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/ 

I am finally free

For as long as I can remember I have battled with myself. From orthhorexia to binge eating to overexercising, this cycle kept going for a long time. Although I had gained control over my BED in 2013, I still struggled with my body dysmorphia. Looking in the mirror all I would see is lumps, bumps, rolls, and bones. I did not see beauty, nor did I see the strength I had inside me.

Back in 2013, I truly dedicated myself to a more positive lifestyle. I tried to push away the negative thoughts and the little voice in my head telling me that I wasn’t good enough, that I wasn’t pretty or skinny enough. It was tough because I felt accomplished for overcoming my BED, but I still found myself loathing who I was and my body.

Working out was an obsession, eating “clean” was an obsession, becoming thin was an obsession. I tried every diet, exercise, meal plan, you name it I’ve probably tried it. Counting macros, hiring an online coach, counting calories, lifting weights, I was doing all of these things that I hated. I hated it all, I had no desire to be a bodybuilder or competitor but, I thought I did at the time because I followed so many young women who transformed their bodies doing these things, and although those things worked for them they didn’t work for me. Your journey is YOUR journey. Just because something “worked” for someone doesn’t mean it is right for you.

So, I was going back and forth between being this “IIFYM girl” to a depressed and frustrated overeater. I couldn’t find balance, I couldn’t find enjoyment in anything health related because it all felt fake. It didn’t feel right for me but, I kept doing it because “No excuses” right? That is some utter bullshit if you ask me. “No excuses” really? If you are sick with the flu and you don’t go to the gym, doesn’t that sound like an okay “excuse” to not workout? Well, if you had asked me that a few years ago I would’ve told you no.

I felt trapped, alone, and confused. I felt like no one understood me until I watched a YouTuber named Josie Mai and her video on Intuitive Eating. I was so intrigued by this I had never heard of it before but, it sounded very appealing. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full, sounds easy right? Not so much. It isn’t an easy journey it has it’s ups and downs and lefts and rights. When I first started my IE journey I was enlightened and felt free, although the next day I was so concerned with what I was eating (i.e. calories, fat, sugar etc..) I just couldn’t get the diet mindset out of my head and that is the biggest concept of Intuitive Eating is that you need to let go of the dieting mindset and put weight loss on the back burner.

Wait…put weight loss on the back burner? The one thing you’ve been trying to achieve for over ten years? The one crutch you’ve had for all of your emotional turmoil? The only thing you felt that you could control? Gone? Yes. That has been the hardest for me to be honest. For so long I relied on weight loss and being on a “diet” to keep myself together, to have some sort of control over my life. I couldn’t control the kids bullying me in school, I couldn’t control the insensitive men I chose to be in relationships with, I couldn’t control my ever changing emotions in regards to my depression and anxiety so, weight loss and dieting gave me a sense of control.

It was that control that sent me spiraling down this black hole, into a place I thought I would never get out of. I was body shaming myself every day, every damn day and I was done. The last few months I’ve been really working on my Intuitive Eating, sometimes yes, I think about the calories in my food but, nothing like how it was before. I am slowly feeling the obsessive and restrictive patterns fall away, I feel so beautiful and sexy in my skin sometimes I just want to cry of happiness because I have never felt this way, but the best part about this journey is I finally am free. You know how good that feels? Fucking incredible. I eat chocolate, fries, pizza, rice, vegetables, fruit, you name it I eat it because I canDo you want to know why I can? because when I am hungry I truly listen to my body, I ask what it wants, what it is craving, and I eat it. I eat it mindfully and when I feel my belly starting to stretch and become full, I try my hardest to stop. I’ll be honest, sometimes I don’t but hey, that is totally okay. Like I said, this is a journey, it is your own, so make it the way you want it to be. The beauty of IE is that you are your own coach, you are the person guiding yourself to your happiness. Do not keep yourself in this horrible dieting mindset, let those insecurities and need to control go. Your body will figure out it’s natural weight and body composition, all you have to do is listen to it.

Sunday thoughts

I’m kinda of messy.  I like to think I am neat but in reality I am just messy.  Every Sunday I clean my room, vacuum, laundry, clean sheets, you name it.  I feel so great knowing that I will keep my room clean all week…not.  Each time I clean my room which is has been every Sunday the past three months or so, I tell myself that I will keep it clean.  I think I will make a mini cleaning habit each day so every Sunday it takes less time to clean my room to the point where I won’t have to spend hours cleaning it.

I also noticed that when the weekends come I don’t sleep as much.  I mean, I stay up late, wake up early-ish, then fall back asleep only to wake up at noon or past noon.  Working a 8-5 job five days a week can really take a toll on your mind and body but I am thankful for where my life is going.  I am productive and successful for someone my age, I work full time, go to school online, have my photography business, maintain a blog and a fitness social media presence (follow me on IG: jpalmer_fitness) (shameless promotion!).

What is remarkable is that I haven’t collapsed from an overworking brain yet which makes me pretty proud.  I still have time for me, my boyfriend, my best friend, family, Netflix, and reading.  I definitely spread myself pretty thin but at least I am moving in the right direction.

Feel good talks

I’m feeling good today. Although it’s raining and gloomy here in Boston, I feel all the way around good. Some days I feel like this and others I am lower than the ground but it is days like today that I am thankful and hopeful. It is not easy dealing with depression and anxiety, or really any mental illness for that matter. I know for me that I find it difficult to get my mind quiet and on the same playing level as the rest of my mind, body, and soul. Some days my body wants to run but my mind wants to life, but my soul wants to do yoga. I sometimes feel like I am never in sync with myself but today I feel very grounded and I think it is because I’ve incorporated more yoga into my week. I find that I do it almost five days a week whether it is for 5 minutes or thirty minutes. I’ve always loved yoga and have practiced it, but it hasn’t been until recently that I’ve truly practiced often.

I’m going to the Cape with my love and his family next week and I can’t wait. I’m definitely going to do some yoga on the beach and make sure I get some activity every day whether it be walking the beach, kayaking, walking around town or whatever. I refuse to let vacations of any kind ruin my progress or weight loss journey. Lately I’ve just been feeling so down about myself and uncomfortable in my skin. My clothes don’t fit the way I want them too, my weight is climbing and it has been discouraging to say the least but I’ve gotten back on track. I’m packing my meals, tracking my food, drinking loads of water and tea, and challenging my body in the gym or at my home and it has been nice.

My midnight snacking though is what kills me. I eat out of boredom and if there is Netflix in front of me, I want a snack. So now, I’m TRYING to have more healthier snacks and although I am doing that, I just eat too much so NOW I need to focus on portion control and drinking more water because honestly, I would be at my ideal weight by now if it weren’t for my snacking and that sucks. It sucks to know that you get in your own way, but I vow to do my best to stay on the straight and narrow.

I know that my posts sometimes do not make sense or they turn into me rambling about different things, but I really appreciate those who take the time to read about my silly life, it means a lot to me.

Downtown Funk

I haven’t been myself the past week or so.  I’ve been so run down, tired, and agitated.  I strongly believe that I suffer from PMDD, because whenever Mother Nature decides to bless me with this week of sorrow and depression, I just feel like I’m in a rut of confusion and unhappiness all day and night.  Sometimes during this time I will have bursts of energy and happiness, but then there are moments when I’m so down and out I just feel so lost and helpless.  I’m trying to stay active to clear my mind and read inspiring quotes to remind me of my purpose every day.  I am nowhere near the place I was when I was eighteen years old, but I just feel really low, and that sucks.

It is tough to find balance in your life.  That is something I struggle with all the time, trying to find the middle between working full time, having a boyfriend, seeing friends, and time to myself.  There are days like today that I just miss my boyfriend and friends.  I wish I had more time to do things such as hanging with my loved ones or myself for that matter but life doesn’t work that way.  This world is ruled by money and although I love my job and coworkers, sometimes I just feel rundown, but that is something most adults feel.  I wouldn’t consider to be a full adult just yet, I don’t think I ever will to be honest and that is another aspect I’m trying to balance and figure out.

I feel like my brain is scrambled and I just can’t figure myself out right now but I am hopeful that maybe soon I can just calm my brain and breakdown what is giving me this anxiety.

Muscle gains and mental struggles

Losing weight, no one wants to put the effort in because it isn’t easy and believe me, there are some days I don’t want to go to the gym or eat a salad instead of cheese puffs but, I’ve made a lot of progress since my first diet bet in the beginning of December. I’ve been hitting the gym consistently and seeing myself shrink slowly but surely. On the weekends I’ve been going a little crazy and some nights during the week I pig out while watching Netflix but I’m getting a handle on it and overall I’ve made a big improvement compared to how my habits were two months ago. I haven’t weighed myself in about three weeks, I don’t really care too much about it because I’m lifting weights and eating protein so I’m making those muscle gains! I’ve never really had biceps before and they are starting to peek out, along with my manly awesome tricep muscles. I am curious though seeing that I weighed 150 pounds at the end of November and last time I weighed myself I was 142, yippie! I’ve definitely fluctuated due to the gluten free Domino’s pizza and margaritas, but I’m enjoying life and not depriving myself. I do want to really try to clean my diet up more and save my splurges for one night per week rather than three. I want to be the best I can be and I know I can achieve the results I am seeking with hard work. It feels good to wear clothes that didn’t fit me for a long time. I haven’t been this size in well over a year and I’m proud of my progress thus far and I don’t plan on stopping. 2015 is going to be my year I’m going to achieve the things I’ve always wanted to achieve. I’m not going to hold myself back any longer.

The last week or so I’ve been struggling with my anxiety. I find that around the time that my lady friend comes to visit me each month my mental health just crumbles to the ground and I’m just stepping all over the broken pieces. I’ll have my moments of feeling inspired and happy, then in a instant I’m shoved into a dark corner that I can’t seem to get out of. I know a lot of my anxiety has to do with insecurity and anxiousness when it comes to my relationships whether they are personal or professional. I am constantly doubting myself and creating these horrific scenarios in my brain to the point where I’m in tears and have no clue what’s real and what isn’t. I think that is probably the most frustrating thing about having anxiety is the made up truths that it creates in your brain. My anxiety toys with these horrible ideas and manipulates them so many times that I’ll start to believe whatever it tells me whether its my friends hate me or I suck at my job or I’m a terrible person in general and sometimes I see those things as the truth when my normal brain knows that it’s not. I try to sit there in my room inside my head and tell myself not to listen to my anxiety and to my irrational thoughts. I do put my best effort into putting an end to those negative notions but sometimes I don’t win. I am overtaken by the darkness and it swallows me whole. Meditation has helped a lot along with yoga, and writing always seems to give me some sort of perspective and I am thankful for that. I am thankful that I don’t just give up on myself but the effect that my anxiety has on my life is going to ruin my relationships if I don’t get a better understanding of it. I am constantly learning about myself and how my brain works, I just hope that the pieces fall together quickly and I can finally have a break from this mental torment.