Tag Archive | athletes

Catch-22

I’m an English nerd and I love the novel Catch-22… if you haven’t read it, you should…

In the event you are unaware, a “catch-22” is a paradoxical situation from which an individual cannot escape because of contradictory rules.

For example: To apply for this job, you would have to be insane; but if you are insane, you are unacceptable for the job.

Crappy situation, right!?

The term is introduced by the character Doc Daneeka, an army psychiatrist who invokes “Catch-22” to explain why any pilot requesting mental evaluation for insanityhoping to be found not sane enough to fly, and thereby escape dangerous missionsdemonstrates his own sanity in making the request and thus cannot be declared insane.

It’s really an interesting read and makes a lot of social statements.

So, I’ve realized that women are in a Catch-22 situation!

Women are scrutinized if they are too fat or too thin! And then, finally, when they are normal… there is still something wrong with them! The interesting thing is – this does not happen to men nearly as much as women!! We hear all about the body shaming of women, but far less about it of men (not that it doesn’t happen, because it does). Why? We live in a culture where the sexualization of women is prominent and a person is made into a object for others’ sexual use, rather than seen as a person with the capacity for independent action and decision making. Advertisement and entertainment media play a large role in the way women are portrayed, and the results have not been good (That’s a blog for another day).

If you’re too fat – you get scrutiny for being unhealthy.

If you’re too thin – you get scrutiny for being unhealthy.

If you’re normal, but athletic or strong, you get scrutiny for being too masculine.

It almost seems like there is no perfect place for a woman to be.

Tina Fey explains the female dilemma quite well in her book Bossypants:

“Now every girl is expected to have Caucasian blue eyes, full Spanish lips, a classic button nose, hairless Asian skin with a California tan, a Jamaican dance hall ass, long Swedish legs, small Japanese feet, the abs of a lesbian gym owner, the hips of a nine-year-old boy, the arms of Michelle Obama, and doll tits.”

A recent example of this: Rhonda Rousey

ronda RR

This woman is amazing! She just defended her championship UFC title knocking out her opponent in 34 seconds (she knocked out another one in 17 seconds). She is a healthy woman who said she actively chose to gain 15 pounds for a Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Photo shoot because she feels the most beautiful at 150, not her fighting weight of 135.

That photo shoot:

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After winning her fight, she posted a picture of herself (below) enjoying time with her family at a soccer game in Rio de Janeiro and was blasted by the media for being “too masculine.” So… a woman who is 135lbs with an athletic build, who is obviously fit, is also not good enough. So now, any muscle tone means “too masculine.” What about the men who have no muscle tone out there? Are they “too feminine”? Her response was great – she basically said, “screw you, I don’t care what you think!”

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In an interview with Cosmopolitan Rousey stated, “I grew up thinking that because my body type was common [i.e., athletic], it was a bad thing,” she said in the interview. “Now that I’m older, I’ve really begun to realize that my body has developed for a purpose and not just to be looked at. It took a lot of time to develop a healthier relationship with food and with my weight. My mind was backward. I thought I wanted my body to look a certain way so I could be happy. But it got to the point where I didn’t feel I looked good at 135 pounds, the weight that qualifies me for the weight class that I fight in.”

Ronda Rousey is so correct! We have to get to a point where we realize that our bodies are not made to just be looked at. Sure, that can be part of it. I’m now at the point where I can put on an outfit and say, “damn, my butt looks awesome!” but that’s not what it’s here to do. My body is here for many more things. My body is here to move me from point A to point B, to hug my friends, to worship God, to teach a classroom full of students, to love my family, to run races, to sit on a beach, and to find infinite new things that are exciting. My body is just a vessel that holds the true person that I really am, but It’s the vessel that allows me to be the person that I want to be. And, because I am the person I want to be, I enjoy what I see in that vessel and feel good going what I do.

This is why we should put down the magazines, get off social media, stop looking at models and start appreciating our bodies for the strength they have. Taking off our clothes and flaunting our bodies (Miley Cyrus…ahem…) does not “take back our bodies and take back the power,” in fact, it probably makes it worse (That’s also another blog for another day).

So, to further my point…. Here is a short list of some pretty awesome people – who are pretty normal – who are apparently all “fat”…

… and they were told they would never make it in their field because of it.

  1. Jennifer Lawrence – Award winning actress – She was “too fat” to play Katniss in The Hunger Games, her “womanly” body just wasn’t the right size. They said she didn’t look like the starving character she was supposed to portray. It’s okay to roll your eyes.

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  1. Misty Copeland – First African-American Principal Dancer – She was “too fat” and “too athletic” for many dance companies. She was criticized for not having the right body, for having a bust, and how she is the most acclaimed dancer in history.

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  1. Ronda Rousey – Defending UFC Champion – She was told she was “too masculine” even though her weight wasn’t the issue. So, we can be “just right” and still have something wrong according to the standards of the media.

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  1. Kesha – Pop Star – She was told she was “too fat” and needed to drop weight to stay mainstream. This advice from her manager led her down the path of an eating disorder.

Kesha

  1. Lady Gaga – Singer – She was criticized for gaining weight after overcoming her battles with eating disorders. She started a movement of body acceptance and compassion.

GAGA

  1. Adele – Singer – She may not be the fittest, but she makes the list. The director of Chanel, Karl Lagerfeld, gave Adele one hell of a backhanded compliment, saying that, while she had a beautiful face and voice, she was a “little too fat.” It wasn’t the first time Adele was criticized for her weight in public, but the good news is that you don’t have to be a size 00 to win Grammys — Adele has 10.

Adele

  1. Tyra Banks – Model – She used to walk the runway and was told to lose weight when she started her career. She refused and still made it. Long after her career was over, she was criticized for being “fat” when her body changed (as we all do). I’m sure the writer who commented on her weight was “totally fit” when he wrote that about her! And, I’m sure he won’t criticize her “fat” bank account.

Tyra

  1. Christina Aguilera – Pop Star – The fantastically sexist website AskMen wrote an entire article on how terrible it is that Aguilera has gotten curvier since her “Genie In A Bottle Days” — you know, back when she was a teenager, before she had children! Remind her to care when she’s not dominating pop music.

Christina

  1. Kate Winslet – Actress – She was told she was “too fat” for roles and was passed over. She nailed it in Titanic and has been a sensation for positive body image for women. Too bad those people never gave her a chance, because maybe their shows/movies could have won some Oscars too.

Kate

  1. Rebel Wilson – Actress – The Pitch Perfect star may have been “Fat Amy” in the film, but she’s less thrilled with name calling in actual life. She called out her haters by saying that she’s actually not the concerned with how hot she is — just how entertaining. Amen. She probably has more of a personality than most people doing the name calling.

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  1. Demi Lovato – Singer – once she let go of the pressures of staying thin, she went into rehab for her mental illness and got healthy from her eating disorder. Her healthy body was criticized as “fat” and she has been a body image pioneer since she started her journey toward health.

demi

  1. Kate Upton – Model – First of all, she’s beautiful. She’s been criticized for becoming so mainstream and not being stick thin. People have been quoted saying, “How DARE she be a bikini model, when she doesn’t have a bikini body!” She was called a “fat cow” by models after she appeared in the Victoria’s Secret fashion show which prompted an outrage and discussion of what body image really is. And, let’s be honest… she’s hot!

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So, what’s the lesson here? Define your own beauty. Rousey says it so well – our bodies are for more than just looking at! The easiest way to begin defining your beauty is to get off the internet, close the magazines and close down social media because they are breeding grounds for comparison. In high school I wanted so badly to be a fast sprinter, but I didn’t realize that my body was built to run the difficult middle distance races. Pulling away from everything that breeds comparison allows you to drop expectations and define who you are. When you can finally appreciate your strengths, you can learn to accept your flaws and love who you are.

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Beach Bodies

I should be doing school work, or going out for a run in prep for a 10 miler coming up, but instead I felt the need to write about summer beach bodies! 🙂

I’m going on vacation to Aruba this Sunday and I couldn’t care less what I look like in my bathing suit because I’ll be reading some books on the beach in between my sangrias and dips in the ocean. I’ve come to accept my athletic build as part of who I am, but that hasn’t come easy. It came with many sessions of my therapist screaming in my face gently reminding me that body mass index, or BMI, is bogus and that it isn’t a real measure of how healthy a person really is.

She may have talked to me two, three, four, ten, twelve times and it may have looked like this by the end:

screaming

Let’s be honest, people! We don’t hear the crap they say the first time they say it!!! 🙂

Just kidding (but she probably looked like that on the inside). BMI did come up a lot, and I’m sure it was exhausting to repeat before it sank in and I could finally “hear” it. I finally had to do my own research and I talked a lot about BMI and how bogus it is in a previous post here.

After many rounds at the doctors, I realized that I will probably always be tipping the scales close to, or in the overweight category simply because I have a strong athletic build. I’ve had my fair share of doctors tell me that my glutes are strong and well developed and that my hamstrings and quads are as well (hence why they are always tight and I have issues). Oh the life of a field hockey player with strong legs and glutes!!

legs

OK – Back to our beach bodies!

I came across this image about beach bodies and BMI.

beach body

The illustrations were created from scans of six people in New York, who were all 5 feet 9 inches tall and 172 pounds. This means that though their bodies look very different, they all have exactly the same BMI. At 25.4, technically each of them could be considered overweight. (By the most common definition people with a BMI over 25 are overweight and those with a BMI over 30 are considered obese.)

How is it possible, you say? The simple explanation is that muscle and bone are denser than fat and some people carry more or less weight in their torso or legs.

BMI only considers height and weight, so it won’t consider the athletic guy’s muscle mass sitting on the beach next to the guy with the beer belly weighing the same, who is secretly chugging that beer from a soda can.

Alas, research is starting to catch up! A really boring research article that’s tough to read came out! You can read it here if you have all the time in the world to figure out what all the numbers mean! It is basically suggesting that body fat percentage and body composition are more important indicators of health than weight alone. DUH! It also means that burning calories and losing weight for a beach body isn’t the answer, and that building muscle is also part of a healthy body. woo hoo – I’m on track for health! 🙂

So, as I lay on the beach in my healthy body, wearing my SPF 100 (so I don’t burn), I’ll appreciate that I don’t give a crap about BMI, and that I just laugh in my doctor’s face each time they try to tell me that I’m overweight. I’m still eating my ice cream, doc!

And when they finally do away with BMI, I’ll be the one laughing considering I have done away with it long before! 🙂

laughing

And because everyone needs a laugh mid-week…. this will be me on the beach…. for real!

irish girlThe sad part is, I’m not even kidding… that’s why I buy SPF 100! 🙂 But with that SPF 100, I’ll be gettin’ my tan peach on!

Faith In Your Body

misty

In our society today, body confidence can sometimes be hard to find. Any person would be a liar if they said they had confidence all the time with absolutely no problems. Body confidence is something we can have, but sadly seems like something we have to work for.

Misty Copeland is a pioneer in the field of body confidence and a woman whom I love! Maybe I love her because my body looks like hers. I grew up as a dancer and struggled to make sense of my athletic build in the mirror, whereas Misty has embraced it and has made a movement and danced all the way to become the very first African-American principal dancer with the American Ballet Academy.

For anyone who has no idea what this means… it’s kind of a big freaking deal! J In the past, Misty had often been rejected due to her outer appearance and body proportions. In an interview Misty said, “As an adult, I was told that I didn’t have the right skin color. I was too muscular. I was too curvy. My breasts were too big. I was too short.” In a world where your body is your tool, and often scrutinized, this is hard to hear, but she didn’t stop.

Misty told NPR in September that breaking into ballet as an African-American is immensely difficult due a combination of racism and reluctance to change a traditional art form. “I think it’s just something maybe that I will never escape from those people who are narrow-minded,” Misty told NPR. “But my mission, my voice, my story, my message is not for them. And I think it’s more important to think of the people that I am influencing and helping to see a broader picture of what beauty is.”

I’ll give the quick reasons why Misty making principal ballerina is SO important :

  • Misty came from a very tough background
  • Misty only started dancing when she was 13, far past the age when dancers start (I started at 6)
  • Misty is an African American woman in a world of ballerinas dominated by white women
  • Misty is curvy and has an awesome athletic build
  • Misty has a bust which is highly uncommon for ballerinas

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We all know what the common ballerina looks like and Misty is not that. When you see her dance, she proves that she is just as good, if not better than any other ballerina out there. This video speaks for itself. It goes to show that there is no mold for beauty and the traditional standards are being broken. If we stand in confidence of our bodies, there will be a shift in what is expected. Misty has started that revolution in the ballet community just as many others have in other communities. The more we work at loving ourselves the less power the world has at telling us we shouldn’t. Her unchartered rise to greatness shows that faith in your body can take you places that you never imagined! Imagine what you could do!

Super Soul Sunday: Ballerina Misty Copeland [Original Short] from Zachary D. Perlinski on Vimeo.

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#No Thigh Gap

Somewhat recently, the words “thigh gap” have had a tremendous impact on the Internet and the body image of women everywhere. Since it first surfaced, the term has been nothing but damaging. It has sparked “thinspiration” images on social media and has prompted retailers who Photoshop their models’ legs in order to make their proportions seem disturbingly (and disgustingly) thinner. Some retailers even went to the point of actually getting mannequins with legs that are too thin with the thigh gap! Here is a girl who is a healthy size 4 standing by a mannequin!

model

Let’s not forget the awful production from Target showing the model who was butchered at the start of last year’s bathing suit season! She lost a good portion of her vagina and cervix in order to achieve the Thigh Gap. I don’t know if she made it through that experience … RIP, poor soul!

target7  target 3

Sadly, the backlash from people who “fight the thigh gap” have unintentionally made some of those who are naturally skinny feel shamed by body they are in, so this “war” affects both sides.

Recently, and thankfully, there was a lull in the “thigh gap” debate. But the term has emerged with an empowering message that raises awareness about body positivity, and it’s all thanks Lena Dunham. The actress shared a close-up photo of her leg in a pair of shorts with the hashtag #NoThighGap on Instagram, and her simple act has started a revolution!

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Women have begun sharing their own photos on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter, and have turned the #NoThighGap hashtag into a body positive movement. The hashtag has become a hub of love and pride for our bodies (as we all should have).

The movement is by no means saying that your legs are not beautiful if you have a thigh gap, but it’s there to celebrate the diversity in bodies that are not typically celebrated by the media. In fact, there are many people who just cannot physically obtain the thigh gap based on their physiological structure. Our muscle/fat/pelvis size all play a role in whether a person can have a thigh gap. I had the thigh gap once… when I was so sick I was almost dead.  I didn’t realize the complexity of it all (the thigh gap) until I stumbled across this blog post which breaks down the information very well: (if you read the article – I’m the athletic Mesomorph – it’s nearly impossible for me to obtain the thigh gap – and I accept that). Let’s all be totally honest – most of the world does not have a thigh gap! Most of the healthy world will always have thighs that touch! We are built to have fat on our legs and that is healthy and okay. The percentage of people who naturally have a thigh gap is so low that it doesn’t even matter to me in this blog post 🙂

It’s important we remember that a thigh gap is not a measure of health (or even skinniness). We’re all built and shaped differently — and that’s an absolutely wonderful thing!! What’s “right” or healthy for one body isn’t going to be what’s right for every body. If hashtags like #NoThighGap can help us to recognize that, then maybe they will also help us to foster an acceptance of ALL body types and encourage a more open-minded perspective of what “healthy” looks like. “Healthy” is a large variety and looks very different for every person. My “healthy” is very different from your “healthy”.

Our worth should not be determined based on the space between our thighs, however wide or nonexistent that space may be. Whether or not any of us has a thigh gap, we should appreciate our bodies for what they are capable of doing, rather than how they look and if they adhere to a very narrow idea of what is acceptable and beautiful. This is something that I’m trying hard to do, and succeeding at more and more each day! Our bodies were made to do some pretty amazing things and the more we focus on what it can do, the less we will focus on what we think it should be or look like. This isn’t something that is easy to do, but it is well worth the struggle to achieve it! Body positivity and appreciation is something that amazing and freeing when you finally find it!

So… for the movement… let’s look at some of the #NoThighGap posts!

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no gap nogaps nothighgap

selena-gomez-nothighgap

BMI… and how bogus it really is!

There is a lot to say on this subject, but I’ll try hard to stay on topic and not sound like I’m in a rage.

rage face meme

BMI (Body-Mass Index) has been a thorn in my side for some time now. It has caused many tears on the couch of my therapist, and many angry conversations and tantrums through the course of my recovery. I can still say that I don’t like BMI, but at least at this point I understand it and bogus it can be!

Let’s start with me: First, I am an athlete. I have always been an athlete and I hope to always be. I am a runner and a field hockey player. Because of my years of intense athletics, I have developed strong muscles. I am a muscular athlete. According to the BMI, I am probably in the overweight category right now. My muscle tissue from all the activity keeps my weight higher and it will constantly keep me in the overweight category. I have finally accepted this and there is nothing I can do about it. I like and need my strong muscles. I prefer them!

Now – let’s look at some hotties (without shirts on) of whom you may know.

Dwayne Johnson has a BMI, of 34.3. Which means, according to U.S. government standards, the Rock is obese.

the-rock

His co-star Vin Diesel is overweight at 27.1.

vin diesel If Johnson and Diesel aren’t the first guys you think of when you ponder America’s obesity problem, you can see the problem with the BMI, a ratio of weight to height, as a tool to judge an individual’s fitness or health risks.

So…. after much frustration and acceptance of my own BMI (and after many tears)…. I decided to do a lot of research to educate myself about how bogus this thing can be. Yes, my therapist said it to me a few times, but I think I needed to do the leg work on my own. So, I’ll break it down and save others the trouble 🙂

Background: The BMI was introduced in 1832 by a Belgian named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He was a bmimathematician, not a physician. He produced the formula to give a quick and easy way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population. It was created for a quick measure for allocation of resources. He said explicitly that it could not and should not be used to indicate the level of fatness in an individual. He observed that human weight “increases as a square of the height,” except during infancy and the adolescent growth spurt.

So why is his formula kind of dumb? It makes no allowance for the proportions of bone, muscle and fat in the body. A person with strong bones, good muscle tone, and low fat will have a high BMI. Thus, athletes and fit, health-conscious people who work out tend to find themselves classified as overweight or even obese. In addition, it ignores waist size, which is a clear indicator of obesity level.

So where did all these categories and “YOU’RE FAT” come from?????  Because this guy didn’t say it.

1940’s: The focus on obesity and its complications for health started with the insurance industry in the mid-20th Century. Insurance companies published their first set of weight-for-height tables in 1942, and then updated it in 1959. The U.S. government started using BMI in 1980 to establish cutoffs for what was described as “ideal,” “desirable,” “suggested,” or “acceptable” weight. Go back and read that sentence again. They decided what weight and BMI was “good” or “bad” based on that formula made by a mathematician.

Now let’s apply this information to what do we know about humans? We are two basic genders, many different heights, several body types, many ethnicities and countless levels of activity. Each has a slightly different distribution of height and weight, but we are all graded on the same scale… to the decimal point. (But if you notice one decimal point is the sharp change from one category to the next!)

 In this photo – all of these women weigh 150lbs but they all look very different! 2192-aussie-average

Here is the problem – BMI can’t distinguish between fat and lean tissue, nor can it distinguish between different types of fat.

We know the visceral fat, the type that accumulates around your organs, puts your health in danger. The fat women hold in their hips and thighs is linked to a lower risk of chronic health problems. So, the good fat and the bad fat get the same “bad name” here.

Also, muscle changes the whole game – it’s the wild card. The wild card that causes a lot of problems.

Remember our obese and overweight hotties at the top – The Rock and Vin Diesel? Muscle weighs more than fat… a lot more than fat!

The whole “Muscle weighs more than fat” thing is a true statement, SORT OF…. a pound is a pound, so 1 pound of muscle weighs the same as 1 pound of fat. However, muscle is more dense and takes up MUCH less space than fat.
See for yourself!!

muscle-vs-fat

Here is a great example of body composition. Weight and BMI can look very different depending upon diet and exercise.

The most obvious problem that we started with: People who are taller and/or more solid—like countless athletes or people into working out—are lumped in with people who are soft and sedentary.

Example: I went to a neurology appointment an a nurse, who should have seen in my chart that I’m recovering from Anorexia, told me that I’m overweight and should be worried about about obesity.

What I really wanted to do to her was this:

slap

I realize now that she could not take into consideration my muscle mass. She had no idea that I eat healthy, run very regularly, and that I am a frequent flyer in hot yoga classes. She was basing my health on ONE component.

Where does everyone go from here?

  • BMI isn’t going anywhere. Some doctors believe in it, and others understand how bogus it can be in certain cases.
  • BMI is only ONE indicator of health. It is ONE small factor in a huge list of things taken into consideration.
  • Being placed in a category does not make you who you are. Look at it rationally.
  • The number that comes up on the scale means nothing if you are healthy and in a safe range.
  • Doctors need a range for the many Americans who aren’t healthy (because so many aren’t). Be aware if you don’t fall into that category. Think about your bone structure, density, muscle mass etc.
  • Your body has a set point that it wants to be no matter what that bogus formula says! As long as you are eating balanced and healthy it will fall into that set point and maintain.

If you want some more interesting reading …. as if this post isn’t long enough…. here is a cool link I found of a ton of people and their height and weight/BMI listed. Some will shock you!

BMI Calculated With Real People

The Challenges We Face

Challenges come along, and we are forced to face them whether we want to or not. As they arise, things could have a tendency to get harder. As things get harder, they get scarier. When that happens we can often be triggered to use eating disordered behaviors to “feel better”. As I’m finding, eating disordered behaviors help me to feel numb and distracted, but it inevitably causes more pain and suffering. As challenges present themselves, using eating disordered behaviors initially feels like a way to take care of myself, but it actually causes me to become more depleted physically and emotionally.

 
“Take a step back to see the bigger picture.” This is some great advice given to me by my dietitian. This might be the single most difficult thing to do when you’re stuck in the moment with the eating disorder. I realized that I have to find a way to create space between actions and my reactions. If I can create space and let things calm, I could see there is more than what is in front of me which happens to be the number on the scale.

 
Choosing to stand up to challenges is not easy. I’m finding that standing up does not mean walking into battle like a Gladiator ready to win. I think “standing up” means to just not give up. That is somehow finding strength to either stand still, but not turn and run to the eating disorder. I think this is the hardest thing to do.

 
I’m at a place in recovery that is quite pivotal. This place is where I have a tendency to turn and run. By “turn and run” I mean throw the meal plan in the trash, use my eating disorder to attempt weight loss and I’m always certain it will work. I did not want to turn and run this time. Each time I would turn and run, I restrict and am faced with the refeeding process again. My problem is that I can’t step back from right is in front of me. It’s tough to do that in the moment. What I have to do is find a way to create space between actions and my reactions.

 
The only thing we can do is control ourselves. We can’t control others around us, but we can control how we react to them. Sure, sometimes things hurt or they don’t go as planned, but that doesn’t mean the world has ended. If we can find a way to create space between actions and reactions, we will be able to see the bigger picture. Once we can pull ourselves out of that moment (that lasts for what feels like an eternity), we can make the right decision on how to react in a healthy way.

 

 

macklinsI went to yoga and thought about how I needed to create space and how I could do it. Let’s be honest, I didn’t have some amazing break through… I still don’t know the damn answer to how to do this, but I think all we can do is learn from our mistakes. I think our mistakes are there to teach us how much we want something and patience. After yoga I had to wait for my husband to pick me up and the plan was to wait at a coffee shop. I decided that I would have coffee, but the eating disorder battle started. I could go for no calories, or calories. I decided to go with calories. I love peppermint mocha drinks and I decided that the only way out of this is through. I chose to challenge to eating disorder because I choose to not be controlled, but be in control.

 

 

peppmocha

As I sat on my iPhone, I noticed that there were messages upon messages working on me. You know those times when you just keep getting signs to keep fighting. I believe there are always messages that we don’t see or aren’t ready to see – then when we are ready to receive them, they are loud and clear. As I scrolled through my social networking sites reading quotes, I was bombarded with messages of trusting in God and continuing the fight. I’m not kidding here…. in a few hour period, all of these quotes literally slapped me in the face:

 

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” -Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

 
Be willing to go the extra mile to maintain peace.

 
God doesn’t require us to succeed; he only requires that you try. – Mother Teresa

 
When trouble comes, always remember God is still there, He’s working, and He has a plan for you.

 
Pray first, act second.

 
Make up your mind that you’re not going to quit until you see the fruit of what God has placed within you.

 
Life is very interesting… in the end, some of your greatest pains, become your greatest strengths. – Drew Barrymore

 
A chief cause of failure is when we give up what we want most for what we want this moment.

 
People can sympathize with us, but only God can fix what ails us. Go to Him, run into His outstretched arms.

 
Face your deficiencies and acknowledge them. But do not let them master you. – Hellen Keller

 
I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. – Louisa May Alcott

 

 

Challenges in life aren’t there to break us down. They are there to help us grow. I think this is extremely hard to see, especially in the moment. Finding a way to reframe our thinking is necessary. It’s not something we can do, or make a plan to do, but it’s something that we need help with. That’s what treatment is for – to reframe our thinking and help us find a way through, when there is no path. Truthfully, we are all making our own path through this. Many of us wish we could just walk the path that is set for us, but there isn’t one of those that exist. If don’t walk our own path through the woods, we’ll never learn who we are and recovery won’t stick. So, when it gets tough, and we want to let go of the ladder and drop into the fire (analogy from another post), we have to remember that we will just have to make the climb again.

 

So, the advice to myself and many others…. keep going through…. find a way to trust the treatment team…. never give up.

 

 

6 minutes

 

I have played field hockey for much of my teenage/adult life. I love the sport. If there is something I will always try to do, it is that and running. To me, the sport symbolizes so much more than the game – it’s strength and feminism all wrapped in one. When I’m not playing the game myself, I coach the sport. I realized tonight during a hockey game that my team was a parallel for my recovery….

 

                  

This season has been a struggle! I’m taking on a team that hasn’t won more than 1 game in 4 years and I’m turning it around. This isn’t the first time I’ve done this, so I know the drill. It’s something I’ve done before, so I know what to do and how to work it, but it does take a lot of effort.

Starting over is hard. It’s hard because people have to realize my coaching style, my rules and what is acceptable and what is not. It was tough at first. The girls went from a coach who didn’t care or expect much to me – who lives and breathes hockey and has high expectations. Tough combination!

Our season has been successful – we have won 3 games so far (more than they have in 7 years) and scored many goals, but our problem is that our girls give up. They have moments of weakness and they give up for a period of time. They just accept defeat and they allow whatever to happen, to happen. The problem with this is in those moments of “defeat” and “weakness” and “giving up” they end up losing the game! They let down for minutes at a time and end up letting goals get scored against them. Field hockey is not a high scoring game (3 goals in a game is a lot), but in those moments of weakness my girls will allow 3 goals at a time!!! One after another! It’s so awful to watch!

This “giving up” period of time each game has happened over and over. I reached my breaking point with it and finally reamed my team out for it. I basically told them that they have to be willing to fight when they are tired and it hurts the most if they want to win. They have to stop feeling sorry for themselves when they are fatigued and push through and want pride more. They have to see what they want and keep going when it’s tough and they want to quit. They have to work harder when they want to give up.

As I was talking to them I realized that I am in my own 6 minute period. I am stuck needing to revise my meal plan to fit my new busy schedule. I am stuck needing to discuss a few things. I am stuck needing to express a few things and I am stuck needing to take care of a few things. I’m not doing any of it because I’m allowing Ed to keep me in my little “pity party” world of how hard recovery is. Duh, recovery is hard! If it were easy, everyone would do it the first time perfectly!!!! So, I’m realizing that I need to suck it up and stop being a whiner baby and dig deep if I really want this. I have to find a way to regroup and beat the eating disorder thoughts and know what I really want because obviously it’s not working when I stick with the eating disorder.

In realizing that this game was a parallel to recovery I have also realized that even though I feel like I’m firmly grounded in recovery, I have to know that I’m not planted by any means. My momentary slip could have been something scary really fast. Although it was only for a few short days and it was only a few items here and there, the eating disorder thoughts that accompanied the choices were horrendous. Just like my team, in a matter of seconds, I could have been down by a lot, which could have ended in a very bad place.

I have to learn to ask for help. This is not in my nature, but it’s something that I need to do and it’s a goal that I have now. This could have been a slip like before, but it wasn’t. I feel lucky this time, but I might not be next time. I can work to ask for help because I might not be able to save myself every time. If I’m honest with myself, I can’t ask for more in life.

Keep on keepin on!!!

(I just realized how tired I look! I need sleep! haha)

Have you made any realizations like this??? Tough to deal with?