Month: February 2014

When…

For those of us in recovery one always thinks about what it/a recovered life will look like when we are recovered. Are we ever recovered? There are some individuals who believe you can recover fully. Then there are others, like myself, who don’t believe in a full recovery. That you are never recovered, you still have the issues but you learn to handle them better. There will still be struggles with your mental health, addiction, eating disorder, but by following/working the 12 Steps, prayer/meditation, going to support groups, whatever your new strategy is you can manage your issue(s).

When I first embarked on the recovery journey I looked around for clues. For pictures. For ideas of when I would be recovered. I keep thinking, “How will I know I am recovered?”, “What does it look like?”. After working the 12 Steps and working with others I came to the conclusion that I will never be recovered, BUT, I can imagine my life without my eating disorder and exercise addiction.

Here is how I imagine/drew my life without Melvin….

In the book, Life Without Ed by Jenni Schafer (a must read!!!!!), her therapist Thom Rutledge has activities for those of us reading the book to help us separate from our ED. The one that really shaped my outlook on the recovered life is the activity on page 111 where Thom has the reader define our recovery. He writes, “It is important to be able to identify and describe something about what you want for yourself–if you intend to find it, that is. Can you define your recovery? Do you know what you have in mind when you think about recovering from your eating disorder? Not what your mother or father or brother or boyfriend or therapist or nutritionist think your recovery should be. Do you know what you want it to be?” (page 111). He gives the reader three categories to work out: spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically. Here is mine, a mix of what I wrote two years ago that still ring so true as I sit here and blog this:

Spiritually, I will be able to focus in church service on Jesus Christ and worshiping not what I am going to eat for lunch or dinner or tomorrow’s breakfast. I will be able to let myself go and open my heart to the spirit and not be reserved. 

Mentally, I will be able to be present in the moment and not check out.

Emotionally, I will be stable and control my emotions/stress/anxiety. I will have developed enough skills to avoid melting down, anger, and emotionally withdrawing from situations. * let us add to this: I will be more open and communicative with my husband and love him with patience*

Physically, I will not rely on birth control to have my periods and will have a healthy ratio of lean muscle to body fat. I will also not put worth on a number that is on a scale. *let us add to this: I will be happy with myself in a swim suit or tight clothing, and I will stop thinking my legs look like cottage cheese when I know that they have muscle*

Another way I shaped my life is defining my “sane life”. In Step 1 of the 12 Steps you admit powerlessness and insanity. Insanity being doing the same thing over and over expecting different results. One can also think of Step 1 as being out of control. It is in Step 2 that you are given the questions : “How do you define sanity? What would a sane life look like? Which eating disorder {insert your habit} behaviors, habits, and attitudes kept you from acting sanely in the past?”

Here is what I wrote in response to those questions on 10/26/2011 (and it still is true to this day)

My definition of a sanity is not me at this present moment. I want to be a happy, self acceptant, non-compulsive behavioral, non-ED individual. A sane life for me would be me married to my boyfriend *which I did!*, away from TN, I’m a successful dancer, healthy (mentally, physically, spiritually), looks good, happy, helping fellow dancers and people with ED’s. Most of all: NO MELVIN. So many ED behaviors have kept me from being sane. Always counting and measuring, always be concerned with calorie content, always looking at myself in reflective surfaces all the time. Never being confident at integral points in time, being perfect. 

I also like the following quotes that define recovery. I found them in some of older journals in the early days of my journey and I still find so much meaning in them:

“Recovery does not mean cure. Rather recovery is an attitude, a stance, and a way of approaching the day’s challenges. It is not a perfectly linear journey. There are times of rapid gains and disappointing relapses. There are times of just living, just staying quiet, resting and regrouping. Each person’s journey of recovery is unique. Each person must find what works for them. This means that we must have the opportunity to try and to fail and to try again.” Project HEAL

“Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone. Some of your best life experiences and opportunities will transpire only after you dare to lose.” Anon

“Being recovered is when a person can accept his or her natural body size and shape and no longer has a self-destructive relationship with food or exercise. When you are recovered, food and weight take a proper perspective in your life, and what you weigh is not more important than who you are; in face, actual numbers are of little or no importance at all. When recovered, you will not compromise your health or betray your soul to look a certain way, wear a certain size, or reach a certain number on a scale. When you are recovered you do not use eating disorder behaviors to deal with, distract from, or cope with other problems.” Carolyn Costin

I look upon the words I journaled and the quotes from others and see that I still have a long way to go. But I am WAY closer to that sane life than I was when I started that journey a little over two years ago. In the words of my first therapist Dr. Smith, “Recovery is a marathon not a sprint.” Also, I will never be totally sane and perfect till I reach Heaven. But these goals/definitions give me hope and strength to wake up and work towards my defined life.

To those who read this and are in recovery I would like to know your goals/definition of your life without your ED etc…comment and share. We are all in this recovery journey together!

Peace and Namaste.

rolling in the gluten free dough…

Daily Prompt: Ingredients

by Ben Huberman on February 9, 2014

What’s the one item in your kitchen you can’t possibly cook without? A spice, your grandma’s measuring cup, instant ramen — what’s your magic ingredient, and why?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us KITCHEN.

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2014/02/09/daily-prompt-ingredients/
_________

Comments are always closed on prompts. Pingbacks are enabled; if you link to the prompt post on your blog, your post will appear in the list below the prompt.

I know this prompt is a few days old, but I don’t check my blog/write in my blog daily. When I saw the prompt I knew I had to write about this! For those who don’t know me, I LOVE cooking and baking. I grew up by my mother’s side in the kitchen. I had little aprons. I had real pots and pans, not just the Fisher-Price kind. Growing up I wanted to be a singer AND a television chef like Julia Child.

Cooking is in my genes. My mother cooks. My Memaw (grandmother) cooks. My Mimi (great-grandmother) cooked. My mom’s God-mother cooked. It was a way for them to show their love to others. Feed them mind, body, and soul. Growing up in the South a young girl is taught, more like schooled, in how to cook (all except for my sister, she never cared to learn). Family recipes and “old”/”country” way of doing thangs is passed down from generation to generation like cast iron skillets. I have early memories of stirring apple butter on top of a wood stove. I have early memories of learning how to make biscuits from scratch.  I have early memories of being taught my mom’s famous chicken and dumplin’s recipe. I adored making dumplin’s and dropping them in the creamy, white, thick, gooey broth. I even remember the first time I made buttercream frosting (just butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. NO EGGS. This isn’t Yankee buttercream).

As I grew older I learned more recipes. Boiled Custard. Mimi’s Applesauce Cake. Fudge. How to make cakes from scratch. Scones.  I learned stories from the good ole days of my Mimi. How they didn’t use toothpicks to test a cake, they used broomstick hairs (what is cool, you can still get these in old country stores and artisan shops).  I even learned how to properly season a cast iron skillet, and how to thump bread to see if it is done. It took me years to master flouring and greasing a pan. Let’s just say the kitchen sink and floor would be covered in flour!

Once I was diagnosed with food allergies I had to change the way I cooked. Suddenly those old methods of cooking didn’t apply to gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan cooking. But I loved the challenge. Learning to cook new styles of food and new ways of food has really broadened my foodie side even more. So now I am learning to turn gluten-free bread on its side after baking, that tofu can make: Alfredo sauce, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, and feta cheese. That gluten free cakes are different, but just as, if not more tasty than their gluten filled counterparts. And most of all, I can share these new foods with others. Just like my family did with their cooking, I can with my own cooking. I introduce people, and my husband, to this new and tasty world of gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan-vegetarian world I live in. I feed them mind, body, and soul.

Now you maybe wondering, “this is about an ingredient or a cooking tool. This chick isn’t there yet.” Well I am getting there…I have to make all this food with something correct? I don’t have a magic wand to bippty boppity boo it (even though that would be super amazing if I did). I have to use my own utensils. And these are more treasured to me than some of my family recipes.

*Mimi’s Rolling Pin

This rolling pin is my Mimi’s from 1929. Yes, 1929! It was given to me by my Memaw about a year or so ago. I never had a rolling pin and was using an old Pam spray can as my rolling pin. I was(and still am) so in love with the rolling pin. My Mimi was a very special woman and I loved having something of hers. As my Memaw was giving it to me, I started thinking about all those biscuits she made with it. All the pie crusts. All the goodness that came out of her kitchen. I like to believe that her kitchen magic comes out in that rolling pin as I use it on my gluten-free biscuits and scones.

*Memaw’s Cast Iron Skillet

If you are not familiar with cast iron, here is a bit of information: just like silver, cast iron skillets are handed down from one generation of women to the next. Cast iron skillets must be seasoned. If you have a new skillet you must wipe some bacon grease (ultra Southern) or shortening then bake it in the oven, some people put it in a brown bag before they put it in the oven. After each time you use it, just a little soap and hot water does the trick for cleaning. You will then put more bacon grease or shortening and put it away. The more a cast iron is used, and the older it is, the more flavor is put in your dishes. You can do anything with good cast iron, make fried chicken, bake cakes, make cornbread, caramelized onions etc…This  past Christmas I was given one of  my Memaw’s skillets. I don’t know who was more excited, my husband or myself. Just like Mimi’s rolling pin, I believe her kitchen magic comes out of the cast iron skillet into my cornbread.

*My China

I didn’t register for China or crystal. I had no need to because I had a Hope Chest. Which was filled with pretty much everything my husband and I needed in the kitchen. One part of it was my china. The china is from my Memaw (catching a drift here?). It is a gorgeous Noritake pattern from the 1960s. It is antique cream with a blue trim. It has a trio of poppy’s (orange,blue, green) on it. It makes me so happy and it is a stunning set. Especially when I use my blue Noritake glasses we registered for.

So there we are.  My take on ingredients/kitchen tools. I hope this inspires you to go to the kitchen or take a look through your family recipe box. In the voice of Julia Child, “bon appetit!”

“Southerners know you can’t be considered a serious Southern cook if you don’t know how to make peach cobbler.”  – Trisha Yearwood

“Southerners equate food with love, so if you love what they cook, they’re sure to love you back.”–Kim Holloway

When you don’t know what to say, let Maya Angelou do the talking

Right now I am working on a few different topics for my next entries but nothing ready yet to publish. As I sit here thinking about what to write, I realize I don’t have much to say that is short, precise, moving, and gets the theme of this blog. So, why not let one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou, say what I can’t. Enjoy!

~~~~

*One of my favorite poems of hers. I just love watching her facial expressions in this video.

*Check out Phenomenal Woman if you have never read it. That poem will make you feel great about being a woman. If you struggle with body image, ED’s, or lack of confidence, this poem really points out the beauty that all women have. The way she writes it, you can’t help but believe that YOU are phenomenal. Which YOU ARE!

Image

*Are you in harmony?

Image

*Love others…

Image

*How us older women need to live our lives to show the next generation of women that it is ok to be strong and kick ass…

thumb

*Aren’t we glad that not one person is a like? How boring would life be if that was the case…

Image

*The following quote is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES if Dr. Angelou’s

quote-Maya-Angelou-while-i-know-myself-as-a-creation-89688

*The Rock Cries Out To Us Today

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Mark the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.
But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.
I will give you no hiding place down here.
You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.
Your mouths spelling words
Armed for slaughter.
The rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.
Across the wall of the world,
A river sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.
Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.
Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.
Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more.
Come, clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I
And the tree and stone were one.
Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your brow
And when you yet knew you still knew nothing.
The river sings and sings on.
There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing river and the wise rock.
So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew,
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek,
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the tree.
Today, the first and last of every tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the river.
Plant yourself beside me, here beside the river.
Each of you, descendant of some passed on
Traveller, has been paid for.
You, who gave me my first name,
You Pawnee, Apache and Seneca,
You Cherokee Nation, who rested with me,
Then forced on bloody feet,
Left me to the employment of other seekers—
Desperate for gain, starving for gold.
You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot…
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru,
Bought, sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.
Here, root yourselves beside me.
I am the tree planted by the river,
Which will not be moved.
I, the rock, I the river, I the tree
I am yours—your passages have been paid.
Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.
History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced with courage,
Need not be lived again.
Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.
Give birth again
To the dream.
Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.
Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts.
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.
Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.
The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me,
The rock, the river, the tree, your country.
No less to Midas than the mendicant.
No less to you now than the mastodon then.
Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes,
Into your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

*Stars*

If I had to make a list of my favorite things I would list stars among them. Ever since I was a little girl I have adored stars. I always thought how neat it was that God created stars and how they are made. That they are so far away but yet, seem so close.  I love how they shine and sparkle in the darkest night, always adding light on a dismal night. Stars were also calming. I would look into them and forget everything. Those long car trips to and from my grandparents house, I would look at them and forget everything because I was awe of their beauty and began to think about them. What they are made out of?” How did they get there? Why are some more sparkly than others? When I was first learning about astrology and astronomy in school I use to take my little maps and try to find the constellations. I never could. The maps made it seem so easy, but I was never good at reading maps or compasses. Even though I never found Orion’s belt I enjoyed looking for it.

In addition to their beauty and wonder, stars can lead the way home. Maritime travelers relied on stars and constellations for many years before technology/radar/sonar etc… Slaves following the Underground Railroad followed the North Star and the Drinking Gourd on their way to freedom. Stars even make for great songs and folktales for example: Coyote Spills the Stars (Native American), The Stars and Stars’ Road (African), and Follow the Drinking Gourd. Stars also inspire writers/poets/painters/musicians.

Below are some quotes and passages from literature about stars. I hope you enjoy them and maybe this will inspire you to read more about stars or go out and look upon a starry sky tonight….

~~~

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars.”  On The Road, Jack Kerouac

“There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars.” On The Road: The Original Scroll, Jack Kerouac

“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”  Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare

“The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff.” Cosmos, Carl Sagan

“We all shine on…like the moon and the stars and the sun…we all shine on…come on and on and on…”  Shine On, John Lennon

“If I had to tell you how humans made their way to Earth, it would go like this: In the beginning, there was nothing at all but the moon and the sun. And the moon wanted to come out during the day, but there was something so much brighter that seemed to fill up all those hours. The moon grew hungry, thinner and thinner, until she was just a slice of herself, and her tips were as sharp as a knife. By accident, because that is the way most things happen, she poked a hole in the night and out spilled a million stars, like a fountain of tears.

Horrified, the moon tried to swallow them up. And sometimes this worked, because she got fatter and rounder.. But mostly it didn’t, because there were just so many. The stars kept coming, until they made the sky so bright that the sun got jealous. He invited the stars to his side of the world, where it was always bright. What he didn’t tell them, though, was that in the daytime, they’d never be seen. So the stupid ones leaped from the sky to the ground, and they froze under the weight of their own foolishness.

The moon did her best. She carved each of these blocks of sorrow into a man or a woman. She spent the rest of her time watching out so that her other stars wouldn’t fall. She spent the rest of her time holding onto whatever scraps she had left.”  Jodi Picoult

“Each star is a mirror reflecting the truth inside you.”  Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry, Aberjhani

“Art is everywhere you look for it, hail the twinkling stars for they are God’s careless splatters”  El Greco

“We don’t look at the stars in the universe and say how tragic they are, how bruised they are, even though that is what they are. We look at them and speak of the beauty they contain. The inspiration they give us. Even though stars are the scars of the universe we don’t see them as these broken pieces of gaseous matter, we see them as these majestic astrological blessings that give hope to billions. What if you saw yourself in that same light, or better yet what if you saw others in a similar way.”  Barefoot Christianity, Ricky Maye

Now for a little fun….

Image