"you’re fat"

So the other day I was told the thing no girl with body image issues ever wants to hear by her sweet but ever honest mother: “you’re fat”. 

I usually run off to the gym in the morning before the rest of my family wakes up, but yesterday I decided to sleep a few extra minutes and workout in the basement. So I go downstairs in a tight workout shirt and my mom who was already up just glared at me. When I came upstairs, she was like, “I’m shocked at how fat you are getting, look at all the weight you are gaining around the middle. I hope you are monitoring your weight.” She was very upset and told me that I am looking chubby and she’s so disappointed and it really doesn’t look good on me. She’s like, “you’re like a different body and you are gaining out of control. You need to cut back, I know, I can eat perfectly and it doesn’t come off (I have her metabolism )”. All I said to this was, “I’m just shocked at your insensitivity and inappropriateness.”

Then on the way to class this morning she kept calling me trying to keep going on and on about this. My mom is actually not a jerk. She is a lovely, wonderful woman who is my best friend, but we have this little dynamic. 

My mom and I are as close as they come (so blessed to have her!) but the dynamic of ours that I described above can be quite wonderful or extremely hurtful. I think she just doesn’t like me to repeat her mistakes and she was kind of always proud of me that I kept thin and very disciplined about my weight and body unlike her. I think it’s scary for her to watch my body change. I was always very careful (would stay lean even if it meant to eat very restrictively), and now have a butt, and thicker thighs, and boobs, and a bit of a poochy belly! I think in a way she is just very surprised that I don’t even seem to care that much and I’m just going with it. But, yes, we talked. I think she is proud of me in a way for trying to balance everything. She definitely apologized. It’s just a very sensitive issue since she is very critical of me and my body and I had an ED that very much hurt her and my family (still in debt due to ED programs I was in like 4-5 years ago). At first, when I started all of this back in September, I was buying foods like nuts and coconut oil and hiding them in my room. And she found them and got so mad because she is like “That reminds me of your ED days when I used to find food hidden (used to hide food to binge back in the day)!” She didn’t believe I had HA, and reall, really did not want me to try this (back in September when I started). It was a big source of dissension. Was always telling me it was stupid and I’m getting fat and I had to report to her my weight weekly or she would throw away all of my extra food and forbid them from the house. I think I even got chased with a scale a few times! After I told her I got my first period back and that I really think that these dietary changes and weight gain are responsible, things calmed down quite a bit and she’s more accepting, but I still think she worries that I’m going to get fat and not care. Food and weight because of our history and my ED are all very emotionally entrenched issues for my mother and I.
 
So I was called the “f” word. Amazingly, I don’t really look the “f” word to myself. Yes, my body is not thin these days. Yes it has more fat on it than before, and even a fat roll on my belly, and yes, my body has definitely changed some in the past few months. Yes I’m no longer a size 2 (more like a 4 ladies or 5-7 juniors now)… But, I am “Liz”. I am not “fat”. I’ve been learning through all of this that thin does not equate to health or even happiness! In fact, “thin” often leads to as many health problems as having too much body fat. And I’ve been seeing that happiness is not about a number on the scale (I’m heavier than ever and yet so much happier than when I was 30 lbs lighter). I’m finding peace with my body, slowly. And for that, I am grateful. 🙂
 
Liz

Over the years, I’ve developed this passion for nutrition, holistic medicine ect. because of all I’ve been through. I, however, have another passion that I’ve had long before that. I remember back in 5th grade I did my very first research paper about autistic spectrum disorders. I remember I was so fascinated by this research and the teachers were amazed at my work. Since my little sister has an autistic spectrum disorder, I spent a good portion of my childhood tagging along to various therapies and watching them help her grow and develop and be able to play and do the things she loves to do. Because of this,  I was always drawn to therapeutic fields. From a young age I thought it would be so rewarding to help children in this way. When I was getting ready to graduate 8th grade, I was asked for the year book, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” My answer: “I want to work therapeutically with special needs children”.

This passion has not died but has grown throughout my life. I am in school for occupational therapy, and when I’m done I hope to work with children and do for other children what so many wonderful people have done for my sister who is now a beautiful, bright, bubbly high school senior
. Today, I begin pediatric fieldwork. I’m quite nervous, but also very excited. I have waited so long to get this hands on experience with children. I really believe this is one of the things I’ve been put on earth to do, so I hope and pray that I’m given the tools to really help the children with whom I work in a unique and profound way.

Off to study.

Me and my inspiration… my beautiful sis 🙂

xo

infertility. disgrace.


I saw this posted on Facebook yesterday and it was such a thought provoking and real article on the isolation and sadness that accompanies the issue of infertility. A great read. It’s something I’d share, but right now all of what I’ve gone through for years is still something that I want to keep private.
Here is the response that I posted to the article:
So powerful and beautiful. It has always upset me that the issue of infertility is surrounded by such shame, secrecy and darkness in our culture. Since this article is from a Christian website, I will also share that I feel that especially in the church where children are viewed as very important and the greatest blessing and “reward” from God that people often have even less sensitivity. If I have cancer, I’ll be added to prayer lists and people will bring meals to my door. If my family member dies, people bend over backwards to help me and cry along side of me … but… If my heart grieves for the child I never have, I can’t even publicly acknowledge it and don’t have the same compassion! Maybe people even look down on me in some way… I don’t yet know the ending of my story, but since I’ve been told for years by doctors that I am likely going to have fertility issues, I have a deep understanding of and compassion for those in this position. I really wish this difficult issue would become more out in the open and less hidden and shameful. I think at the same time there is a plus side to this struggle as we can more profoundly appreciate the miraculous beauty of life more fully than others can. I know if I ever have a child, there is great plan and purpose for that child’s life. 

Even though I’m not technically “infertile” as according to the World Health Organization it is defined as “a disease of the reproductive system defined by the failure to achieve a clinical pregnancy after 12 months or more of regular unprotected sexual intercourse” (can’t be infertile if you’ve never tried!) (World Health Organization 2014), I get it! I completely understand the struggle because in my mind, based on my history of no periods for years and what doctors have told me, I’m more than likely going to have some fertility issues when the time comes (my God is a God of miracles, so I do believe that a miracle is a possibility here, but based on likelihood). Regardless of the fact that I’m a 23 year old (proud!) virgin, I have had days over the years where I sob because I long to have a child (someday) and feel that I’ll never be able to conceive a child and nurture it inside my body. Yes, no matter what I want to adopt. I believe that that desire is from the Lord, but I also long to have biological children too. I really don’t know the end of the story yet, so I can’t jump there in my mind, but no matter what I will always have such a heart for couples (especially women) who have difficulty or inability to conceive.
I really wish I could do something about this someday since it’s a topic i’m passionate about and have great compassion for. I will pray that someday if it’s God’s will He opens the door for me to help others through my experiences. I have no idea of what that would be at this time. Perhaps just sharing my story and getting it out in the open a bit. Maybe an integrative ministry where I address the emotional needs of the women and also share what I’ve learned about physical recovery from endocrine issues (as is evident from these writings, researching this stuff and piecing the crazy pieces of my story together has become some kind of a passion for me over the years!). I’m sure it will become clearer over the years, but I don’t believe that I have this struggle for nothing (if i do). I wonder how my own story will unfold 🙂

Life is starting full force. I must take this weekend and get ready for my busy semester and figure out what I have to do… Hate starting new things!!

 World Health Organization (2014). infertility definitions and terminology. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/infertility/definitions/en/

Light in the Lord

Ephesians 5:8 For you were once<span class=”crossreference” style=”font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;” value=”(P)”> darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light<span class=”crossreference” style=”font-size: 0.65em; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: top;” value=”(Q)”> 

I want to live in that light today and always. 

One things I’ve realized… my changing perspective on food

This morning I had some time to reflect on my ever evolving relationship with food. The relationship that has been so dysfunctional and abusive to me in the past. I remember a time when my nights would often consist of binging. Hiding food. Making weird concoctions that only a food addict would deem palatable. My days of shame and starving to combat this and purge my system of the calories that I felt just “sat” there. Exercising for hours to try to hide the dirty secret that I struggled with. A time in which I’d find private stairwells at school and run up and down between classes and do jumping jacks in the restroom. The constant comparing of my body to others. Am I fatter than her? Thinner than her? Obsession. My life was striving to be thin. Thin was the biggest badge of merit that I could wear.  Yet food was my best friend and lover and idol. I was miserable, depressed, and tired, and even had frightening heart arythmias (may have been ED related or related to the hormones I was on… all stopped around the same time). What a bad time.

Over the years, I slowly realized that this life was so shallow, isolating, depleting, and fruitless. In fact it had consumed me and stolen my joy. Overtime through a long process I’ve surrendered many of things. And as I’ve handed them over, I’ve been filled with so much more than I’ve thought I could! This hormone journey has actually been the catalyst for a lot of this… first giving up sugar (also gave this up due to sugar addiction, but also due to PCOS)… started eating more fat and calories and upping body fat because of hypothalamic amenorrhea. This seems to be a metabolically magic way of eating for my mind and body. Now, I’m at the point, where food is mere fuel and medicine to me (albeit yummy medicine!), and my body is a tool for which I am grateful it’s healthy. Sure, I have fat days, but my overall attitude is that it’s not my body but the Lord’s and I’m surrendering it to Him and trusting Him to use what I eat to mold it into what He wants it to be. Food has become a non emotional issue for me (miracle, I’m the biggest food addict, emotional eater out there). Sure, I’ve added some high fat foods that I do enjoy into my diet lately to help to combat my hypothalamic amenorrhea (nuts, avocados, nut butters), but it’s strictly because I’m doing this for my health. I would give anything up in a second if I was told it wasn’t good for me (this is why I’m certain that even if I over gain weight I can lose it when I discover how to tweak things). So grateful to God for freeing me from that prison. These days I feel so far from the ED days I almost can’t relate to it (almost no one in my life knows about this past since it’s not me!) But as the wound heals, I never want to lose those scars as they are a testimony to God’s redeeming, healing power in my life and I really hope that these experiences can help other women who struggle. Someday, I believe a passion in my ❤ is to help other people who struggle in this way. I’ve done some difficult things, but believe me, my ED recovery has been the most challenging. Nothing has caused me such pain in life like that. But I am thankful for every dark day because I more clearly know what it is like to be in the light.

xo, Liz