It’s not money… it’s purpose. It’s not purpose… it’s love.  

Money cannot bring happiness.

Money… it’s paper. It’s just paper, comparatively speaking. Comparing money to love is not even fair; money doesn’t have a fighting chance on…

Love.

Love for yourself. That has got to come first. Love for YOUrself. Love for YOU.

Love for YOUrself. That’s what brings happiness. Happiness is priceless.

Money ain’t got NOthing on LOVE.

More to come…

She looked around & realized… Life IS Amazing  

I love this visual message. I love so much about it, I will have to break it down in sections in order to capture all that I love. So, let’s do it.
Sections:
-First box = Imagine
-Second box = Believe
-Third box = Curiosity
-Fourth box = Life is Amazing!
First Box = She decided to start living the life she imagined.
 
Imagine.
 
She. 
I talk about she in past tense now. Notice?
She.
In the midst of disordered eating, she imagined a lot of things. These lots of things revolved around one common variable: food. She imagined what life would be like if she could just Eat to Live. This imagined idea was merely that: imagined. It was not present day. It was not consistent. It was non-existent, for the most part. Eating to Live existed only in her imagination.
Within this imagination of Eating to Live existed many other things. They included self-describing adjectives, or, a lack there of, the following adjectives: confidence, pride, happiness, internal locus of control, control in general, acceptance, faith…
She imagined. She, by choice, started living.
Second box = SHE believed she could so SHE did.
 
Believe.
 
This one is important.
Notice SHE is not in italics here. That is because in order to believe, I had to let go of her, and be ME. She didn’t believe in anything; she didn’t believe in anything healthy, hopeful or gracious… She didn’t believe in anything good, righteous or worthy. She didn’t believe she was worthy. Well, guess what… I am worthy. In fact, my worth is societally immeasurable and unfading. Guess what else, so is YOURS.
[1 Peter 3:3-4]
Third box = and she replaced her fear of the unknown with curiosity. 
 
Curiosity.
 
Similarly in describing the second box according to her and I, you must note the italics in that statement. SHE replaced her fear… she was always the one walking in fear… in fear of judgement, in fear that worth would never be her’s… Well, I had to take over control. I had to replace her and her fear with MY curiosity…
Fourth box = She looked around and life was pretty Amazing!
 
Life is Amazing!
 
She didn’t think anything was amazing… well, nothing real or tangible or that mattered. Attention. That was what she craved. Once I realized that this attention seeking her was ruining me, my move from Living to Eat into Eating to Live began.
See, attention in the life of my italicized self is irrelevant in MY life. She and I have always been two different people. No. I do not have dissociative identity disorder. Yes. I believe her identity must be separated from my own. The two of us are different; we are so different, in fact, that I can’t even claim her. I have to separate her from me.
I decided to believe in ME. I decided to let go of her in order to pursue mycuriosity. what could life really be like if I lived as one person and not as two?
I chose me. I still choose. I decide, everyday, to choose me. If I pay her no mind, I can look around and say, “WOW! Life is Amazing!”
She could never say that statement regarding generalized amazingness! Thank God I can.
Life in Eating to Live and without her is AMAZING!
 
LIFE IS AMAZING.
 
…don’t ever give up…
 

From Bounded & Broken to Freedom in Eating to Live…  

This sculpture moves me so. It moves me to the point of tears and throat lumps. It is so metaphorically gorgeous and perfect. It is so right on!
We’ll give each section a name. On the far left, Bounded. The next we’ll callBreaking. The third, Almost! And, the last, FREEDOM.
Oh, bounded… You had me for so long. In fact, I don’t really remember many a time when I didn’t feel bounded; trapped and almost suffocating.
From a young age, I felt bounded in my body and in my circumstance. I come from a home of wickedly divorced parents. My childhood memories are dominated by violent negativity in numerous forms, none of which I was directly abused by. In my humble opinion, this indirect abuse may be even worse than the direct kind. I never had any control over it. None whatsoever. I was bounded.
 
My parents argued (this is an understatement that we’ll leave just as that). I was the youngest of 3 daughters by age but not by responsibility. This responsibility, acting as liaison of pissed off, divorced parents should not have been my forte but, it surely became…
Bounded… I became bounded by food and its faux comfort at a young age. I remember sneaking snacks and bites at all times of day. I remember numerous periods of time I did this but, one sticks out predominately. I believe the source of it’s predominance is because, this time, I remember negative and devastating feelings involved with it. My Uncle Anthony was getting married; my sister and I were Jr. Bridesmaids. I had to fit into a dress. My measurements were taken in Florida and passed on to the Michigander designer. Weeks later, when my family arrived to Michigan, the dress was tight. I was oh, I don’t know, 9-10 years old? Something like that…
My dress had to be let out. I remember feeling embarrassed and not like the pretty princess any little girl in a wedding should feel like. My dress was let out yet, it ended up just as tight… I remember sneaking food and chocolate down to my grandparents basement throughout this trip. I had no idea why I did that then. And now, I still don’t fully understand it but, I get it… I get it. I had control that no one else knew of. It only belonged to me.
Times like these, eating in excess in private or in hiding, they half ran my life for years. The other half was ran by forms of purging and trying to act like it never happened and as if I was totally “normal” and unbothered. I was never really good at acting but, I pulled it off; she made me. Bounded.
 
Breaking. Breaking comes with two-fold meaning and therefore two subtitles.Breaking-me and Breaking-her.
 
Breaking-me. Oh my goodness, I was breaking. I was breaking and nearly broken for years. I walked upright, but felt like I was falling. I breathed deeply, but it hurt. I laughed and I smiled, but only half the time I meant it. I was devastated on the inside and I was lying on the outside. I lied and I pretended. I acted and I faked it. I faked it with friends, with sorority sisters and real sisters, with my parents and with my long-time boyfriend…
Oh yeah, the boyfriend… I was bounded by him to. I was originally bounded by another and then became bounded by him. I’ve mentioned him before, BBW. To BBW and the one before him, I wasn’t good enough. I was a secret; our behind-the-scenes lives together were a secret. BBW and I became “best friends” after he helped me break free from the chains that the one before him had me locked in and bounded by. But, BBW did the same thing the one before him did: he kept me a secret. From 2001 to 2003, our relationship as far as anyone knew it was labeled as the best of friends. I assure you, we were much more than that. BBW wanted to do his “thing” as a newly recruited frat boy when him and I got to USF in the Fall of 2002. We had to remain a secret so that he could do that “thing”. Allowing that was not the best decision I have ever made…
Having been the secret to BBW and the one before him left me with a devastatingly lingering sense of unworthiness. I was not good enough. Surely I know now, this was never the case. But, tell her that. She used it as restricting and purging motivation. The unworthiness I felt emptied me. Food filled me…or,she tried to use it to fill me. Guess what, that shit never worked…
Breaking-me. Let’s get back to that. Probably obvious at this point, the above paragraphed disclosure left me broken and jaded. So unpretty; I felt so unpretty and down right unworthy. Breaking-me softly…killing me softly he did, BBW… By the time he “gave in” and we were exclusive and together, I was already bruised beyond repair. 6 years later, guess what… it didn’t work out.
Bulimia was breaking-me. Bulimia was killing me but, it was definitely not doing it softly. It was rough and destructive and ridiculously powerful. Bulimia wasn’t only breaking-me, bulimia was owning me; my mind, my life, my spirit…my everything. I was a hostage. I had to escape. [This makes me think of a poem. It is my favorite because it is real and describes my Suffering In Silence].
This suffering and this breaking… it lasted a way-too-long time and it comes with many sad stories, all of which I could never tell in one blog entry.
Breaking-her. I had to get out. I had to get out of her mind and into my own. “Her mind has got a mind of it’s own.” I am only one; one body, one soul, one heart. I could no longer live with two minds. I had to break her, I had to breakaway… it took me a long time to break all of the chains in which she boundedme. I had to get rid of her irrationality and grab hold of my rationality. I had to let go of her and her relentless pursuit of “perfection” which was defined by society and it’s BBW’s, not by me or my Superior. I had to BREAK AWAY. 
Almost! For a while, I was almost there….

I had to break away and there was only one way to do that. In order to accomplishbreaking-her and surpass almost, I had to LET GO of her. I had to let go… this Earth has never been big enough for the both of us; it never will be. One of us had to go. Thank God for the ability to finally choose ME!

You see, it was always a choice. I could choose her or, I could choose me. But, like I said, there could never be enough sanity available on this Earth to choose both. Almost was no longer an option. So, I finally bit the right bullet. Every day I wake up choosing ME.

Almost is what it is: Almost. In order to break her, I had to be me. Notalmost me. I had to change my life and my lifestyle. I had to change my path. I had to fully give in to the path that has been given to me, not almost give in to it. I had to fully accept her, not almost accept her, for what she has always been: A divine gift. I had to choose between breaking-her and almost breaking her...
I chose.
I chose and I BROKE HER!
 
 
FREEDOM.
Granted, life is never perfect. At times, I find one of my feet stepping back into that sculpted picture of almost. That’s where Leniency over Stringency come into play… However, 90% of the time, Let Freedom Ring…
 
Freedom lies in this blog and in the title Eating to Live, Not the Alternative, here and on Facebook…soon to be trademarked and web-designed.
Let Eating to Live FREEDOM ring.
My freedom lies in my acceptance. Freedom lies in divinity and it’s speaking up & out path pre-destined for me.
 
Let Eating to Live FREEDOM ring.
 
Most importantly, My freedom lies outside of society and outside of herFreedom lies within me, not on my face or around my waist-line. My weight is not my worth and it surely is not the source of my freedom! My entire self… my heart, my soul and my purpose…this is my freedom. I am my own freedom!
 
 
LET EATING TO LIVE FREEDOM RING.

Leniency over Stringency, always.  

Leniency.

Leniency is key for someone trying to get beyond a disordered eating lifestyle. It is not one or the other. It is not all or nothing. It is not win or lose.

Leniency.

This year has been my first without ED for the holidays. Wow… what an experience it has been. I smiled while I ate and I meant that smile! I did not worry how I would burn off the calories or how I could discretely purge without getting caught. What a miracle.

I have been “clean” for some time now. By “clean” I mean 90+% of the time I Eat to Live, Not the Alternative. I give myself about 10% leniency. I have to. If I didn’t, I would surely fail and in turn label myself as such: A Failure. But, I am not a failure. I am a survivor and a fighter. And, a beautiful one at that.  I look in the mirror now and I think, damn… what did I ever complain about? I say this not to sound cocky or conceited. I say this because it is a miracle that I can say and believe that about myself; I am beautiful.

In order to maintain such beliefs, I have to wake up everyday and believe that. And, if I don’t believe that when I wake up, I have to do something to make myself believe that. I have to wash my face and see beauty in my eyes. I have to go to the gym (another blog on what cardio means to her and I, coming soon). I have to read my favorite blogs or my favorite quotes on true beauty. Sometimes I read scriptures I know speak to me. I have to do something, anything to start my day in a day of beauty.

Every day I have to make sure I wake up with beautiful metaphorically tattooed on my forehead. If I don’t, if I go into my day thinking of imperfections, the day will be just that, imperfect. Now, having said that… even on my weakest days, I get a little bit stronger. I get stronger through leniency, not stringency. When I have a weak day, I tell myself I will be okay; I tell myself tomorrow is a new day and I can work on it then. The world will not end. The sun always rises and the sun always sets. The new year always comes, just as it just did.

Happy 2012. I will be living my 2012 just as I should be: Eating to Live, Not the Alternative. I will be Eating to Live through leniency, not stringency. If I want something, I am going to live and I am going to eat it. I am not going to restrict. I am not going to binge. I am not going to purge. I am going to Eat and live. And, I am going to smile the whole time.

Happy New Year to all my perfectly imperfect, BEAUTIFUL fans. I love you all. You make me stronger. You make me believe in beauty. Thank you.

Cheers to Eating to Live…NOT the Alternative. 

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
~ 1 Peter 3:3-4
(As I stated earlier in the blog, some scriptures speak to me, such as this one 🙂