A “Human” Professional

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Hi, my name is Melanie, and I’m a recovered Bulimic, and recovering Anorexia Nervosa monkey-minded human being.
I’ve sat with crippling depression, anxiety, and taken laxatives while scared shitless of the idea of imperfection.
I’ve run trails in a healthy state, and I’ve also gone to morning swim practice in Uni while probs still drunk from the bar having come home a couple hours before.
I’ve aced papers, and I’ve also retaken courses.
I’ve googled ways to purge, tried many, and I’ve searched the shit out of the internet about how to heal.
I’ve gone to India to become a certified Yoga instructor, and I’ve pranayama’d the shit out of datstuff.
I’ve traveled across the world to New Zealand and am now a certified Holistic Nutritionist.
I’ve been a vegetarian, I’ve done Paleo, I’ve hashtagged #lchf like it’s going out of style, and I’ve been a devout “I Quit Sugar” spokesperson.
I’ve gone from eating full tubs of sugar-free/fat-free yogurts with 8 packets of TwinSugar in one sitting, to beef jerky.
I’ve found that food isn’t as important as the emotions behind it, and that sugar is OK.
My beliefs have changed more times than pugs fart (and they fart a lot….#teamantipugs).
I’ve learned that you can’t hate yourself into a version of yourself you can love, and that you can’t find yourself in New Zealand, or anywhere other than inside yourself, for that matter.
I’ve learned that happiness has no correlation to your pants size, bra size, or bathing suit size.
I’ve learned that being present is the most important part of life, and that awareness brings solace in darkest of times.
I’ve observed myself self-numbing, escaping, and also sitting right with pain; a bloated belly post-binge, an emotional smack in the face after a sexual abuse, a stress fracture from literally running away from myself.
I’ve honoured and dishonoured myself, and I’ve fluxed the shit out of life.
And through it all, I am exactly where I am today, flawed as ever, and loving myself anyways and always.

No one is perfect, and no one will ever be a “certified perfect professional”, in my humble opinion.

I’m certainly not, and this by no means takes away from the ability for someone to have a gift to help, myself, or anyone else.  In fact, the warriors with battle wounds, healed and healing are the ones I connect with and trust the most.

I’ve been afraid of sharing my story lately, uncensored, because of the stigma of mental health shame, and the thought of being unhirable in flaw.

Fuck.
That.
Shit.

This is me, there’s you, let’s do this shift.

2:57AM Le Hungry

Sometimes hunger doesn’t come in pangs of stomach notifications, like waking up with a headache and some intuition saying “eat”. I went to bed after being too tired to expend the honestly exhausting energy #tuningin to see if I was full after eating a snack. Maybe this is where the core cause is #lettinggo of the need to be “perfectly” sated. I honestly think I was so tired of the mind games, paired with being end-of-day-wiped, that I was just in a #fuckit place and hit the pillow, not feeling like living up to my own standards of eating “just right”.

That was another form of escapist-numbing, I now see. And also of rubbish high standards of perfectionist ways. Well, I’m eating now, and it’s a learning lesson that “perfect” is bullshit. And even in this imperfection there’s beauty of self-discovery and awareness.

Awareness is key.

Also: yes, I genuinely enjoy Brussels sprouts. #maybethisiswhyimsingle

Gaining Weight & a Stress-Tracking App

I’ve been told that I look “stronger” and that I have gained some weight and look better.
These are great things.  My mind thinks otherwise though.  So many thoughts go through my head:

  • I now must be able to train really hard (but am still injured)
  • I still have some of my habits going – and if I am gaining weight, then I should instantly let go of them and have an untethered life (meal stringency, control over all things – I feel like now my whole concept that I condone of “living intuitively” should happen instantaneously)
  • When will it stop?  What am I going to become?  What will I feel like when I no longer have my life preoccupied over my habits, routines?
  • If I have more free space, what the hell do I do?

I want to continue observing these thoughts and choosing to heal anyways.

I want to trust that things take time, I ran for the first time in a month this past Saturday, 3.75km, 17 mins, and I stopped before I felt that I wanted to.  I did my walking loop, and it felt empowering to stop before my mind wanted to.  I am going to be getting back slowly.  Slower than comfortable.  I want to work on strength, my one-legged squats, “one-legged lateral BOSU ball hops”, ankle mobility, etc.  I need to get my body ready for trails.  And the fact that I’ve gained weight doesn’t mean that I’m like 100% able to go on long-ass trail runs now.  My fascia and tendons will need time to become adjusted, to feel recovery.

I’m sitting at a cafe now and so glad I bumped into a friend of mine who has also battled.  She told me that she still has these thoughts, but she trusts that they’re fleeting, that this too shall pass.

I am looking forward to being capable:

healthy enough to doallthethings

Clare Gallagher, wicked cool trail runner, refer to pic below for clarification of status: Bae

I have to remind myself that if I am so present with myself in the moments of my life, then I trust that I will listen to my needs, and deny the hurt from myself.  I don’t feel like my soul will lead me astray.

I won’t become a “whale”.

I know that to do what I want to do, to live the life I want to live, the body I’ve sculpted as a byproduct of my coping mechanisms won’t be able to handle it. I know that my muscles, fascia, bones and blood won’t be able to traverse all the rugged terrain, all the fallen logs, all the boulders that I want to catapult myself over.  In the state that I’ve been in, if I tripped, I could easily and instantly break a hip.  My soft tissue wouldn’t be supple enough to allow my limbs to soar, they’d taught and tight and constrict.  I’m sick of foam rolling (PVC pipe) for an hour a day only to not be in pain.  And my training load doesn’t merit the amount of strain my body feels.  Food is wicked recovery.  I want to remember this when the shit voice comes in.

I want my mind to have the fuel for my being not to be in a fight or flight mode which restriction ensues.  I had a private swim coaching client this AM, and I actually had the mind stamina to be able to use my wicked skills that I innately have, to analyse her stroke and tell her how to improve. These analytical tools are lost when I’m undernourished.  There’s straight up no fuel for the synapse of neurons to THINK.

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Women like this make me feel hopeful, alive, like, damn straight – focus less on food, more on life, food is great, and awareness is key – healthy is a universal term for honouring all of ourselves.

I have to be aware of my stress load for this shit.  I have been tracking my stress via Logit AI Logit AI from a good friend of mine.  I highly recommend you check it out.  It’s an app that quantifies stress.

Stress is pretty much an invisible illness – and the notion of Allostatic load (I talk about this in my upcoming e-booklet Fuck Diets- 10 ways to Stress Less, and Weigh Healthy”).

Allostatic Load of Stress: the body doesn’t differentiate between different stressors. Be it the load of an ill family member, the physical load of athletic training, or the fact that you’re anxious over what to eat for dinner; the body only registers this as threat, and engages in the fight or flight reaction.

Basically, the Logit App prompts a questionnaire daily that with time, you can grasp a relative gage of your stress levels.  I’m bringing this up now, because despite being sick with a gnarly cold, and getting shit sleeps because I’m moving to British Columbia in 24 days (without a job or home yet), and a loud grenouille living above me…. my state of mind has been spot on sweet like gravy.  It’s actually surprising me.  I feel much less stressed, and the numbers show it, the “proof is in the pudding”.  (my logit scores are in a pic below).

Even my shits are better #jahbless

It’s actually kinda blowing my mind, first: how useful this app has been, and I’m not even one to log shit. I don’t really love data, online apps for things the body is innately born to calibrate….but the accountability, and the ability to consistently track how I feel, it’s helped me see the benefits of lowering my stress, and I definitely need this to get my period back and beat Hypothalamic Amenorrhea.  It keeps me in line, motivated, true to the ultimate goal.  The fact that the data is relative based on my previous logs (after about a week, you get the hang of it, and get more accurate data – the more you log, the more accurate your outcomes are) is a good feedback loop for motivation.  If it was based on other people’s cues, I would truly be less inclined to log. But it’s basically a relative reflection based on my own feelings, my own stress, my own perceived cortisol load.

SO, in spite of being sick and tired, my spirits are great.  I am so grateful for this feedback while I observe myself “getting stronger” (gaining weight), and am wondering if the fact that my cortisol is lower (be it from my mindset of “fuck this shit”, like, letting go of control) is a reason for my coping mechanisms (Anorexia, restriction) to lessen their stronghold because I am no longer putting myself in the line of fire for needing to be in a “survival mode” state, or a state of desperation.

Here are my numbers:

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My Logit Scores for the past month

Some of the daily questions include my perceived ability to:

  1. Get annoyed
  2. Find things overwhelming
  3. Feel capable to completing tasks
  4. Feel under pressure
  5. Laugh/have fun with friends (like when my swim student swam backstroke into an old Portuguese man this AM…and like, stroked his [hairy…very hairy] back hahahh…poor woman).

My answers have surprised me in being on the healthy side of life, less suffering, more feeling good.  I feel good in spite of gaining weight (HA, my mind wants not to feel good, even while typing this, but physiologically, this is a really influential marker for recovery – mental, spiritual, physical, emotional).

Fuck the struggle

On this note, that’s my update, I’ll continue getting STRONGER, fuck diets, and listen to my own tips from my e-book.  I actually am loving referring back to them when I feel stuck in life, they’re damn good.  Stay tuned for the launch!

An Open Letter of Apology

This is for myself, for you, for my parents, bro, friends.

Kelly Boaz, an Eating Disorder warrior now providing Holistic Nutrition counselling for those struggling, once told me that post-recovery (from any form of addiction or coping), comes a reintroduction of the real self to all- to the world.

I’m coming back.

(Also sorry for the camera angle…iunno…”YOLO”?)

I’m allowed to BE (and so are you)

I had an interaction yesterday with my brother that left me feeling sad, hurt, frustrated, and my innate need was to internalize it and restrict and stay SMALL.

Bitch please.

No more.

I am a professional fucked up Human Being.

–and I’m evolving mannnn, I’m sharing my story and I’m healing.  I sat in the pain, I looked at it.  I’m processing it.

Basically, his words left me feeling like I’m such a fuck up, that I’ve ruined his life, and that I should never have been born.  That I don’t deserve to be alive, healthy, thriving.  Innately, it made me crave my escapist self-punitive coping mechanisms; restriction and self-deprecation.  I felt guilty, ashamed. Honestly, whether or not his implications were that, IT IS HOW I FELT, and that is TOTALLY ok!

Instead of doing any of the above self-punishment, I sat, I called my dad and used his loving space as a place to express my feelings. I journalled.  I ATE. I made this video today to process the emotion and share my current insight from the feels.

Here it is:

“Ever feel like an imposition?
I’ve realized I don’t need to validate my needs to feel. I was born dis way, already allowed to BE. No need to justify BEING!”

Namasthe, motherlovers.

“Holding Space”

“I sheppard people into the empty space that’s infinitely all around them…that they’re already in, but can’t access without me.”

JP Sears is real good.

But in all seriousness, meditation is something I’ve practiced and fallen out of, mannnny times.  I’ve forced it via a phone alarm for a while, and I’ve stopped.  I intuitively started doing it again, sitting and letting myself “hold space”, and I find my body asking for it.  I run around here and there all day, and to stop and be there, whatever the hell that means, just to be still feels so damn good.

I’ve been marinating on the pain because I want to feel it now.

I know I’ve read and heard of the “isness” Eckhart Tolle describes, and I have to eye-roll at the esoteric nature of the term.  But like…I’m starting to feel that “isness”…and it feels not good…but just “feels”.  So strange.  But mamilike.

Anyone have this kind of experience?  Anyone meditate?

Feelings

My laptop is too slow for my patience for posts, so I’m posting via phone:

I’m sick of toronto and want to leave to the West coast. I understand that this escapism is the same feeling of discomfort internally that led me to NZ, India and BC the first time. I understand that “wherever you go you take yourself with you.”

I know I have to ground before I go. But I’m le tired.

I’m going to a horse therapy ranch in Erin, ON, and it’s pretty sweet. I’m working on remembering how to feel fucking good. Feeling goood is something I’ve been so disconnected from. I honestly don’t remember the last time I had fun, or the last time my gut felt healthy and I didn’t get so bloated. The last time I lived freely. It’s been a while, and I’m working on “trying on” ease. If I come at it like that, vs “all-or-none” then it’s easier to do. I can use consciousness to tell myself that I don’t need to suffer.

What if things were easy?

What if, hey?

Honestly, the universe is shutting its doors to me in TO; jobs I’ve applied for that normally would seem “perfect” for me- I’ve not gotten. I need more nature than TO offers, I’ve never felt right here.

So fuck FUCK FUCK (penisgame- remember Kenny? Pins?)

Ya fuck I am tired. I want to feel. I want to feel good. Holistically fucking good. Thank you all who’ve reached out to me to express support- it means the world to me- it’s honestly currently my life’s livelihood. It gives me hope. It supports me in this isolating illness. The journey illuminates a bit. 

It’s like a Mitch Hedberg joke in the middle of a painfully long lecture

It’s like a really solid shit

It’s like seeing a familiar face after backpacking solo for some time

Jah bless you all

Meme material that I don’t have the media skills to create: we are the champignons, my friends…(Mercury is holding the shrooms…can someone actuality this for me?)

My hero dad, picking mushrooms in the forest, standing on “moss that is like you’re standing in heaven”

 

Recovery is Messy

Recovery is messy,

Confusing up down stressy,

Gut-wrenching and pesky,

Is this meal brunch? Linner? Breaky?

Hotel continental breakfast salad-version at Best Western. Didn’t feel right eating the meat there…left only the saucisson.


HoWent to cousin’s beautiful wedding yesterday #bitchdidwha

Challenge and good.

Rest day today, hard AS 

Marinating on it, and sharing allthefeels soon.

Much love to whoever reads this, (I love you)

Look at those grins!


Can I eat dinner at 4:30? And I enjoy chicken skin, bone marrow, cartilage from da bird #exvegetarian

An Apology Letter To The Girls Struggling To Love Their Beautiful Bodies | Thought Catalog

Needs a repost

An Apology Letter To The Girls Struggling To Love Their Beautiful Bodies

By Shani Jay 

I’m sorry you’ve been convinced that the body you live in today doesn’t quite measure up. That you now believe your breasts need to fill a certain cup size, that your thighs must not meet each other, and your frame needs to mimic that of the women you don’t know but scroll past on Instagram every day.

I’m sorry for all the times you get out of the shower, catch a glimpse of your naked self in the mirror, and look at the reflection starring back at you in disgust, before instantly diverting your eyes elsewhere.

And I’m sorry that you’ve been made to see those dimples etched on the back of your thighs, the stretch marks trailing your belly, and the imperfectness of your body as ugly.

I’m sorry that you’re now unable to enjoy food the way you did as a little girl. That your mind is constantly obsessing over every calorie consumed, counting every bite that you take in, and panicking about gaining the tiniest bit of weight.

Maybe food has now become a go-to comfort for you, a drug that helps you temporarily feel better and forget about how deeply unhappy you are within yourself. Or maybe it has become a source of control, and you’ve learned to ignore those hunger pains, which grow louder every day.

I’m sorry that you spend the majority of your day feeling un-desirable, un-worthy and struggling to fit in to this world.

I’m sorry for all of those times someone said something cruel to you about the way you look, and that you decided to believe them. And I’m sorry that you carry around all of those words in the back of your mind today as a constant reminder that the woman you are is not, and will never be, good enough.

I’m sorry that you don’t believe your body is deserving of love. That you think you have to settle for anyone who takes an interest in you, because who are you to think you can do any better than that?

I’m sorry you now allow people to mistreat you and cause you pain because you think it’s your fault. You think that if only you had a smaller waist, a slender figure or a flatter stomach then you’d be deserving of someone better – someone who truly loves you for all that you are, inside and out.

But it’s not your fault. It’s not your problem. It’s our problem.

It’s our problem that women die every day from starving themselves because they believe they need to be thinner.

It’s our problem that young girls are made to feel like they need to crash diet or get cosmetic surgery so they can look like the models and celebrities they see on social media.

It’s our problem that most women are unhappy with their bodies.

And it breaks my heart that chances are you are one of them.

Because it shouldn’t be this way.

We shouldn’t aspire to look like clones of one another. We shouldn’t be unhealthily obsessing over our figures, and mutilating our bodies in order to mentally go from an average 7, to a 9 out of 10. We shouldn’t be placing so much value on something that isn’t going to last and has no real bearing on who you really are. 

So I ask you today to remove yourself from this competition that none of us women ever agreed to in the first place.

I ask you to love your body exactly as it is today, and remember all of the wonderful things it allows you to do.

And I ask you to make a promise to yourself to be more tolerant of those bodies you’ve been taught to recognize as ugly – especially if that body belongs to you. TC mark

Shani Jay

https://thoughtcatalog.com/shani-jayawardena/2017/07/an-apology-letter-to-the-girls-struggling-to-love-their-beautiful-bodies/

She Let Go

My first rest day in months. Usually I’d do yoga, I don’t even feel like yoga. Might not. I don’t feel like doing anything (fuck that Bruno Rawrz song, man). Woke up headachy and actually able to feel all the aches in my body. They’re always there, but today, I’m actually feeling them and they’re so “there”. I’m also hungry. So here’s a poem for today, bless you Shannon Mujagic

She let go.

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

She let go of the fear.

She let go of the judgments.

She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head.

She let go of the committee of indecision within her.

She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons.

Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice.

She didn’t read a book on how to let go.

She didn’t search the scriptures.

She just let go.

She let go of all of the memories that held her back.

She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward.

She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go.

She didn’t journal about it.

She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer.

She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper.

She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope.

She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go.

She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter.

She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment.

She didn’t call the prayer line.

She didn’t utter one word.

She just let go.

No one was around when it happened.

There was no applause or congratulations.

No one thanked her or praised her.

No one noticed a thing.

Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

There was no effort.

There was no struggle.

It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad.

It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.

A small smile came over her face.

A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore…

~ Rev. Safire Rose