i(NO)Robot

Don’t we hear it all the time?

Our bodies are machines.

Food is fuel.

Train like a machine.

I get it, but, we are not machines. We’re humans. We have feelings, we feel good one day and not so hot the next. We can’t function the same way, with the same output, every single time. But we are not machines, we’re not robots… we feel, change, vary.

We’re real. be you

My disorder drives me to function more as a machine than a person. When I start to deviate from the strict path, I feel the disorder yelling to me to get back in line. 

Right now I’m not in machine like shape. I don’t look “hard” like I used to… which in reality was not hard and healthy it was disordered. But truth be told… I miss it. That’s one of the hardest parts of disorder recovery. We got satisfaction, approval, feelings of success out of it. Perhaps out of functioning like a machine.

All machines break though. Eventually you have to replace parts, they lose functionality, and sooner or later, all machines need to be thrown out.

How many machines at home do you really like? Are you friends with your toaster? Is the fan a great conversationalist? I doubt it. So then, why do we feel this need to be a machine? Why is it that we feel if we’re not machine like we’re a failure?

My disorder is calling for me to fall into line … yelling loud and clear. But I refused to be a machine. I want to feel – the good and the bad, the comfortable and the uncomfortable. Feeling is life. Being a machine is not.

Remember… you are so much more than a machine, don’t hold yourself down trying to be one.

TRUEStrength

“Actually”

A family member of mine… we can call him “George” (remember the old abominable snowman cartoon with Bugs Bunny where he’d “hug him, and stroke him, and cuddle him, and sing to him, and call him George, duh.”) uses the word “actually” in a way that grates on my nerves.  Be prepared, now that you’re reading this, you’ll hear it more and I promise it will drive you crazy.

This person, when asked how the day was, will respond – without fail with… “Actually… not too bad.” Or, “Actually it was good.”

Why does this drive me crazy? Well think of it in the same light of our justice system… we are innocent until proven guilty.  This use of the word “actually” implies that the person assumes that the day is going to be bad and then is surprised… it wasn’t too bad, “ACTUALLY.”

Why come at a day with the assumption that it will be a bad day? hugo-the-abominable-snowman

In my most snarkiest voice… suck it up buttercup!  

Remember … you ACTUALLY do make each day what it is… watch a little Bugs Bunny, run around outside, laugh at yourself and have a good one!

TRUE Strength

 

Brutal Honesty

Sometimes the hardest TRUE Strength is honesty.  stronger than this

And the chart topper is honesty with yourself.  It’s amazing to me how easy it is to lie to ourselves and convince ourselves what we want to see as reality.    

My lie… the reality that my disordered thinking and tendencies have started to resurface.  In my experience, and I don’t dare speak for everyone, the harshest reality as a person who has battled eating disorders or disordered thinking is that it never really goes away or is officially treated.  It’s my addiction. Compared to someone’s alcohol or drug addiction. As odd as it sounds… restricting, over exercising, controlling is comforting to me.  The scariest part for me is that my disordered thinking comes under the veil or cloak of doing something healthy.  It just goes too far.  It’s enticing… alluring even.  Always under the best of intentions… and then slips.

It’s very easy to say there’s nothing wrong or I’m all under control.  

But the TRUE Strength reality is … honesty is harsh… and it’s time to get honest.  

My friend, Meggie is someone I really look up to.  She is brutally honest and open about her struggles and as a recent first time mom has been experiencing all the amazing ups and downs and blurred reality of newborn life.  All while still being honest about these ever present disordered thoughts.  Her article about Orthorexia encouraged me to seek more guidance and to acknowledge I may be loosing control and need to be more honest with myself.

Meggie writes for Saltyrunning.com.  You can read her full article HERE.  

Perhaps, such an honest post is not all that fun to read… but, if it can encourage even one person to get some help, it is vital.  Thank you for sharing your TRUE Strength with me.  

 

Born with strength

As cliche as it sounds, I am constantly amazed by how much I learn from Baylor and Nola every single day.  I am positive in their short 14 months with us, they have taught us much more than we have taught them!  

They teach intangibles such as: a deeper sense of love, selflessness, unending worry, and how to let go of control.  I’ve learned to let life happen and that control is simply not possible at all times, nor is it any fun!  They’ve taught me to live in the moment and laugh at myself and at stress.

The most striking lesson they continue to teach me everyday is that we all are born with TRUE strength within us.  It’s found deep down and true inside of us all.  Their drive to discover, explore, try, fall, get back up and laugh is unending.

TRUE strength encapsulates adventure, love, life, tears, fears, and physical, emotional, and mental balance.  It’s taken me 31 years to truly understand this… and I’m still working on putting this into practice.  

It is breathtaking that children are born with TRUE strength.  It’s after years of socialization, sheltering, and limiting creativity and possibility that people are in danger of losing their ability to pull on their TRUE strength.

I think about how my girls don’t know any limits on what they can accomplish.  They try and explore and learn and fall down and try again.  They are exercising their TRUE Strength. My goal is to foster this inner strength within them and within myself so that I can continue to help them grow and to personally be a better, stronger and healthier mother and role model for them every day.

This picture is my definition of how we all are born with TRUE strength… right now we may see a slide… the girls see an adventure… one to climb up, slip down, laugh at, bump into each other and attempt over and over again.

fearless girls

My wish for you all is to reach inside – grab a hold of your TRUE strength – help others find theirs and embrace it! 

Lasting memories

When I was a very young girl… probably about four or five… my grandma accidentally slammed my fingers in the car door.  

My grandma was an older grandma… yes I know most grandparents are older but she was getting up there in age even for her fellow grandparents.  Her health was poor and her usual activity was sitting in the department store on the store bench as she gave my siblings and me money to go shop and run around.  She didn’t move anywhere quickly and often walked with a cane.

But on that day, all was different.  She MOVED!  Faster than I had ever seen her move and faster than I would ever see her move again.  She ran back into the restaurant we had just left to get ice, raced back to me to sooth the finger and comfort me.

I know she felt terrible and I know she carried guilt with her.

I share this story because I realized what I remember of that day is pretty amazing. Over 25 years later what do I remember?  I don’t remember the pain at all or being scared.  I remember my hero of a grandmother who put every ache and pain of her own aside to take care of me.  I remember a very POSITIVE memory.  It’s my strongest memory of her.

I found myself thinking about this one day as I was loading up the car with my girls.  As I clicked the car seats in I thought that I would do anything, anything in this world to keep them from pain.  And I was instantly taken back to that day.  I realized that each day we experience joys and pains and it’s easy to loose the forest from the trees and focus on that pain.  But in the big picture… at each moment of pain there is an opportunity for positive and that is what makes the memory last.

There is always an opportunity to turn it around.  Grab on and make some lasting memories. 

TRUE Strength 

Desire to move forward

The ability to move forward is predicated on having the desire to move forward.

It seems like a common sense statement but I guess I’ve never really thought about it.  Seems like moving forward is just natural right?

This notion struck me as I watched my little girl work herself breathless trying to just crawl forward.  She got onto her belly, kicked her feet, flapped her arms around, then pushed up on her hands only to move backwards.  Next try she gets her knees under her… but then her head face-plants and she’s doing her version of downward dog.  She’s not giving up though.  She looks up and again starts kicking her legs like a wild woman.  What does she want?  She doesn’t want food and doesn’t even want a toy… she wants to MOVE.  She has mastered the backwards scoot… if you don’t pay attention she’s halfway down the hall in no time.  But she wants forward motion.  Next try she gets her knees under her and starts rocking back and forth.  We all want it so much for her… we try to  model crawling, the dog shows her, we’ve even manually moved her legs and arms.  BUT It has to come from within.  The desire is there and we know from that desire will come action.  

How often have you seen someone stuck?  Same boring job, poor health, bad habits… you often think – they could do so much with their life and time.  But no one can change them unless THEY have the desire.  

Now look inward... Maybe we all talk a big game… we want to be fit, loose weight, get a promotion, find someone special. Unfortunately, often we want the easy button to get there and we forget the process… we forget that sometimes we may even have to scoot backwards before we can go forward.  BUT as long as we keep fighting for that desire, it will become reality.

TRUE Strength

 

My pant size?

I discovered an ugly truth about myself.  I was in a fitting room recently and person helping me said… oh no, that size is too big, you need to be in a size “XYZ”.  crumpled-jeans-floor-7197170

They’re paid to say that right?  Make you feel good?

At the same time a woman who was a little bigger than me went into the fitting room next to me and I thought about how I would have felt if I heard someone else say that to another person.  Would I have felt jealous?… probably… ok, yes, for sure I would have.

But how silly?

Just because my pant size was smaller doesn’t make me a better or worse person.  The smaller number on the tag doesn’t mean I am smarter or a nicer person to others.  In the same respect… because I am not as fit and toned now, after the babies, as I once was and am working hard to get back to, doesn’t mean my value or worth has reduced.

Working out and being fit is a part of me.  I enjoy the challenge and the hard work you must put in to get results.  I know I feel more comfortable in my own skin when I’m more toned than I am now but, I also know it isn’t a now or never thing.  It will take some time and action is needed but, it doesn’t make me a bad person.  I get embarrassed about needing to loose weight and tone up but why?

The ugly truth?  I realized in that small fitting room… I have been equating my value to my size and muscle definition.  In my head my value or worth was lessened because my body is not back to the shape and size I want yet.  It’s time to be a little nicer to ourselves and realize this is a journey.  A long road.  What matters is not my pant size, but the good I bring into the world.

What people will remember us by when we leave this world is  not our clothing size but what we did with our life.  

TRUE Strength