Thursday, December 30, 2010

Guest Post: Eating Disorders + Friends- yay or nay?

Hi all! 
I asked the lovely, brilliant, talented Amanda to write a post for me. I have always admired her blog, her careful, detailed and in-depth writing style, and her attitude towards the realities of recovery. Amanda has become what i would call a 'blog friend' to me, and i couldn't think of a more appropriate topic on which to hear her 'speak' than that of friends and eating disorders. 
I have many of my own stories and theories on this, as well as on friendships in their own right. For now i'll let Amanda's piece speak it's truth, the great truth that it is. 

I'm thinking of doing a series on friendships, so if you could please leave in the comments any ideas/suggestions/questions/topics that you would like me to address in an upcoming post, that would be wonderful (it may, but does not have to do with eating disorders)
Thanks! And now it's Amanda's turn...

When I was first diagnosed with an eating disorder, I didn’t know anyone else with an ed. I felt like a royally-screwed freak, to say the least. Going inpatient was my first exposure to other women with eating disorders, and that was a revelation to me! I didn’t feel so alone or bizarre anymore; instead I felt safe and accepted. These were (otherwise) normal women—not scary or strange!

(Source: Lusiacativo )

I almost immediately attached myself to someone who arrived shortly after me: my now best friend, Julia. We quickly formed an inseparable bond of mutual love, support, and trust. My counselor warned me not to become too attached to Julia, because becoming dependent on or competitive with each other would actually hinder our recoveries.

However, that never happened. I witnessed other relationships detrimental to overall recovery, but Julia and I remained strong and true friends. When she left the inpatient center before I did, that was a real test of my recovery—could I continue without her?

I’m proud to say that I could. And I did.

The next test was of our friendship. We live states apart, so would we remain friends after we both went home? Were we “eating disorder friends” (that is, was our friendship based entirely around our disorders), or were we friends who just happen to have an eating disorder in common?

 The end of the story is that we are friends, period. She is my soul mate of friends, and our bond is not based on an eating disorder. That just happens to be what brought us together—and it’s amazing and frightening to think that if we hadn’t both gone into treatment at the same time and place, we never would have met!

Yet the fact is we do have an eating disorder in common, and that’s something we do still talk about and support each other in. Obviously that makes our relationship fundamentally different than our other friendships—and while that’s potentially toxic for some people, it’s not for us. It’s an unclear and difficult balance, but I think the difference is that we are friends first and we have eating disorders second.

And as selfish as this sounds, we are committed to our own recoveries first and each other’s recoveries second. Keeping that in perspective is most important, which is a major lesson I learned while inpatient…
 Your recovery IS NOT and CANNOT be dependent on anyone else’s recovery.

(source: Here Comes the Sun)
 Granted it’s terribly hard to watch a friend fall and not be affected. After I came home from inpatient, one of my local friends “came out of the closet” with her eating disorder. I watched her struggle and crumble, and I have to admit that it hit me hard. However, even harder was the decision I had to make for my own health: I had to put my recovery first, because how could I support her if I relapsed into my own ed? And how could I tell her that she should be pursuing recovery no matter what if I wasn’t doing that too?

There is a fine line when it comes to friends with eating disorders, even if you only know them through blogs. So I think the “take home” points from this are:
  • There is a difference between “eating disorder friends” who have only an ed in common, and friends who both happen to have eating disorders. (Hint: you want to be the latter.)
  • Comparing or competing is not indicative of true friendship. You can only hurt each other in those ways, so it’s better to let go of those friends—err, frenemies.
  • Your recovery has to take priority in your life. Once you are (relatively) free of your own ed, then you will be able to help others.
  • Your recovery is not dependent on anyone else’s!
 Author’s note: This was a surprisingly difficult post to write. It’s something that I believe is very important and needs to be addressed; but when I sat down to write, I had trouble deciding where to start. There’s so much to say, and I could probably write an entire series of posts on the subject (if not an entire blog)!
As I said, eating disorders + friendships is a sticky subject. And how can I pare down such a mysterious thing as friendships into mortal words? Who am I to judge or write about them? What do I know more than you?
I suppose my chief concern is this: keep yourself and your friendships safe. An ed tends to infiltrate every aspect of our lives and take away what’s most precious. We must fight hard and stay vigilant, but our eventual freedom and happiness is well worth the work.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

oatmeal kiss pancakes & being lazy

winter break is the bomb-diggity.
my activities as of the past few days have been as follows:
-hibernate (sleep/nap/act dead in bed)
-watch Dexter

self-explanatory deliciousness, no?
it's been wonderful & lazy, to say the least. 

This morning i got dressed before 12pm (who am i?), so i decided to make pancakes.

Oatmeal Kiss Pancakes, to be exact. 
heck yes.

 they're healthy and delicious.

and they have hershey kisses in them.
so what more could you want, really?

ingredients (makes about 7-10 mini-pancakes):

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour (whole wheat would be good too!)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk 
  • 2-3 tbsp greek yogurt
  • 1 egg 
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2-3 packets truvia
  • hershey kisses (about 5, cut into smaller pieces)

sift flour + salt into mixing bowl w/ oats. 
whisk in buttermilk, egg + vanilla. add greek yogurt as needed to reach desired consistency. 
add truvia (or sugar, of course) and chopped up kisses.
spray pan w/ no-stick vegetable spray. place in spoonfuls on griddle on low-medium heat. flip when bubbles appear. add desired condiments ( i used almond butter+maple syrup)

How are you all spending your time this week? Does the snow make anyone else feel lazy? Any other tv addicts? Favorite shows to be addicted to?

I have a few more insightful (read: non-baking) post waiting for ya'll. For now, i just wanted my blog to affect the ways i've been spending my days- that is, lazily. :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

a merry LITTLE christmas

dressed warmly (in my fathers cashmere...) to face the cold

 i LOVE everything about the city in the winter/holidays

might have picked up a few christmas presents for myself (with my momma) at C&B yesterday
most shall be appearing soon on the blog

baking the magic bars...

mmm. mushrooms

it has truffle oil in it. and mushrooms. and three types of cheese. shoot me now. i'll die happy.

merry christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

sugar cookie christmas

Rapid -fire post this morning before I’m off to run errands with the momma!
Got home from vacation last night- had an amaaaaaazing time

Found and quickly snatched up this little gem at TJ’s the other day-(only 4.99!)

Can’t decide whether I’m going to make these or Cindy/Ameena’s Magic Bars…which seem outrageously appealing, especially for a gluten-free product ;)

I reunited with my baby I mean my camera this morning and was played around a bit in the kitchen.

Gave Willy some peanut butter but it accidentally got on his head/nose…he couldn’t seem to figure out why his face smelled so amazing but he couldn't find any food?!
Tested out our ancient Christmas Carol VHS (wow- that term is going to be antiquated very, very soon) to make sure it was still working.

Now off to shop for all our lovely necessities for our (jewish, two-person) Christmas Eve dinner.
We're going all-out tonight and taking on quite a challenge for two novice cooks (well, i mean...if you can even call my mom a novice- more like one non-cook & one novice-ha sorry, mom, i love you!)

i'll most likely be back to show you either our beautiful foodie creation or a lovely kitchen disaster.
hope all who celebrate have a good christmas -eve- day!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

a pictures is worth...some jumbled words.

after my (only week-long) blogging hiatus, i've decided to share with y'all a few of the things that are attracting my vacation-drugged brain at the moment, in the form of photographs.
enjoy. that is all. 

1. (Deerlings.) look at that warm pink belly. doesn't that picture just make you melt, even for all those non-dog-droolers out there? i'm kinda (gasp!) missing my (psycho) puppy while on vacation. this picture of canine cuteness ain't helpin'.  2. (again) loving the Virgin Suicides. What i'm loving most about it, i have to admit, is the fact that it's actually getting read by moi. i'm pretty sure it's safe to say that the last time i actually finished a novel was in 2008. I used to love reading. somehow i lost my ability to get through a book along with my ability to think normally about food. perhaps they're re-appearing together? 3. (With Love From Angelica) shoes. pretty pink and dainty. what more could a girl want? [I mean...besides freedom, equality, an education, love, satisfacton...ya know all that feminist shiz ;) ] 
4. (Pruginko) snow is always pretty. it's especially beautiful when you're not near any of it.
5. (and again) white clothes are also pretty. and unnecessary in the winter. but who cares? I really need to go shopping. More on that and my lovely body image issues at a later date. 
6. (the little honey bear) i've been eating lots of white-flour, enriched, unhealthy, delicious toast in these past couple of days. And enjoying every un-grainy bite. You should try it sometime.  
7. (What katie ate) <--- i'm obsessed with this blog. (among. many. many. others. ) food, clothes, landscape, designs, all hiding in lovely little nooks and crannies of the interent waiting to be exhaustedly perused by moi. who created a site like etsy just for me to oogle at all the things that i don't need? ah, some glorious fricken genius, thats who 8. (booooooom) old fashioned camera. almost as cool as old fashioned photographs themselves. sick. 9. (Joy the baker) who doesn't want to eat about sixteen hundred of those pepper jack scones? I don't even like savory breakfast pastries and i want them. and pretty much everything else that involves dough and a baking oven. 

ta-ta for now! off to enjoy the sunshine :)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Five facts to break up a self-pity party

i had a terrible day today.
ever have one of those days where just everything goes wrong?
this was one of those days.
First of all, it was 19 degrees out. Not a promising start. 
I have no clothes. Dont ya hate that?
I wore jeans that i hate and make me feel awful, with a dumb sweatshirt that doesn't even fit.
(How can a sweatshirt not fit? I have no freaking idea how, but it just didn't, k?)
Then, i met with my college counselor for the first time and got my PSAT's back. 
This is the third time i have taken them. And i got 17 points lower than i did last year, when i actually did really well.
Apparently i got stupider. 
The PSAT's don't matter, i know. 
It's just that i felt like an idiot. How do you do significantly worse on a test the third time you take it? (And aren't i supposed to do better now that i'm, ya know, eating???)
Next i nearly failed a chemistry test.
All the while, i was tugging at my clothes and cursing myself for picking the worst body image outfit EVER. 
I went to my Latin class and was publicly humiliated (in a class made up completely of my ex-friends) because i had forgotten my book. The teacher said i was "shy" and "too quiet" in his comments that just got sent in the mail. Perhaps there's a reason i don't speak up more???
I took the long way home because i wanted to stall time until my mom answered her phone because i wanted her to come meet me for coffee, or at least at a store so i could try to pick out new jeans.
***I interrupt this self-pity party to show you a boring picture of delicious study sustenance from last night. I call this Lynn Chen style. (lynn, if you perchance read this- Don't hate me, i'm not a creep i promise, i just felt i was channeling you with this photo ;) ***
***back to rose wallowing***
After standing in the cold for ten minutes, she said she couldn't come (understandably, it was cold and she had just gotten inside to our warm, delicious apartment).
I then tried to go to said store by myself and asked the woman to check the balance of a gift card i got  for my birthday last month, so i could know how much money i could spend.
She looked up at me and said there were zero dollars on it.
I asked her to check again, because i hadn't touched it since i took it out of the card.
She repeated that there was no money on it. 
I was totally unsurprised and just shrugged and walked out because, really, it seemed natural that something like that would happen on the kind of day i was having. Right?
I then started crying and when my tears froze on my face decided that i should just hail a cab and go home.

Most of the things that happened today to make me feel so shitty are things that i can't really describe.

That's why i was a little reluctant to write about this, because i fear that the above list is pathetic and makes me sound like a whiny, wimpy complainer with no backbone.
The truth of it though is that most of the things that made me cry today were merely sideways glances, no glances at all, intonations in peoples' voices, or things that i said to myself in my head.
School is still really hard. It's painful to watch some of the people who used to be my best friends walk down the hallway and pretend i don't exist, just because i'm a junior now and they don't have time for me. It's also really painful to stand in the middle of a crowded room and feel awkward and like i have no one to talk to. Today was just one of those days. I'm not used to being this girl. It sucks.

Things will get better, they always do. 
I just needed to acknowledge the crappy-ness of this day, and everything that came with it. And how much i am sick of high school and enraged by the fact that my peers are going off to college and that i'm stuck a year behind (in a place that i already felt too old for in the first place) just trying to make it through second by second.

Because i am in a better mood tonight, now that i have had time to relax (and go to dinner with my momma) i thought (before i go because i really need to study for my math test!) that i'd share 
five random facts with you.

1. There is no plural for the word series.
I was trying to write "One of my favorite ways to procrastinate is watching tv series(ES) " but of course that didn't make sense and after looking it up i found out that there really is no way to say that sentence in a nice -sounding way. (Ironically this was the first part of the video that i shared two posts ago. And i just ran into this problem today!)

2. The official definition of a Club Promoter (according to Urban Dictionary) :
n.; one employed by a nightlife venue, e.g. a bar, lounge, or club, whose purpose is to increase the hype of the venues (for nascent venues) and maximize the clientele (for more established venues) - that is, attract a wealthy, good-looking, and extroverted crowd - by distributing complimentary passes and contact information at places where such clientele may be found, such as outside a competing venue during closing; the promoter usually gets paid in proportion to the revenue earned during the night he/she was promoting, generally not as lucrative as a bartender, but better than a bouncer; over 80% of promoters are male
I looked this up today because i have never known what a club promoter "really" is. I know people who have 'friends' who are club promoters (in fact, i know a girl who is dating comment) but usually they're just random sketchy (rich) 20-somethings who flirt with anything that moves and are likely to give you the creeps just by breathing near you, and then probably ask you if you wanna do a line. 

3. I have a blonde streak in my hair that i have had since birth. No one ever believes me at first when I tell them because it looks unnatural next to my dark brown that is completely sans highlights, but it's true! (in second grade, we had to make up Native American names for ourselves (go figure) and mine was Golden Streak- i thought i was oh so clever!)

4. i have a dog. His name is willy. He is crazy. i.e., crazier than any one of you or me. Most likely his doggy diagnosis is paranoid schizophrenia with some major hyperactivity issues. You've never seen anything like it, even if you think you know the craziest dog in the world, you don't. I do. He's in a rare moment of sleep under my bed right now. Trust me. He's the craziest. No, really.

5. Oscar Wilde's last words (spoken from his deathbed) were 
"Either this wallpaper goes, or I do".
Ever since reading Looking for Alaska by John Green, i've had a love for famous last words. This was always the best, i think!

Hope you all had a much, much better day than i did! Thanks for letting me whine, and sorry if the self-pity was annoying, but i think we all deserve it sometimes :)
p.s. the best part of my day??? I had such a NYC moment- i a taxi going home, the cabbie turned around and asked me if i was okay. 
so. cute.

Monday, December 13, 2010

molasses cookies and subtle changes

i baked molasses chocolate chip cookies last night!
a strong urge to bake kind of hit me at 9 pm, because i hadn't done any baking over the weekend. Since i didn't have too much work to do, i decided to roll with it. I got the recipe from the lovely Joy the Baker.

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups plus 2 Tablespoons bread flour ( i used all-purpose)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon dark molasses, not blackstrap
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 Tablespoons almond butter
LOTSA chocolate chips!

i messed it up at first by accidentally half-ing all the ingredients except the molasses. After i fixed that i decided to add a little bit of almond butter just for kicks.

i decided to be a little fancy and press them down with a fork. cute :)

i may or may not have had some left-over cookie dough in my cereal this morning :P
the finished product:
you couldn't really taste the almond butter, but the molasses-brown sugar concoction is great. I baked them for barely 8 minutes so they're a little prone to falling apart, but very very delicious and gooey.
I got home from school super early today because i only had three classes and they were all in the morning. 
I love LOVE LOVE this extra free time. 
On my way home, I stopped at a Duane Reade near my house to look for the Candy Cane Tootsie Pops that seem to be popping up on the blogosphere and look totally up my alley. Although they didn't have them and i mostly ended up just wandering around the store and buying some other random groceries, it got me thinking.
Lunch today (plus a couple cookies!)
Props to anyone who tells me whose wonderful blog they spy in the background...

Last year and the year before, if i had had this day in my schedule where i got out of school at 12, i would most definitely have just rushed home to binge &purge. Most days back then, i would go home from school as soon as i could to either hide under my covers for hours or to rush off to buy binge food and then b/p for hours.
I probably would have gone to that same Duane Reade and bought 50 plus dollars of food and rushed home in a frenzy to get it in and out, asap.
i've finally had time to read! I'm loving this. Anyone read any good books lately?

It's so nice to notice small differences like that. I loved my free time today. I was relaxed and blog-reading and ate some yummy food and might go take a nap later and it's just awesome to be able to notice little things like this that would have been so different a year or two ago.

willy wanted to say hi

That being said, i think old habits die hard, because I did feel some weird kind of pull to go to DR in the first place, and somehow it just seemed natural to buy some food, even though this time, of course, i was just buying food that i actually plan on digesting.

Yesterday my mom and i went to see Black Swan. I loved it. Last weekend a few of my friends and I actually watched Requiem for a Dream, one of Aronofsky's other films, for the first time. I was thinking while i was watching the movie how i would have been freaking out before about how skinny Natalie Portman (and all the other actresses) in the movie looked.
I would have been crying and screaming in my head about how badly i wanted to be them.
I wouldn't have noticed or cared about the fact that Portman is miserable and sick and delusional in the movie, only about the fact that she weighed less than me, and that i wanted to look like that.

I still have major body image issues.
Some of which still do include wishing that i was super-thin, or idolizing girls who are thinner than I am.
But the difference yesterday was that i was able to actually enjoy the movie as a work of art, and not spend all of my time thinking about what i was going to do to look like a sickly Natalie Portman.
So, yeah. I enjoyed the movie a lot. Some of it is kind of graphic and hard to watch,  as is Aronofsky's style, but i highly recommend it, it was riveting and beautiful and tragic.*
Anyone see Black Swan, or any of Aronofsky's other movies? Thoughts?
Anyway, that's what's going on with me today. Hope you all had a good start to your week! Happy monday!
my version of an Apollonian Gasket, for those of you who watched the video i posted last week. :)

 * Maybe skip it if you're deep into an eating disorder, or get triggered easily. Just FYI.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Much Needed Break

I havent' posted in a week because my life has been crazy lately! Next week is the last week before winter break and i think everyone is just about to burst at this point. I've haven't even opened my computer once in the past four days because i've been so busy with school-work and everything that i've barely had time to sleep or breathe, let alone write a blog post!
Tonight though, i decided that i really need a mental break and so (sorry, Mr. P!) i'm putting off studying for my latin test for a half-hour to pop in and say hi.
P.S. It's the last night of Hannukah!
In honor of which, i thought i'd share some festivity-related photos

What's a girl to do in order to celebrate the holiday season?
Bake a Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie, of course!
(recipe courtesy of How Sweet It Is)

my cookie dough and i wanted tosay hi...

don't you just wanna eat it raw? i know---me too.
Who the hell came up with Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pie?
If anyone knows this individual, would you let them know that i'm single and definitely up for marriage?
the final remnants (blueberry pie was necessary, too, obviously)
 now that i've  probably just lost all my readers by sending them off to the kitchen in search of some chocolate, wanna know what the other best part of hannukah is, aside from baking?


Any guesses?

Yes, you're right Noah, presents! (Although i'll pass on the buzz lightyear gun, but thanks for the offer!)

mmm. jewelry AND love? What else could a girl want?

A picture i fell in love with from Charmaine Olivia

Alright guys, it's late and i'm tired and have Cicero (quite rudely) calling my name, so i unfortunately don't have the time to prove (via meaningful ramblings) to you that I, am not, in fact, a highly superficial person just because i said that the best part about Hannukah is the presents. :) In any case, its not about the presents, however pretty they may be,  yadda yadda yadda *insert sentimental story about the importance of family here*
I hope you all had a lovely week and I can't wait until this week is over so i can go back to breathing and sleeping and blogging properly like a normal human-being!

In the meantime, for all you nerds out there, i saw this video and thought it was awesome so if you have a few minutes to spare or are at all interested in little known, possibly useless but cool facts about math (and other things) watch away, if not, good night!


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

How to come back from a slip

Hey guys,
today while i was sauntering along in the middle of a hurricaine and trying to protect my (already drenched) self by holding a vest (that smelled like a wet dog) over my head, i had the brilliant revelation that "ZOMG i fat shud lose weight lyk rite now!!!" funny how that tends to happen at our more vulnerable moments, isn't it?

Instead of launching into a fruitless mental calculation that might best tell me how to lose at least 20 pounds by my next appointment with my dietitian (um, Friday---as in the day after tomorrow, ya know, cause that's like totally reasonable) i thought about the last time i was stuck in a restriction rut and tried to remember how i talked myself out of it. And then i realized that i had promised myself that i would write about this because it is something that, trapped in the grip of my eating disorder, i tend to forget in the moment. 

So here is how i got out of my last little ed-suck-fest, in the form of advice to all of you.

  • Make ED behaviors not an option.
       -This might sound totally obvious, but it actually is the most valuable piece of advice i think i can give.
- In an ED mindset, we tend to think in black&white terms, so this kind of thinking is catering to that    
        all or nothing thinking, and actually is really helpful. 
- Want to weigh yourself? Say to yourself "that's not an option right now". Tempted to skip some food      
       that you know you should have? "not an option". 
       It might seem simple, but it's really the only thing that can quickly and effectively pull me out.
  • Just don't even go there    
        I like to think of this as brain control.  
 Like it or not, we have the power to control what goes on in our brains. We can change our thoughts, or stop them. Something that is necessary for me to do if i'm trying to get out of my ED is to just not go there. What do i mean? 

Do you ever think about or plan how much weight you could possibly lose if you were in your ED? Or what might happen if you did lose weight at this moment? What about planning calories? Or imagining what your weight is? Or thinking of different ways to get out of meals, or to eat less, or leave the table to purge?   
All of this goes on. And it sucks. But if you want to get better, allowing these thoughts to freely roam through your brain and metastasize is like bringing a kid who gave up toys for lent to a toy store and expecting him to sit there, unmoved. 
It ain't gonna happen. So don't go there.

  • Make yourself accountable. 
Call a friend. Say you want to go out to lunch. Eat dinner with a roommate, friend, family, or even via skype. ( i swear my friend used to do this for me. it was usually pretty helpful and kinda fun, too). Tell them flat out what's going on, even if your eating disorder is screaming at you not to. 
Make sure they know that you can't be making up excuses, or feeling "sick" or just not being hungry. Get it out there when you can, and once the secret is out that you need extra support, hopefully you won't have to ask again, you ed is already screwed.
And lastly...
                                                        (brought to you by Nike)
  • I think most people are reluctant to hear this. It kinda sucks. Wait, you mean the way to recover is to just do it? That's not cool. 

I'd much rather sit and mull over reasons and lyrics and different ideas why i should or should not restrict. It's a whole lot easier to just think about the ups and downs of life or consider the sins and weaknesses of chocolate cake in comparison to lettuce (none) than to actually go eat a piece. 
It's kind of the harsh reality. Eating disorder recovery is about doing the thing that scares you the most. Sometimes it helps to shut your eyes and sing "lalalalala" and just take a bite. It sounds ridiculous and unappealing, but thats the way it goes.

    on that note...
    haha sorry, i couldn't help myself.