Happy Christmas

Is 2016 over yet?

I have been doing nothing but working my butt off since April. My average week consists of 5-6 work days at 10-16 hours each day. Thursday night into Friday I have 6 hours between shifts so I got about 3 hours of sleep and had to work 16 hours on Friday. Suffice it to say I. Am. Exhausted.

But other than working a lot, I had been looking forward to Christmas, and since I have to work Christmas Day, my family had Christmas today.

It’s not the first year we’ve done it on Christmas Eve, but it’s the first we’ve done it out of necessity instead of excitement and impatience. I slept for about 12 hours, got up, worked out, then headed over to my mom’s.

My angsty teenage little brother sat on the couch glued to his phone while my mom and I ate pizza and caught up and then we opened gifts.

I don’t like that as we grow older the magic in our lives just disappears. Christmas used to be a sparkly, warm, magical time that I like to relive in classic movies and perfect photographs, but in reality it’s not the same as it was when we were 3. The little bit that’s left is in those traditions. Pizza as our Christmas dinner, watching A Christmas Story on repeat on TBS, watching the Disney Christmas Parade (I was there for the filming this year!!!), and eating cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast (mine are in the fridge waiting for morning).

No, Christmas isn’t the same as when I was 3, but 20 years later I’m still in love with the colorful lights, the movies and food, the traditions, and of course getting to spend time with my family and friends. I can’t believe how many people think of me to wish a Happy Christmas to and even get me a gift.

I hope that you all have a happy Christmas and take a moment to just breathe in the moments you’re spending with family.

Ana and Me

I’ve been away a while.

I suddenly find my life taking a turn in a direction I never imagined it would go. Well, maybe not so suddenly. I think this has been a long time coming, perhaps even from day 1. I now find myself having to work 60-80 hours a week to make ends meet. I don’t have a fun budget. I don’t even have extravagant life goals anymore. All I want is to be able to work only 40 hours a week to make ends meet.

Somewhere in my past Ana and I met. Somewhere in my past Ana came into my life and I never really realized that she was never going to leave.

Eating disorder recovery is portrayed fantastically. Girls and boys post pictures of their sad skeletal frames next to more current pictures where they’re sporting big smiles and big muscles and expensive Lululemon sportswear.

It’s been nearly 10 years since my diagnosis and here I am, sitting in the cold, watching all of my money go toward gas and student loans and rent. My friends from my school days and at work either think I’m all better or don’t know about my past at all. Recovery and my predisposition to obsess over calories has taken over my life whether I’ve been aware of it or not. And somewhere in that time I lost a lot of things really dear to me.

It doesn’t matter what I look like. As long as I’m stuck in this recovery cycle I’ll never get anywhere. No one will ever love me. I’ll never go anywhere in life.

The problem is I don’t know how to get out.

Reminder to Myself

Remember the spaghetti straps, butterfly barrettes, and collar bones? I do. I remember wanting so much to look like that. Those girls were pretty. They were popular. Nothing bad could ever happen to them. They got the guys. They had all the friends. They had the big house with the red convertible on their sweet sixteen, and a mom and a dad and an annoying younger sibling that at the very worst teased them slightly.

That was what I grew up with. The 90s aesthetic and teen television comedies on Disney Channel and ABC Family. All I wanted was to fit into those super tiny spaghetti strap dresses that hung off of their slim bodies like an oversized t-shirt. Whenever I tried i still had that belly pooch sticking out and my collar bones where no where to be seen.

There are a lot of reasons why I wanted to be stick thin. I can’t blame the media alone or the way I was raised. It’s a combination of everything and my weird mental imbalances that keep me from being satisfied with anything about myself. Today it’s not about collar bones and spaghetti straps but the booty and crop tops. But there is still that part of my mind that wants spaghetti straps and collar bones.

I often forget that there will always be that part of me. I let it swallow me up and I end up pulling myself out magically, having the same epiphany over and over again. “I am more than my weight. I need to focus on making my body as strong and healthy as it can be and the shape will just come with it naturally.” And then my life becomes more hectic and I stop blogging and then one day I remember again those words above. But the important thing is I’m still eating. I have replaced food restriction with free time restriction. I work around the clock. At 50-60 hours a week I still cannot afford to pay all my bills. So I don’t grocery shop. I do little things at work for quarters to buy the trail mix out of the vending machine with. I drink teas made with soy milk and eat a couple bananas for breakfast if I have any. And in the back of my mind some 90s teen is calling to me in her velvet spaghetti strap dress and a million butterfly clips in her hair.

So some days I say fuck it and eat extra chocolate because I decide that being a twig is overrated and unnecessary. And other days I eat a spoonful of peanut butter for the entire day both because I’m too poor to afford food and because those collar bones are calling to me.

Every day I’m still fighting to remember those words above. “I am more than my weight.” And every day I get a little bit closer.