs. So, the majority of yesterday I was fighting the negative thoughts in my head, trying to overcome them with light and positivity but, the day just seemed to get worse.

When I was in the locker room later on that day at work I noticed two small purple stretch marks on my stomach and I just sighed and shook my head. Weight gain has been a fear that has plagued my mind for over a decade and seeing those stretch marks made my heart sink. How am I supposed to love and accept my body when I feel this way? How come some days I think I am the sexiest human being alive and on other days I just want to throw up because of my own reflection. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Body positivity and self love & acceptance is a constant battle because you have to think, you are fighting that negative voice in your head on a daily basis and sometimes, that voice wins and yesterday was one of those days.

It’s tough when the people who love you tell you are beautiful and because sometimes you just don’t see what they see. You see someone who is inadequate, fat, ugly, and unworthy of love staring back at you in the mirror. You don’t see the bright, lovely, beautiful, and strong person in that mirror but, we are all of those great things and so much more, that is what I am trying to remember and what I am telling myself because if I don’t, that little nagging voice will win indefinitely. So, I finished yesterday trying to see the beauty in myself and got my mind ready for the next day to come because all we can do is move forward and let go of the negativity.

Natural birth control, cruelty free, and me

Hello hello

I hope you are all well. I’ve been wanting to give you all an update about what has been going on in my life for awhile now so, I am going to do just that.

Almost two months ago I threw out my birth control pills and forever said peace out. I’ve noticed that being on birth control I was constantly on edge, my anxiety is maxed out, and I cried at everything – even commercials that held no emotional topic. I started researching the Fertility Awareness Method which tracks your basal body temperature, cervical fluid, and the position of your cervix, amongst other things to help you either avoid pregnancy or get pregnant. Many people confuse this with the rhythm method which is tracking your cycle for 28 days and counting out about 14 to predict ovulation. The rhythm method is a very inaccurate way to track your cycle seeing as not every woman has a 28 day cycle and sometimes whether it is travel, being sick, or even stress – those factors can really mess with your cycle in regards to the length and when you ovulate.

While tracking my BBT (basal body temperature) I decided to purchase a Daysy Fertility Monitor that tracks my temperature and shows me a light: green – indicates a not fertile day, red – indicates a fertile day, and yellow – indicates that the Daysy is still getting to know my cycle so, I should use precautions on that particular day to avoid pregnancy. It definitely is a little pricey but, worth it. I love my Daysy and I have been using it for almost two months successfully. The first month I got all yellow lights because it was my first month but, now I get all three colors which is super interesting to see.

The past two months I’ve also transitioned to call cruelty free and natural products along with trying not to buy any unnecessary items. I couldn’t believe how many products I had that were tested on animals, it sickened me. It is refreshing though, that drugstores do sell cruelty free products you just need to look for them. NYX, Milani, and Not Your Mothers are some of the cruelty free brands that I have been using on a daily basis as well as Honest Beauty which (as far as I know) can only be bought online. I have also been buying cruelty free cleaning products or learning to make my own with natural materials.

Transitioning to this more natural life has been such a beautiful and enlightening journey. I’ve had the best support as well which has made this whole life change so much more reassuring and positive.

That is all I have for now friends.

Have an awesome weekend!

Life

Hey all –

It’s been some time since I have posted. I used to be so much better about this. I don’t know, between working forty hours, going to night school, and still trying to have a social life, I guess my life has been kind of busy and things that I used to do very often have now become a rarity in my life. It saddens me but, I’m finding my way back. I used to be obsessed about just chilling, watching Netflix, and zoning out and by doing this I have stopped writing and reading, two things that have brought me much joy. I am however, working on incorporating those things back into my life.

Minimalism. I’ve been learning about it a lot lately. Watching YouTube videos about capsule wardrobes, downsizing, and purging, all filmed with a white wall in the background. Many of these people appear more calm, zen if you will. They express their ideas about how decluttering your surrounding can help declutter your mind. So with that being said, I’ve been decluttering mentally and physically. I’ve donated things upon things and have reused many items as well. It feels really freeing, especially dealing with a shopping problem. It means, progress to me and I like progress.

I’m sitting here on my floor at 9:43pm listening to jazz music and just enjoying life. It is moments like tonight that I appreciate and value all aspects of my life and I am grateful. The Universe has given me so much and some days I am just filled with all of this happiness and it just makes me appreciate life so much more.

Well, goodnight Friends. I’m glad to be writing again.

Talk to you soon.

3.3.16: resolutions, NEDA & happiness

I love March for many reasons, one being that this month Chris and I have been together for a whole year and it has been one of the greatest of my life! Also, March means the end of winter. Although I live in New England and we have gotten snow in March and April, I am really hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself because I am ready for spring, warmer weather, a nice breeze, and sunshine.

Going through some of my more recent posts I re-read my New Year’s resolutions and I wanted to give an update on that:

Have I been sweating more? Yes and no. I haven’t been as consistent as I would like but, I am finding new exercises that I really enjoy or rather, rediscovering exercises that I really like such as: taking outside walks, cycling, and the stair climber. Finding exercises you like to do is crucial for a healthy relationship with your mind, body and soul. I did however, cancel my gym membership because I have access to a free gym at work but, it does kind of stink that I don’t have a place to workout on the weekends or when I’m on vacation but, that’ll motivate me to get my ass outside more!

I also noted that I wanted to do more yoga well, during that time I was actually practicing almost everyday but, lately not so much. I’ve gone to some classes near my house but, I’ve really neglected my home practice. I was making a lot of progress with my flexibility and I was really excited about the results I was seeing however, I just am a lazy person a lot of the time I won’t lie! When I get home from work I just want to lay in my bed, read, make tea, and watch Netflix. It aggravates me that I am like this because yoga has been the biggest aid in my recovery and when I regularly practice I feel great! I just need to get my ass in gear and do it.

In regards to my resolution to read more: I am reading soooooooooooo much it is crazy and I love it. Reading more was a big resolution for me because I am TV kind of gal. Although I love to read, nothing beats watching some of my favorite shows after a long day but, I really have been on a roll with reading. I even have a Scribd subscription and get some library books on my Kindle Fire. I think in the past three months I have read about five books and I made a Goodreads account that you can find here  and you can add me as a friend and we can talk books.

I’m proud that I’ve actually stuck with a lot of my resolutions because typically I forget them all and never look back. 2016 has been really good to me so far and I am very very thankful. Happiness has never been this present in my whole entire life and I truly owe this happiness to my recovery. I never in a million years would’ve thought that I would be this comfortable and confident in the skin I am in. I won’t lie to you though, there are some days I really struggle, I want to lose weight, be skinnier and fitter, and change how I look but, I remind myself that changing the outside won’t change how I feel on the inside and if I am feeling a negative way about my body, there is something internal that I need to reflect on and I do.

This journey isn’t easy and there are many bumps in the road but, seeing as this week is National Eating Disorder Awareness week, I think it is important to reflect on where we started, where we are now, and how we cope when struggles arise in our recovery. I think for me, one of the biggest things I’ve been struggling with is just being my natural self. I love makeup and a good outfit because I feel empowered, confident, sexy, and just totally revolutionized whereas when I am wearing jeans and a sweatshirt with no makeup on – I definitely feel more self conscious and I’d like to work on that. So, I have decided not to wear makeup everyday and to start embracing my natural beauty. I think too, I’m not the best when it comes to skincare – I am very content with using a makeup wipe and hitting the pillow so, I think by doing this it’ll get me on a regular skin care regimen. Honest Beauty has free trials of their skincare products which range from dry to oily with balanced in between and it comes with a cleanser, moisturizer, and what they call a “beauty fluid” which has SPF 30 in it so, I have been trying that and I highly recommend it if you are looking for cruelty free and more natural skincare products. They feel very natural on my skin and I just ordered a full size bundle – if anyone would like an update on how my skin reacts to it in a month or so, just let me know!

It feels really good to be writing again, I’ve missed you guys! You all listen to my problems or successes and are always so supportive, thank you! So many things are happening that I just can’t believe that this is my life. I work full time and go to night school so, I’m a pretty busy person but, I’m finding a balance between work and play. Finding that special time for me and the people I love and this journey has just been so rewarding.

If you are dealing with an eating disorder and feel stuck – I just want you to know that there is a way out. That the light at the end of the tunnel will make itself known to you. You just need to trust that it will happen and it will. I know some days feel like they will never end – that the pain will never end but, it does. Talk to someone you feel comfortable with whether it be a significant other, family member, teacher, counselor, what have you – someone will be there to listen and help you towards your first steps of recovery because quite honestly, I believe that talking is the first step. Letting someone know what you are going through and opening yourself up is the hardest part in my opinion. You can even shoot me a message and I will be there to listen and give whatever advice that I can.

Thank you again to those of you who take the time to read my blogs, your support means the world to me.

I was on a podcast!

Hello hello!

Those of you who follow me on my social media wanted me to write about how I was recently featured on Paige Smather’s podcast called “Nutrition Matters Podcast”. You can listen to the episode here and leave a comment below of what your thoughts were when listening to it! I would appreciate anyone who takes the time to tune in as it is about an hour and fifteen minutes.

In the podcast Paige and I discuss my journey through dieting, restriction, binging, self hate, and body dysmorphia over the course of ten years. We focus on the main points of my recovery and where I am at now mentally and physically. I am honored that I was able to share my story on a podcast that delivers such a healthy and loving message. Paige’s podcast surrounds itself around true nutrition, body acceptance, and Intuitive Eating which are three topics that I love! Paige is sweet, intelligent, and really easy to talk to (you can hear it in the episode!).

My long time readers know my struggle with the dieting cycle and binge eating. I have documented many of my attempts to lose weight through the various diets I have tried and although it is sad to read those old posts of mine, I am also proud to be where I am at now and I am even more proud to share a much more vibrant and positive message.

Thank you again to those who have supported me the past few years and to those who have taken the time to listen to the podcast.

In case the link above doesn’t work, here is the direct link to the podcast: http://www.nutritionmatterspodcast.com/jess-palmers-story-from-dieting-and-bingeing-to-self-love-and-authenticity/ 

2.17.16

Hello all.

I haven’t written much since my last post, I guess I haven’t had any ideas of what to write. I don’t really know but, here goes nothing:

I’ve been reading a lot which has been awesome. Scribd has been a Godsend but, I guess starting mid March they are changing up their membership so, I may not be a customer for long.

I finished The Mortal Instruments series (which I LOVED!) and read Hush Hush (which I hated) and now I am trying to find my next series to get into. Something along the lines of a dystopian series but, Scribd kind of sucks when it comes to certain genres so, like I said, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be a customer of theirs.

Life has been kind of boring but, good. I started school last month and have actually been staying on top of my homework which is great since I have a habit of forgetting assignments.

Chris and I go away to Portland, ME next month for our one year anniversary so, I am really looking forward to that. I guess really I’ve just been going with the flow, I haven’t been doing yoga really at all for awhile which has made me sad especially since before I was doing it regularly at my home or at a local studio. I definitely haven’t been sticking ot my resolutions besides reading but, who really sticks to their resolutions anyway? I would be genuinely surprised if at the end of 2016 someone told me that they did every one of their resolutions and if people do, that is awesome! I certainly am going to try but, I am not making any promises!

Sorry for the short post but, I wanted to check in with you guys seeing as it has been awhile.

 

2.1.16

Hello all, how are you? Happy February 1st, 2016.

I haven’t posted in awhile, I guess I’ve been MIA in a lot of aspects of my life especially my blog, probably because I have no idea what to do with it.

My blog has changed a lot over the past few years since I’ve had it and I’ve always wanted to have one focus whether it be fitness, body positivity, minimalism, yoga, or Buddhism, but, to be completely honest, I have no desire to have one focus when it comes to my blog.

If you are one of my loyal readers then you know I like to change my mind a lot and go through many different phases and interests. It is hard having ADD because, you find yourself being bogged down by different trends in society whether they be positive or negative and, having a blog means sharing those thoughts and ideas and as you know, I have many.

Going forward I am no longer going to tie my blog down to one specific topic. If I choose to write about x, y ,or z or all three then I will because that is my choice. Ever since starting my Intuitive Eating/mindfulness journey I have found that my life has changed in more ways than just my eating habits. I am doing things that make me feel fulfilled and happy whether it be reading, eating pizza, watching a documentary, or taking a walk outside. Practicing mindfulness has been a huge tool in my recovery when it comes to my eating disorder and dealing with my anxiety and depression.

I am so much more happier. Everything in my life just seems brighter and makes more sense. Ever since I let go of trying to please others and stopped following trends to find myself, everything seems to have fallen into place. Although new things arise each day, week, month and year, life is directing me and I am allowing it to guide me. You can’t predict the future and to waste your time and energy on trying to do so, you’re just going to bring yourself down. This is the most important lesson I have learned in my 22 years of life.

I’m glad to be back here blogging. Writing is such an important outlet for me and I’ve been really neglecting it. I still want to write a novel – one I’ve been planing to start for years but, I just can’t find that spark or idea to start it all. I’ve written down many story line ideas and none of them click. I feel like I have this roadblock in front of me and I just don’t see how to get past it.

I want to be passionate about writing again but, I am so impatient. It is hard for me to just write a little, put it down, then start it again the next day. I want it done right there and then and obviously, that could NEVER happen unless I took a week off of work and locked myself in my room but, I can’t do that to myself.

I guess this is where practicing mindfulness comes in and patience as a whole. I’ve been being more mindful of when I am not patient and it is becoming more clear that I have very little but, I’m working on it and that’s what counts. I am hopeful that I can start brainstorming again while practicing patience when it comes to my writing.

That is pretty much it. Not sure how to conclude this blog post but, I appreciate anyone who has taken the time to read this.

New Year’s Resolutions 

We all know this time of year very well. People start thinking of resolutions or goal for the new year to come.

For many, this goal is usually to lose weight. Gyms will start having their sign on specials, health websites will start having sales on supplement stacks, and fitness clothes will be all the new rage.

As for me, this has been my New Year’s Resolution as long as I can remember especially after a holiday season filled with so much food and pictures. Pictures that you see yourself in and think, “I just need to lose x amount of weight and I will be where I want to be, that picture is my motivation.”

I am going to tell you guys something very real about me. This morning, I went on Facebook and saw that my Mom had posted pictures from yesterday and saw myself in one. Mind you, I was wearing jeggings, an oversized sweater, and my hair was kind of messy (I sort of like it that way) but, when I looked at this photo I instantly thought, “I need to lose weight this coming year, I just can’t stand looking at myself in this picture.” After that thought had come and gone, I felt very disappointed in myself. Lately I have been working so hard on breaking away from “losing weight” mentality but, through this journey I have put my health on the back burner. Disclaimer: I do believe when breaking free from the dieting world it is essential to just let go and relax. If that means eating less nutritionally dense foods and skipping the gym, that is 100% okay! Some people need to do this to recover and this is what I did. However, due to this neglect when it came to my health these past few months, I have been extremely bloated and swollen due to the fact that I haven’t been getting hardly any fiber whatsoever and have really slacked on eating fruits and vegetables. I also haven’t been sweating out any of the toxins going into my body from eating some of these not-so nutritionally dense foods which at the time was okay (and still is of course!) but, I want to treat my body better.

So, here they are, my goals for 2016.

  • Eat more fiber: I need to get my digestive system back on track with proper health because I have Celiac Disease and if by chance I eat gluten, I need a healthy digestive system to help me get rid of it.
  • Sweat more: I don’t mean as in, “to count calories burned, etc..” but, so I can treat my body with respect and feel better mentally and physically, in the hopes that I can sleep better and wake up feeling more refreshed.
  • Do more yoga: I have been upping my yoga game a lot lately. I try to aim to do it at least two times a week but I would like to get to the 4-5 days a week seeing as the results have been incredible both mentally and physically and it has brought me so much happiness and peace.
  • Forgive myself more: You are your own worst critic in all aspects of life, especially if you are an ex-dieter you know this all too well. This year I really want to work on letting things go and not being so hard on myself all of the time. I need to remember that I am not a perfect human being because things happen, life throws obstacles in your way, and what counts is working to get past them, not beat yourself up about it.
  • Practice mindfulness: This is a huge goal of mine (also: none of these are in particular order) I am always rushing through life whether it be eating, driving, exploring, writing, and so many other things. I forget to appreciate the different sensations and my surroundings and I miss out. I want to see the world for what it is, I want to live in the present because the past is the past and the future hasn’t come yet.
  • Read more: This is my last goal but, I want to read more. Lately I have been making the effort to pick up a book rather than my Apple TV remote but, I want this effort to be much more significant in the new year.

It would be wrong of me to lie to you and say that losing weight didn’t cross my mind, of course it did! I’m an ex-dieter trying to find her way on this journey of self love and body acceptance but, I do want to treat my mind and body right because this is the only body I’ve got. I am happy that I have some goals not related to health because I find that this is an important step in diet recovery. When you have goals solely focused on health, it could appear that maybe subliminally your goals reflect the subconscious idea of losing weight and although those are not my intentions, I think it is important to point this out for those in diet recovery  trying to think of resolutions/goals for the new year.

When it comes to New Year’s Resolutions, don’t think too much on it. Close your eyes, envision yourself lets say…six months from now, where do you want to be? What goals could get you to the point? And choose those as your goals. For example, by practicing mindfulness, by six months I hope to not eat so quickly and truly enjoy my food, and to also drive slower seeing as I have a very long commute to work I always tend to drive like a maniac and I would like to slow the pace down and enjoy the views even if it is snow. Having an image of what you want your life to be can really help when choosing these resolutions. Meditate on it, I promise that with some stillness and relaxation, these goals will come to you.

Dear Jess

Dear Jess,

We have a lot of history you and I. The amount of things we have been through together and the memories we have made are endless. I am your vessel, your rock, the body that keeps you warm and the weapon that fights against external forces trying to sabotage you and what we have done together. However, these past ten years or so, you haven’t treated me the way I desire to be treated. You have restricted me from eating delicious foods, you have overworked me endlessly making me sweat and ache rather than appreciate me through enjoyable movement, sometimes you have given me so little to eat but, then make me eat way too much at one time making us both very sick. You have disconnected from me and I miss you.  I miss the way we could flow together and understand each other. You haven’t listened to me or my wisdom in quite some time and I was afraid that you would never come back. I know lately you have been trying to let go of all of the things that made you feel so worthless and ugly and all of the pain you have held on to for so long. I am elated to see and feel this progress and that you are finally starting to see the beautiful person that you truly are, I have been waiting.

 

I knew you could do it, I knew that you could rise above the abusive cycle of dieting, restricting, bingeing, and beating yourself up through shame and guilt. I know you are still in pain, and that with letting go of the only ‘control’ you have had these past ten years is bringing up a lot of mixed emotions but look at you! You have come so far and I am so proud. As your body and friend I beg you to not look back. Do not go back to those restrictive and hurtful ways. These past few months of true recovery have made me feel so much better. I don’t hurt as much as I did, and I don’t want this to end. I don’t want to go back to those nights of bingeing or those moments where I felt your struggle on deciding what to eat to fit your ‘diet’. Not only do I want to feel good but, I want you to feel good too. I can feel this weight slowly lifting off your shoulders. I have sensed your pleasure in eating tasty treats and that the guilt you used to feel slowly being erased and I couldn’t be happier. I as your body, never ever want you to feel guilty about feeding me whether it be sweets, a salad, or chips, you CHOOSE what you want and I want you to enjoy the fuck out of it because you deserve to enjoy anything and everything that you get to experience in life.

 

I want us to be close. I want us to be connected and to be one again. I want you to listen to me when I am telling you I am hungry or full. I want you to try new things and taste all sorts of food. We can do this together you and I. We don’t have to be enemies anymore because all I was trying to do the past decade was protect you from the harmful things you were doing. I never wanted you to hate me, I never wanted you to look in the mirror and say hurtful things about me because I love you. I love you so much. I am curvy to keep you warm, I am muscular to keep your strong, and I am flexible to keep you balanced. I promise that whatever I do is for YOU. I know you better than you know yourself. The first step for us to get close again is for you to trust me. Believe that I know what I am doing because I do. I am your body, I am your vessel, and I am your rock. I vow to always love you but, I need you to love me too.

 

You are on such a powerful journey Jess. You are discovering so many wonderful things about yourself and the world around you. I can feel the happiness swell inside of us and this is the first time in a long time that I have felt at peace. Thank you for taking these steps to bettering your outlook on you and I. We are a team and I will always be here for you.

 

Love,

Your Body