Sunday, December 30, 2012

{5 Things to Start Doing in Your Recovery}

1. Stop looking at photos of skinny models, stop following pro-ana blogs, stop using thin girls as motivation to be smaller. 

I know some people who claim they want to recover but they continue to look at/post/re-blog these types of photos. You know, the ones of those thinner-than-death-girls who have thighs of all one size, and bones sticking out at every angle. These photos are only going to sabotage your progress and make the ED stronger. If you must look at photos for motivation look at all of the women around you. These are healthy, REAL women and they are truly beautiful. 

2. Start learning about the benefits of the foods you are eating. Learn how they are nourishing your heart, blood, bones, brains, etc. 

When I started doing this major changes happened. I started eating for health and not for calories or numbers. I ate because I knew I was putting good food into my body, food that would nourish my organs, help my brain function, and keep my heart pumping. It's amazing what good food can do for you. 

3. Start posting positive notes around your house, especially on your mirrors. 

At one point in my recovery my bedroom walls were completely covered in quotes and positive images that you could no longer even make out the color of the walls. Every time I walked into my room, I was reminded of all the reasons why I needed and wanted to fight and beat ED once and for all. Post sticky notes on your mirrors that say things such as, "You look gorgeous today!" or "You are enough", and when you look at them you will be filled with love and positive energy. 

4. Start reading recovery books, self-help books, positive thinking books. Learn how your mind works and start changing your negative thoughts into positive ones. 

Some of the best books I have read have been ones written about recovery or stories of people who have recovered. The best ones I would recommend would be Jenni Schaefer's Life Without Ed and Osho's Emotional Wellness. There are so many good ones out there, just start reading and learn something!

5. Start lifting weights and focus on gaining strength instead of burning calories. Learn about your muscles and lift to be strong. 

My true recovery really started when I found my love for lifting weights. I found a strength in me bigger than anything else. I was powerful and it felt like a whole new Tayla was born. Ed used to give me false power by telling me that not eating and losing weight were my strengths, but lifting weights ave me real power, and I started to believe in myself again and my confidence went through the roof. So start lifting something heavy (if medically approved) and watch your self love and confidence rise to new heights!

Last but not least, when you feel like giving up, keep going. Keep pushing forward even if you don't like you can. You can and you will. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

{keys to a successful recovery: endurance}

I didn't do these posts in order because I thought of the idea afterwards, but I am trying to write a series here called keys to a successful recovery.

The five keys are endurance, wisdom, courage, acceptance, and self-love.

I wrote about acceptance here if you wanna read.

So today's topic is endurance. Now I don't mean endurance like in the running sense. I mean endurance like in the just-keep-plugging-along sense. I guess they're kind of similar.

Here is the definition of the word based on's point of view.

From that it's clear why one would need endurance to succeed in recovery from anorexia, or really any mental illness for that matter.

After more than eight years of fighting this insane disease, my endurance level is pretty high. Anyone who has suffered through something where it's almost all mental will know what I'm talking about. The strength required to remain dedicated is outstanding.

The only difference between having endurance to fight anorexia and say endurance to run ten miles is that the strength needed for fighting anorexia is life or death. If you don't have the motivation to continue to get up every single day and fight, to talk back to Ed, to disobey him, to replace his lies with positive truths, then you won't win, you won't be stronger than Ed.

Which is the ultimate goal. To be stronger than Ed. To be the one on top.

For me, this wasn't always easy obviously, and I'm not sure anyone would say it is either. Always being motivated, always having a reason to fight, and always pushing Ed away is not something that takes a couple of days, or even weeks. It's something that can takes years. That's the reason why I dislike treatment centers, but that's for another time.

"Healing is a choice. It's not an easy one, because it takes work to turn around your habits, but keep making the choice, and shifts will happen." Yehuda Berg

You can't change a behavior overnight, just like you didn't pick up that behavior overnight. It takes time people.

I remember days, and even straight weeks where I would beg for an easier option, a way out. Why was this so hard and where was the quick fix that I so desperately wanted?

It never came. It was my endurance to continue to struggle on that got me to where I am today. And I'm not sure you can call my recovered, because I don't even know what that means, but I am in a place where I am stronger than Ed. He no longer controls my thinking. I do.

Endurance is important because without it, you'd give up, fade out, and lose the battle. Endurance is what keeps your head up and it is what allows you to push through even the hardest of days. Endurance is how you keeping going day after day, year after year.

Endurance is what gets you from weak to strong.

Monday, December 17, 2012

{20 Things I've Learned in 20 Years}

20 Things I've Learned in 20 Years

1. When you can successfully learn from your mistakes, you become a wiser, stronger person. 
2. Once you lose who you are, you lose everything. 
3. Life isn't worth living if you aren't doing something you love. 
4. Eating good food is a wonderful thing. 
5. Weight lifting will give make your confidence grow like never before.
6. Learning to ignore your negative thoughts can be one of the best things you can do for yourself.  
7. There will always be at least one person who will try to deter you away from reaching your dreams. You must learn to ignore them. 
8. If you believe in yourself, you can do anything you wish. 
9. Once you master self love and acceptance you have mastered two of the greatest things in life. 
10. Being honest and vulnerable with yourself is the only way to truly heal. 
11. Learning to take time for yourself and being alone with yourself is an awesome thing. 
12. What you like in others, you like in yourself and what you dislike about others, you dislike about yourself. 
13. Everything you need is already inside you, you just have to be silent enough to find it. 
14. When you feel good about who you are, the whole world is on your side. 
15. The only person who can save you is yourself. No one else can do it for you. 
16. You are already worthy and beautiful right now in this moment just because you are alive. There is nothing extra you have to do. 
17. Once you realize that you can't please everyone, life is much more enjoyable. 
18. Laughter really is the best medicine. 
19. It's better to be an inspiration, than thinspiration. 
20. Being happy is a state of mind. It's something you choose to be. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

{keys to a successful recovery: acceptance}

"Acceptance is the number one key to recovery."

It's taken me a long ass time to finally know the meaning of that statement. I could never wrap my head around how I was supposed to accept myself when I absolutely hated everything about myself. 

You gotta accept your body. But I can't because I'm fat. I can't because I'm not as thin as that other girl. I can't because I hate my shoulders, arms, legs, etc. 

You gotta accept that you're quiet. But I can't because no one likes me. I can't because I don't have any friends. I can't because everyone thinks I'm rude, selfish, a snob, etc. 

You gotta accept who you are. But I can't because I hate myself. I can't because I'm not good enough. I can't because no one loves me. 

Those were thoughts I used to have, but not so much anymore. 

Learning to accept things has been my savior when it comes to recovering. Without accepting certain things I would still be fighting against them and getting no where. 

Some things I have had to accept throughout my recovery:

-It's going to take time
-There's no way to shrink my hip bones
-I can't change the way my thumbs look
-...Or my nose, hair, eyes, etc. 
-There's no way to change the shape of my knees
-I will never be really tan
-My legs ARE in fact beautiful
-Women have fat and curves
-I can't compare myself to Ben because men are not the same as women
-Fat is needed for health 
-Cellulite is natural and not a flaw
-My wanting to be thin is a cover up for my other problems
-Being strong means being healthy and at a healthy weight
-My body is smarter than me
-I have to eat to live
-Fats won't make me fat
-Everyone is different and has their own issues

And I could think of a lot more, but I'll save your time and stop there. 

Some of these things still need constant reminding on my part but I can confidently say that I have accepted that these issues will be with me and that I can't change them. Take cellulite for example, we all hate the fact that we have it but it's kind of inevitable. You can't make cellulite go away forever because it's part of our genetic make up. Our bodies were made to have it so why try to fight it? I've learned (and am still learning) that by getting depressed about my cellulite will only make things worse. What if I accepted it and learned to love it? What would happen then? I would probably be much happier that's for sure. 

And that's the process I go through when accepting things. How would I be better off by not trying to force change when I can't? I'd be happier and that's the ultimate goal so it's a win win. 

Accept the things you can't change and happiness will come. 

Accept who you are and you'll be free.

No, it's not easy and it didn't happen overnight, but something inside you will break and you'll get it and you'll let go. 

Being able to accept certain things, even if they don't have to do with the eating disorder will create freedom in your life and thus you will be free. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

{paralysis by analysis: my new goal}

It's funny when I make a goal because it usually doesn't last very long before I change my mind. What happens is that I have a goal and then something freaks me out or I end up reading too much and end up talking myself out of it. I tend to get caught up in all of the information out there and become paralysis by analysis.

I read and I read and after a while everything seems to contradict itself and then I get confused and force myself to take a reality check and simplify myself.

It happens with everything, but the most common is information about weight lifting. I want to try everything and do everything that every book or article says but there is so much freakin' stuff out there that it just becomes a jumbled mess of chaos. One article says to do this and another says not to do that, but to do this instead so no wonder this happens. Especially if you're like me and have a type A personality.

Anywho, getting off topic. I wanted to discuss my new long term goal. It's kind of something I've been working on for a long-ass time but never really gave it 100%.

Goal: build muscle and strength in order to compete in a powerlifting competition. 

It's a pretty big goal yeah, but I am motivated and I have a plan to stick with it, even when I get sweeped away by all the people contradicting it.

I know that I want to do this because it's a goal not only about strength and looking a certain way but it's about mental strength and being able to push myself. The thing I like about a powerlifting competition compared to other competitions is the fact that it's not really about beating someone else, it's more about beating yourself and pushing yourself.

So, since stating my goal I have already had issues. Almost every article about fitness or health that I read is about how to lose weight and how to burn fat, stay lean, etc. so it's extremely hard to go against all that and do the opposite. I want to gain weight, gain muscle, eat more, etc. Because I know that if I don't, my goal will go out the window like all the others.

I was thinking the other day about how I could avoid having these fat loss articles get to me which will eventually sway me from my task and I wrote down some things that I will need to give up.

Things I have to give up in order to reach my goal:

1. visable abs

2. my fear of fat

3. my fear of my body changing

4. fear of eating too much

5. people's thoughts

6. fear that I won't be able to stay lean

7. my ideal of a perfect body

8. my need for "quick fixes"

9. my idea that I want it to happen overnight

So yeah there are a lot of things going on there. A lot of things I need to let go of and most of them have to do with my body in some way or the other. My main problem is that I fear that I'll get fat. I fear that I won't be able to see my muscle and instead I'll just look gross. However, I do know this won't be possible because I don't eat crap. I would say I eat abnormally "clean" and the right amount, but I also know that I need to up this amount in order to gain.

So anyways, this is what I'll be working on for the next months, years...who knows. I don't really have a goal date in mind because I don't know how long it's going to take to get some decent muscle, but I do know that I want to compete and I will.

My plan for this week is to up my calories by 200 and reassess on Friday and see where I am and see what needs to be changed. My plan for my workouts isn't changing much, I'm lifting heavy and having fun and that's what counts the most.

So wish me luck!