Saturday, December 27, 2014

love this guy!

He can always make me smile or laugh when I am feeling down.
(Which I have needed lately)
I love this guy SO much!
He is my best friend, my love, and my everything!
I can't imagine my life without him <3

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

rock climbing love!

I didn't realize how long it had been since I had been on here.  I am so behind on all of your blogs and my own as well.  But I hope that everyone is enjoying the holiday season and staying safe.  Things have been hectic but that's usual for me it seems.  I am hoping that as we move into this next year, things will slow down a little.  Not too much because then I will get bored, but a little less hectic would be nice. :)

Brian and I started rock climbing again a little over a month ago and I am loving it!!  Brian used to be huge into climbing and when I met him he used to take me out every once in a while and I fell in love with it too.  We would go climbing both indoor and outdoor.  They both are very different experiences too, so it's fun.  Then over the past couple years, we haven't really gone as much because life got busy and it just got put on the back burner.  But we finally decided that we wanted to make it a priority and we got passes to an indoor climbing gym.  It's a really cool gym and really big so there is so much space to climb.  

Brian, of course, is a natural - but I struggle.  He's had years of training and every time I watch him I am just amazed and in awe.  I am still fairly new to the sport but I have really been pushing myself and s l o w l y but surely I am seeing bits of improvement.  What we mainly focus on is bouldering.  And it is so hard!  If you don't know what bouldering is - it basically means that you climb without a rope or a harness.  And I love it because it's so challenging.  I love pushing myself and I love the the feeling I get when I climb!  I still have a bit of a fear of falling but I am getting better each time we go.  The floors are padded so much that it's okay if you fall because you won't really get hurt since the walls for bouldering are between 10-16 feet average so they don't go as high as rope climbing walls.  But I still don't like falling when I am higher up and it holds me back a little because I won't try certain moves or stop a route premature because that fear will kick in a little.  But I am working on it.

It's also a good way to release stress, I have noticed.  And it's been helping me to get and feel stronger - and I like that.  I am hoping that it will help me with the body image stuff I have been struggling with.  It's hard because when I started to gain weight this last time out of recovery, I gained it pretty fast and I wasn't exercising and building muscle because exercise can be a huge trigger for me and I tend to get obsessed with it really easily.  So I am hoping that by working out and doing it with Brian - it will help those obsessive thoughts from getting out of control.  As I've gained the weight this last time, and these few years afterwards, I have tried to exercise but every time I find myself starting to obsess about it and I quickly stop in fear of relapse.  But this seems to be working because I think with this, I can keep myself in check.  And I really do love climbing and I love the feelings I get from climbing.  If you haven't tried it, you should ;)

Also, I have been trying to work on my mindfullness and intuitive eating and it's going... not so good.  I find myself hyper-aware of everything I am eating and I am feeling more guilty if I feel like I have eaten too much.  I don't know if this is normal or not?  Suggestions or advice would be very much welcomed because I really want to be able to enjoy food and not feel captive to this voice inside my head causing me all this guilt and negativity that has been around me since I was 13 years old.  I just want to push it away from me and be done with it but I can't seem too, and I'm not sure what to try next because I've exhausted all of my options when it comes to this.  Or do I just keep doing what I have been doing and hope that one day it will all click and come together... I just feel discouraged.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

thanksgiving 2014

I have SO much to be thankful for, not just today... but every day!
And I forget that sometimes... But I do!  
And I need to remind myself of all of the blessings in my life, 
especially those moments when I forget & I'm feeling down, discouraged, or having a bad day.

I hope that everyone had a fun, safe, & happy thanksgiving! <3

thanksgiving morning 2014

Sunday, November 23, 2014

intuitive eating

I was over at my parents house the other day, going through some of my boxes, and I came across my Intuitive Eating book that I got at my first treatment center.  It is a book that I used all throughout my years of treatment and eventually it got put away in a box because I felt like I'd never be able to eat intuitively.  I couldn't do it.  I'd try and just fail over and over again.  I have struggled endlessly in trying to learn to have a healthy relationship with food.  

Over the next few days, I kept thinking about that book and it was bringing up feelings I've struggled with the past few years.  So I went back over and got the book to bring home with me.  I also bought a new book at the store called Eating Mindfully.  Mindful eating is also another concept that I was taught (as I'm sure most of you have been taught as well in recovery) while in treatment.  Why am I talking about this now?  I have been at a healthy weight for a little over 4 years.  That's good, right?  So why do I still struggle with body image and why do I still feel bad when I eat certain things/amounts a lot of the time...?

I'm talking about this now because even though I have been in stable recovery for a few years now, I'm not eating mindfully at all.  A lot of the time when I eat, I am eating because I know I need to or I because I am hungry.  And I eat too much sometimes, I feel like.  But I'm not paying much attention to the food or my hunger/fullness cues.  I'm just eating to eat.  And I don't know why I have been feeling so anxious about it lately.  I don't know if it's stress, or body image stuff, or maybe a bit of both but it has really been causing me to feel a lot of guilt lately about my food intake.  I just feel discouraged and confused.  And I think I am finally admitting to feelings that have been going on inside me for a while now.  I thought I was over this part, I thought I had let this all go already.  But I guess I haven't.  I think I was just trying my hardest to be okay with food.  I just wanted to be "normal" around food like everyone else around me.  I don't want to feel guilty.  I don't want to have that negative ed-filled internal dialog that still happens often.  I want to be free of all of that.  I want to leave the guilt behind and just be able to eat and enjoy food all of the time instead of just sometimes.

The body image thing is getting easier - but I still have more moments than I would like when I do struggle with it.  For the past few years, my weight has been pretty consistent but it's also been the most that I've weighed ever in my life.  And that is hard for me at times.  I still feel self-conscious and anxious about it at times.  It's something that I am still working on and trying to get used to and I wonder to myself why I'm not there yet.  And if I ever will be.   

So, long story short... I want to give intuitive and mindful eating another try.  I think that if I can master these concepts, then my hope is that a lot of the guilt I feel about eating certain things, and certain amounts will start to go away.  I want a normal and healthy relationship with food.  Not a pretend and negative one - but a healthy and positive one.  On the outside, I have done a pretty good job at making it look like I have a healthy one.  But on the inside, the guilt is still there.  Not always, but it's there more than it's not there.  And I keep it to myself in hopes that if I ignore it - it will eventually go away.  But it doesn't seem to be going away.  And I'm so tired of feeling this way.  I'm so tired of my ed always finding ways to creep in and drag me down.  I want to just let it go.  Be done with my eating disorder.  Completely.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

and then this happened...

This morning, we woke up to this.  The first snowfall of the season.
It's not a lot of snow, and it will probably melt in the next day or two... but the weather has changed, and baby... it's cold outside! 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

fan for life, no matter what

A lot of you know that I am a huge MLS soccer fan, and a huge Real Salt Lake fan.  And tonight was tough.  Really hard to watch.  The season ended in a really disappointing way but... I am still a fan and I always will be.  Through the good and the bad.  This time of the year is always a hard one for me because those soccer games are the place where I re-charge and they are what I look forward too at the end of each week.  I seriously think I go through withdrawals during the off-season - which is why I am glad that it's only 4 months.  And I get SO excited when March rolls around and a new season begins!  MLS soccer games are so fun to go to!  The atmosphere, the energy, the fans, the players, all of it!

From the first game of the season...  

 To going to all the games...

To getting to go out onto the field for fourth of july fireworks...

To watching some of the practices when I could get away from work...

 To meeting some of players throughout the season and getting a special tour inside their locker room...

And watching all of the away games...

Thanks for another fun and exciting season of soccer!  I can't wait to do it all again next year! =)
(And good luck to the 4 teams who are still in the playoffs!)

one of your biggest fans!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

in this life

"this song reaffirms new beginnings, celebrates perseverance, and rejoices in moving forward... it's about the journey you go on in this life and accepting what life throws at you and growing from the experience and concentrating on the positives in life."
Delta Goodrem

This is one of my most favorite artists.
Both her and her music inspire me SO much!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

a unique situation

in my car where i spend a lot of my time 
Lately, my life has been pretty hectic.  From getting engaged, to planning a wedding, to starting a new job, and moving into a new place!  I got a new job about a month before I got married and this job has taught me so much - but it has also pushed me completely out of my comfort zone at times.  I know that those are the moments when we really learn and grow - but sometimes it can be stressful and overwhelming.  Let me start at the beginning...

For the past two years, my husband has worked for the Milestone Transitional Living Program.  It is a program for 18-22 year olds who are either homeless or exiting out of the foster care system and have no place to live.  The program helps them to gain employment, learn self-sufficiency skills, connect them to resources in the community, learn budgeting and other important life skills, help them get a drivers licence and other important things they might not have, and to teach them that they can have better lives and be able to have stability and independence.  My husband is the house manager & mentor for the men's house.  It is a house that can hold up to 5 guys at a time.  He loves working with this population and this job is giving him so much experience as he is trying to finish up his degree.  The Milestone program is part of Salt Lake County's Youth Services.  Here is a link if you would like to learn more about the program: Milestone Transitional Living Program .

Rewind to earlier this year as we were planning the wedding and getting everything ready.  Brian lives at the boy's house and so we had two choices:  1- Brian would quit his job and find somewhere else to work and we would move into a new place together or 2- We could figure out if there was a way for me to be able to live at the boy's milestone house until he was ready to move on to a new position. 

For the past few years, I have become very interested in the social work field and throughout most of my life, I have always had such a huge desire to help make others lives easier in any way that I can.  I have naturally been more interested in the addiction, eating disorder, body image/self-esteem types of jobs but was having trouble finding something I was qualified for since I still haven't been able to finish school because of having to drop-out so many times due to my deep struggle with anorexia.

So, when Brian's program manager approached me with the idea of having me work for the program as a way to make it easier legally for me to live at the boy's house with Brian, and also because at the time they didn't have a house manager/mentor for the girl's place.  It sounded like a good oppertunity to be able to help and reach out to others so I was excited for this new job position.  

The guy's place is a house and that is why Brian lives there, but the girl's place is a four-plex apartment complex.  There is 2 one bedrooms, and 2 double bedrooms.  So we can house 6 girls at a time.  So they don't have staff living there.  I know it isn't the ideal situation to be newly married and living where we work but we talked a lot about it and decided it was what we wanted to do.  I wanted Brian to be able to continue working here because he loves working with these young adults, it is giving him a lot experience for later in his career, and we would get free rent and be able to save a bunch of money for when we move out and into our own place.  We both are pretty easy going people that can adapt pretty well to change (well Brian is good at it, and I am getting better at it)  so even though we knew it might be a little difficult - we both felt like it would be the best choice.  We also knew that it would be temporary until Brian finds a better job.

My job duties are kind of complicated to try to explain but basically... I go out to the girls place every night (it's about 20 minutes away from the boys place/where I live) and I make sure everything is okay, rules are being followed, they have everything they need, ect.  I am also a mentor for them, so I am there if they need someone to talk to, if they need a ride somewhere, ect.  We also do a lot of service projects every month that Brian and I are in charge of taking them too and also helping with.  Brian does similar things at the boys place.  And since we live here, I usually help out with stuff at the boys place and Brian helps me out with the girls.  We work 7 days a week, and are on call most of the time.  That can be and IS stressful at times but the thing that helps is knowing that I get to spend most of my time with my husband and what could be better than working with your best friend!  And thankfully we are able to communicate pretty well and we also know when to give each other a little space if we are frustrated or stressed.  We also have meetings, trainings, phone calls, and other things throughout the week with the rest of the team which is the program director, program manager, the girls case manager, and the guy's case manager.  It's a small team and the job keeps us pretty busy every day but it's a job that needs to be done because these young adults deserve a chance at a better life.

Fast forward to 6 months later, and that's where we are today.  The past 6 months have been crazy, busy, stressful, challenging, but also exciting, full of learning, new experiences & loving married life!  This job has really pushed me out of my comfort zone which is good because that's the place where we are able to learn and grow - but it's also been really challenging because it's scary for me to be pushed so much and so far out of my comfort zone.  I have never worked with the young homeless population before and it's a really tough population to work with.  But it's also such an important one too!  To be able to see these young adults making steps and slowly starting to believe that they can have a better life and see their self-esteem and that hope inside of them starting to grow is such an amazing thing to be a part of.  And to know that we are able to be a part of that is really cool.  

But there are the challenging ones too that don't want to change or are not ready to change and that can be frustrating and hard.  But I just remind myself that in a way, it's kind of like how I was for a long time with my eating disorder.  For years and years people tried to help me, tried to show me a better way of life, tried to support me in my struggles but until I was ready to change - I stayed stuck in my cycle.  So I think that has helped me to be more understanding in this new job and to just know that however I can help them I will and with the ones who aren't ready to change, my hope is that we were able to show them at least a few things that they can keep with them so that when they are ready - they will have those skills and that belief inside themselves to help them with their journey.

  One thing that has been a little challenging is the fact that we live here.  Which means we rarely have time away from our job.  That has been difficult.  Especially being newly married because you want to be able to have that alone time and privacy.  We are able to find time for just the two of us, and I freaking LOVE being married to this amazing man... it's just hard to share him with all of these guys sometimes ;)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

moments that took my breath away

The biggest things that has happened since I have been gone is...

After two and a half years of dating...
I got engaged on October 20, 2013!!!

And then...

 I got married on April 26, 2014!!!!!

If I were to write on here how amazing this whole experience has been from getting engaged to getting married.  And the past 5 months that I have been married... I would probably bore all of you ;)  So I am just going to say that waking up to my best friend every morning is the best thing in the world!!  He makes me happy.  I am happy and I am truly a lucky girl.  I honestly don't know what I did to deserve someone as amazing as him.  My heart is full.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

a new chapter begins

It's been a while since I have written on here, which is weird because I used to be on here so much!  I've had this blog since 2009 and it has been there for me through some of my toughest moments, moments of hope, and times of strength and joy.  I've opened up my heart on this blog and I have let everyone in on my journey to a healthier and happier me.  I look back at a lot of my posts and sometimes can't believe how honest and vulnerable I let myself be.  But my hope was that it would be able to help others who were struggling with the same thing.  My hope was that it would shed light on an illness that a lot don't understand (even the one struggling).  It was my voice when I couldn't say things out loud.  It was my comfort when I needed to make sense of my thoughts and feelings.  And I met some amazing people through the blogging network that have forever touched my life.

I'm not sure yet what direction I want to take this blog - what I do know is that I love to write and I have missed writing since I have been away.  So I guess we will see where it leads me.  A lot of exciting things have happened in my life since I have been gone and I will share some of those soon!