Thursday, May 26, 2011

Going into my (hopefully not) last race with a new sense of self :)

Six hours from now I will be in the middle of possibly my last 10k race of the season. I'm here in Indiana for the first round of Nationals!
I'm ranked 8th out of the 48 girls that are racing tonight. But that doesn't really mean anything. The top 12 will go on to the final round of nationals where we'll meet the top 12 from the East. I sooooo want to be one of those 24 girls racing at the final round of Nationals in Iowa on June 9th!
I was excited before, but I have been doubting myself.
Am I fit enough?
Do I have what it takes? Am I tough enough? I know that these girls are also in phenomenal shape. This is not going to be an easy race. And last race I thought way too much about the pain. Am I going to give in?

My perspective drastically changed overnight. I now feel confident and ready. So, you may be asking what changed my thinking..?

Tuesday I was just hanging around at the hotel here, facebook stalking (shocker), and one of my facebook friends, let's call her B, had a status of a bible verse. Matthew 6:25- "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?"
Now, I don't really know this girl, but I had heard from my best friend and a few other people that she has dealt/is dealing with an eating disorder. I commented saying, "I really like this verse :)"
Next thing I know, I'm getting a facebook message from B asking if I wouldn't mind talking to her about ED cuz she heard from my best friend that I have dealt/am dealing with recovery. Of course I am overjoyed. I love talking to others about ED, especially when I feel that I can help make a difference in their lives somehow.
So we exchanged numbers and tried to get in touch that night, but it didn't work out cuz we were both busy.
The next night (last night) we finally got the opportunity to skype!

Quite frankly, I was surprised to hear her story. Eating disorder since 13. Wow. I can't even imagine.
I used to envision this girl as perfect. B was the one that sang at the school pep rally. She was on the cheer and dance team. She has money. She is also drop dead gorgeous, guys. Seriously. To think that she thinks she is too fat, ugly, stupid, etc.. is totally beyond me; it's crazy!

Anyway, I'm not going to go too in-depth about our conversation. We talked for an hour and a half. The time just flew by. We discussed distorted body image, the loneliness yet sense of accomplishment ED gives you, being scared of "normal, healthy" weight ranges, etc..
B told me that my best friend told her about me in September. She felt the need to talk to me then, but she was afraid I wouldn't want to. B had it in her head that I see her as a b**** like so many others have told her they thought of her before they really got to know her.
I told her that of course I didn't think that. I just assumed that her life was close to perfect, ya know? That she had it easy.. Little did I know that she was dealing with just as much, if not more, than I was during middle school, high school, etc..

Something that really stood out in our conversation was the topic of finding out who we are beyond our eating disorders. This can be a scary thing! She asked, "But what if I'm horrible?" I responded, "B, you aren't!" From the hour and a half I spent talking with her I could see that she is beautiful (inside AND out), genuine, caring, and self-aware. Hiding behind her ED is only masking all of these wonderful qualities.
I told her about my blog, and she has read a few posts. I used all of my readers and the blogs that I read as examples of post-recovery happiness. I told her that everyone that I have met (whether in real life or in the blogging community) that has overcome ED has come to find a love within herself like never before. The recovered woman is SO much happier than she was with ED.

I think the fact that she approached me at this time is all God's doing. Sure, I would've been able to tell B in September that food is fuel. I would've been able to say that she needs to eat more than some blueberries and a couple pieces of shrimp for dinner. But the fact that I am in such a better place now and can actually use my own experience to back up my words makes what I'm saying valid and worth so much more.
I couldn't keep new hair pictures from you any longer ;) I LOVE it!!
Not to brag or anything, but I feel like a completely different person than I was three, five, ten months ago. Yes, I still struggle with body image at times. I have binged *so rare now, though! :). I have restricted, as well (most of the time kinda subconsciously, though).  However, I am farther in my recovery than I have ever been.
I tried to use my own experience to help B, and I felt blessed and honored that I had the opportunity to do so.

As for me, I had a doctor appointment this past Tuesday. I was weighed at 119 pounds. 4 pounds more than my last visit in late February!
At first it was like, ahh! See what bingeing/not restricting has done! You're out of control.
But instead of listening to this stupid devil ED voice, I decided to take pride in this weight gain. Why shouldn't I be happy with weight gain the way I used to be with weight loss? I worked just as hard, if not harder, to gain the weight than I did to lose it!
Another hair shot ;) This is a random pic I sent to Connor to exhibit my super fast drinking skills. I made this drink mix in my Vitamin Zero bottle literally less than 60 seconds before the photo was taken. Ha, I have a problem ;)
And so I am going into this race knowing I have conquered so much already. I can now use my own experiences to help others. Don't get me wrong, I have a long way to go. But I am finally finding myself and learning to accept myself and love myself for who I am, flaws and all, and that has been the best part of my recovery, by far.
Creepy/excited face for the 10k tonight!!
I have the training behind me. I have the determination. Not to mention, I have the best fans ever!! You guys, my family, my friends, teammates, and coaches. If this is my last race, then so be it. But I will run with my heart tonight. And if I do that I doubt that I'm done for the season.

I'm so ready for those long, grueling 25 laps because I know that by the end it will be worth it, just like recovery from ED. I can't wait.
True happiness :)
I love you ALL so very much! Sweet comments are always appreciated. ;)
P.s. Sorry that I have not blogged or commented lately. I was out of town last weekend, and earlier this week didn't have internet cuz it was out at my apartment :/.

Make sure to keep B in your prayers. And maybe leave her a little inspiration in a comment about how great life is post-ED :) I'm sure she'll be reading.

<3 Haley


  1. I'VE MISSED YOU SOOO MUCH!! I seriously think you need to get your butt here to London! Actually, I want to come to Indiana and cheer you on tonight!!

    That's AMAZING that you are helping B! And B, once I got past my issues, life got SO MUCH BETTER! It's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you're in the thick if it, but trust me, it is SO worth it!! You can BEAT it girl!!

    Now go OWN that race girl! You can do it! I'm cheering for you over here, and maybe if you listen really hard you might be able to hear it all the way accross the Atlantic:)

    Oh and Hales your hair looks AMAZING you gorgeous girl!! You look SO beautiful Hales, and so HAPPY! I am so so happy FOR you that I am literally bursting over here!! I love it, and I love you!! <3 <3 <3

  2. Haley - couldn't help smiling while reading this post. You sound so happy, and the best thing is that you are able to help other's by sharing your experiences and what you've learned. You truly are an inspiration.

    Your hair looks super cute as well!

  3. I love your hair too--it totally suits you :)

    But I really love that you are so confident in yourself now and are proud of how far you've come. And that you're using your experience to help others. That is so amazing, Haley!

    Good luck with your race! Hope you make it to the final round of nationals!

  4. Love your hair! It's super cute on you and really shows off your face. Good luck with your 10K too, can't wait to read about how you did, hopefully you make the top 12 too! But regardless of what happens, you've come super far and have a lot to be proud of.

    That's so awesome you were able to help your friend B. It's really odd though to find out who has EDs and how sometimes people really do think we have the perfect life or envy someone, you really never know what a person is going through just from what you see on the outside. But the fact that you were able to talk to her from experience really says a lot about your recovery too.


  5. Amazing post tonight, girl. Good luck in your race, I'm sure your new hair cut and confidence will make you fly!


  7. I totally watched your race live on the Indiana website. No matter how you feel about it, I want you to know you did a a great job. You went in with a goal of qualifying and making it to the next round and that's exactly what you did. 33:52 is a great time Haley...and it's not easy with the stuff you've been going through lately with your coach, all of the traveling, and being the only distance runner there. If you want to talk I'm always here!

  8. YOu're beautiful with that new haircut of yours! (brings out the color of your eyes).

    Keep up your great job of focusing on your recovery, and good luck for the race. I will be thinking of you!

    As for your friend, B, I'm glad that she knows that she is NOT alone with dealing with her ED. I am the same way, I always love to help other people to feel less alone when it comes to our ED.

    And thank you for your wonderful comment. <3 ya as well!


  9. After reading some mean comments on Facebook, I was in a bad mood, but reading this put a smile on my face. Haley I am so happy that you're feeling stronger and more confident. You are amazing and I'm so proud of you. I'll be keeping B in my thoughts and prayers.
    I love your hair too, you look more beautiful and cute than ever<3

  10. Oh, and good luck for your race! I know you'll do amazing.

  11. Aw! Your haircut looks cool!! And I must say, you look so incredibly happy these days! I'm happy for you, and I know you'll do great in the race :)

    I love Vitamin Water btw!

  12. THIS POST IS AMAZING!!! im so happy you could talk to B! sh sounds like such a wonderful person!! and oh my gosh what u said about chaning in the last 3 or 4 months.. i TOTALLLy know what u mean! i found that happened to me with my Ed.. things just clicked and BAM I was SO much better in such little time!

    good luck Haley! you WILL ROCK IT! cuz u are a STAR!

  13. Great post hun. Your hair looks incredible!! Beautiful!! MASSIVE good luck for the 25 laps (just the thought of that makes me want to go to bed haha.)

    Quick message for B: Recovery is hard, and long, and there are normally some relapses...well there have been in my recovery, but OH MY GOSH the results are worth it. Life revolving around food, calories and weight is not fun, you have so much to offer. God's love is unconditional and not based around how you look or even what you do, he loves you because you are his daughter. He is SO pleased and proud with you.


  14. Great hair cut! It really suits you :)

    Good luck in the race I'm so proud of you!

  15. B- Recovery is a tough, long, icky, and draining process but is SO WORTH IT even though it may not seem like it sometimes. You will find so much freedom and fall in love with life again.

    And Haley- you are amazing. I have loved watching you grow and change into who God wants you to be. And your hair is so chic and classy- just love it!

  16. Ahhh! I LOVE your hair. You look absolutley adorable!

    God really does work in amazing ways in our lives. What a great experience to share support and advice with someone. Good luck to B, she has all our support!

    I hope your race went well - be proud of yourself no matter what!

  17. Oh Haley you are one amazing, kind, inspirational and BEAUTIFUL girl, inside and out!! What you are doing for B is so wonderful. I wish I knew someone like you when I was really unwell. You're a saint, lovely :)

    YOUR HAIR LOOKS GORGEOUS, OMG!!! SOOO beautiful :) xxxx

  18. I just wanted to say how amazing you are doing, it is so inspiring :) I've been reading your blog for a while, but never really commented.
    The way you are helping B is just so kind, I am glad she has you as a friend.
    Good luck with your 10k, and your hair is gorgeous!
    Sophie x

  19. oh my my my MYMY my, you look freakin. fantastic. all of it! that smile, so genuine :)))))) I'm so happy for you.

    And B is so lucky to have found you, such a good listener and advice giver.