Goodbye skinny jeans and good riddance

Last summer I wrote a post entitled, "The truth about my skinny jeans" in which I confessed that I still had my skinniest of skinny jeans. I knew it was time to get rid of them, but I didn't want to give them away to a friend (and see that friend walk around in them? That would be counter productive) nor did I want to throw them out. They symbolized a lot to me, more than any other jeans.

I decided to donate them to Eating Disorder Network of Maryland. In 2008 during NEDA Awareness Week the theme for the week was “Be comfortable in your genes. Wear jeans that fit the TRUE you.” Women were encouraged to donate their skinny jeans to symbolize freeing themselves from the constraints of an idealistic body type, whatever that may be to each individual.

The truth is, I decided this last July. And it's now February. I don't know if there's some deep, unconscious reason I've waited until now to get rid of them and blog about it. But, at any rate, I felt they needed a public goodbye. You may think this letter is ridiculous, or you may relate. When I bought these jeans I was in a dark place mentally. I had let go of reality somewhat. These jeans represented a false sense of happiness. A lie. A hopeless, false sense of security. Here is my goodbye letter not only to the jeans, but to the girl I once was:

Dear Skinny Jeans,

Goodbye. Today I finally get rid of you. I have kept you around like some sort of dysfunctional relationship. In the back of my closet you hung, sticking around while other clothes came and went. For 3 years you have been there. Every once in a while I would pull you out and try you on. Many times you almost fit but the cost of this small task was profound. Sucking it in, buttoning, only to look sadly at myself in the mirror and think, “Ugh, I’m fat! But I can get these to fit again.” I don’t know why you mean so much to me. You’re just fabric. Threads. With a tiny label that has a number: Zero.

I remember the day that I bought you. In the dressing room I stood in a size 2, pulling the waist away from my skin and thinking that I had made it. I poked my head out of the door and proudly asked the sales girl to get me a size zero. I wondered what she thought. If she was jealous. The power and euphoria I felt as I zipped up and buttoned you was unlike any other. I had done it.

Why did I love you so much? You’re just a pair of jeans. You never loved me back. Why did you matter so much? Make me feel so happy, even if it was false? And why, why have I kept you?

Well, today I say goodbye and good riddance. You don’t matter anymore. You used to represent what I thought was happiness and beauty. But even when I wore you, you didn’t make me happy. It’s not you, it’s me. It’s my fault. My fault I let you determine my worth and happiness. But I’m glad we met. I’m glad you were in my life because I’ve realized you don’t matter. No one cares what number you are now I don’t either.

Goodbye forever,

Photo courtesy of Ro/wererabbit

100 things I am grateful for

I'm a huge fan of the list of 100. In a previous post I challenged my readers to make a list of 100 things they love about themselves. Today, I was on a walk in this beautiful weather, pushing my 2 beautiful children in the stroller. I was overwhelmed with how blessed my life is and it always seems to get better the more grateful I am for what I have. So, I thought I would share with you my list of 100. And I challenge you to do the same. Having repeats is okay. It shows patterns of what is really important to you.

I'm grateful for:
  1. My husband. He has integrity, is loving, patient and is a kind soul. I hit the jackpot.
  2. My mom taking me to church when I was little. It shaped my faith.
  3. Legs that work. Because I love to run.
  4. My husband's secure job.
  5. Health insurance.
  6. My healthy teeth.
  7. Running water. Bathing and brushing my teeth are good things.
  8. My dads sobriety. I'm so proud of him.
  9. Being able to stay home with my kids.
  10. Being recovered from disordered eating and exercise.
  11. Knowing my purpose on this earth.
  12. My son's birth. I knew he was safe when I had to have him via cesarean section.
  13. My daughters birth. Having her vaginally was a magical experience. Yes, I just said "vaginally".
  14. My ex husband cheating on me. It made me find my self esteem.
  15. My first marriage. I learned so many things about myself and relationships.
  16. My relationship with a drug addict. I learned to say goodbye to codependency.
  17. Living in San Diego, the most beautiful city in the world. (In my humble opinion).
  18. Santa Claus.
  19. Having reliable transportation.
  20. Date night with my husband. The conversation always inspires me.
  21. Music. I am so moved by music.
  22. Exercising. It's so worth it.
  23. Dancing.
  24. Having the guts to stand up for what I believe in.
  25. Being literate. Thank you mom, dad and teachers for teaching me to read.
  26. Razors. Because I don't like it when my armpits are hairy.
  27. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies and cake.
  28. Being able to breast feed my children.
  29. The clothes in my closet. Sometimes I think I have nothing to wear. I have plenty.
  30. My degree in fashion merchandising. It made me realize I wasn't meant to work in the industry.
  31. Girl Scouts. I learned so many things and it shaped me today.
  32. My daughters toothless grin.
  33. The Internet.
  34. My dad teaching me the importance of a firm handshake.
  35. My parents ability to afford braces for me.
  36. Lactation consultants and doulas.
  37. My right to free speech.
  38. My dad teaching me how to play tennis.
  39. Feminists that fight for women's rights
  40. Shoes. Like the clothes, I have plenty.
  41. The heater in our house.
  42. Our home. Sometimes I wish I had more counter space, but we have enough.
  43. Volunteering for the Special Olympics.
  44. Online support groups. When I was pregnant with my daughter and wanting a VBAC, the ladies on that support group were immensely helpful.
  45. Hand-me-downs for my kids.
  46. Laundry detergent.
  47. Recycling.
  48. Facebook. I've reunited with so many important people that I'd lost touch with. And met new ones.
  49. The beach.
  50. My sense of humor.
  51. My fertility. I am so, so grateful to be able to have babies when I wanted them.
  52. My physical health.
  53. My mental health and stability.
  54. Living in a hygienic environment. Sounds strange, but a lot of people don't have this.
  55. Modern medicine.
  56. God in my life.
  57. Entertainment options. I should never be bored.
  58. Coffee.
  59. Believing in the importance of personal growth and development.
  60. The people who will be my clients this year while I go through CTI certification. I don't know who they are yet :)
  61. People that read and comment on my blog. It helps to keep me motivated to keep writing.
  62. Seatbelts.
  63. All the jobs I have had. I've learned so much.
  64. My values and core beliefs. Knowing them means I can honor them.
  65. Being able to be a stay-at-home-mom.
  66. Getting to snuggle with both babies in bed in the morning, watching Sesame Street.
  67. Having reliable transportation.
  68. Having a fridge and cupboards full of food.
  69. Parks.
  70. This crummy economy. It's made me realize how much we have.
  71. Connecting with incredible people. Human contact.
  72. My Beco baby carrier. My daughter practically lives in it.
  73. Not having to take medication anymore for anxiety disorder.
  74. My therapist.
  75. My sister.
  76. Pets. Even though we don't have one right now.
  77. The fact that I chose my own happiness.
  78. Eating dinner as a family.
  79. Service to others. Giving back.
  80. A comfortable, warm bed.
  81. Clean underwear.
  82. Being brave enough to stand up against "the bad guys".
  83. Having a choice.
  84. My education. Eternally grateful for that.
  85. Student loans. They suck sometimes, but without them, I couldn't have gone to college.
  86. Being in a functional, loving, drama-free,mutually respectful relationship.
  87. Bubble baths.
  88. My self esteem.
  89. Classic 1970's rock.
  90. Admitting I'm far from perfect, but doing the best I can.
  91. Learning to be myself with ease.
  92. Laughter.
  93. My family's good health.
  94. Access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
  95. The ability to dream.
  96. The right to vote.
  97. Forgiveness.
  98. That my life didn't turn out as I expected it to.
  99. The fact that I was born in this amazing free country.
  100. My life.
Photo courtesy of Malu Green

I don't have any money either, so let's donate our shoes to Haiti

While on Twitter the other day something caught my eye. It was "Soles4Souls" and organization that is gathering shoes to send to the needy people of Haiti who have been victimized by such a catastrophic earthquake. Watch the short video on the home page and your heart will tell you it's time to help.

I don't have a lot of money, so I donate my time to things I am passionate about. This organization is collecting shoes, used or new, to send to the people of Haiti that don't have the luxury of owning shoes. These people are walking through all the rubble and debris barefoot. I'll provide the link again,to find a drop off location click here.

Many of you are in the San Diego area and a central location is Shoe Metro, located at 8960 Carroll Way, 92121. There are also 2 locations in Pacific Beach and one downtown. I spoke with a customer service representative and she told me there is a bin for drop offs. It's that easy. Really, I know you have decent shoes laying around that you don't wear. Get them out, clean them off and drop them off. And then tell someone about this or other charities.

Don't forget kids shoes. Our kids grow out of their shoes so fast and the children of Haiti are in need too!

It's time for a change

This new year I've decided it's time to eat better. I feel as if I've hit my own personal "rock bottom" when it comes to nutrition and what I put in my body. Now I know I probably eat somewhat better than the average American, but for me, it's not serving my body nor my brain. I eat the right amounts, but the foods are mostly nutritionally empty. I don't get nearly enough fruits and vegetables and probably not enough fiber. To put it plainly: I feel like shit.

As an advocate of listening to ones body, I'm listening to mine and she's saying it's time to get it together. More like, "Hey, you. You that keeps putting all this crap food in me. Yeah, please figure it out!" So, I said okay. Sounds easy enough, right? I know what to do, and basically know what to eat, it's putting it into action that's the hard part. So, I set out to do it, made my shopping list and made small changes this past week. I won't bore you with what I ate- that's not important. And what works for me may not be what works for someone else. What I want to talk about is how I, someone with a history of disordered eating, feels about changing the way I eat. It wasn't as easy as just doing it.

A few weeks ago I wrote about my decision to not do the 30 days of no sugar diet in fear that I may lose weight. Sounds crazy, right? What am I, nuts? Afraid to lose weight? I think it's safe to say that many people who tumble into an eating disorder did so by just wanting to "lose a few pounds". A few pounds is easy, so a few more won't be so bad. Then we notice clothes are loose and people begin to notice and the compliments start. Some people end here and others don't. I was one of those people that couldn't stop. So, years later being recovered, food and what I do with it is still an issue. Not nearly as big as it used to be, but I still fear "it" is just dormant. Waiting for me to do something as innocent as want to eat better.

So what is a mom-of-2-wanting-to-eat-better-former-disordered-eating-girl to do? I can only speak from experience and a lot of deep thinking. Here we go:

  • Don't be afraid. When you get to the point when you want to eat better for the sake of eating better, feeling better and just good health, NOT to lose weight, pat yourself on the back. It's a sign of recovery. You'll know when you get there.
  • Take it slow. Just like anything, if you make too many changes too quickly, it's likely to fail. I started with breakfast. It wasn't intimidating. Don't look at the big picture, it's overwhelming and may make you crazy. One day at a time is all you need.
  • It doesn't have to be perfect. Be flexible and willing to make adjustments. If you've battled disordered eating, you may have battled perfectionism as well. Some days I scarf down a huge plate of spaghetti. Oh freakin' well. I don't apologize, I don't have to "make up for it" later. It's just spaghetti. No one cares. Period.
  • Be somewhat organized. The reason I say "somewhat" is because you don't want to be too organized, too regimented or you may fall into the land of obsessing about every morsel and meal you put into your body. Think about what you need for the next few days and shop for it. Fresh foods usually need to be purchased more often than processed foods.
  • Get support from others: Your significant other, parents, friends, anyone in your life you lean on; let them know you're ready to make a change nutritionally and it's for the best. They'll be proud.
This may seem like a lot to think about when all you're doing is trying to eat better. I mean, doesn't everyone make that resolution every year? Maybe yes, but for someone with a history of disordered eating, even though we're free from the food and body image obsession and the thoughts and behaviors that surround it, doesn't mean it's not tricky when we make changes in our lives in regards to food. But, it is possible.

For me, I got to the point where if I really do love myself and my body, treating it as such included putting food into my body that nourishes my cells and makes it happy.

Photo courtesy of chotda

Forgiving ourselves

Have you ever done something really crappy? Either to someone else, or to yourself? I have. We all have. No one is perfect.

So, now that it's a new year, we all get these fuzzy feelings of "newness". A fresh start! I rubbed my hands together and thought hard about what I should write. Something that has to do with the new year, obviously, so how about forgiveness? Not forgiving others, but forgiving ourselves.

It doesn't have to be anything big that you did. Even believing the negative thoughts we fill our head with at times may be something you need to forgive. By doing this, I believe that we consciously think about the behavior and can start to make a change. I've said before that many times we are our own worst enemies when we should be our own best friend. Being kind to yourself includes forgiving our past mistakes. You are not our past. You are the good that you believe you are now and what you are becoming.

What do you need to forgive yourself for? Would it help you to move on if you did? Think about it...

Photo courtesy of Late Night Movie