Tuesday, December 30, 2008

As 2009 approaches, I feel the need to reflect on the past year before I make resolutions for the year to follow...

What a year.

In 2008 I....
Officially graduated with my BA (I had already finished classes).
Had 32 hours of reconstructive surgery, including some pretty large complications.
Met my "big sister"
Started sitting with my teacher
applied to grad school
moved to NYC
Started Grad school
Got elected the first year Rep for my school
Had a vocal concert for the first time in years
went sky diving
got my yoga teacher certification
started working as a therapist

WOW! Looking back, it has been an amazing year!
Im proud of myself. I had no idea I had done so much. It has been an intense year. I have grown immensily in so many ways.
With my first surgery and the months of complications that followed, I had quite a dark night of the soul experience, which always provides for change.
And so, moving forward, what resolutions do I want to make?

I want to stop letting go of the things that others do that bother me because I dont want to cause drama. I still think it is wise to pick battles, but I do not want to let myself fall prey to the rules others create without my input.
I want to own and live in my vulnerability
I want to speak the truth, no matter how much it hurts, both my own and my experience in relation to others
I want to stay connected, no matter what, to the people I care about
I want to keep getting involved with OT and see where that leads
I want to explore the scary places and work through some of this old trauma so that I can live in my truth that is real in 2009
I want to apply to the summer research fellowship I am coveting with the kick ass research proposal I am working on.
I want to remind myself that stress is not necessary to success
I want to continue to work on and MAKE this AspirED event happen with Stephanie and others who wish to be involved.
I want to take myself seriously as a professional in my current truth and not without it or despite it or ignoring it.

Also, Ive noticed some fun body oriented resolutions that have nothing to do with weight!....
Body Resolutions

I probably wont post until 2009. I plan to ring in the new year with the two women I lived in the transition house with for almost a year. My true soul sisters. That is after meeting up with a teacher who had a profound impact on me back in high school.
Then the 1st, I am waking up earlier and driving up to santa barbara to spend the day sitting with my teacher and playing and living in the Shakti.

Blessings all
My inner child is having a temper tantrum over something my adult self has decided.
And alas, I am experiencing early, what I told I would by the therapists in my life...
the ultimate occasion inwhich the therapist decides to go back into their own therapy.
Of course, I have MANY feelings about this.
However after that physical trauma regression the other night, I know I need to do something.
In talking with my old therapist, it is agreed that more talk therapy at this point would be unhelpful, but rather I need a way to surpass that.
so, either, EMDR, yoga therapy, Somatic Experiencing... something like that.
Anybody out there have any experiences with the above?

Meanwhile, I am still home and still alive, although there is an inner shadow of self leaning on the self destruct button. Im hanging on though. I had a short run earlier that helped.
All we have is this breath... I live on the wind that creates me...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I feel the need to write. I have for days, but what to say I am not sure.
Being home has been an amazing vacation. I have been feeling somewhat held, nested, in a safe place, which LA never was for me before.
I have spent time with my old community/treatment center. I have realized that they really truly are my family, just as much as my genetic family here. They are home.
It is in their arms that I feel cradled, supported, seen and understood.
The law of living that I am attempting to subscribe to more and more these days is "Stay connected, no matter what" which is a tennet of a group I am becoming actively involved with in NYC. I find it is the most painful, but most fulfilling and growth supporting way to live.
There was someone with which I needed to do this intead of running away, and I did and I feel much better now. I think this staying connected thing is big for me. I am quick to trust, but just as quick to assume I cannot trust if trust is broken, even if I dont understand what happened.
Not getting responses to my emails and calls came down to a lot of things, but the true answer felt both good and bad. Part of the response was on a personal level, that she almost quit because she was working 12 hour days then going home to answer emails, and hearing this truth of her life, made me feel much more connected... the hard part was that she said she only answers the ones she needs to to put out fires and that resonated with something I have fought hard. It echoed the "Rachael is always okay and always will be" thing that I have had to fight so hard to learn to feel again. I understand it and at the same time, it keeps me from getting what I need. Regardless, hearing that I was loved and cared about was all I needed.
Being home again and sitting in groups has led me to see my own growth and I am rather proud and blessed to have kept traveling down this road further into the journey I call my life.
I also got to hang out with my oldest friend who is currently in treatment where I was. I blogged about this awhile back, but it was really good to see her and to feel her new energy in this place. I am hoping that this experience of such a magical place brings us closer together and in a way I feel like it already has. I am hoping that it is one more thing that we share that is special in our hearts.
What else?
I had more surgery yesterday. My surgeon wanted to fix something and I told him he could only do it if he didnt put me out.... and so he didnt... which was insane!
Im not in much pain at all, but I still cannot believe he operated on me while I was awake.
It was secretely kind of cool.
I pretty much just went into a meditative state until he had me all numbed up, put my Ipod on and talked to my buds there while listening to music while he worked.
What else have i learned since being home?
I am sometimes naturally quiet and am fulfilled within myself this way
I am sometimes a loner of sorts
comiting to connection and speaking things begets relationship.
My story involved food and body, but much much more as well
Alas... I am falling asleep...
Goodnight sweet world

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hello All,
I feel like I have an update brewing, but I am tired and taking care and pampering myself.
Still shedding.... still recharging...


Monday, December 22, 2008

Im home in Los Angeles atlast. I slept 14 hours last night and would have slept longer if I hadnt had to be up. I feel like I am shedding so much. I feel like my body and perhaps soul is going through a much needed detox. I got to LA and started having stomach problems, cramps, and now a headache. I think I am releasing months of energetic weight.
I saw my diatician today. I have a secret. I only see her for her hugs.
We actually had a good talk about how the interplay of trauma may be coming up in unknown ways in reaction to working with other people's trauma. I have a way that I have always been able to seperate my stuff from other people's and I may be doing this in a way that is inauthentic to my unconscious. She feels that a meal plan would be retraumatizing but also knows that there is almost nothing she can do to help otherwise.
I havent thought about what I want to do yet.
I went to my old alumni group tonight. I had a lot of anxiety about it because of a specific staff member who hasnt spoken to me eventhough I have sent several emails. It was fine and I actually felt more myself and more in my truth in the moment than I ever have before. I was able to talk about things in a way that was true without doing that thing I do where my life seems perfect and I walk away and feel like I drew a pretty picture of myself and left my emotional truth half way in the dirt.
I also went to the old house to visit my oldest/bestie who is in treatment there now. It felt good, but difficult at the same time. I was fine but when she spoke about the pass I am taking her on on saturday, she mentioned planning snacks and meals and said that we should decide where we were eating so the diatician could tell her what to order.
Someting in my heart almost broke open and poured tears. I so desperately want the safety of somebody doing that for me. I want the safety, the cradling, the "holding" that that would provide, just sometimes. I also want the life I have, but I so crave the care and safety that I would associate with that.
And so I am here. I have doctors appointments tomorrow... a follow up with my surgeon and then my regular doctor. Im having sushi with my dad tomorrow night.
And so here I am... home... shedding, sleeping and hopefully renewing soon.
Im here, going back into the embryo... the coccoon... in hopes that I will reemerge again shortly with the vigor and verve I had at the begining of the semester.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Do you ever feel like you have a whole hell of a lot of nothing to say?

I suppose nothing I say is nothing. Oh dear.
Anyway, Im done with this semester, as I said.
Ive actually been having a weird time without school. Ive found myself obsessing about food a lot more than usual, which is scary, and is also amidst a lot of "drama" with my nutritionist, if you will.
I talked to my first roomate/housemate/friend from treatment last night. I freakin love the girl. She, too, is doing eating disorder research, looking at a way to redesign the eating disorder screening systems to apply to men with eating disorders. Shes applying to PhD programs. Im so proud of us.

She and I have a lot of the same feelings regarding a lot of the same things currently... dietician... old treatment center where we are still involved, etc and it was REALLY good to talk to someone about it who has the same relationship to it as I do.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh! and to whoever asked what book I am reading now that I have time...

Emotional Awareness - By the Dalai Lama and Paul Ekman .... its a series of dialogue between one of the foremost emotions experts/psychologists and the Dalai Lama, the foremost Buddhist expert about emotion...
I thought I would sleep better once finals were done, but as tired as I have been, sleeping hasnt been easy.
My (old?) nutritonist and I have been having an exchange... basically, things need to change between us... I need help in different ways and she doesnt really understand... it is kind of a long story, but one of her big things is that my relationship with feeding myself will change when my ability to love myself changes... an idea that is based on a misunderstanding of me...
My response back to her...
Thank you for your response. I will say "no" from now on if it means I would have to sacrifice something that involves me taking care of myself.
I dont have much of the kind of "fall out" that I believe you are refering to. I am curious about some of it, but it isnt an unhealthy curiousity. Im coming to this from a place of love and care and not of wanting a crash diet or a weight loss plan. I just want to find some way of living in a world with food that feels healthy and good and not like it does now. That is all I have ever wanted.... that and a true physical self perception.
There is one peice that is bothering me though. I hear you say over and over that it is about loving myself, and I have a problem with that. I feel like youre missing something about my true self when you go back to that each time as I vent my frustrations about attempting to learn to live with food in a normal context.
Kim, I do love myself very much. My relationship to food is in many ways a way that I have learned to love myself, and I am trying to untangle the impact of a million people who didnt know how best to love me.
The relationship I have to myself, is something very internal and important to me and isnt something I always give voice to, because I dont find it necessary. If this whole food thing were about not loving myself, then I would have given up long ago. It is my love and care and respect for myself that has ultimately gotten me through. If I didnt know I was someone worth caring for, I would have ever gone into treatment. I wouldnt have ever fought, tooth and nail, the last two years to get to a place where I could do what I am supposed to do in the world, follow my path. There have been times in my life where I have been very lonely, even amidst the crowds I often find myself in, and it is my love for myself that has cradeled me and kept me company until things could change.
It is my love for myself that knows I deserve a life without all of the dogma that has suction cupped itself onto my psyche about food and feeding. I know I deserve to be fed. I also I know I deserve the best fucking life I can possibly have and EVERYTHING I have done has been an attempt at that. I KNOW I was meant for big things. I knew that young. That was what got me through not being allowed to birthday parties with pizza. THAT is what got me through the moo's in the hallway as a teen. THAT is what got me through in the harsh world of theatre weighing what I did and THAT is what led me through a conscious journey to where I am.
I want everything life has to offer and I dont want it with food drama attached to it.
I love myself for my ability to hold to the ground when things are difficult and see beauty in the struggle, I love body for getting me through a long yoga class today, I love my brain and ambition for getting faculty sponsorship for my new research paper. I love my heart for being wide open and willing to cry and feel pain if it means I get to love and heal too.
And I even love myself when I dont do the "right" things with food... I love myself enough to ask for help doing what is best for myself.
So I am not sure what is lacking in my love for self as you see it. Perhaps it is my hesitancy to prove to anybody that I love myself, because I dont feel it necessary, but when it comes up time and time again, I do feel that you are mising an essential element of who I am..... and I wouldnt want that for you... I mean, after all... I AM pretty fucking amazing.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I feel accomplished and also like ive been hit with a freight train.
*yawn* bedtime... but pleasure reading first :)

The Shoe Questions

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Its 6:30 in the morning on sunday. Im sitting on the couch, tears streaming down my face, in the dark.
Its a long story. I have been carrying around a lot of pain about something... a group of people really, who used to care a lot for me in my roughest time and have since, more or less abandoned me, despite all the work Ive done for them. It is still a group I am associated with in many ways, and was planning on visiting while im home for 2 weeks this month. I mentioned this on somebody's facebook wall and received a note from somebody about how hurtful that was and how it was only going to push people away from me.
My instant response..... tears... because it made me realize how truly hurt I have been on top of being wrong for writing it out there.
Do you ever just feel stupid?
I have so many emotional responses....
one is this distinct yearning for the crisp clean edge of a razor... the next is that I would never numb myself after desperately searching for a life in which I can feel and cry...
I just hate being wrong. I hate being hurt. I dont know what to do about my relationship to these people. If I cut ties, it feels like cutting ties with a very important part of my journey and a home of sorts.
I dont know what I am going to do.... but for now, Im going to sit here and cry, because I suppose that is the largest testament of all to my recovery and strength of charactor.
I yearn so deeply to feel and I believe this is right....
But I am so hurt... so deeply hurt

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I just returned home from Banana Republic's 40% off sale. I had a gift certificate inhand.
I returned home empty handed.

How do I stop fighting?
Why does the fact that my body doesnt look the way I think it should feel like a social justicy issue inwhich I was denied equity?

I recall thumbing through stacks of magazines as a teenager... Delia's, Girlfriends LA, Moxie and circling things, just like any other teen. I would sit on my friend's beds and we would play the game where you had to pick one thing from each page. Dance catalogs were my favorite.
I would circle things, excited as magazines arrived, but why?
I played a game in my head, hit a magical switch that let me pretend, that only in that moment that there was a chance in hell that those things would fit me. It was common knowledge that they would not. I recall imagining I had a daughter or a younger sister that I had to dress, or atleast a twin who was in the same situation so I would not feel so alone.
I recall, not living in a fantasy world, fore I knew it was untrue, but perhaps 5 or 15 minutes at a time where atleast in my head, I could chose to believe my body was different.
And as I write this, it seems so wrong. So dissacociative. But really, what was I supposed to do? Actually aknowledge the truth? All of the pain? Even now, I know it is there, underlying so much, but when I tap into it, it goes nowhere, because nobody can ever have a childhood reclaimed. Sure, Ive changed, ive grown, ive become the person ive always wanted to be, but I will NEVER have a childhood without what I went through. And in some ways I am thankful.... I do not regret it, but goddamnit I am tired of fighting whe people tell me is yesterday.

Friday, December 12, 2008

I thought all night about whether I wanted to tell you this or not.
I wasnt going to. I felt bad about it. Guilty, terrible, weak.
I felt like I gave in. I DID give in.
Okay here goes...
Im going to admit it.
I broke down....
and I bought the Oprah magazine inwhich she talks about her weight.
Why did I do it? 1) I buy Oprah every month and 2) I was genuinely curious as what she had to say.

I am actually quite glad I bought it. With everything she had to say, you could have applied the same thing to anorexia, bulimia, overeating, overexercising, etc.

The media forgot to tell us what Oprah learned.
Oprah states herself that she has learned that it isnt about the weight. It is a sign of something else. She needs balance and acceptance in her life.... she needs to stay aware of her habits before she is consumed by them. She needs not torture herself. She needs hot baths, long walks and time to read.
Sound familiar? Maybe Oprah IS just like us.
Maybe Oprah lives in this same goddamned world and is learning, just like the rest of us.

I, for one, am going to give her just a little more slack.... and FUCK the media who made US all think that Oprah was trying to tell us something else.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You know what I dont want to hear about?

If you read ED/Body image blogs, you already know. GASP, Oprah put 40 lbs back on.
Gee, I wonder why.
Maybe because Liquid fasts dont work.
Maybe because fighting your bodys natural weight doesnt work.
That isnt to say that Oprah doesnt have food issues as she says she does. She says she has a food addiction, and I believe her. However, liquid fasts arent the answer to that.

I dont blame her for the medias obsession, but I am starting to get highly bothered by
A) how she talks about herself
B) What she projects as important

So, Oprah, youre 200 lbs now. Im 195. I wear an 8/10. Im in recovery from an eating disorder. I am told im not fat, have a normal body, and sometimes I believe it.
Am I fat? Am I a fat cow like you are Oprah?
What do you have to say to me, because your media reaches me too. When you are self depricating, you also drag in anybody around to hear it.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Bodhi Day!
Traditionally celebrated on December 8th, Bodhi day is said to be the day Siddhartha Gautama attained enlightenment, and was henceforth known as "The Buddha."

You say: Great TwistedBarbie, but what does this have to do with body image or eating disorders? Why do I care?

A: Well actually, there are quite a few relations between the two, and yes, I mean besides the lucky tummy that the Buddha is known for. Upon his quest towards enlightment, the Buddha attempted to study with several teachers, many of which thought that to end identification with the body, ignoring it's needs was necessary. After becoming emaciated from starving himself and not having attained enlightenment, the Buddha settled on the idea of the middle path. It is not aid enlightenment to gorge yourself on food, as it does not help attain enlightenment to starve yourself of food. Rather, the middle way, or tending to the needs of the body is the only way to enlightenment. Still having not attained enlightenment, the Buddha vowed that he would sit under the Bodhi tree and meditate until he got to the root of suffering and attained enlightenment. Some sources say he was tempted by the Hindu god Mara (God of illusion) while meditating, but held fast to his practice (does this resonate with anybody?). After sitting under the Bodhi tree for a week, the Buddha attained enlightenment and then was fed rice and milk to regain his strength (yes, carbs AND fat).

So what do we, of all spiritual backgrounds, make of this day?
I know for me, I chose to meditate on the idea that only in attending to all your needs (spiritual, emotional, physical) can I find the truth of myself and rid myself of suffering. I know that i must sustain my strength and physical health and must consume a variety of foods to do this and I can be thankfull that at every meal, I essentially eat myself into creation. I also remember that while Mara or illusion or ED thoughts may taunt me, they are not the essential truth of myself and will merely lead me off the path that I wish to attain.

So with that! Eat some food, rub your belly and make of it what you will!
Happy Bodhi Day!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I dont have all that much to say, really.
Im on that edge of health where I could say I was sick and believe it, but could also say I wasnt and believe it.
I have that psychosomatic finals cold that a lot of people get, only it wiped me out today.
I got 12 hours of sleep woke up for an hour and then took an hour nap.
I then proceeded to go to starbucks for 5 hours and write a 20 page final.
A friend had a party tonight that I was supposed to go to, but I am starting to appreciate my inner home body.
I came home, lit candles and cuddles up on the couch to watch the first snow!!!

There is something about the natural transitions and how they resonate in my body that I like to be in touch with and tap into.

Something else I noticed today is that I was not remotely interested in food. Normally, in any stage of my ED, I obsessed about food. Even when im totally healthy, I do it often. It doesnt effect what I do with food... just... my thought process.
Maybe it was because of this cold... who knows...
I still ate like a normal person.... which included a vanilla latte because it was snowing and sounded like heaven.
Part of that freaks me out... like OMG shouldnt i eat less when im sick and hardly do anything?
But whatever! Does anybody have any thoughts on that by the way?

By the way, Im kind of obsessed in a girly crush kind of way with Ms Emily of Frozen Oranges.
Shes kind of amazing.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Sorry for the lack of recent posting. I am amidst graduate school final papers and applying for a summer research fellowship.

My current thought:
I wonder what it means to let go and mourn the idea that youll ever have the body you want.

The mirror has been attacking me a bit lately. I chalked it up to wearing too many layers, but it does bother me.
I dont want it to bother me. I dont want to care.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It occured to me last night, as my head hit the pillow, that perhaps the problem, the depth is that I am trying to play with guns as if Ive never been to war.
And they say, "guns dont kill people, people with guns kill people"
Yes this is true. But Ive held that metaphorical gun before and I know it's power.
And you take me to a gallery and ask me to pick one. I pick the Bebe, even if I love the feeling of that shiny double barrell on the left. I crave it.
Why cant you use it? Why cant you chose a different one?
Because I have seen its power in the hands of myself. I know the possibility that dwells within it when aimed at the heart, and who is to say that if It misses the first time, Ill be able to put it down?
And so the bebe, I can get used to. I can cuddle with it, play with it. I know that it would take effort to do damage..... and yet, at the end of the day, What is a Bebe when there is a whole gallery before you?

Monday, December 1, 2008

Im so tired of nobody understanding. I talk to my nutritionist and I want her to understand. I want my therapist to understand. But really, how can they understand when I dont even understand whatever this ball of stuff that is left, is? What is it? My nutritionist thinks it has to do with intimacy with self. I think I am pretty far ahead of the general population on that front. I care very much for myself. I talk to myself nicely. I love myself. I ask myself the deeper questions of what I really want and need.
So what is it?
It isnt simple. It isnt "just let go."
I want to let go. I dont want to get stuck in patterns that arent evey "eating disordered," but rather "disordered eating."
But it runs deeper than just playing with my food. It runs deeper than trying new things or old things again. It runs deeper and further back.
This river originates before anybody's knowing.
Part of what is so difficult is that, I feel like when I do make HUGE strides, nobody really understands how huge they are for me. Not healthy people, not even other people who have had eating disorders. I feel like it would take someone with a simalir history to really truly understand, but I have not yet met anyone with a history like mine, and I dont believe I am likely to as Im sure not many exist.
So how do I celebrate these things? I do it myself, but how do I let other people into how HUGE they are for me?
It runs so far back... so much deeper... I know that.
Deeper than what, I dont know, but I know it to be true nonetheless.

I need to be held.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I am, at times, so sensitive and raw and open to the subtlest things. I am laying on the couch after a day of writing a final, sitting inside a Starbucks while the rain poured down the windows. I emailed a professor to ask if it was okay that my final was 1 page over the 8 page limit. Given that I am a good student and that it was a page over and not a page under, I felt safe in the assumption that It was fine.
I got an email back saying that I would be allowed to turn it in that way, but If the rest of the class stuck to the page requirements, then I would be marked down.

I cried.

Moral of the story? I dont know... that crying is a great coping mechanism? That chosing to take care of yourself makes many of us sensitive?

Moving on..

Thanksgiving is generally a difficult holiday for anybody with food problems or in recovery, but this year was a bit insane for me. I had my almost 40 year old cousin staying with me. My roomate and I had decided to cook a whole Thanksgiving dinner and so, eventhough I hadnt seen her in 6 years, as the only other member of my small family on the east coast, I invited my cousin up to NYC.
I knew she cared about her figure, but I didnt realize just HOW disordered her eating was. If I had, I probably wouldnt have invited her.
From our first meal where she picked at a bagel, to our Thanksgiving dinner where she spoke about alcohol calories and carbohydrate calories and how they werent worth it, to the quick 1 mile power walk after thanksgiving dinner, to deciding to eat pie, only after I agreed to go to the gym the next morning, to then not eating until 4:30 the next day. I mentioned I was hungry and she said "Didnt you have that protein bar?" .... Well yes, I had one before we worked out at 11:30...
To then not eating dinner that night (I did....she didnt... I ate leftovers in bed... while she spoke about how annoying it was to hear people eat...)
To saying that the candy we ate ruined our workout and our walking.
To last night where she asked me what "that lump of sugar and butter" I was eating was (It was a crossiont, which I ate because I wasnt eating enough during the day.
She was also insanely judgemental of other people.

SO it was a hard weekend, but mostly it was just plain annoying!
At first, I had a complete body image breakdown, wanted to avoid Thanksgiving dinner and go to the gym, but I stayed and I ate and I made a conscious decision to pay attention to my own needs and followthrough. Ultimately, I could have run from them, but in the past, that has only led me down a road to miserable land and my body doesnt change much anyway.
I stayed with myself, I payed attention to my own needs and love for myself and focused on, not her body, but her self loathing and inability to love herself and care for her body and spirit and it got me through with more self love and strength than I had before.
Not to say it wasnt hard. I have some anatomical issues that are made worse by stress and anxiety that were flaring up a bit, making it really difficult to eat and digest food without it coming back up. There were two occasions where the food wasnt going to go down. While in the past, I have let this turn into purging or kind of binging and purging, I let it happen, then when I could, I ate more. I didnt want to feel like I was starting an ED cycle again.

So today, after she left... I am feeling a little raw.. a little sensitive... but cared for, loved and tender

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!

Remember to stay with yourself and centered in love and everything will come and go with grace.

Let us all energetically wish eachother a year where Thanksgiving means being thankful, loving eachother, and feeding ourselves, both physically and soulfully.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The recent NJ decision was mentioned over at ED Bites and while I am glad for the families involved and those it will effect positively, I do have to say I have somewhat of a differing opinion about what the actual decision means.

For Families across the nation, paying for healthcare is both a fear and a struggle. With the costs of modern medical and mental health treatment, many middle class families can no longer afford to “get sick,” but what happens when somebody needs expensive longer-term care? With epidemic status, eating disorders afflict people regardless of age, race, class or gender. Eight million American’s face a daily struggle, and are more than not, denied the help they need by managed care providers (ANAD, 2008). Anorexia, once known as a “rich white girl’s disease” appears in every demographic and with the highest mortality rate of any mental illness, still only one in ten sufferers receive treatment and even less receive adequate treatment (South Carolina Department of Mental Health). Inpatient care averages at approximately $1,000 per day and with an average length of stay falling somewhere between three and four months, even middle class families are facing debilitating financial struggles to give their loved ones the care they need (Costin, 1999).
In Critical Care (Bennett, 2008), Bennett highlights several families with a member struggling with Anorexia Nervosa , and reviews the complications of receiving the costly treatment proven to produce positive results. Bennet further delves into the complications of cost, length of stay and ultimately the managed care that many American families rely on. As an example, the author highlights a class action lawsuit in which over 100 US families of eating disorder sufferers sued Aetna for inadequate coverage or in most cases, lack of coverage all together. Aetna’s argument was that in most states, managed care is only required to cover biologically based disorders and as the research has no conclusive evidence as to whether Anorexia is biologically based.
It touches on issues of mental health parity and its insuffiency or lack of existence in many states in the nation, but the average reader would have to do further research to understand the implications of parity and associated diagnoses. While three pages hardly affords Bennett the space to portray the complications Anorexia provide, she mentions the sheer time it takes to gain weight at two pounds a week, a speed generally considered healthy. Bennet further goes on to explain the settlement Aetna proposed and its insuffiency when compared with the lack of benefits and funds spent by the individual families.
In the article, Bennett introduces a recent policy initiative called the FREED act, which would “implement research and education initiatives, as well as require employers and insurers to cover eating disorder treatment the same way they cover physical disorders.” (Bennet, 2008). She further highlights two more bills aimed at New Jersey state brought about by senator Joseph Vitale, the first of which would add eating disorders to the list of mandated covered mental illnesses and the second would define them as biological.
One could glance at these initiatives and assume they would fix the problem of funding for a population so desperately in need, but they would miss out on the mass population of eating disorder sufferers. According to state parity in California and most states that, infact, have Parity for eating disorders, insurance companies are not required to cover the most common eating disorder, ED-NOS. (Harlick, 2006). Defined in the DSM-IV loosely, it applies to those who for one factor of another do not fit into the criteria for Anorexia Nervosa or Bulimia Nervosa. For example, an emaciated woman who fit all the diagnostic criteria for anorexia, but still had her menstrual cycle (either because she was on birth control or naturally) cannot technically have an anorexia diagnosis, as amenorrhea is a diagnostic criterion. A man, who threw up everything he ate, but did not eat more than any typical person in his situation beforehand, cannot technically have bulimia. These examples compose a vast majority of sufferers and Parity does nothing for them, other than to make them feel like they don’t deserve help (Lipton, 2008). Furthermore, the act proposed by Senator Vitale, while immediately helpful for those with Anorexia or Bulimia (as defined by the DSM-IV), has long-term ramifications that may be detrimental. If one classifies an intersectional disorder as biological, purely for immediate relief, they risk sacrificing much funding for experts to study the true nature of these disorders, which may lead to more accurate of comprehensive care down the line.
While policy surrounding eating disorders is lacking and often leaving sufferers and their families “out to dry,” policy initiatives need much more backing by the experts themselves and a holistic view would craft bills that help all those who suffer. With bills that effect only a small few, the oft question echoes in reverse, not “Can you afford to eat?,” but rather, “Can you afford not to?”


American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental
disorders (4th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.
ANAD, Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders Facts about eating disorders.
Retrieved September 18, 2008, Web site: http://www.anad.org/22385/index.html
Bennett, Jessica (2008). Critical care: Why even families with health insurance are
resorting to lawsuits to get coverage for the treatment of eating disorders like anorexia.. Retrieved Sept. 16,2008, from http://www.newsweek.com/id/142988/page/1
Costin, C (1999). The Eating Disorder Sourcebook.
Los Angeles: Lowell House.
Harlick, J (2006). Food fight: People suffering eating disorders have precious few
resources in the bay area. Retrieved Sept. 16,2008, from http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/01/06/PNGQEGF2TO1.DTL&type=printable
South Carolina Department of Mental Health, Eating Disorder Statistics.
Retrieved September 18, 2008, Web site: http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm

Monday, November 24, 2008

Im being published!!!
You see that picture to your right? The one of me shoving my stiletto clad foot through a bunch of diet ads?
We Feel Fine is producing a book, and my photo is going to be included!
New Post soon!

Friday, November 21, 2008

I have had such a blaringly amazing day!
At work this morning, I just had one of those uber productive and not overly exertive days. I saw two clients and did a ton of paperwork.
Client V is an Italian 59 year old man who had been in jail for 15 years, prior to his arrival at this facility. He has a history of herion addiction and alcohol dependency with severe anger management problems. Blah blah blah, long story short, I realize after the session that I have just had a conversation on tapping in to one's own intuition with this fella. In most ways I *should* be scared of him, but I really like the guy.
I have him doing my "Oprah assignment." Everyday around lunchtime, I asked him to think about One thing he knows for sure.
He really liked the assignment and asked if he could write it down for me.
I find my "airy fairy, uber yogini healer" style is insanely effective with people one would never think it would be with.
Then again, Ive learned to be authoritative in my healing love and light.
Client P is a 23 year old caucasian woman with 3 children, SEVERE ADHD and a history of opioid dependance. She walked in and asked if I had any candy or pretzels (many of the therapists keep stuff around because clients going through withdrawl or trying to quit smoking find sucking on things to be helpful). She sat in my office and pretty much binged while she was attributing her weight gain to thyroid problems. She keeps complaining of "getting fat," so I explored the idea that without drugs or old behaviors to turn to, sometimes we turn to the easily accessable things. I wondered if maybe she found herself doing this with food.
No. She didnt.
I asked her to get curious about her sugar cravings and look at when they happened. Did they happen when she would normally smoke? Also, I wanted to make sure the doctor was aware that she thought her thyroid was problematic.
Now I have an ethical question. The woman has been on adderall for 10 years. IN coming into this facility, they asked her to go off of it as it is an addictive drug. She agreed for a time, although she had never abused it in any way. Her behavior reflects her INTENSE need for it. The Psychiatrist has been hesitant to put her back on it, asking her to try less intense and non addictive drugs like Strattera first. She complains the Strattera is not working, but to dispense Adderall at this facility, a letter is needed from me, her therapist.
If I believe that a large part of her need/want for that specific drug is the appetite effect, what is the ethical thing to do?

Anyway, after all of that, I met up with a woman I worked on We Bite Back with for a year or two, but whom I had never met in real life. She lives in NJ but only 30 minutes away and is working on her Physicians Assistant Masters degree. We had a wonderfull time and braved the cold to meet up with Ai Lu of Avid Alegria
and Stephanie of 36-24-36 for a Latte and a recover(ing/ed) ladies Latte. It was so great to be amongst such strong women with a common denominator of hard times and huge growth.

After a lovely dinner, said friend and I went to SEE 36.24.36 with some of the girls of SEED (Students Ending Eating Disorders) at Columbia University.

It was an amazing performance where the true stories of the actors and the creative expression of what it is like to live, die and love someone with an eating disorder resonates deeply in the hearts of anyone touched by one. I am not personally a crier in movies or theatre, but I welled up with tears several times, relating deeply to what was being expressed. From leaning on eachother, to stroking eachother, one could visably see the audience supporting eachother through the performance and the hugs all around after showed the solidarity that is held among those of us who are recovered or in recovery and chosing to speak about it.

I came home and had some chocolate mousse.... because, you know what? I can!

Recap: Amazing day
Ive been noticed! http://acelebrationofcurves.com/2008/11/21/who-needs-help-learning-to-be-more-loving-and-less-condescending/

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Somehow, perhaps because it was my world, I always assumed that therapists were all aware of eating disorders. I assumed they would know what might trigger an individual, what not to say to someone, populations that are/were more vulnerable than others.
I am not sure why I assumed this. As someone starting out in the field, I know very little about certain things. I know little about schizoaffective disorders. I do not know much about borderline or many of the personality disorders.

I go to work everyday (okay, 3 days a week... im a grad student), and always ALWAYS end up walking into a conversation pertaining to food, weight and bodies. I do NOT work in an eating disorder facility, but rather a drug treatment facility that has many cooccuring dual diagnostic disorders present at any given time. We do have a few clients with eating disorders, but from what I can tell they go misunderstood and untreated beyond the occasional can of Ensure that is handed out and then it is left to the client to carry it around or decide what to do with it.

I hear coworkers talking to other coworkers about diets and food and weight and exercise. This bothers me, but not the extent it bothers me when I hear staff talking to clients about it. "Youve gained a lot of weight since youve been here"
"Maybe you should eat less"
"Your clothes are looking really tight"
Or even TO me referring to a client "Well, you know, she was pretty when she got here, but shes gained 30 lbs or so"
It is so maddening! I generally leave the conversations between staff, or between staff and clients. I have very little play room as to what I can or cant say to other therapist's clients. I refuse to participate, unless someone is lying about a physical mechanism such as metabolic function or something of the like.
I mentioned my history to my supervisor once, I believe, but she doesnt remember.
and frankly, it isnt that it bothers me because of my history... it isnt a trigger.... its just well...
and jesus christ... dont we have anything BETTER to talk about?
Maybe that were slowely losing government funding because of the economic crisis?
Maybe that so and so is getting married?
Maybe that (fill in your own topic)?

Thank GOD, I have other things to talk about and thank GOD that no matter WHERE I end up working, I wont be a therapist who cant see past a body.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Somebody pointed something out to me yesterday.
A recovered woman studying for her PHD in clinical psychology, she was afraid to reveal that she had once had an eating disorder for fear that it would discredit her in her field.
How odd this was to me, as I have always felt it obvious to say that I had had an eating disorder. Having been in treatment in a place run by recovered therapists, it seems almost beneficial to my professional career that I had suffered at some point. I know theory about self disclosure lays spans a large continuum of beliefs.

What is yours?
For those of you IN therapy, how much do you want to know about your therapists?
For those of you that are therapists, what are you comfortable revealing to your clients?
And also, how does becoming a therapist change what you want to know about your own therapist?

Friday, November 14, 2008

What do I enjoy in an internal/embodied way?
I enjoy sitting around a fire with friends and a guitar, singing and looking up at the stars.
I enjoy the shivers and shocks of cold that dart through your body when you realize that something in the world has shifted and that you were a part of it.
I enjoy massages and being tickled.
I enjoy the feeling of the sun my back. I enjoy the feeling of jumping out of a plane with a parachute, both in a symbolic and embodied way. I enjoy jumping on trampolines and the feeling of bouncing when you finally collapse. I enjoy rollercoasters. I enjoy singing and feeling my soul become one with my breath and my body. I enjoy the cocoon like feeling of laying in the steam room after a hard workout and the vague soreness the next day. I enjoy the coursing of shakti and surrendering and merging that happens when I meditate with my Sangha. I enjoy the feeling of a good hug.
I enjoy swinging on swings and wondering, like I did as a child, if I could go high enough to wrap around the top. I, finally, as an adult, enjoy hula hoping. I love riding a bike just at the beginning of fall and feeling completely free moving through space. I love horseback riding, although it is a lot scarier than it was when I was competitive as a kid. I love the synchronicity of dancing a tap dance that you already know and feeling a part of it. I love the subletly of a great Fosse number, where just a minor wrist curl makes everything sexy. I I enjoy a good arm wrestle, and knowing I'm strong enough to win 99.9 percent of the time. I enjoy the feeling of surrendering between the mattress and a duvet, but still being awake enough to curl up with a good book and a cup of tea. I enjoy the ultimate bath; bubble bath, tea, good music, candles and an Oprah Magazine. I enjoy rolling down hills. I enjoy spontaneous rock climbing. I enjoy music that makes your spirit groove. I enjoy the feeling of taking off a pair of heels after a night out. I enjoy a good Jacuzzi, especially outside at night with a glass of champagne.
But honestly, what I really enjoy, more than anything else, on a physical, spiritual, soulful, emotional level is sex. I honestly believe it is what saved me from absolutely destroying my body in the worst of times. It was something my body always did right. It was something I understood on all levels. It was the place in my life where I was the healthiest. It became what I studied, what I embodied, what I fought for. The experience didn’t rely on being at a certain weight. It had nothing to do with what I ate that day. Hell, there were MORE flavors than I could ever taste of ice cream. I never felt I should do it or shouldn’t do it. It was purely untouched by the negative factors that most of my life was barraged by. It was one way I could be in my body, love my body, let somebody else be a part of that, and celebrate something I would always have no matter what. Actually, before I went into treatment, the moment I knew something was really truly wrong was when I had bad sex for the first time and for the wrong reasons. I got out of bed and thought, “Okay, this isn’t me. Something is NOT okay.”
To me, it is similar to an amazing protest! Emotionally, there is an investment. You care about what you’re doing. It just plain feels good. You can feel the excitement in every part of your body. Spiritually, there is a connection to the divine, in a way that the universe makes more sense. It brings you into the moment, into yourself and who you are and how you are in relationship to others. It holds great power and can help free stuck energy, change old beliefs. Often people or types of people are involved that you never expected. Politically… well I just don’t do Republicans. No really. Size doesn’t really matter… its more about the noise you make. It hasn’t really started until somebody gets handcuffed. Hah! Just kidding.
Enough, enough ☺
But honestly, it is the most embodied experience I have a connection to on all levels. I do love the end of a yoga class, but holding things that hurt physically isn’t enjoyable. Spiritually, I love what it does, but physically? Not so much. And yes, I like how I feel about being in a gym, but does it FEEL good? No.

But really, there are a lot of things I enjoy. They
5 weird thing about being a therapist:

5) Your clients think you have no problems

4) Being youngest than your clients youngest child

3) Seeing GAF scores that are higher than your lowest was

2) Knowing things about clients that they dont know that you know

1) Being on the same meds as your clients.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

At times I ponder if it is possible for a soul to be too expansive for the capabilities of a singluar human form.

Perhaps my gemini nature is infact two souls in one mind.

I sometimes feel as if I crave more life than is ever possible, more experience than my self can encapsulate.

Who knows. What are others soul/body experiences?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

I knew it would hurt me eventually. I was sure it would catch up with me.
I was told by everyone that I had a problem. I knew I did, but I justified it as my last vice.
Everyone needs one, right?

Picture this:
Im walking home... or strolling... its a lovely day in New York City and I am in somewhat of a fog. I meander in and out of stores for about 3 blocks and feel a blister developing in my pink plaid vans. This blister is on my left foot. I dont know what is causing it, but I decide to leave it alone for the mile or so it would take me to get home.
I climb the 5 flights of stairs to my Manhattan Palace (aka a 2 bedroom apt). I throw myself across my bed.
"Whoa is me," I utter as contort myself into an odd yogi position in order to remove my shoes. I take off the one covering the blister distressed little piggy toe.

Do you know what caused it?
To my distress.... A packet of splenda fell out.
IT finally happened. My Splenda problem hurt me.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I am feeling so insanely alone. I desperately need community of like struggle.
Half of me desperately wants to take good care of myself, love myself, nurture myself and half of me is afraid of breaking these patterns and giving up this identity that I have fallen back into.
I need somebody to hold me and say "aww baby girl, everything is going to be alright."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

thats all

Sunday, October 26, 2008

It has been forever...

My excuses include but are not limited to

GRAD SCHOOL MIDTERMS (which are not yet over, damn them all)

My complete GEEK OUT about the swiftly approaching election GO VOTE

and uh, i might be struggling... a bit... a lot..

Saturday, October 11, 2008

There is a phenomenon I would like to address. A phenomenon that effects many of us. IT happens without our permission, but our permission isn’t necessary. It envokes many emotions that we may feel are unwarranted.
Its called “My best friend, turned ex best friend, turned friend, who is really more of a sister, who also has an ED is going to treatment where I went and I don’t like it” syndrome.”

Am I talking about myself here? Perhaps ☺
So why the strong reaction?
They are MY people.
It is MY safe place.
It was the one place in my life where I was able to create myself anew and I do not really want those worlds crossing. I am still actively involved there. I attend alumni retreats and do some organizing. When I am home I go to alum groups, etc.
It feels like I cannot ever just WIN. Now what does winning mean? It doesn’t mean having the worst eating disorder. It doesn’t mean having it longer… being in more treatments. I think it means getting away.
And I know the reality of it is that I have.
So what do we do when we feel invaded? What happens when these world cross?
With the urges that have surfaced since this finding, I know the answer isn’t relapse. It isn’t to be there with her. That is the last thing I would want.

Has anybody else dealt with this?
How do we keep out sacred space our own? Perhaps the answer is that we create it and it lives on within ourselves, within our recovery story, within our psyche.

It will always be mine.

Friday, October 10, 2008

What is going on? Emily says write… free floating thoughts.. this isn’t a road I want to go down… shes right, it isn’t and yet it’s shelter seems so warm and embryonic. Perhaps I want to be cradled, babies, cared about, in a way I cant do for myself and yet, I feel as though the opposite has happened.
I have left a part of myself to find what I want and instead I find that I am not who I want to be.
My intellectual prowness taxes its creator, my craving for social connection exausts me, my yearning to help is never fulfilled and here I am, asking for more, asking for something, asking for essence.
I birthed a new live and watched, because with creation always comes destruction.
What was once mine is becoming someone elses, but if felt gone before I could feel like it wasn’t there and yet, the carpet pulled from a room I was no longer standing in has a profound effect on my imaginary home.
With creation comes a standard.
With connection there I loss
With transition there is loss
And with creation destruction and vice versa
And who am I amidst all of this?
Who am I?
Do I know?
What is the essence of me and why do I turn to what I have spent years stretching beyond?

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Often in times of growth or fear I have food related dreams/nightmares...
My father and his wife are in town for a few days and I had a nightmare last night that I wasnt allowed to eat sugar while I was with him and I wasnt allowed to leave him.
What do I make of that?
Sure... my food was restricted as a child...
I wasnt supposed to eat sugar or anything else really... but... why now?
Is it because it is the first time I have lived far since recovering?

What do you think?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Social work school does not provide time for blogging.
As often as I think "gee, this belongs in a blog," I never get around to sitting down with my computer and generating thoughts beyond those that I must include in a required paper.
Oh well. You love me anyway.
I started my Contemporary issues in eating disorder assesment and treatment mini-course this past friday.
I am never sure what I expect from things like this, but what generally happens is that I end up teaching a large section of the class.
The introductions proved to be interesting as only one other woman and I chose to identify ourselves as past sufferers, recovered, whatever.
I feel as though It is important to back my opinions up with my history, and I am also a believer in self disclosure in regards to eating disorder treatment.
Every step I take towards Eating Disorder professional feels like it fits when I try it on.
I question once and again if I am ready. I avoid the readings after meals....
That isnt to say I HAVE to avoid them then, but it just doesnt feel beneficial for me to read them after meals or right before bed when I would be more apt to cycle thoughts in relation to myself in a way that wouldnt be helpful.
I am also reading the really specific readings about how to treat eating disorders or different treatment theories and not the readings about temperment, etc.
The truth is, if youve had an eating disorder and youre an intelligent person, you have probably dont your fair share of reading about them already. I have a whole shelf on my bookshelf devoted to books on the subject and I am over reading deffinitions, etc.
I have been reading many of the studies that I often cite but havent read all of such as the Fiji study and the Minnesota starvation study.

What I am looking towards this class for is the boost of confidence in transitioning from a "mentor" to a therapist and also the professional connections that can be made.

So me? How am I doing?
Im alright. I am currently scared that I am falling back in to overeating, but I do not know if that is a real fear or not.
I cant stay off the fucking scale at the gym, but the conversations I have had with other women there surrounding the topic are amazing.
They usually consist of "that scale is wrong... thats why you shouldnt weigh yourself"
and then me laughing at myself and making up some excuse in response.
But the truth is, theyre probably right.
Why do I weigh myself?
Because Im scared of gaining weight...
because If I know im stable then I dont have to think about food as much.
Because in some way it lets me bypass myself and my care of myself and live in a childish way in regards to food.
I believe my process since being well into recovery has modeled the growing up process...
At first I needed somebody to feed me
then I needed somebody to tell me it was okay to eat
then I did it myself but was unsure
then I was proud
then I played with what I could do
Then I felt safe with it, but needed support or reassurance
then I did it all by myself
then I would regress because I needed love
then I wanted to do it for me
then I did do it for me and liked the aknowledgement
then I made it mine... my relationship to food
then I wanted to be superwoman
then I got confused
then I decided to do it all... do it myself
Then it started to feel out of control.., but because im doing it myself... i dont know if it is...

Now, that isnt to say I am being stubborn, but I am learning to navigate new territory and a VERY different life.
The one thing I realized was that the only thing my treatment team never taught me was how to live without one!

and I am learning that now.

THe "what if's"
scare the hell out of me.
What if I gain weight and cant stop overeating?
What if I have to switch nutritionists and find one here? (will I relive too much trauma)
What if I am TOTALLY fine and only scared because it is a focus?

What if I remember WHO I am and that no matter what, I am a strong woman who knows how to reach out and let people in and that Ill be okay and go through growth no matter what happens.

Monday, September 8, 2008

It has been forever, hasnt it?
Ive moved to NYC.
Ive made amazing friends.
Ive started grad school.
Ive started getting really involved again, but Im trying to be healthy about it.
Ive set up house..
I have had a few really difficult days....
Im ashamed to admit the struggles that I have had, but for reasons of which I am unsure. I purged 4 or 5 times this week. I was scared about my weight. Im eating every meal out. Im eating cheesy things... greasy fried things... chocolate things...
and I got really scared that I was crazy and couldnt stop....
in fact... i got on a scale today... and I am the same weight as I was when I left LA.

However, despite some slips after being so close to recovered, I feel even closer to it...
I have an amazing life, with amazing friends who dont have EDs, but know about mine and are there if I need them. I have a vibrant atmosphere and love surrounding me. I have my share of trials but I dont use food to navigate them
I go out with friends and drink. I eat things that include fried and cheesy things :P
I do a lot of walking and take the occasional dance or yoga class.
This is recovery, and I love it :)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates as of late!
I havent had any steady internet access.
I arrived in NYC after an amazing send off. I had a lovely sit down dinner party with many of my lovliest friends. THe people who meant the most to me were there ant it felt so special. IT was one of those occasions where you look around and truly understand in your soul that you are deeply loved. I felt loved. I felt seen and I even had 2 cosmos and flourless chocolate cake with no regard of the caloric content.
I left the next morning and arrived in NYC that evening.
I stayed with a friend the first night and while up quite late, we decided to illustrate diagnostic codes from the DSM. Bring it on grad school!
We drew "Polly Substance Abuse" poly pockets substance abusing friend.
IT was quite humorous if I do say so myself. I would post a picture, but I am not on my own computer.
Oh yes... I am not on my computer. Let me explain.
Ben Hur, the moving company that I, in full faith, HATE! Lied to my family and I twice and the outcome is that I have NO IDEA IN HELL when ANY of my stuff will get here.... thus, I had to find places to sleep.
Now, my place/my space is one of my biggest things. Not having my own safe space/bed/whatever to come home to leaves me feeling all things bad. I slept at one girl's house the first night and another's the second night.
THe second night was interesting from an ED/culture perspective. This girl is also starting my program this fall and will quickly become one of my best friends (yes, I am a fortune teller, so bite it)...she is on a diet... I am not sure whether it is for her or her mother, but her mother counts every calorie that goes in the poor girls mouth and leaves her feeling bad and guilty for eating.... a salad....anything.
It hurt in my heart to know what that feels like, and so in turn, while her mother was telling her not to have a donut for breakfast (but instead something else with more calories..but seemed to have less)... I had one. I admit i viewed the caloric content first as while I am close to recovered, I do fear trauma triggers, which for me come specifically from unnecssary weight gain.
Other than this, her mother was a complete doll and did everything she could to take care of me.
I arrived home the next day only to find out that UPS ALSO messed up a delivery of my air conditioner.
I truly felt homeless for the first time. I ended up staying in a hotel.
I went to bed and bath to secure some necessities and ended up waiting A WHOLE FREAKING HOUR for a cab in the POURING RAIN....
I Finally got a cab... got to my apt... got all the bags out and they ALLLLLL
broke from the rain...
SO I had to take several trips up and down my 5 floor walk up.
After a massive, fall to your knees and beg God kind of breakdown, THe macys sale seemed to help me feel better. I didnt actually buy anything, but sometimes walking around stores or malls calms me. IT is so interesting to look at the different things that help people calm down and get centered. I went out with a boy, henceforth, The Educated one. It was really nice, but it was an odd night as I wasnt sure if he was trying to tell ME he didnt want a realtionship or convince HIMSELF he didnt want one. Either way, I enjoy his company and see him as a good friend.
I am now at the shore with a good friend from treatment and her husband. THey invited me out for 3 days and have been nothing less than amazing. IT is beautiful even WITH the HUGE storm that is going on and I am loving this necessary escape from the past week. I EVEN PUT ON A BIKINI AND WENT SWIMMING TODAY.
THat was the first time in my adult life. I havent owned a bikini since age 7.
I havent swam since ... well it has been a long time.
And it felt good.
I feel good. There is a core inside me that is sad right now. I am sad because I feel like I have no home. I feel the instability that exists in my external world. I know that essentially I am okay, but I Feel so alone in this and the quite inside parts of me are sad.
I know this will change though.
Peace, Love and Revolution,

Friday, August 1, 2008

my psychiatrist is not the kind of person you meet every day, or every year even. He is the kind that SOME people meet once in a lifetime. He is truly one of those people who is so smart that he is completely strange and yet I LOVE talking to him about the eccentricities and the very nature of quirkiness, etc.

I saw him for my last appointment today as I am moving to NYC this coming wednesday and He was so kind.
Given my background and all I have been through, having it aknowledged from time to time as the intense struggle and seemingly insurmountable odds that I overcame feels good, but the man pretty much bowed down and kissed my feet.

And you know, it is hard to aknowledge my own "greatness(??)" because its just me...
I wouldnt have done it any other way and frankly wouldnt understand how to.

Anyway, he told me I was perhaps the most inspirational person he had met in this living realm (Oh dr E) and made some lovely comment about "flowers for the living." Which I interpreted to mean that you should tell people things directly instead of when it is too late... I quite like the term.

After that I started the worshop that I am taking thursday through sunday at Exhale in Venice. There is a yoga teacher there who is also trained in somatic experiencing that I have grown rather close to over the past few months... mostly through emails, but during one of my last surgeries I was dying of "lack of acheivement" on the couch and she gave me something to do....
To do a grassroots type campaign to get out the word on a training she was doing...
and in exchange I got a scholarship!
The training is "Teaching Yoga to At Risk and Oppressed Populations," which is right up my alley! Given everyone and their mother has a 200 hour training under their belt these days, this gives me a little something extra to take to NY where getting a yoga job seems to be just as difficult as landing a part on broadway.
The workshop is composed of amazing people with backgrounds of service and care. Their is one other woman who works at an ED step down facility teaching yoga. She asked to speak with me given the work I do/have done (and my own personal history, but she doesnt know too much about that yet) because she wanted some insight. I love feeling like others want my expertise! IT is also nice to feel more like colleagues than anything at this point.

What I didnt expect was allllll of the work being about trauma. Based on the theory that an amount of violence is equal to the amount of pain a person is experiencing, we delved directly into trauma work.
Well shit.
Most of what we were talking about wasnt sudden trauma but longer term more subtle or emotional trauma.
Needless to say, after 5 hours I felt quite triggered and looked a whole HELL of a lot bigger in every mirror I passed. I DID however eat dinner despite the idea that skipping it would be cool...
And 2 points for the recovered team!
The exercise this week is not feeling "good enough" for me. I didnt do much the first half of the week because of packing and movers, etc and then it didnt occur to me that we wouldnt really do much practice during this workshop, so Im more or less out all week. *deep inhale*
It shouldnt make a difference. I repeat, it shouldnt make a difference.
Im letting go, IM moving on, and with that Ill be fine.

TOnight I sat with my meditation group for the last time. The energy was amazing and my teacher and I were very connected and it felt very special.
I dont really have anything else to say about that as it is mostly an internal experience.

I have to be at the yoga studio at 7 am tomorrow, so seeing as it is almost 1 am, Im going to attempt to not find anything else more important than sleep!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

It occurs to me, once again, that I want to use this blog for something more.
I want to use it as a source, not just to expose and comment on societal issues regarding food and weight, but as a blog about the post severe eating disorder life.
What happens after someone who had an ED for 20 years gets out of treatment...
Works REALLY hard at recovery for over a year... turns it around and decides to become and ED professional?
What happens when they move to New York City to start grad school? What happens on bad body image days? What happens when old thoughts creep in?
What happens when things are amazing? After a date? When she is body to body with a lover? When the scars left on her body from 30 hours of surgery are exposed in the public? When she starts seeing clients?

Lets find out...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Bare breasted bonanza



Personally, I like the idea. Im a bit baffled that it is illegal for women to be topless. IT seems women have more reason to be topless then men...
I think I may join these daring women and bare all in Central Park...

God Knows it will be humid enough.

Would you go topless? Why or why not?
Do you think this is an effective form of making the point?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

I promise an update soon! I just returned from Joshua Tree for a Meditation retreat with my Sangha and Im not quite human again yet.

For now, I will leave you with a posting of something I wrote a long time ago...

The weight industry is an incredible enterprise isn't it? They're trying to sell us self worth and were so hungry from starving so long we eat it all up. Entrapment in an all encompassing paradigm, where an intellectual double standard is the normative fare, is what womanhood has turned in to. Entrapment in a society that wants to feed and stuff us with the image of starvation as satiety.

What are we to fill up on when double standard is the coach fare of our culture? Certainly not food for that would make us un-hungered for. A cultural analysis of our bodies is hardly necessary when our physical contextually is the primary factor in determining our personal worth, and yet somehow in the attempt to empower our hips and thighs, those of us who are still tormented by the jiggle that our very humanity might conjure are digested as traitors, unconsciously working against the slowly ticking clock, setting it into a counterproductive, counterclockwise spiral.

A convenient way to view this problematic social structure would be through Flocculation tinted lenses. Are we not creating our own neo victorian standards? Do we best feed our movement by continuing to feed it with propaganda, rejecting those who are imprinted by the very mold our non allied communities are trying to cookie cut us out with? Let the sustenance of our community feed those un sustained by themselves. After all, in the end, who would you rather sit down for dinner with? Driving home from a Rally seemed like an everyday act for me, but passing out at the wheel wasn't what I envisioned as empowered. I have always and will always label myself a feminist. It is at the core of my identity, wholly and truly. How is it then, that I ended up being so effected by society that I would sacrifice myself?

I set off on a journey that went against every value I hold. I transformed myself for others into something socially and culturally appropriate. I disabled my own beliefs, my own activism, my own power.

Not anymore.

I hereby agree to revel in my humanity and do the very things necessary to support its livelihood. I agree to love with my whole heart unapologetically. I agree to stand at the edge of the cliff and not only to sit amidst, but dance in the fire surrounded by friends. I agree to have no apologies. I agree to embody my own beliefs that I hold so steadfast for others and never sacrifice myself to fit what another might consider good or better or appropriate. I agree to speak my mind when my voice shakes, to cry when I'm hurt, to scream when I'm angry, to sing when speaking cannot express my joy, and to dance when words fail my truest expression.

I have worked myself into an oblivion attempting to prove my right to inhabit this world, when my mere existence should have sufficed. I have always been enough just as I am. I agree from this day forth to feel entitled to my life, my voice, my body and my food. I agree to exist as counter culture within the diet ravaged society that I am forced to contextual myself in. I agree to grapple with the tough questions. How is that I have reconciled an eating disorder with a strong feminist selfhood?

Why is it that the standard I hold for others falls away when I stand in front of the mirror? I agree to keep questioning what the difference is between personal and political activism. What does it mean to effect change from within, and is this in opposition to without? Is personal liberation as important as political liberation? I have come to believe it is.

I agree to work for radical change within something that will be the most prevalent in my life beyond laws and beyond labels. I can return to the very beginning and work from the source. I can be me. I promise to be me.

How is it that when the very gears of the political machine are falling apart, we fail to notice? How is it that activists everywhere have alcohol problems, drug problems, self injury problems, food problems and it is accepted? How are we okay with this? Why is it okay to kill yourself to feed the movement? What are we really fighting for if not our own lives?

Perhaps as activists, we need to start with ourselves. We need to go back to the drawing room and retrace our steps. What are our goals? What do we really want, and why? Can we structure a movement that supports healthy individuals? These are questions that take us back to the consciousness raising group. We have grown too far from the personal. We are people, we are human and no amount of protest, no amount of social movement, no amount of anything can change that. H0w can I tell bush he isn't fit to run the country, much less anything when I cant feed myself? and what right do i have, pretending to be someone that younger people can look up to when I'm sacrificing myself? Perhaps we need to take a step back and acknowledge that by engaging in these self defeating acts we are not only stopping our own gears, but we are allying with the other side, forgetting what the focus is, turning inward and contributing to our own ineffectiveness and erasure.

How is it that we have ended up in a society where the very act of consuming food, sustenance is a political act? If I buy a diet pepsi, it supposedly isn't political, even-though I am supporting bullfighting. If I buy a bag of chips, it breaks an unwritten social code. People form opinions about me. I form opinions about myself and all of a sudden i'm not thinking about how my gay best friends can't get married, or why I care about the current paradigm. Eating without judgment becomes a political act, a stance I am taking. It is noticed and I am choosing to be a part of this world without letting others judgment keep my presence at bay. I refuse to take it
on. I want chips damn it and I am no less of a woman because of it. This is feminism. I am here and I'm not leaving. I want to change the world, I want to dance naked. The personal is political, and the political is personal.

The time has come to put our food where our mouths are.

Who is with me?

- TwistedBarbie

Friday, June 13, 2008

Theres something I have been wanting to talk about lately, but broaching the subject feels like more of a personal issue than I tend to display on this blog.

Feminists, body love activists, please take your seats, you may need to for this one.
I want to talk about my boobs. Yes, MY boobs. Theyre mine, but they arent "real."
Thats right, I have breast implants. This is something I am having trouble reconciling with my sense of a strong feminist self, but let me present some context for little (or NOT) Burt and Ernie.
While I havent posted much of my story with regard to my own eating disorder and recovery on this blog, Suffice to say I have been both 400 lbs and anorexic and the body I was born into could not take the abuse it was put through.
30 hours of surgery later, I have a body with mere traces of the 20 year assault it survived and not the massive disfigurement my initial recovery saw.
From the begining of this process, I specifically said RECONSTRUCTIVE and not plastic surgery (as it IS reconstructive) to remind both others and myself that these surgeries werent merely someone wanting Lipo to fit into a dress. Through the initial surgery that removed skin by making incisions 360 degrees around my lower body and up the front, this held. Through the surgery that took the skin off my arms and upper back, this help, but when it came to my breasts, things became difficult.
Originally while consulting several surgeons I left my breasts off the list of things that felt highly problematic, but as time went on, I realized that while going through this process, I did want a body that I could take out and play with like any other young woman. Wearing DD's before surgery, I assumed a lift would take them from the limp and lowered place and move them to where they were anatomically meant to be, but when speaking with my surgeon, he said that it would take an implant. Very confused, I pondered until he explained that by that point, they were composed mostly of extra skin and not breast tissue, and if he were merely to remove that I would be left with almost an A cup, which after a life of DDs would feel like living in someone elses body (especially as someone in touch with their body and sexuality). I agreed and didnt think much of it at the time and skipped off on my merry way. However as the week of surgery approached, it dawned on me that I was going to have breast implants. I, your ferocious feminist, body love preaching self, was going to have silicone.... balls... in my chest. As the day drew nearer, I pondered not going through with it. I reminded myself over and over that this was reconstructive and even ran that by a few (close) people, taking my shirt off for them to look and convince me. The idea of having to CHOOSE something as .... innate.... as a breast size seemed against everything I have believed in and preached, but my surgeon assured me that I did not have to choose a breast size, he was merely going to fill in where there was missing tissue.

Now that I have been getting used to these babies, I really like them. I dont like them because of their size (they are the same size as they were before surgery).
I dont like them because I can go braless (although, I admit I do kind of like to).
I like them because I finally feel like I am living in a body that is congruent with the healthy woman I am. SO no, they arent REAL, but they ARE really mine, much more than my breasts were before surgery.

So it has been said. I am a feminist with breast implants. And you know what? I like them.

Monday, June 9, 2008

I cant say yet, but big things may be coming for this blog (I know, I know, why do I always have to bring SIZE into it).
Okay, EXCITING things may be happening for this blog.

One thing that is important to me, however, is to bring more of myself into it in the process and not let it merely serve as an activisty face for an ideal world with regard to food and weight. With that, I would love any questions or suggestions from readers and fellow bloggers.

I havent posted in here in quite a while as I somehow managed to disenfranchise myself from the entire encapsulated commentary.

But Im here and I aint moving, so lets get this party started.

Im dancing in my own revolution now

Friday, February 1, 2008

HB 282

Based on what? People's drivers license weights?
How will this destroy the economy?


Sunday, January 27, 2008

**link stolen from The Weighing Game**

This is some scary shit!
Appearently diet soda can lead to true love.
I dont know. I drink A LOT of diet coke and Diet Dr. Pepper and that has never gotten me any love.....
Now a good bottle of wine......

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

I guess Ill go to Coffee Bean

Starbucks Gossip Article

As the new year rolls on and every single *insert massive amounts of curse words* company that can possibly benefit from convincing YOU the consumer that you are not good enough and infact would be of more worth if you were of less girth (thank you, thank you... Ill be hitting the comedy clubs later) has capitalized on every single media source they can get their grubby, no good, full of lies, hands on,
Starbucks has decided to jump on the bandwagon.
Now, as a shareholder of this capitalist source of caffeine, I am aware that, yes, they had a bad year, yes, they fired their CEO and yes, they need something to perk up their sales.
Introducing Starbucks new "Skinny" line of coffies....
What does this entail? Sugarfree/nonfat/no whip...
Basically a single word to define something you could already order. Not only has Starbucks decided to make people associate being Skinny with terribly watered down chemicals, but a secret source (okay, I have a couple friends who work there) has notified me that the baristas are being asked to yell "Skinny" out when announcing the drink the consumer has purchased, but they have been asked to memorize nutrition facts of all of their products, thus further taking any soul and intuition out of food and eating. I was also let on to the fact that if Baristas do not RING UP these drinks with the skinny button and simply do it another way, it will overthrow the consumer count, thus disabling the date of whether they are indeed selling :) As a company that prides themselves on being "socially responsible" I believe they need to rethink what it means to be socially responsible and what if the current social standard ISNT responsible? With posters everywhere, Starbucks is losing me. I do not WANT to be surrounded by things reminding me of the current cultural paradigm and you can count on this pissed off share holder writing a letter.

I think next time I go, my thin self will order a Big fat cup of Obesity

Monday, January 7, 2008

Letter Writing Time! Sephora and Too Faced Cosmetics

The letter i wrote:

As both a beauty lush, someone recovered from a severe life threatening eating disorder and someone who refuses to buy into the culturally infiltrated war on my body, it saddens me that Too Faced, one of my favorite brands, would actively promote something as... well... stupid... as a lip gloss with the notion that it would help one lose weight or curb cravings which, according to cultural standards would have me be a woman of high moral value. Come on guys... for a wise and witty woman;s brand, its time to live up!

As someone who has shopped at Sephora from back when I had to go on vacation to do it, I am a dedicated and eager customer. When I received your email regarding new years resolutions, however, I was quite turned off. Sephora, like almost every other culturally influenced beauty company within the devoloped world has decided to buy into the thin=beautiful and thin=moral paradigm that society spears at those of us trying to make peace with our hips and thighs. As a strong woman who is recovered from a life threatening eating disorder, I will have to think twice where I put my money and what kind of message I am funding when I buy my beauty products. I thought Sephora was about beauty. All types of beauty. Are you and your marketing department willing to reclaim this rare and yet priceless title and reputation? My dollar and I sure hope so!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

“Dieting is the most potent political sedative in women’s history; a quietly mad population is a tractable one.” –Naomi Wolf

Sorry Ive been away for awhile.
I had my surgery which ended up being 14 hours and I have been recovering since them. IT was the 26th. I have all the artificial stitches out, all the drains and now im just stuck in these binders doing nothing. IM n bed rest for about a month. Nights are hard and the depression from sitting/laying and not being allowed to do anything is the toughest part. Ive had some amazing support, but not enough visitors. THe emails I get are keeping me afloat and the beautiful flowers from the women of the treatment center I "associate with" (Where I went and now run the alumni network for)...

So yes... here I am!