Alright, so things are really hectic right now so it’s really hard for me to get on here and I am sorry. 

Something happened today that I feel you should all know; it will give you hope. 

After losing it for three and a half years, my period has finally returned! Yes. This means my body is getting healthier and gives me confidence. 

Good night everyone, I hope you are all doing well. Stay strong. 


Fleeing The Coop

This is going to be a very personal, and emotional, post for me. It is something I have to do to help cope with everything that is happening these next few days. I, I have to say my goodbyes. Not just any goodbyes though. Goodbyes to my family, the ones who helped me move away from my eating disorder.

This is to everyone on my unit. The staff: nurses, therapists, doctors, nurse practitioners, dietitians, psychologists, psychiatrists, teachers and child life specialists. This is to the friends I’ve made these past few months, the ones in day treatment with me, and the ones who are inpatient, you all mean so much to me. Most importantly, this is goodbye to Ed, and hello to Melissa, your new life starts now.

To the nurses:

You have done so much for me. You showed me kindness when all I felt was hatred (more last time than this, but you still deserve thanks for it). You gave me sympathy and did your best to understand what I was going through. You supported me in all my hard times. You helped me grow. You helped me to discover what was inside me. You gave me so much information that I will remember for years. You changed my life, and you’ll be in my heart forever. Thank you for your faith in me, and pushing me, even when times seemed hopeless to me. Thank you.

To everyone expecting:

You are going to be great parents. You are caring and so loving, your child is very lucky. I am sad I won’t get to meet your children, but I wish you all luck. I know you will embrace this challenge and raise amazing and compassionate children. Just don’t forget to practice your mom face.

To our retiring head nurse:

Aren’t you a little young to be retiring? I am sad to hear you are going, but I suppose everyone needs a break. Thank you for all your help and support. Thank you for being so passionate in your work and taking time to ensure we were all doing well. It won’t be the same on the unit without you. I hope your retirement helps you to relax and see just how great of a person you are. Now you’ll have all the time to colour. Good luck in the rest of your life. Thank you for being there for me and joking around with us, even when you were strict we knew you were doing it because you cared. You are the unit’s mother. Thank you. 

To my therapist:

I cannot thank you enough. You were always there for me. You always made time for me, and I appreciate that so much. You made me feel like I matter and that I am worth time, I learned to respect myself and not always put myself down. You have been amazing. You supported me more than I could even imagine or ask for. The things you’ve done to help me, how you’ve gone out of your way, I wish I could do more for you than this simple goodbye. I wish I didn’t have to say goodbye. I will always remember you, and never doubt yourself. You helped me so much, and took me out of a dark place. You are the reason I feel confident I can do this on my own. You have taught me so much and now I have confidence. Thank you for believing in me, your encouragement, and for never putting me down. Thank you.

To all the other therapists:

Thank you for the skills you taught me. You helped me find new ways to cope, without using negative behaviors. You gave me a whole new outlook on how to act and taught me to be responsible for myself. Sometimes you weren’t sure of yourselves, but you are human, mistakes happen, and I was always happy with what you gave to me. You helped me to understand my feelings and how to react to them. You taught me to identify my values, which helped me to separate myself from Ed. You taught me how to ask for things, in different manners to obtain different outcomes. You taught me to calm myself down and think before I act. I no longer feel the need to do negative behaviors to deal with my distress and anxiety, I have theraputty now!! Thank you for all you taught me. Thank you.

To the doctors:

Although I didn’t see you long during this stay, thank you for everything. You kept me safe. You kept me from dying. You helped heal my heart and improve my body. Thanks to you, my bones are starting to recover. I am so grateful for everything you did to keep me healthy and alive. Thank you for caring so much for my well-being. Thank you.

To the nurse practitioner:

Thank you for your understanding. Thank you for keeping me healthy these last weeks. You coached me through my recovery and gave me the confidence I needed, even when I was disappointed in myself. You didn’t get angry when I didn’t gain weight, and that was very helpful, as I was beating myself up over it. You didn’t make it a huge deal, you just helped me to prepare for the next weekend. You helped me to understand everything that was happening inside of me. Thanks to your guidance, my blood pressure and heart rate are much better. Better than I would’ve imagined them ever being. Thank you for all your help and support through this hard journey. Thank you.

To the dietitian:

Thank you for helping clear up so many misconceptions I had. You gave me a new understanding of nutrition and what my body needs. You taught me how to manage my meals. You taught me what the myths of nutrition were, so I could make informed decisions. Thanks to you, I know what my body needs. I am no longer afraid of certain foods. You helped me to challenge myself and expose myself to foods I never thought I would be able to again. Thank you for bringing butter, pasta and other treats back in to my life. Thank you for teaching me what I need to eat so that I can grow and repair myself. Thank you.

To the psychologist:

Good luck at your new job. You will be missed, but we all appreciate what you did for us. You taught us how to focus. How to be mindful and be at peace. Everyday I wake up and go for a walk, to be mindful of my surroundings. It is the perfect way to start my day. When I listen to music, I am able to give it my complete attention, and hear the song for what it truly is. I take in the world around me, instead of rushing through life. Thank you for teaching me to appreciate the beauty in nature. Thank you.

To the psychiatrist:

Thank you for helping me to manage my symptoms and urges. You helped me to understand what was going on inside my head. You helped me comprehend that I wasn’t crazy or anything of the sorts, but rather a child in need of help. And everyone on this team gave me the help I needed. Though I didn’t get to see you often, I know you were a big part of my recovery and helped prepare me for discharge. Thank you for getting me the help I needed and putting me on the right medication. Thank you.

To our first teacher:

Thank you for getting me started. Thank you for your words of kindness. Thank you for helping me get through the hard subjects. Thanks for all your words of encouragement and promoting my work. You made me feel confident in my intelligence once again. I hope you are doing well. Thank you for helping me continue school. Thank you.

To our current teacher:

Although I didn’t get to see you too often, I found you a fantastic teacher. You kept me interested and gave me some very awesome facts. You had to go through a lot to get this job, and I thank you for sticking with it. You have put a lot of effort into keeping me up to date and helping me be prepared for school after all this. I am sad I don’t get to pick at your brain for much longer. Thank you for giving me a reason to look forward to going to school, even when I’ve lost all motivation. Thank you for being open and honest with us, and treating us as equals. You weren’t as much a dictator, as a comforting teacher who I am proud to say I met. Thank you for respecting us. Thank you.

To the child life specialists:

Wow. Just wow. I can’t believe I won’t be seeing you anymore. My day will feel like it’s missing something when I wake up and don’t get to see your smiling faces. You brought me a lot of joy. Thank you for giving me a reason to get up in the morning. Thank you for helping me figure out what I wanted to do with my life. You inspired me and gave me hope for the future. You became a part of my family. Although I’m sure I annoyed you at times (yes, I became very loud), I thank you for putting up with me. Thank you for being there for me and offering an ear any day. Thank you for giving me the chance to be creative. You let me do so many crafts and it felt amazing to embrace the inner artist in me. I have a lot of new hobbies now that I know I will continue for ages. Thank you for giving me the distractions I needed to keep myself from negative thoughts. You helped me build mastery and feel confident in my abilities. Thank you for helping me get in touch with my real self once again. Thank you.

Every single member of my team played a huge part in my journey to recovery. Everyone made a grand impact on my life. I won’t be able to forget any of you. It is very sad for me to have to leave you all. You are my family. You are people I am so grateful came into my life.

To the day patients and inpatients:

You are my sisters. I consider you more than my friends. I know all of you can beat this and I will be over the moon when I hear you are discharged and doing well. You all work so hard and I am amazed at everything you’ve done. I am proud to have you in my family. You are supportive and kind to me. You made me feel welcome, when I thought I was an outsider. Thank you for staying with me, even though I can be very loud and annoying. You are all beautiful and so incredible. You all have come so far. Don’t ever give up. I know each of you is strong enough to get over this. I can’t believe I won’t see any of you, in person, for a very long time, or sadly, maybe forever. I wish I could stay with you forever and be that little giggling girl colouring away. I want all of you to know, I believe in you. Even when times seem rough, I never have any doubts in your abilities. You are the most terrific girls I know. Don’t change for anyone, you are perfect just the way you are. Thank you everything. I will truly miss you. I wish you all the best.

To the master:

You are the master. It’s true, and there is no way I can deny it. Thank you for trying to teach me piano, it’s a skill I want to continue practicing. That you for being so supportive and being there for me. I will miss you so much, I can’t even put it in words. I will always be here for you. I will talk to you every night, as long as you reply. I will give you any encouragement or advice you need. I will listen to whatever you have to say. Rant to me if you need to. Don’t give up. I know things seem really rough right now, but I know you can do this. You are stronger than you’ll ever know. You are beautiful. You are brave. You are smart. I know you can beat this. You are the master after all. I won’t forget you. You really helped me get to the point I am at now. I don’t want to leave you, but I realize I can’t stay here forever. You are amazing. Sandwich Sisters Unite! Thank you. Just thank you.

To the Queen:

You know who you are. I know I picked on you a lot, but that’s how I show I really care about someone. Thank you for putting up with me and joking around. You brightened my day. I know you’ll be through with this soon. You have made huge steps that I never could’ve imagined you thinking you could do. You are really putting a huge effort into beating this. I can’t wait to see where your life takes you. If you ever need advice or encouragement, I am always here. I will not forget about you. I will do anything to help you. I know you’ll succeed. Thank you for being my friend and making me laugh. Thank you.

And now I have to come to the hardest part. The goodbye. I don’t want to do this. I suck at goodbyes. You all are so important to me and I can’t fathom life away from my home, our unit. I will miss you all so much. I won’t forget anyone or anything you taught me. You are locked in my heart forever. I hope to see you in a few years when I come to work at McMaster. It will be a great day when I get to reunite with everyone. I miss you all already just writing this, and I still see you tomorrow! Wow. This time went too fast. Thank you. I wish you all well. I wish for happy and healthy lives. Now for my least favourite part. Goodbye. The next time we meet I hope things will change for the better for everyone. Goodbye.


How Do I Love Thee?

Can anybody find me….somebody tooooo…looovvvveee!?

How about yourself? It’s something we all forget to do, love ourselves. A lot of people don’t want to anymore. They feel they aren’t worthy of love, especially their own. We feel ashamed and disgusted in ourselves, but we really shouldn’t. We are human. We make mistakes. It’s time to stop beating yourself up.

How do you even love yourself? How can we even like ourselves? What if all we feel is hate. We hate our growing body. We hate being in hospital, or in school, or anywhere. We hate our life. Instead of saying this, say the opposite. I love my life. You may not believe it, but every time you say I hate my life, you have to say I love my life.

Think of reasons why you could love your life. Again, they may not seem true to you right now, but maybe they did at one time. And maybe they’re really small things, but anything is good. I love that I have a cat. I love that I have a sister. I love that I have black clothes. I love that Disney movies exist. I love that Hot Topic is around. I love that I have shoes. I love that I have feet. I love that I have eyes and ears. You get the point. List anything and everything. Don’t just think of them, write them down. Keep them to look at when you’re really low. It’ll remind you that there are a few good things in your life. It’s worth the time you have to take.

Another thing you should do is compliment yourself. Say “you are beautiful” when you look in the mirror. Stop yourself from saying hurtful things. Write messages all around your room or house reminding yourself of how strong and amazing you are. You all are, and you all deserve these compliments. In fact, they aren’t as much compliments as facts. Each and everyone of you has something to offer the world, do not forget that. You are special. You are important.

Some people think to love yourself you should wear tight clothes, other say baggy. What do I say? Nothing is out of boundaries. Wear whatever you want. I wear a tutu and suspenders sometimes. Knee high socks, hair bows, mismatched patterns, I have no limits to what I wear, and neither should you. Respect your body. Accent the best features of yourself (I’ll bet you all have a great butt). No shame. No regrets. If you want to wear makeup, wear it. If you don’t want to, don’t. It is all your choice. This is your body, clothing and other styles are a way to express yourself.

When you’re learning to love yourself, you have to push boundaries. Get out of your comfort zone. Be crazy. Be loud. Be you. I had a really hard time accepting myself. I thought I was horrible, worthless, ugly, fat, all the everyday things. But I also wasn’t myself. I didn’t like who I had become. It seemed to be me, but it didn’t look like me, or act like me. So I changed. I wore something crazy that I would’ve worn years ago, when I was happy. I felt this spark. I felt this new confidence. I was confused. I thought how could this be? I should be embarrassed. But I was proud. I took a leap, accepted the challenge, and got a little piece of me back. Maybe you were outgoing before, but then you became very introverted. Be daring. Talk to someone. An easy thing to do is get an online email penpal, or text someone. The next step is to talk to someone in public. Then maybe even say hello to a stranger. Take small steps everyday to get yourself back to who you were.


  • I do not deserve love
  • I am ugly
  • I am worthless
  • I am fat/overweight
  • I am horrible
  • How could anyone love me?

These are all myths. You deserve love. You are beautiful. You are worthy and meaningful. You are lovely. You are terrific. I love you, no matter who you are.

But some people ask this “Who am I?”. It’s a big question, but very important. To love yourself, you really have to learn who you are. Separate yourself from any illnesses or issues. You are not your problems. You are that creative, beautiful, smart, courageous, lovable boy or girl. Identify your values. Take a few minutes or hours to just be with yourself. Write down the things you love, love to do, and any other favourites. Really investigate into your soul. It sounds cliche, but sometimes cliches are right. It’s time you discovered yourself once again.

What do you do when other people are bringing you down? Think of the phrase Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Think No Evil. Learning to love yourself is when you have to take off those rose-coloured glasses and see who you truly are. Then I want you to take those glasses and fold them. Fold them again. And keep folding them until they become ear plugs. But these ear plugs in. These will guard you from the words of others. Turn something not so great, into something helpful. If you don’t have these glasses, or are not ready to take them off just yet, invest in some good quality ear plugs. The words these others have to say are not worth your energy. You are too important to listen to anything that is unkind. These people are not right for your life. (Now this is a metaphor, but I have found many people wear these glasses without noticing, myself being one. I have found that the ear plugs have helped me quite a bit when it comes to what other people say. I have the deluxe brand, so it filters out all negative things, and only lets me hear the important and helpful things. This doesn’t mean you should ignore people, it just means, don’t take their hurtful comments seriously. They mean nothing.)

A good thing to do while trying to learn to love yourself, is gain a passion or hobby. Not only does this distract yourself from any unhelpful thoughts, but it helps you build mastery, help you to believe in yourself and give you more to love. I learned to loom, with the special kits. It wasn’t too difficult (after a while), but I felt really good about myself after I made my first scarf. I was so proud. I saw a little glimpse of life in my eyes again. A little flicker of love flashed before me. And that was just from a scarf. When I painted my first painting, a lot more came. Then even when I went to the grocery store all on my own, I felt this love. I was doing things to help and appreciate me. Sometimes, it is all about you. And that is completely fine.

Don’t hold your feelings in. Don’t hide who you are. Be honest. Some people find they sound like a broken record, or maybe they just think they’re annoying. It isn’t healthy to hold everything in. It will hurt you in the long run. It’ll beat you up from the inside out. Find one person who you can rant to. Tell them everything you’re feeling. Let it all out. If you don’t feel safe telling someone else, write out how you’re feeling, or type it to get it out of your mind. Then I suggest burning, ripping or deleting it. This is more for comfort of not having to relive that exact feeling again. If you need to let it out to someone, I am always willing to listen. Tell me if you want me to give advice, comment what I think or just acknowledge your feelings. I want to help.

My favourite thing is to look at my quirks; to see how I am different. I embrace the little weird things about me. I am proud to say I am different. Every itty bitty thing about you is wonderful. Every unique piece of your puzzle is important and special. Embrace the things you never thought you would. Have a cow lick? Awesome, embrace it. Laugh so hard no sound comes out, embrace it. Have grey hair, embrace it. These things make you who you are.

Remember not to change yourself for anyone. Be who you truly want to be. You want to play the kazoo? Do it. Nothing is impossible for you. Once you know who you are, or what you like, create an identity you want to be, or who you were. Once you know your values, practice them. Be the person you always wanted yourself to be. Not who your family or friends wanted you to be. The most important opinion is your own. So act in a way you respect yourself.

I didn’t love myself for a long time. I couldn’t look in the mirror without crying. I saw a decaying face in front of me and I had no respect for myself. I was not happy. I was ashamed of this being I became. For years this went on. Things were looking bleak. Then I started my first real recovery. I still couldn’t look in the mirror; at first. Then I wore something crazy. I wore something I would’ve worn when I was eight and didn’t have my disorder. I looked in the mirror. I smiled? It was weird. I actually was happy with the way I looked. I walked with a spring in my step. You can feel this too.

Don’t give up. Don’t lose hope. It will happen. I know it. Love yourself.

A Friend In Need, Has A Friend In Me

Now, I’m not saying this is right for everyone. It’s just something that would’ve worked and helped me, when my friends were trying to help.

How do you talk to a friend who is struggling? You don’t want to say something that sets them back, but you don’t want to be silent and let them crumble. You know in your heart, you have to do something.

What kind of things can you say? What kind of things can’t you say?


  1. You look healthy. This could set them back. They may take this as, I have gained weight, I am fat, I need to lose more weight.
  2. You don’t look skinny enough to have an eating disorder. NONONONO. This is unacceptable. Anyone, of any size, gender, race, etc. can have an eating disorder. Ed does not discriminate. Never assume. I saw this as a challenge. If I didn’t look skinny enough, then I had to eat even less. Never. ever, say this.
  3. Why don’t you just eat/Why don’t you just stop purging? (Two common examples, many more could be said involving other behaviors). This isn’t a choice. We don’t ask to have an eating disorder and force ourselves to hate our bodies. Ed does this. We can’t just stop everything and go back to eating properly. It takes a long time and lots of professional help (usually) to get to a point where you can eat and love yourself. It’s like telling someone with cancer to just stop having cancer.
  4. Why are you doing this to us? We aren’t choosing to make everyone’s life harder. We just want an escape and to feel better about ourselves. At the time, we didn’t know any better way to accept ourselves. Don’t act like they are attacking you.
  5. You look terrible. Most of us have body issues already, and this doesn’t help. We want to feel good about ourselves, and this makes us feel like we are completely worthless. We want to feel pretty, not be told we look like death.
  6. If you think you’re fat, then what am I? Don’t compare our thoughts to how we see you. That isn’t fair to us. You increase our anxiety and we could seriously panic, which can cause a lot of harm. We see ourselves different than how you see us, and it takes a long time to take off the blurry glasses. I know I hated being approached with this.
  7. I wish I could lose weight like you/I wish I could be anorexic for a day/I need to lose a few pounds. These make us feel like we are doing something really good for ourselves, and honestly, we aren’t. You normalize the eating disorder, like everyone should have it, and everyone needs to lose weight. If you have been told by a doctor you need to lose weight, an eating disorder is not the way to go. Don’t talk about losing weight around us. It made me feel like I had to lose more because everyone else was going to become as skinny as I.
  8. I binge all the time, it’s fine! (Or something of this manner). Don’t make the eating disorder behaviors normal. No one needs to do this. There are healthier ways to deal with emotions and problems. Do not promote an eating disorder.
  9. Don’t you know how much you’re hurting yourself? Please, once again, we are trying to get rid of pain. This only adds guilt and shame. Don’t be telling us how wrong we are for having an eating disorder. It wasn’t our choice and we have no control over it.
  10. I ate so much and now I have to skip [meal] or eat less today. Nope. No one needs to cut down on food just because they ate a little more. And if you do, by accident or so, don’t talk about it around us. It will make us feel guilty about how much our body needs to eat right now, and we’ll want to stop eating altogether.
  11. You brought this on yourself; you made your bed, now lie in it. Ah, this is my favourite. Well, it’s one I heard a lot and I hate to hear. My favourite least favourite. If you even think about saying this, stop. This is never okay to even think. WE DIDN’T CHOOSE THIS LIFE!! IT FELL UPON US. We didn’t actually want things to get this far. We didn’t know how much control Ed gets over us. Stop blaming us. This is not our fault.


  1. Let them know they aren’t alone. This is a hard illness. We feel like we’re the only ones struggling with our bodies and we aren’t normal anymore. We think of ourselves as freaks (I am proud to say I am a weirdo and there’s nothing wrong with that) and outcasts. We want to belong. Knowing we have support from you can really help.
  2. Tell them they are beautiful and don’t let them say no. They need to know they are worthy and beautiful no matter how they look. No one needs to lose weight (unless a doctor medically says you should) and everyone should be kind to themselves.
  3. Try to encourage them to seek help. I personally can say I never wanted to listen to this when I was deep in my disorder. After a few years of having no life, I decided it was enough. And I asked for help. I can say the help I received (specifically from McMaster) really made a difference and I don’t know if I could’ve done it without professional help.
  4. Ask them what they need. Sometimes we don’t want to be told what to do. We want to have some decisions in our life. This validates us and makes us feel like you really care.
  5. Let them vent. We all are holding stuff in. And it only causes problems. Let us say everything that’s on our mind. But there are rules when we are being open and talking to us:
  • Be supportive
  • Don’t be judgmental
  • Don’t approach us with food
  • Definitely don’t force us to eat or make it your job to solve all of our problems
  • Be patient
  • Be calm
  • Do not say anything that you think will be hurtful (anything from my list, or anything that you even have the slightest doubt about saying. Filter and think before you react)
  • Everything has consequences, chose your words wisely.


  1. Help them distinguish Ed from themselves. They are two different beings. We are not our eating disorders.
  2. Once again, let them vent without judging.
  3. Give them a hug.
  4. Have them write down their values.
  5. Tell them to compliment themselves everyday.
  6. Have them write down things they like about themselves, but nothing to do with weight.
  7. Say you are their Ed, and let them talk to you to get out what they want to say to Ed.
  8. Take them to a spa. Show them they can love their body and praise it, even if they don’t feel they’re worthy.
  9. Introduce them to new music and hobbies to distract them.
  10. If you are sitting with them while they are trying to eat, it’s good to eat something yourself, so they don’t feel like they’re the only ones who have to eat.
  11. Tell them to write positive messages on all their mirrors.
  12. Or, tell them to get rid of their mirrors.
  13. Tell them to get rid of the scale (hard to do, but it really is a step in the right direction).
  14. Start slow with them. Introduce new foods at a steady pace, don’t do it all at once. It is a scary thing, but it has to be done.
  15. Delete old Ana and Mia sites from their bookmarks.

Sometimes you want to say you understand what we’re going through. But no book, not even I, can say what anyone is going through. It’s different for everyone. I will say what it felt like for me.

I thought I was being buried alive. Everyone kept pushing me closer towards the hole and eventually I fell in. Every time I tried to climb out, someone threw something at me. Every hurtful word or phrase was another clump of dirt. I was dying. Eventually I gave in and decided it was my time to die. I hit rock bottom. I never thought I would get out of that hole. I knew I had friends with this disorder, but I didn’t believe I had it. Ed convinced me I was just eating healthier and losing weight to make myself look better. I trusted him. At times when I started to feel like maybe something was wrong, I felt like no one was doing anything to stop me. Everyone was letting me overexercise and under-eat. I was alone. It was always dark. I never wanted to see my friends, because they knew what was going on and wanted to help. I was sure I didn’t need help, I just needed to lose another 5 pounds. Then ten, and it never stopped. I had no hope. I wanted to die. I wanted to starve myself to death and leave everything behind. Life was like Hell. Everything was always on fire and I was being beaten down everyday. Soon I stopped going out altogether. My life ended up consisting of me, and a garbage pail (either filled with vomit, or the lunch I was supposed to eat). I wouldn’t even call what I was doing ‘life’. I was not living. I was practicing for after my funeral. I started planning my funeral. I wrote suicide notes. I said goodbye to my friends. It was the end.

I am no longer in that place. I met a group of people who, instead of throwing dirt at me, threw me a ladder. I climbed out. I am almost happy. I can stand up for myself. I have self-respect once again. I want everyone to be able to feel this again, and it is possible.

Please get help if you need it, if you have a friend with this problem, try to get them to read this. Drowning isn’t fun. We need a life preserver. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, I will respect you if you reach out (I respect you no matter what, but this is an incredible step).

Don’t give up, there is hope for everyone.

The “No-Nos”

We all have those foods. The foods we deem unfit to eat.

But how did we choose them? The main culprit: word of mouth. Yes, that’s right, we heard from someone or read on some unreliable site that these foods are unhealthy. But what if we were told spinach was unhealthy? That we shouldn’t eat it and you’d be fat if you did? That isn’t really accurate. In fact, if you didn’t ever eat spinach, you’d be missing out on not only a tasty food, but also certain nutrients it gives us. The same applies to pleasure foods, more commonly known as “junk food”

The term “junk food” isn’t correct. It implies that these foods are trash and eating them is bad for our insides. Sure, if all you eat is candy all day everyday, it will hurt you, but the same applies to all foods. We have to eat these things in moderation and enjoy all different types of food, unless you have an allergy or ethically are against certain foods (but cutting out some foods means you have to introduce new ones to make up for lost nutrition!).

By taking out these foods, we are punishing ourselves. It brings the correlation between food and appreciation. Food soon becomes a reward and a punishment, some are good and some are considered bad. But this isn’t a healthy way to look at food. Food is something our body needs, and it’s important to try as many different things as we can, not excluding any food that we physically can eat.

By a technical way of looking at things, this is restricting. You are all working so hard to overcome your eating disorder behaviors, and this will not do you any good. Denying yourself food isn’t a good habit. We have to normalize our eating and this includes introducing foods we don’t find “healthy”.

What really defines healthy? Who told us what is healthy and what is not? When you have an eating disorder, no foods should be off the table (unless for religious, ethical or medical reasons). There is no such things as bad foods. I believe there shouldn’t be any labels on food, no super foods, junk food, low fat food, etc. It is all just food. We can eat it all.

Now, just because I believe we can eat all these foods, it doesn’t mean go out and binge. Things in moderation. It is important to eat a variety of foods and expose yourself to different tastes and textures. Eating a couple candies or chocolates a day won’t hurt you. Even having one day where you eat a bunch of candy (Halloween!), you won’t expand like a blimp. All these foods are carbohydrates, and all can be digested by your body and converted to energy. They aren’t going to kill you, as long as you keep eating the other four food groups and get your required amount of nutrition.

If we set rigid rules against food, we could find ourselves in tough situations. An example came up in group today. Our dietitian is going to have a baby, and this weekend she went shopping at the mall. All of a sudden she felt her blood sugar drop. She started sweating and had to sit down. A lady approached her and asked if she was okay, offering her timbits. Now what if the dietitian had a rule of no cake or sugary foods? What if she said, no I’m fine and just walked to the food court? She could’ve fainted in that time and hurt not only herself, but her baby. (She in fact loves timbits, and yes, she is a very healthy dietitian, and took some) But this could happen to anyone at any time. Sometimes you have to eat these foods for when you’re in an emergency and when your health is at risk. There shouldn’t be any foods crossed off your list of foods to eat, reintroduce as much as available to you!!

The main question you have to ask yourself, is this my opinion or Ed’s? Most of the time, it’s Ed’s. Don’t let him or her keep you from eating foods you once enjoyed. Give them a second chance in your life. I have a friend who doesn’t like candy. She finds it too sweet. She also doesn’t like fruit. But she doesn’t ban these foods from her life, she just would prefer not to eat them. If she had to eat them, she would. If you physically do not like a food, don’t say you’ll never eat it, keep it on the table. Simply say you’d prefer not to eat it, and replace it (sometimes) with a food of equal nutrition.

I have had foods I didn’t want to eat. Sometimes I didn’t realize I was cutting them out, but this weekend I recognized it. I decided to challenge myself by eating foods I rarely ever eat. I had hot chocolate, pop, pasta and butter. Some of those things I enjoyed quite a bit, the noddles and butter were fantastic and I will eat them again. But, I wasn’t a fan of the pop or hot chocolate. But I’m not going to never eat them again. In fact, I’m just going to try different brands and types before I say I’d prefer not to eat this food. I want to give it the complete chance it deserves.

You never know, you may not like sweddish fish candy, but maybe you’ll like sour cherry blasters. You’ve got to try different varieties before you say one food isn’t to your liking. All foods deserve a chance.

Give it a shot and stay strong!!

But, I am Not Hungry

Ahhh. The excuse we’ve all used. “I don’t need to eat anymore because I’m not hungry and my body is saying stop”. Much like a photo, our hunger cues are faded and unreliable. They aren’t really revealing to us the truth. 

Sure, eventually you get the hunger cues back, but that could be months, even years. We cannot depend on them to let us know how much to eat. That’s why we have meal plans. 

Although we think we know how much we need to eat, Ed or Ana, or whomever, are really telling us what to eat. We shouldn’t listen to them. 

Sometimes we get our hunger cues back, and they’re telling you the truth. You’re still eating enough nutrition and maintaining your proper weight. But then a major stressor comes into play. And your body goes out of whack. 

You still think you’re getting proper hunger cues, but usually, you aren’t. Ed took advantage of your vulnerable state and secretly took control back. You may not even realize it, but if you’re eating a lot less than normal, Ed probably entered the game. 

Don’t let him win. Challenge him. You are in control and you can’t let Ed boss you around. 

Now, why did I chose this topic for today? I’ve been having a very hard couple of weeks due to stress in my life, and my hunger cues went on vacation. So what happened? I didn’t eat as much as I knew I should. But then I realized what was happening. I was only drinking water when I could’ve been having juice, milk, hot chocolate, etc. I didn’t have the foods I craved and wanted, so I didn’t eat as much. But after talking it out with one of my friends, I knew exactly what I had to do. Eat more. 

So what did I do today? I ate more. Not a binge, but what I was supposed to eat. I didn’t feel like Ed was with me this whole time, but the subtle signs said he was. So I challenged him. When he told me I wasn’t hungry, I still ate. I made sure I drank more and drank things with nutrition. And you know what? I don’t feel perfect. And that’s expected. You probably won’t feel good about what you did. As long as you know it’s what you had to do (which it was) you are improving. I’m sure in the end I am happier and proud of myself for eating more. 

If I can say no to Ed and fight him, so can you. You are braver than you belive, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think. (Wise words from Christopher Robin)

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

The dreaded question. “Want to come out to dinner with us?”  

It’s hard to give an answer to this, Ed is saying you can’t and your anxiety is soaring. But your family is pushing you to go. What do you do?

First off, don’t force yourself if you’re not ready. This is a huge step and if you’d rather stick to a meal plan than take a day off, you might need to do just that. But don’t make this an activity you can never do. Going out for supper is great exposure and shows how strong you are. If you’re not ready to go out to dinner right now, make it a goal of yours in the near future. 

One thing I’ve noticed about going out to dinner is that it can be scary. Going somewhere you don’t know how something was made, what’s in it or how many calories the dish is. 

We have to get out of the mindset that calories control our diet and life. Instead, we need to focus on getting all the food groups and eating a proper amount of nutrition, as per what the doctor says.

Calories are another set of numbers that shouldn’t matter. You should just be paying attention to if you’re eating enough or too little. But your body may not be able to tell you that, so go to a doctor and dietician to get a proper meal plan. 

Don’t deprive yourself of social interaction and new experiences just because you think Ed won’t let you. This is your life and you can do these things once again. 

Live free and be happy. 

Now What?

(I’m so sorry I haven’t been blogging for a while!! A lot has been going on and later on I’ll be able to talk about it, but for now, I can’t. Also, thighs touch, no shame!!)

Now, this could be for a lot of things. Today it’s about reaching your goal weight. 

It truly is a scary thing. You’ve been underweight for so long and it’s the norm for you. You don’t know anything but it. You’re losing your “safe place”. But here’s a shocker, it really wasn’t your safe place. 

No, don’t stop reading already and call me a liar. There really is a safer place. It’s acceptance. But you have to work really hard to get to acceptance. 

It could be something that you wake up feeling, or it could be something you work towards for months, even years. One thing you have to remember is patience. Time will tell what is to come. 

Acceptance is being okay with your body. Or maybe it’s not being okay with your body, but realizing you’re healthy and accepting things are the way they are and it wouldn’t be right to fiddle with your health again. 

Now, back to goal weight. No one wants to hear, “you’re at your goal weight”. Some people think of it as a failure, like they weren’t strong enough to keep losing weight. That is a plain lie. You proved you are even stronger and that you have control. You showed yourself that this is your life and no longer will you hurt your body. You are the complete opposite of a failure. You are one of the most successful people that have lived. 

Your goal weight isn’t some magic number. Everything fluctuates. You may lose five pounds, you may gain ten. But that is okay, as long as a medical professional is watching your health and advising you with what you eat and what kind of activity you do. As long as you aren’t engaging in negative coping mechanisms, your weight moving around is normal and healthy. It could be because you drank too much or too little, or maybe you haven’t peed yet. Most of your weight is water, so after you go to the bathroom, your body balances out. 

Don’t stress about your weight. In fact, I don’t think scales should’ve been created. They’ve only caused pain and suffering for so many people. Your Ed, or Ana, or whatever your eating disorders name is, is the one who is making you think this way. Remember years ago when you coloured at school and got excited on milk day instead of scared? Ed wasn’t talking to you yet. You were enjoying your life and that’s what I hope for all of us. The freedom to love ourselves again. 

The hardest thing to do is stop thinking about your weight, but the most important thing is to stop thinking about your weight. It’s just a number. It doesn’t reflect who you are, how you do in school or who your friends are.

 The scale is an abusive partner. Stop letting them control your life and break up with them. Think of the scale as the enemy, not the hero. Has it really ever helped you? Probably not. Leave the number and medical decisions to the doctors and dieticians. They’ve studied this and won’t let you become unhealthy. 

You’re all beautify like, or handsome, no matter your weight. If someone judges you on how you look, they aren’t worth your time. And yes, that includes Ed and all his judging. 

Don’t worry about being a pound or two over your “goal weight”. In fact, stop thinking of it as your goal weight. Consider it the start of your healthy weight RANGE. That’s right, it’s the lowest weight that you can be. Find out what highest healthy weight for you is and aim to be in that range. Even if you’re on the higher end, you’ll still know you’re healthy. 

Don’t deprive yourself of food just because you’re at that weight and you think you can’t gain anymore. You’re not going to die or become fat if you gain a little more weight. You probably wouldn’t even know if you broke up with your scale and moved on. 

Don’t give up. It seems a little hopeless right now, but it does get a lot easier. 

The only number that should matter to you, is the number of your birthday. Because that is a number you have always celebrated. And who doesn’t love presents and a party!! 

Stay strong!! Love you all. 

Building Mastery

What? Building mastery? Huh?

No, it’s not becoming the master. Well, it kinda is. In its own way. 

Building mastery is when you do little things each day to make you feel like you’re accomplishing something. It could be as easy as hanging up your coat or as complicated as painting a picture. It’s doing something to show yourself you’re competent and fully capable of doing tasks. 

Why do we do this?

Why not? It’s good to prove you know what you’re doing and say “hey [insert unbeliever here, for me, it’s ed] I can do this. In your face”. And you know what, it feels incredible. 

You can accomplish something without your illness holding you back. It is not you and you are not it. You can do basically anything you set out to do. I believe in you all. 

So why did I talk about this today? I did some major building of mastery today!! 

See that cat up there? That’s Cheshie, my Cheshire Cat. I sewed him!! Just by basic instructions that didn’t teach me to see. I taught myself. It took me a few hours to make it, but the sense of accomplishment was more than I could ever imagine. It’s worth all the trouble and struggle, trust me. 

So go out and do something challenging today. I dare you. 

Do I Deserve Happiness?

This frightening phrase was uttered in group today.

“I sometimes feel happy, but then I’m guilty about it, and think I don’t deserve happiness, so I feel even worse than I normally do.”

Just as a public service announcement; everyone deserves happiness. No matter what you’ve done, no one deserves eternal pain.

Just because you have an eating disorder doesn’t mean you don’t deserve to be happy.

If you had cancer, would you question your happiness? Both cancer and an eating disorder were not asked for. No one said “hey! I’d like an order of leukemia or maybe some bulimia on the side!” No, these things just happen, and we may never know why.

Don’t feel guilty for what has happened to you. You couldn’t control it. Ed told you that you were in control, but he was lying. He was in control. It is no ones fault for what you’re going through, especially not your own.

Don’t let anyone ever make you feel guilty for being happy. Happiness is a wonderful thing to feel! In fact, I want you to feel extra good and give yourself a pat on the back when you’re happy. It means you’re progressing and starting to lose the numbness.

Now, I wholeheartedly support happiness, but we can still have our bad days. Like me, today.

God, get ready for a rant, I had a pretty rough day.

So I went to Ontario Works to apply for government support today and found out 2 very important things. #1. My mom has to financially support me while I’m still under her care, it’s her legal obligation.

#2. The money my dad pays for child support should be going directly to me, not to her to spend on herself.

Now guess what my mom thinks. She says that money is hers and I shouldn’t get any of it. Are you kidding me? That’s not right.

So, I’m going to take legal action. I cannot be with this family. It is only hurting me and delaying my recovery.

Anyone who is in an abusive relationship, please, find help and get out of it. You are worth more than what they give you. You deserve respect and to be treated with dignity.

Please, love yourself and don’t give up hope for a brighter future.