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Monday, January 17, 2011

Living and Loving.

"I believe, that my life's gonna see, the love I give returned to me"

As January is quickly coming and going, so are many of our resolutions. It's as if there's a pause button for life pressed during the holidays, which grants us the opportunity to turn inwards and focus on what we can, and can't, change.  But alas, the holidays ended and 'real life', in the words of David, has quickly resumed.  Fortunately, over the past year and a half I've come to understand and appreciate the skill of mindfulness.  With each moment, I try to be aware and conscious of my thoughts, physical sensations, and emotions.  I've learned a lot about myself, for better and for worse, while making conscious efforts to change what I can and accept what I can't.

It's been several months since I've taken the initiative to bring myself back to a place of physical, mental and emotional stability, though it's a daily challenge.  What's helped?  My resolution to be less judgmental.  How have I succeeded and and what are the benefits?  Glad you asked.

I refuse to negatively judge myself for previous decisions and actions.  I can neither reverse time nor dwell on the 'should haves' and 'what ifs'.  What's done is done and I can only use the experiences to better my future.  Similarly, and familiarly, I am fond of the mantra "everything happens for a reason".  So, while it is vital to forgive, I don't believe forgetting is particularly beneficial.  In my experience, when one forgets one also is bound to make similar mistakes again in the future.  Instead, I try to focus on how that experience made me, and others, feel and how I can use it to positively manipulate experiences that have yet to be had.

What's more, I diligently aim to minimize judgments around food.  This has allowed me to value alternate views.  For instance, rather than looking at an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie as 'unhealthy' or 'bad', I try to qualitatively associate it with the flavors, being mindful of what my taste buds want or need in that moment.  Consequently, I appreciate food and the art of cooking and baking.  It's also helped me in terms of wanting to increase my running.  Energy expended must equal energy taken in, we hear this time and time again.  But I'm further interested in the physiological make-up of the body and how our muscles and organs work to produce maximized energy expenditure.  Simply, a runner needs fuel-- particularly from carbohydrates, fats (which won't make a person fat!!) and proteins.
So, what have been the results of hard work and less judging? Progress.

I've been able to go out on lunch and dinner dates and order something I would enjoy, without feeling pressure or self-conscious in front of my company.   Additionally, I've become much more flexible in terms of the variety of foods I incorporate into my vegetarian "diet" (for lack of a better term). In fact, I'm not really sure I have any 'fear foods' anymore.  I've also worked with great love and passion to salvage relationships that are most meaningful to me, though I have experienced rejection and pain in the process.  Lastly, I've set goals to help motivate me.  As I mentioned in a previous post, my mom and I are traveling to Europe in May.  In order to get the complete cultural experience, I must be able to enjoy the  pasta, pizza and crepes.  I must!!  Other goals include getting a job and moving and running races-- particularly, this one with my friend, Michele, to start!

I suppose the next question is how do I avoid a relapse in the future?  By being less judgmental and by disassociating  feelings, including those of rejection (which sucks by the way), stress, anxiety, etc.. with food and compulsive exercise.  I've learned to be more aware of my needs, through the act of mindfulness.  If I feel something, I'll verbalize it.  I won't hold back any longer.  Because taking chances beats wondering-- it overrides deliberating and driving the self insane.  To summarize quite simply, the disassociation between thoughts, feelings, and emotions with behaviors is liberating.

Take that, ED.

I've made my blog private for one very vital, and personal reason.  As I get closer to a life without ED, I also want to minimize it from the presence and lives of those around me, at least for the time being.  Perhaps when I'm "recovered", I will use my experiences to help and motivate others-- but I must accept where I'm at right now.  I don't want others to associate Rebecca  with anorexia.  I am much more than that. We all are and should remind ourselves of this each and everyday.  Additionally, I do want to incorporate more of my personal life and passions, through giving, learning, reading, running and cooking into this blog; Thus, there will be experiences that I would prefer to keep private.

I'm learning, living and loving each moment, mindfully, one step at a time, despite the fact that the pause button has been released and 'real life' has resumed after a holiday break.

"Our suffering stems from ignorance. We react because we do not know what we are doing, because we do not know the reality of ourselves. The mind spends most of the time lost in fantasies and illusions, reliving pleasant or unpleasant experiences and anticipating the future with eagerness or fear. While lost in such cravings or aversions, we are unaware of what is happening now, what we are doing now. Yet surely this moment, now, is the most important for us. We cannot live in the past; it is gone. Nor can we live in the future; it is forever beyond our grasp. We can live only in the present. If we are unaware of our present actions, we are condemned to repeating the mistakes of the past and can never succeed in attaining our dreams for the future. But if we can develop the ability to be aware of the present moment, we can use the past as a guide for ordering our actions in the future, so that we may attain our goal." --S.N. Goenka


  1. You always know how to relay your thoughts so beautifully. I love that you are going to be less judgemental on yourself in all areas! We all need a good lesson on this, no? Relapse is huge but like you said, talking to youself in a positive way is the best way to CONQUER IT! You GO THIS!!

  2. Thank you SO much! Your support is always appreciated :)