Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Chanukkah, Christmas, and a Coach

I'd like to start off by saying Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and a late chag Chanukkah sameach to all my fellow Jews. I know I haven't blogged in quite a while but life has just been so crazy. Our first meet of the year happened. I lost my best friend. Gained a boyfriend. Took second place on vault. Thought about relapsing. Worked harder than ever. Finished the semester. Basically, I've been busy. But I only want to focus on a couple events. 

Number 1: Chanukkah
This holiday is always hard for me because the most important foods, latkes and sufganiyot, are fried. And that is absolutely terrifying. I only ate one donut and 3 latkes the entire eight days. But I consider it to be an accomplishment. I also went to a local Chanukkah party all by myself and met some new people. Normal people. So, I had to eat to keep up with them. I never realized how much food people actually eat. It was really hard but being distracted after made it better. And to be honest, it didn't bother me as much as I thought it would. Although having a meet the next day may have helped. But either way, I'm proud of myself for making it through the holiday.

Number 2: My Coach
I know I've spoken about her quite a few times but today in particular...made me realize just how much I owe to her. It actually started Sunday night after meet (and after her ordering my dinner -_-). My other coach had pointed out that I didn't eat enough before a meet but to me, eating at all before a meet was an accomplishment. It was a first time. I felt like such a failure. But after pointing it out to the coach that this paragraph about, we decided that an step is a good step and that I had a lot to be proud of. I went to sleep smiling that night. Last night I lost my best friend in a really stupid fight and never wanted to eat again. Because obviously that is the rational way to deal with life. I spent half the day pretty sure that starving was the answer and that said coach would give up on me eventually but she didn't and I ended up eating. Because starving didn't actually make me feel any better. Eating didn't exactly help. But it means I get to practice next week. And I finally learned the newest part of my floor routine. Which did make me feel better. Getting up and moving and talking to someone felt so much better than relapsing. I KNOW CRAZY STUFF.

And lastly,

Number 3: Christmas
No, I don't celebrate Christmas. But my brother's birthday is on Christmas day and like most Jews my family does the same thing every year. We eat Chinese food and see a movie and then later have cake for the birthday. It is so stressful. High calorie foods. Sitting around all day. It's not exactly my cup of tea. So, to all who celebrate, please be healthy and lovely Christmas. And to everyone else, be safe and healthy.

See you all in the new year!

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Friday, 5 December 2014

Midnight Adventures

Tonight I got a text asking if I was up for an adventure. At first I considered saying no. It's midnight and I have practice and life. But she's one of my best friends who I haven't seen in months. So, basically forever in our time. We used to see each other at least once a day. To say we had a lot to catch up on would be an understatement. So, I said yes. Of course I'm up for an adventure. And why not? It's a Friday night and I'm a college student. I couldn't be more happy with my decision. It was the first time in forever that I felt normal and alive and just there. It felt real. We covered everything from school to sex to why we might be Pinocchio. Don't question the last one. But the point is that going out of my comfort zone was so great. And I remembered why we were friends to begin with. I'm even stopping by her work tomorrow before practice to grab food from her. As I'm laying in bed and smiling, I can officially say that I am content. Life isn't perfect. But it has perfect moments. And tonight was one. To quote a book "and in that moment I swear we were infinite ". We could've driven for hours and not run out of things to say but sitting in silence has never bothered us either. She's a true friend. And I'll always treasure our little midnight adventure. 

Don't let comfort zones hold you back

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Take It Like A (Hu)Man

I am about to tell you all about my grocery shopping adventure with my dietitian today. Which had a striking resemblance to one of my favorite musicals. Legally Blonde. Assuming you have all seen the movie, I won't go into the plot. However, I will explain how the title of this blog and the song it is based on tie in here. In the scene, Elle Woods is taking Emmett Forest to go shopping for clothes. For various reasons. And he does fight her in the beginning. Pointing out that you shouldn't judge a book by the cover and the thing is that her response is also correct : "I know. But I also know that tattered books get left on the shelf". In the same way, I know that the accomplishments I have made mentally do matter but being able to show them physically is the only way for others to see . So, we all do things that we don't always agree with. The song I'm referencing is called "Take It Like A Man" and the entire song has moments where my dietitian and Elle must have been best friends. Including the very beginning and the very end. In the very beginning she explains where they are and instructs for breathing to occur. And at the very end when Emmett no longer feels like himself, she says "that's the best part. The outside is new but now it reflects what's already in you". I was definitely made to breathe in the start of my grocery store trip and Elle's almost last statement is something that I feel deeply and that my dietitian constantly reminds me. Yes, things have changed but now my life is starting to reflect who I was already was and am by myself. 

We started simple and moved onto harder and harder things. But what shocked me most is that we laughed the whole time. It was actually a lot of fun. We got some healthy things and some more fun foods and even things that I haven't had since before I developed my eating disorder. It was really exciting and it felt so nice to have someone that I trust with me. The weird part was not looking at labels the whole time, but I made it and I still haven't looked at what we bought. I know I will check the facts before I eat it but for right now, I consider it an accomplishment. She even listened to what I really don't like to eat. Which I seriously appreciated. Because I am human. I was really nervous before this appointment but I can honestly say that it was a great experience to have. 

Thank you Bobbi. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Oh! I highly recommend listening to the song in the link below!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Thanksgiving With An Eating Disorder

I want to start this post with the disclaimer that all eating disorders and all sufferers are different. So, what I write may not be true for you or your loved ones. Nevertheless, thank you for reading and I hope you get something from it.

Thanksgiving is possibly the most stressful day of the year. It has food (with unknown nutritional info), family and stress. Not to mention that right now is when most relatives start talking about how they're going to have to diet after the holidays. People talk about being stuffed with food and attach guilt to food. But at the same time they judge how much we may or may not be eating and have no problem offering more. I know that I constantly feel judged on this holiday and that the idea of it makes my skin crawl. It's like all my worst fears coming together on this one day. And I can't escape it plus avoiding is a big no-no in recovery. So, I had to go to dinner. And I made it through but I can tell you that what I ate doesn't fit the typical Thanksgiving plate picture and I was still shaking with fear at the end. Thanksgiving with an eating disorder is terrifying and paralyzing and be a dangerous relapse point. Which is why as I am typing this, I am eating breakfast. You can't let one scary meal affect everything else you are working on.

Thanksgiving has more meaning to it than just food. You just have to find it.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Friday, 21 November 2014

Two Years

Two years ago I put it down
Two years ago the last burn was made
Two years ago I decided to let them heal
Two years ago I wore long sleeves all the time
Two years ago I was fresh out of treatment
Two years ago I was in pain
Today I refuse to start again
Today my scrapes are not self-inflicted
Today my scars are faded
Today I can wear short sleeves
Today I have a life
Today I am still in pain, but
Today I know how to handle it.

November 22 2012. That was the last time that I self-harmed. I have wanted to. I have come close to it. I have had dreams about it. But I haven't acted. I have asked for help and made promises. Because of that, I am two years free of self-harming and my scars are almost invisible to the outside. I am so thankful to everyone that has stood by my side. Especially those who have sat with me while I have cried and made me make promises. Thank you. Without you, I wouldn't see how strong I truly am. 

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

To-Do List for Now through December 1st

Ok, if you have been following me long enough then you know that every so often I post a to-do list. This normally happens when I'm feeling ridiculously overwhelmed and have way too much to do. And putting it in list form helps. The first list is just everything I have to do. The second is it all again but listed by priority. Sorry for the boring post!

  1. eat more regularly
  2. drink water or at least less caffeine
  3. english paper 1 :compare/contrast
  4. english paper 2: cause/effect
  5. english paper 3: characterization
  6. history quiz 2
  7. history article review
  8. history bibliography
  9. psych movie analysis
  10. psych experiment assignment
  11. psych advertising assignment
  12. sleep for more than 3 hours
  13. teaching class powerpoint
  14. teaching class assignments
  15. teaching class portfolio

  1. history quiz 2
  2. history article review
  3. psych movie analysis
  4. pysch advertising assignment
  5. teaching class powerpoint
  6. teaching class assignments
  7. english paper 1
  8. english paper 2
  9. history bibliography
  10. english paper 3
  11. teaching class portfolio
  12. eat more regularly
  13. drink more water
  14. sleep
  15. psych experiment assignment
I'll cross things off as I finish them. Hopefully starting tomorrow with the history stuff. 

Making lists can either be helpful or stressful. You pick.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Friday, 14 November 2014

Life Is More Than a Competition

When I look back over my childhood, most of it is marked by competition. I was (am) a gymnast, I did theatre to be better than my cousin, I always had to get good grades. Competition was my everything. I loved it. I still do. I thrive under pressure and love competition and performing. But over the last year and a half, I've learned a different side of competition. It used to also be negative because I couldn't mess up. I had to be better and I had to win. Which don't get me wrong makes for a good athlete. But it also takes away the spark. And a fantastic student but you lose the love of learning. I went through years of hating reading and writing because it was never good enough. I was terrified to come back to gymnastics because I knew I couldn't compete as well. I had wasted all of my potential and had been reminded of it. I lost the competition. I had lost at life. The thing is though, if you don't view it as a win or lose situation the. It isn't so bad. Competing can bring out the best in you. It makes you work harder and helps you get up when you fall. I used to never want to try new skills unless I knew they lived up to standards because if the coach wasn't happy then I wasn't happy and it was a mess. It was a failure. A loss. But I've come to realize that losing can teach us a whole lot more than winning. It teaches us where to work from and how to improve. And most importantly it allows us to have fun. If nothing is more important than winning...then what do we do when we lose? Never stand up? Life needs to be more than a constant competition. Otherwise it isn't worth it. 

Let something other than winning be important.

Stay Strong 
xo Aria

Friday, 7 November 2014

Little Sisters Notice Everything

I have been very fortunate in the past year to gain more little sisters than I ever thought possible. Almost 20. Of course I am closer to some than others and those are typically the ones that have called me their big sister. It is probably one of the greatest honors that I have ever received. To know that I mean something to these girls that mean so much to me as well. One of the best parts of these relationships is the close friendships that come out of the sisterly ones. Three of my best friends are from the gym. And they have taught me so much more than I could ever imagine. Especially about what younger kids can pick up on. Today, I was texting one of them and said that I was "good" instead of what I normally say which is "fine". I didn't really think anything of it until she pointed it out and said she was glad that I was finally something better than just "fine". She also asked me what made today different and I wasn't totally sure what the answer was, until right now. It's better because I finally see that I am surrounded by amazing people. I have an amazing support system that if full of some people who don't even know that they are supporting more than just my gymnastics career. I have never felt more grateful for a group of girls. And I am so proud to call them my teammates and sisters.

Don't underestimate what people notice.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Middle Ground?!?

One of the first things that I was told in treatment is that there is no such thing as a part-time eating disorder. Over the past few years, I have learned that that is in fact true. I wish it weren't but it is. You can pretend life is fine but if you're truly deep into an eating disorder, it probably isn't. I have tried this concept time and time again. Just hoping that those treatment professionals were wrong. That I can have an eating disorder and be truly living. But each attempt is more destructive than the last. I end up falling further than I planned and being less aware. I'm so convinced that I am accomplishing the impossible, that I don't notice when I lose passion for things, when recovery falls away and when life is no longer what I view for myself. I end up in a hole so deep that I can't see the light anymore. When you see eating disorders in the media, you so often see the extremes. But most often, the ones with tons of health side-effects don't fit that mold. It's the same thing with "part-time" recovery. It doesn't look all that bad, you're still a productive member of society, but at it's core it is possibly worse than a full-blown relapse. I have often strived to reach that area. To get out of a relapse to the part-time fence area. It is a great landmark when going that direction. You are participating in life. That is essential for recovery. Isolation is where an eating disorder thrives. But to try and live on that fence forever is draining and scary. Possibly lethal. The way I see it, if I were to choose to stay on the fence, it would just be like living in denial. Never truly being honest with myself or those around me. None of which is safe or beneficial. In short, part-time recovery doesn't exist. You cannot have a part-time eating disorder. It won't work. It really truly won't.

Right now I'm trying to get myself out of this. Without giving specifics, I'm trying to make my meals more regular, trying to not give into other "healthy" urges and trying to make sure that I am doing the things that truly make me happy. (Hello new college apps).

If you think you might be trying to have a part time eating disorder, here are some things to think about:

  1. You are more tired than usual
  2. You lose focus more easily
  3. you still enjoy what you do but it doesn't feel as right
  4. You question yourself a lot more
  5. People are starting to be worried about you
  6. Other people, including you, see no issue with what is going on
  7. Your food seems slightly off
  8. Urges are becoming stronger
  9. You feel like have a completed a part-time eating disorder.

Don't stay on the fence. It might be worse than fighting.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Wednesday, 15 October 2014


Hi everyone! I would really appreciate you considering signing this petition that my friend and I put together. Only as a group can we get "Red Band Society" and its harmful messages about eating disorders off the air.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Find The Beauty That Is Left

We focus so much energy on what is awful in life. What it is that we are missing. But what about all the wonderful things. The fact that we are alive. The fact that we know people that are fighting everyday to see the light. I see the beauty of the world through friends all the time. When I hear that they ate breakfast. They took their meds. They were honest in therapy. That is beautiful. That is fighting. So, yes the darkness is overwhelming and scary. But we wake every day and eat every terrifying bite. We tell our eating disorders to leave us alone. We try to do the next right thing. And trying is what counts. If we give up, then the beauty ends. So, we keep fighting. One bite at time. One step at a time. One fight at a time. Eventually, the light will get brighter. The colors will be more vibrant. Because we will have made it. That is why we have to fight now. To get there.

Fight. Fight that bitch in your head.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Why I NEDA Walk

This coming week is the third annual Baltimore NEDA Walk. I have been to every single one. The Baltimore walk is the smallest of the walks I have been to but that doesn't mean that it hasn't had an impact. I have been inspired. I have met survivors. I have heard speeches that were empowering beyond words. I have met grieving families. I have met professionals. I have caught up with old friends. I have met people who went to the same treatment centers as me. I have seen old therapists. I have informed other people. I have made connections. I have shed tears. I have gained hope. I have held hands. NEDA Walks are incredible experiences. I have also been triggered. I have been old to call treatment centers. I have felt stared at. I have felt judged. I have left in tears. I have been begged to get help. I have decided on relapses. For you see, NEDA Walks have a certain heaviness to them. This can go two ways. Positive or negative. Eating disorders are competitive and deceptive diseases. They just are. Putting a ton of eating disordered people together without "supervision" can be a dangerous endeavor. But every person who is brave enough to run or attend a NEDA takes on that risk and I think it is more than worth it. Why? Because of all the reasons I said in the first part of this blog. You don't realize how much these diseases can take from people until you hear those speeches or speak to the parents who no longer have a child. Friends and family members who now have one person whom they loved. So, yes, I have been triggered at NEDA Walks. But that mostly has been caused my own feelings of inadequacy.  The theme this year for all the NEDA Walk is "Why I NEDA Walk". I would like to share mine with all of you.

I NEDA Walk because we all need hope. Because I need to not feel alone. Because not everyone can walk for themselves. Because approximately 23 people die every day from eating disorders. Because I refuse to be a statistic. Because I have friends who deserve more than the life they are living. Because hope is the only thing stronger than fear. Because recovery is possible.

Why do you NEDA Walk?

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Friday, 19 September 2014

Awareness Weeks and Random Holidays

As many of you know, National Suicide Awareness Week just passed. The internet was full of positive messages and statistics and the crisis hotline numbers. The idea that suicide exists was everywhere. For some people, it was a much needed reminder. For others, it may have done more harm than good. It is up for debate. I know that a few of my friends were upset that suicide awareness is always focused around people with depression but eating disorders and other things can be causes as well. Meanwhile, other friends thought that it was pointless to raise awareness. Basically, we all know it happened. And now that week is over and the posts have stopped. But how many of you knew that today was National Talk Like a Pirate Day? Or that tomorrow is National Gymnastics Day? Yes, compared to National Suicide Awareness Week, these seem trivial. Maybe they are. But they bring attention to things that cannot be disputed and things that make people happy. Talking like a pirate is really fun. And we all know how I feel about gymnastics. It could possibly be my favorite day of the month. My point is, that if you are going to pay attention to weeks and months dedicated to big things...don't miss the small ones. Sometimes, they hold the most meaning and joy. Yes, NEDAwareness Week and all the other ones are very very important. But honestly, I hate them. I've never seen more people fight over mental illness and what should be said and what shouldn't. And they can be crazy triggering for people. I had a friend try and commit suicide during that week. I will never view it the same. But on little holidays meant for fun...there is no hatred or incorrect statistics. It's just fun. I don' really know what my point is but I had to get that off of my chest.

Enjoy the little things.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

18 and "Living"

I am an 18 year old girl
Holding tightly onto life
A life doesn't really exist
I stay awake with tears running down my face
And hate myself more and more
With every bite of food
I question why I even try
I am 18 years old
I should be having fun
Living freely
Loving the age I am
Finally an adult
Instead, I hope to not wake up
I hope to never see food again
I am barely holding myself together
I am busy trying to hold off my demons
But they are strong
Instead of eating ice cream
And dating
And being a "normal" girl
I am an anorexic.
I am not living, I am existing

Life doesn't have to be like this

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 6 September 2014

What Is In A Name

For the past several days, I have been considering changing my name. After looking into how Judaism views it and reflecting on how I feel towards my name...I think it may be a decent idea. See, every name is attached to a fate. Change your name...change your fate. It is one of the four ways to do it and is also known to help ward off the angel of death. Once I got the Jewish okay to it, I turned inward. I've never particularly liked my given name. For a few reasons. The first being that it is kinda old fashioned and just doesn't seem to fit me as a person. And second because I was given my grandmother's name. Don't get me wrong,  it's an honor. She was an incredible person. She was nice to everyone and believed there was good in everyone. I hold a lot of similar beliefs. But that makes it hard to be myself. I feel a constant comparison to her. I hear about her all the time and when people who knew her meet me...that's all they want to talk about. I think for me, changing my name might not be the worst idea. But it may destroy the relationship I have with my family. Weighing the pros and cons will be what I do this week.

Do you believe in changing fate?

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Aiming For Perfection

I want perfection so badly. I want it in gymnastics, in school, in my body. I just want to be perfect. The problem is that I can never seem to reach it. A girl will always get a skill before me. Whether or not mine ends up being prettier, she still had it first. But I work harder. I always do. I strive to work harder than everyone around me. I just want to be on top. I hear it all the time, that the aim for perfection is ridiculous. It doesn't exist. You can't be perfect. But I want to be as close as humanly possible. Coaches constantly have to make me walk away and take a break after trying too many times. I get so angry and frustrated. Don't get me wrong, I love how nice and clean my skills end up at the moment that I earn success. It just kills me that people who don't want it as bad or who don't work as hard, get it first. I just want to be perfect. I want to salute and smile and know that what I did is what everyone wants to see. AS for school, I spend hours writing and rewriting and editing. I just want my papers to sound right. Get the point across, not have anything to be critiqued on. But that never happens. Ever. In fact, some of the papers that I worked the most on, got the lowest grade. The body part goes wihtout saying. I just want it to be what society expects. What people look at and envy. What I can look in the mirror and not hate. I work hard for it. But it is still never perfect. I will never be perfect. And that will be the death of me.

Perfection doesn't exist, so why do we want it?

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Friday, 15 August 2014


So, yesterday I hung out with a girl that I met through an online group based out of one of my treatment stays. We went to an open gym together and she did practice with me. It was so fun! And it was nice to find someone who loves gymnastics as much as I do. We spent like all day doing handstands and splits. It was awesome. And we spoke about treatment and our eating disorders. It was really nice to not feel so alone for once. Like I actually have someone who feels the exact same way and our parents are really similar. Basically, it was a great day. Even though my team may disagree on how unhealthy the situation was.

Sorry it was just a quick catch-up, I've been crazy busy!

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Graduation (Moving On)

Before I begin, I just to make clear that I am not "moving on" from this blog. I am staying right here. Don't worry.

I graduated from high school two days ago. That's right. I finally made it to the end of my high school career. Something that a lot of people thought would never happen or if it did that I would finish while in a treatment center. But that didn't happen. I stayed in school the entire year plus some and walked the stage to receive my high school diploma. I have almost never felt more proud of myself than in that moment. Graduation is a great starting place rather than an ending. I'm now in the same place as the rest of my friends. I am going to college in less than three weeks and my life is going pretty well. I truly am moving on.

Some people would say that I haven't truly moved on. That my mind still needs a lot of work and my weight could be healthier. So, maybe they are right. Maybe I have not totally moved on from my eating disorder. But that is ok. It doesn't happen overnight or in a set amount of time. High school does. And I learned all I could in the past four years. About myself, about subjects, about recovery, about friendships. There is nothing left for me to learn from those experiences. Recovery will have to be worked for in college and hopefully will be reached there. But it may not. Each chapter of your life teaches you new things and gives new experiences for you to learn from. For me, I turned the page to a new chapter two days ago. And a brand new one is starting right now.

Moving on can be scary but it can also be really empowering. It gives a sense of accomplishment. I will always look back on high school and remember how much I missed out on but I will also remember the friends and fun times it gave me as well.

This song pretty much explains how I feel. So, I leave you with a video link and the message to let yourself move forward in life.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

"It's Different"

It's different.
They all say that.
As they open their diet food and I glare.
It's different.
She doesn't need to eat as much as you.
It's different.
You need to eat full-fat foods.
It's different.
He needs to watch the scale. For health.
It's different.
None of us are sick.
It's different.
We don't need to learn to eat.
It's different.
All of us could stand to eat healthier. Except you.
It's different.
We want you to have a normal life.
It's different.
Because you can never be "this" normal.
It's different.

You're right it is different. I took the control, that you desperately want, to an extreme. I turned diet into sickness. For every meal that you attempt to make healthier and every round of seconds that you shame her for, I thank G-D for those. The ice cream and muffins and supplements. It is different. My fight for life, only matters when it doesn't fit your "ideal". Don't worry I feel the stares as I eat nothing diet and try to count calories to hit the number I need and not the one I want. I am different. Your "lifestyle" could kill me. And tomorrow I am going to wake up and make a difference in the world. One full meal at a time.

It is ok to eat. I promise.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Struggles Bring You Strength?

Hello internet world. I am back. As always when I take a ridiculously long break, I will now begin with a quick catch-up on my life before actually getting to the topic of this post. In the past few weeks I have been to Israel, spent an inordinate amount of time at the gym, spoke at a support group, and am currently having a sleepover with a 12 year old. You could say my life is a little crazy. But I like it.

Anyway, point of this post. Israel proved to be a minor struggle for me in terms of eating and my hunger cues are all messed up again. But  I feel awkward reaching out for help to my team or even my coach. (I would rather deal with my coach but I don't know if she would answer me). Let's put it this way....the scale and I didn't agree. But I don't post numbers. SO, that's all you can know. Basically, I am now tasked with fixing the disaster that came out of the most incredible trip of my life. Little ironic that I had more fun but managed to struggle at the same time. I texted my dietitian today and tried to say something about this whole situation to her but she's just been repeating herself. All she says is that I need to trust myself. Well, I'm trying to do that but it's probably a BAD idea. And yes, I know she's going to read this. I accept it. Gaining weight is hard for anyone with an eating disorder. Believe me, I know. But I have to do it. And that will be the strongest thing I've ever done. Out of struggle comes strength I guess. Or at least I really really hope so. Or I am so in trouble.

I don't know how this will pan out or if I will tell my coach or not. It's all kinda up in the air. DOn't worry though...there will be an update. I promise. Watch out for my next post!

Don't let your struggles change you.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Why I Love The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Before I start let me just acknowledge that not everybody agrees with what I am about to say and that I am fully aware that my last post was about the same book. The reason for this post is different than that one. This one is because of an opinion I read, that one of my close friends wrote about the story. She pointed out how much she disliked the book due to a couple of the reasons that make me love the book far more than I thought I would. For those of who are still unaware of the plot of TFIOS, allow me to give a brief synopsis from John Green's website:

"Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten."

So, yes the two main characters have cancer and are teenagers that are basically slowly dying. But that is not the main focus of the book. The focus is placed on their relationship and adventures with the occasional reminder that they are still sick. This is possibly the most realistic representation I can find of what I would want a book about teenagers with cancer or any other chronic/terminal disease to be. A book about teenagers and falling in love and having awkward conversations. It doesn't need to focus on the cancer and the dying and the doctor's appointments for the entirety of the book. We know it's there. They know it's there. Having the cancer be more of a central part would destroy a massive purpose. The purpose of showing that people with disease are still people. For example, eating disorders are often compared to cancer (still not sure how i feel about this..), if I were to write a book about living life with an eating disorder... I would write it much like TFIOS. Where the eating disorder is evident. You know the appointments happen and the medical scares. But the most important part is my life with it there. My life with friends and school and love. Eating disorders happen and it is a part of my life but it doesn't need to be the center. John Green shows this beautifully. 

The other point that my friend made is that the book is full of metaphors and cliche statements. She feels that this attempt to be deep, just takes away from any actual meaning the book could have had. Part of me wonders if she remembers being a teenager. It is all metaphors and cliches. It just is. I bought a pack of cigarettes on my 18th birthday. It is the classic thing to do (cliche) but I knew I wouldn't smoke them. Metaphors are all around. And a lot of the time, they give you time to think about something.  People have been telling me for years that "life is a journey" which is a metaphor. But it is also true. Sometimes life gets really hard and sucks. But it is a journey with ups and downs and twists and turns. And as a teenager, that is really important to remember. 

Lastly, Augustus points out that cancer is made of him. Therefore he is fighting a war against himself. A war in which the winner has probably already been chosen. This part meant so much to me. Because it rings so true in my life as well. My eating disorder is in my brain. It is made of me. As our all the dehydrated organs that are desperately searching for water at the moment. I am fighting myself. The difference is that I have the chance to possibly determine the winner of my war. I just have to recognize the battles.

Basically, this book is incredible and I am extremely grateful to have read it and seen the movie. 

You choose what is the center of your story.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Monday, 26 May 2014

The Fear of Oblivion

I just finished reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. And by just finished, I mean like two minutes ago. While reading this book, I felt so many different emotions, it is one hell of a read. Not gonna lie. The thing is that what hit me the hardest was not the love story or Augustus' death or all the cancer. What hit me was the concept of oblivion. It is mentioned only two or three times in the book and is the one thing Gus fears. I couldn't figure out why this affected me so much until the very end of the book. In those last few pages, I realized that I fear the same. I dread the day that everyone and everything becomes nothing but oblivion. But on a more personal note, I am terrified of dying and making no difference in the world, leaving behind no legacy, having nobody that looked up to me. Oblivion is terrifying. Thinking back over the past almost three years...there were a quite a few times where that concept became overwhelmingly real. I have a lot of friends, but I don't feel like any of them would actually miss me deeply if my eating disorder had killed me. My parents would have still been parents to my siblings. My siblings would have had each other. I would have disappeared into oblivion. But as Hazel (or rather her dad) says "the universe wants to be noticed". Obviously, the universe must have really wanted me to know that I still had to time to not just fall into death. Now, I am going to make it my goal to impact at least one person to the point where I make a true difference. I've always said that all I want is for someone to tell me that I am reason that they didn't give up. But I didn't realize how much I feared not having that until reading this book. And I cannot thank John Green enough for writing this. No, I do not have cancer. But I relate so much to these characters. From thinking I was going to die, to having people I know actually die....this book hit home for me. And I know it will change how I approach what I do in life to leave my mark.

Don't let any diagnosis define you. Ever.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

The End of USY

Ask any USYer what convention they dread the most and I can almost promise you that they will their senior year spring convention. USY is not just a youth group. It is a way of life. It gave me some of the most important things in my world. Most of my best friends I met through USY, it gave me a Jewish identity when I thought I didn't want one, but most importantly, it gave me a home. USY is an environment that is unlike anything you can experience anywhere else. As I sit here back in my house after my final convention, I can honestly say that I did not expect to miss it this much. I went to spring, feeling ready to move on and be done. Like I didn't need any more time and I was totally fine. But as the weekend went on, I came to see that I am in fact not totally ready. There are only so many people that I know I can call at 2 am and just vent to or that understand the feeling of standing in the Havdallah circle. I am not going to lie, there were a lot of tears shed this weekend and they haven't stopped yet. The Seaboard USY Class of 2014 will always be my second family and I am so proud to be a part of it. I could not have asked for a more perfect way to end my USY career. I will forever carry the lessons it taught me. Which are far too many to list. But I will say that I would not be the person I am today without USY. There will always be regrets about things I did or did not do while in this part of my life. Plenty of regrets. But for the most part, I am happy with what I accomplished. Senior spring was a success in every sense. Thank you USY. You helped me when nobody else could.

*I cried while writing this*

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Monday, 5 May 2014

One Year Ago

One year ago, I was on my way to my third treatment stay. One year ago, I was unhappy and sick. One year ago,  I was on home and hospital. One year ago,  I was pulled out of a show. One year ago, I was lost. One year ago,  I was drowning. One year ago,  I hated my life and myself. One year ago is not today. Today is not one year ago. Today I only talk of treatment as a memory. Today I am happy and healthy. Today I am finishing my senior year of high school and have been in school all year. Today I am on a gymnastics team and finished my last shows as a high school student. Today I am finding myself. Today I am not only surviving but thriving. Today I love my life. Today I am ready to go to college in the fall and be free. One year ago, I watched my friends post their prom pictures from my hospital room. I commented on how pretty they looked and they responded that they missed me. This year, I'm going to two proms and have my own pictures to share. This year, my friends don't have to miss me because I'm here. Today, I don't love myself all the time and life isn't butterflies and rainbows.  Today, I don't know what I will eat tomorrow. But today that's ok. Today, I know I can get through that. And if I can get through the last year... I can get through anything. Recovery is possible. I know it is. Because otherwise my today would still be my last year. And that means that I probably wouldn't be here. But I am.

Every day is a new chance. Don't let your yesterday define your tomorrow.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Monday, 28 April 2014

My Top 10 List

Anybody who has watched David Letterman, or knows anything about his show, has heard about the infamous Top 10 Lists. They happen on every single show with varying list titles. So, here for you, I have my very own list. For the record this was the idea of my promises on good this will be.

The Top Ten Ways You Know You Are In Recovery (or at least I know I am)

10.  You know you are in recovery when you try to stay up late and then wonder how you used to exercise all life is tiring.

9. You know you are in recovery when pasta is your new best friend (how did I live without it!?!?!)

8. You know you are in recovery when you get annoyed when people think you don't eat

7. You know you are in recovery when you can pretty much say you've tried every kind of peanut butter

6. You know you are in recovery when losing weight is more stressful than rewarding (talk about anxiety)

5. You know you are in recovery when you exercise and then go eat pizza with your friends because calories are fun little energy bugs

4. You know you are in recovery when you have your own pints of ice cream (do not touch my Ben and Jerry's.)

3. You know you are in recovery when having clothes be too big makes you so mad and scared rather than proud and excited

2. You know you are in recovery when feeling your bones is the last thing you want to happen (bruises everywhere? no thanks. More things to bang on gymnastics stuff...yeah no)

1. You know you are in recovery when you no longer view your dietitian as an evil little troll with a scale and food talk.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 27 April 2014

The 2014 Washington DC NEDA Walk

I am no stranger to NEDA Walks. I have been to almost ten of them in the past 3 years alone. They are some of the most inspirational events I have ever attended and the speakers always have such wonderful things to say. But more important are the people you see there. There are people with memorial shirts and signs that have lost loved ones to eating disorders, there are survivors (often with family and friends), and there are professionals there. The mix is interesting. And the vibe at each one can vary. This walk however was very different for me. This was the first walk where I knew that I didn't look like a scared little girl with an eating disorder. I looked healthy and happy and was cartwheeling everywhere (I know I am like 5 years old, whatever). You would think that this would make feel SO proud of myself. And it did. Partially. But it also brought up a lot of other feelings for me. I felt uncomfortable. Like I wasn't supposed to be there. Like I was a fake. Treatment centers were handing me cards and asking where I had gone instead of them. But none of them showed genuine interest in treating me. And in came that little voice in the back of my head saying "of course they don't look aren't skinny anymore". I would be lying if I said that I didn't consider believing that it was right. The thing is though that at that moment I was standing in between one of my best friends and my dietitian. Two people that have truly helped me get this far. I can't relapse. I would lose so much. The thing about NEDA Walks is that as inspirational and motivating as they can be, they present an unusual challenge that other charity walks don't; competitiveness among the walkers. The supporters don't feel it. Most professionals don't feel it. But the people struggling do. I always do. The looking around to see who is sicker than you are. The sideways glances to figure out who is struggling. Eating disorders love competition. And a walk full of people and the theme of it... well it's like the equivalent of putting an alcoholic in a bar. I don't really know how I feel about this walk. I was inspired. I was triggered. I went through like 30 emotions. I had fun. All in all I am very glad I went. And I highly encourage everyone to attend a walk or any other NEDA event. You meet some of the strongest people at those things. And you get to learn about yourself too.

Don't be afraid to be with people that suffer too but don't let it affect your recovery negatively either.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Passover in Recovery

For those of you that are unfamiliar with Jewish holiday of Passover, allow me to tell you the basics and why it sucks to celebrate with an eating disorder. Passover is the story of when Moses and the Jews leave Egypt and the plagues happen. In a nutshell. Point is that for eight days, we cannot eat bread. Or anything with the five basic grains in it. This makes not losing weight (especially when exercising) nearly impossible. Usually I use this holiday as a means of easy weight loss. I mean it isn't my fault we have this tradition. But this year was different. I didn't want the weight loss. I know what it would mean to my life right now if I lost weight and the consequences were not worth it. Needless to say that after the first five days... the scale was not happy with me. So, I was then faced with an important decision: keep Passover and possibly lose gymnastics or break Passover early and gain the weight back. I will admit that this put my mind in a very weird crossroad. I felt immense guilt over the idea of breaking Passover early. It is a huge deal to not keep it. But the weight loss scared me and so did the thoughts that were coming with it. So, that night I made the decision that the idea of Pikuach Nefesh (preserving life above all else) was able to come into play here. If I lost more weight and went down the rabbit hole again, I might not make it out alive this time. And that wasn't worth it. That is what made this year's Passover so special for me. The breaking of tradition and dealing with the guilt was me proclaiming once more that I can get free from all of this. After all, Passover is about freedom and keeping the Jewish people alive. If I had kept it both of those things would have been gone for me. I know it.

Holidays and traditions are important but don't let them take away your recovery

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The Season Has Ended

Since my last post was over a month can pretty much assume a lot has happened. So, I am going to quickly catch you up and then talk about why the end of season was so interesting.

This last month has had ups and downs and lefts and rights and all that jazz. I got a prom date, had two meets, met my roommate for next year, and can finally say I am like 90% more comfortable with myself than I ever have been. All of those things have been absolutely wonderful. I've also had to deal with Passover (next post), triggers and recognizing how far I have come. None of those have been fun. In fact that pretty much sucked.

Anyway onto the end of competition season. Championships were held at my gym and that was really nice to recognize so many faces and feel at home. I fell on two of my four routines, which were bi disappointments. Especially my fall on beam. It's my favorite event and I would have gotten my highest score if I hadn't taken that fall. But it happens. I pulled my highest scores on all the other events and at the end of the day was extremely proud of myself. I will admit that it was frustrating and upsetting and I felt awful about most of what I did. Like I had let everybody down. But seeing my coach be proud of me and smiling after my routines, helped me realize that it didn't matter that I had fallen because I had made it. I accomplished my comeback. And someone was proud of me. My all around score went up about three points. And minus missing a skill in my floor routine, I only received .5 in deductions. Basically, after a lot of thought...I am proud of everything I did.

The interesting thing is that not only did I grow as a gymnast over this season...I grew as a person. My symptom usage went down significantly, I am almost a year and half self-harm free, I remembered that the best things in life take work and don't come easily, my friend circle is starting to change, and I now feel like I have a place in life. I had missed out on all of this for so long. I had forgotten about all th hard work and the camraderie and the adrenaline. That is why I love this sport. That is how it has now saved my life.

Now, I leave you with a couple new pictures and couple old. Enjoy!

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Calories Are Life... Great.

In news of the exciting world of me: my team has decided that I am trustworthy enough to get weighed every two weeks. Woot! Except that if I fall more than x number of pounds out of my range then I can't practice till I gain it back. And to make things more exciting... the two weeks leads up to a meet week. So, I actually cannot afford to lose weight. At all. Now because of this,  I have to make sure I hit my calorie amount. Which means counting calories. Which means having to pick up an old behavior. Which kinda sucks. Like I was pretty much over counting calories but now I have to or I'm so screwed. And I don't reach out to my team anymore... so I have no accountability?!?! Pretty sure I messed this up badly. But at least my anxiety can rest a little since I know the calories. Positives?

Try not to pick up old behaviors.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Let's Take a Step Back

Some of you may have heard of Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach. And I'm assuming most of you that have heard of him, have also heard of his daughter, Neshama. She is a singer and speaker that travels the country not only to speak about her father but about her own beliefs. This weekend, I was fortunate enough to listen to her sing and speak and get to meet her at my synagogue. First off, she is incredibly talented and so so nice. Second, she brought some really interesting ideas up. One of which is the focus of this blog. (For those who know about her father and don't agree with things you've heard, this is not a post about him. This is simply about Neshama and something I took away from listening to HER.)

During the Saturday morning service, the idea somehow came up that without Jews and other believers...There isn't really a G-D. Stay with me here. Religion is based on the belief of a higher power that has been named. Nobody (alive) can say that they know G-D is real. We believe it to be true. But if nobody believed in a higher power then technically it doesn't exist. Until there is a belief and a name in a concept.... there's nothing. We have G-D because we believe He is there.

I was trying to figure out if this idea applied to other areas of my life. And I think it may actually apply in an eating disorder setting. For almost a year and a half, I refused to "name" my eating disorder. For 6 years I refused to even acknowledge that I had one. Including during a treatment stay. The thinking being, if I had didn't believe it then it wouldn't be real. Once I admitted to having one. It became slightly more real. Treatment became more than a prison... it became torture. But the real change happened when it was given the name, Ana. It became something I was forced to believe in. It had a name. It had backing. I'm not comparing G-D to an eating disorder but the same belief idea could easily be applied.

So the question being, if everyone lost belief in G-D and that made Him not exist..... could the same be true for my eating disorder? If I take away the name, then it's just an abstract idea. Not something I can ask for help or something I can blame for my problems. I think it's possible that I have to do to "Ana" , the one thing I could never do to G-D.

It's amazing what one little statement can help you discover. Always be listening.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 8 March 2014


It takes a lot for me to get truly angry with another person. But I get angry with myself really easily. Especially if I know that I can do/fix whatever it is. There is one skill right now that I KNOW I can do on bars. But no matter how many times I try, no matter how many different ways I attempt.... it just happen. And at this point not only is my coach annoyed with me but I'm so mad at myself. Like it's such a simple skill. And it doesn't scare me. I know how to do it. I just can't seem to get it to happen. It just makes it worse when not only are you mad and disappointed in yourself but the people around you are just as annoyed with you. Especially when there are consequences. Like rope climbs (I'm absolutely terrified of climbing ropes). I just don't know what to do anymore. Maybe I should just give up. Ughhh. But the thing with anger is that it can also be used productively. So, maybe things have a chance of getting better?

Anger sucks but can be a learning experience.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Can My Team Move On Please?

Treatment team of course. Anyway I need to vent this before I slap someone. So, when I turned 18 my parents and team made me sign a contract to make sure I don't fall on my butt too often. According to this contract if I fall out of my weight range then I have one week to gain it back or I lose practice till I get back into it. Well the grace period was last week and I'm not in my range. So, technically I shouldn't be practicing this week. But I convinced my parents to let me go because I've been super stressed out and need the outlet or I'll actually go insane. Plus the whole taking something away to make it an incentive doesn't work for me. It just pisses me off which makes me want to not eat. Anyway,  I normally have to add more calories on a day with practice but my dietitian still sends me my meals for the day. So, I assumed my mom had told her I was practicing and therefore she had put in the calories like normal. But I figured I should ask. And I got like a really pissy answer back about how I should know that I have to add calories and that she should have known I was practicing and that I should be reaching out more during the day if I'm going to be confused. Like okay I get it, I broke the contract. But at the same time... I'm making an effort to make sure I hit my calories.  Don't be mad at me. My mom said she would take care of it. So don't be so annoyed when I have a question. I can't wait to not have this team in a couple months. I'm so done with them. They don't even really help anymore. I say I need help and they basically have me help myself because I know what to do but when I don't reach out they get mad because I should be asking for help. Like no. Pick a darn side.

Sorry. Rant over.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Honesty is the Best Policy

This weekend, I have had the opportunity to be at two incredible events. Where I played the exact opposite roles. The first was being in my final play at the local drama center. I was Alice in Alice in Wonderland. And the second was seeing Demi Lovato in concert...again. I'm going to talk about those in their respective order and then explain the title of the post. So, needless to say, being in your last show is possibly the most emotional event in theatre. Half the cast was crying. But it was more important to me that I leave something for them to remember. Before each show we go around and people say things to get us all in the right headspace. And today mine was different. I couldn't say that we would do amazing and then be ready for our next show. I don't have a next one. So, I left them with two messages that go together. Number one was to make life what you want it to be. If you hate what you're doing then you're going to hate life. You have to have fun. It's just necessary. And number two, don't let the success of show one take away your energy for all the shows after because then you are truly doing yourself and the audience a disservice. To put that into real life terms, put your all into everything you do. At the end of the day you have to be proud and know that you tried your best. I cannot believe this journey is over but it is time to move on. And that is okay. I know it is. Now for the Demi concert.  Demi Lovato has gotten me through so so much. I actually would not be alive without her and her music. Going to her concert and hearing her make a speech and singing along with thousands of other people who love her just as much is the most invigorating feeling. It was exactly what I needed right now. That sense of hope. Here is where the title of this post comes in. Until tonight, I didn't realize how dishonest I was being with myself. I've stopped reaching out and eating is becoming harder and self harming keeps coming up as an idea. But I've been ignoring all of it because everything else is going so well. Even weirder is that I've started to want to ignore the fact that I ever self harmed or that I have an eating disorder. I don't want to recognize it. At all. And it wasn't until Demi's speech tonight about reaching out and reducing stigma and the fact that you can conquer anything...did I realize how far I'd fallen without noticing. I admit it,  I'm not pulled together as much anymore. And that is honesty.

Reach out when you need to. Someone will be there to listen.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Saturday, 22 February 2014

I Didn't Realize

My coach has suddenly become very attuned to my eating habits. Or rather has recently started saying things to me about them. Before you's not what you think. She's concerned that I'm not eating enough. And she's concerned about my grades. I know to some people this may seem like common sense considering how often we are together... but that wasn't always the case for me. I didn't grow up in this gym. I grew up in one where you didn't eat during practice and the coaches didn't really care. So, needless to say, I was a little skeptical at first. Like why would she care? And is it genuine caring or just pretend?  Being me, I asked her. And she does actually care. As much as we have a love/hate relationship,  I couldn't imagine this year without her coaching me. Not only in the gym but in life. She has taught so much about myself. And I can't ever repay that. I honestly didn't realize that she actually cared until like last week and wasn't totally sure until today. She like gave me food. She never gives me food. I know she won't read this. Or probably won't. But either way, it feels really nice to have someone in my corner who pushes me harder than anyone else, in so many ways. I can do this. And I know that I have people to help me through. Thank you.

Take the time to notice the people around you and the support they want to give.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Quest Bars

I'm sure that most of you have heard of Quest Bars. But if you haven't, they are a brand of protein bars that are "healthy" and not very calorie dense. And I will admit that some of the flavors taste okay. But what I find so interesting is that these bars are making a huge splash in the eating disorder recovery world. Everyone I know who is either in recovery or pretending to be or anything like that, has suddenly become infatuated with them. I mean if they were looking for a niche.... they found one. I had one with me at practice the other day and my coach (being the soon to be nutritionist that she is) wanted to look at it. As she read the ingredients she noted that one of them is a modified plant substance that humans cannot even break down. And after trying it, she wanted to kill me! Apparently it's more of an acquired taste than I thought. I guess my point is that there are so many better tasting bars like Nature Valley protein bars are delicious and good for you! I don't totally understand how I and my friends all fell into the same bar trap. We didn't even talk to each other about it. But I do think it could be a major problem.

Don't let "health" dictate everything.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 2 February 2014


Last night into this morning was Seaboard USY Formal and the overnight. There is something so special about this group of people. I cannot even put it into words. Just being in the same room as all these people that you love and that love you, makes all the stress melt away. I got to see people that I haven't seen since August! They are just as incredible as I remember. But most importantly, I got to spend over 12 hours with the most caring and loving people I know. Both staff and USYers. Dancing with them for three hours, talking for what seemed like whatever, watching a movie together. It was absolutely perfect. I do not know what I would do without some of these people and the events. I will admit that I am completely exhausted. Like haven't slept in 36 hours...exhausted. It's worth it. Mostly. Haha, I do like sleep. The night was fun as always but the thing I always find to be the most profound is Sunday Shacharit Live. Which is basically the morning service but with the fun USY tunes and guitars and stuff like that. People are singing and are really into it. Today, the Hebrew School kids were with us and seeing them try to follow and learning to wear Tefillin was so inspiring. They are the future of the conservative movement and USY. We all come together on a spiritual level and you can feel the energy in the room go up as it goes. As I am typing and trying to put this into words, I realize that I can't. There is no possible way to describe what USY is. USY is family, USY is fun, USY is having people care, USY is a place to get away, USY is USY. There is no place I would rather be after a week of practice and work and rehearsals than laying on the floor with my friends about things that non-USYers get confused by. I don't think I will ever be able to truly put how I feel into words. But I do know that without USY I would not be the person I am today. My sister is now joining Kadima, the middle school version, and I am so so happy for her. The future of USY is bright. And it always will be. There is nothing like it. There just isn't.

Find a group that makes you feel at home. The journey is so worth it.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Everything Is a Blur

In this week of the amazing skills of Aria: I fell at practice and seriously knocked my head. Like I had to think of when my birthday is and whether or not I have siblings hard. The weird thing is that I don't remember falling when I think back. I remember up to the skill and then getting off the floor. The in-between is a total blur to me. Which didn't feel weird to me and I couldn't figure out why until today. It's because most of the last 3 years are a lot like that in my head. I remember everything up to a relapse. But the time between that and each treatment stay is really fuzzy. I know memory loss goes with the whole malnutrition thing but still I didn't realize how much time I had lost. And now I am determined to not lose anymore. I know how to do the skill correctly and I know what I have to do to stay where I am recovery wise. They both just take effort and time. Something else I have been made to think about again is the life and death of my grandfather. My therapist is determined that I totally process this and write a eulogy. That is awful. Mostly because I hate crying and fighting through the blocked out memories. Let's just say that trying to remember things has been a trend this week.

Don't let your life become a blur. You'll miss out on too much.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Put Your Hands Down

I think I heard the title of this post at least 50 times this week. Besides the pain in my knees and back, I realized something else. Sometimes we don't know our own strength. In my case this week it meant physical strength. I was doing round - off back handsprings and let's just say I have more leg power than I thought. I kept pushing off and flipping over without my hands touching the floor, not exactly how you do the skill. At all. But after a few tries my hands would touch the ground and I got the hang of the strength I have in me. We all have unknown power within us. Mental and physical. We can all enter recovery or jump backwards. Whatever you can dream, you can do. You just have to learn to use and control it or "put your hands down". Yes, you'll fall and things will hurt but that's how you learn to land. If you don't accept it and learn to use it properly, you will never accomplish everything that you are possible of.

Basically, we are really strong. We just have to put our hands down.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

I Will Always Be Different

There's something I've realized through this process that I didn't anticipate; I am always going to look at things in a different light than those who haven't had an eating disorder. It's just a fact. I will always view people's actions and emotions,  the outside world and quite frankly everything differently. Sometimes that is really nice. I have so much empathy and so much drive. But other times it makes me realize how crazy some people are. And I don't like that part.

Let me explain.

Right now, a family I am very close with is in the middle of changing their food habits. In more ways than one. The mom is trying to make sure she doesn't gain weight (through use of a popular calorie counting app) and the youngest son cannot have fructose. The first one irks me because I used that app to count my "allowed" calories for years and it just bothers me. The second doesn't bother me because of him. It bothers me because she isn't just changing his diet, she's changing the entire house's diet and personally I find that unfair to her other son. I kinda want to like shake her and show her why it's not a good idea because her older son will get upset eventually and probably rebel against this idea. But I can't. So, I will just wait it out.

As for the other part of seeing things differently... it's amazing. I don't take my time in my sport for granted like a lot of others do and my friends are higher on my list of priorities than I am. And I appreciate normal things so much more.

Stay Strong
xo Aria

Friday, 3 January 2014

My Coach...

So my coach knows about my eating disorder. Which is fine. I mean I told her. But anyway that's the point of this post. Today,  she texted me to say that the gym was open despite all the snow and her text woke me up. Naturally I told her that she woke me up and she replied that it was 930 and I should get over it. To which I responded that I should probably get up anyway because I had X amount of calories to eat for the day. (On a side note, my coach is an exercise science major who wants to be a sports dietitian). After telling her the number she replied that there was no way it was enough to help me in the gym or help maintain my weight and suggested a higher number. It didn't actually freak me out as much as I thought it would. After discussing it with my actual dietitian,  we decided that it would be a good idea to slowly up my intake to help me build muscle. I went to practice tonight and made 2 new skills and practiced old ones that got improved (yay). During break I normally just sit on my phone or talk to people but I never eat snack. However, my coach was not okay with this apparently. She tried to hand me a small chocolate bar to which I originally said no. She then very quickly handed it to me and said "eat it. I know you haven't had enough calories today and that's not ok". I have never had someone say something like that who wasn't a professional or an annoying family member. I guess the point of this is two things. The first being that you'd be surprised who cares when you let people in. The second being that gymnastics is not as body conscience and awful as people make it out to be. Hell my coach forced me to eat chocolate. I have the best coach and team ever. And for that I am incredibly thankful.

Stay Strong
xo Aria