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