Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Visible (Holiday) Progress

3 Christmases ago I started dieting.
2 Christmases ago I was recovering from anorexia, but still severely restricting.
Last Christmas I binged until I wanted to puke.
Today I did not restrict, and I did not eat past the point of being full. I never thought this would have been possible when I was struggling with either of my eating disorders. It seemed like I would never get better. I especially would not have believed my food choices. I would have been repulsed to learn that I ate green bean casserole, mac and cheese, turkey, peas, pies, and fudge. But today I am so joyful, and proud.

My brother recently asked me if I would take back the time I spent in my eating disorder if I could.. Of course it was a horrible time in my life, but I don't think I would because it made me who I am today.
I am a happier person; I am a better person.
I love who I am.

Mary Oliver, The Journey

Merry Christmas, loves

Monday, December 10, 2012

Recovering from Binge Eating Disorder

I had this whole post written about how I've been doing lately, but it sounded just like the others of the past few months, and I feel that it is unfair that I so often discuss the progress I have made in recovery, yet I barely wrote on my struggle with my second eating disorder.

So I'm going to do something different; I am going to be completely honest and vulnerable in discussing my struggles with binge eating disorder.

I used to write this way, when discussing my struggles with anorexia, but once I developed binge eating disorder I was much more vague and tried to hide my problems. I was ashamed.

This brings up the question, why is it more acceptable for someone to have anorexia rather than binge eating disorder? Why does society idealize small bodies and assume that all those that are bigger are that way due to laziness?

Looking back, it saddens me that I hated myself so much for having binge eating disorder.
Of course I didn't like myself much when I was anorexic either, but it does not compare to the self-loathing I experienced with binge eating disorder.
When I was struggling with anorexia, I knew that it was a disease. It wasn't ME that decided that I shouldn't eat; it was Ed (my eating disorder).
When I was struggling with binge eating disorder, I felt like a failure, like it was all my fault that I gave in to the craving of chocolate chip cookies at midnight.

However, binge eating disorder is a mental illness just like any other, and it had me do things that I would never have done otherwise.
I was constantly preoccupied. I wasn't able to concentrate on anything other than food for long periods of time. Countless nights I would be tucked in bed, ready to sleep, but I could not because there was this uncontrollable urge to jump out of bed and grab a jar of peanut butter or a half gallon of ice cream, and most of the time I gave in.
I would write notes to myself next to my jars of peanut butter.

Haley, don't do this. 
Everything in Moderation. 
You will feel sick to your stomach. 
This will make you a slow runner.
You will hate yourself for this.

I would throw my binge foods away if I had too much that day, but later that night I would find myself digging through the trash just to get the half jar of Nutella that I had so hastily 'wasted'.
And no tactic seemed to work. People told me to take a walk, call a friend, draw a picture, write (okay, that one may have helped for short periods of time), but for the most part these techniques didn't do anything.
You see, I did not want to take a walk. I wanted to eat. I wanted to numb the pain of loneliness, of self-hatred.
I would eat until I could not eat anymore and then go back an hour later and eat even more.
I once skipped a test to binge. I once binged the night before and morning of a cross country race.
Binging was the only way I knew to cope with my day-to-day life.
And I could not admit this to anyone because I was too ashamed.

I think social stigma definitely comes into play with most mental illnesses, and eating disorders are no exception. And within the eating disorder category, there are different ideas about each disorder.
Like I mentioned earlier, those struggling with binge eating disorder may have it worst as far as society goes because they look like normal or 'fat' people. Many may think they are overweight because they eat too much, and that's their fault.
But binge eating disorder is not something that you can simply rid yourself of once you realize that you don't want to eat so much. It will not go away when you decide that you want to be healthy. It is a serious problem that many people face, and it is not easily defeated.

And that brings me to the question I am asked so often, now that I don't struggle near as much with Ed thoughts or behaviors, "How did you recover?"
Honestly, I don't have a definite answer to that question. 
As far as my recovery from BED goes, I did go to a couple therapy sessions, but mostly I stayed in the hole that Ed had dug for me until I could no longer stand it.
My recovery from anorexia was different because I found it easier to seek help. I went to therapy every week, and I also saw a dietitian.
I do wish I had had the courage to seek help when recovering from binge eating disorder, but like I said, I couldn't bring myself to speak out.
So I'm speaking out now. I know it's late, but I want all those struggling to know that there is a way out. You can get through the lies Ed feeds you.
You cannot believe him (Ed) when he tells you that you are not beautiful, intelligent, humorous, or fun to be around.

I reach a recovered state when I stopped believing Ed's lies. I stopped listening to this stupid voice in my head telling me I was good enough.
I grew tired of hating myself; I learned to forgive myself for my mistakes.
I forgave myself for the unhealthy amount of weight I had lost or gained. I forgave myself for binging or starving myself instead of doing more important things, like going out with my friends. And I forgave myself for developing eating disorder after eating disorder.

Every day was a challenge, but a day without a binge, or even a day with a smaller binge, was a good day.
I celebrated the small victories, like 24 hours binge-free. I remember being so proud of myself when I could hold out for at least one day.
Eventually I noticed the period of time between relapses was growing larger, and I gained hope.
I took each relapse as a learning experience. I pinpointed my triggers, and I tried my best to stay away from those.
I believed in my heart that recovery was possible, just like it was with my anorexia, and eventually I did get there.
I am proud to say that I cannot remember my last binge. It has been a hot minute. :)

I did not write the last paragraph or this post to brag; I wrote it because sometimes people need to know that others have struggled with the same things they do and have come out stronger because of it.
I hope you can be that inspiration for someone someday.

xxx Haley

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Only human

I am a human. I make mistakes. I gossip. I judge. I can be hypocritical.

I don't have everything figured out.

I look for love in the wrong places. I end up hurt or used or left stranded. Or just the opposite.. I use, I leave, I hurt.

I often feel like I have to be so strong for others, but now I am feeling weak.

I escape into books and poems and movies and music because sometimes these stories are easier than the life I have made for myself.

Maybe this is how it is for everyone. Maybe not.
But I need to stay on these escapades just a little longer.
My heart needs a break.

Monday, October 22, 2012

"What a difference a year makes.."

So ya know how people say 'What a difference a year makes'?
The past few months when I have seen or heard that phrase, I have sadly thought, yea.. it sure does.
A year ago I was running fast times on a team with the only people I had really known in college, I was in love with a serious boyfriend, my family wasn't in the financial situation we now face, and I wasn't freaking out about being accepted to a PhD clinical psychology program.
So I obviously chose to focus on the positive aspects of my past and the negative situations of the present when confronted with this statement.

However, this past weekend I was in the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia with an environmental group called "Mountain Justice", and I had a good bit of time to think about things.
The cycle of life for a tree is so beautiful.
First of all, this time last year I was not at all involved in any type of environmental movement. I was vice president of Earth Club in high school, and I have always recycled and urged others to do so, but I haven't done much at all in my college years to help with preserving this beautiful earth we live on.
That has changed over the course of just a couple months. I have gone to two environmental conferences, and I am really passionate about Students for a Sustainable Campus, our club at school. I have met so many awesome people from it, and I feel like I'm standing for something that really means something and can possibly change the world. I feel whole when I'm engaging in activism, and I love it.
Fellow environmentalists just hanging out in the mountains :)
Another key difference between this year and last year is the fact that a once overwhelming fear of food is now completely diminished, and with that the fear of living life to it's fullest!
At the summit this past weekend they served things like diced potatoes and eggs for breakfast, sandwiches and fruit for lunch, rice with lentils and greens for supper, and pumpkin pie for dessert. And being true to my character as a food lover, I had first and sometimes second helpings of all of them.

However, even last year at this time I would have been very anxious eating most of this food because while it may be 'healthy', it is not low-calorie or 'diet friendly'. And for so long that was how I lived.
Even in recovery, I bought 100-calorie english muffins rather than the whole wheat english muffins that were a mere 20 extra calories. Not until this summer was I able to say, *excuse the obscene language here* What the fuck am I doing?! What does it matter that this piece of bread is 120 calories rather than 100? It is better for me and it TASTES better!

Anyway, things like that held me back for three years. If I had gone to this conference any other time in my college career I would have hung back when they rang the bell for meal time.. I would not have been okay with stopping at Burger King on the way home because we were running late for our bus and that was the only food available by the gas station.. And most of all I would have spent all of this time preoccupied with the stupid, completely invalid idea that I do not deserve to eat like the rest of the population, thereby crawling deeper and deeper into these self-destructive thoughts and behaviors.
On the way to WV :)
So yea, I have much to be proud of in regards to this past year. I have opened myself up to all kinds of experiences. I left the only social circle and life that I knew. I have met new people, most of them wonderful. I have allowed myself to love and receive love in return, and sometimes I ended up hurt, but that's all part of living.
You see, it took completely leaving my eating disorder behind to accomplish all of this, and I have not once regretted my decision to recover.

As for the stressful situations lingering over me these days, what are they compared to what I have gone through (kicking a mental disorder's ASS in order to win my life back)? I'd say not much.. :)


Monday, October 1, 2012

A friend's suicide attempt

One of my best friends tried to commit suicide yesterday.
She called last night to tell me this news and that she is going to a rehab center in her home state (hundreds of miles from me).
As soon as I got off the phone, I was a total wreck.. couldn't eat or move.. just totally numb.
She texted me this morning before she left for rehab saying, 
"I am safe now and will recover. You're my best friend Haley, I love you. I want to get better so I'll be alive and able to come see you and take you out and smile and take pictures in person."
I want all of those things for her, too. I cannot describe to you how much I want those things.

I feel like a piece of my heart is missing. This girl is the most gorgeous, intelligent, witty, unique, and creative person I have ever come across. It's so hard for me to come up with a reason for all of the sadness that has been dwelling inside her these past few weeks. She didn't deserve any of it.

One of my favorite poems by Mary Oliver
All day, guilt has overcome me whenever I catch myself smiling or laughing, while this beautiful friend of mine is struggling.
However, I know that she wouldn't want me to be sad. Honestly, she would probably be upset with me for putting my life on hold for something like this. But I can't help my aching heart.
I just wish I was with her. I wish I could hug her so tightly that she could actually feel the love I have for her emanating from my insides.

I don't know what else to say right now.. other than I am happy each of you are alive to be reading this. Life is a precious gift, not to be wasted worrying over things that won't matter a lifetime, or even a year, from now.
I'm going to continue living mine, for myself and for my friend.

P.S. Greg Laswell's song 'Comes and Goes' is very relevant and has been in my head all day. Maybe you'll enjoy it as much as I do.


Sunday, September 23, 2012

Changing me, changing blog. For the good! :)

This blog has changed so much as time has elapsed.
It started as my recovery blog. I wrote on my own anorexic thoughts and behaviors that were apparent to me, and I tried to correct and/or eliminate them.
Somehow I gained a group of followers, mostly from the eating disorder community, and we all made the transition to recovery together. *Btw, this group of people was and continues to be tremendously influential in my life and journey towards recovery*
As time wore on, I noticed changes in myself, specifically when it came to my mental and physical health.
I was no longer numb, hiding behind my skeletal frame and the abundance of nutrition-based knowledge I had attained.
I became exposed to the world as is.. No, it's not all morning sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows. But the real world also doesn't come close to resembling the dark, bleak prison my mind had become with anorexia.
I don't really know where to insert these random, recent pictures. So they'll just kinda be scattered throughout.
Anyway, an old picture from summer vacation, but it was great :)
As I progressed in recovery, I noticed things that once interested me no longer had the same effect.
While I once watched food network (and just thought of food) constantly, I now hardly turn on the television, let alone watch any show having to deal with food or health. *Exception: the past few days I have been slightly addicted to the show 'Breaking Bad' which is no bueno considering I'm in the middle of the school year AND grad school applications, but still. It's good stuff. :)*
I also went through exercise compulsion while in the midst of anorexia. However, the fact that I was on the track team allowed for this obsession to be seen as nothing more than extreme dedication to the sport. Compare this exercise routine to the one I have now (which lately has basically been nonexistent) and you would be surprised to learn that I am the same person.
I scream for ice cream, especially when it comes in a 3 gallon tub.
I was also in a very serious relationship throughout my journey of entering and exiting the mindset of a person defined by anorexia and/or binge eating disorder. And there is definitely something to be said about everything I put that boy through. He was the most supportive, loving, and patient boyfriend I could have asked for. But I used my relationship with him as a buffer for the real world. I put everything I had in that relationship, and so when it fell apart, so did I. Yet, after all is said and done, this breakup/breakdown was for the best because it meant that I had to pick myself up and put myself back together in whatever way, shape, or form I pleased.

So these past few years I have been defined by these things: eating, running, and my relationship with my boyfriend. And now that I am finally separated from these things, I feel as if the world has truly opened up for me. I have no limits on who or what I can be. I'm not a runner. I'm not a young woman in a painful battle with herself. I'm not Connor's girlfriend, either. I'm Haley. And I've had to find out who that is.
It's a frightening yet strangely liberating feeling to be the navigator of your own path.
P.s. I love baking. And then eating what I bake ;)
This was supposed to be a short introduction, but of course I've rambled. Anyway, this is all to say that I don't really know what the purpose of this blog is anymore, other than I like to post things from time to time. I don't deal with too many issues with eating these days, and I'm not out running super crazy fast times. So I feel like some of the people that once enjoyed checking my blog to read about these things will no longer care. But that's okay.
I just wanted to point out that I have changed, and my blog is probably going to change with me.

Now, I know I have to play catch up a little bit because some of you want to hear about what's going on in my world these days!
Hmm.. well I am no longer on the track team, as I mentioned in a recent post, but I am still busier than ever! 
I am in a club called Students for a Sustainable Campus, and I was recently elected as Media Team Leader for the group! I am really excited about it. I love the mission of SSC and I feel like our goals are definitely attainable in making Mississippi State a green-friendly campus. :)
My roommate/"biffle" Teresa is also in SSC
I am also writing for LIBERO NETWORK, a not-for-profit online magazine and resource site that brings awareness to and support for those recovering from eating disorders, depression, addiction, anxiety & abuse. I love this organization! I submit 1-2 articles per month, so it's not too big of a commitment, but I feel like I'm doing my small part in the fight against mental illness and abusive thoughts and behaviors. I also manage the tumblr page for Libero, which is no problem since tumblr is basically my favorite thing next to peanut butter and Joseph Gordon-Levitt ;)
*P.s. I am still freaking out about last night's Saturday Night Live episode. I'm not ashamed to say I want to have Joe's babies.*

Along with Libero and SSC, I am in a clinical psychology research lab at school, and I do about ten hours of work per week with various projects in the lab. It's exciting, and it makes me anxious for graduate school next fall!
Speaking of which, the major stressor of this semester has to be the grad school application process. I have decided that I want to get my PhD in Clinical Psychology, specifically studying and working with eating disorders.
I know that many people would be weary of entering an environment focused on eating disorders considering my history, but I feel like it is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
I find so much joy in helping others, and it must be so comforting for those struggling to know that someone has been in their current situation and has come out as the victor. I want to be that person.

Another reason I think it's fine that I am involved in the eating disorder recovery community is because I have finally separated thinking of anything eating disorder related when it comes to my day-to-day life. I have found an identity separate from my eating disorders. Sure, sometimes I remind myself that I am Haley, the recovered anorexic and binge eater. But I am proud of where I come from because it's made me who I am. And for the most part that is the bubbly, smiley, crazy Haley. I am the roommate that laughs too loud when others are trying to do homework or sleep, and that's a problem I am happy to have. *Although I am supposed to be working on my volume control when in these giggling fits ;)*

So that's my mini life update. I hope you find it to your liking. But if not, that's okay, too. :)
<3 Haley

P.s. You can always contact me through facebook or haleylovesgreen@gmail.com if you ever need (or just want) to chat! xoxo

Thursday, August 30, 2012

You shouldn't eat that; you'll get fat.

I am very frustrated right now to say the least.

I decided to have a shake for dinner tonight. I have lots to do, and I just didn't feel like cooking anything for myself. So I put some yogurt, soy milk, a banana, spinach, ice, and a scoop of protein powder into the blender and called it a meal!

I was cleaning up while sipping on my shake when a roommate came downstairs. This is the only roommate that does any sports. She was my track teammate, and although I love her, it's times like these that I get very bothered..

She noticed that my protein powder was out and said, "Why do you use whey protein?"
Me: "Cuz this smoothie is my dinner and it needs to fill me up! Plus I haven't really had any protein today."
Roommate: "You know if you don't lift weights that stuff makes you retain fat."
Me: (I hesitate.. topics like this are always very sensitive with me) "Well, whatever. A calorie is a calorie."
Roommate: "No, not really.. I've talked to lots of doctors and trainers and everything about it. You can actually have mine. I don't want it anymore" (points to her container of cookies 'n cream whey)
Me: "Why don't you want it?"
Roommate: "Because it makes you fat! I just said that."

My pandora was playing, and luckily one of my favorite Modest Mouse songs came on and I just zoned out by singing while continuing to clean up.
After a few seconds of her watching me, she said she had to go and I waved goodbye.

It's not just the words she spoke, but the way that she said it that made my skin crawl. She spoke to me as if I am voluntarily making myself fat and SHE knows better than to eat that stuff, so ha!

I am so very close to being completely recovered from all of my eating disorders, it is crazy. But hearing shit like this still sets something off in me.
I went to my room and googled something like, "Does whey protein make you retain fat if you are not working out?"

Mostly I got 'yahoo answers' responses, but from what I gathered it doesn't make you gain weight or fat any more than any other food would. It's basically pure protein, so it is a supplement for your diet if you don't get enough..

I guess the point of this post is that I am freaking tired of hearing things like this.
Why is our society so hell-bent on being the thinnest/losing the most weight/looking the best?
Honestly, I am the happiest I have ever been in my life and I weigh more than I have ever weighed.
Taken just now! This is what I look like now. Blonde/pink hair. :P
Sometimes I look in the mirror and think, geesh.. you have let yourself go.
But then I remember how far I have come and where I am headed.. I remember the seemingly-eternal hell that I went through in order to make myself 'skinny' and 'fast'.
I just want to let anyone that is struggling with an eating disorder to know that there is such a better life out there for you after recovery, a life of happiness, wholeness, joy. 
I didn't feel anything when I was anorexic.. or when I was really deep in binge eating disorder, really. And who wants to live their life as a numb shell of the person they could be?

It's just that I am so tired of people telling me what I can and cannot do, what I can and cannot eat, etc..
We shouldn't place rules on food.  Food is fuel. And more than that, it is something to savor, taste, love.

I'm done ranting. I know this was all over the place. I am not even going to reread or edit this post. I am just so done with it all.

I'll be writing a more up-to-date/less bitchy post sometime in the near future.

Sending you all my love,

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Utopic thought: Accepting and loving rather than berating and hating

Well today has been interesting. Not at all eventful, yet I feel like it is far from a wasted day of summer. I have done lots of thinking. I have been asking questions like each one is my last.

I spent the morning journaling, reading, and tumblr-ing. I decided to go to the gym this afternoon to run. I went downstairs to see my family for the first time all day, and as I was about to leave my mom asked me (jokingly, I hope) if she could pay me to have her keep my puppy while I'm away at college. I replied, "No, Mom! You can't buy my love!" 
We all giggled a bit, and then she whined, "But Haley, Riley is helping me with my sobriety!!" 
My response: "Uh, you don't think Riley is a big part of mine, too? She's been with me through so much."
My dad laughs and, loaded with sarcasm, says, "Yea, I can totally see how Riley has helped you.. Let's go to the fridge for proof." 
He points at several pictures of me on the fridge while giving me a look of total mockery and disbelief. He 'jokes', "Hmm.. huge failure here. And here. And here..."

I immediately start tearing up. I have gotten so much better about appreciating my body and realizing I am so much more than outward appearance, but I still struggle with pictures, especially. I choke back the tears, grab my dad's keys, quickly brush past both parents, and slam the door behind me.
I can't hold it in any longer. It's been building up. All the stress, drama, anticipation, worry. I bawl like an idiot in the middle of my driveway.

My mom came outside a couple minutes later saying that my dad was not referring to my weight gain. He was talking about my 'drinking'. 
One of the pictures he pointed to was taken at my best friend's 21st birthday dinner with her parents. We are holding up girly mixed drinks and smiling. My cheeks are chubby. My arms are a little flabby. But I am happy. Let me reemphasize this: BUT I AM HAPPY.

Of course I don't believe her. My dad has made hurtful comments about my weight gain since last summer. I don't expect this time to be any different. I am always on guard for his sharp stabs, painful reminders that I am not the once great runner, and by extension daughter, that I once was to him. 

You see, my dad didn't take the news of my not returning to the track team very well at all. He argued that I'm throwing away my chance of a free college education. He said that he knows that I am going through stuff, but I am ruining the chance of a lifetime. People everywhere wish they had my talent or even the opportunity I was given to run at the college level. 
I see behind all of his arguments, though. I know that he is scared. He has always been known as Haley's dad, the proud parent of a strong, fast, dedicated student athlete. 
Of course I've had tons of other things going for me, but my dad has always been most interested in my sports.
He has never missed a gymnastics tournament, basketball game, soccer match, or cross country or track meet unless he absolutely had no chance of getting there. He has traveled countless hours to watch me compete. And he has paid a good bit of his hard-earned money to watch me succeed. It's his way of connecting with me.

I hate to let down my father and everyone else, but I was just not happy. I am so much more than a runner. I wish some people would open their eyes and see that.

Anyway, apparently my father worries I have a drinking problem now. Although I understand his concern to an extent since alcoholism is quite prevalent in my family, I still find it totally absurd that he would actually think I have a problem. Sure, I have had more alcoholic beverages this summer than ever before, but 'ever before' included never drinking.
Now, ocassionally my friends and I will go out or have a party or go to the lake, and I'll have a couple Blueberry Lemonade Smirnoffs or maybe some chocolate wine. But this by no means indicates that I have a problem; they need not worry.
I don't know why I'm explaining myself here. I know I shouldn't. There really is no need. But yea..

I guess this is all to say that it is interesting how I assumed my dad was referring to my weight- just like I assume anyone who has not seen me in a while is going to be totally shocked and repulsed by my softer, curvier body. Obviously I still have much to work on in terms of insecurities and caring about other people's opinions, especially the negative ones.

Later tonight, my dad came in my room and said that he was not referring to my weight in the pictures. He meant that Riley had not helped my alcohol sobriety. Although I am only drinking in one picture, he says he knew I was drinking at my best friend's wedding, of which there is a picture of me and a fellow bridesmaid beaming while holding our bouquets.
He claims he has never thought I have any sort of problem with alcohol. He knows I am just young and having fun... So I don't know what the deal is. I guess it doesn't matter. I'm leaving soon and won't have to deal with all of this anymore.

It does make me question my logic, though. I worry over a perception of my looks but I don't care so much about someone questioning if I have a problem with alcohol? Kind of messed up.
Seriously. I think, 'Who cares what dad thinks about my drinking? I know I don't have a problem and it really doesn't matter if he agrees.'
I wish I could be so 'screw you' when it comes to my body image. Really though, who cares if I've gained some weight? I've battled two (TWO!) eating disorders and have come out stronger for it.
I wish people's thoughts and words did not affect me. But they do, and I worry.
So in response to that, I will share the words of the astoundingly brilliant Eleanor Roosevelt: "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do."

We are all so caught up in our own actions, thoughts, and feelings, especially the negative ones. We find it hard to see the good in our own person. But for others it is just the opposite. If we could all just take a step back and see ourselves for what we truly are the world would be a much happier place.

I'll leave it at that. Except I'll add this link. It's a beautiful article written by a strong and brave woman. I was inspired. I hope you will be, too. CLICK HERE!

Monday, August 6, 2012

A note for tumblr's 'thinspo and pro-ana' community

I am so tired of pro-anorexia bullshit. Everywhere. I just saw something on tumblr that really pisses me off. *For those of you that don't know, tumblr is another blog site, mainly consisting of still and moving pictures and quotes*. Anyway, I thought I would share my frustration with this blog. 
This is something I just posted to my tumblr. I doubt it will get 1/10 of the 'posts' that the original post will receive, but I don't care. I will be happy if even one person reads what I have to say and knows that you don't have to be a size zero to be beautiful.
So here it is. In the pink.
A quote that came across my tumblr dashboard (reblogged multiple times):
“YOU WILL be thin. You will be happy. You will wear bikinis. You will be the skinny one. You will have that gap. You will have that flat stomach. You will not be ashamed of your body. You will be beautiful. You will weigh less. You will eat less. You will exercise more. You will do what it takes. You will KEEP GOING.”
You WILL BE beautiful?? Am I the only one who sees what’s wrong with this picture? Why are you only beautiful and confident if you have a thigh gap and a flat stomach??
You will eat less? OH YAY!! I cannot wait to eat less! Life goal, complete. I am now totally self-fulfilled and completely happy, now that the number on the scale defines me as beautiful and thin. Because apparently those all go hand in hand. Thin=happy, beautiful, confident, healthy, strong. How ridiculous and pathetic.
Side note for those of you that reblog the aforementioned quote thinking that this seems like a healthy mindset and way of life: this post was made from a pro-anorexia blog. So just take a minute and think that over. I don’t think a mental illness will make you any happier. Just sayin’.
I know it seems a little harsh, but I was upset. I am tired of the photoshopping and the idealizing of unrealistic Victoria's Secret bodies. Maybe it's just me, but I find 'normal' or 'curvy' women so much more attractive.
I'm not saying that skinny people cannot be beautiful, too. They can, and they are-if they are healthy. But to say that these are the only beautiful people is outrageous and abominable.
P.s. This is a 'plus size' model.
Society is so messed up.

But I love you all <3 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

My painful, honest truth

Of course I have much to write about. I've been yearning to write this (in public, not just in my journal) for about two weeks now, but I couldn't due to certain circumstances.. Anyway, I am hear to tell my story. Be ready for a long post. *P.s. If you want to skip my history and just get to my present status just skip to the purple text at the bottom*

I went into college as an eager young girl, unsure of what I wanted or what was to become of me now that I was away from home and friends. I struggled a good bit. I broke up with my boyfriend of 8 months because I felt the need to experience college and figure out what it was I wanted. I dabbled in dating just before I started things back up with Connor, a high school romance and the first and only boy I  have ever really loved. Connor brought me happiness, and I felt okay with school, so overall I was content. But I missed home. I felt like the people in college weren't genuine like my friends in Memphis.
Running at the SEC level was challenging and thrilling. I enjoyed it, but I had never before been criticized for my weight or size. That year I heard it all too often from my coach at the time. I was also praised by football players and others for being 'thick'. I liked the attention, but I hated the connotation.

I went home for summer to develop an eating disorder. Of course it was not only the comments that sparked this, but they did contribute a bit. Mostly, though, it was because that summer my mother relapsed after over 2 years of sobriety, the longest sobriety date she had had since she left when I was 7. Her boyfriend called me over the day she relapsed to try to talk some sense into her. I went over to her house only to have her blame me for her drinking. She claimed that I had never really loved her nor had I ever been a good daughter.
I took her purse and keys from her so that she wouldn't run off and buy her precious cocaine, and she retaliated by scratching, punching, kicking, screaming, doing anything she could to hurt me. And I have to say, the words left far deeper scars than anything else.
In the end, my mother somehow snuck away amidst all of the chaos, stealing my car and money.

I will never forget that day. It's a memory that has changed my world.
A couple weeks before my mom's relapse. June 2010
Almost immediately I became obsessive with eating and running. I was already strict enough earlier that year due to pressures from running. This episode really pushed me over the edge.
Eating and running. Those were the only two things I really cared about. I tried to care about Connor, but it's hard to love someone when you hate yourself so much.
I would go to sleep dreaming about food. Food Network was always on my tv. I romanticized the thought of eating, yet I had such difficulty putting anything to my lips. I avoided my friends and family. I avoided everyone, really. I just wanted to eat, sleep, run, and read. All alone. If you knew me before that summer or know me now, then you would be surprised to hear how introverted I became. I hated it, though. I am not an introverted person. I need people to make me happy, so I was really losing myself to this disorder.

(This is terribly painful to write...)

Connor, my friend Kenzie, and her mother approached me at the end of the summer. I remember it quite vividly. They told me they believed I had a problem. Obviously I was in denial. I did not want to be sick. I never thought I would have a problem with eating. I always loved food. Plus my best friend of 15 years had gone through the same battle, and it had broken my heart to watch her starve herself just a few years earlier.
So Kenzie's mom showed me papers she had printed out, describing symptoms of anorexia: constantly cold, preoccupied thoughts of food, hair loss, pale skin, isolated behavior.
I could no longer deny it.
Fall 2010. Pretty gross.
I went into my sophomore year of college knowing that I needed to recover. But running and my anorexia had been my best friends all summer. I didn't want to lose them.
I was faster than ever because I had run so much over summer. I also associated my anorexia with my success in running, although this was a mistake.
I slowly gained weight my sophomore year, and as I did, my times improved. I began to see my efforts pay off. I was becoming more sociable; I gained back friends I had pushed away. And I started this blog as an effort to track my progress.
Penn Relays with beautiful teammates. April 2011.
Recovery isn't what you would expect, though. It's much more difficult. I wanted it so badly, but it was so difficult to convince myself to backtrack on all of the hard work I had done to lose the weight. My worth was placed in that number on the scale. I couldn't remember life before the number. I was scared to know what I was without ED.

I had much success track season of sophomore year. Spring 2011. I reached goal weight, surpassed it, and continued to get faster. I found happiness. I loved who I was becoming.
SEC Championships. May 2011.
But summer happened. I was alone in Starkville, taking summer classes. Again, eating and running were the only things there for me other than schoolbooks. I began to obsess over the weight I had gained, and I began to restrict again. As a result, binging occurred.

I mostly binged on things that I didn't allow myself on a regular basis. Cookies, peanut butter, crackers, hummus, granola..
The binging was always followed by extreme exercise and restriction.
I remember in particular the consequences of this one binge. I ran 11 miles the morning after, but that wasn't enough. I took a nap after showering from my run, and then I went to the gym at school and stayed for over 4 hours. I biked for an hour, lifted weights, went to spin class, and ran on the treadmill. Not a moment was spent resting. I went home that night to eat an apple (only food for the day), do a workout video, and go to bed.

I hated myself for letting my life spin out of control.

The fall of junior year (2011)was spent in much the same way except I think I got burnt out from the excessive exercise. I began to binge at night to deal with my daily insecurities and problems, but I did not make up for it with exercise like I used to. I also tore my calf muscle around this time, and not running at all was very hard to deal with.
I was plagued with injury after injury this past spring semester (2012). I was just so tired of it all. I hated that I couldn't run, and I hated that I couldn't stop eating. Connor and I broke up, and that change threw me off a bit, too. Ultimately, though, my eating disorder has nothing to do with anyone but me, so Connor's leaving didn't affect it much.
The end of spring semester 2012
Eventually, I recovered from all of my injuries, and I left school for summer in a decent state. I could run. I couldn't wait to get fit again.
The thing is, I had an unrealistic idea of what my summer would be.
Half of me really just wanted to be sick again.
I thought, 'you can do this just for a couple months. Just run all of your mileage, eat <1000 calories a day, and you'll lose the weight and you'll be healthy and fit by fall'.
The other half of me couldn't let myself do this.
'I have been through far too much to go through all of that again', I thought.

Now I have almost caught you up. This summer has been a rollercoaster. But I have been more happy this summer than I have in a long, long time. Since high school I guess.
I have only been super depressed when I think of August 13, the date when I have to return to school. 

You see, every time I tried to get back into running, my eating disorders lingered over me more than ever. I would be out on a run and I would think, 'you can't eat tomorrow. Maybe an apple and a yogurt. That's it.'
Or I would go the opposite way. Thinking that it is almost impossible to get back to my All-American status, I would eat my emotions. That part of my summer has been miserable.

So obviously I have had much to think about this summer in terms of my future running career and my recovery from ED.
I love running, I do. But I lost all the joy that comes along with it last summer.
I miss the way I once yearned to wake up in the mornings and lose myself on the pavement of city streets.

This is all to say that I have decided to quit competitive running. I love my team, and I really do love and respect my current coach, but I cannot sacrifice my health and happiness by continuing on in this vicious cycle. I have hated myself for this decision, but I am also quite proud of myself. It is the most difficult decision of my life thus far, and I think I made the right one.

I understand that most people will not understand, but I have had to learn to get over what other people think of me. In my gut I know that this is what I need. I am tired of being between extreme eating disorders.
The great news is that I have been eating so much healthier and I've been exercising every day since I decided to break from the pressures of staying on my team.
It's weird, but I love doing this for me. I am already losing some of the weight I gained this summer, and I don't even care how small I get. I do want to get back in shape, but most of all I just want to be healthy and happy.

It's going to be strange and different going back to school without having practice every day, without wearing my MSU Track & Field gear.. But I will make the most of it. 
I am really excited to see what I become.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Hopefully brunettes have fun, too.

I feel like I do things lately just to break away from the person that I used to be.

This is not necessarily a good or bad thing. Just means I'm ready for a change I guess.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Self mutilation through a haircut

Last night I was feeling pretty depressed.. dunno why. Lots of reasons I guess. But I had done the things that usually make me feel successful and happy. I had run ten miles yesterday and lifted weights. I had eaten healthy.. A bit too healthy if anything, a bit too restrictive.
So around 1 A.M. I was bored and couldn't sleep. I was hungry and decided to have a skinny cow ice cream. One turned to another, which lead to me getting out the peanut butter and yogurt=go to binge foods.
A binge? but not really.. I ate past the point of being full but not to the extreme like I have in the past. This is how my 'binges' have been this summer. Maybe because I have been wayyyy more lax about my diet, so the off-limit things don't call to me like they once did.

Anyway, I have this nasty habit of putting gum behind my ear and as I was putting my hands through my hair last night (after the binge) I noticed that my hair was stuck to a piece of gum I hadn't even realized I had put there, (gross, I know). Soooo I had to cut off a lock of hair. I texted my friend saying how great that felt to cut off my hair and that I felt like doing it to my whole head. She told me to go for it. And I did.

Only I don't think it was a healthy way to go about getting a haircut. Just like restricting, binging, cutting, or any other form of self harm, this was destructive. It was done in a way that screams CRAZY. Kinda like the Britney song *get it? cuz she shaved her head ;)*
It was 3 A.M. I had just journaled and made a video about how gross I feel with my body and my eating habits, etc.. I was cutting my hair to relieve my stress, and some may not see what is so wrong with this, but I know that it was not a good way to go about it.

I need to develop coping mechanisms to use in these situations. I'm tired of overeating. Of not running just because I'm afraid. Afraid of being bad at what is supposed to define me as a person, getting ED back, not being good enough. So very tired of it all. So very tired of hating my body, and by extension, myself.
Me right after the crazy
Everyone knows I'm battling myself. And I feel like I'm losing just as much as I win. Like I'm not making any progress.

I have so much left to say, but I'll end it here.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Running for me

A friend that I actually met through this blog texted me today saying that she totally relates to my last post. She also runs D1 track and decided recently to quit her team due to the overwhelming pressure of being perfect.
Even though I do not feel as strongly as she does that competitive running is unhealthy (mentally) for me right now, it was still so great to hear that she understood the debate that has been going on in my head for the past two months.

Another friend that just recently left the SEC track scene due to graduation also talked to me today. She said she is more proud of me now than ever before. Something I was totally shocked to hear. I asked her why she feels that way, especially now, when my life may be more chaotic than ever before. Her response was super flattering and amazing.
"Because you keep fighting to be a better, healthier person rather than just live with an eating disorder and hoping to get a fast season out of it. And you are looking at yourself and what you need in a way that few can because it is so painful and takes so much strength."
I don't know about me being someone people should look up to, but she's at least right about my self examination of this past year being one of the most painful and weakening experiences I've gone through.

I guess I never figured it would take so long to get over ED. At the end of last year I thought I had it under control. But in all reality, I was still kinda crazy. I was fine with weighing X amount, running X amount, and doing X every day. Routine, routine, routine. If I gained any more weight than was necessary for my running I would flip a cow. And I did gain. And I did restrict. And binge. And binge. And restrict. And binge, binge, binge.
June, July, August, September, October, November, DECEMBER, January, FEBRUARY, March, April, May. Literally a year of this shit. Excuse my language.

Now I'm at the point where I am not afraid to go out for pizza with my friends on a Friday night. I love going to this great Indian lunch buffet in Memphis.. eating foods with completely unknown ingredients and calories to me.
But the body image thing is the worst. And the fact that my anorexia and binge eating disorder have both hurt my running.
Post-run, pre-shower. New journal. Happy.

I ran tonight for me.
Not to burn calories. Not to look better in a swimsuit. Not to get rid of stress, even. Not even for my teammates and coaches, although I do think of them almost every day.
Just because I love running.
And it was so fun. So very fun. I want more of this. I'm gonna do this for the rest of summer. I'm gonna try to get some good mileage in because I like mileage and I need it if I want to be decent in the fall, but I am going to go into this with a healthy mindset. Hopefully the healthy body will follow.

So much love to all of you out there that read. And to those that comment, I can say that you literally make my heart ache. And it grows with each word of support, encouragement, and love.
I hope you all are having a good night and I'll be writing soon.

Friday, July 13, 2012


I feel like I have more emotions in me than I can handle.
I don't really know how to describe how I'm feeling these days.
On one hand I am very happy. I have the best friends in the world, and this summer I am learning more about myself than ever before.
On the other, I feel so lonely. But more than that I feel unworthy and incompetent. 
I broke up with who I thought to be the love of my life at the beginning of March. I started dating someone else at the end of April. Too soon. But that's how things worked out. Anyway, I was hurt in that relationship. It ended a few weeks ago. I think I had too high of expectations. I was expecting him to be the next Connor. Definitely not Connor because Connor is not what I want or need right now. But I guess I wanted him to fall in love with me, and me him. But things didn't work out that way. He was very fickle and shallow with letting me in and showing affection towards me. Not what I wanted or deserved.
So that ended.. and a couple weeks later I went out a couple times with this guy my best friend set me up  with. Thought there might have been something there. Again, he wasn't good enough.
At this point I realize that I need to stop seeking affections from others and start giving and getting them from myself. But it's hard when I hate (part of) myself this much.

I hate stupid eating disorders.
I hate that I am afraid to run because I am afraid of getting it back.
I hate that I still have one. Or two, really.

I have always defined myself as a runner. And I love that. But lately every time I get really into running I also get deep in anorexia thoughts and behaviors. And that's not what I want.

My coach called a couple of weeks ago and I admitted all of this to him. I told him that my brain has tied my anorexia with my running, and it is SO hard to separate these two.

I went out for a run the other day and sought to find out my pace for the first time all summer. Each mile it told me I was running 8:15 pace. Each mile I thought how slow I am and how I shouldn't eat the next day.

As I sit here writing, tears streaming down my face, I realize how stupid this all sounds.
I want to run so badly. But at the same time I just can't bring myself to do it. I can't explain the fear and anxiety and everything mixed in with it.

I don't know for sure, but I think I weigh now more than I ever have before. A mix of some late night drinking, a binge here and there, and eating whatever I feel like just to say FUCK YOU ED.
And these calorie-consuming actions bring me temporary satisfaction. But then I am sad. For so long.
I was once defined by being a tiny, fast runner.

Now, who am I? Every time I run into someone I haven't seen in a while I hear, "How is running going?" And I don't know what to say. 
"Hmm... it's good. I run less than every other day. But yea.. *change of subject*" No. I can't say that. That makes me seem lazy and worthless. 
Do I lie? No, because people can obviously tell I'm not running like I should be. Or else I would have a thinner face, arms, legs.
So I'm stuck at a crossroads.
I feel like Ana is calling to me, and her voice sounds so sweet and beautiful right about now.

Anyway, these are my thoughts. This is my life, at least the depressing part. I do have many ups, but right now I am writing about my struggles.

I'm going for a run tonight. Hopefully ten miles. Hopefully Ana leaves me alone. Hopefully.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

3 A.M. Run til I can't anymore

I need to think about some things. Lots of things.
I'll write soon.
I doubt anyone is here, but I will be soon.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy, healthy, and enthusiastic :)

The title for this post is a quote said often by one of my teammates when he's trying to convince himself that things are going to work out just fine at the end of the day.
These words do a great job of describing my state right now, though.

I'm doing quite well, in all areas of life.
My grades are good. If I continue to do as well these next 2 weeks as I have the rest of the semester, then I should end up with straight A's.
I am back to running. :) This is my third week of workouts. Although I am dreadfully slow, (or at least I feel like it when compared to where I have been and know I can be), and it is discouraging, I continue to push on.

My eating has been really good. I am on a weight loss meal plan right now, and I know that many people, especially in the Recovery Community, disagree with it. I would, too, but I really do need to lose weight if I want to be back in great shape by August.
Also, I'm doing it for me. I let myself go, and it feels good to have myself under control now.
The obviously difficult part about this whole thing is that I have experienced (and conquered) anorexia, and diets like this only flirt with ED. I don't want anything to do with it, but the ideas are still there.
The idea of undereating lingers and tempts. It would mean faster weight loss, faster results, and positive attention.
However, I know that the negative consequences far outweigh the potential positive results.
So I'm holding on, and doing well with writing down everything I'm eating. (No calorie counting, though, at least not until the end of the day and I need more.)
I hope that I can hold on to this fine line that I've drawn. We'll see. It will obviously be hard, but there is too much pressure not to walk it.

And I'm super super happy being single(?), as weird as that is.
I told myself I wouldn't and COULDN'T like anyone for a long, loooong time.
Yet, I find myself talking to someone now, despite the rules I set for myself.
I guess part of the reasoning for my breaking of this rule is that I got over my ex sooo much faster than I expected I would-probably because he is no longer the person that I fell in love with.
Anyway, it just happened, and who am I to say that this is wrong when it feels right? I thought long and hard about it, and I decided I don't want to jump into anything, yet I should not have to put my life on hold just because people expect that of me.
He is very sweet and kind. He appreciates me, and things are just so easy with him.

Despite whatever relationship status I have, I am happy. And I'm doing well, in most every aspect of life.
I went home for Easter, and I enjoyed spending time with my dad, brother, and sister.
My mother called me to tell me that she is in Florida with a friend. She left the year long rehab program she was attending one month ago, after only spending 3 months there.
I missed her call, but she left me a voicemail telling me all of this. I had already known she had left, and she admitted that she didn't call me because she knew I'd be disappointed. Of course I am, and I was before she called me because of course I knew that she was out on the streets.
Nevertheless, I'll always love my mom. I hope she does well, but I can't spend this time worrying about her. It does me no good.

I'm planning on becoming a nanny this summer, and I have a few jobs lined up already. I am also in my best friend's wedding, and just before that I am going to Harry Potter World with two of my best friends. :) The summer should be fun, new, and exciting. I'm excited for what life has to offer me and what I can do with it.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Apologize for ED?

I just received a pretty passive aggressive letter from my ex's mother who described me as "3 people".

(Direct quote:)
1) The happy, fun loving, free spirited Haley
2) ED Haley with all the baggage that attaches to it
3) THIS struggling Haley not knowing which direction she's going

I was discussing this with Mollie, and I began to say, "Listen, I'm sorry that I got anorexia," because that was the part in the letter when ex's mom began to explain that I changed and my relationship with her changed..

Mollie brought up a good point. There is no apologizing for developing ED. I'm pretty sure no one WANTS to develop an eating disorder, at least no one that I know wished for that. 
But did it change me? Yes.. It did.
I've changed.. I've gotten more serious in certain ways. I've learned weaknesses and strengths in myself, and I have learned to love myself even when it was the hardest thing in the world to do so.

I don't agree with her. I might be struggling, and I may not know EXACTLY where I am headed in life.. but I feel like I have a good idea.. 
And I know that I can accomplish whatever it is I put my heart, soul, mind, and body into.

I may not be in a relationship right now, and I may not be on top of my game in running. And maybe to others that makes me seem lost.
But I'm not.

I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere, and I'm going to show everyone what I am made of.

I'm not the struggling Haley that has no direction. I'm still happy, goofy, loving Haley, the one who beat and is still beating ED, and the one who knows what it's like to win after coming from behind, cuz that's what I've done before and it is what I am about to do.

<3 Haley

P.S. First track workout today in FOREVER. Well, really, I had one in January. But then I got hurt again. And this was my first workout since October, discounting the one. It was hard, and my times were by no means fast. But I worked hard, and I am excited about the progress I am making. I'll get there. :)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I'm Meredith.

I'm sitting here watching Grey's Anatomy, and it's Season Two.. those horrible episodes after Addison comes back, and Derek leaves Meredith because he's technically married and he tries to make his marriage work.

Okay, so I know that if you don't watch Grey's then that was all just mumbo-jumbo. But these episodes are horrible because Meredith is still in love with Derek, and he just leaves.. to go be with Addison, his wife (who cheated, btw). 
Meredith and Derek try being 'friends'. It's awkward even for me as the viewer. I hate it. Meredith just has to sit there, immobilized, while Derek goes on with his life.. It's like he didn't even let her know he was moving on until it was too late. And there is no way for Meredith to catch up in terms of getting over him because he has the head start..

That's about how I feel.. I'm Meredith.
I'm okay with being without him right now. I'm even okay with being alone for God knows how long.
But for some reason I can't get over that he is so okay while I'm not, at least when I'm not as okay as he is.

It's not fair, and I'm actually angry about it. I know I sound childish and selfish and pathetic, but it's not fair. I should have known to let go. I should have let go when he did.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


My last post sounded so positive.. and until last night, I was pleasantly surprised that my break up with my serious boyfriend of 2 and a half years did not sadden or upset me near as much as I expected.

Then, this morning on my 4 mile run, I swear I saw him running ahead of me on campus. He turned and made a cut through the intramural soccer/lacrosse fields. I knew I wouldn't be able to catch him, and that really upset me. It was somewhat metaphorical.
We're not on the same page anymore.. We used to run together, and we no longer do.

I haven't cried this whole week.. I've been almost stoic about everything, probably because I saw this coming, and I thought it best to be strong and level-headed.

But, being completely frank, I realize that even after all is said and done I am still so very much in love with him. All of a sudden my heart feels ripped open and exposed for the world to see.

I miss the texts saying good morning and sweet dreams. I miss our lunches in the Union. I miss making fun of him for studying so much while I slacked. I miss his smile and laugh and how he played with our puppy. I miss crying on his shoulder at times like this.. I miss him.

The Taylor Swift song, "Last Kiss", came on my ipod while I was on my way to an NCAA drug test this morning. They speak true to my feelings now..

"You can hope for a change in weather and time, but I never planned on you changing your mind..
So I'll go sit on the floor wearing your clothes. All that I know is I don't know how to be something you miss."


P.S. I changed the name of my blog from "All Or Nothing" to "Running towards Recovery & Happiness". I don't want and don't really have the All Or Nothing attitude these days. And I think the new one fits much better.. The goal is to accomplish both recovery and happiness every day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Single and doing alright

Sooo, I've been single for 7 days now..

If you read my last post, then you know that I was already having some relationship issues..
I posted last right after Connor and I decided to 'take a break'..
He had walked right past me in the gym without any acknowledgement, and it hurt so bad.. 
But we made up a couple days later.. He tried to convince me he wasn't good for me, but I convinced him we could make it work..
This time I let him go.

Sunday night I realized that I need to be with someone who wants to be with me, all of me. I want someone who loves me for all that I am, not in spite of who I am..

I do love Connor, and I will always have a place for him in my heart.. But maybe this will be a good thing. Maybe now I will learn even more about myself and grow individually as a person.

Then again, I may always wonder if I will find someone as good to me as my first love..
He was my everything, and most importantly he was my best friend.

It is going to be hard and different now that I'm back to school and back to the reality of being in Starkville without my boyfriend of 2 and half years. It will take some adjustment.

However, I know now that I can't make someone love me    X    amount.. And I can't be the hand that holds on so tightly while the hand holding mine is letting go.. 

Now is the time when I find out what I'm really made of.. I don't want to be that girl whose world falls apart because of a break up. I don't want to be the girl who develops ED because her mom relapsed..
I am in control now, and I know I have great things ahead of me.

<3 Haley